Friday, October 21, 2011


I have decided to try this blog on wordpress, as the posting of pictures (which I seem to be doing quite alot of lately) is much easier over there. Join me there for the journey!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Twisted Cord

So I decided to take some of these miles of embroidery floss and make some of my own twisted cord for my next 8 tama kumi project (since I still haven't gotten my damn book). I'm NEVER ordering from that frigging Amazon vendor again!!

Wasn't sure how to make twisted cord (using embroidery floss for anything other than, well, embroidery or cross-stitch is completely new to me), so I googled it. I love the intarwebs! Found a seriously easy slideshow how to from an Aussie here.

Pic of the twisted cord:

Started with a 6 ft length of two strands of #5 DMC in "blanc" and "498". Twisting them yields 2.75 feet of usable cord.

Will take another pic once I've braided it.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My Kumi spirals

So I have started working these patterns, yo. The book I ordered still isn't here after three weeks, so I'm just experimenting, trying stuff out. I'm also documenting it.

Here are the pdfs for the "Chaos Braid" and the "Ocean Spiral".

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Braids - the Genoese Bar (1st attempt)

Since I'm into Kumihimo now, when I purchased my kit, I also bought a couple of books, one of which is this one by Jacqui Carey.

On page 37 is instructions to make the "single Genoese Bar".

My first try:

Monday, October 3, 2011


A year ago to the day since I last posted! Weird!

I know I said I'd do better, but mundane life is...well, mundane.

The good news is that with the Queen Pig Bitch of the Universe gone, people who should have known better have realized I'm not a cheating whore, everything seems shiny and new, and I can have some fun again. Huzzah!

My latest infatuation: Kumihimo. 'Manda brought it up last time she visited, and well, you know how I am. I got this kit on Amazon and these books, and have completed the following projects:

First: the "test" I did on 'Manda's loom while she was visiting me. It's now on my keyring.

This is an 8 tama (strand) spiral round braid using fibre cord obtained from Wal-Mart. It has a firmer, matte finish because of the cord.

This is the first thing I did on my own loom. It's a half round braid, 12 tama. It's ECU colors: Royal Purple with Gold hearts. On one end is a split ring (like keychain ring) with a bulldog clip on it. The other end also has a split ring and that has a plastic "snap strap" on the end.

You clip the one end on the baby's shirt, unsnap the strap and put the pacifier handle through then re-snap it. Voila! Pacifier leash! Thinking about selling these at ECU home games.

Then I made a flat braid on the flat loom and sent that to my daughter before I took a picture of it.

Then I decided to try a purpley-green braid, where the green is varigated thread.

Which becomes this --------->

Then I made an all black spiral and a red and black spiral (don't have a pic of the black one):

And now I'm working on the "Cathanar Heart". This is a 12 tama half-flat braid.

Here's how to thread the loom:

(Blue lines indicate white thread).

To make the pattern:
32 - 10
1 - 23
16 - 26
17 - 7
move 31 to 32 and 2 to 1
move 15 to 14 and 18 to 17
8 to 15
25 to 18
9 to 2
24 to 31
move 7 to 8 and 10 to 9
move 23 to 24 and 26 to 25
repeat, do not rotate disk.

This will produce this braid:

I just got the pattern for the Atlantean Opal pattern from Dar at Raven's Cove, and will work that up when I'm done with the Cathanar Heart pattern (once the bobbins are empty). Still have loads of patterns to try, and I have a Kumihimo book on the way. Will post when it gets here.

(Update: Opal Braid with pic of my Opal badge, cross-stitched:)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Persona explanation

I have been asked, Why 1360?

Because of Charles the fourth, Holy Roman Emporer.

He remains to this day a Pater Patriea to the Czech Republic and I wanted Eleonora to be a Lady during his reign of intellectual, creative and economic prosperity.

My time is also right before the birth of Jan Hus, the first Czech Protestant, who later had a direct influence on Martin Luther, which means I'm right in the middle of religious reformation.

In 1360, I have missed the Black Plague that swept through Venice (my mother's hometown) twelve years earlier.

Eleonora is the a daughter of a wealthy merchant, who plied his wares from Constantinople to Paris.  This backstory allows me to wear pretty much anything I want in European fashion in the mid 14th century.

I was really stuck on the name Eleonora, and started out as Eleonora z Praha (Eleanor of Prague) but the Herald (God bless her!) advised me that Eleonora is an Italian name.  I couldn't find an Eleonora in the Bohemian countries until well after her time, so I was forced to go Italian.  And since I had an Italian first name, I had to have an Italian lastname.  So I chose Pragensis, which is Latin for "from Prague".  Now that I'm an SCA Lady (big L), technically, to be in line with my Italian name, I SHOULD be "Signora Eleonora Pragensis" but I'm INSISTING on Dáma ("DAH-ma"), which is the Bohemian (Czech) version of Lady. 

The end result is that I had to explain why I had an Italian name if my father was a Czech merchant based in Prague.

Simple: my mother.

My mother was the daugher of a Senator on the Great Council in Veniti (Venice).  Wiki says:
With the elimination of pirates along the Dalmatian Coast, the city became a flourishing trade center between Western Europe and the rest of the world (especially the Byzantine Empire and the Islamic World).

The route my father took on his travels from Constantinople to Paris and back.

In the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, Venice was a major centre for commerce and trade, as it controlled a vast sea-empire, and became an extremely wealthy European city, a leader in political and economic affairs and a centre for trade and commerce.
Meanwhile, over in England in 1360, Edward III was signing the Treaty of Calais.


I just wanted to mention (since this IS my SCA blog and I've been horribly, horribly bad with keeping up with it, something I'm intending to remedy) that I am officially part of the House of Sullivan (vivat!) and said House's design is provided below and has been sent to Kingdom for approval.

Love you guys!

Vnuška's blanket

I have a grandchild.  First of the bunch.  Her name is Harmony, and she has so many grandparents I wanted to come up with a name for myself that she could use and there be no confusion.  So I chose the name Babiška.  (Pronounce that "bob-EESH-kah".)  It's Czech for grandmother.  So I have taken to calling her, in turn, vnuška. (It's pronounced "vuh-NEWSH-kah".)  Czech for granddaughter.

I started it when they were here on Labor Day weekend (when we had no Air Conditioning).
Finished it last night.  That's exactly one month.  Now I just have to finish Jared's blanket, Bryan's blanket, and redesign the two "jackets" I was making, since I can't figure out how to make the pattern work.    I tried making TWO of them, because I thought I might have messed up the pattern, but it was wrong on both of them, so it's not me.  So no jackets for joo!  I'll make something else out of them.  What, I don't know.  I have plenty to do.  I'll post pics when I'm done.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Promised pictures of projects

Old Newspaper articles

So I found some newspaper articles that were written when I was in Drachenwald 12 years ago. I have re-typed the text on the color photo one, since it's hard for me to read.


Thursday, January 16, 1997
22p where purchased

Society steps back in time.

HISTORY fans took a step back in time at the weekend for a medieval celebration to mark Twelfth Night.

Members of the Society for Creative Anachronism dressed in period costume for the event at Great Stukeley Village Hall.

The group, founded in the United States 30 years ago, is dedicated to researching and recreating the period 1066 to 1600, including its weapons, clothing, and crafts.

Nikki Smith, who has taken on the persona of Kiarah, a woman from the Isle of Man in the early 1300s, said: "We sew our own garb and we do medieval cooking, we make our own meads, ales and wines and study arts and crafts. Anything they did then we do now."

The group's local "shire" runs from Cambridge to York, and has both American and British members.

~Nikki is pictured being defended by Rudolph Ramsey (real name Randy Rainbow) against Fritz the peasant (Ted Zimmers). Also pictured is Beth Porter, playing Alexandra the Eclectic.


MIDDLE MEN: The Society for Creative Anachronism recreated the Middle Ages at Great Stukeley Village Hall last Saturday for a special Twelfth Night Celebration. Tid Zimmers (bottom), is seen here with Rudolph Ramsey (Randy Rainbow), Kiarah (Nikki Smith) and Alexandra Eclectic (Beth Porter).

The Society is a non-profit making educational organization dedicated to the researching and recreating of the customs, combat, courtesy, and arts of the middle ages. Local events include fighting practive, parades, and medieval tournaments.

CONTACT: For more information telephone Nikki Smith on (01480) 497388.


FRIDAY, Jan 17, 1997

How would you like to belong to a society where you can work your way up from peasant to become the king or queen of a country the size of Europe?

As good citizens of Drachenwald it is within your grasp to climb those dizzy heights, as long as you join the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA).

So I was informed by Kiarah, the historian of the Shire of Pont Alarch, alias Nikki Smith, of Virginia Way in St. Ives.

Nikki (26) is a lady from America whose husband, David, is in the USAF at RAF Lakenheath. Both are enthusiastic members of this intriguing society, which was founded in the United States in 1966 and has since become a worldwide organisation.

Nikki explained that the society is basically an educational organisation, dedicated to 'researching and recreating the customs, combat, courtesy and arts of the Middle Ages.'

The merry band build weapons, armour and shields and enjoy many a battle at their medieval tournaments and revels. Nikki said, "Our guilds study and practise brewing, calligraphy, needleowrk, armoury and many other 'lost' arts."

Incidentally, the world is divided into Kingdoms. There are 13 at present and her in Britain we are ing the Kingdom of Drachenwald, which encompasses Europe. Apparently we just are not big enough yet to qualify as a kingdom.


Nikki - as Kiarah - is hoping to eventually raise her status from lowly lady historian to the higher nobility. it is not easy, but it is possible for advancement in the heirarchy by wielding a sword well, embroidering superbly or designing and making bodkins, wimples and dresses and so on.

Nikki described the whole process as being "lighthearted but authentic". Incidentally there are equal opportunites for both sexes on the field of honour, so ladies don't have to sit embroidering. They too can become champions alongside the chaps.

Nikki and David (Othello the Wanderer) were married in Arizona two and a half years ago. They had a full medieval wedding with swords and oath of fealty to the bride - the works. I know, I watched the video.

About 25 people in the Huntingdon and Cambridge area 'play' - 'both Brits and Americans,' said Kiarah. They meet on the fourth Thursday of every month to discuss business and forht coming local events, such as parades and feasts.

The Shire of Pont Alarch historian said, 'It realy is more than just a hobby, it has become a great part of my life. If for any reason we had to leave it for a while, it is nice to know it will be the same when we return."

The Smith family, who are expecting a new baby soon, will be leaving our shores this year to return home. However, ther are happy to know another medieval kingdom awaits their arrival.

If anyone would like to join the SCA they can ring Nikki on 01480 497388.