A few people have contacted me to say lovely things about my work, which I really do appreciate. It’s quite something to have others not only take the time to read my posts but to also get in touch to say that they like what I’m doing, so thank you very much to everyone who has messaged me, whether it was just to say hello or to offer suggestions and advice.
I’ve been asked several times why I don’t allow comments on my posts, as being able to comment would be the fastest and easiest method of letting people get in touch with me. In all honesty, it’s simply the hassle of moderation that keeps me from turning the comments on. I have another blog elsewhere for my writing, which is mostly inactive (in all seriousness, there are only so many times I can post “I’m still writing, go me!”) but for every friendly comment or constructive criticism, there are two trolls sending irrelevant and/or abusive messages and for every troll there’s half a dozen spam posts.
It’s not only disheartening to have to wade through all the rubbish (especially when I get an email notification about each and every one) but it’s time that I’d much rather spend on my actual hobbies. So that’s why I turn off the comments. I’m considering switching them on for a short experiment over the summer when I will, hopefully, not be madly constructing costumes and props in such a restricted timeframe and have a bit more time for adjusting the settings and moderating comments that need to be moderated. In the meantime, if you want to say hi, offer constructive criticism or point me towards your own blog, the best way to get in touch is through my Facebook page.
Until next time!
I felt the need to take a night off from scales yesterday (38 days until the Calling!) so I decided to make a draft attempt at the Grey Wardens’ griffon insignia, which will go on Mahariel’s breastplate. It’s had a layer of glaze to give me a slightly firmer surface for scoring in the detail with my pyrography tool and then I’ll decide whether to build up a few more layers of glaze before painting it or whether to cover it in Worbla. I’m leaning towards Worbla at the moment but as I’ve not done much in the way of detailed work with it, I’m not too confident about how well it will turn out. But that’s the whole point of having a practise run – if it all goes horribly wrong, it’s not like I will have wasted a huge amount of resources on it.
I got a couple of pictures while the glaze was drying and I’m surprisingly pleased with how it looks. I’ve stocked up on old cardboard boxes from the stock room at work, so I can begin working up the pattern for the breastplate itself, so it’s full steam ahead on the Hero of Ferelden!
It’s been a while since I did an update about Mahariel’s maille, so here it is! I gave up a few weeks ago and decided to buy a plectrum punch, because cutting out individual scales was driving me round the bend and I lost count of the number of times I dislocated my thumb with the scissors. The punch has done a damned amazing job and is only now, some 500 scales later, starting to lose its clean edge.
So far I’ve got seven strips done, in pairs. I decided I didn’t want to run them all the way up to the shoulder from the hem because they would be incredibly bulky under my chest plate and jacket, hence the different lengths. There’s 107 scales to go on the final length and then I can get on with priming and painting the rest of them. If all goes well, I hope to have the bulk of the tabard done this week, so that I can spend some time sorting out the quilting and fitting pyramid studs for my jacket. Only six weeks to go!
After Wellingborough Museum’s Victorian day, I found myself with most of a pair of gloves and had the stitching finished off couple of days later.
It took me a ridiculously long time to talk myself into staining the leather. I loved the natural colour and the contrast with the dark stitches, and I was really worried about finding that I hated the way they looked with a dark stain. Finally, I decided that if I didn’t get on with it, they’d remain half-finished forever, so I psyched myself up, diluted the dye a little and sponged it on.
It took three coats to reach a shade I was happy with, then I applied two coats of leather conditioner every day for a week to help the dry leather to soften again. The last job was to fit the studs and braid the loop-closures from embroidery thread, and I finally had a finished pair of gauntlets to go with my Inquisitor’s Hunter Coat.
My next leatherworking project is to make a matching pair of boot covers, then I get to do it all over again in my “dragonscale” leather to make a set for my new coat!