The SCA and I are turning 50

In 2016, the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) and I turn 50 (I’m the elder, being born in February). When we moved to Wilmington this past summer, I finally joined in, since the local shire’s schedule suited ours better than when we lived in the Triangle.

To celebrate both our birthdays, I joined the Arts & Sciences (A&S) 50 Year Challenge and selected embroidery stitches for my 50 Things. I’m going to learn 50 new stitches by the anniversary in June, 2016, and treat myself to a week in Indiana.

organic-fiber-dyeing

For a coupon code for our new book listing, email info@dauminion.com.

I am working more wet felting (traditional felting) into my repertoire and stock; however, the SCA provides me with a chance to branch out a bit for fun during events and to distract people from my poor dress making skills by embellishing frocks with freehand embroidery stitching! 🙂 Of course, I can use Wooly Brain wool to spin yarn, but I’m starting the project with beautiful, 100% lambswool hand-dyed using natural dyes fiber, from France and sold here by The Noble Thread.

I am also introducing a new line this spring, Dauminion Medieval, and I hope to include some of these new stitches in simple kits relevant to the time range. I’ve also learned that hats are popular purchases, and I ordered a hat form and inflatable balls from The Woolery on which to practice. They provide an easy-to-follow tutorial by Stephanie Alosso, who makes the new project seem less daunting (using kids and a trampoline – what fun!).

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At our 12th Night celebration, my husband was the fortunate recipient of this trim, likely woven on an Inkle loom, and these buttons.

I haven’t though, even unpacked my new Inkle loom, which I hope to use with cards for tablet weaving. We do, though, have a talented weaver in our shire, so when I’m ready, I’m going to see if she will help. The first time I tried card weaving (without a loom, using C clamps on a table), I had yarn stretched from dining to living room, trying to count and cut what was needed, and resulting in quite a mess to untangle… but I made a pretty nice band for my wheelie craft case.

Must-See Shop, 52-Week Challenge Bone & New Holiday Needle Felting Kits

While looking for needle felting kits that complement this week’s 52-Week Bone Challenge, I was AGAIN reminded of the ever-fantastic work by Teresa Perleberg, owner of Bear Creek Felting.  She farms, needle felts, manages a shop and teaches online courses, which include her kits. Here’s a photo of the Turkey Kit. If you don’t have time to make your own “from scratch” before the holiday, or you need a hostess gift suggestion for your favorite fiber artist, I recommend kits by Bear Creek Felting.

Bear Creek Felting Turkey Kit

Can you guess why I’m recommending turkey kits with our 52-Week Challenge? Of course, it’s because this week we are focusing on the furcula. This bone is also called a wishbone, and yes, it’s the turkey or chicken’s fused clavicle. On Mental Floss’s website, there is a fun article about our tradition of breaking the turkey bone for a chance at good luck. According to the author, Matt Soniak, the practice started with some Etruscans who thought chickens had the answer to questions of the future and created what was perhaps the world’s first ouija board. Spread some feed on a circle divided and labeled with letters, note the order in which the chicken eats the feed, and you’ve got answers. More fun than a Magic 8 ball, I’d say.

Like the telephone game, this tradition was modified (first changed to drying and caressing the chicken bones – like good luck tokens – then later during shortages, breaking the bone) was passed along via the Romans through Europe and to England, then over the Atlantic to our very own feasts. I’m surprised the Puritans allowed such “heathen” charms, but of course many of our current traditions started in just this manner.

If you needle felt a chicken or turkey (or any clavicle) this week, be sure to post an in-progress photo on our Facebook page for a chance to win this month’s drawing. Last month, winners received a sheep pot lid lifter, which I hope comes in handy for Thanksgiving meal prep. And, to show our appreciation for all our customers, we are offering the code 2015NovThankful4You for a 20% discount on purchases over $1 until Thanksgiving 2015.

Happy Thanksgiving and holiday felting!

Oh, and P.S.: I’ve just listed our Winter Holiday Supply Kits on Etsy…if you need a suggestion for using that coupon code 😉

I apologize – I was captured by pirates!

Or English noblemen. No, I think the leader was French. Well, anyway, Jeff and I were asked to extend our stay at our first Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) event, War of the Wings X, and with no internet, I missed naming the 52-Week Challenge Bone of the Week. I have absolutely scheduled too much fun since our move to Wilmington, NC, but I have also made more friends than ever in our short time here, so I happily throw myself upon your mercy and ask you to bear with me as I pare down and catch up.

SCA Pirate Ship Camper

Besides being tons of fun, the SCA event was important to me because I want to learn more about ancient fiber crafting, and these events are fantastic places to connect with experts. Jeff loves the battles, but I go for the arts, and I’ve just added handcrafted Viking carding combs to our list of tools to offer through Wooly Brain and at future events.

This week, I’ve got to hit Amazon packing hard. I finally, I think, have every requirement for selling through their site (no, I can’t use the pretty, seasonal cello bags; they are 1.25 mm not 1.5 mm, etc!). So, I’m going to resume our 52-Week Challenge on Day of the Dead (Nov. 1st), go ahead and draw the October prize winner, and mail to her one of our sweet lamb prizes before the end of the month.

I hope you are all enjoying gorgeous weather, wherever you are. Happy autumn/spring and let’s have fun getting ready for one of the most wonderful times of the year!

Did you know conductive thread can be needle felted into wool?

I’d heard of sewing conductive thread into wearable electronics, and I go to Arduino/Pi Saturdays at Elite Innovations in Wilmington, NC, but I just learned we can snip up conductive thread and needle it into our roving or batts. Instructables has all sorts of DIY videos and patterns, including needle felting. Look for increasing, Instructables fiber art collections at WoolyBrain.

We’re now in Wilmington!

It’s been a busy and fun couple of weeks since we moved from Durham to Wilmington, NC. We’ve met really interesting people at Cape Fear Games, Elite Innovations, the Community Action Center, meetups, and at the Shire of Seareach, SCA, demonstration (shown below).

SCA Chainmail Demo

We’ve also set up some of our own meetups. Instead of creating another needle felting meetup, I’ll be adding these events to our Costuming, Cosplay, and LARP meetup, since felting is an ancient fiber craft that will fit in nicely with our SCA and LARP activities. You can find all our Wilmington events, and others we like, on Nettie’s Shared Calendar for Nerds and Newcomers.

September 1, 2015, our new Etsy store will officially open and offer needle felting supplies and tools, since we seek the best prices for ourselves and hope to pass on the savings to fellow artists. Please visit us and let us know if you have questions or suggestions.

Happy Felting!

Building a dinosaur armature

We’ve merged our news section with our new, tiny tool library blog, since we also carry needle felting tools to skillshares; however, this is still the best place for a few works-in-progress, and we had the perfect opportunity this month. I’ve been really busy sculpting a few Halloween pieces, so I couldn’t build anything for our monthly needle felting exchange and decided to ask Jeff to make an armature to contribute, so I could still participate in a small way. Jo T., the recipient, left the choice (this month’s theme is dinosaurs) up to Jeff, and he decided to make a triceratops, his first dinosaur armature. As you can see below, he’s designing it as he goes. There just wasn’t enough space and pulled wire for all those ribs 🙂

Triceratops armature work in progress

Needlefelted Autumn Cottage Lantern

We are soon visiting my parents to celebrate my dad’s birthday, and I made a lantern for my mother. We started out using our regular, 14-gauge, aluminum fencing wire, but then Jeff had the idea to use a mini (7.5 oz) soda can. The pre-felt I had on hand turned out to be too thick for the haunted house effect I first had in mind, so I went with a warm, autumn cottage one. The LED candles are perfect for a gentle, glowing effect that can be seen in daylight. I’ll use thinner felt for the haunted house I want to show well in darker areas.

Needlefelt autumn cottage on can armature