Tuesday, January 19, 2010

New blog for my non-medieval stuff

I'd really like to keep this blog about the things I do/make that are based on things medieval. Yet I do other stuff and I'd like to post it (and have here a few times in the past). So I decided to make another blog where I will be posting non-medieval arty crafty stuff. I just did a post about an Edwardian inspired costume I finished a few days ago. Thank you to everyone who reads this blog, especially to those who comment!

EDIT: Oops! I forgot to post the link to the new blog! It is Too Many Irons In the Fire.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Ammonia fuming progress

So far my ammonia fuming experiment seems to be a success. I placed my bench in a cardboard box with a glass pie plate that had a few ounces of aqueous ammonia (28% concentration - household ammonia is about 5%) and left it overnight. Now the bench is sitting outside (under shelter, because it is raining) to let off any ammonia fumes.

In the photograph with the bench is a piece of wood leftover from building the bench; it is the same color as the bench was originally. The color of the fumed wood is more gray and duller. It is definitely different from how it looked yesterday.

Next will be a little bit of sanding and then the shellac. This will be my first time making my own shellac. I saw it done once, years ago, and now I am going to try it. I have to wait until it stops raining because I work outside in my backyard (I don't have anyplace indoors to work). Unfortunately it is supposed to rain for the next week so my next update on this project may be a while.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Not a New Year's Resolution

I don't do the whole New Year's resolution thing, but I do like the idea of taking stock and setting goals. Since this will be my first post of the year it will be easy for me to find later when I wonder what my goals were. Here are my current plans and goals for the year ahead:

A&S 50
I have the A&S 50 Challenge to provide some structure and that is a good start. My goal was to chart 50 extant brick stitch patterns. I have 19 completed, almost halfway there. This year I'd like to make more charts and get my new web site up and running.

Wood Working
I am focusing more on woodworking lately as it is finally time to replace the mismatched furniture in my house with furniture made by me. To help me get started in the new year I got rid of a bunch of my furniture, so my house will look empty until I fill it again. Some of the things I'd like to make are inspired by medieval and Renaissance pieces, others are more Arts and Crafts styled. I will start building the second piece next week so we'll see. In conjunction with doing more woodwork I'd like to learn to use more hand tools. I don't know anyone who uses cabinet scrapers, hand saws, or cuts mortises by hand and I'd like to learn those things.

To further develop my woodworking skill I plan to learn wood carving this year. I feel like I need to take some formal instruction with this because I feel very intimidated, not only by carving but especially by sharpening. I start a class next month and I'll post some of my efforts.

I plan to try and teach myself silkscreening this year but will probably not post those efforts on this blog since that skill is not medieval at all.

Paper Mache
Yes, there will be more paper mache this year. The Halloween display needs to be more elaborate this year, and I really want to do some sculpture. Actually, I may have to start another blog for all the non-medieval stuff.

Icon Painting
I've not kept up with my iconography but I really miss it and plan to continue with it this year.

And inbetween I plan to tile my front porch and walkway, finish the front landscaping and start tearing out the back yard in preparation for a major renovation. All while working full time and making time to read plenty of books.

How about you? What are you planning for this year?