Friday, February 22, 2013

New project ideas!

I gave a presentation last night on the Morgan Bible, sometimes better known as the Maciejowski Bible, for my local SCA group.  The Morgan is the theme for our next big event, which is also out kingdom's spring coronation, so I'm hoping that at least one or two people were able to get inspired to make something based on the manuscript.  I certainty did, but sadly as I am running the competition I can't enter.  Boo!  At least it takes the pressure off needing to get a project finished by a deadline, though that can be a really good thing sometimes (witness, the never ending book cushion).

Anyway, I've been wanting to do an almoners bag or something similar in opus anglicanum for awhile.  It's not the easiest technique ever but I enjoy it and getting to work with metal threads for the background will be fun.  I found a miniature in Morgan of David of Bathsheba getting married that I really like, I think if I take out most of the background/side people, including the crazy uncle giving Bathsheba bunny ears, and just use the central couple, who have lots of nice graceful folds in their cloths perfect for silk shading, it would make a nice piece.

Since just a pair of people standing there would make a boring piece, I want to incorporate a frame made out of some of the funny gumdrop/Lorax looking trees that show up all over the place in the manuscript.  I'm not sure how best to stitch them but I will figure it out.  They have a lot of fine detail in the bud sections, maybe some form of couching?

The fun part is planning out what to stitch.  The less fun part is the silks.  There is a wonderful post over at opusanglicanum on just this very subject, suggesting (quite brilliantly) silk tram as an affordably embroidery thread.  Sadly I can't find anywhere in the States yet to get this from, and mail ordering from the UK makes it about as expensive as getting the soi de algiers.  Unless of course I order a truck load of the stuff.  I'm also not in love the soi de algiers color cards, or lack thereof, so picking out colors is tricky.  Locally all I can get is spun silk which lacks luster and except for being silk might as well be cotton.  It has a nicer hand when finished but lacks any real difference in visual impact making the huge difference in cost totally pointless.

What I would not give for a good, local needle working store!  I don't mind paying tax, but paying shipping over and over again just because I didn't get a color right or need one more spool or something is really irritating.


  1. trellis couching would be fun for the buds

    1. That's a great idea! Now I just need to man up (woman up? what's the right term?) and order the silks. I got some really poor quality filament silk from a local merchant and even that was so much fun to work with and looked so much nicer than the stupid spun silks and cottons. How do you estimate how much you will need? I've never been any good at that, though I suppose if I'm using the soi de algiers it's not really all critical since the dye lots are fairly consistent.