Monday, September 26, 2011

Over a year since I posted, wtf?!

This post will be an assortment of captioned pictures of what I have been up to in the SCA in the last year.

I haven't been terribly active, since getting these patches took up most of my life:

I moved to Auckland (Barony of Ildhafn, Lochac) from Christchurch to find paid EMT work and be with my lovely boyfriend (who does not do SCA, yet.)

I got my SCA badge passed with the college of heralds: '(fieldless) a kraken inverted purpure':

I went to Canterbury Faire, the largest SCA event in New Zealand and did some fighting (Look, I didn't loose for once!)

This is how I looked most of the time. I made everything except significant reconstruction help from Beth with the hat. The pants are poorly documentable but they're comfy and practical. I have a pattern sitting next to me as I type for the puffy-german-hose-shorts, which will replace them;

I started doing some applique of tabard sleeves to go with the new tabard (no photos, but it is my heraldry so fairly self-explanatory) but got bored of doing blanket stitch so they're in a box for now:

I FINALLY finished the faux-enamelled chirurgeon tokens. Sveinn from ?Rowany did the pewter work:

I made some very simple torso armour for SCA combat, which will be hidden under a shirt and waffenrock. This will allow me to return some more gear to my pelican, I would also like to make a more appropriately shaped sheild;

Lastly, here's an obligatory photo of my best friends kittens attacking me while I sleep;

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Experiments in the world of Cocoa-Chai

So, a while back I acquired some cocoa beans via to make into Cocoa chai - you can buy it in teabags, but isn't terribly cheap. The interesting ingredients of the store-bought one (See here) are: Cocoa (39%), Spices (33%) (Cinnamon, Cardamom, Cloves, Ginger, Pepper, Chicory Root), Stevia.

For the cocoa, I haven't roasted the beans, yet. They smell amazing, and taste good in an infusion. I shall consider toasting some.

I also have had a bunch of the beans infusing in some vodka for a few weeks, and the result is very buttery/creamy, but with a nasty vodkay aftertaste. May be rectified with sugar syrup.

Experiment One:

Ingredient ratio

70% homemade chai tea (a mix of 50/50 earl grey and english breakfast leaf tea, with solid lumps of the above spices thrown in. Probably about 90% tea to 10% spices), and 30% cocoa beans, crushed roughly with my fingers.


Very much like tea with a slight hint of cocoa. Much more cocoa flavour on the second brew, and almost no spice flavour. Needed lots of sugar. Not bad, but not very cocoa-y

Experiment Two:

Ingredient ratio

70% cocoa, and 30% tea mix as above.


Like a bitter, watery hot chocolate. For me, needed lots of sugar. Pleasing and drinkable.
Future experiments

- A mocha infusion / tea: percolated ground coffee and roasted ground cocoa beans. Could be amazing.
- A blend of tea/cocoa/spices that follows the original better (40:30:30, cocoa:spices:tea).
- Getting the items to a similar size / surface area to ensure equal by-weight extraction of flavour may be a variable worth experimenting. I'll have to pinch a coffee grinder that grinds to a specified size for this
- More infused alcohols -- my past experiments with coffee and spiced vodkas have gone down well (or infamously, in the case of the chilli vodka...) in the past, and I happen to know someone with a still, and raw spirits.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

More Banners!

Over the weekend I made eight new banners, with significant help from Mistress katherine kerr. You can read about her silk banners here:

Here are mine (there's a pair of each design):

Southron Gaard, MoralezBeaumont (kk did the shading on the badger!)

Lochac populace badge, and Chirurgeon banner.

I'm pretty happy. I have ten banner poles, and ten banners!

Next up will be portable holes.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

More Stuff~

Right, so, I've been damnably slack of late, in the blogworld.

Here's a blag with some new stuff I've been doing. At least the photos I could get before my batteries ran out.

Here's three (of twelve) peices of Benedicts coronet cut out and rough sanded. This is pre-punch and pre-assembly, obviously.

Annnnd, this is the coronet almost finished. Here all the peices have been shaped (a rough curve) and punched, and then riveted to the leather, but with the silk between the brass and the leather. The silk is then turned in, and stitched down. All I have to do is stitch some more silk into the inside with some wool for padding.

As you can see, this is vastly different to my design from an earlier post. The main thing I have done wrong is to use WAY WAY too thin brass. Next time it will be way heavier. This stuff bends and such, too easily. Thus, the peices are a bit wonky, and were too easy to cut out. The brass I used was significantly cheaper than the heavier stuff - next time I will spend more and get a much better outcome. (I plan to make Benedict a new one soon) The shape of each segment is the same because I couldn't get the curvatures right -- but more experimentation/practice should mean I can make pretty much any shape. They aren't etched either, because I couldn't buy etchant in Christchurch.

Overall, I'm not super super happy with this for the above reasons, but it does from a meter or two away look like an OK coronet. Next ones will be -much- better. Heavier brass, and a more documentable attachment method (I used brass bifurcated rivets).

Next up: a gown sleeve:

Is from this pattern. So far is going well. Should be finished this week...

Last but not least, a wallhanging. My lovely friend Leah superimposed my device, and then OHP and paint, later this is the result:

This is the original woodcut from sometime medieval (late 14thC or early 15thC? I guess, from the frocks) with photoshopping:

Finally, a photo of how my backyard floods, in this lovely weather (a few weeks ago):

That's all for now!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

State of th' Kotek

Had my specialist appointment at the Pain Management Clinic, today..

It was pretty good. I wasn't overly surprised by their initial findings, until seeing the doctor. We're scrapping (or at least removing the emphasis on) of my until-now diagnosis of Scheuermann's disease, for Hypermobility Syndrome, which fits, too, I think. I loled a little when the doctor took five minutes to diagnose me, after at least five GP types going "i dunno, it shouldn't be this bad and I can't work out why" - which was amusing and neat. X3

The plan is for twelve sessions once a week of fairly intense therapy stuff - mostly in a gym which will hurt to start with but will hopefully get some muscles doing the right thing... And also maybe giving venlafaxine* (or nortryptylene) a go, and possibly adding in gabapeatin. Those are a little worrisome, though.

All in all, it was interesting. I've also tentatively picked up six hours a week back at work, in a fairly relaxed setting, so all looking up, there.

I've also applied to study at AUT the Bachelor of Health Science: Paramedic course, starting part time, probably. :D (Correspondence - I'm not about to move to Auckland - though if I get in I'll be travelling for 2-3 weeks of block courses a semester)

(*In the right dose it can affect serotonin and noradrenalin receptors which have something to do with pain - tl;dr, not for depression but pain numbing. Yay Science!)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Some new stuff:

First up, my heraldic belt. This was woven for me by Agnes, and the fittings are from Raymonds Quiet Press. All I did was assemble it and cut brass bits for the back to act as washers. Very happy!

Next is a doublet. It is red velveteen lined with OMGYELLOW linen. It's the first side-lacing one I've made, and is technically quite different to the only doublet I've made before (my brown center-opening one) and was pretty easy to make, if a bit time consuming. Technically it is reversible, but I don't think I'll ever do that. I'm going to investigate (IE get a quote) for a clothing alteration place to put in the lacing points by machine.

And a sleeve.

And an unfinished sleeve of the next doublet, which is identical in cut, just different fabric.

I also have submitted a draft copy of the Lochac Chirurgeonate Policy for comment. With any luck, it will be passed through happily and be in action by MidWinter!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Two new little things

Just some five-minute jobs for little peices of hat-bling that I'd been getting around to doing:

First up is my cypher from the reign of Gabriel and Constanzia. I backed it in brass and filled in the background with (faux) enamel, and then rough sanded/polished to give a better finish.

Seccond is a Rowany Festival site token, which is just backed in brass, and cleaned up a bit.

They'll both get modern pins glued to the back of them once I go to the shop that sells 'em.