Big January Update
Once again I’ll express my astonishment that it’s been almost two weeks since my last post. I keep reminding myself to post an update, but somehow it just seems to slip by.
12th Night was a success all around, though we had quite a drive getting home that night because of the latest round of snow coming in. Since then we’ve had our “January Thaw” with temperatures in the upper 30s and even low 40s over the last couple of days, so there has been quite a bit of melting going on.
I had a bunch of different projects in the works leading up to 12th Night and now that the event has passed, I can put them up for public viewing! In an earlier post, I wrote about the felt ornaments we were making to give as gifts. Most of them got given out – I think we have a couple of little hearts left – and it’s always nice to share with our friends. I also decided to make a special felt gift for Their Majesties, since they have a pig as a pet. I found instructions online for a handsewn felt pig ornament that seemed like it would be fun to make, and it was an easy matter to get some pink felt from the craft store. The original piece was meant to be attached to a fabric-covered box with buttons attached for wheels, but I just made the pig.
I actually made two of these, since I have another friend who also likes piggies and I knew she’d get a kick out of a fun little critter like this! I made the Cynnabar pig (on the right) first and definitely learned a couple of things in the process.
A couple of notes about the pattern… You can get two pigs out of one 9×12″ sheet of craft felt, so these are really economical to make. The body gusset that makes the figure three-dimensional I found to be about an inch too short, so I had to add a little extra piece to the first pig to fill in the space. You can see the seam of the extra piece on the back end of the Cynnabar pig, but I don’t think it makes any difference since they have a kind of “rustic” look anyway. I cut the gusset for the second piece longer and then trimmed off what wasn’t needed when I got to sewing that part. Finally, though the directions don’t explicitly say so, the images provided show you sewing the body gusset to both side pieces with two separate needles. I didn’t think anything of this on the first pig and just sewed on one side and then the other. Unfortunately, this resulted in the snout of the pig ending up a little skewed, but he’s still cute! It definitely works better to use two needles and stitch the gusset to both body panels, alternating sides every inch or so to keep things a little more even.
I finished off each pig with some tiny button eyes and a “blanket” that matched their intended destinations. Very cute and fun to make!
I also helped out with the food for the royalty luncheon at the event with some herb-roasted turkey breast from a post-Thanksgiving recipe I found online. This article gives instructions on ways to cook Thanksgiving dinner in under an hour but, like most of these types of things, it ends up taking a little longer! First off, I had to figure out where to get boneless whole turkey breast. Though I’ve found lots of recipes that call for this, it must be something that’s only to be found at stores other than the local mega-mart. Ultimately, some coworkers pointed me in the direction of a local turkey farm that could supply my needs and I got two frozen breasts – one for the luncheon and one to keep for us. The finished product turned out to be really tasty, with lots of herbs and garlic slathered all over before being roasted on a bed of onion and lemon with a little chicken broth and white wine. The Hubs and I are thinking we might volunteer to make this for this year’s family Thanksgiving/Christmas gathering since it is fairly quick to make (though it took a little longer than the specified time to reach the right temperature) and makes less than getting a whole turkey!
And finally, the latest scroll! This is a Gold Mace done for a friend and based on the designs of the Manesse Codex, where I’ve drawn some inspiration before. I was really gratified that the recipient recognized himself in the finished piece – it’s always fun to add a little personal touch to pieces like this. Now it’s just a matter of finishing the transition of the regional signet office to my replacement and waiting to find out if I have been selected to take the office of Dragon Signet!
Next up is Val Day in about 5 weeks. I’ve got a new wool cotehardie itching at the back of my brain, so I need to get started on that pretty soon. Making the dress isn’t the difficult part, but the finishing details like buttonholes do take a little bit of time. This will be my first wool cotehardie, so I’m a little nervous about starting it, but I’m sure it will turn out fine when it’s all said and done.