Finish It Friday

If you tuned in on Tuesday you saw the lovely tutorial for making a simple coptic notebook. (Yes, I know I am posting this on a Saturday, but Friday was soo busy with getting other things like, oh..IDK…Laundry…that it’s a day late..sorry.)

One or two of the tools were the awls and needles used in punching holes and pulling thread…well dear readers, my friday was busy with finishing up some tools for the job…I put myself to work fixing and making new awls. To small and two longer length. The pairs are a regular awl made from a sewing needle, and a leather awl from a glovers needle. the handles are just regular turned wood bits from a craft store. the two unstained ones are unfinished just for reference in the pictures. the finished pairs are inherited from my mom, who had them set up for bobbin lace..a skill I have never retained past the pillow making faze… They made great awl handles tho…the two long needles are what I use to stitch the gatherings together into a book…some say they are too long..but I find that the longer types are easier to get between the gatherings without pricking my fingers. I drilled the holes carefully with the teensy littlel drill bit that you can see sitting on the handles of the flat nose pliers in the first pictures. There isn’t any glue holding the awls in the wood, instead I used some of the many broken needles as pins driven in to hold them secure..that tiny pinprick of light is the pin in the second picture. I keep most of my needles in the hard cover needlebook which is under the awls and needles in the third picture, all of which are sitting on my leather pounding board…which is just a cutting board from home despot bolted to a hunk of wood to save the surface of whatever table I am at from being scratched. In the second picture you can see the new shiny clean side as I turned it over and rebolted it to the hunk of wood…after 10 years of being used as a leather working surface, it was high time to do so. Tools need not be utilitarian, beauty in a simple thing makes the world a tiny bit nicer..I like my tiny corner of the world…where I get to make beautiful things.

Tutorial Tuesday

As you may have noticed my dear readers I have two blogs. One for my ball jointed doll hobby and this one for my medieval lifestyle. I have implemented new titles for the work week to keep me on an even schedule for posting on both blogs, dear readers and today, is Tutorial Tuesday! The day of the week that I present to my readers a tutorial to aid them in their search for nearly authentic bjd, or medieval accessories.

Today I bring to you a lovely basic tutorial for making a hand bound book. The very first thing one should have besides a quill and pot of ink is a book to write their adventures in. The earliest books were bound using the Coptic Stitch, so named for the Coptic peoples of Egypt who put their knowledge in books rather than the old way of scrolls, so dear readers without further rambling, here is your tutorial:

A little heart shaped book

For a few years now, I have had a tiny little project sitting in a box waiting for me to finish gathering documentation for that far off moment that I put it on display at some Arts & Sciences event. A little heart shaped book, filled with chivalry, poetry and knightly ceremony and of course illuminations from beginning to end…I even have the blue velvet ready to be turned into the embroidered cover all cut out. I just have not had the gumption to get to work…Well, Today I am turning that around and making it my second priority just behind making doll clothes for sale on my site. There isn’t any excuse, I mean, writing is one of those things I absolutely love doing…but lately have found little joy I will now be going from book to book, making copies of relevent pages and getting my documentation written up…then the writing of the makers diary for this little heart shaped book can happen…In the mean time, I must have patience, because if I rush this, or leave out a step someone judging it might catch me up…and that would be very embarrasing. I won’t go through the pain of a Kingdom A&S and leave myself open to what happened last time. That horror story is in the past…and no, I won’t repeat that experience for all the AOA’s in existance…Preparation is Key…and this time, not one stone will be un-turned, or a single book unread and put in the bibliography…My research will follow the required course and style for my new kingdom and my citations will be right where they should be. Start to finish.

No Good Deed goes Unpunished

Or they catch up with you even if you flee your kingdom for the next…
I move quite a lot, for many reasons I am not going to get into in this post..and because I move it is often that I miss out on the joys of being given awards in the Kingdom and Barony as I leave..Nope, No more, with the magical onset of the SCA becoming more and more digital and using social networks like Facebook one can no longer cut and run thinking that those you leave behind aren’t going to find you when you start to play again..and so it was with my former Barony. The Citadel of the Southern Pass is in the Kingdom of the Outlands, and that crazy bunch (I love you all!) got it in their heads to hunt me down and make sure I received the award that I had been recommended for…
So remember this, if you think you’re not appreciated, think again. Because if someone wants you to have that award, they will move the mountain to make sure the mail gets in on time! I am humbled(there’s that word again!) that they thought so highly of me, that they organized with my New Barony to make sure I got pulled up in court to receive it. So now the (former) Bar Wench has gotten recognition for her good works and misses those of her former Barony even more. My road in the SCA is getting longer and longer the more I play, and it all started in the Kingdom of An Tir in the Barony of Blatha An Oir, travels down to the Outlands and is now Currently in Atlantia in the Barony of Tir-Y-Don. The road may seem long, but as the Known World gets larger and larger, its also shrinking. We know many of the people, even if we have never met in person. Thank you Facebook…Thank you internet, and cellular technology…without you we would still be using the Post Office to send our award recommendations and hoping the dog doesn’t eat the mailman..

My Pelican resized

Opus Anglicanum: Design Spotlight

My PelicanEmbroidery Spotlight: Opus Anglicanum
The English led the way in opulent embroideries during the middle ages with a type of gold bedazzled work that those on the continent dubbed Opus Anglicanum: English Work. The English Work was done in such a way that the figures were not stiff on the surface of the materials, but seemed to flow with fluid grace. The tiny stitches followed the contours of the design, allowing the finished work an ease of movement not found in continental work. Opus Anglicanum was usually worked in three principle stitches; Split Stitch, Surface Couchwork and Underside Couchwork. Opus Anglicanum was in such high demand among the Elite of European Society that many merchants set up shop in London, where the necessary capital was available and which was the principal port through which the imported materials arrived.
The Pelican in Her Piety is my design spotlight to embroider, for future badges perhaps? I drew this in simple lines to make it easier for enlargement and embroidering.
We in the SCA use certain symbols for those who have earned a specific peerage: example, the Pelican in her Piety is such a symbol used to show the populace at large that this particular peer has earned theirs through service, often deemed above and beyond that of the average persona.
The self-sacrificial aspect of the pelican was reinforced by the widely read mediaeval bestiaries. The device of “a pelican in her piety” or “a pelican vulning (from Latin vulno to wound) herself” was used in heraldry. An older version of the myth is that the pelican used to kill its young then resurrect them with its blood, again analogous to the sacrifice of Jesus. Likewise a folktale from India says that a pelican killed her young by rough treatment but was then so contrite that she resurrected them with her own blood.
The myth that pelicans feed their young with their blood arose from the following habit, on which the whole superstructure of fable has been erected: They have a large bag attached to their under-bill. When the parent bird is about to feed its brood, it macerates small fish in this bag or pouch; then, pressing the bag against its breast, transfers the macerated food to the mouths of the young ones.

The instructions below are from a wonderful website Historical Needlework Resources: ; it is also where you will find the rest of the stitch diagrams and instructions for this wonderful historical embroidery style.
Split Stitch
A popular stitch used in Opus Anglicanum and Heraldic Embroidery. Used for very fine work, often only by means of a single strand of silk thread or was done using quite thick threads, such as wool. It was used for outlines and filling space. To Work Split Stitch – Bring the needle through at A and, following the line to be covered, take a small back stitch so that the needle comes up through the working thread, as shown in the diagram. Generally, it is easiest to work this as a two step stitch by making a small stitch, then bringing the needle up through the thread at the half way point. Surface Couching
To Work Surface Couching – Lay down the thread to be couched, and with another thread catch it down with small stitches worked over the top.

Underside Couching
To Work Underside Couching – In the embroidery technique of underside couching, thread (usually gold) is laid on the surface of the ground fabric, couching threads are then passed over it. As each couching stitch is worked over the gold thread, the needle is carefully re-inserted into the hole in the backing fabric that the needle created on the way out. The couching thread is pulled tight and a tiny loop of the gold thread from the surface drops through the hole in the backing fabric to the underside (thus giving the technique its name).
This creates a hinge in the gold thread, allowing the fabric to bend and giving it a great flexibility. Fabric worked with gold thread in underside couching has much more drape than fabric with surface couched gold, thus making it a much better technique for working objects which will be worn, such as ecclesiastical vestments.

To see wonderful medieval depictions of the Pelican in her Piety ; Elizabeth Braidwood’s Site is a must see:

Thank you!

When I started this blog in October of 2013 I did not expect to be visited so often and for one Article to be so popular. Writing a Medieval Letter was the Hardest article to do research for that I have ever done. The start of many more to follow. I want to thank all of you who have come to visit and view that Article, which has been viewed 2293 times and counting, so thank you Thank you for wanting to know and coming to learn.

War and its inevitable byproduct: a surplus of Veterans

What is a war?

War is defined as an active conflict that has claimed more than 1,000 lives. Has the world ever been at peace? My Answer? NO, not really. Of the past 3,400 years, humans have been entirely at peace for 268 of them, or just 8 percent of recorded history. Wars, we read about them, see them on the Television, in movies and Video/Online Games. We Romanticize it, write novels about it, but we often forget the Byproduct of such an Activity: Veterans. How many Veterans are we generating currently: Too Many!

Warning: Monolog moment:

In all of our years as a Nation, there have been only about 21 years of Peace, where we were not in conflict with anyone. Yep, gathered together our years of peace would see a child born, grow up and get to drinking age. I think that is the saddest thing we as a Nation can say. Our Military might has not gotten us Peace, but the continual fight for it, both foreign and domestic. Don’t take this the wrong way, (I know you will anyways) but my pride is not that we are at war, but at war for Freedom, not just ours but for the freedom we enjoy to be extended wherever it is not. At least that is the Ideal. For many we fight against They see our presence there as taking away their rights to kill those who are different religiously, doctrinally, or physically. We fight so that anyone, can wear, think, speak out against someone/something they believe is wrong. We go where freedom is at such a low level that we are willing to lose our lives to bring the level back up or even higher than before. I say We, because as a Nation it is not just our Troops that go to foreign soil and toil so selflessly. It is the Civilians that go forth to bring medical aid, build new homes, roads and bring commerce back into those places devastated by War. We all work, so that life gets better and peace and freedom belongs to all. Yeah, I am idealistic..get over it.

Okay…Monolog done…

Nope sorry…

At the beginning of 2003 there were 30 wars going on around the world. These included conflicts in Afghanistan, Algeria, Burundi, China, Colombia, the Congo, India, Indonesia, Israel, Iraq, Liberia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Somalia, Sudan, and Uganda. At How many of those were Our Armed Forces deployed? How many are still there?

There is a Question: How many wars has America still fighting in; with the numbers of Veterans rising in the past few years one should think instead that the numbers of conflicts should be falling…nope, rising higher than ever. According to Nick Turse in his article “How many Wars is the US Really fighting” The conflicts we currently have our military might split between is: 135 nations, and that’s only Special Ops. Look it up and read it here:

Veterans are Everywhere: You find them at the VA, your local unions, going to college, homeless on the Streets, marching in parades on the National Holiday to Celebrate them..But How did they Become Veterans? The easiest answer is they were enlisted personnel that fought in many and any of the Military conflicts that our country often finds itself embroiled in, tangled up in or cleaning up after all across the globe. You might be related to one or more men and women who for the sake of our Freedoms, went into a recruitment station and signed up to keep our country, its constitution and the lives of its people safe; whether it was from the Communists, the Nazi’s or the Taliban. Or currently from the Evils of that newest Terror Group “Daesh” I refuse to give them the Name Isis, as they are not about the worship of an Ancient Egyptian Goddess, but rather the destruction of History in the name of an Extremist set of Ideals. Spreading Terror and Death, and they are recruiting either by force or by guile more people than ever before.

Back to our Veterans

What happens when they come home? Afterwards, when they are broken and no longer usable, it seems that many are doomed to be on the streets, without support: physical, mental, or emotional, and penniless. Why? We send them there and they come back to nothing. We the people, you know; the ones they go out there to defend, should be OUTRAGED by this. That our own people are coming home to hopelessness. Yes, there are a few good groups out there, working with donations to help heal our soldiers upon their return, but it’s really Not enough. Veterans should have housing and Living expense accounts set up, automatically upon returning home so that they cannot find themselves on the streets, sleeping in the park, scrounging for their next meal. They fought for us, so we should be fighting for them.  The VA is not enough, we see that every day with the waiting periods getting longer and longer, and scandals being published about misappropriation of funds being discovered and reported on. A veteran should be able to walk into any doctor’s office, have extended health insurance beyond the pittance they receive after being discharged from our Military. Not only those discharged live in poverty, but our current military personnel have families left behind while they are deployed that are currently on Welfare and receiving SNAP benefits because their military spouse is paid so low that a McDonald’s fry cook can honestly say they get paid better. This should not be the norm…but it is. There will be trolls of course..those that say that our military personnel should not be allowed to have spouses and family until they reach certain ranks…yeah, Fuck off.. (So not sorry, I will drop an “F” Bomb from time to time in my blogging, do get over it) Our Military Personnel have the same rights we do, to marry, have children and try for happiness…Who in the hell are we to deny them that? Who the Hell are we to think that it is okay for them to return to Nothing after doing So Much for Us?

Wednesday November 11, 2015 is Veterans Day..yes, all day. This is the Federal Holiday Celebrating our Veterans: Past, Present, and Future, because yes, there will be more. More people going into recruitment centers and saying;”Sign me up, I want to keep our Constitution, Nation and her Peoples Free from Terror and threats both Foreign and Domestic.”

To All our Veterans: Past, Present and Future; Thank you, from the bottom of my heart and soul. Thank you for being willing to die for my freedom, to protect both Country and Constitution. Thank you, for your Bravery and Dedication. Thank you for the Blood you have lost on Soils both foreign and domestic.



  1. What every person should know about war:
  2. List of Wars the US has participated since the American Revolution:

End Note: I looked up all of my information on Google, it took me Five(5) minutes to come up with the information in this Article. If you think I missed something or forgot my patriotism somewhere, Think again. I wave my flag as proud as Any American. My Father, and Grandparents on both sides of my bloodline have fought for my freedom to state my opinions, write and protest against War. AS this is NOT a Doctoral Thesis being turned in for a grade, I reserve the right to only go so far in my documentation…You have eyeballs, and access to the internet? Do some of your own, write Petitions, Protest the Treatment of our Veterans. I do it my way, Please do it yours.

The Society for Creative Anachronism..A&S 50 Challenge

My A&S Fifty Challenge Pieces
MVRY Tina Comroe 2015
We who joined the A&S 50 Challenge for theSCA’s 50th year have been working hard on our pieces, and now that it is over I feel that I maybe did not get it done, but all is well, the Challenge I did was the Persona Challenge, to make and learn about what my persona would have used in her life.
I may not have finished it, but I sure gave it the ole college try: The most important thing is that lovely black covered book…why? Because within it is all of the stuff I researched about my persona: Where she was born, who her parents were, grandparents were, what she would have worn,what kind of games she would have played, hospitality, who was king, who was pope, and most especially her herbal lore, food lore(recipes for yummies), that in itself almost fills the book.. Below you see some of the entries in the book, her favorite pouch of hot flesh colored leather, her embroidered alms bag, her six board chest, two dolls, a leather ball stuffed with wool and leather scrap, her game of fox and hounds and a leather split mitten…Also not pictured are my shoes, fitted kirtle, sideless surcote, under kirtle and hosen and fur trimmed hood which I hand dyed the rabbit fur myself. Also not seen but enjoyed by many are the articles I have written and have the joy of being published in several newsletters and websites. I don’t really count the articles written here…although it makes my heart sing that my article on how to write a medieval letter has gotten so many views from so many different countries. Nope, I may not have finished the challenge but as I said, I did give it the ole college try…and that makes me quite proud of myself.

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A 12th Century Embroidered Drawstring Pouch

A twelfth century drawstring pouch

by MVRY Tina Comroe 2015

When I got the urge to embroider a pouch I turned to the internet to find something within my time period, something that came from earlier but lasted beyond the time of my persona..a continuance if you will. I found a line drawing and nothing else.

I have googled the unholy heck out of it, but every link I click no longer I find another better documented pattern or continue to make the pouch anyways? I chose to make the pouch anyways, just because I really liked the look of it. (It’s not as if I am going to ever enter it into an Arts & Sciences competition as I gave it to a friend later once finished.)

I found a picture online when I did a search for medieval pouches.


I cannot1a1d7519006702d11519446598935b9e remember from where I found the picture but I fiddled around with the design to come up with a pattern. I then looked through my sketchbook for something vaguely byzantine in nature and found my golden geese which had been inspired by a byzantine tile floor with boys herding geese…(oops, and a small Greek pottery bowl with a goose on/in it.)I did not want just one goose so I drew one, gave it a long curved neck and intertwined it into 4 birds circling. My design is not so fancy, but I liked it enough to try it on the pattern. As you can see, I left out the long tail feathers which looked more like a peacock. For this pouch I used some red felt backed by some green mint linen. I used a piece of waste paper and traced the pattern and then embroidered the outline onto the red felt and tore out the paper. My geese are embroidered in a laid couched stitch. I know that the back of the piece really doesn’t matter because no one is going to see it, but I wanted to remember that just this once, even with the knots it was pretty nice on the back of it. When I was finished with all of the embroidery I four geesecarefully sewed the lining with a near matching colored piece of poly cotton blend/rayon (I think) 1/4 inch around the outline and then, cut out 1 inch from the outline of the pouch pattern. I clipped the curves and then turned it rightside out watching for the points and any stray pins. I carefully stitched a whip stitch along the edges after turning it and carefully sewed the sides at the cut in areas. When that was done it was basically an embroidered bowl. I used little metal eyelets all the way around for the drawstring. I know most would think that hand sewn greek-goose1beyelets would be prettier and they probably would be right. but I wanted the shiny. Not that anyone is going to see them for the grey ribbon going through them. To hang the pouch from a belt I put two flower shaped eyelets at the protruding ends and pulled two pieces of grey ribbon and knotted them. for durability I braided them at the apex where the belt would rub against them. So there it is. All in all this pouch took 6 hours of embroidering, and an hour of seaming/eyeleting etc. Yes, the tassel is one that I made from a skein of dmc cotton floss.

Given time and proper materials would I try this pattern again? Why yes, yes I would. Its simple and can be embellished in lots of ways. When it comes down to being perfectly period or winging it, I would wing it again. If anyone were to find where this design came, magazine, archeological publication what have you, I would not mind seeing it in the comments. Thanks.


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The Bibliography

  1. 13th century reliquary bag:
  2. A Medieval Tailor Blog:
  3. York Archaeology:
  4. Purses in Pieces:
  5. Shoes and Bags:
  6. Belts and Pouches:
  7. Pictures of Byzantine Boys with Geese:


Bullying: Take a stand against it

Whether it’s in the Medieval Re-enacting circles or the Doll Collectors/Couture Circles we are finding that there are more and more bullies than ever before. I finished reading the article written by Kate MacDonald in Haute-Doll Magazine for November December 2015 and she hits it right on the cyber snoz! Our Hobbies are looked down on by other Hobbies and Hobbyists, and we look down on theirs; just adding fuel to a very destructive behavior. When it comes down to it Our Hobbies are not cheap, they take up hundreds of hours per month, thousands of Dollars per year and all of them have value and validity without striking out at the hobbies of others., why? Because the same can be said about Their Hobbies.
Cyber Bullies are becoming such a large problem that we all need to stand up against those that are perpetrating it. Trolling posts, telling someone that what they love is less than what you love is bullying. Telling someone that the re-enactment clothing is not correct or the fabric is not correct is bullying..yes, yes it is, because it is NOT just the words you are saying, but how you are saying them.. There are many ways to help someone just starting out, but putting your nose right up to theirs and trolling them is a good way to turn someone off of your hobby..and assisting them in becoming bullies themselves. So Just stop, clamp your pie hole shut and think before you speak face to face, or post on the internet. Remember, once uttered or posted online, there is no way to take it back.
And as Kate MacDonald says in her article,”One person speaking out can have an avalanche effect. You can be that one person.”
So speak out, be intolerant of bullies, give someone a hand up instead of a slap down.