I’ve moved! AHHH!

I’m super excited about moving my business and starting a new creative enterprise. We hear a lot about “Maker Spaces” in the creative circles I run around in, and I’m so proud to say I’ve started one with an amazing partner that has the same kind of vision I have! I’m happy to announce that The Productivity Parlour for Artful Living will be holding classes and events starting in November 2016, at 741 St. Helens Ave, Tacoma, WA 98402.

What does this mean?!? It means that instead of spending my days sad about how I don’t have time to make things, now MY ENTIRE JOB IS TO MAKE THINGS! You have no idea how thrilled that makes me. From head to toe. It isn’t just because I get to make things either, but potentially I get to help other people make things too! A Maker space is exactly that- a space that people get to create in. The Productivity Parlour for Artful Living will be a textile one. A space dedicated to textile crafts.

I don’t know how familiar you are with textiles dear reader, but that is a HUGE range of activities. From working on regular clothing, (alterations and repair) to creating grand ball gowns and wedding dresses, cosplays, historical items, and more. The potential customer base is as varied as the activities possible. From folks who need to explore alterations because they aren’t a standard fashion size and shape, to people within the varied world of re-enactment and multi-faceted fandoms, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of people who no longer have the basic skills they need to make clothing and costumes. Single moms who want to try and save money by repairing and altering their clothing, maybe someone who is attempting to dress as the gender they identify as but their body doesn’t yet match… there are so many different people who need what we want to provide, and I’m so happy to be doing this.

Talking about it makes me happy. Sitting in the space designing classes and reaching out to different communities to find amazing instructors, these things make me so happy! I hope people join me in creating things. I can’t wait to help others discover the joys of sewing and other textile crafts that I love.

New Tablet Woven Band from Applesies and Fox Noses!

tablet woven band Ladders

Decided to make the 15th band called “Ladders” in Applesies and Fox Noses! This band is a replica of a Finnish band found in the Kaukola Kekomaki graveyard and dating from the Carelian Iron Age. The band has 12 cards (6 for the borders and 6 for the central pattern) and I used two colors, dark and light purple in Cascade 220 wool fingering weight yarn. Finished width of band is 1/2 an inch.

Another band finished!

This lovely band from Applesies and Fox Noses I started a couple weeks ago is finally finished! Instead of just two colors, I made the S’s down the center green, and the borders blue. The weft thread is the white of the background color.

This will make an excellent trim for my Manbeast. I’m going to use it on a shirt for him, as its in his SCA device’s colors. I can’t wait to make a shirt for him and add this to it!



New Tablet Weaving projects! A review of Applesies and Fox Noses by a beginner.

I bought an amazing book! Applesies and Fox Noses: Finnish Tabletwoven Bands, by Maikki Karisto and Mervi Pasanen. (If you want to buy a copy for yourself, here is the link: http://www.salakirjat.net/product/74/applesies-and-fox-noses—finnish-tabletwoven-bands). I’ve done two bands so far, and I’m in love! If you Tablet-weave, no matter what your skill level, I bet you will love it too. I’ve really just started this hobby in the last year, and this book has helped a great deal in my understanding of basic techniques.

The cover pictured here is a great preview of this colorful instruction manual! This book is done in two languages, and its clear and concise, at least on the English side. I don’t speak Finnish, but I’m lucky that this book is so well translated. Its worth it. Every page and instruction is easy to understand. The patterns from historical references are beautiful, as are the ones created by the authors themselves, or those inspired by Viivi Merisalo. The book is laid out in an understandable way, with the easiest and most basic first, leading to more complicated bands.

I’ve recently started the first band of the book, which they have called Colourful Small Applesies:

colourful small applesies“The pattern comes from a fragment of a three-colour edging band of a dress found in the Kaukola Kekomaki graveyard and dating from the Carelian Iron Age” as the authors tell us on page 32. I plan on making some historical re-enactment garb for a friend’s son, who’s favorite color is orange.

(ETA: Here it is all done!

ended up with about 4 yards…)

I’ve also made band 4, called Bee Feet, which I donated to the largesse box that traveled to Pennsic with my King and Queen this summer. I have no idea who will get it or what they will use it for, but I hope they love it! I ended up with at least 4 yards, but I never measured it as I finished it at fight practice and immediately handed it over to those traveling East.

Bee Feet(I think the backside of this one looks like space invaders… just saying.) As always, I’m using Cascade 220 fingering weight yarn for my projects, and using my Inkle loom for it.

Yay for historical projects!

Dressing Geisrik Geirson

Dressing Geisrik Geirson

Now that I posted about me, I want to talk about my favorite guy! Ryan is my better half, and doesn’t sew, but he is definitely the better cook out of the two of us, and he works leather, chops wood, and does all kinds of other manly things. As well as having an EPIC beard of awesome. I love him so much it makes my heart hurt sometimes.

So naturally, when we decided to become retinue for our friends during their time as Baron/Baroness, I needed to dress him properly! I employed my skills and created a linen shirt and a pair of Pumphosen, or pumpkin-butt pants for him.

First, the pants: These pants were created using images/notes of Swedish style pants from the Viking age. Here is an image of the page that I’ve found on Pinterest, but the actual re-enactment group from Scandinavia has taken down everything so I’m not sure where you can get the full image so that you can translate what it says: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/313844667755458727/. I didn’t use 9 yards as it suggested, but I did make each leg of his pants the full width of a 60 inch wide piece of wool fabric from the Pendleton Wool company. They have the square in the back, and the long strip up the crotch, then the two legs pleated to the waistband/legbands. The waistband and the legs are lined with silk. I finished the bands with whipstitch (the entire length) and they are all drawn shut with silk finger-braided chords. I didn’t fully line the legs because I was afraid that the wool on its own would be too much for him, as the step-up ceremony was a summer thing. To keep the fabric laying flat on the bands I chainstitched wool thread down the length to flatten the seam. I also re-enforced the holes that way.


He wears wool leg-wraps with hook enclosures I sewed on, but since they don’t stay up very well I’m going to get some leg garters for him. (I love the herringbone pattern of this fabric! Fabulous stuff.)

Created with Nokia Smart Cam

His blue shirt is made from cobalt blue linen I bought at http://www.fabric-store.com. I used a shirt that fit him well as an initial pattern to make sure it would be the right size, and the sleeves are a bit loose to allow for the wearing of a white linen undershirt in the future. His shirt has embroidery on it now as well.

When he isn’t wearing my recycled leather/fur hat like the picture above, he is wearing the Naalbound hat I made him, which I’m wearing here:


I’ve also started embellishing a basic red wool shirt for him. I’m going to turn the t-shirt style neckline into a keyhole neckline using blue wool left over from my apron dress. I’m also trimming the shirt with some of the Tablet-woven trim I made, to have it match my apron dress. (He looks so good in red, and I think the blue and yellow looks pretty nice with the red wool!)

Ryans red wool shirt
He also took an awesome class from a local Viking expert, and made himself a pair of blue leather turn-shoes. How amazing is that? I’m still waiting for him to make me a pair though…

Its been a year since we dived into the SCA full-time, but Ryan has been going since he was in high-school. (I don’t know if he realizes how jealous I am that he had that!) He never had a real persona before, but I’m happy that he has decided to make this journey with me.

Meet Geisrik Geirson, the Manly Swede that I’ve given my Norse heart to. 😀


Historical Costuming edition: Getting to know Aud

Historical Costuming edition!

Along with all my Cosplaying adventures I enjoy the realm of historical costuming. After I left the Army, I realized that history and anthropology were my #1 loves. I finished my associates degree with the majority of my classes dealing with those two areas specifically. Sadly, I realized that if I wanted to pursue it as a career, I’d have to do a great deal of traveling, so I didn’t continue on to university. Instead, I decided to concentrate on costuming and history on my own, so that I could stay local. (Though future vacations to Europe wouldn’t be refused!!!!) It also lets me get into the specific areas I want, and go at my own pace, without dealing with writing a ton of papers and spending time on things I really don’t care about.

One of the greatest ways to do that is to join groups like the SCA, or the Society for Creative Anachronism. Now, for a great history of the SCA, I recommend heading to their website, or http://www.sca.org, and reading up on it. I’ll let you do that when/if you feel the need. The basics you need to know for context here is that it is an international non-profit historical re-enactment group that concentrates on the medieval period, or roughly about the time between the fall of Rome and the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. (Though some enjoy portraying classical times too, Greek and Roman history is popular in some groups.) Their focus is education, and it is very appealing to me for many reasons.

First reason? You go camping IN COSTUME. I love camping, and its even MORE fun in huge groups in costume, with fighting tourneys and merchants thrown into the mix. Now, not all of the events are camping events, there are lots of single-day events, feasts, etc., but camping is my favorite.

Second reason I love it? FIBER ARTS! WEEEEEE! OMG I LOVE YARN. Yarn is the best. Seriously. A group that loves all the great historical aspects of yarn? Sign me up! Yarn is infinitely useful, and this group appreciates it. Naalbinding, knitting, weaving, its all important for this group, and these are some of my favorite activities.

And of course, there is the costuming. Costumes EVERYWHERE!!!!! For everyone! From your most basic T-tunic, to the most elaborate Tudor and Renaissance Italy costumes! You choose a time period and a culture, find a name, and play that person! Some people go all out, from beds, tents, feast gear (plates and utensils), underwear, winter-wear, and several outfits.

So hello! My name is Fru Auðný Refsdóttir, and I’m a Norse lady from the Mammen period, or 800-900 CE. The costume above is my basic “fancy” costume, and I continuously add to it. Here are a couple of my new editions, some tablet-woven trim in a Kivrim pattern and my yellow underdress with herringbone embroidery work!

Created with Nokia Smart Camyellow underdress

I even bought a Viking era reproduction tent this year, in my favorite colors!

Viking tent

But the thing I’m most excited about is this:


Now that I have my Award of Arms, I have a coat of arms! I’m submitting this for approval, so cross your fingers for me! What could be better than goats and yarn???