Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Sources online

I just found this lovely place. Books, books and books, free downloads or reading in the internet. Love it! I searched for cookery, and found these. Original texts in PDF. Thank you internet!

The best one of them all: Two fifteenth-century cookery-books, Harleian ms. 279 (ab.1430) & Harl. ms. 4016 (ab. 1450) with extracts from Ashmole ms. 1429, Laud ms. 553 & Douce ms. 55

I'm in love.

I actually already have a book that contains Harleian recipes, but I'm not sure if they are all there and in original form. I'm disagreeing with one interpretation the author has made of a recipe, so I have to try it both ways and try to dig a little deeper. That shall be my first A&S50 challenge entry.

Arts&Sciences 50 Challenge

I decided to participate in A&S50 challenge. I will try a depth challenge, since I'm not yet up to doing a breadth challenge. Perhaps later though...

So. I'm going to try 50 new (to me, that is) original recipes and document them. I will present them here in my blog in the order I make them.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


I like Racaire's museum pictures in Flickr, and would like to do the same for my museum pictures. To put them in the internet, that is. So I created an account for that ("ladypetronilla"). The upload limit of 100MB is totally too small! I'll have to upgrade soon.

Friday, November 20, 2009

What you can find on a flea market?

Lovely things, these flea markets. Some of the nice things I have found on them are a bag full of linen sewing thread and a huge book, The Museums in Germany. The book changed owner for a good price of 0,50€. Inside it was a treasure! A colour photograf of an embroidered pouch I've been looking for for a little while. I have a picture of the same pouch in another book, but this time it was a photo of the other side of it! I've made a replica of the other side, and now I can do the same of the other, and combine them to a complete pouch! Wehee! Joy!

The Book:
Here's the picture inside the book (scanned with a good resolution for details):

Here's the picture I already had:

Here's my version of it:

The first one took about 240 hours of work, so I'm not counting of this being ready soon. I hope I have some of the same fabric still left somewhere, not to mention the same threads and gold!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Note to self: Garum

The books I have on this subject, what they use for Garum/Liquamen

De re coquinaria - Roomalainen keittokirja ("Roman cookbook") translated by Tuulikki Elo, Heikki Laakkonen and Eero Valjakka, The Finnish Literature Society, ISBN 951-746-360-X
-> Nuok mam sauce, Vietnamese.

Herkullista Historiaa ("Delicious History"), Andreo Larsen, Liisa Savunen and Risto Valjus, Villa Lanten ystävät ry, ISBN 951-0-28256-1
-> Nam Pla sauce, Thailandish.
-> Nuok nam sauce, Vietnamese.

At the University

Last weekend I was at the Drachenwald Kingdom University in Two Seas, Northern Germany. It was a marvelous event. There was so many interesting classes that I could not take part in all, since there was not enough time for that. I did end up in the kitchen, but only on Friday. (I managed to get a bad blister on my hand then, and decided not to make it any worse. Note to self: Do not, ever, leave your own knives at home, even when you do not plan to work in the kitchen!)

Classes I participated:
- Drafting a sleeve pattern, by Katherina Mornewegh
A very useful class on how to make a tight sleeve to a tight dress and still be able to move your arms while wearing it.

- Klosterstich, by Racaire
A class about a practical and thread saving embroidery technique. It is also faster to do than my usual style, so I might adopt this one for bigger projects in the future.

- The Square Aramaic Script of the Hebrews, by Lady Lyonet de Covenham
An interesting class on Hebrew calligraphy. I have never done calligraphy, so this really was an experience for me. The letters were surprisingly easy to write with a quill and ink, and they turned out quite pretty. Since I already knew the letters, I managed to write my own (SCA) name on a parchment while the others practiced the easier ones.

- Cooking over an open fire, by Thomas Flamanc of Kelsale
I love open fire cooking! This class was about the very basics, but I managed to get my hands dirty, ruin the spice coating on the meat and get useful tips on how to build all the equipment you need to cook over an open fire.

- Apicius revealed Roman cookery, by Duke Alaric
Another one I dearly like, Roman cookery! And Duke Alaric is such an expert. Before the class I had a very interesting discussion with him about the finer points of Garum. The best part of this class was when he compared Roman cookery to fine single malt whisky, you get all those different tastes one after another by just taking one bite of a dish. Wonderful!

The classes I did not have time to participate, but would have liked to: Making fire with flint and steel, Introductory calligraphy, Introduction to middle&late period Persian Clothing, Make your own silk banner, Burgundian woven Necklace, Embroidery Guild meeting and all three classes on dancing, though I got to dance in the evening after the feast.

The court was as a court is. The King was handsome and wise and the Queen beautiful and graceful. I think I have never seen a royal couple more royal than this one. The Pelican elevation was not very subtle in it's religious connotations, which didn't bother me overmuch, but I would not like to see it performed like this every time.

Then there was of cource the feast. I had mentioned in my reservation, that I do not eat pork, but that information did not reach the cook and all meat dishes had some pork in them (no wonder when one knows the quality of beef one can find in this country!). So I said that he should not stress about it, I'll eat what I can, no prob! During the feast I was very positively surprised when I got my own beef dish! The cook had got extra beef from somewhere and made me a meat dish of my own! I am so very grateful! Master Giano Ballestiere will be from now on my hero.

After the feast there was a lot of talking, dancing and general merry making. No sauna though. *snif*

During the weekend I met some people that I already knew and made many lovely new friends. I enjoyed the event very much indeed!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Panic Garb

The SCA event I wrote about is taking place this weekend. I managed to get that garb done and I'm now sewing hastely some veil pieces and a small cap.

Here's the garb. You can see a lot of small wedges on the hem and on the sides as well, to make it wide enough for me to wear. The lining on the sleeves looks pretty good.

I added some of the small badges I had made for another garb (see a previous entry about those) to this one to make it look less grey. They are easy to move to another garb if needed. Handy!

I wrote about the lining having problems. The problem was, that I did no think about the pattern in the fabric when I counted how much of it is needed for the sleeves. So I almost ended up with sleeves having patterns in different directions. I had to cut the fabric differently and add some seams in the middle, so that the pieces where the pattern is upside down are hidden inside the sleeves. Here is one of them turned inside out. Yes, there is a pattern on the fabric, French lilies. Unfortunately it does not show very well in the pictures.

It is good enough to wear, though I would have wanted to have something more elaborate.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Something modern for a change.

When I was embroidering those small pouches a friend of mine liked them so much, that he wanted to have one of his own. So I obliged and made one for him. It was an experiment for me as well, since I have never tried to make an embroidery from a photograf before. He is a storm chaser, so I choose the picture accordingly. Where the previous pouches took perhaps two days of work each, this one took about thrice that amount of time. Again linen fabric and cotton mouline threads (Anchor) with some added fake silver thread (DMC) for the lightning.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


I'm going to an SCA event in the beginning of November. Panic! Because of our move all of my garbs were still in boxes and I dug them out of their hiding place just to notice, that they had all mysteriously got smaller while there. Must be due to contact with cardboard or something...

I got this marvelous idea of an embroidered garb in the style of The Eagle Dalmatic and started embroidering. Bad idea, as I noticed quite soon. I have no way in hell time to finish that one in time for the event. I love the idea, though, and will continue doing about a hundred or so small embroidered badges to be sewn on a silk dress sometime in the future, but I still need a garb in November!

So, I took an old garb that I had originally bought from my friend as well as my Lord's tunic, bought from the same friend and made of the same fabric. I have never used that garb, since it had a hideous polyester lining that I took away, and never finished the deed with a new lining. The fabric is very itchy wool, so I could not use it without a lining of some sort.

Ahead with the story! I brutally murdered the tunic (not my Lord's favourites, because of the itching fabric.) and cut it to pieces. The garb was opened at it's seams and I sew on pieces of the tunic to make the garb a little wider. Good, lets try it on!

Damn! Still a little tight here and there, specially around the hips. Damn, damn, damn! It'll have to do anyway. I'll not be able to use an underdress, so I just have to do with an itching garb. Perhaps I can use a corset? Now of to make lining to the huge sleeves from a fabric I bought a little too hastely. More of that later.

Pictures too might, or might not appear in this blog later.

Oh, did I mention, that I gave my sewing machine to my sister when we moved, so I have to do everything with only a needle and a thread. It would not be panic time if I hade a machine...

Friday, October 9, 2009

What made me start doing hand crafts again after two years of doing nothing?

SCA group Aarnimetsä's embrodery quild introduced it's first challenge! Thank you ladies! I have had many very incoherent years in my life when I have become a mother twice, moved to the other side of Europe, learned new languages and customs and been alltogether not very relaxed at all.

And suddenly there it was! A challenge I could not pass. We were supposed to embroider small pouches to be given as gifts to SCA queens in Pensic. Dear me! I could think nothing more than embroidery for a whole week! I even skipped school to sit at home embroidering those pouches. A monster had been unleashed! Here is a picture of my four pouches. Detailed pictures of each can be found here and here.

They are made of linen fabric with cotton and faux-silk threads using split and back stitches. As my old skills came back with every new pouch, I kind of got hooked to it and now I'm seeking more opportunities to use Opus Anglicanum. Though it is very beautiful when done with care, it is not particulary useful style of embroidery when you would like to do something bigger. Anything bigger with that style would take years to make and be too expencive to do with authentic materials, meaning silk and gold.

Wellcome, can I offer you some coffee or tea?

We don't have any cookies though. I'm on low-carb-kosher-allergies-diet, so we will have no cakes. Sorry.

Anyway. Let me introduce myself. I live in Germany (I'm not German though.) and I have done medieval re-enactment for about fourteen years. I am interested in many kinds of hand crafts, so much so, that I know little of much and not much of anything. Well, perhaps a little bit more about medieval cooking and opus anglicanum embroidery.

I wanted to have a place to boost my self esteem by posting my work for others to see, so I changed this blog from what it previously was to my own private show room. I tend to have very high-flying ideas for hand crafts, so sometimes they will progress very slowly.