17 April 2007

In Case Anyone Was Wondering Where I've Been...

The trouble with taking pictures of your house is that you notice things you might not otherwise be bothered by (or you spouse will). Things like the huge piles of books you could glimpse in the background of the most recent pictures of the mustard doublet. Needed bookshelves? Needed to build a library actually.

You see, I used to run a bookstore for one of the major bookstore chains.

Dreaming of someplace else for all those books to go...

Now, you might think it a dream job, especially for someone like me... then again, you might be mistaken. I stuck it out for five years, promotions, transfers to new states to open newer bigger stores in more obnoxious shopping districts... Anyway, five years of bookselling amounts to taking home a lot of books. Add onto that my collection of fine firsts and my penchant for trolling booksales and used bookstores... and it adds up to a house full of books.

It all amounts to this... For years we've been lugging these crates of books all over the country as we moved from state to state, and all that time I've been promising myself a dream library when we finally settled down. More to the point, I've been promising Kristin the same thing, someplace for books to go that will get the stacks put away (finally). Bay window with a window seat, built-in bookshelves (handmade by yours truly), French Doors, new lighting and insulation, wainscoting... the to-do list seems endless.

Kind of like making noble garb. And - much like noble garb - as the man said "God is in the details."

To think, a hand-rubbed finish that requires actual hand-rubbing!
The very idea!

So I've been busy the past few months making good on my word... In case anyone was curious.

My beloved wife pulling up carpet tacks...

16 April 2007

Shoe Redux Too

That first pair was mainly an experiment to see if I could do it (create a plausible faire shoe for under ten bucks). Now that I know it's possible, I've taken a bit more time, spent an extra dollar (This pair was $3.99!) and made a pair of shoes more appropriate for my current noble efforts... so to speak.

I'll publish a more in-depth how-to when they're finished over on the same site where I put the last one. For now, I'll note the following differences between this pair and the last...
  • I began with a pair of men's dress shoes already blessed with a buckle latchet and began cutting away from there.
  • Utilizing what I learned on the first pair, I made smaller cut-outs
  • I'm still considering whether or not to do pinks or 'cuttes' across the toe-box. I'll probably do some small cuttes, but from past experience that makes for an odd, boxy fit for any shoe you do it to, so I plan to keep them small and to a minimum.
  • I had to replace the buckle because the old one was emblazoned with the shoemaker's logo and because it was mounted on an elastic band (yick).
  • Rather than tacking down the seams I had to cut, on this pair I'm re-sewing the seams I pulled out because I want them to last and because I'm a masochist.
  • In response to Abigail's question about the last pair, this pair has finished edges which I will go back over with leather dye as soon as I find a good match. In this case, by "finished" I mean edged (with a leather edger) and burnished.
Overall I'm quite pleased.

The soles are leather this time... or rather a leather midsole welted to uppers with a rubber lug sole attached-- and re-soleworthy I might add-- with a nice low heel and visible topstitching. Also the color has a definite reddish hue that goes well with the fabrics I'm working with.

15 April 2007

Shoe Redux

It might amuse some of you to know that after all my kvetching about
men's shoes and the difficulty of finding same at reasonable prices,
yesterday I found a perfectly serviceable pair of men's 'earth shoes'
with a buckle in my size at Goodwill. Little or no alteration needed
to make them faire-presentable.

Never happened before.

The internet costuming demons showing their sense of humor I suppose...

Granted, they were $15.00 instead of $2.99... so now I have a black
pair and a brown pair. And two pairs of cavalier boots. And... Hmmmmmm... I need to stop before I become the Imelda Marcos of the ren faire set.


13 April 2007

Scottie Needs a New Pair of Shoes!

I've been remiss in blogging, but not in working on my garb!

Yesterday, I "made" a pair of latchet shoes! Okay, well I actually modified an existing pair of modern shoes into period approximates, but it amounts to the same thing... a new pair of ren shoes for $2.99!!!

I posted a complete "How I Did It" on my guild's website at Pennywise Peasant Projects if you're curious, with links to the people who inspired the project.