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1  CLOTHING / Costumes: Completed Projects / Leather and Mild Steel Cuisses on: May 08, 2012 12:04:38 PM

A friend of mine made some awesome armor, and wanted to share:

I am a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism, an organization devoted to historical re-enactment of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. One of the things we do is full-force armored combat. Definitely a lot of fun. In addition to sword-fighting, I've learned something about armour making and repair -- a fighter is constantly mending and improving his/her gear.

Anyway, I recently made a set of steel cuisses (thigh armour) that I had envisioned for my girlfriend's fighting kit. Unfortunately it turned out that mild steel does not absorb quite as much force as I thought it would. Does stop a sword, but it'd leave a helluva bruise! Not wanting my gf to get injured on the battlefield, I remade her cuisses out of much thicker and stronger stainless steel. So, now I have a set of cuisses which are looking for a home!

I think the armor would be a great addition for a Steampunk vampire killer / bounty hunter kit. Since the cuisses were built with full-force combat in mind, they certainly lend authenticity to the vestments of a seasoned fighter. Also, mild steel gets surface rust which I feel makes the armour appear old and well-used. If you are interested, I will include a wooden stake that I made for a vampire hunter's costume.

The armor is constructed of 16ga mild steel and heavy 5-6 oz brown leather, with the plates solid-riveted to the leather. This isn't flimsy costume-grade stuff! The cuisses are best worn from a heavy belt with well-padded pants (rivets are not comfy against the skin). Leather straps buckle at the back of the leg, and a larger strap on the front loops through the wearer's belt.

I've made bracers in a similar style for a couple other people's costumes, and they're quite pleased with them. I'd like to see the cuisses similarly enjoyed!

2  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Painted Historical Miniture on: December 22, 2011 02:16:52 AM
My boyfriend is getting into historical war gaming (also know as playing toy soldiers in a manly fashion), which means he is painting armies.  I had never painted miniatures before, but had painted small fairies and garden gnomes for my mom to put in potted plants, so had some (no) idea of what I was getting into.  I figured fun painting, kind of amusing, largely crafty bonding.  Then he brought out the horses.  When it comes to painting horses, I am apparently still a 7 year old who wants a pony. 

These are all Napoleonic era Prussian from the first brigade.  I painted the brgaide commander on the horse while the boyfriend painted up the grunts.  I used the three color method with white base coat, matte sealed at the end.   The highlights and shadows are a little stark close up, but bring out the detail when viewed from further away. 
Overall, I had crazy amounts of fun with this little guy. 
3  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Completed Projects / Beaded Spider Earrings Tutorial (img heavy) on: July 25, 2011 01:03:09 AM

Materials: thin wire; seed beads for body, joints, and feet (36); bugle beads for legs (32 or 64 depending on size); beads for the heads (2); bead for the abdomen (2); fish hook earring findings (2).  The wire passes through each body bead a total of 6 times, so the holes on the body beads need to be pretty substantial.

The legs make up the bulk of the spider.  To figure out how much wire you need for your spider, string up a leg.  Each leg has a seed bead at the end, two bugle beads (or one if you have long beads.  I used two for the tutorial.), a seed bead, two more bugle beads, and then I add one more seed bead to account for the body of the spider.
Measure how long all of these beads are.  I multiple the length by 8, add about 6 inches to ensure enough wire for handling, then DOUBLE the length.  The wire goes through each leg twice, so you need twice as much as all 8 legs.  
I normally measure out enough for 8 legs and handling wire, the fold in half and cut the same length.  That way the center of the wire is already marked.  

String your "head" bead onto the wire, and slide it to the center.

String a body bead onto one of the 2 wires, then pass the second wire through the bead going the opposite direction.

On one of the wires, string a leg (2 bugle beads, a seed bead, 2 bugle beads, a seed bead).  Using the last seed bead as a stopper, string the wire back through the bugle beads and middle seed bead, and through the abdomen bead.  Pull tight.  

Repeat for 3 more legs.  

Add a second abdomen bead by stringing the bead onto one of the wires, and then passing the second wire through in the opposite direction.

Add four more legs.

Now, wrap the two wires around each other, being careful to not just twist.  If you twist instead of wrap, the twist will build up at one point in the wire until the wire breaks.  

Trim excess wire, string your abdomen bead on, and attach to a earring finding, leaving the desired amount of spider silk.  
Do it one more time, and you have a neat new pair of earrings.  

4  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Steam Punk Spider Jewelry on: July 09, 2011 02:54:47 PM
I wanted an accessory for my steam punk costume that was more than just gears glued onto something.  When poking around the internet, I fell in love with the concept of tick-tock attack creatures.  After gaining inspiration from a few different tutorials, my spiders were born.  

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