Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Back in Blackwork

As I work on documentation there isn’t much to post on here. Although it doesn’t mean hands are idle and the next project is not being planned. In the meantime my blackwork has been patiently waiting while I’m fiddling with other projects. So as I make headway, you will see some more results of my needling in that larger canvas.

Concerned with the lace and embroidery details for various in progress projects, as the kitten has taken a liking to my sewing notions and other related supplies. He has a talent of taking pins out the cushion with his teeth. Making me think he has an oral fixation with shiny metal items. He has an affinity towards twist ties, toilet paper, tips fror similar texture. Certain of I didn’t keep track of my hair ties they would be in this grouping too.

These are the small flat headed ones are difficult for me to pull from my cushion.  Talented Jace wants to be a seamstress assistant kitten. It was Jaspers favorite job with Mom too.  He has Albert and I trained with his meows, so funny how he has walked into our hearts. Different than Jasper but we both agree if Jace and Jasper met they would be thick as theives.

Glad Starr has learned to trust Albert to allowed her to be petted and held. So lots of good developments.  Home is happy and calm despite intermittent construction, which is what is needed with the stresses of our jobs.

Finally Happiness,

THL Marrin O’Kealy

Automaton Finale

Made some major headway with Barbara the automaton. There is so much more needed to be done to reach the finish for her. Able to sew the gown sleeves, attach skirt and rework headress with more of the same red silk ribbon. This took several hours in the afternoon on Sunday.

Sunday evening I reworked the Lute ribbon to be more flexible with the larger size of this doll. Then pinned gold lace trim  on the gown, now that everything in the base gown is sewed down.  Still have to fix the right hand to be able to be upside down to hold the Lute. Part way there just happy to have some time to work on her. I just now have to see about sewing the veil and ribbon down to the wig.

On Monday was able to finish the wig by sew the red ribbon down on the headress.  Looks spiffy though some detail is lost in the organa of the pearls and gold detail in the hair. It’s nice to know it’s there if removed. Also repaired the left hand and just need to touch up some paint and attach to the limb. Then figure out positions for the playing of the Lute to look less stiff. Lastly sewing the lace trim to the gown is the Finale besides documenting. So hoping to do some documentation tomorrow, while helping Albert.

Hoping to have some awesome display space at my next sca event. Though after the last assembly  will be working on documenting both dolls.

Progress is always good,

THL Marrin O’Kealy

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Santos Finale

I was able to complete the trim stitching, finished attaching the skirt, and figured out a method of holding the musical instrument. All this is to have Cecilia finished. Going to show some photos of her current status and when displayed. For now, here she is the patron saint of music.


In the meantime I will work on Barbara she has far more to finish before I can post more pictures. Though it’s nice to have these done. Having to document the details on these and add them to the research compilation. Just nice to have a different starting point for these and especially extant examples.  Have to be up at a reasonable hour. 

THL Marrin O’Kealy

Friday, January 11, 2019

Homeward Stretch

With the near completion of Celcilia the Santos Doll, just sewing to finish the skirt attachment and afix her musical instrument; a violin. Consequently the pattern of the clothing followed into the assembly of a Spanish outfit for Barbara the automaton.  Now there is more sewing and finishing needed for her along with wig attachment, sewing lace trim, and attachment of the musical instrument; a cittern.

Although the mostly complete nature, wanted to show progress photos. So here is Barbara in her current state. Hoping detail sewing for both dolls can be completed this weekend. We shall see as I have hours at the comic shop to assist with inventory. Wondering if one would fit into a project bag, will have to see if it’s worth it.

So far it’s coming together and it’s only needing minor adjustments in certain areas. I will repost final photos with all the accessories for both dolls. It’s nice to be hitting the homeward stretch with both dolls.

Epic awesomeness,

THL Marrin O’Kealy

Reasons to Celebrate

Realizing the existence of this blog since May 2010, soon celebrating 9 years and then a decade. Great to have a corner of the internet that celebrates quality Couture dolls, clothing and accessories. 
It’s truly something unique and special, to share the progress with each project the research, methods, and techniques to bring the ladies to fuition. 

All of this is not possible without you, the readers. Feeling so wonderfully blessed to share my passion with others who are interested in quality craftsmanship. Here is to my 14 followers and many more readers may we have many more years of Tudorosities.


THL Marrin O’Kealy

Friday, January 4, 2019

Spanish Santos Doll

Well it’s a new year and I have a new doll project. Just completed a Santos Doll they are from the  Spanish Colonial era so just after the discovery of the New World. Spain wanted to spread its faith along with influence to its colonies. The Santos Doll circa late 16th century Spain. These ornately dressed dolls aided communities that didn’t have a local priest, church or was used at in-home altars.

Santos dolls are closely related to the Crèche figures, which were implemented in Italy by St Francis of Assisi, during the 13th century. However, the Crèche are primarily associated with Italian and French nativity and crib scenes.  Crèche scenes are still elaborately displayed throughout Italy and in parts of France.

Cecelia is dressed in an orange and blue silk wool blend renaissance ropa with gold trim and silk tassels and hair dressed in a silk organza and bobbin lace trim cofia y transado. She still has finishing to do as far as accessories though I wanted to show her current status.

She is 27” tall carved of wood and gouache painted. Silk and wool outfit, human hair wig and hand carved and painted. The colonial santos dolls were used in remote areas of the Spanish new world that didn’t have churches to spread the catholic faith. They are still made modernly central and South America mainly in Mexico and in southwestern US. More so an art form now than a religious influence via ornately decorated saints and holy family.

This doll I want to represent the cultural influence that dolls can be so made her outfit Spanish inspired. My sca friend Elena de la Palma, she has greatly helped with the information for this project answering many questions.

Working on the outfit currently for the Lute Player Automaton outfit. I am pleased with my progress so far and feel it’s close to the original. There will be more to come on this other project. So here comes the pictures for this Santos Doll, enjoy!!

Making the shiny things,

THL Marrin O’Kealy

Source 1: https://www.santoscagedoll.com/pages/history-of-santos-dolls

Source 2: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santon_(figurine)

Monday, December 24, 2018

Happy Belated Chaunnuka, Solstice, Yule,Christmas, kwanza, holidays

I was taking a survey of the skills I have learned since joining the sca in 2004. A long list but I can say being a Scadian has enriched my life in so many ways.

So here is a list;. Knitting, crochet, clothing sewing, many styles of embroidery, pattern making, improved technique in sculpting, lacemaking, millinery, spinning, weaving, wood carving, period painting, wig making, jewelry, glue making, beading technique, goldwork, silverwork, miniaturization, beginnings of clockwork. Those are off the top of my head will remember more later no doubt.

Then I was also thinking about the holiday season and thankful for many people: my love Albert, my kitties, my home, and my related family and my sca family and friends. May you all have a safe, happy and joyous holiday season with lots of warmth and love.

Happy Holidays you and yours,

Albert, Maureen and kitties Jace and Starr

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Leafing Out

Well finally jumped in both feet to bobbin lace. It’s not as bad as I expected, delightfully relaxing. Watching YouTube videos helped my understanding of the working and basics to begin practicing. Finding that I do need to be careful to not twist till ends of rows but other than that I have some progress photos. Best description for lacemaking is that it’s is a from of weaving like  tapestry, with more delicate thread to make your own ground as you go along.

I plan on making 3 leaves since the kit I have had 3 different lace flowers to attempt. Pink variegated floss for the flowers and a minty leaf green for the leaves. Was nice to work on all this while waiting for dinner. It took me about an hour to do the whole leaf. Though with only one pattern will be able to do one a day as it needs to set in the pins for a day. It’s takes longer to wind up the bobbins for the pattern in this case then it does to complete the piece. Though not surprised as this was expressed in the videos I was watching while researching how to make bobbin lace.

If I can complete them all, I want to put them on a hair comb. Though will see how they turn out first. I can then try the rest of the samples before working on the pricking I have from France. Plus working on any other kind of ideas from my books.

So here is to an adventures in lace,

THL Marrin O’Kealy

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Automatons on Parade

Well been making drawings of types of medieval dolls whileo planning for the epic automatons. Purchased some pashmina scarves to use for doll gowns the automatons. Marino wool and silk blend fabric which has enough body in the weave to pleat lay correctly. Making both similar to the extant as far as design of clothing. I have some other trim I may use but I have ideas on some options to make it look nice.

 Though wanted to show the scale of the instruments the automaton will respectively holding and playing.  I think they’re in genius just perfect for this kind of project. I will have to see how holding will be a challenge for the hands.

With this project, I plan on making two based on the extant in the  kunstkammer wien in Vienna Austria. Will have one play a violin and the other play the lute the ladies will be having a jam session of medieval proportions. So have the yellow and red gowned automaton play the lite as the original. Then the one orange will have a blue underdress and long braid with a caul covering.

Both will have pearl chokers and moveable arms to strike the tunes of the instruments. I plan on the arm and rolling action. Though we shall see  how it all comes together for these two.

Visions of medieval sugar plums,

THL Marrin O’Kealy

Source 1: http://www.darkroastedblend.com/2015/01/amazing-automatons-robots-victorian.html?m=1

Source 2: https://history-computer.com/Dreamers/Torriano.html

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Rare images

I have more success in finding images of extant items from the back. Guessing it’s more common for modern artisans to take better research images. So easier to get complete views all around an object. if you look to your left, we have train folks.

Found some gems of the automaton from the side and back. Will be useful in getting it to look correct. Helped me answer some more questions I had about the hair styling and caul in the back and how long it was. As I know there are ones that are long and braided in the back with a tassel at the end. So

Shall see what options for movement I can create. Will be experimenting on a few gears and progression movements eventually. Gathering materials in the mean time. All I can say it’s going to be super epic. So going to let all of you enjoy these. I found them drool worthy as a larger scale challenge.

For the meantime have kitties vying for attention and mostly settled. Hoping to share more as research, planning, and tinkering begins on the automaton.

Excited to tinker,

THL Marrin O’Kealy

Source 1: http://www.darkroastedblend.com/2015/01/amazing-automatons-robots-victorian.html?m=1

Source 2: https://history-computer.com/Dreamers/Torriano.html



Tudor Q and A

What is a Tudorosity?

A mashed combination of the words Tudor and Curiosity to create the word Tudorosity. Tudorosities is the plural form and the deffinition is as follows.

Tudorosity- an desire to learn or know anything about the Tudor dynasty assocated with years 1405 through 1603.

Most people ask my why I make the Tudor garb ?

I find the clothing of this era not only beautiful but also challenging to sew. There is much more care and purpose put into making garments and wearing garments in the Tudor Era. I love the look of Tudor so much I wanted to explore the way clothes were made back then and the subtle changes in fashion and styles of time.

How did you get started in this interesting hobby?

I started with art first, I love to draw, paint, and sculpt all the traditional fine arts. So being able to draw helps me visualize the looks I want to create in my garb. History has always been a huge interest of mine and I've had a knack for sewing since I was 6 years old. It all started with doll clothes and I learned cross stitch embroidery from my grandmother when I was little. I am self taught sewer, crochet, knitting, embroidery and tatting. My methods are learned from books mainly and there is still so much more to learn.

What is my favorite outfit and why?

It would be like picking a favorite out of one of my future children, its impossible. I love all my gown creations and really like the distinct differences in all the styles clothing I make for the Tudor Era.

Do you make the whole outfit including hat, shoes, and undergarments?

I do have a goal of making a complete Tudor from the skin out. As of right now I make 80% of my gowns and accessories. The shoes, corset, stockings, and petticoats are bought online and the petticoats are a close reproduction but not made by me. Though someday I plan on making a reed corset and petticoat to wear under my gowns, as well as other accessories.

How long does it take to make a gown?

It all depends on the type of gown I plan on making and the time period and class of the design. Generally if I work on it 8 hours a day on a sewing machine it will take 3 days to get the basics and another 5 days to do finish hand-sewing details and beading. So a week to a week and a half if working on it steady for that amount of time. I work a full-time job so it does take longer than a week to complete. I put over 40-100 hours per outfit depending on its complexity, its like its own full time job of sorts.

Do you make renaissance clothing for sale or custom orders?

No, due to new employment and changes in my lifestyle. Unfortunately, I have no time to support sewing for others. Though I recommend sewing lessons for those adventurous few. There are many fine folks who make and sell historical clothing. I suggest guidance with sew from many fine historical enthusiastic costumers out on the internet.

How long have you been making these elaborate costumes?

I have been in the Society of Creative Anachronism coming up on my 10th year. Active since 2004 working at demonstrations and volunteering when I could between working and other life's distractions. I really concentrated on Tudor sewing in 2007 and worked with patterns to learn proper fabrics, techniques, fit, and silhouette. I really enjoy the eras transition from a medieval form fitting layered cotterdie to the boned Tudor kirtle and then to structured Elizabethan clothing.

Tudor Rose

Tudor Rose

Lady Willoughby

Lady Willoughby

Tudor Rose

Tudor Rose

Peach Elizabethan Noble

Peach Elizabethan Noble

Tudor Rose

Tudor Rose

Mauve Waistcoat Elizabethan Gown

Mauve Waistcoat Elizabethan Gown

Tudor Rose

Tudor Rose

O'Cadhla Heraldry

O'Cadhla Heraldry

Queen Mary I of England

Queen Mary I of England