Monday, 31 August 2015

Un-busy Monday.

I spent this Saturday giving a long workshop, so today is destined to be non-busy, making up for the half-weekend. The cat, as usual, is happy to help relaxing by snoozing right at my feet (and also making it nearly impossible to move the chair).

For you who are busy, though, I have some links!

Apart from the famous Herjolfsnaes garments, there's another site with textile remains in Greenland, called Garden under Sandet. The fur finds from there have recently been analysed, and what was thought to be bison, muskox and bears have turned out to be horse and goat. The full article is up at Elsevier (paywall).

A video on Youtube shows several historic egg preservation techniques.

Finally, if you read German, Mathis from Schauhuette has posted a thoughtful piece about the payment and situation of private archaeology businesses in Germany.

Friday, 28 August 2015

Book things.

There's a slew of books out that you might want to know about... so here you go:

The last NESAT conference papers have been published recently, and are now available. Here's the book data:
K. Grömer and F. Pritchard (eds.) 2015: Aspects of the Design, Production and Use of Textiles and Clothing from the Bronze Age to the Early Modern Era. NESAT XII. The North European Symposium for Archaeological Textiles, 21st – 24th May 2014 in Hallstatt, Austria. Archaeolingua Main Series 33. Budapest 2015.
It costs 64 € plus s+h, and you can order it directly from the publisher, here.


Also out, and available: the kickstartered book "Drei Schnittbücher". It's taken a while for the wo ladies to get this all done, and I can absolutely understand - a book like that is a huge project, and it was totally worth the wait. If you've missed the Kickstarter and are wondering what I'm talking about, here's the link. (Also, you can buy the book directly from the printer, here. Or order it via the Big River Store, which I will not link to. Or, since it has an ISBN, probably also via your brick-and-mortar store of choice. Support (indie) booksellers!)

For those of you itching to read more about textiles from buildings, there's a slim volume out by
Beatrix Nutz, Irene Tomedi, Armin Torggler, Penelope W. Rogers: Gerüstlöcher als Tresore für archäologische Textilen. Fori pontai come casseforti di stoffe archeologiche.
Schriftenreihe Landesmuseum Schloss Tirol, Heft 6, 2015. 
It's in German and Italian and contains background information about the textiles found in Schloss Tirol, including lovely pictures of the surviving fragments, some of them still brightly coloured. You can see the table of contents here. You will need to email the institute in Innsbruck to order it: ur-fruehgeschichte[AT]uibk.ac.at. Price is 20 € plus s+h.

And in case your own life feels like a book - here's a list of things that might let you know your life is a novel by Chrétien de Troyes.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Currently in the works...

I've been taking gazillions of photos recently, using my new softbox and lighting equipment. Most of the photos taken will be deleted again - what I'm trying to capture is not always cooperative, and thus I take five or ten pictures, and then five or ten from another angle, and then another five or ten for one that I will actually need.

Are you wondering what I'm shooting at?

It's this:








Pictures for the instructions for the fleur-de-lis embroidery kit.
Goldwork is hard to photograph, because you need enough light, but not too much light so things are clear to see and yet the gold does not dazzle. Since the details I want to show are fairly small, that means a rather shallow depth of field even with good light - which explains the blurry fingers.

I'm confident that I should have all the photos needed to explain the ins and outs of the process now, though - I only need to sort through them, trim the pictures I will use, and finish writing the instructions in both German and English. And, of course, finish working this final prototype and put together the actual kits. They should be finished in time for the fair in Weikersheim!

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Spinning Instructions in English finally available!

Finally, the spinning instructions that I wrote a while ago have been proof-read and are available in English as well as in German. Putting them into the shop and blogging about it has been delayed a bit by the summer break, but now, finally, they are here.



They are either a part of the starter kit handspindle if you order it via the English version of the website (I then get all orders in English, too, so I know to put in the right printed version), or you can get them as a pdf file directly from my shop, for free! (You will need to register if you don't have an account yet.)

There should be a download link in the pdf "invoice" that is attached to your order email (the link is not directly in the email, so please make sure to open the pdf and look for the link there).


Tuesday, 25 August 2015

New shipping fees.

Anyone who's ever been ordering things online, especially from across borders, knows the pain that shipping costs can be. They are often surprisingly high, and sometimes downright prohibitive.

I know that I have myself abandoned quite a few half-filled baskets for orders because the shipping costs were more than I was willing to pay. Sometimes I also wondered how on earth these people could arrive at shipping figures that high...

And then I started my own online shop.

Let me tell you this: Shipping costs are a pain for both sides. As a shop owner, you have to figure out how much to charge - which means costs for boxes, wrapping paper, labels, tape, stuffing material, the postage itself, and so on. (So on, in Germany, includes costs for licensing fees that cover the cost of recycling.) You also have to figure in that packing stuff and bringing it to the post office will take up time, in some cases considerable chunks of it. The more you send out, the more alike your wares are, the easier it is to calculate things, and packing will go faster, and you can get better rates on all the package-related stuff and even on postage.

I spent a lot of time and brain power on trying to figure out shipping prices that would be as fair as possible towards my customers, and still reliably cover the actual costs that I have. From time to time, there is some reason for me to check the shipping costs again, and sometimes I find that I can re-calculate them - because prices have changed, or because I send out more of thing A as opposed to thing B, and that means I can add another tier to the price ranges to make things better.

That happened recently - and now there's an additional shipping price for those of you who would like just the printed pattern of Dread Pirate Roberts' Winter Hat. I have added a special, as-low-as-possible price for shipping for the pattern, which is 2 € inside of Germany and 3.60 € for the rest of the world. Happy knitting!

Monday, 24 August 2015

I am back!

My lovely summer break is over, and I am back home and back at work. It was a wonderful time off - I spent time with friends, enjoyed a canoe trip down beautiful Werra and Weser (two rivers in Germany), cuddled the cat, and generally relaxed. There was the yearly archaeologists' meet-up in Bamberg, too.




Not all of the last weeks was spent vacationing, though. I used a large chunk of the non-vacation time to get some research reading done and prepare a presentation I held day before yesterday for the people in the Museumsdorf Düppel in Berlin. It was very interesting, and with a very intense discussion afterwards.

I also spent some time on the further development of the fleur-de-lis embroidery set (the instructions with lots of pictures are in the works right now), washed some more wool, and I'm scheming to maybe offer some textile samples to demonstrate the difference between modern-style and medieval-style textiles in the future.

I also have a huge backlog of linky things to blog about, accumulated during the last weeks... let's start with the newest one:

It does not matter what archaeologists say - UFO lovers still insist this might be an alien.

Monday, 20 July 2015

It's time for a break.

If you're hanging out in the internet, you might have come across this one:

Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.

I have a job I love, but I really, really disagree with that saying. Yes, having work that you love is a wonderful thing. It makes spending the bulk of your adult waking life on it something which is nice instead of dreary... but. But. It's still work.

I love running the little shop I have, finding new sources for tools and materials that are as close to the historical originals as possible. I love editing, and writing - this blog, the occasional book, instructions, or research excerpts for museums. I love preparing and giving presentations, talks, seminars and workshops. I love cutting and tailoring and sewing. It takes energy and effort, though, and energy needs to be recharged from time to time.

Furthermore, it's never just doing things you love, or that you enjoy, and nothing else. There is bureaucracy stuff to take care of, and there's the occasional troublesome thing coming up that needs to be dealt with, or you mess something up and have to own it and sort it. There is no work on earth that is all loveliness and rainbows all the time, ever.

What's even worse about that quote, if you ask me, is that it sort of insinuates that if you are feeling like you are working... you're not loving your job enough. Or you did a bad job at choosing your job. In any case, you're not doing it right, right?

Here's the thing - I love my job. It's full of challenges, it makes me look at all kinds of different things, it gives me the opportunity to work with people and with things, to do research and crafts. But it's still work, it will take energy and effort, it will tire me out after some time, and I am looking forward to having holidays just like everybody else.

Which is just a lengthy way to tell you that I'm on summer break from today until August 24.

I won't blog during this time, and any orders sent via the shop will be taken care of after the break. I'll spend the time taking care of things that had to take a back seat during the last months, and relaxing, and I am really, really looking forward to that. Especially the relaxing part...

See you on the other side of my summer break - and I hope you have nice, relaxing, wonderful holidays yourself!