Saturday, June 27, 2009

Rib Fest

Lorne and Brenda at the pub Below is where we spent the early evening...the Ottawa Rib Fest.
As you can see, we didn't let considerations like drips on the clothing to get in the way of our enjoyment. Tracy is also a bit wet from the rain squall which ripped through Sparks Street.

Above is Craig, Andrea, and Erin all pulling their pork.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The library of odd materials

Greek Gods Tournament

Seems that Cyprus is the birthplace of the Greek Goddess of Love, Aphrodite. That suits Lorne since he is not posted to Cyprus and will be there for a couple of years. To celebrate the occasion, we had a "Greek Gods Tournament". Okay, so the tournament didn't actually take place...too much fun was being had by chopping watermelons apart. If you click on the image below, you can see the remarkable backhand that Lorne put on his new battle axe. He doesn't have a name for it yet, I am sure my readers will come up with a couple of good un's for him to choose from. Oh the carnage!
Ian picked up a nice axe as well. This is what HIS axe does to a poor unsuspecting watermelon.

So Lorne, we are all very jealous of your posting, and after a long career of doing the shittiest jobs in the military, we wish you all the best on this tour of fun in the sun. I am sure that you will not create any international incidents in that powder keg in the Med. (Okay, now THAT's just wishful thinking)
I'll be over to check on you around Christmas.

Mortage slashing

Well, this is Yusef, and of course, we are not going to burn the mortage, we are going to slash it with swords!
Burned, slashed, soaked, and mutilated.

Watermelons are nice on a hot day. Make a nice touch of colour.

On July first, our mortage is finished. I don't regard this with the joy that so many others seem to feel. Now its mine instead of the Banks' property, so I guess I had better get cracking on fixing it up. I suspect the money I have been putting into the mortage will simply now be put into septic fields, roofs, decks and paint. Just a different pocket will get emptied, thats all.
I also liked the attention the bank paid to me....when my job situation would change, they would get nervous. I was never late and never missed a payment, yet they got so nervous when they found out that pretty much all my income came only during the summer months. It was kind of cute actually, they maintained a file on me, my business, my press releases, and all sorts of stuff. Oh well, I still owe them a serious debt of gratitude, (not for loaning me the money, that is their job,) but for making sure that the powers that be did not take me to the cleaners when I moved to Ottawa from my previous posting. It was their attention to detail which enabled me to keep the house when the "man" tried to change the terms of our compensation package when they closed the base behind me.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

renfaire in canada

the 2009 upper canada village renfaire. click on the images to enlarge... Above is beautiful young princess with her good buddy. the perfect date, doesn't talk back, empty headed, and abs like iron. like iron I tell ya!
Above is the gypsey, Barb B. Lovely people these gypsies. And if you look in the background, you can see the jousters.

here is Richard C. A renfaire actor, patron, worker, and in this case, King in Disguise. He also bakes cookies.

Princesses just seem to be attracted to the sharp stuff.

and here is one of a thousand snapshots of the South Tower Armouring Guild booth at the Upper Canada Renaissance Festival.
There are a some more pictures of this festival on my armouring blog site.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Sexy armour

Once in a while its just fun to try something different. So I asked Mr. Clyde Caldwell if I could make armour, based on his popular paintings. He said okay, so I am making some nice sexy armour.
This fantasy armour follows all the rules of fantasy illustration...the arrows only hit the shiny spots, a well turned ankle in high heels doesn't result in a badly turned ankle on the battlefield, swords are absurdly huge, perhaps because they are driven by magic, and the women who wear them all have more attitude than is strictly good for those around them.

Attitude. Thats a good thing right? Oh, and the disclaimer...this armour is most assuredly NOT SCA legal. Heck, it might be illegal in MOST jurisdictions....grin!

The whole story about making this armour is on my armouring blog and after a day's puzzling, measuring, hammering, and wheeling, I came up with these. They have yet to be trimmed, and the wheel marks are still showing on the surface, but I am sorta okay with them. I am using this picture as a wallpaper on my computer....I like the composition, accidental as it might be. click on it to enlarge. illustration used by permission from clyde caldwell, copyright 2009.

Friday, June 05, 2009


You don't need a lot of expensive stuff to be an artist. This fella, for instance, all he has is an exacto knife and a pile of plastic drinking straws.

happy customers...

(click on image to enlarge)
This is the letter I got today from Susanna, the female Finnish fighter whom I made that armour for several months ago. Its nice to get praise once in a while...grin!

Hi Bill,
My armour arrived today. I retrieved it at Customs Mail Office - the duty was 20% of the price, fortunately it was Canadian dollars :)

Anyway, I test-fitted it. Unfortunately the package had been damaged on shipping (compressed) and the cuirass was bent inwards on sides. Fortunately it wasn't hardened steel, and I bent it back to shape. I test-fitted it, and it sure was made to my measures!

My first impression was: "Wauu! AWESOME!!!"

Funnily enough, I looked absolutely femme in armour. The armour makes an impression of narrow waist and wide hips. My estimate is that it would make nice armour for late 15th century man-at-arms. The tassets are a nice bit, albeit not really necessary for SCA melee, as most blows are directed either to head or upper torso. But for parades or posing for photographs they are just right.

Perhaps I should change my SCA persona to late 15th century Burgundian? I could then legitimately join the Ordonnance Company - and wear those nice Burgundian dresses with hennin headgear :-)

Since I am a kendoka in the mundane life, I will mostly fight with two-handed weapons (longsword and poleaxe), and shield is no issue. I will send you some photographs of me soon.
All in all, my iron sickness (a Finnish term for craving new fighting gear) seems to be cured for now. Perhaps I will next year order a late 15th century sallet or barbuta for helmet?

Catarina de Montemartin, mundanely known as Susanna V________.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009


This is Andrea. She made that vambrace in my shop. Four whale tails. Oh my.

click on the image to enlarge this wallpaper.

Wicked eh?