tool leather

Once upon a time there was a beast and a curse and an enchantress, which I’m sure surprises nobody. Better put it this way: once upon a time a girl was locked in a castle, and she begged so hard not to be the sleeping princess that she became the beast. That’s more like it, anyway — fairytale logic. You get what you wish for, but it isn’t what you want.

“Don’t let it be a prince,” she begged, “don’t let it be a kiss I can’t see coming and can’t refuse.”

Enchantresses, wicked fairies, call them what you will — they’re all the same story in the end. No one will remember if this enchantress began the story by giving the princess a naming day gift of a hundred year sleep once the tale switches to another track. The point is that she didn’t mind granting this one favor. Maybe it was an issue of statistics. Maybe she thought finding a girl who would fall in love with a princess-beast would be harder than finding a prince to kiss her, make her curse harder to lift (considering the probabilities of who might wander onto the cursed castle grounds). As if girls who love girls don’t know they have to fight harder to begin with, as if they won’t cross miles for each other.

So maybe there was a spindle once, but now there is a rose, and a girl who wanders through a thorn maze unable to find her way. This is the wrong story, she thinks to herself, clutching her leather satchel tighter, but she doesn’t know what the right story is.

“Let me through?” She suggests to the roses that grow squeezed between their own thorns along the twisting hedges. “I’m looking for the love of my life. I’m in a hurry.”

She’s met only with the rustling of leaves and haughty scoffs. “No prince ever found his true love by being in a hurry.”

“I’m not a prince. I’m a shoemaker, and I’m lost. Can you let me through to the castle?” It rises dark and spindly overhead, but though it seems so close she can see no way out of the maze.

Laughter, echoing through the hedge corridors, and then something dark prowls around the corner and half-crouches there, hidden as much as possible under a hooded cloak. Shining talons dig into the earth under their feet.

The beast says, “A shoemaker? You really are in the wrong story.” Her voice is gravely and doesn’t match the laughter. That must have been the roses as well.

“I have glass shoes,” the girl says, staring at those claws. “Or I can make something sturdier, if you give me time.”

“I don’t have enough time of my own to be giving it away,” the beast says, bored, and gestures around them. Even now the hedges seem to be encroaching further into the maze’s corridors, the roses growing and multiplying. One day soon, the girl realizes, the maze will entirely fill in, and the castle will be blocked off.

She’s clever, and she’s brave, and those are the two most important things for a fairytale heroine to be — besides pretty, but that’s easy enough to fake with the right kind of smile. “Then don’t give it to me,” she says, “we can share.”

So the beast reaches out one arm, fingers tapering into knives that she curls so gently they don’t more than scratch the girl’s skin — and the shoemaker takes it with an earnest gravity, looking right under her cloak’s shadow and into her eyes.

The beast’s eyes are unnaturally big and inhumanly shaped, but they’re not cruel, and in fairytales the evil beasts always have cruel eyes. The girl bobs a polite curtsey, using the beast’s arm for balance, and sees those eyes narrow slightly with amusement.

They walk through the twists and turns of the maze to the castle, the beast bent slightly so as not to tower over her guest. “About those shoes,” she says, when they reach the front doors, golden light spilling from the entrance hall and shining through the delicately carved details in the ancient wood.

“In the morning,” the girl says, and because she clearly has not even entertained the thought that she might be argued with, the beast cannot summon an objection. She watches the girl follow an unfurling carpet along the floor to a dusty guest room with no hesitation, as if every dwelling should be as accommodating.

And in the way of fairytales, that’s enough to make the beast fall in love — a disregard for every unspoken rule, a smile that glimmers in the darkness. Should I tell you that the moment the girl arrives at breakfast the next morning the beast can barely look away from her for a moment, that she stays by the girl’s side as she produces leather and tools from nowhere and searches floor by floor for the perfect room to work in — or should I let you imagine for yourself?

Gradually the hood is pulled back, eventually the cloak discarded altogether; they sit in patches of sunlight together to eat lunch, staring down at the maze below. Roses and leaves devouring each other and everything in slow motion.

“If you stay too long you’ll be trapped here,” the beast warns, anxious when the girls shows no concern in her usual solemn air as she watches the maze devolve.

“I haven’t finished your shoes,” is all she says. Each new morning she promises that in return for this latest night of hospitality she is making the shoes more beautiful, and each evening that she has not finished she stays another night.

Sometimes when the girl has gone to bed the beast sneaks back into the workroom, in agony over whether to rip out the stitches or finish the work for her.

Leave before you are trapped here forever.

Stay here forever because I love you.

Each night she does not touch the shoes and returns to sleep herself, and in the morning the girl thanks her for letting her stay, as if the beast could ever turn her out, and promises to repay the night with even more beautiful shoes.

And each morning the beast says, “That’s fair,” and wishes she could find different words, the words she means to say.

The maze grows. The roses are larger than hands with fully spread fingers. The corridors are barely large enough for a small girl to squeeze through. In the dawn light it is lit gently and slightly pink, but the sight of it is painful. The wide window of the workroom shows the progress the maze had made alarmingly clearly, and it’s only then that the beast wonders if that was the appeal of this room over all the others.

The girl appears silently in the doorway as she has for the past week. “Thank you for letting me stay last night. I’ll repay you—”

“No,” the beast says, her voice alarmed and rough. “No. You are leaving now.”

“Now?”

“Before you can’t leave. You must go now.” Her throat is closing up and her voice growing thicker with each word. They’re not the words she wants to say.

The girl cocks her head, a curiously nonjudgmental silence. Finally she crosses the room to her worktable and picks up the shoes, turning them around and around again. They’re boots, really, and almost comically big in her hands. The beast cannot tell if they are as beautiful as she was promised, because the girl is smiling now and that eclipses all else.

“Are they finished?” She asks.

“Yes,” the beast says, unable to choke out anything more.

The girl leaves the boots on the table and swings her satchel, out of nowhere, across her shoulders. “Thank you for sharing your time,” she says. For a moment she holds the beast’s hand in both of hers, and then she’s gone. From the window the beast can watch her leave; for all her trouble getting there, she finds her way out with ease.

She leaves the workroom and doesn’t return all day.

Do beasts grieve? She hadn’t thought they could. She hadn’t grieved when the curse was settled on her; she hadn’t grieved at the idea that it might never lift once the maze finally knit itself together during the coming night. But the loneliness she feels now was different. The absence of the shoemaker is something worse. She’d had no choice in her fate, but she had told the girl to leave. This misery she’d brought on herself.

At night she wanders back into the workroom out of habit, sleepless and hopeless and refusing to glance out the window. Has it happened yet? Is she truly trapped now, or will it happen in five minutes, an hour, at dawn? She stares at the boots for an indeterminable amount of time before she thinks of putting them on.

She does so only because she thinks the girl wanted her to wear them; left to her own devices she might have destroyed them with as little thought as she now gives to slipping them on. They are big enough, and the fasteners are easy to close even with her unwieldy claws. Designs etched into the leather yet invisible in the darkness spiral and branch out beneath the thumb-pad she runs over them. Vines, she thinks. Roses.

A tear slips out, or three, as she stands in her beautiful new boots and smells leather and rotting roses. I want her back, she thinks, even as a wave of thankfulness rises up from the deepness in her, thankfulness that the shoemaker will never feel this trapped. I want to go to her, she revises. Since she doesn’t know how, she goes to leave the workroom instead.

One step and darkness is rushing past her. The rough scrap of stone walls, the rustle of leaves and the tearing of thorns, night air soft all around her. She has stepped not into the hallway but out of the castle, beyond the maze, into the star-dappled night.

“What did you do?” She asks, alarmed, almost before she sees the shoemaker sitting cross-legged on the grassy hill, as still as if she has been waiting all day and night. “What happened?”

“I found what I came for,” the girl says calmly. “And I made her shoes.”

3

Finished up holster for a .44 magnum with an 8" barrel. This project had a lot of firsts for me. First holster, first attempt at lacing, and first wet mold. When you spend so much time on a piece, you can’t help falling in love with it. It was little bittersweet watching it head out the door.

The bottom picture shows my holster next to the one that the guy brought in for me to copy the pattern of. I had to modify my pattern because the original holster was too short for the gun.

9

I got to attend the New York Antiquarian Book Fair for the first time on Friday! It was so lovely to see all of my booky friends, as well as to see the wonders everyone brought to sell– from the very small to the very large, from gorgeously tooled leather to embroidered cloth, and from fore edge to spine, everything was dazzling! If you can ever get to an antiquarian book fair, even if you don’t have the money to buy anything, I highly recommend it! It’s such a treat to see the wide variety of books that are out there, and to wonder at their beauty.

With thanks to @maggs-bros , Sokol Books, Quaritch, Jonathan A. Hill, @justincroft-blog and everyone else ♥

anonymous asked:

I know this is more of Knight's forte, but what do you think of light (leather, mainly) armor? If you take the idea that full plate doesn't realistically affect your movement that much, why would a rogue going to fight a dragon not wear plate?

Here’s where our problems begin: you just used the words “realistically” and “dragon” in the same sentence. :)

I’ve explained before that, historically speaking, leather armour is not a thing, not as depicted and simulated in D&D in any case. (Hardened leather cuirasses did exist, but they’re not the pliable, roguish, stealth-friendly and mobility-friendly kind of armour you see in fantasy, they were basically ornamental breastplates.) So it’s completely futile to discuss the realistic benefits of an imaginary armour.

Quite simply, the rogue wouldn’t fight a dragon wearing plate because in D&D rogues aren’t proficient in heavy armour, and because in D&D heavy armour imposes penalties/disadvantage on certain skill and abilities that rogues rely on. If for some reason your rogue doesn’t care about any of that (maybe you’re a multiclass rogue/fighter, who focuses on dealing damage rather than roguish skills), then sure, plate armour is great.

It’s true that, in real life, full plate armour didn’t actually restrict mobility - not for anything you’d expect to happen in a battle, at least, and certainly not when you compare it with other types of armour available at the time. It’s also true that full plate armour was used for a very short period of time, in a very small area of our big wide earth, and by a very small (and obscenely rich) percentage of the population, whose profession was war.

But we’re not soldiers. We’re adventurers. We’re bringing to life archetypes from a wide variety of cultures and environments and walks of life, and we’re simulating imaginary armour (along with imaginary magic, and imaginary divine grace, etc) exactly because we’re here to fight dragons, as opposed to armies.

Now, if you want to put more realism in your D&D, and pump up the simulation accuracy of mundane equipment at the expense of convenience… this is totally cool. You’ll have to tinker with the rules, and balance may be an issue, but if you dig it, I don’t see why not.

One of the most unrealistic parts of ACOTAR is Illyrian leathers. They wear these tight ass leather outfits with nothing in between the thick material and their skin and work out in them. Leather is hot, and those boys gone sweat causing the leather to just stick and rot. I mean sure they’re supposed to be attractive, but Cassian and Azriel wear them all the time. Do you know how bad they have to smell? A sports bra, something designed for water wicking, smells rancid after one intense workout, let alone if you wore the same goddamn one every single day of your life for hundreds of years. I’m sorry, but that shit gone stank.

4

super excited to give y'all a sneak peak at target.com’s newest plus size line addition coming september 15, 2015!

vanity room ny is a new york based contemporary clothing company that is expanding it’s line to include plus sizes and will soon be available on target’s website! this perfect-for-fall mustard yellow cold shoulder dress is going to be a staple in my wardrobe this season. it is actually longer than depicted here - i just threw a belt on at my waist and bloused the top!

dress - vanity room ny
boots - urban outfitters
hat - forever21
bag - flea market in spain

Magick Tools Safety 🕯

Before performing a ritual, spell, or setting up an altar, make sure that your tools are in their upmost state, and that everything is safe! Here are some simple tips to keep in mind.

• Most stones and crystals can be damaged by hot water - when cleaning them, always opt for cooler water temperatures. (Unless, in some cases, you know for sure that a specific crystal doesn’t take well to cool water. If you are not sure, try and research the properties of said crystal. Otherwise, very lukewarm or cool water should be fine).

• While the light and warmth of the sun is a wonderful thing, remember that leaving gemstones, crystals, fabrics, etc in direct sunlight can make them fade overtime. Some stones can also become broken or melted if left in sunlight for too long, so just be wary of where you choose to place them.

• Witches use lots of salt in their general practices, but remember, objects can be damaged by salt, too. Fabrics, metals, and leathers are prone to salt damage, both wet or dry. Try and reserve a special dish or bottle when using salt if you haven’t already, to keep your altar cloths // leather/metal tools extra safe.

• Stones are prone to heat damage. When smudging or lighting candles, make sure your crystals and stones are within a safe distance of the flame. It also goes without saying to keep your plants, tapestries, tarot cards, etc safely away from any open flames. Candles are wonderful, but can also be dangerous! Make sure they are always in a safe spot and won’t fall or damage anything surrounding it.

Witchcraft is an amazing practice, but should always be dealt with safely and smartly. Remember to be cautious about your objects, and your practice will go a whole lot smoother! ♡
The Game

Trent Seven/Reader/Tyler Bate/Pete Dunne
3250 words; smut/explicit

This contains spanking, if you’d like that as a warning and/or enticement.

-

Trent always likes to have the lads over to watch the football, but thus far, he’s only ever invited you to join them when it’s just him and Tyler. And you’re happy with that, because Tyler’s a good guy, so when Trent informs you that this afternoon it will be a party of four, you’re a little taken aback.

“Pete?” you say. “Are you sure?”

“Why not?” Trent asks. “You like him, don’t you?”

“Pete’s great,” you answer. “I love Pete, but he’s kind of a dick.”

Trent shrugs. “I can keep him under control.”

You slide your arms around his waist, looking up to kiss him, his moustache tickling your face. “You’re good at being in control,” you say softly, and he chuckles, the sound resonating through his broad chest in a way that hits you right there.

“I am,” he says. “So you’ll trust me to keep him on as tight a leash as necessary?”

“Fine,” you tell him, making a show of rolling your eyes, but the truth is you’re already wet just thinking about it.

Trent slaps your ass, hard enough to be a promise, and you smile at him.

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Process video of the color sketch of Olly’s grandparents and since it’s Benji picked a very Otis song felt it fit  u w u  if it’s blocked in your country you can watch it here

'Outlander' Postmortem: How production designer Jon Gary Steele built the 'A. Malcolm' print shop
Claire and Jamie (Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan) enjoy their reunion in A. Malcolm’s print shop (Photo: Starz)

Warning: This post contains spoilers for the “A. Malcolm” episode of Outlander.

A successful 18th century printer’s press like the one owned and operated by one A. Malcolm — a.k.a. James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser — doesn’t just spring up overnight. No, the lovely Edinburgh-based print shop where Outlander‘s long separated couple, Jamie and Claire, had their six-episodes-in-the-making reunion on this week’s super-sized installment took well over a year of careful planning and construction by the show’s production design team, headed by Jon Gary Steele. Speaking with Yahoo Entertainment, Steele reveals that his crew started work on A. Malcolm’s shop midway through shooting the show’s second season. “Halfway through one season, we always start on the next,” he says, which means his team is already deep into designing Season 4 while Season 3 is still airing. “It takes a lot of time to get these sets done.”

And key sets like the print shop are treated with exceptional care. Not only is it the scene of what’s arguably the season’s emotional high point so far, but it’s also an environment that fans of the Outlander novels have been waiting to see brought to life… and they’ll know if the details aren’t exactly right. Fortunately, Steele is as detail-minded as the show’s devoted fan base, whether he’s building Jamie’s printing press or the brothel pied-à-terre where the Frasers continue their reunion. “The reaction we get from the fans makes us excited and proud, because they love the detail, so we work harder to make everything better each season,” he says.

We spoke with Steele about building a working version of “Bonnie,” Jamie’s beloved printing press, and the little details he hopes fans notice in the episode’s two major sets.

As I understand it, you built an actual printing press for Sam Heughan to operate in the print shop scene.
Yes, we paid a specialist who does these recreations for universities, libraries, and museums, and had two of them built while we were filming Season 2. We also had someone come in and show Sam how to work it. Almost everything you see on that set was made [for the show]: every counter, every piece of print. I’ve had people ask me, “Why didn’t you put the print shop on one level?” I wanted two levels, because I thought it would be more visually interesting if Claire had to walk in and look down for the iconic scene of the reunion. I pitched it to Ron [Moore, the showrunner] and Matt [Roberts, the writer and producer] as it being a precursor to a factory. His store is upstairs, and then down below you can see all the workings. It was all built on one stage, and there’s catwalks and stairs that you can take. The downstairs was split in half with a wall of glass like the glass upstairs. It makes it more interesting for the camera. We didn’t want it to be a box: we wanted it to be possible for them to shoot it [from many angles].

Jamie hard at work over his beloved printing press, Bonnie (Photo: Starz)

Jamie names his printing press “Bonnie,” and in the book his name is carved on the frame. Did you replicate that detail?
I don’t think we did. I wish we had remembered to do that! We tried to fill the set with detail and make sure that no matter where you looked, it looked period-correct and that there’s stuff to shoot through, as well as hanging paper drying everywhere. We did tons of research and saw that printing presses in the 1700s had these tool leather walls, so we did our own version of that. That’s the most ornate part, and it’s in the store where Claire comes in. It’s more utilitarian downstairs.

Is this the model for how a well-off printing press might have looked in the 18th century versus a less-successful publisher?
Yes it was. We try to make everything look beautiful; even the ugliest stables, we try to make look as real as possible, but also beautiful in a way. And that’s what we tried to do here. For example, we spent a lot of time on the “A. Malcolm” sign that hangs outside. We knew it was a hugely important thing for fans of the book. I told the graphics people that I wanted to put lots of symbols into the sign, so we did all sorts of research into different symbols and incorporated them. There’s tin, because there’s tin in the press, as well as Jamie and Claire’s initials. We also wanted to be able to shoot through it so they could have camera on one side, while Claire comes up to it on the other. And they really did make signs like that: they were cast-iron and were pierced, so we tried to make it period-correct like that.

Claire examines the sign for A. Malcolm’s print shop (Photo: Starz)

Like many of the sets, the printing press is predominantly lit by candlelight. How does that factor into your designs?
We worry a lot about it. Back in Season 1, we used to joke that everything had to be brown with a bit of gray. It’s been fun to see more color appear. There’s a lot of red in the printing press, and we couldn’t use red in Season 1 because that was the color of the redcoats only! But everything is thought about with the candle in mind. We have candles, candelabras, and chandeliers on almost every set, and we also build fireplaces because that’s what they did in the 18th century: it was a source of heat and light. For exteriors, we have metal braziers. The DPs love them, and they look really good on film. When you shoot in a courtyard, it adds a little burst of golden color. We always take samples of colors and fabrics and hold them up next to the costumes, with candles next to that to see if they look good in candlelight or not. The DPs always make it look beautiful.

What’s one detail about the printing press you hope viewers at home notice?
My favorite part is the storeroom upstairs because of the walls. We put little bits of gold on the molding around the doorways and the bookcases when you walk into the room. I remember a carpenter going, “You want gold in the touch-up?” I told him that it’s just a highlight. When it’s lit with the candles and chandeliers, the gold shimmers in the light. That’s my favorite thing. Also, the tool leather walls that aren’t tool leather, but look like it!

Let’s turn to the Edinburgh brothel. You’ve designed a lot of brothels for the show already. How did you want this one to stand apart?
What I was trying to do was take this space and cover it in old rugs to make it look like a harem. The way I described it to Ron was, “I want to put built-in daybeds everywhere, with one in the center for the madam. And then everything around the openings will be covered with rugs.” He was like, “Rugs?” And I said, “Yeah, rugs. It’s not Paris — it’s more downscale.” We were trying rugs, and at first none of them matched, but then we found some we loved and made duplicates and covered the walls in the whole place so it creates a tapestry of rugs. And it works! It’s crazy, but it works. [Laughs]

And that was entirely your own invention?
This is my fourth year on the show, and you always want to do something different. We’ve done tons of taverns and a couple brothels before, and we know fans love this stuff. So even though it has to be period correct, we want [each set] to be special. Everyone on this show wants it to be special in every scene and in every detail, be it the armorer who does the guns or the set decoration or the costume designers or the props department. When you see Claire’s medicine kit for the next season, it’s like a piece of art — it’s stunning.

Jamie and Claire continue their reunion at Jamie’s apartment above a brothel (Photo: Starz)

Speaking to the beauty aspect, Jamie’s private room does seem a bit more romantic than an actual brothel likely would have been.
Anywhere that Jamie and Claire are going to have a romantic scene we try to make as sexy as we can, even if it’s a barn. They ended up having more scenes there than we thought, and the crew was actually a little angry about shooting in this little room. I was like, “This is way bigger than it should be. It’s really just a room in a brothel — this is the triple the size!” They need that room to shoot; it all works out and looks great.

Since they have to film so many intimate scenes, do Sam Heughan or Caitriona Balfe have special requests in terms of the kind of mattress or bedding they prefer to lie on?
We only try to make sure the bed’s big enough for Sam, because he’s 6’3″ long! There was one scene where the rug they were going to be on was really abrasive, so we had to swap that out. But they’re very kind and generous to us, and never really ask for anything from us. They always come and say thank you to all the departments about how beautiful everything is. That’s a good thing, because we’ve all been on projects where it’s not like that.

Any hidden details about the brothel you want to call out to eagle-eyed fans?
We put these little columns on the madam’s daybed. It was built especially for her so she could lounge on this giant daybed with thousands of pillows — kind of like an opium den, but it’s Scotland! So we put these big twist columns on there, as well as the fireplace mantles. Someone said, “That’s a little bit much for a brothel,” and I said, “If you can’t do it in a brothel, you can’t do it anywhere!” There’s certain sets that have to be exactly period correct, but we try to have fun with it [when we can].

Most of your pre-Outlander production design credits are films that take place in contemporary settings. Has it been fun living in the past for three seasons?
I love it! It’s the most fun stuff I’ve ever done. I love doing things like American History X and Cruel Intentions also, but it’s a dream to do the 18th century, because it’s such a beautiful period for design. We build so much stuff and research continuously; everybody in the department is always looking through books or magazines, and Google is huge. What’s interesting is that in Season 1, we would type “18th century” into Google and you’d get Game of Thrones or other period shows. Now when we’re researching stuff, we see pieces of our own sets! I should have stock in Google. [Laughs]

Outlander airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on Starz.

Read more from Yahoo Entertainment:
Notes from our ‘Outlander’ wine tasting
‘Outlander’ Postmortem: Toni Graphia on writing the prelude to the print shop scene: ‘Stay tuned!’
‘Outlander’ postmortem: Duncan Lacroix talks Murtagh Fraser’s surprise resurrection