Saturday, March 3, 2018

Keep An Eye Out For Stolen Crafty Celts Art

If you're part of any of the Renfaire, historical costuming, PHA, fandom cosplay, or related communities, or if you've drooled over the bling on the Vikings TV show, you probably know The Crafty Celts. If you don't, you're seriously, seriously missing out on some of the best Iron/Bronze Age replica/inspired gear out there, and I'll wait right here if you wanna hop over to these links or the ones further down the page and remedy that.

Crafty Celts have been a fabulous part of so many such gatherings and events for the last 30-ish years, and now they could use some help.


So, if you see or hear something that doesn't smell right, let them know, and let them take it from there. A word on any of their various  pages to let them know you hope things go well wouldn't be bad either.

This dirtbaggery massively sucks on several levels, but one aspect that really bugs me is that a lot of these events aren't just craft shows or weekend entertainment. They're miniature communities on their own, made up of people that don't always fit that nice, neat social norms space labeled "mainstream" or "average" or "normal". They're our places to be ourselves, around other people who generally get where we're at and don't think we need a psych evaluation or an intervention because we think period digs are a perfectly awesome fashion statement, or we'd rather hang out with pre-Christian deities than Jesus, or we geek out over history and archaeology.

Ripping off artists that have put a lot of time, research, and hard work into such quality pieces and then take on even more work to bring them to their public at local festivals is bad enough. But when somebody steals from someone at one of these events, it's often more or less stealing from your own family or friends.

That pretty much means the thieves are not only pathetic little rat bastards, they're an offense to the gods and Ancestors venerated by the same cultures Crafty Celts' work represents.

May the weight of their actions come back to them in appropriate measure until they make honorable restitution (wish goes out).

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Guns & Ovaries, or A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Thoughts & Prayers

$20 and a case of decent beer says all you'd get is a picture of two adjacent circles with  little bullseyes in the middles and some GOoPer giggling "boobies!". Y'all lemme know if you get a chance to see if I'm right or not, neh?

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Portable Weirdness At Latta Plantation Celtic Festival 2018

Portable Weirdness will be at the 2018 Celtic Festival at Latta Plantation March 17th-18th. I'll have some new rocks and fossils, bling, neolithic knives, all the Usual Suspects, and Miles Batty will be tethered to a decently sturdy haggis for book signing, questions, ponderings, and well-constructed verbal wrangling.


If you're with any group doing historic camp (Iron Age up through 10th century gear), they crank up a day early on the 16th. I'll be there for set up, so you guys get a sneak preview, but you may get put to work!
If you're day tripping, the action gets going at 10 am both days. Admission is $8 ($7 for seniors and students), and that covers pretty much everything from music and performers, educational presentations and demonstrations, the crafters & vendors marketplace, and cooing at the coo.

 There's also seriously good munchies and drinks (and beer) available, including haggis, scotch eggs, and Cornish pasties.

Protip: a lot of of the vendors can take cards (including me), but IIRC, the food vendors don't, and there's not an ATM on site. So obtain some paper money afore ya get here. It'll be worth it, I swear on my pet wombat Eric's third left toenail ;0)

See ya there  ;0)

Sunday, October 29, 2017

New Portable Weirdness Goodies From Asheville GL & W

Rocks from the GL & W Asheville show and a little schwag from Cherry Tree Beads! FInally got to go by their brick & mortar after about four years of being in Asheville at the wrong time of day. Great staff, awesome inventory, prices that let you be bad and still be good ;0)

Gorgeous hematoid quartz megapebbles

Calcite & chloride included quartz
Honking huge calcite & chloride included quartz - Imma name it Ralph

Ocean jasper - leetle quartz fellers peeking out of the crevice of the big one ;0)
Larimar roughish beads - stay tuned for finished projects

Where else am I gonna find jellyfish beads?

Meme A Day-ish, or #Resisting Positivly Crabby Karma

Because Made Of Win ;0)

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Shoulda Wooda Coulda Shop Safety Rules

Shoulda Wooda Coulda Class Shop Safety
or, “How to leave with the same number of fingers, toes, and eyeballs you came in with”

Personal Stuff:
Safety glasses: these are your buddies whenever you’re using anything that throws off particles or sparks that can get in your eyes. That would be most power tools, especially sanders, grinder and buffer wheels, and saws. If you have regular glasses they can serve the same purpose if they give you enough cover, but you may want to consider that the average pair of glasses may be damaged or shatter if something big enough or fast enough hits them.

Breathing masks/respirators: you’re gonna want to have one of these on when you’re doing anything that creates a good amount of fine particle dust, like sanding or grinding. They’re also a good idea if you have extra tricky respiratory concerns or you’re particularly susceptible to strong smells or fumes.

Ears: ear plugs or other covers that help block really loud, shrill sounds are a good idea when you’re running a hefty number of power tools, especially belt sanders or grinder wheels. Note: using loud, shrill sounds from your phone playlist to block out loud, shrill sounds from tools does not count.

Footwear: sandals, flip flops, or other shoes that don’t cover your whole foot are a bad idea in a shop. Stuff gets dropped, sharp pointy things wind up on the floor, and you’re also likely going to be standing on a hard floor for a good bit of the time. Wear something that gives you good cover and decent support.

Clothes: go for clothes that you’re okay with messing up, and are comfortable but not loose and flappy. Clothes that trail or hang too loosely can get caught by things with blades that spin real fast. The distressed look is a perfectly good fashion statement, but that’s not the recommended way to do it.

Hair & Jewelry: long hair and dangling jewelry and accessories can present the same problem as loose clothes. If your hair is past your shoulders, it’s best to tie it back in a ponytail or stuff it up under a hat, kerchief, scarf, etc. Take off jewelry; yeah, I know, “but my wedding ring!!!!”. But you’re more likely to get to keep the ring and the finger you wear it on if it doesn’t get chewed up by a piece of equipment.

Read the safety information on any chemical you use. If the cautions tell you to wear gloves, a respirator, ventilate the area, etc., go with those recommendations. They came about because somebody went to the Emergency Room after working without doing them.

Don’t use tools if you’re incapacitated. That’s French for “don’t work stoned, plastered, or loopy”. It also means
to be aware of when you’re too tired or sick to be really focused on what you’re doing or if chemical fumes are getting to you.

Tool & Equipment Stuff:
SLOWER IS BETTER. You’re less likely to have a piece get out of control or damage yourself or tools if you take a little extra time with what you’re doing, and you haven’t really saved  time if you mess the project up and have to fix or redo  it.

“Measure twice, cut once” has been a maxim for craftspeople since at least the 16th century for a good reason. That sort of goes hand in hand with that “take a little extra time and get it right on the first go” thing in #5.

Always check the on switch before you plug a power tool in. If you figure this is too fussy, just ask me what a belt sander shaped hole in a window looks like. Also, check any power cords for damage to the insulating cover.

Always make sure any detachable blades, bits, or wheels are attached securely and in decent shape; not missing a bunch of teeth, not warped or bent, not rusty or anything else that might be a problem if the thing starts moving really fast. Not only is it not safe, it’s also bad for the tool.

Make sure any tool with a moving part has stopped moving before you touch it or set it down. DO NOT EVER TRY TO STOP A MOVING BLADE OR BIT WITH YOUR HANDS. I DON’T GIVE A HAIRY RAT’S BUTT IF YOU HAVE REALLY SUPER GREAT GLOVES ON OR YOUR GRAMPA USED TO DO IT ALL THE TIME. DON’T DO IT. If you need to move cut off pieces of material away from a blade, use a stick or tongs that keep your hand away from the blade.

Cut away from your body as much as possible. If you have to handle a large piece of material, get another person to help hold and stabilize it as you cut.

 If a blade is dull, sharpen it or change it out to avoid breakage or having the knife go out of control from using too much force. If you’re using a carving tip, gouge, or razor blade, it’s a good idea to wear a Kevlar glove on your non-carving hand.

Table saws, chop saws, and other power tools can throw off material (the stuff you’re working on) as its cut loose from the main piece. Wear protective gear like safety glasses or a face shield, and be aware as you’re cutting.

If a power tool’s blade, bit, or other moving part gets “in a bind” (caught in the material) stop the tool immediately. Remove the tool from the material, try to see what the problem is, and alter the situation to fix it. This may mean repositioning the material, cutting a different way, changing the blade or bit, or using a hand saw or other tool to get past a knot, a hidden nail, or other obstacle.

Just be smart. Simply paying attention and staying focused on what you’re doing is the #1 thing you can do to prevent accidents and screw ups. Don’t try to eat, drink, vape, text, talk on your phone, take pictures, etc. while you’re working on a piece. If you need to do any of that, stop, put the tool down, and take care of it.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Somebody Needs A Good Kneeing

I refuse to keep having this conversation:

Objector: Kneeling during the anthem is disrespectful! It's a slam at our flag, our country, our military, and the rule of law!

Snooze: How is kneeling disrespectful?

Objector: It's disrespectful! People that do it should be locked up!

Snooze: How is it disrespectful? Are people disrespectful when they kneel in church, or at a gravesite, or when they propose?


Largely because it's not really a conversation, or a call to protect First Amendment rights. It's just parroted gaslighting rhetoric trying to pass bigotry off as an "alternative viewpoint" and any voicing of a diverging opinion as a violation of the Constitution. The First Amendment does not guarantee anyone the right to speak without objection, dissent, or counter point. It also does not guarantee the right to carry forth opinions into actions that take away the rights guaranteed to others by the same document. Scream and rant and gnash your teeth all you want. But you don't get to stop anyone else doing the same. And kneeling quietly is a damned far, far cry from the tantrum I see objectors throwing. Keep insisting that I MUST listen to you without objection though, and you might take a knee that'll annoy you even more.