I’ve Been Busy

Sorry I haven’t written recently. I’ve been busy with 21st/17th century pursuits. I finally finished the dimensional drawing of my doll-sized 17th century embroidered casket.


Here’s a cool X-ray image showing some of the 161 pieces.

It took me about 1 1/2 weeks of working 4-5 hours a day to get this far. The program I used was SketchUp Mark, a free CAD (computer-aided drafting) program. The learning process was slow and tedious and I made loads of mistakes.

I told my daughter that it was like playing a video game where you keep dying and have to start over again and again. Yes, I made many fatal errors. Some of them I could fix and some required going back to the beginning.

Now, I need to work on marking up all the parts with their measurements and producing usable working drawings.

But, as soon as I receive my hand-made, marbled paper from England, I can start lining the interior of the actual box. Yeah!


In the meantime, I have decided what to embroider on my trinket box


and have transferred my pattern to the sky BLUE duchess silk satin. The color doesn’t show up very well in the photo because the fabric is so shiny, but it is a beautiful shade of light BLUE.

The design is made up of cut-out images, mostly they are motifs provided in my Cabinets of Curiosity (CoC) class. I just resized them on my copier and cut and pasted.

To transfer the design I used my light box and traced the images with a Pigma Micron pen, size 01 in Sepia archival ink. The pen came with my class but can be found at craft and art supply stores. Since the embroidery will take a while and will be pretty heavy, I needed permanent drawings to follow.

I know I’m missing one side, but I haven’t decided yet what to do with the back of the box.  In my CoC class, I’ll be learning how to do silk, wrapped-card work and might use that for the back.


This 1655 casket shows wrapped-card work. It is owned by the Hampshire (England) Cultural Trust. Click this link if you want to see more pictures or read more about it.

I’m going to use the trinket box as a learning tool, so I plan to try many different techniques on it before I get started on the stitching of the 18 panels of embroidery I have to do for my casket.


My next step is to lace the fabric into my slate frame to prepare it for stitching. There are theories, but no one is sure why it is called a slate frame. This will be my first experience lacing one, but when I helped embroider Pocahontas’ wedding jacket last spring, I got to use slate frames. I love how they keep the work taut and make it easy to stitch.

This blogging stuff is definitely a journey. I started out writing 5 days a week, switched to 3, slacked off to 2 and now try to write at least once a week. Now that I am no longer lost in the CAD abyss and am almost finished with end-of-year business tax stuff, I’ll try to get back to blogging more regularly.  


I’ve Been Busy — 1 Comment

  1. I’ve gone and looked at the 17 th C. casket and I am amazed! Worked by an 11 yr old girl no less! Thanks for that link.
    I am so interested in your casket and enjoy every detail, whenever you have time to share it with us.