last day of 2007, first ever guest post
First, take a bamboo slat left over from building your backyard fence and bend it into a circle. (Soaking it in the warm bathtub your child has just vacated helps with flexibility). Pre-drill a couple of holes at the overlap, thread some hemp twine through them, and then whip the twine around the overlap for a firm fit. The diameter of this shield is about 20", a dimension determined more by the available felt and the flex of the bamboo than any other considerations.
Next, attach the felt to the bamboo frame, again with the twine. A tapestry needle is crucial here, as it punches a nicely-sized hole through the felt without any risk to your flesh. I don't know the name of the stitching I used, but you can see how it cinches the felt around the outside of the frame while tightly fitting within. A rustic look is good.
Stencil, paint, embroider, or otherwise decorate the felt; I stenciled it after sewing the felt to the frame in order to ensure a centered design. I would also note that Athena's shield was generally depicted with Medusa on it as well, but I didn't want serpentine overkill.
The cross-bracing was added to take the slack out of the felt, as well as to provide attachment for the handles. The tension of the bowing keeps the bamboo in place, but a little hot glue helps.
Wrap a short piece of bamboo with the twine and cut a narrow strip of leather, suede, or some other sturdy yet soft material to match. These are the handles. Actually, the arm goes through the former and only the latter is strictly a handle. I made the strap extra-long to accommodate future growth. I also tied the handle and strap to the cross-bracing, to allow for adjustment.
Then, take a couple of blurry pictures with your borrowed camera and post to your wife's blog for posterity.
Speaking of which, let's not end the year without a picture of the Christmas table linens Angelique made (yup, those are scraps from Iris' curtains all right):
Happy new year to all and to all a good night!