Sunday, December 26, 2010

Pasadena Archery is Today!

Since our monthly gathering got rained out last Sunday, we are meeting today. It did pour last night, so it's going to be muddy.  Tom Mills says the sun is out and come on down. So as soon as I eat some oatmeal and pack up my arrows, we'll be heading to the range. It's likely to be a slow turn-out being the day after Christmas and all, but we don't need a big group, just an enthusiastic one.  See you out there.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Rained Out in Pasadena CA

If you live in S. CA you'll know it's been raining raccoons and hedgehogs. So no archery meeting for us today.  But 2 of our archery friends are coming over tomorrow I think. That is if they don't need to come in a kayak.  The weather says even more rain is heading right for us.
The meeting is postponed until next Sunday as far as I know, but I doubt many will come the day after Christmas. They may have family obligations.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Our Next Gathering is This Sunday 12/19/2010

It's not only our next gathering, it's our last gathering this year. So come wring the last ounce of goodness out of 2010 by learning to make a wooden bow or arrows with us out at the Pasadena Arroyo.

And if you can't make it out there, here's a post on using epoxy to glue on your own arrow tips so you can make new arrows, or fix broken tips. Greenman Archery: Gluing Arrow Tips with Epoxy. 
Unless you are one of those perfect archers that never breaks off a tip.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

How to Add Arrow Points With Epoxy by Guy Taylor

Useful for making wood arrows and fixing wood arrows. You might want to follow his youtube stream.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Santiago Archery Range

Guy and I made it out to the range in Santa Ana (Santiago) to shoot some arrows. Only I was shooting arrows and he was schmoozing. Then it got dark. He never got to shoot a single arrow. There were about a dozen people there. One guy named Frank was a great storyteller. Too great maybe because I'm still spooked out about the supposedly true story of a man in the country who would skin tourists and make tools out of their bones, and another story about an assassin whose weapon of choice was a knitting needle. Shudders. Glad it wasn't dark and we weren't camping.

That target they have is rather odd.  One archer said it's made out of old carpeting and then painted.  If I hit the target near the center, my arrows would just bounce off.  Maybe that's why the other people were shooting at balloons.

I just found this article about the park. The author doesn't say much about the archery range but it's obvious he wants to change the park so it's more suited to families. So if you are so inclined he lists information for any of you archers to speak up and say you don't want the archery range mucked with. And archery is a family sport even if the author, who is apparently Latino, sees no use for it. He makes one comment about the Lawn Bowling only being used by elderly white people. The comments are priceless.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Paleo Meeting Moved to Nov 28, 2010

Paleoplanet is meeting in Pasadena on Sunday. Last weekend was our scheduled date but that got changed because the other club is using the whole range, including our work area. I hope we don't get rained out. I'm planning to go at this point.

My friend Ken won't make it. His baby is in the hospital and there is no way he's leaving that area.  Or hopefully by Sunday they'll be back at home in their own beds. It is their first child and my heart goes out to them. Sure hope the Drs. figure out what is wrong pretty darn quick.

Sal at the Gene Foster Shoot

If you are going on Sunday, I'll see you out there (I hope).

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Ikea Cave Man

Watch this guy make a fire with parts from Ikea.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Gene Foster Recap

It's good to be home. I was pretty tired after the Gene Foster Traditional Archery Rendezvous. Seems I'm allergic to sleeping in a tent in 27 degree weather. So I never actually did any archery. I was too tired to be running around with pointy objects.

I was inspired however, and first thing this morning I went to the leather shop and got some leather to make a new quiver. My canvas quiver is rather an embarrassment and is falling apart after several years of use.

This event had everything I love about events and everything I hate.

On the plus side:

1. I met fun new people

2. I got to know old friends better

3. I got to meet my friend's new baby Jack

4. I got some exercise hiking over hill and dale

5. The weather was perfect during the day times

6. We had great food cooked in our campsite

7. I saw some amazing archery

8. My friends won some raffle prizes

9. There was a great jam session with banjo, guitar, flutes, and drums on Sat. night

10. Our booth earnings paid for our trip

On the minus side:

1. The drunken idiots that kicked us out of the clubhouse at 10 PM so they could shoot arrows indoors.

2. The member's only indoor bathroom and showers (don't invite guests unless they can use the facilities.

That's four days without a hot shower if anyone is counting).

3. Sore losers who got mad when their friend didn't win the best arrow design contest.

4. Freezing temperatures at night and nowhere to escape from them.

5. Charlie horses...why do I always get those when I'm camping.

6. Musical chairs. I got up to get my dinner in the clubhouse, and someone else pushed all my stuff aside and sat in my chair. My friend got up to get seconds and someone stole his chair entirely, even though his wife was sitting right next to it.

7. Another vendor was selling beaded earrings just like I was. Only hers were $2.00 a pair. And I hear she goes every year so people just assume they can buy her stuff for next to nothing.

8. I was so exhausted with all the packing, booth setting up, booth tearing down, re-packing, and unpacking, I was too tired to do much of anything else.

9. Old men telling tall tales. Did you know big foot was dropped here by aliens?

10. Cuts and bruises from setting up and tearing down camp.

Ah well, that's the best of it and the worst of it.
Would I go back to this event again? Probably not unless I buy an RV some day. It's just too far, too cold, and I didn't really feel welcome there. If I'm just going to meet with friends and shoot arrows, there are much closer venues to do that.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Gene Foster Shoot

Soon we'll be off to the Gene Foster Shoot by Fresno.  I hate packing the truck though. We never have enough space. And I'm never sure which projects I want to work on.  Can't take everything. We just got a new tent so at least we should stay dry. I am taking the tools to work on my atlatl. At the last event we only stayed 24 hours so I didn't have time for any projects. The archery shoot and thrown weapons workshops took all my time.

Hopefully at the 4 day Gene Foster Shoot I'll get around to some of those projects.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Amazing Bowfishing from a Kayak They've turned off the embedding so you'll have to follow the link if you want to see it.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Queen's Champion Archery Recap SCA

We came back a day early from Queen's Champion Archery at Live Oak Park. Bad weather and low attendance are the kiss of death for vendors.

It wasn't a total waste though. I got to throw axes, knives and spears, and shoot some arrows. I got authorized by the SCA in thrown weapons, which I'm very excited about.  And for the performance portion of the test, I threw one axe, it stuck in the target and she passed me!   Ace!

Those people are very interested in atlatls, so I really need to hone my atlatl skills so I can do a demo for them soon. I need to take my atlatls to every paleoplanet gathering from now on or I'll never get better. I have no place to practice in my apt. complex. The neighbors would flip out.

It was a long drive home last night. Guy is still tuckered out and sleeping in. He did most of the tear down yesterday with the heavy stuff. My back was none too happy. In cold weather my hips and back ache and lifting is difficult. When I do less, Guy has to do more. Either that or we need to kidnap helpers.

I had a good time with Rino and Joshua, two new SCA friends. Both of them are fine archers. I was wiped out immediately in the double elimination but they went on shooting and Rino ended up in second place, losing out to an archer named James.

There was also an equestrian competition. The horses were in all their finery. But I decided events for me are about doing, not watching, and by the time I was done with the archery competition and lunch, all the lovely horses were done and on the way to their trailers. Darn it all, I wanted to take photos of them too.

So then I got to watch the thrown weapons competition. A big guy in a kilt was amazing with all three weapons. I believe his name is Angus. I'll post photos whenever I find my camera. We still need to unload the truck.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Steampunk and Archery

I have been tossing around an idea of making a Steampunk archery kit. Copper colored arrows with copper tips, a bow with metal tips and a copper grip.  A hip quiver with cogs and wheels and clockworks. I've never seen such a thing, and I don't know if I can pull it off, but I can try.

And while I'm here, I have some photos of last Sunday's Paleoplanet gathering in Pasadena, CA where Dr. Stickle talked about the clovis point that was found in Malibu a few years ago.

Chris and Carrie demonstrate how to use an atlatl. 

Roland shares his loom beadwork.

A guest tries out the atlatl for the first time.

I shot 99 arrows.

Carl in the plaid shirt is a well known SCA archer (Carollus). 
Next to him in the white jacket is Dr. Stickle.
The man with his arms crossed is Tom Mills co-founder of
Sorry I don't know the names of the rest of the guests.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Two New Paleoplanet Babies

Tomorrow I'm off to another Paleoplanet meet up at the range in Pasadena, CA. It's been a bit drizzly so I don't know what to expect weather wise, but I should probably bring a rain hat and a sweater just in case. I missed last months meeting because I was up in Atascadero visiting family, so I'm looking forward to tomorrow.

Now I need to figure out what I want to work on tomorrow. Gourds? Arrows? Bows? Atlatls? Darts? So many projects, so little time. I think Guy has some arrows to deliver too.

Two members have given birth to baby boys since I went last! Maybe archery makes you fertile. Better watch out.

Congrats to Ken and his family and Derrick and his family.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Making Bow Socks for Archery

My house has been full of projects. And here is why:

This batch of bow socks are the best Guy has ever made. He's even making some that are lined this time, for those that want the security of some extra padding for their bow.  So the dye pot has been bubbling, the sewing machines have been humming, and the iron has been keeping everything under control.

The autumn is beautiful in Southern CA. Now if only we could get out of the apt. and shoot some arrows.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Photos from Paleoplanet last Sunday

We had a record number of atlatls it seems, between Chris' collection and Tom's collection. I have many more photos posted here:

I worked on beaded earrings and got 4 pairs made. I talked to George who just visited his family in Ireland. He was working on a new longbow.

Erick, who I first met at an SCA archery shoot showed up as well. He had cracked his bow, and Ken was measuring him for a new one. Erick is multi-talented. He plays the bagpipes too. I wish he'd brought them. So many of us are musicians, we really need a jam session where we are not making bows and arrows and tools.

It was a full day. It always takes me a day to recover after so much excitement.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Paleoplanet Member Gets Exposure on Etsy

Handmade Portraits: Old School Tools from Etsy on Vimeo.

Friends from Paleoplanet told me about this guy who is on Etsy. Since I'm on both, I thought I'd get the word out about his life and video.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

New Bowyers Gathering Paleoplanet OC Branch

Greetings all. I'm announcing a new gathering.

I was going to call it the OC Chapter, but 'branch' seemed like an appropriate moniker if we are going to be making bows out of branches. This idea has been kicking around in my head for nearly a year, but it finally seemed like the time to launch it. For those of you who can't make it to Pasadena or who want to work on your bows in a group more than once a month, we are going to start a gathering at Mile Square Park in Fountain Valley (Orange County) CA. It will be the first Sunday of each month, barring schedule conflicts, starting on August 1, 2010.

I'm hoping to have it half way between the street and the archery range. Those who want to shoot arrows can take the short hike to the range, and those with heavy benches, tools and rock to haul will be sprawled out under the shade trees outside of the range (since the range itself has almost no shade). Mile Square Park is a regional park so if you park inside it's going to cost you. Happily though, there is usually street parking, which is free. I've already got 6 or 7 people that said they'd come out and join us.

This group isn't to replace the Pasadena one in any way, but to spread the joy of primitive skills and make it available to more people.

I'm also hoping Marianne will merge her Stitch and Bitch group with us as well, since half the group seems to be going to the Paleoplanet gatherings already and she lives in Fountain Valley. That park also has 2 small lakes, and other things for families to do. The parking is better earlier in the day, so if you need to be close, come early. The range is free but every once in a while it's reserved for a private event by the SCA or boyscouts, so be flexible. It's not like all of us don't have many other things to do, right?

More details to follow as August approaches.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Bowyer's Bench

Ever wish you could make your own bow for archery? Here is a bow bench my boyfriend just finished from some directions he found in an archery magazine.

You can make a bow without a bench, but you have so much more control with something that holds the stave while you shave the wood. If you poke around though his blog there are other photos of him making the bench.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Meeting Moved.

The Paleoplanet meeting is this Sunday. It was supposed to be last Sunday but the range had a schedule conflict. If I was supposed to bring anyone anything please remind me. I'd like to finish my atlatl darts by then but I'm running out of time.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Making Atlatl Darts

Our Paleoplanet meeting that was supposed to be today got moved to next Sunday because of a schedule conflict at the archery range. Even so I decided to work on my darts instead yesterday. I should work on them more today but I'm a little burned out on the project. It's taking me forever.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Atlatl Time

I just got back from the Conejo Archers traditional shoot in Simi Valley. What perfect weather we had! We are so spoiled in S. California.

I met two atlatl makers named Chris and Cary.  Coincidentally they also use the name Paleoarts. When I ferret out their business card from our many bins, I'll add their link. Cary lent me a fancy atlatl to test out. I didn't have much luck with it, but she's really good with it. I think you just have to try a bunch of styles and weights until you find one that works with your hand, arm, shoulder form of throwing.

I found that one of Tom Mill's atlatl's worked really well for me so I traced that one to make my own hopefully. It's going to go into the 'roundtoit' pile until I have more time. I'm taking today off just to unpack, do camping laundry, and get my banking into order because those bills keep coming whether I'm out of town or not.

After the dust settles, I need to finish my own atlatl darts.

On Friday I tried out atlatl's again for the first time in about five or six years. That first contest I only got an 8, but the next day I did it again and got 23, so I'm improving already. Go me!
Sunday I was manning the arrow booth so I missed not one but two atlatl contests. Ah well, I'll have to wait until the next Pasadena meet to try again.

Photos soon. I have to unbury my camera before I can download them.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Repost from my Fiber Arts Blog on Why Don't Men Knit

Recently another photographer invited me to join a survivalist group on Flickr called Self Reliance For Survival.
As I was contemplating about what appropriate photos I could add, I thought spinning would be a good one. Then I thought about a topic that kind of chaps my hide, so to speak.
Many times when I'm knitting or crocheting or doing other fiber arts, men will walk by and roll their eyes and say something like, "um, knitting, or hmpf quilting, my wife does that." And then they'll go back to working on their knife or their bow or their atlatl darts. Very few of the men say, "Wow, you can knit. Can you show me how?" I think it's happened once and I even remember the guy who said it.
And no, he wasn't gay. He's one of our best archers and teachers.

So what's the deal guys? Don't you realize that to be a true survivalist you need as many fiber skills as you can master? You can't always rely on a deer walking by so you can shoot it, and skin it to make clothing or shelter.

With knitting or crochet or weaving you can make coats, blankets, hats, socks, gloves, shelters, slings, bow socks, hammocks, and so much more. With quilting you can take old clothes, save the good bits and make new blankets and jackets and vests. If you are a big, brave, strong guy are you afraid people will think you are a pansy if you whip out the knitting?

In a bartering society, you might need things you don't know how to make, like butter or candles. You might need to trade for eggs, lye, coffee, or fence posts. If you know how to weave you can make things to trade like baskets, sunhats, mats, potholders. One guy I know made his own hat out of pussywillows.

I hope you men will rethink your attitude towards fiber arts. If you don't want to do them yourself, at least don't belittle the women in your life that do them. They deserve as much respect as a knifemaker or a bowyer. And for you few guys out there that do knit and weave maybe you can convince the other guys you know to give it a try.

Knitted Skull Cap

Crocheting a Raffia Hat

Small woven tapestry

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Paleoplanet Members Meet for the April Gathering in Pasadena CA

The April get together last Sunday was fabulous. Perfect weather, a medium sized turn-out so we weren't overcrowded, and a kite chasing a red tail hawk. Someone who found us on the Internet showed up. Her name is Kate and she got her first chance ever to shoot a bow from Steve aka Badger.

Kate and Badger

I worked on my Japanese braiding with the kit I bought at the SCA collegium a week ago. It's working, but the bobbins quickly got into a tangled mess and I'm sure there must be a better way.

When I got two frustrated with the Japanese braiding, I switched to needlepunch and worked on my moon and stars design. I freehand draw all my designs in pencil on the back of the fabric.

I taught Paige some embroidery stitches a month ago and I'll be darned if she didn't find some info on the Internet for blackwork and she's already doing a fancy border for her first SCA garb. Paleoplanet isn't affiliated with the SCA but we have some crossover from people who belong to both groups.

Close up of Paige's Embroidery Project

Michael got David going on some chainmail.   And I worked on my needlepunch some too.

David working on chainmaile.

Michael working on a bow.

Aimee came a bit later and did some sketching and worked on some other projects. She brought some gourd canteens she'd made that were gorgeous.

Aimee's canteen gourds.

Aimee and Guy doing archery together.

There was a lot of bowmaking going on too. And some people got in some practice with slings. We are an eclectic bunch and there is always something new to do and learn.

Sal has helped many beginning bowyers.

Barbara was knitting a  blue baby sweater. She's new to knitting so when she got a little lost on how to do the sleeves, she crocheted them instead. That's exactly why I try to get knitters to learn crochet and vice versa. The more skills the better, right?

Barbara designed this baby sweater.

I took photos. I'll add some here. I'd point you to the thread on, but sadly, any link I put will just dump you on the top of the forum and you'd have to do some digging under the primitive bows thread to find them.

Can you believe we have this much fun for free? All you have to do is show up. If you plan to make a bow though, contact Tom Mills or Ken and get a list of what to bring to make your bow out of. We have some loaner tools, or you can bring your own spokeshave, drawknife, and sanding and scraping tools. Ken usually brings a tillering tree.

See you next month.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Bowyers Meet in Pasadena March 2010

Last Sunday we went to Pasadena once again to work on bows, arrows, knapping, atlatls and other primitive projects. Some of our members were off at Valley of Fire doing the atlatl competition, but we still had an amazing turn-out.  Tim Baker was there for the first time in a long time, and he's my frisbee buddy so we had a great time throwing the disc around. Some of the kids joined in the game too.

Diane brought her honey Gary and her poodle Missy. I worked on embroidery and she worked on beads. Paige and Mike were there and I got Paige started on some embroidery. Wish I'd gotten some photos of that.

Guy and Roland busted up a toilet for knapping. Fondly termed Johnnystone or Johnstone, it's a free source of knapping material to learn on.

Sidney and James from the SCA came by. Sidney has a Martin Stick Bow just like mine so I lent James mine and the two of them went off and enjoyed the roving range together. Sidney used the arrows she got from Guy Taylor. Guy's blog is over in the side bar (Greenman Archery).

At the next gathering the Valley of Fire crusaders will no doubt show up with new atlatl's and stories of conquering the wooly mammoth. So if you missed us we'll be there on the third Sunday of next month unless instructed otherwise.

Diane and Missy

Roland and Guy making johnstone

Andrew shooting with a broken arm.

Mike working on a longbow.

Gary tuning a bow.

Lauren, Tom, and Jon talking shop.

Me enjoying the sunshine.