All Blog Posts (201)

Samson, 1998-2011

I never did post about him much, because he just wasn't as photogenic as Loiosh or as loving as Chocolate. In fact, he hated all humanity and barely tolerated me. But I loved him, and he was as sweet as his nature allowed him to be.

I let Samson go today. It wouldn't have been a kindness to make him stay longer and he wasn't getting any better. But I don't want to talk about his death; I want to talk about his life.

I called him Samson Hatesyouall because, well, he did. He… Continue

Added by Kate Jones on April 14, 2011 at 12:04pm — 2 Comments

Wordless Wednesday


Added by Kate Jones on April 11, 2011 at 10:28am — No Comments

It's the little things...

I withdrew some money from my new bank last week -- usually I use the ATM, but I needed a pair of tens, not a twenty, so I went through the drive through.

As usual, my cash showed up in one of those little paper envelopes they use. A waste of paper for something that's just going to get thrown away or at best recycled, but I get why they don't want to send cash through the tubes without… Continue

Added by Kate Jones on April 8, 2011 at 1:33pm — No Comments


It's something we all need, and it's something we don't get enough of.

I've been getting a lot of downtime recently. The day after my last post, I got up at about 9:30...and then, almost on a whim, climbed back into bed and snuggled my Chocolate-kitty for about two hours.

I mean, who could resist that face?

Downtime is important --… Continue

Added by Kate Jones on April 7, 2011 at 10:36am — No Comments

Tonight's Super Moon March 19th, 2011

Tonight we have a very special full moon...

When you step outside tonight, don't forget to take a good look up at the sky.…


Added by Denise Morgan (Helping Hand) on March 19, 2011 at 2:13pm — No Comments

Ancient Instruments- pt. 4 Lute

Lute is almost a general term for any instrument with frets,

strings, and a deep shell or back. The Lute(s) experienced its peak in popularity around the Renaissance and Baroque periods. Though their history is debated, Lutes may have been in existence for over 1000 years prior.

The length of the neck can categorize these fascinating instruments,…


Added by Dept of PMM Castle Life on March 17, 2011 at 11:56pm — No Comments

Saint Patrick's Day

Saint Patrick's Day


Saint Patrick's Day (Irish: Lá Fhéile Pádraig) is a religious holiday celebrated internationally on 17 March. It is named after Saint Patrick (c. AD 387–461), the most commonly recognised of the patron saints of Ireland. It originated as a Roman Catholic holiday but is now…


Added by Denise Morgan (Helping Hand) on March 17, 2011 at 3:30pm — No Comments

A lot of work!

We, the admin, are doing a lot to improve your experience on site and we have a ton of stuff in the works.


Did you notice?

  • Hall of Steel got a lovely makeover :D
  • All of the department groups have been color coded. If its sub text is in color you know it belongs to a department. For example, all Castle Life groups are highlighted in blue. 
  • We've got business cards!!! If you are an…

Added by WarMouse -Manager- on March 9, 2011 at 11:45am — No Comments

Spotlight: Gypsy Vanner Horse

The Gypsy people, or Romani,  traveled from place to place working as tinkers, metalworkers, horse traders, fortune tellers, and entertainers. As their way of living and transportation evolved, they began to switch from tents to wagons. The caravan, or Vardo, was a… Continue

Added by Dept of PMM Castle Life on March 8, 2011 at 4:43pm — No Comments

Friday Feature: Knits by Regina

I met Regina on the Creative Cafe, which I've posted about here plenty of times before. Regina's pretty new to selling on Etsy but obviously not to crafting -- she has a wide and impressive variety of talents.

Her Etsy shop is called… Continue

Added by Kate Jones on March 7, 2011 at 1:14pm — No Comments

Tasty Tidbits: Simplify Your Site!

It's pretty inevitable, and I'm as guilty of it as anyone else -- you've got a website, and there are so many awesome plugins, apps and widgets out there. Plugins that keep track of your calendar, widgets that show your recent Twitter posts, apps that rotate pictures of your adorable kitty for all to see. Who could resist?

So you load up on em. I did. I bet you did. We… Continue

Added by Kate Jones on March 3, 2011 at 3:04pm — No Comments

Tuesday Feature: Beech Boxes!

Peek at these handmade Beech wood boxes from Hip Folk Art. On hand and for sale.

Hip Folk Art Work Box Beech #7 $36.00 + S/H&I



Added by Dept of PMM Castle Life on March 1, 2011 at 11:57pm — No Comments


I've been pretty stressed lately -- and I should post about why, shouldn't I, pretty soon -- and that's led me to another gratitude post, because that's how I roll.

This one's mostly about the cats, because that, too, is how I roll.

Things I am grateful for:

  • Waking up to my Chocolate-kitty, snuggled up and purring.…

Added by Kate Jones on March 1, 2011 at 3:02pm — 5 Comments

Project Log: Upcycled Fingerless Gloves

So I had this pair of socks that I loved.

They were my first pair of Smartwool socks, one of the first pair of cute socks I ever bought for myself, and somehow they became a symbol of my new independence.

I wore them all the time.

My Favourite Socks

Alas, I wore them until I… Continue

Added by Kate Jones on February 28, 2011 at 5:38pm — No Comments

Seeking a new housemate in Maryland

What has been on my mind a lot lately is that I need just one more person (that will make 3, total) to live here with me in Bowie, MD in my 4 bedroom split level house (I'm also a renter here).  I'm wondering if anyone knows someone looking for a place and I'm hoping to work this out soon.  So, if you wonderful folks know of anyone that is looking for a place please send them my way.




Added by Ariana Lightningstorm on February 27, 2011 at 9:21am — No Comments

Tuesday Feature: Bamboo Nation

Richard Edwards specializes in handcrafting drinking vessels, canes/staffs, scroll cases, and incense burners & boxes from Bamboo.


Based in Florida, Richard, takes custom orders and performs custom wood burning for your original, one-of-a-kind (OOAK) pieces. The…


Added by Dept of PMM Castle Life on February 23, 2011 at 10:23pm — No Comments

Introducing: Notions!

I really wasn't sure what to call them. 'Accessories' seems so...impersonal. I went looking for synonyms and didn't get anywhere useful. I sew in my free time, and when you're sewing you call these sorts of things 'notions', so that's what I settled on.

What am I on about? Just this: after three years of selling naught but my own work I've decided to add to my wares. I did a lot of searching and a lot of product testing and in the end I've found a couple of things I… Continue

Added by Kate Jones on February 22, 2011 at 11:19am — 3 Comments

Tasty Tidbit: Newsletter!

Tasty Tidbits As those of you who subscribe to the Om Shanti Handcrafts Newsletter already know, I've revamped it again -- this time, by moving things over to MailChimp. They have lovely email templates (thus saving me from having to deal with the HTML myself), they keep track of subscribing and unsubscribing folks for… Continue

Added by Kate Jones on February 21, 2011 at 10:12am — No Comments

Friday Feature: A Menagerie!

Friday Feature on Om Shanti Handcrafts This week's Friday Feature is a bit of a mix of stuff -- some jewelry, some knitting, and some stuff I just couldn't categorize; some Etsy shops and some personal websites.

It's all worth a look!…

Purple Pearls & Smoky Quartz Topaz Necklace by Sophie Luck


Added by Kate Jones on February 18, 2011 at 11:57am — No Comments

Wordless Wednesday

Added by Kate Jones on February 16, 2011 at 12:28pm — 2 Comments



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Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries had its humble beginnings as an idea of a few artisans and craftsmen who enjoy performing with live steel fighting. As well as a patchwork quilt tent canvas. Most had prior military experience hence the name.


Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries.


Vendertainers that brought many things to a show and are know for helping out where ever they can.

As well as being a place where the older hand made items could be found made by them and enjoyed by all.

We expanded over the years to become well known at what we do. Now we represent over 100 artisans and craftsman that are well known in their venues and some just starting out. Some of their works have been premiered in TV, stage and movies on a regular basis.

Specializing in Medieval, Goth , Stage Film, BDFSM and Practitioner.

Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries a Dept of, Ask For IT was started by artists and former military veterans, and sword fighters, representing over 100 artisans, one who made his living traveling from fair to festival vending medieval wares. The majority of his customers are re-enactors, SCAdians and the like, looking to build their kit with period clothing, feast gear, adornments, etc.

Likewise, it is typical for these history-lovers to peruse the tent (aka mobile store front) and, upon finding something that pleases the eye, ask "Is this period?"

A deceitful query!! This is not a yes or no question. One must have a damn good understanding of European history (at least) from the fall of Rome to the mid-1600's to properly answer. Taking into account, also, the culture in which the querent is dressed is vitally important. You see, though it may be well within medieval period, it would be strange to see a Viking wearing a Caftan...or is it?

After a festival's time of answering weighty questions such as these, I'd sleep like a log! Only a mad man could possibly remember the place and time for each piece of kitchen ware, weaponry, cloth, and chain within a span of 1,000 years!! Surely there must be an easier way, a place where he could post all this knowledge...

Traveling Within The World is meant to be such a place. A place for all of these artists to keep in touch and directly interact with their fellow geeks and re-enactment hobbyists, their clientele.

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