Norwegian money pouch tutorial

Surfing the net a million years ago, before I started with all the medieval stings I did do a lot of looking at other peoples work, wishing that I would find the courage to staring doing it myself.
Then I found this webpage with all of the fantastical reproductions. He had a photo of a extant medieval pouch from Norway that looked like no other purse I had seen. So when it came to me making my own money pouch a couple of years ago I knew I wanted to make that kind of purse. It says that the pouch is from late 13th to early 14th century but as money pouches does not differ that much and in “purses in pieces” Olaf Goubitz writes that the circular cut pouch is the most common type of coin purse in medieval times and that the use of them continues at any rate into the 20th century.

I have made my purse slightly smaller then the reproduction I was inspired by but as I girl I guess I have smaller hands and I did not want to have a too large pouch anyway.

I start of by cutting the leather out, you need the circular piece and also you need two long thin strips one that is 50 cm long and one that is 65 cm long, I made both mine 1 cm wide but to make it look even more as the extant purse you could cut them thinner. I have used a piece of a old leather jacker, but any soft leather will do fine.

Norwegian money pouch - 1
Norwegian money pouch - 2
In my paper guide I have punched holes, these I use to transfer the markings for the holes on the leather. I use a regular drawing pencil that I wet slightly, it gives just enough marks and is something I had lying around at home. You are cutting the dots of so you can use anything to make your markings with.

Norwegian money pouch - 3
Then I punch all the holes out.

Norwegian money pouch - 4
Take the longer leather strip and make it pointy in one end.

Norwegian money pouch - 5Norwegian money pouch - 6
Start threading it through the holes.

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All the way around

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I round the other end of the strip of and cut a hole in the middle.

Norwegian money pouch - 9
The pointy end goes through.

Norwegian money pouch - 10
Pull your pouch together a bit.

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As much as you want to have it open when it is finished.

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Thread the pointy end on a big blunt needle.

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Now we are going to do the nice wrapping around the purse.

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Continue around the purse and make sure that the strip of leather lies nicely and evenly around the first round of the strip.

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Norwegian money pouch - 16Norwegian money pouch - 17
Norwegian money pouch - 18
I did not my strip long enough, but you can easily make it longer like this, make sure that the joint end up on the “backside”, this will make it invisible.

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Then when you have sewn all around the pouch.

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Take the needle and go down the hole.

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See, it looks like it continues all around.

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Now you have the rest of the strip on the inside.

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Cut it of a bit and split it in half.

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Norwegian money pouch - 25
Thread one end on the needle and go under the inside strip.

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Make a knot and cut of the excess.

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Norwegian money pouch - 28
Then take the other strip of the leather, make one side pointy and thread it through the top holes.

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Go all the way around.

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And knot the ends.

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Norwegian money pouch - 32
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And now the purse if finished!

Norwegian money pouch - 34
The pattern is in cm, as always.

Good luck!

Pattens

I like the extra things and sometimes I rather make a “unnecessary thing” than something that I would actually need. Well of course pattens are not really unnecessary, they are really useful thing to have in bad weather, but to make them for a summer event when you live in a apartment might see a bit unnecessary, at least to make them before you start a new dress that you needed.

But sometimes I can not help myself, I see a thing and then I need it. When I need something I make it!

pattens - 1
I made these for last years medieval week, my mothers boyfriend helped me to make the basic shape with the band saw and then I had a day of carving and filing to do. These I made using hand tools, it is funny since my mothers boyfriend did not really believe that I would pull it of, but I am stubborn.

pattens - 2
pattens - 3
pattens - 4
I carved out the sole of the patten, to make it a lot more comfortable.

pattens - 5
pattens - 6
And I smoothed down the edges and then there was a LOT of sanding to do, I wish that I had the help from the belt sander but stubborn me said “well NO, I will use the sandpaper in stead”.

pattens - 7
pattens - 8
pattens - 9
But I love how they turned out, so smooth and nice, I also made some leather fastenings for it that I nailed to the wood.
The reason for the stitching is to make the leather not stretch when wet and therefore become to big.

pattens - 10
I glued leather to the undersides, to make it more durable. But after walking 10 meters with them the leather just fell of. The next year I nailed thicker leather to the underside, that worked better.

I also used to soft wood, walking with them for few days made me realise this, but I kind of knew this from the beginning. But I was a test to see if I could make them so I was not surprised. But they have lasted this long so I guess I will make new ones when these dies. I used my mothers old kitchen table for the pattens, which I believe is pine. But I have read on other blogs that alder, poplar and willow are better for pattens.

pattens - 11
When making them it is really important that the “platforms” ends up right for your feet, so that these is no stopping when taking a step, you need to be able to easily “tip” over in the front.
Walking in these makes you feel like a little pony, making the steps echo in the narrow alleys of Visby.

Leather case

For medieval week I wanted to make a leater case to keep my mobile phone in. It always feels nice that when you open your pilgrim bag you can be sure that nothing modern is seen.

leather case - 1
leather case - 2
When reading Purses in Pieces by Olaf Goubitz I found a big leather case that was made for wax tablets. It says in the book that it was probably used by a hunter and it is slightly bigger then the standard wax tablet case. But what caught my interest was the leather tooling, it features dogs hunting hares with floral vines. I love hares, so naturally I had to use them on my leather case. Leather cases were very often adorned with different kinds of leather tooling, all from simple lines to complex pictures.

leather case - 13
leather case - 14
I sewed the leather case when wet around a wooden form, this makes the case nice in shape and the leather tooling is easy. I first drew the pattern before I sewed it and when it was dry, then I cut the pattern with a knife to make it easier to do the tooling. I made my tooling with a leather stamp and I love how clear the tooling is.
I also made all the holes for the sewing before I let the leather soak in water. Then It was easy to sew it together, making sure to sew it so that I would not cut the thread of when cutting it open.

leather case - 3
leather case - 4
My leather case tooling is inspired by the leather case with the hounds and hares but I only used hares and made my case a lot smaller, the size is about the size that most wax tablets was made in.

leather case - 5
leather case - 12
The hares themselves are inspired by my all time favourite designer, Klaus Haapaniemi, I have a scarf designed by him that I love and wear all the time so I picked the shape of my hares from this scarf.

leather case - 6
leather case - 7
I had my phone and also kept some drawing paper and pens in it, as I said, it is nice to keep all none period objects out of sight.

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leather case - 9
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leather costrel

Last medieval week I ran around with a plastic bottle in my bag, since drinking water is important but plastic bottles are not all that fun I decided to make a leather bottle in stead.

Looking around there is two options, the bottle looking kind and the one that looks like a small barrel. As I do both medieval and 16 century stuff I wanted a bottle that I could use for both. Leather costrels seems to have been around forever, a quick google search found me both museum pictures of costrels from the late 1300 and from 1500 and they were in use at least up until the 18th century.

I also found a picture of huntsmen with costrels.

So I decided on a costrel, I like the idea that it could easily be made so that it would stand on its on to. I looked around at different techniques, some people use wooden moulds but I don’t want to bother with mould making so I went with the sand version. Haandkrafts beautiful costrel gave me lots of help figuring out how to actually make one.
I chose to take away some of the layers that he used, and it worked fine anyway.

leather costrel - pattern
Here is the pattern for it, it is in cm and I made one difference from my original costrel, it is only that the outer seam allowance is 0,5cm in stead of 1cm on the sides. There is no difference in function only the look. You need to use vegetable tanned leather for this project. Chrome tanned leather is never healthy, especially not if you use it for storing water that you want to drink. I worked with 3mm thick leather and found that it was perfect thickness for me. This costrel holds 9 dl of water or any other liquid.

leather costrel 1
leather costrel 2
Using an awl I made all the holes for the main part. I do not make any holes in the sides, they will be made as we go along with the sewing. Make sure that the holes in the top part matches, count them and make sure, you are sewing these together so they need to be the same amount and at the same places.

leather costrel 3
I have also prepared for the decoration, using a knife I have cut the decoration into the leather, but only 1mm deep. Mu decoration is based on this costrel but with my initials on it.

leather costrel 4
I started with sewing to top together, I use blunt needles and waxed flax thread.

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leather costrel 6
Making it look like a small leather tent.

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leather costrel 8
leather costrel 9
Take one side piece and wet the edges shape it with your hands, you might want to take some of the corners of, but don not cut away to much, it might cause the corstel to leak.

leather costrel 10
I have marked out where the top and bottom are supposed to be, so put the side piece into the “tent”. As I have not made any holes in the side piece, you will need to make these as you go along. Just put your awl in one of the holes in the main bottle piece and push it through the side piece as well, but watch your fingers.

leather costrel 11
I start in the centre bottom, with the seam that is farthest from the edge. I sew it from the middle to the top on both sides. I don’t knot any threads, I fasten them by making them overlap by three stitches.

leather costrel 12
I try to not end in the centre top, it is tricky to sew there anyway so I fasten the seams by overlapping a bit down on the sides as you can see it you look closely on this picture.
Sew the other seam, closest to the edge and sew the other side on. It is important to have two seams , it will make you costrel less prone to leaking.

Cut out holes for carrying straps.

Now submerge your half finished costrel in lukewarm water and let it stay there for at least some hours. Then you can force the leather to make the opening, my pattern will give you a opening that is just so wide that you can use a cut of plastic bottle as a funnel. It is also a width of opening that we are all used to. The water will come out just as well as from a ordinary water bottle.

Now you stuff it full of sand. Pour first dry sand into it. When it is full, add some water. Then you continue to stuff it with sand until it can not take no more and feels solid.

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leather costrel 14
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Now you can make the pattern if you want to, you will feel if the leather is to wet, then the pattern will not be as distinct. If this is the case, wait a day or so and try again.
I use a modelling tool for leather but you don’t really need any special tools, use what you have around you, a nice rounded stick, a fork to make a pattern with.
I don’t have any leather stamps so I used a edge cutter to make the dotted pattern.

leather costrel 17
One side done, one to go!

Now let your costrel sit and dry, this might take some time. I put mine in a sunny window and it helps to pour out sand as you go along.

When it is completely dry and all the sand is removed it is time to pour wax into it.
I used beeswax. Melt it carefully, get a old sauce pan from the thrift shop since the pan you use will forever be your bees wax pan.
Pour the warm wax into the bottle (wax is WARM so use caution) you should fill it at least until it is half full. Put a cork into it and move the wax around and make sure to cover all of the inside, it is easy to miss so make sure that the ceiling of the costrel is covered.
When you have done this you can pour the wax out again, pour small amounts into moulds made of of old plastic cups and you will have sewing wax for later. and it is easier to melt if you need more wax some other time.

Some fill the bottle completely with wax and put it in the oven on low heat, then they remove it when they see the wax seeping through on the outside of the bottle.

Now you can test your bottle by simply pouring water into it. You will quickly see if you need to redo the waxing part.
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leather costrel 19
I coloured my costrel with modern leather dye. and this is how it turned out.
I added a carrying straps to be able to put it on my belt. I also carried it a lot as a small silly handbag ;)

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leather costrel 21
A kind of a toggle lock, for quick removal from the belt.

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leather costrel 22
A wooden cork attached with a thinner leather string.

It was SO useful to be able to carry around water with me the whole week without any problems, just remember to store it without the cork in to prevent it from moulding.
The first day of use the water tasted very much of honey, it might had been nice it if the water had been something else then sun warm ;)

the bone dress, or the Mucha/Gaudi dress

In school we had a project where we should find an architect/building to take our inspiration from. I have had a picture of Casa Batlló by Antoni Gaudí in my inspiration folder for ages so I choose to go with Gaudí as my inspiration. And then down the road in the research process I found Mucha, how could I have missed Alphonse Mucha for all these years.

I wanted to use the bone like pillars that hold up Gaudís buildings and the draped fabric and flowing hair of Mucha to make a dress.

bone dress - draping
bone dress - paperbones
paper bones to play around with the bone design.

bone dress - toille
several toilles was made to make sure that it fitted my friend Isabell that had promised me to model it for me. It is interesting that a small bust is in need of so much work with the toille, and that that work is in such a different way from a large bust which is what I normally work with.

bone dress - drying
The bones that I used is chicken bones that is leftovers from a bunch of nice meals. They have been cooked and cleaned and here they are drying, later I painted them and lacquered them. I could have bleached them as you normally do, but chicken bones are so brittle so I did not want them to be more fragile then what they already was.

bone dress - detail
bone dress - deail back
To be able to sew them onto the dress they have been filed down to be flat on the backs and thinner and the small holes was drilled to enable the sewing.

The top of the dress is made out of white leather that is prepared with a new kind of tanning process called “wet white”. It is a organic tanning process which is much better for the environment than ordinary chrome tanning. Where chromed tanned leather can make it’s wearer allergic and is highly environment damaging, wet white leather can be recycled and it can also used as fertiliser if prepared right. Another plus is that it comes in white naturally, chrome tanned leathers are grey, vegetable tanned leathers are a really light brown at best. To achieve white the leather these must be finished heavily which makes it loose a lot of leather character and almost always turns out looking like plastic.
Another plus is that it is not as sensitive as vegetable tanned leather, I was able to press the seams with with a hot iron, something that a vegetable tanned leather really do not appreciate.

The leather is amazingly soft and drapes just like fabric, it is truly amazing. One downside is that people do not think it is leather at all due to it looking so soft and white without a coating.
I have lined the top part of the dress with cotton coutil, to make sure that it holds the breast in place and do not stretch the leather and making it to big.

The bottom part is a really light and see-through silk fabric and the skirt has about 8 meters of fabric in it, I wanted it to be light and flowing.

All the pictures are taken by me in an abandoned house that is just around the corner from where I live, click them so see them in a larger format.
Model: Isabell
bone dress - 1
bone dress - 2
bone dress - 3
bone dress - 4
bone dress - 5
bone dress - 6
bone dress - 7
bone dress - 8

bära bäras

not 100% sure how to translate the title of the project, “bära” is Swedish for carry, but also to wear, and “bäras” is to be carried, oh well we’ll just leave it at that I think. This is the big project of the autumn.

So this project was about being inspired by a character or a fairy tale/folklore, and then make one garment for protection, one practical accessory  and one jewellery for beauty.

This is what I wrote about my work:

One reality
I have picked the best from fairy tales, folk costumes and turn of the century (1900). To reflect on a person from my world, “make pretend land”.

My reality created to be worn in your reality.

This is how it looked at out exhibition, at least my corner.
bara baras - exhibition text
bara baras - exhibition process book
bara baras - exhibition gloves
bara baras - exhibition coat
bara baras - exhibition cirkle
bara baras - exhibition fox close up
bara baras - exhibition fox
bara baras - exhibition clothing
bara baras - exhibition circle2
bara baras - exhibition book

I decided not to pick a specific fairytale or person but to make my own character and I also wrote some text to it and made an actual book that I illustrated.
bara baras - illustration 1
Once upon a time there was a girl that had no clear place in our world.
-Home is where my heart is. She said to the white bunny.
-The life of a rose seem so dull, a rosebud is always forced to become a rose. What if actually want to become a dandelion?
– A rose is never just a rose my friend. There are not two roses that are exactly the same; they are all different extraordinary individuals.
Answered the white bunny.

bara baras - illustration 2
She was a traveller, always on her way somewhere but never in a hurry.
Taking the time to see every flower and stone she passed on her way, always willing to take a break and lay on her back and listen to the world around her.
-Dear Mr. Fox, I do so wish that one could take a photograph of a feeling. That way one could go back and feel the same thing again and again. That way one could always be happy.
-If that was possible, some people would always be sad my dear friend. Said Mr. Fox

bara baras - illustration 3
She was a peaceful being both in her mind and heart. Always trying to treat all beings with respect and curtsey
-Dear Calf, sometimes I think that everything around me is moving so fast. That people are living their lives only to get to the next day, weekend or year. How do the people have the time to even breathe today when they are so stressed about tomorrow?
-Yes Dearest said the calf. Very many people in our world need to learn that today is just as important as tomorrow. That living everyday full out and not just live to come to tomorrow is important. You can never get back a lost day, living everyday gives you the opportunity to actually live a full life. If one is not careful one will perhaps end up with having lived only half a life.

bara baras - illustration 4
-Dear foxes, I am so truly happy. Here we are with the opportunity to lie on the grass and breathe fresh air. There is nothing more in life that I wish for than happiness.
-We are fortunate in this part of the world to have that opportunity. Remember that not everyone is as lucky as we. Answered the foxes.

bara baras - illustration 5
Only people without imagination escape into reality

And here are my pieces, I did more pieces then what we were asked to create.

A bodice made out of 1,5mm vegetable tanned leather that first have had a lace fabric pressed into it with a hydraulic press and then colours and distressed.
bara baras - bodice front
bara baras - bodice side front
bara baras - bodice side
bara baras - bodice back
bara baras - bodice side detail
bara baras - bodice bow
bara baras - bodice lacing

The coat is made out of wool and have a skirt that one can drape if one want it. It also have the same kind of leather that have been through the same process as the bodice. The leather parts have been hand sewn onto the coat.
bara baras - coat side
bara baras - coat side front
bara baras - coat  front
bara baras - coat draped front
bara baras - coat draped back
bara baras - coat draped side
bara baras - coat front draped
bara baras - coat  cuff
bara baras - coat  button
bara baras - coat  collar
bara baras - coat close up front
bara baras - coat sholder detail
bara baras - coat back detail
bara baras - coat back close up
bara baras - coat  back

The dress is made out of cotton have have a lot of different lace sewn onto it. It is meant to be like a diary, that the lace have been collected over time and that the dress is not finished yet.
bara baras - dress
Ibara baras - dress lace
bara baras - dress back
bara baras - dress front
bara baras - dress  front close up

The bracelet is made out of two silver spoons and leather. I wanted to use metal in my project but as I don’t know anything about working in metal I chose to go with the theme of collecting things.
bara baras - bracelet

The glove is made out of wool and is edged with white rabbit fur, the embroidery is also in wool and the motive is inspired by Scandinavian folk costumes
bara baras - glove

The fox collar is made out of a real fox. It is a wild Swedish fox hunted by a Swedish hunter, it does NOT come from a fur farm.
I understand that fur upsets a lot of people, I understand peoples reasons and I probably shares a lot of those arguments. But I ask of you not to scream murderer at me or write abusive things to me about it. This is a animal that have lived happy in the forest all its life and is is shot by a trained hunter. Please understand that hunting does not work the same way in all countries, keep in mind that Sweden is a small country and that we have very strict rules about animals and hunting. And because we are such a small country it is so much easier to enforce the laws then for example in such a big country as the united states.

The face had been destroyed in the tanning process so I decided to embroider the face with small glass pearls in stead. Every pearl have been sewn on by hand, one at a time. The fox have also been sewn so that it lays again the body in a good way.
bara baras - fox detail
bara baras - fox nose
bara baras - fox head
bara baras - fox collar
bara baras - fox side
bara baras - fox back
bara baras - fox side tail
bara baras - fox front

a whole bunch of dresses, and some more

I am really LOUSY at keeping this blog updated, sorry as usual, but at least I KNOW I’m lousy at it.  ;)
But I bring lots of new photos now, because it is not like I haven’t done anything during my blog silence.

striped dress
So I begin with the striped dress.

striped dress - sewing
This dress is made out of striped stretch tulle, really nice and heavy thing, not all that stiff as tulle use to be. And there were a LOT of ruffling involved in this dress and a lot of fabric, about 10 meters of fabric, that is about 10,9 yards

striped dress - spread out
The hem of the dress is about 22 meters (about 24 yards) totally crazy!

striped dress - ruffle
striped dress - detail
The good thing about the tulle is that you don’t have to hem it at all, the edges stay clan and crisp anyway.

striped dress - on
Another good thing about the dress is that since it is only made out of tulle, one can have it all year round.  It is cool in the summer with just a under dress or as this, with a polo and wool tights in the winter.

long empire waist dress
On to my favourite dress at the moment, a long maxi dress with empire waist.

long empire waist dress - detail
The top of the dress is made out a tin wool fabric, I just love this fabric it is so thin that you can wear it in the summer and since it is wool you do not have to wash it at all, one just needs to hang it out to air and it becomes all fresh again. Wool is really a fabulous material.

long empire waist dress - on
The bottom is a thin cotton fabric.

long empire waist dress - fabric
I got this fabric from a old lady who had bought it in when she was young, I just love it.

long empire waist dress - back
The buttons in the back is covered in the same fabric as in the skirt.

short empire waist dress
As I liked the long dress so much I decided to make a short version of it to.

short empire waist dress - on
short empire waist dress - side
short empire waist dress - back
short empire waist dress - fabric
The skirt fabric is an old curtain.

short empire waist dress - skirt
I miscalculated the skirt part so it ended up to tight, so I solved the problem by putting in a half circle in the back, made out of the same fabric as the top.

casual dress
I need more casual dresses so I made this one.
It is made out of jersey fabric for the top and the bottom is actually a skirt I have had in my wardrobe for ages but never use.

Jumpsuit - long
The jumpsuit is something I wanted to to last summer, but never got around to it. It is made in a wool fabric, but a thicker one so it is a bit to warm for summer, but good for rainy summer days, or autumn, this will be GREAT this autumn.

Jumpsuit - short
One can pull it up to, then it looks just like a dress.

jumpsuit - inside
As I don’t have a serger at the moment I’m encasing all my seam allowances in bias tape, I love how clean it gets

summer dress - front
The last dress was something I made for myself but that I miscalculated so gravely that it ended up being something like three sizes to small, it just sat really funny on my body.

summer dress - jump
My dear little sister was nice and helped me get some nice photos of it.

summer dress - sleeve
summer dress - skirt detail
It is made out of a thin viscose fabric and a lot of satin bias tape.

summer dress - front detail
The inspiration to it comes from the 18th century “chemise a la reine” and one can choose where to tie the removable band, in the waist or under the bust; wherever you feel like.

summer dress - back
summer dress - back detail
summer dress - key
The chain in the back prevents the dress from falling of the shoulders due to the low back and the full sleeves, it is totally removable to make washing easy.

summer dress - note
Late nights when I try to sleep but can not, I sometimes make these small notes on sewing for myself to remember good ideas that would disappear after a good nights sleep. This note is about how to sew the ruffles onto the dress so that the raw edges gets encased at the same time.

smocked leather belt on body
And at last, I remembered that I had not yet showed the smocked leather belt on a real person yet, so here you have it on a body!