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Tea - 2011. Let's do this, people!

I’ve found a very nice location – the only catch is, it costs.  As all the best locations do, unfortunately!


There are two different historic properties at the “This is the Place Heritage Park” under $300, providing we use the home between 9am and 3pm.  (The price skyrockets after that, but if there is a) enough interest b) a costume sympathizer on staff I could get to knock down the price, we’re stuck with that time.


If there is enough interest, I’ll contact them and get some more information, perhaps even see if I can get them to knock down the price a bit.  But that still leaves the question – would you be willing to cough up $20 to have a costumed tea in a beautifully restored historic home?  (Provided you lived on the Wasatch Front and/or would make a special trip to attend.


The $20 estimate is based on 15-person attendance, and if it ends up happening, I would need people to pay for “tickets” up front.  As with the last Tea, I’m pretty sure it’ll be potluck, to reduce over all cost.  (If there is enough interest in a catered affair, there are some pretty amazing ‘preferred’ caterers so I guess the second question would be – would you be willing to cough up another $10-20 for a professionally catered affair?)

Soooooooo……..let me know, OK?……………….And spread the word ‘round – let’s see if we can make this happen!



p.s.  They have goats there.  Just sayin’.

The Big Switch

Ok, I've been thinking about it for about forever now (my Blogger account is from 2009!)  And I'm acutally going to be moving my sewing content to Blogger.  All my personal (read:  friends locked) stuff is going to be over here:  (Forgive me, it's ugly for now.  I don't know the first thing about Blogger, and I'm quite overwhelmed by all the wonderful bloggers out there doing amazing stuff!)


Also -

Because my Google Reader is awash with all the awesomeness going on in Williamsburg, I've been very covetous and down-in-the-dumps.  So, I bought 12 yds of faux fly-fringe (ish) stuff for $0.99/yd at the same time I bought all the muslin.  Because my LJ account is being stupid, I can't post a pic, but you can see it over here.  I guess I really *do* need to get off my arse and make moar 18th c stuff.  I learned so much on the last 1 2* that I think I can put forth a much better effort this time.

*In case you forgot, this was the ill-fated "Gown of Tea" that had to be completely re-made after my dog spilled Thai Iced Tea all over the first one.  Grrrrrrrrrr.  Not that I'm still scarred by that experience or anything..........

Weekend Roundup

 I was so ill this weekend that I couldn't attend Defenders and get HRH's hem worked out. (BOOO!) However, Michelle and Ashe'el came to my rescue and made sure it all worked out. Michelle brought the kirtle down to the event, and Ashe'el did the fitting. I was really, really nervous about sewing for HRH (as she is a wonderful seamstress in her own right), and I hear it went smashingly. And I quote: "She loved the kirtle. She needs the sleeves fixed, other than that she had it on dancing like a lil girl" I had misgivings about the pattern I was given for the sleeves - they were big enough for *me*, and she is a tiny woman, so I'm not surprised at all that she wants the sleeves altered. As far as fixing/changing things, sleeves are the easiest thing to do!

*pictures forthcoming*

Speaking of being ill, I ran a 101 fever all Friday, and 99.5-100 on Saturday. By Sunday, while still feeling weak and run down, I was feeling much, much better. The whole situation was made worse because Hubby wasn't there, and I missed him terribly. On Friday morning, one of the dogs had barfed under the covers, so I was sick, weak, and covered in dog vomit. (EWWWWW!) Was not the best start to the day. I slept off and on most of Friday and Saturday, but by Saturday evening, I was feeling well enough to be semi-productive, and make a quick $80 doing some logo digitizing and embroidering for my dads company. They are off to a convention of some sort today, and they wanted some shirts sporting their logo. I didn't snap any pictures of the final product, but here's a picture of the digitized design: (Acutally, I can't find a picture of the final design, but this is the one right before the final draft, so pretty close)

*Uh, my account says there is no disk space left for media.  So.  Maybe it is time to leave LJ land once and for all.  BAH.*

My next ramblings are quite picture heavy, so this is going to be short and sweet, I think.  I met with the gal whom I am making the wedding dress for, and took measurements and discussed some of the details about what she wants.  Most of it I'm pretty comfortable with, but there is a lace overlay/piecing that could really end up looking 'costumey' if I'm not careful, so I'm worried about that.  BUT I am really, really excited to start sourcing material.  Because she has a fairly generous budget, I'm going to be able to use fabrics and notions that I would normally never look twice at - and I'm freakin' excited!

I have the design pretty firmly in my mind of how I'm going to construct it, and I started drafting out the bodice last night.  I used a 50% JoAnns coupon to buy nearly a whole bolt of muslin so I can fine-tune the details before ever needing to cut into the satin.  MMmmmmm.....I'm excited - I hope I live up to her expectations, I'm quite nervous!

While I'm not necessarily one that condones copying a designer dress, that is what she wants.  She also wants enough changes that I've been able to justify it as an 'inspiration' rather than a full-on copy.  What do you guys think?

Here's the dress that she wants


Once again, a Post of Many Things.

1.  Hubs is off on an adventure.  An adventure I was supposed to be going with.  There were many factors in deciding to stay home instead - among them:
-Brewing up a gnarly cold that is feeling like it's turning into a sinus infection (ew)
-Need to finish up HRM kirtle (need to attach skirt & do eyelets)  BTW - the green one is done.  This is the black one...the red one is next up on deck
-My old company is keeping me busy for the next few days working on invoicing and billing.  I don't know how long it'll last, but since it's work, I really should take it. 
-Baronial Champion is this weekend, and I need to attend to a fitting for HRM, and drop off any kirtles that have magically made themselves done.
-I'm doing a wedding dress on commission, and the only days that the gal will be in town are the days that the trip was planned.

So, the last time I saw my honeypie was before I went to work yesterday morning (neither of us knowing I wouldn't be home until late and wouldn't be able to say good-bye), and I won't see him again until Monday nightish.  I'm totally bummed.  :(

2.  I outlined most of the things that are going on as reasons that I didn't go on the Washington trip.....so I guess that's that.  Wheeeeee.

Post of Many Things

1.  Tiny Barsky went in today to get fixed.  Because he's cryptorchid, he doesn't get to show with his brother, Kai.  BUT, there is a relatively new UKC "Altered Conformation" title that he will be participating in, since he is such a pretty boy, and he was *supposed* to show, were it not for his poor un-decended testes.  He's an unhappy camper right now - because the other testicle was so far up in his abdomen, the vet had to do a second incision to get it out.  Poor little boy!

Oh, and in IG news, Precious (the one-eyed Wonder) is recovered fully from whatever weirdness that was causing her distress two weeks ago.  Strange, but I'm glad she's OK.

2.  I didn't take a picture, because it's pretty blah/gross looking when sitting in a bowl, but I made potato leek soup for lunch in honor of St. Davids Day (which is today, btw)  I packaged it up, along with some corn bread muffins from the other day, and had a quick lunch at my sisters house.  Afterwards, I read many, many books to Lil Miss before she went down for her nap.

My Leek & Potato soup recipe over here if you're interested.....Collapse )

3.  My husband is SO NERDY.  And I love him for it!

(Yes, he is playing both Minecraft and World of Warcraft at the *same time*

4.  I've been focusing my efforts into some minor decor & furniture for the homestead.  Today while waiting for Tiny Barsky to be released, I found a set of 3 iron stools/chairs for $60 - on clearance from $270!  Hurrah! I'm not in love with the microsuede seats, and I may cover them with something else.  But the wood and iron will match my kitchen quite nicely, methinks.

5.  And last, but certainly not least.........the PPoD is DONE! 

.....ok, well the embroidery itself is done; I still need to do the 'pillow' portion of the PPoD.  But the long, gruelling, torturous journey of 28 count full-coverage canvas work is over.  May I never pick up a needle again as long as I live!

It looks far more impressive IRL, I assure you!

6.  Other random stuff before I forget:

-I'm going to Coronation this weekend in Boise.  Should be interesting.  I finished up the tunic for Hubs to wear.  I've still not convinced him thoroughly that the nice, mostly period leather shoes I bought him are better than crocks.  (But then I haven't thoroughly convinced him that he wants to be Italian, either. 

-Hollyness & Strid are riding up to Coronation, and splitting the hotel room with us, too.  I'm so excited for this road trip.....hubby, and two of my best gal pals!  :D

-Speaking of Coronation, I told myself I would get at least one of HRH's kirtles done before Coronation, and it's looking a bit squidgy right now.  I mostly just have the eyelets left to do, but with the way I'm procrastinating, I'm starting to get worried that they might not get done on time.  (Oh woe is me, right? Heh.)

-Hubby, hubby's brother and I are probably taking a road trip to Whidby/Pacific NW sometime mid-March.  Part vacation, part visiting family, and part helping his uncle move.  Should be an interesting trip!  I'm just hoping I don't get sick this time so I can enjoy my time up there!  (.....because on our honeymoon, I was so awfully sick, I barely remember any of it - I was out for the friggin' count.  Worst. Honeymoon. Ever.  (Actually, it was fabulous, I was just sick as a dog and heavily medicated with Orange Friend (DayQuil)))
.......omg, I want this fabric so bad I can frikkin TASTE it!

Weekend Catchup Post

This weekend was a complete blur - lots of stuff happened.

1)  I got serious about HRH's kirtle, and fought with that off and on throughout the weekend.  I re-started to sew on rings for the misbegotten teal kirtle.  Got one side done.  (argh)  Of my own projects, I accomplished relatively little, due to my flitterbugging all over the place.  Oh, and my silk for the background of the PPoD came in, so I've been working on that off and on as well.

2)  Jane & Sara came down both Friday and Saturday to work on their individual projects. 

I got Sara all set up with a new bodice pattern for a "V" fronted gown.  By the end of the weekend, she had everything done on the bodice with the exception of some trim, and still to decide the shoulder treatments.  I'll check in with her and see what she decided to do.

Jane busted out nearly an entire pair of bodies - by the time she left, we had patterned her out, and she had done 97% of the construction.  Still to do are cutting & dipping the boning, and binding.  (I tortured her with making her own bias binding.....I don't think she was too happy with me........)  At the very end of their time here, we 'blackworked' her smock with a pattern on my machine.  I totally messed up one of the sleeves and did it upside down.....Jane's never going to trust me again!

Isn't the fabric she's using for her corset just NUMMY?!?!

3)  On Sunday, I finally buckled down and helped Sherece fix her purple kirtle.  We re-did the neckline, made a facing, took in the back seam, added a gore in the center back skirt, and re-did the shoulders.  Phew!  Can you believe it?!  I *actually* sorta-mended something!  >.<  She liked the outcome, and looks totally cute.  I, of course, forgot to take photos of the finished dress.  :(  I did, on the other hand, take a picture of the EPIC burn of epicness I got that day.....it matches my year-old burn on the other arm.

Semi-gross burned arm pic hereCollapse )

4)  On Saturday, we held a Fajita/Margarita party at my house.  It was super fun, and Sherece and her two boys spent the night.  (Sherece and I sewed the next day, while her boys cycled through all our 'toys' (PS3, Kinect, XBox, etc)  During the party, Marshall-Pants finally 'officially' proposed to The Strid.  Much joy was had, and it is captured on video.  (Hooray!)  I need to do some massive editing of the video, it's far, far too long to put you guys through.  ;)

My home - may be in jeopardy.

See, there was this thing called "West Davis Corridor" that was supposed to connect into the Legacy freeway some day.  When we moved to our home, we did research and found that if / when the new freeway was put in, it would be parallel (ish) to Bluff Road.  "Great!" we thought.  Easy access to a freeway, but not so close it would be.......uncomfortable.

Now come to find out that UDOT in all it's wisdom, has changed plans in the last 2.5 years, and has moved the freeway.  Now the freeway will plow through half of my neighborhood or directly (I mean DIRECTLY) behind my house.  I'm not sure if my home is in danger of being demolished yet, though considering the alternatives, I'd almost rather be paid to move, than have the value of my home drop and not be *able* to move.  I won't live where a freeway is in my back yard.  I just won't.  That's why we moved all the way out where we did!  Sure, it's a bit inconvenient and a little out of the way, but I like it that way.

It's a terrible picture, but here's the map (there are better ones in print, but I can't seem to get my scanner to cooperate) I've put a little green "X" on my house.  :(

I'll keep looking for more info, and a better picture. 

p.s.  The blue and pink lines (as well as the pink dashed) are the ones that will vastly impact my current living situation.  The yellow one is not *as* bad, but not at all optimal, as it will still go through my subdivision.

ETA:  Ok, a bit better picture of what's going on:  The green dot is my house, and 4500 W is the road that runs behind my back yard (for a bit of sense of scale)  I used the map distrubuted by UDOT, and overlayed from google maps to find my exact location  (The UDOT scale is really weird, and was hard to parse out)

The red dashed line appears to go over 4500 W directly behind my house, while the red and blue lines are 2 streets away.  The green line goes through the eastern edge of the development.

All in all, a crappy time had for all.  I know not everyone is going to be happy with any plan that is put forth; someone has to sacrifice.  I'm just a bit upset that I did the research that was available to me at the time of purchase, and now I'm dealing with this crap.  Well, not much I can do but wait for the next two years to find out if my home is going to be demolished, or plummet in value.  (What I'm really hoping for is some compensation from UDOT, but I'm pretty sure that won't happen)

And lastly......flowers!

I am officially finished with ALL the slips!  HOORAY!!! (!!!!!!!!)  I've ordered more of the background color, and I'm stuck until it comes in.  (Boo)  The background goes fairly quickly, so I'm hopeful that I can get this bad boy done within a few weeks of receiving my silk supply.  I am SO ecstatic!

And more flowers - my hubby snuck out and brought home the most BEAUTIFUL bouquet yesterday.  I don't even know how he got it into the house without me seeing it!!  It has such a lovely scent and is making my whole house smell SO good.  :D  (Is it selfish to want fresh flowers *ALL* the time?)  I'm half way tempted to go buy a table I saw the other day to put in my empty foyer to showcase my pretty flowers.  (Can you tell I'm really excited about them?)

Speaking of cooking.....

I used the mini pie maker my brother and sister-in-law gave me for xmas and made some nummy apple pies.  Oh boy - this thing is awesome!  I can't wait to make some savory pot pies!  :D

They were a bit overly-juicy, and spilled their guts, so to speak.  But still delicious!

Lots to catch up on - goggies first!

Last week, Precious (the one-eyed rescue), wasn't feeling at all well; she wouldn't stand up, wasn't eating well, and had some sort of distress going on in her back half which caused her to be nippy when touched/picked up.  I took her to the vet twice, and there was nothing conclusive.  He gave her some pain pills, which seemed to help, and put her on a 'bland' diet, as her bloodwork showed that there was something up with her pancreas levels.

So, here's what her meals have been: (I kinda made it up with the food suggestions that the vet gave, and it seemed to work out well - not only did she snarf it down, all the rest of the dogs really wanted some too!)
-1 potato; boiled & mashed
-1 c rice; cooked - ended up being about 2 c when cooked
-1 chicken breast; boiled and chopped fine in food processor
-1 c (ish) mashed pumpkin

This made a huge tub of 'dog food' that I've been storing in the fridge - she's been eating it since Thursday evening, and there is still a few meals left.  (Oddly enough, it actually smells quite nice.  I tried a nibble, and it's not too bad - vaguely reminiscent of baby food......Yeah, I'm gross, I taste-tested my dogs' food.  And I know what baby food tastes like.)

Tiny Barsky has been so sweet to her through her strange illness - he's been remarkably gentle with her, and most of the time can be found snuggling next to her.  Aaaaw!

Precious seems to be doing better.  I will be taking her back to the vet this week to get her levels checked; hopefully everything is OK.

Post Of Subtance - Measuring Tapes

Measuring tapes - we all need 'em, and they are never easy to store!  I have probably about a half-dozen of them swimming around my sewing room, and I only actively use one, sometimes two.  (the others are for guests using my sewing room, extra-long tapes, etc)

So I had this problem with tape measure storage!  Hanging them anywhere is no good, I knock them off hooks and whatnot like it's going out of style, and throwing them into bins and drawers is a recipe for disaster.......here is what my drawer used to look like before the *BRAINFLASH*:

About a year ago, I came up with an easy way to keep these buggers contained.  I'd used to try to keep rubber bands on them, but rubber bands are inconvenient, and can never be found when most needed.  You know what is always around in my sewing room?  Safety pins!

So, here is what you do: 

1.  Start the 'tail' (I start at the end of the tape) - and loop around thumb, leaving the tip close to your pinkie (this becomes important in later steps.

2.  Do the "figure 8" wrappy thingy that guys do to their cords and whatnot:

3.  Slide the figure 8 off your fingers, and using a large safety pin, and pinch the 'waist' of the figure 8 in the safety pin.  (Note I'm not piercing the tape with the pin, just 'paper clipping' the whole thing)  This is where the 'tail' comes in handy - with a 60" tape, and the size of my hands, each end is overlapping just enough to be caught fairly securely in the pin....you may need to adjust accordingly.

4.  Pop your tape in a bin or drawer with far fewer tangles!  (This method isn't *completely* foolproof.....if you do a lot of vigorous digging around, there is a chance it'll come loose, but I've not had it happen very often at all)

How do *YOU* store your measuring tapes?  Any other ideas out there you'd like to share?

Hurrah! I sewed something!

To celebrate my almost-organized-and-cleaned sewing room, I promptly made a mess by making my little niece an outfit.  :D  It's the first thing I've made is *gasp* almost two months, so this is a big deal.  (I have a giant bag full of stuff to make for HRH, so I'd better not keep on this sewing funk for long....)

Anyway, without further ado, here is Lil Miss posing for teh cameraz!  (It was difficult - my flash had gone out, and she was spinning and spinning and hopping and hopping.....yeah, she liked her dress, I think!)

I felt weird.......top stitching, zippers, and machine hems, commercial patterns....oh my!  And I'm kinda glad I don't use zippers in SCA clothing......I hate them!  >.<  My ruffler AND my gathering foots were not working for some strange reason, so I ended up doing all the gathers by hand....argh!  Everything is double layered with lavender silk and an embroidered net over the top.  (It's wai cuter IRL!)

There are things that I would do differently next time, but since it's my first piece of mundane clothing (for a little girl, to boot), I'm not too worried about it.  I think it turned out cute!

This pic is closest to the 'real' color....

She decided that she was a princess, and needed a wand and a tiara to go with her new dress and pretty pedicure.  I didn't have a length of silk long enough to make a nice boofy sash, so I fudged up a faux sash (sewn down to bodice) and permanent bow that snaps on one side.  I think it turned out better than had I used a sash!  The fabric store didn't have any nice, delicate dress zippers, so I ended up using the most innocuous 'regular' zipper I could find.  It's still too beefy for the dress, but ah well.  I couldn't wait to get it done!  The dress is also about a size too big....I wanted her to be able to wear it in the spring, as it's still very much winter here!

Next up, I'm going to make a matching purse and probably a headband or clip of some sort.

......but that's after I finish cleaning my sewing room!

Slowly, very slowly.....

......I've been digging out my sewing room.  I've reorganized some stuff so I can have a little office space as well.  I'm moving my books and patterns next door, as they're taking up an enormous amount of space in my already cramped sewing room.  (The plan for next door is to turn into a little sitting room with a day bed.)

That leaves me an empty bookcase, and one side of my cutting table free for reorganizing.

Also on cleaning/organizing front - My kitchen is nearly 100%, and I've been slogging through piles and piles of laundry.  Heh - I may even get my xmas stuff down and put away by the end of the week!  ;)
A lady that goes to a fabric store I frequent struck up a conversation last week.  She had mentioned that she needed a logo digitized, and my eyes lit up......I practically begged her to allow me to take the commission - and she said yes!  After a couple of back-and-forth emails, we've nailed down the design (I think).  I've sent her the files and I'm going to send her the picture below of the final digitized design for her approval - here's to hoping!  ;)

Obviously, I'm still learning the weighted brush strokes, but not totally crappy, methinks.  My weakest suits have always been face-on (human) portraits.  I have a really hard time with mouths, of all things!

Neither of these are 'finished' - as you can see, I chickened out before finishing Jaquelinne's hands, and I messed up the jewelry on Bethany, so I kinda.....stopped.  ;)

Hair updates

I finally bit the proverbial bullet and went to get my hairs done.  They chopped off almost 10" in places, but it was so horribly straggly and damaged, I swear my hair looks just as long!  Since I was already in the chair (and outside it was 16 degrees, blowing mightily and bitterly cold), I had her blow out my hair so it was nice and dry for the rest of the day.  I may try to get back into the habit of straightening my hair once in a while again - It looks so much thicker straight!  (which is weird, since you'd think it would be the other way 'round, but no.....)

I also did a dye job - actually a 'wash' to get rid of my Cruella deVille streak I have going on.  ;)  I decided on an almost-my-natural-color-but-better color, so I don't have to worry about it growing out all weird.

Anyway, here's a pic of me as of this afternoon:

On another note, I went to a 'Mary Kay' makeover thing last week, and if I hadn't already known I was getting my hours cut, I would have splurged and bought a Whole Lotta Crap.  I have a terrible time matching foundation, and the stuff I tried covered my eye bags, and matched perfectly.  >.<  I was kind of in love with the eyeshadow as well, but alas, not only do I not have the $$, I have almost zero reason to leave the house with makeup now that I'm working from home.  heh.

PPoD - Moar Updates

I can see the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel!  I've started the stem of the Very Last Slip.  :D  I'm not in love with the shape of this flower, so it's hard to keep focused.  ;)  But I will persevere, and finish!  Hurrah!  (I still need to go get some more background, tho.  D'oh!)

Sunday in LA - Far too late!

Ok, back to my vacation weekend in LA!

Sunday was the day that I had to fly home, so we only had until 6pm or so to kill time.  Once again, I got up too early, and dragged my sis to breakfast.  We had a lovely meal at Mimi's Cafe - I know it's a chain, but it's one of my guilty pleasures....I <3 that place!  ;)

Afterward, we decided to head over to the museum we had seen the day before.  Wow, what an experience!  The houses are beautiful, and the guide dressed up in Edwardian era clothes - it was a grand time!  There are a bunch of events throughout the year, and the guide kept (nearly begging) telling us that we could volunteer.....if I lived anywhere close by, I would have in a heartbeat, it was amazing!

Basically, it's a St Fagans-type setup (only not as big!).  The city owns the land, and the historic society moves homes of historic importance there if they are in danger of being torn down.  It looks like there's only 1-2 more spots, so they better get an additional location!  ;)

During the tour, the guide had spent a great deal of time pointing out and talking about "coffin corners".  My skeptical mind immediately said "bullshit!" - but I bit my tongue, and searched the web for confirmation when I got home.  As I suspected, the 'myth' associated with this architectural feature is indeed, bullshit.  Makes for an interesting story, however, still bullshit.  ;)

After the museum, sis and I went to the beach, and walked around for a while - it was stunningly beautiful!!!

We continued to wander around town for another couple of hours, then we eventually had to say "goodbye" at the airport.  Phew - what a whirlwind, fun-packed weekend!

LA Weekend!!! SATURDAY Edition

Because I was crazy excited, I got up way too early on Saturday.  I stayed in bed as long as I could reading - but I just had to get up!  After Sis and I were ready for the day, we headed out to find breakfast at a local pastry shop.  It was really good. 

Next on the agenda was to to to LACMA - and the Fashioning Fashion exhibit.  (HOORAY!!!!!)  We showed up about 45 minutes before the museum opened due to my extreme haste - but lo and behold.....the La Brea Tar pits were Right Next Door!  I had no idea!!!  So Melia and I wandered around the lake, taking pictures of the poor eternally struggling mammoth - and then noticed that the Page Museum was already opened.....so we popped inside to take some pictures and do some recon for Michael (who is completely and utterly dino-obsessed.  Seriously!)

After the dino side-track, we made our way to the other side of the park to the LACMA entrance.  On our way to the Fashioning Fashion exhibit, we noticed a sign for "India's Fabled City" and thought that looked interesting as well.....All I can say is WOW.  Holy moly, that exhibit was AWESOME.  There were so many illuminated books & pages it made my head spin!!!  I was really hoping that the exhibit book would have some good closeups of at least a few of the manuscripts, but alas, there was not.  I didn't see anyone else taking pictures, and I wish I had the guts to ask if I could take non-flash photos.  (Although the lighting was so atrocious, I may not have anything other than a smudgy blur.....)  All in all, a very worth while side trip, even though only 2 of the entire illumination collection were in period.  >.<

Then finally, we made our way to the Fashioning Fashion exhibit.  Because we got there shortly after opening, there wasn't a whole lot of people when we first arrived.  I took my time at each piece, so by the time we got to the end, it was pretty crowded!  I didn't take any pictures the first time through, and went back and did the whole thing over again to grab pictures.  (In retrospect, I should have taken the time to do the pictures the first time around, but I wanted to see everything with no distraction first)  The second time through, I struggled with my camera and the awful lighting to get detail shots.  I'll post the pictures anyway, but they're more of a reminder to myself about certain things, rather than pictures that would tell anything about what it is......)

My take aways from the exhibit:

-I am terrifically inspired to do some serious sewing.  Top of my current (non-SCA) list are:  striped tennis dress (CoCo?), purple striped anglaise & quilted petticoat of awesome.  Melia is obsessed with embroidered aprons at the moment, so I may have to do that too......  :D

-I think the most stunning thing about seeing these gowns in person was the incredible feeling of lightness.  Unless specifically part of the design, nearly every gown looked lighter and less ......... I don't know............ 'manufactured' (heavy handed?) than most of the repro/costume gown one sees at various costumed events. (And I'm throwing myself into that description as well - I'm guilty!)  I'm not even sure how to describe it - but it's something I'm going to consciously attempt to attain in my gowns from now on.

-I was so frustrated that the pieces in almost every instance were placed either INSIDE a 3-sided solid box, or up against a wall.  Some of the pieces had mirrors behind, but the lighting was so terrible, it didn't help much.  I would have LOVED to have the pieces either free-standing with no back wall (which could have easily be accomplished with the setup they had) or on rotating pedestals.  It was infuriating that the details that I wanted to see and was interested in were hidden away.  Along the same lines, all the pieces were 2-3 feet off the ground, making the tops of things - shoulders, hats etc - impossible to see.

-I learned that fan lacing corsets are a much, much earlier invention than I had previously thought.  (I had thought that fan lacing was an Edwarian-ish era invention, yet there was an example on display of a Romantic era corset with fan lacing.  Mind = boggled!!!
-Many of the pieces had shoes, and even mentioned the shoes in the info placards, however, in almost every instance, only the toes were peeking out.  Grr.

-"Polonaise" = does not mean what I thought it meant.  I had always kind of in the back of my mind assumed that when referring to 'polonaised' skirts, that they were called such because of 'walking' or 'dancing' or something.  Duh, no, "Polonaise" refers to "Polish" mode of dress, and has nothing to do with walking, or dancing, or any such silliness.  It's amazing what one assumes when one doesn't think to research and/or ask. 

-I noticed that quite a few of the trains were not perfectly rounded - more of a smoothed out geometric polygon.  That was another big revelation to me, even though I 'technically' knew it, it had never really sunk in.  Kind of a weird "ah-ha" moment for me.

-The lighting.  Have I mentioned the terrible lighting??

-This exhibit has also renewed my love for stab stitches, and made me realize that I simply MUST learn how to properly hand sew proper button holes.

After recovering from the extreme awesome that was LACMA, we headed down to Old Pasadena to grab dinner.  On the way, I had noticed some awesome victorian houses just off the freeway.  Melia pulled off (a really scary exit) and we thought that we would walk through the neighborhood real quick and snap some photos....but no!  It was a full-on museum!!!  Because we were hungry and tired, we decided to put it on the list of "things we could do tomorrow", and keep on heading over to Pasadena.  We ate at Cafe 1812 - which was kind of a let down.  The salad and flan were delicious, but the main course....I didn't even eat.  Kinda blah.  (Which is OK because I had totally overeaten the night before, and had doughnuts for breakfast!!)

The rest of the night was spent eating popcorn, burning CDs for my daddy-O, and watching Castle.  :D  Fun times, I tell ya!!!  (No seriously, it was awesome!!!)

LA Weekend!!! FRIDAY Edition

My flight wasn't until 11:40, so I didn't bother setting an alarm at my normal week-day time.  I woke up in a panic, thinking I had overslept, but no, it was just fine.  Hubs drove me to the airport and dropped me off at my terminal, probably wondering what kind of mischief my sister and I would get up to that weekend.  ;)

At the security line, I noticed that they were putting EVERYONE through the backscatter x-ray machines.  I was under the impression that these machines were an alternative to a full pat down if you went through a metal detector and it went off?  Or for the "random" screening?  Meh, whatever.  I was kind of pissed off, but I got over it.  (For a minute)  But then.......

As I'm taking off my shoes, the security goon tells me I have to take off my sweater.  Uh, no, I won't take off my 'main' piece of clothing!!!  (I only had a skimpy little tank underneath)  I told him so, and he starts mumbling into his radio.  So I finally step through the backscatter machine.  On the other side, I'm accosted by yet another security goon.  She asks me if I have anything in any of my pockets on my right side.  The way it was phrased was kind of odd, but I went through and turned out all my pockets, showing her I had nothing.  I was confused as to why they'd focus on my right side - that seemed odd........until I remembered that ALL MY SURGERY SCARS ARE ON MY RIGHT SIDE.  They saw my EFFING SURGERY SCARS.  I was fuming, but because the last thing I wanted to do was miss my flight and my upcoming Sister Vacation, I bit my tongue.  I then went through a thorough pat down, AND an explosives residue test.

I eventually made it to my gate, and on to the plane.  For the first time in a long time, there was no one in the seat next to me!

Sis was waiting for me at the arrivals gate, and as I only packed one small backpack, we hopped straight in the car and started our weekend adventure!!  We dropped by her house to freshen up a smoodge and drop off my bag - then off for adventure!  We were meeting Jannean at 7pm that night for dinner, so we had hours to kill.  While driving around, a saw a sign for the Arboretum - so we stopped!  :)  The goal was to get to the victorian house, but I took us all over the whole park, ending at the house as the very last stop.  Loads and loads of walking, but worth it!  My little squirrel friend from last year didn't come to see me, but a crazy peacock did beg for food, just like Demitri does at home!  (It was kind of funny, this bird was right up in my grill......and wouldn't leave me alone.)

After getting our fill of nature, we headed to The Stinking Rose to meet Jannean for dinner.  We were still really early, so we parked, and attempted to find the entrance to a mythical mall......I think the signs were lying - we never found the mall, and we walked completely around the entire parking structure & surrounding block!

Anyway, we met up with Jannean at 7, and had a lovely time.  Next time, we will have to spend more of it together, because it was far, far too short!!

After dinner, we headed back home, and hung out, watching Daily Show & Colbert Report, giggling and laughing until we couldn't stay awake any longer.

Back from LA - had a wonderful time......

I've just about managed to get all the pictures loaded to picasa - hopefully tomorrow I'll have time to write up an entry about the weekend (which, by the way, was awesome...have I mentioned that yet?!) and link to the pics.




This time tomorrow, I'll be getting ready to board a flight to LA to visit my sis!  I'm so excited I can hardly sit still!!!!!  So far the plans are:

1. Have dinner with sis and bodice_goddess on Friday. 
2. Go to LACMA and the 'Fashioning Fashion' exhibit.  (On Sat?) 
3. Hang out and BS with my sis!!!!

New Toy!

Recently, my husband got me a Wacom tablet.... I'm writing with it right now! Anyway, I have been playing with it almost non-stop! So here is a random superhero type dude I have started working on to hone the 'ole pen skillz.

PPoD - Only ONE more slip!!!

I really like this little dude!  The flutterby is a fun little addition, methinks.

Starting to look more completed, no?

Watch this......beacuase it's awesome.

(And don't be surprised  if I start saying "beacuase"!)

.....and here's the game - if you are interested.  (It is SO AWESOME*.  p.s.  Play through to the credits.....)

*TLDW/TLDP:  Commenter totally missed the point, hilarity ensues.

Oh be still my heart!!!

It's a Brunswick.............WITH FUR. 
Do you hear me?!  An 18th C hoodie trimmed in FUR!!!


Must have.


I'm a posting maniac, aren't I?

It's to make up for the weeks where I posted nary a "Hallo".

And selfishly, this post is just to bookmark this library treasure trove of embroidery tutorial videos.  (Hand embroidery, that is.  Especially of interest is the detached buttonhole and trellis stitches.  Check them out!)

Moar Experimenting

There is a huge knowledge gap between the software and what the final product *actually* looks like.  On the screen, it looks super awesome, and may or may not stitch out anywhere near what I would want.  Anyway, I've been messing around with the software for my lunch break, and came up with this.........(Imagine each one of the colors a different shade of gold or silver, embroidered on a deep red velvet pillow.......Heck it'd probably be awesome in color, too!)

The Great Slips Experiment

I didn't have nearly as much time as I was hoping to experiment with the slips last night.  I did, however, get to stitch out one of the patterns.  I started with one, and realized that my stitch size was going to be waaaay to small, so I dropped to almost half and started all over again.

I need to find an embroidery guru that can tell me how to:

1.  Edit the stitch tension  All those white flecks are the embroidery bobbin thread coming back up to the top, then snapping off to make a forest of little flecks.  (This may be solved by using self-colored bobbin thread)

2.  Edit the stitch pattern - by which I mean to *not* have stitches running over the top of stitches already done.  Since it's going to be cut out, I don't care how crazy and ugly the rest of it is....I just need to figure out how to edit that

You can see, especially in the close-up picture how I'm not quite there, but there certainly is potential for this working out great.  If you ignore the white flecks, I'm actually really pleased with the overall 'texture'.

Any embroiderers out there, don't shoot me, but I just used regular thread I had on hand, not the special embroidery thread (I wanted to do it NOW, not go to the fabric store and load up on a bunch of supplies!!!)  So I wonder if either of my two problems will be fixed by using the correct thread.  I have to wait until at least this Friday to get thread - and possibly the next paycheck, I'll have to see how it goes. 

But the long and the short of it is - I think it'll work!  Hooray!!!!  Now I'm having fantasies of things like this:  (Because there are some aspects that would actually be 'easier' to approximate than cross stitch!!)

These photos are so awesome (in the full-of-awe sense of the word, not the 80's 'awesome') 

Here are just a few - seriously, go take a look at them all, ok?


Yes, Virginia, there will be moar Torchwood.


and moar Castle.

(I sounds like I watch a heckuvalot of TV, but honestly, it's mostly only on when I'm sewing.  It's fairly rare for me to veg completely!)

I DARE you to not drool!

Holy cow, this place is just EVIL!  (Warning, whatever you do, don't click on the "Goldwork and Metal Thread Embroidery" link at the top of the page.  Just.  Don't.)

Also, for Pete's sake, don't go wandering off on the Main Page and find delicious trinkets like this "Beginners Guide to Embroidered Boxes"

Oh lordy.

**grumble grumble stupid surgery**
Yep, here it is!  PPOD is coming together!  :)

On a slightly related note, I've been messing around with my machine embroidery software and eating up the classes I've been taking, and have 6 embroidery pattern slips to be stitched in cross stitch.  (Actually 5 right now.  The 6th is giving me fits for some reason, and I'm about to tear my hair out)  I think I'm going to make myself some pillows or something.  I would never have the time to embroider the slips by hand, so I'm going to try it out, see what it looks like, and if it's anywhere near 'passable', I'll apply the slips to a velvet ground and make pillows somewhat similar to the one found at Hardwick Hall:

I'm hoping to get around to stitching out an example of each design this week.  I found the original designs here.

Also related to the embroidery software goodness.......I found out the other day that I can MAKE MY OWN LACE.  *dies*  Hah!  The end product is no different than the lace one would buy at JoAnns, BUT, it can be customized to be ANYTHING.  :D  I have fantasies of drawing out lace from portraits and getting my machine to do all the 'dirty work'.  I haven't experimented with the lace yet, but I'll let y'all know how it goes.

Here are some pics of the jewelry that Hollyness made for me......I am so full of squee it's not even funny!  Now I HAVE to finish that god-forsaken dress!

Since I promised positive stuff......

......I won't talk about how my morning was conspiring against me.  (Seems to happen that way......one forces oneself to be in a good mood, and the Universe makes sure that every negative eventuality rears its ugly little head.)

BUT.  I will talk about some awesomesauce stuff for a while.  :D  (Whoa, I started the list, and didn't realize how much awesome there is....I'm in a better mood already!)

1.  I got to see a ton of people I haven't seen in a Very Long Time.  This was awesome, and I wish I didn't have so much going on so I could spend more quality time.  (I did feel like I was ignoring some of my favorite peeps.....so if you felt that way, I do apologize, I love and miss you!)

2.  BABIES!  All the babies that have been welcomed to the world in the last few weeks/months showed up to the event.  I cannot BELIEVE how cute they all were!  There is going to be a serious bumper crop of children ....... Arrow's Flight, watch out!  :D

3.  Maple Leaf!  Astrid!  HOORAY!!!!  I am so happy that one of my (many) favorite people got an awesome award.  I am very grateful that I was able to assist in the creation of the scroll.  I did the calligraphy, while my wonderful, talented (so talented it makes you sick!) Mistress did the illuminations.  I'll have to track down a better picture of the finished scroll, because this blurry pic doesn't anywhere near do it justice, but I'm so excited about it, I just can't keep it in!  :D

(Inspiration illumination, and our finished piece.)

4. I was feeling nostalgic, and I decided that instead of searching for a new inspiration for the scroll blank, I'd go back and re-use some art I had used for some of the very first scrolls I did, evah.  Once again, a terrible pic, but you get the idea, right?  :)  It ended up that I was doing all the whitework and lining late, late at night, so my hand was shaky and not very reliable, but hey, it got done. 

5.  On Sunday, I worked on the PPOD.  (Seriously, I did!!)  I finished off the snail at the top, and have nearly finished the stem and leaves for the second-to-last slip.  I am so hardcore excited.  It WILL be done, and fairly soon, to boot!  :D  (I was planning to, but didn't have time to pop by Needlepoint Joint, as it is mere yards away from the 12th Night site to pick up some more silk so I can finish the background.  Yeah, didn't get around to that.  Boo.)  Hopefully I'll have the presence of mind to snap a pic or two so I can share the progress.

6a.  Holly brought down  the jewelry I commissioned for the green dress that is yet-to-be.  I can't tell you how excited I am, especially about the necklace, and the bob at the end of the belt.  Holy cow, it's so beautiful!  Once again, no pics. 

6b.  Holly made me the most wonderful zib in the WORLD for happy ChrisMaBirthday.  He is the cutest thing, EVAH.  I love him so much!  Again, no pics, but will do so soon.  I need to figure out a suitably Italian name for him.  He is a very cheeky zib.  ;)

7.  I get to visit my sis in CA on the 21st.  HOORAY!!!!!!!  I cannot wait, this will be epic and all things awesome and wonderful.  We'll be going to see the "Fashioning Fashion" exhibit at the LACMA.  I am so giddy!


I've not tortured y'all with puppy pictures in a while, so here is the most stinkin' cute puppy, EVAH.  (Yeah, and he knows it, too!)  Courtesy of Hollyness!

It's a terrible picture, but we had massive amounts of fun.  Or at least I did.  I made it my mission to embarrass the three youngest members of our group, and I think I did a pretty good job of being the insanely embarrassing adult. 

I wish the tours weren't so rushed, I would love to go back with a sketchbook since pictures aren't allowed.  Grrr.

Seekrit Project

So - if you guys haven't realized already, my hubby and I are huge nerds.  You know what else is nerdy?  QR codes. I'm also a big 'ole textile/craft nerd (whodda thunk it, right?!)....so.  I am making mah hubby a QR code sampler for his b-day....which is tomorrow.  Which is why I'm crowing, I just finished the last stitch moments ago.  All I need to do is block and frame it!


Wanna know how I did it?

1.  I went to this website, and created my QR code.  I used the "XL" size, and the "text" options.  When the code generated, I saved out the image.  It looks like this:

2.  I messed around with some free cross stitch pattern generators, but for such a relatively small and consice pattern, I couldn't get anything to work.  So.  Being the nerd I am, plain old graph paper isn't good enough, so I used excel instead.  (For the nitty gritty:  I bordered every cell, and created a 5 count using 'thick border'.  I used a dark color, but not so dark, I couldn't see the grid lines.  (I used color, rather than symbols, since I hate reading x-stitch patterns with symbols with a firey passion))  It ended up looking like this:

3.  Then.....I stitched away!  (Ok, what you really wanted to know were the details.  Ok....It's an 18 CT, and I used double stranded floss.)  Anyway, this is what the finished stitching looks like:

I'll unlock this post tomorrow so the suprise isn't ruined (In case hubs swings by for some random reason...), and post a picture of the final framed piece.

So, it's a little later than 'tomorrow', but here's the picture of the finished piece.  Hubs loved it!  :D

Green Dress Update

So,  my velvet ribbon showed up today.  I haven't seen it yet, but my ever-awesome hubby took pictures for me.  I'm really hoping it ends up looking as nice IRL as it does in this pic:

(The top one is the original, just a bit too bright.  The bottom one is the new one, it may end up too 'browmp', but I'm hoping it will work out.  

Here's the gown I'm attempting for Solstice (12th Night if I can't get it done in time...)


I hope this cut works, because this is gonna get LONG.....Collapse )


Stash Ponderings

So.....my stash has become extremely bloated and cumbersome.  Some stuff I will more than likely never use, some stuff I bought way too much of, some stuff I bought just because it was on sale, and some stuff I've used what I can use, and now I've got tons of leftovers.

This brings me to my main point.  What do I do with my excess stash?  Sell it?  Package things up that I won't need immediately and store them in the basement? 


On another note, I've been not posting about my sewing lately, for which I apologize.  This blog was originally meant to be 100% sewing, but life crept in, and I've fallen out of the habit of posting regularly about sewing topics/current projects. 

Which kind of leads me into another thing I've been pondering lately....do I divorce my personal life blog stuff from my sewing/project stuff?  If I do, I'll probably go to another hosting platform for sewing stuff and leave my personal life here, making it 100% friends-only.  Those of you who read my stuff regularly - would you follow my crafting stuff to another site?  Do you like/dislike the mismash of personal and sewing stuff? 

Anyway, comment and help me make up my mind!



There is nothing I can do or say to prepare you for what you are about to watch........



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