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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

My Idle hands submission...


An Italian Flag fan for Alyvia - or How to distract your infant during court!

A silk embroidered linen flag fan on wooden handle with tassels
Embroidery pattern based on a embroidered stomacher from "La Vera Perfezione del Disegno per Punti e Ricami" found by the lovely Hastings S! It has a flamey heart!
Stem, van dyke, chain, blanket and satin stitches used.

I started my Idle hands project late in the game (October 16th!) but I had been planning loosely what I wanted to do as soon the challenge was announced on Facebook. I did some initial planning and my pal Praks found the PERFECT pattern for me! Excited, I started my embroidery.

Enter in miss Alyvia who was 10 months when I started and into EVERYTHING!! Which of course made it difficult to actually get some quality embroidery in. Then suddenly Lyvy started stealing my project! She kept running her little baby hands  over the stitching. it was cute and endearing, and the sweetest moment was when I found her rubbing the raised embroidery on her cheek. Lyvy claimed the embroidery for her own, but this was my project! I was finally going to add another item to my garb closet. However, what Miss Lyvy wants, she gets (within reason of course).

It suddenly occurred to me. As a mom, we constantly hand our kids anything to occupy them during quiet moments. Lyvy has played with my normal sandalwood fan, the end of my girdle belt, assorted jewelry and anything else I can find in my basket. I highly doubt that children during my time period in Italy were the utterly well behaved little minions we'd all like. I'm sure mothers thru the ages have handed their children something from their person to entertain them during restless moments. A plan was formed! I would make Lyvy her very own mini flag fan, complete with tassels, bells, ribbons and anything else that might distract when necessary.

Traveling for work took me away from home on the 31st, but I was able to finish my embroidery, get the wood stained before I left and put it all together. I haven't stiffened it yet because I'm going to be using a fun "kid friendly" fabric for the other side, and I didn't bring it with me.

The handle is made from some pre-cut dowels and end caps, stained with a store bought stain in a stick (which worked better than I thought it would) for a different project. The finished fan (as much as it has been finished) has been hand sewn to the dowel.
The lilac and dark purple twisted lines are a combination of a van dyke (a different version of the viking chain stitch) and outlined with a stem stitch. The rest of the embroidery is satin stitched with stem and chain stitching. Blanket stitching was used on the edge for detail.
The heart and flames in the center have been heavily layered in messy sort of style to give it depth and detail. I'm going to put a piece of cellophane into the fan to give it a fun kid sound!
The gold tassels are store bought and the mini bells are from an SCA merchant.

What I learned:
I <3 this type of unstructured silk embroidery. Blackwork drives me insane but this is actually fun for me. I read an article about kids in the SCA and someone suggested that to keep your kids entertained with their toys at events, make sure they are different than their everyday at home toys. This fan will be for Alyvia at events just for fun :)

Not quite cleaned all the way up, but you get the point :D

Lyvy loves her new flag fan, and was unhappy when I put it back in my basket for events..

Saturday, October 15, 2011

I'm bad at taking pictures..

I used to be AWESOME at taking pictures at events. I would fill up an entire SD card, but lately I haven't really been doing it. Mostly I'm wrangling a child. Or dealing with stuff, hanging out.
In any case, I'm grateful for someone else getting a picture of Sal in his newest Murlotta/Kaftan..
My dress never did get finished, after all that stress it is about 3 inches too big in the chest.. :(

Plan is to rip it out and fix it so we can be matchy matchy for Solstice Court :D
Salam'el ibn Ahmoud
Also, I just happen to think my boyfriend is a sexy sexy man!

Friday, October 14, 2011

I'm fat, your not-- and? WAY WAY off topic

This is my opinion. You can read it, and you can give YOUR opinion but you don't get to tell me I'm wrong, or I'm stupid, or what I have written has no merit.

Consider yourself warned.

A few months back I read a post from a lovely Caidian woman who was a bit irritated by the whole fat girl empowerment movement. Her complaint was larger women putting ultra thin females down, using phrases such as "real women have curves" etc etc. I empathized and gave a personal experience of when I realized that a thin person had just as many body issues as I have. It was the moment in my life when I realized that there are very very few people in this world who are happy with their bodies, weight aside.
Yesterday I read a blog on the same topic, and two different notes/posts  -- all from different people (both genders) angry by the Fat girl empowerment movement.

This whole thing has been kicking around in my head for a bit, and I felt like I wanted to add my two cents to it.
-- BTW this is not me saying your opinion doesn't have merit, or I don't empathize with you, if you are the ultra thin woman. This is MY feelings about it. Oh and this is not a campaign for "being overweight is fine, and there are no health risks". Thats crap, being overweight is NOT healthy--

First, deal with it. Yup, that's about as harsh as I can be but its the truth.

For YEARS overweight people have been told to deal with being large, or lose weight.
We've been told thru society/media/school/family repeatedly we have no social value, even less self worth, have been teased, ridiculed, bullied, put down, mocked, hurt and have done worse to ourselves BY ourselves.

Do you know on average, 67% (according to a google search mind you) of men age ranges 22-35 will not ask a woman out if she is moderately overweight? Moderately overweight being anything bigger than a size 10?

You think being overweight is not an issue? Ask the two girls on "America's next top model" who were considered overweight and "plus sized" at size 8 and size 10. Yeah  cause that's fair.

But suddenly there has been this movement of empowerment of overweight women. Skinny girls are crying about being picked on!
You've never been teased so horribley you cry in the bathroom, AS AN ADULT.
You don't know the agony of having to get yet a bigger size pair of pants because these don't fit anymore and you're not quite sure what your going to do.
OH and I highly doubt you've ever been standing in a group of big girls and got IGNORED by all the attractive men in the room because you're thin.
You don't watch commercial after commercial about weight loss, diet, being thin and healthy, and don't get more depressed by the hour.
You don't think about all of the failed diets and weight loss plans you've followed to the letter only to have it come crashing back as soon as you are no longer following said plan.
I doubt you know the agony of worrying whether or not you'll fit in the seat on the airplane or the ride at the amusement park. You have never worried about the seat belt in a friends car extending far enough, and you don't automatically ask for a table at a restaurant because a booth might present issues.

Also, look me straight in the eye and tell me you have never made fun of a fat person.
You can't do it. Hell FAT people can't do it. We make fun of ourselves so it doesn't hurt as bad when you do it. Watch a stand up of any comedian who is overweight. If they can make it thru the entire thing without mentioning their size, I'll give you a dollar.
Hell I might give you two.
You aren't your childs "fat mom"
you aren't the fat sister, mother, aunt, daughter.
You don't get described as having a "great personality".

But now, you want to whine and cry because fat girls are suddenly standing up for themselves? And you don't like it? It hurts your feelings?
I've dealt with your snotty, rude, ignorant attitude my entire freaking life. I've been chubby since before I knew what chubby was. I have been spit on because I was overweight. Did I deserve that? Absolutely not.

Is it time for people world wide to be more conscience about their weight and health? Of course it is. Is it time for us to stop looking at all people with some extra weight and automatically assume they are a health issue?
At my heaviest EVER, when I weighed over 450 lbs, I had absolutely no health issues other than being fat.
I did not have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, I was not diabetic, I was not hypo/hypoglycemic, I could still walk, I could still get dressed, I could still jog though not very far.
Oh and yes I could touch my toes.
I was overweight. My BMI was 64.
I was still healthy, enough so that even my surgeon said he's NEVER seen anyone weigh as much as I did and still be as active as I was.

At my lowest post op weight I got down to 237. Then I flip flopped back and forth and am now struggling again with post pregnancy weight.

But you want me to be sad because you, skinny girl, feel picked on because suddenly large girls everywhere are waking up and realizing that someone somewhere will in fact love them, they have worth, they are not useless and they are just as beautiful?

Not gonna happen.

I think people need to stop using weight as a means of value. Stop using the number on the scale, or the size of pants as a basis for self worth.

You should be size healthy.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Embroidery hell..

Why do I pick projects that excite me, but then I get discouraged by the amount of work required?
In addition to the ACC, I'm also helping Sajah with her pelican ceremony garb (let me know if you want to help!) And I decided to enter the month long idle hands competition. I'm doing an embroidered flag fan. I know bella is doing one as well but I believe she is doing assisi or voided long arm cross stitch (my next project!!), and I'm doing straight out the door embroidery..
My pattern transfered and sized is somewhere in this post (I'm on my phone so it didn't give me a placement option). Its a variable on page 40 from La Vera perfezione del disegno.
It has the enflamed heart that is going to be on my device. This was found by the lovely Hastings months ago, but I wasn't *ready* for it then so it didn't catch my eye.
Now to go home, fit my linen to the frame and assign silk thread colors...

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Things I forgot..

Rule no 1 -do not make a new pattern for your sottana the day before you intend to wear it...
No 2 - you are as good a seamstress as you want to be. Cutting corners may save you five minutes now, but it will irritate the hell out of you when you have to go back and fix it later.
No 3- you will run out if bobbin thread at the most unadvantageous moment -- wind two..
No 4- show me where its written you must use matching thread at all times. Whoever wrote that obviously doesnt have to unpick seams very often. White, black, and cream work perfectly fine.
No 5- if you are a big girl, dont think for a moment that heavy interlining alone will give you a picture perfect smooth conical shape. Sorry honey, gravity works both down and out.
No 6- all day sewing marathons are great. Stop to eat.
No 7- give the nine month old your tape measure if she wants it. You have six more.
No 8- procrastination is the mother of creativity in a pinch, but what can go wrong, will. Better have a back up plan...
No 9- ironing, pinning, lining, basting, clipping, and tacking are annoying. But it makes the job sooooooooooooooooo much easier.
No 10- measure twice. Measure again. Double check your figures. measure again. Cut once. Save yourself the headache of fixing bad measuring.
No 11- if the fabric will rip evenly, RIP!!
No 12- there is no such thing as checking facebook fast. Just leave it alone when you are crunched for time.
No 13- background noise is good, but make sure it's a movie you have seen plenty before.
No 14- going to the store for needed supplies on the middle us a pain.
No 15- if you want it bad enough, you'll figure out how to go on less than the hours sleep.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Its almost over.

One more day.
Thats it, just one more day.
No matter what, it'll be decided at that point and we can't do a thing about it.
Baronial polling closes tomorrow. All of the populace's ballots have to be received by their Majesties in Idaho by then.
I thought I'd be more paranoid that this. Figured I'd be a mess of anxiety and chewing my nails.
But I'm not. I'm not going to lie, I would LOVE  to be the next Baroness of my beloved Barony. But the populace will decide. If Sal and I aren't the choice, I can live with that. If we are so lucky to be named as the first servants of BGL, then I can live with that as well.
I'll just need more sleep.

Its odd, I keep getting this funny little flutter in my tummy when I think about the polling. I know what I'd like to happen. I care that deeply about it.
In any case I've started (actually the moment I mailed our letter of intent) preparing myself mentally and emotionally for either outcome. I'm confident we'll be ready to hear the news one way or another.

THIS part is almost over. The next part is just beginning.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sewy Time with the gals

I love Garb Gals!! Yeah its a page I started on FB for all of those attempting garb on the Wasatch Front of Northern Utah.

Originally it was just supposed to be a regional thing, if someone was going to be spending all day doing said crafty item, and they didn't mind having people over to craft with them, post it as an event on Garb Gals and VOILA! Instant sew buddies.
It  came about because, in case you have noticed already, I'm a bit of a procrastinator. I know I know-- you'd have no idea if I hadn't told you right?!?! :D
After Alyvia was born we went to our first event which was Twelfth night, held in January, and I had garb all ready for it. I noticed how relaxed and calm I was that day with no sewing to do the night before, hoe much fun I had at the event. I know most people have played for EONS and have a metric butt ton of stuff to choose from when they attend events, or some people just super layer outfits that they can mix and match like a pro, and yet others just don't give a hoot about what they wear.

I am not one of these people.

So I have to have fancy stuff, but as I mentioned I seriously wait until the last possible moment which was getting seriously tiresome. In an effort to help curtail that I decided to start Garb gals.

A few months later we're now at 59 members, I keep waiting for number 60. I'm also looking for little G tokens to give to each of the garb gals :) I know we're not a real guild or a club or anything, but I do like the idea of giving something to everyone who participates on the list :)
In any case, yesterday was Sewy Day. Andrea/Maysun hosts it at her house once a month and I LOVE GOING. Even if I don't get crapola done (which is more often the case) I just enjoy the time away from home, with ladies (and her super awesome husband Dennis!) who have common interests with me, who talk like me and are awesome all in their own right.

It was at sewy time yesterday though that I noticed my first pattern repeat is off on my second drawers :(


Friday, August 26, 2011

Do you start with what you know or start with what you want?

And thats the question.

Right now I have several options ahead of me. I'm still laboring on the red linen drawers from the IRCC, but at least I'm now onto the second leg!! The blackwork is finished on the first one and WAHOOOOO! The funny part is, as soon as I put the new leg on the loom to start the pattern I was excited! Isn't that amusing?

So I was at an impasse. As I read my book I knew there were two things I was super interested in making. Both a simple farthingale and a high necked partlet.
I need both.

Which one do I start with though?
Note the color of the
guard over the bastoni -
Rather than being the tucked
fabric, its a different color/fabric

Its actually a lot
lighter than this
I've decided to do my farthingale out of the lilac linen/cotton I purchased to do my IRCC underskirt because frankly that's what I have on hand, and will do the Tape/Ribbon/Bias strips method rather than the measure and tuck. After reading extensively in my MaF, and a few website (Drea Leed mostly), I also pulled out my Alcega patterns and I have to agree with DL vs Janet Arnold -- the Alcega dress/skirt patterns are unusually long especially for the descriptions of the wearer. Although Janet Arnold hypothosized it was because, at least in this case, the skirt was measured up roughly 6 inches and then a 1 inch tuck/casing was created in which the bent would be threaded in. Then measure up about 6 inches and repeat. I think I might, in the future try this method rather than the other, as seen to the left.
Originally I toyed with the idea of adding some embroidery on the bands, to mimic that which would frame my Veste, but truth be told thats alot of embroidery for something that most likely will not be seen, unless its not on my body and on a table being judged :)
Notice the pattern
isn't present on the bands?
I'm also going to be using some hemp rope in my stash for the bents. I just don't  happen to have any reed bands, or whalebone on hand (Sal's kind of a crappy hunter that way :D) so I'll be using some hemp cording. After reading several several SEVERAL sites though, I'm going to wash the devil out of the hemp to get it to shrink as much as possible before hand to help with shrinkage.
Also I'm going to utilize a trick Bianca and I used when we originally made underskirts in 2007. Going to do the bottom band with a braided section of rope, just to see how it goes :)

You can find a pretty good in depth look at the farthingale here, and of course you can look at Drea Leed's take on things Here.

Now that we have that settled, I am ITCHING to make my stinking partlet! Its killing me. Thing is, it will need a super duper amount of work, and more importantly it has to be embroidered and sewn entirely by hand (its too delicate for me to trust with the machine). So the partlet on my entry portrait is just your average run of the mill filmy ruffled partlet, see above.

Problem is, whats so spectacular about that?!?!
Maitresse Jaqueline (probably spelt horribley wrong!) is also doing a super spiffy embroidered nifty partlet and has her documentation on her partlet blog entry.

We have tons of examples for partlets though the most famous one is below. EVERYONE seems to use this partlet as a jumping point and there are tons of examples of being done on blogs around the web. Since thats not my dress (and not really my style) I'm going to be using it as a guide though and have settled down between two different pattern ideas for the embroidery. Oh yes, it will have those pearls too!

First.. gotta get the drawers done!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Mode a firenze...

So its true there hasn't been much for me to do at work lately. And I mean really there hasn't been a damn thing for me to do. I spend most of my day surfing the internet and whatnots..

Today though, I spent almost my entire day reading my fabulous book. I will admit that when I received it, I gave it a glance, looked at pictures, drooled alot and then kinda went on with what I was doing.
I know have several plans in my head, though I'm up against an issue.

Does anyone know where this picture is from? Who painted it, etc etc?!?!
See the problem is, I think Bianca sent this to me a while back as an inspiration "hey you should make this dress at some point" type deal. Because its been labeled, "idea for Jennie".
Now I'll admit that after my reading today I have a MUCH MUCH MUCH better idea of how this is all going to work and go together, in fact I have such a better grasp that I'm actually raring to go. And not just kinda.. I mean really raring to go. I have such an excited feeling.
If I can't find any information for this portrait, well there are several more in the same style I can use snippets from :)
Just wanted to know if anyone knew where this one was from.

Also, I need to buy some gold smooth purle :)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Dear blogger I hate you.

I just wrote this big post from my phone about why I'm dropping out of the ircc and it ATE IT.

So basically it went:
There are nine days and I'm not ready. I don't want to turn in partly completed items, but I feel kinda failure-y. I totally underestimated full time mommy to an infant, full time career that often isn't just forty hours a week, putting in our letter of intent for the barony, a schedule change at work, campaign season (we don't camp in artemisia), getting sick in a way that antibiotics won't fix, being hush hush about that, boyfriends job, family trauma and drama, and my general procrastination regarding anything thats just for me.

Whered it all go wrong? My first problem was not having my silk on hand. Too often as ladies and mommas we put off what we want and even need because there is always something someone needs/wants more. So our desires go on the back burner. I watched my silk fabric money go the way of vehicle repairs, baby toys, baby clothes, boyfriend video games, house items, household items. I only resented it a little. But I'm a mommy and a girlfriend. It's just what I do.

I'm a great leader and task master, when it's not for me. There was always something, anything, to be done and so I told myself I couldn't take time out my family time, cleaning time, cooking time, friend time, scribal time to have sewing time.

So what did I learn? I need a schedule. I need to stick to it, deadlines can be moved but not if I've just been lazy. I need to track my tasks and my progress better. Everything is doable if I just try.

Now am I going to make and finish my planned dress? I am. I want to wear it to coronation weekend. Why am I not just pushing it all thru to finish for the competition? Because I would cut corners, do some sloppy stuff and be disappointed in it at the end. So I'll finish my dress by my birthday, wear it and all my layers to coronation, and still feel like I accomplished something worthwhile.

Then I'll apply what I've learned and move on to the ACC.

Thank you for reading this, dear friend. For not judging me too harshly and for understanding.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Have I mentioned how much I dislike blackwork?

We're getting close to the end and I'm running out of ooomph to get the drawers finished.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Ripping out blackwork

So while waiting for numerous analysts to actually get yearly changes to me for updates, I've been working on my blackwork here and there at work. Today I realized though that I left my pattern at home.
It shouldn't be too hard to do it without right? I've stitched the entire motif like 4 times already.

So begins the ripping out stage. After the fifth time ripping stitches out I just gave up for the day.

On another note though, Today was Alyvia's 6 month (okay so its a little late) pictures. Here is the sneak peek pic from Kimi Pollett Photography!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

I love my child I love my child I love my child.

After this *awesome* week of day shift (actually its not that bad) I realized I hadn't snooped *ahem* visited all of the blogs I normally check out -- seeing all of your work both inspires and motivates me to work harder, smarter and faster :).
Lyvy has decided this week of all weeks to start pulling herself to a standing position now with the help of anything thats around (seriously I have been woken up a few times this week when she pulled herself up on the side of the bassinet, reached over and started patting my face as if to say "mamma, I wanna play now". -- Time for the crib). Her favorite is in the pac-n-play in the living room. Thats our baby holding tank! We've used that since she was born because of the awesome changing table part and the bassinet level. We spend most of our time in the living room or kitchen anyways so it made better sense to have her close and have everything we needed to take care of her in a pinch close as well.
The baby jail!
Except yesterday she hoisted herself up, started playing with the changing center and in the space of less than a minute, had pull all of the lotions/powders and whatnots out of one side and chucked them at the floor, found the collection of no-go binkies and pacifiers (we had a trial and error period with them) and had arranged them inside the playpen with her, and had pulled about 15 wipes out of the container and was in the process of shredding them (have I mentioned my baby likes to play with paper?)
Needless to say, bassinet layer came out, and now shes in the larger deeper main area.

After being rescued,
Pardon my naked baby it was hot
today and we'd just had breakfast!
But this presents a problem. She has so much room, and can wiggle around and crawl more that she gets tuck. Don't ask me how my little ball of cuteness does it, but during my blog surfing she has gotten her head mushed up into the fabric screen area twice and not been able to back out, shes gotten the blanket wrapped around her legs 3 times and has somehow gotten the ears of her bunny tucked into the top of her diaper and couldn't get it out.
I swear it seems like every 2-3 minutes I am saving her from something.
Could just be that she wants an apple straw :)

Also an update on my drawers: I dislike blackwork. Yeah I don't like it. I thought I did before but I'm just, not really a fan of it. I'll do it when its appropriate but I'm not gonna lie. I have no ambition to be super great at it.
I found an awesome pattern from here, and decided to use the column/acorn pattern from the second sampler. I just changed out the acorns for flames (WOOOT). First - geometric flames are ridiculous. I mean retarded for me to draw. Mostly because I have very little experience with drawing as an art form. I always know what I want the end result to look like but that never seems to translate to the paper when I free form draw.
They do not look like mushy pineapples!
I ended up with this :

Ty says the flames look more like odd shaped pineapple than flames, but I thought they were as flamey as I could manage after 10-14 different tries of drawing them. I think the biggest issue I'm having with this pattern is there is no center line, no true running line to branch off of. Every single motif you see on there has been stitched differently. Every single one. And that's getting on my nerves. I liked the repetition of a determined pattern, its easier for me to memorize and then I go much much faster.

In any case, if you actually followed the link, on the same sampler the very bottom piece is what I've chosen for my ACC cuffs :D

This week its pocket, and underskirt.

Now off to rescue Lyvy again, I'm sure the bunny is beating her up!

Monday, July 4, 2011

I don't think I can, I KNOW I can!

I really can. I really really can.

I start a new detail tomorrow morning - yeah I said morning. For those that know me, I've been a swing shift employee for almost all of my nearly 13 years in service. But this project is a unique opportunity to go to day shift until November and I couldn't very well pass it up.
So tomorrow at 8 am, I am supposed to report to work. We'll see how this goes.

The odd thing is, I seem to do more in the evenings. Not sure why since I seem to have more time during the day (I generally get up between 9-11 and don't have to be to work until 4). and then more time after work, but the few times I was on day shift I managed to get more done.

In any case....
I am almost finished hand sewing the rolled seams on my drawers, then I'll start my black work. Why did I hem them first and now will start the black work instead of the other way around? Eh.. cause I wanted to. My hand sewing is going MUCH MUCH faster now, so I'm less daunted by the other hand sewing garments I'm considering throwing into the plan. After I get a few things done in my house today I plan on finishing that seam off and starting my blackwork so hopefully there'll be a picture added tonight of some progress.
I'm also going to be working on covers for our camp chairs.

After following Serephina's blog about her shade fly thingy - I knew I could made one too. We've talked about it alot in  سيربينت  بلازينج just to get different ideas of how to make our encampment better. So instead of using duck cloth or canvas I'm practicing on $2 a yard pretty cotton brocade I got at home fashion fabric. Its actually in our house colors and I have some pretty blue cotton that I'll be using to decorate and make the camp chair covers to match.
There are several plans for this house, including the portcullis, the shade flys, and the cooler covers! I love that I have so many crafty people surrounding me that want to make our environment look more period :D

And the last thing I want to get done today, is work on my ACC entrant information. I need to get it submitted so I have something to show that I'm ready for it.

Oh yeah, plus some paperwork called Letters of Intent (*deeep breath*). Gotta get those done too.

Friday, July 1, 2011

The Artemisian Costume Challenge and a question...

So how tickled am I that Mstr Bianca decided to do a challenge similar to the IRCC?
But now this presents a double problem as I want to complete in both. But I want to have a different outfit for the ACC. The only difference really I can see between the two competitions is the $100 limit on the ACC and it doesn't have to be Italian.  -- Oh and the documentation.
Challenge website All of the nifty bits are there.

ALSO! How awesome is it the amount and level of people who are going to be participating! I have just about ALL my material necessary for this project, and with a quick though of "hey if I use this fabric for ACC, instead of IRCC, I can just buy more for IRCC and then I won't go anywhere near my $100 budget!!" Fabulous how that works.

But there is one dilemma.

I need to pick something to make!!!

Yeah that part is already got me picking my brain. I ran across this

when I was sifting thru pictures on my computer yesterday. Other than the last layer blue fitted doublet style dress I've made "this" before. I like that the kirtle isn't clear up to the neck  and I can still get away with showing some cleavage. Plus those poofy Sleeves!! 
"Does it have puff sleeves??"
Why yes it does!!
I think this in fact might be the winner for my gown.

But what do you think?

Thursday, June 30, 2011

*sigh cakes*

I know this is a dumb question to ask, but is anyone else just feeling
A - behind
B - confused
C - blah?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

IRCC update

UPRISING WAR!!! Was upon me, and like most SCAdians, I needed some significant time to get ready, so IRCC went on the back burner for a bit. I ain't skeered though! The week before uprising I pulled out of thin air, 4 pairs of drawers, 2 new camicia, 1 partlet, 1 coif, 1 semi finished velvet jaunty cap (TM), 1 gorgeous peplos, altered 2 bodices for myself. Made 1 linen coat and pair of salwar, fixed another coat for my good pal Sir Roger, and helped my other good pal Lady Cecilia finish 2 new kirtles and we started a new shift.
So I was busy.
Getting back to the grind however, I actually cut out my red linen drawers while at war, took them to my apprentice tea and sat next to my laurel, needle and thread in hand and asked ever so sweetly "Will you show me how to do that awesome hem stitch we always talk about?!" So the drawers are on their way, both have been hemmed along the leg cuff, and since I didn't have my blackwork thread with me last night at work, I made the executive decision to roll hem all of them and join them with the herringbone stitch I read so many of my fellow challenge entrants doing. Might as well give it a shot eh?

I also purchased the fabric for my underskirt! SQUEEEE! Its a pretty lilac, and taking a page from Praks I decided to give the bottom a corded treatment. Being the girly girl I am, I got super screaming bubblegum pink rat tail and have developed the pattern (yes, pattern) that will require hand couching. I am also considering doing a felt backing to that guard, rather than in the hem, just for S&G to see how it goes.

Also, making my practice quicky partlet opened up a whole knew world of "how am I gonna do this". I have this fabulous silk gauze gifted to me a few years back that is just so delicate and sheer and gorgeous that I want want want want it to be a partlet. Problem is, its so delicate and sheer it is a PITA to get it to do much of anything. So I've been muddling about trying to figure something out.
I might call on my pal Serephina after shes done answering a super duper important vigil-type question to see if she has any thoughts on it. If not, I'll either use some of my silk batiste or order some silk organza Mistress Bianca found for me online.

Its time to get to it!!

pics and explanations to come

Friday, June 3, 2011

Salwar for a friend

I hate ironing fabric. HATE IT. I also know it goes easier and quicker if I do.
Oh well back to the salwar.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Super quick update

I finished my necklace and earrings.
Went to Arabian nights
had a busy weekend with other non-sca stuff
quest is this weekend.
Gotta get the 2 scrolls finished.

more later!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Sparkly bits!

I started my jewelry!!! Oh yeah thats right, I got my pieces and my glass beads on clearance when a local craft/hobby store was doing their going out of business sale. Its my first time doing wire worked jewelry and the first couple of headpins definitely show it, but I'm getting better at it.
Its progress right?
I've also almost settled on my design for my pocket, though I wish I could find my damn silk scrap from my original Silk Venetian V gown. I'd love to use some of that silk taffeta. Instead I'm going to use some of my scrap linen from a Sal project.
I'm still debating on whether or not I'm just going to do some goldwork couching or try the trapunto I'd originally planned. I have almost settled on a pattern though.. Its going to be rather large ornate lotus from a book of extent Indian prints I got in Montana when I was visiting for Crown Tournament. The lotus looks very sun-ish and since I want a sun in splendor on my personal device I figure that would look awesome right?!?!?
Must talk to Thea about helping me with my heraldry. I want to actually get a device passed.

Meanwhile after talking it out on Sunday at D&D, I decided my stockings will be some of the silk batiste Kari/Bianca gave me with the tops turned down and red worked. Why turned down you ask? Well I got fatty calves. Every ime I wear garters they slip or I have to tie them so tight that it gets umcomfortable. So I'm going to lengthen the top of the stockings, then turn it down to make a casing of sorts. This is where the embroidery will be at, on that turned down flap.
Plus since my redwork will be my flames, I'm going to embroider crawling flames up the back side of the seam ala 50's stockings!!

For now though, my earrings are done and I'm working on the necklace. I'm going for a cross between a large drop pendant like the portrait on the left, and the double layers like the portrait on the right. So far its kinda slow going but each time I twist a head pin I get a little better and they look nicer. I'm on the lookout for more big purple glass beads/cabachons in order to do my nifty looking girdle belt. I also want the super mega ultra awesome pearl tassel you can see on the belt in the photo on the left (though probably on on this particular link of it). I want that for my dress. Oh yes I do.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Fabulous Feather Fan!

I posted a few times about the epic plans of a feather fan for this outfit. I'd made a feather fan about 8 years ago but it was woefully destroyed and I hadn't had the time or even the inclination to make another.
I had the perfect excuse to make a new one, so with that in mind Gaetana and I hoped on Ebay and ordered a few hundred ostrich feathers.. Thus the planning started! I posted earlier this week that I needed to find something suitable for the handle. We'd talked about having some various things to use, and were looking around for crown molding for the fan head but still the pieces for the handle eluded us. One afternoon after dropping Ty off at work I headed over to Micheals for some beading needles. I was (and am) trying to get all my obligation projects completed so I can get to work on my IRCC stuff without guilt of the "I promised to do this" looming over me.
I figured I'd check out the wood cut section and see what they had since Gaetana mentioned she'd had no luck finding pieces. I looked over the selection of pre-cut pieces and didn't find anything really that made me too excited.
Except this...
 I kept staring at these do it yourself unfinished candlestick holders. Honestly there were about the size I was looking for and I figured parts could be removed with a saw if necessary. So there I am standing in a craft store, holding my unfinished candlestick holder and waving it around like it has feathers on the end. It was a whoooole whopping 2.99 so I picked it up and figured worst case scenario, its not like I was spending a fortune on it.

Later that night at work I kept working at that brass insert and finally got it popped out without too much of a struggle.
Fast forward about a week. Its Saturday morning and I am up gawd awful early for a hair appointment. I haven't had my hair colored in over a year because you aren't supposed to do that stuff when your preggers, but Lyvy has been out for 4 months now and I'm going insane with my regrowth. Salon time it is!! I got my hair colored three different shades of red, and it looks AMAZING!!
Anyways I get home and my feathers are still not there. The seller promised they would be shipped and I should receive them within 4 business days. Its been 9 days and I haven't seen anything :|
At this point I am deliberately stalling to see if the mail brings my feathers. If not, its going to be an easy craft night at Gaetana's just working on the handles.
SUCCESS! The mail comes and I receive this awesome package with fabulously fluffy feathers in it!
After a quick run to the store and some cutting directions I end up with this as a finished handle.
Now isn't that awesome? I ended up spray painting it black, and then after it dried I did a light dusting of gold across it and got a super awesome antique look to it. Laid out the feathers in the pattern I wanted and started drilling holes.

I actually ended up with two fans and I like them both, though the handle on the second one needs some attention..

Couple of things I learned (or relearned) during this project:
  • The veins of ostrich feathers (the real ones) are HUGE. Drill with care
  • Because the veins are so big, you have to keep that in mind when you are planning your fan head. If you don't have the width, you're not going to get as fluffy as you want.
  • Hot glue does not hold together spray painted wood
  • hot glue does burn
  • if you're baby starts to cough and snot during the project, shes sick.
  • feathers are AWESOME!

Saturday, April 30, 2011


The feathers arrived (yes I feel bratty about whining) and epic feather fan day is back on track.
I just bought stuff for my jewelry so lots of accessories will get done tonight!

You disapoint me.

My feathers are still not here. Today is epic feather fan day and they aren't here.
I ordered them on the 20th, was told they were mailed the 21st and that they would take about 4 business days.
Its now the 29th. GRRRRRRRR

It'll be okay. I'm patterning my stockings today so I'm not too terribly stressed. We still plan on working on the fans today even if its just working on the base/handles..

Friday, April 29, 2011

A decision has been reached.

I'm still doing the IRCC.. stop fretting about it. But as usual I'm stuck with a certain task in mind and since I can't decide how or what, I'm not doing anything.
So I'm going to move on. Yup. Since my drawers are causing me such a damn heartache-are they red, are they white, are they going to be blackworked or redworked, are they going to be straight legged or gathered blah blah blah blah blah. Do I buy fabric or redye what I have, do I accept Prak's offer of red linen.. ENOUGH!
I'm moving on for now. As of this moment I am finishing the beading for her Majesty. I am going to work on my fan (feathers or not) this weekend, and I'm going to pattern my stockings. I am going to also decide on a design to do tramputo on my "pocket".
I'm going to make my stockings out of the white silk batiste I was gifted a few years back. That and my standing collar partlet.
As for the partlet I'm going to make two. Since I can't decide what I want, I'll just do both. Theres never a problem with more than one right?

First things first. Get the dishes done and get myself all dressed and ready for work so I can do beading. Once the favors are finished I can move on.

OH-- and my book came yesterday. I LOVE it! I just ordered my pattern (yeah yeah yeah.. I've never made this dress before and want to use it to help fit-- plus its a reconstructing history pattern) and I'm narrowing down my guard silk color now.. Its progress!

Real life

Can be such a pain!!!
Have I done anything to get started?
Some things have been hindering me
  • boyfriend still sick
  • boyfriend gainfully employed
  • boyfriend has to go to work 2 hours before me and we're still only a 1 vehicle family (I need to get that damn truck running and registered!!)
  • baby has been cheerful
  • I'm.. a girl. >:|
  • new project at work started
  • gotta finish those beaded favors!!
My already beloved copy of Mode a firenze should be here tomorrow and I'll admit I've been dragging my feet a bit. That's understandable right? This book is supposed to be the end all and be all of Florentine dress and I am doing my entire dress based off this style. So waiting is a good thing!!

I dyed my fabric. Its not the color I want it to be. *sigh* its.. well.. a sorta coral.. dark coral yes but not the bleeding red dark man u red I wanted. Bianca (Kari M) is... encouraging (yeah thats the word!) me to purchase some red linen because its on sale. It seems like a good idea, but truthfully since I'm spending so much money on my silk, I'd rather just use what I have. I know that means a bigger headache for myself in the end with a re-dye attempt but hey at least I'll be saving some money right?

This weekend is the epic feather fan making day. That is if the feathers get here (I ordered them last wednesday from canada, you'd think they would be here by now). Yesterday while I was at Micheal's getting more beading needles to work on the favors for her Majesty, I scooted down the beading aisle and something shiny gold and red caught my eye. Always on the look out for stuff that would go well with my persona I picked up
for my girdle belt pendant. I love it!! The only thing I'm considering doing is taking out the nasty red fake red ball and putting a few super large pearls in it, whatcha think?
I figure I'm going to ask Ceci (stephanie) to show me more about making a girdle belt when the time comes and I might make a new one similar to the one she made me with the red tone glass jewels and pearls.. its pretty damn epic as a girdle belt I think.

While I was there I also headed to the back to look at the wood shapes for fan making this weekend. Woefully they didn't have alot of what we were looking for. We don't want to/have time to hand turn handles on a lathe and I certainly don't want to chance cutting my thumb off by hand carving a handle. Now that isn't to say that I won't attempt to make a different handle later, perhaps I will. The stuff available at the store was not what we were looking for, and I kept getting discouraged but also kept staring at the same thing over and over again. Finally I gave up and picked it up.
They have these unfinished candlestick holders there. They are about 6 inches or so and have an interesting if somewhat predictable shape to them but they fit perfectly in my hand! I'm sure anyone walking by must have thought I was crazy as I fanned myself with the wooden candlestick.
The feathers aren't here yet but they should be..

here's hoping right?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

*sigh* this is not a good sign

So we're now on day 2 of the IRCC and have I done anything? Have I started any sewing or any embroidery?

Um.. no.

I, in fact, have not.
All I have done, thus far is purchase my red dye (yeah I'm using commercial red dye instead of doing it on my own) and I have plotted out my embroidery. Yeah.. that's it.

Oh and I've picked the fabric for my dress, still trying to decide what color to do the guards with, and I've *thought* about my partlet.
I ordered feathers last night for my fan.. thats cool right?

So what have I been doing since the challenge started?
Alyvia's 4 month appointment was yesterday and I had to be to work early. So that killed all my before work chances to do anything.
Today I got up late because *someone* didnt go back to sleep until nearly 730. Dear gawd. Its also potluck today at work so I'm currently making funeral potatoes with hamburger. Plus I've done 2 loads of laundry.

I do have tomorrow off. All I have to do is go to a wedding rehearsal at 5. So that means tomorrow the fabric gets dyed and cut out so I can start the embroidery for my drawers..
I'll get this going yet..

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wanna see my fabric?

Okay so its still a link and I can't actually embed the picture of the fabric (or at least I shouldn't) until I actually buy the stuff, but isn't it yummy?
My first thought was to go with brick red (because thats my favorite color of all time) but I already have a super fabulous dress made from that color and I need to make something different. So this purple it is. I'm picking it and looking for a nice contrasting fabric to do the guards with..
I just need the damn refund $$$ to get here so I can purchase my dress fabric..
C'mon IRS!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I never said this would be simple

So, as usual. I've changed my mind.
I kept looking at the fabric I bought and frankly its a little too.... *trimmy* for me. So I'm not going to use it on the final dress. I might use it for the test run dress and put it on some tight fine line corduroy I have. Its not that the fabric isn't gorgeous, I just don't think its right for what I want to do.
Instead I am now looking for purple silk taffeta and kelly green taffeta. Thats what I want, so I'm on the look out for it. Even Pink taffeta would be awesome!
I really really REALLY don't want to use dupioni, but I will settle for that if I have to.

The Spring mini shoot pictures!

These are the pictures taken by the utterly brillian Kimi Pollet at Pollett Photography. She is super brilliant!!
These were the pictures taken during her spring mini shoot. I love my little family!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Panic is my name

Seriously, what the hell was I thinking?!?!!
The challenge hasn't even started yet, and I'm suddenly going thru a spiral of OMG OMG OMG OMG. Bianca and I have been talking and plotting and I *think* I'm doing the super mega famous Elenora Burial Gown from PoF.

Yeah, so everyone does this dress at some point. I should jump on this bandwagon. See the thing is, I actually want a side back lacing dress. I want a non-split skirt. Oh and did I mention I bought the most awesome fabric 2 years ago at Estrella with sleeves in mind? Its panneled with some interesting floral accents on it.

The plan will be to use the fabric (with like a hell of a lot of beading/pearling on it) for the sleeve panels. Whats left will be cut and turned into strips for the other guards on the bodice, down the front and around the skirt (here's hoping I have enough.. I think I bought 3 yards at 60 inches wide--I'll take a picture during the day when I have better light).I believe the original dress was velvet (yeah I gotta get my copy of PoF out and re-read the entire thing) but mine will be silk, silk taffeta if I can find it. I love taffeta. It's a gorgeous fabric and I love the way it drapes. This plan is of course, not set in stone because I also love the gold work scroll pattern from this super famous dress.. Then again the partlet and caul might be from this portrait..  Are you sensing a theme yet? But then again it  might be from the silk gauze I was gifted a few years back with some delicate smocking and pearl work.. mmmm that sounds awesome.. maybe that'll be the partlet *distracted*

The new and improved rules do claim you can get help patterning/fitting so I think its time to finish my corded corset and get some patterning help from Mistress Bianca and another else willing to help out.
To complete by August 21st:

  1. Drawers, redworked with a saying in Italian (it cracks me up!!)
  2. Covercierge (partlet.. and I have no idea if I spelled it right)
  3. Caul/coif -- to be determined
  4. dress
  5. sleeves
  6. girdle belt
  7. feather fan
  8. underskirts
  9. flag fan (perhaps using some nifty trapunto I learned at collegium)
  10. whatever else tickles my fancy that might be awesome.. seriously I'm debating on one of those nifty "pocket" pouches.. sounds so damn cool
All of this, plus normal garb for campainging, taking care of Lyvy, working a full time career and maintain a home..

Good thing it was my boyfriend who super duper told me I should do this right?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

What in the hell are you thinking?

I've always been a little crafty ADD. I can never settle on one thing to do and keep it at that. I have to try everything! I took sewing classes when I was around 10, and learned most of the basics even before that from my mom. I bought my first sewing machine (which I still have!!) when I was 12. I knew how to follow a pattern and could do most crafty stuff when I wanted.
Then I was introduced to the Society for Creative Anachronism.
Hello craft HEAVEN. Here was a place that combined all of the stuff I already knew, plus the stuff I wanted to learn but had no practical application. Plus I could party, and dress up pretty!
I joined, played for about a year, quit because of a relationship and came back 4 years later.

I remember over a year ago when I first started talking to Duchess Mistress Caryn Von Katzenburg about becoming her apprentice. Caryn is the *it* Duchess and the premiere Laurel of our kingdom-- and a super great friend but did I mention I can't look her directly in the eye sometimes? I had admired her for forever, since I joined SCA and knew all along that if I was to ever apprentice to someone it would have to be her. It just had to be. I finally got up the courage to ask her and she agreed (sucker!) I know I picked Caryn for many reasons.She's smart and sassy in a way most people don't ever get to see. Shes talented and has skill in almost all of the arts I'm interested in. She has a way of telling you something is crap that doesn't hurt my feelings. I'll listen to her and she has a very strong A type personality so I won't get irritated when she tells me to do things a certain way.
A green apprentice favor later at Uprising and suddenly I had a Laurel!
We'd talked about her expectations of me entering Kingdom A&S in 2011, to which I replied, "Sure! That'll be easy."
... Easy?
At the time I was at 4 months pregnant, was expecting my first daughter in December and had this delusional idea that I'd totally be able to continue the level of crafty stuff after the baby was born. All of my pals knew the truth but I vainly held on that I could juggle both crafts, sewing, full time career, boyfriend, baby and sanity.
Who was I kidding?!?!
Fast forward to April of 2011. My precious darling child, Alyvia Jean,  is 4 months old, and I'm slowly getting back into craft things. I have a blog for her and our family so loved ones who didn't live in Utah could follow her growth online. I had toyed with the idea of creating a blog for my crafty stuff but since I was woefully always behind with Lyvy's blog I wasn't sure I could keep up with another.
I started getting my garb in order, learned some new crafts and was volunteering/donating my time to Kingdom endeavors.