Wednesday, December 10, 2014

blogging...when you have nothing to say. I am. Blogging, even though I don't think I have anything to say. Except - that if you know me, or have met me and stood in my general vicinity for more than five seconds then you know that is just a lie. I do have things to say, about a great many and varied type things. So really? What is the deal with this lack of blogging thing?

I am currently on a personal adventure to get super specific as to why this is. Deal with what somehow ALWAYS comes back to how we feel about stuff that then gets translated into areas of out life (like sewing, costuming, and blogging.) I am ready to do everything up to and including to admitting that blogging about my sewing and costumes is just NOT blowing my skirt up as my dear friend Gina likes to say. This folks is where I am. I'm glad this is where I am- I am not stuck, the world is an amazing place and I am super grateful that I can just put this out there, deal with it as needed and hello- let all the rest go. Seriously.

"So whats not working?"
I can't seem to blog on command or on schedule for that matter.

I have fun blog ideas all the time...usually when I am knee deep in some other activity when it will be not cool to say "sorry gotta blog this." Later when the keyboard is available- nothin!

Possible solution:
Make and or buy a super cute notebook and do that super organized "my blog is my business" thing where you actually write down all your mad cap ideas and possibly a phrase or note to three. Then forget about it until that keyboard awaits your brilliance.

Ok any other reasons? YEP!
I have spent more time and frankly money than I care to admit trying to make the fact of blogging life  (yes I am talking about the ever high holy pictures) come as easily as possibly to me. It's still a HUGE struggle. HUGE. I like photography when OTHER people do it.

Possible solution: spend more time with the shutterbug daughter - in costume- taking- you know- photos. This is such a "high maintenance" type solution for me that frankly its practically off the scale. There is the time, the dressing up for no real reason and the location...because its apparently all about the location. Its possible that the answer to this is a frank and blunt "get over yourself- do you want this or not?" I am officially looking in the mirror and making the "this is not a rhetorical question" mom face at myself. I honestly don't feel an answer yet.

Ok is that it? Nope!
There is a background feeling of one-upmen-ship that BUGS me. Its just out there, no I don't mean you...I'm just sayin.

Solution: because there is no possible to this-this IS the solution. "What other people think of me is not my concern!!!" Damnit. I do not know why this trips me up. Seriously I KNOW this one. I tell other folk all the time! I am kinda that person who will frankly look you in the face and say to you "why do you care??" and I am letting fret mess with my joy. Nope- that ends now. You go- hand bead that antique sari with unicorn mane in your "are you even kidding me?" studio and then post those photos with perfect lighting and pose that look effortless and don't even hold back on all those awesome "I made it myself" accessories including the shoes because that is how you ROLL!! Because you all rock at it!! Me? I'm gonna do what I love and and then do some more of what I love and I'm going to share it with a total open, honest and carefree abandon.

Well then- thats that. "Yes, yes it is. "

Problem #2 : Sluggy McSluggerson sewing.
Thats all I got...Costumes are taking me forever, they are sluggish, and dull and no- I'm not all fired up or excited about it. Hence. the. problem.

Possible solution: "So go back to a time when you were- what made you fired up?" Way back, there was a ton of new to learn, and so very many skills to hone.

"How do you feel now?"  I feel like I've come to the end of the internet. Its all been done.

Conclusion: I really need to redefine my costuming and the place it holds in my life. I no longer costume for any of the reasons I started and while that is OK! I would like to look at my sewing with fresh and eager eyes.

What costuming can NOT be and stay in my world.
- competition
- an escape, I frankly love the snot out of my life and the idea of "escaping" from it turns me off cold.
- a burden, seriously.
- a drain on my emotional resources. I refuse to be unhappy or stressed doing a thing that is supposed to bring me joy and relaxation!
- drain on financial resources. I'm a budget girl- my budget does not confine me -my envelopes to not limit me. They give me total permission to both joyously spend what I have decided with intention. Likewise, they give me total permission to say no. "Thats not in the budget right now, this week, month, year, lifetime." I decide what my money priorities are (along with the hubbie!) not you, not your crazy ideas, your last minute "you just gottas" your "awwww you know you want to's" No I don't want to. If we can plan a thing for a reasonable date and cost in the future, then lets talk. Otherwise take your crazy elsewhere. I have done some pretty awesome costume stuff at some pretty cool places on two continents. I may not know what I want to sew next but I darn sure can lay out a budget for it, save for it, and execute it. When I do I will dance a jig around the yard weather I spend 4$ on silk gifted from the end of season rolls or 50$ on amazing coutil. If the money is for costume- then thats what its for. GUILT FREE- NO EXPLANATION NEEDED. Its about intention. I have a 100$ costume budget and I intend to spend it in JOY. Don't let Judgey McJudgersons trip you up on this ones my friends.

In closing. We all have our moments of questioning how valid an activity is in our lives. If not costuming then elsewhere. I've found that when I start dragging my feet and avoiding doing a thing- there is a darn good reason and that reason just might be I'm being called someplace else.

In other late breaking news...

this piece of brilliance is both keeping me up at night and totally distracting me from this...

and this for that matter...

So friends what are you not thrilled with in your life? Why? Does it just need a kick butt makeover or is it time to remove it from your life so you can get on with what does thrill you so much your actually day dreaming about it right now?

P.S. apparently its time for a new template since this one refuses to justify left and is over lapping the post title with the first sentence. Le Sigh....

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Mourning dress and studio update

Today I drug out my mourning dress from two years ago to wear later this month to a "Mourning Tea"with the DFW costume guild. Here is what I have to work with. 

My plan is to add purple and some black lace from the lace hoard to make this a half mourning gown. I mean, it has been two years, it's time to leave deep mourning and mix in society a bit. 

Here is the purple I will be adding. 

It's a beautiful deep rich purple with a cross weave of black. Perfect! 

It was at about this point that I got disturbed by all the stuff in the background, I really don't work well with clutter or too much busy visual distraction. There was nothing for it. Time for a tidy and a good floor sweep. 

See that hanging rack on the right? Yes that one! It's been better than nothing for several years. It is cheap (read falls over) short (read things hang on the ground) and narrow (read not enough room for all the things.) I decided today was the day to retire and replace it. 

Google search and Pinterest powers activate! 

I found this lovely idea. There was no info attached to this image just a "user upload" 

I love iron pipe structures and if you check out my big cutting table you will see the base is iron pipe. I also had enough pipe left from the coolest gift of pipe ever ( thank you again and again Kathryn!) even after my table and hubbie's cool tire rack to make this. I needed just a couple fittings and some wood. I spent $47 on this project. 

Here is the best handyman ever installing it for me! Look how tall it is!! Squeeee! 

Yes he actually started doing pull ups on it! Note to self - fill it up quickly before my studio becomes the gym. Anyway... It's super strong and will hold "all the things!"

Then he had to make the "crazy grin so my crazy wife can blog about it" face. Yes ladies this is exactly what it's like around here. (I'm am sooooo all about this guy!!) 

But wait! There's more! Remember the wood I mentioned? I want to add a shelf to the top to hold my hat boxes. 

Yes! That will work nicely. 

And here it is all done and loaded. I'd like this area to be for projects in the works so I can clear off my table at the end of a day. Clean horizontal surfaces make me happy!! This is also a great place to load costumes before an event and make sure nothing gets left out.  

Goodbye small, short, and inadequate. Deep cleansing breath of happiness.... Exhale. Now! Back to the dress. I played around with things for a bit and came up with this. 

I like the combination of color and texture. Here you can see a close up of the lace over the purple. 

Everything is just pinned at this point. Pins are so much easier to remove than stitches. I like to step back snap a couple photos and just let a look sink in. Is it balanced? Does it need more? Or less? It's a good step in the design process. 

Then it was time to stop for pizza night with my crew and return to the rabbit hole which is Pinterest for inspiration for the overskirt...

Ideas ideas... 
So how was your Friday? 

Monday, September 22, 2014

A day trip to Dallas

Saturday, Hubbie and I took a lovely long drive up to Dallas for the exquisite Antique Elegance show.
What a treat it was! Here is a story of two lace grab bags and the treasures I found therein. 

Grab bags as you know can be a gamble, but traditionally the idea is that you get a mix of things worth at least the purchase price but of the bag makers choice. They have bits and bobs and end pieces. Well... here were my bags 

two gallon sized zip lock bags ...

and this mess is what fell out...

then my work began to gently pull the pieces apart and see what I had. 

dosent look like much.

but as I gently unraveled it spritzed it with some vinegar water and let that sit for a couple minutes so the fibers could relax you could see the lovely pattern of the lace

it's lovely.

and just over a yard long. 

this piece was a yard long and about 30 inches wide 

The pattern is delicate the way only the old laces are....sigh...

It still had the tag attached which was a treat! 

one side had scalloped edges- dreamy! 

This yummy bit was also just over a yard. 

the pattern looks like it stepped out of an 1880's catalogue.

there were several large motif pieces that had been cut from lace yardage. 

This piece was eight yards long 

This piece was about 26 inches

 but oh my...its lovely. 

it was about this point that I realized I needed to grab a note pad so I could write down the lengths of each piece. There was more than I expected! 

The lovely things kept coming... it was like a fairy dream. 

I am always so impressed with the intricate patterns of old lace. 

This piece is three yards long and over six inches wide...breathless! 

This small piece is 30 inches from scallop to cut edge and about 24 inches wide...perhaps an Edwardian bodice front? 

a photo of the wide piece with the ruler so you can see the pattern. 

then this piece unfolded....its edged all the way around like a sole or a very delicate table runner. Best grab bag ever! 

it does have a little hole in it but still - it has potential. 

this polka dotted pretty is 2.5 yards long and 4 inches wide. 

a couple more motifs came out of the bag

I am so glad I purchased Wearing History's blouse pattern as I think I may have enough bits with some good black batiste to make an Edwardian blouse. 

Well this went on for a time and at the end of it I had three pieces between 7-10 yards long of insertion lace and collar pieces and a cuff and more short but perfect lace bits. All in all a very well spent 16$ if I do say so myself and I hope you have enjoyed sharing in the fun along with me. 

The Plaid skirt is coming along... its been a very oddly over scheduled two weeks here. It has gone so very far beyond busy I won't even try to describe it. I did manage to get into the studio on Sunday though and TA DA! Pocket! 

Until next time my friends...pocket all the things! 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Rumors of my death...

have been highly overstated. After returning from costume college I went into some sort of mental and sewing shut down. I think I have recovered now. I find myself day dreaming of new things and feel already a slight but not unproductive panic about getting next years projects underway so as not to be a later-gator. So how did I do on the procrastination front? Better than last year- which frankly is great. I feel very positive about future goals. 

So what is up? I want to of coarse share all the drool worthy moments from coco 2014 and I will in a separate post but right now I just need to share how much fun I had with my friend Gina of Beauty from Ashes who unlike myself has posted all about the event from her side of things. Without her determination to force me into photo mode (there may or may not have been actual force used) I would have no pictures what so ever to share with you all. Having a shutterbug buddy is pretty cool if I do say so myself and now that I have survived the experience I do - say so. 

One of the unexpected things that happened was this silk...I mean I knew it would. I don't think I have ever gone to LA and got just what was on my list or even found everything on my list. LA is not like that it is a huge mash of possibilities that only occasionally align with the perfect timing of the universe to produce the elusive complete checked of shopping list. 

What I did find however is lovely. 

See that navy,tan, teal, white plaid silk on the left? Yeah...that came home with me. As you can see from the photo this is a tone I kinda, maybe, have a thing for. 

I'm going to be making a mid-decade 1890's walking skirt with a blouse waist to celebrate this fun plaid and Heather's new pattern. This outfit is a typical fresh start kind of project for me. After a really intense period of sewing and travel I like a nice straight forward project to get me going in the studio again. This skirt will also kick off my new personal challenge "pocket all the things!" once again I found that there are NEVER enough pockets while at conventions. Yes yes...I know...this is what bags and reticules are for. I can think of nothing so loathsome as having one more thing hanging off my body. I also tend to set things down and in the fun of chatting might very well walk off without a reticule (shuddering horror!) So to cater to my personal foibles and addresses what is for me a real annoyance I will be adding pockets both discreet  and obvious to my costumes in the coming year. Stay tuned for the pocketty goodness. 

See? I really do like teal... adorable color that it is. Here I am in one of my favorite new dresses at coco. I love this gown because "LOOK!" its me - in Regency! 

 Me again in proof of teal appeal. This dress is now a "that old thing" but it is very much a favorite. 

Shortly I will be cutting into the above teal cotton velvet goodness for a Regency Pelisse to wear this Fall. More teal...imagine that. 

So until next time fellow teal lovers- pocket all the things! 

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