Monday, December 13, 2010

Finals - Day One

I am SO looking forward to spending time playing rather than doing schoolwork.  It's become such a chore that I'm not looking forward to next semester, but isn't that how it always is?

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Finals!

It feels like a really long time since I was writing in here last, and things have just been busy.  After Midterms came Thanksgiving, and after that are Finals, and then Christmas, so it's just been non-stop crazy.  Good crazy though.  My drawing class met for the last instructional period on Thursday, hence the paintings.  Sketches really, but you get the idea.  Finally is my little fireplace inspired by the film, Howl's Moving Castle.  I finished all of the construction, and just have to glue a tiny bit together on Tuesday and it will be finished!  I am so very excited about it.  My lighting savvy friends have given me a wee LED and are going to help me get Calcifer all lit up for presentation next Thursday.  More pictures are forthcoming. 

habit Friday

sometimes I miss him more than he will ever know. I am comforted by knitting and hope for the future.

Inspired by habit Blog

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Cornish - Update 1 - WARNING: picture heavy post! ;)

It's high time I wrote a little about being at Cornish along with some pictures! I keep promising them, and not yet posted any here.  Cornish is amazing, it's kicking my butt in old ways, teaching me new things, and I'm finding muscles I haven't used in four years or so.  I have friends, I know my locker combinations, and I think I am doing fairly well here.  Midterms start tomorrow which is why I have a tiny lull to write anything at all not school mandated.  Below are a series of photos from within the first few weeks of classes.  We're not quite so silly now that we're nose to the grindstone, but we're doing well.  First up, my locker.  I share this with two other people, and if you can imagine two of me stuffed in there, we would be very comfortable. In short, it's HUGE!

I take a drawing class once a week, and it's been good to get my hand worked up again.  We're covering the basics; perspective, still life, using strong light and shadow, working from live models, so it has been fun.  It's one of the most relaxing classes because we can just draw for an hour or so.

This is my drafting class or Theatre Graphics.  We affectionately refer to it as "Advanced Kindergarten" because we're drawing lines and circles, working on our letters, and using lots and lots of numbers! Whew!  This class is really interesting because it's teaching me to look at things from many different perspectives and manipulate objects in my head, then transfer them onto paper.  We build models, make tiny staircases, and construct our own fireplaces (miniature) at the end of the semester.

This, my friends, is Dennis.  He's my adopted little brother and a cohort in crime as we're both class clowns.  Don't worry, I get my work done on time, and try not to cause too much trouble for my instructors.  He's hilarious and I love him to pieces.

My darling Allegra, doing a charcoal drawing at The Center for Wooden Boats where we looked at Atmospheric Perspective.  She is a sweet girl who has adopted me as her "mommy".  Each class we're in, each morning she comes over to give me a hug and I am greeted with "Momma Anna!"  Because that is what I am.  Momma Anna.

Welding in Shop.  I have only welded once to date (don't tell Greg!) and I fervently hope I don't have to weld much again.  Spending too much time with the fumes apparently makes my body angry and I start coughing and hacking.  I quite prefer soldering, thanks, it doesn't make me cough.  The very patient man in the green shirt (holding, I might add a welding mask, he is NOT staring at the light!) is Greg.  One half of the compliment that makes up our Shop instructors.  He works with Peter and together I have decided need to start their own show.  They are our adorable odd couple and make Shop so very, very much fun.  They kick our butts when we need it, and make us laugh when we mess up, and encourage us when we deserve it.

This is my Sonya, and I love her to death.  She is also a non-traditional student, an amazing mama to two kids, and general all round great gal.  She keeps us cheerful because I'm pretty sure there's not a lot in this 'verse that could make her unhappy.  I have adopted her as my big sister.

Costume Shop, with "other Anna" and Allegra.  At Cornish, you have to take Fundamentals classes that we refer to affectionately as "Fundies".  Half of it is in Scene Shop and half is in Costume shop.  In addition to that you are assigned to a show that you get to hang lights for.  You also help with Load In and Strike.  Cornish WILL keep you busy, and I love it.  Costume shop is run by Carl and his assistant, Diane.  They're lovely people, and I already adore Carl. He's a commanding cranky man who will mess with you just as much as you mess with him.  He's fabulous!

Sonya and I are often the extra teachers when it comes to sewing, because we've both sewn for ages.  So we patiently help to thread machines, wind bobbins, and assist you when Carl or Diane are busy.  That'll be 5 cents, please.

And that's it for now. I have taken more pictures of the Lighting I'm working on now, but those are for next time.  Maybe even video if I can make it work.  I love scissor lifts!  Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed your little view into Cornish.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Time Passes

A year ago tomorrow someone I barely knew suddenly left my life. A week after their Grandpa went home, so did my little Blueberry. I like to think my Grandpa went first so he could hold their hand and keep them safe for me, and the thought makes me smile despite the sadness.

Today I knit another piece for Project Hope, in hopes of the future and all that will await me.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Got Rhythm?

Well, I am surviving.  I am not quite yet in the thriving mode, though I confess I am too hard on myself.  Here I am, stumbling admirably through my first week (got that, FIRST week) of Cornish and I'm already wanting to make more progress than is physically even possible.  I look forward to finding that groove, where I can be effortless in finding my class and knowing what comes next, instead of this herky-jerky sweaty hurry that I'm stuck in for the next little while.  It's really okay, I have made friends, and I have a locker and everything, but I'm not in the groove yet, and I so wish I was.

I did, however, find my most favourite place in the whole wide world.  Okay, the second most favourite, but still.  I found the costume shop.  Sad to say, I don't have pictures yet, but it's glorious.  Stacks of boxes of neatly labelled fabric.  Notions that could choke a horse.  Mannequins, scissors, sewing machines, and sergers, oh my!  I could live in there, with the exception that I doesn't include Nate.  Pictures are forthcoming, but for now it's just good old words.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Doublet Update/Pictures!

It all came together in the end. I'm not entirely satisfied with the results, but I'm content with the fact that I can rework the pieces later and make they better. So I leave you with some photos I have snitched from Facebook from the entire three weekends of the Washington Misdummer Renaissance Faire.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I just might be the Lunatic you're looking for?

I have problems. Everybody does. The thing is that most people, myself included, go about our days ignoring our problems or denying they even exist.

Part of me really misses living in a household where we all have problems, but no one really said anything about mine. They went seen but unspoken. It led to crappy self-esteem and one hell of an act. I can make the people I love believe that I'm okay. That I don't hate myself anymore. Hell, I've lied to my therapist. The thing that bothers me is when people see it and say something about it. Put my problems in my face. Reflect back to me exactly what I loathe and spend most of my time wishing fervently would just up and disappear. That's the funny thing about problems, they don't just melt away like ice cream left out on the counter. They can sit there and be medicated into submission or hibernation, or they can be gouged out and vehemently killed.

I desperately want to sit with a therapist for perhaps a month of sessions and come away magically cured. I want to ignore the fact that the world doesn't work that way, and I must come to grips with that fact.

People used to tell me all the time; "You're such an amazing person! Never change!" and I would wonder why anyone would think that. I'm an actor. You hide what is ugly with smoke and mirrors so you only show what people perceive to be lovely and admirable. People have also told me, through tears, that they wished they could be more like me, or be me. I also can't understand why anyone would want my life or my psyche. I have more problems, idiosyncrasies than the Eiffel Tower has bolts, or something equally applicable. The frustrating part is that I'm not changing as fast or as much as I would ideally like because I keep hiding. I hate being exposed because I have problems. I have problems because of my childhood. The wheel turns on and on but I go no where.

Why did all this come up suddenly? Because I was thinking about all the little lies and acts my amazing fiancee sees through. It's like he has The Sight and can see into my Faerie land, only he can see what is real and what is glamour. I don't feel worthy of his love, but I am so very grateful for all of it. For the sweetness and the silliness. For his serious moments, and his tenderness.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Happy Weekend!

Well, the Doublet got good praise all round, with minor comments from our darling master sewer, Cindy. It works, and I can do better next time, but this one is mostly a success.

Monday, August 2, 2010

A few more pictures . . .

The Ensemble: part one

Since I now have actual slops, I'm going to refer to the whole shebang as The Ensemble from now on, (provided I remember that).
The Doublet is all but finished, it needs a button band extension and then ten shiney pewter buttons and it's ready to roll for Faire.
The Slops (baggy pants) are giving me grief. They require Cartridge Pleating (TECHNIQUE HERE) which I am more than prepared to learn, it seems a handy skill for my line of work. I just skimmed over the part where they say to practice the pleats on scrap fabric so you a) know how to do it, and b) know how it will work with your fabric. Me, being me, plunged headlong into the fray and dealt with the repercussions later. Meaning I did up a whole waist band, pleated it, and found my stitches were too wide. Snappeth.

Today, I will take my time and more care and make those darn cartridge pleats behave! :) Pictures later . . .

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Doublet - Part Three

Saturday, Nate and I ran all over looking for black or grey wool suiting from which to make the "real" doublet.  We ended up going to Shoreline's JoAnn Fabric and rejoicing for they had both black AND grey suiting!  Six yards of wool later and four yards of cherry red piping we headed home and collapsed.
Monday I cut out all the pieces from muslin for lining and the grey for the main doublet.  Yesterday I sewed and sewed, ironed, pinned and sewed some more and I had a doublet.  Mostly.
The fronts were an inch off length-wise, and the back seam was total crap.  Not wanting to make more mistakes, I set it aside and knitted.

This morning I took a seam ripper to the whole thing, ripped back to where I sewed on the tabs and put it back, but within the seam allowance this time. . . now it's just a matter of making up the sleeves and hand stitching along the seams for more structure to the garment.

It's really frustrating because I want to do a perfect job, and I'm doing a good job. The last version came out perfect and perhaps I am a little arrogant in thinking this one will turn out with the same perfection when I've changed materials. So I make progress, it's only going to be so good and all I can do is try my best.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Doublet - Part Two

When I last reported in, I only had a muslin mock up. Now I have nearly a fully completed doublet. The only sad part is that this isn't the one he's going to be wearing! It's practice, mostly.

First off, I traced the corrected muslin onto some heavy paper-stock so I could have a new pattern to work from.

Then I made a new muslin from the corrected ("new") pattern. . . spent the weekend knitting, and didn't fit it until Monday night.  It worked beautifully!

Cut out the fabric - $2.50 from Goodwill I might add!

Before I could sew the lining (the corrected muslin) in entirely, the pattern needed me to make up the tabs that go along the waistline.  So I blithely stitched along not realising I had sewn them backwards.  Luckily I only had seven to rip out and re-sew as opposed to another doublet pattern which calls for several hundred little tabs.  Re-stitched, turned right side out, and ironed within an inch of their scrawny little lives, the tabs were ready.

I pinned them on, to make sure that the unadjusted tabs would still encircle my adjusted waistline, and they did absolutely perfectly.  I sure lucked out this time!

With the tabs sewn securely to the body, I was then able to stitch the lining along that lower edge and turn the whole deal right side out again, pulling it through an armhole.  I ironed it so all the seams laid the correct way and it was smooth and nice for the arms to be stitched in later.  I also stay stitched (a line of stitches to keep things in place) around the arm holes to keep the lining and fabric in the correct place.

Yummy perfectly lined up seams.  This is the first time everything has fallen perfectly into place in a sewing project and I couldn't be more chuffed about it all.  I am hoping the second one goes just as smoothly. * crosses fingers *

Yesterday I got the sleeves put together (after A LOT of fiddling to figure out which side goes where to make it all pretty once I flip it right side out! oy.) and the wings.  Those are the crescent shaped do-hickies you see in the above picture.  They sit on top of the sleeves and are tucked on top of the shoulder.  Kind of like epaulets, but Tudor style.  I would have finished pictures to show you, but I was happily "borrowed" by my brother and don't regret it.  The day was fun.

TO-day however, it's nose to the sewing machine and I'm going to have finished photos tonight!  And maybe still have time for fabric hunting.  There is an upholstery shop not far from my house and I want to scope out what their prices are like.  Three weeks till Faire, people! :)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Hope Project

I haven't written about this idea before, so don't worry if it suddenly sounds new to you. :) It's been percolating in the back of my mind and on my heart a lot lately. Since I spend the bulk of my time alone all day, there is a lot of time to think, and sometimes that thinking isn't terribly productive. It's often revealing of what's on my heart though, and this is how Project Hope was born.

Last October I lost my first baby and it was traumatic, horrible, and scary. I have hoped for so very very long to finally have a child, and here I was, loosing that which I desired above all else. I did what any self-respecting student of Elizabeth Zimmerman would do and knitted. I made a little tiny hat for someone who would never wear it. I wrapped it in tissue paper, stuffed it into a box and tried to forget how much it hurt. Here I am, ten months and twenty days later, still knitting. I am drawn to baby projects, I admit it. I want to knit tiny baby things to soothe myself. At first I considered this idea idiotic, why knit baby things for a baby you don't have? What not knit baby things for other people's babies? I do sometimes, but it's always with the knowledge that I still don't have one. My baby hat is still empty, my heart still has a baby shaped hole in it, waiting for that beautiful day when I can finally hold my child in my arms.

Then I caved. I made booties. Tiny, perfect, little baby booties for feet that aren't here yet. These languished for a while on my crafting table waiting for a time when I'd finally put buttons on them. Yesterday I did just that. I tucked away all the little yarny ends, I sewed buttons on them, I took the obligatory knitting-blog photos and something in my heart changed. Project Hope was born. I don't want to be bitter (It'll never happen), or scared (What if I loose another one?), I want to knit on with confidence and hope, through all crises, until I reach the day where I can pull out the bonnet and put it over a little head, until the day when I can tuck tiny baby toes into handmade booties. I want to hope for that day, and in so wanting, I allowed myself to knit. I permit myself to knit things for my babies to come because it's theraputic for my soul. Other things for other babies will be made, but there will also be extra special things just for my babies, to be tucked away in the box labeled Hope.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Doublet - Part One

Almost a year ago, my honey asked if I would help him make a doublet for Ren Faire. I, of course, said yes thinking it would be good to practice sewing something considerably more difficult than little bags and things. December 2009 I cut out most of the pattern pieces in two different sizes in hopes of fitting my honey. Fast forward to this spring when I dug out the languishing pieces to study more closely. The pattern is by Period Patterns, and while it's super historically accurate, it's also super difficult to understand. There are 14 different options in one packet, historical notes, and no concise directions. My pattern directions go something like this; 1. Follow 1,2, &4 from View I. 2. Follow 14 & 17 from view V. etc. I tried writing them all down in order, marking them as I need, but have given up and just popped from one direction to another.

This is certainly the most time consuming project I've undertaken. Today alone I spent two hours cutting out and piecing together the muslin mock-up. Then another two hours with my honey pinning and cutting away material until it a) fit him and b) could provide the amount of movement he's going to need in his Faire endeavors, mainly lots of upper body movement so he can sword fight and march about with pikes. While this is all just a tad frustrating, it's also very educational and fun. I'm going to end up with not only a lot of knowledge, but a good piece for my portfolio.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Etsy Love

It's fascinating what you can find on Etsy if you search for "bustle". Everything from historic steel boned bustles to the more Steampunky ones that are work outside your skirt. . . or they are your skirt! These caught my eye and I thought I'd share.

Featured Shops:
Boudoir Noir
Crescent Wench
Petey the Troll Apparel

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Busy little bee. . .

"Olive's Afghan from Knitalong"
I don't remember when I began this project, but it was a while ago. Perhaps spring of '07? Something like that. An utterly darling and pretentious project for myself at the time because it was huge. It's an afghan. They are enormous and intimidating, only this was was clever. It's divided into easy-to-cart-about panels in two colours, and then stitched together to form a dazzling array of colourful chevrons, only updated from the mustard yellows and avocados of the 50's when chevron afghans were quite popular. It has been a journey of colour experimentation. This will reflect what colours I truly edge towards and really love. Purple, Green, and Grey first and foremost, followed by Blue, Yellow, and Orange. No red, no pink, no pastels, just rich saturate colour.

"Mostly Skully adapted from S&B handbook"

Um. Cookies!