And so it begins

The tree is up.  The lights were their usual pain in the butt, but this year I had help!

Normally, I do the tree on my own as my boys (hubby included) always hated the process.  My future daughter-in-law, on the other hand, normally helps her mom set up their tree in Germany and so she wanted to help me with mine.  Where the girl goes, the boy goes so I had two helpers with the assembly of the tree.

The hubby will gravitate towards groups so once the hockey game on TV was over, he came to help too.  He did battle with the lights that were not working (he had to concede victory to 3 strands that refused to light.)

The youngest happened to walk by at the ornament stage and he stayed to help with that.  So this year I got to tell the stories of where all the ornaments came from instead of reliving it all by myself.  Many hands make light work.  (Pun intended).img_20161204_180853333.jpg

Ginger, in the foreground, had not noticed that her “boyfriend”, in the mid-right of the picture, is back.  She has now…cue sexy time music.  Stupid dog.

Christmas ruminations

Tomorrow is December 1rst.  I don’t really like to do much about Christmas before December arrives.  Sure, I send out and request Christmas wish lists for folks that require mail service to give and receive gifts.  I start amassing stocking stuffers during my weekly grocery shop.  But I refuse to put up decorations.  (I do let hubby put outdoor lights up because it is easier in snowless November than in the waist deep snow of December).  If the radio starts with the Christmas tunes I turn the station.  One of my favorite stations has been playing only Christmas tunes since November 1 (grumble grumble!)

But tomorrow I will start thinking in earnest.  I have to pick a day to put up the tree.

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This photo is several years old but I still have that shirt. I wear it every time I put up a tree…including at work. I secretly love the Grinch.

It is best to do that before the decorating insanity starts at work.  In my old job, I had to help stand 7 trees-one was close to 20 feet tall.  I had decorate 3-4.  By the time I got to mine I had no desire left!  (Damn lights).  untitled

This year, in my new job, it seems I only have to stand 3 and decorate 1.  And none of them are over 6 feet.  Sweet.

I also have to get my butt in gear for the shopping.  We have no children in our clan now so some of the fun has gone out of it.  And we have all reached the state of life where we just run out and buy the little things we need and want so there is nothing to put on our lists except big-ticket items that no one person would reasonably buy for another.  So we are moving towards the gift card option.  This gives the person the option to hoard cards from one store to “save up” for something they want/need or hold onto several different store cards until they think of something they want or need.  Shopping will be a snap…just stand in front of a wall of cards and start selecting.  img_6568The Santa in me wants to have at least one or two well thought out gifts that the person may like but not think of buying themselves.  But lots of times it is simply walking by something in a store or craft sale and having an item cause me to stop and think of someone.  I can tell you this because my brother and sister-in-law don’t read my blog…They have two wiener dogs,  Jenny and Leonard.  Jenny is brown and Leonard is black.  I was walking in the store and I saw these.img_20161130_081036236.jpg

And they dance!

Completely useless but funny!

An added joy this year is my older boy will be home for Christmas.  He missed the last three.  The first year he was in Australia.  I found a tree ornament that year of a kangaroo.  I cried when I hung it on the tree.  The next two years he was in Germany and I cried when I hung the stupid kangaroo on the tree.  I also cried (messy, need to leave the room cried) every time I heard “I’ll be home for Christmas” and “Blue Christmas”. Really inconvenient in stores and a bit scary in the car.  No crying this year!

Wishing you all Merry Christmas prep!

HSF 2016: Challenge #11 Red

Challenge #11: Red (the flowers and the lining are a rusty red.)
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What the item is: purse
Fabric/Materials: polyester fashion fabric, cotton lining.
Pattern: self drafted
Year: I will use it for late Victorian or early Edwardian era costumes
Notions: Vintage, possibly Edwardian purse frame.

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I can see I need to trim some threads. 


How historically accurate is it? The fashion fabric is not because of the fiber content. I can’t speak to the weave or pattern-I lack the expertise in those areas. It looks plausible to my amateur eye and suits my needs. The lining would be less “risky”. I wish I had a date for the frame but since I don’t, I will give this 50%.img_20161127_213658667.jpg
Hours to complete: 5
First worn: not yet…haven’t made the dress yet!
Total cost: $15 for the frame. I used about $2 worth of fabric.

Just a quick note

My blogging has been spotty lately.  I have been working on things…just not getting them done.  I don’t have a stash of cabinet cards to share with you…(I must get out there and shop for them!)  Except for a fun but non-photographical stitch and bitch with my costuming cohorts there have been no gatherings to share.  I’m in a material dry spell.  Bare with me and keep checking in here.  These dry spells to eventually go away!

Crazy inspiration sources

I’ve been binge watching the many Star Trek series.  (Thank you Netflix)  And lately, I’m on The Next Generation.  In the second season, Data and Jordi go into the holodeck to solve a Sherlock Holmes mystery.  The doctor goes along and I gasped and hit pause when I saw her dress!holodeck_tng_s02e03

I have a real thing for black on red (old high school colors don’t ya know).

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Cute little jaunty hat too!

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Ooooo, that black soutache is so yummy!  And the broach is lovely too.3a60dae00ee7b40a11b26a6afdd774c4

I’d be lookin’ smug too if I looked that fine!

My first instinct is to say “I must make that!”  But then I realized I have one that looks too much like it already.  Not exactly, but too close to go through the process of making another one.

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Last worn at CoCo’s Circus themed social.

I was also temporarily side tracked by a comment from one of my readers.  She asked if I’d be making a dress for Canada’s 150th birthday, which will be happening next July 1.  I considered it for a second and then decided against it ….for now.  I have two dresses that are 1860’s and one is red and white (and black).  It will do…especially if I can find a pattern for a corset so it fits better.

My plans for this coming year is a complete Edwardian suit (one year to late for women’s vote anniversary and several years past the Titanic anniversary).  Plus an earlier period corset.