Back in action

I’ve been MIA for a bit.  As you may recall, I have been juggling drama at work, a newly diagnosed diabetic dog, a son’s wedding and a house guest here from Germany for the wedding.  Work is still drama and likely will be for the rest of the year (sigh), the dog is still diabetic but we are starting to get used to it, the wedding is over and the happy couple is on their honeymoon and the house guest is back home in Germany.  It is time for me to try and get settled into my routines for my new normal.  That means I should try and put out a post or two a week here.

For the wedding I made my own dress.  Nothing difficult.  A tube with sleeves really.  I took a sleeveless dress I have that I find comfortable and relatively flattering and used it as a pattern (only I added sleeves).

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Original dress

 

I don’t have any good pictures yet because I vowed that for the wedding, I wouldn’t take any pictures.  I would just be there “in the moment.”  Once I have a good photo I will share.  For now, you will have to settle for a blurry selfie with my eyes closed.

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Sure, I would have felt prettier in a super fitted dress with all kinds of support systems in place (like a corset) but the day turned out to be brutally hot for an out door wedding and I was frankly happy I was wearing a loosey goosey gown.  Father of the bride was smart and brought three shirts and a pair of shorts to change into as he sweated his way through everything!  My hubby had to drive and hour and a half round trip, home to change!

There is a long weekend coming up and I have no real plans so hopefully my next post will be another completed project or at the very least, more Victorian in nature!

We have plans…so does life

At the beginning of the year I took the time to sketch out some projects that would go with the Historical Sew Fortnightly themes.  As the year has progressed, I hit some road blocks. (Projects that took longer than expected.  Supplies for projects getting ordered but not showing up.)  And then there was the drop in my own enthusiasm.

I had started to feel more intensely that I was making items I didn’t really want at this time or making items in strange orders (accessories before outfits, for example) so that I could match a challenge or really stretching the parameters of the challenge to make something I wanted to only to rush through it to meet the deadline as reasonably as possible.

Don’t get me wrong!  I loved doing HSF!  It did exactly what I wanted it to, which was motivate me to get started on projects AND actually finish them so that I could build a wardrobe for costume events.  Now I have a huge wardrobe. I have actually reached the point that it is to big! I have more outfits than I can wear in a year.  Several of which, I am no longer satisfied with.

With those thoughts and feelings in mind I decided a few months back that I would finish the HSF year out and next year I would change my way of doing things.   First I’d pack up the outfits I no longer love.  They’d go into storage until I reached the point that I could part with them.  Then I’d limit my creativity for the year to finishing UFO projects (the vast majority being modern knitting) and limiting myself to one costume, which I would take great pains to choose, to shop for and to sew slowly and carefully.

And then life stepped in.  There is actually a lot going on but the primary stepping has been done by my doggy.  This is her last Christmas.  Lookin’ fine!

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She has been slowing down lately and I thought “hmmm, old age is kicking in”.  But within a few weeks, old age seemed to be running her over with a truck.  Here she is lookin’ not so fine.  And starting to have accidents in the house, which she has never done!

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I took her to the vets a couple of weeks ago and the old age turned out to be diabetes.  We are early into the treatments (strict diet, twice daily insulin shots) but already we are seeing a vast improvement!  It is like having a young dog again!

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Mom!  Stop takin’ pictures!  We are playin’ here!

 

But, keeping her this way means I have to do some changing.  I have fast forwarded my plan to back off of the HSF challenges (though I intend to watch and be amazed by the work of others!)  Not having the deadlines takes some un-needed stress off of me.   And I am vowing that any future projects be either UFO or at least 80% stash busting thus freeing up some cash to support my insulin junkie’s new habit.

Who knows, I may have to start a blog about my life with a diabetic dog!

Saturday night

It is Saturday night before a costume event and I can’t get my butt off the couch and get things organized (lunch made, picnic basket emptied of UFO knitting so I can get the lunch packed in it, petticoat hooks checked, costume pieces gathered and ironed….)

I’m too tired.

I was out on an outing with my seniors on Friday.  It was a fun but tiring trip to the park.IMG_20170707_135438339

Followed by a wild night of tummy troubles for me and the dawning conclusion that puppy may not be feeling well herself (vet booked for Monday).  Crap crap expensive crap.

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On top of all that, I watched my kid start moving his junk out of my house into his fiancés home (which he will be moving into at the end of the month after his wedding).  I’m feeling nostalgic.  (Cried at home movies last night because I missed my babies).

So, is it my fault that I am procrastinating by writing a blog post about procrastinating?  Tomorrow I will be writing about how much fun I had but I’m tired because I was up at 6:00 am trying to get everything done…. Oh stupid me….

So pleased with my nerdy self!

I sometimes like to play the computer game Sims.  When the kids were little, it was bordering on an obsession.  In fact one of the reasons we now have 5 computers in a 4 person house is everyone got tired of me hogging the one and only computer to play Sims.

Things are a bit different now.  I’m not what you’d call an aficionado.  I haven’t run out and bought the latest version.  I still play Sims 3.  And these days, with Netflix in my life I go 6 months or more without playing and then I have a couple of weeks where I take it up again.

I’ve taken it up again.  I should be in the basement finishing my Edwardian shirtwaist but instead I am playing Sims.  But I simply must share this nerdy thing I did.  I built a Sims version of Dalnavert House Museum.  (Sorry for the wonky phone photos of a computer screen.  I couldn’t convince my computer to print screen properly).IMG_20170413_092902171_HDR

Okay, it isn’t exact.  I’m a bit limited by items available in my game.  Perhaps with a few more expansion packs I can get that roof right.SAM_2871

After I finished the house I made a “mini me”.  Then I used a cheat and made myself rich and then I bought the house and moved it!  Isn’t that great!  I can live “the dream” at least in the Sims world.  Which is why I like Sims.  Here is a world I actually do control.

Here is “mini me” in the dining room having cereal.

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Here I am walking around the study. And then reading a book at Hugh John’s desk!

And now I’m in the lady’s sun room.

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Some of the floor plan in the servants area is off.  I obviously didn’t have an actual floor plan to work with but, hey, it’s just the servants wing after all.

 

 

 

 

The line between weird and cool

I had absolutely no inspiration for a blog post today until I read another bloggers post.  The gist of it was her experience with two groups of costumers, those who would live in their costumes and feel as comfortable in them as they do modern clothes and those who are slow to get into them and quick to get out of them.  The idea of going to a modern venue still in costume or the idea of walking down a modern street ALONE in costume is uncomfortable. It was a well written post-the best feature being it was non-judgmental about either stance.

I think I fall a bit in the middle.  I have no problem going to a modern place in costume.  But I need to be with at least one other person in costume.  It is the idea of STANDING ALONE that freaks me out.  The idea I am not part of a recognizable group makes me feel weird. In the States, Reenactors are fairly common.  It is almost unheard of here in my part of Canada.  So a woman walking in period clothes alone would garner the same kind of stares as a person who chose to wear a wet suit and tutu down the street.  We would not be part of a recognizable group so we might be dangerously insane. If you see a person in punk clothing, you may not trust them because of their counter culture stance but you do not wonder if they will be unpredictably unbalanced. They have conformed to the standards of a recognizable group and therefore capable of predictable social behaviors. Wet suit and tutu guy…not so much.

The other considerations for the “I’d live in my costumes if I could” stance, is I actually am more comfortable in modern clothes.  I feel PRETTIER in Victorian clothes but I feel more comfortable in modern clothes.  A lot of people do.  That is why leggings and yoga pants are so popular in spite of them not being the most stylish thing on many body types.  And most of my friends and family are not costumers.  The fastest way to socially isolate myself (and loose my job) would be to attempt to wear a costume every day.

And that is why I have Victorian “costumes” and not Victorian style “clothes”.  What do you think?

And shopping is done!

My 2 months of car accident/insurance struggle/car shopping is nearly done!  Everyone has paid up my wages while I was on light duty.  The new to me car is insured and in the garage!  img_20170124_210456578.jpg

What is left: Not done with physiotherapy but getting there.  Take the winter tires off of the old car and put them on the kid’s car.  Take the old car to the insurance company and collect the pay out.  We can get this done before my vacation!  We can! We can!

 

Car shopping

I think I’m starting to see a light that might mean the end of my nightmare tunnel of car accidents and auto insurance.  A sad but tolerable amount has been agreed upon by the insurance company and I for the loss of my car.  I am one physiotherapy treatment away from being done with the whip lash injury.  And I have completed a weekend of car shopping.  It started out with some head butting between hubby and I but it is with great relief, I can say we easily agreed on the winner of the search.  Tomorrow, he commences the haggling with the current owner and with any luck, I will have a car before I head out on vacation.

In celebration lets look at my hands down favorite paper doll dress from my Christmas paper doll book.img_20170108_163639848.jpg

Of course it is a Worth gown.  I would really love to see this gown but I can’t find anything better than sketches and attempted copies.  If anyone knows of a picture of the gown please point me towards it!

It reminds me of the gown I saw at Coco last summer.  Loved it!  The train lifted just like a peacock’s tail.  Pretty sure the Princess of Sagan’s dress didn’t do that!

Leg Lamp

My two favorite Christmas movies are not in the Victorian genre.  Go figure.  Number one on the list is The Christmas Story.  My favorite scene is when the father gets his leg lamp.  Slays me every time! So as an homage to my muse, I am taking one of my Pintrest Pins and attempting to recreate it.  See the site here.

The first step is printing up the recipe and the stencil for cutting out the leg. For some reason, my printer printed up the stencil way too small.  Not only would they be annoying to try and make and disappointing to try and eat, visually the lamp shade (made from Resses peanut butter cups, would be out of proportion.img_20161214_095846827.jpg

My printer wont enlarge and I was unable to free hand the sketch so I just enlarged around the printed stencil.img_20161214_094221464.jpg

I traced that onto clean paper and cut it out.  I then used that shape to trace out a stencil in cardboard.  Much better proportions.

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I followed the recipe and added half cup of flour to store bought sugar cookie dough.  I have no idea why they wanted that.  I can only assume the straight dough is too soggy.

I rolled the dough out and pressed the cardboard into the dough.  I wanted 24 legs because I had enough peanut butter cups for 24 lamp shades.

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Then came the tough part…cutting the shapes out with a paring knife and then smoothing and shaping once they were transferred to the baking pan.

They baked up fine, but did take longer than the recipe suggested.  Is my oven not hot enough?  Did I make them too thick?  I don’t know.

The next step is cooling.  Dangerous in my house.  So I took the left over dough and baked that up and left this behind before heading off to work.img_20161214_102008847.jpg

I taped my cardboard stencil and the icing diagram onto the recipe for future attempts.  The cardboard got greasy so my plan is to use it to make a new cardboard stencil for the next batch.  Seems the best way to avoid food poisoning in the future.

I will attempt decorating next.  Sure hope this doesn’t turn into a “nailed it” post for next time.

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.

I will work on this project….WOOL

Have you seen the movie “Up”?  I am the dog.giphy

Except it isn’t squirrels for me.  It is craft projects.  And this weekend it was wool.  In spite of my “You can’t buy any more wool until you use up what you have” rule, I bought more wool.  Truth be told, the fine print in that rule says “Unless you need it to complete a project or challenge…or it is a ridiculously low price…or you are at the Fiber Festival and every thing is so pretty and you simply must buy….”

So I bought more wool.  I have always wanted to try thrum mittens.

What the heck is a thrum?
A thrum is a little wisp of unspun fleece or roving that is knit into your project every so often. Thrumming makes the insides soft and fuzzy, and freakishly warm. This technique is most often associated with Canada’s Province of Newfoundland and Labrador -where they know warm

I have never made them before and I found a thrum mitt kit at the Fiber Festival.  The instructions said to thrum with strips 4″ long a about as thick as the wool you are knitting with.  Seems bigger than a “little wisp”!img_20161002_152659041_hdr

If they work out, they will be freakishly warm!  If they don’t work out, I will flip them inside out and use them as furry paws for Halloween.  It is hard to tell but the mitt is knitted up past the thumb hole.

The Fiber Festival also had a vendor who was selling all kinds of notions and findings one might want for a knitted or woven project.  I found a purse frame.  img_20161002_152720476

Seems to have an Art Deco kind of feel to me, but I will use it for a Victorian purse.