Thursday, December 31, 2009

First One Done!

Well, that was a long time coming, but I have finished my first piece of clothing inspired by Lord of the Rings! It was actually to be the "muslin" for a wonderful teal mohair/wool coating that I have, and was based on the "Ice Blue Coat" Eowyn wore in the extended version of The Return of the King. I got the pale greyblue floral velvet for $2.97 a yard from the fabric store I work in, and some nice sandwashed silk in gunmetal grey for I think $6.88 a yard. The collar was cut off a thrift store coat and the silver buttons were from a bargain bag, so the whole thing was very affordable indeed. In the making and wearing though, I have decided that it is wonderful as a robe (though a little tough to make breakfast in) but I will make the coating into a shorter more modern coat to actually be able to wear more frequently. Even this one is tamed by cutting down on the length of the body and sleeves...after all, Eowyn only had to wear hers on a sleeping couch, and didn't have to actually move in it!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Several more inches!

The snow is considerably deeper now, and thanks to the help of 2 young neighbours and my dh's hard work, we have a well tended path to the car. Unfortunately, tomorrow we will have to dig out behind the car. Church has been cancelled, so dh won't have to preach and so can dig. Brave and good soul! The store I work in was open today, though a snow emergency is in effect and the governor has asked everyone who can to stay off the roads. Tomorrow we will surely be open too, and I will schlep in as usual. I figure on an hour for the 15.5 miles.
I got more of the creche up too, so enjoy the pics of the travelling kings and holy family and the cold but hardworking shepherds, and the diligent women who keep the homefront comfortable!

SNOW and a few thoughts

There is SNOW! Real snow, thick snow, 12" of it! So pretty. The roads are not pretty. If you don't have to go out, better you not go. If only it would stay until Christmas.... but we are supposed to have highs in the 40's next week.
I am well on my way to finishing the "muslin" for my coat from Lord of the Rings. It is in pretty greyblue floral velvet, very silky, and has a gorgeous drape. I got a fur collar on one of my thrifting trips, it is really dry and fragile, but I am working with it. Only the hem left to do, and a little handwork around the collar. It has definitely been a learning process. I haven't ever worked with fur before, and not much with velvet, but that will help with the coat. The fabric for that is a fabulous mohair clipped pile wool coat-weight, heavy and rich.
I am almost through with Christmas too. I still have a bit of work to do on a couple presents, and a bit on decorations too. Here is the first go at the shepherds for my creche, the town is under construction, and the stable nearly empty. Mary and Joseph are travelling, and the Kings not yet seen. More as they appear. I encourage all of you who blog to put up photos of your decorations (especially my favorite, creches) and if you facebook and it is appropriate, to join Calling all Christians... see how many we are!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

First Snow!

Our first snow of the season... I wasn't sure we would have snow, the forecast changed every time I turned on the telly. I woke to the sound of rain, and a sinus headache, and the temp at about 40 degrees. The temp fell slowly, and the snow started after a couple of hours. Nothing stuck at first, but as the ground cooled it began to dust the ground and cars. It is so pretty! If the rain/snow line had stayed stationary, we would have several inches, but it would snow for awhile, and then rain for awhile, then snow and so on. The result is a slushy thin snowcoat, but I loved watching it anyway.
So while I was enjoying the flakes, I also enjoyed sewing. Though I would love to say I got to sew on my LOTR project, my son's Christmas easily
took precedence. I hope what I made him fits... he's been gone 2 years, and is fit and muscled. Anyway, I enjoyed making it. Another shopping trip and we will send the packet off to Okinawa. It is a very long trip, halfway around the world. I miss him.
I did try to sort through all the gorgeous fabrics I have been fondling for my Arwen and Eowyn dresses... I also got a soft cotton dress cut out to try as the underlayer of the Requiem Dress. I dyed the knit fabric along with the silks last time, and it turned a gorgeous blue color.
And, I took pictures of some stuffies I made, which will be for sale soon! Seems things are marching along...

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Well, I haven't sewn a stitch yet, but I have an array of fabrics from which to chose that Ngila Dickson would enjoy! I still have one load of blue drying and burgandy and olive to go yet, but real life has its own demands!
The deep aqua fabrics are for the Ice Blue Coat and Victory Dress of Eowyn that are in the previous post, the purer blue fabrics and trims are for my version of the Arwen Requiem for the Elves dress from the 3d film. I will post pics of the olive and burgandy as they are dyed. I really love the joyous feeling I get from changing pale, empty white silks and wools into deep vibrant colors, or else gentle pastels in tranquil colors.
I wish the vibrancy of the colors really came through... nothing can show the piercing vitality. The colors positively sing to me, and when I am sad, or angry, or worried (all things I am these days with the country going as it is) they can make me feel more alive, more exhilarated than I have since I rode horses over cross country courses. And they are less dangerous! I am a little amazed at the multitude of colors, all from the same dyepots and same water. I am also a little surprised that the trim dyed. The scroll is probably acetate, and it took only a little color, but I think the others may be silk as a base. The 2 figured pieces are silk matelasse, there is silk velvet, silk crepe and an interesting silk with squares formed by crammed and spaced dents in the weaving. The lace is cotton, and came out a beautiful silvery blue, that will be the upper sleeves of the Requiem Dress. There is china silk as a lining for the sleeves, and another spaced dent piece in a silverblue that will be the outer layer. I think. But the crepe is so pretty, I want it to show too! I have no idea what the squares will be, but the color is spectacular, eh? Too intense for the Requiem piece, maybe a blouse to wear to work? I just bought a bunch of patterns (on sale of course) and there is certainly a piece or two there to consider. Let others take diamonds as their best friends, jewelry IS lovely, but silk, silk is luscious, opulent, succulent, scrumptious! Mmmm, I think I hear the silk in the dryer calling me now...

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Currently Obsessed

While I try to remain sane in most of my life, there are just times when one must give in and allow a period of total immersion in some project or experience. This is one of those times. Now, that doesn't mean I won't go to work and strive to succeed, and it doesn't mean I stop making Christmas gifts for my friends. But this weekend I will be dyeing silk, drafting patterns and draping a (model) body. After all the gifts are done, I will do the actual sewing of my dream dress and it's coat. The inspiration? This gorgeous set designed for the third Lord of the Rings movie. I actually won't duplicate these, but will alter them to suit me better. The dress will drop from my shoulders rather than be a princess-seamed coathardie type dress. The coat will be somewhat shorter and the sleeves less voluminous to be more wearable... Eowyn only had to wear it while asleep on a chaise. I found a fabulous teal mohair coatweight fabric, a deeper color to suit my coloring. I found a really lovely silk matelasse. It is currently white, but will become a soft aqua, and I have a screaming chartreuse satin that I will tone down before using it for the lining of the coat. Oh, and a lovely pale fur to adorn the neck. Now, if I only had the face and body of Eowyn! This is all in prep for the next LOTR garment I want to make. But more on that later! In the meantime, more stuffies and other fun things to ready an Etsy store.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Back to work

Whew, well I have missed writing on my blog, but I needed to have a slightly different focas for a while. I haven't been without art though, as the pics show! The first photo ( why blogger put it third I don't know!)is a cat stuffie I made the day before Halloween... I needed to have something to smile about, and he, with his friends the pumpkin I sewed and raven I bought, was perfect!
Next is a wonderful old box I found at one of the thrift shops I visit, which proved to be irresistable to my cat Trouble. It has wonderful brass insets and corners, and obviously handmade drawers. I don't know what I will store in it, but it will have to be something as wonderful as the box.
The balls of yarn are of cotton and merino wool/silk that I spun up. It is really hard to spin cotton thickly... I usually spin wool, and much thinner, and the change is much harder than I imagined. I want to use it as a supplimentary weft for the borders of a cotton shirt I want to weave. I have a lot of practicing to do before then!
The fifth is a set of wrist warmers I knitted and then fulled for a friend for Christmas. I love the ragg type marled yarn. It is the merino and silk I spun up and it is so soft and silky. My friend has very sensitive skin, but this won't bother her a bit!
The last two photos (okay, I love the vagaries of blogger, they put these first!) speak of two places I have gone recently. The house is in Alexandria VA, where I had lunch with a friend and discovered two great shops, one a bead shop, and one mixed media. The house just caught my eye for the lovely ironwork. I plan to do a day trip around DC to tour all the interesting sites in the new Dan Brown book, Lost Symbols. It was fascinating. He is a master of taking the real and historical and weaving them 'round with half truths and fiction to make a compelling story, difficult to put down. I spend my 1.25 hours of commute everyday listening to books on cd. I have a tough time finding more than a few minutes at night to read, so this allows me to "read" during unproductive times. I like that!
And the orange fluffy stuff? Lovely longwool dyed the perfect color to compliment a fall colors grouping of wool I bought over the last year. There should be enough to weave enough fabric for a shawl and maybe a top too. I love those colors.
I also spent time thinking about what I want to do with my life, and how to accomplish it. I won't be too explicit now, but I have alot of work to do to set up my future. I guess I should go back down and work on Christmas, usually it is my fav time of year, though the last few years have been somewhat less so. I plan on this year being better.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Well, it looks like I am taking a bit of a break while I get my life in order. I am a bit overwhelmed right now, and need to figure out how to achieve what I want... and indeed what it is I want. So, til next time...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tidbits and garb...

Not too much going on right now, creatively speaking. I did finish up a little coptic bound book I made in prep for Christmas, and I picked up 1/2 yard each of two too cute fabrics... don't you think they are cute? I have been preparing for and giving the first two classes in my surface design series. I have had 7 students in each, really a good number. They were all in both classes and I hope will stay with me for the other two as well. I am glad this time that work was slow, so I could sit down... No time off my feet during my "weekend" makes for a tired me! I haven't any pics yet but I am working on a wool/silk gown modelled on a french piece about AD1000, though my own persona in the SCA is a bit earlier. The design was around for several hundred years with very little change. I am sewing it all by hand, and boy does it ravel! I need to put in the sleeves and stitch up the sides, all the gores are in already. I am excited because this morning when I went to work I walked by the silk special table and hey presto! there was a lovely bit of silk in a shade lighter of the same color as the tunic. It will become my cotte beneathe the gown or surcotte. I really am looking forward to covering the seams to clean it up. I will take my camera to work tomorrow and get a few pics. I also finished reworking my red cotte to fit better. I will make the next one with the new technique and won't need to gusset the gusset! I get to wear that one this weekend to Challenge of the Sun God... yippee!