Sunday, November 25, 2007

Back to my old projects....

Yay! I'm back to working on my crochet project that I started years ago. I picked it up again just before starting on Nutcracker stuff, but of course had to put it down for this past month. It feels nice to crochet again.

I've been flying through it this evening, putting together another 4 or 5 blocks so far in the past 2 hours. Considering I've been not working 100% in those two hours, it's not bad...and especially not bad since this is the most crocheting I've done in a single sitting in the past 4.5 years.

It's like breathing fresh air again. :)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Almost done...

Cuff and bottom hems are done, adding trim and buttons...want to add more trim, but am at a loss of what exactly to add, and I'm sure this will change, so I'm adding it by hand now so it'll be a lot easier to change!

*sigh* The mock fit just right...

This one's too big :P

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

One of my crafty inspirations...

One person taught me how to bead. She let me help her on her wedding dress. She also taught me how to emboss, crochet, and a number of other crafty foundation like things for the things I do now.

So these past few weeks while I've been working on these costumes, I've been thinking a lot about her. She lives in Indiana, and I haven't seen her in years - not since she and her family came up to visit her family that lived up here not terribly far from us (closer than the 15 hour drive that we'd moved in any case). Gosh by now it's been 8 years? Then 2 days ago my housemate finds a bunch of pictures in a basket sitting around as she's clearing out and organizing things. As I went through the basket of pictures, I see a picture of my friend.

So last night as I'm cutting out material, I realized that instead of listening to music, there's a phone call that I should make instead. So I dial 411 and ask directory assistance for their phone number. Last I'd heard they were still in the same town, and I'm hoping that's still the case. It is. When I hear her husband's voice (another good friend), I simply say, "Hi, [friend's name], it's [me]!" and just wait for realization to dawn. *smiles* I nearly cried, it was so good just hearing his voice. We talked for a few minutes, and then he passed the phone on to my friend. My friend who was the support structure and inspiration behind so many things. One of my closest friends in Indiana. One that I hadn't kept in as good of contact with. And there she was on the phone again across years of not hearing her voice. Again, I nearly cried.

There are those friendships that span across years and somehow someway they still remain. It feels like you reach across the void and touch your friend and they're still there, with you. I have a childhood friend like that...and apparently an adult friend like that. For as much as I've been thinking about M, she apparently was thinking about me more than normal, for she said, "It's funny that you call today..."

We talked until my phone died. We shared phone numbers. We shared email addresses. We shared updates.

M, thank you.

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Monday, November 12, 2007

Tonight's progress

More like continuation from last night: Here are the pictures from last night:

Tonight was cutting out the pieces night. All of the pieces for the Nutcracker are cut except for the interfacing - and I need to mark the red fabric. All of the lining fabric is complete.

Dress rehearsal on Saturday. ACK.

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Sunday, November 11, 2007


I finished part of the mock (the important part), and went to a fitting. It looks like it'll work as is!

That was music to my ears because it means way less work for me. I can *totally* get into that.

Now that I'm falling asleep, though, time to figure out what to work on yet this evening. Pictures are one week from today!

Nutcracker Jacket #1, Snow Queen update

Pieces for the mock jacket are cut out *woot*

They're not all marked up yet, but they will be first thing in the morning...and then sewed together loosely.

Fitting #1 is at sometime tomorrow (rehearsal for him is 1-3 and 5-7:15 so my morning is going to be...busy. I have a feeling fitting is going to take about a half an hour as I rip through things and pin and extend, etc...

Beading templates are done on the Snow Queen, so now it's time to bead the bodice...then bead the overlay, then attach the overlay.

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Saturday, November 10, 2007

More with the Nutcracker

So I'm playing catch up this weekend. I've been feeling ill the past week and a half, so I haven't been working at the pace I needed to. Hopefully today and tomorrow I can catch up.

Here are pictures I've needed to post for a while. I finished the trim earlier this week:

Then I finished the prototype for the Snow Girl arm bands. Someone else will be working on these. There are 12 girls that need arm bands. They are meant to be simple, but with elements of the Snow Queen added.

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Sunday, November 4, 2007

Quicky post because I have a *lot* of trim to work on

I've got the overlay made!

The mock overlay:

The real overlay!

Adding trim - which I'm about to go keep working on:

It seems like this will never end. Hand sewing trim is definitely a punishment *laugh*

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Update from earlier

I have the trim done on the bodice, finished the beading embellishment on the front existing trim, and tacked the front trim back down.

I still have bead work yet to do, and of course the overlay...

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Saturday, November 3, 2007

I did say there would be crafts, didn't I?

So, two of the children of this house are involved in a local production of The Nutcracker. It's a semi-professional production, which is pretty exciting. Part of the requirements of being part of the production is that parents have to volunteer.

Given that I sew, and bead, and crochet, and do all sorts of crafty fun, I chose to be a part of the costuming department.

Given that I build Renaissance Faire costumes and therefore likely have a fair knowledge of sewing and embellishment, they asked me to a) embellish their Snow Queen tutu and b) build and embellish a new jacket for the Nutcracker (this year's Nutcracker has longer arms than previous gentlemen).

So. I have been photo documenting my work as I go with these projects for two reasons:

1) I needed an excuse to learn to use my new camera

2) I wanted documentation of the process for when I do this again, because I'm finding that I truly enjoy building dance costumes - probably more than I enjoy building Faire costumes.

Why embellish the Snow Queen? The tutu is too white:

I keep saying we throughout this - one of my housemates and I are really working on this together. She's helping with beading/trim work - but most importantly the headdress/armbands, which will be jewelry. I do some jewelry, but really - she's the jewelry person. My forte is sewing. She would prefer to not sew anything that's going to be on stage.

The color we're going to add is very delicate and subtle - at the director's request. The original may be too white - but even still, she doesn't want a whole lot of color. She wants light, but more preferable shine:

We've pulled off and replaced some of the old trim, and added in colored beads to some of the other old trim.

One small section before adding beads:

Same section after adding beads:

And lastly before I go off and work more - another fun picture: The Head That Drove Us Crazy Trying To Find. We found her at Sally's Beauty Supply. Why do we need her? For the headdress:

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Friday, November 2, 2007

What the...Flock?

You may have noticed the little message at the bottom of most of my posts referencing Flock. It's a new Mozilla based browser that I've been playing with and testing out. For those unfamiliar with the term Mozilla, you may be more familiar with Firefox - probably the most popular Mozilla based browser to date.

Flock is a browser that is literally tailored to the social browsing experience. Embedded into the default "My World" "Homepage" are links to Favorites, RSS feeds, quick links to various blogging services (Blogger, LiveJournal, Xanga, Blogsome, Typepad,, picture hosting services (Photobucket, Flickr, Piczo) , and media services (YouTube). Online favorites like is also supported.

Adding a website to your favorites is as easy as clicking on a button. Literally. There's a large star button where you would normally see the large stop button in Internet Explorer (IE) and Firefox (FF). And, in fact, I haven't yet figured out how to stop a page loading, and have instead added the same site several times to my favorites list because I was trying to stop said page from loading. *laugh*.

There's a very basic blogging client that is service agnostic. You write your post, then choose which blog to post to during the publishing can have as many blogs as you would like associated with your installation of Flock, all you need to do to activate an account within Flock is log in to your blog/journal service. It's the same with adding any of the above types of services to your Flock environment regardless of whether it's a media service, photo sharing service, or blogging service, etc...

But the above only scratch the service of some of the best features of Flock, in my opinion. Where I see some of the real benefit has to do with media sharing. Between the ease of uploading pictures to photo sharing services, the media bar, and the web clipboard...sharing information in a social manner could not be any simpler.

There are drawbacks, of course. Flock's interface is different from IE's or FF' learning to navigate around the new buttons and windows was at first a little intimidating, even for someone who likes to click buttons and dig around a fair bit. But once you get to experience some of the bells and whistles, you won't want to go back to the other browsers.

Unfortunately, for the professional geek like me, not going back is not an option. *chuckle*

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