Monday, November 20, 2017

Monday musings

in which our plucky heroine is grateful for small blessings...

It was an oddly topographical weekend. The good was spending time with Thora,getting stuff done around here, including a much long desired conversion of my computer workstation into a standing desk. A visit on Sunday night with Marya and Lawrence included much conversation and some tasty local sausages for dinner, courtesy of GZ.

The difficult part was that Saturday morning my back decided that it hated me, and not anything I could do brought the pain down. Fortunately Tullia came over to do studio work, which we combined with acupuncture and massage. The joints are back where they belong, but it will take time for the area to calm down.

The other unfold thong is that my computer is still trying to configure Windows updates, and so I am stuck attempting a blog post via my phone, sans my usual ability to add photos, or do any formatting...

Hopefully the next signin will be back to a more desirable state for both me and the electronica. ..

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

the Wastekeep Coronets project - many pictures


in which our plucky heroine shares the work of many months...

My former studio partner Bill and I sometimes still collaborate on projects that require both of our areas of expertise. Creating a pair of new coronets for the Barony of Wastekeep needed his metalworking and engraving skill, as well as my enameling, textile work, and general contractor time... We started out months ago, creating a design that met their requirements (adjustable, light weight, durable, and including elements of their Baronial heraldry) and their budget
Once we received the go-ahead and the deposit, Bill began working on the pieces for the hinged coronet plates, which were engraved, stamped, drilled, before being attached together with hand cast silver hinges.

While he was working on that, I enameled many tiny quatrefoil medallions, which would be set in the alternating panels between the engraved trees and castles... This is probably my very favorite color of enamel: transparent Tea Rose... while it shows pink on copper, when applied in a thin layer to fine silver, it turns a vivid transparent golden yellow
I enameled both blue and golden yellow quatrefoils, to reflect the blue and gold of their heraldry, the silver being represented by the sterling silver of the coronets...

The panels laid out in rows, including the expansion panels, but not yet assembled

The reflections that add sparkle and life to the coronets challenge my photography, but really show the combined efforts we made to create these two coronets and add some of the important motifs:
still in pieces, but getting closer to ready for final assembly

Once the pieces are all assembled, and adjusted to the right size, I made the padding. There will be an outer layer of striped blue and gold silk, and inner padding of woolen felt, and the bottom edge of the coronets will rest on the extended lower edge of the padding.

a closer view of the constructed inner layers for the coronet padding showing the multiple shaped layers of wool felt stitched together. There are no instructions for this kind of thing, and no examples, so I get to make it up as I go along... The idea is to create an improved type of coronet padding that is both attractive and comfortable. And below, the fitted padding, not yet covered in silk, with the coronets resting on the formed and stitched padded "lip" which holds the actual coronets when in use

The wool felt padding for the Wastekeep coronets will be covered in striped silk. I am creating the stripes by cutting out strips in both blue and golden silk, and stitching them together. The padding will look quite splendid when it is completed! However, there is a good reason why I have never taken up commission sewing formal and bridal wear: frayed threads from cutting these out and sewing them together ALL OVER ME and ALL OVER THE WORKROOM. Shiny shiny silk is all filamentous, which means thread detritus that flutters everywhere and static makes it stick to everything, and catches on every little unevenness on fingers... I wrapped a stitched sample of the silk outer layer over the coronet padding... another way to refer to the colors of the Wastekeep heraldry

Finally, the bias cut stitched stripey silk was hand sewn in place, completely covering the contoured felt padding, and the coronets were stitched in place as well, using the small holes just visible along the bottom edge of the sterling panels. An angled view showing how the silk covering is stitched over the wool padding, and where the padding is stitched in place through the coronets lower edge.

Front view of the Baron's coronet has two 1" wide expansion panels, shaped like dimensional castles on either side of the center front; the enamel colors are gold in front, alternating with blue. The Baroness has the colors reversed and hers has blue in the front alternately with gold...
The back of the paneled coronet design, and the seam that joins the silk outer layer of padding is (barely) visible.

Finally, a few closer looks at the details of the panels. This shows the engraved details of the blasted/eradicated tree motif, hand engraved on the quarter panels:
The alternating panels with hand-engraved and textured castles. Bear in mind that these are just over 1" tall:
Between the castle panels, and the tree panels,. there are narrower panels set with quatrefoil enamels in either (transparent) blue or golden yellow
One requirement was that the coronet be adjustable, which we met by including additional sizing panels which can be added between the initial coronet. To further reference the heraldry of Wastekeep, there are both 1/2" and 1" castle-shaped panels, which have dimensional crenelated upper edges. This is the wider sizing panel:
I was very pleased to be able to hand carry and deliver these in person to the Barony of Wastekeep this past weekend, where they were hosting Collegium 2017 in Richland, out in the eastern part of Washington state.

Monday, November 13, 2017

media Monday


in which our plucky heroine is indoors on a Very Blustery Day...


Marigold/Harvest Home - Maddy Prior

I was fortunate to have seen Maddy Prior both decades ago in my youth, in Cambridge Mass Our Fair City, and a few years ago when she was performing in Seattle; we are all much more grey but still in the bright world...
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There has been some real progress in the studio. The coronets for the Barony of Wastekeep have been finished, complete with a new style of silk covered padding I created, which makes them much more comfortable to wear. The trip this weekend out to Richland for Collegium was also a chance to hand deliver them, as I was quite loath to entrust such regalia to normal postal journeying...
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November SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 silk layer for W garlic planted-
2 three tiny angle bags worm bin refreshed-
3 x framed frogsong card -
4 x x -
5 xx x
6 x x x
7 x x x
8 x x x
9 x x x
10 x x x
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x
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Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Tuesday tidbits - wind-ground


in which our plucky heroine delights in variation...

Often when I know that friends are traveling to far-off lands, that I will never see in this bright world, I have asked them to "bring me back a pebble from your path". Instead of a pebble, my sister brought me home finely ground rocks!
My mailbox held a surprise gift from my Best Little Sister... two different colors of windmill-ground pigments (yellow ochre and grey slate) from her visit to the Netherlands. The mill, Verfmolen "De Kat", has been in operation since 1782. I plan on using these to try out doing egg tempera painting, which uses egg yolk as a binder/medium for turning pigment powder into paint...

Monday, November 6, 2017

media Monday

in which our plucky heroine considers the importance of how we name things...

This is worth looking at. How we represent things makes a difference in how we think about them. This is mapmaking for most of the whole western hemisphere, with locations of First Nations tribes named with their own language names, part of what most of us have never been taught in school.


Friday, November 3, 2017

Friday fragments


in which our plucky heroine thinks about winter on the way, and about how much still remains to be done...

It is cold here. But not as cold as it is further north... my pals in Olympia have snow today! This is very early in the year for snow, but we are forecast to have a colder winter than usual, unlike most of the USA
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My intention, in the very busy month of November, is to do at least one small Declutter each day, and one small Needful Project each day, in addition to my everyday chores and everyday work.

Today I removed the extra empty canning jars that had been cluttering up the countertop and put them away in the pantry, and I framed the little 3D frogsong card that S gave me years ago, when I told her how much I missed the frogsong from when I lived in the Mud Bay House! It is rather hard to see, but the card not only has irridescent glitter highlighting some of the foliage but the lower frogs, and waterlilies are raised cutouts above the surface of the card itself in several layers. I was at a loss for a long time as to how best to display the card, but when I discovered the Gunnabo shadowbox frames from Ikea also came in a small size, I knew just what to do... This makes a very nice addition to the turquoise-greenish watery artworks in the bathroom here!
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Realised I forgot to post the last two of my Inktober drawings:

30. found


31. mask
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...my current thinking about possible timeline for completing the SWAP... I intend to use my very very busy November to just do prep work. Hopefully I can manage to get a sleeve that works, since I am pretty happy with the bodice portion of Tabula Rasa. That is really where I need to start, since four of my eleven garments depend on my having a woven shirt/blouse/jacket pattern that I am comfortable wearing! (All the other patterns I am using are TNT patterns)

NOVEMBER - fit Tabula Rasa sleeves, or find another option. Prep "sewing kits" of as many garments as possible. Begin Alabama Chanin surface design process (stenciling, hand stitching and cutting away layers of motifs, on individual pattern pieces... lots of handwork)

DECEMBER - sew black corduroy pinafore, brown corduroy pinafore, begin Alabama Chanin cardigan, and surface design on indigo jacket...

JANUARY - begin brown twill jacket, continue indigo jacket and Alabama Chanin cardigan

FEBRUARY - sew indigo pinstripe dress, sew brown knit top, sew floral blouse

MARCH -continue on whatever isn't finished...

APRIL - Sew grey popover top, indigo popover dress these are both suitable for warmer weather, photograph anything that still needs photos 
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November SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 x garlic planted-
2 x worm bin refreshed-
3 x framed frogsong card -
4 x x -
5 xx x
6 x x x
7 x x x
8 x x x
9 x x x
10 x x x
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x
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Thursday, November 2, 2017

Thursday thoughts - Filling The Gaps, Spanning the Seasons


in which our plucky heroine indulges in more SWAP planning...

My ideas are to make garments that will fill the niches, and all work together, as well as with my current wardrobe. One of the great benefits of my coherent style vision and a limited color palette is that in time, my entire closet has become what The Vivienne Files calls "whatever's clean"... while I do have favorite combinations, any group I pull off the hangers and out of the dresser can be worn together.

So, initial SWAP concepts for this one include using a limited number of patterns: TNT pinafore/dress/peplum top (all one pattern), TNT popover dress, Tabula Rasa shirt/jacket/vest

The rules call for two neutral colours, 3 garments from each colorway...
BROWN
1. corduroy pinafore - I have enough of the extra-fine-wale corduroy in a medium brown to make another brown pinafore, since I love and enjoy the brushed twill one, and the black/brown shot linen one I already have. Adding brown into my wardrobe has turned out to work really well for the colder season, it coordinates flawlessly with my beloved indigo and black, and looks just fine with grey
2. brushed twill vest or jacket - Might make a vest, but a jacket would be preferable if there is enough fabric. If not, one idea I had was to make a vest and add handknit sleeves... hmmm...
3. knit top - (can use RTW Uniqlo turtleneck, or create an Alabama Chanin inspired jersey top)
INDIGO
4. dark denim pinafore - (already made, from SWAP 2017)
5. pinstripe dress - The pinstriped indigo cotton will work well as a dress, since the front bodice is cut on the bias, there will be lovely chevrons formed at the center front...
6. textured linen jacket - I found some interesting midweight textured linen, indigo with a touch of black, that should work really nicely for a jacket, if I can figure out the pattern... I have all sorts of ideas!

... 2 accent colors and one print, one garment in each of these: grey (or turquoise), and black, and a floral print -
7. black corduroy pinafore - this is already cut out, the fabric is a strange irregular ribbed corduroy, so will be unlike the other black pinafores I already have.
8. grey textured rayon popover top - since I only have enough left of this fabric for a huipul length and not a dress length, this gets to be a top and not a dress. The fabric has little textured squares woven into the smooth fabric, I think it was originally intended as lining fabric, and I know it wears well, I have made garments from it in past years
9. floral print cotton blouse - Ahhh, the other piece/colorway of this beautiful mid-century inspired floral fabric. Alexander Henry cotton lawn in the pattern called Trios. I have been saving this to use as a real blouse. I made the other length I had into a peplum top, and wish I had waited... I shall have to encouragy myself to gird loins and tackle fitting the sleeves of Tabula Rasa, so I can go forward and make blouses

...and finally 2 more additional garments in any or all of the colors already chosen
10. indigo rayon popover dress - This easy pattern works both as a layer underneath a pinafore, and as a dress on its own. I am thinking about embellishing the medium indigo fabric with a bit of block printed decoration...
11. Alabama Chanin style cotton jersey cardigan - I have wanted to make this for a long time, and have already cut the stencils earlier this year. My design is based on this Gudrun Sjoden cardigan, but mine will be more cropped, so as to look well worn over a pinafore dress. I have enough cotton jersey in both brown and indigo/navy, so my thought is: brown top layer, blue bottom layer, black stenciling, grey stitching... that will be a bridge garment and will look well with pretty much all of my cool and cold weather clothing

It is also likely that some time between now and the end of April, that I will create at least some of the optional accessory items. I could really use some new hats, my denim hat is both sun faded and floppy, since it is well over X years old, and even my brown hat is quite sun faded as well. THere may be some jewelery, or even a city daypack... who knows, but first off, need to get back to fitting the Tabula Rasa
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November SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 x garlic planted-
2 x worm bin refreshed-
3 x x -
4 x x -
5 xx x
6 x x x
7 x x x
8 x x x
9 x x x
10 x x x
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x
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