Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I've been a bad blogger

Again. It's been nearly a month since I've posted. I haven't had anything interesting to say. I haven't been feeling well so I haven't been sewing or scrapping. I didn't do any handmade Christmas gifts this year nor did I send out any handmade cards. Wait, I take that back. I did make some felt deer that I gave away.

On my good days I listed several pieces from my cobalt glass collection on ebay. I decided that, since it was just sitting in the curio cabinet looking pretty but not getting used, it was time for most of it to go! I kept one Hazel Atlas Sailboat pitcher and eight glasses in rememberance of Aunt Ruth (my collection started with the pieces inherited from her)but sold the rest of the glasses, ice bowl, etc. I also sold the Avon George & Martha goblets. The random pieces of cobalt glass didn't go so well with only a couple of items sold. I'll relist after Christmas and see what happens.
the bad part of not feeling well enough to do anything productive is that I have been spending waaaaaay too much time on the Blythe doll message boards and trolling ebay for doll furniture and accessories! LOL I only need a couple more beds (preferrably bunks) to completely furnish the doll house I want to work on after the holidays. And my doll family is now up to five girls plus a sixth custom I'm still working on.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Preparing for Thanksgiving

The Blythe girls are getting ready.

They'll be baking their pies today as will I.

I finally did a little scrapping yesterday.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Wow. I just realized it's been about three weeks since my last post. Rather that post seperately for each topic you'll get one big conglomerate post. :D About the time of my last entry I started a flare up of aches, pains, and fatigue so many of the things I had started and was excited about didn't get done then I was in a rush preparing for a trip out of town.

On the SCA/sewing front I have made zero progress on the green wool Florentine gown. It's sitting just as I left it three weeks ago. My shoulders were aching too much to sit and sew. I ended up wearing the oldest gown I own to Fall Harvest and was only there for a couple of hours since I felt like crap. I hope to finish the gown before winter Revel but won't be beating myself up if it doesn't happen.

I also didn't get the Steampunk things that I wanted sewn for WindyCon done. At the last minute I cut and hemmed a pair of pinstripe pants to knicker length and and sewed a strip of bias over the collar seam of my Victorian cape to reinforce the worn lining to make it wearable since I didn't get around to relining it.
Let's just say that WindyCon (Nov. 13-15 in Chicago)was an experience. LOL I saw some wonderful Steampunk costuming and attended a couple of interesting panel discussions. I also saw many many unkempt middle-aged geeks (this is a sci-fi convention after all). My husband had been teasing me about going without him. Rest assured he had nothing to fear.
My message board friend and room mate for WindyCon, Flora, with Kaja and Phil Foglio the creators of the Girl Genius comic.

Flora in the gorgeous late Victorian walking suit she made.

Pics of more cool costumes (with more to be uploaded in the next few days) in my Flkr stream:

While I wasn't feeling well I was spending waaaay too much time online browsing ebay. I bought lots of clothes and trinkets for my Blythe dolls. I also bought more dolls. My third doll, a lovely stock French Trench that I have named Greta, joined my dolly family a couple of weeks ago and a NRFB Casual Affair is on her way and should arrive today or tomorrow. And then, after telling myself no more purchases until after Christmas, I bought my first Petite Blythe, a pop up world pajama party girl, off ebay last night because the price was just too good to pass up!
Here are my three girls in some of their new clothes:
A little Steampunk-ish.

Sophia in vintage Skipper.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

More Playing with Dolls

My name is Cindy and I have become addicted to Blythe Dolls. lol
I bought a "bait" ADG Blythe with no hair and no eyes so I could try my hand customizing without the fear of messing up an expensive doll. (I gave Genenvieve new makeup but shied away from doing anything permanent.) Today I cleaned off her stock makeup then carved and glossed her lips. I found it very easy to do though I didn't go too extreme with the carving. I'm fine with her not having hair since I plan to give her a mohair scalp anyway. Finding an eye mechanism may be a problem, though.

More doll pics can be seen in my flikr photostream.

Another Florentine

I finally did it. This past weekend I finally tweaked my bodice pattern and cut out pieces for the green wool gown based on The Arrival of Leo X in Florence. I only got as far as sewing together two layers of linen for the interlining before I was worn out and too achy to do more. No photos yet.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The New Girl

This is Sophia. She is a custom Blythe doll of unnown origin. She's got some crazy wild hair, a weird lip carve, lipcolor that I fear is nail polish, and some eyechips with unpainted pupils among other issues. So, yeah, she's far from perfect but she melted my heart anyway.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Steampunk Doll

I still need to work on the clothes but had a little fun this morning modding some swim goggles for Genevieve (a Blythe Prima Dolly Ashlette). I masked off the fronts of the clear goggles then sprayed with black primer, dry-brushed on some metallic glaze, and glued on some filigree accents. Then I remebered these little brass tools that have been around the house for years and realized they are the perfect size for her. :)


Make black with blue pinstripe trousers that I rarely wear into knickers for Steampunk garb to the sewing to-do list!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Sewing To-Do List

It seems my costuming is taking off in several different directions. In order to focus and priortize all of the projects I want to do I've decided to make a list. :)

Maintenence and repair to do asap:
Reposition the frog closures on my black zimarra so that it closes without a gap when they are fastened.
Repair and reinforce the front opening in the skirt of my purple Campi dress. It tore 3-4" below the original opening. :(
Shorten the bodice thereby raising the hem of my navy Campi dress.

Neo-Victorian Steampunk projects:
Make an "easy to wear" bustle found at Your Wardrobe Unlock'd.
Decide on a skirt pattern and find fabric for a late Victorian skirt and butterfly train. I'm thinking striped tafetta. Deadline: Windycon mid-November.
Find a pattern for and make a high-necked late-Victorian blouse. Deadline: Memorial Day 2010 World Steam Expo
Find a pattern for and make a jacket/bodice to match the striped skirt. Deadline: Memorial Day 2010

Italian Renaissance SCA projects:
Check my measurements to see if any adjustments need to be made to my corset and bodice patterns. My weight seems to have crept up a few pounds while my clothes seem to be looser. :shrug:
Make a new 16th century corset. Front closing? Detachable straps?
Finally cut the pieces for the green wool dress inspired by The Arrival of Leo X in Florence. I've had the fabric for two years now. Tentative deadline of mid-January so it can be worn for Winter Revel and Twelfth Fight.
Add couched gold cord trim to my cranberry red coat.
Make a dress of cranberry red Kauffman "embossed" velvet (actualy cut velvet!) to go with the red coat. Inspired by the portrait of Countess Livia though her gown appears to be smooth velvet. (The fabric is on my Christmas wish list.)
Make a Venetian gown of the twelve yards of burgundy and gold fabric Tom recently bought for me. Tentative deadline: Val Day.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Bustled Butterfly Train

It killed me to do it but I spent $20 ($15 for the pattern plus $5 for shipping)on a pattern from Truly Victorian for their 1880's butterfly train. The pieces are so simple but it was the pleating that I just couldn't figure out on my own. I still had to read through a couple of times before I "got" the pleating in the center that forms the butterfly effect. This practice version is done with inexpensive cotton broadcloth, black with brown lining, so it will be worn with my more casual steampunk clothes. I'm thinking of wearing it this weekend with the brown blouse shown, a black corset over the blouse, and black and brown striped pants. Or maybe black lace trimmed bloomers instead of the pants. :shrug: Now that I've figured out how to put it together I would like to make one in taffeta (perhaps striped) with a matching skirt before Windycon next month.

And a little fun with the granddaughter too young to protest. :D

Friday, September 25, 2009

Introducing Genevieve!

I have another new little girl in my life. :giggle: I had been thinking about adopting a Blythe doll and on the day Keira was born I took the plunge in celebration. She was a NRFB Prima Dolly Ashlette who arrived on Monday.

I gave her a hot water treatment to straighten her hair and dressed her in new clothes (a BFC Ink doll outfit).

Then I sand-matted her face to remove the glare and to get rid of her ugly yello-green "old bruise color" eyeshadow.

Then I got brave and opened up her head so I could remove her eye mechanism.

I painted her eyelids and added a rubon flower, painted eyeliner, and added grey eyeshadow.

I bought her more new clothes (Best Friends Club Ink and Moxie Girlz clothes fit well), her own white puppy, and a laptop to complete her "mini me" look.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Big News!

My first grandchild! Introducing Keira Eileen born September 17, weighing 8 pounds, 20 inches long. She's got her daddy's nose and her mama's dark hair.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Steampunk for MIRF

Steampunk is something that I first took notice of a year or so ago. I found the garb fascinating and had the idea in the back of my mind that I might give it a try at some point. The plan was gently simmering on the back burner until I saw the gorgeous leather tophats and goggles being sold by The Blonde Swan at Pennsic. Once Tom indulged my desire to own said hat and googles I figured I had better get off my ass and find something appropriate to wear them with. (I had sewn four dresses for myself and five outfits for Tom in preparation for Pennsic so to say that I was a little burned out on sewing and didn't have the patience or energy for more would be putting it lightly.) I rummaged through the ren faire garb I had on hand and added a few new and second hand purchases with the idea of wearing my outfit on Day of Wrong at the Michigan Renaissance Festival. I couldn't narrow down my choices so I wore steampunk garb for each of the three days of Labor Day weekend. I plan to replace the improvised skirts from the more formal outfit and continue to refine the accessories but overall I was pleased with how things turned out.
Saturday's outfit:

Sunday's outfit:

Monday's outfit with all of the accessories:

and at the end of the day:

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Okay. I give up.

As much as I wanted an accurate 1880s bustled overskirt I have accepted the fact that it just isn't going to happen before Labor Day. :sigh: I purchased some blue satin with the idea that I could simply drape it on my dress form using old pattern illustrations as a guide. Yesterday I accepted the fact that I don't have the skills to do this without a pattern and that it was too late to order said pattern. So I moved on to Plan B: I found online instructions for a ruffled petticoat that looked like it could be pinned to simulate an apron front and bustled back. I cut my fabric this morning and prepared to hem 9 yards of ruffles. Among the nifty attachments that came along with the sewing machine I bought a couple of months ago was a 1/4" hemmer. I grabbed some fabric scraps to practice and got perfectly rolled and stitched hems. I proceeded with the hem on the actual skirt ruffles. I gave up after about 5 yards of crappy hemming. Plan C: I have a tiered "peasant skirt" that I have pinned into submission and, while it's black rather than the blue I wanted, I'm calling it good enough to wear this weekend. (I'll be ordering that Laughing Moon pattern to make a proper overskirt before WindyCon.)

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

What have I been up to?

Hmmm... Let's see... Since my last post I have been...

1. Planing a baby shower for my son's girlfriend who is expecting my first grandbaby mid-September.

2. Attended opening weekend at the Michigan Renaissance Festival while camping at Holly Rec.

3. Putting together bits and pieces of a Steampunk wardrobe.

4. Figuring out how to make an accurate 1880s bustled overskirt without paying for a $20 pattern.

5. Finishing up the "Keira's 1st Year" scrapbook album in time for the shower (which was held on Sunday).

6. Scrapping a few pages for the ScrapFreak August challenges.

7. Making some samples for Bree's September Card Class at the Freak.

8. Packing and planning for Labor Day weekend at tthe Michigan Renaissance Festival.

9. Planning for scrapping at the Wisconsin Freek Meet the week after Labor Day.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Gold Waistcoat

I played around today with various combinations of the Steampunk garb pieces mentioned in my previous post and had to share a couple of shots of the gorgeous gold brocade vest. I think I'll wear it with a white tee and jeans for running errands tomorrow. :D

Slightly out of focus closeup of my great-grandmother's Victorian locket.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Full Steam Ahead!

I kind of overdosed on the Renaissance stuff the last couple of months while preparing for Pennsic. Now I am taking off in another direction. :)
I've had the idea in the back of my mind for a while that I would like to create a Steampunk costume. Some chatter on the R/F forums about Steampunk invasions of a few ren faires in other parts of the country got me thinking that doing Steampunk for the MIRF Labor Day "Day of Wrong" could be fun so I started playing around with some of the garb I already have to see if I could come up with something steamy but only made a half-hearted attempt. The Blonde Swan was at Pennsic and, caught up in the Midnight Madness excitement, I started trying things on and Tom ordered me a custom mini top hat and googles to be picked up at MIRF Labor Day weekend! So now I have to come up with a kick-ass costume to go with my kick-ass hat!
I went out shopping last Thursday and picked up a few pieces including a beautiful gold brocade waistcoat, a brown blouse with interesting detail on the short puff sleeves that begs to have the plastic buttons switched out for brass :D, and a pair of brown and black pinstrip twill trousers. I also purchased a vintage black velvet bolero jacket/shrug from etsy. I already have a vintage short black cape, a vintage umbrella, glasses with round blue lenses, various brass accessories old and new, and a brocade strapless corset. (The corset is Elisabethan but I'm using it anyway. If the bimbettes can get away with wearing Victorian corsets as Rennaisance garb it should work the other way around for me. :wink: )Looking over what I have I don't seem to have a complete outfit. I have part of a costume for an elegant neo-Victorian lady and I have part of a costume for a more tomboyish Steampunk. I am thinking that I need a late Victorian walking skirt, a Victorian looking white or ivory blouse, a wide leather waistcincer/belt, some black granny boots, and some brown work boots. Then I should be able to mix and match to create outfits for the elegant lady, the rough and tumble tomboy, or something in between.
And since I have/will have these clothes and Labor Day is only one day I've made the commitment to join an online friend at WindyCon in November!
While contemplating my clothing options I made myself a steamy accessory. It's a Nerf Maverick dart gun that was modified using the instructions here to give it a bit more firepower then given a new paint job first with a coat of black Krylon Fusion spray paint then, when I couldn't find the recommended rub & buff that I thought I had, I dry brushed on some Making Memories metallic glazes. And to make it into a girly gun I added some bling. Once I have finished embellishing it I'll give it a clearcoat.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Finally! Pennsic Pics!

After taking a few days to recuperate from the trip I have finally uploaded some of my Pennsic photos to a Flikr album. I apologize for the fact that they are in seriously random order and don't yet have descriptions but it was my first time using Flikr and let's just say I had some issues! (I'll try to find time to straighten things out this coming week.)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


So one of the classes I took at Pennsic was Constructing a French Hood. Fitting the pattern and creating the hat part of the hood went well. The problem is that the class included absolutely no instruction on how to do the veil/drape/hood part of the french hood other than the instructor casually mentioning that it could be done as a tube or a loose veil. The instructor did bring several of her hoods but seemed reluctant to let us touch them. She basically just used them as examples for color and packed them away before I had the opportunity to really look at them and see how the veil was attached. I believe the artwork shows a tube so that's what I chose to do. Not having a clue I simply stitched the length of fabric provided in the kit into a tube and stitched it into the opening only to find that it was waaaay to large. I set the project aside until I was able to pop in to another session of the class at the end of the week. Still not letting me look at her hoods (I'm a visual learner. Don't just tell me how to do something. Show me an example or drawing.) the instructor told me I needed to stitch the tube on differently. So I made the tube smaller and reattached it and it didn't look too bad but I didn't like how the inside bottom edge hung lower than the outside bottom edge. After returning home I looked through The Tudor Tailor and saw that their pattern for the veil had a shaped top edge allowing the hem to hang straight. So I removed the veil tube yet again and used the TT pattern to recut it. Fine and dandy except that the TT veil pattern ended up being too small to fit the base from this class. So I have wasted 3-4 hours on this veil only to end up with a useless tube of fabric. I need to buy some fabric and start over. UUURRRRRRRGGGGH!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I'm Home!!!!!

We arrived home from Pennsic yesterday afternoon safe and sound. (We left the site around noon on Saturday but did some meandering along the Lake Erie shoreline on the way home.)We had a great time! The weather was beautiful! Not too hot nor too cold and just a little drizzle on Sunday 8/2. (I understand there were some nasty storms during the first week but we arrived after they had passed.) We met many wonderful people, saw some cool pavillions and camp gates, took some informative classes, attended a couple of parties, watched a couple of battles, attended Midrealm court, did some shopping for items large and small, saw some fabulous garb and some um... "interesting" garb, got lots of compliments on my garb (woohoo!), and attended the closing ceremonies where I think I got some nice photos. I can't wait to do it all again next year!!!
Once I get the mounds of laundry done, buy some groceries, and have time to edit my pics I will share some photos in more detailed posts.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Ready to hit the highway!

And I feel like one of the Beverly Hillbillies! lol It was like putting together a jigsaw puzzle but Tom manged to fit everything I wanted to bring except one wooden chair was swapped out for two camp chairs. We are planning to spread the 6 and-a-half hour drive to Pennsic out over two days with lots of pit stops for me to get out of the car and move around. We joked that if I buy anything at an antique store it has to fit in my lap. Some people had recommended that we wait and buy food after we get there using the insides of the coolers as packing space but I went with the opposite aproach of buying food here then using the cooler space to bring home the stuff I plan to buy there!