Sunday, April 26, 2009

Nice Day of Doing Nothing

Yesterday was the South Oaken A & S Faire. Dearg entered his first project and scored a 2. He made a leather wallet with copper wire woven into it to make designs. Very cool, and I'm proud of him for finally entering something!

It was a pretty laid back day, there were only a few people there, which made it pretty fun. I volunteered to judge, but they didn't need me, so I got to just hang out in garb all day. Owen was the center of attention various times in the day, and it's so nice to be among friends that can run off with my baby and I don't have to worry about it. Here's a photo of my little man and I:

Also (and I'm still wigging out about it) I got a personal invitation (!) to share my knowledge about headdress at an event later this summer that will focus on textile and fiber arts. I've already got four ideas for classes that would work.

I wore my rust dress (as you can see in the photo) with my regular bra, and something is a little off. I need to fit it A LOT more. I can take the whole thing off without undoing the lacing, and that... well... that shouldn't happen. I don't know if it's because the linen is loosening up, so after I wash it, I'll see how much more it needs to come in.

In other news, I'll be starting the South Beach Diet tomorrow with my mom and husband. If all goes well, I'll be loosing weight, so this has put the teal fitted dress on hold once again. That's alright though, as long as I've got it before Pennsic. No rush.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Rust Dress & Some Thoughts

We used the great weather day we had yesterday to go to the Nature Center and take a hike with Owen. When we woke up this morning, it was raining. Consequently, I decided to just have Dearg take some photos of me in my new dress inside. After taking a couple really bad photos straight on of me just wearing the dress, we decided that I needed something- hence the makeshift apron. No, I did not break down and make a new one. Yet. It's just tucked into my belt. Then, to avoid the "deer in the headlights" look I tend to get, I pulled out my embroidery frame to have something for my hands to do. There was a lot of laughter, and a couple more really bad pictures, but we did manage to get these two. The second one is what happens when Dearg says "make love to the camera".

I was going to wear my 14th century open hood, but it seems to have walked off and gotten itself lost. So I just did the standard hair wrap that I've been doing. It's a modification of the Flemish kerchief (uses the same piece).

As nice as these photos are, however, I think it will be better to have Dearg take photos of me wearing the dress naturally at an event. I'm more animated and usually have better self-esteem when I'm in garb for a real reason.

I fixed the weird thing that was going on at the bust (though there is still a little bump just over my right breast that needs to be fixed), so I'm wearing my regular bra. Unfortuately, I'm not getting the correct lift. I don't think I'll worry about it on this dress, though. That's an issue to tackle with the teal fitted dress. Now that my mom is mostly caught up with her projects, we'll probably start working on that again soon.

This winter has been rough physically. Though I was lucky to loose all my baby-related weight pretty quickly after having Owen, I gained most of it back just by being inactive these past few months. Now that it's warming up, Dearg and I are more likely to go out and hike, especially if it allows us to expose Owen to the wonders of nature. I want to be ready for a full week of walking around in August.

On a completely different note, I was trolling around the internet last night and came across Reconstitutions, a Fench blog written by a lady named Hémiole. She looks to be focused on 13th century, and has some great takes on a couple headdress styles, including my old favorite, the working class headdress.

Regional A&S is next weekend. Dearg is working on a recreation of the Birka Wallet (here's a recreation from Mikkel at Haandkraft). I've been trying to decide if I want to teach a class. I would teach my "Cover Your Head" headdress class, but, since this is an A&S event, I want to teach something a little more specific and scholarly. I've also been thinking about entering something, but I've slacked off so much in deciding what to enter, that it might be too late. I'm not sure I could finish anything well enough to enter it- I've only got a week.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Look Back

Today is the first nice day we've had in a while, so we may be able to get outside tonight and take a few photos of new garb.  In the meantime, let's take a look back:

July 2001  A not so wonderful picture of me returning to my seat after receiving my Award of Arms.  I'd changed from a dress I wore earlier in the day (a blue velveteen dress), probably because I wasn't comfortable in it.  I wore this striped skirt (a hand-me-down from mom) a lot, and obviously didn't care that my underwear (chemise) was showing.  Every time I look at this photo I wonder if I'm flashing the royalty.

August 2001  Sitting next to the battlefield at my second Pennsic (29).  You can see in this photo (as well as the one above) that I'm incredibly tan.  I'd worked the summer before War at an amusement park- spent three months straight outside.   I love this picture (though Dearg tells me it's one of his least favorites).  I'm wearing an over shirt that went only a little past my waist, then the bright blue skirt.  If memory serves me right, I'm wearing the sleeveless chemise that is now my only chemise.  I did the turban thing a lot that week.  I'd cut my hair just above my shoulders a few weeks earlier, so I needed something to keep it out of my face.  I didn't know anything yet about medieval headdress- I just liked the way the turban looked.

August 2003 This was taken outside the gate of our Baronial encampment at Pennsic 30.  Dearg and I had started dating the Autumn before, and I officially became "fat and happy".  I'd often commented that I felt like I was gaining the weight Dearg was losing- he's so skinny in this photo.  This periwinkle dress was the first one I'd made on my own (the rust-colored dress being the only other one).  I don't know what was going on with the skirt that caused the chromosome-like X's under my boobs.  I also don't have any idea what period we're supposed to be.  We called the dress and Dearg's shirt "cotehardies", but that's a stretch of the imagination.  This is the only matching outfit that Dearg and I ever had.  And I don't think I have that dress anymore.  

Monday, April 13, 2009

Just Checking In

We finally have batteries in the camera. It was too late to take photos of the rust dress today, but I did take a photo of my new embroidery project.

I used the zig-zag pattern from Medieval Arts & Crafts as a starting point to create a wavy pattern. There will be three rows of blue between two rows of white, then the whole thing will be surrounded by the gold. It won't be very large- just enough to roll straight pins for my headdresses in. So far, it's a lot of fun- very relaxing and addictive. I'm using DMC pearl cotton and 28 count linen.
I'm hoping that Dearg can take some nice photos tomorrow of me in my new dress and Owen in his completed tunic. I'll post them as soon as I can!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Being more authentic...

...doesn't include dead camera batteries!

But, alas, they were. I didn't check them before we left for Unicorn yesterday, and it wasn't until I went to take a picture in the morning and the camera shut off that I realized that the batteries were, in fact, dead. So I don't have a single photo from yesterday.

Which is a real shame. I wore my new rust-colored "fitted" dress, and it looked great. I, unfortunately wore the wrong bra, and had to deal with "quadra-boob" all day. I ended up wearing my grey hood (#11 here) to hide my chest, and it mostly worked. But the dress was wonderful. I do need to make a minor adjustment to the chest area (so that I don't have to wear that bra again), but other than that, everything fit- no pulling at the arms, the perfect drape and length on the skirt, etc. I did have my mother sew the sleeves and do the fitting adjustments for me, but that's just because I know my limits.

I also completed Owen's green shirt. Since I didn't have the time to put the buttons (and button holes on) for the last event, I'd just added a tie at the top. But this week, I (with Dearg's help) completed the shirt by adding 8 small buttons. I had originally done fabric buttons, but I made the holes too small, and I couldn't make fabric buttons small enough to fit. We also picked up black tights- they made a huge difference. If only I had a picture....

I taught my headdress class again. I was irritated that I had to find my own place to teach the class, as there wasn't a class pavilion set up. So I only had three people attend the class, and there were lots of distractions because the one table I could find was right next to the path everyone was taking to get to the merchants and cars. I also kind of rushed through it. It didn't go as smoothly as it had the first time, and I lost my place a handful of times. Also, the at the end of the class the ladies asked me about Italian, Middle Eastern and German headdress. None of which I've done all that much research on. So now, for the sake of being better prepared next time, I'm going to devote some time to researching those.

I brought my new embroidery frame as well. I'd found a zig-zag patterned needle case that I really like on Medieval Arts & Crafts, but I think I'm going to use mine to hold pins for my headdresses. I started using the unbleached muslin I had strung on the frame, but the weave is too tight for me to see what I'm doing. So I took that off this morning. I had also planned to do white and green zig-zags, because I wanted to match my small green scissor case, but now that I've decided to use the case for pins instead of sewing needles, I don't need to be matchy-matchy. I like the blue and white of the original. I might even try to modify the pattern a bit to be wavy instead, since my arms include a wavy fess on a blue field. Right now, the frame is apart, sitting out on the porch- I decided I wanted it stained.

Maybe I'll put new batteries in the camera and go have another photo shoot this week.