Archive for the ‘costuming’ Category

Revisions are… coming along. Slowly. Mainly because of adverbs like slowly and mainly. And because of gerunds. I apparently love gerunds. It’s funny the things you don’t realize you do until someone points out how often you do them.

I’ll get it all fixed though. I am so excited for this book to be published! It’s been a long couple of years since I made the resolution to get the first draft finished, but I’m now on the final revisions and Book 2 is in the early stages of revisions for the first draft. It’s got a long way to go as well, but now that I’m more aware of my gerund affinity I’m sure it’ll be easier … Won’t it?

Oh, who am I kidding? I’ll be just as stressed for Book 2, 3, and onward. Lol But it’ll all be worth it. I just have to push on.

In other news, the house is almost home and I’m doing some unwinding this weekend in between revision sessions. Soon things will be back to (my) normal. Work is work, and crafting is taking a hiatus while I finish the book. That means I probably won’t get the time to make and document enough stuff to enter as Champion for the Baronial Arts and Sciences competition. I can still enter as novice in a couple categories, but I’m a little disappointed in myself for not being able to go for the big prize right out of the gate. I had wanted to push myself, but maybe all this is the Universe’s way of telling me to simmer down and just take my time. I have the rest of my life with the SCA to try for Champion; I don’t need to get greedy the first time I enter.

Well, guess I should stop dwelling and get to the relaxation part of my weekend… While it lasts 😉

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Wow…almost ten days with no posting. Where’s my mind been?

Oh yeah: embroidery commission deadline and SCA event and house stuff and work and…

There might just be a few distractions in my life right now. Lol I’m making headway on the embroidery and SCA should soon slow down a bit, but there’s still a ton of stuff going on with the last-minute house things and, of course, work is work.

Last weekend I ran my first rapier scenario as part of a tournament. It was pretty fun, and the fighters seemed to like it. I even got accolades and recognition from the event steward (who is herself a rapier fighter), though she gave me more credit than I deserved. I did the one thing, but for the most part I just helped out the Master of Defense who was truly running things for the tournament. Still, it was nice to be able to get my feet wet with running a tournament and kind of see what kind of prep is needed. Who knows? Maybe next year at this event I’ll be in charge of the whole tourney. We’ll see. 😉

This week I have to make a PVC “sheath” for our rapiers, because the prince and princess who will be stepping up in a week and a half don’t want exposed blades around them when we’re on guard duty…which I understand, but I don’t think they realize that, in order to be legal for fighting, rapiers have to have caps on the end. Secure caps. Which means a standard sheath is not going to work. So I have to improvise. I just hope I have enough scrap leather to cover the PVC so it doesn’t look so much like a plastic pipe. Yay for Barge contact cement and leftover suede from a project last year.

Depression’s not too bad compared to a couple weeks ago. I’m still a bit down from time to time, but for the most part I’m doing okay. Taking my meds and all that jazz.

Writing is still at a standstill, but I’m hoping that once SCA stuff calms down I will break through the block and get moving on Book 2.

It’s not seen as much in modern day: the medieval concept of community and trade. I’ve been thinking about this a lot in the past week or so, especially since my husband’s big reveal of his anniversary conspiracy.

In the SCA especially, this community spirit is alive and well, and trading goods and services works just as well as cash or PayPal. My husband has been trading trim and belts that he weaves for different goods and services for months, but it wasn’t until recently that I saw the enormity of what can be accomplished with fair trade.

For my anniversary gifts, some of them were obtained through volunteers to make the things, but some were obtained through trade. Chris, bless his heart, made a TON of belts and trim, both for my garments and for others to make things to go with the garments. It wasn’t just the traded goods that spurred others to make stuff; these people care. In the SCA, it’s a family.

I’ve heard the phrase “chosen family” in reference to the SCA dozens of times throughout the year I’ve been playing, but it’s only now truly hitting home how much of a family it is. There are people I barely know who stood up and said “Sure” when my husband asked for dresses (made by Lady Mariette of the Barony March of Mons Tonitrus–apron dress pending hand embroidery by Lady Illaria), or a Viking naalbinded hat (made by Willa McCafferty of the Barony of Tyr Ysgthir), or custom Viking brooches (made by Eric the Bald)…I could go on, but basically, these people were willing, some for a near stranger, to take time out of their busy lives to make something for a nice gift. It’s pretty cool. Here are just a few of the things that have been made/are being made for li’l ol’ me:

Since I’ve started the embroidery, I’ve started contributing here and there to the community aspect as well. I’ve done tiny coats-of-arms to finish the ends of belts that my husband made for gifting or largesse. I’ve done a commission piece for a kindhearted person who deserved something nice. I’m doing embroidery right now for a trade for temple rings to match the brooches shown above. Here’s a sneak peek I “stole” off of Facebook (temple rings also by Eric the Bald of the Kingdom of Atenveldt):

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How cool is that? And all I have to do is make an embroidered bag and sew some trim on it, something I’m more than willing to do for such a giving individual. It fills my heart to overflowing to see this type of community in the SCA that has, for me at least, been absent in mundane life. Even outside of SCA-related activities, our chosen family has been there for us. Recently we had nearly half a dozen SCA friends over at the new house, all sacrificing part of their Saturday to help finish some wiring on the house. They didn’t need to. They could have said “no”…instead, they came on over, some bringing their own tools and supplies, to help, for nothing more than some pizza and sodas/bottled water.

I am taking this time to extend my eternal thanks and gratitude to this chosen family, to tell them that they matter, that they’re appreciated (even if I don’t always know how to show it), that their efforts have touched me.

When it comes to anniversaries, my husband doesn’t fool around. Yesterday (two days before our five year anniversary) he surprised me with a commissioned Viking underdress, overdress, and apron dress. He also told me that there is a naalbinded hat waiting for me (it’s a type of Viking “crochet”), a veil coming, and a Viking coat in the works, all from different SCA craftspeople. The underdress and overdress need some alterations (I need to stop eating so much fast food lol), but I was able to get a picture.

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The dresses are made from real linen and silk, the trim is silk (handwoven by my husband), and there will be a hand embroidered sword that will be placed between the two swans.

I kind of suspected something like this was coming when he asked where I kept my copy of my measurements a few months ago. Nothing suspicious at all there 😉 I had pretty much forgotten about it though, until he took me to our friend’s house last night, showed me the dresses on the hanger, and said “Happy anniversary!” Gotta admit, I was a bit slow on the uptake and thought he was telling our friend happy anniversary until he pointed out the swans on the dress.

Since not all the pieces of the puzzle are finished, it will be another month before I can probably wear it. The friend who made the dresses needs to add some width to them and she’s having foot surgery today, so that will have to wait until she’s recovered enough to work on them again, and the coat is still in progress (because the friend who’s making that is quite busy, but heck, it’s almost summer in Arizona so there’s plenty of time).

I think this is the most elaborate anniversary plan he’s come up with yet–and we’re only five years in! I had better step up my gifting game if I’m going to compete. 😉

There are also Viking brooches with swans on them that have been made for me (to pin on my treasure beads and pin the straps of the apron dress), and to trade for some Viking temple rings with swans I’m going to collaborate with my husband to make an over-the-shoulder bag for another SCAdian who does the metalworking. I’m going to embroider and make the bag, my husband is going to weave trim for it that I will then sew on before delivering it.

Once this is all done, I’ll be all Viking’d out! Lol

I have a new place in the art world, and it’s an interesting one. Thanks to my new interest in embroidery, I have become the maker of belt ends.

Let me explain:

My husband weaves belts and trim, and he’s made a few now for “foreign” royalty. One thing he wanted was a way to end the belts that would look nice and be functional. Our solution? Tiny, 1.5-2″ embroidered coats of arms sewn into little sleeves, into which I slide the end of the belt, and then it gets sewn shut. Ta-da! Belt doesn’t unwind, and it’s personalized for the recipient.

I guess it’s been done before, but from what I understand it’s not done often…at least not that I’ve seen. And so far, the people who have received the belts have loved them–especially the embroidery.

It’s kinda cool, but a little painstaking at times. The designs I’ve done so far haven’t been too complicated to shrink down and stitch, but I wonder what I’ll do when we get a commission for a more complicated coat of arms. I want to get recognition for the work I do, but I don’t want to get to where people expect more than I can do.

I’m finally done with the commission embroidery for the meantime, though, so I can focus on A&S. I’ll be reading and embroidering and measuring and cutting and sewing and typing and…yeah. A lot of work ahead, but it’s work that should be fun. Interesting, at least.

There won’t be any progress pics here, though, because that’s part of the research paper; you have to include pictures of the process of whatever you’re doing. Once it’s all done I’ll post stuff… but that’s a few months away.

Estrella War is over, but my project list is far from completed. I’m currently about halfway through a couple of tiny embroideries for a gift for a king in another kingdom, I have a hood to make for my husband, an underdress and apron dress for me, three Arts & Sciences projects to get going, and then there’s also some mundane sewing I want to get done soon-ish.

I’m not super stressed out like I would normally be, because aside from the embroidery I don’t have any deadlines less than a few months away. This is great, because for the first time in months I feel like I can relax and take my time. Well, not relax too much. But I can breathe.

I’ve picked out the Arts & Sciences projects that I’m going to do, so since that is the next true deadline I will focus on those once the embroidery is done. I am even combining one of the above projects into the A&S stuff (but I’m not saying which one!) to kind of get a little ahead of the game. Be more efficient, I guess. Now, I need to do research in addition to the physical work, and I need to remember to take pictures as I go, but I’m getting started right away so I’m not too worried. I have most of the research materials I think I’ll need compiled, so it’s just a matter of reading it all.

Believe it or not, I’m actually looking forward to the research paper part of the projects. I always aced my research papers in school, so this should be a breeze. I’ll just have to dust off the ol’ “student” cap and put it on and get to typing. I even made sure I knew which format (y’know, MLA, APA, etc.) I will need to use for my citations before I got started. I’m getting kind of excited for it. Yeah, excited for three research papers. I’m such a nerd.

I also need to mentally prepare for A&S, in the sense that I know my works (written and handmade) will be subject to criticism from multiple fronts. My research papers could be metaphorically torn to shreds, or my sewing could be scoffed at. I think I’ll be okay, though.

Can’t let myself get too comfy in my sense of security when it comes to timelines. We still have to move into our house once it’s built, which is rapidly approaching, and there are more SCA events in the meantime. I can do it, though. Just gotta avoid getting to Crunch Time like I usually end up doing.

Ah, modern life. Sleep number bed. Smart thermostat. Long, hot shower.

Yeah, it’s true that I will miss being at war with my SCA family, but I am still glad to be home. I can get back to my normal routine and worry less about freezing in the middle of the night. (And yes, it can get to freezing temperatures in the desert at night.) I got a new cloak out of it though, so that’s a bonus. Reversible with cotton on one side and wool on the other. Warm.

Today is a day for recuperating before jumping back into modern life full-on. The house is still in progress, work is still there, and bills still need to get paid. Can’t run away to a camping event forever, unfortunately.

For the most part everything’s back to normal, but I’m far from done with SCA stuff. I have things to sew, research to do, swording to learn. Basically, even though I’m back in the now, there’s still plenty of the then to keep me busy for quite some time.

I haven’t found a Laurel yet, but I’ll admit I didn’t try too hard to seek them out at war. I was too busy absorbing all that Estrella War had to offer me. Tournaments, melee fighting, shopping, Grand Court, etc. I’m proud of myself for not having a freak-out with all the people around me, but I still have a long way to go before I’m comfortable enough to try approaching strangers about stuff. I may start talking to the Laurels that I know, though, to get an idea of what I need to do to get on the path to that path.

I’m already “officially” on the path to a white scarf in that a good friend of mine accepted me as her rapier student. It’s kind of exciting to be on a set path and not just swinging blindly.

Eventually I’ll get there. It’s not like I’m on a set timetable here. Some people take a decade or more to become a peer in the Society, so I don’t have to rush myself.