gracedpalmer: (trogloblorp)
She'd better appreciate them:

Laundry
Dishes
Scrub sink
Old dough to flatbread
Zucchini chopped and cooked
Large batch falafel made for when Future Grace is too hot to cook
Iced coffee made, ditto
All remaining coffee beans ground (by hand, cause I'm silly like that)
Oven burner cleaned/repaired using only cellphone flashlight and a crochet hook (that sucked)
Blueberry muffins!
Excess yogurt in freezer
Plants repotted
Floors swept
Lingering bills paid

True, some of this activity has been cat-waxing. I'm in a frustrating stage on this commission and I donwanna.

Nevertheless, painting awaits.
gracedpalmer: (stupid)
Do not bake an eggplant without poking a hole in it. Really.

Now how am I going to get the eggplant off my ceiling?

Also, ow.
gracedpalmer: (Default)
It's late and I'm covered in paint, but it's done. Did you know that right around the five to seven hour mark is when you start staring at the painting and thinking "are we there yet?"

The Imperial Exams Frown On Innovation )
gracedpalmer: (Default)
Oh, we are not eighteen anymore. Five of us (myself, [livejournal.com profile] samadi, [livejournal.com profile] jmpierce, [livejournal.com profile] ladydrake and her boyfriend Cris, who does not have an lj to the best of my knowledge) all went to Griffin's Needle this weekend. This is a costuming deathmarch SCA event about an hour and a half away. Sewing started at 10 pm Friday night, and stopped at 6 pm Saturday evening. The goal is to make a whole outfit from the skin out (underwear on out) in this time period.

We decided to make some garb for me. I feel a little guilty about this, because I got a lot of stuff out of it, but no one else wanted to have it made for them. We could just as easily have made [livejournal.com profile] ladydrake's purple and green Florentine, for instance. But anyhow - the goal was a full early 16th century German woman's costume, tradesman class, from the Augsburg area.

We were not a total success. There are issues with the bodice pattern, and we had to get really creative with piecing because my fabric shrank more than it should have. There was enough to get the job done, if I had not borked the patterning. Let this be said: you should not make your test dress in linen/rayon if the finished pieces are going to be in light wool and very firm silk twill.

There will need to be some interesting re-piecing to get the shoulders and arms of the overdress to work, and I'm not totally happy with the undergown, either. This is no one's fault but mine, however. I did the patterning and cutting. Everyone else did lots and lots of hand stitching, and their work is beautiful. It's just that the result isn't quite the shape I expected it to be. The accessories (linen stockings, hemd, and wulsthaube) are beautiful. When I regain my brains, I hope to take photos of them.

I was worried about my documentation, because I don't know how to write it. I took the approach of treating it like a paper from school, which left me feeling like it wasn't terribly good, since my logic isn't spelled out as clearly as it should be and could be questioned as faulty, my citations are a little schizophrenic, and I made some blanket assertions I didn't back up with a cite.

Apparently, I should not have been worried. We entered as intermediate or advanced, were placed in advanced by the person running the event, and all three of our judges told us that we entered the wrong category and should have entered as Pyxis (an authenticity-oriented category that discourages sewing machines and modern shortcuts.) Also, I have been requested to send copies of the documentation to two of them.

I'll probably clean it up before it goes out - some parts of it were written the day before the event, and I'm really rather embarrassed by those. Perhaps I will be able to clean it up enough to web it? I feel a little weird about that, because most of it's not original work - it's heavily based on things I've read online on others' websites and journals, and on the German Ren group, but I can't remember who said what. I don't want to look like I'm taking credit!

The rules weren't too clear, so it looked like people in that category were required to make all accessories, including footwear, and we have no leatherworkers, so it seemed inappropriate. This was apparently incorrect. The point is moot, beacuse I've inadvertantly exhausted all my friends, so we shan't be back (I'd be willing to go again, perhaps in several years, but this is not really a "do it alone" event. I don't sew -that- fast!)

So yeah, mixed feelings in the end. I had a good time. Everyone with me was really good. The reaction to our efforts was strongly approving. But I feel like I really fell short and messed up in a lot of places that I should not have. All the mistakes can be fixed (to one degree or another) but they should not have been made in the first place, were I competent.

No pictures were taken - we were too busy and distracted. If any appear online later (there was an official photographer, but our end result wasn't all that impressive, so it probably didn't get photoed) I'll link them.

Also, I really wish that costuming events didn't require improv presentations. I'm a competent seamstress, but I never want to enter anything I make in a con show (and this event was problematic at the end, too) because they make you give a speech and be an actor to boot. [livejournal.com profile] samadi and [livejournal.com profile] ladydrake were really the only thing that saved me.

Today, I will not get much done, though I do need to put some attention to the cleaning of the apartment, since it's trashed. I may spend most of the day poking my new nonfunctional tiredness. So far we've discovered that while I'm well-slept, interesting parts of me hurt, I'm still subject to mood swings (sorry about last night, guys - but it's not like I was the only one who was frustrated, confused, and hair-trigger) and my motivation is made of slowness. Let's see what new damage sleep dep hath caused!

If I am very good, I will start on some art in prep for Windycon. Since my monitor went kerput, art has mostly fallen by the wayside (I was being lazy and doing all my practice onscreen). I must try to get going again, so that I can be like a real person. Of course, if I'm working on convention art, I'll still be shirking my sketchbook. I now have a 23" Samsung. It is a widescreen, which makes me feel like I've been cheated of the top quarter of my monitor, but it is at least almost as tall as the old one. No more turning on the computer and hoping that you get more than a blinky flicker.

Eventually, I may reply to all the emails I've been ignoring. I've been a very poor correspondent.

Ok, time to get off this before I go back into wondering why I have hobbies in the first place. That goes nowhere good. I should work up some clockwork animals, instead.
gracedpalmer: (Default)
Part the first: I have problems with color. I'm bad at picking colors for painting, and often end up with serious mismatchedness. This only gets worse when it comes to digital stuff, because that little palette with millions of colors makes it hard to even see what I'm getting. I always err too far toward the saturated.

Part the second: I've been painting a bit more, and doing some illustration work this week. The illustration is in my nice, safe friends black and white, so there's no worry there. The painting is an egg tempera piece I pick up from time to time (tomorrow I'm going to get some walnut or other drying oil at the market and it'll be tempera grassa, mwahaha) and since I make my own tempera, I'm limited to a small range of colors. This is particularly so given that there are pigments I consider too toxic to use (orpiment, vermilion, realgar) and I'm limiting myself to pigments used before 1600 (no chromes (not great for you), cadmiums (still pretty toxic anyhow), Prussian blue, modern organics, etc). The end result is a much better painting. I'm discovering that I can put together a decent pale European skin tone with green earth, burnt umber, red ochre and a little lead white (toxic but not actually that bad for grownups, and I never eat or touch my face while I'm using it.)

The inevitable conclusion: I should start limiting my palette elsewhere, including on the comp. Since the historical pigments have been working so well, and my head's currently in the 16th century, clearly I should limit myself to these colors. That makes perfect sense, right? So tonight I spent far too much time putting together a palette file. witness my lunacy - uncompressed JPG for your enjoyment )
I have no idea if this'll actually make my art better, but anything's worth trying. I'd feel bad about wasting time, but I did the base lineart for three full illustrations, had a nice sitdown with one of the boythings, sewed one vertical seam on my skirt, went shopping and walked almost two miles today. So it's ok to do something braindead and useless. Tomorrow, it's back to the wordmines!

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