gracedpalmer: (Default)
On meds attempt number two and beginning to despair for a number of reasons I won't enumerate here because I don't have them completely figured out. Getting about 4 to 6 hours of actual sleep per night is further complicating the attempt to actually do that. I am tempted to give up and go back to relying on exercise and coffee.

I have, however, been doing more things than I usually manage in October. One of them was going to the Griffin's Needle 24-hour costuming event in Madison. Here )are some photos of me being very tired and sewing things.
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!
gracedpalmer: (Default)
Bar of accidentally purchased Zote (laundry soap) converted to liquid
Beige silk mordanted (alum)
Light yellow wool mordanted (also alum)
Fabric layouts for Griffin's Needle in October finished (white linen, mushroom linen, silk)
Many reference images for above collected
Cloth hose pattern created
1 pair electric grape wool flannel hose made and finished
Gored skirt pattern made
1880s bodice pattern revised
Revision tested (in progress)
Red twill and orange silk for winter skirts washed and shrunk

additional sewing and reenactment related maunderings )
gracedpalmer: (Default)
Back from the event, minus some nap and recovery time. I am not as resilient as once I was, and it's time to start implementing a preventative maintenance plan of sleep and hydration, it seems.

The pavilion is doing reasonably well with just the crow's feet and center pole, but no wooden structure inside. It's a bit like this one , but without the ropes running through the canopy.

However, my door attachments, which have always been jury rigged, could use work. They're the cause of the need for an emergency take down during the high winds and thunderstorm early Friday morning. I woke up and both doors were open, which had turned my pavilion into something that very much wanted to fly away, and caused me to lose one stake.

That meant that the formerly taut roof was now saggy and leaky. So the walls were pulled off, the stuff carted to the car for dryness' sake, and I was up a lot earlier than intended. The roof pulled a couple of stakes later and went over shortly. However, a tip-over in this design is non-disastrous, and putting it up later was simple and pleasant. The rest of the weekend was non eventful, tent wise, though I was pretty cold Saturday night. We ran the weather gamut this weekend.

Bumblebee dress Mark I was worn throughout the event, though I spent a lot of time in field hand mode when in camp, since two layers and no hat is cooler than three with hat. I require more aprons. Also, the support bodice had not been worn for an extended period of time in the heat before, and has stretched an important inch or so. The back will need to be taken in a bit.

Photos )

I got to take a very nice recipe redaction class, which was a lot of fun, and the Baronial Open House remains a tasty occasion. Sadly, dance was quite disappointing, with what I feel was a poorly chosen set and drawn out, inefficient teaching before hand. Also, it was on the warm side most of the time, and I let myself get dehydrated, so I had a headache most of the weekend. Hopefully I was not too much of a bitch to people.

Camp is turning out very nice, and we're getting a decent ratio of canvas to nylon these days: two red pavilions, a pair of white wall tents and a wedge, plus a couple of shade flies. Hopefully by next year I'll be able to bring a little bit of furniture, since the tent should be past all really major renovations by then. :)

The next question, of course, is whether or not I'm crazy enough to do this .
gracedpalmer: (Default)
Border Skirmish was a good practice for the longer camping event later in the summer. The pavilion got converted to ropes only a little earlier than expected, since a previous, more optimistic version of myself apparently ditched the hub that the spokes sat in sometime in the past year. My pavilion used to be a 12' round of this type: http://home.adelphi.edu/~sbloch/sca/tents/kuijt.article/ which I have never really been comfortable in the documentation for, and which requires a fairly large amount of support structure, though less than the sidepole type of tent.

It is currently a 12 foot round of approximately this type: http://home.adelphi.edu/sbloch/sca/tents/firstkr.html though my guy lines don't run through the roof. The crow's feet are currently extremely jury-rigged, since it was a bit of a last minute decision.

In addition, my old center pole, made from three 4' pieces of 3-4" diameter bamboo, was completely borked. Cutting the damaged part from last year off did not work, as the cracks only tried to work higher. I spent the first night in the Emergency Tent, a tiny, tiny dome tent bought about eight years ago. Fortunately, there was a man there selling these: http://store.colemans.com/cart/pole-4-fiberglass-used-6-poles-p-1477.html

I spent a little time pondering the use of something so incredibly modern, but I've been using bamboo, which while natural, isn't what you'd call authentic. And this is less obtrusive, stronger, lighter, and pre-jointed. Moving to hardwood would be very difficult, given my lack of woodworking facilities and the fact that I drive a Prius. And a bright red cotton canvas tent can only be so period accurate to start with.

Moving to this configuration has significantly reduced the amount of wood I have to carry, and has made [livejournal.com profile] samadi, who usually holds my center pole while I stake the tent, incredibly happy. The tent now goes up in ~15-20 minutes with two people.

The weekends for the next three weeks will be devoted to working on clothing, and perhaps reworking the ropes on the pavilion to a better configuration. At the moment, it has a bit of sag. More toes and a better distribution on the crow's feet should help that.

In other news, it was very cold and rainy - the first event to be that chilly. I lamented my lack of an overdress (time and effort constraints meant I went in two petticoats and a support bodice like these washerwomen: http://www.hermetics.org/solis/solis21.html and the maid in Susanna at the Baths: http://www.wga.hu/art/a/altdorfe/1/4susanna.jpg (1582 and 1526 respectively). I think that I have some wool on the lighter side, so I'll be making a woolen petticoat for cold days in the future, as well as finishing my overgown. Wore the wulsthaube (white mushroom shaped hat) and got a reasonable number of compliments on that.

No photos, I'm afraid. I bought batteries for my camera, then failed to charge them!

SCA musings

Jun. 6th, 2009 06:52 pm
gracedpalmer: (Default)
Yellow onion skins in vinegar (with possible iron contamination - the enamel is chipping off my dyepot) turn silk the precise shade I think of as Steampunk Brown. I must consider this for the future.

Turmeric is also the only thing I have that dyes linen. My underskirt is now a fabulous shade of dandelion. I am pleased.

Pavilion has been hemmed and the sides taken in. It will probably have to go to the next event as the (probably) tremendously unperiod spoked wheel type, however, since I have not yet figured out how to make the leather grommets shown here (http://www.greydragon.org/pavilions/basel.html) to attach rope hooks.

Much to be done! Ack!
gracedpalmer: (Default)
So, we have an approximation of spring here in the land of cheese. It is now mostly above freezing at night, and in the 40s and 50s during the day. There are colored things coming from the ground, which my sources refer to as flowers. And I have been greatly remiss in writing here.

My mood has still not quite settled out completely from winter, but at the moment, I'm merely having bad tendencies to catwax (clean the kitchen? do my writing? Why not work on my sewing instead?) with occasional mood drops. This is better than before. I still have not gotten up the energy to blitzkrieg clean the apartment, but spot cleaning is making this more of a habitation and less of a clutter factory.

I am so thankful to have such a small space to deal with. I am also very pleased that at no point did the winter blahs get so bad that I had to purchase bread from the store. While I skipped a week or so at a time, I made all of it using the yeast colony living in a yogurt container in my fridge. That yeast is now six months old. Happy birthday, yeast!

The rats are big and fuzzy, and like me, they have colds. I am hoping this will pass, because I'm far better at telling the severity of an illness in me than I am in them. Currently, it just looks like a spring cold, however.

Reenactment dribble )
In art news, I got most of the way through a piece I was very fond of, then corrupted the file wholly. I had not, of course, made any backups. That's put me off it for a bit, but I'll see if I can jumpstart that again. Things were going very well, for a bit.

On a day to day basis, I'm afraid I'm quite dull. I write articles, doodle, sew, and wax poetic about food. That's really about it.
gracedpalmer: (citations)
New userpic.
gracedpalmer: (Default)
It has been an extremely peculiar week. Read more... )
gracedpalmer: (Default)
Well, that's all the hemden repaired (hemds? Hemd? fear my Germglish.) Some of them are definitely getting ratty, but there's no time to replace them. Also, I'm still not completely sure exactly what's period for these gowns. Evidence is suggesting it's something a bit like the classic Italian camicia (at least for the Augsburg area), but there's very little to go on.
Onward to the gowns, or gown. I think the pink and green one might actually fit properly at last. Or, as well as it's going to. The red and yellow one will need significant alterations. Eventually, they'll probably be donated to someone in need of loud clothing, because I'm hoping to end up with more authentic stuff. But that will take much time to make, and I'll need something to wear in between. Recent evidence suggests I should also take my stuff up a social class or so, which will require greater tidiness, creation of a steuchlein, nicer aprons, etc.
I really also ought to try to get proper doors on my tent, as it's never had them yet.
gracedpalmer: (Default)
I do -not- need to make a really authentic 16th century Augsburg outfit before I am A. finished losing weight and B. make a major move.
How about a hat, brain? Or finish one of those many, many projects you've already started? It's not like we even -have- tropical weight wool in the house.

Hurrah

Jan. 21st, 2008 12:48 pm
gracedpalmer: (Default)
I had a grand, if quite stressful, weekend. Nghi, Phil, Cris, and the Sun Carolyn of France all converged upon the Necroplex Friday evening. Thereupon, we engaged in much emergency sewing. Got to bed quite late, and up early to run in circles very quickly, then go to the Festival of Maidens (local SCA event).

Taught my first class, rather haphazardly. However, information was dispensed, and all three attendees walked away with little jars of paint, so I'll call it a success. All in all, I had a grand day, with much tasty food, happy people, and dancing. Very much enjoyed seeing Erica there, despite generally being a goof at her. I was unable to make it to the after-revel, on account of being too tired to really walk effectively, however. People dispersed around the middle of the day, Sunday, and I laid around being exhausted and tidied for the rest of the day, till game. My first really good event in a long time, though i seem to have trained myself to get stressed at them, even if I'm happy.

I've lost enough weight that I can get the pink dress all the way closed. However, I released it later in the day, as it is still a bit tight. Sadly, weight has plateaued. I am angry at my body. I am behaving the same as I was before, yet it is refusing to respond appropriately.

Having a bit of post event drop right now, as I move from the glee of being surrounded by friends into my ordinary state. Perhaps food will help.

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