So...here I am again, slow to update as usual. It can get pretty frustrating when you are dealing with an illness that isn't showy on the "outside". Instead you are constantly fighting yourself to keep moving forward and doing things even when your pain levels are obnoxious and your "give a s*$t meter" is broken and you'd prefer to just sit like a mushroom and not have to care for even just a little while. *Sigh* Okay, whining over. It has been a tough few years, but I keep moving and stitching and making progress, even if it is just small steps sometimes.
What have I been up to for the past few months? A few small things at least...
First, a confession...I had to give up (briefly) on the dress I was working on in my last blog. It has been a very looooonngg time since I worked on a dress with inset sleeves and I forgot the whole needing to move your arms bit...bleah. When I realized I had cut the sleeves too small, I was only one day away from our changeover event. I wanted to be in a red dress, but I had reached a "stitcher's block" in dealing with the other dress. So I did a crazy thing. I took the velvet Italian and chucked it to the back of the project pile, ran and got some red wool I had been coveting, and then stitched a whole new dress mostly by hand. I actually even have witnesses to my craziness. It even turned out really nice. I based the new dress on some of the transitional Tudor dresses from the late 1400's to the early 1500's. These two pictures were my main focus on design.
I prefer the narrower sleeves of these gowns, so I wanted to emulate that. I also like the simplistic nature of the gowns as well. I lined the wool gown in a lightweight black linen and I did use little black and silver bead findings as "ouches" along the edge of the neckline of the gown. I didn't have enough to go all the way around, and now that I have worn it, I will probably remove them and stick with the more simple look of the plain gown. I also wore the belt and necklaces I made (that are in the previous blog) and I felt quite majestic actually. However, it is odd that every time I try and go for a more formal and dressy look to a gown, the more I end up running back to my more middle-class roots. I am finding that I really like the feel and look of the simple Flemish and early Tudor dresses. I will finish that Italian, hopefully by this summer Coronet, and I will post pictures when I do and perhaps by then I can get pictures of that Tudor as well. Yeah, I know...I wore the transitional Tudor to our Baronial Investiture event, and the only pictures I have of me was when I was wearing the regalia cloaks. Go figure. I'd take a picture of it now, but since my daughter has my camera with her in DC, it would be a bit difficult. *sigh*
Before the next event on Memorial Day weekend, I ended up finally making a 12 panel gown for myself. I know that it isn't a really period gown with the way we shape the pieces and especially with using duct tape to create the fitted pattern in the first place. However, it is similar in appearance to some of the 14th Century coathardies, and the multiple panels allow for fun with different color gores and even heraldic touches to the gown. For my gown, I went with a straight black for the gown and then did my gores in a deep scarlet. I added tippets to my sleeves, embattled the band around the arm and added a crescent to the bottom of the tippet itself. Add to that a simple barbet and veil, and the look is complete. The only downside to the dress at all is that the temperature at Captaincy was in the 90's. That is HOT to us Alaskans. I didn't drop from the heat, but I did end up taking off the veil and hiking the skirts to cool off. However, I really like how it turned out, very much so. I also finished a simple keyhole t'tunic for my husband, and a surcoat for his armor kit...It is kinda neat to match every now and then ;)
I also silk painted some new banners for me and my Hubby. Now that we have stepped down as the seated Baron and Baroness, we actually get to display our personal devices. I wanted to make a larger silk banner for the Barony, so I turned that into a class of sorts which let me teach a couple of others to silk paint and refreshed my memory on what to do. I then painted good sized banners (3'x4') for the two of us, and a full pennant (14"x60") for our household. It was a lot of fun trying to design the larger piece with the devices and a Latin logo to go with it.
My Hubby's Mine
I did do some small items for the October Crown "Stitch for the Cure" auction. I sent in a Lagatera needlebook and a small black-worked scissor fob/pincushion. They were fun to work up,and I hope someone enjoys them. I need to get a couple more small things made up for our Coronet event as I hope to be able to get a couple to our new Baroness to give out in the gift baskets she has to give.
Scissor Fob Needlebook
One of the last major projects that I am currently a part of, is the creating of napkins for the incoming Princesses. Due to an attack of life, the gal who was going to make the winter napkins couldn't do it. So another friend agreed to make the napkins...and then SHE became the new Princess. Go Figure :p I didn't think it was right that she would have to give herself a set of napkins, so I made them instead. I used the raven that is appliqued on her garb and based the stitching on that. Also, since I know her well, and I know Alaska well, I felt that simple napkins wouldn't get much use. Instead I made her a set of cup covers that would help keep pesky mosquitoes and wasps from doing the backstroke in her drinks. I think they turned out okay. I am also working on a set for summer Coronet, but these will probably just be blue and white since I won't know who the new princess is until that weekend...
There are a couple of other more modern projects that are in the UFO (Unfinished objects) pile, like a Chuthulu crochet doll, a drawstring pouch in crochet, my needlework set, and a beaded needlecase. I know I have a lot of projects in various states of done-ness, but I fully admit that I am a bit ADD as well as sometimes needing to switch to another project due to pain levels. It sucks, but there it is. Besides, it means that there is always something I can be working on :)
Keep on stitching till next time!