Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Alex's first birthday.

November 17, 2013

One year. One year, this little man of ours has been in our lives.  There isn't a day that goes by where I don't stop and marvel at the very presence of this tiny human being in our lives. After all those years of emotional ups and downs. Sometimes, I'll click back at my posts before I found out I was pregnant, to see for myself the very depth of my monthly disappointment, to look again at the sadness and despair when my doctor told me to stop, and cut me off the clomid.  And then the three months where I could barely keep my cool, knowing I was pregnant, and wanting to shout it to the world, but still too afraid I could miscarry.  But here he is, all 15.9 lbs of him. Tiny boy. He's in the third percentile in size, although the doctors think he's perfectly healthy, just small.  He's active, taking three and four steps in a row before falling onto his knees. Getting into everything. His vocabulary is as follows: Dada, mama, nana (banana), Kitteh, Doggeh, kisses.  He loves chicken, crab, Tillamook sharp cheddar and baked tater-tots, and has recently acquired a taste for ice cream and chocolate (ruh-roh).
Auntie Jess and Alex

Some cute owlies
Some cute owlie napkins

Alex's family looks on. L-R Grandma Linda, cousing Bryan with his mom, Auntie Tammy, and Travis knees in front of him. The older boys could not stay away from the wrapping paper and bright new toys.

Noooo, not the hat!

Alex's beautiful little cake. By Sweets by Stephanie.
 A very sweet gesture. Thanks Stephie!

Mmm... Cake.

Post-party damage.

The sweet site.

I had to hold the hat on. LOL.

Cupcakes aplenty. Gave me something to have with tea for
two days afterwards. :)

Cousin Anthony always tries to act the aloof teenager, But ends up
holding him and playing with him anyway.

The spread. Simple noshies. Fondue, cheeses, salmon dip,
crackers, veggies, salami and chips & dip.

...and Dan's famous Deviled eggs.

Some balloons were added too of course.

Our tiny house was crammed. And it was only direct family.  Let's see... There was Grandma Linda and Grandpa John, Aunt Tammy and Uncle Shawn, Aunt Jessica and cousins Anthony and Baxten, Uncle Joe with cousins Kyle and Travis, Aunt Hailee, Grandma Ted and Grandma Sandy, Aunt Helen and Uncle Matt. Grandma Satan (Myrta) did not want to come, although she told everyone at the retirement home that we had willfully excluded her.

Such a cute cake, needed extra footage.

He got some cool retro fisher-price toys.

The older boys were just as keen to open his presents as Alex was.

Cool paper straws.

Moar toyz!! 

Presents from mama and dada.


A lovely first birthday party.

As we were setting up and decorating, we were overcome with the idea of what we were doing.  We were after all, preparing to celebrate the first birthday of the baby that was never supposed to happen.  Happy Birthday Alexander! We love you more than anything in this world.

Friday, November 15, 2013

The round gown, professional photos

Julie Savage-Lee Photography - FB Page
Models: Robyn Wodiuk, Breck Warren.
Makeup and hair: Morgan Shanafelt
Location: Timberline Lodge

Copyright © Stephanie L. Johanesen - The Hungarican Chick, 2014, All Rights Reserved. No part of this website or images thereon may be reproduced without Stephanie L. Johanesen's express consent. Backlinks are permitted.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

'Round and 'round the round gown.

Those of you that are into the Regency costuming as I am, know that the little pattern for sale in the margin of my blog here is one I have used for bib-fronts, reliably, for some years now.  It is a versatile little pattern, and using it to make a round gown has made it even more useful and fun.

I had a photo shoot set up for a book-cover project on Friday, which occurred without much trouble (only a small episode of the photographer getting stuck in the snow just at the foot of Timberline lodge, so we started a bit late, but it didn't deprive us of exactly the lighting we needed for the shoot, and we played with poses and ideas and light for about two and a half hours with our beautiful models in Regency costume in the middle of a bustling ski lodge.

Timberline has good lighting. It has 'castle' lighting. The lighting of a great house. Dark and cavernous with bright, stark white light that pours in from vast windows, and reflects off the rustic surfaces. The photos (when they come in from the photographer, I will post some samples.  The colours and light have such a beautiful old-world oil like quality, which is just what the object was.

For this shoot, I found a little model off of craigslist... a darling befreckled beauty named Robyn, who was absolutely perfect. petite, dark hair, clear light eyes and the sweetest, darling face. She was soft-spoken and just plain adorable.  I made for her one of my famous 'LWG's (Little white gowns), but instead of a bib front, I decided to make a round gown from the same pattern.  And here are some of the lower-quality images of Robyn in her finery.

Robyn's hair and makeup is completed, we retreated to the baby's room
so she could put on the silk clocked stockings I ordered from American Duchess.

This photoshoot turned into a domino-effect of costume
cobblery. I made the gown first, and seeing that it didn't work with
a standard push-up bra (the edges showed in the neckline),
I ended up having to make a bodice petticoat and a chemise as well.
I used the S&S short stays pattern, but added a skirt to the bottom.
The underwear were thrown together last-minute. Instead of double layering,  I sewed a single layer of cotton duck for the stays, and added boning channels with bias tape. The boning was doubled-up zip ties. I sewed it in a few hours, and added the petticoat skirt on in haste, using the selvage as a hem. It added the opacity we needed for the slightly sheer gown.  The chemise was an exercise in simplicity, I just took a rectangle of fabric, folded it into a tube, sewed the short ends together, cut out two arm holes and a neckline, and used that lace with holes to lace a ribbon through to gather it at the neckline. I hand-stitched all this at night in the past week or so in preparation (all while making my own gown for the Duchess' Dinner that happened last night.)  I had a pair of Khussa shoes in a burgundy that worked perfectly for this model, they don't show in these photos. But they were the pop of red I wanted to go along with the shawl. Long shawls are hard to find, so I merely bought two and sewed them together for this event.

The neckline is very delicate. I added a strip of sheer to the edge of the gown's
inner neckline and switched out the short sleeves from the pattern with some
quickly draped sheer sleeves instead. I like the little train. :)

I used a cheap poly net. This gown is no nod to period-correctness
really, but it was completely hand-stitched.

Some free-form shots taken in the light
of the snowy exterior.  Robyn and
Breck are working the Regency thing.

The lighting was so perfect. My phone camera
just didn't capture it very well.

Gazing longingly out the windows.

We moved some of the heavy lodge
furniture to take our shots.

The modern rug and drapes will be
edited out if needed.

Are they not so very sweet?

Sorry for the bad quality. The photographer
was getting much better images than I, obviously.
I may auction off the whole lot at some point. Gown, petticoat and chemise. I will post a finer photo of the gown when I get them from the photog, and also a more detailed post on how this gown is made from my pattern (which is for sale and download on the right margin).

As for my gown last night, I made it from stash materials. A set of IKEA black window sheers ($20 for about eight yards) and some fabric I had purchased for a bridesmaid's dress that was never used. I layered the light blue fabric beneath the sheer and hand-stitched the whole thing.

I added long sleeves to hide my hams. Notice how one breast is bigger than the other.
The perils of breastfeeding. LOL. My feather also decided to lop down to the side, it was
rising up and arching over my head at some point.  The Lady of Portland House
is the little doll-creature beside me with the spectacular hair.
The back.
I usually don't photograph well, but I like this photo. The only bad thing
is the way my stays and petticoat strap slipped. Grr.

I draped the pattern for this gown on my duct tape double made at the coast. I will also use it to drape my short robe I intend to make for the tea in December. It's a drawstring round gown embellished with black lace. Simple, but very cool with the undertone. I kept the inner gown hemmed to the top of my foot, but the black skirts have a slight train. Jewelry is a tiara I found at Goodwill, and a necklace given to me by a friend. My earring holes have closed, so I can't do earrings right now. but I will get them reopened eventually.  Anyway, I'll do a more detailed post on both round gowns soon.


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