Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Caps, dolls, fish, robes and a touch of cabin fever

I know, I know, I don't post half as frequently as I did when I was working. ::singing:: Iron-eeeeeee!  I was also more creative it seems.  I'm not accusing my little baby of stealing away my creativity, but my time has definitely no longer my own.  If I want to get anything done, I have to do it while Alex is sleeping--which is sporadic these days with the seven teeth coming in all at once. Otherwise, I'm after him as he dismantles the entire house multiple times a day.

I am enjoying motherhood, but I am also a bit overwhelmed by it. Mostly because I have no outlet right now. I look at Posy Gets Cozy, and I marvel at how she manages it. She has time to knit precious little cardigans for her little sweetie, and to assemble her products, and to blog beautifully, and I can barely get out of my pajamas or wear a bra during the day. What the hell? LOL.

It doesn't mean I've been completely bereft of projects.  I've done some things here and there.  I've started to finish a regency half-robe made of embroidered net that I started for the very first retreat in 2011, and couldn't finish in time.  It's sitting on the dress form in the cluttered dining room right now.  Yes, the house is a shuffle of clutter. the floor littered with toys that magically reappear after they've been tidied.  Someone posted this on my Facebook page the other day and it is EXACTLY what happens:

These are from the awesome 'Illustrated with Crappy Pictures'
Blog.  Adore!
Anyway, here's a look at some of my projects of late:

1. The pink Dormeuse cap:

I made it, and then thought I wanted one with a more vibrant colour. It went onto eBay and was won by a friend of mine whom I adore. :) Made from a soft cotton organdy, powder pink silk and an assortment of lace. Hand-stitched.

2. Remember those kitties?
I finally finished the Spoonflower kitties I ordered.  I finished them up for a couple of fairs that I had planned to attend.  

I think they turned out cute, but I do need to modify the design a bit before I finalize it on Spoonflower.  No edge lines for one, and darkening a few things here and there. But they're cute. I like the bloomers. :D

3. The Regency dollies.

A simple shape to begin. Hand-stitched and filled.
Embroidered the eyes in black thread and lips from red silk.
A little smudge of blush on each cheek.

My sister, owner of The Spinning Seahorse, sent me some
lovely raw Wensleydale wool for doll-hair purposes.
I dyed it with Clairol hair dye (which I was at the time,
using to darken my own hair). 

I plucked skein after skein and sewed them together
at the roots, making a wig, which I then affixed with thread,
and styled with strategic stitching. There's also a little
rat of frayed wool underneath to provide volume and fill.

The wool has such beautiful natural curl. She looks
windblown. :)

Add in a proper set of petticoats,
and we're ready to dress her.

What will Miss Caroline wear?

 Ooh la la, lovely legs and embroidered clocked stockings complete with red-ribbon ties. :) Slippers are velvet ribbon.

I am about to finish dressing her and I will move on to another blank lady, who will have lovely red hair, made or a friend of mine. There are two more to make afterwards.  It's a slow process. I also have to make another dormeuse cap for another friend who did me a great kindness. So I have some more projects to finish.

4. Les Poissons, les poissons, hmmm hmmm hmm heuuuuh heuuuh heeeeuuh....

The ORS is hosting the 2014 Regency Retreat this year, down at the Chateau at the Oregon Caves. It's going to be a lovely, informal sort of gathering, with lots of period recreation. One of which is gaming with cards. In the Regency period, gaming chips were sometimes represented by little ivory or bone fish. So I made some as blanks to make for the retreat participants.  These are made from FIMO/Sculpey. It turns out there is a much cheaper already-manufactured option for us, but these are my fish for the retreat. :)

Here are some original fish made from bone and mother of pearl. There's a wonderful article about them here.

And finally, that half-robe I mentioned.

5. The half-robe I started in 2011.

The edges are messy, the seams are a disaster. I was sewing them the night before the retreat and was just too tired to go on. So I threw it into the fabric bin and promptly forgot about it.  I have special feelings for this robe. Why? Because I bought it as a remnant. And it was neon green when I got it.  I threw it in with something I was dying figuring I couldn't make it worse, and it came out an elegant dusty lavender. How, I do not know, because it really was dayglo green.  I have to add more trim still, and I have to figure out the closures, but it's almost done. It looks good over a simple round gown my friend Nora made for me when I was pregnant and attending the second retreat with no new costumes. 

It blows my mind when I look at this when I think what colour it was originally. There's nothing natural about the material, it's some sort of synthetic net, and the embroidery did not change colour at all. But it took the colour, and turned a dusky purple.  I think the dye was sapphire blue.

So yes, I am alive, and yes, I am doing things, occasionally. 

Also, here is the finished book cover and book, The Wizard King.  Buy it! It's a beautiful soft-cover, but can also be downloaded to Kindle. Click the link and buy this book! Thanks. :)

Me and my beautiful son. 
Here is Simon, sleeping on top of the clean laundry.
Because, asshole.


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