Wednesday, December 20, 2017

I know I know, I'm a flake. Sue me. Now let's talk sleeve drafting. And then some.

Yes, I'm alive. Barely. LOL. I'm just trying to recover from a case of bronchitis, nearly pneumonia, which leveled me for this week. I'm on prednisone and antibiotics and slowly feeling something akin to normal tonight.

What brought me out from underneath my damp rock was a question on my most infamous post (the Benefits of a Bib-Front), which still garners countless hits and Pinterest pins nearly eight years after posting it. Always a plus right? Sort of makes me nostalgic for costuming whenever I see the hit counts. After just checking, seems like the old post on stays on the old ORS blog page is also still often-visited. It feels good to know that my efforts are still found useful. I hope to return to these things soon one day. Once my little cottage* is finished and I can breathe a bit. *I'll expound on that in a moment.

The reason for my post is that someone posted a good question. How do I draft sleeves to a Regency bodice?  I tried to answer with just words and it wasn't really working for me trying to explain it without some visual aid. So I uploaded this quick video, very spartan so that it can explain how I do it when I'm cobbling together my various drafted gowns.

If I were smart, I would have made ONE muslin and just used it repeatedly, but I tend to lose my muslins, or I just draft boldly and stupidly onto the fabric itself and then roll with whatever happens. So my advice is, do it in a muslin until it works, and then keep it for future projects. You can add wedges and extensions as you please to whatever basic sleeve pattern you create using my 'technique'.

So that is it. Fairly simple. Center all your measurements on the shoulder mark (top of the sleeve) and it should be a nicely fitted, free-moving sleeve. Add any arc *over* the top of the sleeve, not like how I penciled it, by the way. Seam allowance gives you a little give as needed as well. Wedging in fullness at the top will give you more pouf if that's your cup of tea.

Now, let's talk about THE COTTAGE and its evolution.

Now, everybody who has historically followed this blog knows that I'm a head-case. LOL. I have been stricken with an anxiety disorder that manifested itself on top of a lifelong battle with chronic depression and dysthymia. It has been a huge fucking struggle. I have never bothered to hide it or sugarcoat it, and I will talk about it everywhere I possibly can, because I will not pretend like it's something that I am ashamed of or should be worried might annoy someone to discuss. It is a real problem, and something I have had to take a great deal of pride in accepting. A control freak (who is in essence displaying overt signs of anxiety by desiring to control everything that gives them anxiety) does not like to concede that they have no control over the levels of fear and worry in their own heads.

So I have retreated. I've struggled with a balance of medications, trying to find some measure of normality. But it is a continued battle. I'll have long phases of seemingly normal days and then suddenly have daily panic attacks, some resulting in losing consciousness and striking a great deal of fear in both my husband and sadly, my son, who now has comforting and helping his mother as part of his routine, something no kid should have to do. I found him lying underneath my head once, because I had fallen onto the floor, and he didn't want my head to hit, so he squirmed underneath. This makes me so very sad. But it is my reality now. It has hampered everything I do. And one of the things that once gave me comfort and respite from it, is no longer part of my life. Which is probably a good thing, in the long run, but it means I do not get to see people I became very much attached to over the years.

Oh well.

However, I refuse to go down without fighting. And I don't like the idea that this imbalance of brain chemicals should somehow make me useless. I am a highly creative person, and one that needs many outlets for it, or I will go mad. And my husband knows this, and from the previous post last spring, you can see he cared enough to help me find a place to express it. And he built me my cottage.

It has been slow progress but in the last month, it has sprung forward quite a bit. From being painted up like a lady, to gaining an electrical system with plenty of outlets and light cans, to now being insulated and wall-boarded. The mudding and taping will soon be underway at the beginning of the year, and that will leave only washing up the messy floor, painting, and furnishing it with all my crapola.

Then Feffie's Cottage will be born in earnest. And it will be where I will be vomiting up my creative energy in droves, I hope. From busting out more novels under my Miranda Mayer nom-de-plume to creating more hats and costumes, to returning to miniatures and dollhouses and dollhouse kits, to drawing and making prints and postcards, to fashioning stuffed animals and plushies, to dolls to whatever floats my god damned boat.  And I will sell my shit. Because being an anxious ass doesn't mean that I can't contribute to the household. I will just do it on my terms, without an overarching presence who will set off my anxiety and make me crazy.

I hope you folks will be with me on this journey. However it may end up. You've been reading this blog for god... years now, and I'm still here. Scrabbling along. You were with me from the first office specials, the struggle for pregnancy, the surprise child, the costumes, the drama, the snark. So here I am. Hoping to pick myself up and get back to my Hungarican ways. :) Maybe I'll even post a new recipe or something? I don't want to get ahead of myself. These are no longer the days when I posted my updates on the clock of my job. But maybe this can become part of my job as owner of Feffie's Cottage. Maybe.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Every. Single. Time. Seriously. (not for squeamish people)

I went through another convention (Walker-Stalker/Heroes & Villains Fanfest)  and naturally, this happened. Every convention since 2012, this has happened the night before or during the event. I got my period in the middle of my wedding day. So I came home from the event and was inspired to sketch. Enjoy. 

PS, go to the bottom to see what happened at our booth (hint: it was crashed by Michael Rooker and Brendan Routh...)

Michael Rooker snatched my ukulele which I had brought to manage my anxiety, and 'rocked out' on it. His handler told me I was lucky I got it back in one piece. LOL. 

Brendan Routh (Atom/Superman) -- crashed the booth too.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

HC, where have you been? Dealing. I've been dealing.

It's not unusual for me to go dark around the holidays and come out of hiding come the end of February, but add to that a medication issue, and you've got someone who is high-anxiety, low-spirits and all around distracted and unproductive.

Yes. I'm alive. I have been however, struggling a great deal with my brain chemistry, and in part, it's given me little energy to focus with. I have been writing. That's a good thing. And doing some editing work to finish up the next two books I will be releasing this year. But I haven't done much else except try to take care of my kid and sometimes, even myself.

I started going back to talk therapy for one. And my anti-depressant seems to have hit the two-year poop-out, and stopped working, so my doctor doubled the dose, and I have been creeping out from under my rock to see the light, hissing and scowling all the way. But this week, I've been feeling something close to normal. Which is amazing after having spent the past quarter of a year in depression and anxiousness.

Part of my crash was the significant reduction of a creative outlet. Another part was my removing myself from the Oregon Regency Society, which took a lot (way too much) of my emotional energy, and without that, I sort of got lost. When you've had something like that to keep you focused for ten years, and suddenly there's all this open space in your head where the drama used to live, yeah, it can be jarring. It's been healthy for me to leave that aside. To give me the chance to dream up new ventures without the baggage of difficult, unkind and attention-hungry people.

In the meantime, my husband, who is a fucking hero, was talking about using our tax returns to put together some kind of she-shed for me so I could have space for my sewing, crafting, writing and miniatures without taking over the house, and without tiny fingers getting into all my stuff. It's something I've wanted for a long time. I've literally stopped sewing because it's been such a pain to hear the complaints about the mess and such.

When we realized our tax refund was a tenth of what we hoped, I was a little disappointed but didn't say anything. But hubby, who I think has been particularly worried about my state of mind lately, went without my knowledge and took out a little loan to create this little retreat for me. So this Friday, a troupe of three guys showed up with a double-long trailer full of materials, and five and a half hours later, their assemblage retreated, leaving behind Feffie's Cottage. My little she-shed.

A trailer of bits and bobs arrived at noon.

Leveling took about 15 minutes. The blocks were arranged, and the
floor frame was made in record time.

They built the walls, tyveked them, put windows
in, etc, before they lifted them in place.

They spread the two end walls to make the fourth outside

The bit left unfloord was for the decking.

Wall 4 goes up.

Then it's time to put in the porch wall.

Then one guy goes up and puts in the rafters for
the loft. He did the roof and rafters
pretty much on his own.

Helpers handed up materials.

Sheathing the roof. 

These guys move fast.

Metal was about to go up. Foreman was starting to
do the trim, which meant the project was almost done.

Adding the pre-built railing. Cute huh?

Adding the ridge cap and rake. finishing touches.
Trim is done.

There it is in all its glory. My she-shed dubbed 'Feffie's Cottage'.
Feffy is my nickname.
We went and bought some paint to match it to our house yesterday. It's a little humid to do that today, but it will get done soon enough. It's a dark teal blue. I also got a creamy tan called Crepe for the trim. When I was on the Behr website they suggested a colour story and I'm kind of in love. The house colour will be the Juniper Berries, which is what our main house colour is. The trim will be tan, and I'm toying with the idea of painting the door either the soft bluish white or the track green. What do you think?

This morning, my husband got up early and let me sleep in. We had some leftover flooring from my nesting period/home makeover attack when I was pregnant, so he went ahead and used it up on the floor in the cottage. It's only about 128 square feet of indoor space. Enough room for my cutting and sewing tables, a few chairs, a large IKEA shelf I plan to buy, a small armchair, and my desk and chair for writing. I have them all laid on my floorplan already.

The main 'area' is about 8 x 10 give or take.

This little bay area is about 8 x 5 and it's where my writing
desk will be (by teh window).

The loft is pretty big.

The little porch. :)

So there you have it. If all goes well this will be my creation central from now on. I'll be able to do dollhouses again and sew unrestricted. I'll post progress pics as the Feffie's Cottage takes shape.



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