Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Solstice Court

I was once again reminded how much I love court events and seeing everyone in their finery. Everyone looked fabulous and a certain few were absolutely glowing.

I finished my little Italian Bonnett in time, and even attached the feathers. I couldn't find my box of brooches though, so the aiglets I used to sew the feathers in place were in full view. Ah well, at least they were the fancy filigree ones. These caps were worn all over Europe, and were particularly popular in Spain, as seen here.

The bodice wore fairly well, though it felt loose and had wrinkles that made me sad. I'm not 100% certain how this is happening, becuase during the fitting phases, it was just fine. I speculate that the corset was tighter at the event than during fittings, and I probably lost weight in the last week. I know, a few pounds shouldn't make that big a deal, but my weight fluctuates on epic proportions, and when doign fittings, it's very likely that I was retaining water. I know, TMI.

I am in love with my new high necked smock, though the sleeve ties drove me batty. Anyway, further work will be done to tweek the bodice into behaving properly.

My camera died during opening court after one picture (d'oh!), leaving me sans photos. Fortunately Seraphina (Noelle) has awesome photographing skills, and snapped this shot of me during the lovely and talented Bethany's ceremony. Bethany was absolutely gorgeous, and I was incredibly honored to speak for her. I'm so proud of her.

I got to spend the day chatting with THL Eneas, Mistress Bengta, and trying not to drool on Aine's copy of Moda a Firenze. I must get a copy of this book. It shows up close, detailed images of Italian portraits, in color. There are several of the images I wasn't familiar with, and was extremely pleased to become so.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Navy & Green Gown

... I think I'm going to become known for only wearing Green, Navy, and Gold. I simply must do something about that soon.

So, as my previous post indicated, I've been sewing like mad. The first thing on my list was to do a new bodice, because the last green one I made never did fit right. That was my first 'Bethan after all, so I've learned a LOT. Noelle helped me with fitting this one, so it should be even better than the Navy one, which makes me giddy.

The bodice pictured is when it was under construction. It is lined in white trigger and has trim couched on in a traditional pattern, as seen in the Photo of an Unknown woman here. A similar pattern is on Queen Elizabeth I's Pelican Gown.

The gold trim with navy velvet intertwined is German, and I've been saving it for years for just the right project. It asked kindly to be used, and I was happy to oblige.

The trim makes the fabric appear to be more wavy than it is in acuality. I hope.

The sleeves were made from the navy brocade, and beaded with amber colored glass 4mm beads. They are flatlined in trigger and fully lined in gold silk dupioni.
I'm extremely pleased with these beads, which are made by a company called Halcraft, in a line they call "Regal Beading Guild." I bought them at Hancock Fabrics and love they way these glow when light hits them.

The completed bodice is lined in black canvas linen which is flatlined with canvas trigger. The whole thing is hand-bound in commercial 7/8" quilting bias tape. The tabs around the waist and shoulders (not pictured) are lined in silk dupioni. There is also about 8 pieces of spring steel boning throughout, including the two in the back to balance the lacing eyelets. Speaking of which, the lacing eyelets were punched by hand using an awl, and bound with upholstery thread. All in all, this bodice turned out to be extremely heavy and stiff. I'm intrigued to see how it will wear.

The smock is an open loose weave light weight linen, with trim attached to the collar and cuffs which looks like couched cord. I did a TON of hand-sewing on this outfit, and am more than pleased with myself that I actually finished the inside seams of this smock, all by hand. I still need to finish the seams around the armscye, but it is wearable, so that will happen after this weekend's event.

There are neck and underarm gussets, and gores along both sides of the smock. It will be worn open (not fastened at the neck) as I can't stand tight things on my neck, save small necklaces. My neck is actually very short... almost nonexistant, to this tall collar with the ruffle would probably just look silly if worn closed.

The forepart is the same brocade as the sleeves, beaded in the amber glass, and currently flatlined with trigger. I sewed on a stripe of silk and couched the german trim fromt the bodice across the seams, a few inches from the bottom hem. This will soon be lined in navy broadcloth and attached to a petticoat to be worn under the green velvet skirt, which falls open in the front to view all the pretty sparklies.

The entire outfit will be worn with a corset and farthingale I previously made, and no bumroll. The skirt was sewn several years ago, before I'd made a proper bumroll, so the hem will be off if I wear it. I'm not too worried - my natural figure provides a bit of that look anyway.

I have navy blue silk Indian shoes that I bought at a bellydance festival with goldwork and spangles that would match smashingly, if I wear either nylons or no stockings. I'm loath to do either from the cold and dealing with nylons under a 'Bethan. I'd also hate to get that nasty no-sock foot smell on these pretty little shoes. For the day I'll probably wear my long socks and black ballet flats, and might consider changing for court. Maybe.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Sewing Maven

Yes, it's been a small while.

My time has been occupied... nay, stolen, by this Solstice Court project. I'm making a new Elizabethan Gown for an event which will be on December 13th. I'm re-using my green skirt from this gown, Photobucket

and using remnants of that same fabric to make a bodice that fits better. I'm also using some navy blue brocade to make a new forepart and sleeves.

The sleeves are done, complete with amber glass beads and lined in antique-gold silk dupioni. The ribbons tying the sleeves to the bodice are a simple navy grosgrain ribbon, and it will eventually have gold filigree aiglets on the tips.

The bodice has gold german trim in a triangular pattern across the front, with navy velvet ribbon interlaced through it, and gold cord couched down as well. The tabs on the shoulder and waistline are also lined in the antique-gold dupioni, and the main body is lined in black canvas linen. It is stiffened with trigger cloth, trigger canvas, and spring steel boning. I hand-bound eylet holes for the back center lacing, which will be done with green grosgrain ribbon. I would like to learn how to make lucet cordes, so I can make nicer laces.

The forepart is stuck, as I'm nearly out of the amber glass beads, and had to order more from the internet. It will eventually match the sleeves in its entirety, though I may add gold silk guards, if my mood fancies it.

The green skirt above is decent as it stands, though it could use a washing, and needs the hooks in the front to be adjusted to account for the weight I lost, so it doesn't slide down.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

8 Things

My Sis taggered me:

8 things I'm passionate about:
1. Intelligence
2. Dragonflies
3. Games
4. Friends
5. Kissies
6. Human rights
7. Community Action
8. History

8 words/phrases I use often:
1. Omigosh
2. Seriously
3. Pghthow (sort of an exploding noise) with Jazzhands by my head.
4. Hey baby!
5. Piss me right off
6. Sleep sweet
7. Lubuu
8. Whut?

8 things I want to do before I die:
1. Have a decent BMI
2. Learn French
3. Publish a piece of writing
4. Make a masterworked piece of embroidery
5. Paint something amazing
6. Get a degree
7. Work a job where I don't have superiors that annoy the piss out of me.
8. Build/buy my dream house.

8 things I've learned in the past:
1. I'm afraid of being happy.
2. Men suck.
3. Embrace life and live to its fullest.
4. Sunscreen is my best friend.
5. Stay indoors
6. Red is not a color - it's an attitude.
7. I don't have to put up with other people's crap.
8. I can't change anyone.

8 things I currently want/need:
1. A diet
2. A drink
3. A nicer apartment
4. Affection
5. Peace of mind
6. A pay raise
7. A tattoo
8. Unconditional love

8 places I want to see/visit:
1. Italy (Venice, Florence, Rome)
2. Scotland
3. Japan
4. India
5. England
6. Germany
7. Greece
8. France

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Sigur Rós: Glósóli

This is so profoundly touching.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Birthday Sushi

Just a note to the world that if you want to join me for Birthday Sushi, please let me know ASAP so that I can get a final head count and get a reservation in. I will then in turn disclose the location to you. Course it's not a secret; I just haven't decided on a place yet, until I know how many people will be joining me. At this point it's not many, so it will probably be a private tatami room somewheres.

I am sooo excited. I loves sushi. *ponders places that have all you can eat sushi*

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Yearbook Me!

My lovely and talented sister shared images of herself from Yearbookyourself.com, and I had to follow suit. So without adieu, I give you:

Me in 1950







1968 finally one with a decent chin!)







And to make matters interestingly creepy, compare mine with my sis's and you'll see just how scary much we look the same. :D Couldn't ask for a lovlier pseudo-twin!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Dr. Horrible

In the unlikely event that there's someone in the world that hasn't seen this, I'd like to fix that. Watch it. NOW. For those who aren't familiar, this is a Joss Whedon brain child, so if you liked Firefly/Serenity, Buffy, or any of his other works, you will love this. Besides, that's Doogie Howser as Dr. Horrible! He has a Ph.D. in Horribleness, you know.

Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog

Monday, September 8, 2008

Yay Weekend!

I had a pretty great weekend. Stayed up late, slept in, went gaming... got home at nearly 4:00 am (OUCH!), then slept in again. Clint and I went to the mall to pick up a copy of Spore! and get some lunch. That was followed by some side-by-side computer gaming instead of doing calligraphy like I should have been. Oh yes, and there was much watching of The Slayers as well. We're almost done watching season two, which means episodes I haven't seen yet.

This week I start on 10 hour days, with Fridays off. It's dragging along already, that much is certain.

Next weekend is the Coronation of Timmur and Tianna, to be held here in Ogden at the 25th St. Park. I'm going to be there, and can walk across the street to meet my boo for lunch.

Friday, August 29, 2008


My beautiful and talented sister posted "Coexist" bumper stickers to her blog yesterdayish, and it reminded me that I nabbed this image, which I believe is also a bumper sticker, some years ago, and meant to share it with the world in some fasion. It's such a simple statement with deep meaning. The symbolism of this one, unlike those my sis posted, which are similar and equally beautiful, also adds peace and sexuality into it.

It's acutely frustrating to live in an area of the world where a huge number of the population is extremely closed minded - not necessarily on purpose, because many were just raised sheltered. I know I was, but I've had the world opened to me in ways many don't get the chance to, growing up in rural "mormon" Utah. I mean no offense to those who are practicing mormons. It's simply been my experience that mormons don't necessarily see the world in the same perspective as others.

I wonder how we as humans expect to be at peace with the world when we can rarely be at peace with ourselves.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

100 Things About Crystal

  1. I have a passion for all things artistic
  2. I am pretty good at calligraphy
  3. I have like 40 some-odd trophies for clogging
  4. I did costume design for a college production of Trojan Women
  5. I did several posters for various plays in high school
  6. I went to college on an acting scholarship
  7. My favorite color is blue
  8. I'm legally blind
  9. I work for a nonprofit agency that helps low-income people become self sufficient.
  10. I am easily upset by stupid people
  11. I'm addicted to World of Warcraft
  12. I play role-playing games every weekend (Dungeons & Dragons tabletop style games)
  13. I have been playing in the Society of Creative Anachronism for about 12 years
  14. My SCA name is Jaquelinne de Radonvilliers
  15. I Love movies.
  16. I fell in a bonfire when I was a small child, which means I have lots of scar tissue over my chest and arms. Most people can't even tell though.
  17. I've only broken one bone in my life, and that was my collar bone when I was 18 months old.
  18. In high school I wore various colors of contacts from green, purple, aqua. I got tons of compliments on them.
  19. I like playing in photoshop
  20. I have Graves' Disease
  21. I met my ex-husband through my old website, Dark Sidhe Lair
  22. I met my current boyfriend through Ragnarok Online
  23. I've been dying my hair red for 14ish years. There's some redhead in the family, and I have a touch in me, but I like it to be bold.
  24. I love singing
  25. I love books. I have a significant library, many of which I've yet to read.
  26. I'm an anime freak. My favorites include The Slayers, Fushigi Yuugi, and Ranma 1/2
  27. I adore all things gothic. Music, clothes, everything.
  28. I'm a total girly-girl. Pink, sparklies, girly things make me happy.
  29. My favorite show is So You Think You Can Dance. Sadly though, I don't get TV reception at my apartment and am too cheap to pay for cable or satellite.
  30. I drive a PT Cruiser, a color that I lovingly call "Metallic Mud" which is a sort of bronze brown
  31. I turn 31 next month. This makes me sad.
  32. I have a thing for dragonflies. It's deeper than just collecting them, though I do that too. James used to say that the house was bugged. Jewellery, artwork, hair pins, misc. dragonflies cover my home.
  33. I recently discovered chai chillers, and it has become my new favorite drink.
  34. I have a small gargoyle collection, one which Clint won't let me enlarge because they freak him out.
  35. I love embroidery. I grew up doing counted cross stitch, but now my love belongs to blackwork or goldwork.
  36. I still haven't finished the angel cross stitch I started 12 years ago.
  37. My favorite thing about costuming is the design phase - drawing it out, picking fabrics, then doing embellishments. I dislike the cutting out and actual sewing it together parts.
  38. I am a firm believer in karma
  39. I would love to learn how to belly dance
  40. I also want to learn a foreign language
  41. One day I want a room dedicated to creation - art and sewing. A real studio with proper lighting and built in tables/desks and everything designed for my purposes.
  42. I have a huge crush on Doctor Who.
  43. I have a brilliant family. Seriously. They're all smarty pants in different ways. The genetics were good to us. ^_~
  44. My sister is the best sister ever. In the world. The age difference made it difficult for us when we were both young, but as I grew up she was always there for me to listen to my crap. Tiny 13 year old Shelye listening to my problems. Best listener ever.
  45. I love ethnic food. Greek, Indian, and Japanese are my favorites. Mmmm sushi...
  46. Every couple of years I get possessed to chop my hair off. It'll grow back from chin to waist within 2 years, so it's pretty much a cycle.
  47. Reeses Pieces are my favorite candy
  48. I'd love to be a voice actor for radio or something similar
  49. I used to want to be a stage actor
  50. I used to carry around a camera wherever I went, because I'd see art in everything I saw
  51. I want one of those new digital cams that are 8 megapixel, in fashion colors. I want PINK!
  52. I want a flatscreen monitor - my monitor weights about 5,000 pounds
  53. My Wacom stylus got lost in a move, which makes me sad.
  54. I'm a decent cook, when I put forth the effort, which is rare.
  55. I just got new glasses!
  56. I used to be upset that I didn't have children with James. Now I'm glad.
  57. Andrea Bocelli is my favorite opera singer
  58. I hate answering phones
  59. I only drink bottled water (unless in a pinch)
  60. I found that Avatar: The last of the airbenders is a surprisingly good show
  61. YouTube is an addiction of mine
  62. I'm a super snuggly huggy person
  63. High strung people irritate me. I try to be very laid back and easygoing
  64. I should be transcribing minutes instead of writing this.
  65. I'm an administrative assistant aka glorified secretary.
  66. I've been laid off several times in my life - once due to a corporate merger between American Stores and Albertsons, and once because of "company restructuring" from Fairbanks. At least I got severance packages.
  67. My friend Val's kids are like my own. If I ever have children, I hope they're like Ashlyn.
  68. I love perusing office supply places, both online and in person to find new ways to organize my desk. I'm addicted to this stuff like my sister.
  69. I guard the pens on my desk like a pitbull
  70. My taste in music is pretty wide-ranged. My playlist includes opera, classical, folk, alternative, rock, pop, and even French rap... I don't have any country here, and no modern American rap/R&B.
  71. I Love The Sims / The Sims 2. Totally addicted.
  72. My living room couches are maroon leather
  73. My dishes are blue willow and I love them.
  74. I collect geisha dolls
  75. I love dimples, and am sad I don't have them. But my Clint does!
  76. I love guys in kilts
  77. I love gamergeeks
  78. My favorite fruits are bananas and strawberries
  79. I'm extremely pale and like it that way.
  80. I have an aversion to the sun. I don't like it, it doesn't like me. I'll burn in 10 minutes flat, so I stay inside most of the time.
  81. Some friends call me a vampire due to the aforementioned paleness and aversion to the sun.
  82. I did professional translation work for a company called Kaneda that publishes games in France. Got paid in Francs. But I don't speak French. :P I helped a friend with questions to make sure meaning and syntax were correct when translating from French to English. He did the work, I just edited for grammar and such.
  83. I have recently become a fan of shoes. Wish I could wear better ones - my feet are small and wide. But I can now walk in heels without tipping over. (yay!) Just not spiked or super tall heels.
  84. I'm excited to be an Aunt again! Kenny and Morgan are expecting. :D
  85. I dislike most card games - not sure why.
  86. I love watching movies, especially musicals and movies with grit and depth.
  87. I'm a Libra, air elemental - it makes sense since my favorite thing about boating was feeling the wind go through my hair. I love flying and have reoccuring dreams that I can fly.
  88. I'm extremely introverted
  89. I'm a nerd
  90. I love making things beautiful... decorating, creating, whatever.
  91. At the highest, I had five piercings in my left ear, and 3 in the right for a total of 8. I'm down to 4 now.
  92. If I could go anyplace right now, it'd be Venice, Italy. Followed by Japan and Scotland.
  93. I'm often lost in thought and am a dreamer, but I'm not afraid of the darker side of life.
  94. I value honor and respect
  95. I often write bad poetry
  96. I often seem cold and distant to those who don't know me well, because I'm so often lost in my own thoughts, and so introverted.
  97. There was a time that I wanted to be a teacher
  98. I used to have two siamese kitties and I miss them very much. James got them in the divorce because they would not adapt to moving or being separated very well.
  99. I don't really follow current affairs / politics much, but I do love The Colbert Report
  100. I have been clinically depressed with an anxiety disorder for many years.

Monday, August 18, 2008

A New Life

While I tend to live my life on the wings of change - one of the many reasons that the dragonfly is such an important symbol to me - it seems that I have gone though so many dramatic changes lately that I can't tell which wasy is up or down anymore.

For example:
  • Divorce
  • Moved twice (from house to parents to apartment)
  • Moved boyfriend from OK to UT
  • New relationship
  • Health issues - depression, anxiety, graves' disease
  • Renewing old friendships
  • Balancing old life with new, which means giving up things, much to my dismay.
  • Loss of artisitic outlet

I'm sure there are more things to consider in my list of stressors and life changes. Most importantly though, is that I have a plethora of loved ones that help me through all my challenges. Some... well time heals many things.

I suppose the important thing to note is that I'm happy, more or less. There are challenges and changes that I've yet to face, and every day that passes I grow stronger and more able to deal with what life gives me.