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helwen: (Due Consideration)
I succeeded in moving the claws off the sewing machine and onto a tray table today. Of course I couldn't just move them :P So now they're a bit smoother, etc. Maybe tonight I'll poke holes into the tabs for holding them onto gloves...unlikely I'll get to actually baking them tonight, but soon.


Unpacked some crystal water glasses I bought in my 20s and found a space for them in the cupboard. Some travel mugs I think L wants to hold onto for a little longer are now tucked in the back of the coffee machine cabinet.

Unpacked a bento box too, so I can see it and remember to use it at some point. If one isn't using something, even just for display, why keep it?

Put the boxes from those in the barn loft. Yay tidying!
helwen: (Due Consideration)
I'm slowly getting better and having more energy -- as long as the air I'm breathing isn't full of pollen and high humidity. Still, not having to use the inhaler as often is nice.

L is a tiny bit better; we've discussed calling the doctor's office for a follow-up.

MIL came home last Friday and is still there!

L accomplished some mowing - we're trying to be minimalist on that this year, but we want outlines around the perimeter of the woods, around a couple of garden beds, next to the road, and around the house and barn. Still quite a bit. The only good thing about not having gotten a lot of rain while we're under the weather is that the grass hasn't been growing as fast.

I took a stab or three at pulling garlic mustard out, and moved some things in the barn. Um, sometime in the past few weeks I finished a skirt, gators, two regular pillow cases, one knee pillow case, a lined flat-bottomed bag, a tutu, two sets of curtains (and put up the rods for them!), and started work on creating an underbust corset-like thing.

That last one I made the body of the pattern for based on an existing underbust corset I own, but am modifying the design. I've added a center-back piece instead of the underlap placket and instead of lacing I'm doing a strappy thing that crosses in the back and closes in the front. There will still be a center front opening with its own closures. And there will be boning, because otherwise it would just fold on itself because of the width of the thing. But it isn't designed to pull in the waist significantly, more to just create a smooth silhouette. We'll see if it works.


Because we were both laid up, have removed a few things from the schedule - no dandelion wine making this year, and not going to try to put something together for Ashfield's parade next month.


We managed to get to JoAnn's for a sale, while we were in the valley for other things. I found some outrageous fabric in clearance and picked up a yard, as well as re-stocking the thread supply -- everything on sale, even the clearance. The outrageous fabric had been $20+/yard but was marked down to $12 and was half off that day, which was the final deciding factor. I got it for my bunny costume.

Speaking of which, sometimes ideas happen when you're unwell that are clearly mad and should be dismissed out of hand, but sometimes when you're feeling better, you might change your mind. Since we were talking costuming, Lyle somehow mashed things together and got Warhammer 40K cuty death bunny... yesterday, on a whim, I did a search and found some....interesting stuff. The pink Space Marine armor with bunny ears was probably my favorite :D I'm considering sticking with the pink and black motif, but changing the design to WH40K Inquisitor...
helwen: (Due Consideration)
Thinking about these:


I like the look of the low boots, but they might or might not be a little "flashy" for Agent May. In Season 1 she wears both low and high cut.

Currently planning on staying with Season 1 look, because so far in Season 2 they're having to hide that they're Shield, and by golly I'm going to show off those Shield patches I got!


Got our hotel room reserved at the Marriott (their initial registration day was yesterday) in only 15 minutes -- of which probably 3-4 minutes of it was me typing in my financial info. Taking this as a sign that we're meant to go next year... I did forget that I wanted to reserve for Wednesday arrival not Thursday, but we're in. Either I'll get the chance to add a day later, or we'll find a place to stay on the way to Atlanta that's 4-8 hours away, or possibly stay with friends in NJ but get to their place a day earlier, so we can get some real rest before the convention. Being around so many people takes a lot of energy, plus the weather change might have been a factor. I don't like being so tired all the time. Yes, we did get sleep every night, but it's been a heckuva year, so going into something like Dragon Con tired is a bad idea -- and likely next year will be pretty busy too.

[EDIT: Decided against buying the boots - faux leather. [livejournal.com profile] danabren wisely suggested going to sales at stores in January.]
helwen: (Due Consideration)

Yes, that's the address...I tried for some other ones that I thought would be unique, like "Heathers_costuming_bits_and_bobs", but apparently somebody already has that atrocity. Then I got annoyed and typed in the above, and for some reason nobody has it --you'd think it'd be a natural, given some of the craziness that happens...

It's boring detail stuff for Dragon Con 2014, because I need to remember all the things, but if you want to look, there it is. Occasionally I may share a link to posts I think some folks might want to see.

D*C Stuff

Aug. 26th, 2014 11:31 am
helwen: (Due Consideration)
Oops, been a few days. Taking pics as I go along, but then I forget to mail them to myself so I can upload in town (LJ still a pain at home most times). And I usually edit them first anyway (crop to focus on item), so there's that (time!).

Been busy.

Inro box a fail - didn't get the fit right and no time to fix it. It would be easier to start over, in fact. Will try again some other time, because it would be a shame for that bat netsuke to not have an inro to go with it.

Finished Ozma hat. Would have like to add an "Oz" emblem, but don't think I have time for that either. It's pretty, wearable, and has her signature poppies on it. Funnily enough, I thought over-painting the flower petals was going to fail and the inro succeed and it went the other way. Just goes to show...

Lots of progress made on Shiny hat, but still not done. Need to finish that today - not a good travel project.

Made maple cream-filled chocolates and pistachio bark.

Finished filing and assembling the extension piece for the naginata and painted it black.

Probably made some other stuff that I can't remember...

Things to try to make today:

- One more thing to go on Shiny's bodysuit
- Need to finish inside of Ozma's jacket at waist and then iron
- Do coat of acrylic on naginata extension piece, cut out and glue blade. Find some ribbon-type thing to wrap around joint between extension piece and window scraper handle (for looks, really)
- Finish Shiny hat
- Make Demon Pony fascinator, or at least get all the parts together for it.
- Make more chocolate stuff
- Cook tomatoes from garden so it's sauce in the fridge and I don't have to worry about them going bad while we're away
- Spats for Ozma
- Move some plants into the unfinished raised bed because it's better than being in little pots

On the road projects:

- Beading trim on demon pony over skirt
- last bit of trim on Ozma sleeves, to dress up the twill tape
- Inserting some black fabric inside the back opening for Batgirl's gauntlets
- Possibly the DP fascinator (see above list)
- ?


Going to try my purple/teal wig with the Shiny hat. I was going to go with one of the white ones, but I did some design stuff on the back of the outfit, all of which will be hidden because those are really long. We'll see. If it looks okay, then I have one wig for two outfits and can save a little space in the car.


In "real" life, L has been doing yard stuff all over the place, and patched the trailer. I'll be back to helping out with that next week. Right arm needs rest from heavy work still.
helwen: (Due Consideration)
Got as far with the over layer for Shiny as I could yesterday - underestimated fabric yardage, need to get more.

Finished bra for Shiny last night, even with having to re-do one part about 4 times...

Today, made skirt from old dress I got from a friend, to go with Ozma. Finished beading demon pony jacket. Used glue dots to get rhinestones onto the glowby barrettes. The black casings are still visible on the sides but I think I'm too tired to care, at least today. Long week, man.

Tonight is sewing trim onto the jacket ruffle and a bit of finish work, along with taking an old surcoat apart to re-use for Ozma.


Aug. 13th, 2014 10:47 am
helwen: (Due Consideration)
Mostly working on Shiny costume at the moment. Covered lower half of bra cups with same material as on sleeves; just no way I can cover them entirely with rhinestones and beads and still get everything else done. Body suit is hemmed, needs tulle and stuff added to it. Worked on over-layer starting two nights ago, starting with making a foundation for applying the light-weight fabrics to, from an old stained knit top. Did some application of the light fabrics yesterday.

Found my missing bat netsuke -- put it someplace safe, and in fact in plain sight but I couldn't remember what the container it was in looked like without going through the entire memory/search sequence from when it first arrived here. So, inro project is back on the list. Could be a good thing it was missing for a while though, as now I have the Tab4 and the box I'd originally chosen to use as the inro base is too small to hold the tablet.


Minivan will be going away, once L has made a call to junk car guys. Honda was in for maintenance/repair on Monday but they couldn't figure out one problem because it wouldn't do it while there. Well, it should now -- only driving on 3 cylinders as of this morning. Better now than on the road to Georgia.
helwen: (Due Consideration)
Got further with the gauntlets last night, then worked on gluing rhinestones and teardrop beads (all flat-backed).

Aleene glue works well with the fabric, but I lost control of it so stopped work after putting on the top row. Today I worked on filling in gaps with pearls and clear glass beads and decided to sew the teardrop beads down as well. This bra is backless, sticks on with adhesive, so I'm trying to avoid sewing straight through to the inside except around the edges. It's actually looking decent so far, but I'm just as glad I'm not a big person...

Misplaced the bat netsuke -- need to find it before I bother with making an inro. Moved things so many times this summer, I lost track of some items. Hm, need to check the telephone table's drawers, might be there (the table is in the living room, where I do most of my work, so it actually makes sense that it might be in there).

Found my wire supply the other day, so I can finally finish attaching my bat comb to the wig.

Oh! And I got a wig head that I can bolt to a table and work on wigs!
helwen: (Due Consideration)

- Cut out most of body suit for Shiny, sewed and did some tailoring. It's a somewhat stretchy knit but not as stretchy as the stuff you'd use for a turtleneck or t-shirt, so it's a little tricky.

- Worked on Batgirl's leg guards

[EDIT] Also got an old boffer weapon out of storage to use as part of a "naginata". Have extender handle from an ice scraper, but it's a tad short. Got a plastic plumbing joiner piece to connect the pvc and the handle, but not quite a fit. Put the pvc into a vice and used a file to work on filing the end down enough to get it into the joiner piece. Almost fits but stopped because the plastic was getting a little too warm from the friction and putting hot plastic smell into the air. [/EDIT]


- Had a change of plans on My Little Demon Pony Lolita outfit, as neighbor was giving away a jacket and skirt, and I was able to clean it. It's a dark purple (well, compared to the existing skirts for the outfit), but I can make it work. At this point I'm happy to work with an existing jacket rather than make one out of the old dress's bodice, plus it has this amazing lace on it. I'll be accenting the lace with a few beads. Anyway, removed the shoulder pads, and cut the bottom off of the jacket to give it a more bolero-look. Next up for that will be adding a ruffle to the bottom.

- Cut out back piece for upper part of body suit. It's kind of like leggings with built-in suspenders, really. Put it together so I can get a true sense of where things go, then cut holes in some places in the legs -- partly looks, partly increased mobility. And really, that ability to move is important, although more for the sake of the clothing because I'm stronger than the seams :D Did some hemming on the upper half.

- Finished one of the sleeves for Shiny

- Finished the leg guards


Realizing that I do an awful lot of work by hand. Going to have to adjust my schedule for making things, going forward.

Also increasing number of breaks to move, stretch, walk around to keep all that sitting from wrecking me as much...gets the plants watered and the laundry done too ;)


Today we go to see a specialist about L's neck, and see what he has for treatment options.
helwen: (Due Consideration)
Did some staging work for work on the barn, including we moved some of the computer stuff out to the trailer. Took a little longer than I expected, but the more free space around the area the better.

Went to put a few things on the neighbor's Free table (her stuff actually, but I didn't want to put cloth-backed garden gloves out when it was raining), and ended up bringing back a cosmetic mirror (side lighting and magnification, whoo!). Still in the box...

L worked on placing boards so that you can actually get across the ceiling of the carriage house to the north end, as long as you're mindful. The carriage house has some support issues there, as well as part of the north end being completely open to the outdoors. This is less of an issue than you might think, at least weatherwise -- snow really doesn't come in from that direction much. But it does mean it's colder in the winter and that bats, birds, wasps and hornets can come and go as they please, so it really needs to be closed up -- with a tarp at the least this year. And we might want to get chickens again, so...

He also got all the lumber up there properly sorted and stacked, and closed up the ceiling opening that we're not keeping. It was kind of oddly set up and I'm a little too short of limb to use it without a small jump. He's going to put in a staircase where there used to be one, just to one side of that. Now already I can go up a ladder to the new opening and get into the loft space much more easily :)

Cut out and sewed arm things for Shiny costume. Um, they're like sleeves but without being attached to a bodice. I'll be hemming those tonight. Also cut out and started sewing the body suit part -- still need to cut out the back straps and do finishing work, but it looks like it'll work.

L is currently doing some more mowing. I'm taking a break because I know I'll be sewing again later on.
helwen: (Due Consideration)
Kung Fu Adventure Week took most of our time and energy, but we did get some work done on moving the greenhouses. We'd made pretty good progress until getting to figuring out how to get them off the ground (anchored). But L dug around, figured it out, and we moved the houses over the past weekend.

Neighbor's brother came through with an equity line on his own place to catch up her mortgage payments and get to work on fixing everything. We were trying to get the buildings moved by end of July anyway, but this added urgency, as they were going to be moving the leach field from wherever it is to somewhere approximately where the buildings were.

Then we got held up on digging out the footings -- freeform concrete pilings with metal brackets sticking out the top. L and I got two up and out and were working on a third one that was twice the size of the first two. Fortunately one of the guys working on clearing the yard for construction saw L working on #3 and offered to help with his bucket loader (our neighbor from down the road who plows our driveway in winter). So he dug around the rest, then they'd tie a chain to one and pull it out of the ground and then moved them over to our property. Six of those things all told.


Other yard work is happening. Digging out in front of the barn, clearing a little ground, transplanting some daylilies, a little forms practice, and sewing.

I have a lot more sewing to do -- been working on slow, fiddly stuff. Spent 4 hours last night on finishing hemming the snow queen bodice, attaching binding around the collar and down across the front (slanted side-opening for neck), then attaching lace to that. Only one of six hanging panels complete so far, altho' a second one is almost done. Two panels have beading down the center to look kind of like a frost pattern; the other four I'm just going to outline with beads. I'd love to do frost on all of them, but realistically I don't think I have time. Also, not sure I have enough beads, so there's that. Goal for this outfit is to get all parts wearable. I've been trying to plan what projects can be done on the road, and I think I can save the pearling of the top layer for then...


Physically, the increase in physical activities has been good but not without challenges. Increased turmeric intake, soaking in bath with epsom salts when I can, doing baduanjin daily -- started to get a blister on one toe last Thursday, but a bandage to cushion it for a few days took care of that.
helwen: (Due Consideration)
Continuing heat and humidity taking its toll. Got a few things done yesterday and today...

The living room has south-facing glass doors onto the porch. We have a curtain rod with clips on rings over it, and sheers clipped on. Not really sufficient for keeping light (and some heat) out, so grabbed some pieces of fabric out of the cabinets and added them on -- living room is cooler and feels more private. I still need to make a door curtain and a window curtain for the hallway window, for when my brother Kent visits, but only so much time and energy for doing stuff.

I did find the fabric I think will do for permanent curtains for the doors, but we'll see if I get to that before the visit or not.

Also rearranged the furniture in there. TV is now downstairs because it's been to hot and stuffy upstairs. Sofa bed is not under the a/c, and sewing machine is near the drawing table. Not sure how that last bit's going to work, but I can turn the standing lamp to light either station, and I didn't want to sew right next to the west-facing windows (hot) -- besides, the a/c would blow my fabric around. It'll do for now.

L and I moved a good number of boxes to the trailer.

Storm finally arrived. Lost internet a few times, power once (so far). Only about 15-20 minutes for the power loss, not bad at all. Greenfield has gotten hit harder, so far; flooding, part of Rt. 2 was closed.

L was able to verify that there is a tiny leak at the top of the front wall of the trailer, and now he knows where to fix it from the outside.

Have new inhalers as of today; more oxygen seemed like a good idea...

Been doing a little cutting and sewing. And started work on trying to make a pattern for the top of one of the layers for the snow queen. More on that tomorrow, when the inhalers have had more of a chance to work. Hoping that soon I'll have finished enough stuff to declutter the workspace more, so I can work on drawing.


Jun. 23rd, 2014 10:54 am
helwen: (Due Consideration)
Town clothing swap was Saturday. We did the clothing pickup for Thursday and Friday, helped with setup Friday night -- longer than I should have as there was something there to which I was allergic. Yes, I'd taken my allergy meds. Saturday morning, made a modified Waldorf salad (no nuts), then helped at the swap for 1-1/2 hours, which was almost too long, even though I'd taken extra precautions. Some perfume or something, who knows. Picked up a few things, which are airing out on the line, including a fake fur coat that might come in handy for a future costume. And yes, gave away some things as well. More to come in that area...

Family reunion was pretty good. This was for the Gray side, which hasn't happened since 1973. The one that happens more often is for the Coyne family (Marian's side).

Still had daylight so L mowed next door, and I repotted the last of the herbal six-pack, watered a bunch of plants, and sundry other things. The two baby Sage plants turned out to be five, which are now currently in one large round pot, forming a solar cross.

After much thought, we seem to have finally chosen where the grove will go.


Sunday morning did not go well for a number of reasons, and I regret my part in it. It's complicated and not going to go into it more than that.

We got some hinges and door latches for the barn. Lyle took down the two dutch doors on the west side of the barn and re-worked them to get one better-working dutch door, although I know he wants to do more on it.

I worked on clearing some of the work areas of stinging nettles and greater celandine, as well as removing all the garlic mustard and a few dandelions that were trying to take over a couple of the blueberry bushes. The blueberries are coming along nicely! Garlic mustard is invasive here, and can change the chemical makeup of the soil such that enough of it can damage and/or kill hardwood trees. Not sure if it can do the same to blueberries or not, but they don't really like to be over-crowded with damp-gathering leaves around the base, so there you go.

Re-worked how the spare windows and some other things were arranged in the carriage house so that I could get a 4x8 piece of plywood free for use. I can't carry it of course, but I could lift one end and pull it along. L used it to make a door in place of the second dutch door. Some point down the line we'll no doubt replace it with something better, but the primary goal this year is closing up the barn and carriage house however we can afford to do, and it works.


Right ear has been bothering me for a few days; went to see the PRN this morning. Might be topical allergic reaction to something I came in contact with, or possibly early stage of a yeast infection (inner ear thing). Trying 1% hydrocortisone first, then if need be, antibiotics.

L has an MRI appt. tomorrow morning for his neck and right shoulder.


Some sewing happened too. Only thing completed was two bags for the local area's bag share program, which I handed off to one of the women who has the tags for them. Some stores have bags for shoppers to use to take their goods home, if they don't have a bag of their own and want to use a re-usable bag. Then when they can, they're supposed to turn the bag in to one of the participating stores. For the most part it works, but bags can get lost or worn out, so some of us go through fabric scraps or old clothes and make bags. These two used to be the bottom half of some hanging sleeves on an old Burgundian dress I had, so it was nice to finally get them out of the house and put to good use.

Put the corset and skirt for the snow queen outfit onto the dress mannequin and took the waist measurement for the next layer.


Jun. 2nd, 2014 04:42 pm
helwen: (Due Consideration)
Well, I wouldn't sell it to anyone, but it's done and it works.


It's hard to tell from this angle, but it is lined with black. You can see a little bit inside the right half of the bow, and a little at the top left above the bow.

Tying this particular obi knot is kind of like tying one's shoelaces...
helwen: (Due Consideration)
Afternoon not bad, aside from losing track of time such that I was late calling my mom (she's doing well).

L had some serious downloading to do to get one of his older computers ready for a project, so we went to town to deal with that over lunch. I also brought some hand work with me, and finished another rosette flower## while there. Then we delivered some garden stuff to friend D in town.

L got a couple of types of oil for the chainsaw and got it unfrozen but it's dull. The guy who deals with stuff like that has a backlog, so we're going to buy a new chain but have him sharpen the old one and keep it as backup.

I did a little work on the wall and also tromped all over the hay, mulch, comfrey, branches, etc. to try to get it to settle and be more in contact with the ground. Dry matter that stays up off the ground takes a _lot_ longer to decompose (as in years longer, for tree branches). Watered the ferns and the rhubarb.

Then I came up to the future veg bed and did a little digging out of rocks and roots, as we've figured out we need more space cleared for the bed. Also, we really don't want stinging nettles in that area, so I'll probably be digging around that part of the barn for a while yet...

I didn't do a lot with the veg bed area because my hips started to bother me -- probably from tromping around on an unstable surface earlier! -- so I took a break and did Basic Stance form a couple of times, and then I cut some more Comfrey down and filled the garden cart. I have to bend over to do that too, but it isn't for as long as when pulling out roots and rocks, and I got to stand up after each cutting and walk over to the garden cart. L demonstrating using the corn knife, I think this morning? Or maybe yesterday evening. Anyway, it's easy to use and works very well for cutting Comfrey.

L's mowing more lawn as I write... There is more mowing than usual right now, as we're helping the next door neighbor with her yard. She's under doctor's orders to basically not use her arms or shoulders for anything strenuous, likely because it will aggravate the problems she's having with her back.


## - The fabric flowers will be for fascinators and maybe a small hat. I offered to teach a class on them, so I'm playing around with variations).


Maybe tomorrow I can get more surfaces cleared -- I'm trying to get things to the point that I can get the drawing table into the house, and take another shot at drawing. It's been on my mind more often of late, which I take to be a good sign.


Well, time to get up and do more stuff -- think I'll start work on the blue skirt...


helwen: (Default)

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