Fabulous Friday 25

Hey everybody! Starshine here, bringing you another Fabulous Friday. Today I will talk about Me-TV. Me-TV is a television station that has a big variety of shows, from The Rifle Man with Chuck Conners to Batman with Adam West. It has Emergency and Star Trek, too.

Next, I will talk about what my Mom calls “The Sweet Nectar Of Life,” coffee. I drink my coffee black and once a week. Almost everyone in my family drinks coffee. Instead of adding sugar and half & half, my parents add milk and honey.

The last thing I will talk about books. Books are the thing that take us places for free and you can stay as long as you want. I just recently finished reading Treasure Hunters by James Patterson. Treasure Hunters is about four kids who hunt treasure with their family. It’s an excellent book with seventy chapters. It may seem like a lot but the chapters are only two to six pages long. My favorite book series is Percy Jackson and The Olympians by Rick Riordan.

Todays quotes are:

“Television: A medium- so called because it is neither rare nor well done.” – Ernie Korvacs

“Coffee smells like freshly ground heaven.” – Jessi Lane Adams

“A good book has no ending.” – R.D. Cumming

Newest Chainmail Project

This is a Byzantine chain I'm working on. As you can see, it's going to be a test in patience. :)

This is a Byzantine chain I’m working on. As you can see, it’s going to be a test in patience. 🙂 The rings are 1/8″ 20 gauge stainless steel, which means I really have to pace myself. I’m getting new pliers today which should help considerably. Woot!

Day 29

The promised reblog of John’s photograph of my dress and jacket, the full view. Thanks so much for taking this photo and the close up photos for me! I’m very pleased with them! Please do take time to check out John’s other marvelous photographs!

Dress Project Photos, As Promised

John and I braved the frigid air this morning to get the photos I have promised to post here. The bleakness of the wintering vegetation around us was a perfect setting for the style I was going for with the dress and jacket. I hope you enjoy the photos. I hope my explanations come through clearly without confusing anyone. The first photo I’m posting was taken by Starshine, and as quickly as possible. I did the editing on the photo. By the time we took this picture, my face felt like it was freezing solid. I think I was only outside for a total of 10 or 15 minutes. Brrr!!!

Black Suede-cloth Jacket; Batik Cotton, Embellished Chiffon, and Glitter Satin dress; 3-strand necklace, 3-piece dangle earrings set, and brooch all made by me.

Black Suede-cloth Jacket; Batik Cotton, Embellished Chiffon, and Glitter Satin dress; 3-strand necklace, 3-piece dangle earrings set, and brooch all made by me.

This next photo is a close up of the collar of the jacket, showing a brooch I made . I used Simplicity pattern 2525 to create both the jacket and the dress. You’ll be able to see that I did modify the pattern somewhat. In the photo above, you can see that there are no ruffles on the ends of the jacket sleeves. I couldn’t make a decision about the material to use for them and time was running out. The black bits covering part of my hands are actually black fingerless gloves. I pulled out the black ribbons that came with them and re-laced them with teal, aqua and black with iridescent edged ribbons. You’ll be able to see those better in the photo John posted on his blog today. I’ll reblog that when I’m done here. The jacket collar, sleeves and front were edged with gothic rose trim and black gimp braid. I went ahead and trimmed around the entire edge of the jacket with the gimp braid to give it a bit more appeal. I don’t do buttons so I used rings instead. I added lots of ribbons to the rings. I didn’t want too much glitz for this dress. It’s meant to have a more Gothic feel to it. But it was for a ball, so it still needed something ball-ish and this translated to ribbons in my mind.

Jacket collar close-up taken by J.D. Kittles Photography and used with permission

Jacket collar close-up taken by J.D. Kittles Photography and used with permission

In this photo, you can also see the straps I ended up making for the dress. The pattern calls for ribbon to be used but the widest ribbon I had was the Gothic rose ribbon. The backing for the ribbon is a very fine net which was much too fragile to be used as a strap for a heavy dress. I built the straps using the cotton batik fabric I used for the bodice and added the rose trim on top of that. I also had to modify the length of the straps. Not a huge deal but I should’ve checked that first! I had to laugh at myself for being so excited about finishing the dress that I went ahead and cut the straps as per the pattern instructions. Trimming the top and bottom of the bodice was a bit of an adventure, as well, since the original pattern does not give instructions for adding any trim. Because there is an elastic casing in the top and bottom of the bodice, I had to be extremely careful not to sew into those casings.

This last picture is of the bottom hem. I had to modify the skirt quite a bit. The original skirt length ended about 4 inches above the knee, not exactly what I needed for the ball. I cut the glitter satin according to the pattern, simply following the line down to the length I measured for myself. I’m happy to say the skirt ended just above my toes…perfect! Then I had to cut the chiffon for the top skirt. If you’ve ever worked with satin or chiffon, you’ll know they are not the most friendly fabrics to work with. They have a tendency to slip when you are cutting or sewing, so lots of pins are required. I had to cut the satin twice. I was so glad I had a surplus of it! Instead of trying to cut the chiffon according to the pattern, I knew I wanted a bit more fullness so I cut large rectangles instead, gathering the top edge, and leaving one of the selvedge edges as the bottom. This went along superbly with my Gothic them, as it had a bit of fraying beyond the selvedge edge. There was, however, about a 2 inch gap which was devoid of the hologram dots that were scattered all over the chiffon. I had to cover that. I used 2 rows of cotton lace edging on either side of a row of the Gothic rose trim. I felt like the sewing would never end. It was almost as terrifying as cutting the skirt pieces! It came together pretty well, though, I think. I thought I’d run into a bit of a problem when I realized that the satin underskirt was about 2 or 3 inches shorter than the chiffon overskirt but since there was no time for un-sewing and re-sewing, platform boots saved the day.

Bottom edge of skirt, photo by J.D. Kittles Photography, used with permission.

Bottom edge of skirt, photo by J.D. Kittles Photography, used with permission.

Maybe I should’ve used black thread to sew the trim on but I’m still pleased with how it turned out, overall. I now have a fabulous formal that fits comfortably for both my personal style and my body type. All in all, I have to give myself an A- on this one. The dress took 12 hours to complete and the jacket took almost as much time. I do love it, though, and I’m so happy to have it!

I can’t tell you how many people have told me ridiculous things like: “I could never sew!” “How do you do all that?!” “You are so talented! I just don’t understand how all that works.”

The fact of the matter is that if I need something and I can’t afford to buy it already made, then I make it myself. Because I /want/ to. Because I /want/ that something and can’t buy it. I research. I ask questions. I use my imagination. I try to do things in ways that make sense to me. To this day, there is still one step in one of my cloak patterns (a /cloak/ pattern! o.O ) that simply boggles my mind. I’m a visual learner so I’ll need to ask someone to show me what those directions are telling me. I modified that pattern and made the cloak but I know it’s got a pretty awful flaw in it. That didn’t stop me from completing it. It doesn’t stop me from wearing it. If you like to do something, do it. If you want to learn something, learn it! But don’t say you can’t do something because you just don’t understand. Anyone can learn anything. You have to want it bad enough. Then you find the right teacher and the right learning method and the next thing you know, you’re doing something new!

You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives.”  ~Clay P. Bedford

Winter Weather Is Great For Creativity

This cold weather is definitely not the norm for Louisianians! Brrr!!! We had sleet this morning and snow this afternoon. It was just a light dusting, though. I hear there is at least one bridge closed because of ice accumulation and I-10 is closed from the Mississippi Bridge all the way down to New Orleans! I’ve never heard of that happening before.  Today we spent some time filling jars with water, baking biscuits and fruit, and making a huge pot of chicken soup. I really hope all this preparation is not necessary, though.

When I had time to sit down today, I went on a Weave Search, looking for new chainmail weaves I thought I might like to try my hand at. I found two that looked like they might work for the new collar-style necklace I’d like to create. You can click here to see the Celtic Knot Spiral weave, and here to see Brejão Flowers weave. I’m also checking out a weave called ‘Moorish Rose‘ which I may use instead of Brejão Flowers, as I find it more intricate and beautiful. I can’t wait to get started but I will have to. I have something more important to do first!

I got a couple of custom orders in so I’ll be starting on those first thing tomorrow. Hooray for custom orders! So far, all my custom orders have been lot fun. I love seeing the smiles on the faces of my customers, or reading their happy messages, when they receive their completed orders. Good stuff! I’ll share photos of the completed projects as soon as I’m done. It’ll be much easier to photograph those than it has been to photograph my dress and jacket, but I will get photos posted. I’m not sure when but I want to try to get some tomorrow when the ice is still on the ground. It should make a fabulous setting for the style and color of my outfit.

I need to stop here for today. I’ve done quite a lot and I’m looking forward to a restful evening.

If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins.”  ~Benjamin Franklin

Preparations Anew

Once again, we’re preparing for another arctic blast. The temps are dropping as I type. So after working most of today, since I’ll miss my other work days this week, there will be an intensive preparation going on at our house. I actually started a bean stew in my crockpot last night. I thought we’d eat it for tonight’s supper and then I thought better of it. I thought we might just save that for tomorrow. No one is going to feel like cooking on such a cold day as tomorrow is supposed to be. When the cornbread that’s now baking in the oven is done, we’ll bake a couple of batches of drop biscuits. I’m thinking a batch of cinnamon-banana-oat biscuits will be nice. I’m also thinking I might try to make some spiced orange and cranberry biscuits. When I am able to transfer the beans to the refrigerator, I may start another pot of a soup or something like that in the crock pot. I don’t like the idea of not being able to cook a meal if the power goes out. Since this blast is supposed to be worse than the one we experienced last week, I’m preparing for a power outage, just in case one occurs.

On the topic of jewelry, I have to complete the set I was creating for the local theater awards that are coming up next month. I posted a photo of the earrings a few months ago. I want to try my hand at creating a collar-style necklace with some of the weave patterns created for making sheets of chainmail. Even if the power doesn’t go out, I’m hoping to start working on my necklace by this weekend. I ordered some special beads and a pendant to add to it. I can’t wait until the supplies come in!

Please stay warm and safe this winter! We’ll try to do the same!

One kind word can warm three winter months.” ~Japanese Proverb