apologies to self and others

One of the problems with rolling delays is it is so hard to catch up! That includes simply importing and copying files from my phone. Then I need to back them up and finally can start editing and deleting. I’ve not been able to do much each day either. It’s 10am and I’m both in pain and tired just from having a shower and catching up. I need to be kinder on myself for this, while also figuring out when I can “push” things. But yesterday I managed to break through some really heavy emotional blocks that have contributed to this cycle.

After losing my constant kitty companion, who would stay with me in my little studio it got harder to go out there because it just didn’t feel the same.

Then when it was broken into, the space just no longer felt like it was mine.

In winter (like now) this is especially true as I need to air out all spaces for them to be healthy and not confrontational to all senses located in my head. Luckily I have a little fan heater that automatically turns off after a very short time so I can just take the chill off and that helps a lot. It’s a small enough space that this winds up economical and not burdening the electrical network.

I tried all sorts of ways to make myself go out there, including replacing my netbook which stutters and is slow and often bypasses Mint to try and reload windows. Yesterday I committed half an hour to painting some metal pieces a brighter gold and even that? So many things went wrong!

Our driveway has turned slippery so I got to the door a little down thinking about figuring out maintenance, then my laptop would not start up. So I went back indoors, started up no problem. Took it back out, and again it wouldn’t start up. So forced reboot, and the fans went like the blazing, it did eventually start up, I checked in task manager and I think it was trying to connect to the internet *before* letting me in based on what was using most resources. So I am going to have to change some settings because that should not prevent me from logging in.

So that was tense and frustrating, and after several years of this cycle it was going to be easier to give up. But! I stuck it out, and managed to paint most of the jewellery findings I need to finish my sets of belts and necklaces etc.

The big round piece is perhaps the most successful. While painting the bees (originally silver because for some reason gold bees became scarce when I needed them) one fell and I thought “oh no, it’s on the my brunchcoat” but I couldn’t find it and so decided maybe it would turn up under the desk. but no!

It turned up stuck to my sock this morning. I can’t believe how long it had managed to stay there.

These pieces still need a few more hours to dry before I can bake them to cure them.

This is not the intended use of the pebeo vitrea 160 glossy medium but it does work to bind metallic pigments. Side note, it looks like that is no longer made, and instead you need to use the porcelaine 150 glossy medium if your local store doesn’t have any older stock. Darn, yes the store I got mine from no longer stocks it.

Anyway. They are now indoors, I am having a flare of fibro from yesterday so am about to shift posture and lie down with a hot water bottle applied in rotation on the radiating pain spots. And ask for help getting some emulgel on my back.

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elsa patterning

Last year I got my Elsa finale gown started, but it’s been a trial both sourcing specific fabrics I need let alone in the lengths needed. But luckily I have the base fabric and the sheer fabric for the super soft floating sleeves. And I finally decided on how to create the sparkling decorations- I have iridescent transparent vinyl I was testing for the sequins for the Ice gown. It will be washable and I have worked out the pattern to get working in inkscape to make the files for cutting it all. I think the smaller diamonds are 2.5cm long and 1cm wide, and I will not make them individually but in strips so I can zig zag stitch over the vinyl, not through it, and so the stitches wind up some waht decorative. If that doesn’t work then yes, hand stitching around those same point and hand knotting.

But the strips will be much lighter than the jewels I bought so the cape and skirt sections will float.

I have some opaque irridescent fabric backed vinyl too for the bodice and yes, over those I will sew glass rhinestones.

As for the sheer fabris I will need to buy iDye poly to gradient dye it all. The sleeves are easy as they are one layer and the shape is flat. The skirt is proving to be a bit more difficult.

The animation stretches that fabric in ways that are not replicable. So I need to decide how much flare to build in.

My test skirt pattern is pretty good and is mostly straight with an extension at the back. But I was thinking I might want to use the grain of the sequins to direct where to put darts and seams.

Today I took my bodice pattern and traced it to baking paper (I then scanned both to keep a record in case I lose or have to dispose of excess patterns) then to heavy paper to cut the points and hip shape, to scan that, and then finally I will be able to use inkscape or ruler and french curves to make them all even. And to work out where to put shaping seams in the final version as again, the animation does not match reality and I need to put seams in somewhere.

I used authentic Victorian skirt cutting for the Ice gown and it works so well. The straight front edge of each gore hangs vertically which makes the diagonal of the back edge flow into whatever folds you want. And as you top and tail the pieces you save a heck of a lot of fabric. The basic principles works from regency all the way to the 1900s. Teens too.

This is why I love historic patterns- they offer solutions we don’t have in our modern patterning kit. It’s frustrating though as we really have 100 years of modern patterning to separate us, so there is no living memory of these techniques. So a lot of modern historic patterns use modern systems too.

The Elsa finale gown is not built like that, it’s full modern. I get pageant and ice dance costume vibes, so I’m using a lot of modern fabrics and using that stretch.

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I’ve been trying to tidy my life a bit by transferring fabric and card patterns to paper, but frankly some patterns need to be card. Like all those multi seamed bodysuit patterns, and the armour. I gave up half way through what are apparently my “full” sets of patterns that are not. Fem Shep is in three places (Turian bits, armour, bodysuit.)

So I decided to try and actually pattern today, my Cranach dress:

Again, it’s those multi-seams that is making life difficult.

In this case, the evidence of extant garments and patterns all use the same sleeve head which is a shallow sideways S. There are no all in one cuts with the body. And yet.. those do look like piped seams that follow up to the neck.

This is also why I have been redoing all my patterns. I put too much work into geometry of sleeves when they are all annoyingly based on the same basic set of patterns.

There is a totally fantastic long gown with puffed sleeves in the Swabach tailor’s manual. The piecing does support cutting panes separately at least which is enough. If this painting is based on a real garment Cranach could have used then I think I know how it would actually look vs idealisation.

The popped collar is also very annoying. It’s high enough that it collapses in simple layers. And I can’t get it the neckline to sit quite that far into my shoulder. So I am taking a break and looking into my stash for canvas and hair cloth and twill tape to figure out what I want to do.

I also am working on how to talk about historical fit and scale. Because it really is counter intuitive- and is part of why this dress in particular is annoying. There is a heck of a lot that connects 16thC tailor’s manuals to 19thC dress making. To the point I’m working on teaching some 19thC cut and fit (like the difference between American and “French” systems- hint they are totally different but not if we use modern interpretations.)

And I do really want to review and link more books in my database.

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Currently trying to get warm to be able to follow through with my project of tracing all my patterns (self developed) as it is feeding into anxiety that has cropped up pretty intensely recently. My self esteem plummeted a while ago and it got so bad I nearly didn’t go to an SCA event last weekend- a pot luck dinner, no pressure, except my own.

After a cry- yep- I managed to say to myself even if I just get into my frock that is more than I have done, so if I wound up unable to move then it’s still something.

At this point in a chronic illness there are not so many spikes in pain and fatigue, but the usual therapies are less effective, leading to much the same outcome in terms of the final equation of Energy = therapy – (pain x fatigue)

I know that, and still feel like a failure for being too sore and tired from my shower.

However. I did get to the SCA event, in the pink frock of pinkness, and got to be enthusiastic about teaching, and it was also inspiring just to be in a room where people are being enthusiastic. To the point I’d really like to organise a full day/weekend of classes.

However. I do have a bit more reading and transcribing.

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I’m currently rereading Wyrd Sisters and am identifying with Hwel right now.

Particles of raw inspiration sleet through the universe all the time. Every
once in a while one of them hits a receptive mind, which then invents DNA or
the flute sonata form or a way of making light bulbs wear out in half the time.
Some people are even more unfortunate. They get them all.

Wyrd Sisters

Leading to this:

He made the mistake of pausing, and another inspiration sleeted down,
sending his train of thought off along an entirely new track.

Wyrd Sisters

Basically this is me currently, and for one of my dream projects.

I have vivid dreams just before waking, and most of the time they are stress/anxiety related so I spend a few moments just shedding those images and words to start the day in a better state than they would lend. But sometimes, sometimes that vividness works in my favour and I wind up figuring out how to make or do something either as intended or within new limitations.

And my limitations now are more than during the making, but also wearing, and also storing.

So to figure out how to get over all of that? Pretty impresseive.

And that is what happened to figure out a safe to make and wear Chimera gown after the original.

Chimera gown by Thierry Mugler. Promotional photo.

It will work really well for the back, and can be adapted for the front.

I very much though want to make the silver leather Freya gown from the second Hunstman film. Both require accuracy in scaling scales that scale. Hah! Scale as in doing a 1/4 test fit. Scales as in the scales you can see, and scale as in they start one size and scale up or down or both.

Freya from Huntsman 2.

I will need to then accurate files for a one off chance for my cutting machine. And from there have a plan for storing the in progress and finished works. At the moment the materials are stored in parts with other stash.

But this is exciting as well; being inspired at all after three days of a fibro flare that had me crying is impressive. And I have graph paper already out and ready to use, and paper for my fabric doll that I probably could use for a test fit. Okay… let’s get showered and emulgel applied to hips and back. For the first time topically applied NSAIDs work.

That’s because my fibro really does start as muscle pain, transfers to myofascia (the delicate connection between muscles and muscle and skin) to skin. So stuff applied to my skin seems to help. Also diclofenac has analgesic as well as anti-inflammatory effects. Today is also the first day I can use my knuckles to work the tight muscles in my back. I still feel a bit sick doing so, and I can still feel like my knuckles are digging in but on balance it’s helping.

I wish I could afford a weekly massage, or actually daily, but I’ll see if I can find one of those foam rollers if I can use one without my hands.

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Oh my. I’ve been having a bit of a hard time health wise and it’s really impacted my ability to do anything. But I’ve managed to stop my midnight tidying sessions (oh yes, yay insomnia as it runs through my family) so at least I can think about making. But I’ve wanted to get my patterns and other costuming files to help others for so long that I have dedicated my “on” time to that. So far I’m thrilled that my idea to do the modular thing. Right now I have a clear set of diagrams from Freyle-Anduxar for patterns to show how they work in the same way which is really exciting.

I made a paper tape at 1/5 scale and am confident that what I have done is right, I’ve just got a handful of pattern categories I’m not sure on. I might have..

I have noticed there is a clear link between extant patterns and extant garments, which is very cool and will help me justify how I use the patterns.

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I am test driving an ibuprofen patch across my upper back as that is a source of pain that gets transfered by fibro. I can’t afford to do this often ($NZ25 for two patches, and can be used for no longer than 5 days in a row) but I think this is the first time I’ve found any benefit from an external application.

And I will be able to let my Rheumatologist and GP know in case there are any alternatives.

I’m also sorting through a huge backlog of research material, but am going to focus on some inventories that offer some explanation for why it’s taking so long to explain what is going on with Anne of Cleves and her hat.

And I’ve started clipping my own pearled pieces and am not happy with how it is going. I may have to resort to more glue than I wanted. The satin is so loosely woven that it is fraying even with a good 6-10mm allowance. But the cord looks good so I’m going to clip right to the edge and then glue the raw edges and then stitch the cord in place.

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research hiccoughs

There is not a lot of archival material relating to Anne of Cleves or her two sisters during their time at home. And there are mostly summaries of documents in the Letters and Papers. The original documents are being digitised so it’s been worthwhile to search for them documents every so often.

The North Rhine Westfallen documents are also being digitised, many documents that were in the Cologne Archives were photographed in the first half of the 20th century and those images are being uploaded as well. They were all on microfilm and I think were part of the same recording effort as what has now become bildindex.de.

Some of these images are too small for me to read, but saving them has meant I have an idea of just how much information is in them, and to keep looking for transcriptions.

What has emerged from the documents already available and the artwork is that despite the combined Duchies surrounding the entire region of Cologne there was very little influence in either direction. There does seem to be some influence between the Combined Duchies and the Duchy of Glederland, which seems to have two concurrent styles showing influence from both the Netherlands and the Combined Duchies.

The documents I have been able to read also suggest this difference, and this is why still now 16 years on I still don’t have the correct terms for what Anne wore in her paintings. I am pretty sure I have the correct term for her style of hat, I just need to finish that article, but it’s possibly not the only term, and it’s possibly not accurate for Anne’s specific headgear.

It’s also not helped by there being no real agreed on spelling for recent transcriptions, and the spelling in the documents mean modern search engines can’t offer suggestions for searches.

And it’s complicated further by having multiple databases that contain different information and use very different formats.

So today I start to tidy folders of archives because over the years I’ve had different ideas of how to organise them. But I think I do now have a better idea.

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I’ve been in tidying mode, but am now ready to start the scanning of images and documents for the North Rhine section of my other site. Some interesting terminology used and I’m hoping to be able to find the originals online as well as a transcription as opposed to the summary I have.

If my printer can communicate to my PC that is. Okay figured out the issue so am now tethered to it.

And I just found an image of Anne’s brother with a beard that I recognise from another source, so that’s good.

I very much want to keep working on my kleinod (jewelry) but I’ve offered to teach online so I really need all of this sorted.

Back to the 3kg book

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fly by update

It’s been a series of stressful months, good days are a bit rare, but today is one. While I’d love to use this day to do something fun, I am tidying. And happy about it. Or rather feeling confident that I can not just start but finish this project.

I have a few written and costume projects I really want to work on. But I need today to tidy the last of sorting, so I can go back into where my tools and supplies are. If I tidy when stressed I have a tendency to not remember where that very clever space to store went to.

And it will let me access my wardrobe space to save for some extra supports to get a bar right across the top to hang my clothes and costumes, leaving the wire shelves able to be used in lower levels I have a great start, it’s just that I really do need a very strong bar with multiple supports to do so.

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