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The I’m not at Canterbury Faire post

Once I had given up hope of a miracle (and that miracle would have been 4 figures given we got a big bill right after!) I decided to dowhat I mostly try to do at events which is teach.

Yesterday I laid some washing on my dress form and I think I now have a really nifty demonstration 🙂

And I am still working my way through my old site archives with a better way of doing so. But I think I have found some tutorials I never made live, and I have some printed documentation pages for my older gear that can be updated.

And my scaled patterns are ready to tidy. So I’m not as sad as I would be. As I have needed to rebuild my articles anyway and I could dedicate a week to it.

ouchies but progressing

I’ve started to tidy and compiled my past website builds as some of them were really fun 🙂 And as they were all hand coded in an era of tiny data storage and bandwidth they are remarkably suited to the hand held era.

I am though experiencing a lot of inflammation in my hands which is not surprising but it means I need to take breaks and meds that feel like overkill. It’s just my hands, it’s a small area of the body. But they are used for everything I do so it is worth resting more than less.

I forgot that I also have my turquise sequin fabrics for more Elsa costumes- I think I’d like to keep one as an homage to Queen Maude.

But the second dress and extra length I think could be the basic of the travel coat- layers of net over the top gradient dyed. So suddenly it’s starting to feel like an actual plan and one that won’t dip into my funds.

I do still have the super long cape I really should pass on, it’s just a matter of photographing it properly.

I am also struggling a little financially, with a number of costs coming up and some new weekly costs that I haven’t planned for.

So I am very glad that I have enough stash to keep me going, even if I still have to slow down on using it all in one go given my hands.

But that financial restriction might just mean I stay close to home for at least the first half of the year which actually helps a lot in making the decision to make All The Elsa Stuff.

The Mantua: it’s cut, the stays are cut and have boning already. The skirt seams are all done. And it’s a single layer (aside from body) so it’s really light.

This Queen Maude (of Norway…) gown. I would love to know what colour it is originally, but she had a golden sequin gown and a pale blue gown

The Mando might take a while. I’m not sure I want to have two sets of armour but I also don’t want to convert my Shae Vizla over. I worked very hard on that.

For the rest I have the opalescent sequined fabric, the turqouise, the silk chiffon with 2mm sequins… so a fair bit to play with 🙂

Trying to update my portfolio

It’s a bit tough as it’s a really big history I have and not all really do justice to my work, and then there is beautiful work that doesn’t have the best photos.

I really dislike having to edit images to make them look better but I really have to. Weirdly instagram has some of the nicest tools to do so. I think it works on the entire photo even if you crop (there is a way to find the full image so if you are out there cropping to remove identifying elements in a photo crop before you use IG.)

The costumes I worked hardest on obviously have a lot of files, and I’m working through my double ups and it’s taking a while. 900 in my Mass Effect folders alone!

All Elsa all the time

Right. Yeah no. I can’t help it. Three outfits have truly captured my heart. One just for design, the other two for emotional impact.

I am though interpreting the designs a little. Mostly in textiles.

My Ice Gown is very accurate, but I chose rhinestones over sequins for similar reasons.

In the Ice Gown the bodice is made of overlapping sheets of ice, this is best mimicked on the stand as glued, but they move over each other which allows for more movement such as breathing to be highlighted, and glue does not allow for this- and I tend to run warm and thus tend to de-glue things even on a single wearing!

I didn’t mean to stick with the rhinestones, I planned on taking them off and re-purposing, but they are a hit when I wear the gown. Kids of all ages are enchanted because they have extra depth for visual interest and they are 3D so very tactile. But they also allow my fabric base to show through and does help with the ombre effect.

So I’m going to use my sequinned fabric stash and layered over with different tulles. Usual gradient dyeing as well. The water gown and the final gown both have “illusion” necklines but I will be going for a powernet in order to avoid darts and extra seams

But first I desperately nee my portfolio to be front and center of this site now that I’m moving all the resources to my new site.

Saw Frozen 2…

I don’t think it should come as a surprise that yes I now have Plans.

The travel coat and boots, the water dress, the [spoiler], and maybe the pale pink ombre gown.

I was very lucky to have not been spoiled at all, not for the music, nothing but the early teasers. But there are some really big emotional moments and that’s usually the point at which I go from wanting to make something to actually making it.

I have shared how I made my Ice Dress and explained where I went for accuracy and where I went for interpretation.

Mostly I went for interpretation where there was a better “read” than trying to go accurate. The ice of the bodice moves in a way doesn’t really work with seequins glued or sewn. I think I figured out a few options but I went for the rhinestones to create the depth of light. But honestly they are absolutely enchanting to very young kids, and they are sewn down securely to let them interact with them.

They have a physical dimension as well as light bending dimension.

My ice gown is peak blend of historic and theatre so that it is very durable. My cape is a bit fragile but not as much as might be thought. I might give it an organza backing to give a bit more body and allow me to stitch the applied flakes down.

So this takes me back to my Plans. I think I have enough to make the [spoiler] right now from stash, which would be amazing. I need to check how much I put into my Bubble dress as that is also something I really want to finish.

But I am really looking at how to mimic magic. So a fair amount of illusion in the form of mesh and bridal tulle. I will have to make sure the tulle is able to be removed as it can snag so very easily.

The water dress blends into her skin in a way that might require both illusion net as well as sfx. which I can do. Luckily that is straight to skin and not on top of paint.

And the boots… oooh. Got some ideas on that. Texture is so important and they are matte- but glow. They are not the matte of when her powers are out of control, but they differ from the slick and AB affect of her fully controlled powers. I don’t think they were intended to show how really subtle her powers have developed but, the entire outfit really is a symphony of mimics of real world techniques that would require absolute mastery. Her shoulders have the clearest example of this in the silvery raised but flat flakes and the speckled “beads” all over. I would probably digitise the flakes and get them machine embroidered in silver thread in stain stitch and have a heavy fuse underneath. Then the beads as frosted thingies.. not rocailles as they have soft edges, but the ones cut from tubes.

The coat is heavy but is not quite like the Ice Gown skirt. So there is a bit of work to get the very fine flat surface with the weight needed. There will be flatlining and a careful choice of lining full stop. And I think I will be doing a tulle layer over fairy organza (soft and moldable) over stretch charmeuse. Shaping in the charmeuse with the outer layers eased over. SO a bit of care in the order of making so as to get that.

As a musical theatre nerd and long time nerd at that I am not very surprised how much Elsa means to people, but especially to kids. She is wrapped up in a very “princessy” shell but I do think the near obsession goes much deeper than that. Belting songs, they are all about fairly raw emotion and from places that we find difficult to talk about.

(BTW Anna gets a deeply emotional song that might spark some quite intense feelings, I cried as I have been to that place a few times for very different reasons and yet it is also practical and hopeful.)

So yes, I cried a fair bit and still do with a few more listens to the songs.

tough time of year

This time of year is exceptionally hard. So many anniversaries and the holidays which bring their own expectations.

Last night I tidied enough to access my wardrobe which is mostly a storage/aesthetic piece (1930s oak). In there is a storage box that contains the very last pieces I own that still have Mr Boo fur on them.

And I gave up one piece as it really was time.

But I went to bed cryng, and am fighting back tears now.

I also have a stash of reusable bags that I passed through my sewing machine to get several more years use out of them. A few are covered in white cat hair. And I don’t know if it is my My boo or Mr Carlo and it just really hit hard how much a part of my life Mr Boo was.

This is the month he came into my life and the month he started to die. And it’s just such a complicated mess of emotions that it’s overwhelming. Because of course I miss him, but it also reminds me of friends and family I miss as well so it’s just… A Lot.

The Agapathus are out too. I might cut one for him.

It’s a Life Day Miracle!

Well yes, a lot of good luck and lots of pain relief (prednisone and codeine at different times of the day.)

I started work in 2017 and even primed and painted most of the armour. Definitely a lot more time passed between starting and finishing than it appears!

The contact lenses are gorgeous! They are very unnatural and I am hoping I can get more (weirdly I can get purely cosmetic lenses but not with a script. Even through an optometrist.

Frankly falling over because I can’t see if a really big risk!

GEO Xtra WBS 202 Bella Blue [yearly] ” so I can look after these to sav them great! I think I need to boil some cases and get some extreme cleaning on some of these as I am not kidding as to what a transformation they make. I wonder if the brown could be sithy…. The grey for Ventress. The purple for Rachi.

These don’t quite do justice to the pale pigments used closer to the pupil so they look very much like they are painted.

BIG CAVEAT! I am a long time contact lense use. Very long time. I find circle lenses super comfortable as I also have possible Sjogren’s but definitely a very dry eye. These can be used to apply a drop of eye care and it will float over your cornea and the sclera takes some of the stress.

BUT your mileage will vary. Greatly. I also ignore my astimatism as only one eye can be corrected and I can’t read street signs but I can judge distance to the floor with the (which I can’t in my fully corrective glasses and lenses.

So if you have not worn contact lenses go to a reputable optometrist and they will get your eye measurements. You can probably try some plano lenses (probably dailies) to get used to putting them in.

One advantage of these oTT tenses is it is very easy to see the outside from the inside.

Make up:

My makeup is a mix. While my hands look a different colour but that’s just getting closer to the light 😉

The body colour is alcohol activated make up. A white base with primary yellow and red and then some tan matte eyeshadow and a few drops of black. This paint looks much lighter in the bottle than on the body. It is still somewhat translucent so that’s why it goes a bit darker.

My face is Kryolan TV Stick in white, and I painted those markings first.

Then I used TV stick in 303 and then Kryolan Supracolor in 288. I would prefer the TV stick in the 288 but the Supracolor blends in and makes it very smooth.

I also used an orange blush that is no longer made- I like to blend powder pigments into the colour to help set it as you really can’t powder set this the traditional way.

To Do

My costume needs a few fixes. I forgot my right leg is a bit more muscly than my left so I may have to swap my greaves. My ankleboots have chunky zips on the inside and it pushes on the greaves to make them not close completely. I want to also keep the heels but find a round toes boot, cover is in a soft stretch fabric as pull on boots.

My instep is high (not arch)
And the velcro works very well I just need a day to swap the greaves over and reglue the velcro and leather hinges with weight and heat!

VELCRO® Hook and loop ONE-WRAP® double sided Strapping black and white, green 1m Black.

I love this so much it might make it possible to then velcro both sides of my greaves.

Snaps. I just missed out time to get the hip armour snaps in place as it required hammering and I couldn’t. but the velcro worked. So I’ll put the snaps in and add more velcro where I think it needs it.But I am so happy with the leather work. It was so long ago that I worked on that that I forgot how ell it worked.

I’d like some really good photos so I can make a full Rebel Legion tutorial for tunic, armour, montral and lekku etc.

And of course see if I can get a proper measurements of colours used for body paint.

Still tired

Not really any update, as I’m just too tired to do much of anything. I have a sore throat which has developed into a mild fevery feeling. It probably isn’t flu but I’m keeping stock of what it’s doing.

I’ve made so many mistakes the last few years with my costumes that I am really scared to do anything. FOF and FOMO together are a really horrible mix. And it doesn’t matter that I have a “valid” excuse, it’s still an “excuse” and that is a loaded word. I need more rest than I can get naturally- I really feel so much better when I manages to sleep through a night-day-night rather than try to get naps in over a week and not really be able to focus or complete tasks in the small gaps in time.

But that is where I am and so today I might have to unpick the little extra pouches on my purse and make new ones- my theory about shape seems to be true at least. But this is why I am scared to work on any project- I sewed, and now I’m unpicking it and redoing it and all that is time and energy I wanted to spend on moving forward not backward.

But that is my life now. So. Here we go. Will a shower make me feel better (heat on my back and shoulders and as close to my head as possible is lovely therapy) of will I wind up more tired (it does happen.)

Okay going to risk it. The shower.

new limits

This is the time when people are sharing what they did this year and I’m looking back at oh, so many bad mistakes. So many.

I was so keen to make use of any scrap of energy that I started to rely on energy boosts or pain relief to meet a dead line that I masked all the effects of pulled muscles or overuse of my hands and I also…

I didn’t meet those deadlines.

I have also found a new limit in walking. It’s really not very far, and has nothing to do with aerobic fitness. My hips knees and ankles seize up and so I’m looking for some summer weight options for support for them.

I’m about ready to look at mobility scooters.

But it means I need someone to be with me as much as possible at events because I’m able to sort of move in stages but it’s getting risky.

What ever it is I often need an arm to not so much lean on but be there as a guide so I can feel more secure walking.

I also totally and utterly overreached with my Bubble Dress. And even just updating Maleficent.

Maleficent I can put away in pieces again so I can at least have some more space in my room.

The bubble frock is going to have to be collapsed down (net petticoat has hoops too) and I am going to have to really really really reconsider how I construct it as at the moment I can leave it on the stand but it’s much too heavy for me to work on .

So I may have to make some really hard decisions.

I’m also tapering off the amount of pain relief I’m needing. It’s not terribly high but it does work which is why it’s a kind of cruelty that I need to come of them for fear of other health reasons. It’s a lot like cortico-steroids in that regard.

This Year

My “new normal” keeps changing. And I don’t always recognise it. I am still grieving, and this is a process that is not unique to chronic illness but it can be difficult because of this continual change.

This study found that the five stages of mourning did not progress in a linear fashion. Stages recurred in the face of major life events or deterioration.

http://www.ritsumeihuman.com/hsrc/resource/01/pdf/01_96.pdf
The mourning process in chronic illness, IMAO, Mayumi, (Nagoya University

I think that is something that is fairly easy to understand.

It has been pointed out that the definition of “acceptance/closure” is too ambiguous

http://www.ritsumeihuman.com/hsrc/resource/01/pdf/01_96.pdf Ib.

I think this is where we can feel a lot of conflict with what we think acceptance is.

I know I will never perform again. My acceptance is not defeat. It is instead a way for me to put my time and energy into what I can do, and what I can do to help prepare for the next time I find a new level of my limitations.

It isn’t about denying possibility of a change in future, but instead lets that happen as it happens. And it’s not about expecting everything to be awful from now on. It’s just making sure I can be somewhat prepared.