Thursday, October 29, 2015

Dear Halloween,

Dear Halloween,

You and I have had some fun times through the years. I've always loved you and I always will.

Remember that time I stayed up much too late finishing Iris' Dorothy costume? That was great. It didn't matter that she only ever wore it once, that one time was just perfect. I think that this was probably her first real cosplay and it'll fit Bu next year.

And carving pumpkins with Anna was pretty great. I always think of her in October. We didn't carve pumpkins this year, but that's okay. We still have pumpkins adorning our front yard and stoop.

Bu as the Hulk in purple pants and a green onesie felt like a stroke of genius. It was great for a tired mom and a small person who just wanted to be comfortable. Many a year, Iris has recycled old dance costumes and there were several years in a row where she slapped on a pair of wings and called herself a fairy. Now she's an avid cosplayer and I credit you, Halloween.

Bu loved being Captain America and even though we bought her Spider-Man costume this year, that's okay. The comic store guy invited her to a Halloween thing they're having. There's supposed to be a Spider-Man there. Sadly, we'll be out of town. I'm getting the impression that this one is going to become a cosplayer, too.

And me? I was a cosplayer before I even knew the word. My favorite costume was the Star Trek: TNG uniform that my mom made for me (in Science Blue, of course). One year we were the Three Weird Sisters from the Scottish Play. One year it was poodle skirts and the year we were the Addams Family, I accidentally let my baby sister, who was being Cousin Itt, walk into a stop sign... and then into the side of the house. I still feel bad about that.

I'm wearing my doublet this year because I love that piece and it's been a while, John is working on joining the 501st, Iris is gathering her own cosplay pieces, Bu is set with her Spider-Man outfit, and I'm already planning for next year. It's an election year, so I want to be a suffragette.

There are those who seem to think that Halloween makes it okay to be racist and there's the whole "sexy ____" genre of costumes and, if you're underage, "sassy ____." There are a whole lot of problems with the kinds of costumes you can buy, especially for girls. I'm not going to go into that except to say that it makes me angry, it makes me sad, but most of all it makes me happy that I can sew. You're the reason I love costuming and making my own Wednesday Addams dress is why I even learned to use the sewing machine (though that might have been inevitable). I still have that dress.

Thank you for spreading the love of costume to my kids and to John, thank you for giving me an opportunity to express myself through my craft, and thank you for helping me expand my skill as a sewist. Thank you for being such a big part of my life. Thank you, Halloween. Thank you for being you. I'm glad I know you.

Stay Spooky and see you in NC,

Dear Readers,

I've nearly finished Louise. We'll talk about her come November.


Thursday, October 22, 2015

I don't care if I ever get back...

Those of you who follow me on Instagram will have noticed a lot of blue yarn singles getting spun up in the last couple weeks and babbling about the Cubs. Well, the season is over for the Cubs as of last night and I have some great yarn with which to knit Crackerjack by Stacey Simpson Duke for next year. I just need a white and a grey to go along with it and I have some red in stash, for sure. This BFL/Silk from Rain's Obsessive Stitchery in the Cardiff colorway is going to be beautifully tonal and a delight to wear. 

I've joined the sleeves on the sweater now and though it kind of looks like a lump, it's more of a sweater-shaped lump than two sleeve-shaped lumps and a tube. With a little work, it could conceivably be done by the end of the month.
The carrot dye test is underway now and sitting on my deck just hanging out for a little while, absorbing dye. Chemistry tells me that carotenes should be pretty stable as dyes go, but it's looking more toward the pale yellow end than the muted orange end - and that's fine. It's a test, right? I want to see if I can get any color at all. 
No new kid pics today, so here are a couple from about this time last year. 

There's a lot more going on in my world, of course, and I had one of those days that I wanted to do so many things that not very much got done. Eventually, I settled down and made a list and hopefully soon, some of those things that I've started or wanted to start will get underway and chugging along. Sewing, embroidery, and quilting all need attention, but at least dyeing, gardening, cooking, and spinning have seen some progress.
Now to make applesauce unless I get distracted again.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Slow Fashion

So, I haven't fallen off the face of the Earth, I just got distracted. I'll give you a quick recap:

The sashiko patch I've been working on is done, but I have a little bit of embroidery yet to go before this pair of jeans is wearable. Without even meaning to, I'm participating in the Slow Fashion movement and have been since high school. The idea is that clothes should last because it's more sustainable and ethical, so that includes thrifting, mending, and saving for more expensive, quality items. It's also cheaper to mend than to buy new, especially when you're hard to fit. The #visiblemending tag on Instagram makes it feel more like hipster activist art, which is kinda nice. If you're on Instagram, I suggest perusing that one.

Finished sashiko patch

One hole has been darned and then couched and bordered in chain stitch. I did a blanket stitch on the hem, over which I'm laying down some chain stitch.

Darn it!
In case that didn't make any sense, here's a diagram or three:

These are my actual jeans

I must admit that drawing those was kinda fun. In reality, the stitches are much, much smaller, but if I'd drawn them actual size, you couldn't see how to do them. 

Other shenanigans have been happening, some of which include spinning while listening to Cubs games. Bu helped the other day with her very own fiber and my drop spindle.
And Iris is muddling through High School okay. She's hit a bump in the road, but she's got good support both at home and at school, so things should be smoothing out soon.

I promised some costumes, but Iris didn't need my help and Bu wanted to be Spider-Man, so I may do something for myself in the next week or so. I have a couple ideas tumbling around, but I haven't bought fabric yet, so we'll see. I'm thinking some sort of superhero costume may be in order. 
And here's Husband's birthday cake (now entirely devoured). This year is spice cake with basic cream cheese icing.

Stay on target... (We're too close!) Stay on target!

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Happy Everything!

Happy October!
I'm having a busy month already and it's only the first. In fact, I'm a little late in posting today because I've been busy doing important parenting things, important household things, and important things that are not blogging. It's the start of Aegletia, and if you've never heard of it, no one will blame you. Apollo is going on vacation at the end of the month and there are a few of us who send him off over nine days with a candle-lighting ritual. We've only been calling it Aegletia since last year and I'm strongly considering some small, appropriate gifts and/or special Aegletia foods that may or may not include underwear and/or eggplant, respectively.

This is close on the heels of the Fall Equinox Annual Perennial Exchange Party (Happy Fall!), which was low-key and delightful. The darling eldest made some labels for the seed bar, which was kinda fun, and we traded flower bulbs, too. Some time when it's not raining, there's going to be a great planting of things and I may or may not plant the crocuses in random spots around the yard.
There have also been computer-related shenanigans and my nerd-based confidence was boosted this week when I took a useless paperweight of a netbook and turned it into a learning machine that both children want to use. It's still a little slow, but it's actually functional and has lots of great programs for anyone of any age who might want to learn things. Bu even learned how to use a track pad.
I may or may not be a little proud. maybe a little
There's also been a great deal of spinning going on. I finished all the singles for the fiber Koren gave me to spin up for her as one of her stashdown prizes and I've been working on it when I can during Cubs games.
It seems to help. I'll have to be sure to have the wheel out when they play the Pirates for the wildcard spot.
The plying on the copper is done now, so it just needs to be washed, measured, weighed, and given the stern pinky.
Two pairs of jeans need patches, too, so that and a couple rounds of sweater sleeve also got worked on today. The sleeve is less interesting. It looks like a sleeve.

Anyhow, the sashiko patches are holding up well. They seem to do better than other kinds of patching techniques I've tried.
This was going to be a nice photo of the nice things to eat at the Fall Annual Perennial, but some goofball photobombed. We had noshes. It was yummy.

It's the Month of Cosplay, so I hope to have some costumes in progress very very soon. Happy Cosplay Month!