900 Stitches and Counting

January 17, 2011 § 6 Comments

It was -23 C withOUT the windchill this morning.  Trust me, even for us, that’s cold.  The blessing was that we didn’t get any more snow.  Double blessing is that Daughter and I didn’t have anywhere we had to go.

And the timing couldn’t have been more perfect because in the mail today (yes, the mail made it – I was a little surprised) I finally got my Christmas package from my friend’s Mom in B.C.  She’s a lovely woman who, for the last decade or so, treats my like a part of her family.

I got…oh my gosh it’s so cool…my eyes lit up when I saw it and I did a little happy dance.  Okay, okay…I got a DVD copy of the 8 part miniseries adaptation of my all time favourite book…Pillars of the Earth.  It is such a thoughtful gift and I moved that she remembered.

Good thing I had been working on my novel before Daughter checked the mail or the 3 pages I managed to get done, might not have been written.  Yes, I actually got passed the rifling through papers and rereading, finally putting some more words into action.  I’m very pleased with the results too.  There’s nothing like spending two hours working on a scene that you end up hating and tossing.  😉

So when Daughter brought in the package and I opened it, that was it.  The rest of my day and evening had been planned for me.  I did a quick tidy of my laptop and papers, stacking it all neatly to one side of the table.  I tossed some leftover quiche into the microwave, I popped the first DVD into the player, grabbed a duvet and my knitting and settled in for the long haul.

At 900 stitches and counting, 15 rows, I’m still just over halfway through Daughter’s Dr.Who scarf and almost done the 4th Episode.  Guilt?  Well, maybe a little…then I go open the front door and it gets sucked out by the freezing wind.



More Rain and Other Stuff

September 21, 2010 § 5 Comments

It’s wet again here – another week of rain forecast for this week.  At least we had a really nice weekend and I got to enjoy my deck two days in a row.

Daughter’s application for her High School courses is ready to go and as soon as we get our hands on the final piece of required documentation, she’ll be all set.  Yikes, my baby is starting high school!  Yay, it’s totally her decision and she’s really excited about it!  😀

She also starts an Improv class this week that she’s really looking forward to.  It’s so refreshing to see, especially being the introvert she usually is, putting herself out there and really loving something so extroverted.  It also helps that I took theatre in college and it’s like watching her follow in my footsteps.  With the added joy of knowing her feet are much more firmly gripped than mine were.  😉

Son is settling nicely into his new job and is making the most of the opportunity to set himself back on the right track.  By the end of December he’ll have everyone he owes paid back and have over $2,000 saved up.

Hubby and I have agreed to use the opportunity of Son being home (with the ensuing support) to pay for a college course that he is keen on taking.  The local community college offers a Bartender course, complete with Smart Serve certification (a provincial prerequisite if you want to work as a server of alcohol) and Son is really excited.

I’m just basking in the glow of happy, mostly grown up, making their own decisions kids right now.  😀

But still, I’m not forgetting that I’m my own person and my medieval dabblings are slow going but they are still moving and I’ve managed to get some content together for my website.  I still have tons of pictures to take, costume projects to finish and a PayPal account to set up.

Along with all that, I’ve really wanted to get some landscaping done.  I want to plant bulbs under the maple in front so come spring I’ll have flowers.  I was also hoping, now that the deck is done, to start attacking the overgrowth in the backyard.

Bob the Gnome and his friends are buried under foot tall Dusty Miller, weeds  and some really tall yellow flowers that look like Black-eyed Susan but aren’t that have come across the fence from the neighbour’s yard.

It’s rather a mess out there but with rain being called for the next seven days…meh, I highly doubt I’ll get to it any time soon.


Stop the World, I’m Gonna Barf

August 19, 2010 § 8 Comments

Not the prettiest title I ever came up with but it certainly sums up how I’ve been feeling lately.

You know how when you’re on a roller coaster ride and it’s not until it starts to slow down do you realize that you’re really not having as much fun as you had hoped or at least think you should be having? Then before you can even process that the ride starts to pick up speed again and it takes everything you have just to keep your cookies inside your stomach?

You all get that lame analogy right?

The thing is, my life is that ride and I bloody hell want to get off.  What I mean is, I want it to just stop so I can catch my breath, look around and decide if I want to keep riding this roller coaster or finally choose a different way to live.

Believe me, it’s not nearly as simple as it sounds.  At least it isn’t for a neurotic, often still thinks like a 16 year old single teen parent, cripplingly insecure woman about to enter the last year of her 30’s.

I have soooooooo much baggage and it weighs me down to the point where I can’t even move, sometimes even literally.  It used to depress me because I really thought it was my lot in life, my cross to bear.  Now though, now it just frustrates me and even pisses me off.

Still, I can’t seem to drum up the courage to just toss it. There’s a part of me that needs to examine every shred of it in case I might need it later.  An emotional packrat is what I am.  A hoarder of useless and worn out thoughts and feelings that serve no purpose other than to remind me what a rough time I’ve had.

Oh lord I’m pathetic.

I just realized that I have absolutely no point to this self-pitying rant so I should probably just end it here, run a nice hot bath and get into bed and watch a crappy movie (a good one would take too much energy to follow).

If you read this far thank you and I’m sorry.   😉

Speaking of Making Things Work

August 14, 2010 § 3 Comments

And this time I’m not talking about the ever elusive romp with the spouse…  😉

I’m back to the medieval costume business I’m trying to finally start after a near decade long hiatus.

Things are going really well and with my most recent project, what started as just a bunch of fabric and ideas…

in just two days has progressed to…

Now it’s just a matter of getting out the sewing machine and putting all those pieces together into one cohesive garment, without a pattern.

Just to make things interesting, while I was shopping for more lining, I came across the following fabrics in the remnant bin…

I wonder what I’ll make out of that?  I’m really excited to find out.


Random Update

August 9, 2010 § 5 Comments

The stifling humidity that’s been plaguing us has not really let up but the rain all day yesterday brought with it a most welcome reprieve.  We had the windows and doors open all day and it was so nice to breathe the cooler air.

Son has gotten himself a new full-time job that in a few short weeks will afford him the opportunity to make changes to his less than desirable living arrangements (and keep him out of our basement).  Supporting and encouraging him to pull himself up by his own bootstraps has not been easy but totally worth it.

It has always been easier to just take him back in instead of watching him have to deal with bullshit, but in the long run I know that it’s much better for him.  He’s definitely been learning more about his responsibility to face the consequences of his decisions.

The oh so anticipated deck has not progressed much since I last wrote about it but frankly, I’m not concerned. We’ve made more progress this summer than we have in a decade and I know that eventually it will get done.  And come next year I’ll get to go shopping for outdoor furniture and planters to decorate it and I’ll be very happy.

Other than that, I’ve been playing with fabric and having a blast…

I just LOVE fabric as an artistic medium.  The picture above is not a dress, it’s merely the front piece of an incomplete  bodice and a bunch of fabric just thrown together made to look like a dress (a la Art Attack hosted by Neil Buchanan).

There’s just something so forgiving about fabric that appeals to me.  It can be placed, moved and rearranged so easily that it almost pains me to have to cut it and sew it to turn into something practical.  Yet, I need that element of practical if I’m to make any money from my creations.

Anyway, there might be some news on the medieval business front but I want to confirm it before I get too excited about it.  I’ll keep you posted.

Hope everyone had a great weekend.

A Sampling

August 4, 2010 § 6 Comments

The redevelopment of my medieval website is going slower than I had hoped.  Hubby needs time to work out how to implement the fancy mouseover catalogue application that I want.  And then of course I still have to make a database with all the content.

In the meantime, I’ve managed to finish up a couple of incomplete projects, you know the kinds of things that sit around for nine months but in the end take less than ten minutes to actually finish.

Anywho, here’s a few pics of the kinds of stuff that will make up the bulk of my inventory…


Feast Gear

and Accessories

I’ve also got tons of bits and pieces but my main focus will be on the above items.  I recently got a lead about a flea market opportunity but in the end the dealer wanted way too much for the space plus a 12 month commitment and I had to pass.

For now, I’m going to focus on getting the website up and perhaps getting out to a local craft fair where I need only to pay for a table for a day or two.  That rather suits me much better anyway.

And now back to our regularly scheduled stifling, without air conditioning, humidity.  Ugh!

It Just Keeps Going

July 29, 2010 § 3 Comments

Wow, this whole medieval ball is just a rollin’ along.

I’ve got all my costumes in one place, I have found and organized most of my accessories, fabric and patterns.  This weekend Hubby is going to help me get the website back up and running and I’ve found all my old files that have my order forms, business card templates and pamphlet designs.

What boggles my mind is how close I was to getting started with this and how easily I let myself forget about it.  I have literally years worth of work already invested in this project and it’s just been sitting there dormant.

I also worked on a graphic for the website…

What do you think?

More Medieval Type Stuff

July 29, 2010 § 5 Comments

So after foraging through more boxes today I found most of my medieval type accessories…not all of it, but I know exactly where the rest of it is.  I’m just too tired now to go rooting for it.

None of it is terribly authentic or even close to replica status, it’s really just a bunch of stuff that I like, thought was neat and added to my collection.

I’m not a hardcore re-enactor and don’t concern myself too much with being period accurate.  I’m much more inclined to go for the feel of it and just have a good time.  Believe me, I’ve met a few people over the years who take the whole thing way too seriously and I can’t imagine that being so anal is very much fun.

Anyway, the rest of today I’m going to work on a logo for the site and try to print out some business cards…it’s rolling along quite nicely and I’m a little surprised at how quickly my momentum is picking up speed.



Answers for Cate

July 28, 2010 § 4 Comments

In the comments to my last post Cate posted the following:

“Would love to hear more about it all too, ie: how did you get into it? Do you wear these type of clothes? is there a good market for them?……questions, questions…….. :-)

So since Cate was kind enough to ask me, I thought it’d be nice of me to answer her questions.

First, how did I get into (the whole medieval costumes thing) it?

Actually, I rather think of it like the passion for it got into me and I just started expressing it.  First it was being inspired to draw pictures of medieval costumes, everything from casual sketches to full out coloured pictures with back and side views.

Then one day I found an old hand me down leather jacket and right then decided to take it to the next level.  It wasn’t a big leap mind you, but it was an important one.

Isn’t she cute?  Not shown are her boots, backpack and leather cap which are in another box that I can’t find at the moment.  At first I used one of Daughter’s dolls but eventually I went out and got my own.

After that I really wanted to make something life size and it wasn’t long before I hit my nearest fabric store and picked up a pattern and some fabric.  I started with unbleached cotton muslin because it’s neutral and cheap…mostly that last thing.

Stitched completely by hand this article of medieval clothing is a triumph for me and I’m particularly proud of it.  It’s nearly ten years old and has held up to countless wearings and washings and the smattering of fake blood that left a stain on it only adds to the effect.

It wasn’t too long before I felt I needed another costume challenge and the result was this…

The dress is one piece with attached sleeves and cuffs and it can be and has been worn very effectively without the matching bodice.  The bodice is three pieces held together at the sides and shoulders with ribbon through grommets.

When I finished this particular project I knew I LOVED doing this.  Which leads us to Cate’s second question…

Do I wear these types of clothes?

Every chance I get…which sadly in the last few years has only been on Hallowe’en.  But I used to throw costume parties just as an excuse to wear them.

The truth is, if I were more confident – and I one day hope to be – I’d slap one of the bodices over a blouse with blue jeans, call it an outfit and hit the local, with Hubby of course.  😉  And certainly there’s nothing saying I can’t use my skills to modernize my stuff to appeal to a larger market.

Which leads us to Cate’s third and final question…

“Is there a good market for them?”

Yes and no.

If you know where to look and set up shop, which is with re-enactment and larping groups, I could make a killing but the market there is saturated and competition is pretty fierce.  I’m not terribly competitive by nature and having to fight for customers doesn’t appeal to me.

However, the route I’m considering is more mainstream craft and folk art which doesn’t really have a demand for medieval costumes and accessories but it’s more laid back and definitely less threatening.

So there you have it.  Thanks for the questions Cate, it’s been fun answering them.


Like A Medieval Wardrobe Exploded

July 27, 2010 § 4 Comments

So in trying to keep up, encourage and thrive on the momentum that’s swirling around about getting back to my medieval business, I decided the first place to start was to take stock of my present inventory.


This is but a mere fraction of what I found and scattered my living and dining rooms with.  I’ve got gowns, capes and hooded pieces all over the place.

And as you can see from the picture, I also have enough bodices to costume an entire Shakespearan production.

Still, this nothing for the patterns, fabric, coordinating thread and various other tools of this trade that are also part of my vast inventory.  Not too mention the sheer volume of miscellaneous feast gear and accessories that go along.  (I’ll take more pictures later.)

So though my house is a mess right now, I am comfortable that I definitely don’t need to concern myself with start up costs.

The trick is now to figure out what exactly I’m going to do with all this stuff.  I’m leaning towards scoping out flea markets and craft fairs to see about setting up shop somewhere to get started.  It seems like a non-threatening way to get myself out there and get practice selling my wares.

I also have a list a mile long of repairs, hems and finishing touches to do on the costumes I already have and the website to rebuild.

My work is definitely cut out for me (a little sewing pun) but I’m really excited to get back at it.

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