Thursday, 27 June 2013

night of the hump...yes, I realize that it's not wednesday, we get monday off too

Thursday night, the night before our first event of the season and it's supposed to rain all weekend.  I am just going to put it out there, that I hate being cold, and it's looking like it will be cold, wet and icky all weekend long.  I may go through my entire can of tea before sunday afternoon.

Yes we are going.

I didn't get as much sewing done this week as I had hoped.  Some buttonholes on Pierre's new frock coat, a bit more on his shirt done.  I will bring the shirt with me to work on this weekend.

Tomorrow we pack the car and the season begins for us.
Catch you on the flip side of this long weekend, please pray for just cloudy weather.  Weaving begins monday!

Monday, 24 June 2013

a week of 'vacation'

This morning I start my week off between classes and residency.  I have been slowly getting up to speed for the day, first thing I needed to do was find the den again...a whole grocery bag full of paper to go to the curb and I can now see the top of the desk and the table beside me where I rest books when I am writing.  Just like cleaning my studio, it's like clearing the brain, getting ready for the next project.

And speaking of projects...Last week while I was procrastinating writing, I looked at Nova Muse, the online collections database of Nova Scotia
Check out this lovely blanket circa 1800 in blue and white check made of wool

The first piece of cloth I am going to warp up will be for a work shirt for Pierre and an apron for me in blue and white checked linen.  In The Dress of the People by John Styles, page 265 there is a great little check from Foundling no. 13169, London Metropolitan Archives.  Unfortunately, I cannot link to the picture as the documents are unavailable until the exhibit is over.  Page 294 of that same book shows an etching by Thomas Rowlandson entitled The Maid of All-Work's Prayer c 1801, British Museum, London, BMSat 9792.  The maid wears a checked apron in blue and white.

I have also become quite the fan of coloured neckerchiefs or fichu, and now have three in varying colours along with a white one and a very light pink one.  I have cotton dyed a nice yellow colour waiting for blue decoration, as soon as I figure out how to do that without silkscreening it.  I am toying with the idea of carving my own blocks for printing.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Not a great week

Sunday I thought I'd use up the last of the box of mushrooms and start a small pot of mushroom ketchup for reenacting this season.  Got the mushrooms chopped up and salted and let them sit.

Had a great day on sunday, very relaxing, went to the kids for supper and father's day.

Sunday morning at 3am Belle had a grand mal seizure.  Then again at 415am, then again at 630am.  Vet at 9 where she spent the day and had yet another seizure at around noon.  We brought her hom at 7pm with a diagnose of epilepsy.  She had three more that evening.
She's been on phenobarb since monday night, completely spaced out from the cluster of seizures and is only today, thursday coming around.

I have an exam this afternoon I am ill prepared for, but what can I do...

The ketchup I had been stirring religiously all week turned rancid yesterday, so got turfed.  Might have had something to do with the change in tempreture this week, or the humidity...I don't know.  I might try it again putting it in the fridge this go around.

Tomorrow I will get up and make 3dozen tarts for a friends wedding tomorrow evening.  Saturday I am working the Military Family days barbeque as a fundraiser for our historical group.  Sunday I have been invited on a date with Dr Randi to a trunk sale of vintage fabrics...

Monday I might just sew something new for me to wear and chill out.

Well, I should go review for my exam.

Friday, 14 June 2013

Friday's are sewing days

Well, I've had my two cups of coffee and read the internets, so I should go get my chores done so I can sit and sew for the afternoon.  Maybe I'll stick a cake in the oven, I'm not sure.

My friend Laura reminded me this morning how little time we have left before the reenacting season really gets underway! Two fridays from now, we will be heading out to our first overnight event and I am getting excited.  She and Garth and Rave have been plowing through getting new clothes made for themselves.  Laura will be over in the morning for a draping over her stays so that she can start her jacket.  Rave has finished the main construction of his sleeved waistcoat and now should be ready for buttons and buttonholes.  Garth too has been fastly whipping up clothing, even making covered buttons for his breeches, which I have learned is the more appropriate button style for breeches.  If I have time, I'll change out the odd metal buttons on Pierre's black breeches for cloth covered ones.

Today I am going to pop that other sleeve in Pierre's frock coat and start on the hem.  I also have a shirt I am working on for him, but that's lower priority as he's already got a couple.  And it's a good project to have as an on the go's also chilly here today, so wrestling sheep (the wool coat) is a good idea.

Ok, Nitro is getting into mischeif, so I should get off this computer!

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Shoe revamp

On Monday afternoon I revamped the shoes I picked up at the Sally Ann for a song.  Literally re-vamp.  As in I added D rings to the lower heel so that there was another place to lace the ties.  They are an espadrille style shoe and just had ties to wrap around your ankles.  This made the shoes very floppy to wear.  By adding the D rings lower down on the heel strap, I am able to tie them lower around my ankle, more around my actual foot.  This works to provide more stability to the shoe.

Pierre said that I had done such a great job revamping the shoes, that it looked like it was part of the original design.
Yeah me!

We had dinner with friends last night.  Wanda is plugging away on her Brunswick gown, has it almost finished.  I was sad to say that I hadn't made much progress on Mum's sacque, started the same day.  As with the end of every term, I am busy writing, and procrastinating about writing.  I still have that other sleeve to pop into Pierre's full bottomed frock coat, hemming and buttonholes.  I also have to get cracking on my stays, though it's not looking good that they will be finished for this summer...good thing I still have a perfectly good, servicable set of stays.  They just aren't pretty ones.  I have also started a new shirt for Pierre.

Mum has started new shifts for herself.  I got two cut for her on friday.

That week that I have off between the end of term and the beginning of my residency will be busy!  I hope to get a lot of sewing done!  Both 18thC and modern stuff.  I still have a sizable stash to work through, even though one bin is now completely empty.
My plan is to have my stash all made up before we have to move again.

Friday, 7 June 2013

fibre goodies

Stopped at the fabric store last night and picked up some new sewing needles and a couple of things I needed to revamp a pair of shoes, D rings and twill tape.  I also bought 3m of black cotton voile with big red poppies printed along one edge that will become a new skirt.  It's in the wash now.

My linen threads arrived, Pierre's picking them up today on his way home from work.  A book I ordered on early weaving arrived yesterday just as I was heading out to class.  I tossed it in my bag without looking and opened it once I got to school.  It's a reprint of a book first printed in 1817!  I was so excited!  It even has a draft for "apron check".  This along with my other books on weaving will help me create period textiles this summer that we can use at encampments.  My project is shaping up quite nicely.

I am figuring that I will go into the studio Monday to Thursdays, keeping fridays as my sewing day at home.  This way the ladies can keep sewing with me and I have a morning that I can keep as quiet time for me, not being downtown.  The city's farmer's market is next door to my studio space, and so is the cruise ship terminal, so it can get busy down there in the summer months.  Fridays are also the day when we pack and head out to events, so if I am home that day, the transition is easier.

Well, off to do some writing before the ladies get here this afternoon!  Make it a good one!

Thursday, 6 June 2013

I need a nap...

Seriously.  I am brain tired with school and now it's doing stupid things.  My brain that is.
The last couple of days my brain has been saying "hey girl, you know that thing you want to do this summer?  That weaving thing...yeah.  I'm not sure you can do it.  I think you've forgotten everything you ever learned about weaving.  You are screwed!"

Yup, need a nap.

I have a couple of new books on order, and I will be fighting brain.  When school is finished for the term, I am going to start reading my weaving books.  I will figure it out again.  I will conquer this nay-saying brain.  I will weave this summer!

Yesterday my mum had to drop off some pieces of jewellery to be juried at the Designer Craft's Council, which is across the street from my studio space for the summer.  So we took the opportunity to check out the new digs.  There are only 10 residents this summer, so there might be one other weaver in the studio.  It's a large room with all the things one would need for weaving.  No windows though, as it backs onto one of the museum galleries for Pier 21.  It is next to a general purpose studio with work tables and sinks too.  That'll be helpful.  The people there were excited to meet me and were really very nice.  It should be a fun summer.

For now though, three more reading responses, a paper to organize and an exam to write.  I am in the home stretch of this class.  Two more weeks!

Tuesday, 4 June 2013


I ordered the last of my linen threads for weaving this summer.  Now I have thread in 2/12 for a tablecloth in white, 2/12 in natural for kitchen linens and on order what I think will be close to a 2/16 for a shirt for Pierre and an apron for me.  I couldn't get coloured linen so ordered a cotton in 2/16 in pale blue for the cross striping.  I am using natural linen for the kitchen linens because they will be hard working and I don't want them to be too precious.

Once I have my paper written for Religion and Pop Culture, I need to focus on research of linen textiles from the 18thC so I know what I am weaving!  I am excited to get started on this...too excited.  I need to buckle down now and get some religion written!


Monday, 3 June 2013

one door is closed, but another opens

Got the news late friday evening that I was accepted for the summer residency at the Nova Scotia Centre for Craft and Design.  No, it's not a paid residency, in fact I have to pay to work there.  But it means a studio for the summer, with a loom and sewing table and a space outside of teh house to dedicate to my own art practice.

I start June 28th.

My hope is to complete some weaving projects for 18thC reenacting.  First up is weaving narrow tape in linen so that I can reseat out chairs.  They are done with woven twine at the moment, and are in very bad shape.  I also hope to weave up some kitchen linens in the natural.  Then it's on to a tablecloth and finally a length of yardage for a check'd shirt for Pierre and a work apron for me.  In my copious amounts of spare time, I also have a gown to finish for mum and a late century suit to make for Pierre.  Then we will each have three complete outfits for 18thC reenacting.

In other projects, I also have my ongoing embroidery project which I am planning to wear to graduation next spring.  I'll work on that on the weekends and in the Fall.  In the Fall I also want to make an art coat for a friend of mine who has been far too patient with my timeline.  I will be at NSCAD University in the Fall for classes at the very least, possibly more, so I will work on that then.

Right now I am looking forward to the end of my spring classes and writing for a bit.  I am brain tired.  I am back with my advisor though and am working on thesis related stuff, so the writing is fun at least.  I am just tired and need a summer off to just make art.  Classes end June 21st.

So I am very happy now, knowing I didn't get hired on at the museum, because I would have tried to do both, I am sure.

One door closes, another opens.