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The Ramblings of a Seamstress, Gardener, Chicken Keeper, and Housewife

Proof of My Adventures (and Misadventures!)

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CoLoW Recap, Upcoming Project, and Chickens

Whew!  It's been a busy week, and I'm just now getting around to doing this recap of last weekend.

I had to work late Friday night, so I decided to sleep in a little on Saturday and come in for the after lunch panels.  I made it to the hotel around 1:30, got checked into my room, all luggage and costume stuff brought up from the car (3 trips due to all the luggage carts being in use!) and I even had a few minutes to spare before Megan's prosthetics panel.  I brought my mostly finished evening bodice to the panels to cover my silver eyelets with thread.  jaelie stepped in to help me and got almost an entire side done by herself - awesome!!!  I particularly enjoyed learning about different ways to clone a garment from jenthompson.  Her cloned dress was spectacular!  There was also a steampunk panel that gave me some insight into the community.  I've always toyed with the idea of making some steampunk outfits, but my to-do list never seems to let up enough for me to dabble in something new.  There was a hot blocking panel that was cool too, and the teacher gave me a bit of French elastic (basically a bias cut strip of lightweight buckram) to try on my next hat.  I've used bias tape on everything up to this point but I'm always willing to try something new.

Then we broke for dinner and masquerade prep.  I decided to indulge and order room service, which was delicious and generally pretty darn cool but too expensive to really justify doing very often, if ever.  LOL  Next time I'll just get something to go from the restaurant, I think.  After eating I gathered some ribbon and attached it to my bodice neckline and then added a little bit of lace.  I had planned to do a partial lace overlay on the bodice front and back, but time mismanagement bit me on that.  My last minute stuff looks OK though, and it certainly worked for that night.  I can always go back and revise it later as well as finish covering the last few eyelets.  Then I got going on makeup, hair, and getting dressed.  I ended up using both my braided hairpieces, a twirly hair pin thing, and a small bunch of fake flowers.  It turned out pretty well for going almost totally be feel and just a couple peeks in the hand mirror.  It was really heavy though.  I need to experiment with ways to make that stuff lighter!  jenthompson saved my bacon by lacing me into the bodice.  She also got some really great shots of me over the evening:

Blue Victorian Evening Attire

Blue Victorian Evening Attire (back)

Blue Victorian Evening Shoes

CoLoW 2013 Group Shot

Everyone looked great, and the masks were beautiful!  Kaycee was kind enough to bring some adult beverages, which we consumed in my room (conveniently across the hall from our masquerade) so as not to break any hotel rules.  It seemed like everyone had a wonderful time making masks and socializing, but it was over too soon!  :(

The next morning we gathered for breakfast.  We got a group shot on one of the staircases outside the restaurant:
CoLoW 2013 Breakfast

Then there was a little downtime before the workshops started, so I took the opportunity to relax a little, pack all my stuff, and take an all-too-brief nap.  I sneaked into the very end of the shibori dyeing workshop.  I don't feel too bad about skipping it since it looked like most people were struggling with the intricate knotting needed for shibori.  I think I'll stick with tossing a dye packet into my washer and hoping for the best, at least for now.  ;)  After that it was time for my wirework accessories workshop, which I think went pretty well!  Most people were surprised at how time consuming and tricky it can be to do wirework stuff, and in hindsight I wish I had encouraged people to make small crowns.  As it was my workshop ran through its time slot as well as all of Sandi's hat decorating time slot (though it seemed like everyone was on the same page about continuing the wirework projects, but I still felt bad about taking up so much time that should have been Sandi's.)  In spite of all that, everyone seemed generally happy about the class and a couple people were VERY psyched about finishing their projects and doing more!  It's a really awesome feeling to show someone the way and watch them get inspired.  :)
Next up, I'm hoping to tackle a chemise a la reine.  I washed a variety of white cottons today and I'm hoping to get started on everything Sunday afternoon.  I was really hoping to make a new pair of stays that aren't so deeply colored, but I don't think I'll bother.  I'll just line the bodice (and maybe flatline, if necessary) and that'll be that.  Ben thinks he'll have to work in Austin Sunday-Thursday, so I'll have lots of uninterrupted sewing time.  All in all I'd much rather he get to stay home, but I'll take whatever silver lining I can find!

In chicken news, Brownie hatched five chicks.  There are four gray/blue ones and one black one.  We initially had them inside in a customized plastic tote (it's totally clear with a latching lid that's been fitted with hardware cloth so there's plenty of air flow) that way we could monitor the temperature and keep them away from predators or jealous roosters.  Plus, we didn't want to run the heat lamp during summer...and honestly, I wanted to watch Brownie be a mom.  She's really good at it, always watching her chicks, clucking to show them where food is, and protecting them from perceived threats.  She's also really patient with them.  I've watched chicks peck her face (and her eye!), jump up and clamp onto her comb to the point she had to shake her head to get the chick off, and repeatedly jump onto her back (sometimes hanging out there for a while) and the worst she's done back is lightly thump them on the head.  I wish I had a tiny webcam to put in there so I could get this all on video.  After a couple days, Brownie was back to being pretty active in the little tote and she kept kicking pine shavings into the water and covering the food.  I scrounged in the garage and around the yard and came up with enough lumber to build a chicken tractor (outdoor mobile enclosure) and that's where they stay during the day.  It's much larger than the tote and allows them to forage in the grass and get used to being outside while still being safe from whatever might otherwise hurt them.  In the evening they come back inside to sleep in the tote.  It's been really fun to watch them!

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And I've got silk for you! I measured what's left on the bolt by counting the folds, and it looks like a little over 5 yards. I'll bring it to Madeleine's next Sunday. :)

I'm totally excited to see your wirework too! If you need any advice just lemme know.

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