mellymell: (Default)
I'm not really sure why I didn't try this right away, or at least before now. I dug out the USB cable for my phone/camera today to try it out on my new laptop. Sure enough, it worked! So, I've pulled all my pictures off dating all the way back to ALEP in late September and I'm working on getting them all uploaded.

In the meantime, here are my ALEP pics. . . FINALLY! Maybe I'll finally get around to finishing my write up on it. Even if not, at least the pictures are there and the memories always will be.

Other pics I'm working on getting up: The gardens at the end of summer, lots of food porn (and before you start thinking of something much more exciting, it's just what we call pictures of good looking food we cook), pics of Jonah, miscellaneous things I've seen while out (e.g. Star Wars cookbook, a sign for the Pink Mullet Salon, etc.), holidays and special events (Nashville Duck Race, Oktoberfest, Halloween, Jonah's Birthday, Christmas).
mellymell: (Default)
Since I've sworn off costuming and jewelry work until after the turn of the year (no matter how much I'm itching to fidget with the Angel gown on the dress form), I'm likely not going to finish anything else before December 31st. I don't think I made a public list of what I wanted to accomplish this year at last year's end and I'd probably only be embarrassed by the overly ambitious goals I'm sure I set for myself anyway. So, I'll just start this tradition now, since I actually managed to finish some costumes for once.

2008 Accomplishments )

2009 Wishlist )
mellymell: (Default)
I'm back from A Long Expected Party. I'm still kind of processing the events and thoughts of the weekend. I will say this, it was a strange experience going into a busy grocery store after having been in that environment all weekend. The weekend was amazing.

P.S. - The nethers answer to Sauron alone. They have no other master.
mellymell: (Default)
All the sewing I needed to get done is done except handsewing the trim to the Blood Red gown. I'm taking that with me to work on as I plan to sit up with [ profile] sailingwest this evening on ghost watch. It took me about an hour to do one sleeve last night, so I'm sure I'll have it done in time to wear to the Hall of Fire on Friday night. The Blood Red overgown and Dream gown are in the wash right now. Holding my breath, knocking on wood and crossing all possible appendages that nothing tragic happens in the wash. I prewashed everything and even dyed the Dream gown myself, so I know the fabrics have taken a beating before becoming garments.

Between nerves in trying to get everything done and plenty of caffeine to keep me going, I'm pretty bouncy right now. Need to go jump in the shower, throw my stuff in a bag and run to the store to get some last minute things, then I'll be ready. I've never packed this much for a weekend trip in my life! Clearing the card on the camera so there's plenty of room. Promise to post a full report and pictures when I get back (probably Monday).

My Evenstar even arrived in the mail today. I took a minute to pull the bail off that it came with and made a more accurate one with some wire and Swarovski bicone beads I had on hand. Now I just have the box chain to replace and I'll be set.

Well, everyone have a good weekend!
mellymell: (Default)
I have no right to complain and no one to be mad at but myself. I've been registered for ALEP since last November, I think. Each month I've watched slip away as I didn't work on costumes. Each month I crossed another costume off my ambitious list. Now, less than 10 days until I leave, I'm scurrying to get at least one costume done in time. Then the monkey wrench.

Chris and I decided to refinance our mortgage since rates had dropped to our target. We're not refinancing like most people do (to lower payments) we're actually increasing our payments by a couple hundred a month in order to have it paid off in 15 years instead of 30 (and also to pay a whole lot less in interest over the life of the loan). But all this means we have to have and appraisal done. I've been skirting by for the past couple of weeks on bare minimum housework (keeping dishes and laundry done and vacuuming once a week basically). But now, tomorrow, we've got an appraiser coming in and I need to do deep cleaning.

I lost yesterday to running errands and just generally trying to get to a point where I could start cutting out my fabric. I never got to that point. By the time I was ready to work on the costume, it was time to pick up Jonah. By the time I got back from that and grocery errands, it was time to start dinner. I should have stayed up late last night and done it. Now if today has to be spent cleaning carpets and bathrooms and such and I never get around to cutting out this material, I'm going to be really upset.

I guess that's all the more reason for me to get the hell off the computer and get going.
mellymell: (Default)
Just finished the Angel gown mockup. I only went through one revision of the overgown sleeves (needed to be wider than I originally thought). It really wasn't that bad with the petal wrap sleeve instructions on Alley Cat Scratch. I set in the sleeve and tried everything on and it looks good, though not nearly as drapey as the stretch knit is going to be. So, I'm having to imagine out the creases in some spots, but I think it's going to work well. I didn't even stay up all night to finish it (though I'm immediately going to bed after this). I feel like I'm back on track again, though still very much in crunch time.

Tomorrow, I cut the final out and get back on that embroidery. Still need to measure and see how much I need. I've got just 10 days until I leave for ALEP. EEEK! Was feeling good with all the progress I've made in the past three days until I looked at the calendar tonight to hammer out a costume to-do list. I may very well be sewing right up until I leave on Thursday.

After having cut down the center back line on these two mockups to insert seams/zippers and seeing all the fitting issues that ensued, I'm thinking about inserting the invisible zipper I wanted to put in my Blood Red overgown in the side seam instead. I think that will be much faster and will serve the purpose I need (easier to put on over the huge sleeves of the undergown). I'm going to skip the zipper on the Dream gown for now, since it fits over my head fairly easily. That will save some time. Still have lots of hemming to do on both of these gowns and had even discovered that one of the panels on the Dream gown is just safety pinned together. I've even worn it that way and didn't realize it. D'oh!

Pulled out my wrap shirt I was working on over a year ago. All it needs is the trim sewn on and a few snaps to close it and it's done. Thinking about finishing it up to take with me, since it looks quite elvish, but I'm not sure what I'd wear it with. Also, the hem on it is kind of atrocious. I was attempting to lengthen it for my long torso, but the hem is very curved and I didn't have my design curve then. That's one tool that's been a life saver! Anyway, it came out quite fluttery (not nice clean lines like I wanted) and still a bit too short. Maybe I'll just hang it back in the closet for another time.

Think I'll take my green corset and a couple of skirts and my chemise blouse for just a general hobbity/peasant outfit.

If I can get my paypal account problems worked out (it's locked right now, they suspected a third party accessed it so I've got some hoops to jump through to unlock it), I'm going to go ahead and get an Evenstar and I think I'm going to get one of those 40" wavy, dark brown wigs I've been eyeing for a while. I'm just not entirely happy with the wig I've got. If the codes I need don't come in the mail tomorrow, I might just use Chris' account.

My new copy of the Alan Lee illustrated Two Towers arrived yesterday. But I'm in so much crunch time on costumes that I really think I'm just going to give up on trying to reread The Lord of the Rings before ALEP. I got through Fellowship. Stupid booksellers. I would have finished this if the first copy I ordered hadn't gotten lost in the mail (supposedly).
mellymell: (Default)
Our hillbilly themed booth at the National Homebrewers Conference was a hit. We even had genuine moonshine on hand for authenticity. A lot of the work we put into gathering props kind of got wasted. We were sharing a 10x10 space with another club that had as many kegs as we did (about 10), but luckily no food and no props. We spent time putting together a weathered looking sign out of a slat from our privacy fence and a piece of particle board. I got some black paint and sloppily painted some mountain peaks with smoke rising from them and the words Smokey Mountain Breakdown at the top. At the bottom corners, I painted banjo in one and a set of three moonshine jugs in the other. The idea was to use duct tape and cardboard scraps to make a list of the beers we had on tap at the time. The plan was to set it up in a paint can full of pea gravel, but the sign wound up not getting used. It wouldn't stay standing and couldn't really be seen from behind us. Not to mention the lights kept going out on it. I couldn't find any pink plastic flamingos, but did find some lights that looked like they might have been stolen off someone's RV trailer. I also picked up a small garden gnome, some really cheap and crappy looking silk flowers, and a small toy banjo and guitar. We had bluegrass blasting from an ipod the whole time (though you couldn't hear it much over the dull roar of the crowd on club night). Hickerson had picked up some fake beards for the guys (as in ZZ Top looking beards, down to their waists). He also snagged some toy riffles and a few extra corn cob pipes. Chris had gotten some straw hats and corn cob pipes as well. We all went barefoot and rolled up our jeans a bit. We actually didn't forget our camera for once. The only problem was, we forgot the batteries. I've only found one picture of us up on Flickr so far, though I know lots were taken (well, we posed for a lot anyway).
Here's the result )

A bunch of hillbilly (our club name is Antioch Sud Suckers). Top left is me of course, then moving right is Chris, Carl, Tom and Kyle is on the bottom row. I'm not sure where Hickerson was when this was taken. Possibly manning the booth while we ran around acting like idiots. In Carl's hand you can see the jar of moonshine. We had a piece of duct tape labeling it "Light American Lager". The jar was empty by the end of the night. We had a blast and are planning to go again next year, even though it's in San Francisco. We might not bother with a booth (trying to get props across the country would be nuts), but we'll at least attend.

Now, to focus on ALEP )
mellymell: (Default)
I mentioned this in a comment on Jess' journal, but I wanted to put it here, before it slips from my mind forever. This morning, right before waking, I dreamed about ALEP. I was trying to decide when to wear the Angel gown, concerned that it might still be too shear in some lights. I thought to wear it at night and then suddenly like an epiphany, I thought, "hey, and I could get some fiber optic lights and somehow work them into the costume so that I glow."

Dreaming in fiber optics )
mellymell: (Default)
Still plugging away on the Blood Red gown, though I haven't made as much progress as I'd like, I'm still making progress and that's really what's important to me right now. Regardless, I'm not letting the looming date of Halloween put me in a frenzy of sewing where I'll compromise quality to have it done, as I have with this gown before. I've had to undo so much that I did wrong because of that before. All in all, I'm going to be much happier with the result this time than I would have been had I finished it in a hurry two years ago.

Unfortunately, I haven't made any forward motion on gathering items for Jonah's costume either, though. I need to pick a day next week to drag him around town to do just that. Luckily there's a strip of Charlotte Pike that has like 3 or 4 thrift stores within a mile or two of each other and I should be able to gather most of the stuff there. Other than that, a trip to Party City for some beard hair (wonder if the new one on Charlotte is open yet, that would be awesome) and a trip to Michael's or somewhere similar for some felt and that should do it.

Thursday night I joined some of the lovely ladies of the Nashville Smial of the Tolkien Society and the LOTR Tennessee Fellowship to see Elizabeth: The Golden Age. I would LOVE an opulent Elizabethan gown, but my skills are no where near there yet. Her armor was fantastic too! Definitely a drool worthy watch. It was fantastic to meet some of the local Tolkien fans as well. I look forward to so many more outings with them all!

I registered for A Long Expected Party and they'll be receiving my deposit check shortly. So now, I'm looking in my stash to see what pieces of costumes I have and what I can attempt to get done in the next year for that. I'd also like one or two outfits to wear to the Ren Faire in May that do not have trains (I couldn't bear dragging silks through all that dust and dirt, or if we're unlucky, mud). I've got one meager piece of the Chase outfit (just the lace for the collar, that still needs to be stripped of it's red and overdyed with grey). Another one I thought about was the Shieldmaiden. It's something I wouldn't have to wear a wig for which is fantastic, especially if it happens to be hot. And although I'd really love to have Galadriel's Mirror gown done by next September, I just don't see it happening, not within the budget I have to work with anyway. Perhaps if I get enough Christmas money to pay for the beaded/embroidered fabric from Bindu, I could pull it off. But then I'd want to make the crown and the brooch and such and I'm not sure my soldering and cutting skills will be up to par. I think I could pull off the brooch, even already have the mother-of-pearl disc(s), but the crown intimidates me. I suppose I could always do without the crown for now though. I also have an "inspired by" idea that will turn out to look similar to the triad of Arwen jumper gowns in ROTK. I've got that overgown I dyed that turned out not dark enough for the Blood Red gown, but it really is a lovely shade of dark blue/navy with a purplish cast. Bindu has this gorgeous ivory/gold/silver brocade that I'd love to pair it with and Dinesh has a lovely jacquard trim in similar colors that could be beaded. That same trim is what I thought I'd get if I decide to try a Starry Mantle. That would be another sort of simple Eowyn gown I could try to have done for ALEP. The Victory gown would be another trainless one to try, but not cheap and not easy (with those raglan sleeves). Of course there's the Refugee, but I've just never been very drawn to that one. As far as what I already have on hand, all I need are lining and trims for the Angel gown and it can be done. I think I might need more muslin as well, and that goes for anything I attempt unless I've already got a pattern worked out somewhere.

So, there's a lot of "maybes" in that list. I guess I need to look at what I really want, what I already have and what I think I can do and/or afford. I don't want to make a long list of unattainable goals. But first, to finish the one at hand. . .


Jun. 1st, 2007 11:55 am
mellymell: (Default)
Well, it works great as far as an advertisement, I'm intrigued and excited. And depending on what they consider central KY, I'm only a couple of hours away.


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