Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Saving a corset

Hey, there. I said I was going to do 12 costumes in 12 months, didn't I? Time to start working on that then, as the first month is already pretty much shot. At least I didn't say it was going to be one costume a month, so I can play catch up and still stay on track.

A couple of years at a clothing swap***, I acquired a red satin underbust corset. It's not a particularly well-made one, I have to say, as there doesn't seem to be much of a strength layer, and the quality of the satin is not high, but hey, it's free! The maker didn't reinforce the boning channels with anything, and the tips of the bones had worn through the fabric. But, hey, I can sew and I can fix it, right? Yeah, right. It sat around for a couple of years, and I almost put it in the "go away" boxes a couple of weeks ago, but then I decided I was finally going to get off my lazy dignity and do something about it.

I am ashamed of how long it sat around, because it only took me a couple hours each over the course of two Mondays to finish it. I of course didn't take pictures beforehand, but here's what it looked like after I picked off the binding last Monday:

corset reclamation project 1

As mentioned previously, the bones were sticking through the fabric in four places:

corset reclamation project 2

I wasn't even going to try to match the red. What goes good with red, though? Why, black of course! I found a 3/4 yard piece of black satin in the remnant bin and reinforced it with heavy iron-on interfacing, then cut it into strips, giving myself a 3/8" seam allowance on either side.

corset reclamation project 3

Yes, one of the strips is slightly wider than all the rest, proving again how entirely straight-line challenged I am. I am Special! Yeah, that's it.

No in progress pictures past this point, as I got too far into the groove, but here's the finished piece, sans the final ironing I should have done once I finished with the biding.

corset reclamation project 4

corset reclamation project 5

I acquired the skirt shown here at the same time, and will be adding a drapey black layer to it, to help mask that they aren't quite the same shade of red under certain lights.

***Hey, some of you may be wondering "What on Earth is a clothing swap?" It's a pretty fun way to recycle your wardrobe. You and a bunch of friends go through your closets and dressers and pull out the stuff you haven't worn in ages, that is now either too small or too big, that you now wonder "Oh, ye gods, what was I thinking when I bought that?!?" and anything else you just don't want anymore, and converge on one person's house, preferably a house with at least one good full-length mirror.

You all dump your bags of clothing out in the middle of the floor and all go rummaging through it looking for stuff that will fit you that you will wear. Bring munchies and a bottle of something and it turns into a fun party. Anything left unclaimed at the end gets bagged up and taken to a thrift store.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A weekend in wine country

I spent the latter half of the week at a conference for work, and the husband and munchkin joined me Friday night for the weekend. We stayed at Campbell's, directly on the shore of Lake Chelan.

Chelan 1



The armchair got thumbs up from everyone.


We spent most of the day cruising around, enjoying the scenery and visiting the local wineries.



Ambience-wise, Four Lakes Winery got the highest marks:


It's up a huge hill, with a wrap around deck and an incredible view. We came away with bottles of their 2007 & 2008 chardonnays.


We got pulled into the Lake Chelan winery, not for tasting, but because of the advertised lunch:



BBQ pork sliders with cole slaw and a glass of their pinot grigio. So many places concentrate on making their bbq sauce hot to the exclusion of everything else. I believe you have to start out with a good base, a rich flavor, and then start piling on the heat. I'm happy to say their bbq seemed to follow the same philosophy, as it was tangy and not too sweet, and had a wonderful slow burn that built as you kept eating. The cole slaw was perfect too, not sweet at all, and a great compliment to the pork.

While we were waiting for our food, we got roped into a grape squishing contest. The munchkin got asked whether she wanted to compete against mommy or daddy. Our smart girl picked me, with the tinier feet.


The munchkin won, as I wasn't as enthusiastic about squishing and splashing.


(No, you do not drink the grape juice afterwards. Ick!)

We went back to the hotel and I took a nap while the husband and munchkin rented one of the hotel's kayaks, and afterwards there was fun in the hotel pool:


Afterwards, off to Sorrento's for dinner. I'd link to their website, but at this time it seems to have picked up a viral type thing. Husband had the bone in ribeye, and I had filet medallions in a peppercorn sauce, both served with penne pasta in a tomato cream sauce and green beans. The restaurant serves wines from Tsillan Cellars, and we indulged in a bottle of their chardonnay with dinner.


Afterwards, a nice walk along the waterfront, and then a well-earned sleep.

Sunday morning I woke up a bit worse for wear from the day before. #1 hangover cure - Crab Benedict!


Another pool excursion, and we packed and hit the road. On the way back we stopped off in Cashmere for a bit of antiquing and a bite to eat.



The souvenirs for the weekend:


And now off to bed again.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Friday Favorites

Been at a work conference for the last few days, and it was good, but the brain, she is dead. So I will give you shinies to look at. Click on the pictures and they will send you to dangerous places.

Striped piratey goodness!

Water and ice:

Purple tentacles!

Starry night:

Mr. Cat:

Midnight shadows:

Happy Friday, all!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Colors of Fall

New season, new beading challenge from ArtBeads! ****

This time, we were told to make a piece in a color or colors from Pantone's Fall Fashion Color Report. I perused through their gemstones section, and picked out some rhodonite chips, pretty close to the "rose dust" color, and lepidolite cylinders, for "purple orchid." For finishing, I chose some copper bead caps and an antiqued copper filigree clasp from the findings page.

This turned into another strung piece, alternating the chips and the cylinders. I found the chips to be rather fragile, and I had a hard time getting them off the cord, losing a few in the process, but I got the hang of pretty quickly it and didn't break too many of them. The lepidolite cylinders were very uniform in color, and evenly drilled, very easy to work with! I have a stash of larger lepidolite beads, and used one of them as a pendant on the finished piece, a piece that had some hints of pink in it and added just the right touch.

Rhodonite & Lepidolite multistrand necklace

Rhodonite & Lepidolite multistrand necklace

Rhodonite & Lepidolite multistrand necklace

Rhodonite & Lepidolite multistrand necklace

****This post is a part of the ArtBeads Beaders who Blog program. They provide the beads to us free of charge, and we provide an honest review of their products. We are not paid to review or endorse them.

Blackberry Liqueur - a fall tradition

We've been making this stuff ever since we moved to Seattle, as blackberries are a weed and a nuisance. But at least they can be useful, unlike other invasive species.

Stage 1 - acquire the ingredients:

blackberry liqueur - the ingredients

4 pints of blackberries
6 cups sugar
4 cups 100 proof vodka

Mash the berries and put then in a 1-gallon glass jar, then add the sugar:

blackberry liqueur - stage 1

Measure out and add 4 cups of cheap 100 proof vodka. Really, seriously, use cheap vodka.

blackberry liqueur - stage 2

Then you stir it:

blackberry liqueur - stage 3

You want to make sure to stir it before the next stage, adding water to the top of the jar, because it can get a bit messy trying to mix up all that sugar in a full container. It takes about 4 cups water to fill it to the curve at the top of the jar:

blackberry liqueur - stage 4

Now I'll cover it and stick it in the bottom back of the pantry and forget about it for 4-6 weeks, then we'll strain it and bottle it, and let it age till next fall. Time to start saving up the wine bottles for re-filling.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Swapmeet aftermath

Owie. I hurt. I really need to go out and buy a pair of gel insole/arch supports for every single pair of my boots. 8 hours of standing on a church's basement's cement floor does not a happy kitty make. But it was a great event, and as usual I got to spend time with my wonderfully creative & inspiring friends. And I managed to offload a decent amount of my clothing stash, including some big bulky costuming bits, which is good because now I have lots more room for all those outfits I'm supposed to be making for my next blogging challenge, right?

Today's outfit:

Ready for my Safari by *dbvictoria on deviantART

And I played with the image in photoshop again:

Safari Antiqued by *dbvictoria on deviantART

Today, I get to go for a fitting on a gown a friend is making for me, which will be absolutely fabulous.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

I have a new toy!

I've got the nice camera for the business, but I also had a little Canon that I would take along to events. Unfortunately, I seem to have lost that one. The last time I know I had it was at the end of June, but I have no idea where it is now. I hate lugging along my "good" camera to events, or out along with the family, as it is technically a business tool, so today I got a replacement. It just tickles me, having a camera the size of my cellphone!

My new toy

Steampunk Swapmeet Today!

Just in time for Steamcon!

A market full of wonderful steampunk wares and more!

September 18th, 2010

All Pilgrims Christian Church
500 Broadway East (lower level)
Seattle, WA

Noon - 6:00 PM

Goggles, modded weapons, shoes, hats, gloves, jewelry, parasols and much more!

I'll have the jewelry and parasols along, but I'm also bringing along bits from both the "I could use that in a costume" stash and my personal, hand-made costume wardrobe.

Leather Bodice Front

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A new parasol, new backgrounds, and more knots!

I had to run to the craft store today, as my glue gun gave up the ghost. While I was looking for one, I made the mistake of wandering down one of the scrapbooking aisle, and ended up coming home with six new sheets of scrapbook paper. I had to give one of them a try this afternoon, of course! This is an older set, and I've had it listed as a set, but it was getting ready to expire again today, so I decided for a change and broke up the listing into separate parts.

The set, on the new paper:

Pearls and AB Glass by *dbvictoria on deviantART

And the new listings:

Freshwater Pearl and AB Fire Polished Czech Glass Bracelet on Sterling Silver Chain with Toggle Clasp

Freshwater Pearl and AB Fire Polished Czech Glass Earrings on Sterling Silver Earwires

I also chipped away at the unlisted knot necklaces again:

Dyed Purple Jade and Pewter Celtic Knot Necklace

Cobalt Blue Glass Necklace with Pewter Celtic Knot

Two Tone Dyed Purple Jade Necklace with Celtic Knots

Black Button Pearls and Pewter Celtic Knots Necklace

And finally, the grand unveiling of the parasol I've been teasing you with the last few days:

OOAK SteampunkElectric Purple and Safety Orange Parasol

Now off to enjoy another bowl of my spicy black bean soup, to warm me up on this damp cold evening.

Confessions of a Shopoholic

Hi, I'm Victoria, and I'm not just an Etsy seller. I love having such a wonderful marketplace of unique quality hand-made goods literally at my fingertips. You hear a lot about the other kinds of stuff, so today I want to show you some of the gorgeous things I've purchased for myself here this year.

I have a fancy new pair of burgundy lenses for my Steampunk goggles, from Neverwas:

I am now the proud owner of a custom sized Heavy Metal Corset (yowza!) from brooksbot75

How about this lovely vintage-styled suit from AnnieBriggs? Isn't it a beauty?

My father sent me a gift card for my birthday, and that yielded me a new chocolate brown leather belt, from MuseBelts. This will be wonderful, as since I bought the new camera I'd given up on belts because the buckles were in danger of scratching the display screen.

And just for fun, this adorable little fused glass spider from EmotionalOasis:


I've bought more than a few pieces of her fused glass, and each one has been absolutely fabulous!

Christmas is just around the corner, and I know that I'll be doing some of my holiday shopping here.

Here's a few more beauties from my favorites, just because:

Crystal Clear Trio Antiqued Copper Necklace, Wrapped Briolettes, Hand Forged

Ruby Tentacle Ring

Pegasus- Pleated leather spats with button detail

The rose collection - Cuff links