Sunday, December 16, 2012

Seattle Santarchy in Verse with Pictures

Every year all across the country a bunch of folks get dressed up as Santa, or some permutation thereof, and go on a pub crawl.  It's called Santarchy.  I've always seen pictures after the fact and told myself I need to go next year.  I finally went this year.  Briefly, but I went.  It started in Seattle with a meetup at Cal Anderson Park in the Capitol Hill neighborhood at noon.  Who knows what time it ended.  Some Santas were probably stumbling home after last call this morning, I'd imagine. 

It was a brave gathering of Santas - temperatures were hovering around 40F and it was raining.  We even had a bit of sleet at one point.  I brought one of my embellished umbrellas/parasols, but I can't juggle it and the camera so it stayed in the car and I got wet.  I lasted for about two hours.  If the weather is better next year I'll stay out longer.  It was worth every minute, though.  I knew hardly a soul but had lovely conversations with strangers, enjoyed a cup of hot Earl Grey at a local watering hole, and came home with a few pictures of the shenanigans.

Santarchy 2012 in Verse:

Starting out the numbers were few. But the numbers grew and grew!

santarchy 2

Santas are festive.  Santas are fun.

santarchy 4

Santas have candy for everyone!

santarchy 10

Elves can also be naughty or nice.

santarchy 1

santarchy 26

santarchy 12

santarchy 17

Santas cater to every vice:

santarchy 14

santarchy 16

Reindeer are coming to take you away

santarchy 18

Toy soldiers march in to save the day

santarchy 20

santarchy 25

Children are warm with hats askew

santarchy 28

Santa's sporting a fu manchu!

santarchy 15

See the Santas all full of cheer

santarchy 23

And many more Santas to see next year!

Merry Christmas to all!  (And one particular Santa is wishing you a Merry Hanukkah!)

santarchy 11


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Costuming for Santarchy

I was gifted an old fur coat in October by a friend, with instructions to "cut it up and make something with it."  It's been sitting draped over one of the chairs in our dining room since.  I was thinking last night that I wanted to go on the Santarchy pub crawl scheduled for this weekend, but I didn't have anything to wear!  (Completely forgetting about this outfit I'd made for Steamcon two years ago - doh!)

Steamcon III

But then I thought I could throw something together quick enough for today, and I had a bunch of yards of a tan upholstery velvet in the stash, so I started cutting at 4pm last night.  I've done so many of this style of outfit in different permutations now that I was confident I could get it all done and get plenty of sleep and be ready for tomorrow.

The skirt and coat went together quickly, in under an hour actually.  The first snag came when I started deconstructing the coat.  Fur everywhere, and there was sand caught in all the hemmed seams.  The living room ended up looking like a whole shelter full of cats had gotten into a fur-flying argument, and one of them had knocked over the litterbox while they were at it!  This is even after using a pair of embroidery scissors to cut the coat, trimming close to the hide!  Then I started hand sewing strips of fur onto the hems and little bits of loose fur kept clogging the thread.  And to make matters worse, at 9:30 I realized I was about a yard short trim, so I was waiting at the door when JoAnn's opened up at 9am this morning.

I did finish everything, though, at exactly 10:21 this morning.  The initial rendezvous point was scheduled for noon.  I even had time to powder my nose before getting dressed!

I kept the collar of the collar intact for the bolero jacket, and paired the suit with an antique beaver hat I won at a charity auction last month.

Tan velvet brown fur 8

I'm particularly proud of the purse - I cut 8 evenly spaced slits in the band of the hat that matched the coat and threaded two ribbons through, then sewed a tassel at the middle of the hat, which became the bottom of the purse.  Instant reticule!

Tan velvet brown fur 5

I had a short length of a tasseled fringe left over from a previous parasol project, just enough to go on the back of the jacket:

Tan velvet brown fur 6

Still need more practice at applique work, but I'm getting better:

Tan velvet brown fur 7

A sprig of holly from the tree in our backyard added a festive touch.

Tan velvet brown fur 4

Tan velvet brown fur 2

Next post, pictures from Santarchy this afternoon!


Monday, December 10, 2012

Follow-up from yesterday's post

Since yesterday afternoon, my images of the newlyweds at City Hall in Seattle have gotten almost 7,000 views.  It all started at about 3pm, when I got a message from the editor of LGBTQNation, asking if they could use a couple of my photos from the morning for their article on these historic events.  I said yes, and their article was published shortly after.  They used two pictures and linked to the set at the end.  A couple of hours after that, a reporter for Gay Star News contacted me, and their article used one of my photos as well, and linked to a slideshow of the whole set at the end of the article! 

I'm feeling a bit giddy.  I took about 250 pictures, and of them I picked 39 which represented to me the joy and wonder of the day, and those images are now being used to show that joy and wonder to the world.  It's a marvelous time we live in, both for the magic of the internet and the "growing up" of the human race.

seattle gay marriage 34

Sunday, December 9, 2012

For love

Today for the first time same sex couples got legally married in the state of Washington.  We joined the crowds of well wishers at City Hall to cheer as the newlyweds came out.

seattle gay marriage 5

seattle gay marriage 3

seattle gay marriage 8

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn gave a speech that none of us could hear because the PA system didn't reach the bottom of the stairs.

seattle gay marriage 12

A helpful soul with an impressive set of lungs standing towards the top of the flight summed up the speech for us, though.  "Mayor McGinn thanks you for coming!" he shouted down, and everyone laughed.  One of his staffers started making trips up and down the stairs checking with us.  "Could you hear us this time?  We're still tweaking the system," I heard him say to two ladies standing next to us.

The City Hall staffers and volunteers had a hard time keeping the media at bay, as they were all dying for a sound bite from the first few couples.  Kudos to them for all their hard work today, and the rest of the week that preceded it.

We got there about 10am and the first couples started coming out at 10:45 or so.  I forgot to bring my spare camera battery so of course the one I had in my camera was low and died at 11:30.  I can usually squeeze out a few extra pictures if I turn it on briefly, snap, and turn it back off, and that's how I managed to get this one, which has been the most popular so far:

seattle gay marriage 37

Here's a few of the other happy couples:

seattle gay marriage 36

seattle gay marriage 28

seattle gay marriage 26

seattle gay marriage 25

seattle gay marriage 38

There was one little boy who was determined that every single couple that came down the stairs needed flowers:

seattle gay marriage 30

I missed getting a picture of the little girl who was dressed as a flower girl and throwing flower petals on the newlyweds. I also missed getting a picture of one bride digging flower petals out of the front of her blouse.  There was so much laughter today.  And so many flowers!  Everyone had flowers to hand out.

Love Triumphs by *dbvictoria on deviantART

When I came home, I discovered that my hat was covered in rice, too!

seattle gay marriage 2

We left a little after 12pm.  I wish we could have stayed longer and cheered more, but the munchkin was starting to tire and I wanted today to be a good memory for her and not the day that mommy made her stand around for hours in the cold.  Hopefully this will be something that she'll remember, a historic day that she personally witnessed.

Congrats to all the happy couples, and love to all!