Thursday, April 26, 2012

We really ARE moving!

The reality of moving house is sinking in. Meltdowns are becoming all the fashion here. Today I am trying desperately to get a handle on packing all over the house, evaluating what needs to be packed when and what will need to go to the new house first.

It boggles my mind to think of how many boxes it will take to transport a middle class family of eight one hour south-east. There are eight of us living here now, and with Grandma it will be nine at the new house. Each of us has our own hobbies and interests(Dad: church study, Louis Lamour, and yard work. Jennifer: Ballet and shoes. Caleb: cameras and computers. The rest of the boys: junk). I myself have a full closet of just historical costumes, and twelve plastic tubs of material, two(soon to be three) sewing machines and a huge file drawer of patterns and sewing miscellanea. Jennifer and I together have three whole bookshelves of our own libraries, which comes out to about fifteen boxes of books. It's overwhelming.

Our moving schedule is also very ambitious. We take possession on a Tuesday; we plan to paint, tear out carpet, and buy appliances from Wednesday through Friday. On Saturday we plan to rent a truck and move the furniture and most of the boxes. The following week Grandma will move in with us.

Is that even humanly possible?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

So... We're Moving?

Yes, we're actually probably officially and in all likelihood moving. The papers are signed and the closing date is May 15th. I was five when we moved in to our rural acreage home, so I'm not really sure: how does one move? What does one do?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Adventures in Dyeing

As previously mentioned I recently bought three yards of a sort of aqua colored linen for my new Regency dress. It looked different on the computer screen but ended up almost the exact same color as a bit I used for a colonial jacket, only this length is a different weight and has a different name. I suppose that's why people send for samples, but I'm not patient enough for that. So to alter the color I bought a packet of green rit dye and another of blue, and mixed them to make a darker teal. It turned out well and I'm pleased with it. Hancock's and even has a very limited choice of appropriately colored linens, so it really makes sense to dye one's linen, or after a while all your reenacting clothes will look the same.

 Contrast: teal and turquoise.

I also made yellow dye out of onion skins. We buy onions in bulk, like so many other things, so we had plenty of skins in the basement needing to be cleaned out. I wanted to try dyeing with a natural dye because it's something I'd like to pursue this year. As I dye fabric more frequently and almost always for historical projects, I want to aim towards making correct colors without the modern elements.

 Trusty plastic tub in the much abused bathtub: the petticoat soaking in onion dye.

For the onion dye I simply simmered the skins in water until it turned a nice dark orange. I used it to dye a petticoat that I had already dyed yellow. It looked too bright, so I was hoping to dull the color a bit. It is definitely much more golden now.

Contrast: the onioned and non-onioned.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Week Past and Week Ahead

This past week I once again had the three young F's in my care. The most remarkable events of the week were that S threw up, C cried, and J spilled Easter purple egg dye. Even as adorable as the F boys are(think "epic"), it's nice not to be woken up at 6:30 in the morning! I guess I'm spoiled.

Because a guy picture is becoming tradition: Making chocolate chip cookies.

This coming week I'm planning to make a pale-blue linen regency dress for a young lady, Miss A. I've also sold the first Regency dress  that I made for myself, which doesn't fit so well anymore. With the small bit I'll get for making the dress for Miss A. I bought three yards of a sort of turquoise-blue to make a new, well-fitting gown for reenacting at Ft. A, thus keeping to my self-imposed goal of only ever having two regency gowns for myself(as opposed to colonial, which is limited by finances instead of discipline).

The blue and the turquoise-blue

I'm planning on trimming my dress with leftover chocolate-brown linen. It will have three-quarters sleeves(the normal poufy short sleeves drive me nuts in the summer, because the bugs can totally eat your entire arm), a gathered adjustable neckline, back closure with matching fabric-covered buttons, and a waistband to help the dress sit well. The Regency style really doesn't agree with me, and if it weren't for Ft. A I probably wouldn't wear it at all. I did watch Persuasion(1995) the other day and that got me excited about making a well-fitting, comfortable dress.

I'm also working on another set of stays, just because I had the material. I'm pleased that it's getting easier to make basic stays. I know it will improve the look and posture of the ladies in my dance group when we perform. Now four out of eight will be wearing stays, a definite improvement from last year!