Monday, September 21, 2009

Space Cowboy Costume

Here in the Bay Area we have a fun group called The Period Events and Entertainments Re-Creation Society (PEERS). They put on a ball each month with a different theme. This month they went with Space Cowboy’s. I am a big fan on Firefly so I could not resist going and seeing all the cool Firefly inspired costumes. Of course I felt it was only right that I also get a cool costume.

As much as I love Thoreau sometime I need to actively ignore him when he says “Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes.” In my effort to keep my costume carbon footprint low I try to make costumes from repurposed items… or from things already in my stash. (although it is highly debatable if it is in my stash as a so far unused item if that is a way to consider my carbon footprint lowered)

So for my costume I went for a slightly Asian and leather look. I started with a long gown with a bright print. I made a leather underbust corset from a cut down skirt. The belts that cross it are not attached so all items can be transferred to future costumes. The shrug was made from a roll of leather found in someone’s attic. I used an old 60’s Chinese dress pattern and adapted it to get the look I wanted. Mostly I just cut off anything lower than the bust line. I did however change the sleeves. I tend to look horrible in cap sleeves.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Summer Jam

It's summer time and the living is jammy. The fruit trees and berry bushes are throwing fruit at me. I have my shipment of pectin and a stack of jars and a box of apricots, olallieberries and strawberries plus a few cherries and plums thrown in.

I am not terribly exact in my recipe but so far it has seemed to work. In general it looks like this:
4-5 cups of fruit
juice of 1 lemon
(optional: any flavorings i.e. candied ginger, cinnamon )
**Cooked down until very soft
add 1 1/2 packages of pectin
**return to boil
7 cups of sugar
**return to boil cook until it sheets off the spoon
( optional add 1/3 cup of alcohol. i.e. brandy, lemoncello, amaretto)
**cook about 1 minute
**ladle into hot jars
**clean rims
**place on hot lids
**set jars upside down for 10 minutes or so
**turn back upright and let them cool

I ended up making 58 jars of jam with 14 different blends.

Apricot Lemon-Verbena Jam

Apricot Ginger Jam

Apricot Brandy Jam

Strawberry Brandy Jam

Strawberry Apricot Plum Jam

Olallieberry Jam

Strawberry Olallieberry Brandy Jam

Apricot Olallieberry Jam

Olallieberry Pomegranate Jam

Strawberry Olallieberry Jam

Strawberry Olallieberry Ameretto Jam

Strawberry Lemoncello Jam

Olallieberry Cherry Strawberry Jam

Apricot Plum Olallieberry Brandy Jam

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Aluminum Can Flowers

This past month I enjoyed looking at all the craft ideas floating about with a reused theme. I was especially fond of what I called the brooch of death. My roommate started drinking soda with really great colors so I thought why not give it a try.

What happens when you cut up a soda can? Well it becomes sharp enough to poke out an eye or slice open your grandma when you hug her. So for all you spies out there here is a great stealth weapon.

1. Find a can. ..soda, beer or any sort of aluminum can.

2. Poke a hole in the can.

3. Cut off the top and bottom of can

4. Don’t slice open your fingers on the sharp edges.

5. Create a template outof recycled magazine inserts or other paper. Run wild with the shapes if you want however I suggest you avoid pointy petals unless you truly are going to poke someone’s eye out with it.

6. Trace your template.

7. Cut out 1, 2 or as many of the petals as you want.

8. Another style of petal can be created from any size circle.

9. Poke holes in the center of the petals with whatever sharp device suits your fancy. Nail, pushpin, ice pick…

10. Connect the petals with wire, adding any beads you might want. You can company multile sizes and shapes.

11. You can curl up the edges if you desire.

12. The sky is the limit

13. At this point you can add a pin to the back to make your brooch of death or you can use the flowers for your other art projects

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Living History Walking Suit, Chapter 3

I sewed together the mock up and realized with only one fold I had a jacket that hauntingly resembled Michael Jackson's Thriller. That was not going to work. I was never a fan and I don't want to look like one now.
I added extra fabric to simulate 2 more folds on the front of the jacket. Now I felt less like donning one white glove.

I added a rought cut out for an addition of a back collar. I folded the front of the collar to give it a sharper, more military, look. Not bad. I will still need to clean it up a bit.

Next step: create new mock up of the front with the three folds added into one piece of fabric and a better version of the collar