Monday, November 26, 2007

"You and the night and the music..."

"... fill me with flaming desire..."

That song has been stuck in my head for days. I like the song, otherwise I'd be tempted to trot out a certain song from a Disney ride that is guaranteed to replace anything else you're singing. (Problem is, then getting rid of that one...)

Isn't this picture gorgeous? She looks like Cinderella. It's a fashion illustration from the Bon Ton magazine in 1912, and the dress is from Worth. This one is from my collection of Edwardian/Early Teens illustrations of gowns and pictures of existing clothing. I really like the period- it's not as fussy as Victorian stuff, but still very graceful and alluring. There's still some real corsetry going on in this one, but notice how high the waistline is! *sigh* Wish I was still that slim...

And in other news... we had Thanksgiving. James came up Wednesday night, and of course we spent Thursday cooking. I did the stuffing and gravy and cranberries and pumpkin pies. James made rolls and helped with the setup and lugging about the turkey. It was yummy, if a bit overdone (Wanda forgot to turn the oven down after she put it in). The pies came out really creamy and deeeelish! I am probably wearing them on my hips now though.

James had to leave Saturday (church stuff) but at least he was here for my birthday. Which reminds me, yet again, I did not get a birthday party! Whadda I have to do, hire a clown and buy myself a cake? *pout* No one sang Happy Birthday, either. I was bummed. But Wanda got me a very nice Pashmina-style shawl, and James found me a couple of new nutcrackers- both bakers. They're very cute and are on the mantel right now.

I'm nearly done with the dress for Ned (brown wool with copper trimming- turning out really nice), and I'm hoping to get Bera's teal dress done soon too. Thursday night is Project Night, and I want to have them done and out of the way then, because this weekend there's the work party, and I need to move things around to fit folks. And pick out some movies, etc. :-) I'm looking forward to it- I like having people over.

In the not-happy news, Zippy is down. She wants new glow plugs. It's been a couple of years, so she's due. But still- Wanda is leaving Wednesday, so we're hoping that she'll be done Tuesday evening. Hope hope hope. And this coming weekend is the Annual Training Conference, and I will be glad when it's over. Hopefully things will ease off a bit at work for Wanda after then.

James and I did a little shopping Saturday, and I found the dishes I wanted for David and Lydia. A nice set- the ones I'd looked at in Bi-mart were $16 for four 4-piece place settings. The ones I got at City Liquidators were four 5-piece place setting *with* flatware to match. A very nice ivy pattern. I hope Lydia likes them. And then there's the conspiracy with David... heh heh heh... Sneaky Mommy strikes again!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I see England, I see France!

I see a Troubadour's underpants!

(Well, they're right there, for anyone to see...)

More 12th c goodness here- a painted wedding-chest. There's a musician with his vielle, and a woman who appears to be dancing- see how her braid is swinging out? The things I fond most interesting about these figures are:

1) the tightness through the chest, arms, and waists. The necklines are forming sort of a v, and the chest shows a lot of, uh definition. Which to me suggests that the neck is actually the slit kind, which once you put your head through opens into a sort of v shape. This gives a lot of shaping to the bust, and those characteristic lines into the arm pits. The tightness through the torso is pretty obviously created with lacing- whether back or sides is not clear. I would vote for sides simply because these folks don't look quite noble enough to have the body servants to help them into a back-laced gown.

2) His riding slits! They appear to open higher than other men's garments I've seen, and yes, it exposes his undies. I have to wonder if this is some sort of social commentary- jongleurs didn't have the most savory of reputations- perhaps the tightness of the garment, the high slit, and the exposed underpants are a visual shorthand for licentiousness?

3) I think her sleeves are extra cool- notice how the lines seem to indicate that the wrists are extra tight? And the form of the sleeve pendants are a little bit different than I've seen before- it almost looks like they're closed and then have an opening at the bottom. But that doesn't make any sense to me, especially in comparison with similar sleeves from the same time period. I'm tempted to pull out some off-cuts and experiment with forms...

In other news...

I did manage to get my new outfit done in time for Crown Council. And if I do say so myself it looked really good. I especially liked the colors together- the burnt orange silk was an excellent foil for the mulberry and the tweed. And the gold embroidery really tied it all together. I didn't get any pictures, but when I do I'll post them.

We're tentatively planning to do a weekend workshop here the first weekend of December- mostly for people to work on 12th Night stuff, etc. Sounds as though we may make a field-trip out to Pastiche, since they are having their open house that weekend. And I might make pizzas. :-) And might see a movie or two.

My bloodwork came back, and it is not happy. My cholesterol is up, which kind of surprises me, because I'm pretty much off red meat, only eat eggs if I have the scramble at Sunday brunch. I don't think that the little bit of cheese I put in burritos could account for it. But the big one that they are rather exercised about is my platelet count. Normal is between 100k and 400k. They get a little concerned at 450k, and I've been hovering between 400-450k for several years now. Well, my level is now up to 612k, which is Not A Good Thing. Basically my blood (precious little as there is of it in my drugstream) is... lumpy. Bah! They're going to do another blood draw on the 29th, so I guess we'll see where it is then. I'm just a little stressed out about the platelet count, as it adds risk factors of which I have too much already.

And... David and I have a little conspiracy going. :-) More about that later. Now it is time for vacuuming!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

The Medieval Chicken Dance

These guys are so funny- every time I look at the picture it just makes me laugh! Get a load of those platform shoes! And the patterned hose, especially worn with the striped tunic on the left. And then there's the peacock.What on earth is going on with that? It looks like the guy holding him is about to slaughter him, but it makes no sense in the context. The picture is Iberian, 11th-early 12th century. Maybe the Spanish had a tradition of dancing with their poultry before killing them...

Stephen was here over the weekend. We didn't do a whole lot- he was on Vicodin for a dental problem and was kinda out of it. We did go to Powell's, which is always dangerous. But a couple of cool books came home with me, so it wasn't a wasted trip. And we had manicotti Sunday night, the leftovers of which Stephen took home with him, so he accomplished his goal. :-)

The new Frankish outfit is coming along nicely- the undergown is done, and the neck, cuffs, and hem are decorated with a broken chainstitch in gold floss. The over gown is pretty close to done- the cuffs and the center stripe are on and are also decorated with the broken chain. I have to set a neckline on it, sew up the side seams and hem it. It should be done for Crown Council this weekend.

Well, it seems to be official- Wanda is not going to do the Turkey Friday this year. The ATC is right after that weekend, and she's seriously flapped about that. We may do something later in the holiday season though. Considering a 12th Night Pity Party, among other things. It appears though that Annie is going to throw an 'Orphan's Thanksgiving' there in Brooklyn, which will involve much cooking. I think she's done a turkey before, but I don't know about the rest.

Now I'm hungry for turkey. And gravy. And potatoes... drat that cholesterol! Boo! I may have to cheat and do penance thereafter...

Friday, November 2, 2007

Polka Dots!

These aren't Carolingian Frankish, but 12th c French- two enameled caskets in a style we associate with the work done in Limoges. One of the things that they have in common that is unique is the polka dots! The first box has a woman dancing and a man playing the vielle. She's wearing a lovely bliaut with pendant sleeves, and it's polka dotted! Wild! *I NEED ONE!* And the vielle player has polka dotted hose! Must.Have.Some! On the second box,the poor unfortunate woman is being sent out of court on the left, and on the right is having a rather extreme hairdo modification! Her dress is virtually identical, with the same pendant sleeves and polka dots. What I want to know though... are the dots woven in? Embroidered? Painted? Or could they be sewn-on bezants? (Inquiring minds want to know!)

In other news...

Stephen is coming to visit this weekend! Yay! He's coming in later tonight, probably on the train. I haven't seen him for awhile so this will be nice. Of course, I'm not going to flatter myself- he's actually coming to visit Mom Food. He already put it a request for manicotti...

This morning (Friday) I went down to PSU to do a short show-and-tell demo with Katrine and Svava. There wasn't nearly enough time, but we had fun. What wasn't fun was the trek to the building- there's construction all over downtown and no matter where you're going, you can't get there from here! I had to drag the boxes several blocks. Not fun. And because I was a dork and didn't read the parking pass (it was early- I hadn't had food or meds yet) I got a $30 ticket! ARGH! Stooopid me!

Thursday night we had movie night- watched Kenneth Branagh's _Henry V_. Terrific film. Morgan finish her neckline, and I worked on some chainstitched edges on a new Frankish gown. It's a soft mulberry wool, and the gown to go over it will be this keen tweedy wool in ivory, mulberry, a soft rose, a bit of burgundy, and- of course- some flecks of burnt orange. Heh. Of course. :-) I'm hoping to get it done for Crown Council next weekend.

Had a blood draw that morning and I was not happy- my veins were refusing to play, and after trying both arms they finally had to take it out of the back of my hand. Owowowowow!

My therapist was transferred to the Tigard office, and that is just plain to far to go regularly, so I have to break in a new one. Joy.

Between sleeping a lot (because I feel crummy) and trying to get some reading done (and falling asleep in the book) I haven't gotten much done but a little sewing. Which is ok. I think I've gotten over trying to push myself when I don't have to. Life is too short for hurrying.