Monday, October 29, 2012

And then there was SANDY

Hey, who knew they were expecting a hurricane in Baltimore?

I only heard about it as we were on the way to the airport, at which point it seemed rather too late to say "hmm, Honey, maybe we should stay home?"

I've never really been in the potential path of a hurricane before. it's...interesting. In a hotel there isn't much you can do to prepare! I think I'll go see if they have any bottled water in the vending machine...


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Renaissance Africans in Europe...and BALTIMORE!

Wow. I really don't know what to say.

Being in an art museum that has *any* depictions of black people is pretty rare in my experience. If we are there we tend to be the ketchup of the show, not the burger...or even the fries. Just the condiment that underscores the importance of the main dish.

Unless, of course, it is a special exhibit of some kind...(sigh...)

So here I am at the Walters and it *is* a special exhibit, but for the first time in my experience it is truly a show about me. My timeline and place in art and the world, and history. I'm surrounded by folks who could be my family, wearing things I would wear, doing things I might do, and suddenly I'm not that weird black girl who likes to pretend to be 16th century Italian. (Like *that* could have happened! ... Insert eye roll here.)

I'm that weird 20th-21st century girl who likes to investigate her cultural history. I *belong.* We really were there.

And I gotta tell you, the painting of a whole gang of Black Landsneicht is a real life changer!

And now for the lecture...

Hi from Baltimore!

I'm here and braving the potential hurricane to see the REVEALING THE AFRICAN PRESENCE IN RENAISSANCE EUROPE exhibit I previously mentioned. As it happens, the only day I can visit the show is also the day they are having a 4 hour forum about it. So I'll be there too, of course, and I also hope to pay a visit to their very nice collection of renaissance jewels, and who knows what else?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

I can be such a scaredy-cat!

I've been sitting on my hands the last few days. (Well, OK, pleating lace trim in my glorious new perfect pleater!) All because I have been too afraid to cut into my plaid silk for the skirt of my first outfit.

You see me starting with the hardest of my planned outfits? I pick the one with tucks in the plaid skirt, some of the pieces of which are triangles, to start!

I started basting in the tucks last night and cut out the back panel, Today I've gotten a good encourageing "talking to" so the front pieces should be cut out tonight. In-progress pictures soon...


I've decided on on making 3 rows of pleated lace over the lowest three rows of black in the pattern. They will be attached to the back of the tucked stripe layer. It means I'll lose 3 rows of fabric per tuck but I think it will look just lovely.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The great bustle adventure continues!

I added the waist tapes to my black bustle and it is just as amusing as I thought it would be to *finally* have a properly protuberant rump!

Who would ever have believed that my natural endowments could ever come to seem...skimpy?

I discovered that the hoops of the bustle poke me in the back when I sit down ('though the whole thing does fold up rather nicely) so I've decided to hold off on finishing it up. I'm contemplating making the innermost hoop shallower but I want to see/ feel the effect of a more professional bustle, and try it with a skirt, before I decide.

So, on to bustle #2!

I've bought Truly Victorian's pattern TV163: 1887 Imperial Tournure and have been altering it to something closer to my size. Since my hips are extreemly full in comparison to my tiny waist I expect I'll be playing with the fit quite a bit after I get it put together, but to start I sized-up the waist band by two sizes and the other pieces by 8 sizes. It really should be 10 but since the Tournure doesn't actually close in the front I don't think it will really matter and Clarence and I agreed that 8 sizes larger seemed to be about the right coverage across my butt.

We won't know if it was the right decision until the thing comes together...

Monday, October 1, 2012

Yeah for birthdays!

My darling Mama has just decided to give me a perfect pleater for my birthday present this year! I have been gazing at them admiringly as I contemplated all the trimmings I will need to make for my new bustle gowns and now...woohoo! A perfect pleater will be mine!

Combined with that nifty barbeque fork pleating trick I think my dresses might just turn out alright! :)