Things to keeping you sewing and out in the world over the next few months

You'd think 2010 must be National Steampunk year will all of the events listed below.  There are a number of other events going on too ... but i think they are all vampire or "dark" events.  Dash of salt here people as i'm going to find, post, and discuss things i like so there should be no surprises with the below all being Vampires and Steampunk themed (i'm saving the Gilbert & Sullivan event for the next post as it's in September though i can't wait for an opportunity to dress up as pirate Ruth or sunny summer day Mabel and sing about animals, minerals, and major generals).

*most* descriptions direct from their respective websites Please leave comments for any events i may have missed coming up through June.  I will *try* to do this quarterly and help would be greatly appreciated.

Wonderland: A Tim Burton Ball aka Abney Park Show
Where: DNA Lounge SF, CA
When: Friday February 5th @ 7:30pm
What: Abney Park comes from an era that never was, but one that we wish had been. An era where airships waged war in the skies, and corsets and cummerbunds were proper adventuring attire. They've picked up their bad musical habits, scoundrelous musicians, and anachronistically hybridized instruments from dozens of locations and eras that they have visited in their travels and thrown them into one riotous dervish of a performance. Expect clockwork guitars, belly dancers, flintlock bassists, middleastern percussion, violent violin, and Tesla powered keyboards blazing in a post- apocalyptic, swashbuckling, Steampunk musical mayhem. Swing Goth is what happens when rock-a-billy meets goth, and is peppered with a little blues, waltzing and a healthy portion of dirty dancing... all to modern music.

le Mardi Gras des Vampires
Where: Masonic Lodge of San Mateo
When: Saturday, February 6th @ 8pm (dance lessons @ 7pm)
Who: Hosted by PEERS
What: New Orleans’ most amusing hosts, Lestat de Lioncourt and Louis de Pointe du Lac, and their ward, Mlle. Claudia, invite you to a joyous Mardi Gras Ball in true Nineteenth century ante-bellum New Orleans style. Suggested attire is period costume, fantasy Mardi Gras costume, or a fanciful version of period costume century costume is especially fashionable for Mardi Gras but any earlier historical period costume works well, too). Modern evening dress is perfectly acceptable, however, and there is no dress code for the ball. To protect your reputation, masks are strongly recommended.

SF in SF Steampunk Movie Night | Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog - AND - Perfect Creature
Where: Emeryville, CA
When: Wednesday March 10th @ 6pm
What: Dr. Horrible...need i say more?

Nova Albion Steampunk Exhibition

Where: Emeryville, CA
When: Friday March 12th, Saturday March 13th, Sunday March 14th
What: The Nova Albion Steampunk Exhibition Brings Alternate History Back to the Bay Area ... This event is being put on by what sounds like the same people as the Steampunk Halloween convention in 2008 in Sunnyvale. What i've pieced together from the events list there will be a Ball, standard "Programming" which i'm assuming is panels/workshops, vendors, and "games" which i'm guessing table top/card games (i was surprised at the LARP in Seattle and amn't sure if the trend will continue here)

The Legion Fantastique Ball
Where: Masonic Lodge of San Mateo
When: Saturday, April 3 @ 8pm (dance lessons @ 7pm)
Who: Hosted by PEERS
What:  Aeronauts, submariners, aetherial explorers, and gentlemen and lady adventurers of all type are invited to join the intrepid members of TheLegion Fantastique for a celebration in honour of the memory of their founder and inspiration, M. Jules Verne!

The Courts of Faerie Masquerade Ball
Where: Masonic Lodge of San Mateo
When: Saturday, May 1st @ 8pm (dance lessons @ 7pm)
Who: Hosted by PEERS
What: Waltz the night away among the fairies, pixies, goblins, redcaps, wizards, sorceresses, enchanted princesses, charming princes, intelligent cats, and Fairy Tale characters of every other description at the most magical ball of the season – when the Unseelie King and Queen of the Fae honour May Day and resign their crowns for six months to the blessed Seelie King and Queen.

Maker Faire
Where: San Mateo County Faire Grounds
When: Saturday May 22nd and Sunday May 23rd
Who: Markers of all innovative things
What: Maker Faire is a two-day, family-friendly event that celebrates the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) mindset. It's for creative, resourceful people of all ages and backgrounds who like to tinker and love to make thing

Sneak Peek of a summer event...

The Great Pan-Kinetic Exposition
Where: Vallejo Water Front (Same as Pirate Faire)
When: Saturday July 31st & Sunday August 1st
What: The Great Pan-Kinetic Exposition is an event that brings to life the history, grandeur and fantasy of the turn of the 20th century. The fantasy of H.G.Wells, great personalities like Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison, fabulous entertainments and one of a kind craftspeople embody the spirit of the event! Enticing aromas of American staples such as hot dogs, hamburgers, and apple pie will mix with soda fountains and popcorn stands. Contests for children and adults will share stages with magicians, Vaudeville acts, and electrical wonders.

An Edwardian Weekend full of Stripes and Croquet

A couple of awesome friends accompanied me to the Edwardian Ball this weekend and we had a blast!  In case you've missed the last few weeks of craftyness...this is what it had all been building to, and turned out to be worth it even if i skipped the polonaise.

Friday Night

Casual night, well casual for fantasy costumers.  It was a super stripey night for us and the other patrons.  K had been working on a stupendous black/white vertical striped skirt with cartridge pleating all around the waistline so the top of the skirt was solid black and the white sprayed out over her petticoat...gorgeous!!!  Topped off we a red trimmed black jacket and adorable red hat.  T went with a cute Edwardian style silver skirt, black shirt, and adorable short black bolero.  Her skirt had the cutest baby bustle in the back! I had ditched the polonaise i had made the purse for a few weeks ago in lieu of what is now totally the ringmaster costume.  A Mary Poppins corset that held everything and more that my purse does on a normal day along with reasonably flounced bloomers.  Both in a matching dark green fabric with a fun shadow stripe vertically. This is the same costume i managed to completely sunburn myself in at Maker Faire last year, glad this was at night.  The matching hat has been spruced up a bit with a couple of flowers that K made out of silver ribbons.  Thanks lady!!!

     Side of the Party

The entertainment included a lot of fantastic singing, dancing, and great musicians.  The music was always going with or without a band which helped to keep the energy in the main floor ball room high, even though the room wasn't packed.  Some of the acts i managed to catch were: Fou Fou Ha!, Vagabond Opera, Agent Ribbons.  There was constantly something shiny and spinning on stage, hard to avent your eyes.

A quick run through the vendors area set in that 2010 is the year of the hat.  Not only were tons of people wearing them, but nearly 50% of the vendors had them with a large portion specializing in them.  I love me some hats so this is fantastic news.  I got to see House of Wormwood that made the two fantasic outfit building hats i own, the only hats i haven't made myself.  The woman who makes all of the hats does a fantastic job and i nearly walked away with two super cute hats.  A) Deep burgundy tricot with silk flowers that had been tea overdyed and looked completely worn.  B) Orange like the Camel hat in a two piont tricot type style with gorgeous blk/white stripped ribbon cockade and a cute vintage button to hold it all in place.  (I don't need another hat, i don't need another hat, i don't...)

Saturday Night

To the 9's!  The A-game was brought (as K would say).  T wore a soft blue velvet dress that she completely sewed by hand!!!  Stab my eyes out that sounds painful, and damn the dress was beautiful!  She embellished it was a crystal beaded trim along the front neckline and shirred satin cap sleeves.  Topped it all off with a white silk flower...awesome!!!  K went with the full fantasy costume from the Edwardian time as Ozma.  Wearing a long natural cotton dress with a wrap that had ribbons falling from her shoulders and a crown.  What's a princess without a crown?!?!?  Fantastic copper wire crown with white silk flowers on the sides of the crown.  I got out all of the petticoats, edwardian underwear (from Pirate Faire 2009), and super cute Subterranea black brocade dress from the 90's.  K did my hair up super pretty and topped it off with a bow.

     The Croquet Course

Entertainment included the Rosin Coven show, more acrobatics, and super awesome music.  I'm not super sure which bands we saw as there was a lot of in and out to take some cute pictures along with a croquet break that ended in me getting pelted with croquet balls.  Croquet is one of the few "sports" i learned to play with my family as a child (the other was hiking) and i love it!  Something about getting to whack the balls around on the grass is very fulling, and much easier than mini golf.  I'm sure it didn't hurt that it was in Alice in Wonderland and Heathers either being two of my favorite visual things.

Nothing new in the vendor area, but i did catch georgeous chandelier necklaces, and surprise surprise...i need one!  There were necklaces that turned the most plain of women into starlettes, something highly seductive in a black 4" choker chandelier glass beaded necklace.  I'm not sure where to find this item that i desperately need and after some looking on ebay/etsy i'm not quite sure where these beautiful examples came from.  If anyone's got a great source please pass it along.

Post Ball...

The weekend was a blast and i can't wait for all of the fun that's ready to be had in February and March!!!  Lots of other costume ideas were chatted about and so much inspiration was found in others from new and fun takes on top hats to how to get more ruffles out of your ruffles and tons of RED!

Event listy post to follow later this week...

New life for an old skirt

More outfit planning has been occurring for the Edwardian Ball this coming weekend.  While trying the dress i am going to wear on Saturday night the group consensus was it needed a petticoat to help with the fullness of the skirt.  Without one it wasn't wretched, but it wasn't it's best either.  A real fluff things up type petticoat is not something i own, i never really thought that i'd need one.  Oh well... so it seemed that I would need to come up with or make one in the coming week which isn't bad as i love to sew, but i was also sad that it meant buying something new when i already have so many things.  It's not a money thing as much as a being a responsible human and being a horrible consumer.  I am doing my best to not buy things i don't really need.  I've even scaled back my crafting as there is such a large waste generation.

With all of this in mind i set the petticoat project out of my mind and focused on my current sweater, even made some good progress on the sleeves!  I decided to do some purging of my wardrobe.  I really own a fair amount and i knew there had to be things in there i just wouldn't wear anymore.  In the process i stumbled on a super lightweight black corduroy skirt that falls about mid calf i bought at H&M a few years back and never really wore because black corduroy picks up everything.  I added it to the bye bye pile when my brain called it a petticoat!  It had all of the makings to be a fantastic "smooth" petticoat and was already all put together.

All it needed was some poof which was partially purchased in a trip to Stone Mountain for some netting and the some reclaimed light weight crinolin from an old Goth Ball Gown i hacked up years ago.  Sunday evening was spent overlocking and topstitching all of the pieces together to transform a flat skirt into super poofy i'll hold up the world undergarment!  I am super happy with how everything turned out and how awesomly easy it was to find a new use for an old skirt.

The Flat Skirt                  Hand Shirring Netting to the Lining                  Poof-tastic!!!
The Flat Cord Skirt                   Handing shirring/sewing netting to the lining                Just how poffy it is on the form

The dress with new petticoat
Dress with the Poof

Sylvar | Quick check in

The body of the sweater is done!!! I've moved onto the sleeves and have decided to avoid the second sleeve syndrome and knit them at the same time on a long circular needle. So far I'm loving it! I only have to check what row I'm on once and then knit knit knit. I love the magic loop. More sweater to come over the next week along with a potential scarf start, and to top it all off the Edwardian Ball is quickly approaching and costumes are being complied.

Recycle and Reuse

Spiced up polonaise purse2010 is starting off on the right foot.  The first crafty night was held at my house on Saturday and i had a blast!  Fun movies, fun friends, and an overhaul project that only took one evening to complete!

In sticking with my desire this year to only make what i want married with my focus last year to waster less and re-use more produced a super fantastic project that came to mind at the perfect time.  I have been wresteling with what i am going to wear to the Edwardian Ball in a few weeks.  I finally settled on the Blue polonaise outfit for Friday night (Worlds Faire) and a good old goth dress for Saturday night (The Ball).  I had make a quick reticule to go with the polonaise.  Nothing fancy, nothing special...just a plain sewn bag with a drawcord closure.  Pretty plain, and very un-worthy of the grand event of the Edwardian Ball!  I needed a better, prettier, shiny purse.

The crafting evening began at Lacis with some corset boning purchased (not me, but one is coming soon...) to re-bone a good corset that someone had the nerve to put nasty plastic boning into...evil!  While in Lacis i remembered the purse closures and thought about the first true purse i made to go with the Checked Wool Costume in Red Velveteen.  I could totally take what i had, remove the drawcord, re-shape it, add a metal frame/closure, and trim it up for a fantastic purse that would take no more than a frame and some digging through the trimming scraps box.  I found a super cute frame with flowers that remind me of Daisies.

After Lacis and a brief Stone Mountain run thought we stopped at my house and let the crafting begin.  Movies, a bit of wine, and a fun project is an awesome Saturday night.  I worked on my purse while friends worked on attaching new buttons to jackets and sewing new deeper darts into beautiful blue velvet dresses.  We all worked on things for the Ball, it felt so Victorian!

After a couple of hours i had finished the purse using some beaded trim and lace left overs from other projects.  The purse is now totally spruced up!  I love it and can't wait to take it to the Edwardian Ball!  What to work on next week?!??!?!?!

Polonaise Purse ... Teaser

Some teaser images of a new purse I finished this evening while crafting with the gals. More info after sleepz...

Progress continues on Sylvar

Progress continues on the new sweater Sylvar and in less than a week I am around 45% done! It's knitting up super fast as it's mostly basic knit an purl stitches. I only have a few more rows on the body before I get to the garter stitch band at the bottom. The band is suppose to be 6" tall, but I'm thinking I may knit more body before starting the band to add some waist definition to the sweater. Then it's onto the sleeves and my arch enemy ... double pointed needles. I may do these magic loop style on a singular circular needle. Actually that's a great idea! I'll do both at the same time on a circular needle to avoid "second sleeve syndrome" where you put off finishing a sweater because all you have left is the same damn sleeve as the one you just finished (barley escaping with your life). Oooooo! Now I'm excited and can't wait for the sleeves! With any luck the sleeves will be started this weekend and the entire sweater ready for it's debut in 2 weeks!

New Year, meet new Sweater - Sylvar

The first project of the new year is something i've been eyeing for nearly a year...sweater #2.  I've no made one sweater and one cardigan and am ready for the next challenge.  I found this fantastic pattern at Stitches West 2009 while helping Tactile in the booth and being a good yarn whore.  I bought the pattern as a top down all knit together sweater is a beautiful thing.  You can try it on while you go and make adjustments as necessary.  THIs is super critical for me with having no back and a fair amount of front to account for in the sweater shaping.  I also really liked the yarn over eyelet's that ran up the body of the sweater in a leaf like pattern.  Lastly it looked easy!

While digging around in the back room clearance section of Article Pract i managed to find 1100 yards of a black Cotton/Linnen in a medium weight that screamed sweater at me.  Partly it screamed as the price for all of this lovelyness was only $67.  Damn cheap for an entire sweaters worn of yarn.  So purchased and brought home without a particular project it was, and happily.  I leafed through some things and came across Sylvan and decided to give it a go.  So far so happy!  It's super cute and i can't wait to finish it.  It is flying off the needles as i cast on New Years Day and have already finished over 25%.  I think this one is a keeper ; )

So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, good night...

Good Night 2009!  The year ended pretty much how it began, low key and very up in the air.  The passing of 2009 marked a couple of special things for me:  1) the first whole year of living alone again; 2) a rejuvenation of my passion and drive for sewing; 3) strengthened relationships with all in my life both friends and family; and 4) more "me" and less "you".  The last one is important as i often fall into the rut of what can i do for others and copmletely leave myself in the dust.  Last year i made myself a promise that it would be the year of dre_ah!  I would do, live, love for me ... and i really enjoyed it.  I learned a lot about myself and it was the main reason i was able to deepen my relationships with others and find such pleasure in my relationships.  I learned a lot about who i am and what i can and cannot change about me.  I learned i like a lot more of me then i originally thought - AND - all of the laundry list of things i don't like are ALL changeable.  This was a *super* awesome realization as it gave me power over my own life and destiny in a way that i never felt before.  I tumbled a lot in 2009 and am glad for a new year to begin a new with all of my knowledge, experiences, family, and friends.

So 2009 i sewed, and sewed, and sewed...  Well i'm not going to throw out the sewing machine or serger, my best-est buddy, but i am going to try to find a better balance in my crafting.  in 2010 i want to make less projects for events and make more things i want!  This is a big shift as i come from a land where you don't wear the same outfit to out EVAR!!!  So allowing myself to dressup in a georgous outfit that will be seen by posibably the same group of people more than once is rather painful, but healthy.  I don't need to re-invent the wheel each time there is something i want to go to.  I have a fantastic wardrobe and a good sized costume collection of late Victorian garments that would love to be worn over and over again.  So i am going to make up a list of the things i *want* without even looking at an events calendar to compile a rough projects list for 2010. 

One such project that made it onto the list at 15 minutes into the new year is a shawl for a friend to wear to a friends wedding!  I am so excited about this project as i have watched so many of my fellow knitters work up beautiful shawls for wedding completely envious of each of them.  My female friend base is rather small and the men i know aren't ready for marriage so for me there has been no opportunity for wedding knitting which is a plethora of gorgeous lacy and beautiful styles.  More to follow over the next few months as a pattern and yarn are pulled together.  One of the best things is a have until May!  I really super appreciate it when i get all of this advance notice as things tend to pile up in my life and take over the attention that is really due elsewhere.

Lastly ~ New Years Day has been Tamale day for years.  It is a day i devote to slow fantastic cooking and allow myself time without end.  No worrying about when this or that will be ready; it will happen when i t happens.  I find it centers me for the coming year to take this time to myself and to allow a slow start to the new year.  The tamales have always been vegetarian and made in large quantities.  This year i am breaking away from the traditional been and cheese filling and am branching out into new things.  Black beans are still the foundation, just not the only star.  This morning was spent roasting Pobalno peppers in the oven which along with some jalapenos, sweet potatoes, onion, and a dash of cheese is going to make up the filling.  It sounds fantastic and i can't wait for this evening when everything is done and the first steamed tamale of the new year makes it's way onto my plate. Mmmmm...

2010...I'm ready!