Hello DW

Dec. 30th, 2016 05:27 pm
life_of_glamour: (Laina Saturnalia)
Well here I am. The genies are in the process of importing my LJ journal, and I'm working on finding people and adding them. Add me if we're friends elsewhere! I hope this can be a community like the one I've known and loved and relied on and grown with on LJ over the years.
life_of_glamour: (hammer time!)
So here's the deal: If you haven't posted on your own journal in years, or posted a comment, I'm dropping you because you're not really here or participating. If I dropped you and you ARE here but you just lurk and you want to still read, drop me a comment and I'll reinstate you.
I'm bummed about the loss of community here, but I'm not going to leave a bunch of big gaping holes with windows into my life flapping away in the ether, either.
life_of_glamour: (Pink Ruff)
I actually made a set of ruffs. A custom job, I'm sure you'll never guess for whom. I was asked to use this lace for a suite of ruffs:


I unfortunately neglected to place anything in the picture for scale, but it's a big chunky pattern - those fleurs are 3 inches top to bottom!. And the lace is seriously chunky too - thick, not at all like the spindly fine laces I'm accustomed to using. I finished up the construction back before my hands went hurty, and starched them last weekend. Once starched they became a total hot cold, stiff mess. Wasn't sure I could actually bring any sort of order to them, but I gave it a shot today (and I've got the blisters to prove it) and got this:


The tips of the fleurs are sticking out at odd angles like spiney little sea creature mutants, but I think that lends charm.
life_of_glamour: (Default)
We're in Wales!Wales....somewhere in the Midwest, I hear. )
life_of_glamour: (Laureling Day)
Saturday I debuted my new Visard Mask. This is a mask worn by 16th and 17th century ladies to protect their face when traveling and outdoors to prevent a tan which would imply that they worked in the field. The masks were generally of black velvet on the outside, silk or sweet leather on the inside, and stiffened by a "pressed-paper" inner layer. There are two extant examples that I'm aware of, the one linked above which was found in a wall in a 16th century building, and there's one that's made for a doll in the V&A, dated to the 17th Century.

Here's a pic that Theia took, there may be a few others that pop up online in the next few days:

Here's a pic that was taken by Esmerelda of the Lakes. 1482772_838676376148093_1761214339_n

I made mine by using one of my wig forms as a form, laid it down and formed the inner layer out of papier mache laid over the face of it. After letting that dry for a couple of days, I cut the eye and mouth holes, shaped the edges, then cut a piece of black velvet for the outside and a piece of silk for the lining. I sewed first the lining then the outside, first to the eyes and mouth opening, and then together around the edges. And finally, I attached a little button to the inside of the mask right under the center of the mouth opening on some heavy-duty thread for me to hold between my teeth - that's how the mask gets held on. The extant examples each have a glass bead instead of a button, but my goal wasn't to learn how to make glass beads (this time), so I used a button I had on hand. In fact, all of the materials came out of my stash (scraps!) for this project, which is how I've been preferring to work lately.

I found that stitching the velvet and silk to the papier mache inner layer wasn't an ideal situation. I think if I did it again I'd make the inner layer something a little easier to stitch through (possibly several layers of buckram, wetted then stretched over the wig form's face and allowed to dry might be made to take the correct shape). The other thing I would do different is use a different model form for the face. The mask didn't quite reach to the edge of my face from about the ears down. Clearly my wig form has a narrower chin and cheeks than I do!

Walking around with a black mask on was a fascinating experience! I knew that the mask had a slightly menacing quality to it, and I got a lot of double takes and stares, plus several comments about "Westworld" (which is not a show I'm familiar with) as I walked about, and one darling person who I now love forever said I looked like a Doctor Who villain. And several people just flat loved it and the strangeness of it. I really enjoyed wearing it! I definitely had to be more careful walking though because I had no peripheral vision, and couldn't see down (or anywhere else) without pointing my face there. Also, the condensation of my breath going up inside the mask made my nose run constantly, so I was happy I had some tissues on hand.

As a bonus, I didn't get a sunburn on my nose (or the rest of my face) because I wore it every time I went out in the sun (and had sunscreened everywhere also, just in case)! A++ will definitely wear again!
life_of_glamour: (Laureling Day)
Here are the class materials I created for my class on tinted ruffs in the 16th Century. Not sure how long these will be hosted where they are now (thanks to [livejournal.com profile] trystbat for posting!) so feel free to download if you want them, however please play nice and attribute my materials to me or else.

Class lecture handout: A Rainbow of Ruffs

Slideshow: Tinted Ruffs in Portraiture

And the pic of my results using saffron (yellow), smalt (blue) and cochineal (purpley pink):
life_of_glamour: (shattered)
So BART is on strike. Is Oct 18th just the day for calamity and difficulty in the Bay Area? Remember the big Oakland Hills Fire? OK, that started on Oct 19th, but that's pretty close.

Anywhere, here's my Big Loma Prieta Earthquake story: I was 15, a sophomore in high school. I was up in the Santa Cruz mountains being a counselor for 6th grade science camp. Sixth Grade Science Camp was a tradition among Santa Clara Valley schools - all the 6th graders go away to sleepover camp for part of a week and have hikes and lessons on nature and stuff like that. I remembered my week at science camp fondly, and it was a chance to get out and do something different, so once I was eligible to be a counselor (really just an older kid who took charge of a group of kids, slept in their cabin with them and generally kept an eye on things) I signed up.

The 18th was, I think, Tuesday, and the kids had just arrived that day - I think the teenaged counselors got there Monday so we'd been there a day already getting told what to expect for the week. The kids had been all assigned to cabins and counselors and had put their sleeping bags and things in the cabin. Each of the cabins was divided down the middle by a wall into two distinct rooms with their own entrance door and bunk beds for 8 or 10 kids. Each room had a counselor and gaggle of kids assigned to it.

So, the kids had arrived, settled in, maybe we'd gone for a hike or something, I don't remember. When the earthquake struck the counselors were on a break while the kids had a class or something. My sister, some friends (these were bad-news friends, btw) and I were sitting on the porch of the big lodge room. That porch was next to the 15-foot high lodge room wall made of windows, btw. There was a creek running below where we sat. We were sitting there, I think some of the bad-news friends were smoking maybe, and suddenly all the ducks on the creek took off flying. Then the earth starting moving and the roar started. We all took a lookt a the giant wall of windows jittering and shuddering and the panes of glass shaking hard and we ran down the side porch steps (once we realized we were all feeling it and it was indeed an earthquake). Once down the stairs I grabbed a tree and held on. I didn't know what else to do, and the earthquake just kept going and going. We were less than 10 miles from the epicenter of the earthquake where we were in the Santa Cruz mountains, so the shaking was extremely sharp and strong.

When it finally stopped the next thing I remember is the adult staff at the camp telling us to check our cabins. The dividing wall in my cabin had broken in half - there was now a giant space you could walk through between the two rooms of the cabin. Most of the cabins were damaged in some fashion. So we were told to have our kids get their gear because the safest thing now would be for everyone to sleep out in the open where there would be no danger of anything falling in the event of aftershocks. There was no way to arrange an evacuation as night was already closing in and it would be impossible to get everyone out that night.

And so all several-hundred of us - kids, teenage counselors, adult staff, teacher chaperones - slept on a baseball diamond in our sleeping bags. And all night long the ground quivered and shook and rolled and twitched under us. Every time a large aftershock jolted through the camp the kids would start whispering and giggling. I don't remember anybody crying or being scared. However, the adult staff would occasionally tell us reports they'd heard from the outside world on a walkie-talkie they had - we were told that the Bay Bridge had collapsed (not quite true), several people said something about the World Series but I was pretty unaware of sports at that time so I didn't pay attention - and those reports were deemed to be bad for morale so pretty quickly that was stopped.

The next day the buses came and picked everyone up to take them back to their respective schools, and when I got home to Sunnyvale I found that the pool in the back yard had been mostly emptied and the accompanying backyard-tsunami had redistributed the soil and plants in a way that made the chickens most pleased. I have a very strong memory of opening the back gate and seeing very happy chickens picking their way around the wreckage, finding new bugs and worms.

A few things fell over in the house, but I don't think anything of value was broken, or nothing I cared about enough to remember it now. But the most vivid memory that I have now is sleeping on the ground that night after the earthquake, less than 10 miles from the epicenter, feeling and hearing the earth quivering and jolting and grumbling all night long.
life_of_glamour: (Laureling Day)
I recently acquired some smalt, which is a documentably period method of tinting starch for ruffs. Having already done some tinting with cochineal, which is an extrapolated use and method based on knowing that they had purple/pink, I wanted to try out one that was definitely used for sure and true. Image heavy post! )
life_of_glamour: (18th c dress pink stripey)
My sweetie-pops and I traveled today to 18th Century France to attend the Lumieres Picnic at the Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland. We'd been invited to Lumieres events before but had never managed to attend one, so when I awoke this morning with a monster migraine I wasn't willing to let it derail our plans. I popped an imitrex, laced up the corset and powered through. By the time we arrived on site my head was mostly cleared up.

The dashing and generous [livejournal.com profile] demode loaned me a dress for the days as mine is out of commission currently, and Cathyn put on his Colonel's uniform for the occasion. We met up with a lovely group of people including [livejournal.com profile] callistotoni and her gentleman. The dappled shade made photos difficult but I got a few nice ones. Here are some of my favorite pics:

Clicky for piccy! )
life_of_glamour: (Default)
(Note: Part of a series of entries from my handwritten travel journal.)

Friday, 2 August 2013

We got an early start this morning for the Hermitage, we had an arranged early entrance to the museum so that we could enjoy the art and treasures an hour before the rest of the hoards arrived. (Russia has a shorter tourist season than many other European destinations, so they pack all their visitors into the short summer months because nobody wants to visit when General Frost is in town.) The Hermitage is overwhelmingly decadent and opulent, and that's just the building. Read more... )
life_of_glamour: (Default)
(Note: Part of a series of entries from my handwritten travel journal.)

Thursday, 1 August 2013

St. Petersburg - finally! I have been so looking forward to the day we arrived in St. Petersburg! Read more... )
life_of_glamour: (Default)
(Note: Part of a series of entries from my handwritten travel journal.)

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Interesting stop today. But first, here are some of the sights I saw along the way from the boat as we cruised along this morning: Read more... )
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