ladyofthethread: (Sarah cowgirl)
Happy Thanksgiving! We only had a few relatives over this year so it was pretty quiet.

It’s been a while since I’ve updated so here’s what I’ve been working on lately… Not a cosplay but a patchwork project. I’ve had a quilting magazine with a kimono-themed pattern sitting around for a few years. It’s called The Tea Ceremony and I started it a couple of weeks ago with Japanese print fabrics I’ve collected over the past couple of years. There are 17 pieces of fabric sewn together to make each kimono block. I still need to make two more of the small ones but want to buy more fabric first since I’m trying not to repeat the main fabrics. I also need fabric for the rest of the quilt; there are other blocks with teacups, lanterns and appliqued kanji. (Not sure if I’ll actually do the kanji that way though since in some cases, it would be appliqueing tiny irregular dots.)

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ladyofthethread: (Youka)
Well, now that Christmas is over and [profile] ngmaster has his gift, I can reveal what I made: quilted ornaments in kimono fabric. I got the idea at NYAF since there were kimono fabric handkerchiefs on sale at one booth and picked out a couple of the smaller prints. I don’t normally quilt so I was trying to design a square block before flipping through a book and realizing that a fan would be the most obvious thing to do with kimono fabrics. Could have been a little neater but I think it came out pretty well. Did 3 of these in all and still have some of the fabrics left to play with so I might try some other designs later on. ^_^ 





Christmas here was pretty quiet. Just stayed home most of the day and relaxed. Dinner didn’t go quite as planned since the ham turned out to be slimy when my mother opened it. o_o; We had some steak in the refrigerator though so we still had a nice dinner.

For presents, I got cash, clothes, a pair of stuffed bears (thanks, Dave!), a few anime/manga things I picked out for myself, and this kaleidoscope. Bought the last for myself as a nostalgic thing after being reminded of them a couple of months back; we had one or two around the house when I was a kid but I hadn’t seen one with actual stuff inside for years. 

And thanks to [profile] neoangelwinkfor the cute card!

Yesterday, I went to visit a friend I hadn’t seen since last December and it was nice to have a chance to catch up. ^_^ Had dumplings and cake while we talked about what we’ve been up to and plans for the future. We went through each other’s online albums together; she showed me pictures from trips she had taken while I showed her some of my more recent costumes. A funny thing was that she told me one of her friends almost dragged her to NYAF; would have been quite a surprise if I’d run into her there! She’s not into anime/manga although her sister is. Talked to her sister briefly about cons and cosplay, too.

Exchanged gifts and I got a photo album and journal from her. But my favorite thing was a package of pretty origami paper with instructions for folding children in kimonos. Haven’t done origami in years but it looks like it should be fun to play with when I have time. ^_^ 
ladyofthethread: (Terra)
Went shopping with my family yesterday and got some nice stuff. ^_^ My presents were pretty much done so the only gift I got was a little box of Lindt chocolates to add to the stuff I already have for a friend I’m visiting on Wednesday. She’s been busy with work and finishing up her masters degree this year so I haven’t seen her since last Christmas; will be nice to finally catch up!

At Macy’s, I found a couple of pretty Sunny Leigh skirts. That company does a lot of embroidered/embellished skirts; wish I had some pictures to link but Google wasn’t very helpful. The ones I got are both black and flared. One has gold embroidery. And the other has six large red and purple fabric flowers along the hem in the front. Should be fun to wear. They were originally $89 apiece but marked down to about $26.50. Yay for clearance sales! :-D

Then, went to Barnes and Noble since I had a 25% off coupon. I was thinking of getting the cast recording of the “Company” revival I saw earlier this year but they didn’t have it. Instead, I ended up buying the DVD of “Passion” which I’d been thinking of checking out sometime. (For those not familiar with them, “Company” and “Passion” are both musicals by Stephen Sondheim, who also composed “Sweeney Todd.” Figures that I’ve heard or seen most of his shows but not the one that was just made into a movie! *laugh*)

I also picked up the Jan/Feb ’08 issue of Mark Lipinkski’s Quilter’s Home. I rarely quilt but I loved the designs in this issue (I’ve known Mark for about 10 years so I try to flip through the magazine whenever I find myself in a bookstore that carries it). There’s one those of you who are into Japanese stuff might like. It’s called “The Tea Ceremony” and there are blocks with little kimonos, teacups, and appliquéd kanji. I find it rather charming. And I love the colorful “Crystals” design featured on the cover. ^_^ I’m kind of tempted to try making one or both of those someday. Even though my one attempt at piecing a quilt top is still sitting around half finished after years and years. ^_^;;; 
ladyofthethread: (Count D)
Well, there hasn’t been much exciting for me to talk about the last few days. I’ve just been doing more work around the house and getting eaten by mosquitoes. But...

One of my needlework friends is getting his own fabric line! :-D The fabrics are supposed to be inspired by henna painting (mendhi) and some were designed especially to be embellished with beading, embroidery, etc. You can see a preview of the fabric designs on his website, http://www.marklipinski.com/ (click on the “my fabric” link at the top) I think some of the focus fabrics would be fun for a skirt and I might have to track some down after they come out. Don’t know if they’d actually be accurate for a cosplay but all of the colorful patterns make me think of Gankutsuou!

I think this is pretty cool since I’ve known Mark for like 10 years; we’re both in a small cross stitch e-mail group that’s like extended family (I’m the baby of the group since I was a weirdo in high school and liked to cross stitch instead of doing typical teenager things. XD;).

Back then he was working as a TV producer. Now, he teaches quilting, has his own quilting magazine (Mark Lipinski’s Quilter’s Home, published by McCall’s), and the fabric is supposed to be available soon. I think it’s great where he’s been able to go with his needlecrafts. :-)
ladyofthethread: (Renrin)
Today was pretty productive. I got the remaining row of quilt blocks sewn together, pressed, and washed before I stitched it to the rest of the quilt top. I also rummaged through some bags of fabric in the basement looking for stuff I could use for borders but didn’t find anything suitable. I thought I should still have a couple of floral calicos somewhere but they haven’t turned up if I do. Guess I might have to see if there’s anything good at the Rag Shop next weekend.

But, I did find a lot of other old fabric, some that I’d forgotten completely about. I found some burgundy which might be good for a tie for the manga Ayame outfit I have planned. I’m thinking black and gold for his ruffly shirt and red with gold trim for the coat. Also, came across some lavender silk shantung that I had started sewing something with years ago but abandoned. Looks like I have a couple of yards uncut. Maybe, I could do a regular skirt with it next summer or something since no particular cosplay use for it comes to mind.

But what I was happiest to find was the leftover gold brocade from an evening gown I made several years ago. (This dress: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v342/LadyoftheThread/IMG_1366.jpg) It’s a creamy gold and shimmers softly although it tends to not show much in pictures; it’s still one of my favorite fabric designs ever. ^_^ Anyway, there’s about 3 yards left and I had been thinking one of Count D’s outfits would look really elegant in it (even if it’s a Western style brocade rather than Chinese. ^_^;). I’m thinking of the jacket from this outfit: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v342/LadyoftheThread/misc/IMG_1500.jpg

The artwork seems inconsistent about the coattails though. Sometimes, like in that picture, they’re shorter than the skirt underneath and other times, they’re as long as the skirt. Also, the ends switch between being pointed and being square. And I’m not sure what would be a good color for the dark trim if I used the brocade I have. Oh, well. I’ll have a good amount of time to think it over since I don’t want to do another Count D just yet. I don’t want to get stuck as one character since I tend to pack my 2 or 3 most recent costumes for cons and then rotate in 1 or 2 older ones. ^_^; He’s already the only character I’ve done 2 outfits for although that will change after I make the new Ayame.

I also looked through some old art supplies and threw out some paints that had dried out and other stuff no longer useable. I found a box of acrylic painting stuff that I had originally used for a class during senior year in high school. There has to be a packrat gene or something considering how my family and I stash away old stuff! >_>;

And strangely, I came across a bag with 5 packages of little Styrofoam balls, which I have absolutely no recollection of ever buying. o_o; Not sure where they came from since I generally stick to needlecrafts and can’t think of anything I might have wanted to use them for. Not cosplay since I rarely make props and I like my costume items to be durable since I hate redoing stuff so much. Oh, well. Guess it’ll stay a puzzle!

Sorted through some mail, too, and have some bills to take care of tomorrow.
ladyofthethread: (Terra)
Trying to explain financial statements to your mother is hard when she doesn’t speak English and you know little Chinese. >_>; That’s how I spent my morning…

This afternoon, I got an old quilt top that I washed over the weekend ironed. It took a long time and two full tanks of water in the iron due to all the little seams! The quilt top is one that I had started piecing many years ago, I think when I was still in high school. I ran short on one of the fabrics (the green with the pink roses if I recall correctly) and never finished it since I only had enough for several more of the green blocks.

I checked and it will just about cover the top of a twin bed so I’m thinking of finally finishing it before I go back to costume sewing in January or so. I’ve got enough blocks left to make it one row wider and I need to dig through my fabric stash to see if I have anything good for a few borders, in an attempt to make it less shrimpy. ^_^; Here’s a pic of what I have now.

ladyofthethread: (Renrin)
Something I’ve been meaning to write about is “Quilter’s Home,” which is edited by one of my needlework friends, Mark. It’s a new quilting magazine and I picked up the second issue at Barnes and Noble the other weekend. (http://www.quiltershomemag.com) I don’t really quilt... (unless you count the hand-quilted collar I did on my Renrin costume and a half-finished quilt top from years ago which is sitting in a bag somewhere XD;) But I found the magazine amusing (Mark’s sense of humor is clearly there) and learned some interesting things. Like the fact that you can have microchips inserted into your quilts to help track them and record their history. And that you apparently can dye fabrics on a compost heap. O_o;; I guess, like cosplay, quilting has its own strange quirks! *laugh*

Ooh, and there was a book called “Origami Quilts” pictured in an ad that caught my eye: http://store.martingale-pub.com/catalog/index.cfm?fuseaction=product&id=761 The flower on the cover looks like it’d be fun to try even though I don’t normally quilt. *wonders if she could work something like that into a costume* I’ll have to remember to look for that book next time I’m in a bookstore and see just how it works.

Coincidentally, there were also a couple of pages in the magazine with peacock print fabrics and Mark mentioned seeing a finished quilt from the fabrics embellished with Swarovski crystals at a quilting show. And that started me thinking about putting crystals on Count D’s peacock dress… But crystals would probably be a bit much even if he does wear pretty clothes that get him mistaken for a woman pretty often. XD;

Speaking of that costume, I styled my Count D wig today. I straightened the ends a bit and used a hair dryer to help shift the part in the wig so that it was a bit to the left side of the face. Trimmed the longer ends around the face and then used the hair dryer again to get the hair to cover the right eye. Looks pretty good but it might get a bit of tweaking after I try it on again. ^_^

Hmm… And now that I’ve thought about it more, I think it might be better if I made a skirt to go under the dress instead of finishing the pants I started. You can’t see what he’s wearing under the peacock dress but from his other outfits, Count D always has pants or a skirt underneath outfits with high slits. It seems to be pants more often than skirts but a skirt would probably look better since the outfit is such a feminine design already. Wonder if I have enough of the purple satin to do a skirt in addition to lining the dress…

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August 2012

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