mmebahorel: (hollyissatan)
1/20 - the bed is warm. So warm.

1/21 - Going to Trader Joe's at 8:30 did indeed mean no lines and I got everything I needed except celery, which I didn't really care about anyway. I had to make some quick substitutions, but this is still a massive win.

SnowMG (do we have a real name yet? I think we're still missing an official name) can come now.
mmebahorel: (comeawa)
1/16 - gummy bears while sewing are the best

1/17 - Tickets booked for slightly less than expected!

1/18 - Andy Rothney favourited my tweet about coming back to James Plays. (you all saw him get punched out on Outlander because Jamie doesn't like "your mom" jokes being told in Simon Callow's backyard.)

Was nice to have some unprogrammed time off, but as much as I don't want to go out in the cold, I do want to go back to work tomorrow. All last week was exhaustingly dead, like my brain never had a chance to rev up, so I feel like I've been off longer than I actually have been. Would like to short circuit that this week if possible.
mmebahorel: (thelma)
1/13 - praise at work! (but still no feedback on the thing being praised. Oh, well.)

1/14 - Dinner! Not special, just postponed, so one of those "OMG dinner, I love dinner, dinner is my best friend" days.

1/15 - taxes! W-2 was finally posted, so my taxes are now done. I've enough to go to the UK in May, and flight prices are momentarily cooperating, so I need to do some serious planning.
mmebahorel: (squee)
1/12 - Jonno Roberts is playing Iago!!!! Jonno was Edmund in Lear a few seasons ago and he was the bastardiest bastard who ever bastarded, so I am so excited OMG. (I need to finish reading my playbills day-of-show, otherwise I could have known this on Friday.)
mmebahorel: (dauphine)
1/10 - Stayed for all of Bad Jews again; laughed and cried my way through again. I really like this cast now that I'm used to them!

1/11 - No real line at the post office and I had an excuse to get out in the sun even if it was cold. Sun was nice.
mmebahorel: (norma)
1/7 - Sleep! I've not been sleeping brilliantly (I think it's been warm enough it's confusing the thermostat), and I woke up having got more than I have in an age.

1/8 - Awesome surprise casting! After cast was determined for Shakespeare Theatre Compay's The Critic/Real Inspector Hound, when they hired the understudies, they decided to give my friend Britt not just the awesome understudy tracks but also let him play the corpse in The Real Inspector Hound. So I got to see Britt last night!

1/9 - The rain is projected to hold off until after the ball, which is very important news when wearing a new silk gown.
mmebahorel: (belinsky)
Ok, it's just a kickstarter that Chaucer is retweeting right now, but it's archeologically accurate!
mmebahorel: (alisquee)
1/5: My friends' Kickstarter is up! Monster Songs, I shall have you! (and Toby friended me on Facebook after I put in my pledge.)

I think I shared this before, but their Stomp-Kick Waltz is awesome and adorable and so will be the whole album :)
mmebahorel: (queen)
And because if I like when people post on LJ, I need to post on LJ for them to have things to read, too! Also, I really should have been doing this last year when going through that crazy-ass contract, but it's never too late to start a sound psychological practice.

For my other friend sets: the Happiness Jar is a thing Elizabeth Gilbert (yeah, I know, but. . .) is pushing. Every day, you write down one thing that made you happy. Even the shittiest day has something that made you momentarily happy - you finally caught one of the traffic lights on green or you got an hour of sleep after throwing up all night. It's rare there isn't something that made things a bit lighter for a minute. What was a light in your day? So by the end of the year, you have a collection of all the things - most of them mundane - that made you happy. And that's useful for general mental health and really important in stressful times, but it's easier to start and make it a habit when you aren't in "everything is terrible" mode.

1/1 - I gave up on the sewing fail. (do not do the McCall's 1927 reprint blouse in the crossover bodice on a deadline - the instructions stop making sense and you need time to figure out how the crossover is going to work with your breasts and behave in your chosen material. Three days and just under $10 of fabric wasted on this thing, but contrary to most projects, the sleeves look and fit great! I think I can salvage some parts for a future project, because the sleeves really did turn out nice, and I have more fabric.)

1/2 - CINNAMON SCONE!!!! (It was great to see all you costumer friends, but that warm, flaky scone continues to haunt my dreams.)

1/3 - I flambéd a thing for the first time ever and did not set off the smoke detector.

1/4 - My building manager gave us cake.
mmebahorel: (hollyissatan)
Actually visit the gym
Eat more vegetables
Quit worrying about work

These are actually paltry and doable. I am solidly employed, whether or not I get screwed out of the promotion I earned (I got a substantial raise that my boss stuck his neck out to get for me, and he's working on the promotion, with the exact words "be patient, but let me know if there comes a time you can no longer be patient", so he really is working on it). This contract has zero stress, has two more option years before rebid, and has fantastic people working on it. Transition took forever, but I am solid. Holidays have screwed up my eating patterns, I think, but what I really need is either more motivation to cook properly or a reminder that frozen broccoli is pretty awesome. The gym is the hard one because I need to care, but I'm not putting down "on a regular basis".

Goals for this year: try to get back over to the UK. I want to get over in May for James Plays (yes, I know, but it's totally a fandom and I really, really want to see the new cast, how it holds up with entirely different conceptions of James and Henry), but I think that's dependent on tax refund. Beyond that, stalking NTS around the US (Prudencia Hart is in my neighbourhood next month, and Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour will be in New Haven in June).

Beyond that, after the stress of staying employed last year, I have every intention of enjoying the stability I finally managed. Nothing wrong with that.
mmebahorel: (sloan)
January (8)
8: In Praise of Love, Washington Stage Guild
12: Big Night, Shakespeare Theatre Company ReDiscovery Reading
13: Choir Boy, Studio Theatre
15: Life Sucks, or the Present Ridiculous, Theater J
21: Bad Jews, Studio Theatre
23: The Widow Lincoln, Ford's Theatre
30: Mary Stuart, Folger Theatre
31: Let the Right One In, National Theatre of Scotland at St Ann's Warehouse

February (9)
5: Dunsinane, National Theatre of Scotland at Shakespeare Theatre Company
6: The Metromaniacs, Shakespeare Theatre Company
8: The Turn of the Screw, Creative Cauldron
10: Rapture Blister Burn, Round House Theatre
13: Lieutenant of Inishmore, Constellation Theatre
20: Dunsinane, National Theatre of Scotland at Shakespeare Theatre Company
26: Frankenstein (Workshop), Faction of Fools
27: The Tempest, Taffety Punk
28: Othello, AvantBard

March (6)
4: King Hedley II, Arena Stage
6 Back to Methusaleh, Parts III and IV, Washington Stage Guild
13: The Flying Dutchman, Washington National Opera
15: Kid Victory, Signature Theatre
18: G_d's Honest Truth, Theater J
20: Man of La Mancha, Shakespeare Theatre Company

April (11)
2: A Bright Room Called Day, NuSass
3: Passion Play, Forum Theatre
7: Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Arena Stage
9: Laugh, Studio Theatre
11: Freedom's Song, Ford's Theatre
15: Uncle Vanya, Round House Theatre
17: Freedom's Song, Ford's Theatre
18: Man of La Mancha, Shakespeare Theatre Company
18: Murder Ballad, Studio Theatre
19: Soon, Signature Theatre
27: The Autumn Garden, Shakespeare Theatre Company ReDiscovery Reading

May (8)
1: Man of La Mancha, Shakespeare Theatre Company
3: 6th Annual Fool for All, Faction of Fools
7: On Approval, Washington Stage Guild
8: Hamlet: The First Quarto, Taffety Punk
15: The Fire and the Rain, Constellation Theatre
17: Cabaret, Signature Theatre
27: Murder Ballad, Studio Theatre
29: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Folger Theatre

June (9)
5: Tartuffe, Shakespeare Theatre Company
6: The Price, Olney Theatre Center
7: Our Town, Faction of Fools
9: NSFW, Round House Theatre
11: Jumpers for Goalposts, Studio Theatre
19: Hamlet, Academy for Classical Acting
20: A Man for All Seasons, NextStop Theatre
27: Women Beware Women, Academy for Classical Acting
29: Wedding Band, Shakespeare Theatre Company ReDiscovery Reading

July (12)
5: Impossible! A Happenstance Circus, in residence at Round House Theatre
7: Once, National Tour at the Kennedy Center
9: The Last Burlesque, Capital Fringe Festival
10: The Winter's Tale, We Happy Few at Capital Fringe Festival
11: DruidShakespeare, Druid Theatre at Lincoln Center Festival
14: The Little Crane and the Long Journey, Capital Fringe Festival
16: The Bloody Banquet, Brave Spirits Theatre Company at Capital Fringe Festival
19: Hero Complex, Capital Fringe Festival
19: Cold as Death, Capital Fringe Festival
19: The Life of King John, Capital Fringe Festival
26: The Winter's Tale, We Happy Few at Capital Fringe Festival
27: Brouhaha, Happenstance Theatre at Capital Fringe Festival

August (5)
3: Two Gentlemen of Verona, Taffey Punk Bootleg Shakespeare
14: The Adventures of Prince Achmed, with live accompaniment by Tom Teasley, Constellation Theatre
16: The Fix, Signature Theatre
22: Chris Sizemore Cabaret, Creative Cauldron
28: Dogfight, Keegan Theatre

September (7)
18: Women Laughing Alone with Salad, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
19: Uprising, MetroStage
20: The Fix, Signature Theatre
22: Ironbound, Round House Theatre
24: Queens Girl in the World, Theater J
25: texts&beheadings/Elizabeth R, Folger Theatre
26: Friendship Betrayed, AvantBard

October (13)
1: The Guard, Ford's Theatre
2: Inheritance Canyon, Taffety Punk
8: Chimerica, Studio Theatre
9: Salome, Shakespeare Theatre Company
11: Cake Off, Signature Theatre
14: Bad Dog, Olney Theatre Center
19: Bingo, Shakespeare Theatre Company ReDiscovery Reading
22: Animal, Studio Theatre
23: Sancho: An Act of Remembrance, Kennedy Center World Stages
25: Girlstar, Signature Theatre
26: The Night Alive, Round House Theatre
29: The Dealer of Ballynafeigh, Keegan Theatre
31: Tracy Lynn Olivera Cabaret, Signature Theatre

November (10)
6: Avenue Q, Constellation Theatre
7: Allegiance, Broadway
7: Spring Awakening, Deaf West on Broadway
13: Pericles, Folger Theatre
18: Sons of the Prophet, Theater J
20: Appomattox, Washington National Opera
22: Henri IV, Parts 1 & 2, Brave Spirits Theatre Company
25: Unexplored Interior, Mosaic Theatre
27: Kiss Me Kate, Shakespeare Theatre Company
28: The Secret Garden, Centerstage

December (8)
3: Regular Singing, Studio Theatre
6: A Christmas Carol, Ford's Theatre
11: Sorry, Studio Theatre
12: The Sound of Music, National Tour
18: Bad Jews, Studio Theatre
22: Stage Kiss, Round House Theatre
26: West Side Story, Signature Theatre
30: A Christmas Carol, Ford's Theatre

Some very busy months in there, but Fringe was quieter than usual. 106 total, which is a much more manageable number. The big push instead of Fringe was the Women's Voices Theatre Festival - companies committed to producing a new work by a female playwright during the months of September/October. I made it to a dozen plus two affiliated productions - a rarely produced Spanish Golden Age comedy and a US premiere. And if we're going to commit to parity, those affiliated productions are even more important: only doing new work suggests that the plays don't already exist, and we know that's bullshit, but the canon only expands when plays are produced over and over again.

Best shows of the year? Let the Right One In. DruidShakespeare. Ironbound. Man of la Mancha for the central performances by Anthony Warlow and Amber Iman. Life Sucks (I need that script to go with my Stupid Fucking Bird - this one is Aaron Posner's Vanya to go with his Seagull, and he is now committed to doing all the Chekhov, which is crazy exciting). Queens Girl in the World needs a better title but it has such a compelling character voice for a one-woman show ostensibly narrated by a 13 year old that I desperately want a sequel.

A solid year overall. Let's be real: Warlow was the most exciting. Of course I went three times. It was Warlow. I was a very happy girl.

Looking ahead to following Brave Spirits more closely now that they aren't producing in Anacostia, continuing to stalk National Theatre of Scotland around the globe, Guards at the Taj at Woolly Mammoth, and seeing if/how Women's Voices affects season planning for 2016/17 (Round House has been programming at/near parity since Ryan Rillette arrived as artistic director, so this is really a question for everyone else in town).
mmebahorel: (sloan)
One of my actorfriends is touring in Sound of Music, and they're in Baltimore this weekend. I DM'd him on Friday that I was coming to the Saturday matinee (I got a good deal on a limited view ticket), and all this was originally supposed to be a quick trip up. I leave town at 12:30 for a 2 pm show, so I have time in case traffic does weird stuff and to drop off a gift for him before the show.

Remember how one of my tires has an excruciatingly slow leak that can't be found, so I was late to the James Bond thing because I had to refill? Different tire, but I found on the problem on Saturday! Dry rot had set in on all of them.

I'm on 95, luckily in heavy traffic, when I run over a plastic bottle someone else had already run over, and that was enough that my front left tire decided there and then to give up the ghost. Getting over to the right-hand shoulder happened only because of heavy traffic, it was definite "clunk, clunk, clunk", and very flat. So much for a 2 pm show - I can't get to Baltimore on the spare, but I'm right outside Columbia, so I head for the nearest tire store. It is by now after 1:30, so obviously 2 pm in Baltimore isn't happening.

So four new tires, labour costs, alignment, etc. $564 just to get to Baltimore to see Ben, who I haven't seen in ages. New ticket purchased, also limited view but maybe actually better than the original if I'm honest (I think the tower was going to be more in my way with the original seat).

I have been so damned exhausted today because even though I spent a solid two and a half hours just sitting at NTB and playing on my phones (thank god I had work and personal because I hadn't counted on downtime and had partial battery on both, no charging cables, and no book in my purse so I was on phone-only entertainment), the stress was tiring.

On the up side, the show was excellent. I am still pissed off at Jack O'Brien for what he did to Coast of Utopia (some weird cuts, a big chunk of miscasting, and some choices that made it seem like it was thought American audiences are stupid and cannot understand subtext, which pissed me off most), but this Sound of Music is pretty well done. Most importantly, the kids never come off as twee or too cute and Liesl has amazing teenage bitchface (though sadly this doesn't play out the way I want it to with Rolf - she's patently annoyed that he's calling her a baby after they've been making out in the woods or whatever, but she doesn't get to do her verse of Sixteen Going on Seventeen sarcastically even though he deserves it). Merwin Foard might be my favourite Max - he is exactly like Cameron Folmar as Lucio in Jonathan Munby's production of Measure for Measure. And I was there for two reasons, really - to see Ben as Captain von Trapp with a more age-appropriate Maria (the last time was Elena Shaddow, who is my age or older, and Ben is too young for the role unless von Trapp was made a captain at 19, but now he's older than Christopher Plummer was, so this role always gets cast too damned young for the math to make sense), and to see the Maria, Kerstin Anderson, because in all the pictures, including on Ben's doughnut blog, she just glows. And holy shit, she does. Glows. The last time I saw anyone with this kind of stage presence was Janie Brookshire as Desdemona at Folger a few years back (Owiso Odera as very hot Othello). I couldn't stop staring at her, because how could anyone? Of course the Captain is paying attention to her because how can you not? She is luminous.

So in the end, I got exactly what I wanted - a good production from decent seats, a chance to see Ben again for the first time in ages (last attempt failed because I tried to hurry up to see him in Violet before he left and then he was sick that performance, so it has been a few years, we think), and new tires that I knew I was probably due to buy anyway but was really hoping to put off to the new year. And Ben got his delivery of a dozen doughnuts from District Doughnuts because I like to show off and buy the love of barricade boys *g*. (Seriously, I've known Ben Davis for a solid 17 years, it's a nice stage door relationship, and as he's jokingly touring the US in search of great doughnuts, I had to make sure DC was appropriately represented.) So everything worked out, but I could definitely have done without the stress. (and the money isn't an issue - it's what savings are for - I just really did not want to have new glasses and new tires in the same month. But that's also what Visa is for - if my billing period still closes on the 11th of every month, I just barely managed to slide the tires onto the next billing cycle, so close enough.)

And then I got up this morning because I couldn't sleep anyway, washed the car, got groceries, came home, and slept for another three and a half hours. Too much stress yesterday!
mmebahorel: (iwin)
One of my roommates, from her job, received a 13 pound turkey on Monday. After she already had plans to go to her family in New Jersey for Thanksgiving. The other roommate acquired two pies from her job and already had plans to go to a friend's family. Never one to turn down free food, I took turkey duty.

So my holiday was finishing thawing the turkey, cooking the turkey, making stock from the neck and gizzard, making gravy from the stock and drippings, and picking the turkey. Also, I have been eating the turkey all weekend, as you do.

Today, pie roommate made pie for us (yay!), yet is very impressed that I threw together a pan of enchiladas (nothing from scratch) and a pot pie (to use up the gravy) this afternoon. She was also impressed that I made cranberry sauce (mulled wine cranberry sauce, no less). I'm not saying my cooking skills suck, but I'm amused that a girl who makes apple pie from scratch is impressed by enchiladas. She made pie crust; I opened a packet of tortillas. Obviously, she really only does baking.

But I will have awesome lunches this week at work (that's what the enchiladas are for), and the turkey was free, so total win.
mmebahorel: (johnpainted)
I keep never taking the time to post about things I love anymore, as if I am simply going to bore the shit out of my handful of followers. Which is ridiculous, because you guys are my friends, and it never stopped me in college.

So I'm going to belatedly squee about the Caillebotte exhibition that I delayed to the last freaking day to catch at the National Gallery because that is how much I've been avoiding weekend metro.

Caillebotte's my boy. I had to go largely because Rue de Paris, temps de pluie is my painting. I never set foot in the Art Institute without saying hello to it, even if I was spending most of my time in the Dutch or Japanese sections. Did my paper for Nineteenth Century European Art on it senior year. It's the first real painting I've ever had an obsession with - high school trip to the Art Institute for the big Degas exhibition was the first time I'd been to an art museum, and Rue de Paris, in its monumentality took me more than anything.

This was a fabulous exhibition and it was everything I wanted and more. The first room was too damned crowded (my own fault - I knew I should be there when they opened and I delayed getting up and getting downtown) to spend all the time I wanted with Les Raboteurs, but holy shit, Les Raboteurs, in person. I put Les Raboteurs in fanfic because I felt that painting just from the internet. Both paintings of the Pont de l'Europe, which I knew from the phenomenal exhibition catalogue A Day in the Country, which despite its title has a whole section on depictions of the city. The iconic interiors paired up. And then all the new-to-me work that had me absolutely floored.

What's fun about his major works his how naturalistic they look yet aren't - the Pont de l'Europe paintings and Rue de Paris both use unnatural perspective and odd cropping that are derived from photographic techniques, plus he uses the light underpainting of the impressionists that give these works their airy, bright quality. That unnatural perspective is a thing he plays with in his interior scenes as well - extension of the breakfast table like a cinematographer filming an awkward breakfast scene, or a really phenomenal piece ostensibly of a woman reading, but in the background a man reading as well, only he is laying on a giant sofa and he appears to be shrunk to the size of a doll. (It really is a giant sofa - it overwhelms a female nude shown in another room.) The plays on perspective are fabulous.

Caillebotte is really the impressionist of the city. He's best known for his cityscapes and documentation of the building of the new Paris, but even his more "traditional" landscapes that look like Pissaro fields turn out to be intensely urban: Caillebotte bought his country villa at Gennevilliers, so those lovely rural fields are actually the sewage farms. His paintings of his garden include the very modern barrel-roofed greenhouse rather than the "purer" garden scenes by Monet. The built environment of modern Paris was his oeuvre, and he investigated it from all angles. Including gender, which is fascinating. In addition to huge woman/tiny man I mentioned before, also on display were two paintings of people looking out the same window of the same apartment: the male figure leans out the open window, while the female figure stands behind the closed window, cut off from the city. The nude bather on display is male, while the typical one of the period was female (Degas did a lot of bathing women). Caillebotte's nude lady on the enormous couch is half asleep, her clothes piled behind her. So compare to Manet's scandalous nudes twenty years earlier: if the trouble with Déjeuner sur l'herbe is that the women's clothes are piled in direct line of sight, and with Olympia that she's clamping down on her sexuality, Caillebotte is playing with similar ideas but without the challenge. She's sort of open, in that we can see her crotch, but unlike the traditional odalisques or Manet's women, the viewer doesn't exist for her, while she is firmly anchored like Manet's "diners" in the here and now by her pile of discarded clothing. And then, because the hanging in this exhibition was fabulous, we move from the nudes and the girl on/not on display to a series of paintings of the contents of shop windows. More to the point, it's practically next to a painting that the wall text tries to link to Rembrandt's Flayed Ox (it is, indeed, a butchered whole calf, no head, hanging in a butchers window) but that is draped in garlands of flowers and has a rose pinned in a place between its legs that screams out l'Origine du monde (do not Google this painting if you don't already know the Courbet I'm talking about - supremely NSFW). It's skin is the same colour as the nude girl, but unlike her, its legs are splayed, it is draped in symbols of femininity, and after looking at the woman watcher trapped behind the window and the nude girl who is both not sexually available yet not definitively unavailable, all I am seeing is sex and violence and commerce and who the fuck pins a rose on your veal? It is so creepy and amazing and brilliant.

So I had a fabulous day at the National Gallery, which I hadn't done in a while. And I need to squee about things more often.
mmebahorel: (fandomshops)
Is this not the best repro Brienne dress on the internets?


Back (look how the spiral lacing pulls exactly right!):

Closeup of the bodice in different lighting (the lace overlay came out perfect):

And the most impressive part - a scrap of the original fabric so you can see all the work I did! First a round of bleach to match the fabric to the lace, then a good soak in tea.

Ok, so I still have to figure out how to rig the belt, but I am so happy with how this has turned out! And I'm done more than a month early! (I had to start early in case I had to start over.)
mmebahorel: (queen)
1) Contract ended Thursday. Last couple of weeks were so much better as division director was on leave last week and gave up caring in his final week. I am now working on an adjacent contract (actually started work on that Thursday morning to help them out taking notes during an event) that ends September 25. There is a small possibility that the other division will get something together to bring me back on a single project that should only require about 6 months if people actually review shit like they're supposed to this time, but they may decide that the work can be done internally. There are also several proposals out with anticipated award dates before fiscal year 2015 ends. And I've had several calls from recruiters, so I'm not at all worried about the future. Just really annoyed that I don't know the literal location of my work in the near future.

2) Accidentally won Free for All lotto tix for Thursday night. Entered on a whim, not really thinking, and hey, guess I didn't have to talk to the box office this year about whether or not they would let me reserve tickets. So took my roommate, as all my local friends these days come in pairs, and we were exhausted from a busy week but had a great time. Reprise of Ethan McSweeney's A Midsummer Night's Dream from a couple years back, and I liked it better this time around. I will forever and always adore Adam Green. Also, I think this means we have a really good chance of Ethan's Tempest as a future Free for All, and that excites me a lot.

3) I have spent most of my time off sleeping. This is necessary because in the final week, the stress dreams were back hardcore, include a new riff on the Les Mis dream. Not really a recurring dream, as it's had a couple iterations, but in essence, the usual dream is I'm being stuck on stage because they desperately need a swing (once it was Fantine, but that still means all the barricade stuff and One Day More are the same), and everyone pulls me around the stage to make sure I get where I need to go when and it's all scary but awesome because it's the camaraderie of the company. This week, I get the same dream, only it's The Fix, and it's an utter nightmare because, in keeping with the show rather than the company (full of lovely people, including a couple friends), I'm basically left to myself to fail, ostracised in the dressing room, and one of the ensemble guys (who played Hanschen in Spring Awakening) tried to hit on me for laughs. WTF, subconscious?

4) I have accomplished several things: dying my Dunmores (could maybe have taken a bit more toning black, but they'll be fine), tea dying everything for the Brienne dress that needed to be aged, fixing the bib of my green Regency dress.

Unfortunately, the Regency dress may need to be redone entirely. The skirt is fine, the bib is now fine, but the bodice really, really did need adjustments (it isn't really long enough by about 2 inches, which is screwing with everything), and I think I have enough fabric to just redo it. Which might become Tuesday's project if I don't want to start making a fake fur mess just yet. If I don't redo it in time for Regency Day, I still have the purple one anyway, so it's really not at all pressing.

5) Finally ordered Kendra's book! I'm determined to start upping my 18th century game.

I have skipped out on Page to Stage so far this year because Metro is running at 28 minute intervals and not even regularly at that, and I was tired. I'm going to drive down and park in Foggy Bottom tomorrow to make sure I catch Faction of Fools, because they are my friends, but I can't bring myself to spend as horribly much time on Metro as it would require. It's Labour Day, so Sunday parking lack of restrictions and should be weekend pricing at the garages.
mmebahorel: (johnphoto)
[ profile] ladyxjade is having a Game of Thrones party in October, therefore I need a costume. And let's be honest, the best characters are Brienne and Arya, but I want to make pretty things.

So, we're doing the Roose-Bolton-forces-Brienne-to-wear-a-dress dress. Because it was pretty, pre-bear, and we know it's appropriate for a dinner.

This is also slightly a pain in the arse because these scenes take place mostly in the freaking dark.

I don't have the fur trim on mine yet, nor is it hemmed, but it's basically done. Some obvious differences:
- the neckline looks a tad narrower
- the neckline looks a tad higher
- the sleeves are a bit shorter
- the "brocade" portion of the bodice is a bit narrower through the sides

It's hard to judge the neckline since Gwendoline Christie is about a foot taller than I am. The sleeves are a mis-measurement in the lower half, but that will probably better keep my fur out of my dinner. The centre portion of the bodice is definitely off, but the princess seams lay well and I'm definitely not up to the task of moving them.

This is the actual colour of the dress. The dress is made of velvet, to give it that worn texture, and the colour is decidedly warm with a touch of brown. Once I get this thing hemmed, it's going in a bucket of tea to hopefully take some of the residual brightness out. I started with a quite warm, bright pink (a bright watermelon pink, really) flannel; it's been lightly bleach faded in advance. That "brocade" section is an overlay of Jo-Ann Casa Collection lace fabric basted on at the edges then the whole piece sewn in normally. The whole thing came out less warm in tone than expected, but that may also be the fault of the lighting. In real life, it's still kinda crazy freaking bright and it needs some brown age to it.

The crazy part is that not only does the back lace up, but the sleeves lace up the back, too. I am not an idiot, despite my selection of this dress to copy, so I inserted a zipper in the left side seam. Once this gets laced, it is staying laced. The back comes to a deep point like the front.

I just took Simplicity 1137 (the new Game of Thrones pattern), basted together the dress, drew new cut lines on it, and did the same for the sleeve so it would open in back rather than under the arm, so it was a fairly easy project. The most difficult part was drawing in the waist seam, since all the medieval-ish patterns have no waist seams. The flannel has proved to be a nice fabric to work with - it takes the eyelets really easily, which has helped a bunch.

Still have to hem, age, add fur, and put in proper laces, then figure out the belt. I may need to borrow or acquire a hot glue gun; not sure how else I'm going to add the curtain tassels to the home decor cord I've got.
mmebahorel: (smash)
Basically, my job is a hellscape the likes of which I wish never to see again - levels of hatred and contempt on top of deliberately unprofessionalism and general incompetence that are sapping my will to not tell everyone they can take this job and shove it. (I can afford to quit, but the contract ends September 3, I don't want to abandon my sweet Alabama boy project manager to deal with this shit alone, and I don't want to forfeit the extremely strong likelihood of getting laid off after September 3 and thus getting unemployment.)

I had a shouty breakdown at work on Thursday because I was convinced the last bit of fuckery was the fucktard-in-chief putting my integrity on the line and driving a bus over it. Things are only going to get worse from here on out.

Did manage to calm down, did not give notice, am continuing to suck this up. Somehow, all week this stress level has translated into a need to come straight home, curl up on the couch, and eat candy, then fucked with my sleep patterns so that I'm getting my best sleep early in the morning, interrupted by my alarm clock. Fun, right? I could not wait for Friday simply because it meant I could go to bed and sleep forever.

Forever didn't happen, because by some miracle, something has got sorted out and I woke up feeling like a human being, not a zombie, at 9:30, and I went to the gym. Do you know the last time I went to the gym? Before February sapped my ability to leave the house because ice sheets. I did 20 minutes on the exercise bike, I sweated a ton, it was hard, and I enjoyed it. What in holy hell?

We'll see if I can do this again tomorrow. I need to do something to mitigate the stress eating that isn't going to stop until this contract ends.

Things that do not suck:
- Last month went up to NY to catch DruidShakespeare, which was awesome (and got me out of town), and commiserate with [ profile] alligatorandme over brunch about our terrible, falling apart workplaces.
- FRINGE! I was too sapped this year to really do it right, but I saw no terrible shows and I appreciated the air conditioning.
- Last weekend went up to Philly for Jazz Age on the Delaware at Glen Foard mansion. After getting caught in horrific traffic, I made it about an hour later than intended, but I had a lovely time with the Philly gang and it was nice to get out of town for a bit.
- Had a relaxing sewing afternoon on Sunday at [ profile] sadievale's new house.
- Bootleg! Two Gents this year. So much fun, because Tonya Beckman always has the best facial expressions, Kimberly Gilbert is always brilliant as a disaffected adolescent, and Shawn Fagan continues to steal the freaking show.
- Have the bodice fixed up for my Brienne dress for [ profile] ladyxjade's Game of Thrones dinner. Now to put the eyelets in the back. So many eyelets.
- Jane Austen Ball tonight at Gadsby's!

And next week, Tom Teasley doing live score to The Adventures of Prince Achmed - the German animated shadow puppet movie from the 20s that is freaking beautiful - and it's going to be awesome. Followed on Sunday by The Fix! I am so excited you have no idea.

September 3 is not coming soon enough.
mmebahorel: (youngnorma)
Yeah, this kind of fell behind and was finished last week.

It was supposed to be April "War and Peace" and/or May "Practicality", but it kind of fell behind. Also could qualify for June "Out of Your Comfort Zone" with the appliqués. So, uhm, have a dress. (this is why I am not officially doing Historical Sew Monthly.)

The Challenge: April/May/June?

Fabric: Polyester crepe

Pattern: 1927 Tennis Dress from Women's Wear of the 1920s

Year: 1927

Notions: Thread, historically inaccurate zipper

How historically accurate is it? A textured synthetic is a reasonable substitute for the original silk shantung, though technically it ought to be rayon (in the period and still when buying antique saris as "art silk"). Also, the zipper is entirely wrong, but hooks and eyes didn't hold, so I needed a quick fix.

Hours to complete: Haven't a clue. Longest time was definitely to put on the appliqué bias strips.

First worn: Today! At Jazz Age on the Delaware at Glen Foard.

Total cost: It's only 2 1/2 yards of crepe (on sale!) and a zipper; the thread was all on hand from previous projects. So $10, give or take.

July was supposed to be Accessorize; August is Heirlooms and Heritage. What I need is to make a jockey cap before October; the big project is Brienne's dinner dress from series 3 (the one sacrificed to the bear). I also have some really fabulous trim that I need to find a use for, that may be something that qualifies for August. We'll see what I manage.

December Re-Do might be a very busy month.
mmebahorel: (darkness)
I'm phoneless for the moment, as mine is still in my grubby little hand but WILL NOT TURN ON.

The power button has been not behaving well lately (and by "lately", I think I mean a couple of months), and it appears to have given up the ghost last night. It was fine yesterday, but I think I let the battery die before plugging it in to charge, and that appears to have been a very wrong thing to do. While I say I think it's the power button, it's likely the power in general, as the screen doesn't even light up with the charging icon whilst plugged in. It is dead, dead, dead.

On the upside to the timing, Virgin Mobile has an excellent phone on sale right now for $80 (about half the usual price), which is all I was looking to spend, so I'll have a very pretty new phone this week. Paid for next business day express shipping because I have no phone until it comes. Annoying, but should be manageable.

(and I saw a damned mouse again last night, this time emerging from UNDER THE LOVESEAT I WAS SITTING ON! *cry* I am so sick of going to bed completely wired from rodent anxiety. WHY CAN YOU NOT WALK ONTO ONE OF MY TRAPS AND DIE?)
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