Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Tutorial Suggestions?

Good day dear readers,
In the years that I have been costuming for the SCA, I have watched basic resources go from a copy of the known world handbook to a plethora of information, be it extant garments on a museum website or people like Mistress Isobel who spent 1,947 hours embroidering her Maidstone jacket. There is so much information available out there now! I have gained so much over the years from people willing to share their research, and I want to give some of that back. I want for this blog to be a place where I can help people learn new skills. I want to help someone bring up their own game, and maybe my own at the same time. I am a visual learner, and I find photo tutorials to be the best way for me to learn something new. As a dyslexic I can barely follow written directions, and I need to see something in action to understand how it works. So I would like to know, what do you feel is needed in the online tutorial world? Please leave me a comment with suggestions, thank you.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Taking a Bite

So now that I have shed light on my creative issues , what is the next step? How does one overcome years of self doubt and fear. Well, how do you eat an elephant? Answer, one bite at a time.

I have resolved to do something. Something small, something easy, something fun, something that is part of a greater whole. Just something. If I wait around for the perfect project at the perfect time, I will be waiting a long damn time. There is no perfect time no perfect project. As I wait opportunity slips by. The chance to do more is ebbing with the tide. If I want to make great things I have to do something in between now and greatness. So I will do something.

Concept Sketch for Alanna
The first part of my something for yesterday was drawing a sketch for an upcoming project.I did that on my break yesterday, and when I got home I picked up a task that I have been avoiding. 

Recently some really awesome people were invested as Prince and Princess. The Prince has a little boy, and he needed to look spiffy too. The costume coordinator gave me a jacket and pants that needed to be finished, and for some reason I hated working on it. It wasn't my pattern, it was already sewn, I already had a project with the same deadline. All I had to do was the finish work on the jacket, and sew together the pants. So why is there such a block to work on this damn thing? It needed to be done in December. I started working on it only to have my sewing machine eat the jacket  when I tried to sew the button holes.  I wanted to scream "This is NOT my $!#%^& Chicken". 

It didn't get finished, I had to safety pin the jacket on so he could wear it during his father's investiture. So the unfinished jacket went home with them, and just got returned to me last week. So now I have the chicken back, and you know what? It is my chicken. I agreed that I would do this project. The failure to finish is all on my shoulders. A few nights ago I pulled it all out, and got to work. 

Stressing out about not doing the job in the first place took more time than actually sewing it did. Of course now I am going to have to sew the button holes by hand, but that is what it will take to do it right, so that is what I am going to do.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Thoughts About Creativity

Some of you that have been reading for awhile may be aware of my struggles with my Muse, and how I fight to create my art. It really isn't much of a struggle, I usually don't put up much of a fight. I have been trying for some time to make this blog  resource for other people to share in my passion. I posted a few tutorials, and then I let my life take me away. I get caught up in the desire to do it right or just do nothing. My desire is to create the perfect piece, and when I fall short of my goals I am disappointed in myself and I have that much more to overcome on my next project.

I usually perform my greatest work when I have a deadline that doesn't allow me to stop and think about what I am about to do. I can override the little voice in the back of my head that tries to convince me to do the known because if I try something new, I might do it wrong and that would be the END OF THE WORLD! I want to squish that little voice under my heel and make magic happen, but fighting it day to day is such a heavy burden that I fall back to the fallacy of doing nothing is better than doing something wrong.

I find excuses to explain why I am justified in not taking the next step.
I have kids.
I have no money.
I am too tired.
I hate sewing for my body.

It is time to stop making excuses.
I am a skilled artisan.
I am not limited by my fears.
I am surrounded by amazing and creative people that find me worthy.
I am not less because someone else is more.
I am not defined by failure.
I am creative.
I am an incredible artist.

This is hard for me to put out to the public. theses are the struggles that I keep to myself because I am afraid that if I open myself to the possibility of ridicule that it will somehow make me less, but I am not limited by others perception of me. I am not expecting to become a new person overnight, but I am ready to stop fearing myself, to stop fearing that I might not be good at what I am doing. It is okay to fail, it is not okay to give up.

I know that I am not the only person with these thoughts. There are others out there that are having the same problems. If you find this blog, you are welcome here. You are not alone.

There is a proverb "When the student is read the Master appears". I believe also that when your heart is open the message is heard. Elizabeth Gilbert gave a lecture at TED, and it resonated within me. This is the message that found me:

Don’t be afraid. Don’t be daunted. Just do your job. Continue to show up for your piece of it, whatever that might be. If your job is to dance, do your dance. If the divine, cockeyed genius assigned to your case decides to let some sort of wonderment be glimpsed, for just one moment through your efforts, then “Ole!” And if not, do your dance anyhow. And “Ole!” to you, nonetheless. I believe this and I feel that we must teach it. “Ole!” to you, nonetheless, just for having the sheer human love and stubbornness to keep showing up. ~ Elizabeth Gilbert

Do yourself a favor and watch the whole thing.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Partial Post About a Purple Bliaut

Hey everybody, I really appreciate that you all have stuck around to see if I ever update. I have been keeping busy with a few fun projects. I made a lovely Bliaut and have been commissioned to create a Waffenrock for her husband. So here are a few pictures of the Bliaut in progress. Sadly I forgot to take pictures of the finished garment, but her husband has promised to get me some pics when she wears it a An Tir 12th night this weekend. 
Mostly finished under tunic
Bliaut before neck was finished.
Underarm Gusset

Sleeve drape

Center Gore Insertion Point

Side Gore Decoration

So there you are a mini update. Coming soon I will be posting about the Waffen.