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Hi, My name is Melody, and I'm a Garb Whore. [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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Progress on projects [Mar. 12th, 2014|11:10 pm]
[mood |soresore]

I've deconstructed the mink stole for the epaulettes and sleeve trim on the Dwarf dress, and got the trim in from Calontir.  After looking at five trims from various vendors, I chose one that looks the closest to what is in the video.  I also got the belt in the mail today; I'll be replacing the belting with some gold leather.

Now that the storm has finally hit, my back is no longer killing me, like it did yesterday.  I guess I must have a touch of arthritis in my back--incoming storms make it really hurt now.
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Belated report from the NYC trip [Mar. 9th, 2014|05:47 pm]
[mood |artisticartistic]

We bought some peacock irridescent trim for Michelle's bodice, some blue zircon colored Swarovski crystals for the tiara, green and peacock tulle for the inner layers of the skirt, a crystal for her golden necklace, and some ribbon for the lacing.  We also got some Italian linen for the chemise body.

I found some gold jacquard ribbon trim that I was going to use for the Dwarf woman dress, but decided against it later.  It won't go to waste.  Heavily beaded, it would make a lovely crown.  I also finally found some bright teal wool.  It's not what I really wanted, it's a fine knit.  But it is exactly the right color, and with some flatlining I'll make it work.  And while we were looking for the crystal for the necklace, I found a necklace that is almost exactly like the necklace in the movie.  With some minor adjustment, it will match exactly.
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Long time between posts.... [Mar. 9th, 2014|04:53 pm]
[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]

I finished the first few things for the Peacock Fairy costume for the Margo Anderson costume contest.  I put together the peacock wings using a mixture of peacock feather pads, and tail eye feathers.  I've attached them to the motor, and they will flap.  I'm changing the bodice opening to the side backs so I can attach the wings to the center back permanently.  I've also finished preparing the feather pads for the epaulettes.  I had purchased a gold toned tiara with clear rhinestones.  I've replaced the clear rhinestones with Swarovski crystals in blue zircon color, which is as close to peacock blue as you can get in Swarovski.  I've made a "topknot" of peacock crest feathers and used a folded circle of gold leather as its base.  The topknot of crest feathers was then epoxied to the tiara to make the headpiece.

The bodice has been cut out in the white denim and fitted.  I've attached the casings for the boning, and next I'll cut out two layers of the peacock silk charmeuse for the outer layer and lining.  I also have to pull out the epaulette pattern pieces and skirt pieces for making the rest of the fairy outfit.  I will be using the Italian chemise pattern with linen for the body, and the embroidered mesh for the sleeves.  I'll use some of the scalloped selvages of the mesh as a trim around the neckline, and use the scalloped selvages as the ends of the sleeves.

I've gotten the teal wool for the Dwarf woman dress.  The fur stole that I'll be using for the epaulettes and the ends of the sleeves has arrived.  I've looked at the movie several times, and searched online, but I still can't find exactly the same jacquard trim for the bodice of the dress.  So I've ordered several different trims online, and I'll try each against the rest of the dress and see which one looks best.  I was able to find a belt buckle that is almost exactly like the one on the dress.  I'll make the belt out of some of my gold leather.  I'm still waiting for the orange silk for the petticoat.  I'll probably have enough Italian linen left over from Michelle's chemise body to make myself a short chemise for this outfit.  Looking at the lines of the usual Dwarvish dress, I'll probably make a corded bodice because their bodices do show smooth curves.  It will also be more comfortable that way.

I've also gotten the redwork fabric that I need to make the chemise I'll need for my red riding vest.  That is also coming along, with the pattern planning done.  Then I can make the black poofy pants to go with it.  Mike is giving my his fedora hat to wear with it--I only need to make/purchase a black and red feathered hat pin to tie it all together to make a traveler's outfit.
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Finally got started. [Feb. 21st, 2014|02:08 am]
[mood |busybusy]

I sewed the muslin for Michelle's peacock fairy dress this week.  I tried it on her on Wednesday, and made a few adjustments.  We will be going into NYC tomorrow to purchase the last few thing that we need for it.  I'll also try the adjusted muslin for the bodice on her tomorrow before we go.  I need to get trim, several layers of tulle in different colors for the underskirts, and some more feather pads to cover the bodice.

I also need to make new pairs of poofy pants for Wicked Fair.  A black pair for the pirate outfit, and a green pair for my elven outfit.  We're going to a Thai restaurant on Saturday to meet with some of our friends.  What a surprise it will be when we show up as pirates!

We  met with the TIAACref representative today to set up my retirement pension.  So I only have to do one more meeting with the HR people to get the insurance and health care details taken care of.  I will officially be retired on March 1.  Then I'll start getting Social Security late in March, and my pension as of April 1.  I just have to print out and fill in some forms and mail them this weekend.  We'll print them at Kinkos.

I'll post when I get back from NYC tomorrow.
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And the wheels of justice continue to grind slowly.... [Feb. 11th, 2014|02:17 pm]
[mood |aggravatedaggravated]

We went to court again today.  The defendant's lawyer asked for another continuance.  I think that the first continuance was to challenge the forensics.  It was a blood test for the BAC.  I think that the attempt to challenge the forensics failed.  So this time the lawyer will be challenging the fact that the blood test was taken "without consent."  The hearing will be in two weeks.  His lawyer said that "We probably wouldn't want to go to it."  Bullshit!  We will be there.

I think the BAC was probably pretty bad, so they're trying to prove that the blood test was unlawfully taken.  The lawyer said that he was so banged up that he was "out of it" and couldn't give consent to them testing his blood.  Well, he had just run into somebody, and the police smelled alcohol on his breath when they took him out of the truck.  So what were they supposed to do?  Try to get a warrant at midnight?  I think that "exigent circumstances" gave the police the right to ask for the blood test.  If he hadn't been injured and being taken away, they WOULD have done a breathalyzers test.

And another thing, the people who were treating him would have to know what drugs were in his system (including alcohol) so that they could treat him.  If they gave him a pain killer that interacted with alcohol, they could kill him.  So we will go to the hearing, and hopefully soon after that there will be a trial.

The nice thing about being retired is I don't have to worry about taking off for court.  I have LOTS of time.
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Snow, snow, snow. [Feb. 5th, 2014|05:02 pm]
[mood |annoyedannoyed]

I can't wait for the weather to clear.  I'm getting heartily sick of winter weather.  
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First 2.8 days of retirement [Feb. 1st, 2014|12:32 am]
[mood |bouncybouncy]

Wednesday I went to a movie after working for the last 1.5 hours.  We saw American Hustle, which I really enjoyed.  Then I made  turkey shepherd's pie  while Mike was in dialysis.  Thursday and Friday were just lazy days, but I did manage to sort through the bags of mail that were cluttering up the floor of the sewing room.

I want to finish up the folding of the laundry and clean up the sewing room this weekend; it is getting too cluttered.  I'll probably purchase another bin to store the Etsy project materials.

I also found a calendar and marked the dates of the rehearsals, and the dates of our conferences.  And I found the gift certificate for the railroad trip, which I had misplaced.  Whew!

Tomorrow I want to hit the mall and use my gift certificate from work to buy another purse, some bras, and a mouse for my new computer.  And I might pick up another copy of the extended version of the Hobbit, since that is also misplaced.

Circle for Candlemass will be next weekend.

I really like being retired--I don't have to worry about not getting enough sleep.  I just go to bed when I want, and get up 8 hours later.  Woo hoo!
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Rutgers give Dobby pension! [Jan. 29th, 2014|04:32 pm]
[mood |bouncybouncy]

Dobby is FREE!
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Last full day! [Jan. 28th, 2014|08:05 am]
[mood |bouncybouncy]

YAAAAY!  Tomorrow I come in for 1.5 hours, and then I'm done.

My retirement party is this afternoon from 2 - 4 PM.
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Weekend report [Jan. 27th, 2014|01:31 pm]
[mood |bouncybouncy]

Saturday and Sunday I did 90% of the laundry.  Now I just have to fold it up and put it away.

Sunday we went to the movies with Loretta and Fred.  We saw Gravity in 3D--us for the second time, and them for the first.

After today I have 1.2 days to go.

I'm outta here soon.
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Thursday night [Jan. 24th, 2014|11:09 am]
[mood |busybusy]

I did the grocery shopping and put away the perishables.  Then we had shrimp cooked with garlic and olive oil for dinner, accompanied by Bruschetta on toasted Italian bread.  YUMMY!

This is my LAST Friday at LSM--my last Friday that I have to work.  Woo hoo!  2.2 days left after today.

Last night I conferred on the phone with Michelle, and we chose a fabric for the ballerina skirt for the peacock fairy dress.  It is an awesome embroidered mesh fabric in peacock blue.  The embroidery is of peacock eye feathers.  It wasn't cheap, but it will look outstanding--especially when I put a second layer of tulle underneath it (or maybe two layers--I'll see how it looks).  There will be enough left over to make something to sell on Etsy.

I still have a few questions for her--

  1. Does she want the wings to flap (I've got a motor to make them move)?

  2. How are we going to finish the bottom part of the bodice?  A row of feathers?  Extra feather pads trimmed to make tabs?  Fabric tabs with trim on the ends?

  3. Does she approve of the tiara I've bookmarked in eBay?  It's very small and simple--it would be easy to add the peacock crown feathers to it, and I'll replace the rhinestones with peacock blue rhinestones.

  4. Does she still want the peacock printed tights, or just want to wear plain white ones.

  5. What kind of fabric does she want to use for the chemise sleeves?  I've got several lovely embroidered organza pieces we could use.  And the body will be made of linen to absorb sweat--this is a dress that will be spot cleaned only!

  6. I still have to find shoes for her, but I'm starting to think about buying dyeable shoes and just having them dyed the right color--or maybe covering them myself with the fabric.

  7. What color tulle should we use for the underskirt?  Or maybe we should use organza--once the fabric arrives I'll be able to hold a sample of it over various fabrics to see how it interacts.  I'm hoping to get an effect like my Elven cape--one color shines through another and creates a shimmering effect.

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Wednesday/Thursday report [Jan. 23rd, 2014|10:08 am]
[mood |bouncybouncy]

Last night I stopped at the Stop 'n' Shop on my way back from dropping Mike off at dialysis.  I bought more chocolate, and was able to find dried cherries.  So, the last batch of fudge was made with cherries.  I brought the two boxes in to work today, and gave one to Mike to pass on to the neighbors.  Bob was very nice, and did our sidewalks with his snowblower on Tuesday.  We can't get ours to start, even with replacing the gas, so Mike and Will will take it for servicing on Friday.  Tonight, I'll do the grocery shopping--last night I ordered dinners for us from Romano's.

I finished up the embroidery of the Elven vest last night.  I had enough thread to do it, so the extra I purchased will be used for something else.  It's very pretty, so it won't go to waste.  Last night I also went over the different fairy dress plans with Michelle, and we settled on a draft that included choices from each sketch I had made.  I've marked on eBay most of the stuff that I want to buy, and we'll do some further firming up of the plans before I come up with the final sketch.  I will be purchasing the stuff I need in batches, since some of it is expensive, but the outfit SHOULD be a prize winner, either in the Margo Anderson contest, or at costume contests like the Witches Ball or the Halloween contest at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire.

3.2 days after today to go.
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Snow [Jan. 22nd, 2014|12:50 pm]
[mood |creativecreative]

It took about an hour to get home yesterday.  Tonight is dialysis for Mike, so we'll get dinner at the pizza place, and then I'll shop tomorrow night.  Mike will pick up Will for shoveling today.  We started work at noon.

That is all.  I did the machine embroidery on the collar and one epaulette yesterday--just one epaulette to go, then I can cut out the other layers and start assembling the Elven vest.

I just signed up for another costume contest.  Margo Anderson is running a "Midsummer Night's Dream" contest.  Using her patterns, I will be making a fairy costume for Michelle.  She's been wanting a particular fairy costume for ages, so this is a good excuse to make it.  And she can wear it to other costume contests, like the one at the PA renaissance fair, or the Witches' Ball.  So last night I sketched several possibilities, and we'll go over the plans tonight so Michelle can have some input into the choices.
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Weekend update [Jan. 21st, 2014|10:45 am]
[mood |chipperchipper]

5.2 days after today.

This weekend I opened up and set up my computer.  It's really nice, and nice to have one that is devoted only to ME.  Mike is NOT getting the password for this one.  I also signed up for Lumosity to keep myself sharp after I retire.

I did some of the embroidery on the Elven vest.  The front and back pieces are totally done.  And I marked the epaulettes and the collar for doing the embroidery on them.  I think I'm going to run out of the right thread, so I ordered some more.  I went to Fabric Warehouse on Sunday, and found a 40% off sale.  I picked up two different floral embroidery fabrics for vests, and one that will make a nice Steampunk vest once I get some findings to use for trim.  Then I went to Joann's and bought some white denim (they didn't have any drill), a pattern for a short skirt for Michelle to go with the Cream O' Roses vest, and a piece of cotton/poly fabric that has a floral character to use making the skirt.  It was in the remnants bin, so it was inexpensive.  Now I just need to find out from Michelle what length she wants the skirt to be.  The pattern is a mini, but she might want it a little longer.

I made the fudge for my office, and when I gave it out today, I realized that I had miscalculated.  I need another two boxes.  So when I go shopping tomorrow I'll pick up some more chocolate and make another batch.  That's okay, since there were at least two people out today, so I'll just give it to them on Thursday.  We are rescheduling my retirement party to next week, since it looks like there will be lots of people out tomorrow.  That's fine with me.

We're currently having a snow storm in central New Jersey, so the shopping trip I was planning on today will be postponed until tomorrow.  We'll pick up what we need for today and tomorrow morning on the way home at Quik Check.

And I just found out today--we were cast in the New Jersey Renaissance Fair!  Woo Hoo!  There will be some parades in the next few months that we'll participate in, and rehearsals start in March.  I'm hoping that we can give some input on what characters that we want to play.  Mike and I have some wonderful Italian Renaissance clothing that we could use to play the parents of Romeo or Juliet.
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soon..... [Jan. 14th, 2014|11:43 am]
[mood |bouncybouncy]

10.2 days after today.
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Weekend report [Jan. 13th, 2014|01:20 pm]
[mood |happyhappy]

Well, the halls are completely undecked, and the furniture moved back to its regular positions.  Chip and the cats are happy that it's easier to look out the front window now.  And all the stuff sitting around jamming up the hallway has been cleared.  The holiday stuff has been taken downstairs to the kitchen.  Mike and Will hung some pictures in the man cave.  I also started clearing up the "stuff" that's sitting around in the living room and dining room.  The dining table is partially cleared.  This week I need to get a new tablecloth, and pick up and do the laundry.

On Saturday we went to Bordentown and auditioned for the New Jersey Renaissance Fair.  This year's theme is going to be VERY interesting.  Shakespeare will be coming to town, and the town will be filled with Shakespearean characters.  I can think of a few that I would really like to do (The nurse in Romeo and Juliet, a Montague or Capulet mother, one of the witches in MacBeth to name a few).  We'll see how I am cast.  For my audition, I recited the poem The Shah's Embroidered Pants, which is a funny shaggy dog story.  Then we did about 30 minutes of interactive improvisation with the other cast members.  I'm pretty sure that we will get in as supporting cast.  I'm really looking forward to it--they are a great bunch of people to work with.  And while we were improvising, there was a camera man filming us.  Apparently, NJRF will be the subject of a TBS documentary on the putting on of a Renaissance fair.  Cool!
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Getting closer! [Jan. 9th, 2014|08:14 am]
[mood |bouncybouncy]

Not counting today, I have 12.2 days left to work.

Focusing on getting my projects in order so that they can be passed on, and clearing out my cubicle.

This weekend I'll make my holiday fudge and bring it in on Monday.  I have all the supplies and some plastic containers to pack it in.  I'll do that as I'm undecking the halls and finishing up the current laundry.  The weather is going to be rainy on Saturday, so it will be a good day to stay in.

We may very well pick out and order my new computer this weekend.  I just realized that we get paid three times this month.  Sweet!  That will make it easier to put aside extra money for the month that I will not get paid my pension.
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CRAP! It's COLD! [Jan. 7th, 2014|08:20 am]
[mood |coldcold]

It was two degrees on my way to work this morning.  I ran out to the car this morning to warm up the car and retrieve my winter coat.  The lining was CRUNCHY!  I wore a sweater, sweatshirt jacket and winter coat, and I wasn't overheated.

I planned on making my Yule fudge for the office over the weekend, but the weather and roads were too bad to want to go grocery shopping.  So I did the shopping last night.  Tonight I'll be making the fudge, and I'll bring it in tomorrow.  It's a good thing to do since I want to stay inside.  I couldn't find any dried cherries, so one batch will have Heath  bar crunchies mixed in instead.

Talking of going out--I won't need to drive Michelle to work anymore.  Her office is closing in Hillsborough, and she's been transferred to the New Brunswick office.  She will be able to walk to work, or take a campus bus there.  We will continue to pick her up in the field if she wants, but no more driving to Hillsborough twice a day.  WOO HOO!  My life has just been made MUCH easier.  We'll still help her get her driver's license, and a car, but now we're no longer tied to the area for transporting her every day.  Amusingly, this is the office where she went for her first interview--the one where she was timid and unsure because she was afraid that her skirt was going to fall down!

Things are starting to come together for retirement.  I've filled out my absence record, and applied for Social Security.   I got a letter confirming my info, and it turns out that they have my birth date wrong.  I will have to go to a local office with my birth certificate.  Later this month I have to set up an appointment with TIAA-CREF for my pension.

I still have to finish the Elven vest, and then I'll work on my chemise, and several pairs of poofy pants for Mike and me.
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Holiday report [Jan. 2nd, 2014|10:51 am]
[mood |cheerfulcheerful]

Just a quick listing of the high points:

We picked up Mike's new desk chair and Melissa and I put it together last night.  It's very comfortable for him.
We finally got Steve back, and he's driving just fine.  Now we can take Michelle out for driving practice.
The house is well on its way to being totally cleaned up from the party.  We'll probably spend the next two nights undecking the halls and putting stuff away.
I gave the Cream O' Roses vest to Michelle for Christmas, and she was thrilled.
We got notification that the court case against the drunk driver is this month.  Mike will attend.
We saw the second Hobbit movie on Christmas day dressed as Elves.  Many pictures were taken of us, which makes me happy.
Romeo continues to fit in extremely well.  I bought two small pieces of cat furniture, and the cats are loving hanging out in them by the heating ducts.  Sonya is frequently in one, with Romeo hanging out right next to her.  Ollie still occasionally jumps on her to play, but MUCH less frequently, since he now has Romeo to play with.
While I was out I applied for Social Security, so it will start when I retire.
I got all of the vest supplies that I had ordered while I was home, so I can start on the peacock vest as soon as I finish the Elven vest.  And I also have the red trim for the chemise that I'll be making to go with the red leather riding vest.  After I make the Elven vest, I might take a break and make the chemise, my two pair of poofy pants (green and black) and the new black wool poofy pants for Mike.
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Just slogging through... [Dec. 24th, 2013|08:52 am]
[mood |bouncybouncy]

the last work day of 2013.  I then have off until January 2.

Merry Christmas, Happy Yule, Merry Kwanza, Happy Holidays to everyone!
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