Sunday, June 26, 2011

JACK THE RAVEN: Steampunk Edition

THE STORY OF JACK: So, ravens are my favourite birds. There is a 'conspiracy' of them that live up the hill from parents house. They're smarter, larger and have a slightly different shaped beak than their crow relatives. They also have a wider range of vocalizations (I have heard them make noises from that of crow calls to what sounds like wild monkeys to human baby cries). Seeing them always lifted my day (fittingly enough, I believe their nest to be somewhere near the very small, about a dozen graves, cemetery up the hill, since that's where I would always see them). I've always wanted (and still do) a pet raven.

Jack, pre-injury
At any rate, after Halloween is one of my favourite sale times... candy being a major contributing factor. At the fabric/craft stores, however, this is when their fall decor goes on sale. I got 'Jack' (named partly because of my obsession with the name and the fact that's the name of the raven in 'It's A Wonderful Life', who was the pet of the director) for over 50% off and while he's smaller than a real life raven, he is not a crow. The lady who cashed me out knows the man who made their fall decor pieces (including Jack), and he shares the whole raven-obsession thing. And thus, I came to own my very own (albeit fake) pet raven.

Halloween a few years ago, I was a steampunk pirate. Jack, came along, which probably wasn't wise, for he lost a few feathers and an eye in the proceedings... He is now made whole and better than ever with a new prosthetic eye with extra zoom and etc. (actually made from sculpey. He also sports a couple real raven feathers now (yes, I am a woodsy scavenger who may have perhaps come across a raven carcass...), transplated to cover his bald spot.


And since I was already playing with polymer clay and I've had these ammonite fossils hanging around...

Steampunk Cowgirl

Costume for my friend/roommate. 
(Since she has a bit of a thing for cowboys, I figured it was a good steampunk persona for her.)

I made: The goggles (an old pair of mine). The blouse (simplicity 4077) in some really nice tone-on-tone white stripe calico I got for $1.50/yd (WOO!). The waistcinch (original design) out of my dwindling supply of my favourite chocolate poly suiting with gold stripe. The bloomers (altered/lengthened version of collette minibloomers) in brown cotton 'lonestar' fabric. And The gunbelts in this awesome heavy chocolate 'suiting' (but it's almost a duck) that I am, too, running low on (love it because you never need interfacing for making belts and straps out of it).

Action shots to come (in a couple weeks when we have STEAMPUNK CROQUET!) Still have to repaint the (squirt) guns. The blue is pretty nifty, but doesn't really work with the theme. They need to be copper/brass in colour, I do believe...

Sunday, June 19, 2011


Not my best work (but what do you expect... I've never really made a hat before, besides the all-fabric sunhat style and newsboy).

With real raven feathers I had scavenged a few years back.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

"Elder, I asked, how did you know it was going to be a heavy winter? Simple, he said, Joey. White man pile wood high."

(Father's Day Present)

So, if you get the reference, you automatically win 1,000 points in my book ;-) If not, you probably 1. Are not Canadian, or 2. Did not live on the border and enjoy their television programs... Which, I suppose is forgivable... maybe. Anyway, the character of Joe Crow is a persona of Cathy Jones from This Hour Has 22 Minutes, the 'nature correspondent' for the fake news/sketch comedy. My dad likes to quote the character as well as make up 'Mohawk' sayings.

 Creating Stencil Image:
Base Image
Stencil Image
Painting stencil
After removing stencil, before finishing

Back detail '22 Minutes' logo

Baby Quilt (I made last month)

I couldn't resist this adorable coordinating fabric (or legitimize a reason for purchasing it). Luckily, a good friend is expecting her first child! Which meant quilting time for me :-)

Fussy cut squares (I probably could've gotten another row out of the fabric, but due to some slight OCD tendencies, I had to have the animals precisely centered). I also fussy cut the corner stones (forty-two 1 1/2"x 1 1/2" squares). I know it's hard to tell, but they're from the brown fabric used in the borders, which would've looked off in such small squares had they been left to random chance)

It's not perfectly straight, but not bad for a pair of scissors. I know see the benefit of a rotary cutter and mat setup... However, I don't do enough quilting to justify it for myself.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


Buckram Frame is almost done... fairly excited about it. I think it might be a little intense/large/mad hatter-ish. But I didn't want a little decorative fascinator style one... I wanted a full size topper...


So far, a decently productive weekend. Pieces are taking a little longer than they should, but I guess I'm just slow like that...

Why do difficult math when you can just wing it and use the 'cartridge' as a guide? :-p (black ubiquitous polypoplin doubly interfaced and top-stitched, with black 1 1/4" wide elastic, brass clips)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Getting There...

Can you tell I can't resist playing dress up as I go? I mean, fitting and determining drape requires me to try it on ;-)
SO EXCITED ABOUT THESE BOOTS! They are brilliant! I was certain the whole time after ordering them until I received them that I would have to send them back and find alternate footwear. Normally, I get a size 8 (because my feet are wide), but these have the option of wide width, woo! So I thought to try a size 7.5, but they were on back order. Thus in a lapse of sanity I said 'let's try the 7s' and ordered them. I was super surprised and pleased that they not only fit, but are awesomely comfy. I wore them around the apartment for several hours just to be certain (and yes, I was in my nightgown at the time... yay for me and high fashionability -a neighbor may or may not have been, very nicely, trying to return my driver's license which had fallen out of my wallet when I unlocked the door on my way in, and I had to be rude and only crack the door so they wouldn't catch me in my tigger cotton jersey nightgown with calf-high leather victorian boots. good times.) What was I saying? Oh, yeah. great boots. And they smell so good, leather instead of that nasty plastic chemically pleather crap. Sorry, cow, you had to die, but I really like my boots.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Only took 2 hrs (That's fast for me, maybe it's not for others...?). Surprisingly easy. Excellent pattern. Thank you, Laughing Moon (#112 View E)
It looks a little wonky on this display form because the hoop (and corset, etc.) are for me, and I am several sizes larger than the form (okay, I couldn't afford a real dressform, so just pretend until I get real pictures of it in action).

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Friday, June 3, 2011

HIS AND HER ROBES: A Wedding Present

So, since I have delivered said present, (although who is to say whether they have gotten to this portion of post-wedding duties), I thought I would now post what I made...

Flannel Robes (of the cheesy matching variety)

One of the few perks of my job: sneaking in personal projects to get embroidered (sh! don't tell my boss)