Saturday, August 29, 2015

Sunset Over Lake Michigan

 There weren't exactly any grey stones I could stand by while a thrush knocked, but we did bring along blueberry pie that we had made earlier in the day.

Ia Shub-Niggurath!  The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Blueberries!
Michigan was fun.  I refuse to consider going there in winter.

Caturday Post: Tamerlane the Orange Marmalade Conqueror

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Poetry Tuesday: In the Wasteland with Dracula

While listening to my very favorite podcast (H.P. Podcraft: The H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast), an episode on Dracula made me aware of something I had never noticed, to whit, there is a Dracula reference in T.S. Eliot's The Wasteland. Specifically

The relevant passage from Dracula:
What I saw was the Count's head coming out from the window. I did not see the face, but I knew the man by the neck and the movement of his back and arms. In any case I could not mistake the hands which I had had some many opportunities of studying. I was at first interested and somewhat amused, for it is wonderful how small a matter will interest and amuse a man when he is a prisoner. But my very feelings changed to repulsion and terror when I saw the whole man slowly emerge from the window and begin to crawl down the castle wall over the dreadful abyss, face down with his cloak spreading out around him like great wings. At first I could not believe my eyes. I thought it was some trick of the moonlight, some weird effect of shadow, but I kept looking, and it could be no delusion. I saw the fingers and toes grasp the corners of the stones, worn clear of the mortar by the stress of years, and by thus using every projection and inequality move downwards with considerable speed, just as a lizard moves along a wall. 

From The Wasteland:

A woman drew her long black hair out tight
And fiddled whisper music on those strings
And bats with baby faces in the violet light
Whistled, and beat their wings 
And crawled head downward down a blackened wall

This is a little oblique, but as Richmond J. Lee and others have noted, this was more obvious in an earlier draft.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Mad Person-Who-Stitches: Rectangular Trim and Elliptical Necklines

I needed to make a broad, linear strip of embroidered ribbon go around a neckline, preferably without any gathers:
It turns out one does this nicely by exploiting the hydrodynamic and thermodynamic properties of the trim in order to deform it.  To wit, one wets the trim, then irons it while pulling unevenly to force your linear strip to  dry curved.  This trim was very tightly woven, so I didn't get much deformation, but my neck opening had a high eccentricity (very elliptical), and a loose weave, so 'twas enough.

All credit for this process, and my lovely result, goes to a good person of the internet:

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Caturday Post: The Princess Bride-Cat

My name is Jockomo Montoya. 

 You invaded my living room.

 Prepare to die.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Lemon Blueberry Cake of Cheap Hacks

Today, I made a summery cake with blueberry lemon, following this recipe. With the exception that instead of cream cheese icing, I made a more icing which is only powdered sugar, butter, and some lemon juice and lemon zest for flavor.  I did, however, run into a problem in that this is a three layer cake, and I only have two cake pans.  So I used a pie pan, which of course, made one cake layer smaller than the others. I claim  this is intentional in that it leads to a tiered look. 

And of course, I decorate with the Blue Oyster Cult Cross.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Mad Seamstress: The Scissors War

Upper photo from pinterest:

Lower photo of Kady Brownell, soldier in the U.S. civil war.  Photoshopping mine.  Because patriarchal gender roles still need a lot of shaking up. 

And if anyone uses my good sewing scissors for paper, yes, there will be vengeance. 

Sunday, August 9, 2015

The Mad Seamtress: My First Bias Strip Neck Edging

I have bought and used double fold bias tape many times (great stuff, great stuff, ready-made bias tape).  Now for the first time I have cut my own bias strip and used it to safely enclose the neck edge on a collar-less tunic:
The fabric is light, loosely woven linen so I didn't have to be very precise about being on the bias.  But I'm still very pleased with how tidy this is.  Although it won't even be seen when I'm done, as I'm going sew a wide embroidered ribbon around all the edges. 

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Ambidextrous Fan Veil Tricks

After using my teacher's fan veils the other day, I realized that the easiest way to tell left vs right fan veils apart in a non obvious way is to glue glittery things to them.

I have now defined a standard wherein flowers denote a right hand fan, and diamonds indicate the left hand fan.

Caturday Post: Cat on a Hot Roman Roof

via the BBC

Friday, August 7, 2015