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Shamans and Fairies, Oh My! (an update on our Scarborough Costumes)

2 Apr

So, we picked up our tickets for Scarborough Ren Fest last weekend, and we’re planning on making it to opening day (for the first time!) this weekend. I’ve been working hard on finishing our costumes, and, fortunately, my mom agreed to make Tom’s peasant pants, so I could concentrate on the other stuff.

Now, they’re not your typical renaissance festival costumes, exactly. Tom is going as a shaman/green man combo, and I’m going as a dragon fairy. There are nods to renaissance attire, but they’re in no way meant to be historically accurate.

I finished Tom’s “breastplate” (for lack of a better word.) It went from this:

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… to this:

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I embroidered Nordic designs onto a pleather-y fabric (it’s felted on the back, which I hope will be comfortable for him to wear all day.) There are runic compasses, symbols for guiding you to a specific outcome or trait, and a border design I found online. I’ve hand sewn on faux fur trim, and leather fringe and trim, and added moss and acrylic paint for a lived-in look.

I also made antlers/horns from Sculpey clay to add to his headdress. I painted the antlers with various colors of acrylic paint, and sealed with Mod Podge. Then, I attached them to their own cord to be worn underneath the band of the headdress, which I cut holes into for the antlers to “grow” out of.

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I tried out some makeup looks for my dragon fairy costume yesterday:

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I plan on dyeing my hair purple before Saturday, hence the purple eyebrows. I still need some practice with using fishnets to produce a “scale” effect on my skin, but I like the way the colors coordinate with the headdress.

To view more photos of our costume pieces, go to this post. You’ll find more of my fairy costume, and some other in progress and inspiration pics!

Gentle hugs,

Chelsea

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Please help a friend in need!

23 Mar

Prayers for Carie

I’ve known Carie since we were in elementary school. I can say with total confidence that she is one of the sweetest, kind hearted people I will ever have the privilege of calling a friend. Although she and I don’t see each other often, when my father passed away last September, she and her husband, Tim, helped when we were cleaning out his apartment, and trying to raise money for his memorial, by buying a shelving unit of his. She also came to the memorial with her daughter, Norah, when none of my other friends were able to. Her support meant more than she’ll ever know.

Now, she needs help. On Christmas morning last year, Carie had a stroke. Within the past couple of months, she’s been improving significantly; she began speaking, and has recently been able to hold herself in a seated position, and has a little movement in her arms and legs. She’s still unable to open her eyes on her own. She still has a long way to go in her recovery, and her family is in need of financial assistance to pay for the treatment she needs.

A friend of the family set up an online fundraiser to help pay for those accumulating medical bills, and has raised almost $4,000! To make a significant impact on the cost of her hospital stay and therapy, though, that amount needs to be, at least, doubled. So, I’m asking you, if you’re able, to give a little to this wonderful family. If you’re unable to donate, please share the link to the fundraiser on your blog, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or whatever social media you use most! The more we can get the word out, the more money we’ll be able to raise. Click on the photo above to read more about Carie’s story and progress, and to learn how to donate.

Gentle hugs,

Chels

 

 

 

“An Evening In Paris”

7 Apr

So, last night was the night to reveal our Victorian inspired costumes at the UTA library’s “An Evening In Paris: Dancing at the Moulin Rouge” celebration. I was working down to the last minute, y’all, and I have the craft wounds to prove it. (It’s been a while since I shoved a pin so far under my fingernail that it only bled under the nail … ouch.) After working on my fascinator, jewelry, and beading my bustier for the past couple of weeks, I was down to the wire sewing Tom’s double breasted vest from scratch, sewing my skirt, which, thankfully, only involved tearing apart an existing velvet dress and adding taffeta at the hem, stitching button holes to tighten them, and adding finishing touches. Picture Tom and I standing in our kitchen, eating Wendy’s hamburgers at the counter, trying to avoid dripping condiments on our outfits before walking out the door.

Here’s what the finished pieces look like:

We walked a few buildings down the campus to the library, dressed to the nines, and catching some funny glances and a few laughs. By the way, that’s right – I said library. The librarians and members of the student organization La Societe Francophone transformed the 6th floor of the library, after hours, of course, into a sparkling, red and black spectacle. There was a large dance floor in one room (with professional DJ playing mashups of modern beats with old fashioned piano and horn, including the obligatory hip hop and “Gangnam Style,) and the parlor next door was filled with tables surrounding a red and black themed candy bar, and “Moulin Rouge” playing on a screen in the background. There was a free, professionally run photo booth in the corner, so we took full advantage.

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Our friend, Troy, and his date, Cynthia, were there, dressed in Cynthia’s Napoleonic-inspired costumes. She made all of the medals on Troy’s jacket!

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There was a costume contest, featuring 40 entries (there were more guests in costume who didn’t participate.)

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We had some serious competition, but we won first place! The couple standing next to the Groucho Marx lookalike, in the brown dress and lacy hat, and black top hat, won second. They were so sweet, and we all spent about the same amount of money on our costumes – a whopping $30.

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As we were narrowed down to the top six looks, each person or couple stepped forward to receive applause from the audience. The man next to us twirled his date in her beautiful dress. So, naturally, when we stepped forward, I twirled Tom in his beautiful kilt.

Here are some more photos of the fun:

We had a blast, but I am definitely paying for it today. I think it was worth it, though, to see all the creativity, and to win first prize for all that hard work! The library was very generous with their prizes, by the way – we won an iPod Shuffle!

Gentle hugs (and dancing feet,)

Chels

Clothing swap update

5 Aug

Ok, it’s official. I’m a little obsessed over this Ladies’ Fashion Swap. The theme has morphed from a mint green and pink color scheme to  cheeky retro housewife.

 

To take it a step further (I always do,) and to solidify the fact that I’ll use any excuse to dress up, I bought a vintage apron with pockets to keep the necessities on my person. ..And I’m going to wear my 50’s party dress. With pearls. And possibly my pink vintage gloves. When I suggested it to my two friends who are organizing the whole thing, one replied enthusiastically, but the other hasn’t replied at all. She’s probably shaking her head at us. 🙂

I’m mostly done with the decorations now, which consist of easy paper projects (pinwheels and tissue paper poms,) and printouts of the housewives I’ve come up with over the past few weeks. We won’t exactly have money for the decorations until we’re reimbursed by the whopping $1 entry fees, so I’m keeping it on the cheap! I love having to be frugal; it forces me to be creative in ways I wouldn’t necessarily choose to be if I could just buy everything from the party store.

I can’t wait to share pictures of the finished product! We have 45 potential attendees (25 have said they’ll be there, and 20 are maybes,) so I think it will be a good turnout. I’m hoping there are so many people that we don’t have enough clothing racks, but that’s just the optimist in me.

Gentle hugs,

Chels

Hi, my name is Chelsea, and I’m a swapaholic.

19 Jul

My friend Paige has been giving me clothing she doesn’t wear anymore for a while now. She realized a year or so ago that she didn’t know half of what was in her closet, and has been going on sporadic cleaning sprees ever since. We started out exactly the same size, but I’ve lost a little weight over the past year, so, as my friend Allison put it, my clothes were “falling off” of me. So, guess who got them? She did, lucky girl. Half of them I had received from Paige. It’s like the 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon, only with cuter shoes.

Along the same lines, I’ve been following Punky of Haberdash Vintage, a traveling trailer of vintage awesomeness, and also of The Swapaholics, a team of women to put together giant swaps all over the place, for years. Needless to say, I’ve been hoping, wishing, and praying for a streamline trailer and a good clothing swap to come my way. My craving has been satiated by the occasional swap with friends, and my compulsive trips to the local thrift shops (hey, it’s as close to free as you can get!) I even suggested hosting a swap to a couple of gals at church last year, but it seemed that the idea hadn’t caught fire yet, and no one was very interested.

Imagine my glee when, a few weeks ago, a friend, who I just happened to have shared my maiden name with (no relation as far as we know, but it sure was confusing for people in high school,) piped up on our small group board and suggested we hold a swap at the church! I instantly gave my two cents of yes, then offered to help with decorations and planning. She, another friend who just happens to be her sister in law, and I got together last night over Mexican food to hash out the details, and came up with a plan.

So … drum roll please … I’m proud to present to you our very first swap:

There’s a whopping $1 entry fee to cover the initial costs of supplies to host the swap, and ladies of all sizes, styles, and ages – from teen to the most seasoned fashionista – are invited. We’re hoping for a big turnout, since you don’t have to be a part of the church to participate. It’s also right around the time school will be starting again, so it’s the perfect time to find some new clothes to wear to classes, whether you’re the student or teacher. I’m so excited, and I can’t wait to see how it turns out!

If you’re in the DFW area, click on the memo to visit the Facebook event page for more info and RSVP.

Gentle hugs,

Chels