Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas, Curtains, Corsets, and Quilts - Oh My!

What a crazy month! As you can imagine, the last few weeks have been spent in preparation for Christmas - and Oh! am I ever one of those shining, happy Christmas people - I LOVE Christmas! I have to say that I am ecstatic that our local jazz stations have chimed in on the Spirit of the Season and are now playing Christmas tunes - you won't hear Mama's Shoes, that's for damned sure (thank you, Jesus! - or, rather - thank you producers of Smooth Jazz & Dayton Public Radio!). I no longer have to jump out of the shower like mad idiot and risk electrical shock to change the station...

In the meantime, projects abound, and I finally stopped dragging my feet and made some sheers for the living room and dining room. I do not like making sheers - drapes, yes - but not sheers. When making drapes, the project material is usually substantial in weight and can be easily manipulated, but not flimsy, airy, chiffon-like polyester - it's charmeuse's most evil cousin, I swear it! My machines treat me to a spin of mechanical mayhem every time I slip this cursed material over my feed-dogs: broken needles, tangled thread, eaten fabric. Indeed, I could just go out and buy the things, but have you seen the cost of sheers? $20 a panel - why, that's extortion! Why purchase when I can spend a couple hours gritting my teeth and mumbling profanities under my breath whilst I make my own for a fraction of the cost? And, this is precisely what I did! lol! New sheers now don my downstairs windows - project DONE!

Now, coming in February, Tonia and I are hosting our first costume ball. We have been talking about doing this for years, but for one reason or another we just never managed to get it off the ground. I am delighted to say that we did it, and excitement and stress for the merry occasion abounds! lol! And, since the theme is Federal/Colonial, there are costumes to be made, made, made in quick order! Of course, no historically inspired vêtement would be complete without the proper underpinnings - my corset is currently a work in progress. I have it completely boned and I just started binding it. As with all my corsets, absent are the straps - this is more comfortable for me (although I have been considering them this time around for decorative purposes - I do like the look). Now, notice if you will, that I constructed my stays with a stomacher - as I was telling Elma and Tonia (we girls were discussing the designs of our respective corsets for the ball, and at that point, I was the only one who had a front-lacer), I do not want proper costuming to be contingent on whether or not someone is around to lace me in my corset - lol! And the stomacher has a very practical function - flexible wear - I want my corset to fit well even when I gain or loose a pound or two. It's a matter of practicality... In the end, Tonia agreed, and now she has committed to a front-lacing corset and stomacher.

Ahhh, and I started a new quilt. It's a very simple piece quilt that I constructed out of the hundreds of fabric samples I receive each year from my wholesalers. I only used the cotton swatches, of course, and no cutting was needed - all the pieces were pinked and perfectly dimensional, so my part of the construction process was astoundingly easy! I call this quilt God's Promise - each piece of fabric, which makes up the spectrum of color that transitions across the quilt top, is unique - not one piece is the same as another, celebrating the rich diversity of God's creation (especially His children, who are beautifully and wonderfully made in His image). I am excited to work on this quilt and will certainly post pictures of its progress and completion. Sometimes simplicity in form produces the greatest function and affect -oui?

Now it's time for me to scuttle off and prepare for this evening's Christmas celebration. I would like to wish all of you a Merry Christmas and blessed New Year - may Christ's spirit envelop you in love, peace, and goodwill...