countess_rosina: (Alyssa)
I’m looking for wig advice for a first time wig purchase…

I own a copy of Kendra’s 18th Century Hair and Wig Styling book, but of course it’s at home and I’m at work…for anyone who’s followed her instructions, do you think this will work for a tall hairstyle? If I recall correctly, I want something with no bangs and a center part, texture of some sort is a plus.
countess_rosina: (Alyssa)
I was just gifted with a big bag of sweet chestnuts that a friend of a friend harvested from their tree. With visions of marron glacé in my head I set about shelling the windfall only to discover they are at least 60% infested with chestnut weevils. I'm trying to decide if it's worth trying to go through the rest of the bag to salvage what I can...chestnuts this fresh are pretty much non-existent in local grocery stores. SO BUMMED.
countess_rosina: (Alyssa)
Attempt number one at adapting a traditional Turkish Delight recipe to make a copy of Liberty Orchard's Aplet candy is underway.

In case anyone's interested..... )
countess_rosina: (Alyssa)
[ profile] jenthompson makes a good point for us non-costume college folks - instead of feeling envious over not attending, I'll make a stab at some actual content for a change. Since she also just posted some Harry Potter related awesomeness, I thought I'd write about an annual event my sister and I organize with our group of friends. Each year we pick a theme, decorate, create a special menu, the works.

Last year we set up a potions lab with instructions for three "signature potions." Each ingredient was decanted into containers (we had been saving and sterilizing bottles and jars for months) labeled with potion ingredient names. Each guest was invited to mix their own potion, but no one knew what type of drink they'd end up with. Along with cocktails, we set up cheese fondue and broth fondue "cauldrons." After all the work we'd done on potion ingredients cutting up fruit, veggies, and bread was wonderfully low-effort. For dessert, we served Thai iced tea topped with a chai spice infused culinary fog and cupcakes.

We had so much fun we didn't take pictures - which I didn't notice until the day after during cleanup! This year's party is going to be a small affair, but the food will be good, and hopefully I'll remember to pull out my camera.
countess_rosina: (Alyssa)
Baking a wedding cake. I think I might be finished with today.
countess_rosina: (Alyssa)
I've been feeling inspired by [ profile] koshka_the_cat's recent posts about muffs. While I love the idea of Spoonflower samples, I felt like I could do things more frugally with supplies I already had on after doing an experiment today, I thought I'd toss this idea out for anyone who feels like a DIY project.

Printing on Silk

Freezer Paper
Fabric (I used some silk habotai from
an Ink Jet printer
Standard Ironing equipment


I tore a strip of fabric about 8.5 by 11 inches long, and tore a piece of freezer paper about the same size. I used my iron on the dry setting and ironed the plastic side of the paper to the fabric until they were fused. Then I trimmed my fabric/paper to exactly 8.5 by 11 to fit in my printer.

I did a quick Internet search for a picture I wanted to use, did some resizing, and sent my freezer papered fabric through my ink jet printer. After a couple false tries, I found that changing my printer settings to high quality photo printing on glossy paper got the best results. Without the glossy paper setting, the printer wouldn't grab my fabric, but I'm guessing if I used a less slippery fabric a regular paper setting could work.

I don't know how the ink will stand up to water, but I'm thinking a good heat set with an iron, or setting with vinegar might be a good thing.
countess_rosina: (Alyssa)
I hope everyone's day is full of cheer!
countess_rosina: (Default)
To the Mount Vernon 18th C. Market Faire? I'm on the fence about going this weekend and I'm wondering if it's worth the hour+ car ride.


Aug. 26th, 2012 08:04 pm
countess_rosina: (Default)
My sister and I are making some college care packages for a few friends...I'm SO excited because we've decided to make them Harry Potter themed.

All items are going to be labeled and packaged as though they're arriving from the Apothecary in Diagon Alley...and the goal is to be as authentic-looking as possible. So today I did a dry run on one of the things we're hoping to include....hand pulled hard candy masquerading as unicorn horns. I'm no stranger to a candy thermometer, but I've never tried any candy pulling/molding before today.

I'm not sure what this says about me, but WHAT A RUSH. Molten sugar that is almost too hot to touch and needing to move as fast as humanly possible before the stuff cools was kind of insanely exciting. Also, um, probably dangerous. Next time I do this, I'll definitely need a cooking buddy; I wasted half the sugar solution because I couldn't move fast enough!

The finished candy looks so cool - it's a shiny opaque ivory color. All the lighting in my house is too dark for decent pictures, they just aren't turning out too well. I'm definitely doing these again though, so I'll post pictures with the final packaging before too long.
countess_rosina: (Default)
I know some folks on my f-list are hardcore tv show fans, so I'm asking for a little help. I just finished a season of tv and am experiencing the worst post-season depression I've felt since the end of Harry Potter (books, not movies). Any suggestions for distracting myself?
countess_rosina: (Default)
I finally found a trim that is the right color for some fabric I bought AGES ago to make a robe a la Francaise. I got samples in the mail yesterday and this stuff is super thin, like 2-3 mm in width. So while the color is exactly what I want, I'm a little nervous that it won't be visible from a few feet away. Not to mention there's no way I could machine this stuff onto a dress (though I can't say I really expected to in the first place). My initial plan was to use my fabric for some sort of ruching, ruffling, whatever, and put trim on the edges to make the design stand out a little more. I'm wondering if this is going to be too subtle...but the color is so good. And the price is right.
countess_rosina: (Default)
I recently agreed to help one of my students with a costume for her school play. We're using a Big 3 pattern, and she's bigger than the biggest size on the pattern.... I know how to do the usual slash and spread method, but it occurs to me I've never enlarged a princess seamed bodice before. Is it just business as usual, or is there something I need to be on the lookout for to keep the seams from getting weird? My current plan is to just enlarge to the largest of her measurements, and take in everywhere else like I would for a non-princess seamed pattern.

Any comments or advice would be greatly apprecitated!!!
countess_rosina: (Default)
1. My sister moved into her house 2 weekends ago, but we just finished getting the rest of her stuff out of our basement yesterday/today. This is happiness two-fold; I'm so glad she has her own place that makes her happy and independent AND now I have a dedicated craft space...LET THE SEWING BEGIN.

2. The first trailer for the Hobbit. OMG. This is going to be so awesome. Why does it have to be a year away?

3.My co-worker gifts this year came out exactly as I hoped they would. My little sister and I teamed up to make marshmallows, and have spent the last few days making all different flavors in lovely pastel shades. Today, I packed up the results into candy boxes, tied on ribbons, and distributed them around the office. The little Martha inside me says this is a Good Thing.

4. My little sister graduated from college on Tuesday!
countess_rosina: (Default)
I can't commit to posting these every day of the month, but I'm feeling particularly buoyant today:

1. I was just informed I won a silent auction for some vintage Hobbit prints at my thrift store. Yay for creative gift giving!
2. My little sis just texted to say the film project I've been helping her with got a "guaranteed A" from her professor...the project's not even finished yet, and it's not due for another week; he was looking at her rough cut.
3. Making a video of my 4-year-old nephew singing Silent Night on my iPad. The fact that it was so easy makes me feel so much better after wrestling with the decision to buy it.
countess_rosina: (Default)
How do I love thee?

I wander through the local thrift store when I'm feeling a little's my mom's and my little tradition to go in and cruise the shelves for old silver, china, linens...we probably go once a month or so. Today was a serious jackpot day. While wandering into their fabric remnant section, I saw what appeared to be some brown faux fur. When I got closer, I realized that it was a mink vest that had blown out a seam. I can't decide how old it is, but I'm thinking I could probably fix it, OR more likely, I'm going to take it apart to make a muff. I need to do some research and make sure its not too old/valuable. It looks pretty new, so I'm not too worried about taking it apart. As I was looking at the vest, a store employee walked in with some bolts of fabric.  Happy Christmas to me! I scored 11+ yards of orange and rust striped silk for less than $2.50 a yard!

There were a bunch of other things in the store on silent auction that I am desperately enamored with - one of which is a steamer trunk with drawers and hangers in it, but the beginning bid was $250. While it seems like a reasonable price, I just can't afford it so close to Christmas. Plus, I don't have anywhere to store it.

Now if I can just stop buying presents for myself!
countess_rosina: (Default)
Your job is now your Time Lord name. The last digit of your phone
number is the current regeneration you are in. The nearest clothing item
to your right is now the most notable item in your current wardrobe.
The last person you texted is your current companion. Your favorite word
is now your catchphrase.

I can't resist this one...

I am The (Voice) Instructor, 2nd regeneration. My notable wardrobe item is a raincoat with orange lining, my little sister is my companion. While I don't have a favorite word, perse, I have a tendency to call students for their lesson by saying "Entrer, mes amis." Yes, it's plural. I'll pretend it's just quirky.
countess_rosina: (Default)
In the pants. I KNOW I want to have this dress done for Monday, but I have NO motivation to work on it. And it's snowing. And I want to snuggle up with a new book and a warm drink and not do any of the things I should be doing.
countess_rosina: (Default)
So, I've finally gotten around to posting a picture of the petticoat that I finished ages ago. It's made from two widths of pre-quilted periwinkle dupioni silk, bound with a cream silk binding around the hem, tied with dutch linen tape. I'm nowhere near as petite and shapely as my dummy, so this picture is a bit deceitful, though the shape of the petticoat in this pic is really pretty! I did way more hand work on this than I generally like, which is why it took me so long to finish. I'm actually thinking about making a coordinating pair (set?) of jumps with the remaining quilted fabric - though a little voice in the back of my head is saying it may end up looking a little too puffy. We'll see if inspiration ever strikes. Hopefully the picture isn't too hard to see - it occurs to me that it's blue and white on more blue and white. Can you tell I have a thing for blue and white?
countess_rosina: (Default)
I am on a serious new-supply fast while I take some inventory of my craft/fabric stash. I'd like to do some millinery, but realized I have no buckram. I DO however, have a TON of really light weight crinoline. I bought it when I was doing some ribbon flower work, and would use the crinoline as a backing to mount groups of flowers on.

Has anyone tried fusing/quilting with rows of stitching/gluing/general layering of this type of material for hat making successfully?

For the sake of being completely clear - the crinoline I have is like a super light-weight buckram, it has a pretty open weave and seems to have been stiffened with some sort of starch/paste. It's not rigid like buckram, but it's definitely stiff. It is not tulle, and it's definitely woven.
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