gurdymonkey: (pretties)
Really. I don't think of what I do as "A&S" the way most people in the SCA think of "A&S". Competitions are not only a non-motivator  inspirationwise, they make me insane, and not in a good way. (You spend 20 years riding green-broke horses in shows, you get all competetive instinct ground out of you because you're there to give Baby mileage, not to win.)

Display? And deprive myself of the use of something I slaved to make in the first place by sticking it on a table?  I love music but don't enjoy being in the spotlight, which is why the one-on-one of street performance appeals to me a lot more than standing up on a stage, be it feast hall or bardic circle.

And yet, I just emailed the A&S coordinator and asked for a spot at the Artisan's Display at Estrella. Yes. I am voluntarily chaining myself to a spot for 3 hours to see if anyone in attendance gives a rat's backside about the Tosenin Kosode project. Why? Well, it's a little thing called giri. There are probably thousands of people in our Society doing fingerloop braiding. Or tablet weaving. Or calligraphy and illumination. Or blackwork embroidery. The big fad craft in the West  is/was making lampwork beads for Viking treasure necklaces. I even made one damn bead at risk to life and limb and then told the person who insisted I give it a try that I was going back to paper and glue and getting the hell away from that oh so period hothead torch, thank you. (Ooh, note to self, pack kite-making supplies....)  Anyway, my point being that there are a lot of people producing a lot of like works.

How many are doing painted fakes of Asian textiles? How many of those are doing it because they saw mine first?  Trust me, they're out there, but there are not thousands.

 As some of you may remember from my adventures last year, there are people in Our Fair Society who believe that non-Western personae have no place in it. As Saionji, I represent a minority. I have a duty to my fellow SCAsians to portray my persona in a positive light. I am obligated to be at that table a week from Sunday doing so. 
gurdymonkey: (profile)
 
Why yes, I suppose I am smirking a bit. It's hard to be humble when you're the hottest thing at Tanabata.
gurdymonkey: (pretties)
Ass deep in rich silk
The hue of newly turned earth,
She plies her needle.
Though she hurries to finish,
Each neat stitch tutors patience.

(That was crap. What do you want for 6 AM?)

Status report:
Paint touch-ups were finished last night - the white really benefitted from it.

Back seam and okumi (overlap panels) seams were done before painting. Okumi edges have been rolled and finished. Eri (collar) is stitched in place on one side, but needs to be pressed and blindstitched down on the inside. Sleeves need to be sewn and attached. Side seams need to be run up. Why yes, I am hand sewing it. Of COURSE I'm hand sewing it, you barbarians!

Eye exam and laundry tonight come hell or high water. Might be nice if I got some packing done too, ya think?
gurdymonkey: (Default)
Got out of the house in a timely fashion this morning and arrived at site a little after 9. I set up my table in the shade by where Na'arah and Jared were camped since I promised to help her put a kosode together for the Fettburg event.

Na'arah came back between her classes and heralding duties and we cut out and pinned together all the pieces for her own kosode so that she can take it home and sew it together at her own speed. Beli Bailey and Emma also asked about kosode construction, so I answered questions, doodled sketches and told them to get in touch if they had questions.

I think that getting out of the garret and working on the Tosenin kosode at the event has calmed my wa regarding the ratio of white flowers to negative space. Honestly, I've had my nose pressed up against every slub and streak and wambly bit of paint for weeks now and was getting to the point of seeing everything that's wrong with it. Having passers by wander over to see what I was working on and make wow noises me make peace with the project a bit. I have a section of the back a yard square that needs leaves added. That should go very quickly tomorrow morning and I can start on touch ups. I should be able to heat set the paint Monday night at this rate and get the sleeves and collar put on and the side seams run up. Which means (drumroll) I can wear it at Pennsic. All Will Love Me And Despair!

I didn't take anyone else's classes, though Gianetta did slice me a lovely hunk of her sandalwood castile soap while she was preparing for a soapmaking class. I did wander up to the Equestrian area and watched part of the horse-handling class [personal profile] callistotoni and friends were teaching. I admired Brandee, Pookah and Marshall from the fence and left a bag of carrots for them for later. I don't know why I was expecting a chestnut with a blaze, but Brandee turns out to be a very pretty black and white pinto with a kind eye. Cute as could be, though the massive, drafty Pookah appeals to my monarch-of-all-I-survey riding preferences. Yeah, I miss riding, but my bank balance doesn't.

Looking forward to heading down to see Dad in Santa Cruz tomorrow afternoon too.
gurdymonkey: (pretties)
  As I look at the work I've done so far and compare it to the portrait, I didn't put anywhere near as many white flowers on my kosode as the original artist did.

Part of me is angsting over it, part of me is rationalizing that I'm faking brocade, surihaku (stenciled rice paste and gold leaf) or embroidery (or a combination of all three) based on a very small reproduction of a portrait in a book. A portrait, not an extant garment. An impression of a garment depicted in a portrait, come to that!

Aesthetically I can't decide whether I want to go back and add more flowers. I like what I've done so far - there's a great deal to be said for the joys of negative space, not the least of which is if I don't paint it, I can't screw it up! But the portrait kosode is just so - well, you can see right there.
 
I just painted a couple of leaves on in the green and now I'm waiting to see how they dry. The green fabric paint is a lot thinner and wetter than the others I've used and is actually bleeding through the back of the fabric a little. If it dries really dark, I may have to mix some white and yellow into it to give it a little more contrast. I'm also thinking that some subtle highlights in gold on the leaves might be a nice touch....

Bottom line, I would like to have this done so I can wear it at Pennsic. That means that the paint work MUST be completed by next Wednesday so that it has 24 hours to dry before being folded up and packed. And I still have to finish sewing it. I'll probably take it to A&S this weekend and work on it there.
gurdymonkey: (Default)
....so I can shift to the next section.

After piddling half-heartedly with a stencil blank and X-acto knife I asked myself what I was so damn scared of? I began began painting the flowers free-hand, working on the assumption that doing so will contrast nicely with the geometry of the lozenges. I just have to remember not to do groups of four or nine as those numbers are considered unlucky.



Edit - when I knocked off today, I had painted flowers on the collar segment and the back sections of the body panels. I maybe could've done more. This leaves the fronts of the body panels, the overlap panels and both sleeves. After that, I can get out the green paint and start all over again, but that's not as nearly as much painting.
gurdymonkey: (Default)
Survey says: HOME. I'm in a blow-off-the-SCA sort of mood. I woke up with a headache, my right ankle is feeling oddly twingy.

Crosston's Performing Arts Fete has negative associations for me. I'm not in the mood to paste on a happy face and deal with the false and insipid smiles of ex's ex-girlfriend, the thief who saw nothing wrong with secretly recording me without getting my permission, the ritual taking of hostages by the West Kingdom Choir, or the person who insisted in the kind of terms it is impossible to refuse upon making me eat something that ended up making me feel even more sick and miserable than I already was. For those in attendance whose company I enjoy, they will enjoy mine much better when I am fit to be among civilized people.

Cynagua Investiture is up it's at Woodland. Dregel and Bronwyn have already done this, they were great, we know that. Just don't feel like it.

So I'm gonna paint and listen to good music and maybe, if my ankle feels better after the Advil kicks in, think about the Bastille Day edition of Friday Night Waltz.

Edit: 4PM. Kosode is looking good and I discovered that the Reeves Burnt Sienna in my art box works for touch-ups right out of the tube - and before you ask, it's an acrylic. The body and okumi (overlap) panels are just about done - I'm waiting for paint to dry so I can mask the last couple of lozenges on the okumi for painting. I'm going to do the master lozenge pattern on the sleeves and collar pieces and then I think I'm going to knock off for the day. I should be able to get them masked and painted completely tomorrow.

I really, REALLY would like to go dancing, but my ankle still feels odd and there is some puffiness. This probably means I need to rotate to a different pair of walking shoes because I can't think of anything overt I did to injure it, but MERDE! Je dit encore, MERDE!
gurdymonkey: (Default)



If the fog doesn't roll in, I get good light in the garret until 6:30 or so to work by, so I can do a little bit on "school nights." The thing is that for each of these groups I have to mask off a single lozenge, stencil it, let it dry, then come back. That means rotating around a larger section of the garment and trying to remember what I have and haven't repeated. I goofed and repeated the "hemp leaf" motif in the bottom photo. Still looks OK, but symmetry was NOT what I was trying to shoot for here.

Also, this dupioni is slubbier than the red stuff I used for the "Shoot Me" kosode and trying to get the paint to lie well with these fiddly little stencils is tricky. It's not as clean as I would like it to be, but what can you do?

EDIT: Well, it's not a "You suck," but Effingham-sensei just saw these over on Tousando and commented "Have I told you lately that I hate you?" Which means he loves it and just can't bring himself to utter the highest compliment of that august company, a hearty man-talkin' "You suck!"
I'm just FEELIN' the LOVE!

Slow going.

Jul. 8th, 2007 05:22 pm
gurdymonkey: (Default)
I didn't do as much as I would've liked today on the Tosenin kosode because crouching over a table in a dormered room for four hours going tap tap tap with a brush that has a bristle diameter of less that 1/8" is damned tiring, even if one has Gilbert & Sullivan patter to tap along to.  However, these should give an idea of where I'm going with this. Step 1: stencil the basic lozenge grouping. Step 2. Fill in a single lozenge in each group with flat gold. Step 3. Stencil in one of the overlay patterns.....

 
gurdymonkey: (Default)
Woke up this morning to the twang of my left knee singing, "Get up, get me an Advil and throw those stupid Payless shoes in recycling, you twit." A few times up and down the stairs and it seems OK, but it just confirms I was smart to cut last night short.

I cut out the small overlay stencils for the Tosenin kosode.  Well, I cut out three of them which took two hours, at which point my index finger was feeling stressed from pressing an X-acto knife through zillions of tiny cuts The top two have all the white space cut out and will look gold with brown lines once stencilled. The black is cut out of the wave one, which will be brown with gold waves. The bottom left one was more trouble than it was worth and I think I'm just going to freehand spirals with a fine brush instead.

I took a break and picked up a couple of Japanese design books at Lacis in Berkeley. This all started yesterday because there's a new guy on the Japanese Yahoogroup who asked if  "Designer's Guide To Samurai Patterns" was any good for making clothes. I googled the title, discovered a description on Lacis' website that pretty much told me it was design motifs, not clothing patterns. So, I figured I'd check it out. It was cheap, so was "Designer's Guide to Japanese Patterns 3" so I grabbed 'em. I hit the grocery store to pick up a few things, including a sashimi platter which I'm going to bust into pretty soon.

Then I came back here and opened up my jar of gold paint....

Right now I have almost all of the back panels stencilled with the base lozenge pattern and am waiting for it to dry enough to shift the fabric on the table and do a bit more while there's enough light up here in my garret. It's been overcast most of the day and not as bright as it usually is. I'll have to stop soon - I don't have a decent work light up here.  

There's this desire to rush - and the knowledge that I have to go VERY slowly because these designs are more intricate and more delicate than anything I've tried stencilling before.
gurdymonkey: (Default)

If you do your sketch on engineering graph paper and run it through a laminating machine, it makes a damn fine stencil....


gurdymonkey: (Default)

From the moment I first saw this portrait of Tosenin in Money L. Hickman's Japan's Golden Age: Momoyama, I loved it. I acquired some brown dupioni awhile back, got embroiled in other things, put it away, forgot I had it and recently found it again after a major closet cleaning binge.

The image in the book unfortunately isn't very large, but I put it through my scanner and took a look at it via my photo editing software. It's grainy, but oh, my freakin' Lord and Creator, will you look at this? The lozenges are all patterned! I'm not 100% sure, but I think the flowers are clematis based on a design I found in another one of my textile books. They're autumn bloomers and that would certainly fit the color scheme and mood of the portrait.

 Those white lines dropping diagonally toward her left arm show the lozenge and flower pattern crossing seam lines of the overlap panel and  collar from the body panel. In other words, Oh My Children, this project will require partial assembly before painting commences, assuming I'm crazy enough to try. I think this one is going to require a combination of stencil and free hand work.
 

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