Saturday, September 28, 2013

From Table cloth to Table Lamp

It's my sister's birthday next week, and I promised her a pair of bedside table lampshades. I wanted to use the opportunity to try something new - not just a groovy fabric but some extra stuff too. Sister Jo is pretty artsy in her own right and appreciates a bit of bling
So, after rootling around in my stash of stuff, I unearthed an old tablecloth bought at the Sallies and popped off to Global-that-was to pick up some light green silk, and this is what I did:
 Making the lampshade using the pale green silk. Goes with my nails ;-)
The tablecloth. I think I paid $4 at the Sallies in Kilbirnie. 
Cutting a strip of the cloth slightly wider than the barrel of the shade.
A liberal coating of adhesive spray. I loathe the stinky stuff, I much prefer Mod Podge, but working with silk it gets tricky as white glues can mark it so easily.
 Erk, the sticky keeps sticking to itself...
 ...finally in business. I'm wrapping it around the green shade
keeping it nice and taut, and lapping the finished edge from the corner of the tablecloth over the cut edge.
After stretching and sticking it all down, I cut around the pattern as much as I could on the cut side, and left the 15mm extra needed for roll under where I couldn't do that. The other side I deliberately let under and overlap the edge.
 Rinse and repeat...
This what they look like with light coming through. "I have to be honest with you, I loves it. Tidy*".

*Blame reruns of Gavin and Stacey, Ness is my hero! Even more than Miranda!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A weekend away

Things have been quiet at The iRon but busy on the home and work front. A not uncommon dynamic for bloggers, I imagine.
Last week I had some kind of virus that really knocked me over - self-employed people know that you go into work unless you are unconscious or have lost limbs, but I couldn't. DVDs and the couch were my lot for two days. On Friday, I made the OMG dress - a first Holy Communion dress for a beloved poppet. Named OMG because as her Mamma and I looked for inspiration dresses on teh interwebs, we went OMG! at one picture, and it was the basis for it.
Actually now I look at the photo, it ended up quite different. Ours had half circle tulle with no gathering at the waist, sleeves and a very different proportion. But it did have the princess seams, flowers and overall OMG ness.
Apart from the tulle, all the fabric was from a stash of wedding dress offcuts gifted to me, so it was a beautiful quality delustred satin. Waist flowers from shop stock, skirt flowers cut from Guipure lace scraps from the offcut stash. Photos will appear perhaps at some stage. In the meantime it is good for your imagination.
Then after finalising the dress, on Saturday morning MrC and I headed off to our favourite bolt hole, Martinborough. This trip was very different from most, however. We went to one vineyard only, Poppies, and we had a platter (NOMNOM!) in the sun on the lawn, with a glass of delicious rose. No bottle of wine bought AT ALL.
We visited Sue at JayahwithSoul, a gorgeous clothing store on the main st, who is one of those bubbly and dynamic women who you just fall in love with on first meeting. Between our June trip and this one, I made four shirts for her husband Mike, as a surprise for his 50th:
 Mike in his favourite, from the same Edgar Allen Poe inspired range as David's Nevermore. Purple contrasts.
Mike's least favourite, and Sue and I were both a bit unsure about it, but Mike's mate is a hot rodder and loves it so he is now the new owner of it. Win win. The one he was wearing when we saw them on the weekend is my favourite - a William Morris inspired print in browns and blues. BTW, making four shirts including drafting the pattern for them etc on top of work has also been keeping me away from posting.
So you see, Sue has Influence Over Me now. Sewing for one's own husband is one thing. Sewing for Others' Husbands is something else again. But it was all in the interests of experimentation.
We had drinks at Cool Change with Mike and Sue and some of their other friends:
Cool Change Bar and Restaurant in Martinborough, I loves it! This is not us though, it is Spring not Summer!
Then we toddled off to the local boutique picture theatre to see Red 2. Hilarious! Even MrC stayed awake throughout. Given how knackered he was, this is some achievement.
One early night later, we had breakfast at Pinocchio's, another gorgeous cafe, checked out some real estate (yes, I am THAT smitten with the place) and finally headed homewards. Him to a nap and washing, me to the after match function for the poppet's 1st Holy Communion. That child is a wonder. After several hours of playing including a lunch that involved both beetroot and chocolate, her dress was still pristine white.
DIY pizzas with other friends at home, and then we were both ready to sleep for three years. 
So yes, it has been an unusually busy time lately, but lots of fun too. :)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Lying on the couch this evening, I felt something scratchy under my leg. Crumbs, I thought, with a moment of irritation at my lovely husband who is a Champion Crumb Strewer.
I swiped with my hand, settled in again, and still I can feel a foreign body. A firmer swipe revealed...
...a submerged needle!


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Why I love Burlesque

I like Burlesque.
I like the bling, the attitude, the sass, and I like the many gorgeous men and women I have met who participate in it too. We see plenty of showgals and guys in the shop, seeking affordable but impactful costume solutions. Which means lots of popper tape, velcro, diamante, sequins and boa!
Because I like it, I created Constance Craving, so I can participate in a way that works for me. I can sing, think on my feet and entertain an audience. Taking clothing off won't feature.
However, because I enjoy it and I intend to be introducing a lot of burlesque acts as an MC, I wanted to have a go at it.
So, for the last six Tuesday evenings I have attended the Level 1 class at Miss La Belle's House of Burlesque.
Miss La Belle. What's not to love! Source
There, we have learned to walk, pose, flirt, remove gloves and shimmy. But what we have learned most of all is how to love our bodies. How burlesque is 5% stripping and 95% attitude.
I am not sure all burlesque performers follow this philosophy. But it is how the fabulous, inspirational Miss La Belle does it, and what she teaches us. The performer is declaring that removing a glove is sexy and the chance to see her naked hand is highly risque. This is ridiculous taken at face value, but it is a game you play with the audience and if you do it with sass and fun, they will play along.
Now, above I said why I like Burlesque, not why I love it. Why I love it is because of what I have learned from it. Not from WATCHING it, but by DOING it. Doing it in a class with other ladies, to be clear.
On the sixth week of our class, we were going to learn the routine Miss La Belle showed us in the first class. It involved removing only a button up shirt and a skirt with a zip.
I came close to not turning up.
I am not a prude - nor am I particularly modest. But I was very confronted by the thought of doing this. You see, when I was a teen something happened for me. Nothing terrible, I simply didn't own a pair of jeans when everyone else in the choir did, and I felt like a total misfit and it was just one of those terrible teen moments when one's world falls apart. I had no idea that this moment had impacted my life for the last 34 years! But when I considered the appalling idea of taking my clothes off in a studio with other women also doing the same, but who would have the right kind of shirts and skirts and underwear and figures and rode unicorns home afterwards no doubt, I realised that the feeling was all too familiar and it wasn't hard to trace it back to that awful day.
And then I realised, I had a choice. I could honour the amazing women in my class, and get how we all had some kind of teenage experience and were all freaked out and there are no unicorns, or I could hang onto that old fear, and let it keep me alone and apart.
When you put it like that, it isn't hard to work out what to choose, yeah? :)
So, I LOVE Burlesque. I am never going to take my clothes off on stage, although I may peel a glove ironically. But I will be doing the next level, involving a lot more of peeling clothing, because participating in the process has permanently altered my world view for the better.
Honestly, it couldn't be better if there were unicorns.
Rainbow Unicorns Fabric
There ARE unicorns!!