deliriumcrow: (Green)
Cut one piece of fabric 12x11" for the inside of the muff. You might use satin, but that is cold when you put your hands in it. Mine is wool, but you might use fleece or flannel or something like it instead.

Cut a piece of poly batting about 60x12". You can usually get this in bulk at a fabric store. Make sure it's soft and fluffy, not stiff, and about 1/2" thick.

If you are not making a cover for it, cut one piece of fashion fabric 14x20". Decorate it as you like.

If you are making a cover, cut three pieces 14x20" -- one plain for the outside of the muff form, one piece for the lining of the cover, and one piece for the outside of the cover. Decorate as you like.

You can make the outside of the form out of a fashion fabric if you don't intend to give it fluffy decorations. Same goes for the outside of the cover -- if it doesn't stand up high, you can make it reversible. This can give you up to three different looks for one muff and cover.

Construction!
For the form, run a gather ing stitch down the 20" sides. Pull ONE SIDE down to 12", and sew it to the 12" end of the inside. Sew down the 11" and 14" sides all at once, making a tube that gets larger at one end. Before turning it right side out, wrap the batting around the inside of the muff, and pull the outer layer over it. At this point, all the seams should be on the inside. Now, pull the second gathered edge down to 12". Turn it under about half an inch, and do the same on the end of the inside piece. Match them up, pin, and sew around.

If you are only making the one layer, you're done. Before sewing up the final seam, you might consider putting on a loop of pretty ribbon or cord so you can carry it.

For the cover, sew the two pieces together along one of the 20" edges. Press it flat. Sew along the two 14" edges leaving about 1/2" open where all the seams meet, making a quite large tube. Press it flat, and turn it so that the lining is on the inside, and the fashion fabric is on the outside. All the seams should be on the outside now. Press the fold between the outer and the lining. Run a line of stitching about 1/2" from the folded edge, making a casing for a ribbon to gather it over the form. Turn under the remaining raw edges about 1/2", press, and pin together. sew them together either by hand or on a machine a scant 1/8" from the edge -- less if you can manage it. Leave it open about 1/2" where the seams meet, and run another line of stitching half an inch in from that edge. Now you have two channels on either end of a lined tube. Run ribbon or cord through them, put the cover on the form, and pull the ribbons tight enough to stay on but lose enough you can get your hands in. Now you have a muff.

Again, you might consider a hanging loop on the cover, on the opposite side from the opening for the ribbons. It isn't necessary, but it's really useful.
deliriumcrow: (Green)
The new semester has started, and there is ... so very much to do. And So. Many. Books. I like to have text books in actual print so I can underline things, and doing it physically seems to make the words stick better in my head than the highlight function in e-readers. Also, when they assign specific pages, I know I'm reading the *same* pages. That's not possible in Kindle format, and dubious on the Nook. (I have a Nook with a Kindle app, so there you go. I also have both on my laptop.) There are also all the articles that need to be printed, and to that end today we bought three reams of paper, and I've already made a significant dent in one. That's just for this week's readings, and mostly for one class. Also, we bought ink. Lots and lots of black ink, and more is on the way from Amazon, with my textbooks.

The order for which, I just found out, was not paid, because they cancelled my credit card. Because I used it, and that looked suspicious. Yes, I know I don't use it often, that's because I don't buy text books that often. But for fuck's sake, when I need to buy those books, I need them paid for. Promptly.

I've also been spending more time being sidetracked than is really reasonable,
deliriumcrow: (Green)
So once again, it's been a while. I had actually sort of forgotten that I had this journal, but here I am again, years later, and looking at the last couple of entries ... god, I was so fucking hopeful. So full of the idea that Colonial Williamsburg was the best idea, the best place for me, and most importantly, that they gave a shit about real history. And maybe, in some department, they do, but not one I've been in. And one of the few people who actually did give a shit has resigned, and is in New York now. Which leaves me stranded here. Thing is, this is the person who was trying to get me into a better position there, into research and possibly collections, and now ... he's running another museum, in a town where once upon a time I went to school.

There's really, really nothing for me here, aside from a few friends I've made in the last 3.5 years, and frankly, much as I love them, they're not really going to be able to keep me here. The house, however, might, seeing as we have a mortgage now.

I'm in school now, though, which means in a year and a half (barring unforseen difficulties) I'll be a librarian, and trained in all sorts of useful things. New semester starts at the end of the week, and I honestly can't wait. It's my escape plan, to be honest, and is just about the only thing keeping me sane these days. Up this time: Information systems, library management, and ... one other. Don't remember. I'm going to go part time at work -- they don't know this yet -- or possibly quit altogether. The school loans are the same amount I make in a year, and that's the disbursement. Kind of pathetic, really, but whatever. I don't honestly contribute much, so it's not like we'll be losing much. And given the amount of stress the last semester put on me, my health, my marriage, and everything else, I don't think I can survive two years of full time school and full time work, not when I'm going to take summer classes as well. It's more economically sound to take more classes at once and finish sooner than it is to take the minimum and pay for more years.

Really, I just want to get the fuck out of Virginia.
deliriumcrow: (Default)
Yay a list! This is a list of things I did not want to read, apparently. I have finished none of these, and started all of them in the last couple of months.

Tom Jones Abrodged and otherwise)
Moll Flanders -- Defoe
Charlotte Temple
Tower of Crossed Destinies -- Calvino
Invisible Cities -- Calvino
Enchantress of Florence -- Rushdie
Wives and Daughters -- Gaskell
Budhism: The Wisdom of Compassion and Awakening
The Turquoise -- Seton
The Domino Men -- Barnes

I think there some others, and a few that I didn't want to read and made myself do so. And I have no idea now what I *do* want to read. I think I want more Emma Bull, but i don't HAVE any more, so I want another book that is like the War for the Oaks, but that I have not read, and that has no yet made me cry. I have read her version of Tombstone, and Freedom and Necessity, and those are not the ones I want. Also I want some Patricia McKillip that I have not read three times at least.

What do I want to read?
deliriumcrow: (Default)
I think the interview went well. I am the first of three interviews, of the three people left in the running. They will have an answer they said by two weeks time, and then ... then we will know. They said it starts around 7 September, which would be good for the current position, as it would take me into the school year when attendance starts falling off. I'm looking forward to that, actually, even if I don't get this position.

Yet again, I could not sleep last night, being plagued by dreams of all the things I could have said or done, all the things I should have trimmed before bringing in the show pieces, the fact that I forgot one of them, and the fact that the first thing they commented on with the embroidered stays was the untrimmed threads on the back. I always leave some of them untrimmed and I always forget them. And it looks like shit, and I miss Darzon's quality control. On the other hand, I do think I had a decent rapport with two of the three judges. So that's good at least. Sometimes it was three of the three. I'm not sure why the one remembered me, the one with whom I got on best, but she did, and she was fun, so that was good. The questions were interesting, and I answered them to the best of my ability, and threw in a few bits on how long I've been doing this. 18th century specifically I've done for 20 years, which is kind of weird to say, since I'm not that far out of my 20s. I think the best answer given was why they should hire me, and I said it was because sewing and history are my burning passion, and the needle has already chosen me, so who am I to deny that? I have learned better than to fight it by now.

Some of the questions were pretty weird. Like describe a situation that describes how well you listen. The only thing I could really come up with was music lessons and playing things back by ear. At which I did better than reading music, but that's because I'm an awful musician. Also, school lessons that had us quoting back pieces of poetry and stories as we heard them. But really, who asks that? It actually got my attention though, which was probably the point.

So basically, I feel like I'm somewhere between amazing and utter shite. Of course, when asked I did say I ranked my abilities at 8 or 9 out of 10. D says I was being modest, but we'll see.

I really, really reallyreallyREALLYREALLYREALLY want this job. Really.

In other news, I'm starting a queen stitch pin ball, with which to impress people (like the ones at the Margaret Hunter Millinery shop?). And at which to point and say This. This is a pin ball. See? Ball for pins. This is where it goes, and this is what it does. Now stop asking silly questions.

They'll never stop doing that, though, no matter how many props I wear.
deliriumcrow: (Default)
So on my birthday I had the skills test for the costuming job at Colonial Williamsburg. It went both very well and very poorly and I really had no idea how they were going to see it -- some of the stitches were done absolutely perfectly, and I'd have had no qualms about showing them to my perfectionist great-grandmother, were she still alive. Some of them I'd have burned, and were on the same piece. But the serious mistakes were the last I'd made, just at the end of the time limit, so I could not re-do them. That night I dreamed I re-took the test about three times, each time doing something else disastrously wrong. I have spent most of the time since then worrying about the outcome, waiting for the second of August when they said they'd have the results. It got especially bad last week when there was an email saying it would be a week longer until they could tell me whether I was good enough to get an interview.

Last night I got another email, saying that I have an interview on Wednesday. Of course, my day off is Tuesday (today) so there was no way of finding someone to switch with me that quickly. This morning, yet another email,. rescheduling for today at 3, which is perfect. They've been lovely about moving dates and times to when I'm not at work. So there's another day of crossed fingers. At least this time they'll be looking at my previous sewing work, and that's all stuff I'm very sure of. Especially the embroidery.

So much for finishing my jacket today. I think this trumps it by a lot.
deliriumcrow: (Default)
Tonight, I shall drink so much gin that I fall asleep and do not dream, or remember. I shall only sleep. If I am lucky, none of this will have happened. None of this past year will have been real.
deliriumcrow: (Default)

Now beneath this lonely junction on the northbound M6
We spray our words of signature on the concrete bridge
And between the words of wisdom and the slogans of despair
Someone's just gone and written 'I'm sorry' there
Well I always swore I'd come back for you
Is it too late now to come back for you?
You're the only one I'll ever love

(New Model Army, Marrakesh)

deliriumcrow: (Default)
Yup, I got it. ^_^

I'll be selling ladies' dresses and accoutrements until I move on to something else, within Colonial Williamsburg. But the first hurdle is leapt, and I am nearly there.

Now we need an apartment there, and another car, and a job for Dustin. But that's shaping up to be the easy part.
deliriumcrow: (Default)
On Sunday, I'll be heading deeper into the south. Why, you might ask? It's for the best of reasons, and the only one outside of New Orleans that would actually convince me to stay there.

I have an interview at Colonial Williamsburg for an interpreter position.

See, this is the job I've been day dreaming about since I was 12, when I first found out that people dressed up in 18th century clothes (albeit hugely inaccurate ones, for the womenfolk) at Saratoga Battlefield, and I could too! My first experience was with dipping candles for an annual demonstration of household tasks. It was terrifically boring, but I loved it anyway. I liked feeling like I was living elsewhen, in those stolen moments between curious observers, when i was alone in the still summer air, wood smoke heavy in the humidity. We were far enough from the roads that I could not hear any cars, and it was something I have sought to find since, but always it's come up imperfect. 

We went to Williamsburg in February, and I was madly in love from the first few moments. Here was a world that devoted itself to history, walking around and talking to you. Showing you how to spin and weave, how to sew the channels in the stays. And across the street, the College of William and Mary. Which, incidentally, is a public school, incredibly inexpensive, and has a graduate program. That's very important. I need that, you see, in order to learn more stuff, and in a place where my crazy collection of useless facts isn't, after all, completely useless.

So wish me luck, and hopefully on Monday we'll be looking for an apartment, too.
deliriumcrow: (Default)
One month from today I'll be a married woman. This should be interesting.
deliriumcrow: (Default)
For those as don't know, I work in a toy store, where one may observe many things, generally unrelated.

Firstly, children and their parents are carriers of all manner of diseases, and the smaller ones like to chew on things and put their contaminated saliva all over the things I then have to touch, breathe, wear ... I have been sick more often this year than pretty much ... ever.

Secondly, Elvis songs probably are not morally appropriate for children (if you care about those things), not even when seven-year-olds sing them. I am also not entirely certain why Jailhouse Rock isn't as big a gay anthem as, say, YMCA, seeing as it's about as subtle, and way more awesome. Elvis's performance of it (the one with all the jail cells and men in striped shirts) has all manner of grinding going on and rather phallic looking billy clubs, and I'm not actually certain how it made it onto the radio. Perhaps the censors were just that much more naive then? Maybe it's just that I'm more ... worldly? Experienced? Cynical? ... now than I was as a child, but I can actually see now why parents were shocked at the beginning of the rock and roll era. It's not that music was suddenly about sex, it's that the double entendres gave way to much more obvious lyrics.

On the other hand, that doesn't mean I ever intend to stop listening to it, or that my children will be banned from listening to the soul-rotting stuff.

When the souls are good and rotten, though, no one wants to buy or steal them from you. They're all yours, forever and ever, good and safe.
deliriumcrow: (Default)
So now, I'm officially in a band. It's a steampunk thing, and lots of fun, and I've liked their music for a while. We did some recording yesterday, and though one of the songs has to be mixed more thoroughly, there is one thing up so far in which I do appear, both as the voice of the clockwork girl, and as a random crewmember yokel-type (I'm shouting MOONSHINE! at the end). It can be found here, and here, and Dustin's voice is in there as well.

The band is the Clockwork Dolls, and you should listen to them. This is my totally non-objective opinion.

*edit: I suppose I really should mention that most of the music DOES NOT sound like this. Hoe Downs are pretty strictly limited to holidays. The rest of the year is much more like proper music. (That's on the myspace.)
deliriumcrow: (Default)
In my return for otherwheres, I bring you this.

Even *I* know what they're doing wrong.
deliriumcrow: (Tanky)
This is because, to Dustin's mind, casseroles are nasty, icky things that are made of inedible. Never mind that the Kolcannon is also, technically, a casserole, and is quite good. Anyway! He wanted me to do something with some bratwurst that he brought home without me, so I kept forgetting about it. I didn't even know how much of it there was, but he wanted it to last "for a while". I nosed around in a German/Eastern European cookbook for a while, until such time as I had an idea or two, and then chatted with a friend who also cooks, and he gave me more ideas.

Here's the result.

Slice six fairly large potatoes about 1/4" thick, and boil until reasonably soft. While this is going on, cook six bratwurst in either cider vinegar or hard cider, until done. Also fry about half a pack of bacon. put the whole lot from the sausage into a bowl, cider and all. pat out the bacon on paper towels, but leave the grease in the pan. Slice the bacon (easiest to use scissors for this) into pieces about 1/4" wide, and put into that pan three onions sliced into eighths, and one large granny smith apple, cut into 1/4" thick slices. Fry until more or less golden, and scrape any leftover bacon from the pan into the mix. It's yummy. put all this into the bowl of meat, and mix together. keep a few pieces of onion and apple out if you like for the top. when the potatoes are done (should be about now) mix the whole bowl of meat and fried vegetation into it with some cider vinegar (I think it was between half a cup and a full cup, but I just dumped it in until it smelled good), and pat into a large glass casserole. Grate enough cheddar over top (or just slice it, if you're feeling lazy) to cover it nicely, put the saved out onions and apples on that, and bake at 350o for about 15 minutes. Serve with hard cider. Mmmmmm.

It might be good with pepper, but as Dustin doesn't like pepper, there isn't any in this. It made one large glass dish, and one small 9x9 dish.


Really, I did just want a salad. This is so very not healthy, but god is it good.
deliriumcrow: (Sleeping Beauty)


This is also posted in the journal of [livejournal.com profile] metalstylus, whom I love more than anything.
deliriumcrow: (Sleeping Beauty)
Just got home a little while ago, both safe, and our cats haven't killed each other.

PA has a lovely system where, if you run into a traffic jam on the interstate (at least on 81, anyway), you can follow a series of red arrows and get back on at the next exit, hopefully thus avoiding the jams. This helped us immensely a few miles north of Harrisburg.

Dustin met both of my parents, and both of them seemed to like him a great deal.

He also asked my father if he could marry me, so since Dad said yes, then we're now right and properly engaged, ring and all, and will be married most likely in about a year and a half. Bam. News. Sometimes, it happens.
deliriumcrow: (Default)
Is there still the SCA group meeting at Denny's, and is it still in the same place as it had been the last time I was there, across the river? Is anyone going to be there? Is there another place I should go to find y'all? Because I'll actually be in town for a little bit.

(Also, if Maman and Papa are going to be there, could I have my books back, pretty please? I'd ask over IM but I haven't seen you on in forever and forever.)

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