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desk nest shelf

mental health and other creative projects

Month

September 2015

teehee

This week I’ve been visiting a friend in Minneapolis. (I’m flying back home to Massachusetts tonight.)

Look what I found in a little store.

introvert notebooks

Teehee!

Though the only other set of notebooks there was notebooks for grumps, not for extroverts. I looked on the distributer’s website and saw that their third category is notebooks for narcissists.

Hmmm, it’s almost as if introversion is perceived as a negative trait in western culture…

books and slowing down

When I was growing up, reading used to be my main pastime.

Reading books, that is.

And then, when I was partway through high school, Facebook became popular. And then when I was in college, I read all the time–but it was for courses. I didn’t have the time to read for pleasure. Or when I did, I was so tired from studying that I just couldn’t read any more.

This year I’ve had quite a bit of free time. I’ve had chronic pain from an injury that wiped me out for about 7 months. I was working part-time, and the rest of the time I was in so much pain that I didn’t feel like I could do active things. I really needed a mental escape from pain, stress and anxiety.

Continue reading “books and slowing down”

twitter, introversion and class participation

I see Twitter as a big gymnasium with everyone standing around in groups and shouting to each other.

How do you find your people out there?
How do you find the right conversations in all that noise?

Continue reading “twitter, introversion and class participation”

Historical costuming!

I normally keep artsy-craftsy posts on my Tumblr, but I am so happy about this that I want to share it here too!

I’ve spent the summer collecting materials to make a Regency dress (like what you see in Jane Austen movies). I think of this as historical costuming rather than cosplay because I don’t have a particular character in mind, nor am I trying to reproduce a particular outfit from a movie. But maybe a character will come to mind as I work.

I found these lovely fabrics for very cheap at a discount fabric store. I didn't notice until I got home that the blue roses print says that it is from 1815-1850 on the selvage, so it's a little off, but not too bad!!
I found these lovely fabrics for very cheap at a discount fabric store. I didn’t notice until I got home that the blue roses print says that the pattern is from 1815-1850 on the selvage, so it’s a little off for the pattern I’m using (1790s-1805), but not too bad! I’m rather pleased with myself.

The print with the blue roses is going to be a dress with elbow-length sleeves and a drawstring neckline (see rest of the post!) and the greenish print is going to be a crossover-front half-robe. Basically like a waist-length jacket to wear over it.

I’m completely in love with the color combination. The cashier at the fabric store called the green/gold one “hard to love”. Hard to love? It’s GORGEOUS!

I also spent a long time designing and hand-stitching short-stays to go under the dress to get the right fit.

This was a very tricky project. A lot of hours went into it, and it's pretty solid, but I think I will eventually make a new, improved, studier one.
This was a very tricky project. A lot of hours went into it, and it’s pretty solid, but I think I will eventually make a new, improved, studier one. That, or make a slip with some supportive structure to it.

Here’s what I started yesterday.

The bodice in progress, with bias binding pinned around the neckline to make a drawstring casing. This part took a lot of patience to sew!
The bodice in progress, with bias binding pinned around the neckline to make a drawstring casing. This part took a lot of patience to sew!
Tiny stitching! Pretty good, I think?
Tiny stitching! Pretty good, I think? (Yeah, ok. I didn’t make my own bias binding.)
Yay! All done!
Yay! All done!

Photo on 2015-09-15 at 13.42 #2Next step is the skirt– shouldn’t be too hard– and elbow length sleeves. I’m not sure if I’m going to hand-stitch all the way down the skirt (48 inches…) but I think I probably will. I’m not too crazy about the sewing machine I have access to at the moment.

There was an emergency when I started out, though. I spent 3 hours pinning the pattern pieces to the fabric, and re-checked at least 6 times. Immediately after cutting the pieces out, I realized that the bodice pieces had the print UPSIDE DOWN!

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

I know the print is so small, but I couldn’t stand the idea of putting so much work into it and have all the tiny roses be upside down. That would be too sad.

After I’d cooled down a bit I realized that I had just enough to cut out new pieces for the bodice, and use the mess-up pieces for the lining. The sleeves will be the other way around, but I don’t think that will be too noticeable. I probably shouldn’t tell you, because you wouldn’t have noticed otherwise.

Ah well.

when feeling uncertain

When I lose confidence in myself  -we all do- it helps me to remind myself of some times when I have surprised myself.

It isn’t the list itself that makes me feel better. It is the reminder that the person who did those things is me.

I am that person who tried, so many times, even though she didn’t feel like she was good enough.

I am that person who stood by her friend.

I am that person who stood up for me.

Even though the things I am proud of feel far away sometimes, I am still that person.

You have been brave, too.

I think you are probably still that person.

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