Aftermath

I kept thinking all afternoon yesterday about how I should update.  And then I sat down at the computer and played Oregon Trail for an hour, then cleaned the bathroom and straightened up some of the mess I had created last week, then sat down to knit and crochet.  I worked on the afghan a bit and came really close to finishing the Cecilia Chemise:

But anyway, the weekend.

Our act was the first of the second half for tech rehearsal, which meant that we showed up, did our warm up, ran through the set up and and strike of our piece a few times, went through it all once, and then we were done.  As soon as our instructor told me I could leave, I was gone.  I didn’t even change out of my costume.  I just hopped in the car and drove the hour to Beach Park to meet up with Brian and Rose.  I finished the last of the fairy houses before retiring to bed.

And then we were up at 4:30 am to shower and get stuff ready.  We got the kids up and in the car and then we took off.  Two hours later we were unloading in Janesville, setting up the tent and stock, and waiting for the crowd to come.

The little girl there is Brian’s daughter, Ryley, who kept trying to either help, or pull me to sitting so I could build houses out of sticks which she would inevitably destroy and laugh.

I was placed next to Hearthstone Arts, a fantastic shop that makes beautiful mugs and platters.  Our house supports many of their fine wares, and being situated next door tormented me greatly.  But get this – sock knitting – it made me squee.

Around noon, I left the fair to return to Evanston, where I spent the remainder of the day in a spy costume, trying to nap in the green room, crocheting the Cecilia chemise, and performing our aerial routine.  I somehow stayed awake through it all, and even made it home with a little energy left to chat before going to bed.

I think we all had a great time – I did, at least.  I can’t wait to do it again.  It looks like our next act will be a really interesting Tom Waits Trapeze thing.  I’m not a fan of trapeze, but perhaps this will change my perspective.

Then again, on Sunday, I was up at 5:30 to be out of the door at 6:30, with Odin and Ellette in tow, and arrived at the fair to set up and spend time with some friends before the day officially began.  Then, it was slow, but fun.  Having a 3 year old clinging to my skirts actually made the day really nice, because even though we weren’t busy, I was always laughing and playing.

Fairies were everywhere, but mostly they were waist high and adorable.

There were fairies blowing bubbles.

And fairies eating pickles.

There were sleeping fairies.

Which is what I wanted to do.  I started crashing at 1, and was trying to put as much caffeine and fuel into my system as possible to stay awake.

Overall it was fun.  A thrilling weekend, void of boredom, and now I’m gearing up for round 2.

Deadline Approaching

There is an official sign in my kitchen, taking up the entirety of the white board.  It was prompted by a very bad weekend all around.  The house hated me, I hated them.  I had a bad week last week – I fell ill on Wednesday (probably should have seen a doctor, but I was too sick to get out of bed), and didn’t fully recover until Sunday.  I spent the last half of the week mad at everyone, curled up on the couch working away at a chunky scarf.  Wrong time of year for a scarf, and definitely not what I should be working on.  The weekend saw me with headphones in place while I warded off the demands of family in favor of sparkly pompoms which are slowly becoming magic fairy wands.

So far behind am I that I reached into the drawer this morning as I was getting dressed to realize that I didn’t have clean undies.  Oops.  So, this afternoon, Ellette and I loaded up the little red wagon and took an excursion to the laundromat two blocks away.  While it may be slightly more expensive than doing laundry in the machines supplied by the landlord, they had two dozen washing machines – we have two.  All ten loads of towels, clothes, and winter blankets were washed, dried, and folded in one almost smooth moment (the blankets had to be dried multiple times – stubborn little beasts).  We loaded the wagon back up and walked home.  I told Ellette to start boiling eggs for egg salad sandwiches and I wrote this note to the household:

Dear House:

I am officially declaring the next two and a half weeks NO MOMMY TIME. I am on a deadline.  And I am behind.  It is important that I am ready for the slough of show that is my May and June.  I cannot be held responsible for snarky comments, dirty floors, grumbling bellies, and lonely nights.  No, I do not want to go out.  No, I do not want to chat.  No, I do not care.   Protect yourself.  Avoid me.  At least until May 20th.

Then I ran out of room, or I would have written much more than that.  May 20th is the end of my May calendar.  I then have a few weeks before my June calendar.  I am still filling in the gaps, however.  A lot of the shows inbetween are not actually stock shows – just face painting or other gigs that don’t need as much prep.

 

This happens every year though.  I procrastinate until the very end, and then I scramble and get irritated.  I always tell myself I will get it together next time.  And I never do.  You’d think the family wouldn’t be at all surprised that I lock myself in my studio (or whatever at the time takes on the form of my studio) and work for hours and hours without human contact.  You’d think they would know better than to bug me about going out for dinner, doing laundry, and reading them stories.  Every time.  No one gets it.  Except the cat – who insists on helping.

One for Me, One for You

This past week has been Spring Break, and I have not been posting as much as I should have, considering.  Not because there is a 7 year-old home, because there isn’t.  She asked to spend the week with my parents.  The house has been amazingly child-free.  I forgot how much you can get done when there isn’t another semi-helpless human being begging for your attentions.

I have signed on as a consigned artist for the Chocolate Festival in Long Grove the first weekend of May, as well as being accepted as a vendor/face painter at the Valpraiso Popcorn Festival come September.  Check out the “find the faery” page for the deets on those.

What this means is that the start of my season was brought forward a week, eliminating a much needed week of preparation.  But as it turned out, I had the house pretty much to myself this week – free from distraction.  And when my mind gets into the groove, I kind of never stop working.

For me, I made new curtains for the living room:

We have been talking about the fact that our plans have changed drastically since we moved here.  Where we had only intended on staying a year or two, we find ourselves anticipating a couple more.  This, for me, means that I need to actually turn our “house” into a “home” – a transformation Odin does not quite understand, but allows me to indulge in.  Our apartment was built in the 1890s.  Tall ceilings, tall and numerous windows, an antiquated heating system, and the remnants of a coal-burning fire place.  Odin and I are interested in steampunk – come on, take an engineer and a girl with a passion for lace and corsets, it was destined – so I want to add some of that punk and victorian aspect to our apartment.  The white curtains are just the first step.  But don’t worry, I will let you in on the rest of the transformation as it comes about.

For you:

Things are being made.  And quickly.  I have been forgetting to eat and then stopping to stretch, only to realize I’m ravenous.  I drink too much tea and then into the evening I start drinking wine to wind down so I can go to sleep.  My mind is reeling with everything I need to make, and everything I want to make, and how little time I have to do everything.

I have found it necessary to take at least 20 minutes each day to work on something “for me” – thus the curtains were finally done.  If I don’t do something non-work related, I start getting angry at my studio for the amount of time I am forced to spend in it.

Stick with me; this will be great.

Dear 2011,

The past year has been quite crazy.  I am very happy to see it finally drawing to a close and look forward to what the next year brings.

Looking back at the past year:

A massive blizzard in February shut down schools for 2 days.  We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

Ellette had a fantastic 6th birthday in our own created Neverland.

 

Odin and I took a trip to Denmark in the Spring.

And I met family for the first time that I can remember.

Following Denmark was a brief excursion to France.

Upon our return, my studio looked like this for most of the summer…

As I had my hands full with the Janesville Renaissance Fair and the Custer Street Fair.

And later in the summer, the World of Faeries Festival.

Summer passed quickly when I wasn’t doing shows because we filled our time with beaches,

and fireworks,

and amusement parks.

I have spent the past year learning aerial acrobatics and look forward to continuing.  I will be in a performance in May that I am very excited for.

We welcomed fall with apple picking.

and Halloween.

Following Thanksgiving, we escaped to Texas and the Texas Renaissance Festival for a weekend.

And finished the year in Virginia.

For some reason, I thought I could finish a full afghan in the 10 days we’ve spent in the country.  Of course, I hadn’t counted on getting sick.  This is all I’ve been able to complete so far – a mere 40%.

And 2o12?

A new job, continuing passions and taking them to the next level.  Returning to Chicago and settling in to our lives there.  We are becoming more comfortable in our apartment and neighborhood and the lives that we are building.  We will also, thanks to our roommate, be adding a new family member to the mix (more about that later).

Tonight, we are going out to celebrate the coming of 2012 and kicking 2011 out the door.

How was your year?

Medival Fair in Autumn

We have had a very busy weekend over here.  With Odin out of town, it was me and Ellette finding ways to amuse ourselves.  Saturday, we attended the Stronghold Medieval Fair with a friend and her son, and Sunday – a glorious Sunday – we did absolutely nothing.  I couldn’t bother updating when I had my first true day that I could do absolutely nothing.  I did not have to wake up at a particular time, I did not have any intention on going anywhere, and it was a beautiful autumn day.

But, to tell you about the fair!  See below:

                 

 

A day when I did not have to work.  I opted out of selling at this show in exchange for a chance to be social and relaxed.  The weather was beautiful, and we were a little surprised at how quickly the day got away from us.  The kids absolutely loved it as well.  The most appealing part for me was that I didn’t have to wear a bodice.  I woke up, decided I was going to dress up, but as my inner pixie instead of regulated costume, and enjoyed adding layers and adornments.

 

 

Ode To Summer

Today marked Ellette’s first day of school.  For her, the summer is officially over.  On my days off, she will not be wandering the house, lamenting over how bored she is and how much work I have to do. One more week and my summer will be officially over as well.  While  I am somewhat sad to see it go, I am also rather grateful.  Summers are the busiest time of year for me, high stress levels and increasing boredom make it rough for us.

I thought I would see summer out with a little recap of our adventures.

We walked the Chicago Botanical Gardens.

We went to the beach.

Watched the fireworks on the 4th of July.

And we visited Six Flags Great America.

For much of the summer my studio looked like this, due to the fairy festivals and renaissance faires.

Now, fall is setting in, and the more regimented routine that follows.  I am trying desperately to get my house in order.  The chaos is getting to me.  I have started plotting projects and new products, hoping to get underway soon.  I kept myself going through the summer by telling myself things will slow down in September, and now that I am thinking about this September I realized things aren’t going to slow down for awhile.  I am working hard to eliminate KIPs just so I can cast on new items.  I have been sewing up a storm simply to use up the fabric scraps that have somehow overtaken my tabletops.  Over the next couple of weeks things should become slightly more organized, and more detailed photos of the projects I have undertaken will be available.

Until then, parents should enjoy the respite September brings!

Disappearing Act

Today, I realized just how long it had been since my last update.  I seem to have fallen off the face of the earth.

To be honest, however, I regret to say that not much of interest has happened since last week, and even the post last week was a stretch (something I had been planning – and promising – to write for some time).  This week I have been strangely listless, not wanting to work on anything.  I set up a new apparatus for storing yarn, which failed on me in a horrible accident yesterday and now balls of yarn litter the floor of my studio, yet for some reason I have no desire to clean it up.

Yesterday was my birthday, which partly explains the lack of work.  Odin surprised me with a therapeutic massage.  I think every birthday I need an afternoon at the spa.  I felt fantastic afterwards.  Tonight, we drive to Milwaukee to celebrate my mother’s birthday.  She has also agreed to watch Ellette so Odin and I can go dancing.  I am very grateful for that.

As far as projects go, I have been working on the same thing nonstop!  Top hat orders are coming in faster than I can handle them, among orders that are pre-existing.  I have just been informed that La Paloma will be at the Kansas Renaissance Festival, and so will my top hats.  That gives me all of 10 days to send Pam off with two dozen hats.  While, of course, keeping all of the other shops stocked!  I still haven’t gotten a chance to post any of them to etsy!

I have also been racing to complete the Dodo wings for the Fall Into Wonderland fashion show in September.  Today, on my drive north, I am supposed to be unloading them, and a handful of other wings, to the designer’s mom.  Unfortunately, my sewing machine needle broke yesterday – yes, it was my last one – and I did not get a chance to replace it until this morning.

In a fit of impulsive irresponsibility, I made a hefty yarn purchase from WEBS which consisted of several balls of chunky weight wool that was on sale for extraordinarily low prices.  Since it has arrived, I have been consumed with designing pixie winter hats.  (No photos yet, I apologize).  It has distracted me from the top hat order and the dodo wing order and has taken all of my self control to regiment my schedule.

Coming up, I still have a pair of Celeste wings that were custom ordered and requested by Halloween, that Dr. Who scarf, which has also been requested in time for Halloween, Ellette’s knee high socks she has been begging me for, and my new winter inventory!

Besides all of that, I am desperate to making something for me!  I have been inspired with many designs, and while perusing Ravelry, many more patterns I want to make for myself.  My trouble is picking one, and finding the time to complete it.  I have the chess board to make (most of which has at least been written out!), the Catan board to remake, and two afghans in various stages of production.  I feel as though I will never have time for relaxation (although, Odin admitted the reason he sent me to the spa on my birthday was because he had some inkling as to how seriously I needed just an hour – if not more – of pampering and solitude).

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