Slacking

This weekend the temperatures soared above 90* and it was humid.  My plans changed rapidly day by day and I spent every minute engrossed in something.

But Ellette was with her grandparents, Odin was in West Virginia, and the Roommate was working all weekend, which left me with a big empty house and a cat.  I was kind of bored, for the first time in a long time.

I don’t like being bored; it’s a waste of time.  I have so much that I need to and want to do.  Last week was so crazy, however, that this weekend I couldn’t imagine working on anything.  I finished the knitting portion of the afghan and I just need to weave in ends.  I started piecing together the chemise, realized the straps are too long, ripped it out, pulled back the straps, sewed it together again, realized the straps were still to long, decided to start sewing on buttons, sewed the buttons to the wrong side, but I have to pull the straps off anyway and there really isn’t a right or wrong side, so I put it down until my mind was better suited for it.

I have an order for rose headbands that I started working on, until I got bored of doing the same thing over and over and over again.

I tried sewing wings, but got angry when my bobbin kept tangling on me.

There are only two truly productive things I did this weekend.  Sunday, I had a pirate fairy facepainting gig:

(He’s a panther)

I don’t really have a picture of my full pirate fairy get up, but it was a nice change of pace from the vibrant green and floral I usually do.  Here I had layers of tattered skirts in black, red, and white, with red and black leather boots and black wings.  I had several gold and silver necklaces with coins on to accent.  It was fun.

This is the birthday girl, and the only good picture I have of the custom wings I made for her birthday.  She wanted rainbow wings, and that’s what she got.  The purple on the edge is full of glitter that shines in the sunlight – because pirates like sparkly things about as much as they like money.

When I got home on Sunday, and into Monday, I did buckle down and get some of my own work done – cleaning, knitting, wings, and tutus.  As it turns out, the spot underneath tutus is really cool on hot days.  Our cat spent several hours each day curled up there.

The next week is going to be crazy, and I apologize in advance for the repetitive posts (or lack of) involving layers of tulle, wings, and yarn.  (I mean really, this is a crafting blog – that stuff doesn’t belong here in large quantities).

Give the Gift of Faery

I have decided, after several requests, to create a gift certificate.  It is available for purchase in my Etsy shop in $25 and $50, but can be requested in any denomination.

Now, if you want to give a pair of wings, but don’t which pair the recipient would like best, let them decide!  Request custom knits, custom costumes, and more.  My most recent request was actually for a very specific custom knit they knew the recipient would love, but I wasn’t taking custom orders at the time (all that show prep and stuff).  Awesome.

I’m still thinking about knitting and stuff.  Trying to get through some work – which you will see tomorrow – and coordinate my Memorial Day weekend, which is kind of full.

And I am wondering why I do this to myself.  Over and over again.

Getting There

I have been doing some “me” things lately.  Like working on the afghan (I have one edge finished – 3 to go!).

I have been cleaning (and getting the daughter to clean with me).

And, best of all, I finished the crochet portion of the Cecilia Chemise.  It is currently blocking in all of it’s glory.

This was a fast and fun crochet project – I am not usually a fan of crochet patterns, finding them awkward and monochromatic.  But, occasionally, I find one that really suits me.

This will definitely be ready to take to Hawaii, for which I am thrilled.  I have been thinking a lot about the trip and sending my roommate and Odin dozens of emails throughout the day of my thoughts, worries, factoids, and other weird findings.  Ellette is jumping up and down about the trip (all she wants to get out of it is a grass skirt).  I am looking forward to this small vacation with great anticipation.  It is much needed.  It is going to be fantastic.

I already know what knitting project I am bringing with me – the Carousel Socks from the latest Knitty.  That’s at least one of them – but the two 9 hour plane rides make me wonder if perhaps this should be exclusively plane knitting.  What do I work on when I’m there??

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.

Friday

I tried to write a post yesterday.  I started it in a spare moment and then saved it to come back to later.  The only problem was that once I got on a roll, I couldn’t stop.  I kept trudging through the night, not wanting to take a break because taking a break meant stopping, and if I stopped, I didn’t think I would start again.  Sometime after 1am, I realized my productivity was slowing, and it was probably best if I did not at that time try to paint a pretty sign or use sharp needles for felting.

The Celeste wings that were able to get done were completed, bringing my total to 14.  I also made all of my little signs and started piling up the boxes that comprise my portable shop so that this afternoon I could load the car swiftly, allowing me extra time to work on the fairy houses and straggling top hats.  The end is in sight, and it’s tieing knots out of my intestines.  I haven’t been hungry, and I think that is purely a psychological response – if I eat, it means I have to stop, and I can’t stop, so I don’t eat.  My body adjusted quickly.

I did feel it this morning, however, when, on a minute amount of sleep, I was attempting to carry 4 dozens doughnuts into work and could barely make it the one block from the bakery to the office.  My arms were trembling when I finally put the boxes down.  And all I could think of was – “Dang, I have tech rehearsal tonight.  I’m not going to make it.”  I don’t think my body will survive the constant exertions that the weekend will bring – not to mention anything of my mind.  I can feel it slowing down, too.  I’m sort of in la-la land, and the warm sunshine is doing nothing to quell that distraction.  As soon as I walk outside, I’ve spaced completely and I don’t know where I’m going and don’t pay attention to signs – which is a bad things when there are a lot of intersections between my office and my apartment.

With the help of Odin and the Roommate, however, I managed to gather the display items I need and pull all of it into one location.  (Thanks guys!)  Cleaning the car is something that should have been done ages ago, but it always takes necessity for me to take care of the little things like that.  At least, at this point in my fairy career, loading and unloading the car is a pretty easy, efficient job.  My display hasn’t changed too much in the past 2 years, and I have done a few dozen shows in that time period, which means the game of Tetris in the back of my Volvo stationwagon is dominated by my serious spacial reasoning skills.

I’m looking at the weather now, and Saturday in Janesville is going to be amazing, to be followed by a rainy/thunderstorming Sunday.  Fingers crossed the storm passes in the night or dissipates before reaching us.

But, I think I’m ready.  I’m packed.  I’m dressed. I really have to keep my mind in that set right now.

 

Driving away.  See you Monday.

Wednesday

I feel so far behind.  I really need to buckle down.

Yesterday, I finished the edges of the Celeste wings I had gotten framed and added what will become the spirals.  I finished putting the ribbons on two pairs, which gives me a grand total of 5 complete pairs of Celeste wings for this weekend.  At this point, putting the ribbon on is averaging me around 20 minutes, which means that for the remaining 9 wings (those that have been framed), I need 3 solid hours.  Will life leave me alone for three solid hours?  Probably not.

Of course, I still have other things to work on.

You saw the custom wings with the moss yesterday, but before I went to bed I checked them again and they didn’t look right.  Odin and I putzed around with a sample piece until we figured out a method that seemed to work.  When I checked it this morning, it seemed to be working right.  I am hoping to get phase 1 underway this afternoon.  It will still be a few days before I can finish them, which makes me sad.  They have already taken longer than I was anticipating.

Last night, Odin and I watched an episode of Man Men, and I did some needle felting while we did it.  I didn’t get one house done, but I am almost there.

It will have a strap, I just have to felt it.  Speaking of, I’ve got a few things going round and round in the washer to felt.  Tomorrow, hopefully, I will get to sew them together and be done.  I will, unfortunately, be missing knit night so I can crack down on work.

Tonight, I have my aerial class, and I can only hope that when I get home I will have enough energy to do a little crafting.  More felting or sewing or something.

It doesn’t help that I’ve got other stuff that needs doing that is totally unrelated to my shows.  Such as right now, I am writing this post while I’m on hold with the State of Illinois Department of Revenue, trying to figure out why my taxes were rejected.  I need to get an ID for Ellette to preempt problems of flying.  Not that I anticipate problems, I just want to be prepared.  The last thing I need is to get to O’Hell O’Hare and be told that I need proof of ID for Ellette.  This means tracking down a birth certificate (I know I have one somewhere, just not sure in which pile of paperwork) and taking the time out to go somewhere (where does one go for a non-driving ID?).

Tuesday

Monday saw the completion of the steampunk wings:

I do really like them and will definitely be making more.  If you are interested – I do custom orders, but these pre-made ones will only be available online if, by chance, they do not sell by June 20th.  The only way to get them is to come to one of my shows.

I also finished making coordinating bias tape for the Celeste wings so that I could complete the sewing (not complete yet) and I began framing the wings.

By midnight, I had completed two full pairs of wings, minus the finishing at the very edges – that’s kind of time consuming and my lighters were all dead.  Today, however, I picked up several more lighters and set to work.  Unfortunately, tea lights (which I have plenty of) do not offer the same amount of control that lighters do.

The ribbon is the most tedious part.  Once started, it is near impossible to stop wrapping until the wings are done.  I always dribble glue on my fingers which is never fun.  The Celeste wings are especially difficult because the center spirals flop around – and metal is kind of sharp.  I have several cuts on my forearms and am very grateful to my glasses for protecting my eyes.

Today, Tuesday, has seen the gathering of supplies that I had run low on so that I can finish some things – such as one of the custom orders.

These have been fun to make and explored a new technique – which I will most definitely be utilizing in the future.  They are cute and dynamic.  The moss is fun and adds an extra dimension to the look.  I have used moss in the past, but my experience has been that it dries out and becomes brittle, or gets so saturated with humidity that it starts falling off.  This is a faux moss and a new glue – a higher quality model train glue – that should lend more durability to the wings.  The only problem is the wings are porous and the moss isn’t sticking.  I must find a new glue.  This is a back step I was really trying to avoid.

 

*groan*

Monday

Brought to you by Hell Week.
No, seriously.  This week is going to be icnredible if we all make it through in one piece.  The lineup?
Monday – crafting
Tuesday – crafting, Ellette has gymnastics after school
Wednesday – Crafting, aerial rehearsal 7:30pm until my arms fall off pm (around 10)
Thursday – crafting, possible sanity saver knit night
Friday – load car, 7-10pm circus rehearsal, 1 hr drive to Waukegan to follow
Saturday – Awake at crack of dawn, drive pregnant lady with me to the Janesville Renaissance Festival, set up tent, run through sales and problem solving, leave pregnant lady to manage fairy shop, drive 3 hrs to Evanston, 4:30 and 7:30 circus show, pizza and beer following, sleep in own bed (maybe).
Sunday – Awake at crack of dawn, 3 hr drive to Janesville, 12 hr day in 83* fair (at least I hope it is 83*), pack up shop, drive 3 hrs to Evanston, pass out for an undetermined length of time.
The following week: Take inventory, scramble to restock.  That following weekend, 1 party, 1 face painting gig, Memorial day breather, spend the next week restocking, Witchy Wearbles’ Fairy Day Event follows to be succeeded immediately by a much needed vacay to Hawaii and then one week to finish restocking in preparation for Custer Street Fair.
And really, the rest of my summer follows in similar order – but you will find out about that as it comes.
The crafting, you ask – what could I have left to do?
Well, this week I have around 50 pairs of Celeste wings that need to be sewn and framed.  Celeste wings are a great design – lightweight, fabric, and small – they stand out in a crowd without bonking people in the shoulders.  Manouverability is important in large festivals.  They are made of fabric, sewn and reinforced, and held sturdy with heavy steel wire.  They sit just between the shoulder blades, with satin ribbon to secure around the shoulders or the “U” shape to slide down a bodice.  The loose fabric around the bottom flutters beautifully through movement, and what I call the “underside” of the wing – the part that people would see if they were looking directly at you – is made of sheer organza dotted with silver beads.  They glint magnificently in the sunlight.
The best thing about these is that it is a relatively simple design that I can produce quickly and consistently in a variety of colors at relatively low cost, which means that you – the fairy-to-be – can get high quality wings for relatively cheap.  50 pairs of these wings may last me the summer, but they will at least get me through Custer Street.
I also have some of my stock nylon wings that need the finishing touches and a couple pairs of steampunk paper wings that need ribbons attached.
I have not yet needle-felted the fairy houses, which, when I get down to it, shouldn’t take too long.
I have several more tiny top hats and tiny witch hats that need decorating and headbands.  Some still need to be felted, but I have been doing so much felting lately that finding “dirty” clothes  to warrant the washer hogging is becoming increasingly difficult.
Aside from the stock crafting, I have to make signs and displays for my new items.  I wrote a very detailed list for Odin of the things I need from Home Depot and Joanns, along with encouragement to grab anything that might look useful or attention grabbing (which has it’s own uses).  This will be a big help.
I have two pairs of custom wings in various stages of completion that I really need to buckle down and finish.
Not to mention the every day things like some level of sanitary cleanliness, personal hygeine maintanence, and food.  I have a few things I need to do involving finances and some things to prep for Hawaii.
After this week I take stock of all of the wings and wands and hats and decide what needs to be restocked – and chances are I’m going to have to churn out another 50 or so wands and a couple dozen pink and purple wings.
Just thinking about this is making the adrenaline pump.  I have been having really bad dreams brought on by the anxiety over my season starting.  This is normal.  Mostly.  I think I have some worries this year that I didn’t last year, and the drama that is happening in my personal life is only making the stress levels rise.
Deep breath.
It seems like I’m crazy, and I probably am.  If I denied it, I’m sure someone out there would find a way to lock me up for my own safety.
That being said – I know my roommate and a few friends do read this regularly – so this message is for you:  I would not mind your company.  Make the work load seem lighter.  Know that if you do want to sit down and chat or watch a movie – I will more than likely hand you something that needs ot be done.  Here’s a spool of ribbon – cut 100 2 foot lengths and singe the edges with this lighter.  Here’s my bag of scrap fabric, start cutting circles of all sizes.  Here’s the wand template and a pair of scissors and a tracing pencil – get to it.  Anything you can do, you will do.

The ABCs of May

As of May 1st, there were 26 days of school remaining.  The first grade teachers thought it would be cute to assign each day a letter of the alphabet and have an appropriate theme each day.  A was for “animal day” and the kids talked about their favorite animal.  F is for “future day”  and the kids dressed as what they want their career to be.  H was for “Hawaiian day” and Ellette was determined to have a grass skirt.

We started with Raffia, which we picked up at World Market for cheap.  Ellette picked out the colors she wanted.  We cut off strips – a lot of strips – and fought with the cat over raffia territory, and knotted them around the elastic.  The result?

A stunning, colorful, well coordinated grass skirt.  The weather required her to wear leggings underneath, but she had tons of fun anyway.  And the cat loved chasing her around.

This all reminds me how close it is to being over and the summer starting, how busy I’m becoming, and how big my child is getting.

This is Not Knitting

Right now, knitting feels like work.  I constantly have a bag of yarn with me and my size 8 DPNs so that during any down time, I am churning out hats and fairy houses and other items for the upcoming shows.  That means it is getting harder for me to find joy in my knitting.

Instead, I crochet.

 

The thing about crochet is that it uses more yarn in less time, meaning you spend more money more frequently to make things.  It also means that this top will probably be completed by the time we leave for Hawaii on June 6th.

It is a nice change of pace from what I do for work, and the edging is kind of amusing – although I did have to rip it back due to a counting error.  Now it seems to be working out, although I think perhaps it will be a little full and ruffly – which I’m really kind of okay with.

This is unfortunately all you get.  Things are kind of redundant around here at the moment.  Progress is being made – it just doesn’t look like it.  Until then, satisfy yourself with crochet.

Previous Older Entries

http://livesoftheaerialists.com/

Just a Crazy Fiber Fairy

Pollyanna Rainbow Sunshine and the Needles of Doom

Fiber, craft, life, and random silliness

The Creative Pixie

eat up from crafty goodness with this creative mama

My Tangled Yarn Knitting Adventures

Ramblings from an obsessed knitter

Funky Air Bear

Traditional & Modern Knits

The Circus Diaries

Circus Thoughts From Circus People

art predator

art predator )'( seek to engage the whole soul

This Is What it is

A topnotch WordPress.com site

she shoots sheep shots

Just a Crazy Fiber Fairy

Half Crunchy Mom

No Extremes, No Judgement

by Annie Claire

Just a Crazy Fiber Fairy

No Parachute Theatre

theatre.aerial.dance

From My Insides Out

My journey to save myself

circus of humanity

A site dedicated to Circus/Performance Arts, Freaks and Geeks, Self-Acceptance, Financial Freedom, and Enjoying the Journey!