Jan 15 2021

Well, I have one project coming up, some kumihimo for my Laurel. That’s all I’ve settled on so far. Currently awaiting details.

Spending extra time In quiet contemplation Of the next best step

Enjoying inspiration In the possibilities

Jan 14 2021

The next project looms What to do with idle hands? Possibilities

Whilst I ponder the options This studio must reset.


Drawn to the promise Of becoming lost in it The choice is laid out

Carefully consider each Before diving in head first

Technology Snafus

I turned in a video. It’s not the video I wanted but it’s better than no video. I hope.

The photo shoot went really well. I got great pictures, some specifically were meant to lay over parts of the video so when I talk about the hitoe, and picture of me in the hitoe is on screen. But there were shenanigans and the files didn’t transfer properly and for just a little while, I had lost all the great photos. And all of the video I had shot of the entire project.

I almost discorporated.

It wasn’t too long before I had all the files back and was speeding right along with the editing. And then … I discovered the base clip had sound so low it may as well not be there. Boosting the gain did nothing. I checked the source clip, a little low, but the audio was there. Another long while trying to get everything to work, restarting the program and the video project from scratch. And I eventually had to give up. Nothing worked.

I tried to edit the video on my phone. Yeah, I needed hours of tutorial for that. So I did what I could and turned in what I have, the base clip. It’s hell of unpolished, just one take of my script. Has one flub. The beginning and end are trash because I couldn’t even manage to figure out how to trim the video. I hope it is better than nothing.

So that’s it, that’s everything, Crown’s A&S is all over but the judging. Next week I meet with my three judges and at least one shadow judge for assessment. The week after that I meet with Their Majesties for judging (I think). And then at some point after that I’ll find out how I scored and if I made the finals. Making the finals would be amazing.

Calontir Clothing Challenge has until the 31st. So I’m going to absolutely take the next couple of days off and get some things done that I’ve been neglecting for 3 1/2 months. And maybe plan a birthday party for myself. All I need to do for C3 is upload pictures and fill in a few forms and that will be all over but the judging.

Here on this blog I need to create a gallery page for this project. And I may try again at some point to remake the short video with the cool image overlays and two inserted video snippets. It was meant to be 4ish minutes of awesome. We’ll see.

Today has been my most prolific tanka day yet. 7. This one brought a smile to its recipient:

Haunting melody A refrain of languid notes Swirling in my mind

A bow drawn across heartstrings Crescendo of emotion

Another Day Off

Mostly. I finished editing the script. I’ll film in the morning.

Once I have all the pictures taken and the video shot (and edited and turned in) I’ll clean up the project remnants that are all over the place.

So the question becomes, do I revamp the inaccuracies in the project so it’s ready to go when it is time to wear it, or pack it away to work on something else? There won’t be any SCA events that I can wear it to until at least June, let’s be honest, large gatherings of people probably won’t happen this year either. So there is time. I also intend to make a couple other items to round out the outfit appropriately. But no hard deadlines. I’m kind of done with deadlines for a while. Maybe the alterations and new items can be my small sewing projects that exist to be worked on while watching television.

Having completed  A great task I find myself Wanting something new

The focus of adventure And thrill of exploration

But there is this dark gold dragon brocade that is begging to be a hitatare kamishimo. That’s a men’s outfit with matching top and bottom. And there’s a yellow chrysanthemum brocade that needs to be turned into a karaginu that’s a “Chinese jacket” worn as the top most layer in karaginu mo or formal court ensemble for ladies. I also happen to have the fabric already cut out for a white uwagi too…so many projects!

I also need to decide how to wrap up daily blogging. It’s been a wonderful exercise, but without an active project, I don’t have much to say. I could simply post my tanka.

There is a large project I set aside in order to complete the travelling outfit, and I am eager to pick that back up.

But two priorities are learning Japanese and getting into fighting shape. I’d like to fight in the SCA, so it’s time to get serious about it which means training every day. At least learning to count in Japanese will be easy as I count blows on my pell (a training dummy).

Lots of things to ponder as I wrap up the travelling outfit project for now.

A Day Off – Sort Of

I woke up and wanted to take the day off. I haven’t had a full day off since Thanksgiving, and I was rushed off my feet cooking for that. So I took the day off. Mostly.

I emailed my Laurel so she has the same information my judges do.

I pulled out the ginu to iron them, even though I was taking the day off. Don’t worry, no ironing happened. I realized that I did not feel comfortable wearing ginu that are meant for the fourth lunar month, May. No, not even for a video so I’d look super pretty. I try to keep my depiction of a Heian noblewoman as authentic as I can make it, and no self-respecting court lady would wear thin robes for summer in winter. So I’ll shoot the video tomorrow in just the travelling outfit sans hat.

I did start looking over my script for the video and found I didn’t quite like it, so I’ve been tweaking that.

It’s not really a day off, but it’s the slowest I’ve had in a month. Feels really weird not to sew.

My brush flies again As I write another poem For another day

An opportunity to Share words with the world once more


Exhale with relief The great task is at its end Time for some small rest

A whirlwind of silk and words Packaged up in an email

It’s done! I sent in the required things and have received confirmation that everything is in order. I’m over the moon about it. It’s a really big accomplishment, and I’m extraordinarily proud of getting this done on time and well.

Would you like to read my documentation? Just click on documentation and you’ll be whisked away to a public google document. It’s not short. 11 pages. And it has pictures! And I suppose you would like to see at least one picture of the completed outfit, right?

While I am officially entered and submitted, and could call Crowns A&S done, I still want to do the optional video. So tomorrow I’m putting everything back on, one layer at a time to take a few pictures for the Calontir Clothing Challenge. Then I’m going to slip the uwagi off, untie the hitoe and put on a set of robes, called ginu, then put the uwagi back on. Once I’m properly dressed, I’ll take a few photos and then film the little script I have written up. After that, it’s all about the editing.

Oops. I guess that means I need to get those ginu pressed…

Home Stretch

Complete save one sleeve I step back and admire it Could I be more pleased?

The flaws quickly forgotten As its beauty melts my stress.

I finished it! The uwagi is complete!

I’d love to take some time to celebrate, but that has to wait until everything is turned in.

I’ve returned to the hat for it’s final assembly. First I removed the old veil panel. I’m currently trimming the kazari-himo or decorative cords to the same length.

Once I’ve finished that (I’ve got one left) I have to contemplate how I’m actually slitting the veil panels to weave the cords through. I think I’m going to go with exactly what I can see in that zoomed in photo, a central outlet so the cords hang down the center of the veil panel and a slit to allow both cords to pass to the back of the veil at the seams of the panels. The majority of the time the cords are encased within the channel created by the stitched down overlap.

After cords are adjusted, I’ll stitch the entire completed veil and cord assembly to the hat. Crud, A curved needle would make that a whole lot easier. I don’t think I have one…yeah, I looked, no dice. I may heat up a needle and take some tools to it and shape my own curved needle. I’ve done it once before. That 15 minutes or less spent making that needle bent will save me twice that time. Yup. I guess that’s a thing I’ll do after finishing that cord.

Once the mushi no tareginu or veil panels are attached it’s all over but the pictures. I’m getting dressed and taking pictures as early as I can to give more time for finalizing submission materials. Crown’s A&S is only accepting 3 images, so I’ve planned out the 3 shots I want. My partner is going to play photog. We have plans for shooting both outside and inside and choosing the best. I’ll grab some extra stuff and some video as well.

After going over the documentation one more time, I’ll upload everything and send it off.

Here’s a cool bit, they’re giving us a couple extra days for the optional video! This means I can shoot my video on Monday and then have two days to edit it. I’m super stoked about the extra time, my video will be so much better than if I had rushed it tomorrow with the other materials.

Uwagi Final Touches

Let’s make some more progress on this list.

I have a lot to do today in order to finish this project. The goal is to get the uwagi completely finished so I can finish the hat tomorrow morning and take pictures in the afternoon. If things get dicey, I have Sunday as a back up day, but I really would prefer to leave Sunday for a final polish of documentation and making sure everything gets turned in. The deadline is 11:59pm Sunday for all materials to be turned in.

The deadline looms large And imposing, challenging This one to meet it.

Head down and back to work, there Is no time to spare today.

Time to make some tea and get to stitching.

First up, top stitch the entire edge. This took 5 hours.

Next, sleeves. I’m doing this start to finish one sleeve at a time starting with the right sleeve. This is a process. Before starting, I double checked the direction of the brocade and matched the sleeve to the body. Then I moved to the actual attaching steps. First I pressed the back edge of the sleeve, the body side, to it’s final position in topstitching in both the lining and fashion fabric. Sounds like a weird thing to start with, but this is best done before the sleeve is actually attached to the garment. Next I attach the sleeve lining to the body lining and stitch it on. The upper/outer fabric sleeve is then attached to the body. Once it’s all stitched on, I flip the outer over the lining and fuss with everything, lining it all up in prep for the next step. This took 3 hours.

Pinning the right sleeve. This took about an hour and a half.

Top stitch right sleeve. I’ve got another 45 minutes on this and I’ll have a completed sleeve. That means the other sleeve will take about 5 hours, so I guess it’ll be finished tomorrow.

Uwagi Pinned In

The next step is – Put it together with the lining???

Lost on the next step I see the final version Not the path to it

My kingdom for clarity, I need to read Japanese

I tried translating the page again. It made slightly more sense but not enough to clue me in. I think “discipline” and “baste” may be the same thing? Grr. Not that the distinction really helps. I feel so lost. I’ll try translating it again and hope some kind of inspiration strikes. I need to make significant progress on fitting the two halves together in order to finish the whole thing on time. If I get really stuck, I’ll assemble the hat so I keep moving forward.

I read through the translated instructions a few times and well, I know that I should put the body together first and then attach the sleeves, but I already knew that, so I guess the confirmation is nice? I still have only a glimmer of insight into how to put the two bits together. I guess I’ll just start pinning it all together and see what happens?

I’ve spent hours pinning the uwagi and I have the two pieces, lining and upper or fashion fabric, completely pinned together. Tomorrow I’ll start with stitching that all together then move on to the sleeves.