Archive for September, 2009

Obligations?

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

What are those?

It’s really nice to have somewhere to be five nights a week. Really, really, really.

Also a good excuse to develop a French accent, which is going okay. I have a better reference for people speaking French than for French people speaking English, but for the most part I’ve avoided sounding British. Oddly, I keep trying to change “w” to “v” which is distinctly German. Hmm. My background is showing.

A Week of Blocking

Monday, September 28th, 2009

(I’ll get this out of the way first. Make sure you scroll to the right!!)

That would be this coming week, anyway. Sometimes it astounds me how much discomfort is involved in theatre, which leads me to the conclusion that theatre is thrill-seeking behavior.

You go through hell. Insomnia, self-doubt, severely stressful periods of inappropriate time management, and sometimes people are mean to you. My personal favorite side effect is when I wander around in public muttering to myself, making indistinct subconscious gestures that probably look like the beginnings of a seizure, and facially expressing reactions to things that aren’t there before catching myself and trying to pass it off as “normal”.

Then you’re faced with a certain degree of performance-related terror, and spontaneous rushes of adrenaline that leave you with a racing heart, flushed face, mild wobbliness, and an obnoxiously acute sense of awareness. This gets attributed to nerves, fear, or excitement. Whatever it is, I avoid caffeine like the plague.*

I guess what’s odd is how taxing performance really is, and how difficult it is to take care of yourself properly during that time. It took Sister Mary for me to put this in true perspective. 75 straight minutes under hot, close lights, in a habit. Performing, which is by nature an intensive pursuit.** Sustaining your voice for that much consistent speech (and yelling…) is a story in its own right. (Thanks, years of teaching children’s theatre.) It’s impossible to keep these things out of everyday life. Your body and mind adjust to reflect the work you do.***

Despite all these considerations, you can’t wait to do it again. So what if it’s scary? All the things I’ve listed above are broken up by moments of success, hilarity, community, intellectual epiphany, and sometimes sheer euphoria. With that kind of elasticity and unreliability in physical/hormonal extremes, no wonder people get hooked

My current project is Germaine in Picasso at the Lapin Agile with the Ann Arbor Civic Theatre. The role interests me (among other reasons) because I’m onstage for all but the first few pages of the show, but there are many other people at most times to take the focus. The play itself is quite heavily theoretical, with little specified action to take the weight. The challenge will come in finding physical behaviors that are honest, appropriate, and non-distracting for the long stretches when I’m mainly serving as an observer.

Despite growing up here and working in community theatre, this is my first time working with the Civic. Due to my current state of unemployment and lack of Ann Arbor contacts, I think this is one of those instances where it’s appropriate to say “community theatre is saving my life.” So uh…

Community theatre is saving my life.

* I guess I’m one of those small, inexhaustible people. Caffeine will either make me shaky or make me crash out. In the case of a performance crashing is not an option, so…

** Some days my shoulder blades cramped when I sat down for the pageant scene, her first of two “rests” in the entire show. I left every night not wearing my coat, and didn’t reach a “normal” body temperature for a least half an hour. Keep in mind, this was February. I also stashed granola bars in my bag, which I forced down in tiny pieces before each performance. It was tougher than you might imagine; easier to eat a few hours before and after the show.

*** I should qualify this with an explanation but it’s a rather complicated Catch-22, worthy of its own entry.

Orange Juice, ten cents

Saturday, September 26th, 2009

When I walked downtown today, there were two blonde haired children selling orange juice for ten cents a cup. I didn’t buy any.

I always wanted a lemonade stand when I was small. Does my failure to support the attempts of the future generation make me a bad person?

Slow Weekend

Friday, September 25th, 2009

giantflower.jpg

I have the house to myself.

I guess it’s time to throw some wild parties and wreck the house. You know, get trashed with a bunch of strangers from the club and blast obnoxious music until the neighbors call the police…

OOPS darn. My plans are spoiled because I forgot that Moom reads this. I also forgot that I don’t go to the club, so where do I find these “strangers from the club”? I guess I’ll have to settle for my spinning wheel, sewing machine, yarn stash, and a glass of wine.

What a tragedy. Why can’t I have any fun around here?

So, this graphophobe starts a blog…

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

I realize that I’m paranoid, but every so often people find my website by looking for my name. I suppose that’s not unusual, and after all I did make the (somewhat baffling) decision to post personal information on the internet; least private of public places.

There is a strange sort of jolt that comes with the realization that you’ve been searched, similar to how you felt the other day when you ran into that person who knows everything about you, and that’s great except you have NO IDEA WHO THEY ARE.* All else aside, it makes me curious as to who is searching me and why. Are they surprised (or relieved, or bored, or melancholy, or something else entirely) when they discover I mainly talk about fiber arts and all the nothing I’ve been doing with my time?

It doesn’t help that I’ve always been self conscious about my writing, more in terms of content than structure. On the other hand, I’m not asking anyone to read what I’m writing. Which is…what?

I’m still trying to answer the question of why I started this page. It comes in handy more often than I ever would have expected, mostly in relation to things I’ve created and documented. Just today I used it to recreate a pattern** by squinting at blurry photos and guessing.

On a humorous note, have I mentioned that we never finished coding the page? Four years, and I still don’t have my blue boxes. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you don’t need to know what I’m talking about.

* I find myself in this situation with embarrassing frequency. If I’ve done it to you personally I’m sorry; I’m pretty sure it’s just one of those traits that comes with being an introvert who thinks too much. One part paranoia, two parts awkwardness, and a drop of genuine panic when faced with social accountability of any sort.

** Another thing I’ll never understand is why I can’t draft my patterns as I create them, rather than later on when I’ve forgotten them.

Brown Out

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

I was doing an excellent job of posting daily…until about Sunday. I got busy (doing nothing), and then yesterday when I was finally ready to post something our power went on the fritz. It was interesting timing, as we had no water for seven hours today due to water main work.

Anyhow, that got in the way and now I have no pictures to post. I could take some, but I’m feeling too lazy to go through the whole process of…processing. If you will.

I really have been knitting like crazy; I’m mostly making things that I’m planning to sell. I thought it would be interesting to explore using the etsy.com account I created four years ago and never developed. News on that as I build my stock and set things up.

Meanwhile, I kind of love this sweater. I have some old stash yarn that would be perfect. Once I get a few more projects out of the way, perhaps I’ll work on that.

1/8″ bias tube button loops

Saturday, September 19th, 2009

buttonloops.jpg

I am smitten. I have unspeakable adoration for these loops. In fact, I’m quite sure at this moment that nothing could please me more than to add them to every reasonable garment I own. So far this dress contains ten, soon to be sixteen. Eighteen? Maybe more?

I’ve had my sewing machine set up outside today, and I’m finally finishing the top part of the dress. Then I’ll draft, cut, and add the skirt, add bias tape edgings and button loops on the skirt, hand stitch the inner facings, and decide which (serger-less) method I want to use to enclose/hold down the inner seams.

pinksilk.jpg

I should also mention the additional ~174 yds of the pink* merino/silk that I finished yesterday. I have ~414 total, and about 1/3 of the fiber remaining. How much fits on a single bobbin is somewhat determined by how frequently I switch positioning hooks on my wheel. The first bobbin produced ~70 yds more than the second; it should be a surprise as to what the third will hold.

Beads for Buttons

Friday, September 18th, 2009

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I decided that buttons weren’t quite right for this project, so I’m devising a plan for the beads instead. I bought two varieties; I’m still deciding whether or not I want to alternate/randomize them. The round flat ones will make good inner fastener; on the other hand I’d kind of hate to hide them. Fortunately they should both take a similar sized loop, so I may not have to decide right away.

Dear Freeway Drivers,

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

I really have to object to people who go 40 mph for the full distance of long, reasonably straight entrances, especially during rush hour. I prefer not to accelerate 30+ mph while trying to merge into speeding traffic. Please abandon your well-worn copy of “How to Endanger the Lives of Everyone in your Personal Vicinity” and contact your local driver’s ed program to begin studying “The Safe and Basic Operation of Motorized Vehicles”.

Thanks,

Mouse <:3 )~

SpinSewSpinSew

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

dresspattern.jpg

In the spring sometime, I went to Office Max and bought a cheap roll of brown paper for packaging. I’ve found that it’s perfect for pattern drafting as it’s cheap, large, and reasonably sturdy. Currently, I’m putting together a dress that is similar in style to an existing (and very worn) shirt. The old shirt is a soft, muted green. The dress is a bright shiny orange, although the picture is fairly inaccurate. It’s funny because they’re both on my list of favorite colors despite the extreme contrast.

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I wound yesterday’s skein of silk/merino into a ball, and I’m now working on the second bobbin of the silk. I’m still extremely pleased with it, but I spent a lot of today sewing instead of spinning. It’s nice to mix things around a bit, not to mention that I have a bear of a spinner’s cramp in my left little finger. It’s been stiff in the morning, but it loosens up as the day goes on and I do things with my hands.