My Con or Bust Donation for 2018

Arts & Crafts, Geek out!

Here is my donation for Con or Bust‘s yearly online auction for 2018: a rainbow heart banner.

Rainbow Banner

Each heart measures approx. 3” / 7 cm, and there’s one of each color (purple, red, orange, yellow, green and blue). They have vibrant fronts made from a variety of cottons and cotton blends, and the backsides are made from a linen blend in a neutral greyish beige hue.

Rainbow Banner Back Fabric

All fabrics come from my scraps bin, which reduces waste, as does filling the hearts with clippings (thread and small waste fabric).

Rainbow Banner Hexagon

The hearts form an approx. 53” / 135 cm banner with the help of baker’s twine, with loops at both ends for hanging.

Because of the neutral backing, the banner looks best hung against a wall or other flat surface.

Rainbow Banner on Bookcase

However, as I strung it up for photos, I noticed that the hearts have a tendency to swivel, which would make a nice effect if hung somewhere where air currents can gently sway the banner.

Rainbow Banner on Door Frame

Bidding will start next Monday, April 09, 2018. Before that, you can have a look at the 2018 auction info, visit the Con or Bust website for more information or browse the 2018 auction tags.

Con or Bust, Inc., is a U.S.-based, tax-exempt not-for-profit organization that helps people of color/non-white people attend SFF conventions. Con or Bust isn’t a scholarship and isn’t limited to the United States, to particular types of con-goers, or to specific cons; its goal is simply to help fans of color go to SFF cons and be their own awesome selves. It is funded through donations and an online auction held annually.

As I’ve had firsthand experience of being on a miniature budget and having to limit my geeky hobbies accordingly, I decided to add Con or Bust to my list of things worthy of support. This is my third time donating.

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Discoveries: FUJITAMIHO Lace Accessories

Design & Designers, Fabrics & Materials, Stunt Double

Miho Fujita creates delicate jewelry and accessories out of crocheted lace under the label fujitamiho. If that sounds hopelessly old-fashioned, you’re in for a treat: the end result is about as far as you can get.

Fujitamiho Instagram Blues

Fujitamiho on Instragram.

The accessories are made to look like leaves, berries, clusters of mushrooms and other natural elements.

Fujitamiho Instagram Fern Earrings

Fujitamiho on Instragram.

Fujitamiho Instagram Young Bracken

Fujitamiho on Instragram.

The crochet is incredibly tiny and delicate, and the shapes are as marvellous as only a close attention to detail can produce. Some of the jewelry looks almost modern and minimalistic. The pale, natural colors certainly speak to my Nordic sensibilities. 🙂

Found via Colossal. If you read Japanese, you can browse her online shop.

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

When Even the Waste Looks Good

Behind the Scenes, Colors, Fabrics & Materials

Recently I’ve worked on several small projects with colorful fabrics. One of the delights of working with bright colors is that even the littlest scraps look cheerful!

Colorful Clippings

It’s especially nice on grey days. This weekend’s forecast looks rainy; I’d better bring out my scraps bin again for more projects. 🙂

Flying Geese in Rainbow Colors

Arts & Crafts, Colors, Design & Designers

Work in progress: a prototype with flying geese piecing made from scraps in rainbow colors.

Work in Progress Apr 26

This is one possible layout. I was originally thinking two mirrored table runners or small mats, but seeing them on the floor like this makes me wonder whether one lapquilt might look better after all. Clearly I will have to experiment! 🙂

Online Finds: Adventurers Free Printable

Arts & Crafts, Bits in Spaaace!, DIY

I’ve been staring at my previous wallpaper, lovely as it is, long enough to want a change. And what better than a little adventure at the beginning of a new season:

Adventurers Laptop Wallpaper

Since this free printable was designed as a 8”x10” pdf, I saved a screencap and set that as my wallpaper. Looks quite as good!

By Katie at Upcycled Treasures (for personal use only). Thank you, Katie – I love it!

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Textile History Geekery: Historical Inspiration for Amidala

Arts & Crafts, Design & Designers, Fabrics & Materials, Movies & TV

The new Star Wars Episode VII trailer got me thinking back to the prequels and their costuming. I remember being initially impressed by Queen/Senator Amidala’s garb. Especially after Leia’s rather Spartan wardrobe, the lavish fabrics and colors on Padmé were a joy to watch.

Several Amidala’s outfits have historical inspiration, but two such forebears stand out. Other people have made the connection between Mongolian Khalkha people’s traditional wear and Queen Amidala’s Episode I Senate gown before me, but finding a gorgeous museum-preserved historical exemplar reminded me of it. In the comparison below, on the left is the museum piece and on the right Amidala’s gown, complete with headdress.

Khalkh Amidala Collage

Left: Khalkha (or Halh) garb from Mongolia; National Museum of Mongolia. Right: Queen Amidala’s Senate dress, Star Wars Episode I; Scott Shingler Photography. Collage by Eppu Jensen.

These outfits are very similar indeed. Details vary, but the general shape is the same, as is the hairdo, the braid sheaths, the chains hanging from the skull cap flanking the face, even down to the two makeup dots on the cheeks under Amidala’s eyes (not visible on the doll), and the concept of wide robe sleeve cuffs. (Rebels Haven has a side-by-side comparison of a historical photo and concept art that makes the similarities even clearer.)

The Wikipedia article on Padmé lists another historical model, this one from Episode II. A costume ball dress for Russian Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna with a kokoshnik headdress is said to have inspired Padmé’s refugee dress.

Alexandrovna Amidala Collage

Left: Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna of Russia in a 1903 costume ball outfit; Wikimedia. Right: Queen Amidala’s refugee dress, Star Wars Episode II; via Rebels Haven. Collage by Eppu Jensen.

I thought I also noticed that, in The Phantom Menace, Amidala’s costumes predicted reasonably accurately what kind of a scene she was to be in: complicated and layered meant talk, relatively pared-down and pragmatic meant action. It turned out I was wrong, but not entirely. While the two most comfortable-looking costumes – the blue and grey Tatooine outfit and the maroon battle uniform – get the most screen time and the most vigorous activity (and most pants), Padmé does do a lot of static activities (standing around and talking) in both. The elaborate, courtly dresses are reserved exclusively for scenes with discussion, or, at most, stately walk. There are fewer outfits that dominate in terms of screen time in both Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith; the closest match is the Geonosis arena suit.

Other Amidala outfits from Episodes II and III that make my historical-dress-Spidey-sense tingle include the blue embroidered Tatooine dress plus several of her Senatorial dresses with their corset-like bodices and wide hems and sleeves. My favorite is probably this:

Rebels Haven Amidala loyalist

Senator Amidala’s loyalist committee dress, Star Wars Episode II; via Rebels Haven.

The deep purplish-blue loyalist committee dress is seriously gorgeous. The streamlined Tudor profile is elegant, the robe sleeves nod to medieval sleeves (perhaps there’s even a hint of kimono sleeve design?) and the embellishments add to, not overwhelm, the whole.

Any favorites you’d like to mention?

Collected source info:

Mini Bins for Chargers

Arts & Crafts, DIY, Fabrics & Materials, My Spaces

The other day I was lamenting how tangled up my mobile device chargers were and wished I had something to organize them with. Belatedly I realized that I was in a “cobblers children have no shoes” situation: the mini cubes I sell on Etsy are the perfect size, but I hadn’t made any for myself yet.

Mini Bins for Chargers

I chose remnants of a favorite, the Marimekko Lumimarja fabric in blue, beige and brown. I used the same design as my Etsy store cubes but halved the height because there wasn’t enough of the Lumimarja, then lined the bins with coordinating greyish blue fabric. No more tangles!

Caught My Eye: Sahalie Floral Fabric

Arts & Crafts, Colors, Fabrics & Materials, Stunt Double

Exhibit A:

Home Decorators Pillow Pouf

Home Decorators.

Pillow and pouf from Home Decorators.

Exhibit B:

Yoga Mat Bag BG003d

Playfully Grownup Home.

Yoga mat bag by me. No wonder it looks familiar!

The print is called Sahalie. Mine is a cotton duck (canvas), which doesn’t seem to be available anymore. Shame; I prefer natural fibers over synthetics. Although the good thing is that the outdoor-grade Sahalie made out of polyester is available in more colorways.

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Close Quarters: Medieval House in Modern Belgium

Colors, House Tours

Rooigem is a Belgian interior decoration and antiques company headed by Jean-Philippe Demeyer. Rooigem House was built in the Early Middle Ages as a moated courtyard house just outside Bruges. After being restored, it’s now both a home and place of business for Mr. Demeyer.

There is an abundance of incredible spaces. While the past is unquestionably there, it’s not overwhelming. Neither is the present, which asserts itself in the strong colors and bold motifs.

Tudor front door:

Rooigem tudorpoort

Tudor door. Jean-Philippe Demeyer.

Entrance porch:

Rooigem entrance porch

Jean-Philippe Demeyer.

The north room:

Rooigem Chinese room

Jean-Philippe Demeyer.

The orangerie:

Rooigem orangerie

Jean-Philippe Demeyer.

The hall:

Rooigem The_hall

Jean-Philippe Demeyer.

What makes these rooms stand out is the care with which Mr. Demeyer fills – or, strictly speaking, doesn’t fill – the areas: there is a pleasing amount of unclaimed space, rather like an art gallery. Additional oomph comes from the consistent use of massive historical and modern furnishings, fearless combination of old and new and, of course, the colors.

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.