Lady Macbeth Beetlewing Gown, Part XIV: Final Photos!

I had a great time wearing this whole ensemble to the Costume College gala this year– it didn’t fit the theme (“The Opulent Streets of Venice”), but it was indisputably the most fabulous of my costumes, so I had to wear it!

We took a bunch of photos all around the hotel, but it was tough to find just the right dramatic background…

But then darkness fell, and the hotel lit up their outdoor fountain with FIRE! I started off just posing near it, even going so far as to step up against the wall (taking care to keep my long sleeves and wig well away from the flames):

But by the end of the night I’d decided to literally take the plunge, stepping into the fountain itself to get some fabulous photos!

The water in the center was actually a lot deeper than I’d expected– about knee-deep– so my dress got pretty soaked! I wrung it out afterwards before going back up to my room to blot it with towels before turning the hair dryer on it so it would dry out enough to completely dry by morning.

I’m kind of kicking myself, though, because I neglected to remember that the Sargent painting portrays Ellen Terry slightly turned away from the viewer, rather than head-on the way I posed in the photos above. I only have a single photo of me in that position, and I wasn’t careful enough with the placement of my arms!

I’m definitely going to have to put on the outfit again to get better full-length photos at some point. I may even, as I mentioned in my belt post, re-do the belt someday to make the links smaller the way they are in real life. But that may have to wait until next year’s Costume College!

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Fun “Bar” Suit, Part VI: Final Photos!

So I got the chance to wear the entire Bar Suit outfit at CostumeCon 37– I figured that  my fellow costumers, if no one else, would immediately get the reference to the original suit and appreciate the joke. And I was right!

Here are some of the fun photos we got of the outfit– I love costumes I can have a good time with!

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Okay, so clearly I needed a bit more attitude in my hip position to really mimic the model’s pose, but otherwise I think it’s a pretty decent shot!

Vermont Regency Weekend

So recently I had the opportunity to spend the weekend at a historic home (now an inn) in Vermont for a Sense and Sensibility-themed event. I’ll be honest, as an event it left something to be desired– there were very few activities and the scheduled sleigh ride was cancelled due to weather– but I did enjoy getting to dress up with all of my gowns and accessories and take photos with some more period-looking furniture than I can find here at home!

Here’s me channeling Mary Bennet while wearing the very first Regency gown I ever made, plus the new day cap.

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Here are the velvet capote and fur-trimmed wrap in action!

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Here’s the red pashmina dress with the ruffled chemisette:

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And just for fun, I finally got photos of my 1882 tea gown in action! (I couldn’t resist putting a painting filter over one of them, though it’s not obvious at first glance)

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I think this one below is my favorite…

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Admittedly, there are a lot of pictures of me reading books (this one is an antique edition of The Lady of the Lake and there’s a handwritten inscription on the flyleaf dated 1899), but I needed a prop so I could do something other than smile at the camera!

Costume College 2018!

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In case you hadn’t noticed, my recent spate of costume posts was inspired by my upcoming trip to Costume College this year. I went this past weekend and it was fabulous! Also, my daughter sent her Cat-icorn (above) with me to keep me and my tiaras company.

These are totally my people– detail-obsessed lovers of gorgeous and/or hilarious outfits, willing to discuss the intricacies of fabric design or corsetry at the drop of a hat, and always appreciative of the work we all put into these things! I can’t wait to go back next year!

I did take a few photos of randomly beautiful costumes, but not nearly as many as I should have. Also, I was wearing gloves for two of the big events and it’s a lot harder to manage taking pictures with my phone that way. Next year, fewer gloves = more pictures!

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DIY Softbox

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Taking photos of my food projects for this blog has made it abundantly clear to me that I don’t really have the right setup for beautiful pictures of food. My two windows with good natural light are located in awkward positions (both above couches, so I can’t set up a table in front of them), and all my lines of sight are directed at unattractive backgrounds. The latter problem is easily dealt with by purchasing a cardboard display board that I can use to create my own neutral backgrounds, but the light problem is tougher to solve.

A little online research shows that there are some well-reviewed artificial lights out there that apparently work well to simulate natural light. However, since I don’t have $100+ to drop on a fancy light, I decided to go the DIY route. There are tons of tutorials on how to make your own DIY “softbox,” which is basically a device that you fit around your lightbulb that’s shiny on the inside to bounce the light around and has a diffuser in the front to soften it. The most useful tutorial appeared to involve using a mesh food tent as the structure and lining it on the inside in aluminum foil or shiny fabric, and on the outside with black fabric. The big plus is that it’s foldable and thus doesn’t take up too much space.

However, when I found this insulated food tent I figured I could take it one step further. The shiny fabric here is on the outside, but I thought that if I could remove the cover and reverse it so the shiny part was on the inside, it would be a really easy solution. It turned out to be amazingly simple. Here’s how I did it: Continue reading