Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Couple of "Aha" Moments

It's been interesting, the past few months, coming to the end of some chapters and starting new ones.  Here are some rather profound thoughts that flashed across my brain that I wanted to share with you all...

I borrowed the most recent The Three Musketeers (2011) from the library and was not so much watching it, as frequently and compulsively pausing it and running it frame by frame so that I could study the costumes and their various trims, materials and contours.  Soooo pretty.  (And that's just Athos...)  I realized that should I ever come into a large sum of money, I would spend absolutely ALL of my time constructing period film replicas out of silks and brocades and then I realized, that's probably why I'm not wealthy (yet), is because the Lord in His wisdom knew once I went into a fully equipped costume studio, you lot would likely never see me again! ;)

I finally know what I want to be when I grow up (I can hear you all in a collective and very sarcastic "NO, really?!") but it wasn't always so clear, and anyway, even if you know what you want the end result to be, that's still a far cry from knowing the steps you have to take to actually get to that point, right?  Right.  So I finally have begun to wrap my brain around some of that and I figured out that achieving my dreams will mean giving up living debt free for a little while.  I paid a high price (not just monetarily, but emotionally and etc as well) to get myself out of credit card debt some years ago.  Recent events have forced me back in just a little (not to credit cards, thank heaven, but to family), but the education required to acquire the skills I will need to get the career that I so desperately desire will throw me back into the deep end of owing people money, and I am balking at that like a toddler getting their school immunization shots.  It's got to be done for the greater good, but I DON'T WANNA!  Factoring in tuition, gas money, materials, books and other general expenses, my degree is going to come with a doozy of a price tag.  I realized what else could be done with an equal sum.  There are the obvious things.  Buy a small house outright.  A couple of brand new luxury cars.  But I could travel to England on that.  And stay for an entire summer.  I could get myself and 99 of my closest friends into Dragon*Con with $900 spending cash each.  Or one could also buy 25,000 frappuccinos from Starbucks (close to 69 years worth, if you bought one a day).  If you're a Sci-fi fan, you can even own the Stargate from the SG1 series for that.  Of course, the cost for school isn't going to come all at once.  It will be spread out over 4 or 5 years-ish.  Still.  It's daunting.  There are grants and scholarships, of course.  I plan to find every single one of those that I can.  This is doable, and I will see it done.

As much as I want to go to the premier of first Hobbit movie in costume, it's 3 weeks out and I am nowhere near happy with my current design/materials.  I have decided that this will be much more worth the wait to postpone until next fall (Dragon*Con/Halloween) or even until the big finale third film is released.  This "Aha" moment was bittersweet, because it means not working like mad to get the outfit done by year's end, but all told, I feel really good about shuffling it to a later date so that it will get the time and attention (and therefore quality) that it deserves.  I've moved up a couple of Regency ideas in its place, the sales of which would afford better materials for the Hobbit dress.  Yes, that's a much wiser way to go.  I did come up with something BRILLIANT for the hobbit feet, though.  Short of how they made them for the film(s), of course.  (I don't have access to those quantities of prosthetic latex and molds, yak hair and spirit gum.)

That's about all for now.  I'm back in the studio doing some Christmas orders for the Etsy shop and figuring out some next steps all the way round.  Stay warm and cozy as the weather gets colder, my dears.  I'll see you again soon.
Lucy Jane

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Warm and Cozy: A Tutorial

I know you thought this would be a post on how to SEW something warm.  Like a coat or blanket or scarf or other some such thing.  But it isn't. Though I have had my eye on learning to make a (toasty warm) Victorian era wool coat with faux fur cuffs and collar at some point.  So much to make; simply not enough lifetimes.  What was I saying?  Oh, yes.  No, this isn't a sewing post.  It's about how to make your own cup of warm chocolatey yumminess in 5 minutes or less! :)

Grab the following:

  • Your favorite mug
  • A packet of Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate
  • A kettle of hot water
  • A spoon
  • 20-ish mini marshmallows
  • A can of Redi-whip
  • A jar of chocolate sprinkles
Step 1:
Pour the Hot Chocolate packet into the mug.  Pour hot water over it, leaving about an inch space at the top of the mug.  Stir with spoon until well mixed.

Step 2: Top with mini marshmallows.

Step 3: Make the Redi-whip do that "PPPQQQUUUIIIISSHHHHHH" noise and give yourself a generous glob of whipped cream.  Sprinkle the sprinkles.

And there you have it!  600 calories of chocolate goodness that will warm you to your toesies!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Inspiration from the Sea

I was given a very generous gift for this month and next: membership to the GA Aquarium!
Just as these guys:

inspired me to add this pair of Funky Friends© to the Lucy Jane family

this past week's visit to the Aquarium and an encounter with this guy:

has inspired me to attempt the Sea Turtle pattern!  Stay tuned for photos of the Funky Friends© version!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Pink Scarf Project

The other me has been following Vicki, of the blog "2 Bags Full" for a while now.  Vicki is hosting this FABULOUS event/project to raise awareness and support for breast cancer patients.  She is asking for donations of pink scarves from anyone and everyone in the blogosphere who will be kind enough to oblige.  She is generously giving away a GORGEOUS, one-of-a-kind wrap that she knitted especially for this project.  If you have ever seen her knitted nests, you know that she can't make anything that isn't just perfection itself.  (If you haven't been so fortunate as to have seen the nests, go here to see The Modest Peacock's favorite ones..)

Lucy Jane may be a historic, English "character" version of a present-day Georgia girl (don't miss the difference between someone "in character" and a "looney with split personalities".  I am solidly the first of the two!), but getting creative with the fiber arts is definitely one area where the two personas blend!

For all of our readers, Lucy Jane and The Modest Peacock alike, here's an added incentive to joining in with Vicki's wonderful project.  Anytime you send her a scarf and post a comment on her Pink Scarf Project Page that you have done so, come here (there will be a button on my sidebar shortly) and post a comment telling me that you have done so, and you will have an entry to win this Lucy Jane Pennybright "Hope" elephant, complete with her very own pink scarf!  (The mailing address to send the scarves and all of the wonderful details are on her blog at the above link.)

The drawing will be held NEXT October 1st when Vicki's project ends, AND I will also accept comments on this The Modest Peacock post about the project.  (But only one entry for the ellie per scarf made and sent!! You get to choose which blog to link to.)

So what are you waiting for??  Go to Vicki's blog, find out all the details, and start knitting (or crocheting, sewing, or whatever it is you do) a pink scarf to send her way!!  Best of luck winning the wrap and/or "Hope"!

PS- Here is my first scarf to send.  What do you think? :)

Monday, October 15, 2012

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like...


Yes, those of us who have businesses in themed/gift/custom made items have to start thinking about the end of year holiday season somewhere around the time that July fades into August.  And in just a few short weeks I'll be working on Spring/Easter stock.  Crazy!

It's also beginning to look a lot like Autumn for real, here in West GA.  The mornings are crisp and the leaves are a riot of color.  The Etsy shop is beginning to look better, with Fall themed listings and "Boo", my candy corn sweetie, was even featured in a treasury this week!  AWESOME!

It's beginning to look a lot better in the studio, too.  I've gotten some of my raw materials sorted and organized and at one point everything was tucked so neatly into drawers and cubbies and whatnot that I couldn't FIND anything I was looking for!  (All you creative people know exactly what I'm talking about!)  Now it's just at that perfect stage of "messed-up-ness" where I have a few works in progress out and in pieces, but where it's not a mad jumble of everything.

Lastly, it's beginning to look a lot like I'm finding my niche in my local community, and that feels awesome!  I'm working hard for a November 2nd deadline; the Dog River Library is having an anniversary celebration in the form of an artist's market/festival and I made sure to commit to be a vendor the second I heard about it.  I'm SO EXCITED!!!!!! :)  It's going to be fantastic!  Check out the website homepage for more info.

I'm off to finish ooooonnnnneeee more little project before bed.
Goodnight, all!

Lucy Jane

Monday, October 1, 2012


No, really!  That's her name!  She and her male counterpart "Spooky" are now in the Etsy shop! :)  Makes me want some candy corn...nomnomnom!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Happy Autumn!!!

This is my absolute favorite time of year!  (Except maybe Christmas, of course!)  Time to pull out the cozy long sleeves, bake things with apple and pumpkin as the main ingredient, and savor the colors, textures, smells and memories that come with the season!

I had hoped to have "the thing I was working on" finished for The Modest Peacock giveaway by now, but once again, priorities and obligations must be met first.  It's just one of those things of life- how you have so many things that you want to do, but in order for those to work out and be halfway good, you must first do the things that you have to do.

On a happy note, I was able to spend some time at the Janome this weekend!  Here is a sweet gentleman in brown corduroy to welcome you to Fall!

I just love him!  You can have one for your very own by ordering from my Etsy shop!
I hope your autumn is filled with fragrant, crisp mornings, steaming mugs of cider/tea/hot chocolate, times of togetherness with loved ones and many happy memories made that carry you through to the coming winter.

Lucy Jane

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Popping in to say hi!

     The last few weeks have been just crazy.  I'm not as far with a lot of my Lucy Jane goals as I'd like to be, but I'm working through the obstacles.  Lots of personal health and family issues, as well as pretty big decisions to be made as far as further education and what direction I want LJP to go in, professionally/long term.  I know that doesn't equate into anything new to share with you at the moment, but that's just how it is right now.  Slow and steady wins the race (or something of that nature).  It's finally cooling off weather-wise, so that helps with studio time.  It's hard to get motivated to do ANYTHING, even the things you love, when it's blistering hot and everything seems to be melting around you into puddles of blah.  The heat and humidity will suck the energy right out of you.  That, and not enough sleep from the outrageous stress levels.  I appreciate your patience and continued support.  I know I seem to say that a lot, but it is sincere.  When at last I can really build up some steam for my LJP endeavors, the wait will have been worth it.

     The project I gave you a sneak peek at last post is not quite finished yet, but it won't be much longer.  As I said, other things have seriously gotten in the way.  This weekend has seen a massive clean-up of the workspace, so I should be able to spread out the fabric with plenty of room to spare now.  Hey, we creative types throw our all into our creating.  You can't expect us to be tidy and organized all the time as well! ;)

     I'll leave you with a little typography art I made recently.  Feel free to share it with anyone you know who needs an encouraging reminder! :)

See you SOON!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Sneak Peek!

I'm offering a little hint of something I'm working on in the studio!  It's for "the other me"'s blog, The Modest Peacock.  There will be a giveaway soon, to celebrate TMP's 4th Blogaversary, 300+ posts, 50K+ pageviews, and 100+ followers, and an undying love for post and parcels!!!  (Combos are worth more, right?! :D)  What do you think it will be? :)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

News and Updates

Hi!  I know it's been a while since I've posted!  I wish I could tell you that it's because I have been up to my elbows in costumery and that I now have a closet rack full of finished pieces from the right sidebar list.  Buuuttttt.... I can't.  Because I don't.  More's the pity.

HOWEVER, I have been hard at work on the Janome, and learning the Funky Friends patterns that have been purchased thus far.  As of this writing, I have: the elephant, horse (which doubles as a unicorn), sheep, lion (which doubles as a tiger/other big cats without the mane), camel, hippo, bunny, monkey, sea turtle, giraffe and penguin.  This relates to having been busy making things for the Etsy shop, and I have been up to my elbows in research and articles and information about costumery.  So that kinda counts, right? Of course it does!  I've been looking up books on garment history and construction (Janet Arnold!!!), drooling over the following websites: American Duchess; Historical Sewing; and Frock Talk.  Since my last post, I did also attend a class on hand-sewing button holes by our local SCA group.  I'm looking into getting involved with them later on, when I don't have *quite* so much on my plate at one time.

Related to "too much on my plate": due to unfortunate circumstances, I had to cancel the Marietta Art Walk event that I was going to do on August 3rd.  The hostess was so gracious and understanding, and I hope to do a make-up event with her sometime very soon.  I am also having to postpone having a booth in Douglasville's September Saturdays festival until next year, because of the same circumstances.  I'm not stressing over either.  That wouldn't help anything.  Instead, I am focusing my efforts and energy and making plans for several events starting next spring and onward.  Things will happen in the Lord's perfect timing.  I have faith that I am doing the right thing by waiting on His direction.  I have been SO blessed thus far and He continues to sustain me with both protection and provision!

Here are some photos of some pieces I have completed recently.  They are ALL available for order in the Etsy shop. :)

This penguin is thanks to Lucy Jane friend and supporter Rosie J., who provided not only the order, but purchased the Funky Friends pattern for us as well.  That sort of encouragement and support is beyond awesome and there aren't words enough to thank her for believing in our success!

"Tasha" the penguin.  Her male counterpart, "Tux" is also available for purchase.

Another important thanks goes to friend and supporter Jennifer C., who ordered this trio of ellies as a gift for her friend's kids, and who also sent out a huge social media blast with links when the Etsy shop opened.  Once again, there just aren't words to express our gratitude!

L to R: Annabelle, Baby Boy and Madeline
Other lovelies for the shop include:
Well, I suppose that is all for now.  I am off to finish some more ellies and then work on a giraffe (or 3. Sewing these toys is addictive!) :)  I will check in again soon.  Keep in touch!
Lucy Jane

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The 5th Annual Penny McHenry Hydrangea Festival

The festival has come and gone!  I had a wonderful time, made some new friends and got to see some old ones again too!  Here are the photos I promised!

By Sunday afternoon, I had sold half of my stock of elephants, plus a couple of soft dolls and one fairy. :) I am already looking forward to next year!  But for now, I'm gearing up for an event in Marietta on August 3rd.  Stay tuned for more details!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

It's Almost Festival Time!

As I write this, my laptop is perched on a corner of the dining room table that is also covered with pattern pieces, bits of tulle, entire rolls of tulle, 6 last minute things to be sewn, a bag of poly beads, several bags of fiber-fill, a canvas and wood sign, several pairs of scissors, my Janome, a pin cushion and a tote full of fairy making supplies.  (It's a big table.) ;)

I'm just a few hours of hard work away from being ready!  Come on out and see me at the 5th Annual Penny McHenry Hydrangea Festival!  It will be great fun!  I have new designs, including:

And, with $10 of his $25 purchase being donated to the Autism Society of America for autism research:
Don't forget, I'll also have "Hannah", whose purchase/order also donates $10 to benefit a good cause, the Lupus Foundation of America.  There will be summer themes and Army themes and Hydrangea themes too!  Oh, my!

So come on out and say hello!  See you there!
~ Lucy Jane

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Striped Regency Gown

It's finished and ready to wear next weekend! :)  What do you think??

It wrinkles if you breathe on it wrong,
but it's still pretty. :)

I'll wear a petticoat under it.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Sneak Peek!

I thought you might enjoy seeing what I'm doing this week.
Besides running around half mad because it's so close to my deadline.