Monthly Archives: September 2008

Exhibited, take 2!

The second item for the Ghosts of a Chance Intiative was a “Predictor of Imminent Doom”. I’m quite flattered to be chosen to be exhibited a second time on the Luce Foundation website, although I have to admit that I don’t love the way my artifact was photographed. Still it shows the different wheels and the dangley bits!

Here’s the Prompt:

Searching for Guidance? Every Man (and Woman) knows the value of a good Prediction. It’s the hunch you feel, usually registering in your Gut, and if you’d only followed that hunch you’d be living up the hill. Why not learn the tricks of Wall Street Bankers, Generals and Statesmen whose livelihoods depend on knowing what Imminent Doom the future holds. The problem was that few could afford such Predictors. We have been fortunate enough to make terms with Manufacturers of the best Predictors to enable us to sell them to you for only $2.00. The same quality, the same assurance as with more expensive models. Made from the purest Elements from forests in Paraguay and Guiana. Usually sold for $5.00. Yours for $2.00. If by mail, postage extra, 2 cents.

I want a device that predicts the future, and the imminent doom it holds. Find and modify an already-existing one or create one of your own.

-Daisy Fortunis

I can’t wait to see everything exhibited, in person, on October 25th!

I’ve been blogged (& exhibited)!

I was going to hold off on this post until all of the pieces were in, but I just can’t. On September 8th, the Smithsonian American Art Museum started thier Ghosts of a Chance ARG. They have asked artists and crafters from all over to submit “artifacts” created in response to a prompt.

The first prompt was the “Necklace of the Subaltern Betrayer”:

She’s a girl from another time, she blushes and rustles as she passes, taffeta skirt buoyed by crinolines. She has taught herself to fling her burnished curls with just a turn of her head; she and her sister practiced for hours in front of an oval mirror. At twenty, she is poised but not on the brink; she understands her value; her next great adventure awaits her. A mate. Travel. Domesticity – which involves a love of gardening, cleanliness and the proper care of servants.

As she rustles, and blushes, and tosses her curls, her scent insinuates itself in the air between you – Lilies of the Valley. Her eyes are the color of good sapphires, with royal-blue flecks at their core. Her hair is the color of bottled honey. Her neck is alabaster.

The frills and accessories that constitute the bureaucracy of her wardrobe make her power seem abstract.

The Necklace I want should fit perfectly around her neck, but remain there only long enough for me to steal it right off again.

-Daniel Libbe

My response was chosen as the favorite so far…it can be viewed in the following locations and in person at the Smithsonian American Art Museum on October 25, 2008:

Now I wait and see how artifact #2 fares…

Quick-and-Dirty (Renn Faire) Skirt

So last weekend, we headed out to the Maryland Renaissance Festival. Sadly, I have not lost all of the baby weight from when my son was born and all of the “Renaissance”-wear that I have fits my pre-baby size and shape. I spent hours slaving over new clothes for my husband and more hours slaving over a costume for my son, and alright, I even spent a few hours slaving over a Polish Vest (Folkwear 126) for myself, but I left precious little time to make a new skirt, hence, the quick and the dirty. What I came up with required little skill, little time, and made a nice, floaty, self-lined, full skirt.

My New Costume
More pictures on flickr.

Quick-and-Dirty (Renaissance) Skirt

  • About double your waist measurement in a lightweight gauze fabric 60 inches wide (selvedge to selvedge)
  • Thread to match
  • 3/4 inch elastic to fit comfortably but tightly around your waist
  • sewing machine and/or serger
  • iron/ironing board
  • pins


Sew the two cut ends of fabric together to make a tube, with the selvedges on either end. Serge the seam if you want to/have access to a serger.

Fold one end of the tube down over the other end, putting wrong sides together, having the selvedges meet at the bottom, making a double layer tube with a fold at one end a two selvedges at the other.

Measure this against yourself. If it’s too long, leave it as, we’ll cut it later. If it’s too short, lengthen one layer and shorten the other. The shorter layer will become the outside layer. If the length is just right, Congratulations! You’re one of the lucky ones! Once you have the length where you want it, pin the fold in place and press.

Starting from the seam, sew 1 inch in from the fold, all the way around the tube, leaving a 1 inch opening for the elastic.

Open out the two layers and locate the opening for the elastic. This should be simple since you placed the opening near the (one and only) seam. (Ah, see? There’s a method to my madness!) Insert the elastic, make sure there are no twists or rolls in it, test the length/comfort/tightness and sew it back and forth on the machine a few times so you’re sure it won’t be going anywhere.

Here’s where those of you who are tall can stop. The selvedge is all that you need – you don’t need to hem the skirt, unless you REALLY want to. The selvedges on a gauzy fabric are usually perfectly serviceable, especially for a quick-and-dirty costume skirt. For those of you who the two selvedges together was a perfect length can choose to stop here too, or continue on. That’s right, you’re lucky because you have choices.

I like the look of having the two different layers have two different lengths. If you’re tall, you don’t really have a choice – your layers will be two different lengths unless you want your skirt to be short. For me, I removed 3 inches from the bottom layer (I am 5’4″ and I certainly don’t have “legs to there“) and 6 inches from the top layer. You can choose to finish your hem however you like – fold it under and hem it, zig-zag it, or serge it. In the interest of expediency, I zig-zagged (because I didn’t have any black thread for my serger). If you choose to zig-zag or serge, you have one further choice – lettucing the hem. I also like the look of this as it helps the layers to separate.

It took me maybe 2 hours to make this skirt, only because I was doing it for the first time and needed to be sure of all the measurements and things.  I think I could easily whip one up in an hour now that I’ve done it once.