What the fuzzy hell is she up to now?

What is Phaedra up to? Like most people, I have had verrrrrry little energy past mere existence. That said, I have been working on a few things here and there. I’ve made a few Greek chitons. It’s actually really soothing to sit and hand-sew straight hems in linen while watching/half-ignoring something on tv. I just need to decide how to embellish them, since the printing blocks I ordered back in March are apparently never going to get here (ugh. No way am I going to get a refund at this point).

I’m currently mid-way through repairs to my rapier armor doublet. The collar and cuffs were getting GROSS and so I’ve torn them off and am replacing them with linen pieces that I can more easily pull off and wash/replace. The collar is done, now I just need to do the cuffs.

There are at least two mischief projects in the works. Or there were when I originally wrote up this post on FB, at least. At this point, I’ve completely forgotten what I was doing. Hopefully I wrote it down somewhere.

Additionally, I’m going through my giant mass of academic sources and trying to narrow down to 3-4 topics of reasonable scope to actually start writing or making presentations about. Current probabilities are:

  • Chinese courtesans (though that needs a lot of narrowing down–there’s a lot to a topic that broad!)
  • history of tea and serving tea in China
  • drinking games
  • connections/trade between China and Europe
  • the structure of Chinese households based on rank (the Imperial Household, a noble’s household, wives vs concubines vs maids vs household entertainers and how many of each you were allowed to have, etc.)

The Imperial Household may end up being its own topic because there’s a LOT, even just going through the various ranks of concubines–how many different ranks, how many per rank, what each rank did, how to move between ranks, the many roles of the eunichs, etc. As usual, I have more ideas than I have actual energy for. I’m trying to post here more often, but I get writer’s block so bad! Also, the “updated” WordPress user interface is shit and it’s super difficult to use. How the hell do I fix indents?!

It still counts if I’m guessing, right?

I have several projects currently in motion, hopefully to be completed by Pennsic. The most difficult involved a lot of applique and working with gold cloth. And a lot of me attempting to draw (not one of my skills) a decent-looking pattern for the applique blown up large enough to be what I want. Yes, I’m being deliberately vague here, but I don’t want to give it away/show it off before I get a chance to debut it. 🙂

I hope that it’s at least partly sunny for Opening Ceremonies. If this works, it’s going to be epic and I’d like to have it out in the sun where it can really shine. Hey, Her Majesty said that so long as I’m not actively on fire, I can go nuts and be as Extra as possible.

Why do I do this to myself? (Oh right, because I’m crazy.)

Pennsic Project List:
1. Secret Project and accessories
2. Roman tunics for The Boys (done!)
3. Roman courtesan dress for me (done!)
4. Camp tunic(s) for Thomas
5. Shirt for Remy
6. Light linen gown
7. Blue silk beaded veil (done!)
8. White silk veil and wimple
9. New cuffs and collar for my fencing doublet
10. At least one extra Chinese wig/hairpiece
11. Re-sew Roman garb and extend German cuffs/collar for Skye
12. Nice men’s style short cotehardie, if I get the chance.

In-depth Studying Begins!

A few days ago, I discovered that I have full, free access to JSTOR and a bunch of other journal repositories through my job. THERE ARE NO WORDS FOR MY EXCITEMENT! I am several hundred articles down the rabbit hole and happy squeaking the whole way.

Things I’m studying (assume Tang and Song Dynasties of China unless otherwise noted):
– Courtesans and their place in society/function/what they did/how their “business” worked/sexual mores, etc.
– Poetry and literature
– Gardens (for relaxation and pleasure)
– Furniture and its construction
– Music
– Fabrics
– Clothing
– Hairstyles (and their meaning)
– Jewelry

I’ve also started studying the Chinese language, especially how to read it, so that will open a lot of study opportunities as well.