Fantastic!  So yesterday, with all the stuff I have to do I was struck by the headache truck, and they gave me a whopper.  I tried the drugs that normally help me and they didn't so by the afternoon I went home two hours early.

I took some Tylenol Sinus and that helped straight that's when I got to work.  I cut the fabric pieces for Brad's cloak collar, put that together and attached it to the neckline...I still need to finish the neckline off, but I can do the handsewing in the car on the way somewhere...probably tomorrow morning on the way to set-up.  I found a trim in the stash that will work for the cloak, but after pressing it and attaching the collar, I think it looks pretty dapper as is...we will add the trim when we decide whether or not to switch out the lining.

I got my sleeve pattern adjusted and I hope I like the way the sleeves fit when there done because they're almost to that point.  I also painted my mask, which took several coats of paint, so it's a good thing I remembered to start that last night.  I decided against the gold because one of the decorations I'd like to put on it for this wearing is gold and I didn't want to detract from that.  So I went with pearlized white, which is another good "neutral" for masks.

I guess that's all I got done besides running out to Party City to buy the last BIG Skull they had...:D  I should take a picture of where it's sitting in the house right now because I'm amused.  You see, I like to decorate our house in themes...even if they are subtle...themes (even costume themes) help me to come up with ideas and stay cohesive.  Anyway, one theme I thought would be fun for our living room (which is in the lower level of our house) is the Dungeon.  One, because it is in the lower level of our house...and two because Brad collects dragons, we have alot of dragon stuff, and we could use it down here...he also collects swords that would allow us to display them, and because I like Renaissance & Medieval decor it could all work...So I put the giant humanesque skull on our entertainment center, and it looks cool, but I don't think I could leave it up there all the time, dungeon or not!

estimated work time: 4 hours
Last night I didn't work on my dress very much.  I did find the Margo Anderson pattern I have for "wide curved" upper & lower sleeves...because I was feeling lazy and because I do want BIG SLEEVES just cut the biggest size (instead of tracing my size) and decided I'd make changes if I I needed.  Not sure how they're going to work because the big sleeves have big I need to do some research (as these sleeves are big, I don't think they're big enough but I don't have the time to trial and error my own pattern for them) but I may just make them up and make changes later.

Brad cut  the fabric and I sewed it together for his Renaissance men's semicircular cloak (again using the Margo Anderson patterns), here's the backstory on why I thought this piece was necessary for the Ball. 

Brad picked a great leather mask at Ren Fest this year, specifically for this ball...but the striking color  of the mask isn't found anywhere else in the costume he'll be wearing...I had an idea (while I was sleeping actually) that we could use a fabric in the same color fabric as the mask for a lining and make him a cloak.  As luck would have it I have a silk that matched the color of Brad's mask, pretty much exactly the same, in my opinion.

The outside is a chevron patterned brown on brown wool I bought to make Brad a Victorian cloak...there may still be enough for that leftover.  The brown wool works nicely with the brown in the brocade of his doublet & breeches so I think after the ball I will replace the lining that something that coordinates with the outfit so he can wear it to fest if he wants to...unless he wants to keep the striking fabric to wear with his mask out at fest. 

Onto a few construction notes....the instructions say the cloak should hang for at least 24 hours after it's cut (I always forget to let this happen before I hem a skirt...I usually don't have the time either) before I add the collar, so if I didn't get it done last night it might not have gotten done at all.  It will take a little more doing to get the rest finished.  I need to add the collar, a clasp,  hooks to the cloak and loops onto his doublet so it will hang properly...and if there's time, I'd like to find a nice trim.

For the work dress, I need to add a bar and hook closure to the skirt and make sure it lays properly when shut...I'm working on the underbodice while at work today.  Hopefully I can get the straps turned under, and I may just turn the neckline under as well instead of binding it...I didn't bring the binding from home, otherwise I'd be using that...I did bring Brad's doublet sleeves to place the buttons (for the hair elastics to hold the sleeves in place) so if I can do that and not waste any time, I'll try to wait until I get home or tomorrow to bind the neckline.

I haven't gotten anything done in the way of decorations for the ball except spray painting branches.  I hope that the Ball Chairman likes my idea because I totally dig it and would be disappointed if we don't use the arrangements.  I did find two close to life size ravens to perch on the branches, which completes the effect.

Okay, back to work!

estimated work time: 4 hours
Yesterday I got out of work a little early because I have to be here so long today.  A 10.5 hour shift...eww.  I didn't do much with my extra time...ran by the grocery store and took a nap.  I had a headache and thought sleeping would help, I don't think it did.

I tried making a new dish yesterday, leek soup.  I have wanted to try making leek soup since I first saw Bridget Jones' Diary and hers turned blue!  That was years and years ago and since I know nothing of leeks I've always been afraid to buy them at the grocery store.  Last week at the farmers' market there was a bundle of leeks for $1, so I thought it was about time to try it.  Last night I did, we didn't eat it for dinner just in case it didn't turn out...but I think it turned out very fine.

I used this Potato Leek soup recipe from as a base for my soup and taking some advice from reviews added a few extras, celery for one was added to the potatos and chicken "broth" (I used buillion cubes since it is what I had on hand".  While that boiled, I cooked the full pound of bacon (thinking bacon would make this dish at least a little interesting to Brad) in the oven because I have more success that way rather than on the stove.  Then using the bacon grease, I sauteed the 4 leeks that came in the bundle with mushrooms.  I ended up needing more oil, so I used Land o'Lakes butter/olive oil spread for that and let it all saute.  Before adding this stuff to the soup, I used our cool emersion blender that we got as a wedding gift to smooth the soup out a bit.  I did want some chunks but the blender was too quick!!  Anyway, I added the bacon, then the leeks and mushrooms and blended again...then added a little left over rotisserie chicken we had (as not to waste it) and besides needing a little seasoning, it's pretty much good to go.  I forgot to add the cream until the very end, but did half skim milk and half heavy cream to cut some of the calories.  I thought I'd end up freezing some of it as I ended up with probably 6-8 cups of soup and I don't think we will eat all of it this week. 

Because I have an excess of potatoes, and because the weather is cool enough I think next week I'll be making Zuppa Toscana, which is the reason we frequent Olive Garden as often as we do.  I made the recipe last year and it was delicious!

In edition to kitchen witchery, we finished watching Pride & Prejudice (the BBC version)  and I put a straw hat that I think is the right shape in water in order to soften it up so I can try to reshape it into something I can use for Saturday.  That went very well because the water softened it alot.  Then I set it down to dry.

Afterwards, I pulled out an old drapery panel to make a mock-up of the cloak pattern I'm using.  I cut this fabric in the dimensions of the wool I have available to see how it would turn out with so little fabric, and it looks full enough so I cut my red velvet and didn't get much further than that before I decided it was time for bed.  Hopefully I'll feel productive after my long day and get the wool cut and at least get the two seperate pieces sewn together.  I forgot to mention I want to *try* to make this a reversable cloak, but I'm having problems thinking of how to make the big clasp not funky if turned to the inside.  Hmm.