Secret Projects, Roosters, and Day Caps

Any moment now I think I will go running, screaming, into the woods.  The fact that I don’t really live near any woods is beside the point.  It’s a good thing I could not possibly run to where the woods are either.  What was it that we used to say?  I’m going to have a nervous breakdown.  I’ve worked hard for it and, by golly, no one’s going to keep me from it!  In fact, I am avoiding several projects just by sitting here typing this.  And feeling terribly guilty.  And sleepy.  It says a great deal about the abilities of our minister seeing as I made it through the service this morning without falling asleep.  Now that I think about it, I don’t think I had to nudge Mr. Clark (for a change) either.

The problem I’m faced with is that three weeks from today I will be in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.   I’ve been looking forward to this trip for months and months!   The Ladies and Gentlemen of the 1860s Conference.  Doesn’t that just make your heart race?  Well, it does mine.  I went a few years ago and it was fabulous, and now I get to go again.  I will be traveling with two friends.  This is a good thing as we can share some of the expenses.  We’ll be gone for nine days.

So I have been saving every penny I can get my hands on and am willing to do everything short of walking the streets of downtown Prescott to finance this endeavor.  Not that I think there is a market for a middle-aged, over-weight, streetwalker wearing sweats and tennis shoes.   Even so, I’ve managed to pay for the conference (almost $400, thank you very much!)  and my plane ticket.  And in my underwear drawer are envelopes with labels like: Hotel, Food, Car Rental, Gas, and Spending Money.  Somebody told me I might have better luck filling them if I put it all in my sock drawer, but I was afraid I would forget and wouldn’t be able to find it when I need it.   I figured out what amount will be required for each of them (except for the last one), and as of yesterday, they are all filled.  This is a very exciting thing as I was very worried that I would have to learn to go without food for about 6 days.  But still,  I have no spending money whatsoever, which is a very sad thing.  I have only three weeks.

Back in December I saw a pattern for something at a quilt store that I just had to make for me and my two friends for the conference.  It took me over a month to find the right fabric because it all has to be made with Civil War reproduction prints.  One friend likes green, the other likes blue.  I chose red.  As is always the case, the only fabrics I really liked were not green or blue or red.  Have you noticed how much Civil War fabric is brown?  Why didn’t at least one of them ask for brown?  Anyway, this is my Secret Project.  Since I’ve never made this thing before, I made mine first.  It turned out . . . hmmm . . . less than acceptable.  Just shy of disastrous.   Oh, for crying out loud!  I don’t have time for this!  Praise God I purchased enough fabric to actually make it again.  I figured out what I want to change/fix, and am busily sewing three of them, assembly-line style.  I hope they turn out like I envision them.  Trust me, if they do, there will be pictures.  If not, there still may be pictures.  Only it will be of finely shredded Civil War fabric in greens, blues and reds.

In the meantime, I have a chicken problem.  I have seven hens.  It is so much fun to go out and collect fresh eggs.  They are wondrously delicious.  However, my chickens have taken to pecking each other and pulling out feathers.  It has become a serious problem.  I read that one reason is their pen is too confining.  So we (as in Mr. C) built a larger yard, effectively doubling the space.  The pecking continued.  A couple of weeks ago I was venting my frustration with a friend of mine who has lots of chickens and a smaller pen and no pecking problem.  But what she does have is a rooster.  In fact, she had too many roosters.  So a few days later I have a rooster.  How I wish I’d had a video camera when we put him in the coop.  All seven of “my girls” simultaneously went into hysterics.   I know what they were thinking.  He’ll eat all the food and never clean up after himself.   He’ll probably hog the roost and not let any of them up there.  And I’ll bet he smells funny too!  But I kind of like him.  I think he needs a name.  Haven’t been able to think of a good one yet.  Oh well.  I suppose the chicken saga will  have to wait for another installment some other day.

Miz Marion

Miz Jennifer

In the meantime, because we couldn’t possibly be any busier than we are already, my friends and I sat down to make day caps.  Mis Jennifer had it all set up for us with Styrofoam heads, lots of lace and ribbons and copies of period publications to get the creative juices flowing.  Sadly, I think I left my creativity at home that day.   Every last ounce of it.  I tried to do a couple of things, but wasn’t happy with any of itSo, I just took mine home, characteristically unfinished.   It’s now on the pile of unfinished projects covering the cutting table in my sewing “room”.

Miz Not-A-Clue

But I really, really need a day cap!  In fact, yesterday afternoon, on the way home from my United Daughters of the Confederacy meeting (of which there is a story to be told, but will have to wait for another day), I was pondering this exact problem.  You see, once a month I spend my Sunday afternoon volunteering at the Sharlot Hall Museum.  In the Governor’s Mansion to be exact.  The mansion was built in 1864.  So, duh, I have to go dressed in my 1860s clothes.  But I’m inside, so wearing a bonnet is inappropriate.  The appropriate thing would be to be wearing a day cap.  But I don’t have a day cap!  And today was my day at the museum.  I’m tired of working in the mansion daycapless.  Also, the previously mentioned day cap was of the fine, lace-y type.  I’m more of the work dress and apron type.  So finishing the aforementioned day cap didn’t really interest me at the moment.  I have a nice piece of lawn fabric that would make a very sweet day cap.  I even have a pattern (only minimal creativity will be required).  I have the whole rest of the day.  By golly, I think I can do this!   Well, I looked everywhere and couldn’t find the lawn!  I have no idea what I’ve done with it.  I was just moving it out of my way a few weeks ago.  It’s in a large zip-lock bag with the word “LAWN” written on it.   Grumble, grumble.   I suppose I’ll have to use what I can find.  Then I had to take a break at 7 p.m. to find a store here in my small town that sells 1/4″ elastic (shhhh, don’t tell!) that I found after only going to two stores (thank you Dollar General!).  I actually finished it at 1 a.m. Sunday and wore it at the mansion.   Next time, I’ll get a picture with my head under it.  In the meantime, Mr. C was happy to hold it so I could get a picture.  What do you think?

Oh, and three days after I get home from Pennsylvania we have the 150th anniversary of the Battle at Picacho Pass–only the largest Civil War reenactment in Arizona.  So those dresses I have in my 12 UFOs for 2012 list?  They have to be ready before I leave in three weeks.  And I need to fix one of my chemises…. and this was the year I was going to make Mr. C a new shirt for Picacho…. I’m going to bed.  Tomorrow will be another day.

Happy Sewing!

Mrs. Clark


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About Imagine It's Finished

Howdy! I am a 50-something wife and mother with two daughters and two sons-in-law. And I love, love, love to sew. I quilt and especially like to hand piece. I prefer to hand quilt, too. Mr. Clark and I are Civil War reenactors, so I make all my own clothes, even my corset and hoops! We live in a small town in northern Arizona with our dog, two cats and eight chickens. I'm a little ADD with a touch of OCD and a rather addictive streak. Which means I start a project, but then I get distracted and start another project, and then get bored and start another project.... One day I realized that most of the blogs I read are by women who finish everything they start. But I suspect there are lots of women just like me. This is my journey.
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One Response to Secret Projects, Roosters, and Day Caps

  1. evadress says:

    Great to see you all here, you Mischievious Three!

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