Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Gratuitous pictures of my dog

I love my dog. I love her SO MUCH!! She is spirited and sometimes willful and pushy, sweet, funny, loving, affectionate, smart, beautiful, unusual looking, and above all, HAPPY.

She's changed my life in such a positive way since I first got her on August 1, 2012. I used to be shy and feel very awkward around people, but with Lulu, I immediately have something to talk about with the people I meet. People will often initiate conversations with me about her, but incredibly, if I have Lulu with me, I find myself chatting people up ALL THE TIME without even thinking about it!

I've made friends since I've had her and hang out with them regularly at the dog park and really truly enjoy their company. I almost never feel like, "Oh, god, when can I go home?" I get an hour to an hour and a half of exercise every day because Lulu likes her walks and keeps me on a pretty strict schedule. If it wasn't for her, I doubt I'd get much exercise at all because it's too cold in the winter, too windy in the spring, too hot in the summer... And I hate working out in a gym.

Lulu sleeps with me at night and cuddles with me in the mornings, she licks the tears off my face when I'm having a meltdown, she comes to check on me every time I swear. She brings me her toys when I'm sitting on the couch, not so that I'll toss them for her, but simply because she seems to want me to have them, like she enjoys her toys so much and wants me to experience how awesome they are too. She melts my heart when she brushes her nose with her paws and looks at me with puppy eyes when she's feeling utterly content and happy, and makes me laugh when she does her "pretzel puppy" routine (rubbing her face and body along the bed or the couch, and then lays sideways on her face with her rump sticking straight up in the air and looking at me with wild eyes and doing that excited panting that dogs do).

In conclusion, I love and am in love with my dog. She turned two years old on April 10, and to celebrate, I took her to work to take pictures of her in the bluebonnets. Here are a few of my favorite.

She's got a beautiful build. So streamlined and elegant. I love to watch her run.

Someone stopped us in PetSmart one day and said, "She should be on TV!" And I thought... WHERE CAN I FIND AN AGENT
This one is my favorite!
Always staring off into the distance, looking for something to chase.
Don't eat the bluebonnets!
My pretty girl.
I think she has a noble profile.
"Time to go home and get a trea-- Look, BIRDS!!"

I think we can all agree that she's the cutest dog in the world. :-)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Edwardian corset finally finished!!!

This weekend I finally finished my Edwardian corset!! I didn't end up using any of my antique lace because I didn't have enough of the Irish crochet lace (it was about half an inch too short to go across the top), but I found this cream-colored pleated lace at Hobby Lobby and immediately knew it would be perfect.

I'm very happy with the way it looks on me, though I did learn a few things in the process of trying to tighten the laces by myself.

1. I only set every other grommet, except for at the waist. When I was tightening the corset, the edges of the lacing strips bowed out around the curve between my waist and hip. I think I now know why the grommets are so closely spaced on the pattern--because it helps the distribute the tension on those areas more evenly.

Now, this could be because I couldn't tighten it evenly from top to bottom, but I really think I need to go back and put more grommets in. I'm thinking this shouldn't be a problem, I'll just undo the stitching on the bias binding on the bottom, take out those two bones on either side of the grommets, and stick a few more in there.

2. If you lace the corset to have those loops on either side of the waist, you really can't tighten the corset yourself because there's no way to hold the loops and tighten at the same time.

3. If you've torn your rotator cuff in the last six months and are trying not to put too much stress on the joint so that it can heal, trying to tighten a corset by yourself is a really good way to aggravate the injury. My shoulder had been feeling almost all better, and I've screwed it up again because I couldn't wait to try the corset on. But what can I do, since I don't have anyone to help me. My ex said he would have helped me, but I think that would be weird.

So I only have a few pics from the front, since I couldn't lace the back properly. Like I said, I'm really happy with how it looks. I was afraid I would look like a chunky sausage in this thing.

The underbust and waist fit quite well. I'm not sure if I'll be able to maintain parallel edges of the lacing strips all the way down though. I just can't get a feel for how it will fit over my hips when it's laced properly.

I can see that this style of corset isn't meant for waist training or creating any kind of an hourglass figure. It's meant to create a columnar silhouette for those long, lean styles of the 1910s-onward.

I think it's very interesting that girdles in the 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s kept the same form as the Edwardian corset. I'd kind of like to experiment with making some girdles of my own because I like that kind of thing and I have a problem with getting very bloated sometimes--I can never predict when--and I have to wear loose clothes all the time because of that. I would love to have a corset/girdle to wear under my work clothes so that I don't have to worry about looking okay in my dress in the morning, only to appear to be 5 months pregnant later in the afternoon because my GI tract is so touchy.

Too much information? I'm sorry. But, it is a problem that a lot of women have.

Anyway, yay for my first REAL corset being finished!!