Happy New Year's Eve!

Well, I thought it only proper to have a "year end review" as Travis has done. So here it goes...
This year has brought many new and interesting things to my attention. I've found that friends depart quickly after highschool, and some of them are not what you thought they were. I started college at Ohio University in Piano Pedagogy. I don't like it. I've made a few friends at OU. I started this blog. I've become addicted to facebook. I celebrated a 1 year anniversary with my Boyfriend. I got a puppy named Virgil. and other random things.

It's not been that great of a year so hopefully next year will bring more excitement. PEACE OUT!

Winter Break '08.... Ep I

Since my winter break has started I have tried to keep myself busy and productive. My intentions were noble and good, but before I had even begun my first project I was surprised with a peculiar present. I was presented in my waking with a puppy in the morning of November 22nd. Dad bought him for me and he is my only Christmas present, aside from socks. I have named him Virgil to keep with the Tombstone theme (we have a Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, and a Virgil Earp). He is my responsibility and my parents will help me none. It is I that must house train, groom, and pay for all his needs. I don't get more than 6 hours of sleep b/c he feels he must wake about 3 or 4 times a night. I have become a mother, of a dog.

With Virgil around it makes things a little difficult but I have managed to accomplish a few things...... First off, I have learned to Crochet. I am learning basic chains and stitches. My first (and only) project to date is a scarf. I have made a scarf for myself and and a matching scarf for Virgil. It's adorable.

My other project I have finished is a chemise. A chemise is a women's undershirt. It is to be a garment to keep the the outside clothing clean. I made one for my mom and one for me. I want to eventually be able to go Civil War Reenacting with my mom.

My next project will be to lengthen a skirt I got off of Ebay. It will hopefully be finished in about 2 or 3 days. Stay Tuned!

About Me

Who Am I?
I am Amber Mendenhall, a 21 year old college student who dreams of becoming a professional Costume Historian.... or something of that nature. I have a myriad of interests and am always hoping to learn a new skill. Currently, I am studying Historic Costume and American History at Ohio University, working closely with the Ohio University Theatre Department.

 What Do I Do? 
    I sew costumes, historical ones, mostly. I strive to make them as accurately as possible using the techniques of the time. 
    I am a crochet designer of hats, scarves, and other things. But, most specifically I design Star Wars Amigurumi and have so far created Yoda, General Grievous, Admiral Ackbar, Boba Fett and a Stormtrooper. I am currently working on Darth Maul and Chewbacca.
   I am a classical pianist. Piano and music has been a part of my life since I was a wee one. I have been playing piano for 14 years and it is my minor at Ohio University. I play classical piano such as Beethoven, Bach and Chopin but also accompany a local high school choir called the Tone Definites. Apart from piano I can play the penny whistle and some violin (and hopefully the bagpipes here soon!)
   I do 'homey' things. I have this affinity with the ultimate "housewife" persona. I bake, cook, wear pretty aprons, pride myself in being thrifty, watch Pride and Prejudice while shelling peas or stringing beans, etc. I strive to be a Happy Housewife in the years to come.
   I am a Star Wars Freak! Though I like 'homey' things, I really like Star Wars and other sci-fi and tend to incorporate those things in unorthodox ways.
    What Can I Do?
    My skills include:
    Sewing, Flat Patterning, Draping, Period Reconstruction, Hand-Stitchery, Leather Working, Fiber Glass, Mask Making, Distressing, Fabric Dye, Screen Printing, Batik, Silk Painting, Rendering, Crochet, Painting, Stamp Making....but the list is ever expanding! 

    How Can You Contact Me? 
     Friend me on Facebook 
    ....or ask me a question on Formspring
    or just comment on something you like!

    Thanks for checking out my blog!

    A Sad Time

    Today I was practicing in one of the practice rooms at the school of music. I came out of my solitude to find a small crowd looking on at one of the balconies. I asked what was going on, and to my surprise I see a squirrel trapped on the balcony. Poor thing. It would pace from side to side of the balcony then climb the railing. It would attempt to jump to the roof but would fall back to the balcony every time. We watched in horror as he would contemplate his next move. He had a nut with him, and would take it close to the edge. We were afraid it would be a reenactment of the Ice Age squirrel, following his nut anywhere it may go. He had probly been there for a half an hour. We started to try to find things to help him to the roof. So he wouldn't die a miserable, lonely death. We decided to use one of the long chairs and prop it up against the wall so he could climb to the roof. We pick up the couch, then to our horror we watch him jump to his death off the balcony. We were astonished.

    So today I watched a squirrel committed suicide. I will never be the same.

    In the Land of Perfect......

    In English class (senior year) Ms. DeHaan read us these "rules of being a good housewife", an excerpt from a 50's home economics book. I only hope I can be a housewife (not have to work outside the home). This would be the ideal situation for me.

    1) Have dinner ready: Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal... on time. This is a way of letting him know you have been thinking about him, and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospects of a good meal are part of the warm welcome needed.

    2) Prepare yourself: Take 15 minutes to rest so you will be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your makeup, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people. Be a little gay (happy) and a little more interesting. His boring day may need a lift.

    3) Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives, gathering up school books, toys, paper, etc. Then run a dust cloth over the tables. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift, too.

    4) Prepare the children: Take a few minutes to wash the children's hands and faces if they are small, comb their hair, and if necessary, change their clothes. They are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part.

    5) Minimize the noise: At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of washer, dryer, dishwasher or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet. Be happy to see him. Greet him with a warm smile and be glad to see him.

    6) some Dont's: Don't greet im with problems or complaints. Don't complain if he's late for dinner. Count this as minor compared with what he might have gone through that day.

    7) Make him comfortable: Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or suggest he lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him. Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soft, soothing and pleasant voice. Allow him to relax and unwind.

    8) Listen to him: You may have a dozen things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first.

    9) Make the evening his: Never complain if he does not take you out to dinner or to other places of entertainment; instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure, his need to be home and relax.

    10) The goal: Try to make your home a place of peace and order where your husband can relax.

    Amazing Movie

    So, at the moment I'm watching the movie, "Secret Garden". I have seen this movie a million times since I was a child but I simply can't get over how wonderful this movie is. The costumes are suberb to the time. The dresses are so intricate and accurate.... I WANT SOME!

    The story was created by Frances Hodgens Burnett in 1909. The movie is therefore set in the early 1900's in the movie. You can find the synopsis of the story on Wikipedia or another website, or you could just watch it. :D I will therefore focus on the accuracy of the costumes......

    There are no pictures of the costumes on the Web. So i cannot post them and describe them further. We will start with the basic sillouette of the time; This era is considered the "Early Edwardian". Women of this era were to have very full busts and hips. Yet they strove to achieve rediculously small waists (of course with the help of corsets). Sleeves were getting much less poofy by the Edwardian Era. 'Short sleeves' as we know them were unheard of in everyday dresses. Their version was a 3/4 sleeve. Skirts were to be somewhat full but only really at the bottom. The hair was worn wide and poofy with a chignon (or bun) on the top of the head. Hats were not huge as in the Titanic Era, but the same "mushroom" top was the shape of the hat.
    Maggie Smith (Minerva McGonagall in the Harry Potter films) is very well portrayed in this time period. She wears lots of black taffetta dresses with intricate pleatings and laces. Her hair is SUBERB. It's perfectly formed and pairs well with her face and neck (this is very important to the early women's fashion). She has a great shape for this time, very hourglass-y.
    Another character for the film has very impressive dresses. The actress's name is Irene Jacob and she portays very rich twins that die early on in the story. One dress in particular is the very first seen in the film. It's an empire waisted ball gown that is very "modern" (19-teens-ish). It's a very Indian theme (as they are in india), rich reds, creams and gold embroidery. The dress almost resembles a no sleeved kimono with a victorian twist. It has a sheer red overlay for the top portion of the dress with very intricate gold embroidery. The red overlay comes past the knees and opens up at the skirt in and upside-down V, revealing the cream underdress. The cream underdress is very simple but provides a nice base for the overlay. The dress is gathered at the waist. It's very typical of an "oriental inspired" dress of the 19-teens, but not neccessarily of early edwardian gowns. Gorgeous dress though....other dresses she wears in the movie are normal edwardian lawn dresses. These are very thin white dresses pieced together with lace. These are more easy to come by, as they were quite common.
    The costumes for the children are very nice and accurate but not at all as impressive as Maggie Smith's and Irene Jacob's wardrobes.
    Don't be surprised on the number of costume critiques i shall provide in the future. there shall be more!

    The Good Stuff

    As I have decided create my own blog perhaps I should post something with real substance.... so i shall start rambling away!

    Today I made my mind up to have a plan for this week. My entire summer has been about nothing. I have done nothing. I have simply made a few bucks here and there to sustain the unquenchable thirst of gasoline. These are my goals for this week....

    1) Make a petticoat with many ruffles so I can wear my newest hoop
    2) Clean my room
    3) Prepare for college

    My goals are few, but one must start out small when they have slacked off for 3 monthes. I shall post again when I feel up to the challenge



    travis will be proud...for i have started my own blog. he wants to be the first to comment but he shall also be the first to be mentioned as well. What an honour!