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Maura Enright
"Music is a release from the tyranny of conscious thought."
"Music is a release from the tyranny of conscious thought."
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Maura's posts

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I have GOT to learn how to use this. Steve Ballmer's database about gov't spending and income.


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We now have International Fact Checking Day, April 2, following on the heels of April Fools Day. How-to fact check fake news, urban legends, political claims, etc.

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Kevin Griffin's brilliant 1.5 minute video about constructing the world for a Christmas-time Coca-Cola add from whole cloth.

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A very short (2 min) clip about 'swimming the cows' from the Irish mainland to an island. It's a video koan, IMO. Kevin Griffin, artist.

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"After this Earth there is the world of the Shi’. Beyond it again lies the Many-Coloured Land. Next comes the Land of Wonder, and after that the Land of Promise awaits us. You will cross clay to get into the Shi’; you will cross water to attain the Many-Coloured Land; fire must be passed ere the Land of Wonder is attained, but we do not know what will be crossed for the fourth world.

"A council had been called in the Many-Coloured Land to discuss the case of a lady named Becuma Cneisgel, that is, Becuma of the White Skin, the daughter of Eogan Inver. She had run away from her husband Labraid and had taken refuge with Gadiar, one of the sons of Mananna’n mac Lir, the god of the sea, and the ruler, therefore, of that sphere.

"In the Shi’ the crime of Becuma would have been lightly considered, and would have received none or but a nominal punishment, but in the second world a horrid gravity attaches to such a lapse, and the retribution meted is implacable and grim. It may be dissolution by fire, and that can note a destruction too final for the mind to contemplate; or it may be banishment from that sphere to a lower and worse one.

"This was the fate of Becuma of the White Skin.

"One may wonder how, having attained to that sphere, she could have carried with her so strong a memory of the earth. It is certain that she was not a fit person to exist in the Many-Coloured Land, and it is to be feared that she was organised too grossly even for life in the Shi’.

She was an earth-woman, and she was banished to the earth.

"Word was sent to the Shi’s of Ireland that this lady should not be permitted to enter any of them; from which it would seem that the ordinances of the Shi come from the higher world, and, it might follow, that the conduct of earth lies in the Shi’.

"In that way, the gates of her own world and the innumerable doors of Faery being closed against her, Becuma was forced to appear in the world of men.

It is pleasant, however, notwithstanding her terrible crime and her woeful punishment, to think how courageous she was. When she was told her sentence, nay, her doom, she made no outcry, nor did she waste any time in sorrow. She went home and put on her nicest clothes.

"She wore a red satin smock, and, over this, a cloak of green silk out of which long fringes of gold swung and sparkled, and she had light sandals of white bronze on her thin, shapely feet. She had long soft hair that was yellow as gold, and soft as the curling foam of the sea. Her eyes were wide and clear as water and were grey as a dove’s breast. Her teeth were white as snow and of an evenness to marvel at. Her lips were thin and beautifully curved: red lips in truth, red as winter berries and tempting as the fruits of summer. The people who superintended her departure said mournfully that when she was gone there would be no more beauty left in their world.

"She stepped into a coracle, it was pushed on the enchanted waters, and it went forward, world within world, until land appeared, and her boat swung in low tide against a rock at the foot of Ben Edair.

"So far for her."

-- Becuma of the White Skin, 'Irish Fairy Tales' by James Stephens.
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I bought a partially-completed assuit coat from a dancer who decided she couldn't finish it. I then then disassembled it and re-assembled it into a dress.

The coat pieces had been cut with no regard to pattern matching; the yoke pieces didn't match and the stripes were offset and slanted at seam lines. Aside from truing everything up (got lucky, was able to do this!) I also made one of my standard corrections for an 'ethnic' costume, which is to make the costume hang from the point of the shoulder, skimming the hips, instead of hanging off the shoulder and sagging towards the hips: An Occidental adaptation that both slenderizes and makes arm movements easier.

I lined the body with black silk. This made the silver pattern pop; The assuit yoke and waist decorations look like jewelry without putting any jewelry on.

This was my first assuit project; I thought it would be straightforward and my heart certainly sank when I realized how the fabric had been cut. Fortunately assuit net is cotton and easily manipulated / steamed / eased / gathered into larger or smaller shapes. Cotton twill tape at shoulders and neck keep this net where I want it.

The dress was intended for my daughter; she's the one in the picture. I'm thinking I would like one myself.

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My first assuit project: I overhauled an assuit coat from a dancer who decided she couldn't finish it. I disassembled it and re-assembled it into a dress.

I bought the coat for the yoke pattern but had no idea what a mess the rest of it was. It was cut and put together with no regard to the prosaic Western concepts of pattern matching, which meant that the beautiful design lost a lot of its impact... to say nothing of looking unprofessional in a Western venue. The side seams had to be picked apart and then trued up so that the horizontal patterns matched at the side seams and straight across. Ditto with the sleeves.

One of my standard corrections on an ethnic pattern intended for performance in a Western venue is fit the sleeves so that the shoulder seam is at the point of the shoulder instead of dropped; this causes the costume to hang gracefully from the shoulders, skimming the hips, instead of hanging off the shoulders and sagging towards the hips. For those of you who are concerned about looking heavier than you used to be (you know who you are), this might be a remedy. That change also allows more freedom of movement in the arms, and since cane dancing and assuit dresses frequently go together... I accomplished this by gathering the shoulder seam and pulling it up so that the shoulder seam was at the point of the shoulder; no cutting of precious assuit. The gathering simulates another Western fitting concept: darts (or similar constructions) that turn the garment from a 2-D construct to a 3-D.

I eventually modified the gathered shoulders so they can be completely opened for pulling over the head... I didn't want an opening in front or in back. Twill tape of various widths reinforces shoulders and neck; I didn't want the weight of the assuit pulling the shoulders and neck out of shape.

The piece of assuit had been cut so that the front of the coat opening was on the selvage, so that made it easier to make an invisible seam up front. I hand basted this seam because it had to be exact; the design needed to match, left to right, and the front seam had to be just a hair to the side of the metal.

I then lined the body of the dress with black silk, and my daughter is wearing it over black silk pants. Unlined is a nice look but the lining really sets off the assuit and makes the garment For All Audiences.

I think the garment proves that buying the most densely-patterned fabric you can afford pays off.
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