Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Bearded Lady, Fudge, and "Putting Yourself Out There"

Making and selling my own things. How did I get here? Answers and insights below. 
       Recently, I was reading through a GORGEOUS magazine called "Where Women Create" and not only was every page inspiring and made me want to paint my life teal, but it also validated all of these successful women for the hard work that they had put into creating their ideal occupations. I read entirely through every article, and there was a common theme throughout every single story of how the women built their success: they had ALL been working at it for at least 10 years, and they all took action EVERY DAY to reach their goals.
       Not all of these women started out successful right out of the gate. In fact, most of them, it seemed, had to suffer rejection after rejection, self-doubts, obstacles that seemed insurmountable, and outright failures.   The other thing that I loved about all of them is that they were all humble and grateful for their success.   It makes me wonder..is there a mathematical formula for success?? So, beingkickedintheshins+fear+10Years+somesmartsoundingvariable=SUCCESS!




        I can tell you, the "taking 10 years or longer" thing feels pretty real to me. I have been starting businesses since I could draw signs on cardboard, and even tried to run a little "drive-through" convenience/snack store called "Smileys" out of a burned out Catalpa tree stump in my parent's front yard. (Never mind that my parents lived on a 63 acre farm on a dead-end dirt road out in the peaceful country where no traffic came......come, on, I had 8 kids in my family! Surely that should have equaled some profits!!)  I just wanted to CREATE things and SELL  them so badly, I could feel it vibrating out of my whole being every day of my life. I was ridiculously bored at school, because no one was telling me how to monetize the things I was learning. If my teachers could have just helped me to see that there was $$$ in what I was doing, I'm sure I would have been a more attentive student! (As it were, I mostly did the absolute minimum amount of work to get my assignments done and then me and Laura Ingalls Wilder sat back together and learned about how she created her own dreams.)
         Luckily, an opportunity DID present itself to me when I was about 11 years old. There is a miniscule little Fall festival in Newtonia, Missouri where they have a paltry sampling of craft vendors, lots of homemade ice cream, and a straggly little group of hardcore Civil War re-enactors that put on a dandy little show. (There was actually a substantial battle fought in Newtonia, and there is a large old mansion that was used as a Civil War Hospital that is still there, with a graveyard right next to it. I was madly in  love with a boy that lived in that mansion, and he would tell stories about the ghosts of the war that still haunted it. Delicious!) 
        To get a booth space was like $20, and my mom was willing to front the money if I would be willing to find and make things to sell. I thought it would be brilliant to make an enormous pile of fudge, and to sell the whole entire table! I was salivating with the thought of not only getting to lick the pans clean, but also to lick the beautiful dollar bills as they came into my life! (Okay, I'm not that creepy....I only snuggle with money and massage it. Licking is a little too far.)
 
          In case you've never made fudge, or any homemade candy, for that matter, it is..uh....a chemical process. You don't just get to mix some junk together and shove  it in the oven. It takes measuring carefully, taking temperatures, singing lullabies, unicorn hairs, enchantments, and a shrubbery. My first batch was more like a pile of brown oatmeal. My second batch was better, and vaguely lumped into bars that could be sold. My third batch..uh....not much better.  
          In the proud tradition of my fathers and forebears, I had also procrastinated until the night before the event to make the fudge. It was crunch time, and I was being crunched. What was done was done, and it would have to do. I pitifully wrapped the glooey fudge into seran wrap and made a sign out of cardboard. 
\

        I know what the end of this story should have been. I should have learned  my lesson about the perils procrastination and the woes of shoddy workmanship. However, in an ironic twist of fate, I was handsomely rewarded for my misdeeds. After only about 10 minutes of sitting at my little folding card-table and pile of fudge, a truly terrifying looking woman came up and stood in front of my table. I don't mean to be unkind when such kindess was offered me, but she did, in fact, have a full circus freak-show beard and the craziest flowery dress I've ever seen. She grumbled, "How much is your fudge?"  As a terrified kid, I sat agape for a few moments before I said, "Um...uh...like 4 dollars per piece, I guess?"  She grunted, pulled out a pile of money, and said, "I'll take it all" in a meloncholy voice. I could hardly understand what had just happened. I handed it all to her in a bag, and then I took the money. What....the....what?
        Looking back, I wonder if the lesson is simply this. I wanted something badly. Really, REALLY badly. It wasn't about the fudge. It was about me putting out this "I am selling things and that is how I make money" energy!!!!  I've known that I was meant to run booths and sell things at shows for a very long time, and that is why I do it today. However, I have been working every day at this task for an equally long time. While other kids in junior high and high school were watching Dawson's Creek and talking on MSN messenger, I was sewing, cooking, and creating. While other girls went out on dates, I was making renaissance costumes to sell on ebay.  I can't quit. I won't quit. I am compelled.  I also happen to love every second of it, and I'm so excited to wake up and sew that I have a hard time sleeping. REALLY. ;)
        As always, I am grateful for the support I get from all of you. I love the customers and women that I've attracted into my life, and I'm always excited to make new things for you to see. I also want to stand as an example to the notion that you CAN do what you want, go where you want, and accomplish what you desire. It takes work. Sometimes 10 years. It takes sacrifice...sometimes all you have in your heart. However, it is worth it to be able to live this life.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Hibernation

       I need to connect more with nature.  I have been looking at the changing world around me, and it's been making me a little bit panicky, because I've not been making peace in my heart with the change, I have been making snarkiness and annoyance instead.  When  it snows, I get grumpy at how horrible people in Utah are at driving in the winter. It's cold. It's dark. I have to do all this Christmas stuff and I don't want to do anything.  What the heck, Michelle? 
       So, I did a meditation about trees in the winter. (I still can't figure out if I'm "doing" meditation right, and I spend most of my time worrying about whether or not I'm meditating, which should tell you a lot about me.)  The trees take on a huge physical change.  In fact, they appear..um.....DEAD. Their color is gone, their leafy texture has fallen, and they look like dark skeleton limbs reaching up into the winter dusk.   To the outside observer, there is a stillness.....a lack of action and forward movement.  On the inside, complicated, life changing things are happening, and absolute miracles are occurring.  
       Have you ever heard a tree "apologize" for what it's going through in the winter?  Does it get all pissed off at itself because it doesn't look like it used to, and does it get nervous about what others will think about its physical change? Um. No. 


       The trees take this season and they understand it on a deep level. They know that it is time for quiet renewal, and careful building up of their energy to take on the coming year.  The tree knows that it will be different next year, and it's peaceful with the "death" of this year's tree.
       I would like to be at peace with the "death" of this 2014 version of me.   This is the Michelle that I've been this year, and all of the things that I though, did, and that happened to me were for my ultimate benefit. I don't need to beat myself up over anything. I don't need to go and dig up the corpses that should remain buried.  I am at peace with this "me", and eagerly look forward to the rebirth of another year!    I LOVE the song  "Ring Out, Wild Bells!"  It's this old song, in a very minor chord, and it just has this delicious dark essence to it! I'm always excited when we sing it in church. Yippee! The emo-song! 
Here are a few of my favorite verses (from the poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, on which it is based)

Ring out the old, ring in the new--,
Ring happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Oh my goodness! If you have never heard this song, you MUST go listen to it! It is stunning.  The tune and the feeling of the song absolutely encapsulate what I'm talking about here!  


         So, bears the question. Are you okay with who you have become and what you have learned this year? Are you ready to let things stay in the past, and live in this precious present which you have been given?  Are you okay with the things that are going on INSIDE of you, even though people might not YET be able to see it on the OUTSIDE? 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

With Integrity

This is my brother-in-law, Barrett, and his little daughter, Naomi.

           My sister called yesterday to give me some ideas on what to give to her husband for Christmas. He is the most extraordinarily unique man I've ever met, and I cannot figure out what to get for him....ever.  He likes American-Made, quality, built-to-withstand-the-test-of-time products that your Grandpa would have loved, but honestly, those things are hard to find, even on the interwebs.  I DO love that Barrett sticks to his guns.  What's really awesome is that Emma met him while working a renaissance festival with me. He has played the "Barefooted Bagpiper" at tons of renaissance festivals around the Midwest,  although he's not doing that as much these days. He is a living, breathing example of everything he believes, and whenever I have questions about how to move forward with integrity, he always has some beautiful story from history that he tells me to capture the essence of what I need to know. 

What the what? I cannot figure out why I could only find ONE picture in my whole computer with me and my younger sister, but she happens to be pregnant in it! Sorry, Lemons. I needed a picture for my blog!!!


        The reason I've been thinking about my brother-in-law a lot lately is because I've realized that most of my UN-happiness comes from NOT living true to my authetic self, and NOT taking the actions of thinking the thoughts that come from the highest form of Me.  If I were more like Barrett, I could at least have the gloriously stubborn notions that support who I am, and exist in peace with them.  I spend all of my mental capacity thinking about ways that I have to fix myself or my company, and occasionally how I have to fix other people in my life.  It's an incredibly hard thing to do to just...."be". 
      Emma and I had a good talk yesterday where we both realized that the happiest and most beautiful we had ever felt was when we weren't trying to fix something about ourselves. Crazy.  I'm struggling with the difference between "not fixing yourself" and "doing tons of work so that you'll not have to feel like you have to fix yourself....".  How in the heck do you make peace with yourself without saying, "But, these are all the things I have to fix."  I mean, isn't progress good??? Isn't moving forward awesome? Isn't hard work the greatest? 
       Still trying to sort this out. 

Friday, December 5, 2014

But, if I don't, WHO WILL?????

     I intend to start REALLY diving in and dissecting some of the long-held beliefs and stories that have been running constantly in the background of my mind for years.  Today, I'm attacking a really formidable one, and I KNOW that lots of women in our day face this obstacle....it's the idea that "If I don't beat myself up constantly, then how will I get better?"
     I know, that in a normal day, if I don't achieve absolutely everything on my mental to-do list, I feel like a failure. I'll call myself petty names and demand "Why can't you JUST???"  to everything. I also, start at the top of the list, and follow a pretty predictable pattern where I start with the things that I didn't accomplish, I then go on to dredge up past mistakes, and then I finally always end with yelling at myself for my weight. You're probably reading this and thinking, "Oh my *potty words*, this lady has got some issues!" However, I didn't even realize my pattern of thoughts until I started really paying attention to them several months back. 
      Speaking of several months, this is sort of why I stopped writing my blog.  I would tell myself I was going to do it, because I had great content to share with the world, and I want to offer so much more to my customers than corsets (even though, what those alone offer is fantastic!). Then, I would get "busy" (that's the dirtiest word in the English language to me right now. In fact, my brother and I have this thing where we catch each other saying it and then we both have to re-commit to NOT using it as an excuse like the rest of the world.)  and then when I didn't write it, I would beat myself up for it.  Why? Well....because I HAVE to beat myself up. It's not SAFE to NOT beat myself up. If I don't do it, then who is going to? 

     So, the question is, DOES this self-flagellation work?  Let's examine. When I beat myself up for not writing my blog, did it inspire me to reach greater heights and get out of my comfort zone? Um. No. Not freaking at all.   Then why do I do it? 
      I have read a lot of Louise Hay's work recently, and I highly suggest it, ESPECIALLY if you have any physical  pain or mental suffering. She's not only kicking A- and taking names in the self-help world, but she is also freaking 88 years old, and a hot lady! LOOK AT HER!   Below is one of my favorite quotes out of all of her work, because it resonated with me and made me really take a hard, cold look at myself. 
        I think that perhaps sometimes we decide to beat ourselves up because we are afraid of others doing it, and we want to "beat them to the punch" (literally).  I know that for me and my brain, it is this false sense of progress that I indulge in. I think, "Yeah, if I can examine the problem and yell at myself enough, I will totally change.". The horrible irony is that this is all such a lie. Have you EVER been inspired to do something on a consistent basis when you were criticized, belittled, abused, and guilted into it?  Does SHAME really get you going in the morning? Honestly.   If you said those type of things to your husband, children, or friends, would they say, "Oh my heck, you're right about all the ways in which I suck and can never do anything and should be like other people! I'm going to do exactly what you tell me to do right now, and continue doing it forever!!!"

         I have a little boy named Todd who is one of the most forceful, fiery balls of energy I've ever met. He is going to be an incredible leader someday, but only if I can learn to love him and approve of him more than I have in the past. He's the kind of kid that will fly into a room and somersault onto the couch, and pull a wooden knife out of nowhere. He has BIG emotions (I can't imagine where he gets them) and feels things on a very deep level. I have made the horrible mistake of treating him like I treat myself, and he REJECTS it and acts out violently and swiftly.  When I get upset with him and tell him to slow down and stop being so crazy, it's like trying to stop a freight train. I just get run over. 
      The other day, this amazing thing happened, though. It was time to go to school, and I was frantically at work, answering emails and trying to get packages shipped out. I looked at the clock and thought, "Oh, crap,  it's time to get that kid to school or he'll be late!" I ran upstairs and yelled, "Todd, get your shoes on RIGHT now, WE'RE LATE!"  He had been just sitting there eating cereal, but when he heard he was late, his face turned red, his nostrils flared and he yelled, "What??? I'm LATE??????"  And then he roared like a beast and punched the back of our couch, right on the wooden frame, as hard as he could!  
       For some reason, I found something within me, and instead of yelling at him for yelling and punching, I calmly said, "Actually, bud, you're not late right now if you get your shoes on and we leave. I'm GLAD you  have these big emotions and you feel SO STRONGLY about not being late. I'm PROUD of you for feeling so big about being on time. I'm glad you punched the couch, and I only hope that the next time, you go for something BIGGER. Punch a shark or a lion next time." 
      The instant change in him was one of the most miraculous things I've ever seen. It was like a popped balloon of emotion. He stood there stunned. Then he sort of laughed. Then he said, "Yeah, I'll punch a shark next time. That would be awesome." He put his shoes on, and we were on time for school. 
      So, I guess the moral of the story is that beating yourself up does not work. It might work for a little while, but when there is that much disapproval coursing through your veins, it will not only extend to you, but also to other people, and everyone ends up miserable and feeling like they're not enough.  The next time you're going to rage at yourself...punch a shark instead. 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Bridge



         I had a serious internal war in  my brain today. Okay, I'm most likely still having it, which is why I'm  hiding out down in my basement madly pounding away at the keyboard and looking at paleo desserts on pinterest. Alas. 
         I have big dreams. They're so big that they scare the junk out of me, and I have to re-pump myself up every single day to even be able to take the first step toward them. I know in my depths of my aorta that I'm destined for something GREAT, but in my efforts to try and cross the chasm over to sweet victory, I feel that I may be missing a few crucial structures.  See the bridge in the picture above? It towers over where the Portland Pirate Festival was held, and when I first saw it in the dusty light of morning, after an 18 hour, all-night drive from Utah, it took my breath away! It's the color of green that only history can produce. It's glorious arches are majestic and awe-inspiring. THIS is the kind of bridge that not only helps you to cross over to your destination, it transports and transforms you when you cross it!   I know that if I am going to achieve my goals, I need to build a bridge like this to be able to fulfill my destiny and rise above all of the distractions, disappointments, setbacks, fears, and catastrophies. 
     Here's the deal, though. What if I'm building this bridge (below)? That's sort of what it feels like. I'll have these AMAZING, mind-blowing, stunned silence, then slow-clap type of goals....I will build a few pieces of the bridge to my destiny, and then I'll fall into one of my own holes. 

    I'm a self-help junkie. I constantly shove positive, "You can do this!" type of junk into the maw of my brain, and I apparently masticate it viciously, but never actually swallow. I love pretending to be an upbeat person that can manifest goodness into their life. And heck, maybe I actually AM that kind of person if I'm pretending this hard.   My basic problem of  late is that I just feel like an absolute hypocrite.  I'm not talking the talk, and walking the walk. More like "complaining the mumbling" and "dragging the sauntering.." 
         I listen to all of these great podcasts (I can't possibly recommend Lewis Howes' "School of Greatness" enough! He has an amazing personal story, sensational guests, and he's pretty easy on the eyes.) every single day while I work with my crew (who I'm incredibly grateful for. ESPECIALLY for the fact that they're okay with listening to such a profusion of zealous self-helpery!).  I will feel motivated, energized, and feel like I have a plan!  I will write down huge goals, commit to them, figure out a plan of action, and carefully visualize how it will taste, feel, smell, and look to get them! 
        Most days, I can listen to Britney Spear's "Work, Bitch" song, fix my makeup, say a prayer, and explode into my objectives with the zest of a thousand pepper grinders, but on days like today, I wake up, and instantly, there is a giant block of cement sitting on my chest. For every thought that is vaguely hopeful in my brain, there is a literal army of negative thoughts that rush in with their weapons flailing.   "Michelle, if you have these amazing goals that you wrote down, have you achieved any of them.....ANY???"  Well...uh....not exactly....but......" Michelle, if you KNOW that you can manifest a great life for yourself and that you attract the same type of things into your life as you put OUT, why aren't you better than you are NOW???" 
         I'll sit there with these really real questions in my brain. Wow, that crazy, mean Satanic voice is RIGHT! I'm making goals, and I'm working harder than I ever have in my life, but am I actually reaching the NUMBERS AND DATES? No.   I actually do believe that whatever kind of energy I put out INTO the universe is the same kind that I will get back. If this is the case, why do I have any unhappy customers at all? Why do I have such bad lower back problems in my spine that I'm having a hard time moving? Why are my kids fighting? Why have I been stuck at 165 pounds for 11 months, even after hiring a health coach, overhauling my whole entire diet, and cutting out all sugar, wheat, soy, and bad fats?   Is THIS the energy that I'm putting out there?????? Holy night!! I thought that I was putting out the kind of energy that was like, "I love my life. I love my customers. I want to serve them. I want to serve other people. I want to do something greater than myself. I want to use all of my money for the good of mankind. I want to get rid of all of my possessions that aren't serving me. I want to love more deeply every day. I want to help others achieve their greatest dreams. I want to  help women feel beautiful and powerful"  Shouldn't THAT energy make some serious crap happen???????
Largest I've been to the thinnest I've been. I constantly tell my customers to love their body at any weight and every weight, and speak loving, grateful words to it......but do I do this? Nope, and nope. Easier said that done. 

        On another level. I absolutely know how good it is to be grateful for things. I'm so, SO grateful, and I start every day with a gratitude prayer, and end every night with a gratitude supplication to the heavens. I feel like by now I should have crushed every single bad or negative thing with my super-human powers of gratitude. Yet, on days like today, I'll think about how sweetly thankful I am for the things in my life, and immediately a wretched thought will rush in like, "Yeah, but how long will you have these things? You had better enjoy them while you can. Nothing lasts forever."
       I promise, these crazy thoughts can't possibly come from my own brain. I'm not sure I'm that creative or smart. These thoughts are REALLY impressive. 
 
         I am not exactly sure where I'm going with this, and I'm half tempted to delete the whole dang thing. I know that lots of times, when we focus on the negative things, and when we tell ourselves "stories" like, "I always......I never......I can't......I won't.......Why can't.....", these stories get lodged in our subconscious and they become the very reality we live. 
         I suppose I'm here to say that even though  today kicked me repeatedly in the shins, and challenged all of the beliefs I have, I WILL still keep building the bridge to my goals.  I know that when I build others up and help them get to where they need to be, it automatically throws me into their faster-driving vehicles, and we all move forward at a higher rate. 
       I am choosing now to throw the negativity and doubt I feel back into the pit from whence it came! I can let go of the disappointments and criticisms I have gotten from other people as well as myself. 
      I am also choosing to go up and eat one of those paleo desserts that I was looking at on pinterest. Phew. Yes, this is what my brain is always like forever. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Grab Bag Sale & Rules for 2014

I am not always right. But, I am always right about not always being right. Also, I'm an emotional, passionate woman. Sometimes, I'm at a fabric store, looking at completely random fabric and just DYING to make corsets out of it, and I have something like the following internal dialogue:

Michelle: But, LOOK at it! There are neon periwinkle shrimp and regal chameleons wearing leisure suits printed on this fabric. AND, it's only $3 a yard. It practically SELLS ITSELF! The Damselite customers will ADORE THIS!!

Voice of Reason/Corset Gods: Michelle....seriously? 

Michelle: Absolutely, everyone just needs a paradigm shift. I can make this happen! I can make people LOVE THIS FABRIC!!! 

Sometimes unexpected fabrics really do work wonders. Yet, most of the time, the idea of a simple black corset always just wins out over the slightly less-popular fabric with the "good personality."  I don't mind this. If I were spending a lot of money, I would want a piece that would work with everything. I totally get it! Also, the color black is slimming and flattering on lots of skin tones. Once again, I get it. 

But, friends, there is a secret part of me that takes a violent thrill of pleasure when I have the Grab Bag sales. It's not just the exciting idea of NOT knowing what crazy things I'm going to send you! It's also the idea that you might meet this corset, and at first you'll butt heads, and argue, but then the tension will escalate, and you will end up kissing passionately in the mail room after you've just called each other horrible names. Wow, that was maybe a little too far. *cough*  Essentially, you might find a secret love that you would have NEVER found, had it not been for this sale. I adore that aspect, and I'm giddy with excitement about packing up these boxes.  So, without further ado....adiuew? adoo? uhdew? Without further tangeants. Here are the rules.

Black Friday Rules:
*You will get to know the SIZE of the corset in your Grab Bag, and whether or not it's an underbust or overbust corset (For those of you who don't know-underbust corsets go..uh...under the breasts.  Overbusts go....over....I try not to be too sarcastic when I get this question. Just because it seems easy to me, doesn't mean that everyone else thinks about corsets 24/7.) We WILL NOT TELL YOU THE COLOR OR ACTUAL STYLE OF CORSET.

*There are 4 Wednesday nights in November. Perfect. We have 4 levels of packages (explained below.) Week 1, level 1, and so on. HOWEVER, if there are any unpaid invoices, which DOES happen, all of the leftover pieces will be listed along with the Level 4 pieces on the 4th Wednesday. 

*S&H is INCLUDED in the price, unlike last year, where I made you all pay $15 extra. This is good because you know up front what you're getting into. However, we cannot ship for free to any other countries, and we cannot combine "included shipping" prices and refund you. 

*No REFUNDS. No complaining. You get what you get. Measure yourself CAREFULLY. If you have questions, ask them. Many people, including me are willing to help. Obviously, if you get the wrong item, or you get something that doesn't fit, I will still be more than willing to work with you on sending the correct item or items, AND perhaps working out an alteration fee with you. However, I can't refund you just because you didn't get what you thought you would get. Hopefully, that makes sense.

*Our event will be conducted right on our facebook page, through our soldsie affiliate. If you haven't registered to purchase through soldsie, they will actually PROMPT you when you comment "sold" on the item you want. If you need to know how this buying set-up works, don't worry. I will be posting and explaining it tons!

*This event is AGGRESSIVE. You need to make sure to keep your head, and not send me frantic emails. I don't respond well to "here's my fire, put it out" emails. I am always working and toiling away for my customers, and I want to help you and make sure you're happy. OF COURSE, I am going to work with you and make sure you're treated fairly. Do not send me frantic notes. 

*Above all, have fun. This year will be GREAT because there are 4 opportunities to get in on the fun. I am psyched. This will be the best year ever.....um...until next year.



LEVEL 1 UNDERBUST: $59
*This will include 1 underbust corset in the package. It could be a wench corset, it could be a Vixen or Torian. Our Wench corsets are $79, plus $15 S&H, so at $59, the price you're getting is fantastic, even with the cheapest piece we offer. 

LEVEL 1 OVERBUST: $89
*This will include one overbust corset. This year, we have crossfires, new-pattern Duchesses, Over-archers, and Courtiers (This is an edit! I also put together some corsets that were a wench or Torian PLUS an overbust cropped piece. Because I didn't not include this possibility in the original details, there has been some confusion. I would have personally still considered this an overbust corset, but it seems I'm outnumbered. I am VERY sorry. The cropped pieces will only be included as an "accessory" in undebust corset bags from here on out. I will be changing some of my already packed boxes, and I hope I manage to get them all!). . Holy night, this is a steal of a deal for any of those pieces.

******************************************************
LEVEL 2 UNDERBUST: $110
*This will include 2-3 items (including the corset), of our choice. Same rules for the corsets above. The extra items besides the corset could be harness ruffles, skirts, overskirts, blouses, or any little cool extra bits we want to throw in.

LEVEL 2 OVERBUST: $140
*Same general corset rules, plus extra items of awesomeness. Remember, we try to match things when we can. I love that part of the job.

******************************************************
LEVEL 3 UNDERBUST: $150
*This level is ALSO the corset plus 2-3 items, but the extra items in this level are a bit more expensive than the extra items for     level 2. Also, since the price is higher on this level, we try extra hard to match things, when POSSIBLE. This is not a guarantee, though! Remember, the element of surprise is fun!!!

LEVEL 3 OVERBUST: $180
*I just want to take a moment to say how awesome these packages are. Most of our overbust pieces are $149 plus the $15 S&H, but this package includes TWO TO THREE extra pieces . You might get a Duchess, a swagger skirt, and a hooded capelet. These would normally total up to $312, including the S&H. Half off. Holy crap. That is just one example of what you might get, but you NEVER KNOW! 

******************************************************
DELUXE UNDERBUST PACKAGE: $250
*This is where coat-tailed pieces, peplums, pirate coats, and siren corsets go! All of these pieces are $250 and up just by THEMSELVES! The fact that you get 2-3 EXTRA PIECES along with them is just sensational. These are really REALLY good packages. Hands down. 

*DELUXE OVERBUST PACKAGE: $300
*Once again, truly awesome packages. I make every effort to ensure that you get treated like a queen when you get these. The overbust package could include a pirate coat, overbust tailed piece, or even an empire corsair or steampunk jacket, along with matching waist corset.  Sweet, sweet, sweet. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sexy Bald Eagle

I am just so proud of this drawing that I need to make sure that I immortalize it in my blog forever.   Now, if the REAL costume can only look this cute.....
       By the way, making patterns is hard. I made the eagle hat above to put into my costume.....and even though it looks awesome on Leif, it looks wretched on me. It stuck off of my head and didn't sit right and looked more "chickeny".  

      What is even more sad is that this dang eagle hat was my FOURTH attempt! I was too ashamed to take a picture of how it looked on my face, which is why I used my baby. As you can see from the pictures, he even yanked it off and ran away. 

       And so, more pattern-making attempts for tomorrow. I have the most serious love-hate relationship with Halloween. It kills me every year. I work myself TO DEATH, every single year. I plan on having an awesome party every year, and then only manage to vaguely pull together something sloppy at the last minute. I always envision myself being a total rock star. I always end up being......just me stressed out. 

        This is me and my husband at last year's Halloween party. I figured I could be an owl, and my big pregnant belly would look like an egg.  We took pictures in front of a green screen so that we could swap everyone's backdrops out for really awesome settings that would match their characters.  There is still 400+ pictures sitting on my computer that need edited.  Wow, this is turning into a sort of melancholy post. I didn't mean for it to take this turn! I guess I might be feeling overwhelmed. Big surprise there. 

       Back to the positive stuff! I have some really neat costumes coming up, and I'm really proud of them. I know that I, alone, can never get the world out of the mindset of "I'll just get  a black corset so I can be a witch for Halloween" but goodness knows I will keep trying until I die.