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jenthompson: (Default)
Tuesday, January 12th, 2016 12:28 pm
1.11 - One of my all-time favorite students was home from college and came up to the school to visit me yesterday. It was SO wonderful to see her! She makes me laugh more than any kid that I've ever taught, and I miss her like crazy. It made me so happy to see her again.
1.12 - I've been watching this fabulous YouTuber named Kayley Melissa who does hair videos (her Star Wars hair tutorial is what led me to her in the first place!). Anyway, she has one on 5 minute curls that looked so easy that I went out and bought a curling wand and gave it a try today. It actually worked! I have pretty girl-hair for the first time in a looooong time.
jenthompson: (Default)
Monday, December 7th, 2015 11:01 am
OUr school district is HUGE on "character education", so they just sent out this character strengths quiz that we are all going to take in our classes, and the teachers were supposed to take it first and share it with our students. I thought it was amusing, so I decided to share the link with you guys too: https://www.viacharacter.org/survey/account/register

They rank you on 24 character traits, and I thought my top and bottom ones were quite appropriate for me.

If you care to see them... )
jenthompson: (Default)
Friday, October 23rd, 2015 02:52 pm
I just found out that my high school offers a new "bible literacy" class as an English elective this year. My mind is blown. I had no idea that such a thing existed in public schools, but apparently Texas passed a law allowing it in 2009.

I'm so torn about how I feel about this. I took a world religion class in college and I LOVED it, but it was a WORLD religion class and we studied all religions. And I am grateful for my childhood education from church about biblical stories because it's good for art history and just general well-rounded life knowledge. In fact, part of my fall away from the Baptist church came after I read the bible from cover to cover and discovered for myself exactly how insane it really is, so I'm glad I spent the time studying it. So I actually do think that educating young people about the bible is a good thing. But...

This class apparently just covers the old testament of the bible, and that's in an effort to be less Christian-specific. But it is taught by one of our uber-Baptist teachers, and when I asked my student about about the class, she said that everybody in there is a Christian, so it's basically just a big bible study class like you would have at church. This whole concept makes me SO uncomfortable! I do think that education about religion is important, but only if it includes ALL religions. If it is Christian-specific, it should be taught in a church, or a private school, not a public one. Separation of church and state is one of the things that I'm the most passionate about, so this one is really throwing me for a loop. I'm amazed that nobody has challenged this in court yet.

Wow. Welcome to the bible belt, I guess!
jenthompson: (Default)
Thursday, October 22nd, 2015 12:12 pm
Thanks for all the nice comments on my picture that I posted last night... and for not judging me for being a selfie-addict. I was a bit worried that it would come across as vain, but it made me feel a lot better than you guys "got it" and didn't think it was weird.

I feel a TON better today. More calm and centered, I guess. I even got brave enough to call the real estate lady that a friend recommended to me. I was so scared that my heart was pounding and I was shaking when I called her (I reeeeeaaallly hate cold-calling people), but I pushed on through and we had a good conversation. I have some homework to get me started, and then she is going to come over and see my house in a week or two to tell me what I need to fix and what is okay as-is. I'm nervous as hell, but it feels good to finally get the ball rolling.

We have lots of rain and a cold front moving in today, and that feels wonderful too. I'm so ready for summer to be over. All of these days in the 90's have made it feel like we were stuck in summer purgatory forever.

I feel like today is the start of something different, and that is a good thing.
jenthompson: (Default)
Friday, October 9th, 2015 12:02 pm
Sooo... my air conditioning in my house went out last night. *groan* So I spent a lot of time worrying about that and didn't do very much work on the costumes. But I did get most of E's tunic assembled and I painted the designs on it. I still have to attach the lining and sleeves tonight or tomorrow morning, and I need to assemble his bracers and buy some boots and pants and paint his bow. Luckily, since my house is going to be ridiculously hot tonight anyway, I probably won't sleep much so I might as well get up and work on costumes.

*sigh*

I'm not really too worried at this point, but maybe I should be.
jenthompson: (Default)
Friday, September 25th, 2015 12:36 pm
It's been a really rough week. Lots of crying and postponed grief hitting me in waves again. Counseling seems to be doing E good, but it stirs up lots of emotions for me, and I'm not handling it well. I've been going into "shut down" mode a lot this past month where I just can't get myself to do anything other than survive. :P Oh well. This too will pass.

I took a few days off from the phone transfer business, but I finally downloaded that program that archives your phone, and I saved all the voicemails to itunes and our text message exchanges to pdf files, plus I found some random photos and notes and voice memos that I didn't see at first but were good to save. I'm going to try again to get the phones officially transferred tonight. I feel like this whole thing has been beating me up emotionally for the past 2 weeks, so I'm ready for it to just be over so I can move on.

On a slightly less mopey note, I also did one more adulty task this week - I got our tv/internet/phone service switched over to my name, and I canceled all of our movie channels that E and I never watch. That will save me $50 a month. Woohoo! And I think I'll save $25 a month from canceling Mike's phone, and I got a $30 a month raise this year, so that's an extra $100 or so in my pocket each month, which should help. August and September were brutal with all of the back to school expenses, and we ate out too much and I spent too much on school clothes for me and E, so I'm very grateful for every bit of extra money that I can get. Maybe I can stash some of that away every month and start saving for some more costuming trips. :)
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Friday, September 4th, 2015 08:20 am
Okay, so I follow the FIDM blog, and I saw their posts about wedding dresses from the Larson Collection today. I usually don't question their facts, but what the hell is going on with the 2 Victorian dresses? Please educate me if I'm wrong, but those are not wedding dresses. The 60's one looks like a ball gown, and the 80's one looks like a court presentation dress. (don't even get me started on provenance - that sort of "evidence" is so full of human error that I rarely trust it) Everything that I've ever seen about Victorian wedding dresses tells me that they always had sleeves... just like royal wedding dresses still do today. Maybe these are alternate bodices that were switched out after the church ceremony, but they were still part of the wedding festivities. There are lots of photos of royals in sleeveless bodiced "wedding gowns", but most of those were taken after the wedding, so who knows if they were the same gowns worn at the church or for dinners and dancing after the ceremony. But I've never seen anything from a period source that led me to believe that a Victorian woman would wear a sleeveless bodice for her actual wedding dress. These tarted up bodices seems quite scandalous for a holy matrimony!

Am I wrong about this one? I'd love to learn something new if I am, so please feel free to correct me. I just feel like this FIDM post is misleading, and it annoys me if it is.
jenthompson: (Default)
Friday, May 22nd, 2015 10:38 am
E was sick at school yesterday with a fever, so I took him to a clinic after work. He has strep. Poor kid. Unfortunately, the timing was horrible since we already had 35 teachers who were going to be out on Friday, and 8 positions were still unfilled because there aren't enough subs, so there was no way on earth I could take the day off to stay home with him. The best I could do is bring him to work with me and try to keep him in my office all day, which would be pretty sucky. But luckily, my mom came to the rescue and drove up from Tyler late last night to watch him today. Thank goodness she could bail me out with this one. *sigh* Have I mentioned yet how much I hate being a single mother?

To make matters worse, E's been getting nosebleeds all week, and this morning right as I was leaving, he got an EPIC nose bleed that took forever to stop. It was like you had turned on a water faucet, but with blood. It was pretty scary. We had mentioned the nosebleeds to the doc and she said that they were probably triggered by allergies, but jeez. I wish there was something more that they could do for him.

She also mentioned that he has a pretty strong heart murmur, which is common and benign in children his age, but we need to keep an eye on it. Great. So after losing my dad and my husband to heart attacks in the last year, I now get this little gem of panic-inducing news.

:(
jenthompson: (Default)
Tuesday, April 5th, 2011 12:54 pm
I swore that I would never leave Live Journal, but it is pissing me off so much this week that I'm setting up an account here just in case. We'll see...
jenthompson: (Default)
Wednesday, July 21st, 2010 05:40 pm
My project today was to put all of my vintage patterns in new boxes in chronological order. I am SOOOOOOOO not an organized person, but doing this gave me an obscene amount of satisfaction. There's just something magical about seeing the fashions evolve beneath my fingers as I flip through them. I really need to get some late 10's and 20's patterns too though just to round things out. That period seems to be so hard to find. I wonder why? Just not "special" enough?
jenthompson: (Default)
Saturday, July 10th, 2010 11:22 pm
I had a blast at the tea today! It was pretty close to a perfect event in my mind. Good company, yummy food, low stress, pretty costumes. Maybe a little less humidity would have been nice, but other than that it was quite fab. I also had a wonderful time hanging out with [livejournal.com profile] bonatirer after it. Ahhhhh... so THIS is what it feels like to have a social life! :)

Mike has to steal my computer to do some stupid online class now, but I'll post pictures when he goes to work tomorrow.
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Tuesday, June 8th, 2010 06:33 pm
Quilt Country in Lewisville is getting rid of their pre-1930's reproduction fabrics, and they are all on sale for $4 a yard. Most of them are already gone, but I thought I'd post pics of the few that had dress-lengths remaining to see if any of you local folks were interested.

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I almost bought this one - it would be lovely for 18th c! But it has a beige/light tan background instead of white (it looks a little lighter on my monitor than it did IRL), and I decided that it was just too close to the color of my skin. There was just a smidge over 4 yards - maybe 4 1/4? I think that would be plenty for a caraco or petticoat or maybe even a round gown if you were careful.

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This one is still tempting me, but I ran out of $$$ today. I think it would be great for any Victorian style, and there was tons of it.

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This one looks a little more modern to me, but it is apparently a repro too. I think it would make a cute summery late-bustle dress. Tons of this fabric too. It's more purple than pink in real life - my camera didn't like photographing this one.

There were maybe 5 or 6 other victorian prints with just 2-4 yards left. And quite a few nice feedsack and 50's floral prints with plenty left. Here's the stuff that I got:

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There's just 3 yards of each of these. The blue will be used for either an apron or an 1890's blouse. The middle will be a regency dress (if I really can squeeze one out of just 3 yards!), and the houndstooth will probably be a 1960's dress.

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The crazy paisley with green roses is screaming funky 50's sundress to me, and the sheer white with leaves is actually vintage. I got that one from an antique shop, and it's going to be a 40's or 50's blouse.

Now I just need to get to sewing! ;)
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jenthompson: (Default)
Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010 07:06 am
Lost and found department part two - I also found a small ivory-colored folding fan with rounded tips. Any claimers from the picnic?

Today is my hell day at work. Due to the crazy exam schedule, I teach ALL DAY without a conference. Tomorrow I go all day without a conference OR a lunch break, so it'll suck even worse in some ways, but at least it's the last day with kids, so that somehow seems more bearable. But you can survive anything for 2 days, right?

I'm feeling quite lost in the costuming department. Half of me says to use my momentum and hit the regency dress hard so I get that one over with. The other half says to take a well deserved break from the serious historical stuff and make some fun retro pieces that I can wear in my summer wardrobe. I think retro is winning at the moment. I don't know if anybody else is going to bother with regency for the summer tea party anymore, and I'm feeling quite "meh" about it myself. I'm feeling very "meh" about the 19th c. theme for the tea in general. I would have much rather made another Edwardian dress for it... or even a late 18th c. one. Maybe I'll be a rebel and do that anyway. If I could think of an easy Victorian style, I think I'd rather even do that. Don't get me wrong, I still really want to do regency - it just doesn't seem like much fun if nobody else is going to be wearing it at the tea. And it would be SO nice not to have to waste half my summer on new undergarment projects.

Oh well. We'll see.
jenthompson: (Default)
Wednesday, May 19th, 2010 05:38 pm
Hey local ladies! I just posted a big suffragette picnic post on the Yahoo group, but feel free to chat here if it is easier. I was hoping to find out 1. if you are coming, 2. if you are bringing chairs/decorations/games/etc. and 3. if you are bringing food to share.

I am SOOOOOOOOOOO freakin' excited about this event! It's all I can think about right now. The suffrage movement is eating my brains.
jenthompson: (Default)
Sunday, April 25th, 2010 07:17 pm
I put Mike's costume up on my website. Nothing fancy. It was just easier to do that than figure out why that stupid Vecellio picture wouldn't load from my last post.

Now if I could just get around to posting my hoops, two new corsets, and 1949 dress, I'd be all caught up with my website! (*wimper*) Have I mentioned how much I hate messing with my site these days? Blogging has spoiled me rotten.
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Wednesday, April 21st, 2010 06:03 pm
So the suffragette event is back on! We have moved the venue to Chestnut Square, and we'll set up a little suffragette booth at their farmers market, and then have a private picnic at noon when the market ends. I am SO excited to be back on track with this again, and I hope everybody is still able to come. (but I'm REALLY sorry that it is farther away for you, Christy!)

I had the idea of bringing paint and extra ribbon so that people could paint their own "votes for women" ribbons to wear. It would be a fun way to occupy our time, and I think even some of the random market folks might want to get in on the fun. I figured that I would just buy some cheap floral ribbon and make a stencil that people could use for painting.

But anyway, when I was looking for examples of banners, I stumbled across a FABULOUS suffragette site that I hadn't seen before.
It has an overview of the suffrage movement in America and an image gallery of various suffragette stuff that was really helpful. Jay was wondering what colors were used for the banners back then, and the answer seems to be mainly yellow or gold, but purple and white were used extensively as well, and purple/white/green was also used occasionally (those were from the British movement). I also think I'm going to paint a copy of one of those posters and it would be cool to have a banner with a slogan on it too. And I was going to print up some fliers with one of the propaganda illustrations from this site and a quote from one of the speeches. Can you tell that I'm excited about this? ;)

Okay, but then after the market is over, we can relax and have fun doing other various Edwardian activities. I thought about bringing cards or dominoes so we could play some games. If anybody else has any ideas, I'd love to hear them!
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Sunday, April 18th, 2010 08:41 am
First of all - thanks for all the extra perspectives on the exchange between the museum director. It really did help a lot. I think I can understand where she was coming from now, but I'm still not sure that changes my overall feelings about what happened. Oh well. I think time is the best medicine in this situation. We'll address it again at the business meeting in a few months.

I tried to start a discussion about alternate event ideas on the DFWCG yahoo list, but you guys seem to get oddly shy over there, so feel free to give me feedback here if that is easier. I think I'm leaning toward the Plano Farmstead for our first attempt, and then Old City Park, and the a tearoom if those don't pan out. And the only reason that I'm putting the tearoom last is because we are supposed to have another tea later in the summer, so I'd kind of like to save that for later. BTW, Chestnut Square is out because they have farmers markets there every Saturday. I don't know of any other historical sites off the top of my head, but there might be some that I'm overlooking.

I'd suggest the Dallas Arboretum, but admission is $10 and parking is $7, so we might as well save our money and go have a nice tea party! (BTW, we need to talk about this in regards to the Georgian Picnic! I don't think people realized that admission was that much when we voted on locations!) There are probably other public parks that we could meet at for free, but it's memorial day weekend, so I expect most parks to be crowded, which could suck.

After that, I'm out of ideas, other just just hosting a party at my house... which I am definitely willing to do, but it's just not as exciting. Do you guys have any other suggestions?
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Sunday, March 21st, 2010 01:05 pm
Are any of you local folks thinking about coming to the suffragette event on May 29th? I have 5 people who are coming right now, but I'd love to get some more. Even if you can't commit for the whole time, you can come and go if necessary. Bring your menfolk and kids too - all are welcome! I have costumes that I can lend out if you don't have one - even a maternity outift, [livejournal.com profile] jaelie! How about you, [livejournal.com profile] ashnimehal? It's free and you already have that gorgeous black and white dress that would be perfect for this. Or how about you, [livejournal.com profile] princess_lesa? I seem to remember you having a beautiful Edwardian outfit too. And we all know that the suffragette movement was really all about the HATS, so I'm looking at you, [livejournal.com profile] bookwench! How about you, [livejournal.com profile] nuranar? I know it's not your period, but I know we could scratch up something for you to wear. I'll go through my whole f-list and try to convince each of you one-by-one if necessary! LOL!

I know several of you work on Saturdays and it's the last weekend of Scarby, which will tie others up, but if you are free and at all interested in coming, I would SO LOVE to have you join us!!!
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Wednesday, December 9th, 2009 08:36 pm
I tried making a little cap for E. It looked great in fleece as a mockup, but it looks like ass in velvet. Puckery, uneven, too-small ASS.

I wonder if I should bother with trying again or just ditch the damn thing and move on to something else. :/
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Sunday, December 6th, 2009 08:32 pm
Okay, or maybe I just need to make a little jacket or something to wear with the veryverychristmassy 1867 dress so it just feels a little more appropriate for a month other than december. That would be more sane than starting something from scratch, right?