Aug 232015
 

Yes, that Miss Wednesday has been a bit slack on the blogging front lately.  It’s a disgrace and she should be taken to task forthwith.  (Good luck with that.)

The “summer” has been busy, what with musical stuff occupying that flighty Hedge Harpist and a cat developing a major eye problem necessitating a mad dash to a specialist vet, who performed some kind of miracle.  The subsequent operation and care required said cat travelling up country to a gig, which wasn’t ideal but needs must as the Pet Sitter couldn’t be relied upon to provide appropriate care.  (For the record, the cat didn’t attend the actual gig.  She’s a conscientious objector when it comes to folk music so she spent a couple of days in a nice quiet room, off her little furry paws on kitty analgesics.  Fair play!)

Then there was the Lorient Interceltique Festival in Brittany.  That is going to take some recovery time…

But Miss Wednesday is now back in her workshop and stitching away busily.  First on the agenda when she returned from moonlighting was a sweet little skirt.  Pink and with cats on it.  What more could you want?

Ladies skirt with gathers and top-stitched waistband in pink fabric printed in the UK with Siamese cats.

Pretty In Pink!

 

The fabric is from the wonderful Makower Fabrics and is designed and printed in the UK.  You know how Miss Wednesday feels about that.  The actual print is a one-way design, so can’t be cut into full circles, which means that panels, pleats or gathers are required.  This one is gathered.  Simple but effective and not as likely to flip up on a breezy day by the sea.

Next on the list is a skirt and top for the lovely Miss Sara.  It’s currently under construction but here’s the fabric…

Cotton print by Makower Fabrics of Pointer and Dachsund dogs in black and white with black background.

Gone to the dogs…

Once again, it’s a one-way design so the skirt will be gathered (well, that’s the idea at the moment but these things are subject to change) and the top is to have tie shoulder straps.  Miss Wednesday is thinking she might make the same outfit for herself.  (For “thinking” read “is making” as she’s already cut it out!)  Watch this space for pictures of the final outfit.

Next up for the Hedge Harpist is the Looe Music Festival, which this year is the 18th-20th September.  The fancy dress theme is “Sailors and Sea Creatures” so Miss Wednesday is busily dreaming up some new frocks to fit with that.  Plus she needs to make a smaller version of the Favourite Stage Frock as her alter ego appears to have shrunk considerably of late.  It’s already been made smaller a couple of times but this is going too far for alterations.  Some people are just born difficult…

Good Times and Fashion Failures

 Frocks, Out And About, Style, Underpinnings, Weddings, Wednesday March  Comments Off on Good Times and Fashion Failures
Jun 072015
 

It’s been a bit of a hectic couple of weeks.  Miss Wednesday is up to her eyes in bridesmaids and frocks as it’s right in the middle of Prime Wedding Season and her alter ego, the Hedge Harpist is wearing her fingers to the bone with gigs and recordings and learning new choons.  Hence last week’s radio silence.  (Well, I say, “radio silence” but there’s been a fair bit of airplay on the actual radio!)

Thursday of this week saw two members of the Petticoat Club (Miss Tanya and the aforementioned harpist, wearing her favourite tulip print frock) at the Royal Cornwall Show, along with their Changing Room bandmates, as guests of the lovely BBC.  Much fun was had on the BBC stage, playing live on Radio Cornwall, a set for the audience in the marquee and then, a lot later, a live slot at the end of the BBC Spotlight news programme.  There’s a lot of waiting around involved with the rock and roll lifestyle, but there was plenty to see and do at the show, including beer, chips, ice-cream, sheep and cakey tea.

Two Valaid Blacknose Sheep, small, fluffy and cartoonlike with black faces

Valais Blacknose Sheep aka “comedy sheep”. Cutest sheep on the planet.

The filming of the Spotlight bit was highly entertaining.  Along with the waiting around, there’s an enormous amount of faffing and fussing for the technical crew, to get everybody in just the right place for each shot, without getting in the way of the other shots.  A small space with constantly changing light levels, no marks on the floor as it’s in a field and the big main show ring in the background.  That wasn’t stopping for any mere news programme and happily continued with horses backsides and loud tannoy commentary.  The presenters of the show, Natalie Cornah and Justin Leigh, were absolutely delightful and great fun.  Can’t imagine that it’s their favourite gig of the year, what with the challenging conditions, but they were lovely.  There was a slightly iffy moment, just seconds before going on air as a seagull kindly decorated one of the band but other than that, everything went smoothly.

Two musicians and a small green harp

Waiting around prior to Spotlight. The favourite tulip print frock.

There have been lots of kind comments over social media, in the pub, in car parks, out shopping, etc from people who saw it but you’re spared a link as it’s a news programme and expired two days ago.  There’s a relief…

Bunch of dodgy musicians

The Changing Room filming for BBC Spotlight. Photo (c) BBC South West.

Friday saw the band heading up the M5 to Clevedon to film for Songs From The Shed.  In an actual shed.  A very small but lovely shed.  Chickens and a very handsome cat made an appearance but no sheep and no cakey tea.  Well, it wasn’t Cornwall.  The random harpist wore another WM frock, this time the Bardot design in a tropical print with black grosgrain ribbon trim.  It’s a nice fabric, that one.  Doesn’t show up the cat hair or ketchup spills.  Useful.

Five musicians and instruments in a very small shed

In The Shed!

And then last night there was an outing over the water to West Looe for a spot of supper and then an album launch for James Shead’s new CD, A Light For The Fires.  He played a cracking set and a good time was had by all.  Miss Sara, however, was greatly distressed by some of the fashion faux pas on show.  She insisted that they should be the subject of this week’s Wittering, hence the following timely reminder…

  • Underwear should be just that.  Under.  This means “out of sight”.  Not putting too fine a point on it, a black bra doesn’t look cool under a white crochet top or showing clearly at the back of a pastel-coloured outfit, with crossed shoestring straps.  At best it looks careless, at worst slutty.
  • Uneven hemlines only work when the garment is nicely lined.  A cheap skirt in a light polycotton that goes up and the front and down at the back and that isn’t even well made looks like you’re wearing a nightshirt.  Or would it it was a frock.  Sadly, last night’s offending outfit was topped off with a cropped top and a roll of protruding bare flesh between that and the skirt.  Not a pretty sight.  Nearly put Miss Sara off her wine.
  • Unless you have the body of Gisele Bundchen or are prepared to wear appropriate shapewear, don’t wear bodycon outfits.  Please.
  • And lastly, consider your skintone.  If you have dark hair and lovely pale skin, a sprayed on outfit in white and light grey marl jersey will make you look like a bottle of milk with a wig on.  Sorry.

And here’s Miss Sara, showing how it should be done, in a lovely frock by Miss Fortune with a necklace by Zombie Panda Designs.

Rockabilly girl in red and black frock

Miss Sara

Dragged out of my hedge. Again.

 Costuming, Out And About, Wednesday March  Comments Off on Dragged out of my hedge. Again.
Feb 012015
 

It’s been a bit of a busy week.  Miss Wednesday has been busy with performing attire for her alter ego (me!) and The Incredible Miss Tanya to wear on stage on Friday night.  Full circles, naturally, but in a heavy black leopard flock.  Not the nicest of fabrics with which to work but very, very effective when done.  There was a bit of muttering from the Wednesday Witch when Miss Sara (bless her) just happened to mention that the black leopard flock fabric made lovely skirts and wouldn’t that be a nice thing for Friday’s gig but Miss W knuckled down and got them done.

Regular readers may recall my involvement with a folk band/collective called “The Changing Room” and the fun they had at the Looe Music Festival.  There has been much fun and games involving live BBC radio, a lot of airplay and good reviews and the recording of a cracking new album, Behind the Lace, due for release in the Spring.  Then, a couple of months ago, The Incredible Tanya informed the me that she and Sam Kelly had written a new song which had been translated into Cornish to take part in this year’s Kan Rag Kernow competition at the Penventon Hotel in Redruth.  If we managed to win it, we’d have the honour of going on a lovely jolly to Derry in Ireland at Easter to represent Cornwall in the annual Pan Celtic Song Contest.  Thankfully, it was Sam who had to master most of the difficult Cornish lyrics (it’s not the easiest of languages and I’ve rarely heard it spoken well) but, my goodness, he cracked it.  Hal-an-Tow will hopefully become popular and sung on a regular basis in sessions all round the county as it’s very catchy indeed.  (The English lyrics are lovely, too, and somewhat easier to master.)

Attire for the competition was slightly tricky as we wanted to project a coherent image, rather than looking like a rag-tag bunch of hippies, but we also didn’t want to look like “comedy Cornish”!  The flag of St Piran is black with a white cross and Tanya decreed that we’d be dressed in black.  Black?  Do I look like the kind of girl who wears…?  Oh, wait.  Once a Goff, always a Goff.  That’s alright then.  Although I didn’t have a plain black skirt suitable for harping.  (It’s the “cello” effect.  You simply can’t play a harp in a straight, tight or short skirt, unless you want to traumatise the audience and reveal what you had for breakfast, if you know what I mean.)  Miss Sara mentioned the stash of black leopard fabric that I’d clean forgotten about and how lovely her skirt in that fabric was.  So that was that.  Two full circle leopard skirts required for Friday.  Stat.

Woman playing accordion and wearing black leopard flock skirt

The Incredibly Talented Tanya Brittain sporting her full circle leopard flock skirt and a huge accordion. Picture by Bob Griggs.

 

Woman playing green Celtic harp.

Random Hedge Harpist also sporting leopard flock skirt, plus nifty lily of the valley Cornish buttonhole, made by Miss Tanya. Picture by Bob Griggs.

The skirts looked great under the lights.  We’re going to have to do something about the boys, though.  They had found the dodgiest selection of ties on the planet and Jamie had some buttonhole droop issues.  Thankfully they’re a good-looking bunch and they can get away with anything.

But it was an immensely entertaining night.  Imagine a Cornish version of the European Song Contest* and that’s pretty much what you get.  Beards a-plenty.  I had offered to grow one but there wasn’t much time.  Beard of the Night went to Matt Blewett, who probably ought to come to Ireland with us as our mascot.

The Changing Room with a big bearded bloke in their midst

The Changing Room plus the Beard of the Night Award winner, Matt Blewett in the middle. The Changing Room are l-r me, Sam Kelly, Jamie Francis, Evan Carson and Tanya Brittain. Picture by Leafshimmer Photography/Shirin Hodgson Watt.

How did the gig go, you ask?  Oh, well, we won.

Folk band The Changing Room on stage at the Kan Rag Kernow competition

On stage. Picture still from the video shot by Studio Wallop

So we’re off to Derry at Easter!  But before that, we’ll be playing the Falmouth Folk and Cider Festival on Saturday 28th March 2015.  Come and say hello!

And if you should be wondering what we sound like, visit the music page of our website here and have a listen.

* Re the Eurovision thing.  Jokes have been made.  I actually woke up in a cold sweat on Friday morning, having been in the middle of the nightmare that it was the Eurovision we were doing rather than the Pan Celtic.  It wasn’t a good dream and I behaved quite badly in it but I should like to say in my defence that I would NEVER be that rude to Graham Norton in real life…

Nov 232014
 

Six months in the preparation and now it’s all over…

Last night was the long awaited fashion show at the Eden Project, in conjunction with various local designers and educational establishments in aid of People and Gardens.  It may come as a bit of a shock to hear that all the Wednesday March frocks were finished by 5.30pm on Friday 21st.  This is either some sort of a record or, as is widely suspected, Miss Wednesday was kidnapped and replaced with an alien.  She is never finished with time to spare.  It was all a bit strange.

Mrs A turned up at the allotted time with an appropriate vehicle (borrowed from her husband), plus a wodge of  printed order forms and some wonderfully displayed fabric samples.  Miss Wednesday had packed the frocks and petticoats (and the assorted bits and bobs that would have been needed if she hadn’t taken them) and everything was duly loaded into the car.  Miss Sara, Miss Jane, Miss Tina and Miss Sarah all turned up and it was time to go.

Three cars travelled in convoy to the Eden Project and then promptly got lost.  It’s a rather large place with a lot of car parks but no obvious signs of the stewards we’d been told to locate.  Various routes were tried but nary a parking steward was seen.  It turned out, after a slight altercation with a very long, very bendy bus and an “Authorised Vehicles Only” road, that the parking stewards had misunderstood their instructions and weren’t turning up until much later.  But Miss Wednesday and Miss Tina got out and walked to find help and appropriate guidance, armed only with a pashmina and a small stash of TicTacs.  Thanks to their bravery – it was getting a tad chilly, even if it wasn’t quite the below zero temperatures that Miss Wednesday was bleating about – eventually People Who Knew Stuff were located, everybody got to the right place and everything was unloaded.  (Miss Lucinda and Miss Zoe were already there, having had no such navigation problems.)

There followed a few hours involving heated rollers, make-up brushes and a lot of standing around.  No, the bar was not open but Miss Wednesday did ascertain from the barman that there was a good supply of gin.  More on that later…

 

One tiny rehearsal  for the WM models was squeezed in at about 6.30pm, despite every other designer having their models poncing up and down the catwalk for ages but no choreographed routine to learn.  Mrs A was a tad savage about that as she and Miss Sara had worked very hard on that routine and, naturally, they were worried that timings might go to pot in the actual show as most of the models had no idea what was going to happen and some hadn’t even heard the music.

Wednesday March was the third designer to show, after quite of lot of “asymmetric” knitwear and, er, scarves.  Oh, and a rather weird yoga/deportment lecture from one designer.  Much hilarity now ensues with members of the Petticoat Club whenever scarves or “zipping up” are mentioned.  You had to be there…

Then it was time…

 

Model in halterneck cherry print frock

The newest WM model, Miss Sara, in a Leah frock in pink and white Japanese cherry blossom print. Over a purple petticoat. Stunning!

 

What?  You want pictures of the actual show?  Ah.  Yes.  Well.  Er, later.  Miss Wednesday isn’t renowned for her prowess with anything like a camera and did her very best to take actual video of the show rather than mess up a lot of pictures.   She swears it said it was recording and the red light was on.

Fortunately, there were plenty of official photographers and people videoing it so there will be better pictures in due course.  Including ones of the models who stole the show, the lovely Miss Julie and Miss Helen from People and Gardens, who raised the biggest cheer of the night.

To be continued…

 

Nov 162014
 

Goodness, what a week!  And the next one promises to be even busier, if that’s possible…

Next Saturday sees an exciting event at the Eden Project, here in Cornwall.  A fashion show, featuring local designers, with opportunities to shop.  How cool is that?

Poster advertising People and Gardens Fashion Show Eden Project 22 November 2014

Needless to say, Miss Wednesday is working at full speed to make the frocks for her part of the show and has just two left to make, with two others only needing finishing touches.  There’s a definite gardening theme to her show and the soundtrack – sourced by Miss Sara – is inspired.  Can you guess what it might be…?

People and Gardens in their own words:-

“People and Gardens was established in 1997 to assist people with learning disabilities and mental health issues to develop work and social skills to enable them to take control over their own lives.

People and Gardens was set up to enable people with learning disabilities or emotional impairments to be able to develop as individuals and to have equality of choice and opportunity in the workplace.

The founders of People and Gardens understand through their own experiences, that we should all work together to break down barriers, to educate and to support each other to make the world a better place for everyone.

Miss Wednesday is thrilled that two ladies from People and Gardens have agreed to join the Wednesday March team on the catwalk for the night and is looking forward to seeing Miss Julie and Miss Helen strutting their stuff.

Come and join us next Saturday at a fabulous venue for what promises to be a really good night in aid of a very worthy cause.