Friday Tip

Dear Constant Reader,

A little business before we get to your tip!

First, tonight we are presenting Live-ish From Deacon Giles (sort of)! on our FaceBook page at 8pm Eastern! I hope to “see” you in the audience!

Second, every Wednesday at 3pm I’m teaching a short burlesque lesson on IG Live. I’ve been posting them on YouTube afterwards. If there’s a burlesque move or technique you’d like to see, leave me a comment and maybe you’ll see it in a future Bite-Sized Burlesque Lesson!

When filming yourself, make sure your main light source is behind your camera.

If you only have one light, position it behind the camera (computer, phone, &c.). If you have two lights, shine one on the wall behind you, which will help create depth. For the best lighting, use two lights on you — one main, one for fill — so you don’t get shadows. Avoid overhead lights.


Here I am filming a reading for Booklover’s Burlesque in my bedroom using clip-on work lights. Very glamourous, no?

I have been learning A LOT these past few months about tech things I usually let other people handle… What new skills or knowledge have you acquired?

M2These writings and other creative projects are supported by my Patrons. Thank you so much! To become a Patron, go to my Patreon page. Or you can just tip me if you liked this.

Published in: on 29 May 2020 at 2:01 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Friday Tip

Dear Constant Reader,

Happy Friday! I nearly forgot that this is the start of a holiday weekend… nevertheless, here’s your tip!

When doing a shoulder shimmy, keep your hands, arms, and shoulders relaxed.

You’re actually powering the shimmy with the muscles in your back. Keeping everything else nice and loose gives you an effortless-looking shimmy. Otherwise you can get the dreaded T-Rex look.

For a shoulder shimmy tutorial, check out my Bite-Sized Burlesque Lesson!

M2These writings and other creative projects are supported by my Patrons. Thank you so much! To become a Patron, go to my Patreon page. Or you can just tip me if you liked this.

Published in: on 22 May 2020 at 1:56 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Friday Tip

Dear Constant Reader,

It’s Friday again! How do you know? Here’s a tip!

This week your tip is from special guest contributor, Devastasia!

Threading elastic (or whatever) through things with a bobby pin of some kind is 1000x easier than using a stupid safety pin..

Brilliant!

M2These writings and other creative projects are supported by my Patrons. Thank you so much! To become a Patron, go to my Patreon page. Or you can just tip Devastasia if you liked this.

Published in: on 15 May 2020 at 12:16 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Friday Tip

Dear Constant Reader,

In case you were wondering, it’s Friday! Here’s another tip.

Evie GloveIf you’re going to take your gloves off with your teeth, prep your glove before you go onstage by loosening each fingertip.

This way you won’t accidentally chomp down on on your manicure. Evie Sphinx shows a successful use of this tip over on the right. Be like Evie!

If you are more industrious than I am, you could sew a large bead into each glove finger so you have something to bite and protect your finger at the same time.

M2These writings and other creative projects are supported by my Patrons. Thank you so much! To become a Patron, go to my Patreon page. Or you can just tip me if you liked this.

Published in: on 8 May 2020 at 3:52 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Friday Tip

Dear Constant Reader,

Here’s a tip, so it must be Friday! And it’s a new month! That would be May, if you’d forgotten….

Don’t start a new sewing project after 10PM.

I’m pretty sure these words of wisdom came from my mother. You could just take the word “sewing” out — don’t take on anything difficult when you’re tired. And we’re all so tired these days. Start your challenging project when you’re feeling fresh and clear. It’s so much better (and less frustrating) to set things aside and take a break than forge ahead and have to redo your work later.

M2These writings and other creative projects are supported by my Patrons. Thank you so much! To become a Patron, go to my Patreon page. Or you can just tip me if you liked this.

Published in: on 1 May 2020 at 4:01 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Friday Tip

Dear Constant Reader,

Once again it’s Friday and here’s your tip.

A pill bottle makes a great, secure container for transporting pins and needles.

I know none of us are traveling these days, but back when I was sewing outside of my own house, I always carried one of these in my portable sewing kit. You always know where your sharps are and they can’t fall out, like with a pincushion.

Once upon a time I used film canisters, but who has those hanging around any more?

Bonus: use these babies for rhinestone transport.

M2Like this costuming tip? There are lots more in Miss Mina Murray’s Little Book of Burlesque Costuming.

These writings and other creative projects are supported by my Patrons. Thank you so much! To become a Patron, go to my Patreon page. Or you can just tip me if you liked this.

Published in: on 24 April 2020 at 1:39 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Friday Tip

Dear Constant Reader,

It’s Friday again! Before I present your tip, a few announcements.

The Great Burlesque Expo was supposed to start today, but it’s been postponed until September. Tomorrow (Saturday the 18th) Expo staff, participants, and fans will be having an on-line get-together and you are welcome! Go to the Facebook event for more information.

I’m teaching a short burlesque lesson every Wednesday at 3pm on Instagram Live at @studyburlesque. If you miss it live, I’ll be posting the video to IGTV and YouTube.

And now for your tip!

Marking pens are a great addition to your costuming tools.

Just to be clear, these aren’t markers. They are special pens for marking fabric and the marks will disappear. They don’t brush away like chalk, so I use them on all but the darkest fabrics. Besides outlining your pattern pieces and making any sewing notations you need on the fabric, you can also use them to draw embroidery designs and mark locations of embellishments. The marks are just temporary — if you don’t like what you came up with, remove and try again!

There are two types of pens. Blue pens need to have their marks removed with water. I keep a little spritz bottle of water in my sewing room for just that purpose. Or just toss your garment n the wash. Purple pens are temporary — they’ll disappear on their own after about 25 hours. Less if it’s humid out. These marks can be helped along with water like their blue brethren. If marks don’t come out right away, just wet the again. you can also get fine point pens for delicate work.

A couple of caveats. Don’t iron directly on the marks — the ink can scorch and set, leaving a brown line on your fabric. I had a bad result rhinestoning on top of a purple marker line — the glue dried over the mark and it won’t wash out, protected by the glue.

M2These writings and other creative projects are supported by my Patrons. Thank you so much! To become a Patron, go to my Patreon page. Or you can just tip me if you liked this.

Published in: on 17 April 2020 at 2:54 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Friday Tip

Dear Constant Reader,

It’s Friday again! Time for a tip!

All this constant hand washing is taking a toll on my skin and I’ve been going through a lot of moisturizers. How about an alternative to standard hand lotion?

Try solid lotion.

I love this stuff. It’s like a bar of soap, but it melts deliciously with body heat. Once we’re traveling again, since it’s solid, you can take it with you on a plane to combat the dry air. It’s great for massages too. The addition of glitter makes it perfect for pre-show sparkling!

You can certainly find solid lotion for sale, but it’s easy to make your own. You need some speciality ingredients, but the process is so simple. I’ve had great success with this formula.

Equal parts* of beeswax, coconut oil, and cocoa butter

Gently melt all ingredients together over very low heat. When the mixture is liquid, pour into molds. I use 2-ounce silicone soap molds, but you could try a muffin tin or an ice cube tray. Let the bars cool and harden. Pop them out of the mold and store individually in tins or other containers.

I think these smell wonderful as is, sort of honey-chocolate-coconut, but you can alway add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the liquid mixture.

Also, if you’re adding glitter, be sure to use cosmetic grade!

Remember, these bars melt at body temperature, so when it starts getting hot out, stash them in your fridge.

*By weight, not volume. One ounce of each is a good start and will give you a couple of hotel soap-sized bars.

M2These writings and other creative projects are supported by my Patrons. Thank you so much! To become a Patron, go to my Patreon page. Or you can just tip me if you liked this.

Published in: on 10 April 2020 at 12:06 pm  Leave a Comment  

Friday Tip

Dear Constant Reader,

It’s Friday again! Today is a special guest tip!

My brilliant and creative friend Rae Bradbury-Enslin has come up with a super efficient method to sew Deaconess-style masks. You can find the original post on her FB, but here it is, step by simple step.

Instead of cutting all the masks to size, cut or tear your fabric at 12” lengths, fold over with right sides together, and sew the long seam (1/4” seam allowance) creating a tube. (If you’re using different fabrics for front and back, this works as well. Just cut the pieces a smidge larger and sew along both long edges.) Flip the fabric and press the seams flat. You should have a long tube about 6” wide.

Cut tube in 9” segments.

You will end up with several mask rectangles that are open on both ends.

Fold both ends inside about a half inch, press flat.

Iron in your pleats as demonstrated. [I can’t get the video to play on my site — go here for now]

Once your pleats are ironed, you should be ready to sew without needing pins.

Insert one end of a 7” piece of elastic at the top corner and sew down. Double stitch for strength.

Begin to sew the pleats down, inserting the other elastic end at the bottom corner as you go. Double stitch at the corner.

Start the next mask immediately, with no space. Repeat the process above with next mask

You can do as many masks in a chain as you’re comfortable with.


Flip your chain over and repeat process on other side. Note that you will be sewing against the pleats, so just make sure they’re feeding under the foot properly and they should be ok.


Chain of finished masks!! Just snip in between and they’re ready to go! 😊

Feel free to share this very efficient method, Dear Readers, but please give the credit to Rae Bradbury-Enslin.

M2

Published in: on 3 April 2020 at 1:31 pm  Leave a Comment  
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To Pass The Time…

Dear Constant Reader,

I know so many of us are feeling trapped and restless. Here are a few diversions I’ve found to help pass the time and stay active in body and mind.

The Enigma Emporium is offering their first set of postcard puzzles, Wish You Were Here, for free. Also, on their FB page, they post a puzzle every Friday — and there are years worth at this point.

The Morbid Curiosity Podcast has been sharing virtual tours on their FB page. And of course you could always give the podcast a listen.

Rory Raven is offering his walking tour of Salem on YouTube. Each short video provides a taste of Salem’s fascinating history.

Angie Pontani is teaching burlesque and go-go routines at 3pm Eastern every Friday on IG Live. If you miss it, she’s putting the videos up on her YouTube, but, trust me, they’re more fun live.

Her sister Tara aka Toning with Tara is running killer workout sessions via Zoom every weekday at 8:45am Eastern.

You can join me on Wednesdays at 3pm Eastern on IG Live at @studyburlesque for a short burlesque lesson. Also, I’ve been doing a little reading aloud.

What do you recommend to keep mind and body active?

M2These writings and other creative projects are supported by my Patrons. Thank you so much! To become a Patron, go to my Patreon page. Or you can just tip me if you liked this.

Published in: on 1 April 2020 at 9:44 am  Leave a Comment