My Kingdom for a Squid


So, Pete doesn’t really have a kingdom. But he was one of the Explorers who built La Legion Fantastique at the Great Dickens Faire in S. San Francisco last winter. Pete (who in his own way is related to Dickens Faire “royalty” — the owner of Overstreet’s) put out a call on his blog for a seamstress who could make a squid.

It sounded challenging and intriguing to me. He said, “It doesn’t have to be accurate…just close enough so it is visibly a squid. So natural colors (pinks and magentas…with gold eyes and black beak). Size…18″-24″ for the body, with tentacles to match proportionately…”

I made a (virtual) stepped forward to accept the squid mission as my own. I reported back to Pete: “Squid fabric/materials purchased – the squid is in the works. Repeat: We have Squid lift-off.” I confirmed the dimensions, so we wouldn’t have a SPINAL TAP Stonehenge incident. (to avoid a possible problem of proportions..)

Missive #1 about squid & other projects a go-go
Okay, so now I am making a model of a squid for some of the folks at the Dickens Faire! Jules Verne fans, all, the Legion Fantastique will have their squid. Yee-haw

And I’m making cravats. If you need a new, stylish cravat, I will custom-make one for you, once I have the squid situation under control. Oh, and I’ve completed Betsy’s short cape.

Bonnet-obsession may be dangerous and cravat-obsession is downright archaic, but you knew I was obsessed. You just didn’t know it would be an additional squid obsession.

II
It’s all about the squid.

Greetings earthlings,

Well, the squid project is turning into The Thing That would Not Get Finished. Hopefully it will not take as long as my (BLEEEP) undergraduate degree. I was on the 11 year “plan” for that. Not that there was a plan. There was just a lot of, oh, rent to pay and food to purchase and bus passes, and day-jobs. Umm, not so different from now, I guess. Pre-degree days. But I digress. It’s all about the squid.

For those who went to use the loo during my last post, this squid is a project for the Dickens Faire folk who are enamoured with Jules Verne and Under Sea Adventure, Journeys to the Center of the Earth, Steam Powered vehicles, steampunk aesthetics, etc. The cutting edge of Victorian technology and science. SCIENCE!

Yes, said squid is in stage 2.5 out of 4 — the tentacles are being filled with stuffing but not at a fast enough clip to keep me sane and not slow enough to stop the seams from ripping on the terry- cloth members. (get your mind out of the gutter, you weirdos.) Tubes. We’ll call them tubes.

Anyway, once we have achieved Tentacle Stuffage, we shall move along to Assembly of Body to Tentacles and then final (artistic? frosting?) touches- attachment of beak, painted nautical/splooched details of suction cups, and the dreaded gold eyeballs.

Who knew this would take so long??

In other Dickens news — I found a wonderful pattern for a fichu in the wonderful book by Frances Grimble – and it turns out that I “already got one1” (just like in “Holy Grail” where the French soldiers tell King Arthur that they don’t need a Grail — they already got one. heh.) Actually I already MADE one, I just have to learn how to tie it on so it doesn’t fall off like it did last Sunday at the Faire. Several times. Thank you KC3 for retrieving my wood-shaving-covered lace fichu several times from the floor of the Cow-Palace. I shall make use of a pin to hold it fashionably in place, this weekend.

Key to stuffing squid: have new episodes of Project Runway on in the background.

So, check back here, adventurers, for photos of the squid as it develops — umm, when I find my camera, again. I did find it and it is now elusive, once more. Did I say I am moving? Yes, well, the camera is now disguised cleverly among my belongings. I will find it, darn-it.

So, I took a break to move my possessions to a new apartment, and got back to the squid…
III
Found Telegram:

Squid nearing completion. stop.
Roo cat controls my brain. stop.
Send more chocolate. stop.

IV

note to Pete: “The Squid is about 3/4 done, with just another bag of stuffing and some applique or gold paint for the eyes.”

Squid Delivery:
On a Sunday late last December I took the BART train, carrying the squid, to San Francisco to meet some friends who were driving to the Cow Palace. It was time for Squid Delivery. On the train, I sat next to some young men who were going to a football game. They were intrigued by the squid and one young man admitted that he had been in art college for some time, but then the scholarship money ran out. So he switched over to a new field: criminal justice. Wow, I said, that’s quite a different field. “Yeah,” he said, “but I work at a paint-ball place and I get to design their uniforms and signs, so I still do some designing.” Bravo. Keep that creative dream alive! I mean, I’m carrying a squid on a train and my day job involves spread-sheets, not models of Natural Wonders from Victorian novels. Keep the create fires aflame!

Squid Delivery Accomplished!! Met Mr. Fogg (Pete) and saw the MAGIC LANTERN SHOW at La Legion Fantastique!

The moral to this story: the squid is worth every effort. We have met the enemy and he is not squid. (though calamari are tasty when they are not made of fabric.)

tentacle attachment

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