This is a photo diary of my costuming "travels"; where I've learned and struggled to make historical costumes for myself. They're not always pretty, but always fun, most of the time. And I want to share with others what I learn along the way. **You can find me on Facebook, or have my posts delivered to your email by signing up at the lower part of the right column.**

About Me

My photo
HI, my name is Val. I'm a member of Costumer's Guild West in Los Angeles, Dean Emeritus of 2018 Costume College; Past President of the San Diego Costume Guild, member of Orange County Costume Guild, and a representative of the San Diego History Center. I make my own historical costumes but don't sell any unless I get tired of one.The eras I've made so far are 1770 up to 1918. My favorite is the 1880s bustle.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Turning your blog into a book

A few months ago I noticed a link on my blogspot dashboard offering a way to turn my blog into a book, either soft- or hard-bound. It's not through a publisher, but a printer. I saved the link, thinking at some time I'd like to be able to have all my costume documentation printed out in hardcopy just in case blogspot ever crashed or lost all my data. It would also give me an opportunity to show others my work if they weren't able to see it online.
The printing website:   gives you an opportunity to play with a prototype of the book up to a point. This gives you an idea what it would look like. Then if you log in, you can go further and play with it more. You can even get to your final book, and see how many pages your blog actually has, and what it will cost you, w/o any committment. It also saves your work so if you decide you don't want to go further at this time, it will be there waiting. No sales pitches.
If you decide to try the sample, please note---for the number of posts you want included, instead of the time span choice, click INCLUDE ALL if you want your entire journal to be included. I tried the time span, and just kept getting only three posts included in my sample.I don't know yet how to do specific dates but they have a very good helpline email & phone number.
My blog, up to a couple days ago, came to 55 pages. The first 20 pages cost $14.95, which is the minimum order, and additional pages are 35 cents each. My total cost was $27.55. I chose the soft-bound copy which is a laminated cover.
I sent in my order and received it in less than a week. I was really impressed by it. It's a well made, nice sturdy cover, and the colors are true to my photos.
The only downside I saw was the text and photos are put into a space saving format so sometimes the longer text shoved my photos down so you may be reading about a photo but it's on the next page. I think it kind of just followed how I had it in the blog. But the layout is very nicely done. It looks professional other than that. I remember seeing something while I was doing this online where I could have done some further editing but I'll save that for next time. It wasn't bad, and I'm not up for a book award.
And there will be a next time, as soon as I get enough posts to make another one.
This is my book:

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Two more costume events

On July 5, the San Diego Vintage Dancers held a Ragtime Tea Dance on board the Berkeley Ferry in the San Diego Harbor. Even though I don't dance, I love Ragtime music, so I went to enjoy that with my friends.
I wore my 1918 blue and white outfit and wanted to wear a red ribbon on the neck in honor of Independance Day but couldn't find any in my stash.

I even got dragged out on the floor to dance a couple times.

*Photos were courtesy of Jerry Abuan*
My 1918 Armistice blouse got a couple admiring compliments, including two who thought it was vintage. Way to go me!

On July 9 I had a chance to wear my Purple Polonaise again, one of my favorites, at the Grand Opening of the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Old Town San Diego. They asked a couple costumers to come in period costume as eye-candy for the event. The period ran from early 1800s to 1872 when the original Old Town burned down. It was supposed to be evening dress, and since my 1870s was the ONLY evening dress I have at this point, well, there you go.
*Note to self- make MORE evening gowns.*
My friend, her husband, and I went together, and I think we had our photos taken more than anyone else there. And I'm reminded that I LOVE purple.