Count Down to Dragon Con – 4 Days

I know I over extended myself on the cosplay this year.  I think I could have managed one really good costume,  but not three.  I’m afraid that all my cosplay will look unfinished and rushed.   Oh well, might as well just keep working at it and everything else, because if you have to be alive one might as well be doing things.

Today I worked on Imperator Furiosa’s crest belt.

20160829_124941I haven’t done much leather work,  it’s been a hobby I’ve tried to stay away from because it’s costly and I already have enough hobbies.  However a little bit of leather working was necessary.  Since this piece is supposed to look a bit rough I decided that I might as well give it a try myself instead of asking my leather-working buddies for help.  My first step was cutting out a rough circle of black leather and using a rotary punch to make lots of holes along the bottom.

20160829_131133After enough holes had been created I started cutting chain to attach. I thought that her belt crest only had one type of chain, but I was wrong.  It is mostly silver/chrome colored and off a similar design to what I got a few days ago at the craft store, but there are a few different types thrown in. I had a gold look chain in my supplies, but I would like a few other types.  I’ll see what I can find tomorrow.

20160829_141015Polymer clay is always not one of my hobbies. Sculpting is something I’ve never had a knack for and to be honest I really sort of hate doing it.  I don’t like the feel of the clay against my fingers, I don’t like trying to shape it into the shapes I need.  I get easily frustrated working with clay.  I did the best I could and I came up with something similar to what Furiosa was wearing, but not very similar.  I’m hoping no one looks to close, and also that the flame points don’t break off.  But this is a pointless dream, I have never made anything of polymer clay that didn’t break.  One must accept impermanence, to do otherwise causes suffering.

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Some black and oil slick colored nail polish and a silver paint pin made it look a little better.  After cutting up a few belts I temperately attached everything with super glue and then started trying to sew it, using a big needle and waxed thread.  I had to stop before it was finished because my household is asleep and I feel an awl and mallet are needed to finish.

Hopefully I can finish this tomorrow before switching back over to the gin fairy.  Will I ever get back to working on Negasonic? Or is that one just not going to happen?

 

Dragon Con Countdown – 8 days

The Gin Fairy cosplay is coming together.   I spent a few hours today on the overdress.  I’m not much of a seamstress and I seldom make garments from scratch, but I’m pleased with how this is turning out.  I’m hoping to finish the overdress tomorrow and then decide if I have time for anything else on this one.  I love the sleeves! I might make several of this design in different fabrics just for these dramatic flouncy sleeves.

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Two blog posts in two days!  I’m a superhero!

Countdown to Dragon Con – 9

WTF!!!!!  OMG!!!!  OH NOZ!  

I’m over playing this for dramatic effect, as I’m actually not stressed yet.  Ok, I little stressed.  But not at all bad.

I have three new cosplays this year.  Which in hindsight might have been a tad ambitious, given that I’m not great at time management or finishing things.  Oh, what’s that?  Yes, I’m glad I pretended you asked that, I do have pictures of my progress so far.

Negasonic Teenage WarheadNegasonic-Deadpool20160823_175442

I’m specifically cosplaying her appearance in last year’s “Deadpool”.  She is so fucking emo!  I was in love with the look the second I saw her,  and in love with this version of the character just a few moments after she came on screen.   I have to be this character!

I guess you noticed, her head is shaved.  Yep,  I’m doing it.  Unless I freak out and can’t.   Nope, totally doing it.  Maybe….

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20160823_175823Two for the price of one on that head shaving thing.

Sorry about the super blurry picture.  She will be great to cosplay, if I can get  enough of the accessories done to make it work. I don’t even think I will get time to attempt the arm, not that I really have the skill set for that anyway, but I very much hope I can come up with something for the gear/skull belt.

I’m doing such badass characters this year, when normally I go for cute.  Maybe I’m finally growing up….

Gin Fairy

20160823_142043Seriously, don’t tell me you believed me for even a second on the growing up thing.  We are talking about my rather serious hobby of playing dress-up.  Of course, going to a fancy tea party is always in the cards for this sugary sweet lolita,  except this year the part of “tea” will be played by hard liquor and the “fancy party” will be a group of lovely ladies who want to be the anthropomorphic personification of their favorite booze.   Keeping it classy, bitches!

As you can see, not much done here yet.

I will post something new here every day until Dragon Con starts.  Mostly so I can stave off the guilt and shame that will descend upon me when I go to writer’s track sessions, where I will be forced to think about how very little I have written this past year.  I need the high of getting all pumped up listening to successful writers talk about their success, and being able to project that into my personal future for the coming year.  I can’t have the reality of my crippling self-doubt and rather epic ability to avoid work get in the way of my happy brain chemicals and delusions of grandeur.  When I hand out those business cards I will be able to say  “Oh, yes, there are so many posts on my blog, my own website isn’t wasted money at all, darling. I’m a professional”.  


Until tomorrow!

Distant

The last few months I have had a case of the slow, or maybe the cuddles.   It is kind of like depression, but without as much sadness.  I haven’t felt motivated to write, garden, or go to social events.  Mostly I want to sleep, watch TV, and knit.

Sock

On the upside, I’ve finished several knitting projects.  On the downside, I am behind on editing my novel, the garden is a mess, and I haven’t been blogging.  That is going to change.  I have a goal to write 100,000 words before my birthday in July and to blog at least once a week.   That will be easier now that my blog looks so amazing thanks to the awesome Issa Waters of http://lovelivegrow.com/.  She is a great blogger who writes about homesteading, parenting, body/fat acceptance and social issues.

This might sound odd, but I think taking Zoloft has been partly to blame.  With my anxiety being lower, everything seems less important.  I don’t feel as stressed about anything, so I don’t have as much reason to push myself.  I got on the Zoloft in order to be able to do more social events and maybe get back into the world of business, but now that I am so much more Zen, I don’t actually care about making people like me or being “seen,” and I am not as worried about money.  There is a balance that must be found between loving the life I have and also wanting to make my life better.  I am a little too content recently.

The last few weeks my motivation has increased enough to write down some long and short term goals, get the house back in working order, and start this year’s gardening.   I also started work on a few writing projects.

In case you are wondering what I have been up to these last six months:

I went to Dragon Con for the first time in about eight years. It was a big deal for me to go to something with so many people and not freak out.  I don’t know exactly how many people there were, but it might have been the biggest crowd I have ever been in.  There were a few scary moments, like being stuck in human traffic jams on the sky bridge.  Overall I had fun and even bought tickets for next year.   Some of the highlights for me were playing dress up, looking at all the great costumes,  hearing several great bands, and seeing some of my favorite writers such as Jim Butcher and Cheri Priest live.  I like to imagine that someday I will be up in front of a crowd talking about my writing.gothNurse

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of my best friends moved in with us, which has been awesome.  We have been having lots of fun mini-adventures when she can tempt me away from the TV.  I used to think that having roommates would be horrible, but now after having several I find that I like it.  When she moves out, I might have to find another one.L and Ninja

She exercises everyday which has gotten me back into the habit.  I love exercise; feeling my heart pumping and my muscles burning.  I like how good exercise makes me feel, but I hate exercise videos because they talk about weight, fat, pounds, etc. all the time. The thin ladies in the videos often chastise the viewer for being lazy or tell us not to have jiggly arms.   Shaun T’s videos have the least fat bashing, so I do those most.  I am seriously thinking about putting together a body positive exercise video for people like me who want to exercise because they like it and don’t want to be shamed in the process.  I find that exercise makes me a little more aware of my body and not always in a good, emotionally healthy way. I don’t need people in the TV adding to my issues.

I took a trip to Baltimore in November to eat crab cakes and be emo.  I did some sightseeing and went to several museums.  I recommend the Ripley’s museum if you ever find yourself there, we danced, played, created, climbed through a tooth pick city, watched teenagers run head first in to mirrors and saw some weird shit.  It was interactive and informative on things I find interesting, like carnies and giant mummified whale penises. Speaking of mummies, the science museum had an awesome mummy exhibit, you should go see that too.

Rick

Whale

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Attempted NaNoWriMo and failed.  I thought I would do great this time, since I finished last year and had fun doing it. I started out strong, going to the social events, outlining a bit of a plot, even wrote a few pages.  Then I hit a wall because I wanted to be culturally sensitive and I was working in a genre that I normally don’t write in.  I will do better next year.

I read the Mistborn books by Brandon Sanderson, which was pretty good.  Currently I’m reading “Ship of Theseus,” which is written in a strange and interesting way. It is two stories: one being told in the normal way, and the other being told in the margins, by two people passing the book back and forth. I finished the “novel” part of it, which was good, but not great, and seemed to be trying way too hard to be weird and mysterious.

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Other than that, I went to a few plays and movies, spent a little time with friends, watched a lot of Adventure Time, created art, learned a few pieces on the piano and annoyed my cats

 

Painting Pots

I don’t think of myself as much of an artist, my main form of creativity is writing followed closely by music. I am visually impaired (almost completely blind in my left eye, and need glasses for the right eye). I can’t draw because I can’t make a straight line. I see in 2-D so my perspective is not the same as most people’s. This is the way I have always been, so it does not get in the way of my life at all. Well, I should not drive at night, but I don’t like driving anyway so that is not a big deal.

Because of being unable to draw I never let myself get into painting even thought I really wanted to, until last year when I took one of those byob painting classes (I went to dip n’ dab in atlanta). I figured since it was going to be mostly tipsy people who were just doing it for a laugh and since all the supplies were provided there was no harm in it, and minimal cost. I had fun. Now I am painting from time to time and I enjoy it. I like the way my paintings look, and I don’t judge them nearly as much as I thought I would. I paint some on canvas but the last few weeks I have been painting on terra cotta pots. I had done that before, but more like paint then a single pretty color or use a stencil.  The few I did try to paint more on I was to nervous and they did not come out well.

The pots appeal to my rather practical nature about these sorts of things. They are useful, I might have bought them anyway, the paint is very cheap, so aside for a little time I am not ‘wasting’ anything. Fun and practical.

I spray the pots with Thompson’s water-sealer first, give them at least a day to dry and then paint with the acrylic paints in the little bottle that you get from any arts and crafts store. I wait for a sale to buy new ones, as cheap as $.77 a bottle.

This weekend there is going to be an art hunt put on by Atlanta Fringe Festival. It is a free event in Grant park. You look around for art and anything you find you keep. The nice people at Fringe are doing all the hiding and planning, but for the art they need donations. While I would not sell my art, I think a free pot regardless of what is painted on it should make someone happy, so I submitted it (and a short story, printed out). I painted a bunny for spring/easter/ostara.

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I think it is cute. It makes me happy that someone, a stranger, will find this and that it might bring them happiness. Or even just usefulness.

Hawaiian print Pot

I made this one a few days earlier for myself. It is based on a Hawaiian print I like, but in the colors of the cyclamen I put in it. I am not happy with how the turtles look, but I can’t exactly tell you why.  They just don’t look right.  But over all I think it is lovely and the colors match well, so yay!

I plan to make a few more for the garden. They will add a little extra color and art, making the garden a bit more fun.  They also make great gifts.

 

Carrot Pot

Carrots are in the top five of my favorite vegetables to eat and my number one favorite to grow. There is something so satisfying about harvesting them, sort of the same feeling as opening a birthday present. I never know the size, flavor or even color of the carrot when I start to pull, so it is always a surprise. I’ve been growing them in garden beds for six years now. The first year they were horrible, only about an inch long, furry and with a strong bitter flavor. Each year they have been getting a little better as the garden’s soil quality has improved, but I will never have smooth, long store bought looking carrots in garden beds at this house, because there is just too much clay.
Here are a few of 2012’s best carrots. carrot

They were a respectable size and the flavor was phenomenal, very sweet and more carroty than you get at the store. Some are a little furry and some were oddly shaped as you can see. Over all these made me happy and I plan to grow more in the garden beds hoping for similar results.

This year I am also going to try growing some in a pot and I figured if I am going to have containers in the garden, they might as well be pretty. It is now rather obvious what should be growing in this one. Carrot and Bunny pot

Painting pots is harder in my opinion than canvas (not that I am an expert on either), the top is bigger than the bottom and the whole thing is round of course, not to mention that the smooth surface of the terra cotta does not want to hold onto the paint. I sealed this pot and did two base coats of white acrylic before I started the painting itself. I started on it yesterday afternoon and it took about 3 hours or so of active work start to finish.

Having a little art in my garden will certainly brighten things up and make it more fun.

Now I have to sift some compost and mix it with peat moss, sand and potash to fill up the and then add the carrot seeds. I have 4 varieties and a mix this year. Since the rabbit is sort of anime I think I will put Asian varieties in the pot, Shin Kuroda and a long thin Japanese Imperial type disappointingly called tendersweet.

I will let you know how the carrots turn out in a few months.

Here is an informative site Carrot Museum if you want to learn everything there is to know about carrots.

Rainbow Skirt

Look! A post that is not about writing. I do sometimes get up to other things.

I like to sew but I have not made much so far so I am still mostly keeping to simple things. Especially things that don’t require me to cut out a pattern. This skirt was technically easy to make, but it did take a long time. The general idea is just to cut out lots of squares, sew them together into strips, gather the strips and sew those together to make the skirt. The time consuming part is that this has almost 200 squares and the bottom layer was 25 feet long.

I got the idea from this site: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=226380.0

Collecting the fabric was fun, I bought about half of it and the other half was gifted to me by my friend Danielle. I said I needed fabric and she drove over to my house and gave me a huge amount of beautiful fabric. I have enought left to make a few more things. I think this the the number of squares I used and they were all about 5 x 5 inches. Ninja is helping me put them in order. 

Pink/Red: 13 squares
Yellow/Orange: 21 squares
Green: 32 squares
Blue: 48 squares
Purple: 62 squares

Once cut, I would lay them out to make a nice pattern and then sew them together. This took a very long time, a few weeks since I was only working on this a little each day. But then finally I had all the strips done. I took this picture of them on the stairs so you could get an idea of how big this skirt really is.

The hardest part for me was the gathering.  I did it all by hand and I have not done much gathering before now, so it was a challenge.  I gathered each layer and then sewed it to the one above it.  The gathering and sewing only took a few days, be they frustrating days.After is was all sew together I finished it with bais tape and elastic at the top, and just bais tape at the bottom.

This skirt was a lot of fun to make, and also a lot of fun to wear.  I have only worn it a few times, each time getting tons of compliments, everyone loves it.  I also find the weight and puffyiness of it very pleasing.  I think it would be even nicer worn with a crinoline if I could get one of the right length –  all of mine are either to short or two long.  I wore it for the first time to Euphoria (a regional burn) which is where the next picture is from.   I might take a new picture of it today and switch them out, because I am not super happy with this picture.  I actually don’t know who the guy is,  I was just walking along and saw him wearing the same shirt as me (a dreaming nyan cat) so we took a picture together.