Archive for the ‘#design’ Category

So after finishing my first Arts & Sciences project (or at least the physical part–not the documentation yet), my husband decided he wanted a similar thing for himself, which means more embroidery. I’m cool with that and all, but I have to find a design for what he wants…and there aren’t too many period-esque cooking pot drawings.

My hubby is definitely the cook in the family. I can manage mac and cheese, ramen, and some salads/sandwiches. That’s the majority of my cooking “skill.” And I’m talking box mac and cheese, not scratch. So for his SCA device, he chose a couple fleshpots (an oldschool type of cooking pot) as part of it, and since I used part of my device (a swan) on my piece, he wants a cooking pot on his. I can do it, but we were hoping to find a Viking-type or knotwork design, and Google is not providing any such thing. So together we’re working on a compromise in the form of a period-style circle around whatever design of pot I choose. Or he chooses. I don’t know; as far as I know he hasn’t found what he wants yet.

I was going to start the embroidery this weekend, but unfortunately we didn’t have the pot design picked out before we left for our weekend trip. I could freehand something, but I want this to be neater and more precise than what I can sketch. I might have to wing it, though, if I want to start today. I might just read instead. I have a book that I’m reading for my research paper portion of my A&S entries, and I plan on bringing that to the SCA thing today as well. Give myself options. Or something.

Well, almost time to go. Gotta get my stuff together and get cracking. Embroidery or research…what will it be?


I am feeling great. Got my first Arts and Sciences project done (except for the research/documentation), work this week hasn’t been too bad… so why am I not feeling so great?

Oh yeah: mixed episode. It seems that I’ve entered one of those recently. Not quite sure when exactly, but I’m noticing that even though I think I feel fine, I’m not taking as much interest in the things I’m usually interested in. I have a research paper for A&S that I’ve been dying to jump into, but I can’t seem to make myself read more than a couple of paragraphs at a time. I was all excited to finish the physical work on the first project, but instead of feeling accomplished I feel… empty. I’m not writing, I’m not tweeting, I’m not doing much of anything that I usually do with my free time.

I think the art project was providing enough momentum to keep me going, but although I don’t feel like I’m depressed, I’m not acting like I’m not. Makes no sense? Well, it doesn’t make sense to me either.

I’m hoping that my mental state picks up soon. Well, not too up. Mid-level. Hell, just plain level would be nice.

Some day. I can’t be down all the time.

I have a new place in the art world, and it’s an interesting one. Thanks to my new interest in embroidery, I have become the maker of belt ends.

Let me explain:

My husband weaves belts and trim, and he’s made a few now for “foreign” royalty. One thing he wanted was a way to end the belts that would look nice and be functional. Our solution? Tiny, 1.5-2″ embroidered coats of arms sewn into little sleeves, into which I slide the end of the belt, and then it gets sewn shut. Ta-da! Belt doesn’t unwind, and it’s personalized for the recipient.

I guess it’s been done before, but from what I understand it’s not done often…at least not that I’ve seen. And so far, the people who have received the belts have loved them–especially the embroidery.

It’s kinda cool, but a little painstaking at times. The designs I’ve done so far haven’t been too complicated to shrink down and stitch, but I wonder what I’ll do when we get a commission for a more complicated coat of arms. I want to get recognition for the work I do, but I don’t want to get to where people expect more than I can do.

I’m finally done with the commission embroidery for the meantime, though, so I can focus on A&S. I’ll be reading and embroidering and measuring and cutting and sewing and typing and…yeah. A lot of work ahead, but it’s work that should be fun. Interesting, at least.

There won’t be any progress pics here, though, because that’s part of the research paper; you have to include pictures of the process of whatever you’re doing. Once it’s all done I’ll post stuff… but that’s a few months away.

Estrella War is over, but my project list is far from completed. I’m currently about halfway through a couple of tiny embroideries for a gift for a king in another kingdom, I have a hood to make for my husband, an underdress and apron dress for me, three Arts & Sciences projects to get going, and then there’s also some mundane sewing I want to get done soon-ish.

I’m not super stressed out like I would normally be, because aside from the embroidery I don’t have any deadlines less than a few months away. This is great, because for the first time in months I feel like I can relax and take my time. Well, not relax too much. But I can breathe.

I’ve picked out the Arts & Sciences projects that I’m going to do, so since that is the next true deadline I will focus on those once the embroidery is done. I am even combining one of the above projects into the A&S stuff (but I’m not saying which one!) to kind of get a little ahead of the game. Be more efficient, I guess. Now, I need to do research in addition to the physical work, and I need to remember to take pictures as I go, but I’m getting started right away so I’m not too worried. I have most of the research materials I think I’ll need compiled, so it’s just a matter of reading it all.

Believe it or not, I’m actually looking forward to the research paper part of the projects. I always aced my research papers in school, so this should be a breeze. I’ll just have to dust off the ol’ “student” cap and put it on and get to typing. I even made sure I knew which format (y’know, MLA, APA, etc.) I will need to use for my citations before I got started. I’m getting kind of excited for it. Yeah, excited for three research papers. I’m such a nerd.

I also need to mentally prepare for A&S, in the sense that I know my works (written and handmade) will be subject to criticism from multiple fronts. My research papers could be metaphorically torn to shreds, or my sewing could be scoffed at. I think I’ll be okay, though.

Can’t let myself get too comfy in my sense of security when it comes to timelines. We still have to move into our house once it’s built, which is rapidly approaching, and there are more SCA events in the meantime. I can do it, though. Just gotta avoid getting to Crunch Time like I usually end up doing.

As I sip my coffee and get ready to get ready for the busy work day ahead, I am overjoyed by the fact that I managed to finish my husband’s fighting tunic on time–early, even! Okay, so it’s only a day early, but still, it’s done. Not sewing at the last minute on the drive up to war, not sewing it at war…done.

There is still some trim to get sewn onto his “Grand Court” tunic, and some minor embroidery to do on the bottom hem, but that isn’t going to be worn until Saturday night, so I have time to finish at war (and actually planned to, anyway). BUT the major major had-to-be-done-before-we-left sewing is complete. The War Crunch (the SCA version of the Con Crunch) is pretty much over with. I may even be starting to get excited about it.

The drama still looms. Less than 36 hours away…not something I want to think about. But it sits in the back of my mind, festering, and I’m sure it won’t go away until the whole mess is over.

I fear that it won’t be over, though.

I shouldn’t let that get to me though. Then the other person will have won. I should just enjoy my war and try to keep a stiff upper lip, or whatever.

Book 1’s editing has taken a back seat to other, more pressing projects, which is disappointing but something that I guess as an author working with a publishing company I just have to deal with. I can’t force everybody to my timetable–self publishing spoiled me for that, I think. I’ll wait, though. Bide my time, occupy myself with other things–maybe even get back to work on Book 2 rewrites.

Time will tell.

Well, I’m getting closer…the end is in sight! Except this one little problem: someone got a little scissor-happy when she was cutting the neckline for her husband’s tunic and now must figure out a way to add on fabric without making it look weird.

I’m sure I can do it, but not right now–not at 0100. Maybe in a few hours I will have the functional capacity to design, cut, stamp, and sew a new collar/neckline/whatever. As it is, I’m quite irritated with my body for waking me up an hour ago for no good reason. I’ve been sleeping pretty well the past several nights, but tonight it’s back to waking up around midnight wide awake and unable to drift back off.

The sad thing is, between the bipolar disorder (panic attacks or racing thoughts at bedtime if I don’t take my Klonopin) and the rheumatoid arthritis (back/shoulder aches if I don’t take my Flexeril) I take enough crap to knock out a rhino. Ok, maybe not that much…but it’s a lot for the average Joe. I also have temazepam that I can take as needed for sleep, but I’ve found that it doesn’t help me stay asleep so much as helping me fall asleep–which I generally don’t need help with. I can fall asleep just fine most nights. It’s that tricky staying asleep thing that gets me. I’ll sleep four to five hours and then wake up all energized and crap. So not fair.

Once my husband gets up and tries on the tunic (with his gorget, so I can see how much collar I need to drum up), I can get to work on it. Right now? Now I have to find something to do to alleviate the boredom until he wakes up.

Good thing I still have a couple projects pending. On to sewing trim onto a different tunic!

Finally! After weeks of waiting and rescheduling and poor timing, my sword tattoo is done! The tattoo artist’s name is Amanda Jiminez at Battleship Tattoo (to give credit where credit’s due) and here’s the outcome:


I’m ecstatic! I love it and can’t wait to show it off at Estrella War next week.

This has taken a majority of my mind off of the continuing drama, but I know it’s just a proverbial band-aid on a bullet wound. If that’s a proverb….if not, it should be. Can we coin that phrase? Let’s coin that.

I still have a few things to make/stitch, but the majority of it is done. A tunic to finish (though most of it is cut out and much of it is sewn) and some trim to stitch onto another tunic…that’s about it that I can think of right now. Oh, and some little piddly stuff to do, but that stuff is minor and less time-consuming than the above-mentioned stuff. These things also can help take my mind off of the drama things, though only temporarily, and mostly only when I have to get out the seam ripper. Gods, I hate seam ripping.

Book 1 is still in the editor’s hands, but I’m waiting patiently because I know she’s been quite sick recently. I totally understand that and have no ill feelings on it (ha! pun!). I’d like to get back to writing, but….maybe after Estrella. Right now, my time is pulled in other directions.

Two more work days until we leave for war.

Let the games begin.