Archive for the ‘Sewing’ Category

We did it! After more than a year and a half of planning and building and paperwork and stress, our house is our house. We can sleep and eat and shower and live in it!

The first night went well, though I didn’t sleep any better than usual. Still woke up ass-early in the morning, but I was able to do some revisions on the chaise of the couch while my husband slept soundly, without worrying about typing too loud or finding headphones to listen to music on the laptop.

Yeah, there are boxes everywhere. Yeah, we still don’t have all the smart home stuff fully set up (though I can turn on/off lights and fans and such with my phone or the Echo now). Yeah, there’s still stuff lingering in the apartment. Yeah, we still need to clean the apartment. We have to officially change our address at the post office and numerous other places. We have to get used to driving an extra 20+ minutes to get anywhere compared to the 5-10 minutes it used to take when we lived “in town.” We’ve got stuff that we need to purchase to maintain the land and house and all that. But we’re home.

Rory and River love it. They were apprehensive at first, but once they realized they were here to stay and they had twice the space to explore as the apartment, they were all about the house. There’s new furniture and old to climb on, new windows to look out (with windowsills they both fit on), and a nice, new concrete floor to lie on when they need to cool off.

This upcoming long weekend will be a huge help in getting settled. We’re going to see Solo on Saturday (and making an out-of-town trip for it), but otherwise we don’t really have anything planned. We can take a breath and focus and get things organized. Just knowing that we have that little bit of extra time helps me relax and get out of OMG-I-have-so-much-stuff-to-do-and-no-time mode.

Revisions are coming along again now that we’re moved. I’m about halfway through a preliminary read of the edits, but of course I have to review everything a couple of times before resubmitting. After all, this is the LAST batch of edits. The LAST revisions before publication. I can’t say when publication is yet, because I haven’t been officially announced by the publisher, but as soon as I can I’ll be blasting it all over the Interwebs. (Which reminds me, I need to get back to actually utilizing Twitter to grow a fanbase/network and to start marketing.) I’ve given my publishers an open invite to stay with us should they ever come to Arizona, and there are tentative plans in the works to get some booths set up at local conventions once the book is published.

As soon as this first book is “put to bed” I’m going to get cracking on simultaneous edits/rewrites on Book 2 and SCA Arts & Sciences projects. I have to learn/write the documentation for the one thing I’ve made so far, finish the research on the research paper I plan on writing, and potentially make a third thing for entry. I’ve gone from entering just in the local Baronial Arts & Sciences competition to entering as part of a household in another Barony. Still a lot to do in just a month or two, but I’ll be okay. I just need to breathe and not stress out too much about any of it. Of course, to make the third as-yet-to-be-determined thing for A&S I’ll need a new chair for the craft room. Turns out the carefully-planned room (which is still awesome) does not have enough room for the futon I used to sit on, so I need an actual, like, office chair or something. Oh yeah, and I have to put all the crap in there away, or at least “away enough” to where I can start on the third project. At least the research paper doesn’t need to be constructed, just written and printed.

We have no less than three house parties in the works now, with one huge SCA party planned, one party for family and coworkers, and one party (date as-yet-to-be-determined) for close friends. I’m hoping to get at least some of the “rapier obstacle course” that I plan on making done by the SCA party, so we can have some er, party games. Yeah. Party games. With mutherfuckin’ swords. Hell yeah.

Lots to do, but much less pressure now.

Now that I’m home.

Home, sweet home.

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Revisions are… coming along. Slowly. Mainly because of adverbs like slowly and mainly. And because of gerunds. I apparently love gerunds. It’s funny the things you don’t realize you do until someone points out how often you do them.

I’ll get it all fixed though. I am so excited for this book to be published! It’s been a long couple of years since I made the resolution to get the first draft finished, but I’m now on the final revisions and Book 2 is in the early stages of revisions for the first draft. It’s got a long way to go as well, but now that I’m more aware of my gerund affinity I’m sure it’ll be easier … Won’t it?

Oh, who am I kidding? I’ll be just as stressed for Book 2, 3, and onward. Lol But it’ll all be worth it. I just have to push on.

In other news, the house is almost home and I’m doing some unwinding this weekend in between revision sessions. Soon things will be back to (my) normal. Work is work, and crafting is taking a hiatus while I finish the book. That means I probably won’t get the time to make and document enough stuff to enter as Champion for the Baronial Arts and Sciences competition. I can still enter as novice in a couple categories, but I’m a little disappointed in myself for not being able to go for the big prize right out of the gate. I had wanted to push myself, but maybe all this is the Universe’s way of telling me to simmer down and just take my time. I have the rest of my life with the SCA to try for Champion; I don’t need to get greedy the first time I enter.

Well, guess I should stop dwelling and get to the relaxation part of my weekend… While it lasts 😉

I’m starting to get a little anxious. “Why,” you ask? Well, because I’ve been told by my publisher that they’re going to start announcing me soon. I don’t know when “soon” is, but they’ve got my bio, headshot, and a drafty blurb in hand. The publishing is drawing ever nigh, and it’s got my nerves in a bunch. I’ll be glad to have Book 1 in the bag though, because that means I can start back on Book 2 and not have to worry about any changes that might be made.

There’s going to be promotional stuff…interviews, articles, ads. It’s going to be work. I got this though….right?

On the SCA front, I get to wear my anniversary dresses to Coronation today, so I’m pretty excited about that. My hair’s a hot mess, but thankfully hubby also commissioned a Viking hat for me to wear that’ll cover the I-slept-on-a-couch-with-my-face-stuffed-in-a-pile-of-pillows look. I also get to hand the bag I embroidered over to its new owner, in exchange for the temple rings that will match the brooches that were made for me.

Oh, and the house? Yeah, we have a Certificate of Occupancy now, which means that even though the loan hasn’t been finalized yet we can start moving our crap in–we just can’t live there yet. Time to start packing once we get home from Coronation.

Lots of changes on the horizon. Here’s hoping I can keep up!

The embroidery commission is going well. I’ve gotten about one third of the second bear paw filled in, and once that’s done I can stitch together the messenger bag (which shouldn’t take too long). After that, I have sewing work to do for my husband and for our Arts and Sciences competition in July, plus some embroidery for gifting.

I hope I’m not getting myself too deep into anything. So far, my embroidery projects have been short and sweet. Small pieces that could be completed in a short time frame. The gift embroidery, though, and any for A&S, could end up being more than I can chew up and spit out. I want to make nice things for people, but I also want to get Book 2 back on track.

Not that Book 1 is even close to ready. It’s still in the latest rounds of line edits, which means there will be even more work to do on it once it returns. How much work? Well, I won’t know until the edits come back. So I’m chewing on my nails (metaphorically) as I wait for my manuscript to be emailed back with the editing notes. I’m kind of afraid to start back on Book 2 until Book 1 is back, because there were such sweeping changes to Book 2’s plot/story after the new ending of Book 1 that if I change too much more I’ll just be creating more work for myself. One of the flaws of being a pantser, I guess. If I had plotted I might have it easier, but the major plot points are still valid–for now. We’ll see what the edits reveal.

Work is work. That’s nothing much new. There could be potential drama afoot in the coming weeks, but it’s something that’s beyond my control so I just have to have faith that things will work out.

The house is close to done. I’m stressing over things like the final loan approval and the eventual move, but all I can do about it is, well, stress. And that’s not doing me any good.

Tomorrow is longsword class for the rapier academy I’m in. My husband isn’t really keen on longsword, so I will probably have to go to this class–and most of them in the foreseeable future–by myself. Maybe I’ll get a ride to the class. Let him have the car for a bit (also, I won’t have to drive at night if I get a ride…I freaking hate driving at night).

River and Rory are getting along swimmingly. Right now Rory is giving River a bath, and she seems pretty content with it. They keep each other company when my husband and I are away at SCA events or other things, so that’s good.

So, in summary: embroidery good, books stalled, house stressful, and kittehs are being cute.

Wow…almost ten days with no posting. Where’s my mind been?

Oh yeah: embroidery commission deadline and SCA event and house stuff and work and…

There might just be a few distractions in my life right now. Lol I’m making headway on the embroidery and SCA should soon slow down a bit, but there’s still a ton of stuff going on with the last-minute house things and, of course, work is work.

Last weekend I ran my first rapier scenario as part of a tournament. It was pretty fun, and the fighters seemed to like it. I even got accolades and recognition from the event steward (who is herself a rapier fighter), though she gave me more credit than I deserved. I did the one thing, but for the most part I just helped out the Master of Defense who was truly running things for the tournament. Still, it was nice to be able to get my feet wet with running a tournament and kind of see what kind of prep is needed. Who knows? Maybe next year at this event I’ll be in charge of the whole tourney. We’ll see. 😉

This week I have to make a PVC “sheath” for our rapiers, because the prince and princess who will be stepping up in a week and a half don’t want exposed blades around them when we’re on guard duty…which I understand, but I don’t think they realize that, in order to be legal for fighting, rapiers have to have caps on the end. Secure caps. Which means a standard sheath is not going to work. So I have to improvise. I just hope I have enough scrap leather to cover the PVC so it doesn’t look so much like a plastic pipe. Yay for Barge contact cement and leftover suede from a project last year.

Depression’s not too bad compared to a couple weeks ago. I’m still a bit down from time to time, but for the most part I’m doing okay. Taking my meds and all that jazz.

Writing is still at a standstill, but I’m hoping that once SCA stuff calms down I will break through the block and get moving on Book 2.

It’s not seen as much in modern day: the medieval concept of community and trade. I’ve been thinking about this a lot in the past week or so, especially since my husband’s big reveal of his anniversary conspiracy.

In the SCA especially, this community spirit is alive and well, and trading goods and services works just as well as cash or PayPal. My husband has been trading trim and belts that he weaves for different goods and services for months, but it wasn’t until recently that I saw the enormity of what can be accomplished with fair trade.

For my anniversary gifts, some of them were obtained through volunteers to make the things, but some were obtained through trade. Chris, bless his heart, made a TON of belts and trim, both for my garments and for others to make things to go with the garments. It wasn’t just the traded goods that spurred others to make stuff; these people care. In the SCA, it’s a family.

I’ve heard the phrase “chosen family” in reference to the SCA dozens of times throughout the year I’ve been playing, but it’s only now truly hitting home how much of a family it is. There are people I barely know who stood up and said “Sure” when my husband asked for dresses (made by Lady Mariette of the Barony March of Mons Tonitrus–apron dress pending hand embroidery by Lady Illaria), or a Viking naalbinded hat (made by Willa McCafferty of the Barony of Tyr Ysgthir), or custom Viking brooches (made by Eric the Bald)…I could go on, but basically, these people were willing, some for a near stranger, to take time out of their busy lives to make something for a nice gift. It’s pretty cool. Here are just a few of the things that have been made/are being made for li’l ol’ me:

Since I’ve started the embroidery, I’ve started contributing here and there to the community aspect as well. I’ve done tiny coats-of-arms to finish the ends of belts that my husband made for gifting or largesse. I’ve done a commission piece for a kindhearted person who deserved something nice. I’m doing embroidery right now for a trade for temple rings to match the brooches shown above. Here’s a sneak peek I “stole” off of Facebook (temple rings also by Eric the Bald of the Kingdom of Atenveldt):

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How cool is that? And all I have to do is make an embroidered bag and sew some trim on it, something I’m more than willing to do for such a giving individual. It fills my heart to overflowing to see this type of community in the SCA that has, for me at least, been absent in mundane life. Even outside of SCA-related activities, our chosen family has been there for us. Recently we had nearly half a dozen SCA friends over at the new house, all sacrificing part of their Saturday to help finish some wiring on the house. They didn’t need to. They could have said “no”…instead, they came on over, some bringing their own tools and supplies, to help, for nothing more than some pizza and sodas/bottled water.

I am taking this time to extend my eternal thanks and gratitude to this chosen family, to tell them that they matter, that they’re appreciated (even if I don’t always know how to show it), that their efforts have touched me.

Split decision

Posted: April 14, 2018 in #design, Art, Crafting, embroidery, SCA, Sewing

Well, I’ve gone and done it again; I’ve given myself a task that is going to end up being harder than it really has to be.

The thing is, I got involved in a new embroidery project that, while not too complex, is turning out to be more involved than maybe it should have been. It’s partly my fault; I was given “creative license” on the commission (those words are dangerous for an artist lol), so I thought “hmm, how can I give this image more pizzazz?”

Eric the Bald 2

It’s a pretty cool device but….Yeah, I wanted to kick it up a notch. So, being me, I googled “knotwork bear claw” to see what I could find that might be prettier. This is what I finally decided on:

bear claw 2

It’s freakin’ cool, right? Except I chose to make it six inches wide, and I have to fill in all those lovely lines somehow. Chain stitch would probably be the quickest, most efficient stitch of the ones I currently know. Probably.

But split stitch is so much neater and prettier.

IMG_20180414_060549755

Yeah, I’m filling in all those lines with teeny little split stitches, because I tend to make small stitches in general. So far the outcome is nice….but it’s slow going. The end product will be amazing, but I’ve given myself a handful as far as work comes. Still, I am trading this project for a pair of Viking temple rings worth $80, so I guess I should do $80 worth of work myself, right? Fair is fair.

This is gonna be so cool, though. 🙂