Mimicry

The sewing project that I thought last night I could do without pattern or tutorial? Woke up, started it, tried it, made one little mistake that was easily corrected, and nailed it. Observe the “inspiration” picture from the pin I found:

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For more experienced sewists, probably not too big of a deal. I, however, sometimes get mixed up without photos or patterns to go on, so I kinda sewed the pockets on upside down at first. However, that was, as far as I can tell, the only mistake I made. Behold:

I didn’t add a strap to hold it closed when it’s folded up (because it was like 3am & I was not quite functional enough yet to figure that bit out–next time though; next time), but basically I did the thing. A small folding desk organizer for my craft room–or for whatever I decide to stick in there. The best thing is, I didn’t spend any extra money on it. This puppy is made 100% from scraps and leftover materials I already had from previous projects.

So now Pinterest will become even more addicting. I’ve gotten it into my head that I can do probably more than I actually can, but if I can do even half the things I’ve seen that I want to do I’ll be able to use up a lot of the scraps that have been taking up tons of space in my craft room. I’ll be able to make gifts, maybe even things to sell on Etsy or eBay or something.

Just a little copycatting, and maybe I can be productive.

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Copycat attack

I’ve been on Pinterest a little too much lately, I think. After spending a few days cranking out baby shower gifts on the sewing machine, I now have the crazy notion in my head that I can look at a thing and determine how it was constructed and make it on my own. And who knows? Maybe I can…for some simpler things, I mean. It might take some brainstorming and visualizing, but I’ve already got a few things in mind to make for myself, and I’m thinking of making gifts for some of my friends and family this year.

On one hand, it’s a good thing; I can utilize fabric scraps (that I don’t quite know what to do with) in a useful way. On the other hand, this could potentially be the early stages of a manic episode, so I had better be aware of my emotions and keep my impulses in check.

Sometimes I wonder if I can harness this manic energy that comes to me and use it to be productive…but then I remember how out of control I can get if I’m not careful, and it’s very, very hard to be careful when you’re in a manic state. Part of that mania involves a lack of…how can I put this? A lack of concern over consequences. I know that impulsive action A can potentially cause bad consequence B, but I really don’t give a rat’s ass whether B happens or not.

Then again, I might not be manic. Not every burst of creative energy is caused by an episode. It could just be that I’m in the mood to make stuff. But going off of past experiences and probability factors and all that science-y stuff, the scales are tipping heavily in the manic direction.

It’s frustrating as hell, that’s for sure. Not knowing if you’re slowly losing control or just in an unusually good mood. It sucks.

I’m probably still going to make the stuff though, if I can find the time. Whether it’s an episode or not, I’ve gotten it in my head that I can do this thing, and now I have to take on my own challenge.

War paint

More war prep was done today, and I’m starting to get pretty excited about it.

First off, my husband and I taped and painted our dancing masks with Viking runes for warrior. That was a fun and interesting adventure (in which we learned that one of the smallest pieces of the airbrush is one of the most crucial in dispensing the paint), and it got me a little more revved up for the event. I did some fabric painting as well, adding symbols to represent both Kingdom and Barony on two of our tunics:

Are they perfect? No, but what is? I still think they look pretty snazzy considering the time constraints I’ve had (and the fact that I mostly eyeballed almost every measurement on these).

I feel much better about the war now that things are falling into place. We’re getting to the point where we can start packing early, which is leaps and bounds better than we usually do. I mean, most trips we take I end up packing for the morning of. We’re not leaving for another three days and I already plan on stuffing my bag as soon as we get home from visiting with friends.
I am still a little nervous, but that’s the socially-awkward introvert in me. There will be lots and lots of people there, 90+% of whom I won’t know. It’ll be a challenge for sure, but at least for now I have the prep work and my real job to distract me from that.

All that’s left is to get my creaky old joints to man up and quit whining. The past few days have had me in varying degrees of pain, which is not going to be conducive to a fun fake war experience. I’m hoping that the kinks work themselves out soon because I want to be able to take the field in top form (for me, that is).
Three days until we’re officially on the road to California!

Just in the neck of time

Almost (mostly) done. Just a few necklines to finish off, and the new tunics for the war in California will be finished. With, oh, 4 or 5 days to spare.

I might even get time to add some trim to another tunic or two.

A bonus is the extra time to add “war paint” to our fencing masks. Thanks to an airbrush, some paints, and a modicum of artistic talent (yeah, right), we can make ourselves more menacing on the field–or something. More visible targets? Yeah. Okay. There’s that. But still…I get to paint stuff.

There’s still a ton to get done social media-wise, but I think I can manage to wrap that up in the morning. Or something. I don’t even know what to do with that at this point. I may be in over my head, but I think once I get a rhythm down it will jive okay.

On the good-news front, I have a potential beta reader for when I have Book 1’s revisions done–thanks to Twitter. (See what I did there? Social media segue.) You see, just about every day I tweet a few lines from the WIP with various hashtags. These hashtags are kinda like weekly “looky what I can do” things, where authors get to show of nuggets of brilliance in the hopes of…well, I don’t know exactly what the point is, beyond gaining a few followers and maybe some readers when the book is finished. I think part of the point is the inherent narcissism that seems to be rampant among writers. “See how witty I am? Read my next book to see what I can really do when not under a 140-character limit!”

Speaking of narcissistic writers, I had quite the ego boost yesterday when my blog views shot up (relatively speaking) after that nonsensical post about not having anything to post. Who would’a thought? My deep, existential stuff often goes unnoticed, but write a few paragraphs of drivel and it gets devoured. Go fig.

I had something else I was going to say, something of moderate importance…but I got distracted by my own thoughts and whatever it was is now unimportant.

Let slip the dogs of war

I’m almost there with the tunics! Thanks to a good friend, I was able to get the tunics mostly done (three have minor things to finish, one complete cut-and-sew left to go) last week/weekend, and hopefully this week I’ll be able to put those last touches on everything.

My husband is diligently planning the food for the event. He’s the resident cook, and we’ve got a decent-sized group that we’re camping with. Between the two of us, the stress is kind of starting to suffocate a little.

Still, stress aside, we’re both excited. I should be able to get my sword barbell for my industrial piercing put in this Saturday, which means I’ll have it for the war! I can hardly wait. 🙂 The piercing is healing well, well enough that I can take my fencing mask off and on with no problems. The only irritation I have is when I wake up, and I think that having the shorter barbell in will make that better because it won’t be able to slide around when I inevitably toss and turn in my sleep.

Work is going to be hectic leading up to our departure time, which will be immediately after I get off of work next Wednesday. One week and some change. I should be able to get those tunics all finished by then.

One week and some change.

And then we’re off to war.

T-minus 9 days

Nine days and counting until my first out-of-state war. Nine days to finish three tunics (one of the four is finally complete, one only needs the rest of the trim sewn down, one is cut but not pinned/sewn, and one hasn’t even been cut yet). I have my hands full, that’s for sure.

Thankfully, I have great friends to help out and make the time pass better. One of my friends has offered use of her home’s space to do my cutting and whatnot, as well as offering her company, both of which I am grateful for. I discovered last week that I tend to operate more efficiently (still slowly, but more efficiently) when I have someone to talk to, gossip with, whatever, than when I’m in my own workspace. I think part of it is that I get distracted by things like my phone, the Internet, and other projects that are piling up as well. None of that is really conducive to finishing these tunics.

My hope is to get the already-cut tunic finished and the not-yet-been-cut one cut and maybe pinned today. That would be a tremendous weight off my shoulders as far as the deadline to finish these. Hell, I might be able to get some trim on a couple more tunics instead of just the one.

The only good thing about this deadline is that it’s taking my mind off the reason for the deadline: the war itself. I haven’t done many rapier melees, and the ones I’ve done have mostly been practice. Okay, almost all been practice. I’ve been told it’s easier when you’re in the thick of it, but that doesn’t do much to calm my nerves about it. So far, I tend to be too slow and clunky on the field, especially compared to my more experienced comrades. Even my husband is much better on the battlefield, but I sometimes wonder if that’s due to his military experience. Hell, most of them have military experience. They know how to follow orders, how to make heat-of-the-moment decisions, all that stuff. Orders process immediately in their mind, whereas I have to think about okay, what was said? Oh yeah, this. So I need to do this. By which point in time the order for “this” has passed and they’re on to another order.

Now I’ve gotten myself all worked up over it again. Geez. I guess I should put down the laptop and get my fabric and thread together. I’ve got a lot of work to do.

All the trimmings

All the trimmings

I went to the store for just a couple yards of one thing. Just one trim.

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I left the store with three yards of the one trim, four yards of another, and eight yards of yet another trim. I think I have a bit of a problem.

I had good reason, though: I mean, an extra yard of the black to be on the safe side, right? And the shiny white braided will go nicely with my Italian Renaissance gown. So, y’know, I kinda needed it. And the matte white braid? Well, I think it will go well with a tunic I plan on making. Good reasons, right?

This all is in addition to several yards of another trim that I negotiated for yesterday to go with my Renaissance dress. Not that I’m all blinging my garb to the max. I’m just using these trims as accents to liven it up a bit. I’m even hoping to find new and better trims (better than the JoAnn’s selection, anyway) at the next big event we’re going to. Vendors at events tend to have more period-style trims as opposed to the quasi-period “it’ll have to do” styles in modern commercial chain stores.

The little details can really make or break a garment. I used plain red fabric to make my own “trim” in a couple of tunics, and people absolutely love them. Plain white tops with some knotwork buttons? Meh. Add a pop of red around the collar, front, and sleeve cuffs, and they wow ’em. These trims that I snagged this weekend could earn me some compliments. Not that I do this specifically for the praise; it just feels good when people who have been sewing for decades compliment you on work that you’ve done with just over two years of experience.

A little rapier today, then some more sewing tonight and into the morning. And the next night. And the next morning. Etc, etc, etc, probably right up until the day we leave for the event.

I’ve certainly got my hands full. Literally. I’m hand-sewing most, if not all, of this trim on! Lol