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!

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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.

All the trimmings

All the trimmings

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

trim2.jpg

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

Renaissance Woman

Three and a half tunics to make in the span of about two weeks? Okay, I can do that. Two full Italian Renaissance outfits before mid December? Sure. Maybe. I think.

The first workshop for the Renaissance garb is tomorrow, and it looks to be a long, involved one. Learning measurements, pattern adjustments, making pattern pieces, etc. … and the person running the workshop suggested packing a lunch. Geez-o-Pete, what have I gotten myself into? Lol

Luckily, I have some fabric left over from the Dark Phoenix steampunk cosplay, and I think it might be enough to make my husband a doublet and use the leftovers for parts of my gown. Not enough for complete “matching” outfits–that’s just not going to happen–but enough that we can coordinate. So we still get the his-and-hers garb that my husband likes to wear.

Don’t get me wrong: I don’t mind matching all our garb. I’d just like a little individuality from time to time. Thankfully I have enough derp-it-ness to be able to alter the garb I’m making so we don’t 100% match. Different trims or color blocking help, as well as the basic shape of the garb, specifically tunics. I make mine with a more “girly” shape, so even though it’s “boy’s clothes” that my persona wears I still have enough distinction between our things to be satisfied with that.

Tonight after work will likely be fabric shopping. Gotta get the basic stuff we’ll need for the Renaissance garb, because the person running the workshop said she plans on having us start cutting into the fabric during tomorrow’s session. Crapola. Guess we’re going to be giving JoAnn’s a good chunk of this week’s paycheck. Italian Renaissance garb was not designed to be thrifty as far as the yardage goes. They liked poof. LIVED FOR poof. The poofier the better. Not like the Vikings, who made due with a couple yards each for a piece of garb. Enough to cover you and add some sleeves (because the Nordic and Russian regions are cold as fuck and the Vikings needed the long sleeves much of the time from what I can tell).

I’ve also got a cape to make before the beginning of October, but that one concerns me much less. Big yardage to buy, yes, but simpler construction.

I probably should be working on that instead of typing this up. Definitely should be.

Into the fray I go!

Another year gone by

Here it is: 38. Feels about like 37. And 36. Et cetera et cetera, ad nauseum, whatever. It doesn’t even feel a year closer to 40. It just feels like another year.

I’ve gotten a lot accomplished in the last year, I guess. Completed two full cosplays in record time (for me); finished the first draft of two different novels; started learning rapier fighting; taught myself how to sew Viking garb and stuffed animals…not too bad of a haul for a year.

Oh yeah, and there’s that house thing. Starting the process of building a home from the ground up. I suppose I should count that in my accomplishments. That’s more of a joint venture, though. The husband and I are in it together, through the thick and thin of it. Six and a half years together, five years to the day since he proposed, and a little over four years of marriage.

Do I have any special hopes for this birthday? Well, I have a few things I’ve been hoping for gift-wise, but that’s selfish stuff. I hope that work goes well. I hope that I get to leave work early enough to make it to the city for birthday dinner. I hope my friends enjoy the restaurant we’re meeting at. I hope for a free dessert. I hope the drives to the city and on to my in-laws’ are smooth and uneventful. Lots of hopes, but mostly just hoping for a good day with friends and family–after work of course.

Yep, I’m working on my birthday. I do most years; it’s kind of just another day in the grand scheme of things. Sure, sometimes I request for a vacation day so I can spend time with my family or take a day/weekend trip or just chill at home, but not always. There was even one time where I worked at two different jobs on my birthday. You gotta do what you gotta do, after all.

I’m wondering when the impending big 4-0 is going to hit me. For 30, it hit exactly one month before I turned 29; I was suddenly filled with anxiety and dread over reaching that milestone, which now seems insignificant. Will 40 be the same? Will I become obsessed with the notion that I’m “old”? We’ll see.

Counting down

It’s getting closer–another birthday, another step closer to 40. I wasn’t worried about 30 until a month before I turned 29, and so far 40 is not causing undue stress, but it makes me wonder about my life and where I’ve been, where I am, and where I’m going.

As far as major life events, my 30s brought me a husband and the ability to call myself a published author. Granted, I self published, but it was published nonetheless. Before I’m 40 I’ll be a homeowner, and I’ll be inducted into a HEMA rapier/swordfighting group. I’ve gone to pop culture conventions and cosplayed, and I’ve learned how to sew. I’ve gotten a great job that keeps me engaged and is almost never boring. Life’s pretty good.

So what will 40 bring? We’ll have to wait and see on that one, but here are a few of my hopes for it:

  • Become traditionally published
  • Learn enough swordfighting techniques to be able to teach as well as train
  • Become adept enough at sewing to be able to make more things and sell the things I make (while making some semblance of a profit)
  • Lean some elements of clothing design to where I can devise my own patterns from measurements that I take

That’s not all, but I think those are reasonable goals. Not quite bucket-list-worthy (except for the publication) but still things to shoot for and work on. I’d have to sit and think about what I’d want on my bucket list. What activities or life events do I want to tick off before I clock out? Maybe I’ll do that one day soon…