Advanced notice

It’s getting closer and closer to Release Day, and in the hopes of getting some blurbs for the cover of Abnormal I’ve started sending out emails to other authors to see if they’d be interested in and Advanced Reader Copy to read and comment on. It’ll be interesting to see who bites and reads it.

I’m also doing an advanced read on another Askew author’s book (in exchange for her AR of mine), so of course I’m piling more work on top of the work I already have to do. Glutton for punishment, anyone? ‘Cause that’s me.

I had my interview for the promotion yesterday, but since there’s at least one other applicant that I know of (who is as qualified as I am, if not more so), it’s going to be the waiting game for a while. The owner of the practice has to review our resumes and questionnaires with my supervisor before making a determination. Good thing I clip my nails, because otherwise I’d be biting them in anticipation. As it is, my lip is chewed to pieces almost. Lol

SCA life is quiet for a couple of weeks, which means I get to game with friends this Saturday (better brush up on the system, because I’ve played all of one game way back in the fall) and the following Saturday is my birthday. The big 3-9, the beginning of the last year in my thirties. I’m not as freaked out about forty as I was about thirty, which seems weird, but I guess you get to a point in your life where you’re like “Whatever.” Some of my friends are taking me out for a dinner/cider tasting, which sounds like a lot of fun.

Other than that, my time is kinda my own for a couple of weeks. Yeah, I have the AR to do. Yeah, I have embroidery/sewing to work on. Yeah, I have work-work to do. Yeah, I have to finish remaking my Dark Phoenix corset for Tucson Comic Con. Yeah, I have marketing footwork to do. Still, it’s nice to not be running around crazy trying to catch up for a little bit.

(And yeah, all that and then some is me “relaxing” for a couple of weeks. 😉 )

Advertisements

Stuck in the past, no time for the future

So with one Arts & Sciences competition behind me and another one looming this weekend, plus the interkingdom arts exchange project I’ve been working on, plus another period craft I plan on doing, plus the Kingdom A&S competition in the fall, I find myself with little time for mundane sewing. This poses a slight problem, because I have to completely remake my Dark Phoenix corset before Tucson Comic Con in November.

Yeah, November’s a ways away, and I’ve made corsets before with much more of a time crunch, but I want to do this right. I want to look nice for my “fans” (okay, for random congoers who happen to stop by my table) at the con, but the previous corset I made was entirely too big. This time I’m going to go strictly by the pattern and not try to alter it to make it bigger. A corset’s supposed to be tight anyway, right? Sure. That’s the excuse I’ll give myself when I’m muffintopping out of it. Good thing I made a shirt to wear under it.

I need to get a few new materials, too. I have the basic top fabrics, but even with some careful seam ripping I’ll need new canvas for the inner layers and some new bias binding. Oh yeah, and new grommets. Maybe new lacing. *Sigh* So there’s the money aspect I need to take into consideration.

I also have to find the time to make the corset in the midst of weekends of SCA events, gaming, birthday (less than 2 1/2 weeks to go ’til 39!), etc. Then there’s the book marketing that I’ll have to do, with potentially time taken away for interviews and in-store events, and the Advanced Read Copy of another book from my publisher that I need to read and comment on. And I applied for a promotion at work that will take up considerably more of my time than I’m currently spending on the clock. Guess I’m a glutton for punishment.

Once the corset is made, I need to try on all my costumes again to make sure everything still semi-fits. I’ve gained entirely too much weight in recent months, and I’d rather not have a wardrobe malfunction in the middle of the con. That means I might potentially have to alter or remake other small pieces (but not another corset–if I have to do that I’ll probably cry lol) so I can comfortably sit at the con. Yay for skirts with elastic waistbands and Spandex pants! Lol

I’m trying to also factor in for potential embroidery commissions/requests in the interim. Right now, I just have the arts exchange project and the one craft project for myself, and one little bit of “tiny embroidery.” Basically, embroidering someone’s arms in miniature, so a max of 1.5 inches wide, maybe thinner.

The future is fast approaching, but I think if I buckle down and focus I can make it there with a corset to wear. I mean, how many times now have I had the Cosplay Con Crunch to deal with?

Yeah. I got this.

 

This brainstorming episode has been interrupted by…reality

I have it all planned out. In the mornings, I will write. Or embroider. Or remake my Dark Phoenix corset for Tucson Comic Con so it fits. Or do some such creative endeavor. I mean, I’m up early enough usually, and my husband is either sleeping or working. Lots of “free” time to create.

Except…We have that huge SCAdian housewarming party this weekend. And my husband’s Peer is staying in the craft room. And the craft room looks like a crafting tornado hit it. FML.

I hate cleaning before I have to work, though. I have limited time in the mornings because I have to pay attention to what time it is so I can get my shower in and get dressed and whatnot. When I’m hip-deep in fabric, it’s harder to keep track. I either waste time constantly watching the clock, or I set an alarm which goes off mid-project. I have the afternoon off today, so theoretically I can get work done then, but then the problem of needing to get other projects done comes in. I have things like blood work to get. And a podiatrist appointment. And SCA scribal stuff to do.

There are shelves to store the fabric in so I have easier access and can see at more or less a glance what I have–but I have to sort and fold all the fabric and put said fabric on the shelves. There are two 6’x3′ tables that are CHOCK FULL of supplies and sewing machines and what have you on top of them that I need to clear off for potluck foodstuffs that will be brought by our guests.

*Sigh* I suppose Book 2 and the embroidery projects I have will have to hold off for a bit. At least a couple of days, until I can get the craft room presentable. Then it’ll have to wait for me to set everything up in its proper place. Then…I write? I hope.

Project-ions for the future

I’m not quite sure how it keeps happening, but my project list for Estrella War and beyond keeps growing…not that that’s necessarily a bad thing.  😉

This is how my sewing project list began (a few weeks before Christmas):

Sewing projects:

  • Italian ren
    • Doublet
    • Shirt
    • Belt loops/buttons/buttonholes
    • Fix snaps on stomacher/dress
    • Hem dress
    • Underskirt?? (if time!)
  • Christmas gifts
    • Makeup bag
    • Wine bottle bags? – make anyway, if no time save for later gifts
    • Bento boxes for carol/titia??? (if no time, belated gifts)
  • Garb/sca
    • Linen pants x 2
    • Fighting tunic (chris)
    • Viking coat (aimee) ??
    • New fighting hood (embroidered/layered)
    • Feast gear utensil holders?
    • Thread snipper holder (leather?)
    • Belt favor? (embroidered?)
    • Leather cover for sword guard?
  • Accessories
    • Wallet/card holder/checkbook cover
    • Purse organizer
    • Key case thingie for keychain
    • Mug caddy thingies
    • bento box for tourney prize
    • knee pillow thing
    • moar headbands?
    • Notions bags?
  • Cosplay
    • Re-make phoenix corset!!

This is the new(est) version:

Sewing projects:

  • Italian ren
    • Doublet
    • Shirt
    • Belt loops/buttons/buttonholes
    • Fix snaps on stomacher/dress
    • Hem dress
    • Underskirt?? (if time!)
  • Christmas gifts
    • Makeup bag
    • Wine bottle bags? – make anyway, if no time save for later gifts
    • Bento boxes for carol/titia??? (if no time, belated gifts)
  • Garb/sca
    • Linen pants x 2 **
    • Fighting tunic (chris) **
    • Viking coat (aimee) ??
    • New fighting hood (embroidered/layered)
    • Feast gear utensil holders?
    • Thread snipper holder (leather?)
    • Belt favor? (embroidered?)
    • Leather cover for sword guard?
    • Embroider Chris’s fighting hood
    • Embroider pieces for ends of belts for gifts to visiting king/queen **
    • apron dress/underdress
    • embroider apron dress
    • cup covers (embroidered)
    • Viking-style hood for Chris (embroidered)
    • Another Viking hood for me (not for fighting) – embroidered
    • Sew trim onto garb
  • Accessories
    • Wallet/card holder/checkbook cover
    • Purse organizer
    • Key case thingie for keychain
    • Mug caddy thingies
    • bento box for tourney prize **
    • knee pillow thing
    • moar headbands?
    • Notions bags?
  • Cosplay
    • Re-make phoenix corset!!

While I have made it through some of the list (the crossed-off items), I seem to keep adding more and more things to do, particularly in the SCA/garb category. Notice a pattern to the new things on the list? Yep, I have decided that embroidery will be my “thing” in the future, so now I want to embroider as much as I can before the Baronial Arts & Sciences competition. I still can’t decide what I’m going to submit as my embroidery piece, but I want it to be one of the newer pieces (so I’m not wearing the stuff and consequently spilling on them before the competition).

I’m in the middle of two projects at once: the bento box that’s to be used as a tournament prize (I had to put it aside until I could get plenty of binding, which I now have) and my husband’s new fighting tunic. I accidentally got the sleeves on that a touch really big, so I have to take them in before I finish. Thankfully, I hadn’t fully assembled the tunic before I had him try it on, so that’s a blessing. I do, however, need to acquire buttons for it. I guess he wants buttons.

I feel like I’m missing something in this list, but until it comes to me I’ll just have to keep working until the list is more manageable. Ah, who am I kidding? I’m going to keep adding to it until I physically can’t sew any more. Lol

Almost weightless

I have almost done it! I finished the jacket last night, the pants this morning, and just have a couple small polymer clay things to finish tonight after work and I can call these cosplays DONE.

I think, perhaps, that I have learned a valuable lesson about procrastination on this most recent cosplay journey. As in, don’t procrastinate. I theoretically could have had all this done months ago. Months. I could even have had more time for a few extra details here and there. But nooooo, I had to write. I had to stare at the computer screen for hours on end. I had to nap.

No more. Next project (sewing-wise) is more SCA garb so we have more things to wear to events than just our rapier tunics. Perhaps I can even take some time to practice and learn embroidery so I can embellish the garb and make it more appealing to the eye. I’m not going to procrastinate though. I’m going to knock it all out as soon as possible. Pants next, then more tunics (with fewer layers this time), then maybe bracers, possibly shoes…as much as I can get done.

The only problem is that I have a critique of book 1 incoming after Phoenix Comicon. That means I’ll have to balance my time between reading the critique, going over the notes, revising and refining the manuscript, etc. and working on SCA clothing. But less staring at the computer screen and less napping for sure.

Now that I’m almost done with the cosplay work, I can settle down a bit and let the con excitement kick in–I hope. So far I’m still kind of nonplussed, but I think it’s because I’ve still got some work to do. I just keep telling myself that I’ll be done with the cosplay work tonight and then it’s cleaning up the craft room (aka the guest bedroom) and packing. A lot of the packing is done since we’re cosplaying each day of the con, but there’s still things like toiletries, makeup, meds, underclothes, etc. etc. etc.

I just hope we pack all the pieces of these newest cosplays. If not, I’m going to lose my ever-loving mind lol

Ironing out the details

Once again, I must get cracking on my husband’s cosplay coat. There’s just one little thing that’s halting my progress the past couple of days:

Ironing.

It’s not that I don’t know how to iron; it’s just that my most productive time of day is first thing in the morning, and sometimes I’m too tired to be productive then. Like, so tired I should not be operating an iron. Burns = bad.

Once I get the interfacing all ironed on the pieces it goes on, though, it’s gonna be crank-out time. Sewing away in the mornings and on the weekends, busting butt to get it done.

My husband is working on a leather bracer, a sort of “flamethrower” for my costume (since Dark Phoenix is all about the telekinetic flames). It’s great that we have some friends who are willing to help us out with our cosplays, because without them we’d have been lost on the leatherworking with these latest costumes. Our skills have increased since we began this project, though, which has me feeling pretty good about things.

Having a circle of friends again (after having gone so long with no one really to hang out with) is weird. Like, all of a sudden we have a social life. Plans. We’re going out and doing things. With other people. Who like spending time with us. Weird.

I gotta admit, it’s a little exhausting, especially with all the cosplay work (and the day job) on top of the new social activities. Suddenly we’re doing something on almost every day off–and even some workday afternoons–and it’s a little overwhelming. Not that it’s not fun; I have a blast hanging with our friends. It’s just, like…surreal.

The funny thing is, the most fun I have is when we’re doing rapier practice. Yeah, I get bruises out the wazoo, but it’s exercise that I actually enjoy. And it’s a blast. Fucking swordfighting in the 21st century. Wicked. I wish I’d known about this when I was younger, before age caught up to me and my metabolism ground to a halt. Maybe, if I’d been fighting with rapiers earlier, I wouldn’t be the fatty that I am now. Yeah, yeah, big is beautiful too, but I want to be comfortable with my weight. Which I’m not at the moment.

And I just realized something that has my cosplay panic revved up to a new level of panic: We’re going to have house guests (apartment guests?) after Comicon for a couple of days. I have to clean up the craft room as soon as I’m done with hubby’s coat.

Crap.

Countdown

In two weeks, I’ll be in Mesa, probably awake early and anxiously getting ready for Day 1 of Phoenix Comicon 2017.

It’s not my first Phoenix Comicon–my 6th, actually–but I still get excited all the same, just as if it was the first. The anticipation of the crowds, the cosplay, the panels, the celebrities, etc., is exhilarating.

The only problem? Yeah, yeah, you guessed it: cosplay crunch. I still haven’t finished my husband’s coat for his steampunk Cyclops. I have no doubt that I’ll get it done in time, but I feel stupid for letting so much time go by. I have only myself to blame. I try to blame my broken foot for the delay, but let’s face it: we had these cosplays planned way back in September when we were at DragonCon. I didn’t break my foot until the end of January. So yeah, overall it’s my own procrastination that’s got me hustling.

I kind of do better when I’m rushed, though. I mean, I managed to crank out all of the sewing on the steampunk Dark Phoenix in less than two weeks, so what’s one little coat? Except I hate coats. Coats have sleeves. As much sewing as I’ve done, I’ve never managed to figure out how to “ease” a sleeve into place. I’ve had it explained to me a bunch of times, but I just don’t get it. Sew it with a special stitch then pull the bobbin thread? What? So I do it “my” way, which is totally not the “right” way, but it gets the sleeve on there. Sure, there are, like, bunched up parts in places, but the job gets done and that’s what’s important.

I don’t have any photos of the jacket yet (mostly because I’ve only cut out the pieces and haven’t started the ironing to put the interfacing on where it needs to go), but I should have something to show in a few days. Or a week. Before Phoenix Comicon definitely. Hopefully.

Aww, who am I kidding? I got this.