Halfway points

First revisions are roughly halfway through…steampunk mask is roughly halfway through…making progress on different fronts, but still a lot to do in my creative worlds.

I’m really liking how book 1 is coming along, but I’ve noticed that some parts are better written than others, so maybe I’m, like, quarter-way through? I want to finish the first run-through before I go back and tackle that issue, so maybe I’ll still consider this halfway. Or not. I have no clue. Math and writing don’t always sync up.

The mask is going along great as well, but I have come to a screeching halt as I realize that the rivets I have are too long for attaching the thicker leather pieces to the suede. They’re fine for the harness that I’m going to make for the phoenix breastplate, but after testing some scrap leather I’ve discovered that nope, they’re not going to work for the mask. So back to the drawing board–or rather, the craft store.

Later on today I’m going to finally start piecing together the steampunk pants for my husband’s Cyclops cosplay. Since I’ve hit a brick wall with the mask, I really have nothing else to distract me.

Gods, I hate sewing pants.

Taking an Internet/revising break right now. Have to get these things done as well. Sure, there’s more time on the “deadline” I’ve given myself for the book, but it’s also just as intensive as the cosplay. Perhaps not as physically intensive, but if I get stuck on this I can’t just go to the other room and stare at the pattern instructions to visualize how the difficult part is supposed to go together. Wouldn’t it be nice if authors could do that? Just buy some formulaic patterns for their novels, find the right “fabric” and “thread” and just pin the pieces to each other & throw them into a machine that puts the finished project together….Well, I guess some authors kind of do that. Hell, I’m kinda doing that. Dystopian setting, main character, love interest(s), conflict, action, resolution…Never mind lol

Don’t get me wrong; it’s still hard work. Creation of any kind is tough. You’ve got to balance, edit, build, break down, add, erase, etc.

I guess I should get back to cosplay soon. Those two steampunk outfits are far from halfway over….

Advertisements

Shopping on my morning off

I know, I know, I should be working on cosplay stuff while I have a rare morning off…

…but Photoshopping cosplay stuff is so much more fun! (Albeit time-consuming)

chrissithtimelord1

I took my favorite Dragon Con photo of my husband and found matching Sith/Dalek backgrounds on the Internet. A couple hours later, and I have a print-worthy image of my handsome hubby looking pretty Sithy. Granted, I can’t make it a print because I don’t have ownership of the images I used, so no $$ to be made from this image (not that anyone would buy a cosplay print of us anyway lol)…but still, it was fun.

I’m going to try a couple of photos of myself that I like, see if I can find coordinating TARDIS/Jedi images online. That may be more tricky, because A) while I like some of the photos of me, I still think I look like a whale in them, and B) finding just the right color scheme will be difficult. For some reason, Sith Red is easy to find in a convenient Dalek pattern.

But I don’t have quite the time to do that this morning. Maybe tonight after I get home from work. Gotta put that afternoon shift in. Earn those monies so I can keep making the cosplays to have the pictures taken to edit. Or something.

Squirreling away for winter

Okay, so Arizona doesn’t get much of a winter. The point is, it gets cold (for me), and thus I felt the need to try to start on those scarf/hoodie patterns this morning.

The only thing I neglected to take into account was my loathing of pattern cutting.

Apparently, first thing in the morning is not a good time for me to try that. Not that I cut anything wrong, but I got bored with it and stopped halfway through. I guess I’ll have to finish another time. Maybe this evening? Or maybe lunchtime–though I doubt I’ll have a long enough lunch for that today. Rarely do I get more than an hour, and I like to spend that, y’know, eating and stuff. Silly me.

do want to get at least a couple of those made before the weather gets cold, though. I think it’ll be good to have some hoods to protect my poor, exposed neck (now that I’ve chopped off the long hair I used to have). That, and I have some fleece Star Wars fabric that is just begging to be made into one of those scarves. Begging.

I guess I need to think about getting started on the steampunk cosplays as well. I know I have plenty of time, but I also have a lot to get accomplished in that time. Two full outfits (one of which–mine–will take quite a bit of time), plus accessories such as belts, harnesses, and bags (because after all, can’t go out without some place to keep the phones/wallets/etc).

I’m hoping that on payday this week we can order the fabric for my outfit. I’d like to get it well ahead of time in case I don’t like the fabric I’ve found, because aside from Amazon I can’t find any bronze/burnt orange taffeta for what I have in mind. The burgundy/red I can find aplenty, and yellow’s a breeze, but I guess there’s not much of a demand for bronze. Which is a shame, because if the photo on Amazon is any indication, the bronze looks badass.

We also need to get spray paint for my phoenix breastplate. I’ve gotten it mostly sealed with the PlastiDip. There are a few places that the PlastiDip spray didn’t quite reach, but I think it’ll be fine once I get to spray painting the gold onto it. Then comes the fun part (after I’ve sewn the harnesses): seeing if contact cement will hold the harness straps onto the breastplate. Beyond that, I really have no clue how I’m going to attach the thing to my outfit. I’ve been told by a few people who have more experience than I that this is the way to go, though, so I’m going to give it a try. I’m also planning on using Mod Podge or some other sealant to finish it off once the gold paint is done.

So, long story short, lots to do this winter to keep me occupied. Plenty of sewing, fabricating, etc to do.

Oh yeah, I also have a possible sewing commission to do! It’ll be my first commission as far as sewing goes, so I’m hoping my potential client likes it. Still have some brainstorming to do on that, as I’m going to be modifying the pattern a bit, but I think I can do it. Modifying a pattern is certainly easier than trying to make up a whole one from scratch!

Ready for the weekend

Ah, the weekend. That blissful time when you accomplish all the things you couldn’t during the week. Or theoretically you do.

I have a corset to finish (pretty close to done, but still more to go), the breastplate to PlastiDip and paint and seal, my husband’s costume to start, and a book to read for review. Oh, and then there’s the usual laundry and such that comes after a Monday through Friday work week.

The more I think about it, the less I think I’m going to be able to do. Sewing sometimes is easier for me to get done in the wee hours, before my husband’s up and about. Since we live in an apartment complex, I can’t do the PlastiDip/painting/sealing because our neighbors will complain about the smell of the paint. It’s freakin’ spray paint, for crying out loud; it’ll fade quickly enough, especially if I paint it outside. So I’ll have to do that part at my parents’ house. They have some nice, open acreage and no neighbor’s going to bitch if I spray a bunch of chemicals and paint in the driveway.

As for the book, I’ll probably have to try to get as much read at my parents’ house as possible. This will be difficult, because Project Runway returned this week. It’s a “bonding” show for my mom and me; we watch it when I come over to visit/do laundry and critique the designers’ designs. And reading at home is a problem, too…..because I get distracted by the TV. I swear, I’m like part squirrel or something–constantly running off to the next nutty thing I see.

should be able to start my husband’s cosplay this weekend. That stuff is getting easier and easier to do, but I’ll need to purchase the right thread for it. I suppose at some point today I should look at the pattern instructions and see how much of the seams I can serge and how much I’ll need to use the regular sewing machine for. That will help me decide which thread to get.

I’m sure there’s other stuff I’m forgetting, but that’s it for now. The Con Crud is finally almost gone, so I’m extremely happy about that. I can go back to breathing and speaking normally. So great…it’s the little things, y’know?

My costume won’t be started for a while yet. I only just recently decided on the fabric colors I want to use, and at least one of them will have to be ordered from online (unless we make a trip to Tucson or something, where the fabric stores have more selection). I’m not worried, though; we have until next year’s Phoenix Comicon to finish these costumes.

Materialistic

Is it so wrong to want just the right colors for a costume?

There’s a specific color scheme I’m looking for to make my Dark Phoenix steampunk cosplay, and it’s damn hard to find all of the colors I want. I can find the colors on Amazon, but in-town shopping is a nightmare. The biggest fabric retailer in town has one or two of the colors I want, but I really want to get all three colors from the same place. That way the fabrics have a consistent texture/quality, y’know?

I’m hoping that as fall closes in the colors I’m looking for will become available. I’m on the hunt for a good, deep red (preferably a dark red, but red-red will do in a pinch), a bronze/burnt-orangey color (this one is proving hard to find), and a yellow/gold color (bright yellow seems to be easiest to find, but not in quite the shade I’m wanting). Why do I have to be so picky?!

We won’t be wearing these cosplays until next March at the earliest, most likely next May/June, but I want to get the fabric together so I can plan and prepare. I also like to get moving on the cosplays so I’m not wasting time looking for the “perfect” fabric, etc. The sooner they’re done, the sooner they can be worn.

My husband’s luckier. He found all the colors/textures he wanted in one fabric store visit. All we need to get for him is some leather for the steampunk-y harness & belt I have planned. It’s a superhero steampunk cosplay–at least one of us needs a utility belt 😉

Part of the reason I want certain colors for mine is I want to incorporate at least one color from the phoenix top hat I bought at Dragon Con.

wp-image-1381160177jpg.jpg

Kinda hard to tell from the photos, but see the flames coming out of the phoenix’s mouth? The lighter color? That’s the kind of bronze-y color I’m looking for. I don’t need much of it, but enough to incorporate to tie the whole thing together. I think that color, in the right combination, would go well with a shiny dark red/red and shiny gold/yellow. (That would also allow me to tie in the wig, which I need to clean and style still…but that’s for another day.) My husband’s top hat was easier to match, because it’s just black leather with blue suede. We even found some blue faux suede in the same shade at the local fabric retailer. Lucked out there.

Maybe I’ll end up going to Amazon. I’m still leery of online fabric buying, but I suppose I can always return it if I don’t like the fabric. There’s just not that ability to feel the fabric, to hold it and see how it drapes and feels against the skin and whatnot. Textile shopping is a very tactile experience.

On Fire

My creative juices have really been flowing lately, and it feels great!

I’ve finally made my first complete foam armor cosplay piece (minus the paint job and leather harness), and I’m pretty proud of myself.

If you follow me on other social media, you’ve likely already seen at least one picture of this, if not more…but I can’t help myself! Here it is, my phoenix foam armor 🙂

14317523_1125368194222025_1326686615644293437_n

Sure, there are some rough edges that need sanding, and I still have to put grommets in it to attach it to a harness for wearing, but it looks damn good if you ask me. I can hardly wait to get some gold spray paint for it.

I still need to get the fabric for this cosplay, but I have the fabric for my husband’s steampunk Cyclops already. Still a few things to get for that, too, but for the most part I can get started as soon as I finish remaking the corset for the Magik cosplay (which, sadly, still looks as crappy as the first, but at least with this one the bones shouldn’t come out at all).

So geeked out about these steampunk cosplays, and I haven’t even really started! It’s going to be so much fun to have finished products to be able to show y’all. Eventually lol

Intimate Revelation

So I think I know my problem with my novel not really selling (besides poor marketing efforts on my part)…I’ve had it listed in the wrong genre.

Urban fantasy still fits, but I listed the second category as occult/supernatural because I was afraid of being pigeonholed as an author of what it really is: erotica. Why, do you ask? Well, I guess it’s the whole notion that erotica is “dirty” or something. But let’s face it; I wasn’t exactly stingy with details. So erotica it is.

What brought about this revelation? Well, it seems in the first two attempts at writing a new novel since publishing my first one, both times the writing has leaned back towards, you guessed it, sex. I can’t for the life of me get away from it, even when I’m trying to write in another genre.

So I might as well embrace it. Let myself become an erotica author. Screw the fear of being typecast, so to speak. For some reason, this is where my muse is taking me, so I’m just going to go along for the ride. Er, pun not intended.