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.

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No loss of time, but lost time anyway

One good thing about living in Arizona (besides the weather): No daylight savings time adjustment.

One bad thing? My husband works from home for a company based out of California, so he had to “spring forward” in a manner of speaking by starting work an hour earlier (since Cali did do the time change). Which means my little bit of “sleeping in” today was interrupted by his alarm.

Oddly enough, the sleeping in has screwed with my morning productivity. I’ve been doing pretty much nothing but talking with people on Facebook messenger for the past two hours. No writing, no editing, nothing of import. I made an energy drink with our Soda Stream (great invention) and took my morning pills, had a few bites of yogurt for breakfast to get me through til lunch, and that’s about it. Haven’t made my lunch for work yet, haven’t taken my shower and gotten dressed, haven’t done much of anything.

I think my body wanted to sleep off some of the aches and pains from the previous day. Yesterday I was sore all day long (as though I had done a heavy workout, without the physical benefits of working out), which has somewhat carried over to today but not as severe.

Part of that aching may stem from the couple of hours I spent sitting on an awkward but much-appreciated stool while watching SCA fighter practice with some friends yesterday. Well, I watched; my husband and our friends participated. I have never done fencing or rapier fighting and was a little apprehensive about trying it out. Now I’m excited for the chance to do something fun that counts as exercise. Hopefully I’ll be out of my boot next Friday and will be able to join in.

There’s some deciding to do as to what “persona” I’ll take for SCA. I want to do a medieval Viking-type character, but my husband–who wants to do couples’ characters–isn’t too keen on the Viking thing. He wants to do Celtic, but I’m kinda Celtic’d out. I know that technically Vikings are more of a fad now than Celtics (thanks to the History Channel show) but I want to be a shieldmaiden. Yeah, yeah, Celts had warrior women as well…but damnit, I wanna be named after a valkyrie and beat on people with sticks. Or use rapier finesse. Whichever ends up being more suitable for me. I don’t quite understand a Viking using a rapier, but I don’t fully understand how SCA LARPing works yet, either, so I’m going to give it a shot.

Our friends who are in the SCA are nice, and they seem very inclusive. I just hope they stay friends. Our luck with friends the past few years hasn’t been the greatest. But that’s how friendships are: they move and grow and evolve and change and often that change includes a rift that can’t be crossed.

Hopefully I’m back to my early morning schedule tomorrow. I have to get back in the swing of early morning productivity, especially with the boot soon to be off and the sewing back in action. Two and a half months until Phoenix Comicon–gotta get cracking!

 

 

Balancing act

Day job. Freelance job. Beta reading. Writing. Oh, and being sick af.

Yeah, day in the life and all that.

It’s hard to keep track of everything. The day job is pretty stressful and takes up the majority of my time. The freelance job…well, I fit it in where the day job allows, but I made a boo-boo last week and forgot a read/review assignment, so I’m backed up on that. Beta reading is backed up because of the back-up. Writing is…out the window until the beta read is done. Being sick? Yeah, apparently being sick doesn’t care how much time you have.

I try. I really do. I need an assistant or something. Wait. I am an assistant. I need…an assistant’s assistant. A sub-contractor. Someone to keep my head on straight when I forget I even have a head.

Of course, the Internet doesn’t help. I talk to friends online and tweet and all that fun happy stuff that has nothing to do with being productive. Buuuuut…it’s difficult to focus when you’ve got that good codeine-promethazine cough syrup in you. That doesn’t excuse me from before I got sick, but c’mon…it’s gotta count for something right now.

Oddly enough, I actually enjoy the non-day-job busy-ness. Again, focus is lacking right now, but…but…crap, there goes that thought.

Guess I should go do that read/review assignment, and the news posts I have to do. And then beta read some more. Before bed. Or in the morning, because I just saw what time it is. D’oh.

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….

Bad timing

Why is it that when I have to clean up my sewing mess I tend to get the urge to sew?

I have company coming this weekend, so the craft room must be transformed back into the guest room that it’s supposed to be. I spent about an hour this morning sorting and organizing a few things in there, but it’s only the smallest of starts to a big project. I had to take it easy because I had a flareup yesterday, and I didn’t want to aggravate anything.

But now I want to start on the pants for steampunk Cyclops that I cut out weeks ago. Grr.

I also have been on a writing kick lately, except that writing kick is what caused the procrastination on the cleaning. Why must the muse start talking to me when I have other things to do?

I guess that’s the way it goes. Murphy’s Law and all.

Hopefully starting next week I can sew again. Except we’re going out of town after Thanksgiving. And then there are the weeks leading up to Christmas. But after all that….

Guess after this weekend I had better get my happy ass back to sewing. 😉

Twenty minutes

So I have twenty minutes before I have to leave for work today…

There are a ton of things I could do in twenty minutes.  I could sew some pillowcases for Christmas presents (that I’ve been meaning to get done before I clean up the craft room for company). I could write some more in my WIP. I could pretty-fy myself and put on some makeup. I could rinse out my coffee mug. Make a soda to take to work today. Make a smoothie for lunch.

I could actually be cleaning the craft room. I could be emailing my best friend to see how she’s doing. I could give myself a trim. I could be writing a meaningful blog post here.

So what am I doing? Tooling around on the Internet and wasting time.

Twenty minutes is a short amount of time, but there’s a lot you can do in twenty minutes if you put your mind to it. So why can’t I seem to get my mind working? It’s like anything I try to think of is too much, like I risk losing track of time and being late for work.

Fifteen minutes. I have fifteen minutes until I have to leave for work. And I’ve accomplished pretty much nothing. I could still put on makeup. Still write a few dozen words. Still clean that coffee mug and make that soda. Still email my best friend.

Time slips away when you’re wasting time thinking about how you’re going to make use of that time. I just wasted a full minute staring into space thinking about better ways to use my time.

Life is time. Don’t waste life. Don’t do like me; don’t sit on the computer, switching between windows, clicking your life away.

Unless that’s how you planned on using that time. Who am I to say?

I have ten minutes until I have to leave for work. I don’t have time to do anything.

Except I do.

Ideas aplenty, but lost for motivation

Pinterest is both heaven and hell.

I have found dozens and dozens of ideas and tutorials for the steampunk cosplays I’m making for next year’s Phoenix Comicon, but I haven’t been able to motivate myself to get started on anything but the breastplate for my Dark Phoenix.

Well, I take that back. I cut two pieces for my husband’s steampunk pants and pinned several more pieces. And that’s about it.

I don’t know why I can’t seem to get started in earnest. It’s not like I don’t have the time. I just can’t seem to force myself to work on it for very long before I drift back to the computer. Or, like yesterday, to my adult coloring books. Because coloring is fun…or something.

Tomorrow morning I may have some time to get started in earnest before we go to my parents’ house for laundry & our weekly “family bonding time” visit. I’m also going to spray paint the phoenix breastplate gold. I’m really hoping the color comes out nice. I picked a spray paint that wasn’t super shiny (because I didn’t really want that “smooth” look; I’m kinda digging how so far the craft foam has a leathery texture to it) but still would bring some of that bright gold to the piece. Maybe once I get most of the breastplate done–or at least this part; I won’t be able to do the harness for a while yet–I can focus more on my husband’s outfit.

I’ll definitely post pictures once the gold is on there, because I’m excited for that part to be done. The breastplate looks good black, and there is a version of Dark Phoenix that has a black breastplate, but, well….

dark-phoenix-black-costume

Yeah, no. Not for me. Not unless I lose like 100 lbs before Phoenix Comicon 2017 (highly unlikely)…and even then, I’m not relying on Spirit Glue or dress tape or whatever it is that’s keeping that fucker on there. Hell no. No, my breastplate is going to be over a shirt and corset. I may like corsets in my cosplays, but I don’t like showing skin too much, at least not at my weight. (Not that there’s anything wrong with plus-size cosplay or even plus-size cosplay that shows skin…just not my gig.) And I’m not risking a “wardrobe malfunction” when that thing inevitably falls off of me.

Last night I figured out the color scheme for my dress and corset. I was having a hard time deciding on colors, because I wanted to incorporate a bronze-colored fabric to tie in to the hints of bronze on the top hat, but then I had the epiphany to import an image of the pattern I’ll be using–Simplicity 8159, by LoriAnn Costume Designs (Google her! She is amazing and she’s designed a bunch of patterns for Simplicity…and they all look gorgeous. I’ve become somewhat of a collector of them, even though I doubt I’ll get around to making all of the ones I have)–to Photoshop and play around with the fabric colors I want.

This is what the finished dress on the pattern package looks like:

8159-front

And this is the color scheme I am going for (keeping in mind that my Photoshop skills suck, but at least it gave me a visual on what I was doing):

8159-front-concept-colors

I’ll be omitting the hat, collar/tie, white gloves (I’ll probably make yellow ones), and book (of course), but here it shows that I’ll be keeping it mostly red and yellow (the more traditional colors for Dark Phoenix’s costume) with just that hint of bronze to tie it all in. And the brown binding will all be gold. I think it’ll turn out looking excellent, and can’t wait to get started on it.

Maybe that’s why I am dragging my feet on making my husband’s cosplay: I’m so excited to get mine started! His will look cool as well, but sometimes the men’s patterns frustrate me when I get to sewing and I often have to take breaks to work out how the pieces are supposed to go together. The patterns always have pictures/diagrams on what to do, but sometimes the mechanics of it don’t “click” with me until I’ve taken time off to think it over. Then it clicks, and I go back to sewing with a vengeance.

This weekend I need to get started on his costume in earnest. I have to, or else I might never get my ass in gear. I know I have plenty of time, but my costume will be time-consuming as well because of the massive amounts of fabric I’ll be working with.

Gotta get started. This evening. Or maybe tomorrow……