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. ūüėČ )

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.

Making a list and checking it eleventy times

Well, I did it–I applied for a table at Tucson Comic Con…and I was approved!
I talked it out with my husband, and since the con is three days while Coronation is only one, he’s going to drop me off at TCC the day of Coronation, drive up to see his friend step down and get his Duchy, then drive back to Tucson to sit with me at my table. I’ve already annoyed all my local friends to try to get them to at least stop by the table (if not purchase a book or two while they’re there ūüėČ ), but my mind is racing with stuff I have to get done beforehand.

  • I’ve gotta get a tablecloth. That will make it look nicer. The TCC website said there would be a table provided, but no mention of tablecloth was made.
  • Square reader. Need one. Easy enough to obtain, but I don’t want to forget to obtain it.
  • Cash box/pouch? Hmm….
  • Better start plans to stock up on books to sell/sign at the con.
  • I need to finish fixing my Dark Phoenix steampunk corset. I made it too large when I initially sewed it, and even though I’ve regained some weight I’ll still need to take it back in.
  • Devise and sew a sci-fi-ish cosplay to wear one day? Hmm…. I¬†do have a pattern for a body suit…I’d have to get my serger up and running again and remember how to use it though…And make a corset to go over said bodysuit because omg fatness lol
  • If I¬†do do a new cosplay, a fun new wig to go with it ūüėČ
  • Once I find out what promo materials I’ll have from the publisher, I need to make another list of display items to get, like some kind of stands to prop up books, signage, etc.
  • Tubs to carry stuff to and from the table in each day.

I’m sure there’s more I haven’t thought of, but that’s enough for now. I am beyond excited to have this opportunity. It’s fun to think that I’m getting back into cons and stuff, but it’s also going to be work. I won’t be able to leave the table much because I’ll have to be there so people can actually meet the author and get autographs if they want. So it’s not all fun and games. I’ll have moments of severe social anxiety that I’ll have to suck up and swallow down, because I can’t go freaking out over all the people when I paid money to be up in the thick of it (or back in a corner somewhere, which is more likely where I’ll be put. Lol)
There’s also a little thing called a housewarming party that I need to finish straightening the craft room for…I have to clear off both tables so we’ll have a place for people to sit and eat, and I have to get some semblance of organization done so my husband’s Peer has a place to crash for the night.
Oh, and I have to go see the podiatrist¬†yet again because my left foot is either broken or has a neuroma or some crazy shit like that. There’s that, too.

Breathing room

Okay, so I finished the corset as much as I can before the boning arrives in the mail. There’s still a lot to do on it, but just getting that much done makes me feel so much better. I’m still working on a mockup of the shrug because I have sausage arms & broad shoulders, so the last thing I want to do is go straight by the pattern only to discover that oops! it doesn’t fit and I’ve wasted a shitton of pleather. So yeah, mockup. Cheap fabric that I accidentally bought a crapton of a while back because my husband & I kindamaybesortareally jacked up the math on how much we would need. Which actually worked out in our favor, because I’ve used that fabric for tons of mockups and it ended up being the perfect color for my Jedi TARDIS cosplay. Still haven’t gotten the size of the back/front of the jacket right (mostly need to make the back/shoulders wider & the sleeve holes too), but I think I have the sleeves worked out. I think.

After the shrug, which really shouldn’t be too bad once I get the sizing worked out, I just have the Spandex stuff to sew. That’s going to be the real challenge, but I’m trying to psych myself up and tell myself I can do it.

My husband keeps “reminding” me of how much work is left to do, which he really doesn’t need to do because OMFG IT’S LESS THAN A MONTH UNTIL DRAGON CON!!! I need to just tell him that the added pressure isn’t helping me at all. I need to be able to breathe and not panic. Panic will not help me.

Just a few more things to sew. Just a few. I have to keep telling myself that. It’s a lot of cutting and pinning and whatnot still, but if I think about¬†all of the steps it’s going to make my con anxiety worse.

There are a couple of things that my husband wants “fixed” on his cosplays from Phoenix Comicon, but those are going to kind of be “if I have time for it before Dragon Con” kinda things. It’s little adjustments/alterations that, in my opinion, can wait. Yeah, it won’t be 100% perfectly the way he wants them, but at least one of them¬†worked well enough for Phoenix Comicon so he can just deal for Dragon Con as far as I’m concerned. Sorry, babe, but I have to focus on the new stuff and try not to add to the pressure. I’ll fix the one part that made him super uncomfortable, though. I’m not going to make him suffer for a whole day of Dragon Con just because I’m trying to stave off the con panic.

He has been a great help, though. He painted my gloves for me last night (they were a dark grey instead of the black that they need to be) and he’s been helping where he can with props and what little fabric-type stuff he can do. I need to have him sew on the buttons for his Shatterstar pants. I haven’t figured out the button foot on my sewing machine, & he figured it out for the Gaara pants, which is the same pattern.

I also need to organize the fuck outta my sewing room. My fabric/scrap stash has grown exponentially since purchasing the fabric we needed for these new cosplays, so I have piles of fabric everywhere. I also kinda have pattern pieces scattered about because I keep forgetting to fold up the pieces I’ve finished with and put them away. My craft room is a total mess. Fabric everywhere.¬†Everywhere. I barely have room on my cutting table to cut out the pieces for the mockup, & they’re fairly small pieces.

In addition, I have my new boots that I need to do some modifying to, mostly stripping the coating off the synthetic leather and then painting them black (the only ones I could get in my size were dark grey instead of black, so yeah, more changes to make). ¬†Maybe I could get my husband to do that part, too? He did pretty well painting the gloves, so the boots theoretically shouldn’t be much different. It would really help me out and take one thing off my long, long list.

Less than one month. The Crunch is squeezing ever tighter, and I am doing my best to remain calm about it.

Crunchy crunchy

Yep, Con Crunch is still on. Less than a month left to go before we leave for Dragon Con. On the plus side? I’m almost done sewing the boning channels for the corset. The negative? I have a shrug, a pair of Spandex pants, & a bodysuit to sew still. And I’ve never sewn with Spandex. Oh yeah, and when my boots come in the mail (I ordered the wrong size at first), I have to paint them black because they were out of my size in the black. So there’s that. Oh! And next Saturday is another propmaking session at our friends’ house (I feel like there aren’t enough thanks in the UNIVERSE to properly express our gratitude for their help and teaching).

I think I can do it, though, if I just buckle down. I’m trying to force myself to get to work and do more than I have been. It’s tedious sewing the channels because I have to pin thin paper to the fabric to allow the pleather to feed through the machine properly, which makes it hard to get even lines (and I end up with wider channels than I intended, meaning I’ll need thicker boning than the pattern calls for).

I think it’ll be easier for the pleather shrug, though, because I’ll be sewing the inside seams of the pleather and I don’t think there will be any outside seams to sew. That should eliminate the need for the paper pinning (I hope).

Enough of the whining for now. Off to the day job for a busy day, then back home for more sewing ūüôā

A matter of time…

So I think I got my motivation for cosplay back…the problem is, today I just don’t have much time to work on it.

Today’s a long, early day at work, which means I don’t have the time to sew that I’d like to have. On the plus side, though, I’m back to wanting to sew.

I have an interview with an actress after work today, so I probably won’t get any sewing done then, but hopefully tomorrow morning I can get a little bit done. Now that I figured out the secret to getting the pleather to move through the sewing machine easier, it shouldn’t be too bad to get the rest of it done. Next after the corset is the shrug, which should be easy enough once I get the proportions figured out. Stupid fat arms lol I have to modify the pattern a bit to get my upper arms to fit it. Gonna be a mock-up for sure.

Then on to the¬†really scary part: Spandex! I saved that for last because I knew A- I have never worked with it before (& it’s a bit terrifying to even think about) & B- I know that the two things I have to make with the Spandex can be purchased online easily enough, if it comes down to that. We’ll see. I don’t want to be relying on Amazon Prime to get our last costume pieces here on time, but if that’s what it comes down to then that’s what we’ll do. I can always use the Spandex later, either to improve on what we bought or to make something new.

Life is going to get interesting in the coming months & even the next couple of years, but I think I can handle it. Just have to get to/through Dragon Con and then I’ll have some breathing room. Maybe even time for writing? Who knows.

Almost time to get ready for work!

Missing motivation

I¬†should be in the craft room. I¬†should be sewing. There’s less than a month until we leave for Dragon Con and I still have a ton of work to do. So why can’t I make myself go into the sewing room & get cracking?

I guess part of it is that my husband is pressing me to finish. I have this tendency to “rebel” when pushed, and since he is adamant that I keep working on it I’m stubbornly not working on it. Self-destruction at its finest.

This past Saturday, my husband and I went to a friend’s house to work on prop making. It’s going really well, but we had to stop for the day and will be back to it next Saturday. Yesterday, I did a minimal amount of sewing on the corset. I need to finish the boning channels and order the boning, but my procrastinating self just won’t get off her ass and go into the craft room to get to work.

Adding to this is the fact that I have to write interview questions for a phone call I’ll be getting tomorrow evening. I suppose that should take priority, seeing as how the deadline for that is much closer than Dragon Con. I’m glad that the actress (and her “people”–I guess I should thank them, too) was willing to work around my schedule and do an evening interview. I get so frustrated when I can’t take any of the good interviews that Talk Nerdy With Us offers because I’m working all the time. Don’t get me wrong–I need and want the money–but I just miss doing interviews. The email ones are fewer and farther between, and they’re just not the same.

Yeah, I’d better draft up some questions. That’s a good reason to procrastinate on the sewing, and it also will help me get back in the swing of things, interviewingly speaking.

Surreal

Taking big steps lately to becoming, like, a real adult. More than just working and paying bills. Sure, there’s work involved–and paying bills–but it’s both exciting and a little unreal. I mean, I don’t think I ever imagined being at this point in my life. Suddenly, things are happening. Okay, starting to happen. Like, they won’t happen for a while, but plans are being made and things are going from theory to discussion to hopefully reality.

Cosplay, on the other hand, has suffered due to my increasing obsession with Pok√©mon Go and the exercise I’ve been getting. I haven’t been spending as much time in the craft room, and now that I’m only a month out from when we leave for Dragon Con I’m feeling the Crunch. I have to step things up on the sewing, but tomorrow is reserved for prop-building with some new friends. They’re much more experienced than we are, so we’re hoping they can give us more pointers than the panels we attended at Phoenix Comicon. We’re still a little in over our heads, but we’re willing to learn and we’ve gotten most of the supplies and (we think) all of the materials we’ll need. Basically the only thing left to buy is the corset boning, and I have to get off my Pok√©-ass and get to sewing so I know what lengths of boning I’ll need.

Writing is pretty much at a standstill…again. I keep getting new ideas on how my society will play out, trying to imagine what life will be like a couple hundred years from now. Will space travel be a common thing, or will it have been a passing fad? What kind of tech will be available? What about society itself? Will things improve from today’s media-fed nightmare, or will it all go to shit? Well, it’s a dystopian setting I’m aiming for so I’m guessing things will go to shit, but to what extreme?

But this new thing–this adulting thing–this is a vision of the future that is tangible, that I can actually see and envision with clarity. Change, in this case, is something that I think is a good thing.

Pleather problems

So I didn’t realize the pleather would¬†stretch so much when I started sewing it to the interfacing I have. Like, a lot. I wanted to use the stronger sew-on interfacing that I had left over from the jacket I made for my husband, but it’s clear now that I need to use the fusible interfacing that the pattern suggests. When I find it, that is…it is most likely underneath a huge pile of fabric, so I need to straighten up in the craft room a bit.¬†I¬†should be straightening up right now…but I don’t feel like it lol I’m frustrated by this development, thus I am taking a break before I take my frustration out on my fabric.

Now I know how the pleather¬†reacts, though, and the leather needles I bought to sew it with seem to work really well for it. Clean punches through the pleather, no jamming. So that’s good.

In other news, the Pok√©mon Go exercise is still in full swing. I think I’ve missed only two or three days since I started playing two weeks ago, which for me is fantastic. That’s 2 1/2 miles a day on average, not counting missed days. Not bad for a couch potato. Bed potato? Regardless, I¬†have the shape and mannerisms of a potato. Minus the extra eyes. Or something. I haven’t lost much weight–mere ounces, if the scale at my work is any indication–but I’m still proud of myself for getting the exercise. And hey, it keeps me off drugs. (Okay, so I never did drugs anyway…what was my point again?) I even got to hang out with a friend that I hadn’t seen in a few months.

I’m tempted to go on a Pok√©-walk when the sun comes up, regardless of whether or not my husband is awake. He’s three levels ahead of me; I need to step up my game. Maybe I’ll mess around with strengthening the gym that we (the blue team) hold down the street. I’m not 100% sure on how to do that, but from what I understand it’s just like taking control of a gym except you’re fighting your own guys? I don’t know. I only just fought in a gym for the first time last night. Not the most thrilling thing, but it was cool taking down Pok√©mons stronger than mine. Yes, I know that’s not the plural. I’m still calling them¬†Pok√©mons.

Let’s see, what else has happened in the two days I missed posting? Uh…nothing much, really.

Oh! I am seriously considering dyeing my hair, if I can find a person that can do what I want.

fire hair

I would rock this. I just can’t do it myself, and I don’t know anyone in town here that I would trust to do it. I know a great stylist in Phoenix, but not only is she expensive (for my budget) but she’s usually pretty booked, and for good reason. She’s had two local artist showcases of her clients’ hair up in Phoenix, which is pretty cool. It helps that she’s also incredibly friendly and personable. The bubbly type, at least the one time I met her in person. I’ve known her for a year through Facebook, but only met her once at Phoenix Comicon. Anyway, sidetracked–I want that hair pictured above. A lot. I want to flip my hair and have it look like flickering fire. And I can pull off red tones–I’ve done it plenty of times before. Maybe after Dragon Con? But I don’t know that I want to wait that long. I’m¬†really digging this look.