Archive | April, 2013

Scheduled creativity

19 Apr

I am making a spreadsheet in Excel with all my Dragon*Con costuming plans.

It is four worksheets long. I was originally going to print it and tape it up on the wall by my sewing desk, but I don’t think I have that much paper.

I may have a problem.

How do you keep track of your projects?


What I’m Reading: “…And Sewing is Half the Battle!”

16 Apr

While I was googling for God knows what last night, I stumbled on …And Sewing is Half the Battle! The name itself made me a fan; the content made me a believer.

In addition to the usual “look what we made!” they have dozens of tutorials on all manner of costuming/cosplay issues. Of particular interest to me at this particular moment:

How to Enter (and Survive!) A Costume Masquerade

Invisible Shoes

Long Hair and Short Wigs

All well-written, intelligently presented, and reasonably understandable from where I’m sitting. Check it out!

Grape Fairies: fabric accomplished!

15 Apr

Dallas has a couple of great fabric warehouses, and every year I look forward to blowing huge amounts of money visiting them. Today, on the whimiest of whims, I abandoned my traditional post-faire sleepathon and went a-fabric shopping. I got almost everything I need for the Grape Fairies, with the exception of the fabric for the waist cinchers I’ve only just decided I’m building in place of corsets.



I am shit at taking pictures.

I decided pretty early on that the fabric and trim would need to be identical except for the color. That turned out to be easy for the matte base layer (a very simple cotton, not pictured b/c yawn) and the sheer outer layer (which was unmarked at the store but is definitely poly and might be organza or possibly chiffon, I don’t really know and neither do I care because it was cheap as hell), but not so easy for the trim. After an hour in the trim room, I came away with 3/4″ grossgrain ribbon and simple braided trim to go with/over it, both in pale pink and hunter green. Not really what I wanted, but once I get over my disappointment I will be happy with it. I wanted a really rich reddish purple, but all they had was basically neon, so I swallowed my tears and went with green for the red wine, reasoning that grapes have green leaves. Totally makes sense. I’m planning to use the ribbon for most of the trim, as it was thirty cents a yard and I bought a thousand billion yards of it. Some decorative stitching in contrasting colors will do a lot to liven it up. Also, pearls. Because handsewing can be done on the couch and is therefore The Best.

I left the pattern I’m planning to use at home, so now I have to figure out whether it’s cheaper to have it mailed to me or just get a new one. Waiting until I visit home in two weeks isn’t really an option, I don’t think; I need to have these basically done by the time I go home for good (about 6 weeks from now). Plus, I need time to stitch on those pearls, and make the headdresses, and paint the wings. So. To the postoffice, mr. biscuit!

Dragon*Con ’13: There are many copies, and they have a plan

10 Apr

Some time ago I decided I had to sit down and finalize my Dragon*Con plans early this year, and then not add anything. I think I’ve done that, though I reserve the right to attempt a Keymaster/Gatekeeper ensemble.

Anyway, the winning four are:

I’ve been thinking about this shit for months now, and I’m so glad I finally get to start talking about (and let’s be honest shopping for) it. Wall o’text below!

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I made a thing, and it turned out really well

10 Apr

I’ve wanted a collared bodice for a long time. I like the way collars frame my face, and the back of the neck is an enormously awkward place to put sunscreen.

I finally got around to making one.

I’m so proud of it I could poo.

esp 2013

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Fabulous Costume Movie Madness Tournament of Champions: And the winner is…

9 Apr

It’s time, finally, to announce the Grand Champion of the Fabulous Movie Madness Tournament of Champions. I know that voting in the Championship Poll has been closed for several days, and I really should have announced the winner quite some time ago. Instead, I got my transmission replaced and drove to Texas in the middle of the night! And then the Scarborough Renaissance Festival opened, a friend came to visit me, we went to see Jurassic Park (which was just as awesome as it was 20 years ago)and also I was very sleepy and had to consume a lot of quiche. So basically, my bad, and I will announce the winner right now

…first, though, allow me to say a quick word of thanks for all your votes and attention. A little over a month ago, when we began this little tournament, I had no idea it would be so much fun, or that I would swear so much while I was running it, but it was and I did, and I regret nothing. I couldn’t have done it without you.

If you’ll recall, the Championship Poll found us choosing between The Lord of the Rings trilogy and Moulin Rouge! A tough contest to be sure, but as far as I’m concerned, almost all of these matchups have been tough. There can be only one winner, and that winner is…

with 69.57% of the vote…

The Lord of the Rings


lotr award

Congratulations, y’all!


I think it’s appropriate that a series such enormous care and attention to detail has come out on top of a tournament I basically slapped together. Wait, that wasn’t what I meant to say! What I meant to say was, I think it’s appropriate that a series with such enormous care and attention to detail has come out on top. I wouldn’t be exaggerating if I were to say that the Lord of the Rings trilogy is a cinematic masterpiece as well as the defining film event of my generation. I will never forget the first time I saw it in the theatre. I was 17. It was the last day of high school before Christmas break, and my new boyfriend, who was a big fan of the books, took me to see it for our first real date. I don’t remember much of the date, or the rest of our short relationship, but I will never forget how my heart soared the first time the camera zoomed down down down into the pits of Isengard (at this point I dropped my date’s hand and leaned forward in my chai to better absorb what I was seeing), or how it shattered into a thousand pieces as Aragorn strapped on Boromir’s gauntlets as his funeral boat glides down the Falls of Rauros. The next year, as a freshman in college, I met a group of girls who were also in love with the movie. We all gathered in my tiny dorm room to watch it on the tiny monitor of my brand new computer, and became best friends, calling ourselves the Brenau Fellowship. Eleven years later, they’re still among my best friends. The life-sized cardboard cutout of Legolas I got for my 18th birthday has been with me ever since. Watching the films with my most recent boyfriend, who was a big fan before we even met, became a ritual that deepened our affection for each other and continued after we married. To this day, when I’m in a hard place, I revisit the films or the books. The Lord of the Rings won dozens of awards, did a lot to legitimize fantasy as a movie genre, spawned a thousand copycats, made a jillion dollars, and basically changed cinematic history, but more importantly as far as I’m concerned, it changed my life.

And now, while I cry a little, pictures of the cast celebrating!

lotr hugStars of the Lord of the Rings leave Wellington, T lotr hug 3 lotr hug 2 The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Premiere


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