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Hello, April! Why is it 40 degrees out in Texas today??

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Seriously. I woke up freezing and had to turn my heat on. All the trees are green, so I took this as a sign that the weather was going to stabilize and stop being so crazy.

Things are still going about the same for me on the weight loss front. I'm maintaining, eating at maintenance levels, etcetc. I'm consistently missing one or two workouts a week, which puts me at maintenance levels of exercise, too! I've mostly just been skipping Saturdays. My normal workout schedule is Mon-Sat with Sun off. Skipping Saturdays I guess isn't that big of a deal if I'm doing the maintenance thing. I just feel so blaaah and indifferent about it all.

I'm kind of enjoying eating a wider variety of things and not having trouble in the bathroom. I missed having good poops. Losing weight never gives me good poops, no matter how many happy dark green vegetables I eat, or how I balance my meals. So there's that.

I'm still being really careful in the grocery store. I don't want to slip back into junk food habits, so I'm making sure I don't come back with real ice cream or bags of Cheetos, etc. I haven't touched the Easter candy isle this year. My calorie intake is higher than it should be, but I think right now it's a combination of portion control, meal balancing, and snacking that is doing it.

I went to the doctor yesterday. I'm pretty sick and tired of this sore lump in my armpit. It comes and goes, so it's hard to schedule a doctor's visit when the wait to see him is at least a month, and I don't know what the pit is going to be doing. The last time I talked to him about it, it was sometime last year. It wasn't particularly swollen, and he didn't feel anything weird. He said I was probably just wearing clothes that were rubbing on it in some way, and that I should come back if it was still bugging me.

Last fall, when I got the flu shot, it swelled to the size of a tennis ball! I felt crummy from the flu shot anyway, so I didn't go in then. I'm kind of sick and tired of it, so I told the doctor's office this time that I really needed to see someone this week, and I didn't care who it was.

So, yesterday, I got to see a PA! I told her what was going on, and she was able to feel it this time. It's kind of on the downswing right now. It was worse last week, and it's almost down to normal today. I'm glad she felt it and that I'm not just some crazy person. She said that there's a ton of stuff going on in all our armpits, and that since it could be a number of things, we'll have to run some tests.

They drew blood for a CBC yesterday. They got the results in today and said that everything is pretty much normal... pretty much. They said I had slightly more viral cells present than normal, but it wasn't something worrying that they needed to treat. I'm supposed to be scheduled for an ultrasound, too. There were complications with that yesterday, though. The doc tried to schedule it, but when it got over to radiology, they had a sh*tfit and said that you can't JUST schedule an ultrasound for an armpit. You also need a mammogram. So, because of COMPUTERS and BEUROCRACY, they couldn't just schedule me. (lawl). They had to kick it back to the doc so that she could approve what THEY wanted to do.

Because of this, they couldn't schedule me at all until it went through all the computers! I thought this was all very silly, but whatever. It's the kind of monstrous thing that no one at all has control over, so I just went home. I'm supposed to get a call back sometime today to schedule that stuff.

So, it could be something as simple as a chronically clogged sweatgland, to something as serious as cancer. It is a mystery! Personally, I dont' think it's a sweat gland. If it was, why would it have gotten so big when I had my flu shot?

IT's all very exciting. I will keep you guys updated.

In the mean time, I'm working on getting the house cleaned up a little. I've been bitten by the spring cleaning bug. Since the weather is all over the place, I haven't really had the opportunity to air the place out, though. At least once a year, I like to open all the windows and doors of the main living area and try to freshen things up. You know, the air inside a house is filthier than outside, since we re-circulate dead skin cells and all sorts of stuff. I heard somewhere that most dust in the house is dead skin, but this is probably an urban legend. All I know is that the air smells better when the house gets a good air-out every once in a while.

Besides.. it's giving me something to do while I wait on costume pieces. I could get started if I could only finish this last hem on the curtains, but I've been REALLY lazy about that. Maybe I'll finish them up today, since I FINALLY have an install date on our new windows. It looks like it'll be at the end of the month. So, I absolutely have to have it done by then, but I want to get started on summer con stuff before that. AnimeFEST is in August, but if by some strange fluke I end up in Dallas when A-kon is running, I'll want to bring some costumes for that. That's June. At this point, it'll all be old stuff if I don't work on something new soon.

I'm really conflicted about A-kon. The new venue is nice, and the con is big. It has that going for it. I don't like the guests they bring in, and I have grown to dislike the con in general from repeated "blah" experiences over the years. That being said, once every few years, they bring in a guest I get really excited about. It's usually the musical guest. They bring in bands from Japan that I've listened to for decades, but never thought I would see in person. The last time they brought a musical guest in, it was Seikima II. Think of them as contemporaries of KISS. They broke up in the 90's, and when they decided to get back together again, A-kon brought them to the US and it was amazing.

Before that, they'd brought in Versailles, Pycho Le Cemu, Inugami Circus Dan, and others in years past that I don't even remember. It's only within the last ten years or so, though, that they've really started bringing in big names. When PLC came, I was like WUT. I mean, I don't expect that sort of thing. I heard one year, Kamijo from Lareine was just hanging out in the Dealer's room signing autographs because he was brought in by one of the dealers, not the con. He did come back with Versailles later, so there may have been some truth to that.

Anyway, this year, they have Ra:IN. I'm not familiar with their music, but I am excited anyway, because it's Pata's band. Pata is most famous for being one of the guitarists in XJAPAN. X is one of the most famous Japanese rock bands ever, so this is actually pretty huge. He and hide did some amazing things together in X. I could see some of that in person! But.. it's not my favorite convention. It's probably the largest in the state, though, so it's the kind of con where you need to have a hotel room reserved like 6+ months in advance. I'm sure if I was really passionate about making it happen, I could probably stay with Mom3 and have someone drop me off& pick me up or whatevs, but I don't know if I'm even THAT excited. I mean, it's really cool, but argh!

More exciting news? I'm getting a new computer this week. That's pretty awesome! My graphics card has been giving me trouble for at least a year now. We're on our third card in that machine. We thought about replacing the card again, but apparently the prices on higher end machines have come down so much that I can get something really nice for almost half the price of my previous computer! I'm taking the opportunity to go through old picture folders and get rid of dumb stuff, sort through the good stuff, and get everything ready for backup. I'm finding some really amazing stuff! We were happiest to find one picture set in particular, though.

Back in the day when Senpu was young and healthy and still with us, we had a cat harness. I thought for sure you could just take any cat and put it on a harness and teach it to walk outside, because I saw it on TV and I thought it looked funny. Senpu never did like going outside, but we used the harness for OTHER things.... heh heh heh. He was our mascot for our cosplay group, and my best friend for over a decade. He never dressed up with us, though... but we did take ONE photo set with some doll wings wired into his harness!

No sentimental cheese here about his death or whatever. I just think it's a great shot, and we were actually kind of sad that we couldn't find it for a few years. So, your cat picture for the day!

At any rate, it's time for the morning bike. I'll have to drag the phone with me this time, though. Gotta answer since apparently today is the day for important phone calls. I THINK I'm done with all the calls, but who knows? I talked to a nurse, the window installers, a scheduler at the radiology clinic... who else haven't I talked to yet that I need to speak with? No one I can think of, but that just means someone else will call and surprise me!

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ADARKARA 4/15/2014 1:51PM

    awww so cute Senpu!

Sorry to hear about your pit. I had a similar problem in college and got it checked out by a surgeon, who determined it was a clogged sweat gland. He told me to stop wearing deodorant and use rubbing alcohol to prevent pit stink, and it went away. To this day I rarely wear deodorant, but then again I don't smell very badly even if I don't! Hope it works out! Will send positive thoughts your way. =)

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SIMONEKP 4/15/2014 1:16PM

    Hope everything goes well with the lump

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Small update!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

I got my cape fabric in today. I would recommend Batiks.com to anyone that wants to order fabric online and finds a pattern they like on there! They shipped sooooo fast! I ordered it on the 4th, and it was in my mailbox by the 9th! They shipped from VA to Tx and it got here in 5 days! Holy cow!! I mean, they used priority mail, so you know that part is going to be fast, but they must have cut and packed it the same day I ordered it or something. I couldn't believe how quickly it made it to my house!

So... this means I need to stop procrastinating on my curtains, so I can get to work on the next project. I'm too lazy to change my bobbin thread, so I have decided that I just need to finish the curtains so they grey can come out of the machine. Still no windows, so I haven't felt that urgency to get it done. I should be feeling urgency to get my crap done for the convention in August, but... August! It's all the way over there on the calendar!!

I managed to get the seam picked a few days ago. It was slow and tedious because I did a good job backstitching on the panel seams, and the weave of the fabric is very wide. I couldn't just get a few handfuls and rip it all apart, or it would have messed up the fabric. I had to rip the seams stitch by stitch to keep it looking good. It took about 45 min. -..- It's ready to be pressed and re-sewn now, though, which shouldn't take long. I'm thinking about rolling it up to my old press mark, which should give me like 3 inches on the hem and give me a line to follow as I roll it over. Then, I can press it all in the end?? I know I should press it first, but I'm getting impatient :P

As for my next project.. I think I'll start the cape for Dream. I need to go out and buy like 3 yds of some interesting black fabric. I was thinking about getting a crinkly poly like what I used for the red parts of Kefka's cape. Then, I can applique faces onto it from the same exact fabric to give it a really subtle effect. Or, I could find something dark and iridescent if I decide to do that. I'm not there yet.

I could probably start molding the shoulder armor and collar out of craft foam now if I wanted. I need to figure out if I'm going to top it with enamel or what. I know the black parts can be done with plasti-dip for a good effect, but some of it needs to be clear. Mod Podge will work fine for the bottom layer, but I want something thicker& harder that doesn't take a million coats for the very top part. I'll look into it when I get there.

My body suit won't be here for probably another 2 months, so getting the cape done would be a really good start. I'm a little worried about balancing the weight of the fabric with something that doesn't exactly clasp in the middle. I'll probably have to add snaps or something industrial to the shoulders of the bodysuit to help keep things from shifting. I'm also thinking about using some thick wire between the layers of craft foam to help keep the armor's shape on the shoulders. I'll figure that out later, yo!

Anyway, that's pretty much all that's up with me. My weight is still the same. I had a small heart-to-heart with my husband. I've been very open with him about my weight, my goals, and my progress. He doesn't judge me and is very supportive. I let him know when I'm gaining, when I'm losing, etc. So, he got a small state of the union yesterday. I told him that Year 3 starts in the middle of next month. I told him that since last year at about this time, I've gained 10 lbs. I told him that since about Jan, I've maintained 184. This also helped me realize that I need to let my current spark weight go and reset it to my current weight. It's a real bummer realizing that I'm not just turning around and losing that weight right away again, but I need to do it. When I changed it on spark, I realized that I hadn't weighed in the site since mid October.

I also realized that changing my spark weight isn't exactly the end of the world, because we can all celebrate any weight I lose from now on.. since I'll be celebrating big time :P lol

But yeah.. realizing that I've spent FOUR MONTHS now maintaining was weird. I mean, I've been struggling and all, but it's not like I've exactly been eating how I should, so it's not like it's been any surprise that I'm not losing. I feel like I've kind of given up, but the proof that I haven't is right there.

And you know what my husband said to me?

He said that I'm doing great. He said I should keep on going how I have been. Trying my best to eat healthy, and working out. He said that I'm fine how I am, and it's ok to just stay here for a little bit. He said it might be a few weeks or a few months or even a year like this, but I should keep at it. He said that there's nothing wrong with what I'm doing now and that when I am ready to tackle it again, he's sure I'll get back to it. I wanted to cry. He's so awesome.

But he's right. I'm not in a place right now where I'm losing weight or wanting to lose weight. I mean, if I REALLY wanted it, I'd be doing what I needed to in order to get there, right? Of course, I still whine in my head about how I want to at least drop 10lbs and have everything fit just a little bit better... or how I'd love it if each of my thighs dropped 10 lbs.. lol. I want to be smaller. I want to be able to wear boots and skinny jeans better, etcetc. But I guess I don't want it enough to say no to stuff a little more.

So, I'm just going to keep on going like this for a while. I will sill check spark! I will still update my blog! I will still track, exercise, and watch what I eat. I am not giving up. Not by a long shot. But, maybe it's ok if I just stay like this for a while and maintain. Every trip to a restaurant or a grocery store will still be a struggle. That can be exhausting in itself. But, if I can get used to living like this, I can eventually muster the willpower and discipline to go at it hardcore for another year again. Or at least a few months :P

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MISHAMW 4/10/2014 9:22PM

    Well, your not gaining...and that's AWESOME!

Sounds like you have your hands full with projects, which is fun. I really need to get some yarn and start knitting again (*casually looks over at 45 skeins of yarn*). Hehe.

Really hope you find some interesting fabric for that cape. Sounds cool!

Have a good day girlie!

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SIMONEKP 4/10/2014 1:53PM

    Your husband is awesome

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ADARKARA 4/10/2014 12:54PM

    Maintenance in itself is success in my book! I haven't lost anything since February, even though I've been doing things right 98% of the time, so I wouldn't worry. As for slenderizing your legs, what about picking up a workout routine for that, like pilates? It's supposed to give you lean muscles, so maybe you could lose inches even if you don't lose lbs. I'm trying to focus more on strength training and I think it's working. I haven't lost any weight like I said but I've lost 1/2 inch on my thighs! emoticon emoticon

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Finding the time vs Making a schedule

Monday, April 07, 2014

I'm one of those people that hates deadlines, procrastinates really badly, and doesn't like to commit to things right away. I have a feeling that a lot of us are like that! Maybe not as bad as me, but it's gotta be in us all at least a little bit.

As a childfree housewife, I find myself with a lot of time on my hands... from time to time. I won't say it's always like that, but when I don't really have to do anything on a deadline, it's both awesome and awful!

When there's no pressing deadline, my procrastinating side jumps in and has a party. From these curtains I've been working on to costumes to big cleaning projects, I will wait "one more day" or tell myself I'll wait until I'm "really in the mood to do it" and knock it out all at once.

But things just don't work out properly that way, you know? When I know I'm not doing ANYTHING on a certain day, I'll lounge around in bed until 10AM, reluctantly drag myself to the bike (this sometimes takes an hour between when I have decided I will go exercise and the time I actually start it, because I am pro), and then shower and have lunch and wonder where half the day has gone.

On days I know I have appointments, I'm much more likely to get up early, knock the day's exercise out, and then work on getting things done until I have to leave the house.

Strangely enough, I'm one of those people that likes to be everywhere 15min early. Go figure.

Anyway, despite how much I hate regimented schedules and all that, it really seems to work best when it comes to my food and exercise. I hate it when I know I need something that's wholly unpleasant.... like exercise!

I don't know how to break my laziness and get into having some sort of perfect schedule. I'm always trying to do a little better, but when I just figure I'll get it done "whenever," it ends up feeling like it's not that urgent and it doesn't really matter.

When I have the whole day to find time to do something, it never ends up getting done!!

Ok, so there's your motivational bit for the day. I am getting my workout finished BEFORE 10AM because I'm going to the cheap seats to see Gravity with one of my new cosplay friends. Yay!

In costuming news.. I ordered a custom-made liquid leather-look bodysuit from riversedgedancewear.com for my Sandman costume. I also ordered 3 yards of specialty batik fabric and a wig. This costume is happening now, because I've basically put down a "down payment" on it. That's what I call buying enough major components of a costume to commit to making it. Usually, just buying a wig is the commitment. Buying bodysuits is another one, but it doesn't always work :X I ordered a nice cotton/lycra blend bodysuit from them years ago for a Venture Brothers costume I never made. (Was going to make a Monarch minion costume. I guess I still could!)

I was really upset one year when I bought two wigs to make a ponytailed character, and the costume never got done. We eventually finished it up for last year's con season, and I was soooo happy about that. THere's nothing worse than buying a wig and not using it. Those things can be expensive!! I used to be one of those people that wouldn't buy wigs for costumes, but in the end it just makes everything look better. All my costumes are now like 50 bucks more expensive!! On the other hand, it's the best way to do characters with crazy hair colors or length I don't have.

Like this Sandman costume... he practically has a mullet. I do not have a mullet! Wig time!

So, I'm committing to making this... sometime. I hope to have it done for the summer convention season. Even though it's a western comic book series, since I'm doing the Amano design, I'm hoping I don't get too many WTF looks at the anime conventions. Sometimes I think I'm more critical than anyone else at these things about what is appropriate though. Most of the Tx cons seem to see the anime conventions as anything-goes pop culture cons, and wear all sorts of stuff from Star Wars to Doctor Who to My Little Pony, even though none of that stuff comes directly from Japan. For a while, the Star Wars people tried to argue that since there's a Japanese manga, Star Wars is OK at anime cons.

Now I'm just like.. why are you even trying to justify it? lol

If I managed to get this Sandman costume done, though, that would be awesome. I'm also wanting to do Yu~ki (Malice Mizer), Limdo the windslasher (Fushigi Yuugi: Genbu), and Sprite (Secret of Mana) for the summer/fall con season, so I have no idea how everything will go! Sprite should be a one week costume, max. It's not very complex. Two weeks if I make a staff. Limdo will probably be a one month project, just because there's a lot of applique. It's not difficult, just time consuming.

Yu~ki is a multiple month project for.. multiple reasons! the justacoups is going to be difficult. Everything is going to be lined, so it's going to be hotter than hell. On top of all that, it's going to have to be dry cleaned. I'm not looking forward to wearing it in Texas in August. -..- But.. if Aya doesn't go to AFEST, I won't feel pressured to get it done by that con.

I would love to make the Monarch minion costume for HOTcon by Sept, but with all this other stuff on my plate and my tendancy to procrastinate, I'm really not sure what I can get done. Schedules for costumes don't work out for me too well. I'm good with large time frames like.. Finish X costume in 4 months. Why? Well, sometimes I get really frustrated with a piece, or I'm not entirely sure how to make something work, and I need to put it aside and work on something else for a while. It's really not linear at all.

On top of that, my old workout partner wants me to take a commission for a friend's wife. She's a larger plus size and wants a Carmen SanDiego trench coat for Halloween. You may be thinking "wow, October is a long ways away! No problem!" But.. eeehhh. If I do this, I want to do it right, you know? If she's larger and has trouble finding things that fit properly.. I know those feels! I know you can't just go someplace and find a nice red trench off the rack. I would want to take the time to make something nice that is also 100% functional that she can wear whenever. A girl can always use a good trench, no matter what the color.

So, I was seriously thinking about taking on this commission, even though the price for the customer is probably going to be close to 300 bucks by the time I'm done due to all the buttons/ buttonholes/ pockets/lining/ seam finishing/ fitting/ etc. I want to do it right, and to do it properly is time consuming. And, as they say.. time is money, friend.

I'm really having mixed feels about the whole thing, because I want to do the project if the budget is there for it on her end, but I'm also thinking... I'm going to be really freaking busy this summer. -..- So.. we'll see.

To top that off.. I THOUGHT I was done with my damned curtains, but it turns out they are like 4 inches too short. I mis-measured when I cut the fabric because I TOTALLY FORGOT TO FACTOR IN THE BOTTOM SEAM ALLOWANCE. Ugh. I wanted a really nice, thick 2in hem on the bottom seam, too!

Fortunately, I sewed in a pretty good sized hem. I can let it out at least 2 inches and it'll look better. UNFORTUNATELY, that's a long-ass seam to rip out, AND I did a REALLY REALLY good job pressing it with the iron. So, I have to pop the seam.. try to iron it a little flat, re-roll it, and re-press it before re-sewing the hem. I did it on machine instead of hand-stitching, so it'll take a little extra time, too. Totally not looking forward to it.

Anyway.. it's almost 9AM and I've totally managed to procrastinate on my morning workout anyway! I'm going to go knock it out so I can eat an early lunch before the movie. I'll try to do a better job blogging this week!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CKMATHERLY 4/9/2014 1:06PM

    Making anything usually takes me 3x as long as I plan fot it...then add the procrastination and things never get done.

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SIMONEKP 4/7/2014 1:15PM

    you crack me up! I live my life in 6 minute increments so as much as I want to procrastinate, I can't- at least at work. I do tend to put off personal stuff forever.

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Late night blog!

Thursday, April 03, 2014

I know I just blogged yesterday. It's crazy! Remember when I used to be this active all the time???

I just wanted to put a few things down "on paper," so to speak, while I was still thinking about them.

I hate exercise. I really do. I feel it totally takes a huge chunk out of my day, even though workout+shower is only about an hour and a half AT MOST. Two years in, and I still hate it, and still wish I didn't have to do it.


I do recognize that it is good for me. I feel gross and think I am dying during and after the workout, but I feel better after my shower. Then, I continue to feel better the rest of the day. Exercise will be the part of my day I hate for the rest of my life, but I recognize that I need it. I used to manage a super gross feeling after sitting around all day eating junk food. Now, I get that super gross feeling if I'm just sitting around all day, no junk food involved! Even if I work out first thing in the morning, I can sit around the rest of the day and not feel gross. I think this is important to note! :P

Anyway, that is just my feelings towards exercise right now. I need it, it makes me feel better, and I hate it. I hate it more than going to the dentist, and more than getting my pap smear. And those things happen very infrequently!

The other thing I felt it was important to type out was something that happened at the comic book shop the other day. It's about body image.. and it's not bad! Also remarkable, right?

I'm so excited about the new Sandman Overture series! The second issue was delayed by many months when Neil Gaiman went on his very last singing tour and had to get a bunch of other stuff done. The life of a rock star author is very busy! Anyway, I waited patiently for the release and only pestered the comic shop twice. When it finally was out, though, I went down in jeans& a T-shirt and picked it up, along with two Hellboy trades I was missing. I had a nice chat with one of the dudes that worked there. I don't THINK he was hitting on me, but we had a really nice time talking. Conversation drifted towards the comic con last month... (This shop helped sponsor it)

When they asked if I went, I told them I got 2nd place in the costume contest :D And that I was looking for ideas for a new costume for the next one. I said I wanted to do a comic book character from something I loved, but most of my favorite series are male dominated. The women in them have very unremarkable designs, or wear things I wouldn't want to wear. I asked Mr. comic book guy if he had any ideas, and he suggested Harley Quinn.. to which I responded "eeehhhhh no." I kind of like the character, but I'm not the biggest DC fan. Also, she's way overdone. While popular, I tend to go for things that showcase the stuff I love, and I'm sad to say I just don't love her THAT much.

Then, he said I'd make a really good Poison Ivy!!! :O I was totally shocked, because that's essentially a leotard costume. Again, I was like.. "eeehhhhh" for pretty much the same reasons. At the same time, though, I was super flattered! Someone else thinks I'd look good in a sexy type costume? He wasn't even being a creep about it. While it was such a small comment, it made me really think about how other people might see me. You really can't know what other people see when they look at you, which is why it's so easy to be hard on ourselves.

I would never consider myself Poison Ivy material, because OMFG MY LEGS. Now, I could be down on myself and say "oh, well, I was in jeans and he didn't see my legs, so blaaahhh," but I'm not going to let myself go that way. I had a nice conversation with a complete stranger. It didn't go into creeper town, and the few characters that he listed off in a row were all popular comic characters that show a lot of leg, and dude didn't think hard before he named a bunch. That feels kinda good!

I kind of wanted to dork about Funko pop toys and comic books and Walking Dead and whatever for hours, but the shop was busy enough that day that I felt like I was in the way. Still, I wonder if that's a place I could creep out at and meet new friends instead of just grabbing my new issues and going back to my troll cave. looooool!

Also, I finally finished my stupid curtains! HOORAY! I was really itching to get that grey thread out of my machine so I could start another project.... (If I so desired. But I'm lazy, so I probably won't. You know how that goes....)

I bought the majority of the fabric I need to make this.

When I went on that fabric run in Dallas, it was to find stuff for this costume. It's been a dream costume for like 10+ years. He is Yu~ki from the Japanese rock band, Malice Mizer. They broke up ages ago, but I remember when they released the album this single came off of. OMG. SO AWESOME. Anyway, I used to play the bass guitar a little bit in a jazz band in highschool, so I love my underappreciated bassists. I'd never call myself a "yellow" kind of person, but that's his theme. When they all have group costumes, his always have a yellow or orange theme to them. I've wanted to make this one for a very long time, but I think I've also known for a long time that it was a bit beyond my capabilities.

I really feel like my craftsmanship is at the appropriate level now, as are my makeup skills. So, I've been hunting the right fabric telling myself I'd give it a shot if I ever found it. It's been YEEAAAAARS. I found the PERFECT fabric for the velvet pants and the vest. I bought some fabric for the coat/hat that is not perfect, but I don't think I'll ever find a perfect match for that.

I guess I'm just excited about drawing on a moustache!

As excited as I am for that, though, I'm starting to think about this potential comic book costume. This comic con isn't until Sept, and I have AnimeFEST before that, but my thoughts keep turning to this comic book costume. I will probably end up making it first.. or at least starting it first. It's another "big" costume like Kefka. And this is probably because it's also designed by Yosh*taka Amano (Thanks spark, for thinking I am cursing) :P If I make it, it will be my 5th Amano design costume. (Gogo, Tellah, Scarmiglione, Kefka... though to be fair Scarmiglione was VERY simple)

This one is Dream/ Morpheus from Neil Gaiman's Sandman comic book series. This particular design is special. It's from a collaboration he did with Yosh*taka Amano. It was an illustrated short story called "The Dream Hunters." Unfortunately, (fortunately?) like all Amano designs, it varies wildly between each and every single illustration. -..-

So, I'll have to pick and choose between design elements, as well as take into account his cannon details from the other comics, and figure out how I can best portray it. For example, in these illustrations, he is not wearing his ruby. The stone is an important character element. When DC released a special edition figure based on this design, it was also very different... and it also included the ruby. I will probably figure out how to incorporate the ruby, and it will be more resin casting. At least this time, though, it'll be in the summer!! Resin should set better at least -..-

But yeah.. if I have time to try to make the back of the cloak flaming with faces and whatnot, I will, but I have a feeling that won't happen. I'll probably stick to all black like the action figure there.. I don't know. I'm getting all excited about making faux leather armor with craft foam again, and I SHOULD be thinking about getting Yu~ki done beforehand, and making my Secret of Mana costume for AFEST. If I do decide to do this Amano version of Morpheus, though, I have to get started like now. You know how long Kefka took. A good 6 months! I started it in Jan. to have it ready by A-kon. I have to start this now to have any hope of getting it done in time for the fall conventions. And at that rate, I should just force myself to get it done by AFEST and have 3 new costumes for that con. Ugh. And I'm thinking about maybe picking up a commission for a friend!

Summer is going to be busy this year :X

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SIMONEKP 4/7/2014 1:11PM

    That's awesome. It's so great when people make these small comments that make you feel on top of the world.

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CKMATHERLY 4/4/2014 10:47AM



Can I still find that special one!

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ADARKARA 4/4/2014 8:21AM

    love it!

aren't they making a Sandman movie or TV show soon? I swear I heard that somewhere.

*googles it*



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Is this what maintenance feels like?

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Another month of no progress at all, but I've put a halt to the gain, I think. I've had my fair share of slipups, and I continue to struggle with food, but I am still doing my best. My best now is not what my best was last year, that is for certain. There is a certain degree of quality that comes with "your best," and the quality is not what it was before :P

Still, I haven't totally given up.

It's all quite fluid and rather slippery. What I didn't have control over before might be something I'm controlling quite well today, while at the same time I've lapsed with something else. It's kind of frustrating, really, but I am still weighing and watching and trying to figure things out. Did I go into it with too much zest? I lasted about a year and some change before I kind of sputtered out.

The second week of may starts year 3 for me. I'm trying to put things in perspective, but it's hard. I can't say I lost 80lbs and kept it off for a year. I lost 80lbs, then put 5 back on, kept most of that off for about a half a year, gained another 10, maintained for many months, lost 4, put 3 back on, etcetc.

It's certainly not linear. It's hard to measure success at that point, you know? Am I successful? Despite all my struggles, I would say yes, I've been successful, and I am succeeding at not going over 190. In fact, I'm succeeding at not staying over 185. Am I succeeding at losing weight right now? Not really. But I wouldn't call myself a failure.

Keeping that in mind, it's ironically easy to be really really hard on myself. I see myself as resting on my laurels. Lazy. Unmotivated. Undisciplined. Etcetcetc. Lots of UNs! The lazy thing.. that's a hard thing to break. I've been called lazy ever since I was young and I've always kind of felt it was true. I'd rather persue hedonistic pleasures and shirk responsibilities than meet deadlines. Even ones I set for myself!

Speaking of which...

Our custom windows have not yet come in. We're at the end of the 8 week window, so we should be setting up an install date soon, I hope. The guys haven't returned my call asking for a status update yet. :( They did a pretty good job last time, so we're going with them again, even if they are slow as molasses. It's tricky because we have a unique stain pattern in the living room that needs to be custom matched. They did a great job matching it last time, and we want everything (at least on that wall) to look uniform. It's tricky since there used to be a sliding glass door, and we eliminated part of that, causing a difference in height/etc so we've kind of had to adjust things to make the finished windows look as uniform as possible, but I know the end result will look good..

if they ever come to do the install!!

My little personal project? Curtains! Well, curtain, singular. One loooooooong curtain about 300 inches long. Since one entire wall is essentially glass in the living room, it takes a lot of fabric to dress that! We had a burnt orange sheer monstrosity that came with the house. It looked gross and old, so my mother in law made us some new drapes. Due to the old glass and the large surface area, we went with a really thick, dark navy upholstery fabric, and backed it with thick blackout cloth. It insulated pretty darn well, but made the entire room dark!

Once we have our new windows, though, we'll be able to go back to a sheer and save even more money on heating/cooling costs. So, we had the first set of windows done to see how it would go. They were amazing! With this next set, though, they'll be working against the wall where the drawstring for the curtains sits. We'll have to take all the curtains down so they can work on those windows. I figured it would be a perfect time to swap the curtains out! We'll take the old ones down when they install, and then I can remove all the hooks and put them in the new ones. Then, when everything is finished, I can hang the new ones! It seems like the most efficient way to do it.

I picked a sheer grey this time. It's not a synthetic, though, because I didn't want it to be like.. shiny and chiffon-y and crap. I picked a fabric that was over 75% cotton, and it has almost a linen look to it. You can see a weave, but it doesn't have huge holes in it. It should be nice, and let a lot more light in while giving us just a little bit of privacy. We have a huge ravine behind the house, with lots of trees. We aren't necessarily worried about privacy, but it's good to cover up the large windows at night in case creepers try to case the place, you know?

Anyway, they are almost done. I've been procrastinating on them FOREVER and feeling like a lazy deadbeat about it. It is just tedious! I wanted to do it properly, so all the edges have a nice rolled hem that was pressed before sewn. With long yardages like this, it takes extra time to get it all even because it's a lot of measuring. I kind of gave up on the bottom hem and eyeballed it between panels, so it'll probably be uneven on the bottom! LOL I totally don't care. What I need to do now to get things finished is sew all the pleats. There are 54 pleats along the top that need to get sewn in so that it drapes properly and matches the correct length of the wall. I've sewn maybe 10. I sit down, sew like 4-5, then give up for a while because it's so awfully boring and monotonous. T..T My goal is to get it finished by the time we get the windows installed, but I think we all know what will happen. I will keep working on it sporadically until they actually make an appointment. Then, I will freak out and marathon it while they are doing the install. lawl.

But WTF do I do with the old curtains? Well, I'm thinking about cannibalizing the fabric and making a Priest T6 costume from World of Warcraft. It has a lot of blues, and I think I could at least use like 4 yds of these curtains for that. To keep it in perspective... I had to order 12 yds for the new curtains. TWELVE. So, I have no idea how else I'll use it up. I could easily make 3-4 costumes out of that yardage, but I don't normally do blue characters! I don't know what to do with all that blue!!!!

Not too much else is going on here. I haven't started any new costumes, despite going fabric shopping. I hope to come up with something for the comic con in Sept. I decided I'd really like to make something new, but I don't know. I'm friends with the 1st place winner of the contest now, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't intimidated by her a little bit. She's super sweet and nice, and I don't think she's planning on making anything new. She has a lot of really cool transformers costumes, though, and if she just pulls something out of the closet again, I'll have to step my game up if I want to try to win it this time :P That being said, I'm not really liking how competitive I'm feeling about all this. I'm really happy with how I did last month, especially considering how I didn't expect to win anything at all.

Now, though, I really want to make something comic book related and try a little harder. I guess I'm afraid that I'll try really hard and come back with nothing. That wouldn't be the end of the world, but still!

I really don't like my competitive side :P

Anyway, I'm overdue for the bike. While I didn't have a lot of news for you guys, I still wanted to spend a little time blogging. It's been so long! I miss everyone and I wish I was a little more motivated. I hardly drag myself over to spark at all anymore! :(

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOLATURTLE 4/4/2014 9:14AM

    Yup. I'm so there with you. It sucks to have been successful for months, and then since we change as people, over time the same stuff doesn't work anymore and it's almost (not quite) like starting all over again. ARGH. But I'm not giving up either!

I can almost feel the monotony of sewing pleats. I salute you, because I would never attempt even 10 pleats, let alone a giant curtain of pleats. HECK TO THE NO.

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CKMATHERLY 4/2/2014 4:46PM

    The feed lies. The fitbit updated my weight. I'm still fighting the food and the lack of movement. I am getting there. You will too.

Um, navy military costumes???? I have no idea. I think the heavier weight fabric would be great for that.

NEVER GIVE UP! I ate 3 donuts today so I am right there with you.

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