Sunday, August 3, 2014

Movie Map

A little bit of random geekery today. I am recovering from an ear infection, and for 2 days all I could do was sit around and watch movies. When I realized that each movie shared an actor with another movie, they began to chain together. Here's what happened afterward.

It's kinda a horrible picture, but the only movie I haven't connected yet is Cowboys and Aliens. We have several movies that I could connect it with, but I haven't watched them yet. It will probably be Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade for that one, connecting Sean Connery from Robin Hood to Harrison Ford.

I accidentally connected Legend of Korra in there with Dante Basco, who is Rufio in Hook. I also didn't realize until I was watching Robin Hood that the Sheriff's cousin, Guy, is also Armand from The Count of Monte Cristo. I had connected that one in through Richard Harris (Count=Priest, HP=Dumbledore).

Return of the King gets me all sorts of connections now, and I can pretty well watch any other movie on our movie rack and it will still tie in somehow.

EDIT: I feel the need to note that I am almost fully recovered from the ear infection. This took place last weekend and even then I only watched 5 or 6 movies over 3 days. The rest of them have been tossed in over the last week.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Project - 55G

This is what Sister has been calling it. 55G - Steam-Stilt Girl. She was going to wear it with a pair of stilts.

The bloomers. She's actually wearing the stilts in this one.

The back of the "corset" and the bustle. I had a lot of fun
with the bustle!

The front of the whole thing.

"This isn't a real corset! I can still move in this! Thanks, Anny!"
The word fabric is some sort of canvas from Hobby Lobby, the bloomers and blouse are from muslin, and the skirt is black broadcloth. No process pictures here, since I wasn't really set up for that sort of thing. My sewing machine was in the dark office at the time.

And I think that's all I've got in the project buffer for now... Though maybe by this point (my posts are scheduled) I'll have some other projects done and ready to post.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Project - Gandalf!

My super-awesome cousin decided he wanted to be Gandalf for the Renaissance festival this year. Backing up some, last year we were taking care of Isaac and his brothers while my grandmother was in the hospital. We took them to the festival with us, and they all loved it. Isaac wanted to go again this year, and he asked me on the way home LAST year if I could make him a Gandalf costume this year. I was all over that, and he loved it.

As usual, Jayne was helping.

The robe on its own.

Robe, hat, and scarf. There's a grey wig stitched into the back of the hat
for the long hair.

Look! A picture of someone wearing something I made!
This was before we went in. The band around the beard was
because the hair was falling out like crazy and getting everywhere.

Isaac had Quala thrown in jail this year for a whole list of reasons.
He had to sing some Rush to get out.

The robe was made of some really cheap grey fabric from Wal-Mart. The hat was out of felt with some wire run through the brim. The "staff" was a prop from my fairy costume a few years back, as was the leather belt. The scarf was some bargain-bin shiny silver stuff from Hancock's that I wish I had more of. None of the pictures show it, but there's also a small chainmaille bag on the belt that he's got his money in.

As an added treat, have a picture of my sister and I in costume.
My patchwork corset, ridiculously long skirt, and too-many belts,
and Sister's Halloween costume from last year. We're still not sure what she was.
My corset is actually pieced together from upholstery sample books, and the skirt used to be a curtain. Sister's get-up was all fabric she purchased. Look for a post on that one next week.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Project - Underbust Corset

For the festival, my sister's friend commissioned me for a corset. She came up and we spent a couple hours picking out fabric and going over the general construction, taking measurements, and communicating ideas. I put off the finish until very early on the day I had to deliver, so I didn't actually get a picture of the finished product. I'm not even sure she got to go to the festival, so I'm not sure it's been debuted yet. I've got to get better at photographing my things.

Jayne, my trusty overseer. Please pardon the massive mess.
I was drafting this and about 4 other things at the same time.
Side view, since this gets the most fabrics in one shot. This is pretty much
just the shell and the lining. No bones, no biding, no grommets, and no laces.

And this is at about 4:00 the next morning. Various size knitting needles to
insert the grommets, and hammer and tools for setting them. This is right up
there with ruffles on the list of things that I hate.

 Made with all cotton/poly-cotton fabrics. I (obviously) didn't hand-bind this one since I was so pressed for time. It was still a lot of fun, and I hope that I get to see Sabrina wear it one day. Maybe I'll bother her about it some more...

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Costume Policy

Good morning, all! After a couple years with my current policy of "you buy the fabric, I'll make the costume," I have found some things that work and some that don't. My schedule has gotten a lot busier, and my system needs some more structure. It's time for an update, and this is it. When my services are requested, I will go over these with you and send you a link to this page.
  1. I would like at least 6 months warning to make the costume. Three months is the minimum. I usually end up drafting most of the patterns. This takes time. I will also hand-sew things to give them a cleaner finish. This, again, takes time. Sometimes things come up and I am unable to work on a costume, as well. 
  2. We get together at least once before the supplies are bought so that we can discuss what you want and I can get measurements. This allows me to estimate the supplies needed, time requirements, and your involvement. It also allows me to collect contact information so that I can call/text/message you with updates or to set up times for fittings.
  3. If the costume is going to be a copy of something in a TV show/Movie/Anime, you  must provide the reference pictures. I would also appreciate the season and episode of the show/anime or the name of the movie so that I may watch..
  4. You pay for the fabric and other supplies. Supplies include but are not limited to: buttons, zippers, bias tape, special and/or matching thread, patterns, etc. I keep whatever is left over. If it's a special tool (i.e. a ruler, grommet pliers, etc.) I will buy it, because I will keep it and use it on more than just your costume.
  5. You are present for the purchase of the fabric and supplies. This is the only way I can be 100% positive that you are getting what you want. It also makes it easier for you to pay for the fabric and supplies rather than me trying to keep up with a receipt. I am more than willing to provide coupons and search for sales to help out, and I'm free most evenings and weekends.
  6. You must be present for the mock-up fitting AND a final fitting/photoshoot. I may have all your measurements on a piece of paper, but that is for reference only. The only way to be sure that the costume will fit is to try it on and make adjustments. Doing this before the costume is complete saves me a lot of frustration and will end up saving you some money. Please be aware that I may request that you come for another fitting before I start finishing the costume. Some things, like corsets, are more involved than others. The final fitting is so I can take a picture.
  7. I am now requesting payment. This is more donation-style than set-in-stone. I am open to trades, dinner, your services, and cash. Your payment method may be discussed in our initial meeting.
There will be exceptions to these rules, of course, to be determined by me. These are also subject to change at any given time. By commissioning me for a costume, you agree to the above "terms and conditions."

That is all.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Project - Saki Morimi of Eden of the East

Greetings, one and all! I promised some pictures of projects, and here's one I finished today. My sister is going to Tokyo in Tulsa this year and has asked for a Saki Morimi dress from Eden of the East: The King of Eden. Of course, I had to go and watch the entire show and both movies, but it was well worth it. Excellent series, I highly recommend it.

And here it is! Well, 3-ish photos. I didn't take any of the drafting process...

This was about 1 "day" of work. I watched some TV, ate some watermelon...
Generally just a lot of goofing off.

Jayne has decided that this dress is his, not Sister's.

Fully assembled, necklace included.

Fabric covered buttons, bias tape, band, gathering...

Ruffle detail. I. Hate. Ruffles.
Overall, from start to finish, I'd say this project took about 8 hours. The fabric is just some cheap broadcloth from Hobby Lobby: 2.5 yards of pink, .5 yards of white. I'll make sure she gets some pictures in this one for me so I can show off the product while she's wearing all of it.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Adventure! Tulsa Zoo

For my 25th birthday in June, I decided I needed to go to the zoo. I haven't been to a zoo in a couple years, so it was a blast. My dad also gave me his Nikon D80 as a birthday present, so I got to play Pixi-Box Pirate again. Here are the results...

The first grr-animal of the day... She was bright enough to be one!

The big marble globe. It spins in water, so it can get a little tough
to stop. Quala and Cowboy were giving it their best shot!

It was a very, very warm day. Even the bears didn't want any part of it.

Just think... I'm going to go diving in a lake that's home to some
of these in mid-July...

They stopped to feed the turtles.

Sister got tired.

This guy was all over the place! Finally tired out, though, and
I was able to get a shot.

And this guy didn't care how hot it was. He was having a blast.

Climbing some stuff. There were some little kids grabbing on
to Erin to try and climb her up... That didn't work.

"Stop taking pictures of me, I'm trying to sleep!"

Baby flamingo! He was very cute, although the noise he made was not.

It was feeding time, so we stopped and chilled here for a while.
Giraffe tongues are hilarious!!

And Emperor Penguins are apparently HUGE!

Meerkats were done with the heat as well.

Lunchtime for all the animals, I guess. This ugly guy was carrying
around a dead lizard.

And this one, probably my favorite animal at the zoo, got a pretty
awesome salad.

BOk employees at the BOk pavilion!

And we can't go to the zoo without seeing the Elephants.
I had a wonderful time! Friends from work, friends from other parts of the state, and family, all hanging out, getting rained upon, staring at animals, and then joining up at Ted's for a very, very big lunch. It was a good day.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Skyrim - Larien in Windhelm, Part 2

As run-down as most of Windhelm is, the Grey Quarter is worse. All of the Dunmer in the city are forced to live there. I like it. Despite their treatment, the Dunmer here are very friendly and ready to talk to anyone. I went into a shop to unload some things I picked up on the road, and the keeper was so nervous I didn't even have to prod him to find out that he had accidentally bought a stolen ring. He begged me to plant it in the house of the original owner. Haha! It was too funny to turn down, and easy money besides. I think I've made a friend. I did go talk to that kid, too. Sad story, that. He was orphaned and sent to live in an orphanage in Riften, and I guess the house mother was horrible to all the children. He ran away and made it back home and now wants her dead. On top of that, he thinks I came from the Dark Brotherhood to accept the contract! Maybe I'll go to Riften to see if Grellod really is as bad as he says. Children deserve better treatment than he described.

Why me? I seem to have entered Windhelm in the midst of some serial killer's fun-time killing spree. There's a girl dead in the graveyard (fitting?) and the guards seem to be stretched too thin to do anything, even though the trail is obvious. Literally. There is a trail of blood from the body to an empty house on the north side of town. I wonder if the steward has the key and if he does, if he'll let me in to look around. Maybe there's some coin in it for me if I solve the crime. .. I have to go to the palace anyway to see what Ulfric wants to do.

I have to get back to Whiterun! Ulfric is going to attack! He came out and said as much to me when he returned Balgruf's axe. Oh, for a horse!


This weekend is when all the fun will happen. I've taken off work on Friday to see about the lavender farm and we're going to the zoo on Saturday and then Sunday will be the gigantic family reunion out at the lake. There's a good amount of blog fodder to be had all three days!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Skyrim - Larien goes to Windhelm ((Update before posting))

Nope. Not going to do it. This shouting thing might come in handy in a pinch, but I am NOT their precious Dragonborn. I am an elf, and a rather small and unimportant one at that. I am not a Nord, I don't worship Talos, I don't think mead is the greatest thing ever, and I don't like an all-out brawl. I hate the cold and I hate dragons and I just want to go home. The greybeards tried to tell me that I am Dragonborn and they told me that I can "shout" because there is dragon blood in my veins. They trained me some and now they want me to go down into yet another draugr-hole and get an old horn for them. I don't understand why I should. Maybe the whole thing will fade if I just don't use it... Balgruf said to take his axe to Ulfric in Windhelm, to see if there can be peace between Windhelm and Whiterun. This might get me something to take back to the general. Stick to the original plan: Use the Legion to go home. Just leave all this dragon nonsense to the Nords.

What a depressing town! No wonder the Stormcloaks are losing, if this is where the center of their cause lies. I'm a little hesitant to walk up to Ulfric, so I'm going to look around some. Someone said there was a kid trying to perform the Black Sacrament. Who would a child want to kill, I wonder?


(What have you been doing with your life?)

Monday, June 9, 2014

Skyrim - Wood Elf Dragonborn ((Update before posting))

No. No no no nonononononononono no. This isn't happening. This can't be happening. I'm not a Nord. I'm not even part Nord. I wasn't born in Skyrim. There is no way in Oblivion that I am part of this insane Nord mythology. I am not Dragonborn, whatever that means. Yeah, I was coerced into helping kill a dragon, but I have no idea how I know how to speak their language. After we killed the beast, I felt this enormous rush of power. I could see the world from above and feel a fire in my chest. Suddenly I knew what one of the words from the wall was, and I spoke it. Everyone in front of me staggered and fell. The Nord guards gathered around and started going on about how I am Dragonborn. Balgruf or someone in Whiterun must know what's going on. They have to.

They weren't kidding about Seven Thousand Steps. I've probably gone halfway up this mountain now, and it's time for a break. I still don't know what's going on, especially about the Dragonborn issue, but Balgruf said that the Greybeards on top of this mountain would be able to tell me more about it and train me. He's given me the title of Thane and my own housecarl, Lydia, and she's handy in a pinch. There have been a couple bears on the steps and I think I hear something bigger up above us some. She asked me what I'm hoping to learn at the top and I brushed it off, but I very much hope to be told that I am not the Dragonborn and that I need to get out of Skyrim. I didn't want to come up here anyway, but if it means that there won't be voices thundering from the sky then I'll go see the old men. As soon as I got back to Whiterun it sounded like a deafening clap of thunder, but there was a word: Dovahkiin. I don't know what it means, nor do I want to, but apparently it is the Greybeards calling me to their monastery.


Oh, no! Larien has found out that she's more a part of this than she ever wanted! How's she going to handle everything? We're still a couple weeks out from my upcoming adventures, but (what have I actually done? YMCA? New recipe? Finished my craft room?)

Monday, June 2, 2014

Skyrim - Back to Riverwood

I'm beginning to wish the dragon in Helgen had eaten me. It might get a chance now, at any rate. "I'm not telling you anything until you help me with my dragon problem" was all I could get from Balgruf. If I'm going to impress anyone in the Legion and leverage that to get home, I'm going to have to go back to Riverwood. From the sound of it, I'm going to have to go back to Riverwood and go down into another tomb, at that.

Bandits, spiders, draugr, another puzzle door, another insanely strong dead Nord, and yet another strange word burned into my brain. I've really got to find out what that's about. Maybe Farengar will tell me after he gets done looking at the dragon tablet I brought back for him. Everything seems to be chaos right now. A Dunmer in the service of Balgruf has come in and is going on about a dragon sighting. That's my cue to get out of here. I'll go see if Balgruf has an answer for General Tullius.


My birthday is this month! And a family reunion, and possibly some other stuff. Look for some pretty cool adventures from a zoo and maybe a lavender farm and winery!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Skyrim - Larien and the Thalmor

Insane. They're all insane! I'm supposed to go back to Whiterun to deliver a message to Balgruf. The Stormcloaks are massing for an attack and it has become my job to tell Balgruf and see which side of this civil war he's on. I might as well go see if that Grey-Mane is still alive. Maybe I'm just putting off heading South, though.

I promise I was discrete! How is it that everyone knows it was me that invaded that Aldmeri camp and slaughtered everyone?! Yes, I went and rescued the Grey-Mane kid. Town guards are chuckling as I walk past "I heard you gave the Aldmeri Dominion a black eye!" That is the LAST time I go on a rescue mission. I don't want trouble with the Altmer. At least I got the Grey-Mane out of there. It looked like he'd been there a while and they had more than their fair share of fun with the torture on the poor guy. I don't blame him for joining the Stormcloaks after that. They Thalmor are supposed to be with the Empire, but they're monsters. His family was happy to hear he was alive as well, and I got a nice reward for my trouble. I wonder if it will be enough to pay off any Altmer that comes after me for killing a relative...


Sorry. Lost track of the blogging. We're back to Larien, and I'll fix the pictures and add some more from the cruise as well. Keep looking for those on Friday. There are some cool pictures of costumes I made for this year's Renaissance festival as well, and possibly some other awesome sewing adventures. Look for those on Wednesdays, maybe.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Caribbean Vacation Part 2 - Mahogany Bay, Isla Roatan, Honduras

Welcome back to my Caribbean adventures! Last week was all about the trip to Galveston and the ship, the Carnival Magic. This week you'll get to see the first port, which was Mahogany Bay, Isla Roatan, in Honduras. We actually went to Maya Key, which is a sort of sanctuary for rescued animals. Jaguars, parrots, monkeys, and even a puma. Maya Key also offers some entertainment for tourists by way of snorkeling, beach-y goodness, food, drink, and pool.

As a heads-up, there may be a second part to this post with some video my wonderful father got with his GoPro while snorkeling.

Also, if you visit, look out for the tiny black fish at the end of the dock where you get in the water to snorkel. He will bite the crap out of you! I actually have a little fish-mouth-shaped mark on the back of my leg from the little jerk.

 My first views of Mahogany Bay from the ship.

 Obligatory tourist shots with the big, pretty sign.

 This got me... This is a jade plant. We have this in Oklahoma, but it is primarily a house plant. Very pretty in windows, but it doesn't do so well outside. It's tropical, you see... Well, so is Honduras. These were everywhere, and it was rare that one was shorter than me. They are TREES!

 One of the street performers in the port.


Hanging out with some animals. Me and Dad, both holding a very vain macaw-on-a-stick, an anxious monkey, and a blind, albino crocodile. The crocodile was a lot warmer and squishier than I thought he'd be.


 I got really, really excited about a couple things. The first was that I saw a dolphin in Galveston. It's the first wild dolphin I've ever seen. The second is that I saw an actual coconut tree. With coconuts in it. One of them fell down and I got a picture of it, too.

 Some of the rescues I mentioned. The macaw at the top is pretty amazing. He also loved cameras.
Toucan and Jaguar. The jaguar had a worn path where he paced that same spot constantly.
The wild hermit crab. I almost stepped on him as he went scuttling across the path. And the puma, or in Oklahoma, the mount'n line.

 Our last look at Maya Key as we headed back to the port.

 One of Dad's favorite pictures. Our ship's smokestack through the foliage.

 And more obligatory tourist shots with the big boots and bird. Josh is a friendly pirate who loves guns. I am a friendly pirate who hates birds. Dad is an unfriendly pirate who hates people.

And that wraps up Mahogany Bay! Next week, on Clothing-Cooking-Computer Geekery, we see the beautiful land of Belize! Zip-lining, cave tubing, and more awesome plants!