Oops! Apparently I've accidentally deleted all of my images. I'll see about fixing that soon.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Happy Christmas

Hope all who celebrate Christmas have a happy day today.

nothing says "Holiday of Forced Social Interaction" like a glass moose head filled with wine

Friday, December 21, 2012

Winter Solstice 2012

Right on time with the winter solstice this year we have snow.  And since I still have a small pile of sewing to get done before Christmas and snow to shovel before work, instead of sewing pics here are some fun links.

EarthSky has a great page about the Winter Solstice

CalTech has a fun page on snowflake structure(s)

And finally, watch this fun video by Vi Hart as she shows how to make awesome paper snowflakes even more awesome.

Happy winter everybody!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Dress of Many Circles

One of the most fun sewing projects I did this year was a dress I made for my niece's birthday.  When I was playing around with the leftover fabric from those horrid jackets earlier this year I was suddenly inspired to make this dress. But I knew I didn't have time just then. So I made a little skirt just to try out the technique and loved the result.

I had just enough of the dark silver and the white left over to create an ombre effect, something really elegant. And being the goof that I am I had to pretend to try it on.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Candles for Hanukkah

Last night I celebrated the third night of Hanukkah with part of my husbands family, my mother, and some family friends. It was a fun and raucous affair filled with long discussions and my small nephews running about and giggling over everything.

from the 3rd night last year, hence the stockings in the background

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Blue Shirtwaist Dress: Part 3

So I know I haven't posted in like a week. Sorry about that. Here, finally, is the last part of the shirtwaist dress.

Where last we left off I was trying to figure out what color to make the collar and cuffs. So I started off by painting the colors on digitally, just so get an idea of what they looked like.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Talk Nerdy To Me

Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure Science.” ~Edwin Powell Hubble, The Nature ofScience, 1954

I'm having a birthday. A such I'm going to talk about whatever I want today. (As if that's different from any other day haha)

So these are some of the things I've been finding myself interested in lately:

In case I hadn't mentioned previously, I've been trying to further my education here at home via the internet.  Part of what I'm learning is new to me, and part of it is re-learning old things I've learned before. (I had the worst Calculus teacher ever in HS and since I learned it wrong then I struggled with it in college. At this point it's been long enough I don't have to un-learn before I can re-learn the concepts and, amazingly, I'm actually understanding it pretty well this time.)  I'm using a variety of resources for each of the topics I'm learning including textbooks, MIT and Stanford free online courses, and a really helpful site called Sophia. (Go check it out. No really, I'll wait. Go.)


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

In the United States today is a day of celebration where we spend time with family and friends, think of all we are thankful for, and eat waaaaaay more than we ought.

I am thankful for many people, many things. I am also very thankful for science; it enriches our lives and makes me feel more connected to the rest of the universe.  In that vein, here is a Thanksgiving-related video for your enjoyment.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Fresh Pumpkin

So I've still not managed to get photos of the finished dress, but I do have something else fun for you: Pumpkin!

Here in the US we have a holiday this week in which pumpkin tends to play a big part. There will be pumpkin pies, pumpkin cakes, pumpkins as decoration. It really has become a sort of 'mascot' for fall in general. lol  

Of course, most Americans when picturing a pumpkin automatically think of a specific thing: bright orange, shaped kind of like a beach ball with segments, and a big stem out of the top.  Well, this is my pumpkin:

Monday, November 12, 2012

Blue Shirtwaist Dress: Part 2

With tweaks to the muslin complete I made a pattern for the dress. Now I know I usually use junkmail for my patterns, but several years ago my grandmother gave me a bag of bits and pieces that included some of the oldschool pattern material. I don't usually use it as I'm not often sure of whether I've really got a pattern I'm going to reuse. Now I think I might have something worth reusing, so I went for it.

laying out the pattern pieces

Friday, November 9, 2012

Museum Visit

Well, it's been another busy week around here. So busy that I've completely missed out on posting till now. The shirtwaist dress is finished and I'll be excited to show you pics next week (as hopefully by then I'll have time to throw something together). I also have another fun something-i-made to show off soon.

But for today I thought I'd share with you a few quick photos from a visit to one of my local museums this late summer/ early fall. My mom and I spent the day together and enjoyed wandering the many galleries in a museum that celebrates our local history and culture.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Blue Shirtwaist Dress: Part 1

I've been wanting to make a shirtwaist dress for myself for a couple of years now but just had never eked out the time or shelled out the money for the yardage of fabric involved. In fact, I knew that just the fitting of such a garment was likely to take more time than I usually care to expend on something I'm keeping for myself.

The original idea was for a 1940's era shirtwaist dress: simple, everyday wearable.  But as time has progressed and I've amassed a huge file of pictures of patterns and dresses made by other bloggers, my ideas shifted around slightly.  In looking at many pictures of 1940's dresses, the skirt portion is often very smooth in the hip area and the sleeves often have that nice little poof.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

A Little Excitement

Time keeps getting away from me to be able to blog, and much of my sewing time is now going toward birthday and holiday presents. So at some point you'll get more posts on sewing, but for now here's something a little different.

I'm fortunate enough to live in a beautiful city. In fact most of our whole state is lovely. And here in this state we have a love for one sport over the rest: basketball. Sure, there are a lot of football fans, but here people love basketball like the whole rest of the world loves soccer (football/ fรบtbol). 

our fair city

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Menswear Purple Shirt: Part 2

Finally I am getting around to posting the second half of the Purple Shirt. It's been a long few weeks lacking the energy and time to post to the blog. Sorry for that. 

Moving along, one of the most important things I've found in making, well, anything really, is to take the time to press. Press your seams, press your seams open, and press your seams to the side(s) as desired. It makes a big difference.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Menswear Purple Shirt: Part 1

While I haven't been blogging as much lately, I have certainly been sewing. One of the projects that I've been working on recently was a new shirt for my husband.  

I had been wanting to make him a new shirt for a while and was never happy with the shirt I made for him last year.  This one will be based off of his current favorite shirt.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Some Links and a Silly Video

Some weeks make it really hard to get a blog out. Even when I have projects photographed and ready to go sometimes life just doesn't leave time for me to post it all up here, so I've been a little behind in my blogging lately. 

This week between picking up some extra hours at work and also not feeling well it just hasn't happened. But I didn't want to leave you with nothing for the end of the week so I have some links to other interesting things I've found that I can share with you.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Painting a Paladin: Part 2

As you know by now, I'm fond of painting for Lost Hemisphere's monthly Paint the Target posts. It's fun to see my stuff up elsewhere and it's a great motivator to get my painting a bit faster.

As a reminder, I was repainting Menoth's Paladin of the Order of the Wall. Also, I recognize that today is not a Friday and this is not a sewing post, but LH posted the Target today, so I am as well. The world won't end because of it; I am certain.

My husband's Pally as he was before

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wedding Alterations: Part 3

This is the third and final entry on the little bits I got to do for a friend's wedding.

When I brought the altered dress to the bride-to-be her mother pulled me aside and mentioned there might be another small project or two later.  One of them was the pillow for the ringbearer.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Wedding Alterations: Part 2

Continuing the story from last time, I had the opportunity to do the alterations on my friend's sister's wedding dress. 

 Diving right in, wedding dresses are often many layers. This one was no exception.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Wedding Alterations: Part 1

I don't normally do wedding dress alterations anymore. Honestly, they're a bear and for many brides this is a really stressful part of the wedding planning.  But for friends I made an exception.

One of my friends was instrumental in helping my own wedding day come together, pinning boutonnieres & corsages on various people, making sure my grandparents were all where they needed to be, and providing huge amounts of moral support among other things.  So when I found out her sister was getting married I offered up my services.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Painting a Paladin: Part 1

For this month's Paint the Target over at Lost Hemisphere (follow the link to see last month's entries, my husband's is the 'jack with the huge grin 6 down from the top) the criteria is that we paint a model that "has the highest of any stat in your faction." That kindof eliminated any of the trolls for me because the high stat Trollbloods that I'm hoping to paint soon are all things that are going to take a little more time. Instead I turned to Menoth, the other faction that we keep around, and this guy: Paladin of the Order of the Wall.

Paladin OoW painted by my husband

Sometimes painting means sacrifice. In this case it meant sacrificing an old paint job. It was an early paint job 6 or 7 years ago with a color that he really liked (Vallejo's Brick Red) that we no longer have. But he is ever generous, so into the dipping pot it went to remove all of his paint and start fresh.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Experimenting with Gloves

Yesterday I alluded to the fact that I have several projects that are not yet finished.  Here is one I've been wanting to share all summer but haven't quite finished yet.

Some of us don't react well to the sun, our skin taking damage, burning fairly easily, and for me this also means losing patches of pigment. It not dangerous but I'd prefer not to lose any more if I can. Every summer, even if I avoid the sun in general, I notice my hands get a lot of sun just from driving back & forth to work or running errands.  So I thought I'd make some gloves to remedy that.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Pillow Reduction

While my grandmother was in town, she indicated that the new pillow for the chair in her room was simply too full and asked if I could make it flatter for her.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Lagging Week

I know everyone has rough weeks, but for some reason this is mine. The enthusiastic fervor with which I've attacked everything in the last month just feels like it has temporarily evaporated away. I'm sure it has something to do with lack of sleep and thus will be easily remedied. 

And with that I'm pushing forward with the sewing I'd planned. I have two projects in the works right now: some final alterations on a couple of blouses for my grandmother and pulling a pattern from a shirt for my husband.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Labor Day 2012

Sorry, no post today; it's a holiday here in the US and my husband and I actually have the day off together. I'll be back on Wednesday!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Pumpkin Pie

So I've decided that since I like things all neat and tidy I'm going to try to keep the Monday and Wednesday posts for sewing and try to leave all non-sewing posts for Fridays. It was an idea I had when I first started this blog, but since then I've had this "Friday" tag just lying around barely being used.  Well, let's see how well I keep to it. (big events like GenCon excluded of course)

Anyway, today I'll be talking pie, specifically pumpkin.  I've still not found a consistent gluten free pie crust recipe that works for me (and I soooo miss rolling out pie crust by hand) in general, but one of my best friends  sent me this recipe the other day and it got me thinking.... "what other recipes would that work for?" Why, Pumpkin Pie of course!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

M5056 McCalls Skirt

Today's post is not about my own sewing but that of someone close to me: my mother-in-law.  She recently had the opportunity to go to a Grateful Dead concert and wanted a new skirt to fit the occasion.  She found an appropriate pattern and some fun fabric and jumped right in.

That's about when I got a panicked call.  

Monday, August 27, 2012

Boy's Football Jersey

One of our nephews had a birthday this past month and while trying to figure out what to get or make for him someone told us he wanted a football jersey (American football, that is).  I love making stuff for the kids even though I know they will grow out of it way too fast, so I was excited that this seemed to be something I could handle easily.

The fabric I used was a synthetic of some sort, a deep blue athletic-style fabric that my best friend gave me as part of a birthday gift many years ago. I've used bits and pieces of it here and there but it really seemed to be waiting for this as its fate. 

Stretch & Sew 861

Now, I've never made a football jersey before unless you count the tiny one I made for my husband's office event a while back.  So I pulled up some pics via Google Image search for visual aids and perused one of my pattern boxes for a starting place.  In there I found this Stretch & Sew pattern that I got from some friends when they were downsizing their sewing supplies. While the fabric I was using was not stretchy this was still a really good place to start.

Friday, August 24, 2012

GenCon 2012: GRiPT Games

Ok, this is the last post about GenCon this year, I promise. After this I'll get back to the sewing and the painting.

the GRiPT guys in deep discussion

Admittedly I'm all talked out on this subject. I've submitted an article to Lost Hemisphere about the gaming with both of GRiPT's scenarios but no word yet on whether they'll end up posting that. They also have some great pics of the 3 Walls that we took to the Con this year.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Minis of GenCon 2012: GenCon Cases

Finally, here is the last batch of pics of minis from this year's convention. These are from the GenCon painting contests. Some are from speedpainting and some are just the general awesomeness contests. They were all pretty cool. Maybe I'll enter next year.... 

watching these painted was one of the high moments of the con for me
Aces XI Charity Speed Paint
Back L->R: Marketh (Skorne) by Angela Imrie, Widowmaker Leader (Khador) by Amy Stegman, Gorman Di Wulfe (Merc) by Matt DiPietro, Shepherd (Legion) by Jennifer Kaufman, Valeria Alvaro (IKRPG) by Zach Lanier

Front L->R: Journyeman Warcaster (Cygnar) by Derek Schubert, Lord of the Feast (Circle) by Jessica Rich, Arcanist (Retribution) by Sue Wachowski, Pistol Wraith (Cryx) by Marike Reimer, Exemplar Errant Officer (Menoth) by Noel Meyer

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Minis of GenCon 2012: the Tables

Continuing to post pics of minis I saw at GenCon, these are minis that I saw out and about either on the gaming tables or just from other attendees.

Mulg the Ancient painted by Dan at Wyrd Miniatures
...at least that was what the gamer who was playing with him told me.  The pic really doesn't do him justice, he's gorgeous in deep purples shaded nearly up to white.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Minis of GenCon 2012: PP & CMON

I took a ton of pics of minis during this year's convention. I've tried to whittle those down to a reasonable number to share here.  This first batch are those I found in the Privateer Press and Cool Mini or Not cases.

Please let me know if any of these models are yours so I can put your name up with it!

the shading on this guy was beautiful
ETA: This model has been identified by its highly talented painter as Dark Young from Blackball Games painted by Jess Rich aka Brushmistress. You can also find her speedpainting entry (please please correct me if I have any of them mixed up!) over on my blog entry from the ACES charity event.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

GenCon 2012 Photodump 4

This con has been awesome.  And just because we are exhausted and calling it quits for this year doesn't mean the pictures will stop flowing just yet, after all I've taken way more than what I've already posted. lol

And now having had actual sleep I have enough energy to actually get captions on some of these! :P
Me and local kid (Youngblood Golden Demon) ended up in the same class

Marike Reimer taught us about sheer fabrics and freehanding

Saturday, August 18, 2012

GenCon 2012 Photodump 3

OMG best day of GenCon yet! Had a great day and a couple of really stellar moments.  Looking forward to posting all about it after all the fun is over and I've had a few hours of sleep. In the mean time here are some pics. As before, I've taken a tonne more than what I'm posting here so I'll share more later when I can get them sorted properly.

5th Doctor and the T.A.R.D.I.S.

Friday, August 17, 2012

GenCon 2012 Photodump 2

The first full day of gaming at GenCon was a blast. Super tired and sore from all of the walking so you're getting some lower quality photos and not the full set.  I took almost 200 photos today.  Missing from today's photodump are pics of all of the minis I gawked at and pics of GRiPT Games' scenarios "The Wall" and "The City." I'll come back and put captions on these at some point.

Serra Angel

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

GenCon 2012 Photodump 1

Photos from the night before the first day of Gencon
Hanging at the RAM after picking up our badges at WillCall

Dr Who (5th) Cosplay: Ready for GenCon 2012

Ok, I've finally got the pics you've been waiting for. The costume is done and ready and so am I! I've been doing a lot of sewing and other 'making' in the last week as final preparation.

new badge holders for the Mr. and myself (front & back of each)

The red tape/cords are from badge holders that he's acquired for free in the past. We have no affiliation with Konami, I think it was free in his swag bag one year.  The black & white fabric is left over from a nursing cover I did for a friend a while back, but we both liked i for this. I added a netted section to mine in case I want to put tickets or my phone or something in there. My husband requested his as a 'badge only' badge holder and is currently sporting a badge from 2007 I used as a size guide.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Dr Who (5th) Cosplay: Finishing up

It's hard to believe that GenCon is just a few days away. I'm super excited, but still busy getting everything in order so that our 'vacation' goes as smoothly as possible. I'm relieved that we can come home each night and sleep in our own bed as it's sure to be super exhausting.  Also, being so close to home, if I get freaked out by the crowds I can just come home and rest and go back later to pick my husband up when he is ready to come home.

So what is left to finish? Nothing big. All of the big stuff is done; it's all of the small stuff that I'm finding I want to do at the last minute plus all of the packing and prepwork (food, clothes, painting supplies) that I still have on my list. (I <3 lists.)

QR code to lead to my blog
Since so many people have QR code readers on their mobile devices these days I've stitched out a couple of QR codes to 'wear' that lead back here in case anyone at the Con is interested.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

GenCon is Coming!

Super excited that GenCon is almost here.  Are you going?  Do you have any special traditions that you do on Wednesday when you pick up tickets/ badges or check in to wherever you are staying? 

I'm worrying less now about the crowds and moving into planning mode: what food to buy, prepping laundry, making sure everything else is covered.

Hope your week is going well!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Weight of the World

 The human body is amazing and even more so the human mind, pushing the body past its 'limits.'

Many people know I've been watching one particular Olympian the last couple of months, weightlifter Sarah Robles. I admire her pertinacious spirit and personal and physical strength. And as I've followed her on Facebook I've been delighted to find we even have some interests in common. 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Big Post of Minis

I'm way behind in showing you some of the miniature-related fun we've had going on at home lately, so since I have had zero time to sew in the last two days I think I'll show you now!

First off I painted a model last month for Lost Hemisphere's monthly Paint the Target fun.  This month's target was to paint a model with reach.  I chose the Troll's Kriel Warrior Caber Thrower.

really proud of the muscle shading & highlighting

Whereas in real life a caber looks more like a telephone pole, this troll has hoisted up a marble pillar to hurl at his enemies.  (Want to know more about caber tossing? Check this out! And for those who want something more sciencey there's this!)
tartan painted in the dark. I swear I'll fix it.

Remember way back when I entered Captain Spud's Make Something Amazing Contest over at Lost Hemisphere? No? Well, I've posted about it a few times, notably here and here.  Anyway, even though I didn't win, Spud sent out small prizes to everyone anyway, and very generous ones at that.

Super exciting to get mail from Canada!

My husband had entered, too and we were super excited to see what we had received. 

Inside there were things for each of us: a 6" spray and a letter. 
reluctantly letting me photograph his letter

Mine certifies that I am "amazing," my husband's: not so much.  He had a bit of trouble with his project, but I'm proud of him for seeing it through to the end.

The box that made up the bulk of the package was the Dire Troll plastic kit, which contains the bits and pieces to make any combo of 3 Dire Trolls: The Blitzer, the Bomber, or the Mauler.
a hand full of heads

a hand full of hands
We are currently working on a way to make it work so that we can actually use all three.

Hey, there's a FOURTH card there!
 What's that fourth card? It's for Rok! While I've been busy sewing away for GenCon my husband has been busy playing Warmahordes and winning. With his winnings he was able to purchase the kit for Rok that also goes with the Dire Troll kit.

And then there was this shiny that he had been wanting and that I had been wanting to paint: The Trollblood Runeshapers.

oh yeah, that's going to be fun hee hee

And then I made a tiny purchase of my own. It's not an exceptional model but the price was right.  I am taking a few classes at GenCon including some for painting (faces, freehanding, etc), so I wanted to have something cheap with me that I could work on while I was there.

Well, I have to rush out the door to work, so I guess that's all for now!
Happy Friday!