12.27.2011

Housing, living, and charcoal colored glasses

A dream house::



Credit: Kate Edwards at http://www.edwardsecobuilding.com

Cob, cob, cob!
Yup, I'm finally buying a house. But by saying 'buying', what I really mean is I'm procuring space for a cottage made of dirt- Cob! My partner and I qualified for lending for a traditional house and we were actually searching and ready to sit down to the task of spending the next thirty years working just to pay for living when something snapped in my head and I decided I didn't want to participate in the bullshit parade anymore. Living in debt, buying manufactured goods, living in a house filled with toxic chemicals, and all that crap offers no appeal to me. As a long time lover of tiny houses and cob building, I always wanted to retreat somewhere lovely and fend for myself and figured maybe I could after retirement. Somewhere amazing like Victoria out in the forest. It was a good dream, but an expensive, complicated one.

We're going to buy a piece of property and live in a tiny house, cob house, or even *gasp* a tiny cob house :3



Credit: Jen's House at Mud Girls


Laws on housing, as anyone interested in alternative building can attest, are complicated. It may not be an easy decision to make.

Considering that, we were aiming for 200 square feet for a living space- meaning sleeping, bathing, and cooking in that 200. We want another 200 square foot building or two smaller outbuildings that will be a den/hang out area and one for my studio. One of the reasons for building so small is that keeping a building 200 square feet or under is sometimes a way of dealing with local permit complications. Another reason is I always had a bit of a fantasy of living in a tiny village of cottages. That'd be pretty badass. We have some other friends and family who want the same and we plan on having a go at it together. Our own pocket neighborhood, if you will.

We'll be making the most out of the outside space for living and enjoying. My mom's and sister's eyes about popped out of their heads when I said 200 square feet, but people certainly live happily in smaller spaces. Honestly, I can't wait to shed nearly everything and move in. We've already started peeling things off the walls and filling up boxes to sell things off. Purses, shoes, couches, cookie cutters, books, I don't want any of it. I just want to breathe again.


The tiny house movement, urban homesteading, and privilege::

"None of us really having farmed before, we had too many opinions about how to do it and about what was stoned. [...] It got a lot heavier when we started treating farming like a real adult vocation instead of some sort of mystical hobby." - Stephen Gaskin in "Hey Beatnik!"

Farming, urban and  modern homesteading, and all the DIY old-school stuff is definitely on a popularity rise which is kind of cool and also kind of frustrating when I reflect on it. On the one hand, I feel like it's awesome so many people are putting their own hands into taking care of themselves. I feel like it brings us closer to what it is to be human and empowers others to start questioning the status quo. But it also bothers me when I look at attitudes surrounding reclaiming homesteading- including mine- because it's kind of Antoinetty, if you will. Marie Antoinette was so damn bored sometimes with having so much luxury that she craved some of the 'slow life' and would play pretend in a pretty and controlled mock village at being poor in only as much as it suited her. It's at once a bit astounding how being removed from labor and nature can numb us as a species, but also kind of ridiculous how easy it is for we, the privileged, to look at getting back to 'our roots' as something to improve our lives when they become too dry and demanding when so many others live that way every day of their lives and we call it poverty.

What can I say? Modern-Revival Homesteading is so, so very FirstWorldProblems sometimes.



In any case, I am very eager to reclaim what feels like a human right that's been pretty much lost in America of being able to carve out a home and living off of the land around you without being indebted to a structured system of paperwork and banks. I also, like many, want to feel like I do honest, human work that I can better relate to than what I do now. I want to try to provide a more natural and health conscious lifestyle that I don't feel modern manufacturing offers and stop supporting the abuses of underpaid slave labor in other countries for the convenience of shopping nations. I think it's what a lot of us want, may have wanted as long as we can remember, and I can definitely understand how excited people get to talk about their experiences in doing so. But I'm also very consciously of the fact that, as a middle class person in a developed nation, I can make a choice how I want to live my life and that not everyone can. That puts me in the distinct position requiring humility, I think. I'm not really sure how to express it, but I definitely feel it.


I'm so excited. The truth is I feel terribly alienated from life and the people around me who enjoy life as it is. I'm not sure I know how to work very hard yet, because I've certainly never had to. Not hard like millions of people work every day, in any case. But I feel like I want to be worthy of the body I have and I feel that life and living is a really amazing thing that I squander most of right now. I want to be more conscious of the experience of living and I do feel like the preoccupation with 'things' and working for intangible concepts like money instead of something more palpable leaves me feeling like I've got a void to fill. I know that, to some people, the idea of selling everything and moving into a cottage and breaking your back trying to till soil with no idea what you're doing may not sound like the way to fill it, but I bet there are people that will get it.

12.24.2011

Opening a new shop + Santa and Gilly Claus Gifts

My brother has been going back and forth on wanting to be a Montessori teacher which I think is really cool. I find the process of education really interesting and the Montessori method is my favorite. I even briefly considered the idea of getting the education to be a Montessori teacher too, but after some reflection I realised I'm the most interested in the process of education and developing activities that other people can apply or do with their kids or students than being the teacher.

I've had positive feedback about educational activity projects I make for Flora or decorative items I've made for gifts. I'll get asked if I sell them and the answer has always been no, but because of that, I decided to open another shop that's for educational project kits and imaginative and fantasy themed gifts. I'm waiting until after December is decently over before I start uploading items, as the retail market currently needs to heal a bit before you can expect much sales. There's no point in sitting on stock for months for things to pick up. 

(Like Flora's flower cutting and drawing kit- albeit a bit fancier, so as to impress the potential customers.)

That means, so far, all I have is the name, which is Pretty-Clever, though it'll be on Etsy under PrettyCleverShop. It's a minor play on words, being comprised of Pretty & Clever, as well as the descriptive "pretty clever", in reference to both my interest in education and my art aesthetic which is unarguably fancy and lacy. The demographic will be 3 (or particularly focused 2 year olds) to 5 or 6, depending on a child's interest. It will be a combination of new and repurposed components, with likely the bulk of the education kits being comprised of second-hand materials. I think that there's a market for educational kits and materials made up of second-hand goods as more people become aware of the amount of pollution and waste involved in making new products when we already have so many good items we can reuse in our thrift and antique stores or yard sales. Lightly used dishes, tools, and other items for educational play are also much more inexpensive than new items, and while Montessori is an amazing educational system, many of the supply kits are not in many peoples' budgets.


(Sorry for the crappy photograph examples. I didn't expect I'd be making a project pitch when I took them to text to my mom. XD)

The concept of a kit will be a selection of matching or complimentary second-hand and new goods that kids can use to explore adult activities in ways that help them learn independence and practice motor skills, logic, cause and effect, and other important ideas. In accordance with Montessori order, they'll include a tray, basket, work mat, or some other item that helps define the area and contain the materials. I'll be limiting my selections to items that are safely sanitized and in like-new condition (obvious things like no stuffed toys, chipped items, etc.) and may customize items with new paint jobs, silk screening, and more- but keeping a budget in mind. It's my hope that items can be absorbed into normal household use after their educational use is fulfilled. I'm thinking primarily of the home schooling or Unschooling family, or anyone who  would prefer to buy a 'toys' for their kids that foster learning and independence.


On the pretty side, I'm hoping to include hair clips, diorama jars, room decorations, play or dress up toys, adventure bags, and maybe even craft kits, with a similar aesthetic to my Meandrous line.


Items like my dressed up bridal umbrella,


and this matching set of hair clips, gloves, and bracelets do use pretty exclusively new materials, but unlike comparable dress up kits from big box stores that are flimsy, itchy, and shoddily made, mine will command better quality construction and more attention to detail while still aiming for a reasonable price point that falls somewhere above cheap poly rag from Fascist Mart but definitely below something like Oilily's or Flora and Henri's (admittedly totally gorgeous) high end lines.

I also plan on including a color range that's more inclusive than simply pink and purple and to include models of both genders, if I can get the opportunity. I may love to make frilly things, but that doesn't mean I'm out to promote the gender binary.


WELL!
On that note... 


Santa and Gilly Claus Gifts

(Why is year one missing? >.>;)

Santa and Gilly were busy in the workshop this year. Flora has been carrying around a small straw doll hat and sometimes insisting to sleep with it clutched in her hands so I decided Santa and Gilly would like to hear the news that Flora wants a crazy fancy hat.


She picked out all the decorations. Because she's not that old yet, I didn't think it would spoil anything but that it might help her be more excited to see it on Christmas morning if I knew it was things she found interesting in the first place. Lucky for my OCD need for everything to be JUST RIGHT she picked out yellow flowers and yellow-ish fruits. It was themed fairly well.


Even though the crappy grapes she found in the bin had seen better days... But she wanted them and it's her Yulemas present. 



E600 glue is smelly and takes a long time to dry, but it really, really sticks stuff together. Flora always tries to peel everything apart which is fine in a sense that it's her stuff and if she likes to do that... eh. But when I spend a long time on it I really.... really like E600 glue. It foils her every time.



Flora's not too into dolls, but when she does it's not a mommy play kind of thing. Ruby gets regarded as a real person when she chooses to play with her so I decided to include Ruby in the gift giving, getting her two doll outfits and making sure Santa and Gilly would include a hat for Ruby as well.




I don't know if they have this stuff at craft stores on the mainland, but it's a few bundles of stretchy stuff like nylon knee-highs without the toes or support band. It comes in tons of colors and you use it for making flower petals. It's wrapped around wire armatures kind of the way you do nylon fairy wings.


Ruby models her headband!


Glue onto the hat...


Done!

And back to Flora's hat!



Even though the sunflowers were a nice touch with the crazy plastic fruit, they were really too big to do much with so I mostly cut and rolled them.


The one sunflower I -did- try to place couldn't snug in well and the petals were all jacked up.





WEE!! A fruit and flower explosion! This beast is pretty heavy, but I don't think it'll be too heavy. Fancy Nancy would be proud.




Of course, Santa and Gilly love to throw in a few extra details and Gilly had some time to help design one more gift before she had to get back to the mechanic team to give the sleigh its five-point inspection.


I really should have done the gluing in steps, but I was trying to get it all done in one setting and had to use clips and things to keep bits from dropping off while it set.


ALL FINISHED! : D








.......But...





Happy YulChristmaHanuKwanzukkah!

11.14.2011

Awaiting my camera!

Camera LoooOOooOOOOOooove!

I'm waiting on the arrival of my brand new camera! It's a DSLR, my very first evarr. I've been reading up on the photography books and amassing a small treasure trove of accessories. Of course, because I'm new at all of this I didn't want to throw in for some of the expensive items. I did get a 50mm lens, but I went for macro lenses, off brand extender tubes, a battery powered macro ring flash, and the like so I could try it out and learn without doubling my cost before I even start.

Though I doubt it'll be too interesting to many beyond camera lovers, allow me to be excited and BEHOLD!



It is the Canon EOS 60D! When I was researching cameras, I read all about this supposed contention between the 60D and Nikon's D7000 and so compared the two heavily. Not being a studio shooter with tons of lights to control, but wanting the larger buffer for burst shooting and regularly using odd angles and thus the articulating screen, I made my choice!

I am starting to learn about reciprocity in theory-because I've been now well instilled with the idea that it's less about the camera and more about the user- but I've still never even held a camera with much more than a zoom and a shutter button in my hands before. I have no idea what I'm doing. : D

Anyway, I will continue to break from posting until I get my camera and then insult everyone's eyes with my terrible photography : D YAYS.



P.S.: I've upped 'Emily Penned' to 40,000 words and currently feel totally irritated with it. Trying to find some people to help me screen and give initial feedback on the manuscript at this point to see if it's all in my head or if it's as simple as I'm imagining it is. x...x But everyone's so busy... I should find a local writer's group on MeetUp.

9.16.2011

Roma's Treasure Box

I've taken almost a week off from writing, and there I was stopped less than seven hundred words shy of 25,000. I guess I'm not very goal driven. Anyway, I'm back to work on it. I was just enjoying a leisurely vacation time with Nico and some time at my sis's parents' house where I got to take advantage of a really radsauce vegetable garden at dinner time.  We made a salad with apples and veg and a dressing of lemon, honey, cayenne, salt and pepper, and chopped garlic.




Admittedly, I had garden envy. I work my ass off on my garden at home but I've never quite gotten the knack for gardening. I do all the reading and follow all the basic rules but I've always tried to do it cheaply. My seedlings are fragile and my berries get stolen by birds before they ripen, and it's happened too many times. After looking at the nice garden set up at Sis's parents' house, I can see I just need to invest a little more. Trellises and netting where appropriate and definitely take advantage of some containers.

Unfortunately, now that I'm all impassioned to go full out with my garden, I get the news that we may be moving away from Hawaii in four months and I'm now hesitant to invest a lot of time or money in something I'd have to tear down before it bears many rewards. Oh well. Maybe some color planters and a local vegetable delivery service will tide me over.


Roma's Treasure Box

About a year ago, I picked up a set of small books by Punch Studio that I wanted to write a story in for Flora. They have a bee, dragonfly, and crown on them so I figured the story should fit along those lines. Something like an adventure series, maybe. So little by little I've been collecting bits to make a cool project.

So tada! Here it is! My rough draft collection::



The set includes three mini books::


A magnifying glass, broken necklace, acrylic crystals, and a wand::




The box was made by my dad's grandfather, so it's authentically old (and authentically broken and needing some wood glue) and the wand is actually from the Harry Potter opening and sized for an adult, so I'll need to make a smaller one. I'd also like to get some coins and some other treasures like a map and a compass or maybe a little tool kit.
 




I've decided the story will be about a young girl (working name Roma, for ease of pronunciation for a little kid.) who lives in the City of Honey. The city values hard work and family and takes pride in themselves as a fruitful nation, but has fallen under rule of the Wasp Lord, who has overthrown the elected Queen and keeps her rulings silent and her ushered away. Under the Wasp Lord, Roma and her family have lost their freedoms, friends of the Wasp Lord get richer and meaner, and everyone else suffers, while only a few prosper. Roma decides that this is wrong and, with the help of her community, the legend of the Jade Grasshopper is found, which promises to allow a person to create any change they want.

Roma then travels on a mission to find the Jade Grasshopper, but must face a series of challenges where she can either choose to let everyone solve her problems, or learn the solutions and craft the tools she needs herself. Despite being challenged and discouraged at every step, by researching and practicing to perfect the three keys needed to enter the treasure tomb said to hold the relic, Roma finally succeeds. When she arrives, she realizes the Jade Grasshopper, as an object, holds no value and no magic, but learning that the desire for change and willingness to try hard and be dedicated to achieving it will allow one to create any change they want. Roma leaves the treasure tomb, leaving the Jade Grasshopper to inspire another a later day.

Now grown, Roma returns to the City of Honey, a well studied, dedicated young woman who rallies her community together and they work to gather the support of all of the people who then demand that Roma replaces the Wasp Lord. Roma, however, declines and requests the rightful Queen. The Wasp Lord agrees that they may have their queen if even one can solve the puzzle tomb the queen was entrapped in by the Wasp Lord, who arrogantly thought no one could navigate without a map. When Roma does free the queen, the Wasp Lord is stripped of his power and the queen's crown, which the queen offers to Roma in thanks. Roma sees the power of the crown would be used better serving the people than in being a bauble and separates the stones, giving them to people and communities she visited who were in need. With the magic jewels, they make curing potions for their plagues, power inventions to harvest crops, and fund an opening of a large school in Roma's name. Roma melts the metal of the crown and casts a message within it declaring the City of Honey a place of equality that will value not only hard work and family, but learning and challenging wrongs and displays it over the city gates.







Roma accepts the title of elected princess and promises to continue to study and learn from the queen so that when she's ready, she can be as good a successor as the queen before her.


I'm thinking they're called Roma and the City of Red Honey, Roma and the Jade Grasshopper, and Roma and the Raiment of the Wasp Lord. OOOOBviously they have political, anti-consumerist, feminist, egalitarian undertones and push for responsibility, motivation, and dedication over the typical princess and gems fare, but I think kids are capable of understanding and enjoying more complexity than we give them credit for. Some of my favorite childhood stories were about young people making choices to be responsible and outsmarting foes who tried to trick and take advantage of other people.

I did some basic maths and I figure the three books together have room for just a little over 10,000 words, so I'll have enough space to develop the characters a bit, so long as I keep the pace up, but I don't think that'll be hard for a juvenile fiction. As I would imagine, they probably don't dwell on tons of subtle action and description.


It's not a priority to write right now, but I'll be trying to fix up the box and make a new wand to fit in it soon.

8.31.2011

It's freezing and I love costuming!

It's 65 degrees in Washington right now, which is sweater weather in Hawaii, if it ever even gets that cold. I love to sit outside while I write these days. There's a nice little patio here with a garden with freshly bloomed lilies and wild roses. Out in the back, the grapes are taking over the old gazebo and apples are falling off of the trees already. I like to take breaks and have a little walk or run around and play with Flora between pages and collect my thoughts. The little bursts of activity are actually really helping me stay on focus. It's just too bad today is so cold. I'm still outside, but instead of enjoying the sun, I'm all curled up on a lounge chair with a blanket and a cup of tea. I've come to value the outdoors more than ever in the last year. It's like I feel like outside has become increasingly directly tied to my happiness and health.

Because I think it's hard for people to imagine what goes into writing, I've decided to start calculating my hours of effort. I'll have estimated my past hours and decided I've spent about 27 hours on my manuscript working named "Emily Penned" and I'm going to accurately track it from here on out. Maybe I sound like a broken record, but having ADHD-PI undiagnosed all of my life meant I spent most of my life trying to do things and often never finishing them. Rather than considering I had a disability, I've been more likely regarded as someone who had no drive and no responsibility. One effect it's had on me as an adult is that I really want the people in my life to know I'm capable of sticking with things and how hard I have to work to accomplish things that take a lot of focus. Especially because I'm not medicated for ADHD and just have to try my best on my own motivation, it becomes especially heartwarming to me to see my accomplishments compound, as well as to have other people see that I can do what I set my mind to despite my own personal handicap.

To help me celebrate my accomplishments, I did something sort of out of character for myself and made a brag card for my laptop.


Woo! That's my computer and all of my writing clutter. XD

I'm one of those types of people who doesn't like to hark their business everywhere or self-congratulate, but recently I've been feeling like it's important for me to openly celebrate myself in a sort of self-esteemy, positive affirmation kind of way and at the same time, tell anyone who walks by me - "Thanks, no. I'm not sitting on my ass and being lazy, thanks for asking. I R Doing Srs Buzniss. Take a look at the card, buddy." because I'm feeling pretty powerful lately and have been accomplishing the things the way I want for probably the first time in my life. Me and my card will congratulate me and feel good about it.


AFK Tavern and My Excuse To Costume


Look. That's me. In a costume, obviously. I loooooove dressing up. Loves it.

I love costuming so much that I would wear 'costumes' every day of the week for no reason. Well, costuming is an easy way to describe it, though to me it's about petting my inner Quaintrelle. Some people just want to wear things that look like Hallowe'en to other people all the time and that's kinda how I am. However, for personal reasons I've decided to withhold buying or making any more specialty clothing for myself to focus on different goals right now-- But my big exception is when I still do costuming nights at AFK so that means I really look forward to and relish the chance to get all dolled.





(Photography in a bar with a mobile phone... a recipe for failure! XD)

"Health Potion", "Lon Lon Milk", and "Link's Hat", all from the special Zelda themed menu and served in fantasy 'potion bottles'. Way rad. XD


AFK is a freak of nature. Everything of any sort of interest is always in Seattle. I don't know how or why they opened up AFK here in Everett, but I'm super glad because it's easy to hit it up all the time now. AFK Tavern is a restaurant and bar with a nerd theme so it's all internet, meme, gaming, fantasy, and scifi references on every inch of their menu and their decor. I mean, the graffiti in the mens' bathroom are math problems and in the ladies someone scrawled "this way to Ministry of Magic" above a toilet so... you get the crowd that attends.



Yes, that's right. Anti-social, awkward people like us who can be around other anti-social awkward people while we play video and board games and down creamed corn balls with honey. (Yum.)


While it's not always a theme night at AFK, I do admit that I love the dressing up part when it comes around. I even planned so far ahead for the pirate themed night that I drafted and sewed an entire outfit. Well, I made the leggings, garters, bloomers, skirt, and cincher. It was the first time I ever did any boning too, which I was pretty proud of! It took a lot of planning and prep but because I'm H-Core about costuming it was all super exciting to do and accommplish. And I also LOVE to costume up other people... so while I typically pay out the ass for my materials and little accessories (because I'm a fool for fabric stores!) I also end up with the extra fun challenge of throwing together a costume for my fellow peers who'd like to dress up too but don't always have the interest in investing the same level of time and cash into their outfits. Don't read that as sarcasm. It really -is-fun.

So! What I do is...


I run to the fabric store and pick up all kinds of crap I love, love, love to deck out a design in every way I can. That's step one. I usually end up using about half the amount.


Then I get all cozy lazy and sew for hours...




And I do the best I can. : D







 
Fit like a glove! Which is kinda the point, since it's a bodicy cinchy thing! I didn't know I had it in me! n...n


As I was getting my outfit pretty much sorted (thanks in part to my brother working as a body form to help me pleat my skirt...) I managed to convince him not to blow off dressing up for the night and told him we could make him an outfit cheap and fast. That was the first time in a while I'd costumed someone and it rekindled the inner joy of scrounging in the closet to see what you can make.


Ooh la la!

We just ran to the thrift store and picked up a pair of stripey socks, a pair of trousers and a too-large dress shirt for a few dollars and hurried home.



We dyed his shirt with instant coffee and spare grounds while we pieced the rest of the costume together.


He made a too small pair of shoes work by cutting them open and retying them closed with a leather cord and I chopped up and abused his trousers to get them looking a little more worn. Everybody heralds duct tape as the big thing, but I think scissors are constantly underrated.



I called myself complete with a mondo pile of hair extensions, every gaudy piece of jewelry I had, overly pale makeup, and faux beauty marks. Nip was completed with a Symmetry Fashions hijab/scarf set, unshaven face, and a machete. I love costuming!




Sooooooooo... Don't think I'm done yet, because just recently, AFK had Warrior Night! It was another opportunity to costume, but this time I couldn't really feasibly see how to get warrior duds with any kind of a budget (armor? swords? $$$$$$$$$) so I decided to not only help piece together costumes for my brother and sis, but to do mine as well with things between the three of us that we already had.




First up was repurposing things. Fabric dying has always intimidated me but I didn't figure it would be as hard as I imagined it was and I threw caution to the wind and decided to dye my pair of 100cm loose socks with Rit. Nip decided to throw in his top from Pirate Night to dye it black for his warrior look.



...Only it turned out that Rit black is really more like Rit purple and neither the socks nor the dress shirt got black at all. (note the black plate for comparison. That shit is NOT black.) However, we decided to make do and grabbed a Rit brown and added it with way less water than instructed and managed to salvage his shirt into an ivory brown color not too much unlike when we coffee dyed it for Pirate Night. Ah well... My socks ended up pale tea brown which, while unusable for my outfit, could be wearable as street clothes with some of my skirts better than the bleach white socks they were before.

Nip's Goods::

For my brother, he donated to the pile some old Link costume bits like the arm bracer, I donated my pirate skirt and bodice, and my mom donated a necklace. We picked up a length of woven look a like ribbon with a Medieval flair and a large gold toned button with a nice design.





The first step of makeup was not shaving. The rugged look works for warriors. I used a little pot of Ben Nye scar wax to mold some scars on his brow and cheeks and blended the ridges down into his skin to try to make them look as natural as I could. It's been a long time since I've done special effects make up.



While the scar over his eye was going to be old (and therefore not red or bloody) I wanted the one by his second eye to be fresh so I used the same wine red cream makeup I used for my rouge and lips as a pirate and filled in his little scar trenches with color. I patted on tiny amounts of it around the 'cut' to make his skin look tender and used a makeup kit's blue and gold colors to give some bruises in various stages of age over and under his eyelid.


The last step for the 'fresh cut' included some fake stitches. We used a thicker than standard sewing machine thread in black and some liquid latex. Liquid latex comes in a white color that dries clear and a 'flesh' color, the guy at the store told us. Well. Hello, dude... this color isn't 'flesh', it's pale beigey peachy or something. Not everybody's 'flesh' is just this one color. It's like those damn band aids that are Caucasian people color but they call them "invisible". Invisible, right? Yeah, let's just ask majority of the planet who doesn't have Caucasian skin and ask them if those band aids are invisible on them.... Bah... irritated. Okay, anyway... yeah... oh! But the guy said the white/clear latex could sometimes have a slight sheen. So we bought the flesh beigey peach liquid latex.

Histrionics aside, you dip little cuts of string into the latex and place them quickly over the cut to create a look of sutures.


If you have a strong stomach you can look at pictures of real stitches for reference! n..n I did, although there was wincing involved.




Nip's pants were dyed linen pants from his Link costume, along with his Link bracer and Link leather straps wrapped around his hand. He used my pirate skirt as a shoulder cape and my bodice around his middle. The ribbon was tied around his belt from pirate night along with a necklace as a 'favor from his lady friend' and the necklace made the connection chain for his cape. He got some tiny french braids at the sides of his hair and the metal button made a nice finishing touch.

We safety pinned everything to keep from destroying a perfectly good skirt. XD



Nicole's Goods::


I have to say, I'm pretty proud of this one. Nicole used a throw blanket, two table runners, some pieces of jewelry, and a yard of metallic rope from the craft store.  Also... a butt load of safety pins as we also were going to have to return these goods to their previous function as dining room decor at my mum's house.


One table runner made a great shoulder swag which took on a kind of pauldron look. We wrapped the blanket around her in some combination of Grecian and Indian style and wrapped the last table runner around her waist with the cord over top.


I pinned jewelry to the back of the swag to make it kind of a fancy lady decoration and play up the fantasy look of the draped fabric.


Lastly, we added my wrist cuffs from pirate night around her ankles.


Tada!


Lastly, my swag::


Featheeeerrrrrs... I didn't really have laying around that I thought fit a European warrior look, which I think AFK was shooting for with their tagline of "A night of meat and mead" but I did have a black dress and big ass shoes and I knew Nip and Nicole have enough weaponry to choke an oxen- including two masamunes- which are very, very long katana-esque swords. I decided to try to do some kind of dark fantasy Asian-inspired warrioress and just play up the accessories (like feathers latexed to my eye zone.) But with a sword as big as the one they were going to lend me, I didn't feel like I'd have to try too hard, though I did decide to splurge on some fake fangs to play up the fantasy warrior schtick.


Yeah, I made this small because I don't think anybody really wants to stare at a jumbo picture of my teeth.  



I just pressed my dress and made a makeup mask of white and black stage makeup and then reapplied my feathers from the makeup test runthrough and pulled on my petticoats and frock. I don't think I've ever gotten ready so quickly for an event. It was pretty amazing. XD

Nip and Nicole looked super cute, though she was kind of scared of all of the fake hair and gold on her face at first. I told her it was good for her and to shut up. I'm kind of mean, actually.
And the lot of us looked super fancy for being put together from closet scraps and safety pins! Although this is a really rocking fuzzy mobile snapshot my dad took with crazy red eye attack syndrome, we left in such a hurry I guess I should be glad we have any pictures at all.


We managed a few snaps, but mostly were too busy having a really good time.. That's Zoey on the right. She made her own chainmaille bodice! Lots of mead for us... no meat cause of the whole vegetarian thing, but there you have it!



Final Fantasy theme is September 17th. It's bound to be a busy ass night. Maybe I can go as a Chocobo.
The end. <3