Friday, June 24, 2016

Oh uh, hey there!

Holy cow, I have no idea what I've been doing that has me so busy lately.

The last month has been kind of a blur though.
Between busy season at work, the start of summer in general, a bunch of concerts, some family birthdays and the start of the Pennsic prep season I feel like I'm all over the place.

Heaven And Earth Designs - Mini Shades of Red
I feel like I haven't gotten any crafting done at all this month though I guess that's not entirely true. I switched from my Garden of Delight cross stitch to restart Shades of Red on a different fabric and while I haven't gotten as far as I'd like I probably have about a quarter to a third of a page done. I'll toss a current pic up on here once I get home.

Image Anddrewgallichan on flickr

My main project of late has been Podcasting. I finally came up with a really solid topic and it immediately snowballed from there. I haven't started recording yet but I finally have most of what I need to get started...except that my desktop computer had a massive fail in the middle of a forced Windows 10 update and it's taken about a week to get back up and running.

If you are interested in learning about Forensic Psychology, True Crime, or even just hearing what the heck my voice sounds like keep an eye on @Quidproquocast on Twitter and Facebook (and soon .org though the site isn't up and running yet).

Hmm, what else...

Back in Black
I'm a brunette again! Though I do still have one blue streak in the front so I guess I'm a bluenette?

Potato and English pea samosas with saag and cilantro chutney
I've also been cooking a lot more since we started Blue Apron and that takes up a CONSIDERABLE amount of time but I'm kind of enjoying it. There are the obligatory pics on my instagram if you're into that sort of thing.

I guess that's it for the moment, I mostly just wanted to say Hi!

Baby crowned Sifaka lemur - yes this is a real live creature,

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

In lieu...

It's Monday so I didn't want to leave you with NOTHING.
I stayed late at work and needed a decompress so the majority of the column directly under the red flower is what happened in lieu of a blog post today. 

I regret nothing!

Actually that reminds me, in mid June I will be starting the NYS Summer Run Series races (strong suspicion I'm going to regret *that*) so my Mondays are going to be WELL accounted for. 

I have however enjoyed the exercise of reflecting back on my week each week so I will see what works out for a new Bat time on this here Bat channel.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Where the %^&*^$ did Monday Monday go?

I finally started binge listening to the Blackstar album by David Bowie so "Girl Loves Me" has been circling around my head for days (hence the title).

Busy season at my job has hit in spades so I plan to spend a bit more time relaxing and a bit less blogging about what I'm doing to relax, but I will try not to forget about you all.

Lets see,

Dracula in Real Time is rolling and we're only about a week in so if you're interested now is the time to get into it. There are, as previously mentioned, fully automated Twitter and Facebook pages.

I'm doing a daily pic project on my Instagram called #365Halloween
It is a pic a day series focused on all of the Halloween things which flavor my personal environment.

On a related note I got a new vanity license plate. I wont be sharing it here because that seems dumb, but I will say it's fairly ridiculous and Halloween themed.

I'm merrily chugging along on my current cross stitch piece - HAED's Garden of Delight by William Morris. I found one thankfully small mistake (look for the small spray of pink spots shown on the left but not on the right) and figured out a small tweak to parking method which has made a big difference in how easy it is for me to keep track of my stitches.

After some discussion I think I will be making my own "how to park" post but that will take some real work as I will have to mock up a piece to use as an example since it kind of necessitates showing your pattern and that ain't strictly legal when its a paid pattern.

Heaven And Earth Designs "Zen" Countess and threader set
I've also started using stitch marking pins and am waiting for a really nice set from HAED to arrive (seriously, I've been eyeing them for months and there was a really good sale).

Oh! I also made Q snap grime guards! I took a bunch of pics during the construction process so that will be its own post as well. I already replaced the elastic on the smaller one and will be doing so on the larger as the elastic I had in there was really kind of sprung and it doesn't have the right tension to it. Matching project bags are in the planning stages.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Monday Monday - the Bygone Bloodsucker Edition

I'm co-opting Monday Monday to talk about a side project I've been doing on and off since 2011. It's actually been the majority of what I've been doing for the last several days so I say it counts.

In the fall of 2006 I stumbled on a community online called Dracula1897 which presented Bram Stoker's Novel Dracula in a way I had never considered before; in real-time!

Dracula was written in a form called the epistolary novel, where the prose is presented as a series of documents. These documents are all date stamped, and so they used these stamps to separate out the novel into a sort of serial, making semi-daily posts following the chronology of the story spanning the six month period in which the book takes place.

I will be reproducing this experience (in my own way) at Dracula in Real Time over the next six months. I have done this a couple of times before and am relaunching tomorrow. 

If you (like me) are not good at regularly checking a blog you can follow along with automated posts via
Facebook - RealTimeDracula
Atom RSS feed

There is also an associated Facebook group (to discuss and handle administrative questions).

If you would like to see how this works in practice check out the (six months delayed) sister feed - Dracula on the Off Season which will be wrapping up the end of the book within the next week.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Throwback Thursday - Ootini part 2 of (now 3) - the mask

Constructing the eyes of a Jawa costume really deserves its own post so I've decided to split the mask post in two.

Sadly I did not have time to take pictures during the construction process, but I've reconstructed what I could using pictures of the completed items.

photo credit: Bill Nolan
The mask base: 
Starting with a plain plastic craft mask I cut the nostrils into one hole and cut the mouth out of the mask entirely. Structurally this is pretty much how I wore it the first day.

I had a lot of issues with my breath and sweat condensing on the inside of the mask and the pull of the entire mask was pretty much suspended on the bridge of my nose giving me a wicked sinus headache and raw bruised feeling across my nose by the end of the first night.

This was compounded by the fact that the mask fit the length of my face fine... as long as my mouth was closed. Any time I opened my mouth my chin hit the inner chin of the mask pulling it down tighter on my nose and I had to push it back up into place regularly.

For the second day I cut the upper lip out entirely and removed as much of the chin of the mask as I could. To add some padding for my nose and keep the mask off my face I sliced up several disposable squishy foam earplugs into approx. 1/4 inch thick pieces and glued them in a pattern I hoped would comfortably distribute the weight.
This worked really well, and in fact every single time I wear a mask for something I kick myself at some point in the evening for not doing this.
The staining on the forehead pads is blue hairdye.

What would I do different?
I think I cut a little more of the plastic out of this mask every single time I wear it.

Given my druthers I would completely rework the base structure of the mask leaving as little material touching my face as possible. Ideally I would have something suspended well off of my face like glasses with enough structure to attach the eye lights at the cheekbone level, the drape to cover the lower face, and some sort of superlight framework for the forehead area to attach the covering cloth.

Airspace and cheek area stability are the key elements. My current pie in the sky design would be an open-worked metal eye mask frame with a simple forehead cage.

The covering and attachments:

The black covering for the mask is a stretchy black velvet material which I attached with a hot glue gun. The upper part of the face down to the underside of the cheekbones was glued down to conform to the shape of the face. There are two draped pieces covering the mask, one from the cheekbones and one from the chin, which helped conceal the shape of my face and any part of my neck that might have been exposed by the hood. I think doing it draped from the bridge of the nose as I did probably made it a lot easier to breathe and meant that I could cut away a lot of the mask when I realized the problems of the first day.

Closeup of the eye covering and light and elastic attachment points
The mask eye holes were backed with a rubbery shelf liner material and glued on with white PVA glue. I was worried the glue would melt from my sweat but it has held up for several years now. In all but the most direct and brightly lit shots the eye camouflage worked shockingly well and often people looking directly into my face had to ask where I was looking out of. I learned to ignore the mesh pattern very quickly and had fantastic field of vision, probably the best I've ever had in a costume with a full face mask (the hood does disrupt that somewhat).

Holes for the eye lights and elastic strap to hold the mask on were drilled using a pin vice and drill (which went through everything extremely easily) and the attachments were wired down with anodized craft wire. Any small patches of white around any fabric edges were touched up using black acrylic paint, which I also used to cut some of the shine of the hot glue wherever it was visible.

What would I do different?
In a re-do I would probably switch to a glue with less shine and more working time, and would definitely use a more breathable material. I am not prone to overheating but this costume is VERY warm.
If using a mask I think I would attach the eye camouflage last instead of first to make it easier to cut the eye holes out of the fabric face covering. A better mask material would probably be silk noil as it has the right matte finish to absorb the light, it is light, airy, and drapes well, and it is shockingly cheap.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Monday Monday: the hope I'm not getting sick edition.

Feeling kind of cruddy but I don't want to leave you hanging - so have a few pics!

BadassCrossstitch #yearofstitch weeks 1 through 6

Week 7 (and all individual images) are posted on my Instagram
I'm really enjoying this project - it's been fantastic to try new things and each piece is so small and self contained it's been a great take along piece.

New project start - first 100+ stitches in Garden of Delight by William Morris from Heaven and Earth Designs. It's so nice to be comfortable stitching again and after this I'm even more convinced to swap to a new fabric on my Shades of Red project. I do want to pick up some stitch marking pins as this design is fairly intricate (over 20 colors in the first 100 stitches alone) and I think it will help me keep track of things better.

Fresh brows courtesy the Benefit Brow Bar at Ulta. They are the only place I will go to to get my brows done anymore. My brows are so sparse it's very easy to over pluck.

Tried an orange lippy - NYX Liquid Suede in "Orange County". Still looked great after an entire day at the wineries eating cheese and drinking reds so I can definitely vouch for the longevity of this formula. I think I need to be more tan and better matched to my foundation to really feel confident in this particular shade but I was surprisingly comfortable.
I think I've got this bright lippy thing down.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Monday Monday regerts

Live! Coming at you from my new computer desk! 

It may be cheap S-Mart pressboard trash but still worth it to have the hutch and a keyboard tray. It's actually an L desk as well but I have to cut down the L piece to fit the space so that's going to have to wait a bit. The cats are all quite fond of this new and exciting way to be between me and whatever I'm trying to read,

Heaven and Earth Designs - Mini Shades of Red
I'm seriously considering scrapping this project to start again with different fabric. This is navy 22 count hardanger cloth and it is just NOT working out for me.

I find the holes hard to see both due to the color and weave (which is not tight exactly but it is dense), and my stitching feels unbearably sloppy. I've been fighting myself to pick this piece back up every time I want to stitch for weeks and I just don't find the stitching pleasant enough to keep going for another who knows how many months. I thought stitching on 22 count with two strands would be nicer than 28 count with one strand but I no longer think so. I was passing a lot of my reluctance off on the stand I've been using but I no longer think that's the main problem, though it is a continuing annoyance.

Ahhhhhh well, lessons learned: I will likely avoid dark fabrics on large works, and no more two strand stitching on full coverage pieces.

I finally got around to cleaning up my mani on Sunday. One of the pitfalls of a nude mani is its easy to ignore chipping so it outstays its welcome. I wanted something green (because it's been a while) and fairly simple that could stand up to potential staining from my haircolor. I've worn Alien Queen from IncidentalTwin as an accent before but somehow never as the star and as with every single time I've worn one of her polishes I was super dubious on first coat and totally psyched by the third. They are sheer but they build beautifully.
Accent nail is Ulta Popping Bottle. 

Since the move in July my nailpolish has been sprawled across more than three cardboard boxes. My swatch sticks were woefully out of date and I had several new bottles that had not been cataloged in Nail Polish Book - a phone app I use to organize my stash (there are only so many bottles of relatively spendy dark teal polish one person needs to buy in one month). I finally took the time this weekend to catalog everything and get my swatches up to date and now I'm looking for a better storage solution than sorting into overly small dollar store bins by used (red) vs untried (blue).

I realized as I was pitting this together that I never posted my #yearofstitch piece last week so I will do so on my Instagram @the_itsybitsy in a few. Its been done for weeks, just not posted.

Just because it was funny, and a good reminder to avoid unitaskers!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Monday Monday - those May Flowers better be spectacular edition

It's been a freezing rainy mess of a week. 

Forsythia flowers I expected, frost flowers not so much.
The trees are still budding and the grass is starting to perk up so I'm staying hopeful for Spring. My unsprouted basil planter however... that I've written off as a late frost loss.

I no longer accept the concept of a basil free life so I started fresh seeds in a trash-hacked plastic bottle seed nursery this weekend and I'm taking advantage of the spare light from my wee Aerogarden. I did about 1/3 classic sweet Genovese and 2/3 a deep purple colored Genovese style basil variety called Amethyst Improved. I'm hoping to see those sprout in the next week or so.

I got my hairs did this week and I've finally gone back dark, though since I'm growing my cut out I still have enough lightened hair that I was able to go this amazing nearly indigo pen-ink blue.

As far as stitching goes I did a few #yearofstitch pieces, this week's post is up on my main Instagram @the_itsybitsy

Oh! Speaking of Instagram, if you like Instagram and you like cats I now have a feed specifically for mine! I always wanted to post more of them but felt like I didn't want to take over my feed. Now that you can do multiple feeds with one log-in I took the plunge.

Follow Renfield the Black cat, Quincey the ginger fluff and Mina the cow cat at @Catfaxabbey
I will only be following pet feeds from there but if you have a more general feed drop me a line on The_ItsyBitsy

I had a new computer desk debacle this week so instead of a working desk I have a pile of (mostly intact) pieces in the corner of the office waiting on replacement parts.

Sorry about the weird formatting on this post - the components for my desktop are scattered across the office floor at the moment and apparently blogging on an iPhone really just doesn't cut it.

To distract myself from all that annoyance I wanted a fussy embroidery piece, but I'm still fighting with the new stand a bit too much to comfortable stitch on my big HAED piece. I picked up my Blackwork Journey piece instead and finished the first block. The stitching is so fine it's hard to get a pic of the whole thing that also shows the designs well, I think I may do a slideshow of the individual blocks at the end.

After that I picked up a gift piece I've been working on for a few months now but I'm not showing that off yet so progress pics may be scarce for a bit.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Throwback Thursday - Ootini! Part one of two

Way back in the olden days of Livejournal I had a craft-specific feed under the name Carapax.

I stopped updating that feed in 2010 but it's still there and there are a lot of projects and ideas which I'd like to have handy so I'm going to start reposting them here. Subjects range from historical recreation, to brewing, to cosplay, to interior design crafting.

Posts will be generally left as they were written, though I will likely combine and condense certain things. Unfortunately even in this first post there were links which no longer work - but I have tested and replaced all of them so any links here are functional.

I'm starting with one of my very favourite projects to date - my Jawa costume.

Yes, this is a self portrait.

-td8733 was the primary source I used. Great ideas and closeups of what they did, coupled with plenty of production stills from ANH.
  • I have provided a link to the wayback machine snapshot instead of the real page because sadly this page is now SEVERELY broken. Site primarily for making a Jawa manikin, most useful for closeups of weapons and accessories (I didnt bother with weapons since they are such an issue at conventions).  Useful for details on the bandoliers and various widgets. Multiple useful links about halfway down right side of page. Primarily used for hood diagram. Jawa Just ta - Costume standards for the 501st Jawas Jawa The Wookieepedia entry on the Jawa

Primary Materials:
Two  Brinkmann GO-LED Waterproof LED Mini Lights
Appropriate yardage of a med weight dark brown roughwoven textured fabric - In my case 4 yds of a poly cotton blend
2 amber coloured decorative glass stones (the kind used both for filling vases and as Magic Card markers)
Plastic Craft Mask
About a yard all told of a black, light absorbing fabric (such as velvet) to cover mask and line hood (from stash)
Dark brown or black cotton jersey work gloves 
Amber coloured transparent glass paint
Two heavy duty cable/zip ties to hold the hood open. A package from Home Despot or Lowes is relatively inexpensive and infinitely handy for costume and home uses so I always keep them around. (in stash)
A few inches of black rubber shelf liner for eye camouflage. You want the stuff that looks all nubbly like rubber droplets sprayed onto a rubbery mesh. (super cheap by the roll from most S-Mart type stores)

Materials and tools I found helpful:
hot glue gun
black paint
sewing machine
matching brown thread
a few inches black ribbon
pliers to break apart light casings
exacto knife
pin vise with small drill bit
duct tape (of course)

The Robe:
My extensive "historical recreation" T-Tunic experience saved the day here.

There are two typical ways to do T-Tunics, one is the way recommended in the TK409 diagram which I disliked for my purposes because since I had fairly wide fabric that would have meant cutting the entire length of the fabric to the appropriate body width. This also involves cutting and attaching the arms separately. If you have narrower fabric or require more fullness in the robe this might be better, but for my circumstances it was not the way to fly. Finally it was unclear who this diagram was supposed to fit so the measurements were mostly useless.

I made the arms straight (not angel winged) and I pretty much just traced around a T-Tunic I use for Pennsic which still seemed to have about the right amount of fullness over a sweatshirt (which I knew I was going to want for warmth). Looking at the movie stills from td8733 it seemed that the sleeves were straight and very deep (the "armpit" is clearly nearly at the waist of the actors) so I made the sleeve extend down about 12" from the shoulder seam.
Here is the robe I did folded in half and laid out (as it would be to cut the fabric) and here is a closeup of the same with a tape measure over it. For size reference that was well enough fullness to comfortably accommodate a 34" chest measurement plus a rather bulky sweatshirt.

Here is a pretty good description of how to do this sort of T-Tunic though you'll want a lot more fullness in the body, though I used the sort of angle-y side hem I just left the bottom straight like the second diagram (IE I did not curve it to account for the side length as the robe is supposed to be puddly and draggy).

Robe construction was done entirely with a Serger due to time constraints (and having gotten a new sewing machine which is complicated enough to actually freak me out a bit). Arm edges and bottom hem was left unfinished to hopefully develop the desired ragged appearance over time. Because the fabric was not wide enough to make sleeves which extended to pretty much cover my hands with my arms down I ended up having to extend both sleeves by about 8 inches at the forearm (which I can detail if requested but I don't see much utility in it here).
I did not bother with the split down the center front of the robe as it seemed pretty superfluous to the appearance of the design and would have added several more seams and closures to worry about.

The Hood:
I made the hood pretty much exactly as diagrammed at tk409, however I used a slightly wider piece of fabric (I just used the full width of the fabric so the folded length was probably closer to 25" then 20).
I originally did not line the hood and used bias tape to hem the hood and make a channel for the zip ties I used to hold the hood open, but I quickly realized that it did not have enough weight to it and that the inside of the hood needs to be black for the mask to blend in.
I ended up top-stitching a roughly 8 inch wide piece of stretch velvet just to the inside of the hood edge (this is same fabric I used to cover the mask) and tacking down the other edge a couple of places (I did not want an obvious line of stitching right in the middle of the hood body). Here is a pic of the hood laid out inside out as flat as possible, and here it is from the side on my lovely dress dummy+octopus model.
The bottom edge of the hood was selvage and did not require finishing.

The closure of the hood was a small snap but it was mildly annoying to have so light a closure as it came open while I was adjusting it a few times so I believe I ended up adding a small hook in the long run.
The stiffener to keep the hood open was simply two long cable ties with the closure ends cut off which I duct taped together in the middle to make one long (approx 26 inch) stiffener. I located the middle of the hood and stitched a channel on each side wide enough to insert the cable, but left the center open. I slid the cable in from the center and got it completely centered on the hood and then stitched the channels closed right at the ends of the ties so that the ties could not shift around.

My lovely assistant.
Next up: the Mask!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Monday Monday - the stuck in because it's apparently winter again edition

The new embroidery frame is a bit fighty, it likes to explode without much warning* so I didn't do work on it much. I have to work out some sort of stabilization beyond occasionally going over the whole thing with a rubber mallet. 

Most of my stitching this week was on #yearofstitch pieces which I generally do without a stand. I'm actually up to week ten though I've only posted through week four.

I didn't hate stitching this like I thought I would! Sadly I started it in two strand and found it a bit weedy, but I was kind of stuck with it by then so I soldiered on with the sides and switched to three strand for the middle section. 

Hooray for laying tools! You can do satin stitch without one, but I certainly wouldn't want to. Finishing off on the back was really annoying though.

I've done some on my HAED Shades of Red piece and it's starting to pick up speed but it still doesn't look like much yet. So much confetti stitching. I had been using a magnifier and light but I think I'm going to ditch the magnifier. It's a lot of hassle and my stitching just seems wonky in the parts where I used it.

There is a cross country stitching challenge at the HAED forum I follow I'm considering but I don't think I have any projects lined up which suit it very well and the prize images they offer aren't typically my thing. I feel like I should join for the sake of challenging myself but it really will cramp my style. There are a couple of months left to join (this is no small challenge) but I suspect I'll leave this one to others.

I did finally try my new Limited edition  Limecrime lip colour Beet It and though sadly I did not get a pic with it on my face I'm REALLY happy with the shade. It looks a bit mauve in the tube (see the small dot to the left) and I was almost pissed at having snagged yet another blah tone but it dries to a really nice intense shade right on that cranberry border between berry and red. I feel like it looked a touch more pink on my face but I also had a much more even application. Putting lipstick on your wrist is surprisingly awkward feeling.

I include the other Limecrime shades I own and a fairly true red from NYX in a similar formula (longwearing matte cream with a doefoot applicator) for comparison. So far all of these have proven to be pretty much bulletproof. Any lippy that will hold up to a dinner party and a mildly absurd amount of wine gets my thumbs up.

Utopia is the color I wore for my wedding!

*The embroidery stand actually exploded again as I got off the couch to set up the lip color pic.

What was supposed to be a simple clean up of my fatally chipped grey and gold polish turned into a subtle but (I think) cool French manicure. The base is Twinkle Twinkle by NailNation3000 and the tips are Love Me Fear Me by IncidentalTwin.

Sadly it doesn't photograph very well AT ALL as the camera really wants to pick up the yellow tone of the flakies instead of the opalescent goodness and I feel like this pic makes my nails look stained even though FOR ONCE they actually aren't.

I may use a pink tinted topcoat next time as these translucent manis seem to yellow out and get dingy really fast.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Monday Monday - Behind the scenes week

The vast majority of my energy this week went toward finishing my tattoo Wednesday and the subsequent loooooong slow healing process.

I've been using this organic cocoa butter based Redemption stuff for aftercare instead of the usual ointments and this is hands down the fastest heal I have ever experienced.

It's also pretty amazing as a moisturizing butter, so I may get more to use as a cuticle and scar butter down the line, but it is a bit on the spendy side for that.

Courtesy John Lally at Masquerade Tattoo NY
Click through to @jlallyart on instagram for a few detail shots
That made it really hard to move my right arm so I reacted to this by... hanging lots of pictures! I also set up that little Aero garden which has wee bebeh basil seedlings after only three days. Which is good because I could seriously eat all of the basil.

We have a slightly staggering amount of art which has pretty much never seen the light of day and I am resolved to jettisoning the poster tubes and getting it all up. Framing is spendy so for now I'm focusing on the already framed stuff. It'll be a slow process to get it ALL up to be sure, but so worth it to actually see all of the art we've been getting for each other over the years.

We are amassing a serious pile of stuff from Mondo and Angry Blue, especially - I also have the added complication of planning everything around a reprint of an original Frankenstein bus poster which is literally taller than I am (he lives behind the couch).

And I get to tetris it all into our tiny tiny tiny apartment! Hence the 1840s bat plate/Muppet movie melange up there. Whatever, it makes me happy.

Sometimes fancy crafting requires unfancy ingredients.

My other major project this week was to make a PVC lap stand for embroidery! I based it on this design and while my clothes and porch (and probably my lungs) were covered in PVC dust the whole thing took all of $20 and maybe an hour to put together.

I haven't gotten a chance to really test it out yet but I'm very hopeful... if I can keep the kitten from eating the rubber bands currently holding it together! It does have a bit of a tendency to explode.

It's not glued so I can break it down as needed and sub in pieces of different lengths to fit a multitude of other projects. Currently it is set up to hold my usual scroll frame over my lap while I am sitting cross legged but it will also hold a 8x11 Qsnap with a few piece changes.

The Badasscrossstitch yearofstitch project is moving along nicely and this weeks entry Fly Stitch may not be the sexiest but it's still new to me!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Monday Monday - chugging along

This was a quiet week all told.

Most of the "work" I have done this week has been theoretical research for a couple of big online projects I'm hoping to start soon.

If I move forward with both they could change the face of this blog significantly, so more on that as there's more on that. If you have any suggestions for stuff you'd like to see more of/less of this is the time.

I am all ears (all eyes? You know what I mean).

I'm still in the process of a major apartment re-org so whole days are being devoured by the random belonging slide-puzzle game and bookshelf building, but stuff is finally getting unboxed and a functional office/craft space is so close I can practically taste it.

My main cross stitch project, Mini Shades of Red by Heaven and Earth Designs, is all sloooooooooooow particular stitching right now so that is crawling along at a snail's pace. I'd post a pic but it wouldn't look like much of anything.

Our new couch setup makes it very difficult to use my floor stand so that is slowing down my pace even more. I have been looking into lap stands but I work very close to my canvas and plan to work on some big pieces so anything I buy is going to be a relatively significant cash investment.

My #yearofstitch project is moving apace. Week two has been posted and week three is actually done as well. I had originally posted on Friday and then I remembered the Instagram blackout protest due to the planned format change so I took it down and reposted Saturday.

Haha No by thedisasterlife on Etsy

I've been particularly caught on Evil Eye and Ouija designs lately so I picked up a Ouija themed shirt from Amazon and an art print *points up* (click picture subtitle for link or here for her instagram @permascowl) and am in the process of stitching an evil eye themed project as a gift. I'd also really like to reproduce that "Haha No" piece in embroidery but haven't yet contacted the artist about permission yet.

I also picked up a sort of cape/sweatshirt hybrid to replace my trashed hoodies. I expect I'll have to do some surgery to it to make it look like something other than a shapeless bag but I'm tired of supposedly comfortable garments that are huge on my upper torso but somehow don't fit over my hips. 

Perhaps they are afraid of my Puerto Rican-ness, my natural heat.
I'm getting a little tired of the hyper masculine style I've been rocking all winter so hopefully this will be the Spring I finally embrace my inner Norn. I'm planning on a longer, softer haircut once the blue grows out and I've started wearing eyeliner again.

It's hard to do long, flowy, and aristocratic when you sit in an office chair eight hours a day but hopefully I'll manage. If nothing else I have decent hand sewing skills so I'll be able to mend all the skirt damage.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Monday Monday - almost missed posting on time due to DST!

I generally deal with DST by trashing my sleep schedule so hard that weekend that I barely tell anything is different on Monday. Works like a charm.

I got most of this written out earlier, got distracted by things, and suddenly realized it was almost midnight, oopsie!

Not much motion on the big stitching projects but I did finally start the Badass Crosstitch #yearofstitch and post the first week on Wednesday.

I have the second done as well but am not sure when I want to start posting them. I'm thinking maybe I'll post them Friday to split up the week a little bit.

The biggest thing that I did this week was finally rearrange my apartment. We moved in early July but the space never settled into a good functional flow and so many things never really seemed to find a proper place. We switched two of the rooms so that we now have the worlds tiniest great room and a separated office/craft/workout space.

Operation "be able to take a single picture in my home and not see a random cardboard storage box" is moving along nicely, but there's a lot left to do.
One of the projects I really want to tackle is a makeup and beauty product re-org. I literally have a box full of subscription boxes full of stuff that hasn't been sorted.
So of course I bought more beauty stuff on Thursday.

I stopped in at Ulta after my hair appointment to pick up the Tarte facial oil on the far right and see if I could get my brows done at the Benefit Brow bar (could and did!). I'd been stalking that particular NYX liquid Suede lip colour for a while so I grabbed that and another red. The third red was entirely accidental as I was comparing them to a color I knew I liked and simply forgot to put it down. Still haven't decided whether to keep or swap it. 

I really like a long sweeping liner brush so I'm enjoying going back to a true liquid liner but I would prefer it to be even more matte. I'm also looking forward to trying that silicone brush with a gel liner as I'm not a big fan of the usual suggested firm angle brush and I feel like I've lost the ability to do things I used to do daily on a moving train with liquid (I commuted to college and grad school).

I've gone back to dark blue hair as I grow out the white and it's like hanging out with an old friend. Note also my freshly waxed brow line! Even without filling them in (I always break out less if they don't fill them after) I haven't had brows that crisp since Halloween!

My nails were pretty trashed so I repainted them on a shade I hope will stand up to the blue hair dye. 

The more I use that gold flake polish the more I want to. Not to mention that I saw both a macro gold flake indie polish and a gold foil enhanced mani tutorial vid on instagram within the last day that I'm trying not to think too hard about. Following Sveta_Sanders is kind of a problem as it's Russian language so I can't even read her posts much less buy those polishes, and she post some AMAZING polishes.

My other main beauty related move this week is to drink lots and lots and lots of water. It's so trite but it really works and I hate that I forget that. 

I haven't used lip balm in days and I could probably apply a lip stain right now with no prep whatsoever. I was noticing my skin looking pretty grumpy lately (for example that pic collage above, eek) and this has immediately perked it right up.