goals & progress

A quarterly update on my progress:

  • to finish and publish Dreamwalkers
  • to finalize the print edition of Hitchhikers and offer a giveaway or two
  • (if goal #1 happens) to finish and publish Scavengers
  • and to possibly finish some of my other works-in-progress, including Blood Countess and another new WIP that I haven’t even added to the site yet!
  • be able to do a handstand away from the wall and hold for 10 seconds (I am close to being able to hold it next to the wall, the next step is to move away!)
  • be able to do more than 3 straddle ups in a row (in aerial silks)
  • practice yoga more often
  • read down my Goodreads to-read list (currently I have 148 books “to-read” which is kind of ridiculous)
  • sew more of my own clothes

I got the print edition of Hitchhikers all squared away and did a Goodreads giveaway that ended March 11th.  Goal met!  I will likely be offering another giveaway for Hitchhikers once I’ve completed Dreamwalkers and get the ebook edition up.

I have actually been practicing yoga more often, usually only once a week (although I do incorporate a lot of yoga stretches into my stretching routine).

So far, I’ve got a peasant blouse nearly completed (will post pics at some point) and I have the materials to make a knockoff of Lululemon’s vinyasa scarf (apparently now discontinued).  Also I’m very nearly finished with a sweater I’ve been working on since early autumn, just in time for the weather to turn warm.  Not really sewing, but DIY clothing related.

Progress on my other goals…

  • Dreamwalkers is up over 52,000 words! It probably will not be finished by my self-imposed deadline of April 1 (ha ha!) but the end is near.
  • Have done some inspiration work on my WIP that is still doesn’t have its own spot on my WIP list – check out this Pinterest board I made!
  • Still can only do 2 straddle ups in a row, but I’ve been able to do some with straight arms which is extremely difficult, so I am getting there!
  • Started the year with 148 books on my to-read list, now at 155, but I have actually read several books that were on there!

finally – the halloween costume post!

Inspiration: steampunk circus inspired by The Night Circus.  I based my look off of this Simplicity pattern:

Rather than buying the yards and yards of fabric that would be needed make the overcoat, and then having to actually SEW an overcoat, I decided to use what I had on hand:

original coat

This was my winter coat from several years ago, and I decided to cut it up since it was too big, didn’t really have any shaping to it, and was sort of pill-y and covered in lint, etc., and having three or four other winter coats in my closet… You can see the cutting lines I drew.

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Cut off the collar and shaped the bottom hem line… Then I needed the ruffle!  I had just the thing: a butt-ugly sheer shirt (part of a dance costume for Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror” but I won’t say anything more about that!) I was more than happy to cut up.

photo (1) photo (4)

I had to make some major alterations to the jacket that had me wondering if altering was easier than sewing an entire new jacket, mostly because it all involved hand sewing, which I hate!  I added three panels into the “skirt” of the jacket to make it flare out, and also a false lacing up the back.  I also had to make the jacket double-breasted inside of single, which meant learning how to sew buttonholes.  That was much easier than I thought it would be.  ALL OF MY FUTURE PROJECTS WILL NOW HAVE BUTTONS!

I also had some red and white striped fabric for the corset, and some velvet I had used to make a jacket years earlier (which is how I knew I did not want to make another jacket…).  Made some little lace gloves out of some scraps I had, found a little top hat at Savers that I added some tulle and a fabric rose to, and voila!

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I opted for leggings and boots rather than making a full skirt, just for ease of wearing and because I kinda ran out of time toward the end of October.  I’m not sure how many people “got” what I was for Halloween, but I did receive lots of compliments on my costume.  And on Janina’s Snow White costume:

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Television as inspiration

Most of the time, TV is a huge distraction for my writing.  But other times, television can inspire action.
I usually end up sitting at my sewing machine when I watch “Project Runway.”  It’s something about those designers sewing an entire outfit in a matter of hours that makes me feel guilty about that dress I started sewing last year and never finished…  If not sewing, I’ll usually end up knitting or doing some other crafty thing while I watch.

Some people I know say that watching “Hoarders” makes them feel like their mess of a house isn’t so bad.  But “Hoarders” drives me to get up and start cleaning.  I find myself getting up and putting stuff away, vacuuming, and organizing…

Such a guilty pleasure to watch… I will attempt to justify my obsession with “Dance Moms” by saying that I watch it for the dancing, not the moms.  I’m usually inspired to do my stretching routine while I watch those 8-13-year-old girls do stuff usually seen in Cirque du Soleil.

So there are 3 shows that inspire me to Do Something.  Now, they need to create a show that will inspire me to write… It would have to be something boring so I could concentrate on writing.  Like a white screen with some cool music playing…

crafty goodness

I’ve been getting quite a bit of crafting done during my non-writing time… 

First up was this pleated bag.  I found the pattern here.  I got canvas fabric in this cool pattern, and voila:

Cute, right?  The bag did come out a little bit on the small side, at least compared to the pictures on the original site.  I think I was supposed to add a seam allowance to the pattern pieces or something.  But still cute.

Next up, hula hoops!  I’ve been working on my hooping skills for a year or so now, and figured, “Why not try to make my own hoops?”  I found a tutorial over here, picked up some tubing and other supplies at Lowe’s, and have now made a couple of hoops.  The first,  I gave away to my friend’s daughter.  The second came out a bit better – taping is certainly an art all its own!

Knitting projects up next:

I used this free pattern.  It was superfast and easy (so long as you know how to cable knit already, but even if you don’t, this is a good first project).  The weather isn’t cold enough for me to wear it yet, but soon…

While I was at Joann’s, I also picked up some ruffle yarn.

This stuff knits up really fast – you only have to cast on 6 stitches.  I can’t wait to see what the finished product looks like!

And finally – my Renaissance Faire costume:

If you’ll recall, I’m making a costume based off of Snow White’s in “Mirror Mirror.”  I finished the dress part, now I just have to make the corset.  Luckily there’s a nice long weekend coming up!

top 5 news stories

In writing news…

Just got word today that my short story, “His Type of Girl,” was accepted for an anthology called I’ll Never Go Away, to be published in May 2012 by Rainstorm Press!

I’ve also been working on a short story for another anthology.  I found this anthology listed on Ralan.com, a great site if you are a writer of speculative fiction (e.g. horror, sci-fi, fantasy, or any combo of the three).  The working title of the anthology is Steampunk Cthulhu which inspired me to write something new… so far so good!

In sewing news…

I finally got down to the fabric store so I can finish my kitchen curtains.  I had already made the valance:

but for the tier curtains I needed a matching shade of red:

 

 

Curtains are necessary and all, but they’re not the most thrilling thing to make… but lately I’ve been thinking about this year’s Halloween/RenFaire costume.  My costume is inspired by this one worn in the trailer for “Mirror Mirror.”

Mirror Mirror costume

I love this bodice and I love the color of the top.  For my costume, instead of having the bottom be black pants, I’m going to make the top into a long chemise.  The chemise will be fairly easy so it’s step one.

Although I did see a few really cool Steampunk-style patterns in the Simplicity catalog…  Maybe I’ll have time to make two costumes this year?

Material for my costume

In movie news…

I went to see “Silent House” with my friend Melissa last night and it was really good!  I had read that the movie was one continuous shot, or at least the Spanish original was, so I was watching to see if the same would be true of the remake.  Luckily the way the movie’s plot went, I did not have to sleep with my lights on or anything – although in the beginning I was getting really freaked out and thought I might have to.

In circus news…

My aerial silks classes are going well, mostly working on strength and doing short sequences.  Last week I forgot batteries for my Flip camera so it will be yet another week before I can make a new video.  In flying trapeze I’ve been working on the flexus for a few weeks now, but have yet to attempt to catch it.

In Hunger Games news…

I will definitely be going to the midnight show!!  I’m buying my tickets right now!!!  Can you tell I’m excited?????