Monday, August 30, 2010

Lazy Daze & Clockwork Ball

Over the weekend, I went to one thing after another, so here's what's up:

Lazy Daze in Cary:
So Lazy Daze is a giganto craft fair here in downtown Cary and it's always super-packed with tons of awesome stuff. Here's a few pictures from Saturday when I was there:
Lazy Daze in Cary: Possum Silhouette
Possums! Why do I love Possums so much?

Lazy Daze in Cary: Wrap Skirts!
Wrap Skirts - I totally want to make some wrap skirts now!

Next up - The Clockwork Ball:
Steampunk costumes! Hooray! I don't know why, but I have this self-imposed "No Repeat Outfits" rule about the Clockwork Ball, which means that I'm actually having to come up with interesting outfits now, instead of JUST having a color and black black black (which is my default outfit style.)

Chris Florio was there and took some amazing photos - here's the one of me:
The Clockwork Ball - 8/28/2010

I know, you can't see the color
But you can see the colors of my outfit here:
Steampunk Outfit Tryout Side
I didn't wear those socks, obviously, but I think they kind of look cute with the outfit too

When I wasn't out doing stuff, I stayed in and relaxed a lot because I thought it would be nice to have a calm weekend before Thursday, when I leave early in the morning for Dragon*Con! Woo!

I have so many outfits/costumes lined up for Dragon*Con, I have no idea if I'll be able to pack/wear them all! We'll just have to see!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Hello! Throw Pillow!

I am returning to the internet for real this time! Okay, and by that, I mean that I'm going to update this blog nearly thrice weekly once again! There's been some personal drama over the last year or so, and now I'm just making things for fun and doing things that I want and seeing how it turns out.

I like trying lots of new things, and I can't wait to sew more stuff, and work on some apparel and jewelry. If I think it's fun or cool, I'm probably going to try it. Ooo, also, using cut paper - I have so much paper and material, it's sickening!

First up, I've been meaning to make this pillow every since I bought this fabric* at IKEA last year!

Zippered Throw PIllow Cover

What says "classy" better than a squirrel holding a cheese slicer?
A squirrel holding a cheese slicer standing on a birdcage! That's what!

I know, you are jealous, but seriously, it was pretty easy to make. I followed this tutorial and everything came out pretty well.
Zippered Throw Pillow Tutorial at Design*Sponge.

Here's the problems I ran into while sewing:
- Rat nests: My machine needs cleaning, so there was some ratnests on the back (you can't see them, so yay!)
- Thread Tension: It was hard for me to figure out the correct tension for this fabric, because it's thick, almost canvas-like fabric. Eventually I think I got it, but it took awhile. Hopefully it won't fall apart.

Well, it's good to be back to crafting! Hopefully I'll be doing new and interesting, or at least interesting things in the near future!
* This is the Lotta Kuhlhorn 2008 IKEA fabric

Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday Finds! Quintron and Miss Pussycat - DIY instruments and Puppet Shows

Sometimes, even when you are feeling creatively blah, you find inspiration that is just so compelling, you have to share! While I was down in New Orleans, we hit up the NOMA to check out the highly recommended local Quintron and Miss Pussycat exhibit.

Mr. Quintron and Drum Buddy

"The Quintron / Miss Pussycat experience is one of barely controlled electronic chaos, "Swamp-Tech" dance beats, small explosions, incredible clothes, and entertaining puppet stories."

Mr. Quintron is a concert and nightclub organist from New Orleans, Louisiana. He plays a type of music the press has dubbed "Swamp Tech." The best part? He builds his own instruments! They are awesome, especially the Drum Buddy, which you can play with at the exhibit. Here is an awesome video of a Drum Buddy in action!

Miss Pussycat and Puppets
Miss Pussycat is a master puppeteer, who makes her own puppets and performs highly amusing technicolor puppet shows. Complex puppet shows beautifully crafted for late night rock and roll drinking and dancing: tactile, idiosyncratic puppet characters, pithy dialogue, and electronically pixilated soundtracks. She even has a Christmas special that they show on local television in Louisiana every year.

Visit their website for more fascinating information about Quintron and Miss Pussycat!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

When I Grow Up (by Leah, age 30)

Hello Earth people!
I don't know what it is about Januaries, but they are always a time for re-evaluating your life - which should I play, Hello Kitty Online or Star Trek Online? What kind of career should I have? What am I doing here?

I've been seriously re-considering my life as a freelance artist/designer. On the one hand, it has been sweet. This is the kind of opportunity that not everyone gets in their lifetime - to quit their desk job and try a hand at making their career entirely about something they enjoy doing. I would never have been able to do it without my best friend/husband Will.

But, as much as I appreciate all the encouragement throughout the years from all of you, I just don't feel fulfilled in what I'm doing. Of course I *like* what I'm doing, and I do feel I have a certain creative aptitude. I don't think I have the kind of drive/ambition for the daily searching and striving, and I feel I am missing a lot of the self-promotion / business sense needed to really make it.

I have always wanted to do something that reached outside of myself and made me feel as if I'm making the world a better place, and I just don't feel it right now. That doesn't mean in any way that I'm going to completely stop making stuff, because I don't think I *can* stop.

AND, I'll admit it, in some ways, I like the boring stability of a regular paycheck. Possibly one that helps pay the billz, yo. I'm not looking for a lucrative career field by any means, but a more fulfilling one, and that's sort of what I'm spending this week wracking my noggin about.

It may be awhile till I figure out what I want to do when I grow up. I'll be sure to let you know. In the meantime, don't worry, there will still be craft projects - the world keeps turning, right?

Friday, January 8, 2010

A Plush A Day Chalenge! Day 33 - Mystery

A Plush A Day Challenge! Day 33 - Mystery
Day 33 - Mystery
Is it a sort of large apple? An extremely large cherry? Or perhaps it's an internal organ? Or the larval phase of some larger plushy?

Whatever it is, it's pretty cute, and it's already hanging out with all the others, so I guess I'll have to name it eventually.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A Plush A Day Challenge! Day 32 - Marti (the cyclops)

A Plush A Day Challenge! Day 32 - Marti! (the Cyclops)
Day 32 - Marti (the cyclops)

Marti has one of those sweet jobs where she works from home, so she spends all day in her pajamas. "This pretty much fulfills the dreams I had when I was 10!" she always tells me as she sips her coffee and types.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


2009 was a pretty hard year for me - having to go to the emergency room twice and having surgery was not so fun. Also, the constant stomach trouble sucked.

I was pretty much constantly sick to my stomach after recovering from gallbladder surgery, and even when my diet consisted entirely of Saltines and canned soup, I still felt terrible. I finally started reading every single ingredient in everything I ate and mapped out when I felt bad.

Finally, I think I've gotten things figured out by doing an elimination diet. I'm 90% sure that I'm soy-intolerant. I didn't even know that was a thing. But Saltines and canned soup have a lot of soy in them. As does almost every type of bread. So does everything that I would eat and then feel crappy.

I've spent the last month and a half without eating soy and I feel awesome. The only times when I feel bad I go back and track down what I ate, and it usually has soy in it (this includes store-brand nasal decongestant, btw.)

It's such a relief to finally figure out what was going on and not feel crappy all the time. It makes me so much more optimistic.

Even though I'm sick now (with my usual winter cold) I am anticipating a much healthier year in 2010. Here's what I'm up to:

- Be more careful of what I eat, and eat lots more vegetables
- Run 3x weekly
- Spend some time each day de-stressing - either meditating, or just listening to quiet music
- Stop stressing out about stuff no one cares about, like housecleaning or finances
- Cut down on social activities
- Finish up the front room and take a year off from home improvement projects

Outside of health/well-being resolutions, I also want to do more art - I got a jump-start with the Plush a Day Challenge, but I want to produce more, sell more, and have more shows. Which means I have to actually do the following:
- Get my business license
- Set realistic financial goals
- Probably up my prices
- Put together two art shows and shop them around
- Get new business cards
- Make SPX reservations

And finally, most importantly, I want to do more things that I *want* to do, instead of constantly doing things I feel I *have* to do:
- Go to Mardi Gras in NOLA
- Take a vacation with Will that isn't family-related
- Clean out stuff we don't want and donate/give it away

Sometimes, it's really hard being a grown up, but I think I'm getting a handle on it. Here's to the new year!

A Plush A Day Challenge! Day 31 - Hypno-Trow!

A Plush A Day Challenge! Day 31 - Hypno-Trow
Day 31 - Hypno-Trow
Trows, in general, are inclined to be short of stature, ugly, and both shy and mischievous in nature. Small trolls of this type are rarely seen outside of Scotland.

This is a hypno-trow, distant relation to both the Money Eating Trow, and the Hypno Toad. Do not look him directly in the eyes because he will hypnotize you and steal... my goodness... such interesting eyes. Can't look away...

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A Plush A Day Chalenge! Day 30 - Speedy!

A Plush A Day Challenge! Day 30 - Speedy!
Day 30 - Speedy

I'm not entirely sure where Speedy is from - possibly the future, or another planet? Maybe Speedy is a robot?

Whenever you're heading someplace KA-Zam! Speedy is already there. I once said "Wow! You sure get everywhere fast!" and Speedy responded with "Legs are not aerodynamic." That was kind of weird.

Monday, January 4, 2010

A Plush A Day Challenge! Day 29 - Mr. Molar!

A Plush A Day Challenge! Day 29 - Mr. Molar!
Day 29 - Mr. Molar

Welcome back! I spent a few more days recovering from the holidays and a cold in order to bring you top-notch dapper teeth plushies!

Mr. Bunodont Molar has quite a dapper wardrobe. I caught him here in the midst of a game of croquet (which is why he's removed his top hat). Apparently, winter croquet is just The Thing this year.