Monday, January 14, 2013

Katara Cosplay

It occurred to me that I never posted my Katara costume (or Pokemon Trainer) I made for Dragon*Con 2012.

Dragon*Con was fun. While it feels like great number of people took our photos, I found a mere perhaps four or five on the vast internet, which is a shame. I at least got my husband to work my DSLR for a photo of me. I will have to get a proper shoot or something another time for more views of the costume.

Fire Nation Katara from Avatar: The Last Airbender

An adventure in applique, also.

I will probably invest in wigs for later endeavors, especially as my own hair is as unpredictable as the wind when it wants to be.

I am planning two more Katara costumes for the future, after my next big project.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Granny Squares

One of my current projects is a blanket. I haven't crocheted anything in a while and I've never made granny squares before. I have some yarn that's been sitting around for ten years (no joke) and wanted to do something, anything with it. The colors aren't even that great. Bright white, bold blue, bright red, and black.

I'm only about halfway done after a week of off and on work.

(My desk is a disaster)

That's all for now.

Saturday, April 21, 2012


Not really craft related, but figured I'd write a post out anyway.

I'm about a week into really going "No-Poo" (No Shampoo). For me, the choice wasn't about going green like it is for a lot of people. My hair's just really long and taking care of it gets to be a chore sometimes. I know part of the reason the latter half of it is in the condition it is. There's no oils getting down there and conditioners aren't doing the job. I'm hoping that by not stripping away the natural oils with shampoo, it'll help.

I'm not going to write a long post about the benefits of not using shampoo, this, that, and the other. Just a brief spill on what I'm doing right now. There's a plethora of resources out there that will give you more information.

Rather than quit shampoo completely and just wash my hair with hot water, I'm using baking soda mostly on the scalp. After rinsing, I do an apple cider vinegar rinse and wash all of that out after a minute or two - this is to combat the drying effect of the baking soda. I only do this three times a week (which is how often I was washing my hair before anyway.) I either let my hair air dry or I braid it.

Not excessively oily hair this way. (If you just totally quit shampoo, the transitional period is going to look pretty dodgy until your body readjusts.)I'm not completely sure, but I may even go so far as to say my hair feels better when I run my fingers through it.
Apple cider vinegar - the smell is faint after you rinse it out, but the smell goes away after your hair dries. I may try lemon juice as an alternative.

This is only the first week and hair care is a long process, so I'm going to keep on with it and see how it goes. After possibly 4-6 weeks of this process, I may drop it altogether and just wash with hot water.

Wikipedia article on "No Poo"
Blog post from Loving It Raw

Monday, April 9, 2012

Baby Quilt

The semester is winding down, so there's just assignments and exams left and right. I needed a break today. My partner for one of my classes is expecting their child Friday, so I thought I'd do something nice and make a small quilt for the baby. I've been wanting to make a quilt for some time and this was as good of a time as any. (Also a small one to get started with!)

I stumbled across this tutorial and decided to go with it. The Road Trip Quilt from Cluck, Cluck, Sew. As it says, it really is a great quilt for a beginner.

I picked up some fabric this afternoon and got started as soon as I got home.

I didn't want too many different things going on, so six felt like a pretty good balance. This owl fabric is so cute. Look at it. Look.

From starting to cut the fabric to finishing putting the top together, it took me maybe 2 hours max. It wasn't that bad, really. A bit of shuffling pieces around so not too many were clustered in an area. A few steps later, the quilt was done. Nothing too fancy. Maybe another 2 hours. How do people feed blankets bigger than this through their machine?

It's a good thing this is crib sized.... Because I kind of want to keep it. If it were big enough for my bed, I probably would.

Friday, April 6, 2012

DIY Wedding Veil

Photo by Lindsey Friar Photography

I made my own veil for the wedding. If ever you've stopped in a bridal shop and seen the prices of some of their veils, you'd probably understand that I didn't want to pay as much for a veil as I did the entire dress. And really, it's something you wear for maybe 15 minutes, depending on the length of your ceremony, then ditch for the rest of the event. (As it is common to remove the veil after the ceremony and any photographs your photographer may hold you over for.)

I don't have any pictures from actually making it, so forgive me. The process is really quite simple, however. I'll try to explain it best I can, but I have a habit of muddling the explanation.

I already had plenty of lace that my mother's been hanging onto for years and years and years. Bolts of it. "Veil-y" material is pretty cheap, I bought a couple yards. Wasn't sure how much I was going to want (or how many times I was going to mess up.)

First, you're going to need one of these.

A wide one is good. That'll keep it more secure on your precious little head. I bought mine somewhere around the bridal section at Jo-ann. There were two of them in a pack. There are other ones at Hobby Lobby and the like, but they were short ones and made of metal. I didn't like those because I'd had a few metal wire ones before and they get bent all out of shape.

Then, you'll need these sorts of things...

You'll cut the material to the shape of the veil you want. I wanted a fingertip length veil, but two layers, although I wasn't concerned with wearing the veil over my face. (It could have, though. I just wasn't keen on wearing it that way. Something about not liking roots of traditions.)

I had a rough measurement from about the crown of my head to fingertippish and doubled that to account for two layers.

I cut out a rough rectangle that length and just "some" width. (I would best describe it as my width plus a little extra. That way it would drape around me. I know, totally unspecific. This whole thing was done by improvising.) The corners were rounded out.

I then cut enough lace to go around the entire perimeter of this rectangle. It was a lot. Just... a lot.

If your lace looks like this...
That is to say, has raw edges and things... You'll want to trim it down first.

Using a white thread..., although one could easily use a clear/invisible thread. I didn't have any on hand. ... Using a white thread, I just stitched the entire length around, attaching the edge of the lace to the edge of the veil. I got tired after going around it once, so I didn't finish like I planned to and do both edges of the lace. It looked fine.

After the lace was all attached, I folded it almost in half. Not evenly, otherwise both layers of the veil would be the same length. It's offset several inches so the top layer is shorter. I gathered it all up at the fold and ran a thread through it to hold it in place, adjusting it to the width of the aforementioned haircomb.

When attaching it, make sure you're attaching it to the TOPSIDE of the comb with the length of the veil hanging down in the direction all the prongs are pointing.

I left a slight bit of overhang at the top to fold over to completely hide the comb. Again, taking a white (or invisible) thread, weave over the veil and comb, around it, and between the prongs. Go from one end of the comb to the other, then back again for extra security.

I made this awesome illustration to show you how.

Once it's all secure, you're done! You could also attach beads or pearls or little flowers. However you want to embellish it.

It looks way longer than it seems.

Some detail of the lace.

Just to prove it can be flipped over the face, here's another:
Photo by Lindsey Friar Photography

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Back to costumes

The husband and I are heading to Dragon*Con together this year. It'll be his first convention and he wants to cosplay. It's still months away, but I have started on his costume already.

I'm working with and doing a lot of things I haven't before. I have to make some actual props and things. A lot of detail work. I'm having a lot of fun with this.

1) The shoulder guard is made from craft foam sheets. I used metal rivets and button snaps.
2) The foot guards are also made with craft foam sheets and metal rivets. There's also some elastic to stretch under the boot to hold it in place better.
3) The prayer beads are polymer clay. How I love the stuff.
4) I've never done applique before, but I am now for the white stripes along the navy blue on the robe.
5) The jug prop is a cardboard skeleton and expanding foam carved to the right shape. I then covered it with spackle (The stuff you fill in holes in the wall with). That's as far as it is right now until I sand and finish it.
6) Our kitten tries to help. Tries.

And of course, this is all going to eventually become:
Auron from Final Fantasy X
I have not yet started on the sword or any of the clothes aside from the robe. The sword's going to be a lot of fun. :D

Errr... Yeah, those reviews.

Lindsey Friar Photography

Wal-Mart specialty cakes:

We went ahead and went with a wedding cake from Wal-Mart. Just picked one of the ones from the book, same colors, etc. Chocolate cake, vanilla buttercream. Three tiers. No silly topper. Came out to be something like $124, half of which was put down as a deposit the day we ordered it. We ordered it something like a week or two before the wedding. It was ready for pick-up the morning of.

It looked very nice. It wasn't dry, as some people complain of with storebought cakes. The frosting wasn't bad either. I trimmed down a dozen roses to stick into the top. Also didn't look that terrible.

My photographer will have to forgive me, but I'm posting photos she took. :P
Lindsey Friar Photography

It was tasty and we enjoyed it. It was PLENTY big enough for our small wedding. Thanks, Wal-Mart. Even if the girl who took our order was a bit of a grump. :)

Tasted good
Looked good
Didn't need a long advance order
Was ready morning of the wedding
I do recommend this, especially if you're not looking to drop $200+ on a cake.

Flowers from

My mother said I could order $200 worth flowers. Yeah, that doesn't seem like a lot to some people. That's okay, because I didn't really want a lot of flowers.

 Mini Calla Lilies

I ordered both of these, set to deliver two days before the wedding to my parents' house which I had the time to head down there before my class that day to accept the order.

Well, the calla lilies arrived. Within about 5 minutes, (enough time for me to rip into the box), I received a phone call from a representative saying that I'd have my order that morning (Already had it!) and to notify me that the carnations got held in customs(!!) and would arrive the next day. Grrreeaaattt.... Luckily, I was able to leave a note before I had to rush off for a family member who would be home during the next day to accept my order and prep the flowers for me to work on that night. They did arrive and they were taken care of, so all's well. Unexpected things do happen and I'm not silly enough to think otherwise. :)

20 Calla lilies isn't a whole lot. I know they were minis, too, but still smaller than I anticipated. I wound up not using most of them, so it was kind of a waste. A shame, too, because I really wanted them.

The carnations were great. It's a combo pack of four different shades of purple - 20 of each - which turned out fantastic. I had plenty to make the bouquets (four. Mine, two bridesmaid bouquets, and a throwing bouquet which didn't get used because I said, "Here put this in the fridge" to my maid of honor and she put it in the freezer and didn't realize until it was frozen solid hahahaha. <3)

I also just picked up a random bouquet of flowers and baby's breath from Wal-Mart to fill in with. Lilies, daisies, roses, the like. So glad I did.

Not a great picture and doesn't do them all justice, but it's all I was able to get. Was kind of busy.

I also made boutonierres (Ended up hating the ribbon ones I made). Making bouquets and bouts was an interesting experience, since I've never done anything like that before. One of the people hanging around the house that day (guest of my brother's) asked me where I learned to do this stuff. "Hahaha, I have no idea what I'm doing."

Easy ordering
Unexpected delay on half of order
Calla lilies not quite what I expected
Carnations were great and a hardy flower
Well packaged, nothing wrong with flowers
Also packaged with care instructions

Still, despite the holdover in customs, I would recommend FiftyFlowers. They were prompt on communication, flowers were good quality.