Saturday, November 23, 2013

Seriously, school! Stop it!

I hate November.

For the past two years my most writing intensive classes have been the Nov-Dec classes. And they suck out all my creativity. So here it is, NaNo month and all I want to do is follow the rules. I want to write my 50,000 words for NaNo and screw everything else.

But you can't 'screw' school. You have to do that. So here I am, forcing myself to do more writing than ever. I just started a review blog. I just finished my novel- except for the rewrites, revisions, and additions I need to make. And I am making a blog for school AND creating an online class for ... my online class.

Not to mention that I have a craft show coming up in 2 weeks. TWO WEEKS. And I have stuff to sell but I should probably work on making more stuff. So do I work on sewing...or do I work on writing? I know what you're all thinking- I should focus on school, right?

Boo. I've had some classes that are not so writing intensive. Why couldn't those be my Nov-Dec classes? Why can't I have writing intensive classes in February when it isn't near the holidays and it's snowing so I don't have the gumption to do anything beyond sit and write for my class? Scheduling sucks.

I have two good things to say about this month.

1. Catching Fire tomorrow. I am looking forward to it. Excited even. Hoping that it doesn't disappoint as so many sequels do.

2. Turkey day! Love me some Thanksgiving foods.

Monday, November 18, 2013

FINISHED! Almost...

Today I chose Barnes and Noble for my typing. I thought it would be quieter. It was...for about a half hour. Then children came. And when you are in a quiet bookstore, children are amplified. When you're in a semi-busy restaurant, children become part of the background buzz. I will continue, from now on, to write at Panera. I focus there more easily, believe it or not.

Plus, B&N only has 1 outlet for their entire cafe! Silly cafe.

But I did manage to eek out my last chapter in a little less than 2 hours. I am so happy at being DONE. Mostly done. Maybe 3/4 done. Here's why it's not complete:

  1. I don't have an end to my ending. I need a paragraph or two to finish it off. I HATE writing endings. I agonize over them (if I ever get to them). I like happy endings. I like everything tied up in a neat bow. Sometimes that is easier to do than other times. Therefore I have an end chapter, just not an ending yet.
  2. I have a lot of revision to do. I have 2-3 chapters to add into the middle. I have a change of a core concept I need to go back and rewrite. I need to go back and spruce up my showing not telling. There's a lot to go back and look at.
  3. Line edits. Ugh, I don't look forward to those.
So, yep, almost done. Closer than ever before.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Pat myself on the back

So while reading some book reviews on Amazon (it inspires me to write, believe it or not) I realized that stories have climaxes. I know that I knew that, and I know that I write them, but I've never consciously thought: "This is my climax scene." It makes me think of writing 101 in high school for some reason. But yes, stories typically have a build up and climax before the end. I wish all these words didn't have innuendos behind them but alas, I know at least half of you have giggled each time you read the word 'climax.'

That being said, today was the day. I've been thinking about it/planning the skeleton of it for the past four days. I knew it was coming. I just had to start writing it. But what. Exactly. Was. It. Going. To. Be?

I knew I would never be able to write it at home. Someone would bark, someone would snore, someone would have to go pee. I had to go to my writing sanctuary. My Panera. And so I did.

I think I started typing about 11:00am. I finished about about 2:45. In the end it was 5,500 words. That's a lot of words in a day. Especially when I didn't know what going to happen when I sat down and started.

I mean, I had an idea. I knew who the bad guy was and his basic plan. I knew how I was going to have my protagonists set up. I knew my FMC had to do something with her magic. That I knew. But the details, they were fuzzy. But that's how I work. Get a main idea and start typing. The characters will tell the story.

For the most part, that worked. I had to take a time out and go old school at one point. I pulled out my notebook and green pen (this story has been predominately written in green pen where needed) and hashed out some details. The notebook is where I write down the things I don't want to forget, the details that are important. Why is my bad guy doing this? Why does he need to do it this way? How are the good guys going to stop him? What are going to be their struggles?

I wrote it all out and I was like. Meh. My FMC doesn't actually DO anything in that plan. No body does anything. They all just kind of let everyone else do the work. We have to fix that. What's the point of the story if the FMC doesn't actually grow and become the "hero" of the story. Why did we follow her in the first place?

So I thought about it. I tweaked it. And I liked what I was thinking. So I went back to typing. And in the end in all made sense. I even added a few details that made it even more relevant to the initial story I was telling, details that didn't come to me until I was writing. The hours went by like minutes. I couldn't believe that it was almost 3:00 and I had written over 5,000 words. It just poured out of me.

And that's what's fun about writing. That's where the high comes from. When you're typing the words just seem to write themselves. When plot points shore up on their own. When you have those "aha!" moments about why you wrote something a certain way earlier. You knew it was going to be relevant at some point! Trust those instincts.

Now I know the thing is crap. As I was writing some of it I was like...this is crappy writing. But I am still celebrating. Why? Because one more chapter to write and the thing will be DONE. Complete. Finished. A story from beginning to end (for the most part). And that is an accomplishment. I have written many stories, mostly fanfiction. They number in the dozens. I think I have completely finished four or five. So finishing something is a huge stepping stone. I am so close. I can taste it.

And that means the fun part begins. So many authors say the story comes alive in the revision. I've never gotten that far so I look forward to seeing if it is true. I know my story needs an overhaul. I already know where I need to go back and split up chapters/info dumps. I know I need to go back and work on showing not telling. I know that it will be at least another few months before I am ready to show this to anyone other than my sisters.

But I can see that finish line. I can see the end. Because I finished the hardest part today. The part that is the point of the story. The part that you read the book for....well the action part anyway.

Em and Isaac still haven't kissed.

I haven't decided if I'm going to let them.

I guess I still have a lot to think about for that last chapter. I won't know if they kiss or not until I write it. That's one of those things I can't plan. I can work on setting it up in my mind, work on the scenes that will happen but they will have to decide if they do it or not. I can't wait to find out.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Sad today

It's a sad day.

About 12 years ago my sister Sarah brought home a flea ridden, worm filled, sneezing ball of black fur that probably weighed a whole pound. Her friend had witnessed someone throw the thing out a car window. She couldn't believe that it was a kitten, but there she was, large green eyes and close to death. So she was bottle fed, but Sarah's friend's mom wouldn't let her in the house. She said she had to go live in the barn. She was so tiny that my mom couldn't stand that thought.

And so, a family with a majority of people allergic to cats, adopted a kitten. When she clung to your shirt she looked like a black spider. So she was named Spyder. She had to be fully declawed or dad wouldn't let her stay. She grew up being sniffed to death by a young Westie named Tilwyn. And she has been the near-perfect cat for us.

Spyder didn't crave attention. She liked 5-10 minutes of petting in the evening and that was about it. She didn't like to be held, she didn't need to be loved on. Perfect because we are not a cat family. My brother, my father, and myself were allergic to her. My brother grew up with a constant sniffle because of her. It didn't bother him though. He still let her in his room to sleep with him once a week.

She spent a lot of time in the basement. She spent a lot of time not around people. She was strictly indoors but she'd occasionally run out and chew on grass. She never spent more than 10 minutes at time outside; she didn't like it. She DID like to lie on anything new; a blanket, a new chair, a MOVED chair were all new things to her and she HAD to lie on them for hours.

She got very fat. When I came home from living in Georgia her belly was dragging on the ground. I cut her back to twice a day feedings and she got healthy quickly. She never complained, she just enjoyed eating when she was fed.

The older she got the more personal she got. She started hanging around rooms where there were people. She didn't want to be pet, she just wanted to be near everyone. She didn't want the dogs to sniff her, she just wanted to watch everyone interact. She was content to be in the background, to be off to the side. She was a princess and she had her thrones throughout the house. She picked a new favorite weekly. You always knew where to find her, she was always in one of her five favorite spots.

My dad doesn't "like" animals. He does, he just doesn't like to admit it. For all his gruffness he would still pet Spyder every day. He gave her attention. I would pet her most nights when she would meow at me when I grabbed late night snacks. One day she got locked upstairs with me for the night and her sudden appearance of yellow eyes and a wide MEOW made me scream. She startled the heck out of me. But she got hugs and kisses; more than she ever wanted. The cat knew she was loved.

Her favorite things were plastic bags and wrapping paper. You would come home from the grocery store and have plastic bags all over the kitchen; she would be in the middle of them. She didn't bat at them or play with them, she just liked to lie in them, on them. Same with wrapping paper. Christmas was her ultimate favorite time of year. She would just sit in the piles of wrapping paper, content. 

She had thyroid disease. It was controlled by food. She could only eat a certain food, no treats, no nothing, just her food for her thyroid. And she did it. She liked her Y/D. She ate it twice a day without a problem for two years. It made her thyroid numbers perfect and she kept herself at a good 12 pounds. She was a good cat.

But for the past two weeks she wasn't eating. I'd pass by her food bowl and it would be full. Untouched. My mom told me she wasn't really eating. And two days ago I looked at her and I could see her spine; her haunches were sunken in. She hadn't moved much in the past few days. She smelled bad, like she wasn't grooming. Something was off.

Maybe it was just the remodeling. That's what I told myself. Once the remodeling is done she'll be back to normal. But I took her to work, to the vet office, just to make sure. And to make a long story short that visit ended with two doctors feeling her belly and feeling a mass growing in her abdomen. In her lymph node. Elongated, golf-ball size. It was bad news.

My doctors aren't pathologists but it was most likely lymphoma. Cancer. A tumor. The words you really don't want to hear at the doctor's office. I brought Spyder home. I told my mom. We realized she was starving herself to death and was just going to waste away before our eyes. At best she had months, most likely a week. We couldn't do that to her. Such a good cat, she deserved so much more than that. She was miserable, suffering.

Everyone said goodbye at home. True to her nature she still didn't want to be held. She bitched at us the whole time. But Stacey, Craig, Mom, and I got to hug her. Dad pet her a few last times. We said our goodbyes. I had to take her in by myself, no one else could do it. No one else could watch her go. But I couldn't let her be alone. Even if she and I weren't best of friends I still loved her. She deserved to have someone who loved her with her.

My work is really great about this type of thing. It's the hardest part of the job, death. They all know I don't like cats but they all know that's just something I say. Everyone was supportive, I got lots of hugs. Spyder was sedated before the final injection. She curled up in the table in front of me, in a circle, in my arms, like she was my best friend cat from day one. She trusted me. It makes me cry thinking about that moment. I felt so bad. But Dr. Aubry was there and he told me it was the right decision. She had something bad brewing. She had lost 2 pounds in 2 weeks. She was not in a good place and this was the hard thing, but the right thing to do. That makes me feel a little better.

But I'm still sad. I'm still crying. It's not even that I'll miss her; I didn't interact with her all that much to "miss" her. I'm sad that she only got 12 years. I'm sad that it happened so fast. I'm sad that she won't get just one more Christmas. There's no other word for it. It just makes me sad.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

What can I say? I'm a slacker

Not that I forgot about this blog I just haven't had time. Reading back on my posts that's my biggest issue in life, time management. Not that I don't know what it is, just that I'm terrible at it. I have my moments. I can be great at it when I want to be.

It's that lazy gene I inherited. I hate it sometimes. I can waste a whole day so easily even though I start the morning with best intentions. I wake up and think, "Today I am going to sew some purses," or "Today I am going to write some chapters."  Which is usually followed by, "But first I need to take care of the dogs, then check my emails, then see if I want to watch anything on Hulu while I eat my breakfast, and find out if any of my YouTube subscriptions updated." Yea. That can waste a heck of a lot of time, trust me.

Anyway, I fully intended to not do NaNo for November. My July attempt wasn't bad- I ended up at around 30k words on Contender in July. I have not finished that draft. I am stuck. I have to kill a character and I don't want to. I've forced myself to write up to that point and I haven't been able to push myself over the edge. However, since I have distanced myself from that book I think I'm coming closer to being able to take that leap. I want to continue it. I think I will. Soon.

But in the mean time I've been working on this other story. I started it in August and I've been doing really well with it. It is currently at 32k words. I am not working on it for NaNo specifically because for some reason the classes that require a lot of writing happen in November. I end up writing so much for my classes that it takes the words right out of me. I don't even want to think about writing for my book after spending so much effort on these class assignments. So I know November will be my slow down month on progress, which is why I wasn't going to do NaNo.

But I did write about 8k words in two days. I did do that. I've pushed myself through this yet unnamed book (lets call it Trio for simplicity's sake), through the parts that I worried about and have been struggling with. I just wrote. And I have figured out my biggest Achilles heel when it comes to writing- MY DOGS!! Yes, those loveable mutts. When I sit down to write on my laptop I usually do it on my bed. That's the only place I have to go right now as the bottom half of the house is being redone. So the dogs jump on the bed with me. In and of itself this isn't a bad thing. I like when they are close. I like my dogs.

BUT! Bailey needs attention. Like, badly. She doesn't like competing with the laptop. She doesn't bother me when I'm on my PC, she doesn't care when I read my Kindle but she'll be damned if I pay more attention to a laptop than to her. She rests her head on the side of it. She shoves her nose at my hands. She attempts to lay on top of it. She does everything she can to distract me and the worst part is I FALL FOR IT EVERY TIME. "Oh, Bailey-bear do you need some pets?" "Oh, Sweetness let me rub your neglected belly." What the heck! I do that all the time! Why is it so important I do it when I have the laptop out? She is my anti-muse!

Mia is slightly better. She's good at just lying at the end of the bed in a curled up ball and sleeping. She only bugs me at dinner time. Seriously. That was the only time.

So my fix that I figured out last month was to GO AWAY. I went to Panera which is literally five minutes down the road. I set up shop on a Sunday afternoon (after some broccoli cheddar soup because, come on, who wouldn't?) and proceeded to type for five hours, uninterrupted. I churned out close to 10k words. It was amazing. I was in the zone and couldn't believe at the end that it had been five hours. It felt like less than two.

I've done this twice since then. It really does help. Today I couldn't; I had lunch with my sister and then came home to type in bed again. But I did what I do when I take a nap. I turned on my fan, turned out the light, and made the dogs sleep in their beds while I worked. This was there feeling on that:
 Mia just takes it because she gets the big bed. Bailey, however, is not amused at the situation. But it worked. The couldn't distract me from there.

Finally I did get to finish one of my hats I am making for the upcoming craft show. I am going to attempt to sell some of my things I have made over the year at a Christmas craft show. Wish me luck. Some of what I am going to make are owl and penguin hats of varying sizes. So I got about 4k words typed today and finished a hat. Other than that I was useless today. I'm not sure if that counts as being productive.

That's ok, tomorrow will be worse since I work from 9-7. Friday will be all about school. When will I get to write again?!

Owl hat I finished today. Super cute.

Friday, June 7, 2013

NaNoWriMo for July

Stacey convinced me to do this:

Really, she just texted me and said "Sign up for camp nano so I can request you as a cabin mate." That was really all it took. I am a sucker.

So now the question is...what do I write? I have 23ish days to decide, make an outline, and prepare. I should obviously use something I already have an idea about....but that's a lot of ideas. Which one do I think I can whip out in 31 days?

My current writing is slow. Been working on my end of class projects for my current tech class, which has taken up a lot of time. I am also working on a baby blanket for my friend, so that is taking up time. And all my sewing. Takes up time. I need about 12 more hours in each day.

Ok. Speaking of. I have things to do in the next hour before I go to work. So this is a short one today.

I am not a huge Ryan Gosling fan but man, does he always know the right thing to say.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Finished projects

So I have a few things that I finished sewing. Sarah has the pictures of the first dress I made, I think she's holding them hostage. When she send the pics I'll post some.

This is the second dress I made, the one I posted a few weeks back about doing. Turns out it did include lining instructions- and they were way easier than that 1st dress I made! The yellow and black dress instructions were a pain. The instructions for this dress were so easy I'm going to make another version of it soon!
Stacey was so happy with it she wore it home. I also made a boo-boo into a design element. I cut the teal part of the skirt too small- I thought that if I had taken two inches off the bodice I needed to take two inches off the skirt. In theory it is correct but in practice I wasn't sure it would work. But I had already cut!

So I added some of the bodice fabric down the back middle, where the zipper is, and I think it looks super cute. I had to add 2 pleats to the back but they don't distract from the overall look. Its a way-cute summer dress.

Then we went shopping at Joann's on Memorial Day. I had PLANS for clothes and I needed fabric. Got home about 3 o'clock and finished this top in about 3-4 hours:
 It was my first time working with knit and it wasn't easy. It's 2 way stretch so no elastic or zippers on this baby. It took longer than expected because, well, I sewed the sleeve on upside down- totally sewed on, straight and zig-zag stitched in place. Had to pull it ALL OUT and start over. Still, cute end result.

But I wasn't finished! I wanted to work on that skirt. It sort of goes with the top but not sure if you would wear the 2 together since the top is a little longer than anticipated.
I am in love with the paisley of this skirt. I think the skirt took me overall 2ish hours and it isn't finished. I didn't hem it yet and there is supposed to be elastic put into the waist band but I have to fit it on Stacey's body before I do that.

I am so happy I bought that material. It's a super cute fabric for the skirt. Just plain calico cotton from Joann's. Sometimes you can find treasures there!

Still in progress: The grey skirt with a chiffon-like overlay and the different version of the teal dress above. Very exciting.

Meanwhile, still in love with Chris Pine but definitely developing a crush on Sherlock Holmes. This one:

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Making a purse, Butterick 4822, ruffle purse

So I would like to do a few how-tos on sewing, just to share some knowledge with the blog-o-sphere if someone stumbles upon this. When I learned how to quilt I started with patterns and worked forward to where I know kind of do my own thing. Same has been happening with purses. I assume it will eventually happen with clothes, but I'll let you know.

This purse pattern: Butterick 4822 has 5 different purses, this post is for purse E, the ruffle purse in the middle:

I am going to explain what I did to modify the existing pattern but in order to actually make the purse you will have to purchase the pattern from a store- not a big deal, all my patterns I buy when they are $1.00 at Joann's. The rest of this post is operating under the assumption that you have bought the pattern.

I made the purse for my sister Stacey and learned a lot from the first making of it. When I made it a second time I knew what I wanted to modify. Here was Stacey's final purse:
She had beaded fringe that I had found for cheap but it wasn't quite wide enough to cover the ruffle. It is not sewed on in the prettiest way but since it was for family I wasn't too worried about it. The whole thing turned out cute overall.

For my second attempt I cut the pattern pieces out about a week before I actually had time to sew it. I used fabric we had lying around (we have TONS of fabric lying around) but I ran out of the main fabric when cutting out the strap. No problem, I just used the lining fabric for the inside part of the strap and it all worked out, as you'll see in the end. The biggest thing about cutting out the pattern is the change I made here:

I like to have a facing so when you press the top edge seems if it is a little off it's not a major deal. Meaning the top half of my lining is the same fabric as the outside of my purse. So instead of one lining piece I cut the top half of my lining to the top cut line shown above and lining fabric from the bottom of the pattern to the bottom cut line. They are an inch apart so I sew the two pieces together with a half inch seam. The "top cut" line I drew is 6" down from the top of the pattern. When sewn together you have this for your lining piece: 
I think it makes for a nicer finish. Your interfacing is cut as one piece and goes on the back of this. After cutting all your pieces out and getting your two lining pieces to look like the picture above, you start following the directions.

Already, at step 2, hemming the ruffle, I am going to suggest a change. The pattern calls for you to hem the bottom and sides of the ruffles. I prefer to hem the top and the bottom of the ruffles instead. Reason 1, because you are going to sew the ends of the ruffles into the side seams (trust me), and reason 2, because the top hem is exposed. Even though it is covered, if you lift the top ruffle you can see the top hem of the bottom ruffle. It just looks bad. Hemmed looks much better. So hem the top and bottom of the ruffle as the directions say to do to just the bottom and sides. 

Your two sets of ruffles should look something like this:
They don't have to be perfectly even- they are going to be ruffled!

Now you look at your cohorts to see if they are having as much fun as you are:
I think I am having more fun but boy do they look rested. Sometimes I want to cuddle up under there with them. They look so comfy!

The directions in the pattern are pretty straightforward from here. You make gathers in the ruffles, pin them and sew them onto the front and back pieces:
The next change I make comes at step 9, sewing the front and back together. The directions say to not catch the ruffles in the seam but when I made my sister's purse I did one ruffle in and one ruffle out and the one inside looked much cleaner and prettier than the one out. So line 'em up and sew 'em in.

This will take a couple extra minutes to get it just right. Make sure you get the edge of the ruffles lined up with your seam as much as possible and don't get any extra caught in there. Make sure your ruffles line up well on the sides. When you're finished the side seams will look like so:
 Much cleaner and you'll be happier in the end with the results.

I sewed this part of the purse at my Nana's house but realized I didn't have any ribbon to finish it off over there. I thought I might have some at my mom's but I wasn't sure I'd have anything that would match the pink. So I finished the lining by adding my pocket:
And realized I had to go home to finish the rest of this purse.

Once home I found that I had more ribbon than I thought I did:
But surprisingly, the pretty ruffle ribbon didn't look good on the already ruffly purse. I ended up going with the grosgrain pink ribbon because the stiffness of it really worked the best with the softness of the purse. I did fold in half to make it a little thinner, however, because the full wideness looked too weird. You have to sew on the ribbon and decorative button or however you want to decorate your purse before you sew the purse and lining together. The ribbon is basically there to cover your stitches where you sewed the ruffle to the bag.

My strap was sewn together with the lining fabric on the inside and the main fabric on the outside:
 Apparently by the cutting board I did that at my Nana's as well. This was just a picture to see that you don't have to use the same fabric on both sides of your strap.

Finally, you can simply follow the rest of the directions. When I finish off a purse I have the outside shell of the bag right side out, pin the straps how I want them, then stuff it into the lining of the bag so right sides are together, then repin the straps.
Blurry picture of straps between shell and lining

First pin your sides, then your middles then the betweens around the edge. It helps distribute the fabric around the circle:
You can see my magnetic snap closures, I like to back them with extra fabric or interfacing to give them strength- the magnets are really strong. You have to put them on your lining before you finish, usually when you put the pocket on. They are super easy to install and I bought a bunch in bulk so I use them all the time. 

Anyway, now it's time to sew around the edge of the purse there on the top. You turn it right side out, sew up the hole in your lining, shove your lining in the bag and you are almost done! The directions say to sew on the button now but you should have done that back when you sewed on your ribbon. Press your top seam, getting it as nice as possible, the seam at the very top of the purse. Then top stitch about a quarter inch all the way around the purse. It isn't in the directions but I always think a nice top stitch looks neater than no top stitch. 

And voila! You have a cute ruffle purse.
Once you make one you'll want to make more! They are fairly quick, I made this in a few hours. I think they are so cute!

If you have any questions or need clarification just comment below and I'll try to answer.

Off to sew some other purses while watching one of my favorite TV shows, Falling Skies. I hope to post more tutorials/pattern adjustments here in the future!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Back to writing

Trying to write a scene for a round robin story my sister and I are doing. Just a scene that I would like to use in the future. But it involves something I am very bad at writing- kissing. Kissing scenes are my downfall. Stacey can write a killer kissing scene without much effort. I have a hard time with it. So here I will link some things I found that now, and in the future, should help me when thinking about writing about kisses.

Writing About Kissing

Kissing Scenes

Writing a kissing scene

This doesn't help but it's hilarious: Writing the kissing scenes...

Kiss and Tell

The biggest things I've gleaned from my once overs on these posts and a few others is that the physical act of the kiss is the least interesting part. Focusing on the build up, the setting, the senses, and the emotions are what make it special. Reading about body parts touching can make the reader as squeamish as it makes the writer writing them. Write about everything else going on and make it a special moment.

Ok. Got it.

PS: There are 8million gifs out there of Chris Pine licking his lips. It's a nervous tick/habit he seems to do when on air. Just google Chris Pine gifs and you'll see.

Meanwhile, I'd like to make out with his face please.

So adorable. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Writing on the backburner

So so much has happened since my last posting. I have scrapped the last book I was writing. Not totally, but it needs a total make over, rehaul, redo, it's become something I don't want to look at right this second. Hannah and Caleb will have their moment. Just not this moment.

I have been thinking about my original book, as yet untitled, about Mia and Ian and dragons. I went back and re-read what I wrote a year ago; I have half a book written and written fairly well. I just need to sit down and write. Every time I try, however, I get distracted. By things.

It's my cycle- I am just coming out of a video game cycle. I would rather crush some Imperials on SWTOR than do just about anything for the last 2 months. Now I haven't logged on in a week. Now I'm in the sewing stage. And it is taking over everything!

It started with purses. I started small and then found out I have a knack for it and it's progressed from there. Now I can make some really knock out, professional looking bags. I recently got some sample size fabrics from the home decor section of Joann's for $1- two to three of those will make one small "date night" purse and it only takes me about an hour. How fun!

Then I started making clothes for my sister. The first shirt I made was a disaster, mostly because it was the wrong type of fabric. My second attempt, a dress, seems to be going much better. I did a muslin sample on her first to fit it, like I've seen them do on Project Runway, and so far it has been going well. I just need her to come over to make sure it fits and to hem it, finish up the lining and she'll be good to go. I am also working on a matching purse for which I have so many ideas it's crazy.

So ... my writing blog may turn into a sewing blog. I think I will try and take pictures of my next project just to document the journey. I have another dress that I am making for Stace- I am excited to start on it. It is less fitted so it should be even easier!

Off to work. Yes I am working, just not on the things I thought I would be...


This is my next dress for Stacey, the one in black and yellow on the right. It's only 5 pieces, I think I am only going to do a muslin for the top as that is the part that is fitted. It is also not lined, thinking about trying interlining with it. I also got extra (end of the bolt! 50% off!) of the flower material for a cute matching handbag. I plan to have the muslin ready to try on Stacey next weekend when she comes out to visit.

Tomorrow: Purse to match black/white/yellow dress.  Some date night purses. Dogs to dog park if not raining. Take things to Salvation Army. Clean my room.  Busy day!

Some cuteness to end on:
So adorable.

PS. I love Hart of Dixie. Wade is so yummy!

Thursday, February 7, 2013


Quick post for this week. Writing = not getting done. I'm swinging back to a crocheting mood, whether that is good or bad remains to be seen. At least I'm being creative in some way. I did get some of my chapter 4 done this past weekend; I had to erase the 110 words I wrote before and start over but it's progressing. Stacey has given me great feedback to keep me focused on things that I thought were obvious but apparently are not. It will help with revisions when I eventually get to them.

Meanwhile I had to do homework. This week's homework was uninspiring. I had to make an infographic which is basically a graphic poster on the internet. It has it's uses but it's not something I can really see me using with future classes. The funny thing is next week's assignment- is using Adobe Photoshop. Really? I've used Photoshop for over 10 years, since at least PS4. I am by no means an expert but I can do a whole lot with the program.

Next week's assignment is to take a picture turn it black and white and put my name on it, then replace one color from the original photo, then crop it and adjust the contrast/brightness drastically.... and that's it. I can do that in my sleep. Then you can use PS to make animated gifs (not the ones we like to make Stacey, I'll explain why this weekend) and we have to watch a tutorial and make one.

Yea. I already did all those things. It took me maybe 5 hours today to do this week's homework and next week's. Now I just have to do the write up for the PS stuff and I'll be done. A week ahead. That gives me lots of time to do other things....


I'll let you know how that goes. Here's my gif. It's not a Monet but it works.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


So let's see. Writing has stopped for the moment. First of all, I wanted to finish crocheting and sewing some stuff (pictures at the end of post) so I have been concentrating on that. Everyone is having babies so I have a lot to make. That has taken a lot of my time up. Yes, I could still write 100 or so words so I am slacking but I am full of excuses.

When I do start writing here again I think I am going to have to skip over most of Chapter 4. It's a plot mover, mostly dialogue and description, my least favorite to write. So I think if I skip ahead to what's next and write that I can go back later and fill in the rest. It's good to have a plan of what I'm going to do/focus on when I do get a chance to write again. So there we go.

Currently, Downton Abbey and Criminal Minds have both made me cry this week. For real. Great episodes, great acting, intense drama. In love with both shows. Hart of Dixie was less interesting this week but Wade did take care of Zoe in the end and it was super cute. I almost dread the next episode of Vampire Diaries; I do hope it is filled with Klaus as he is the reason I even watch it any more. Once Upon a time was a rerun. Sad.

Tomorrow I have to focus on school- I need to made an educational video some how about something. As you can see, I have not figured out on what yet. Oh yea! In the car on the way home from work I think I decided I would do one on bar graphs. I haven't quite figured out what/how yet, but I will figure that out tomorrow. I also have a mandatory meeting at work tomorrow so I decided to kill 2 birds with one stone and have Dr. Aubry look at Tilwyn's cyst on his face to see if it can be removed without anesthesia. I think maybe if we put a patch on his eye, like a pirate, it may be possible. We'll see tomorrow. Bailey will go for moral support.

Pacifier holders
Ok so now with the pictures: First I made a few pacifier holders, baby safe safety pin them to the baby's clothes and when their pacifier falls out it doesn't get lost. I also made a baby quilt for my friend Karen's upcoming baby and mailed it to Georgia.

For Karen's baby
Then I have been working on a diaper bag for Julie, a girl at work. Her shower is in February. This diaper bag was made from a pattern I bought...from hell! I had to tear out more seams because the directions were wrote poorly. I almost threw the thing in the lake. In the end it was worth it, it is super cute, but boy was it a pain. I also made her a wall hanging quilt... though I cheated. It's made from a panel, meaning it was premade, I just had to quilt and bind it. No I did not applique the owls on. But as busy as I've been I am not worried about it. It's still super cute.  And that is what has been keeping me busy these past few days.
For Julie's baby, wall hanging.

Goals:  (In list form Stacey!)
  1. Thursday: Homework, meeting, work on Heather's baby blanket with left over time
  2. Friday: Work, get out any gaming preoccupation (GW2 has been calling my name)
  3. Saturday: Work, hang out with Stacey and Mom, making pies, catch up on Project Runway, crochet with extra time
  4. Sunday: Church, WRITE

So it will be Sunday before I get to writing again. That's okay. Gives me time to plan in my head. Then we'll see how things go next week. I may need to make another list...

Diaper Bag inside
Diaper Bag for Julie

Friday, January 25, 2013

So I came home from a rough day at work today. I am wiped out. I wanted to go to bed at 6:00pm. But I ate and worked on crocheting this blanket for a bit...and I am still tired. I was going to go to bed without writing a thing....

But I couldn't.

Because I didn't want to type in my blog today that I wrote nothing for the second day in a row. How crazy is that? So....  I went back and deleted like half a page from the end of Chapter 3 and finished it off. Then I went and started chapter 4. One hundred and ten words of it. That's all I'm doing, I'm so tired I could fall asleep on this desk right now.

In other news, Project Runway is starting up. Yey! But this season is all teamwork. Boo! I mean, I know they do it for the drama but I watch it for the clothes making, the drama is secondary to me. And let me tell you...not impressed with the first runway show. Not my fav. And there are no personalities that stand out yet. I mean, last season you at least KNEW you hated Gunner starting day 1. This one doesn't have me hating anyone in particular yet....but I do noticed that all the old people they "cast" are usually idiots. I was rooting for this old lady in the show until she made her dress and WHOA, she's gots to go!

Best part of the show was the judges. Yey for Zac Posen, whom I recognize I think from America's Next Top Model. That would be the only reason I would know ANY name in fashion. I think he will be a fantastic judge. And the guest just was Christian, my all time favorite PR contestant! He didn't make my favorite clothes but that's a dude with personality you can't stop. Lurve him to death.

Here is why:

Those were the best gifs I could find. Now for the fashion:

And I love these shoes:

 So a lot of slacking but a little progress made tonight in writing. Work tomorrow, so bed now. Loves!