Wash away my worries

Lately I’ve been in a funk that I have not been able to shake. I can’t focus in class. I don’t want to do my homework. I don’t want to clean up. I can’t get to sleep. It’s been so annoying and frustrating.

Then I took a shower.

Has that ever happened to you? You are just having a horrible day or week, and then you take a shower and it all melts away.

Granted, today wasn’t my typical shower. Just after I turned on the water, I lit the candle in my oil warmer and loaded it with lavender oil. The oil was released into the air, aided by the steam, and really helped me to relax.

After my shower I went shopping for professional clothes so I have something I like to wear during tests and grabbed lunch. Then I dropped off my new outfits (6 shirts, 4 pants, 2 jeans, 1 capri for $65! I love Goodwill!) at home and got to work. I took the evening in stride. I didn’t stress over the slowness of the night. I still have tomorrow and Saturday and, if necessary, Sunday.

It’s amazing what a difference a shower can make.

Advertisements

Seam ripping is so tedious!

But sometimes it’s necessary.

On Sunday, after we got home from my in-law’s, I hunkered down in my workroom with some old kimono and a seam ripper. Years ago I made my first kimonos for a “Gods and Goddesses” party a friend was throwing. I saw it as the perfect excuse for me to finally make a kimono. It didn’t turn out too bad at the time. At least in my opinion. But I just didn’t like how it looked on me and haven’t worn it since. I had a picture of me in the entire outfit somewhere. If I find it, I’ll post it.

Since then I’ve learned a lot more about kimono and sewing. I thought I could take the two I made from broadcloth (:facepalm:) and resew the seams so the raw edges would be enclosed and use them as juban. I got the collar removed from one before deciding to move on to working on getting the one I made from brocade to the point I can make it into at least one haori, hopefully two. I spent at least four hours seam ripping that one kimono. I had to remove the okumi (front panel) from both sides and detach the collar from it. There was also the lining.

OMG that lining was attached in the worst way ever! I ‘hemmed’ the edges of the brocade, then I simply folded in the edges of the lining and sewed the two together. It was horrible! So much unnecessary sewing. Then I attached it to the rest of the kimono by simply sewing along the seams. I don’t know how I thought it was a good idea. Thankfully it didn’t harm either fabric too much and I’ll be able to use the lining fabric in the haori. But this time it’ll be sewn on properly.

Hopefully I can get two haori out of this. If not, what’s leftover will make a nice vest. If I can only make the one, I may try to figure out how to make a removable flannel lining for it. I’d like to be able to wear it in a variety of temperatures and the flannel or lack thereof would limit when I could wear it. Thankfully I’ve gotten better at sewing, so I’ll probably be able to figure something out that will still look good.

Now to figure out what I want the himo to look like.

Darn it, Shigure!

Lately my motivation to work on Shigure has been increasing. Today I was looking at screenshots of him and noticed he wears a haori from time to time. Now I’m trying to mentally figure out if that old kimono has enough fabric to make a frock coat and a haori from it. I have to admit, I’m thinking the haori’s going to get priority. I’ve got some flannel that would go well with it to line it and make it a nice comfy winter jacket.

Aside = Tumblr

I am loving asides!

Anyway, two thoughts on my way home:
Leggings are the perfect compromise. I get to wear pants while my hubby gets to see my legs. Win-win!

Most women come home and dive for the chocolate. I came home and made the greatest, simple salad and feel so much better. Baby romaine, olive oil, lemon juice. Tasted fracking amazing! Bring on the taquitos and potato skins!

What? It’s what we’ve got for tonight.

This is strange

Typically, I am a jeans and t-shirt type of gal. I don’t really worry too much about what I’m wearing aside from which t-shirt to wear. But the more I think about Ohayocon, the more I think about what to wear. Usually it’s just a case of picking which costume for which day and going from there. By not wearing any costumes, it’s leaving my wardrobe a lot more open.

Here’s what I know:
I’m going to wear my short wig and hat, and my new boots all three days.
The first day I’m going to wear my new Star Trek yukata. It feels better for the first day of the con. I won’t be used to wearing it and Friday’s usually a calmer day.
I want to have my brocade frock coat done for the con so I can wear it on one day. I figure I’ll just wear a black t-shirt or tank underneath it.
I’m going to wear my sci-fi-patch-covered BDU jacket one day.
I want to wear leggings at least one day.
I like the idea of wearing one of my cargo skirts one day.

I’m not used to having so many options running through my head. This is weird!

At least I can now use my camera and take wonderful pictures without having to wear my glasses! I found out that there’s a little wheel by the viewfinder which can be used to adjust it so I can see clearly without my glasses. It makes it so much easier to take pictures. I don’t have to worry about getting the right angle so I know I’m seeing clearly and I can keep light out too! I’m looking forward to Ohayocon even more now.

Myself

Bee yourself.
~Genie

It’s interesting how we have come to the point where we have to have a label that everyone understands for things. For example, my previous post and how I said that the frock coat I want to make is kinda Steampunk. I felt this weird need to add that label to it. We like to use “geek” to imply that someone is really interested in a subject. Or they’re a “snob” if they like specific types of food or drink.

Why?

“Why be normal when you can be yourself!” I’ve had a button with that on it for years now and I still love it. But I think I’m only really getting it now. I’ve really disliked the word “normal” since I took a Disability Studies class where we discussed how stupid the word really is. But in their own way “geek” and “snob” are a kind of “normality” themselves. It’s just another label that we use to describe something.

I’ve been trying to find a label that I like to describe how I’m dressing lately. Then I realized, why is that important? It’s what I want to wear, isn’t that enough? Yeah, I’ve got a coachman’s hat with peacock feathers in the band. Yeah, I want to make a frock coat with Chinese brocade that has a beautiful bamboo pattern. Yeah, I’ve made mens pants into skirts that I’m going to add different brocades to the front to finish off. Why do I need to put a single label on that?

It’s like when I realized how I described Gallaudet to others wasn’t quite accurate. I’d tell them that it’s the only university in the world for the Deaf. But I’ve realized that’s not right. It’s the only university in the world where the spoken language used is sign language. Then again, it hasn’t been until recently that I’ve realized that the focus and emphasis should be on what language people use, not whether they can hear or not.

Growing up I watched Sesame Street. This is one of the awesome bits they would show. I loved it then and I love it now. It’s a great message that we seem to forget about.

Punky ideas

Years ago I made a Komon for a costume. I’ve worn it once. This means I have a bunch of nice brocade sitting around doing nothing.

Recently I’ve gotten the desire to make a frock coat. I really want to make one in black, probably corduroy. Then I remembered I had that brocade that I really, really like.

In its own way, that coat in combination with my wonderful new coachman’s hat, it will be a bit of a steampunk look. I’m slowly starting to find myself drawn toward steampunk fashion. Not all the gears and brass and goggles. I went to a panel at Ohayocon that talked about how steampunk is more than that. It’s a lot of fun really.

Now I just need the space to work on it.

Accessorizing!

I’ve been busy with a lot of things lately. But Monday I was inspired. My hubby needed a new chain for a pendant of his, so we headed up to Michael’s craft store. While trying to find the right style and length of chain for him, I got distracted by the Industrial Chic items. I love it! It’s such a cool, funky style that you can totally make your own! So here’s what I’ve made….so far.
earrings
necklaces
I may start looking at other applications for those awesome items. I’d buy the pack even if I didn’t like everything in it, so there are extras. I made a few earrings and necklaces that I’m going to sell on Etsy.

Goodwill

Goodwill is such an amazing store. It’s amazing that only around a decade ago I thought that it was the last place in the world I would want to get my clothes from. I mean, “Come on, Mom. I already get grief for what I wear. What if they somehow found out it’s from Goodwill? I’d never hear the end of it.”

Sadly this is how I thought at 18. Then I went to college. Then I was introduced to the concept of cosplay. Yes, cosplay, dressing up as a character from an anime series or comic book, is what changed my mind about Goodwill. Maybe it was the fact that the one near campus is large, well lit, and doesn’t feel like it’s being hidden in the backroom of a store somewhere like the one in my hometown did. It felt like a clothing store.

I first went there to get some clothes to pull off Milly from Trigun. I figured I could find a jacket and a shirt that I could modify to make look like hers. And I did. The next year I did Wolfwood, also from Trigun. Eventually I decided to check it out and see what kinds of clothes I could get for my regular wardrobe. Yeah, there are some really hideous and outdated pieces of clothing in there. But there’s also a treasure trove if you know where to look.

When you live in a bigger city, like Columbus, there are many stores in very different parts of the city. There are a couple that are smaller and more like a higher-end clothing store. The racks aren’t stuffed with clothes, the clothes are all really, really nice, and sometimes they’re individually priced. Those are really useful if I’m looking for something specific. I’m probably going to visit them soon to find a couple of pieces for some cosplays.

But if you are just browsing for clothes, the larger ones with the stuffed racks are really useful. Especially when they run a sale on one of the tag colors. The one near campus, which has moved closer to campus and is really nice now, always has something on sale on Sundays. I’m sure they run sales during the week, but I only stop in after church on Sundays.

This Sunday they were running a 50% off sale on the yellow tags. So after a little browsing, I start down the Women’s Capri isle and only look at the pants if they have a yellow tag. I walked out of there with four new, to me, pairs of capris, three of which I can wear to work, for the price of two.

I love it! I don’t have to worry about the fiber content of the clothing. I don’t have to worry about where it was made because it’s from Goodwill. I’m not supporting the Chinese or Taiwan clothing industries and I’m not supporting the use of man-made fibers. All I’m doing is supporting Goodwill, an American organization, and all that they do and keeping the pants from getting thrown out for a little bit longer. Hopefully I’ll simply wear them out and when they’re done they’ll either get turned into rags or will be past the point of being useful and I won’t feel bad throwing them out.

I’m just hoping that more people are starting to realize that it’s not the end of the world if you go to Goodwill. It’s good for your wallet, the country, and the earth. And most people out there are worried about at least one of those things. 😉

How to…Cosplay

This may not be news to anyone, but you can be quite the cosplayer and still be green. It’s not as hard as you might think. Of course that depends on what you know about cosplaying.

Cosplay is when a person dresses up as a character and acts like that character. It’s not simply dressing up in costume, even though the costume is a big part of it. For example, when I cosplay as Miho Tohya from MegaTokyo at Dragon*Con this year, I’m not going to simply act like myself. I’m going to attempt to walk, talk, act like her. I say attempt because MegaTokyo is a webcomic, and only so much personality can be drawn and written.

A lot of people, myself included, make their costumes and props from raw materials. We go to the store, buy the fabric and other supplies, and use or make a pattern to sew the clothing together. Some people make their props so they are screen accurate, so they are made of leather and metal and wood. Another way is to simply buy or commission a cosplay. Which means it’s already done by the time the cosplayer gets it. Neither way is very green, but sometimes that’s the only way of doing it.

But there are a lot of cosplays that can be easily made from existing clothing. I mentioned Miho earlier, she is what’s called a ‘closet cosplay’. That means the majority of the costume are pieces of clothing that I am using for it. Of the whole costume, aside from the wig, I have only bought two items and only one of them is specifically for this cosplay. To give you an idea, this cosplay has 6 pieces of clothing plus the wig and a bag/purse. Two of the pieces were given to me by friends that are perfect for this cosplay. One piece was bought second-hand and the last I knit myself.

It’s really not hard. I’m hoping to do a Kyo Sohma cosplay at some time in the future. Again, aside from the wig, I can just go to the thrift store for 99% of what I need. He simply wears a black t-shirt, tan cargo pants, a belt, and sandals. He does also have a bracelet that I’m going to have to make myself, but that’s it. I’m planning on adding a couple of things that I’ll have to make from scratch, but that still leaves the overwhelming majority from the thrift store.

Wigs, which depending on your own opinion, can be a very important part of a cosplay. Sadly there is no way of making them green. Human hair wigs are expensive and, I feel, are better used by other people for their day-to-day use. Also, I don’t know how green they could really be considered. Sometimes you get lucky and can use your own hair as is, but it’s not that common. Unless you specifically look for characters that you can do that with.

Anyway, the whole point is, cosplay can be quite a green hobby. By going to thrift stores and making closet cosplays you are not only a Green Geek, but a richer geek!