Aug 29, 2010

Craft or Bust Week 34 Check-In and Roundup (August 22-28)

I know I said I'd have a corset update yesterday at latest — yeahhh. Yesterday was another one of those days that was supposed to be helpful but that ended up the opposite. SIGH. But anyway. ;) Let's CoB.

We have a new member! WOO! Welcome to Lesley, whose ultimate CoB goal is to make as many of her Christmas gifts as possible this year, and whose mini-goal is to knit every day, which should help with her Big Goal and also help her relieve stress as she begins a new program at school. Yay! Thanks for joining us, Lesley!

Roundup of Week 33: What We Crafted From August 15-21

Last week...

  • Jessica the Steadfast wrote up two patterns, one of which went to Knitty and one of which is now on Ravelry. Yes, that's a link to the one on Rav. Go forth and see! She also frogged and reknit 10 rows of a Fair Isle mitten, made it to the toe decreases of the socks she's currently knitting, started writing up two new patterns, and GOT A JOB! Go you, Jessica!

Check-in for Week 34: What Have You Done Lately? (August 22-28)

Getting ready to draft the Peach corsetHere's my li'l update: Sunday, I sketched the "crazy" version of the steampunk Princess Peach costume, researched men's Victorian clothing for the steampunk Mario costume, and did a sketch for the Robot, Monster and Ghost Co. costume (but I'm not showing it to anyone yet ;)). Monday, I picked up some cotton twill for the Peach corset, and a pad of newsprint for drafting patterns. Tuesday, I took my measurements for the Peach bodice sloper (and had the first mate take the ones I couldn't take) and (with some difficulty) drafted the front bodice sloper pattern. Wednesday, I hunted down stash fabric for the bodice sloper muslin, knit one repeat of the ice princess capelet (Rav link) I've been working on forever, rearranged some of the living room to make room for costumey activities, and drafted the back bodice sloper pattern. Thursday, I received some costumey stuff in the mail, knit 15 rows of the hooded shrug pattern I'm testing, and drafted a corset pattern, cut out the pattern pieces, and pinned them to the mock-up fabric. Friday, I oiled and tested my sewing machine; cut out, sewed, and tried on the corset mock-up; and knit 35 rows of the hooded shrug, which got me to the END of the sleeves! Now I just need to do the edging and the hood. Saturday, I went thrift-store shopping for costume pieces and got a fairly good haul of those and some sewing supplies, including some supposedly antique buttons.

So what about you? Share your own crafty accomplishments from the past week in the comments here, and don't forget to use the standard check-in format on the rules page!

And as always, if you're new to Craft or Bust, check out the CoB rules page and sign up if you like — it's easy!

Aug 27, 2010

Costume accessories and another Princess Peach sketch

Anticipate a corset-drafting update later — either today or tomorrow. For now, a quick peek into a few accessories I've collected for my Robot, Monster and Ghost Co. collaboration costume. (The RM&G costume, in contrast to the steampunk Peach costume, is mostly collection — meaning that documenting the costuming process would look suspiciously like shopping and showing it off. Here goes! ;))

Bobby pins for a Dragon*Con costume
Handmade bobby pins from Peasant and Raven on Etsy. Arrived today and I'm wearing them as we type! (I have to test them, you know.)

Flea market findings
A weird glass bottle I picked up in New York, which might get used as an accessory. Funky, huh?

More flea market findings
Another New York flea market find: Some keys for my character. And why deos she need these, you might ask? Stay tuned and find out! ;)

It also came to my attention yesterday that I neglected to post the second steampunk Princess Peach concept sketch — now with more Cute/Quirky and rather less Historical Flavor — so here's that:

Steampunkier Peach sketch
Not as fancy and ruffly as the first concept, but I promise I will do a fancy Victorian dress someday.

Now I will bravely go and see if my sewing machine wants to work with me. I basted together my bodice sloper mock-up by hand, but I'm probably going to have to use a sewing machine at some point, so I need to find out if it's feeling well-behaved.

You remember the sewing machine cleaning/fixing extravaganza, right? It was reasonably successful — after that, my sewing machine worked. Mostly. But sometimes still not so much.

Let's try an experiment: Everyone clap your hands like you're reviving a fairy, and maybe it will bring back my Sewing-Machine Sixth Sense, which allows me to tame any rebellious sewing machine on the planet. Ready? Clap! Clap! Clap!

...Now imagine me running off to find a piece of scrap fabric to sew with...

Aug 26, 2010

Why things don't always happen on time (or, the tale of the wonky sloper)

On Tuesday, I took my measurements for the Princess Peach bodice sloper, drafted the front and back pieces, cut them out, made a muslin to check the fit, drafted a corset pattern based on the sloper, and with the help of my trusty leftover plastic boning and some hemp cord, I sewed my first corset!


That was what I was kind of hoping would magically happen, but this is what happened instead:

On Tuesday, I took my measurements for making a front bodice sloper. In case you don't know, a "sloper" is a super-basic pattern fitted to your exact measurements; you can use it for all kinds of stuff, including for making other patterns that you know will fit you, which is what I intend(ed?) on doing. In this case, I was measuring myself for the front half of a sloper for my upper body.

Anyway, when I got to the measurements for the back bodice sloper, I realized I would have to be a contortionist with bug eyes to take some of them myself.

My magical special tape measure
My Special Tape Measure does let me, say, measure my own bicep with one hand, but alas, it does not come with sticky bits that would allow me to measure from the back of my neck to the center of the back part of my waist.

So I had to wait until the first mate got home (and he works the late shift, of course! ;)) to take the missing measurements. If I could have double-checked the measurements personally, I would have, but I couldn't even watch him in the mirror as he measured — if I could do that, I would have the "bug-eyed contortionist" thing down and wouldn't have needed his help.

So I had to trust his measurements, and went forward with the drafting of the sloper pattern. (Again, in case you don't know, that just means I was following the directions to draw the sloper pattern.) While doing this, I realized that the theoretical girl in the pattern-drafting example diagrams was definitely not the same shape as I am, and I started to doubt myself: Would my sloper even come out correctly if I couldn't follow the directions properly? Alarmingly, my across-shoulder and across-chest measurements don't work out so that there's a pointy bit where it should be. Here, let me show you.

On my version of this pattern piece, the Line of Wonk does not do what it does on the above example (image ganked for illustrative purposes from Andy Nguyen's pages on tailoring — meaning I do not claim to have created nor do I own this image).

See that line between points 6 and 9? See how it sticks out past the line coming down from point 7 and forms a little point? That little point is the top of the arm-hole (a.k.a. the armscye), which, in a lot of patterns, curves like that because people have cylindrical arms. And the space between points 4 and 7 is determined by measuring across my shoulders, meaning that that line needs to be a certain length in order for the bodice to actually make it across the front of my body.

But using my measurements, point 9 ends up to the left of the line coming down from point 7. That's right — using the appropriate measurements, my armhole wants to start on the inside of my chest width. Which seemed a little wrong (I swear I don't have arms on the front of my body) so I re-checked my body measurements, and had the first mate check, too. And yes, it's true: If I measure a little differently, I can get a different result. I can make the measurement even smaller. Perfect! You know, if by "perfect" I mean not. ;)

Oh, and just to confuse me a little more, the Line of Wonk, in my version of the pattern, angles UP, not down. After an emergency consultation with my costume buddy of Olde Times, I decided to just draw the dang line longer than it should have been and make adjustments in the muslin (meaning the mocked-up test bodice that gets sewn using the sloper as a pattern).

Drafting the front bodice sloper
It's pretty faint in this photo (my pencil lines aren't that dark, since pencil point + too much pressure + newsprint = hole), but if you follow the photo link to Flickr, I've added a note pointing out the Line of Wonk in my sloper.

Tuesday ended with me feeling rather like some kind of genetic mutant, but at least I had a finished front bodice sloper to play with.

On Wednesday, I drafted the back bodice sloper without trouble. Which should really be taken as a sign of trouble in itself. ;) I even found some fabric that would work to make the muslin (that is, a mock-up sewn garment of inexpensive fabric, used to test the fit of the pattern in question), and applied pattern, pins, scissors, more pins, needle and thread to said fabric (in that order), indeed to produce a muslin.

Which fits perfectly from the bust point down, but horrendously from the bust point up. Ha, ha. So the part of the bodice containing the Line of Wonk is, indeed, wonky. I probably should have expected that, considering I knew I was doing something wrong in that part of the pattern. (But part of creating is hope...)

However, I realized late, late Wednesday night (so late you might *cough* even call it Thursday morning) that I don't need properly-fitted shoulders to make a corset, because none of the corset styles I was considering has shouldery bits. WHEW.

So my quest today is browsing my period clothing books and mooshing together what I find there with the information from various online corsetmaking pages.

Then maybe I'll play with other online sloper drafting instructions (like the even more complex sloper instructions at Leena's or the ones on, or maybe I'll raid my own closet for items of clothing with shoulders that DO fit, so I can trace them and magically meld the result with the bottom half of my current sloper pattern, a.k.a. the bit that fits.

Or maybe I'll do BOTH. Dangit. Yeah. So there.

If I do all these things, I will have momentarily channeled the spirit that made me name my blog "Quicksilver Crafter" a few years ago. That would be a miracle, so don't expect it ... but do feel free to send good wishes. ;)

Aug 22, 2010

Craft or Bust Week 33 Check-In and Roundup (August 15-21)

Tip of the hat to my staunch friend Jessica as we march forward in our weekly crafting together! ;)

Roundup of Week 32: What We Crafted From August 8-14

Last week...

  • Jessica made True Blood team t-shirts with her friends, reached the end of the gusset decreases in her socks, cast on a Fair Isle mitten and made it about a third of the way through it, made a pair of baby booties for her former nanny's god-child, went to an interview, and posted photos and a narrative of her latest adventures on her blog — squirrels, climbing, covered bridges! Check it out!

Check-in for Week 33: What Have You Done Lately? (August 15-21)

"Mud" cupcakesStill haven't re-taken-up my writing brain, but it will come back soon. It will. Really. Other than that ... Last Sunday I tweaked some packaging labels in Illustrator, put crafty thingies in packaging, made a shawl pin, and knit 10 rows in the continuing saga of the hooded shrug. Monday, I brainstormed & consulted with my friends over at Robot, Monster & Ghost Co. about our costume collaboration for Dragon*Con and ordered some glass jars for the costume. (Can you guess what they'll be used for? ;)) Tuesday, I researched historical costumes for my Steampunk Princess Peach costume, did a preliminary costume sketch, ordered some costume books, made scones, looked at costume patterns, and created a Food set on my Flickr account. Wednesday, I ordered some new business cards (and crossed my fingers they'd get here before Dragon*Con), added a kind of wonky bottom graphic to the blog, and knit 40 rows on the hooded shrug and thus reached the beginning of the second sleeve, of which I knitted 15 rounds. Thursday, I started writing a character sheet to help me with my RM&G costume-building. Friday, I finished said character sheet, bought a set of hair pins for the costume, and read/looked through about half of one of the Victorian costume books that arrived this week. Saturday, despite all good intentions to get an Obscene Amount of Costume Stuff done, I only knitted two rows of the hooded shrug, and made chocolate non-mud cupcakes. (I thus commit myself to getting an Obscene Amount done tomorrow.)

So what about you? Share your own crafty accomplishments from the past week in the comments here, and don't forget to use the standard check-in format on the rules page!

And as always, if you're new to Craft or Bust, check out the CoB rules page and sign up if you like — it's easy!

Aug 19, 2010

In which costume hell week (or fortnight) 2010 begins

After ten years' worth of doing it, you might think I'd know better than to start a costume at the last possible moment. Of course, you might also think the Loch Ness Monster exists. I'm not saying it doesn't, but I am saying that there's not a whole lot of hard evidence for it. The same goes for the evidence that I will ever start sewing a costume before the last possible second.

This tendency, of course, is really a subset of "If I'm making it for me, I can put it off a little longer; oh crap, I don't have any longer." So if I were to sew you a costume, I would be fully capable of starting it in a timely fashion.

Since this costume is for me, however, I was required by the laws of my own reality to wait until I only have two weeks to finish.

What costume, you ask? Oh, it's an answer to my personal steampunk dilemma — to the love/hate relationship I have with this neo-Victorian costume and aesthetic trend that combines two things I love dearly (technology and Victorian-era style) but which somehow manages to offend me the way many people do it.

I know. I'm a terrible person for thinking some people's "steampunk" costuming is a horrible, mutant, self-indulgent, Mary-Sue-ish interpretation of techno-Victorian style. It's terrible of me because there's an attitude, in steampunk culture, that steampunk is a bit about uniqueness, and expressing yourself, and defying convention. I approve of and support all of these things — and yet I still think some people's steampunk costuming is more like visually screaming "LOOK HOW F***ING BADASS I AM!" than it is respectful of the Victorian/technological aesthetic and ideals. And that offends me because I love Victoriana and technology more than I like watching people preen and show off.

Hate me for it if you like. ;)

Anyway, if you do, you may be pleased to know my attitude has presented me with an inescapable conflict: Since the rise of steampunk costuming, I've felt driven to make a steampunk costume that I DO like — nay, that I love! And that requires me to research and confront what I dislike, so that I can fail to do those things.

Aside from starting a frickin' costume on time for once, this is probably the hardest costume-related thing I've ever done. It's taken me a couple of years to get to the point where I can even envision a steampunk costume I can bear to wear.

And so, the costume

One of the Things I Dislike is when a costume or character takes steampunkiness Far Too Damn Seriously. (Note that I am not accusing the people in the costumes of taking steampunk too seriously. I am, however, saying that if they don't, their costumes and characterization utterly fail to show it. ;)) At the steampunk fashion show at Dragon*Con last year, the models I loved best were the ones with a sense of humor.

Thus, I was inspired: Why not do a steampunk costume that inherently has a sense of humor? I could even pack a ton of over-seriousness into it and potentially be a walking piece of satire. A self-contained in-joke. But I don't want to be a standoffish in-joke. I want to be an in-joke that everyone can share. Something so ridiculous that people can glance at me in costume and go "OMG is that what I think it is? That is Hilarious! Take a picture!"

So, you know. I could do something like a steampunk version of the video game character Princess Peach. And what's a Princess Peach costume without a Mario to match it?

Yesssss. This is the light at the end of the brass-goggled tunnel. This I can do. This I will do. the next two weeks.

Yes. Laugh at me. Laugh! Your laughter will fuel my own hysteria, and thus give me energy!

And even though I am doing a tongue-in-cheek, video game steampunk costume, my sense of steampunk (which pretty much matches that described in this blog post on the Steampunk Fashion LJ community) demands that I design using real research into real Victorian clothing.

So! Using the evil power of Amazon Prime, I magically made this book appear on my doorstep today! And there are two more that should show up tomorrow.

Instant research

And after doing copious Internet research, I came up with this not-entirely-satisfactory preliminary sketch:

Peachy sketch
Steampunk Princess Peach dress idea. Obviously I still need to figure out the hair. Also: Pardon the fact that this is a photo and not a scan. My scanner is currently indisposed. ;)

It needs more insanity. More Peach. More steampunk. More everything! It needs to be more over-the-top in all ways! And really, this is just a structural idea sketch, not a complete costume sketch; this is basically just an idea for the bits that I would need to literally SEW. Accessories and colors will help transform it. A parasol will help. The Princess Peach crown, and the earrings, and the fabric choices will help.

More money would help, too. Turning the crazy ideas in my head into reality seems even more insane on this month's sadly credit-card-dependent budget. (On the off chance that you have an overabundance of charitable feeling toward me and my geeky costuming, and a bit of money you'd like to donate, feel free to drop me a line. Even a small donation would help, and I'd be happy to give you a big fat "This costume sponsored by" shout-out and a link on the official costume info/documentation page — when one exists, on my Web site and/or here on the blog.)

And because my life is meant to be overly complicated — the Quicksilver Crafter reality is driven by stuffing too much productivity into short spans of time — this is not the only costume I'm working on. A collaboration with the lovely Robot, Monster & Ghost Co. will be unveiled at Dragon*Con this year, too.

Imagine me surrounded by sketches, coffee cups, fabric, newsprint-turned-pattern-pieces, and vintage accessories, wherein two fluffy cats and a long-haired boyfriend are trapped, and you have a decent estimation of what my next two weeks will be like.

Aug 18, 2010

Piratical homebodying: of purple knitting and revisiting scones

So although I was a slacker and didn't blog almost at all while I was in New York, I did capture photographic evidence of my craftiness. See? Look!

Test Knitting: Hooded Shrug

That's the sleeve of a hooded shrug I'm test-knitting. (Right now I'm stuck in the sea of stockinette stitch that is the back of the shrug, but I only have a few inches left. I'll make it out soon!)

And last night I was finally driven to action by the endless march of food shows that the first mate and I tend to watch. I wanted cupcakes, but I made scones:

Date & raisin scones

Date & raisin scones

Date and raisin scones, to be precise. The cupcake avoidance was partly due to lack of ingredients, and partly due to having No Clue about how to make the kind of cupcakes that I really want to make. I crave the irrationally gourmet kind of cupcake — the kind I'd be happy to pay $2.50 for two bites of. I was never a cupcake fan, by the way, before I worked at an office job where someone with good taste, a lot of money, and a kindly heart got me addicted to the uber-awesome variety. But now? Now I NEED to figure out how to make my own. Any book or blog recommendations, me hearties? ;)

Anyway, the scones turned out pretty well, considering I've taken a five- or six-year hiatus between batches. We didn't have any baking soda, so I had to limit myself to baking powder, and dates and raisins were all we had enough of, so in they went. But all in all, they still kick the butt of all the scones I've ever bought from anyone else. And that's a win. :D

Aug 17, 2010

Life = Energy: a semi-epiphany about energy and motivation

Remember that "safe space and creativity" theme I came up with a few months ago, that I kept promising to come back to? Yeah, it's perverse how not having safe space often means I don't have the creative energy even to write about it. I'm sure you can hear me laughing about how friggin' funny that is. ;P

Anyway, yesterday I was ranting about a specific type of non-motivation — the kind that comes from spending all your energy on one huge problem, so that you don't have any left to solve the everyday problems that come up. You know, like when you spend all your time trying to wrangle personal drama even though you know you should be thinking about how to fix the leaky washing machine and how to pay the bills this month, or deciding whether to use up the next two weeks of your life on a single project (not that I'm avoiding thinking about that right now, or anything...).

Today it clicked that my rant also applies to creativity. Actually, in my head, when I say "motivation," that includes creativity; I do sometimes think of life as one long series of creative problem-solving sessions. Today's now-elusive moment of clarity left me with an idea that goes something like this:

Problem-solving = energy. Creativity (and its requisite safe space) = energy. You only have so much energy to go around.

So when you use up a huge amount of energy on trying to solve a big, important problem, it naturally drains your "reserves" — the energy that you would use on "luxury" stuff that doesn't immediately contribute to your survival, like painting or sewing or writing or even cleaning the kitchen. If you solve the problem, that drain on your energy goes away. As you generate more energy to live, you slowly "fill up" again, and are ready to do more stuff, whether it's tackling big problems or spending time on luxuries, or both.

But when a big problem doesn't actually get solved, you have to keep putting energy into it, so your reserves stay depleted. Then, you stay unmotivated, in proportion to the amount of effort you spend dealing with the problem. Sometimes that means you neglect luxuries but keep chugging along on the necessities ... and sometimes that means you neglect both luxuries AND essentials. (If the latter happens long enough, the structure of your life starts to devolve into a problem of its own, and that, of course, becomes its own drain on your energy...)

Of course, everyone deals with this big-problem energy drain differently: It depends on how much energy they have, how fast their energy returns (which is related not just to personal resilience and emotional metabolism, but also to the efficiency of the support network(s)), and how their priorities are structured.

As far as priorities, what your brain designates as essential might be something my brain designates a luxury. (Heck, an individual person's priorities change over time, too!) Maybe when you're dealing with a gigantic problem, you stop cooking and start ordering take-out for every meal and you completely stop working on renovating the bathroom, but you keep on driving your kids to school and taking the dog for walks and going to knit night.

And me? Right now when I'm dealing with a problem of epic proportions, I stop answering e-mail and working on anything I'm doing for myself, but I keep on working on anything I promised someone else I would do. (Sigh.) Have you seen the Hierarchy of Cleaning? Being creatively inspired is waaaaay up there in the tip of the "hierarchy of energy usage" pyramid, firmly in the "extras" section.

Sunset on Lake Tarpon, August 15
Sunset over Lake Tarpon, August 14, 2010. Going out and enjoying naturey goodness is one of the things that my brain marks as "luxury" ... but I should still do it more.

I've said for years that the only way to get me to stop being bothered by a problem is to solve the problem. Although I define "solve" relatively loosely, in a way that deals more with closure than with actually making a problem literally go away, that still means that if a problem isn't solved, doing "me stuff" can only sometimes put me back on track for inspiration and productivity. It depends on how big the unsolved problem is. I can only regain so much energy by reading, taking walks, eating noodles, and playing pointless video and computer games, and sometimes those things just aren't enough to bring me back to place where I feel inspired to do amazing, creative things.

And oh MAN does it put me behind when a massive problem rears its ugly, persistent head right when I need to be making crucial decisions, laying the foundations for important projects, and doing things that let me pay the bills. I know a priority adjustment would help remedy this by making sure I spend energy where I need to ... but there are some things I can't change without changing my personal ethics and values. I can't put cleaning the house before providing emotional support to loved ones in need, for instance. But I really, really need to clarify the parts of my hierarchy of energy usage that involve creating new products for the shop, promoting the business, and doing creative things just for myself. Really really. I can't keep shunting energy back and forth between dealing with Problems That Won't Go Away and Things I Need to Do To Pay Bills. They need to have equal treatment. And even if I have to go through Energy Boot Camp to expand my personal endurance to do that, well ... I have to do what I have to do.

I can't keep getting behind on life, no matter how demoralized or demotivated I am. I mean, sheesh. Why am I alive if I'm not going to really live?

Yeah. Time to dig in my heels, grit my teeth, and find a way — a healthy way — to create more energy, or to pare down my energy usage.

That's just that.

Aug 15, 2010

Craft or Bust Week 32 Check-In and Roundup (August 8-14)

Oooops! Look at my Shameful Absence of Post! I've had thoughts; they just haven't flowed out into blog posts. Bad me, bad! I will start posting again post-haste (ha ... ha...), I promise. ;) At least I remembered to do the CoB post, even if it's super-late in the day. My mind is just not all here right now.

Roundup of Week 31: What We Crafted From August 1-7

Last week...

  • Jessica cast on a new pair of socks, knit about 5 1/2 inches of the leg (by Saturday), baked a strawberry pie, went to a museum and took photos, and knit in public in Canada!
  • Susie finished her fish hat (it now has eyes! et voila! See the eyes and the rest of the hat on her blog), made some shopping bags and held her first giveaway (yayyy!), and worked on an underwear pattern (most cute!).

Check-in for Week 32: What Have You Done Lately? (August 8-14)

Noodles at Shanghai CafeI've been a bad girl and haven't written for a while — but I'll start again ... I will! In the meantime, I've mostly been knitting. Sunday, I knit about 15 rows of the back of my hooded shrug, and shopped for costume accessories at the Hell's Kitchen Flea Market. Monday, I hailed my first New York cab! I know ... not really creative, but can we pretend it was because I really wanted to mention it? ;) I also knit 17 more rows of my hooded shrug and took some NYC photos. Tuesday, I came back to Florida, but before I did, I took notes for creating a new dress (for singing gigs!) and a new Web site for my New York friend Virginia Marcs. ;D Wednesday was pretty nondescript in terms of crafting. Thursday, I sold a Waves of Compassion shawl pin (yayyy!) and made it, and also made some charm pins for a custom order (yayyy again!). Friday was ... pretty much bust, in more ways than one. ;P And Saturday, I knit 18 more rows of the hooded shrug. See? Mostly knitting.

So what about you? Share your own crafty accomplishments from the past week in the comments here, and don't forget to use the standard check-in format on the rules page!

And as always, if you're new to Craft or Bust, check out the CoB rules page and sign up if you like — it's easy!

Aug 8, 2010

Craft or Bust Week 31 Check-In and Roundup (August 1-7)

Holy crap, I haven't posted here at all in a week. Well, it's been a busy week, and now I'm in New York City for a little while, helping a friend get sane and running around feeding my creative muse with all NYC has to offer...

Roundup of Week 30: What We Crafted From July 25-31

  • Jessica knit another two inches of her dad's sweater back, finished her secret design project and typed up the pattern (COOL!), baked cookies, cast on and ripped out Karl's gloves the third time (alas ;)), and put in a job application. And yes, twelve hours of knitting is quite respectable. ;)

Check-in for Week 31: What Have You Done Lately? (August 1-7)

Lame Manhattan picture, August 2010This has been a brain-altering week; on Sunday I bought a last-second ticket to New York City, and on Friday, I was here — and I still am! I did get a bit of crafting done, though: Monday I started working on a secret costume project. Tuesday, I cast on for a hooded shrug that I'm test-knitting and knit a bunch of one sleeve. Wednesday, I did a lot, but didn't actually make anything. Thursday, I knit some more of the hooded shrug in between preparations for the NYC trip, and packaged up the beaded Waves of Compassion shawl pin finally. Friday, I flew to New York ... and still managed to knit some of the hooded shrug. Saturday, I explored the city! But I admit I didn't actually make anything. I did watch a bunch of short plays and movies, and saw a scene from Wicked in the Gershwin Theater on Broadway, though ... so I watched creativity. Maybe that counts? ;)

My one FAIL has been that I actually missed a day of writing — yesterday. I don't feel horrible about it, since I knew I would probably do that at some point, and being in New York City for the first time in my adult life is a pretty good excuse. ;)

So what did you do this week? Share your own crafty accomplishments in the comments here, and don't forget to use the standard check-in format on the rules page!

And as always, if you're new to Craft or Bust, check out the CoB rules page and sign up if you like — it's easy!

Aug 1, 2010

Craft or Bust Week 30 Check-In and Roundup (July 25-31)

Do you guys ever feel like your productivity happens in cycles? I wonder whether, if I graphed my productivity, it would show recurring, predictable trends ... ;)

Roundup of Week 29: What We Crafted From July 18-24

  • Jessica knit ~six inches of the back of her Dad's sweater, brought a design project from January back into the light and did about a quarter of it, made paper flowers (any suggestions as to what she can do with them now? ;)), got a box of yarn and needles in the mail, put in some job applications, made Crock Pot macaroni and cheese, and made a bunch of yummy birthday good for her father's birthday party. Hurray! Happy birthday to your dad. :D
  • Sarah's back! She learned new things! ;) And she hereby declares this a kinda-sorta July update: She learned to can jelly (in the process of which she learned "to closely monitor overfilled pots of boiling sugar syrup! And further, to wait out small kitchen fires rather than freaking out and also to call and let my significant other know that no one was hurt and nothing was damaged before I begin tweeting about said kitchen fire." There I go with the quotage again, but how can CoB survive without its regular dosage of funny Sarah quotes?) She also learned that watermelon jelly is good, even when it's not super-watermelony. (That reminds me: I think I need to make some lychee jelly. Care to share any recipes or procedures?) She also learned about stamping metal, which coincided with her turning 30, and then she signed up for a silversmithing class — yay for acid, fire, hammers and sharp things! — and made a cute little silver ring. Woo!

Check-in for Week 30: What Have You Done Lately? (July 25-31)

On to my own babblage. The productivity-cycle musings above are partly inspired by my general lack of inspiration in the past few weeks. I know what's behind them, but I still wonder whether this stuff might be cyclical. Why not? I shouldn't disbelieve until I have evidence one way or another, right? ;)

Super-limited-edition Waves of Compassion shawl pinAnyway, this week I continued writing every day. Which is getting harder when I don't know what I'm doing in the middly bits of this book. Need to remedy that. Sunday, I knitted a gauge swatch for a hooded shrug test knit, and made and sent in the listing info for a super-limited-edition Waves of Compassion shawl pin for the Help the Gulf Coast Etsy shop. Monday, I made an end-of-Tour-de-Fleece yarn collage and bought some US size 6 double-pointed needles for further hooded shrug swatching. Tuesday, I made pork bone soup (and discovered that my suspicions were correct about needing more than two pork bones to effectively do this ;)), re-swatched for the hooded shrug and washed the swatch, and downloaded Feedly to help organize all my creativity-inspiring RSS feeds in a way that will encourage me to read them. Wednesday, I took some photos of the world outside when it turned yellow (and then it turned purple, but I didn't photograph that, alas), read someone's novel synopsis and sent feedback, and started using the Read It Later Firefox add-on to save all the creativity-inspiring but computer-killing tabs I usually have open. WHEW. I also started a digital dream board, on a site which I shall fail to share because I haven't given it a thorough enough testing to be sure I want to spread the word about it yet. ;) Thursday, I made a Gulf Coast Compassion treasury on Etsy, swatched yet again for the hooded shrug, and actually SPUN a little bit of yarn from the Gypsy batt that was in progress when TDF ended. Friday, I wrote notes for some costumes I'll be making for Dragon*Con. And Saturday, I read some of Jane Eyre — reading is creative, too! It helps keep my brain's imaging capabilities honed and sharp. ;)

And even though that list looks pretty long, I still don't feel like I spent a lot of time really MAKING things. This week was kind of like treading water. I hope there's a little more creative swimming next week.

So what did you do this week? Share your own crafty accomplishments in the comments here, and don't forget to use the standard check-in format on the rules page!

And as always, if you're new to Craft or Bust, check out the CoB rules page and sign up if you like — it's easy!
Related Posts with Thumbnails