Sunday, June 21, 2015

How To Fix a Falling Pop Vinyl: The Resurrection of Misty Day

When I picked up my four Orphan Black Pop Vinyls, I moved my Coven Pop Vinyls down a shelf. This proved to be a potentially tragic ordeal for Misty Day but thankfully she is a witch and I have the power to fix her.

When I moved Misty and Cordelia down a shelf I moved them on top of my cable box not thinking about how it's a potentially warm spot. I have had pops there with no issue in the past. Cordelia (being the supreme of course) suffered no changes but after a month of being on the shelf Misty appeared to be taking a nose dive off the cable box.

Misty's body is made of a softer plastic and the warmth of the area had allowed her feet to bend up. This was ripping her body forward.

To fix this, I broke out my new Jamberry Nails Mini Heater.  The mini heater happened to be close by and I figured I was more likely to over heat the plastic with my heat gun.

I poped Misty's base off and warmed her feet and legs up in front of the heater. I then placed her back on the stand, pressing her feet down, and pulling her body back into position.  I held her there until she cooled off. I did this twice.

Misty is now standing tall next to Cordelia once again but no longer on the cable box. Funny enough, I rarely have the cable box on so it really didn't take much to wrap her.

Hope this helps anyone who may have warped their Pop Vinyls some how.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Don't Waste Time, Find People You Love and Hold On.

Earlier this week, my friends and I had a major scare.

We almost lost someone we love very much.  Thankfully, we did not.  I refuse to discuss those details public as they are extremely personal but it got me thinking.

In the time that we didn't know what the outcome was, I couldn't help but think how glad I was that I saw this person last weekend at EternalCon.  I am so glad I spent so much time with this person.  I am so glad I spent goofy happy times with this person and our friends.  I am glad I didn't waste time with people less deserving of my time (which I learned over the weekend).

Over the last few years, I have become more selective with who I keep closer in heart and it's become quite a powerful anxiety coping skill.  I spent a lot of time this weekend with friends from out of state that I see once a year at EternalCon fearing not speading enough time with other friends I really made an effort to break away and found myself feeling degraded and uncomfortable. So I went back to my main group of friends and a new group across the way deciding I was both unwelcome and if they wanted to see me they could and some did come over.

My point being don't waste time around anyone that makes you uncomfortable or feel disrespected.  It doesn't get better. Trust me. 

Spend your time with people who have earned it, who are loyal, and make you feel good about yourself.  I don't regret one second of the time I spent with my friends last weekend because if that was the last time I saw one of them, as horrible of a thought, I would be content with the pleasent memory.

If this gets thrown in my face, I don't care.  Those people are closer to being my family then my actual family.  I am so glad things appear to be better but that afternoon earlier this week it was as if last weekend had been a dream. I felt shattered, confused, and I just wanted to be held but the thought of those last moments actually made me feel much sounder.

Yeah, you all thought I had my sh*t together didn't you?  I have learned I have my own weird response to fear in which I kind of do a quiet panic.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Review: My Little Pony Pinkie Pie's Party - DS

At Eternal Con this weekend I picked up the My Little Pony: Pinkie Pie's Party DS game. This is not a new game. This is an old game. This is a game I have looked to pick up in the past and at one point had on my Amazon list but I was apprehensive.

When I got home Saturday night I popped the game into my old DS lite. Oh boy....

This game is from 2008 and graphically it's not up to par.  The game itself is based on Pinkie Pie strolling through town searching for her 20 presents and Sweetie Belle's 12 puzzle pieces.  That's the ENTIRE GAME.

The puzzle pieces stand out. The presents do also but about half of them you need to win by playing mini games.  However, because it's mlp you can't loose the mini games so no matter what you always win the present.

Once you have collected the presents which takes an hour tops. This is slowed by the pace at which Pinkie Pie walks. You then head back to the party area to put the puzzle pieces together. I was horrified that the second I finished the puzzle the credits rolled. Horrified.

Now I can return and open Pinkie Pies presents and "play" with them. Errrr. Okay. Weird.

This game is an excuse to make money from the gaming genre but it really puts a deep notch in the MLP line.  Had I picked this up back in 2008 for full price I would have been horribly upset.  However, I picked it up used for $5. So while I think the game is horribly lacking it's still a sweet piece to have in my pony collection.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Makeup Remover and Sensitive Skin

I have super sensitive skin. Annoyingly so. I can't use normal fabric softener because the fragrance makes my skin itch.  So face products, make up, and make up removers have always been challenging for me.

I found years ago that my skin behaved a lot better when I stoped buying into typical marketed products that are targeted at breakout prone sensitive skin people like me.  One day it dawned on me that maybe it's not that I am using the wrong deep clean cleanser, maybe it's the actual chemicals irritating my skin. Makes sense right?

I went to a dermatologist to hopefully find out if I had any particular skin allergies causing the breakouts. He insisted on putting me on medication that made me horribly ill. So I gave up on my dermatologist.  I intend to investigate this again with a different dermatologist since cardboard makes me itch which I am sure is the dust, but clearly there is an allergy of some nature.

Since becoming a vegetarian, my skin is much more behaved. They do say the skin is a very clear reflection of what you put into your body but I do still have reactions and break out.

I learned a few years ago to stick with Noncomedogenic face lotions, sunscreens, foundations, and powders. It's supposed to be better for your skin and not clog pores, but I really am not sure exactly what that term means.  However, I only wear foundation and powder for conventions and shoots. I don't wear anything on my skin normally.

In the last few years coconut oil has become a huge thing. It's been a miracle moisturizer for my face.  It's natural, does the job, and won't make me break out.  No chemicals!  Thankfully, I am not allergic to coconut.

So the makeup remover portion:
Years ago I had started using straight up olive oil to remove makeup. I put it in a small bottle and kept it in the bathroom. It did the job and it didn't cause my skin to react but I didn't like how slimy my face felt afterward. It also moisturizes but it takes a little longer to dry and I wasn't fond of my face smelling like olive oil.

Fast forward to now and I find that coconut oil removes make up. So I use that over olive oil these days but not on my eyes!

Last fall I went to the eye doctor and he noticed that the oil glands in my eyes are over active. They produce extra oil which causes my eyes to get itchy and then I rub my eyes which apparently leads to retina detachment which I am a candidate for. Oh goody!

He suggested taking a drop or two of baby shampoo, mixing it with warm water, and running a cotton ball over my eye lashes at night.  I honestly do not do this every night like I should. However, not only does this help with the oil production but it is pretty amazing at removing eye makeup.  Because it's baby shampoo it's safe to get in your eyes and it leaves my lashes super soft.

My current skin care products include:
Wild Bath Wash & Scrub (natural fragrance)
Que Bella Clarifying Peel Off Mask
Raw Coconut Butter
Johnson & Johnson Baby Shampoo

Some awesome natural facewashes... Homemade sugar scrubs (which I have not tried) and, my favorite, a honey mask.

I used to use the honey mask all the time.   It's just pure honey on your face. Imagine taking a bath and soaking with honey on your face. The darker the honey the better. If you can get your paws on Buckwheat honey that is the best for this. I have mine in a travel shampoo bottle.  You can also dissolve aspirin (and only non coated aspirin) and then add it to the honey and make it a scrub.  I am sure you can add sugar also but I have always added aspirin because it's good for the skin.

And I am off to wash my face!

NYC Weekend Roller Coaster

Currently, I am on a full train headed back home. It's been a whirlwind of a weekend full of rollar coaster emotions.

One of the primary things that has been affecting my mood is my short hair. I will never ever take back doing St Baldricks and I do not regret it one bit but it's been a hard hit on my self esteem.  It's one of those things you don't realize help define you until it's suddenly so different.

So I have been very hard on myself and down. I have noticed changes in how people treat me. Both good and bad. Both from friends and strangers. So it's been very interesting and while I go through this more awkward part of hair growth I have been in hiding.

This weekend was Special Edition:NYC. I had such a great time lady year that I was really looking forward to it this year.  I forewarned people about my funky mood and my very real need for laughs.  For the most part my friends (my true great friends) really helped a lot.  I am tearing up writing this.  So sensitive.  There really is something so magically about some of the people I have come to know in which just being around them makes all the worries go away. I slept so well last night for the first time in at least a week.

Yesterday, I cosplayed as New 52 Huntress at the request of a friend. They needed a Huntress for a DC shoot.  So I got to be a part of the big DC shoot which was a confusing time but also a fun time.  I missed some group shots both because I left early (my feet were dying) and since I do not know DC well I am really not aware of all the groups Huntress is accosciated with. Whoops.  Turns out I really did do damage to my feet. There is something about this show and blisters because the same thing happened last year and that never happens to me.

I bought two adorable pairs of earrings at the show: Captain America and Spider-Man spiders. But that was it which is pretty unusual for me.

I am very much not a fan of Pier 94. I had been there before at the 2009 Apple Con.  I don't care for it.  I don't care for it so much that I didn't return to the show today even though I have a weekend pass. It's sad that a great show can be affected so much by the venue alone.

Today, however, I traveled through Manhatten. First hitting up Ricky's for body paint which I need for both Jem and Stormer. So we know what I will be doing later.  They had a high pigment green eyeshadow that I picked up also and brush cleaner because I have never ever done that.  Another thing I will be doing later. 

I left there and went to the Disney Stire looking for a particular Disney plush that has not been in production but you never know!  I had to travel around NYC with my suitcase. This was very unfortunate as in the Disney Store I had a female security guard trailing me the entire store by two feet. It was mortifying and I left nearly in tears.

Then since I had my luggage I was going to skip Midtown Comics, but at SE I was unable to find any of the Jem comics and that's what I really wanted to look for there.  So I trekked up the large staircase anyway making the people at the top wait (remember I am scared of falling down stairs).  I walk in and the cashier who was ringing someone up says "hi."  I said "hi." She then asks if I would like to keep my suit case behind the counter and I would LOVE that!  They gave me a ticket to reclaim it. I found my Jem comics.  All is now better in my world.  Oh, I also got to use the 20% off coupon from the show so I got a sweet discount.

It's been a roller coaster weekend.  I am still upset about something's I can't discuss but I have some wonderful friends.  After this weekend I really should move to Philly or Jersey. I would probably be happier overall.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Veggie 2nd Year Anniversary!

Two years ago today I became a vegetarian.

Now I do eat fish and eggs. I know there is a specific title for that classification of vegetarian but I am not about those kinds of details.  In the end it's just a classification really.

I eat fish and egg whites soley for the protein.  I could eat a vat of beans and chia seeds and be happy but 2 hard boiled egg whites are more my speed.

I took a strange road becoming a veggie where I didn't cut myself off immediately and I allowed myself to have meat if I really wanted it.  I always thought chicken would be the hardest to give up but I found eating chicken was more out of habit then actual desire.  The hardest thing to give up was specifically Wendy's burgers.  However, when Wendy's had the Cod Filet during Lent it got me over the hump I needed to drop the burgers.  Then of course I had my annual Nathan's Corn Dog at last years Mermaid Parade but this year (if I make it) I will not be indulging in a corn dog.  I am actually fearful of it upsetting my stomach at this point.

In the beginning I vowed to not be obnoxious about meat products like chicken and beef base but being that I work in food I am hyper aware of these things.  Two years later, I now find myself checking labels for chicken stock in rice mixes mostly.  Any packaged soup is pretty much out for me as they are not only all based in chicken or beef stock but really high in sodium and sugar.  Take a look at them and be amazed at the amount of HFCS is in your canned soup.

Two years later, I now look forward to making my own lunches for the work week every Sunday.  Currently, I bring bananas, hard boiled eggs, and applesauce for breakfast. Strawberries (or another fruit) for a snack.  Lunch is either a pasta dish with veggies or fish/veggie burger with rice and veggies. I have it dish to a science.  I also make my own perfect oatmeal cups and sometimes I get on a yogurt kick.

So I am eating a lot healthier since becoming a veggie also. Sadly I still consume way too much sugar so it's hasn't really helped in the waistline but I am planning a sugar detox soon!  My plan is to get all the sugary stuff out of the house by eating it first because I am not about to throw it out. Nope. No throwing money away. 

Oh I should note that since becoming a veggie my skin has been behaving very nicely.  I am not sure if it's the increase in fish or the decrease in meat/poultry but something is working for me.

It's so interesting to look back and see real changes I made to my diet.  Right now I am obsessed with Polar Seltzer and two years ago I would have gagged at the thought of that. Though I have gotten others addicted as well..... It's good stuff. Everyone should try it. It has no sodium!!!!

Even the thought of a sugar detox would have sounded insane to me two years ago but I know I can do it.

I am a self admitted sugar addict. I know it's a problem but I am very aware of where it is coming from.  People who point it out to me and drink their 2% milk with cookies I know do not.  I say that because THEY ADD SUGAR TO THE MILK. Oh and there is sugar in your bread and added sugar in the peanut butter... Added sugar in your soup...

I have always been more interested in whole foods and real foods over anything chemical.  I have reactions to fake sugar so diet sodas are a no go for me.  But when I did drink milk I had no idea anything reduced far had added sugar. I still wouldn't drink whole milk if I could only because it's too thick.  However, I never eat reduced fat anything because when something is taken out something is put in. Normally that is sodium or sugar. Fat is not your enemy. Fat actually makes you feel full, gives food flavor, and stops you from over eating. Once it's removed they have to find something to add flavor but doesn't have the same properties.

I am around tons of Dieticians all day long. I learn a lot but I HIGHLY suggest watching Fed Up. It's so good.  I learned a lot.

I am rambling. :)

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Crafting Away the Blues

Today was not one of my best days.

For reasons I will not divulge I was extremely drepressed and to make matters better I have a nasty migraine.

For the first portion of the day I laid around playing Pokemon but my mood was not improving. I was more or less lingering instead.

So I got up. I finally finished the last pieces of the Huntress belt.  I was thinking about starting the Stormer dress but starting another large project sounded like a bad idea. I pulled the patterns but inside my pattern box I came across an unused pattern for a sewing machine cover.

Off I went. I pulled out some scrap duck cloth and other pieces I have. A few hours later and just before Orphan Black I finished. I finished at 8:59. Ha!

Check it out!

I even got the lining in!  I really love how it came out and I am thrilled today is over.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Tutorial: Synthetic Wig Perm

The next costume I am working on is Stormer from Jem and the Holograms.  The TV show version of course. I have always secretly loved her.  However, while searching for the perfect wig finding a curly wig was not feasible. So I found a wig and made it curly...

Over the winter I had watched a few YouTubes on boil perms and I had already supplied myself with some of the items I needed.  When I was originally watching videos, they were for restyling My Little Pony hair. At some point I would like to take some bait ponies and customize them.  I have ideas.

I did more wig perm research for my Stormer wig but none of them were nearly as good as the MLP one. So I really used what I learned from the MLP video and applied it to my wig. After all that video was made by a beautician.

You can check it out here: 

Wig (does not need to be heat resistant)
5 packs Long Perm rods (I used grey)
End Papers
Large Bowl
Boiling Water
Dish Gloves
Foam Head (pins help)
Cup of Water
Scissors (hair shears if you have them)
Wig Brush
Hair bands and claws

First set the wig up on the foam head pinning it into place.  I put my pins in by the bangs since the bangs were not getting permed.  Once the wig is in place, brush the hair lightly.

Open up all of the perm rods.  This makes things move a little faster.

Seperate the hair so that you only have two or three lines of wefting at the base.  I believe I started with two but if the wig is thin maybe you can start with three.  Take all the hair that is above, twist and clip it out of the way.

Seperate about an inch of hair.  Holding the hair taught clip the end of the hair so the ends are even.  Dip the end of the hair in the cup of water. Get it nice and wet.  Take an end paper and fold it around the ends of the hair.  Now carefully start wrapping the end paper with the hair in it around the rod and then roll the rest of the hair up the rod.

The purpose of the end paper is so that the curl goes all the way to the very end of the hair instead of having that straight end or bent end.

Continue taking 1" sections of hair, wrapping and rolling while sectioning off new sections of hair until the whole head is is in rods. This took me about two and a half hours for Stormer.

Once the entire head is in perm rods, take the bangs and put them in a hair band.

Next boil a good amount of water. You can use the stove but I used my water kettle.  I then poured the water into my larger pan and dunked the entire wig (wearing my gloves) in except the bangs. I wound up using the bangs as a holding spot.

I left the wig in for a little bit. I put it back on the foam head when I removed it and let it sit there for two days until it was dry. 

Taking the perm rods out, looked like rag curls or something out of the baroque period.

Once I went through and split up the ringlets the true fluffiness of the perm was show.  I understand the tears of curly haired girls.

I love how the perm came out.  I think this is perfect for Stormer and it is perfect for any Merida costumers out there also. I am ready to perm more wigs. This was so much fun!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Practical Crafting: Creating a Privacy Cover for the Trunk of my Car

Saturday, I was waiting for my friend to come over so we could watch movies and while I was waiting I started working on a project I have been meaning to do since I acquired a new car.

In March, I had to let go of my beloved Suzuki Forenza. I am still heartbroken over it and after almost three months in the Fiesta I am still not quite used to it yet.  I am getting there though. Slowly.

Other then needed to a minor repair on the gas cap cover, the only thing this car was really in need of was the privacy piece for the small trunk.

Side note: the gas cap cover had popped off at the dealer. They used expanding wood glue to put it back on. I popped it back off. Turns out it just slides on. I also epoxy glued it.

Anyway, when the privacy piece was missing I originally was going to price a new one.  Then my friend (the same one who came over for movies) suggested I make it.  Well duh. I probably could couldn't I?

Soon after first getting the car I measured out the back piece and bought a light piece of wood from Home Depot.  Since I had my dimensions (thankfully), I was able to ask them to cut it for me. Yay!  Less work for me. I also do not have cutting tools beyond my Dremel.  As luck would have it my measurements were off by about a half an inch lengthwise.  So I broke out the Dremel and trimmed a bit. 

I also rushed out to get a yard of black felt for the covering. 

Until very recently, the wood board just sat in my truck covering the area.  Suddenly, I got tired of brushing across the bare wood (splinters anyone) and brought the wood inside my apartment intending to work on the project.

There it sat for a few weeks.

This weekend I am busting out some final pieces and it's sitting there.  I knew I would bs waiting for a little bit so I figured well maybe I will start the felt cover.

Once I started I just kept going and I finished he entire project probably 30 mins before my friend showed up. It was in my excitement of finishing that I hit my head on the car (see previous post).

Actual Crafting:
So I had the cut piece of wood. I laid it on the felt with the felt folded and traced the outline loosely with tailors chalk (white).  I also left at least 5"-8" of seam allowance.

I sewed with a centered straight stitch across one side and down the long side. Then I got to attempt to slip the now felt sock over the wood.  This took some time as the splintering pieces from the long side really wanted to pop through the felt.

One the felt sock was on it was time to sew the open side shut. Hand stitch?  Oh no. I love machine sewing. Ha.  I switched my foot to an I foot (standard zipper foot) and changed the stitch to the left straight stitch. I then sewed up the side with the huge piece of wood hanging off the sewing table.

I then broke out my iron and left over (yes scraps) fusible interfacing. I took all of the seam allowances and fused the extra felt together to make them sturdier. You need the extra felt hanging off the edges.  Note: use a polyester setting on the iron and press down firmly for 8 seconds, anything higher will melt/burn the felt. 

Next, I bagged up my black curtain grommets, trailers chalk, and short fabric scissors.  Grabbed the felt covered wood and headed outside. 

The original design in the trunk had a piece that clipped onto pegs under the back part of the cover.  In the front it had most likely cord that attached it to the door that lifts open. This is what I am recreating.

I took my felt covered wood and placed it in the grooves with the excess felt hanging under the board.  I then made a cut where the groove for the peg is.  I then marked off where the peg is located on the felt with the tailors chalk.

The grommets I purchased came with a nifty plastic guide for creating the grommet hole. I used tailors chalk to trace the circle out and clipped away at the grommet hole.

This is my first time working with actual grommets. These are black plastic grommets. Not something I would use for anything fancy but perfect for the car.

I quickly learned that the plastic grommets are not the easiest to put to together. They snap very tight which I like because I am more confident they will not pop off. Ha.  I had the worst time trying to get the first grommet on. I finally took the board out of the car and put it on the road.  I had to get every bit of force I could with my palm until it finally snapped in.

Once both of the rear grommets were in place, I had to figure out the front grommets. I put the felt wood back in this time with the rear grommets on the pegs and the excess felt hanging over the top.

Then I closed the trunk and started mapping out the best placement from the back seat. This way I could see where the felt is with the door shut so the grommet placement doesn't get in the way of the door.  I marked my spots and traced the circle with my tailors chalk.  Opened the trunk, cut the circles out, and then added the grommets in the same fashion as I did the rear.

Next I trimmed the side felt. I trimmed so that it wrapped loosely around the grommets and was not too close to the stitches.

Then I shut the door and got into the back seat again. I pulled the long part of the felt over the back part of the trunk door and using my tailors chalk traced out where it should be cut to fit appropriately.  Then I trimmed it.

Next I needed to figure out the corded part. I happen to have a small set of bungee cords that reside in my car.  I attempted using the shortest cord but found the hook was too small for peg at the top.  So that wasn't going to work.

I then remembered I had a bag of split ring findings with a strange split ring I have never seen before.  I ran back in the house and pulled two of them out.

Heading back into the trunk of my car to set this part up was exactly when I hit my head. I was just too excited.

Anyway, this teardrop split ring fit perfectly and the small loop at the bottom is perfect to hook the bungee cord but now the short blue cord was too long. So I wound up taking the longer cords and doubling them.

The cover works perfectly.  It lifts up amazingly. I think the bungees were perfect because they allow some give and decreases any possible tugging on the rear grommets.

I am still ridiculously excited I made this.  I didn't really take "progress" pictures but here are some pictures of the final piece!

I detached the bungee cords so you can see the excess felt that is needed to cover the back. It sits on a bump in the door which you can place it on or if you shut it just right the wind flips it up.

The rear grommets (or one anyway).

The bungee cords, split ring, and front grommets.

And the same when the trunk is closed!

Practical crafting can be so satisfying. I should do this more often.

Klutz: Face Smashing

I am not only a goofball but a bit of a klutz.  I have a fine habit of tripping over my own feet, falling down stairs, bouncing off door frames particularly, and smacking my face/head into things.  Yep.  That's me but I have a sense of humor about it.