Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Exceptional 5 Days of Vacation!

Because of NYCC I took Thursday and Friday off of work. I was off Monday for Columbus Day. Overall, I did loads of relaxing and sleeping but other things happened too. 

So Thursday I was at NYCC and I had a great time hanging out with two of my male friends that I don't see often.  I found myself very grateful to have them with me when I saw one of my nightmare ex's friends twice. Whom I am certain it took us both several minutes to realize who the other was. Miraculously I didn't have an anxiety attack over this but this particular person never gave me reason to be of alarm then or now. He's actually a pretty cool guy and if anything we were both badly burned by my ex but that doesn't mean I will be open to chatting with him or want those memories in my space.  So I found myself exceptionally grateful to have two great guys with me during those moments.  Outside of having guys with me it was an exceptional refocus. Good friends whether they realize it or not help keep my mind out of the crapper. 

Thursday night I went to an after party at Shangri-Las (I love that name because I love the 60s girl group).  My bestie was hosting and I got to hang out with the Long Island Ghostbusters, two friends from Philly, and another I rarely get to see. Seeing my Philly friends and the people of that cosplay area from my days at Wizard is a massive endorphin boost. I miss that crowd so much and this may make for another future post. 

Friday I spent sleeping. Outside of a doctors appointment that I was barely awake for I slept all day and night. The few times I was up my calves were rejecting me from all the walking I did Thursday. It amazes me that I can walk for 9 hours at a convention and only feel pain in the bottom of my feet but get an amazing leg work out. Yet when I walk 4 miles at the park I wind up stressing out my shins to where I have to take time off.  My shins get stressed out not my calves. 

Saturday, I slept a lot but I also finally sewed my red rockabilly dress!  I cut the patterns/fabric for this long ago.  The pattern called for 5/8" seam allowance which I thought was too big and turns out I should have used 3/8" like I normally do. The dress wound up a bit too small. Eek!

Sunday, I had an amazing static trapeze class. I finally feel back. I am finally starting to feel more fluid and trusting myself. The class energy is amazing to boot.  No superstars. We all bounce energy off each other and yet work independently.  While one student was working with the trapeze very low, I tried a trick I have been frightened of since I not only fell but got trapped in the trapeze (not mine) back in April. This time knowing the trapeze was low I figured if I fell again at least I wouldn't be trapped in the air since the mat was about 2 feet below me. I did the trick TWICE. It's not polished by far but I did it and unassisted.  Now I was feeling daring and went for a spin on my friends trapeze that was higher yet still low. This is a spin we had learned my first day back and I wound up cracking my toe on the bar. I have done it a few times since but sporadically. I did this TWICE unassisted and squealed after the first time. It's the first time I have done it without feeling like I was going to slip off. We have been working on other things but I also toyed with old tricks. Most of my static tricks I have been told to not put online (particularly in the last two weeks as students have been asking).  However, I can put up the older tricks. 

Sunday night, I fixed the Rock and Roll Forever Jem dress. 

Today, I wasn't myself. I slept in because I could. I got up around 1pm after having loads of night sweats (somewhat common for me).  I woke up drenched twice and I sleep with a sheet and a fleece blanket. My heat is not on intentionally.  I know I will heat myself so I haven't turned it on but last night was exceptional.

I went out to Joann's for a sports zipper to fix the size issue on the rockabilly dress. While in Joann's I started overheating. To add to this it felt like my brain was shaking with every step (and noise). Not fun. When I made it out of Joann's, I sat in my car for awhile with the AC on blast. It's mid-October and it was 62* when I blasted the AC in the car. Thankfully I had the AC fixed. I got home around 4/5pm and laid back in bed only to wake up at 8:30pm. Sleeping the day away... 

I decided to at least add this zipper fix to my dress. I went with this type of zipper because the coils are plastic and the tape is wide. I removed the original zipper and put this one in so that only the very edges of the tape were sewn in. It added about 1 inch to the dress and now it fits pretty perfectly.  I am not thrilled with how ugly that zipper looks on the side but for now I have a waspie corset I can wear with it. 

Alas it's time to hit the shower and the sheets before starting my first two job day tomorrow (today actually). Sigh.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

NYCC 2016: Thursday

I went to New York Comic Con on only Thursday this year. 

I was beyond excited to see Gen Broomhall in Artist Alley and I even got to pick up a new pony.  I made an effort to hunt down my missing issues of Jem as well. Now I can get caught up.

Here are the few pictures from my day at NYCC.


Skeletor will be an ornament in 2017...

My hero!

The items I purchased!

I have officially tried bubble tea. This one was alcoholic, but I can say now that I definitely do not like bubble tea. Nope. 

Broken Zipper is now a Fixed Zipper

At JemCon this year, I had the misfortune of having the zipper on my dress break and bust open. 

Either tonight or tomorrow, I am replacing the zipper. Tonight, I took the broken zipper out and fixed it.

Originally I thought the zipper was a goner but when I took it out I remembered that I used to be pretty decent at getting a zipper back on it's correct track. 

You can see in the above pictures what happened. I personally think this Zipper was defective. I have never had a zipper break whether it be invisible or not.  The fun part was trying to get out of the dress with the zipper pull suck at unfortunate areas.  I was able to escape my dress!

Here is the zipper after being seam ripped out and freed from all the little threads. 

I didn't take a picture showing how off the thread on the zipper was but it was pretty decent. With the pull at the top and the entire tread open underneath I kept pulling and tugging on the sides to pop them back into place.  Eventually, I won. 

There she is with the bottom set correctly again!

Now the entire zipper fixed and zipped up.  Being that I do believe this zipper is defective, I will not be using again for anything substantial.  Maybe a skirt zipper but nothing requiring the entire length as I do not trust it. 

But yay, it's out and fixed!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Friday, September 30, 2016

When It Rains, It Pours

It's been a very weird month and a particularly trying week.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Guess who got a second job?!?!?

So for the holiday season this year I decided I would attempt a seasonal second job.  A bit of desperately needed extra income.  I picked a place that is on my way home from my primary job and I got hired with in a week!

I applied online Monday, got an approval email
Asking to set up and interview Tuesday morning, and I picked today (Thursday).  I am super excited. I am a tad worried this may trigger my Epstien Barr but I think the prospect of doing something new and different will help energize me.  There was a time 10 years ago when I was in-between relationships and nearly worked two full time jobs for almost a year.  It was pretty wild. 

Thankfully I now have steady hours so that this second job can easily work around it. 

I am so excited. 

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Random NYC Adventure

I needed to be out of my apartment today because the heating pipes were being replaced. 

They were starting at 8am and my being there wasn't going to be productive or helpful. I mean the entire apartment is packed up so all I could do was watch people work and I find that counterproductive. If I was the plumber, being watched would certainly slow me down. 

So I went to NYC and stayed with a friend for the weekend. It helps that I also have class in Brooklyn on Sunday. So I can jet that way tomorrow on the subway quite easily.  Bonus, I now have a locker at the gym so I did not need to bring my trapeze with me. 

Today my friend had to work, last night another friend asked me if I was still free. I went on numerous sites and thought about finally walking the Brooklyn bridge, but this morning I settled on something much more me.  Finally going to the Cental Park Zoo!!!!

I am so happy we went. I squealed many times over the cute animals and glanced at snakes.  The cranes, the red panda, the PENGUINS!!!!  Those penguins are the best. Plus their area is air conditioned. Pow!

It was so hot in the city.  Humid and sticky. I am quite glad to be in AC at the moment. 

Afterwards, I traveled to Harlem.  I had never been to Harlem but another friend was having her birthday party at home. Lucky me, the stop I need to get off at was RIGHT BY THE APOLLO THEATER!!!!  So I grew up watching Showtime at the Apollo and I know about all the legends it's produced. I was a half drooling tourist the minute I saw the marquee. It's not like I had tickets and they were not open for a performance, so I didn't go inside but being there seeing the outside in real life was really cool. It's much smaller then I expected.  From the outside it looks more like a small old fashioned movie theater. 

I then headed to my friends. She had a game night. I lost play Catan but I did have Longest Road twice. Honestly I put my settlements in good places but not near high rolling numbers. Oh well. It was fun in good company. She has some pretty great friends. 

To make it back to where I am staying I took my first Uber!!!!  I had a super sweet passenger with me named William.  There was no way in hell I was taking the subway back at 11:30pm in Harlem. If the train I needed ran more often maybe but it doesn't and my Uber only costed $5.00. Totally worth it. 

The heating renovation wound up getting canceled in my apartment but this weekend was just what I needed. I got to see several friends and tomorrow I get to trapeze.  I have not been in the best spirits and I needed this.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Flurry's New Wings

I recently picked up Flurry, a Windy Wing pony, from a friend of mine. Alas she was wingless!

I already knew that there was a shop on etsy with reproduction wings.  However, she did not have replica Flurry wings. I thought about picking a pair closer to her wing style but they were repros of other winger ponies.  I decided on a custom jeweled pair since they were their own design. 

Any tutorial involving these wings will tell you to glue the wings.  I am hopeful that someday I will find Flurry replicas. So I knew I didn't want to use glue.

I went to Ace Hardware and picked up a M3 flat machine screw, M3 nut, and two different M3 washers. The washers did not work out but I wasted only fifty cents. I also hit up Michaels for bent nose pliers. I already had a pair of locking but taking the remains of her broken wings out nearly destroyed my locking pair. 

I wound up taking a small piece of shipping tape and carefully placing it around the center of the replacement wings. I then used my eyelet hole maker to push a 3/8" hole in the center. One of the problems was that the center wing opening was too big, so I made it smaller. 

I took Flurry's head off, then I placed my wings and screw in position. I put the nut in the bent nose pliers and while holding the screw down with the screwdriver I eventually got the nut underneath and screwed until it was perfectly tight. 

Next her head went back on and her back piece. She's so much happier looking now and I am happy the wings are not permenant. 

Wing replacements can be found at ShadowOnTheMoon on Etsy. 

Monday, August 29, 2016

Blood Donation

After many years, I finally gave blood again today. I started giving blood in 2009 and did it quarterly until sometime in 2010. 

I stopped because I came down with mono and Epstien-Barr.  Technically I still haven't been cleared to give blood again as several years of blood work showed the EBV active in my system.  However, it's been six years too long. Time certainly flies by and with it I forgot things. 

My job hosts blood drives four times a year.  I went sort of during lunch time and they were actually slow.  Since it had been awhile I managed to forget my ID and my Blood Donor card (which has my blood type and info).  I keep my Blood Donor card in my wallet at all times. However, everything is computerized now.  Hello 2016!!!!  So they were able to look up my blood donor ID barcode which went with me throughout the new process. 

Gone were the carbon paper forms, nod I only had to scan my ID and answer the questions on the touch screen. I have been very much considering getting at least one more piercing but I haven't yet so I got to check off no. You need to wait a year after a new piercing or tattoo. 

I was scanned again where they checked my vitals and even my iron was at a good healthy amount. Years ago my iron was always elevated which actually is not good for the body. 

I took my barcode over to the waiting area for the actual donation. I have gained about 15 pounds since my last donation.  I am not happy about that, but you would think it might help with blood donation. Apparently not.

As usual I got nauseous, dizzy, and warm but because of my first experience donating with NY Blood Center I knew to try to get help immediately.  Back in 2009 I let myself get super sick before alerting anyone and j wound up in there for a good hour and a half before they let me leave. Today, I caught the attention of one of the ladies there and they immediately laid me down, put my feet up, and and ice pack behind my head.  Before I knew it my donating portion was done.  They still kept me for a bit but not nearly as long. 

After the donating was done, she had me lay there for 5 minutes, then lifted the stretcher, I laid there for 5 more minutes, then lifted the stretcher once again, I laid another 5 minutes, and she got me apple juice and pretzels.  She walked me to the table as well where I sat for possibly another 5 minutes before I stumbled back to my office. In retrospect I should have sat a little longer only because twice I went wobbly on the way back in the hallway.

My mistakes were not bringing my ID and Donor card, not eating a bigger breakfast (I had French toast and a banana), and not alerting the lady setting me up for donation that I have a tendency for nearly blacking out.  I used to make sure I ate a bigger breakfast prior to blood donation. I can't turn time back around but maybe next time I will remember. 

I am painfully jealous of people who can donate and just get up and leave right after.  I watched two people do, but of course they were both male and bugger then me.  Sigh. 

I am sort of considering donating platelets again too. I tried once and it was not the best of times. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Fabric and Patterns - Jem

So today to distract myself from a really bad anxiety attack, I went out to JoAnns yet again in search of a pattern.  At this point it was like wishing on a star.

I had already gone through everything in the Simplicity catalog in regards to dresses and blouses.  I decided early on I didn't want this dress to look like a costume but something I could wear out because why not?  It's Jem and she had some pretty sweet outfits. This one inparticular fits with the vintage theme but that's not why I picked it oddly. 

So I went into JoAnns and sat down at the pattern table.  I reluctantly flipped through the McCalls Cosplay book and then New Look.  I then side-eyed the Vogue catalog and wondered if I would hate myself for considering a Vogue pattern.  I picked it up. I thumbed through the front designer patterns. I went through Vogue vintage and then when going through the dresses I found not one but two patterns. Lucky for me the second pattern is exactly what I need with the exception of the mock neck which I will have to create for myself.  That's nothing new. I have done that before. 

I found my pattern and set off for fabric. Originally I was going to do this in spandex since I have loads of spandex on hand but I really don't want a costume look.  So I went for some more RTW fabrics.  I found a red pointe knit in the remnants.  I then picked up royal blue pointe knit but sadly there was no white.  After looking around a bit I decided on crepe.  

I have a personal vendetta against crepe.  My mother made me a Marylin Monroe costume completely out of crepe and from that I learned that crepe is pretty great at not ironing well and it gets bulky with layers. Very bulky. I remember the neck of the dress having really thick seams from all the folds.  I can't not mention that this costume was for my senior year in high school and my mom did not make the neck tight enough. She never had me bend over in the dress. I found out later that I was flashing everyone all day.  I was mortified.  However, crepe also resists wrinkling really well and I recall it having nice drape.  These are pretty good qualities for the skirt.

I then realized the dress had lining.  Now I am used to Simplicity patterns. They tell you everything you need right on the envelope. Vogue is not the same.  The envelope let's you know the fabric needed for the dress and that it's a lined dress with horsehair braid.  I assumed I needed a zipper.  I pulled out the pattern info which is probably the first time I have done that ever in a store.  I discovered it's s fully lined dress.  What they refer to as lining is actually underpinnings because it's not free hanging. It's just like my Meg dress. A dress with in a dress.

So I then picked up broadcloth in royal blue and white.  Cotton underpinnings, I am not about the sateen life.  I liked fabric that breathes on my body.

So after laying down and realizing at 11pm I still needed distraction, I went and cut the patterns out. I discovered that this princess seamed dress has cup sizes (win).  It also has pockets on one of the styles I am not using but I am totally incorporating those pockets!  Dresses with pockets are the best.  As I was cutting the patterns I noticed the bodice calls for fusible interfacing. THANKS Vogue pattern package.... Oh well.  That will be another trip since I am pretty sure I do not have enough on hand.

I can't not mention how AWFUL the gradients are on the pattern. I eventually got used to what lines I was cutting but my goodness it's like they want to give up before you begin.

However, after cutting everything out, I took a good amount of time looking through the entire pattern instructions making notes here and there. You know like how I need a 14" zipper and j bought a 22".  Thanks Vogue...

The pattern instructions are not for a novice but they are clear enough and not nearly as insane as I imagined (for this pattern anyway).  The actual dress is pretty basic to match up and sew.  It's the underpinnings that complicate the dress.  I also noticed the instructions are more compact and the images are much smaller then Simplicity.

However, let's talk about the ridiculous amount of pattern layouts!  Holy cow!  I get it, there are five variations but 2 plus pages of pattern layouts. There is more print dedicated to the pattern layouts then the actual sewing instructions. 

Funny enough I will not be using any of these layouts since I am splitting the colors of the pattern pieces up. 

Yes, I know the actual cartoon model sheet calls for black, hot pink, and white. However, all custom Jem doll dresses have been blue, red, and white. I will be a walking flag and I am okay with that. 

It's been quite a day. I am going to attempt to read, stay off social media, and sleep.