OH things!

Oh. It’s me again. Somehow.

Somehow I’ve returned.

Or have I? Not quite sure.

My mind is in pieces, scattered here, there, the caffeine a vibrating repulsion between coherence and chronology. There are memories on islands, the trade routes between them charted, mapped and then lost. But I know where they are and how to find them.

Last year, we bought a house. Late that year, we settled into life as homeowners, what it was like. A broiler replaced. Snow shoveled The subtle fleeting failure as things scrubbed raw were somehow still clinging to the traces of age. Our house is an old house. Our house has memories before us and it holds onto them in the way wrinkles find their way onto smooth youthful skin. We clean, we repair, we replace.

We laugh, find news of various degrees and chase our dog Mayu around like lunatics.

Life is good. It is busy and dull and hectic.

I’ve been sewing and cosplaying and attending cons but with this home, there is something I had missed. I feel guilt that I would leave for days at a time. I would feel guilt when I was there. I wanted both and neither.

Cosplay is fun, it’s addicting. The sensation to craft entire peoples out of the various spans of fabrics and tubes of paint and wigs is incredible. It also dips its toes occasionally into the negatives between people. Jarring shots and miscommunication between the frames. People bond and are torn apart over this craft. I am glad to have had my part in it. There are plenty of regrets of wrongs I’ve done. Equally, it’s brought me to places I’ve not expected to go (Austin, TX) and created things I’ve not thought I could. I will continue this craft but in less urgency and more diligence. Cosplay has forced me to take on skills that have value and can offer me new roads going forth.

In March, we visited London and a bit of Paris. They were quite an experience. The way of life is quite similar and yet stylistically different. Mealtimes, gestures, phrases all different. Even the ‘dear’ and ‘cheers’ have a heartier meaning and well-wishing that when said with American mouths. There is efficiency in the public transportation I have never encountered before. The food so rich and fresh, I don’t know how I’d recover from such simple pleasures.

Cooking at home has been more frequent. I have been finding the urge and want to create culinary art. When I got home, I was adamant about recreating things I’d gotten accustomed to eating while overseas. No matter how I follow the recipe and technique, the ingredients just weren’t the same at all.

My cousin began her move from the west coast to the east. She visits every once in a while- she lives a bit away in another state. With her, she brings back nostalgia and a renewed amusement in Korean entertainment.

Recently, it’s been cooking various Korean dishes. We are watching Running Man. There are favorites and much laughter at the antics. We dive into JRock of the time we met. Nostalgia, a warm familiar blanket.

Slowly, we fit these pieces together to form some sort of image of normalcy. We may get there at some point.

Advertisements

Alive! I swear it!

  
There’s so much to tell! I’ve been attempting to catalogue my days in the analogue (hobonichi & moleskine) and neglecting my digital in turn. Going to have to consult my planners to list the missing bits. Sewing, crafting and our new hobby of vintage goods hunting coming soon!

Reading material & COYI

In the process of attempting to catch up with my analog activities, I have more books I need to read than those I’ve already completed. Ironically, I tend to always buy the physical tome and read the text digitally anyway, terrible habit as sometimes the version I’m reading isn’t at all what the book is (found that out with the bit I read of Magnus Chase: Sword of Summer). The below is just a to-read list for my immediate time…

  • Undeniable by Bill Nye
  • Magnus Chase: Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan
  • The Old Capital by Yasunari Kawabata
  • Several of the most recent volumes of Fables
  • Probablyloadsofthingsiforgotsinceit’sbeensolong

B12e5b9m_400x400ALSO, WHU has been playing splendidly recently! It’s terrible but I generally don’t have hugely high expectations but this season has been absolutely gorgeous so far! Players are meshing well, cooperating smoothly (for the most part) and just performing much better with Slaven Bilic at the helm. It’s great to see! Especially toppling the top-table teams like Chelsea! Here’s hoping we don’t bomb the rest of the season…there’s such a history of diving downhill after Christmas…

COYI COYI COYI

Current days…

Ahhh…I’ve been so slammed since the last post. Most of which has to do with juggling house work and various other activities that I must manage. Mostly work and family.

Stress has finally accumulated into insanity in the past month- one that I’m trying to wind down and prevent any sort of nervous breakdown. Alas, tis the month of PUSHING ME TO MY LIMITS. I’ve been so quick to frustration, anger and despair these days and I know it’s really affecting my everyday. My patience is finally running thin enough to which it’s affecting not only my mental health but physical as well. I’ve been ill and it still lingers beyond the usual recovery period. Ugh. The things I enjoy, I can’t even find the energy to be enthusiastic or enjoy them as I used to.

Work + house issues = testing my sanity.

Read More »

Cosplay: Mary Read (AC4)

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand another cosplay I’ve been working on. It’s Mary Read/James Kidd from Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag or aka ‘AC4’.

AC4_Mary_ReadThis lady sure is one heck of a badass. Historically and as portrayed in the game. While there are some creative licenses with the donning of her alter ego ‘James Kidd’, most of her story stuck fairly close with her historical record (or what we have of it).

Stout of heart and strong beyond the measure of most in her day, Mary was just about as rough as any pirate she crewed with. Because of her daunting story, I was rather hesitant to choose her as a muse to recreate.

For one, she had a fair amount of garments. All of which are period styled. Boots were purchased but most else must be made. I somehow lucked out and purchased one pattern packet that included nearly all of the garments I will need to make. The pattern is, discontinued – and with good reason. The measurements and estimates for fabric are mostly off. If I hadn’t the knowledge I already acquired through my own trial and errors with similar garments, a ragequit would have been swift and violent.

Read More »

Stenciling + Painting Fabric

Sample: Yang Xiao Long emblem (Standard outfit)

My stenciling process in some pics…the difference an x-acto makes 😀 excuse my ghetto setup of pizza box canvas, paper plate palette and makeup sponge. The shape (fabric) was already cut, sewn down and ready to go. I painted it first instead of applying the trim since I wanted to make sure I didn’t mess up the painting portion orz

tumblr_nixcgaF7XR1qbvk2zo4_1280

1: Print and laminate design.
2: Cut (best with some sort of fine tipped blade) positive space (where paint will be applied).
3: Position and secure (with tape or something).

tumblr_nixcgaF7XR1qbvk2zo3_1280
4: Prime surface with white. It’ll help the colors retain their brilliance. You may need several coats depending on the paint + fabric.

tumblr_nixcgaF7XR1qbvk2zo2_1280

5: Begin with lighter color (of the gradient), apply enough layers for desired brilliance/color. Make sure to dry between coats!
6: Begin applying darker gradient, working from opposite end to where the colors are to blend. Using light strokes, little by little, smudge some darker color onto the lighter. You whatever will get you the best results for blending: sponge, fingertip, brush, etc.
7: Dry, detail/outline/etc.
8: Let dry/cure for at least 48 hours prior to washing (if you applied particularly thick coats, best to wait the while to wear as well)

tumblr_nixcgaF7XR1qbvk2zo1_1280

Above is the first version (last Feb, rushed) versus new version in which I had time and supplies to do the stenciling properly. You do not have to apply the gradient techniques to a solid-color paint job. These were just my own method of fabric-painting so feel free to use what works and discard what does not for your particular project. Hope this was helpful 😀