Well, it only took me six months instead of the two that the Woodland Blanket crochet-a-long was originally planned to last, but I finally finished!
I’ll admit, some of why it took so long to finish was because I kept getting distracted by other projects. Which happens a lot to me, and which is why I’ve got piles of unfinished stuff all over the house. (From what I can think of off the top of my head, I’ve got two unfinished cardigans, two unfinished pairs of socks, one shawl I’m actively knitting, one I’ve got stashed in a box until I feel like working on it again, a third that’ll be the focus of a blog post next week, and a pile of stuff in the “Corner of Shame” that will probably never get done.) And the more I let the Woodland Blanket sit forlornly in my craft basket, the guiltier I felt about not finishing it, especially with so many other projects I wanted to do. And I only had 8 stripes and the border left to do. So I sat down one weekend and cranked it out.
It’s not a hard blanket to do at all, especially once you get the hang of translating UK crochet terminology. The wave pattern is soothing and rhythmic to work on, and I absolutely love the colors. The whole blanket looks fantastic, and I’m glad I resisted the temptation to just stop a few rows short from the end and call it done. It’s the first big thing I’ve finished in a while, and I’m so proud of myself for sticking with it.
I swear, I had a real post written up for yesterday. It was only missing some photos, ones I had to take as I do the tutorial I’m hoping to share with you all soon (probably next week at this point, though). I got it all written Wednesday night. I was going to take the photos on Thursday, and post it on Friday, and keep up my posting streak of one post a week. I had this.
And then my brain intervened, and said “oh we’re not going to do that, we’re not going to do anything but knit when you’re not at work, knit and feel miserable.”
Thursday ended up being a pretty rough day, and Friday wasn’t much better. So here I am on Saturday morning, at 7 am, not wanting to break my posting streak. So, instead of a tutorial, or cosplay planning, I’m going to share some of the good things that happened this week. Because this week wasn’t just full of my brain being ridiculous like it tends to be at times. There were some cool little things that happened that made me smile.
First off, I got my Sailor Moon boots in the mail this week. There was a little bit of frustration with them at first – they didn’t come close to fitting my calves – but the owner of the Etsy shop I bought them from told me how to stretch them so they’d fit, and it worked! (Obviously, otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to take this picture.) They look so fantastic, and I can’t wait for Gen Con so I can wear them around the convention on Saturday.
I also finally got a Peridot decal to go with the Lapis decal on the back of my new car! (who is also named Lapis – that’s a story for another time though) A friend of mine from work, Jake, makes vinyl decals, and when I couldn’t get the original decals I’d bought for Old Lapis because the seller’s Etsy store was on (seemingly permanent) vacation, I sketched up some stuff in Illustrator and had Jake make me some decals. They came out really well!
And it’s not exactly a nerdy thing, but I can’t help but show off one of my kitties, Hannah, who was trying to make me feel better last night when I hit a rough patch:
Isn’t she beautiful? She curled up next to my feet after this and slept there all night. (And then decided to use me as a landing pad early this morning when she jumped out of the window above the bed, oof.) She doesn’t often snuggle with Ross and I, especially not in the summer, so it was an extra special treat to get Hannah snuggles last night.
Here’s hoping next week will be better. At the very least, I’ll have more than enough time to get that tutorial I’ve been working on finished by Thursday or Friday.
This has been hanging on my craft room door since last Halloween, reminding me that this is going to be probably my one big cosplay for Gen Con this year. I’ve actually been a little afraid to ramble about the costume on the blog, because every time I say “oh hey I am SO GOING TO COSPLAY AS THIS” on the blog, it never happens. (Like Toothless. And Rose Quartz.)
This one is actually going to happen, though. I mean, I’m too close to having a completed costume for this to just say “eh, maybe next year”. I’m remembering how I felt at Halloween when I put on this costume, when my inner sixteen-year-old let out a near-constant fangirl squeal every time I looked in a mirror. I saw myself and said “I am Sailor Moon.”
For me, this is huge. I’ve done a bunch of Sailor Moon costumes over the years. I made one by hand during my senior year of high school (and I do mean by hand, I lost sewing machine privileges during the middle of that project and some parts were held together by staples). I found a pre-made Sailor Moon costume at a Spencer’s back during my sophomore year of college — it was a child’s XL, I had to cut the bodysuit out to make it fit and wore it all over a white t-shirt. I made a Sailor Jupiter costume for I-CON 2006 that turned out really impressively, and I wish I’d hung onto it because it was the best hand-sewn costume I’d made up to that point.
This year, I’m going to have a costume that’s well put together, that I won’t have to worry about falling apart because of my iffy hand-sewing skills. It won’t have staples in it. It won’t be a cobbled together collection of whatever I can find that’s “close enough” to certain costume pieces that I can’t make on my own or afford to buy somewhere.
There are three pieces I still need to get for my costume — one I just bought and am waiting for it to be shipped, one I’m pestering a friend for on Tuesday, and the third I think I could get away without if I need to.
The first thing, and something I’ve never actually had for a Sailor Moon costume before: the boots.
I found these boots on Etsy, in the shop Catzia’s Collectibles. This shop is full of beautiful Sailor Moon cosplay accessories, and I can’t wait to get the boots and see how they feel. I’ll definitely want to break them in before Gen Con, so I don’t accidentally destroy my feet like I’ve done with just about every costume I’ve worn that involves heels. (I wonder if I could get away with wearing these under jeans for work, haha.) I’m ridiculously excited about these boots, you guys. I’ve done Sailor Moon costumes with plain red heels, with black flats, even with a pair of grey and black Mary Janes with Sailor Moon socks. I’m gonna have actual boots for this costume. Sixteen-year-old me could cry happy tears right now.
The next is the wig.
I’ve told you about my wonderful wig-making neighbor before — and Oriana is hopefully going to start work on my very own Sailor Moon wig soon, which has me ridiculously excited. (You need to see her Queen Beryl – I’m really hoping she brings that to Gen Con, it’s such a fantastic costume! At the very least, maybe we can throw on costumes and do a photoshoot in our neighborhood. I’m pretty sure most of our neighbors won’t even bat an eye.)
The last thing I need is the wand.
There are lots of places I could get a Sailor Moon wand. I’m kind of kicking myself for selling my old Cutie Moon Rod years ago, and I miss my old Crescent Moon Wand (which had an untimely demise due to a friend accidentally stepping on it, it’s my fault for leaving it on the floor). I could hope to win an auction on eBay for an older Sailor Moon wand like the one I had in high school, or I could spend a stupid amount of money on a Proplica wand. (And if I did buy a Proplica wand, I’d be terrified to bring it to Gen Con because what if something happened to it? Then I’d be out $100, and I’d be a very sad Crafty Nerd.) The pictured wand is one I might get, if I do decide to go with a wand. It looks pretty close to the original wand. While it’s a little expensive for something that’s not an official Sailor Moon item, it’s still better than worrying about breaking a Proplica wand on accident or going with modifying a bootleg toy to look a little more official.
You guys. This costume is actually happening. I am actually going to wear a Sailor Moon costume to a convention and not be slightly embarrassed by it because it’s not perfect. Because this costume is going to be just about perfect. And I can’t wait to wear it.
I’m pretty sure you folks all know I love to sew. I’ve rambled about it a number of times on the blog. Unfortunately, I haven’t really done much of it lately — largely because I don’t really have space to permanently set up my sewing machine. It’s kind of a pain in the butt to set my sewing space up in the kitchen, sew for a few hours, and then take it all back down because we need to eat. And unless I want to try to sew standing up, with the sewing machine perched on my giant dresser, there’s not really space to set it up in my craft room.
Eventually I’ll have the space, since I’m planning on getting rid of the giant dresser (which takes up nearly an entire wall) and getting a much more reasonably sized one from Ikea at some point, and rearranging the furniture that’s left. However, that’s going to involve some help from friends and a trip up to Fishers to get a new dresser, and a number of other things that I can’t quite get done right away.
In the meantime, I figured out a space where I can semi-permanently set up my sewing machine! You’ll probably laugh, but hey, it’s working out pretty well for me.
Yes, I’ve set up my sewing machine in the garage, of all places. Sure, it smells a little bit like motorcycle fumes when it gets warm in there, but I don’t mind it. I have both my sewing machine and my ironing board set up at the same time, and can switch between them easily — which is wonderful. When I try to set everything up in the kitchen, inevitably I end up tripping over something or knocking something over. I used to flop the ironing board on top of the washer and dryer, but since Ross and I got new ones last year with rounded tops, I can’t quite iron in the laundry room anymore.
It’s actually not so bad, sewing in the garage. Sure, it doesn’t look glamorous at all, but since when do all craft rooms have to be shiny and pretty and Instagram-worthy? And I have the added benefit of being able to enjoy lots of fresh air, since I can just open up the garage door and practically be sewing outside.
Plus, that means I can sew with New Lapis! Who I’ll probably ramble about in more detail at a later date. After all, she is The Crafty Nerdmobile! (And once a month, she’s Lappy the LARPmobile too.)
Anyway, I’ve managed to put my sewing studio to good use so far — I’ve started work on a disappearing 9-patch quilt, and I’m to the part where I can start sewing the completed squares together.
I’m really impressed with how these squares are coming out, on most of them the seams are lining up perfectly. I learned some new quilting techniques (or, more accurately, ironing techniques) that really helped with this. I didn’t know until recently that when you’re working with quilt squares, you shouldn’t iron them like you’d typically iron a shirt or other sewing projects. Instead, you just flop the iron down on the seam you want to press flat and let gravity do the work. I’ve been setting the iron on the seam for a few seconds, then lifting it and setting it further down, and it’s working out really well for me.
I think once I’m finished with this quilt, I might actually get working on the Sailor Moon quilt again – which also might end up being a disappearing 9-patch as well. This pattern is fun, and ends up looking really nice when it’s done. Not sure what I’ll do with either of these quilts when they’re finished, as I’m starting to run out of places to put them, but I’ll figure it out eventually.
I think Amethyst’s reaction at the end of the most recent episode of Steven Universe sums up my feelings about the events of said episode perfectly.
Before I go into too much more detail about all the stuff going on in my brain about the most recent Steven Universe episodes, Can’t Go Back and A Single Pale Rose, I should warn everyone that there will be spoilers. Lots of them. So, if you haven’t already watched the most recent two episodes of Steven Universe: stop reading this, go find those episodes, and watch them. And then when you’ve recovered, come back and read with me. Beyond the jump is spoilers, so you’ve been warned!
Yes, it’s May the 4th, and as all my fellow nerds know, it’s Star Wars Day! I figure, what better day is there to ramble about how I ended up a fan of Star Wars than on Star Wars day?
You’ll probably be surprised by this, folks, but I hadn’t seen the original trilogy of Star Wars movies until I was in high school – in fact, I watched them for the first time ever the week before Episode 1 came out. Lots of kids I knew in school liked Star Wars, and I remember some of my fellow high school band members being really excited when our band director had us prepare a medley of the Star Wars soundtrack for a band concert. All I knew about it was that there was some guy named Luke in it, and a girl named Leia, and maybe Luke and Leia were romantically involved because all the pictures I saw were of them together. Oh, and that the guy who voiced Mufasa in The Lion King was Darth Vader. That was the extent of my Star Wars knowledge up until one of my friends in high school, horrified when I told him I hadn’t seen any of the movies, sat me down in his living room one Saturday afternoon so we could watch the original trilogy on VHS. And me, being the nerd I’ve always been, fell in love with the movies. (And felt really awkward when I found out that Luke and Leia were actually siblings, and not lovers, hah.)
If you’ve followed the blog for any length of time, you know that when I get really interested in something, I go all out with my nerdiness. And Star Wars was no exception, when I first got into it. I had a tie-dyed Yoda shirt I wore until it fell apart. I bought plastic lightsabers and had duels in a friend’s front lawn, once all the Episode 1 toys went on sale just before the Episode 2 toys came out. I saw Episode 1 a total of 8 times in the theater (although that was mostly due to the fact that it was the first movie of a triple-feature every weekend at the drive in for the entire summer of 1999). I gave Yoda a standing ovation with the rest of the Star Wars fans at the midnight showing of Episode 2. I got ragey as heck when I found out that Lucas swapped out the original Anakin Skywalker in A New Hope with Hayden Christansen. And every Halloween, I wished I had enough money to get a Princess Leia costume.
After a while, my Star Wars nerdiness mellowed out a bit – after watching the prequels enough to realize how bad they were in comparison to the original trilogy, and after not knowing if they were ever going to make anything focusing on the story past Return of the Jedi, Star Wars took a bit of a backseat to other fandoms I was interested in. Until it was announced that there was, in fact, going to be an Episode 7, and that J. J. Abrams was going to be directing The Force Awakens. And I got flaily again.
Folks, you should have seen me when the opening credits started to roll for The Force Awakens. I think I almost started crying. I got hit with such a wave of nostalgia that it was almost overwhelming. And the new movies, both The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, are the Star Wars movies I’ve needed for a long time. Sure, people complained that they took too much from the original trilogy – but I love the original trilogy, and to see familiar stories told in a new way makes me a happy nerd.
I’m gonna take a moment to ramble about porgs here. I freaking love the porgs, they’re so adorable – and a bit less creepy than the Ewoks.
For ages I was trying to hunt down a plush Ewok so I could have one of my very own – one of the original Ewoks, not the recently-released Build-a-Bear ewoks. Now? I want a porg. They’re amusing comic relief for what was otherwise, for me anyway, a very emotional movie. With Carrie Fisher’s passing, The Last Jedi was full of feels for me, as I really loved her portrayal of Leia and could identify with Carrie’s struggles with mental health – and I swear, when Luke said to Leia “No-one’s ever really gone,” I burst into tears. Those little porgs kept me from weeping through the entire movie.
I’m curious to hear from other Star Wars fans how you ended up coming to the fandom – were you following the movies right from the beginning? Did you end up becoming a fan, like I did, just before Episode 1 came out? Are you relatively new to the world of Star Wars? Tell me in the comments – I’m always curious to hear how people end up coming to like things that I enjoy too. 🙂
I was on a really good posting streak there for a while, wasn’t I?
And then my brain got in the way and decided “hey, let’s focus on everything that’s NOT the blog!” And silly me went and followed it down a bunch of rabbit trails. I started three craft projects, in addition to the two unfinished pairs of socks and poor neglected Sailor Moon quilt.
And then Kishar started back up again, which meant I got to don my elf ears and red dress again and run around as Ëlinyr the Sun Elf for a weekend!
Then there are the cosplay ideas Ross and I have been coming up with for the conventions we’re going to. (I’m not going to post about them, because it seems that any time I post about costumes I want to do for conventions here, I never end up actually making them, like Toothless and Rose Quartz…) And of course I get wrapped up in those and get excited for conventions, and all the fun that comes along with them.
And then I remember my poor neglected blog, and feel bad.
Then something else distracts me, and off I go! *sighs*
So that’s where my brain has been lately, folks. Lost in a bunch of ridiculous distractions. I need to actually develop a blog posting routine – set down a day and time every week to write some stuff. Even if it’s just “hey, I’ve got nothing this week, so here, have some pictures of dogs dressed up in costumes”.
Speaking of which – yes, it’s old, but I do love seeing Pudge dressed up as the Eleventh Dogtor.
What this rambly post boils down to, I think: I’m still here, I’m still distracted by everything, but I’m gonna try my darndest to put new blog posts out on a regular-ish basis. There’s definitely no shortage of things I want to post about, like my idea for turning a Wingspan Shawl into a Toothless shawl. Or how ideas for keeping track of my yarn tourism fun. And don’t forget about how I managed to read through almost all the Dresden Files books this year – that merits a post of its own, I think.
There I go, getting distracted again! Anyhow. Expect some more regular posts from me – and feel free to pester me if you don’t see anything for a while. Friendly reminders from readers are always welcome, hah.
Well, the Woodland Blanket crochet-a-long I posted about a little while ago came to a close a few weeks ago. How’s my blanket looking, you ask?
Well, even though the crochet-a-long wrapped up recently, I’m still 11 or 12 stripes away from finishing the blanket. I managed to keep up with the rest of the group pretty well for the first month or so, and then my ADHD caught up with me and my brain said “hey, let’s find something else to work on, we’ve worked on this blanket for like a month straight, so let’s do something new and exciting!”
So I started a pair of socks.
And then I dug out a cardigan that I’d started a few years ago and hadn’t finished yet.
And then I decided to go back to another pair of socks I was working on and do some work on those.
And then I felt guilty about not working on the blanket and went back to working on that for a little bit, but then got distracted by socks again. I know I’ll finish that blanket soon – I keep telling myself that I’ll finish it after I finish the socks with the zigzag pattern, that I won’t start any more projects until I get some others finished. Will I actually be able to stick to that, though? Who knows.
Anyhow, I’ll post about the blanket when I get it finished, I promise. And I will get that finished. I’m determined.
Tea: it’s what fuels all my craft projects. And my work. And, well, my entire life. When I had to give up coffee last year due (it’s a long story), I needed something caffeinated to fill the hole in my life. It turns out that tea more than filled that empty space.
I almost wonder why I never got into the tasty world of tea earlier. There are so very many different flavors of tea out there, and different varieties of the same kind of tea – for example, did you know that every variety of Earl Grey I’ve had tastes different? Some have a stronger bergamot taste and smell, some have different flavors added, and they’re all unique and tasty. Beyond just Earl Grey, there are so many different delicious teas out there – like Lupicia’s Rose Royal black tea, Adagio’s Cream Tea, Celestial Seasoning’s Bengal Spice tea, and my morning staple, Yorkshire Gold tea.
There are some serious tea nerds out there – like J and Kasi, who have a tea shelf that’s taller than me and FULL of different types of tea.
Me, my tea shelf is nowhere near as impressive, but it’s definitely full of tasty tea. I’ve acquired a variety of teas from all over the place, thanks to friends and discoveries online. And I just keep finding more tasty tea. And nerdy tea, too! Like the Fandom Blends from Adagio Teas, who let tea lovers make their own tea blends based on favorite TV shows and books. It’s fun to try them out, and see what sorts of blends people come up with for your favorite fandoms. I can vouch for the tastiness of the following teas – I especially like the Sailor Moon blend, it’s incredibly tasty.
Dryad Tea also makes nerdy teas – and plenty of them, too! (My favorite of theirs is based off of an SJ Tucker song, Ravens in the Library.) In addition to tea, though, they make absolutely beautiful mugs and nerdy tea infusers too! Check out this lovely handmade mug I got from them at Gen Con.
Dryad Tea is definitely one of my favorite discoveries from Gen Con last year, for sure. I plan on loading up with more of their tea soon, and purchasing another mug from them during Gen Con – look at these beautiful mugs they’ve just finished up!
I think you can safely say that tea is now a thing I officially nerd out over, especially given the amount of tea I have crammed onto the tea shelf in my pantry, and the amount of different mugs and infusers and tea cups I’ve got crowding up my kitchen, and the fact that I even have a travel tea kettle I bring with me to conferences and on vacations so I’m sure I can make a good cup of tea wherever I’m at…
And you know what? I almost forgot today was the blog’s birthday! But I didn’t – and here I am, with the yearly birthday post.
This is a big birthday, folks. Five whole years of crafty nerdiness, costuming, and accidental posting hiatuses. Five years of Gen Con trips, flailing about Patrick Rothfuss, and saving My Little Pony manes from horrible tangly fates. Writing this blog has been one of the biggest parts of my life the past five years, outside of grad school and work. I still get excited every time I see a comment on a post, or a like on The Crafty Nerd’s Facebook page. Whenever someone says “oh hey, I’ve heard of your blog!” when I’m at a convention or hanging out with friends, I get flaily. This blog is something I’ve poured a lot of heart and soul into. I end up feeling bad when I fall into one of those accidental posting hiatuses that happen every so often, due to getting wrapped up into a big craft project or not having the energy or focus to write posts. (Seriously, folks, you have no idea how bad I feel every time I fall into one of those accidental hiatuses. It’s rough.) I love this blog, and I love what it’s helped me to do and who it’s brought into my life.
This past year, a lot of fun stuff was covered on The Crafty Nerd. I did some exciting stuff, like…
…joining a LARP. Playing in Kishar has been incredible amounts of fun – during my first game, I told one of my friends that Kishar felt like what would happen if you combined Gen Con and summer camp. It’s inspired me to try new costuming things, and make interesting little craft projects to help Ëlinyr really come to life. I’m really excited for Season 7 of Kishar, which starts next month! (Which reminds me, there are some costume pieces I need to make before March…)
…going to Diagon Alley! It was like I was actually in the world of Harry Potter, and it was fantastic. I hope Ross and I can go back soon.
…FINALLY learning how to drive! Do you know how fantastic it was for me, making my first trip to Michaels and Jo-Ann Fabrics without having to plan my purchases strategically on how much could fit into a scooter? Now, my only limit is how much yarn I can fit into the back of a Versa Note. (Which is probably a ridiculous amount of yarn.) Driving Lapis has been fantastic, for many reasons – and yeah, it may not be a crafty or nerdy thing, but it enables me to do way more crafty and nerdy stuff. This year, I might finally tackle learning how to ride a motorcycle…
…covering Gen Con 50 on the blog! I think this was the best Gen Con I’ve ever been to – and that’s saying a lot, since I did end up meeting my husband at Gen Con back in 2013. I’m pretty excited for this year’s Gen Con – I’m going to try to put together some new costumes, and I might even bring Pinkie Pie back out with a new wig!
This past year has been a great year, Crafty Nerd wise, and the fact that the blog has made it to its fifth birthday is amazing. Thank you, folks, for reading my little blog, and for helping make the past five years pretty darn awesome. 🙂