November 4, 2013

Uuuuuunicoooorn!

 

I'm a UNICORN! More photos and explications coming soon!

October 22, 2013

Hallowe'en 2013 - Unicorn Remix (Horn & Hoof)

So I never did get photos of my unicorn costume from 2011. My horn fell off my face twice when I smacked it off the under-bar fridge at the bar I was working at, my feet hurt in those makeshift hoof-shoes, and let's face it: I was just not very magical.

So this year I'm doing it right!


No, no, I'm not buying a Firefly Path magical unicorn headpiece, although if I fail YET AGAIN at being a sufficiently magical, whimsical, mythical creature, I just may.

Nope, instead I am going to be the murderous carnivore I am and make a gelatin prosthetic. Let's just say it's not as easy as it is on Face Off. I made a whole mold of my model horn, poured the foamed gelatin and... broke my horn. For the life of me, I could not get out the other half, despite pliers and tweezers and swearing. UGH. At least my "test piece" proves that foamed gelatin is indeed very light. So now I've made an open mold, which I'll pour tomorrow, hopefully remembering to put the flickering LED inside it.


I was super-inspired by the work of Firefly Path, so I decided to add a bit of that element of Asiatic exoticism. I took apart a bunch of dollar store jewellery and combined it with stuff I had lying around to come up with my own unicorn-y Hindi headpiece.




I also found some totally rad booties that I think are very whimsical and magical. Behold! Fahrenheit Felicia-05 in beige! (pix from Urbanog, only black left)


 

I happened to buy these from Make Me Chic, but that led to an entire complicated can of worms that resulted in a PayPal dispute, and my shoes being shipped express for no extra charge... FROM SWEDEN. Their company runs out of California! No wonder they have issues with getting orders mailed in a timely manner; it's hard to communicate with a warehouse a quarter of the world away! (Although that doesn't excuse their dismal reply time for a customer service complaint) But whatever, my experience may be the exception, and they just might have fired all the incompetent people who made my buying experience with them a living nightmare. I ordered the same shoes from Overstock in the midst of the mess when the MMC package simply showed up with no warning, such as an email saying, "Hey, we're mailing your goodies express, you'll have it on Tuesday." So, now I had to cancel my OS order, which may not happen, because my order is at their international processing facility already. I may have to simply RTS the second pair back to Overstock and wait god knows how long for a refund.

So while I'm here, how about a review of Fahrenheit Felicia-05?

video

Pardon the dismal quality of the video. The lighting was bad to begin with, and compression by Blogger has made that worse. I hope it's clear that they look DAMN AWESOME, and they're quite easy to walk in, what with being only a 3.5" heel once you remove the platform. Mine do have a troublesome flaw that requires the attention of my local cobbler. The stars are offset slightly, so that the inner edge is higher than the outer edge, leading to heel instability, and the right side is more canted than the left. So Mr. Cobbler will be asked to put rubber wedges into the soles on the inner edges of the stars, which I don't see costing more than $10 or $20, unless he runs into some sort of horrible problem, like they disintegrate.

As for my wardrobe... Ech, I do have a gold blouse, but honestly, I don't want to wear that white dress again, for the third Hallowe'en costume: 70's Bond-girl, angel, unicorn. I'll save it for being Nurse Cratchett, or a polar bear.

October 17, 2012

Furry Scarf in the Making

Guess what I have?



Faux fur from the remnants bin of Fabricland ($8.25) and crochet cotton from Salvation Army ($0.50) will become this:


For more info, check out:

When Yarn and Fur Combine

and

Further Notions on Furry Scarves

October 14, 2012

DIY Distraction: Further Notions On Furry Scarves

So, you want your own Danier-style furry scarf, but you don't crochet? No problem, if you knit!

Step 1: Choose a knitted lattice pattern.

Ribbon Scarf Pattern on The Shiz-Knit!

Lattice Pattern on Knit Wiki

Step 2: Choose a trim design!

A Scalloped Edging by Judy Gibson

You could use just the edge of a lace design.

Summer Fancy Work on Knitting-And

Scallops aren't strictly necessary. This is YOUR scarf, after all!

Mama's Lace Pattern on The Tattered Pickle

Step 3: Choose your trim! You could use the aforementioned fur, faux fur or feather trim. Or you could use something else entirely, like a bulky boucle:

Be Sweet Boucle Mohair Yarn on Jimmy Beans Wool

Or hand-dyed pencil roving:

Coral Reef by SpinKnitLove on Etsy

Ooooh, or even handspun super-bulky yarn!!!

HUGE 7oz skein Handspun Mohair by PheonixFarmFiber on Etsy

So many possibilities!!!

October 12, 2012

DIY Distraction: When Yarn and Fur Combine!

I receive the Elle Canada newsletter specifically to view their "TRENDS" slideshows. It's so much more convenient to click a link in my inbox than to hunt down the info myself. Every week, I have at least one slideshow to view, and one of this week's treats was The 10 Best Scarves for Fall.

Thank you, Elle Canada, for you have alerted me to the existence of this amazing scarf from Danier Leather:

As seen on Killer Kurves
URK. That's the image used by Elle Canada, which you'll notice is not the image on the Danier Leather website:

As seen on Danier Leather
While this beautiful scarf is a reasonable $79.00 CAD, I believe something has gone awry here. The Danier scarf is not the scarf being attributed to them by Elle Canada. The fur is sparser on the Danier scarf, and the scallops are different. This makes me wonder who really owns the Elle-featured scarf...

BUT WHO CARES!

Crafty chicas everywhere rejoice, because YOU can own this scarf for far less than $79!!!

Step 1: Find a crochet lattice pattern. CHECK!


New York Noro Plaid on Make it Messy
Pamela's Lattice Prayer Shawl on Mariel's Magic
Step 2: Locate some pretty fan-based trim patterns. CHECK!

Crochet ARC LACE Edging #1 on Moira Crochets
Edging #3022 on MyPicot.com
Step 3: Buy some fur or faux fur or feather trim. TRIPLE CHECK!

Rabbit fur trim on eBay
Wrights Trim - 10 yard reel of 1" faux fur trim from Joann.com

Wrights Trim - 10 yard reel of feather boa trim from Joann.com

Potentially, this costs as little as $10 for 100g of fingering weight yarn and $15 for a reel of faux fur trim. And you'll have the satisfaction of making it to your exact specifications :D

October 2, 2012

Craftster: Portal to Knowledge (the tale of a sweater not yet made)

I am a woman with far too many hobbies. You name it, I've at the very least heard of it, read about it, or perhaps even tried it. Which is why Craftster is one of my favourite places on the internet. Being a crafting forum, just about conceivable hand-crafting activity is represented, from interior decorating to knocking off $$$$$$ clothing designs.

Today's topic: persistence in the quest for knowledge. Last August, I posted some amazing yarny goodies that I found to be beautiful and/or inspiring. Among them was this gem in the Etsy store "fuzzybazooke:"






DROOL! A seemingly simple raglan sweater with a cunning shaping device for the waistline. So elegant and pretty, this sweet top has remained in my yarny consciousness for over a year. I've been slowly increasing my knitting skills, but I could not for the life of me find a pattern for that strange braiding.

Wouldn't you know it, Craftster member elderflower has come to my rescue! She posted an absolutely gorgeous sweater made with hand-dyed, hand-balled bamboo yarn:


Not only does she have totally 1337 pattern making skillz, but she pointed me to the knitting website of my dreams! Knitting Fool doesn't just have three different pattern generators, but they also have a comprehensive visual stitch library! Now I have a customisable raglan pattern at my fingertips:


AND!!!! I finally found it!!! It's called Basket Cable!!!!


SQUEE!!!!

September 26, 2012

Confessions of an Unhealthy "Skinny" Woman

Every now and then, I'll go on a sociology/feminism/body-image-activism binge. I try not to do it too often, for the sole reason that I then become persnickety for weeks on end. The sheer scale of bigotry in modern North American society just boggles my mind, and discovering yet another way in which I've been socially programmed to participate in that bigotry just pisses me off more.

What can you tell from this picture of me?


The tiny percentage of the internet denizens who happen to read my blog are likely thinking I look pretty good. I'm "relatively" slim. My BMI, that insidious ratio of height and weight, is smack in the middle of "Normal" at 22 on the nose.

What you can't see is my health. My size, my figure, my height-to-weight ratio, are not an indicator of my wellness.

Last week, all the pieces of my ill-health puzzle finally came together, FOURTEEN years after the saga began. That's HALF MY LIFE spent living in constant pain and ill-health. I did a video conference with the doctor who manages health concerns for CMHA Temiskaming, and was it ever a doozy!

My legs hurt, ALL THE TIME. I take forever to fall asleep and don't sleep well because of the pain. Apparently, being calcium-deficient is a major cause of leg pain. So is being diabetic. *LIGHTBULB* I've been slightly insulin-resistant since puberty, and my leg pain started around the same age. I also hate dairy products, and my dislike and stomach-aches are consistent with being lactose intolerant. Oh, and I'm perpetually anemic (since puberty, again), despite the iron supplements I've been taking for 4 months now.

Oh, yeah, don't forget that being in constant pain has a negative impact on one's mental health. Just in case you didn't know that I'm a crazy person riddled with anxiety on a near-daily basis.

So THIS skinny gal is a verified mess of ill health who has been ordered to write a food diary. If I can't increase my calcium and iron intake just from changing my diet, I'll be eating calcium chews and doubling my iron dose. AND still keeping track of my diet to make sure I continue to keep my iron and calcium up and my sugars low.

*EDIT TO ADD* I've eaten healthy meals since childhood. Even when my family was horrendously impoverished, my parents would make sure my brother and I ate well. I cook almost every meal from scratch and have since living on my own 7 years ago. A well-balanced diet for the average person is not necessarily a well-balanced diet for EVERYONE. My deficiencies mean I am not processing those minerals properly and must over-compensate by eating more than the average requirement.

It's going to be months before I see results, but in the meantime, I'll continue to struggle through the pain and fatigue that make it difficult to hold down a job or even get out of bed. What makes the struggle that much harder is the lack of acceptance by the general populace, employer's in particular. No one seems to get that a young, slim, cheerful woman is actually hurting and tired EVERY DAY and is simply practiced at hiding that fact. The first time I let slip the facade of "everything is normal," I get incredulity that I can't work through "a little pain." Here's the thing: MY "normal" is like you having the flu, so if I say I'M IN FUCKING PAIN, you would probably go to the hospital.

Which is why I've been very forthright with my current employer and co-workers about my health challenges. I'm now working at a bingo hall, and I've freely discussed my leg cramps, anxiety, and dietary concerns in conversation. I'm not going to hide the fact that I'm not the average healthy young woman any more. This way, if I sit down in the middle of a shift because my legs are killing me,  everyone knows "Her legs must really hurt, she hardly ever sits down."

We can't all fight all discrimination all the time. There are precious few people who are capable of such, and I'm not one of them. But I CAN fight the discrimination that applies to me, on a case-by-case, day-by-day basis, so yeah, stuff sizism, stuff healthism, stuff ageism, STUFF NORMALISM.

I am me.

.