Sunday, January 21, 2018

Christmas Crafting and Crocheting Goals

This year I decided relatively last minute to make Christmas presents for my family back up north, including all of my cousins. Last year I made hats for almost all of them, but this year I wanted to do something more fun and use it as a way to get better at crocheting.
It all started with trying to figure out a Christmas present for my little brother. His nickname among his friends has been Jellyfish or Jellymon for years because of a cowlick on the back of his head that sticks out. So, I decided to crochet him some stuffed Jellyfish. This was the first real crochet pattern I'd ever followed, and the first crochet stuffie I'd ever made.

The next one I started on was a tractor for the two year old youngest cousin. This one was the biggest and took the longest out of the cousin gifts. It was a big hit though, he loves his tractor.

After that I wanted something smaller to work on because I was a little burnt out with all of the color changes and sewing together I had to do with the tractor. So I  made a little piglet for the next cousin.

This one was a ton of fun to make and was wiped up in one sitting! My hubby want's one too now, but the next one is going to have some alterations made to make it look more like Hawk from Seven Deadly Sins.
After that fun quick one it was back to the more complicated stuff. The next cousin is a big fan of Minecraft so of course I had to make him a creeper.
This one had a lot of pieces, but no color changes because I used a green print yarn to make it multi-color.
After this I tackled the most annoying of the projects I'd decided to make. A black cat! Not only was the pattern the most difficult, it's also made entirely out of black yarn which is a pain in the butt to work with. After fighting with both the yarn and with reading the pattern for about a week, I finally finished the cat. This one was worth the annoying pattern when I gifted it though, he loved it!
I actually took a break from the cat project midway through to work on an easy project. For my older cousin and her wife I whipped up a pair of snowman ornaments.
After the cat and snowmen I started on the project I was least looking forward too: An Australian Sheepdog. I was thinking this one would be a pain in the but because of all of the color changes and pieces but it ended up being a blast to make! I love how it turned out and it's my favorite of all of these projects.
These projects took me a few months to complete and were both fun and challenging. I now know how to read crochet patterns, and a bunch of different techniques and stitches. This year I plan on using these new skills to make a bunch of awesome stuff! One of my New Year's Resolutions for 2018 is to use up most if not all of my yarn stash and I have so many plans for it!
For more information on the patterns I used for these projects and works in progress check out my Ravelry page here.
What are your favorite projects from 2017? Are any of your 2018 resolutions crochet related? Share in the comments below and thanks for reading!

Saturday, January 20, 2018

The Redhead Cosplay Dilemma

I've been dying my hair red for 6 years this summer and I have a lot of fun with it. Unfortunately for me, not liking wigs and wanting to keep my hair red has narrowed my cosplay options... To start with, there are very few redheaded characters and those characters are often overdone. Who comes to mind first? Poison Ivy, Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff, Ariel, Jessica Rabbit? Not much to work with there that hasn't been done 100's of times! I've also been considering Pyrrha Nikos from RWBY or Diane from Seven Deadly Sins (not quite red, but close enough to auburn to make it work).

I plan on going to Tampa Bay Comi-Con this year, and want to have a cosplay for it that's relatively original and comfortable to wear for the con...
Last time I went for comfort over complexity I had a lot more fun. Previously I had made a complicated, year long project of a Jedi Knight cosplay. It was fun to make, and came out nice but I ended up almost passing out because it was too hot and it was August. The next year I made a simple version of a Harley Quinn cosplay and mostly spent my time on my prop: Harley's hammer. That was the most fun I've ever had in a cosplay and I love how the hammer turned out.

At the moment I'm leaning towards doing an Ariel cosplay. I've done a quick version of her costume for a costuming class in college and it should be a fun costume to revisit!
It should be a simple yet fun costume to put together for Tampa Bay Comi-Con! Stay tuned for more on constructing it...

Friday, January 5, 2018

New Year, New Beginnings

2017 was a busy year. We moved across the state, started new jobs and got caught up in everyday craziness.  Looking back on it from the first week of 2018, I didn't do nearly as much as I wanted to this year. This blog fell by the wayside early on, and most of my goals for the year got buried under the  bustle of everyday life. I had three goals starting off 2017: Lose some weight, keep up this blog and finish a book. Only the first and easiest goal got met, unsurprisingly.

I did make and meet other goals along the way but I didn't get to where I needed to be. I want this year to be different!
So this year, I'm going to stick with my goals and get myself to where I want to be. I'm going to grow this blog, cosplay more, make more projects, get my etsy shop back up, try to finish a manuscript and try to meet a lot of other smaller goals. This is the space I plan on using to keep myself on track and share what I'm doing so I hope you enjoy what I create and showcase here this year. 
It's probably going to feature a lot of this little booger

While I'll say I didn't do as much as I wanted to done this past year I did get some things done. I started sewing again and made some projects I'm happy with and expanded my crocheting skills. I'll post more on that after I visit family in a few weeks and gift what I've made. So for now, Happy New Year and stay tuned for more to come!

Friday, July 7, 2017

Cat Month Follow-Up

Happy July everyone!

I posted last month about the National Adopt a Cat Month and the rescue kitten, Pippin, I was working on re-homing. As a recap, Pip was a stray kitten my husband and I worked to socialize and transition into an indoor cat. Last month we brought him inside for good, got him vaccinated and fixed, and then I flew him up to his new family in NH.

Our flight was quite an adventure... First we got delayed at security when they picked my to have my hands swabbed before letting me put the cat back in his carried. But he was very well behaved on his harness for me and didn't fuss, just watched people walking by. We ended up having a 4 hour delay with the poor cat having to stay in his carrier the whole time! He was so good though, not a mess made our a peep out of him.  He was very calm, hammed it up to the few kids who noticed him and very few people even noticed he was on the flight until we landed. There was a scary moment when he overheated when we were stuck on the malfunctioning plane for an hour before the unloaded us to fix it, but he cooled off quick enough when we got some ice for him. After a total of 10 hours in his carrier, we finally made it to NH.

This cat is such a trusting boy, and more adaptable than any cat I've ever met.  Once we got to his new home, my parents house, we put him in my old room to acclimate.  He hid under the bed, but my father managed to tempt him out with treats and toys. Being the angel he is, he was already rubbing up against them and being pretty sweet. It took him a few days to start exploring outside of his safe room, but I was there for the first week to help him adjust. Both my parents and my little brother are in love with him and were going up to check on him and play with him multiple times a day. So now he's a spoiled little boy who's slowly getting used to the other cat and two dogs he lives with now.

So that's Pippin's rescue story. Both my and my husbands two cats are also rescues that we've had since they were kittens as well, and we've helped to rehabilitate other strays as well. I encourage you, if you're looking for a new cat, to check out your local animal shelter. They have lots of cats, young and old looking for homes.
Do you have any rescue pet stories? Share them below and thanks for reading!

Friday, June 16, 2017

National Adopt a Cat Month

June is National Adopt a Cat month! While I didn't plan it, this actually coincides with my own cat rescue story.
When we moved down to Florida in the end of August last year, a stray cat had shown up within the week. We named this little sweetie Maggie and started feeding her and keeping an eye on her. She looked like she had recently had kittens, but we never saw them. Then Hurricane Mathew happened in October. The day of the storm when we went to shut her in our porch to keep her safe she had a kitten with her! It looked to be at least 2 months old and was timid at first but ended up being as friendly as his mum.

 Unfortunately, while everyone rode out the storm well, Maggie disappeared about a week after and we were left with the kitten. We've been feeding him, and trying to figure out what to do with him. We couldn't keep him, because we already have 2 cats, and all the no-kill shelters in the area were full. 

Finally we found a solution: my mum decided she would take him. This presents its own complications, but is amazing because we're moving soon and really had to figure out what to do with him. So last week we got him his vaccines, got him fixed and brought him in to adjust to being an indoor kitty! So far the transition has been pretty smooth. He's a little wild child and full of energy, but he's not destructive and my Tavin has been teaching him manners when he gets too wild.
He's a cuddle but, and very lovey. Now to just fly him up to NH to meet his new family!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Mini Costuming

As I've posted here many times, I love making costumes. Historical costumes, Cosplay costumes, costumes for theater performances. Every sort of costume you can think of. Unfortunately, costuming is expensive and takes up a ton of time that I usually don't have. How I've gotten around this in the past is by making costumes for my ever patient and clothes loving cat, Tavin. I posted about this before in 2013, but really didn't go into detail.

As of right now, Tavin is an almost 9 year old rescue cat that I've had since he was about 8 weeks old. He's got some weird health issues including hip dysplasia, balance problems and trouble regulating his body temperature. That last one was the one we noticed first. I got him the week of Halloween in New England, and if any of you are New Englanders you know this can be a cold time of year. The poor thing was cold all the time, and usually spent the day curled up in my sweater being carried around. Eventually I decided he needed his own sweater and got him the only one I could find that would fit him. It was a bright green hooded fleece dog sweater with black polka dots. I don't have any pictures of him in it, but believe me when I say he was adorable in it. And best of all, he loved wearing it! This was the start of some wonderful costuming adventures.

I started making him costumes with the extra material from whatever costume I was making myself. Little Tavin had a highlands costume complete with a little tam hat and plaid. While I don't have a picture of that one, I do have a picture of his King Arthur costume. He even went trick or treating in this one...
He wasn't sure about the crown, but he loved the satin vest
 The next costume I made him seemed to be his favorite. From scraps from a long ago Jedi cloak project I made him his own Jedi cloak. This was awesome because it kept him really warm, and he was happy to just hang out in it. Cutest thing ever was him and my little cousin curled up together, both wearing Jedi cloaks, while my cousin played LEGO Star Wars.
 I've also knitted him sweaters, sewn him fleece jackets, and a ton of outfits I never bothered taking pictures of.
See how happy he looks?
Now, I want to start making him cosplay costumes. Now, my question is, would you guys be interested in reading about that? Also, any costume requests or suggestions?
As always, thanks for reading and leave your comments below!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Goodreads Reading Challenge

Last year was my first year participating in the Goodreads Reading Challenge. I set my goal at 50 books at the beginning of the year, then later upped it to 60 when I started closing in 50 sooner than expected. I ended up surpassing my goal and reading 73 books.
It was so much fun challenging myself to read more, that I decided to do it again this year. For this year's challenge, my goal is set at 70 books, and to date I've read 22 books and am working on 2 more at the moment.
This month I've read or listened to 5 novels and 3 novellas:

This book is the third in a series I've read before. Garth Nix has been a favorite author since I was about 8 or so and found his The Seventh Tower series. Every so often I go back and read through one of my favorite series, and this spring The Keys to the Kingdom is my pick to reread. It's an awesome series involving magic, a mysterious place called the House that is actually the center of the universe and a boy named Arthur Penhaligon who is the reluctant Rightful Heir. Read it if you love fantasy, Garth Nix doesn't disappoint with this series.
This was a new one for me. I've read most of the author's other books, and loved her Inkheart trilogy, but for some reason I've been dragging my feet about actually starting this one. As fantasy novels go, it was pretty good. It had some nice and mostly original ideas, but it is at heart a normal fantasy novel. I liked it, but found it to be paced a little slower than I like, and am in no hurry to read the rest of the series. Don't get me wrong, it was good and I will read the rest, but just not a favorite.
The Harry Potter series, as I may have mentioned more than once, is a beloved obsession of mine. Since I first read the series at 7 years old, I've been rereading and re listening to the books about once a year. Yes, that means I've experienced these stories upwards of 15 times but they never get old. I do the same thing with the Redwall books by Brian Jacques. My favorite way to experience the books is to listen to the audio books, because I adore Jim Dale's reading of them. Never get tired of listening to them, just magical.
I've been slowly working my way through the Outlander series since I saw a trailer for the TV show in theaters in winter 2015. It gave me goosebumps, and seemed like a perfect story for me. Historical Scotland during the Rising, plus time travel and romance? Yes please. I love how it weaves fantasy and historical fiction together, two of my favorite genres, and I adore the characters. In this one Jamie, Claire and their family are in the colonies right before the Revolutionary War. Right now I'm very impatiently waiting for the next book, with a hold on it at the library.
The next book in the Keys to the Kingdom series by Garth Nix. Just as good this time over.

The three novellas I read were Diane Gabaldon's, A Plague of Zombies, and two of the cheesy chick flick style ones I read when I'm really bored and don't want to have to deal with any sort of deep plot or known characters.

My current books are Lady Friday by Garth Nix and the Book Thief by Markus Zusak.

Are any of you participating in the Goodreads Reading Challenge? What are your goals, and what books have you read so far? Share in the comment section below, and thanks for reading!