Monday, April 9, 2018

Fandom Decor on a Budget

As I've said in the past, I love being able to have decor that expresses my personality and what I love. Even better if I made it myself and it doesn't cost an arm and a leg.
With some basic craft supplies and a printer you can do a lot! My favorite method is using canvas and stencils. All you need to do is find an image of what you want on your canvas, an x-acto knife to cut it into a stencil, paint and a canvas. Just trace your stencil onto the canvas and you're good to paint it however you want. 

Or, if you're better at drawing than I am you can just skip the stencil entirely... You can also use painters tape like I did for these Ravenclaw and Gryffindor paintings.

Another method is using quotes. All you need is a collection of your favorite quotes, printed & cut out, a canvas and mod podge. Just fit the quotes to your canvas so that there are no gaps, then mod podge them on. While I did them in black and white, you could also print them in color depending on how you want your finished product to look. 

Another fun decor option is printing maps from your favorite fandoms. I have 4 hanging up right now that are just on stock paper, but they would look so much better framed. Maybe eventually...

How do you decorate your house while expressing your love of your favorite fandoms? 

Friday, April 6, 2018

Goodreads Reading Challenge 2018

For the past two years I've been participating in the Goodreads Reading Challenge. Its a fun was to keep track of your reading and push yourself to read more in a year than you might usually.
In 2016 my goal was 60 books and I read 73, last year set my goal at 70 and read 74. This year I decided to set my goal back at 60 and see where that gets me.
I've also decided that I should probably stop rereading my favorites quite so much and try some new books. And a mix of kids books and adult fiction is also a good idea instead of a steady diet of children's classics...So far I've had some good luck with my new finds! I started with looking for new books by some of my favorite children's authors, reading Carrie Ryan's short stories and two of Avi's new books:
Old Wolf by Avi

School of the Dead by Avi

As well as some new adult fiction novels:

The Stopped Heart by Julie Myerson
The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter by Theodora Goss
My Sister's Bones by Nuala Ellwood

And an autobiography:
If At Birth You Don't Succeed by Zach Anner
I've also been working my way through H.P. Lovecraft's stories, and reading some classics like The Turning of the Screw by Henry James. Do any of you participate in the Reading Challenge? What are your reading goals this year?

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Disney Annual Passholder

Last year my husband and I were Disney Annual Passholders and really enjoyed it. So, this year we decided to renew them! Basically, as Florida residents we pay less than we would for a 2 day park hopper pass and can get in any weekday minus blackout dates for an entire year. With our Weekday Select passes, we also get free parking at the parks, discounts at certain shops and restaurants, as well as special seasonal gifts like holiday magnets or even a lovely watercolor print this past January.

We went for Epcot's Festival of the Art's in January! Lost of different booths showcasing artists, mostly local. Also our favorite part of Epcot special events, food booths showcasing foods from all over the world. We didn't try any during that trip, but our trip in December we were able to try foods from 6 different countries for less than $30. Fun and cost effective, plus eating around the world showcase rather than drinking means you'll remember the entire trip...

These passes are awesome, because they mean we can just pop into Disney for an evening or plan out a full day in the parks. We've already been three times this year, and hopefully will be going to Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival soon. Stay tuned for a post about the Flower and Garden Festival!

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Feline Royalty

I made a post about the costumes I make for my cat, Tavin a while ago. Lately I haven't been making him costumes, and he outgrew most of his old ones a while ago so I really want to start making him more! I think the next one is going to be a pirate costume... Molly, our old lady cat is going to get a witch sweater at some point as well. Meanwhile,  I've made some smaller things for the two of them... Cat crowns!

Molly loved hers, but Tavin wasn't so sure. He hasn't been a big fan of hats since my aunt got him a reindeer costume when he was a kitten, complete with a reindeer hat...
If you're looking for a quick crochet project for your cat, check out the pattern on Ravelry here!

Friday, February 9, 2018

The Star Wars Dress

A few years ago I procured a large amount of Star Wars  fabric with the intent of making a dress for Boston Comi Con. However, that year I decided to go as Harley Quinn instead and plans got postponed.  It was the plan to make it for 2016, but then plans changed and I ended up getting married and moving around the same time as the con so I never bothered making it. This past year there was no Boston Comi Con for us because we're down in Florida, but I decided I could make the dress for another reason.
For my husband and my first anniversary we planned a 3-day Disney trip and our first stop was Hollywood Studios, so the Star Wars dress was perfect.
The pattern I picked for the dress was McCall's 6891.

Since we've been in Florida I really haven't been sewing very much, and I wanted to start off with a familiar challenge to get back in the swing of things.  I've made a lot of jackets, so the collar would be a good refresher and so would the button holes because they're always an argument with my machine.

With "help" from the cats, everything went together pretty quickly over the course of thee days. As always, it involved blood from my clumsyness and cursing directed at the machine, but it came together.

First go, I did not like how it turned out and was really disappointed with the fit of the bodice..  But then I cut off the sleeves,  added more darts to make the fit of the bodice more flattering and put modesty panels under the arms because they were too low without the sleeves.

 Now I love it, and it was super comfortable for a day at Disney!

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

The Beginnings of the Blue Dress

The last time I decided to make Ariel's blue dress it was for a project in college. It was for a costume design class that ended up being a miserable waste of time, which sucked because my goal was to do costuming! Making a simple costume was the final project, and I put mine together out of things I already had. The dress was a thrift-ed prom dress with a long-sleeved shirt I dyed worn over the top. For the costed top all I did was wear my Victorian corset over it and cover it with a black camisole. Add a blue bow and a giant fork and some bright red hair spray and you've got a basic costume.
This time I want something a little easier to get into and more practical to wear for a long period of time.
Going from my starting images I'm going to have to make 5 separate pieces: Top, corset top, skirt, hair bow and a petticoat.

This pattern should work for the start of the blouse. I might have to work on the fit of the top and I'll definitely be adding cuffs. Not sure what fabric I'll be using for it, but it's going to be hard to find the correct shade of light blue!
For the skirt the best thing I could find it this pattern. I think the circle skirt is going to be what I need to get the fullness with the petticoat. The actual dress looks more like and a-line skirt, but this will give me something to work with. 
See how the skirt reacts when she's dancing? Definitely is acting like there's supposed to be a petticoat under a full skirt.
This pattern is going to work for both the corset top and the petticoat! Not sure if I like the look of the boning placement on the corset, but I can always play around with that. And as for the bow, that'll just be a matter of arguing with fabric matching the skirt to get the right shape.
So that's the break-down of what I'll be working on for the cosplay this summer! I have until August 3rd to finish, so I should have plenty of time to have fun working on it. 
Anyone else have summer cosplay projects they're working on? Share in the comments below, and thanks for reading!

Friday, January 26, 2018

Unicorn Crochet

One of first and favorite things, almost even before my love of science fiction, has been fantasy. When I was little I was obsessed with the genre, and the creatures that live in it. My imaginary friends as a child were faeries that lived in my walls, and the trees I played under all had names and faces in my wild imagination. But my main obsession, one of my favorite creatures, was the unicorn. So, what better to start of the year with knitting a unicorn?

Last minute before our visit up north I decided to make a unicorn for me niece's 1st birthday. After some digging around on Ravelry I decided to use Spin a Yarn Crochet's Ragdoll Unicorn pattern. Its simple, adorable and came together quickly. The whole process only took me about 3 days and I'm so happy with how it turned out!
 My niece and her parents loved it, and I definitely think I'm going to be making more Ragdoll projects in the future. Plus, it was made entirely with yarn from my stash, so I'm already working on my New Years Resolution!
Spin a Yarn Crochet also has Ragdoll Witch and Ragdoll Wizard patterns that are perfect for Harry Potter characters. Those might be on my to-crochet list in the near future...
Thanks for reading!