Monday, March 19, 2012

One of the Nerdiest Posts of All Time

Ok, so apart from decorating the den, school, work and working on our deck project - YOU DIDNT READ THAT YET! We've been preparing for something else too (like we needed something else right?)

We are going to Comic Con 2012 in San Diego! We're super excited, and lucky because we'll get to stay with Brian's cousin's family, and they're cool people. Well, since I'm a massive dork I think it's fairly obvious that I'm planning on dressing up. And so is Brian. So as soon as we actually got our tickets we started planning.

Brian is going to go as Harry Dresden from the Dresden Files books. He's a wizard for hire in Chicago, and fights all types of fantasy nasties in the modern-day setting. I think this will be awesome beyond reason, but we're not there yet.

I have started my costume (hoping to make 2 different ones, but that probably won't happen), and I will be going as the Other Mother from the book/movie Coraline. I love Neil Gaiman's work,  and I love the movie and it's style as well, so it was a natural choice. For those who don't know, The Other Mother is a creature who spies on children through the eyes of a doll. She lures Coraline to her world where everyone has button eyes like dolls. She gives her everything she always wanted, and to stay in this fabulous world, she must let the other mother sew buttons into her eyes too. BUT, she is much more sinister than it seems... she's like a spider spinning a dangerous web.

The costume I will be making I refer to as the Bug Bustle Dress. This is the first outfit where you start to feel she's not what she seems. It's very structured, and very severe. I took a few reference photos while watching the movie to get started.

As you can see, the most important parts of this costume are:
1. The striking colors
2. The structured 'carapace' bustle
3. The hair and button eyes.

You also can't tell, but she wears red heels. SO first I went to the store and got fabric. This was the first mistake (tripped up right out of the gate...). I thought this fabric was perfect, and when I got home and started working with it, I realized how wrong it truly was. The dots were FAR too small. So since I couldn't return the fabric, I tossed that very expensive mistake aside and tried again.

Yes. This is quilting cotton. You'd think black with white polka-dots would be easier to find... I'm not worried though, a little iron-on interfacing and the lining and it will work just fine! So I started the skirt for this from a pattern. I don't generally use patterns, but the skirt is a simple pencil design, so I figured that would likely be faster than draping from scratch like I usually do so I went with McCall's M3830. So after an evening I went from that pile, to this:

Up next, after I hem it and add the waistband I'll show it to you on (with shoes!). And I've begun draping and building the oh-so-complicated-crazy-ass top. 

This is fun :) It's slow going though... thank you real-life responsibilities!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Before and After: The Den

I've been kind of in-and-out lately due to some shifting stuff going on with work, and a beastly new class. HOWEVER, I have some fun pics I want to share with you! We've been working on our den since the new year as you know from our big 'no more water' sub floor project.

It's been the home of our books and desktop computers for the past 2 years, but that's about it. We had other projects we wanted to do first, yadda yadda. This is what it looked like before:

This has been really depressing for me, because this is the room with the fireplace, and one of the main reasons I wanted this house. I didn't even like doing homework on that tiny desk, and it was always cold since it didn't have an insulating subfloor. We only got the fireplace fixed last summer (had to rerun the gas line, the idiot who installed it put it in a really bad spot and it was dangerous). So over Christmas we took care of the floor problems which means I got to start decorating!

First we started by building a desk. The drawers are from ikea and the top is wood I stained, edged and sealed myself from Lowe's. I have a print I need to get made to go above the desk, those pics/diplomas will be moving to a different wall.

Then I got new bookcases (I collect books, folk tales, fairy stories and histories mostly) because the others were ugly and the shelves were bowed. I also picked out new chairs from Target. We got them nearly 50% off with all the coupons/sales I used.

Ignore that stack. Those are Brian's from random classes over the years. He's supposed to go through them and pick the keepers.

And lastly, yesterday our sofa arrived! We bought it on super sale at Art Van last weekend. I want to make new throw pillows for it, and also ignore the coffee table. That's our old beat up one that we'll be craigslisting once I can find a new one I like.

So yeah, that's it! You can't see my valance because of the sunlight, it's just a white one that matches the floor-length curtains in our room. And we still need to pick a spot for a little tv and I've got new throw pillow covers I need to plop in place, but it's just about there!