Monday, July 28, 2008

plans, progress, amusing cat stories

Lessee, what did Holly cross off her list this weekend?

Take 28 pages of "Curious Weather" to writer's meeting
Hit the sales at Joann's to get cheap foundation materials for upcoming projects
Order fabric for Jewelry Girl's dresses
Make linen uniform pants for the SP to wear during demo next month
Make weapons case for lil' kung fu brother YogaBoy
Get haircut

Yeah. It's that extreme. But if it works for Wonder Woman, it works for me. And both long overdue.

But enough about me, here's a very funny cat story:

"Folks, when your housepet starts quoting ancient religious texts, rest assured that someones day is about to get Very Interesting, Indeed."

p.s. Today's art is by Alex Hughes for D.C. Comics, Wonder Woman Issue #190.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

muscle memory

You wanna know something weird?

I find myself missing the Tai Chi Legacy Tournament. It should've been coming up next week, but as I mentioned earlier in the year, it got cancelled due to venue-reservation problems.

I've only been twice, for crying out loud. But I keep thinking of the hotel, the feel of the Plano traffic, the noise and space of the tournament floor, the vast Texas landscape.

In many ways I'm glad we're not going this year, because I have other things to spend the money on, not to mention a whole heap of sewing to do, and I like having the year off to practice and improve.

I am improving, I think. Maybe not visibly, but my mind is changing. I am not accepting that things are correct just because I've been doing them that way for nine years. Sit made the point last night that you can be doing the form correctly and still not be doing it "right"--i.e. you may have learnt how to mimic the cosmetic appearance of good form but that doesn't mean you're using tai chi principles of relaxation and moving from the body.

We are doing the Kansas City Ethnic Festival again this year. Tony and I are doing the fan form, to music; the boys are doing first kung fu form. Sit will probably do tai hui form but he always decides at the last minute. I am looking forward to that, that will only take an afternoon and take of some of the competition edge, but I'm still thinking longingly of Plano, the cool air-conditioned hotel, the smell of chlorine, the anticipation of competition. Even the long drive down with the SP.

Maybe I just need a vacation.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

life in motion, with occasional piece

I have been doing so many things lately, and so many things have happened, that it makes me tired to try to list all of them. However, if I don't list them, I feel tired and can't remember why. Better to remind myself of what I've done:
  1. Made the gloves, and cut out all the pieces for the PVC Harley Quinn costume I'm making for this client. I will probably write up a whole article/rant about sewing with PVC, assuming I survive this. It has been a learning experience. I'm having to completely reconstruct the hood, too, so I will have some neat new pictures and possibly a new pattern for sale.

  2. The three porcelain doll kits I bought on Ebay arrived yesterday. They're all in good shape, complete with pattern pieces for making the bodies, which will save me a whole heap of time. One of the dolls is for my sister, the other two I will probably dress and sell. I was debating whether to do them both in pretty Victorian, or in Gothy- Victorian, but it turns out one of them is badly painted and has a freaky wall-eyed look, so I guess I'll do one of each.

  3. The SP is having an electrical line and breaker box run out to our detached garage, which is the first major step toward its becoming a functional workshop. So he spent much of last night taking up the brick I laid down around the tomato bed and digging a trench for the line.

  4. I have learnt of still more tax liability left to me by my former marriage, about three years worth which may or may not be mine, so I'm gathering documents to pass to my accountant in the hopes of laying that mess to rest once and for all. My hope is that he'll salvage enough money in returns owed to me, to pay his fee.

  5. As if to add insult to injury, the driver's side sun visor broke off in my car on Monday morning. I drive into the sun during both commutes. Needless to say this shaped my mood for most of Monday. Thanks, Honda, I was wondering what to do with that extra $100!

Somewhat in spite of all this money drama, I bought a sofa. It was love at first sight, I admit, and love makes you do crazy things. But the fact is, I am going to have a lovely workroom/office before much longer, the SP has been working like crazy getting the trim done, and I hate the hand-me-down loveseat that has been my reading couch for the last eight years. I hate it. It's yellow and ragged where the cat clawed it, and broken down in the middle where my ex-roommate sat on it, and quite frankly it would cost me nearly as much to repair and recover it as this new sofa costs. So I put the new one on layaway and made the SP promise to finish my room in time for it to come home.

It looks like this, but in red. A rich, brown-red. It's a perfect balance between clean lines and opulent fabric. I'm keeping it, and the IRS can kiss my ex's fat white ass.

Monday, July 07, 2008

innovation, growth, projects

Neat article in the NY Times about creativity and success:
Those who believe they were born with all the smarts and gifts they’re ever going to have approach life [with] a "fixed mind-set." Those who believe that their own abilities can expand over time, however, live with a "growth mind-set."

Guess which ones prove to be most innovative over time.

Guess which one I want to be?

I want to learn everything, everything! and I'm continually frustrated with my lack of time. Why do I have to work for a living??

Someday (not too long, I hope) I'll be out of debt and I'll go to work as a full-time creative person. I hope I keep learning. I want to do more leatherwork, and learn to make shoes. I still write from time to time, but the drive to write fiction isn't really there anymore.

For a long time I thought I had to make it as a writer in order to justify myself *being* a writer, but then End of the Line sold, and bought me a nice new laptop, and now I don't care anymore. I still have things to write about, at times, but I know now that the tools will always be there when I need them.

I actually had the thought, the other day, that I should sell my Trace stories in single-bound volumes on Etsy, rather than expecting the ezine publishers to make room for me in their publications.

Current projects for other people:
  • Writing an article, "On Being a Good Student," for Tai Chi magazine. .

  • Black and red PVC on order for a Harley Quinn costume client.

  • Awaiting deposit and measurements from Jewelry girl, for the three Marie Antoinette dresses she wants.

On the one hand, I hate waiting on clients. People order stuff, so I block out my time, but then they make me wait on their measurements or whatever so by the time I get to start on it I'm rushed and resentful.

On the plus side, I had most of a four-day weekend to myself, so I got to:
  • Finished the SP's linen shirt. He is very pleased, and I got it done in under a month.

  • Assembled the red satin bustier for the Wonder Woman costume; it's done except for the grommets in the back and the top/bottom binding. The metal sheeting for the eagle emblem and girdle are in the mail. I will in theory be ordering a lot of stuff from my corset supplier this month, so the grommets and internal steels may be on hold for a while.

  • Finally started assembling a silver silk blouse I cut out during the winter--for MYSELF, thank you very much.