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Found 9 results

  1. As the name might suggest, I'd like to finish up the current thermoplastics piece and shift focus back to sewing for this month. After 23.25 hours, I've got all the pieces for the Thor sabatons sorted, they "just" need a base coat, paint, and sealer. The only cloth items for the outfit that need made - leggings and a base shirt will be bought - are the cape and skirts, which (HA HA) shouldn't be too difficult. The breastplate is still on hold for the artist to get the designs back to me. I don't expect to finish all the sewing stuff this challenge, but I'd like to at least get a start on it. I am also working on editing a 400+ page book for a friend, which I promised to finish by V-day. That's not going to happen, but I don't want it to slip away from me, so that's my main focus until it's done. Second focus is the sabatons (weather permitting), then sewing, all over the backdrop of my usual habits and goals. Sounds busy, but it's really not - everything has a place and order, and there's no big rush on anything. Goals: Editing: Finish editing friend's book. Thermoplastics: Finish sabatons, touch base with artist on breastplate designs. Sewing: Start on cape/ skirts for Thor. Maintenance: Language practice, workouts. Below are pictures of where the sabatons sit now. I've only made one of the ankle/ greave pieces, but the second shouldn't take long. Once the second one is formed, I'll take it all apart, prime, paint, and seal each piece, and put it back together, then probably wear it around a bit to make sure the paint doesn't wear off. Here's a link to the pattern I want to try for the cape. For those of you channeling Edna Mode, the great part about the pattern is that it's meant to be held on with snaps, allowing for easy breakaway. I might have to tweak it a bit to connect to the thermoplastic breastplate, but I'd much rather have it be relatively easy to pop off rather than being strangled when a kid (or adult, I suppose) grabs it or something.
  2. Goals: Thermoplastics: Finish breastplate, start sabatons if possible. Regular stuff: Exercise, languages, attitude awareness, food tracking. Extras (not necessary, but nice to do): Finish resume, start job search. Clean/ rearrange bookshelves and clothing. Sewing: start 4th pair of work pants, eyeball what will need done for the Thor costume. I'm keeping all the regular stuff that's become standard, day-to-day fare. I'm making solid progress on all fronts, so not changing what isn't broken. I'm making good progress on the breastplate for the Thor costume, but I also know that May will arrive sooner than expected, and a common theme I see in cosplay write-ups is last-minute panicked finishing. I've gone most of my life avoiding last-minute stuff, so I'm aiming to keep on top of this and have it finished at least a week early, a month early if I have my way. I've got the boots I intend to wear already soaking/ stretching so I can break them in beforehand, and I should be able to start first attempts at sabatons while they're still being worked. Current state of the breastplate. Couple extra things I'd like to get done, but aren't stress-worthy. The resume/ job search, definitely, but that's very much a thing to do as applicable job postings arise, so not going to put a hard date on it. Cleaning bookshelves and clearing out unworn clothes is important, but again, not by a hard date. The sewing stuff is an "as available" item, mostly as backup for current clothing and early prep for finishing cosplay. No pressure. I will probably be tweaking food intake at some point this year, but since I've only just gotten back to tracking it, I want a baseline first. I am seeing slow but welcome changes in my body, so don't want to make any drastic changes that I'll regret and regress on. Re-evaluation will probably be around mid-March, to see if I'll be con-ready by May. Gotta get them muscles showing. So yeah, not exciting, but just keeping things going. My one nod to the "new year, new you" silliness is that I got about a 3" patch on the nape of my neck shaved - the shortest my hair has been literally since I was born. I've never trusted a hair cut place to do it, because every single stylist I'd been to before had an immediate reaction of "your hair is so long and thick... let me cut it short!" and after 18 years of fighting my mother cutting my hair and "accidentally" cutting it shorter than I wanted, I am highly protective of it. I realized I'd been seeing the same lady for about 4 years now, though, and she does what I ask (even if she asked if I was sure a lot at first), so I took the plunge. She was super nice about it, showing me examples on her coworkers, and calling them back for a consult when she'd sectioned off the area to be shaved, but it was still a bit nerve-wracking. Glad I did it, now, because I no longer have wispies escaping ponytails and braids within 5 minutes, making me look like a frazzled fruitcake.
  3. My to do list is down to just a few items, and I'm feeling whimsical this morning, so: Tinker: Ironically the least pressing of my goals; keep messing about with Thermoplastics stuff. Tailor: Make 2 pairs of work pants, one to be used for the company Winter Party on Dec 9th. Soldier: Keep working out/ doing PT. Spy (3 parts): Keep improving knowledge with online classes and language practice, turn down unnecessary schedule entanglements, and update my resume. I have not actually read the book or watched the movie by that name, but it fit my challenge goals better than the rest of the counting rhyme, "rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief." This year has been dedicated to calming myself down, and getting (and keeping) my schedule manageable. It hasn't been 100% successful, but that's the point of challenges: to keep at it. I turn 40 next year, which isn't a big thing to me, but I'd like to hit some goals by then: new career (preferably based on all the things I've been studying for the past decade), new cosplay outfit (by May, eep!), and new fitness levels (ok, ok, I"m already there, but that just means set the next level higher, right?). I feel like I'm in a good place to reach all of those, but the first one, which is most out of my hands, is the one I'd like best. I've been putting it off for a bit because a) I made a deal with my boss to stay through mid-2019, and b) I let my plate get over-full in the last few months, and wanted to clear it before really focusing on job hunting. Think I'm in a solid place now, though, so start with the basics: clean up the resume.
  4. As of today, I officially have 1 year to go to meet my goal of doing a pike-to-handstand by the time I'm 40. That said, I find I make a lot of progress when I stop looking at the overall progress, and focus on smaller steps along the way, so I'm going to try breaking this challenge down into weekly challenges. I will also try not to plan out too much, because things change and I don't need to stress about minor goals made too far in advance. Maintenance goals: Exercise: 3x weightlifting, 2x cardio, 3x PT. Languages: Daily Russian practice, French in downtime. Medium-term goals: Garden: winterize garden, bring in the clementine before it freezes, redesign and put up greenhouse before we freeze. Sewing: Halloween costume: vest and skirt for Anna (from Frozen) costume. Winter party: pants, vest, and spats for the company 1920s-theme winter party. Work: an extra pair of pants (in addition to the ones from the winter party) to be safely clad throughout winter. Thermoplastics: Thor costume, but secondary after sewing goals. There's a lot I want to do, but only so much time, so I have to prioritize. Since the sewing projects and the greenhouse have looming deadlines, those have to come first. I did get an airbrush and new, thinner, untextured EVA foam to make another shot at the chestpiece, though, and reigning myself in is being difficult. More impetus to get the sewing projects done, I hope. So that said... Week 0 goal: Sew the vest for the Halloween outfit. Pieces are already cut out, mock-up has been made, make like Mortal Kombat and finish it.
  5. Challenges: 31: Apr '18 - Jedi belt, Mjolnir, work skirts 32: May '18 - Extra masters class, attitude 33: Jul '18 - Weird... NF lost this challenge. Started Mjolnir, extra masters class. 34: Aug '18 - Kenpo knives, Mjolnir 35: Sept '18 - Start Thor breastplate, poke at shorthand 36: Oct '18 - Halloween outfit, winterize garden 37: Nov '18 - Winter party outfit, maintain 38: Jan '19 - Finish Thor breastplate, redo resume 39: Feb '19 - Finish Thor sabatons, cape, skirts; book edit 40: Mar '19 - Finish Thor breastplate details, lots of other stuff, propose Got back late Tuesday from 2 weeks' vacation abroad. While it was lovely, it was disruptive to my hobbies and goals, so I want to get back on track with all of those. To Do: Garden: plant backyard garden, finish replacing beds in large garden, take down "greenhouse" under stairs, plant large garden. Sewing: replace Jedi under-belt, recreate green work skirt. Thermoplastics: finish bracer, start new Mjolnir project, finish/ make more practice knives. Exercise: resume weights, continue PT, institute daily kenpo practice. I am taking language practice off my mental list of things to track. It's a well-seated habit and I was easily able to communicate while abroad, so I am not going to stress about it. I was able to keep up with PT and cardio while abroad; now I need to re-establish weightlifting, and figure out how to add 10 minutes of daily kenpo practice. Otherwise, just keeping on, keeping on, working my way through projects. If I had to pick one "challenge" for this round, it would be to actually finish the bracers and the jedi under-belt wrap, and start on Mjolnir. That's my pass/fail.
  6. I've managed to get a stable pattern for challenges and hobbies over the winter months, so naturally, here comes a season change to shake things up. Goals: Crafting: Mjolnir, skirt, finish bracer, kenpo knife carrier. Exercise: keep it up. Languages: keep it up. Gardening: let the games begin. The main goal for this month is to finish Mjolnir, my first major EVA foam project, and the main focus of a female Thor cosplay (hence the possibly misleading title). Once/if I get that done, the next projects are: recreate a work skirt (two, if possible), finish the Worbla bracer (need warm weather to work outside), and throw together some sort of carrier for the practice kenpo knives I made last challenge. Exercise is the same: weights, cardio, kenpo, and PT. Languages are the same: maintain French, improve Russian. The troublemaker is gardening. Gardening takes a lot of time, and is entirely dependent on the weather, making it difficult to plan ahead. I have put several limitations on the garden this year: not starting seeds indoors, buying plants rather than seeds if I'll just have a few plants, a strict "follow the plan" policy to avoid last-minute additions and chaos, and outlining the projects I want to complete this year. Even with these efforts to cut chaos, there's still just a lot of work that goes into a garden. Fun, productive, and calming work, but still work that takes time. My preliminary plan is to only go out on weekends, since my days are pretty strictly scheduled with workouts. This might get tweaked as things progress. Another point to note, although I don't think it needs to go into goals, is that "reading" is no longer classified as "strictly leisure." My tastes have shifted in that I enjoy reading books that are useful to my long-term goals, so I don't need to feel guilty about devoting a couple hours to reading. It's not stealing time from goals, it's actually helping. All things in moderation.
  7. Slight adjustment to hobby categories this time around. Goals: Exercise: Weights, cardio, PT, and Kenpo. Languages: French, Russian, and Japanese. Crafting: Practice Kenpo knives, 3rd pair of work pants, Mjolnir. It seems like less than last time, but if I have two craft projects going, my brain goes wonky and neither end up getting done in a timely fashion. This also doesn't show that I've rediscovered the joys of reading (although my tastes have changed drastically), and that the garden will be rearing its head soon. So I suppose the focus of this challenge is discipline in crafting and, as always, finding balance.
  8. Not a big 'do for the new year, just keeping on. Goals: Sewing: finish another pair of work pants. Exercise: kick the crud and resume weights and running, keep up PT. Thermoplastics: bracer is on hold 'til painting weather resumes; start Mjolnir. Languages: Add weekend reviews on kaniwani, keep at it. I know, it's not fun and exciting, but I'm in a good place and want to keep working at all of these things.
  9. The last challenge got me finishing old projects and starting a new trade: thermoplastics. I've figured out that I do best when focusing on one thing at a time (freaking, surprise there, eh?), so while I still am allowed my 4 hobbies, each one will have one focus only. Sewing: Finish the blue skirt, then start another pair of work pants. Exercise: Solidify PT and Kenpo practice. Languages: One module of French or Russian per day, maintain Japanese at lunch. Thermoplastics: Make a new bracer, practice painting on the prototype. For a lot of my life, I would try to get into everything, and ended up not finishing much and feeling overwhelmed. Throw it all out, start over, cycle continues. While doing grad school on top of a full-time job, I found out I get a lot more accomplished by limiting myself to 4 hobbies (gardening is on hold til spring), and having one thing on my "To Do" list per day. If I get more done, great, but there's no pressure to do it, so I'm more willing to work on it. I still want to do everything, get into everything, learn everything, but I can't argue that I've accomplished a lot more by focusing on one thing to completion. Sewing is pretty straightforward - finish one, start the next. I've let PT slide a bit lately, and my body forcefully reminded me that that's dangerous. I'm going to try changing from a M-Th workout schedule, with PT on the weekend, to a split week schedule with PT mid-week and on the weekend. Kenpo practice is a goal of 10 minutes a day, fit in wherever possible, and no pressure if not. Similarly, I've not been keeping up on French and Russian, so one module a day, maybe 5-10 minutes. Thermoplastics is the fun part. I made a prototype bracer, to see how it's done, and I was pretty happy about how it turned out. There are a couple bubbles and rough patches, but I thought they'd be covered over by priming and painting. I was wrong: Don't get me wrong, it looks spiffy and I'm proud of it, but those bubbles on the top and middle layers bother me. I was trying out different heat settings when I made those layers, and they got too hot, too fast. If it was just that, I might try to ignore it, but there are some other issues that I think I can make better on a second go 'round. So, back to the crafting table!
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