Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thursday 30

So at 12:15 this morning I started working on a snoodie, or combination scarf and hoodie that I have just now finished. I saw it in a really old threadbanger episode that I can't find anymore, but anyway this was Rob's idea. I've got some pictures lined up for an instructable, which should be really easy to work up, but my priority tonight is finishing the previously nondescript hoody using Addie's tutorial. No longer is it remotely boring, for I have added a row of pleated ruffles at the bottom all the way around, with three extra rows at the very back for a very very miniature bustle effect. My best design elements come from cutting a hem wrong. I have still to finish the bottom hem, the last button hole, and the sleeves. The sleeves will come last because I'm not sure what I want to do there yet. I'll wait for some ideas to hit.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Wednesday 29 later

So there they are. A few words: these are exaggerated super skinny super tall figures. I was taught to draw by comic book artist and drawing instruction book author Christopher Hart, so that's how I draw people. I can't draw males, and I can't draw people who aren't 7 heads or so tall. They are not to be used for any purpose besides drawing clothes over, and they are not to be taken as a realistic depiction of the female body. That being said, please upload whatever designs you love using these templates. I compiled them into different pages thinking that people have several ideas in mind that want to come out when they sit down to draw them, and that it'd be nice to have those designs side by side for recombination later on. Still to come: all front and all back three quarter and full pages, maybe some specifically side poses, and as I described earlier, style pages. "These will have just one front and one back full length figure centered in the page. The rest of the space is to be used for drawing insets of detail, suggesting alternative color themes, making construction notes, or designing other aspects of the look, such as makeup, hairstyle, or footwear."

Wednesday 29

So originally my plan for this blog was strictly to discuss designs for things I've made, plan to make more things, and connect my contributions from sites like instructables to one another. I intended to show very little of me and certainly never talk about anything personal. I've since realized that what I crave (at least from time to time) is someplace where I can be what I'm not the rest of the time: as the band Fuel put it, someplace where I can be something like human.

It's probably something deeper and more tragic, but I ascribe my irl departure from humanness to the two semesters I spent earning A minuses in organic chemistry last year. This is a class that (at least at UPS) meets four days a week at 800am, with an additional 4 hour lab one day of the week. In Tacoma, from November to Febrary, the sun has not risen at this point. Those two facts coupled with the ensuing love-hate relationship with caffiene and pressure of other classes (of which at least one other has another four hour lab) make ALL ochem students TOTAL ZOMBIES. Being a zombie isn't as bad as it seems, especially when you're taking ochem. In fact it's a necessary part of writing any lab reports for any college level chemistry class.

The chemistry lab report is a torture device designed for use against bio majors, especially those minoring in chemistry; those with a dangerously intimate relationship to the field see it more as an instrument of autoerotic masochism. For the former group, the point is to spend days and days discussing a laboratory experiment through groups of letters, numbers, punctuation, and the occasional word arbitrarily named "sentences" such that the end product (maybe 3 pages long) appears computer generated. Here's an example:

"Uncatalyzed Diels-Alder Reaction of 1-methoxy-1,3-butdiene and acrolein. Acrolein (20 μL, 18.3 mg, 0.33 mmol) and 1-methoxy-1,3-butadiene (30 μL, 25 mg, 0.30 mmol) were dispensed into an NMR tube in CDCl3 (1 mL) and heated in warm water at 38oC for 1 week. The reaction was followed by NMR spectra taken daily. The racemic product was then characterized by chiral GC (figure 5). 1H-NMR: δ 1.85 (m, 2H), 2.01 (m, 2H), 2.55 (dt, J=5.50, #, 1H), 3.35 (s, 3H), 4.07 (t, J=3.66, 1H), 5.96 (m, 2H), 10.07 (s, 1H)."

So you did that about 10-15 times during the year. You notice it starting to affect your other writing. Your sentences start out passive, and you start inserting "active" words on purpose to make up for it. Your vocabulary narrows, and you can't describe anything elegantly. You can't write poetry. It starts spreading to the rest of your life; your automatic function is zombie, and you start inserting "human" signals on purpose to make up for it. But just as the comics and novels end up revealing, underneath the rotted flesh and behind the moaning demand of "BBRRAAAIINNNSS" there is indeed an amygdala in a functioning lymbic system. Play the you zombie a song like King's Crossing or Twilight off of From a Basement on the Hill while you're sitting at a table in Diversions waiting for your tall cappucino with english toffee (because she insists there is no gingerbread--she's lying) only to find that she took your order for a 20oz drink. Oh, and you don't know anyone there and everyone else knows everyone else. It's a small school, it's pretty typical.

I've been listening to Elliott Smith a lot lately, but I feel it affects me differently than it would for other people. It would probably be too heartbreaking for most...I need to remember to send it to my brother. just where is he....Honestly, I wasn't interested in him or his music until I heard how he died. It just wouldn't have had the same allure if he were still alive; think of the guy from The Cure and Michael Akerfeldt from Opeth. They got so lame, and so too would Elliott had he survived his withdrawal from alcohol and everything else he was quitting cold turkey at the time, including red meat and wheat. When I listen to his interviews, it's hillarious how much of a sad bastard he is. It's just so foreboding, and you can't help but know he liked to make himself miserable, and everything went the way everything would have gone if he could have done it all over again. He was the sort of person who needed to be horribly depressed despite being widely worshipped. He always depicted himself as somekind of shellshocked war hero, who looked forward to a bitter and tragic end. I guess that's why he pulled the knife out and stabbed himself a second time; I totally believe his girlfriend had nothing to do with it, except being involved in a really crazy fight. Let's just say I can relate.

Things turned out alright after geology. Our substitute professor was hillarious, let us out early, and relieved me of my current event presentation responsibilities. I think I'll put up a post later today with those croquis. It won't involve any whining.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Monday 27 October

So it's Halloween on Friday, and I haven't done anything at all to prepare to maybe celebrate. The night of, I plan to bake a magic pumpkin pie. I truly look forward to it. Needless to say, I'm not bothering with a costume. But that is NOT to say that I've completely shunned one of the most important parts of one of my favorite holidays. Snugglebunny and the seals have donned their fall best in what he likes to call "veggie pirates". And here's a link to my miniature stovetop apple pie instructable.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Friday 24 October

My three days back in school this week were as exhausting as if the whole week were crammed into that space. I've made no progress in any knitting endeavor since whatever I wrote about last...the big thing now is hooded jackets. Yes, thank you Addie_Marie for providing the inspiration and technical know-how that launched me on this seasonally-appropriate sewing extravaganza. For my first jacket, I followed her instructions except cut duplicate pieces out of fleece for lining to make it extra worm. I also cut out the front in two pieces 3" longer than the final width so I could have button-front closure. The instructable for those changes I made will come soon! Here are some preview pictures in the meantime:

Those pictures are both of the jacket inside out. You're not missing anything, it's just plain black on the outside. This will be one of the simpler jackets I have planned. After I finish it, I need to make one for my boyfriend and another fancier one for me, lined with blizzard print fleece. It's a beautiful rust red with a black filigree design. That one will have bell sleeves, ruffle trim, and button front closure, but still it will be black on the outside. It's the rule.

Coming up soon:
I'll arrange my pictures describing the construction of english muffin pizzas and stove-top mini apple pies into their own instructables.
I'll make a tutorial for how to make a knotted bracelet with beads. It uses embroidery thread, where one strand is knotted around the other strands to create a round bracelet with a spiral running the outside. Often times the design includes alternating bands of color. In my tutorial, I'll show how to add beads to these kinds of bracelets without making a bead-sized space between the knots on either side of the bead.
Snugglebunny and friends will show you their new collection of toy vegetables.

Lastly, something of use to all with an interest in custom clothing: hand-drawn croquis in a variety of poses that are designed to be drawn directly onto. The figures are light grey and are easily covered up by colored pencils, especially black ones. I'm almost done with my 3/4 length front and back models. Just need to make a variety of layouts and they will be available to download as a PDF. I personally plan to make a thick stack of them arranged by design type and fill in each page with a specific theme of design. I think a lot of people design a lot of related pieces at a time, and the layout would allow them to be compared simultaneously, and further combinations to be made from smaller shared elements of the theme.

In addition to 3/4 length front and back pages, I am working on full length front and back pages, and something else I've dubbed a "style page." These will have just one front and one back full length figure centered in the page. The rest of the space is to be used for drawing insets of detail, suggesting alternative color themes, making construction notes, or designing other aspects of the look, such as makeup, hairstyle, or footwear.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Monday 20 October

It's the second to last day of a usually way too short fall break, but I think I've kept a good balance of being school productive and making stuff productive. I started work on a hooded sweater based on instructions from the threadbanger forum. However mine is lined in polar fleece and has button front closure. I'm almost done. I'm also working on an instructable for that jacket.

On the subject of instructables, I found out just the other day that my tutorial for knitting cables won a first place prize in the craft skills contest. It's cool to win things. I get a $25 yarn gift card and a book. hooray.