Sunday, October 28, 2012

ZOMBIES, a great group costume

I'm a big fan of the Zombie Walk, most cities have them. A non-profit gathering of folks who like costumes and make-up and fake blood. This year I saw everything from a guy dressed as the Joker to beautiful day of the dead make-ups as Zombie's.
Our group went down the gory, bloody, protruding bones and peeling skin route.
Because of this I thought I'd make up a few effects like stabbing a torso and an exposed bone break.
**warning there are some "realistic" or graphic photos near the end of this post. The torso stab was enough to make a few people shudder in real life.**
I've had some luck in the past, laying mask plaster on fabric and having it adhere. This was the main principle of my design for this year's costume effects.
You can always contact me to have your very own custom made broken bone if this seems like too much work.

Materials: plastic skeleton bones
               small roll of mask plaster
               saw (I used a hack-saw with an easy grip handle)
               drop sheet
               bowl of warm water
               10 cm wide strip of knit fabric to tie around "broken" limb
               paint, clear finish

First, I drew jagged "break" lines, then I tried to saw as close as possible to what I drew. Then I cut a shallow angle for the edge that would be closest to my skin.

After tying the strip of fabric around my thigh I then place 2 20cm strips of wetted plaster and smoothed the excess moisture into the fabric. Now you place the bone and wrap a halfwidth strip around it to create support. Then a full width piece over top to hold it all together.

Now you sit still for 10-20 minutes while it sets. During this time I also wadded up some plaster into the hollow part of the bone, all the better for painting later.

I left mine to finish drying overnight and then painted on some zombie rot with sponges in greens, blacks and yellows.

Now I just soak the tie fabric in blood and make-up my leg and voila! One disgusting protruding bone for my Zombie costume.

For added fun, see the photos of the torso stab as well. The undershirt this was applied to, was cut completely down the opposite side seam and had velcro installed.

for the torso stab, the plaster was 2 parts 1st on the body
Then add the bones

ready to wander with brain snack "to go"
Next year there will be more broken bones

Monday, October 1, 2012

BC Championships, we were there, but the wind forgot us

Fall in Victoria BC. I always know that Thanksgiving is just around the corner when we have the Fall Dinghy Championships at Royal Victoria Yacht Club. This 2 day regatta was designated as the Fireball BC Championships this year.

With a delay to the start of racing due to both lack of wind AND a broken BC ferry, the 10 boats registered got down to the serious business of visiting. I had emailed, cornered at pubs, hassled and emailed some more to ensure that the 3 sailors traveling north from Portland would have local boats to sail. My campaign had the added bonus of getting a 10 boat fleet on the water.
I also managed to convince a lot of local sailors that there would be a coaching/learning aspect if we switched up our usual sailor pairings.
For me, I already knew I would be sailing with someone different as my skipper was not available for the regatta. See the results posted here (link to follow later apparently), to see who I convinced to switch up.

Day 1 saw breeze from 0-7 knots and the RC managed send us on 3 W courses of varying laps. Current played more of a factor in our afternoon of sailing than I was expecting. I'm not sure why I was expecting less current, I've been sailing here for a few years now and current is always involved.
After the dinner provided by the RVYC, the Fireball fleet got to hang out by the patio fire and enjoy more nibblies and cake, while telling stories of the good old days and the windy regattas held at this location.

Day 2 saw breeze from 0-2 knots most of the morning and left the fleet visiting on shore, until the day was abandoned at 1 pm. By this time the Fireball fleet had decided that a little time on the water was better than a whole day on shore and 6 boats headed out for a couple of rabbit start races in the bay.

Congratulations to Rob Thompson and Francis Thompson the BC Champions. Also, thank you from me, to the sailors who showed up to sail with whoever I arbitrarily decided to match them up with in whatever boat was available.

Photo taken by Jamie Cox

Highlights of the weekend for me; sailing with CBSA Brian in a regatta; meeting new Fireball sailors that I didn't even know were showing up; visiting around the fire on Saturday evening; making my non-sailing friend chauffeur me about town all weekend because I lent my car to our Portland visitors.

Next regatta I will have to attempt cc'ing my email campaign to the wind fairies to see if they will show up to play too.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Maple Bay, a friendly regatta

The Fireball fleet made a good showing a short distance from Victoria at the Maple Bay Regatta this past weekend. Five boats made the trip to sail in shifty 0-10 knot winds with a friendly location.
With 5 of us there, we got our own class start, we may have to provide a class flag when we go next year. This year was the first year that an Opti fleet showed up, so the race committee started the Optis first, then Lasers, then 420's and last, but not least, us.
Saltspring Island Sailing club showed us up on #boats attending
The tone for this regatta was set at the competitor's meeting when we were told that the Jury Pool was limited and, therefore, protests for anything but the hardware (1st, 2nd or 3rd) would not be entertained. I like to think the Fireball fleet is respectful and will always exonerate ourselves on the water anyway.
Dr. Rob Thompson and Francis were excellent fleet ambassadors by having the sailing instructors out in their boats with them as pick up crew each morning. Although they did each have to find new crew (victims?) for day 2.
While rigging the boats we got lots of attention from the keel boaters as they remembered when they used to see more Fireballs around.
Day 1 saw some delays at the start as the wind completed a not unexpected 180 degree shift. So, per the SI's, marks were to starboard, which takes a bit of reminding.
I was sailing with Gary and we each consider ourselves crew, we both wore harnesses and handed off the tiller each race. With the variety of wind speeds that are to be expected at Maple Bay, we both learned a lot. Spent moments at the front of the fleet but we got sorted out, made helming errors which tended to slow us down.
The courses were short, each early race only 15 minutes, so we added a 2nd lap to a couple of courses. This allowed each boat to spend some time losing their lead by going to the wrong mark and having to correct later.
Day 2 saw the Fireball racing debut of Lorraine Cox, with Jamie. Even after missing the first race of the day, Tangeroo managed to keep to the top finishes and came up 1st overall.

2nd was Rob Thompson & skipper (he had 2 different ones), 3rd to Mark Cummings and Donna Sherry (sailing her 2nd ever Fireball regatta).

Gary also learned that it's good to sometimes travel the Fireball during the racing season as he found that he needs to replace his slot gasket before the next local regatta and that his spreaders could use new rivets.
Maple Bay Yacht Club is a beautiful property, they host this regatta every year with great volunteer support and site set-up for camping, boat moorage, Saturday night food, drinks and party. Also pancake breakfast both days!
Highlights of the weekend for me were: beer on the patio in the sun; being called a Junior racer; cruising out to the keel boat course area, on trapeze, while on "lunch break"; being told/taken UP by an Opti on the racecourse (we told the Opti to maintain his proper course, but good try) and finally fleet dinner on Sunday night, thanks Rob.

ready for the road home

Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Alot is awesome in 3D

One of my favourite places to procrastinate is the archives of Hyperbole and a half's blog. Allie Brosch has been busy these past few months but I look forward to new posts. Anyway, while I'm rarely 100% grammatically correct myself, I too have pet peeves about other people's writing and comments.

"The Alot is better than you at everything" really struck a cord with my friends and I. We quote the post and send to people on Facebook if they seem remotely interested in our discussion. A few people we know even have the T-shirt.

In a random conversation with a fellow crafter it was decided that the Alot would make an excellent crochet or knit stuffy. So I present to you the Alot as a 3D amigurumi style crochet beast. Once I hear it's OK a pattern and/or many Alots for purchase will be posted.

I also made my Alot a few friends to hang out with. The House Hippo was a special order. The others will hang with me until I find myself at a craft fair or actually create an Etsy or ArtFire store. 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Recycling or hoarding?

I love to deconstruct old bags for their webbing straps and any usable zippers. They get stored for future bags and sometimes these pieces of re-enforcement inspire the final look. However I realized some of this could be a craft supply hoarding problem.
I replaced my shower curtain liner the other day. Instead of throwing out the old liner, I dried it and folded it for a drop cloth and cut the magnets out of the little pockets in the bottom. The magnets are now bare on my fridge, which doesn't need any more magnets. The drop cloth is now in my pile of work supplies in my linen closet.
I'm not sure at this point if I'm resourceful and crafty or just can't throw things out.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Random Acts of Valentine

I'm not really much of a Valentine's kinda girl. Currently I'm single, but even when seeing someone it's a weird holiday. Congratulations Mr. Valentine on your sainthood and the loss of your head. Please allow me to lavish my "love" with bon-bons and sappy/funny/strange greeting cards in your honour. I hope that whoever I am next dating will make me feel special and loved without prompting by the calendar.

However, I do like the idea of Random Acts of Kindness, and making people smile. This has led to the creation of Random Acts of Valentine. You can find them on Facebook. Maybe you will even find one around town. This year I'm starting local (Victoria, BC). Next year THE WORLD.

These unique little stuffies are made from leftover yarn and love. I had help from A my random assistant. You can buy her hand made items at her Etsy shop.

There is a total of 15 Random Valentines out there and you can follow their stories on Facebook.

This pic is 007 with a license to LURVE

My main "love hearts" started with a free pattern for Christmas ornaments from Red Heart Yarn.

Love Hearts inspiration
Then, because I wanted little creatures, I added extremities as below. 
Instead of fastening off the 2nd heart I ss in next 6 st.
With wrong sides together ss together in next 23 sc spaces.
Ch 13. 3 hdc in 2nd ch from hook. For curly extremities sc in each ch back to heart (For straight extremities ss in each ch back to heart).
ss two hearts together in next 11 sc spaces.
Ch 17, 3 treble crochet (tc) in 2nd ch from hook. Sc or ss in each ch back to heart.
Ss in ch 2 space, ss,
Ch 17, 3 tc in 2nd ch from hook. Sc or ss in each ch back to heart.
Ss two hearts together in next 10 sc.
Ch 13. 3 hdc in 2nd ch from hook Sc or ss in each ch back to heart.
Fasten off leaving a tail for final stitching. this should leave a hole for stuffing.After you've stuffed you creation using the tail and a yarn needle stitch the opening closed. Embroider or glue eye or eyes on and you are done.

knitted hearts
A, my random assistant, prefers knitting to crochet so she made a few from this pattern.

Love Bug inspiration
I have trouble in my area finding "safety eyes" so I tend to embroider or crochet and sew on eyes.
Eyes (make 2)- Ch 2, 4-6 sc in 2nd ch from hook, fasten off.
I love pipe cleaners but wanted a more child friendly version as well. So these are my new antennae.
Antennae (make 2) - Ch 8, 3 sc in 2nd chain from hook, sc in each remaining chain, fasten off leaving a tail to attach to head.

Anatomically correct heart
This Random Act of Valentine is mine. Yup. It didn't travel far. I heard about this pattern and really liked the idea of it so A (my random assistant) made it for me.

I hope your Valentines is everything you want it to be. Send someone some love all year =)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

New Year's regrets

It happens. You think you aren't really a New Year's Resolution kinda person. You make them anyway. Then you have trouble following them and you feel some post holiday blues. I'm still on board with my sewing resolutions, so far. I will even have some pictures of actual finished projects soon. Although I also keep starting new projects....
It's the real-life resolutions I'm regretting. The ones I didn't even make out loud. The usual save money by making treats at home, healthier food choices, more exercise. I think it's the healthier food choices that's tripping me up. I'm thinking about giving up potato chips, I probably only eat them once a month. The thing is,  I'm kinda allergic to the flavouring. Not gonna die allergic, but over the years it's been getting worse. A much more obvious cause and effect. One bag of ketchup chips = 2 days of sore throat and feeling icky. The weird thing is I always forget that I've eaten this bad for me stuff and think I'm getting the cold/flu/virus that's always going around.I know I can stop this by just eating regular chips but they are not as fun.
Oh well, I have a block of the month to cut out. Also 30 minutes or more of sewing to do. These are the real resolutions. Written out for the whole interweb to see.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Actually a New Year

So now that I am a semi-regular blogger. I've decided to get a little more ambitious this year with my crafty New Year's Resolutions.
  • I just signed up for a web-based free quilting class. An online block a month club. I resolve that I will actually follow through and make the quilt.
  • At least 30 minutes a day with my sewing machines. Whether that actually means sewing or cleaning or organizing my crafty space.
  • I will buy at least 1 m of fabric online. There are so many great suppliers out there and I always end up at my local chain fabric store.
  • I will participate in a blog give away
  • Actual pictures of my sewing projects will be posted online. Either here or linked to or where your username kinda has a blog/gallery option built in.

Happy New Year all and may 2012 bring you fresh starts, and inspiration.