I love my local library. Apparently so do a lot of other people. I usually get there just a few minutes before they open, and when I do, there’s usually a line of people waiting to get in. We don’t quite stampede through the front doors when they open, but we do get in pretty fast. The librarian is pretty nimble though, so she usually gets out of the way.
I have no pictures for today’s blog post, because the topic of today’s blog post is too horrifying for pictures.
I’ve started gardening again.
Feel that chill that just ran up and down your spine? That’s the Black Thumb saying, “Hey there!”
Anyway, gardening is one of those thing that I’m doing to take back my life. It lets me spend time outside, gives me plenty of fresh air and sunshine, and it’s good exercise. So about a month ago, I bought some seeds and a couple of those instant green house kits and told myself, “Yeah! I can do this!” Of course, I completely ignored my long history of gardening disasters when I did this. I took my purchase home, set up my little green house, pulled out a notebook and planned my future garden with a little song in my heart.
And after 4 weeks, all I had was four tiny little sprouts. But I was proud of my sprouts, and I tended to them so carefully! When I realized last night it was going to be too cold to keep them on the window sill, I moved them to a SAFE PLACE!! SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO SAFE!!!!
And when i got up the next morning, I discovered one of the cats had ripped out all four of my babbies by the roots and left them to die in the dirt.
So next week, when it’s warm enough to keep plants outside, I’m going back to the garden store and I’m buying all new seedlings. And then we’ll see how many I can kill off.
A miracle has occurred. I’ve managed to squeeze in about 6 hours of work in the last 3 days! That’s the “might possibly earn me some money” kind of work, not the “I sold my soul to Girl Scouts” kind of work.
I’ve also managed to do some yard work, clean the house a bit, cook a few meals and exercise 3 days in a row! So many miracles! And I am soooooooooooooooooooo tired right now.
But it’s a good kind of tired, because I made a choice about how I wanted to spend my time and I didn’t let myself get derailed by what other folks wanted. Did I mention that I even played video games with the kids this week? Far out, dude!
But back to resurrecting my dead career. My current goals are:
A) Get back on a regular schedule with the webcomic, so that I’m back to putting out a new strip every week.
2) Draw and publish one or two new greeting cards (or mug designs, t-shirts, etc.) each month.
Which brings us to the topic in the headline – Greeting Cards for Goths.
I do not consider myself to be a Goth, though I love to wear black and I celebrate Halloween all year long. I’m more of a general geek, with a sort of minor in punk, zombie, kawaii and Goth interests. In other words, I enjoy lots of different things. One thing I especially enjoy is drawing beautiful but creepy ladies. I get a lot of inspiration for Edward Gorey (who doesn’t?) and Aubrey Beardsley. Combine that with my fondess for twisted humor and you get some very interesting ideas for greeting cards. Like greeting cards you can send to people you don’t like. Greeting cards made for people who despise the mundane world. Greeting cars for people who live in Night Vale. Greeting cards for people who like their humor the way they like their coffee – sweetened with the blood of innocents and the tears of the wretched. In other words, greeting cards for people just like you and me!
So I’ve been working on drawings for these cards. I do this at the local library, where I have the perfect excuse to turn off my phone (if I don’t, the librarians will sacrifice me to their dark gods). I find a nice comfy chair, spend an hour working on the webcomic, and then spend another hour working on the greeting cards. Here’s a peek at what I’ve managed to produce so far this week:Isn’t she lovely?!
I’m doing the sketch in SketchClub on my iPad. Once I’ve got both the inside and outside artwork sketched out, I’ll import the images into Concepts to ink and color them. Final clean-up and formatting will be done in Corel Draw on my desktop.
I’m very happy with this piece so far. Like I said, I feel like miracles are happening this week. Just making the decision to reduce my volunteer hours has given me a real boost. Hopefully, I’ll get my boundaries between volunteering and work firmly established by the time cookie season comes around again. Because I do not want to get sucked into a black hole of unending burn-out ever again!
I’ll post another update later this week. Until then, have fun!
Hey everyone! I just wanted to post a quick note about April’s theme. I mentioned in my last post that I want to revive my art career. After thinking about it, I decided that I’d label this month’s theme “Bring Out Your DEAD!” Because if this were a Monty Python movie, you just might here my career say, “I’m not dead yet!”
So I will be posting images of artwork in progress for the Zazzle store (I’m working on greeting cards for people you hate!), and just for laughs, I’ll post pictures of my garden in progress. Yes! The Black Thumb rides again! I’ve already successfully grown several seed pots of…. mold. So much for heirloom tomatoes!
I may also pick up a few craft projects that I left languishing in Limbo. Remember the spider web poncho I was working on in October? Yeah, I found that last weekend while I was cleaning up my room. I think I should probably finish that, and maybe a couple other projects that didn’t quite get done.
So that’s what’s going on. And if you have any half-dead projects lying around that you want to revive, let me know! I’d be happy to cheer you on as you finish them, and even post a link to pics or blog posts about your work!
So let’s get cracking! We’ve got dead things to reanimate!
I actually had these dresses done last weekend, and the Pixie and I were able to wear them to Easter Sunday service. Then spring break started up and I suddenly became very busy with digging up my yard. Yesterday, my best friend and her husband came over and helped me build garden boxes for my side yard. I’ve got seedlings growing in one window sill. Okay, four seedlings and plenty of mildew, but something is growing! The plan is after April 15th, to plant either seedlings that I grew or seedlings I end up having to buy, and then see if I can get some vegetables to grow. However, in addition to being a super seamstress, I’m also a villainous black thumb, so I am my own worst enemy in this venture.
Anywho, the dresses got done! I made the Pixie’s dress with some of the same fabric I used for mine. Her’s is more straight up red, white, and blue, so we bought Captain America socks to go with it. You can’t see it in this picture, but I’m wearing Wonder Woman socks with my Wonder Woman high-top Converse. We both got a lot of complements on our outfits, so I’m very happy with how this all turned out!
But now I’m going to bed, because gardening is hard work and I’m tired. See you later on tomorrow, hopefully!
I HAVE SURVIVED GIRL SCOUT COOKIE SEASON!!!!!!!!!!
Although at points, I wasn’t sure that I would.
I did a little bit of work here and there on the dress. Remember the dress? The one I wanted to make for myself so I would have something cool to wear on Easter Sunday? The dress made with the “Femme Power” superheroes on it?
Yeah, that dress.
So I managed to buy some fabric for the bodice, a lovely light blue with white stars all over it. And once I bought that, I realized that the bright red fabric I had originally picked out for the waistband was too overpowering for the other fabrics. So I spent a couple days searching through fabric stores to see what I could find. And eventually I discovered a red-striped seer-sucker that looked perfect for the job!
The next issue was the star patch that I wanted for the waistband. I wanted a big yellow star to put mid-center in the waistband, because the shape of the waistband reminded me of Wonder Woman’s headband (which has a star!). But for whatever reason, every craft and fabric store in this area seems to have quit carrying embroidered patches of any kind except for letters and numbers. And because I was so busy with cookie sales this month, I didn’t get around to ordering a star patch.
However, I did some digging through my sewing supplies, and I found a small yellow star patch. So I put all of these things together yesterday and today, and I got…
What do you think? The softer colors for the waistband and the bodice work very well with the colors of the super hero fabric. And I think the smaller star works pretty well.
I plan to finish the dress tomorrow morning. I have enough of the star and stripes fabric to make a dress for Pixie as well, so as soon as I finish one dress, I’m getting started on that dress!
Any way, I’m going to bed now. More super hero work tomorrow 🙂
I spent today pinning the pattern and cutting out the skirt for the AMAZING DRESS OF DESTINY!!! (That’s what I’m calling it today, anyway.)
The skirt is extremely full, so I only had enough Femme Power fabric for that. I plan to use the red fabric for the waistband. That just leaves the top, and I haven’t decided what I’m going to use for that yet. I plan to check my local craft store tomorrow to see what they have. I want something that works with the colors of the Femme Power fabric without overwhelming it. But I don’t want just a plain white fabric top. I’ll find something.
Anyhoo, that’s what got done today! I’ll see what I can get done tomorrow!
So I need to make myself a dress for Easter, and it needs to be an AWESOME DRESS. A SUUUUUUUPER DRESS!!!!
Because if I have to sit through Mass yet again this year, I want to look good.
So you can see the fabric I chose. The main body of the dress will be the “Femme Power” fabric, with the red used for the waist band. The shape of the waist band matches the shape of Wonder Woman’s belt perfectly. I want to put a big yellow star on the waistband, so I’ll have to hunt that down.
I also want to crochet a red bolero jacket to go with this dress. As for shoes, I already have the perfect shoes – Wonder Woman Converse sneakers. This will be the ultimate perfect outfit for Easter Sunday.
In other news, I’m still working through Girl Scout cookie season. It’s a long, slow, slog, and I find that the best way for me to relax during this time is to… Play the ukulele.
I don’t know why, but the longer cookie season lasts, the more I want to play the ukulele. I have a seafoam green soprano ukulele, and I can play some simple songs with it. And since we’ve been watching a lot of Steven Universe and Adventure Time here, Princess and I have been looking up chord tabs for songs from those shows. And now Princess has ordered a ukulele for herself, another soprano but in turquoise blue.
Anyway, I plan to spend tomorrow cutting out pattern pieces and pinning them to fabric, then playing ukulele and delivering more cookies. Because that’s the life I live during this crazy season of Girl Scout cookies. Yay.
I had really hoped to post more during this month, but given that we had a couple bouts of stomach flu and cookie sales going on, I think I did the best I could.
I did NOT finish Catbug, and that’s okay. I will schedule a catch-up month, probably April, to finish off him and a few other projects I have lying around the house. I did, however, finish the cat bolster pillow for Princess, and I finished this little gem for myself…
I picked up this pattern back in October. It’s a Simplicity pattern and it includes a fox, wolf and bear hat in addition to the cat version. It also has very simple patterns for wrist and leg warmers. I really just wanted the hat though, especially once I found the blue leopard-print fleece. I knew that with cookie season coming up, I’d be spending a lot of time standing outside in the freezing cold, and this year I wanted something stylish that would keep my ears plenty warm. This hat pattern fit the bill perfectly. It not only covers my ears, but it also extends into a couple of scarf tails that have pockets at the ends. And the pockets have paw-print appliques! So I got to practice the satin stitch with my ancient Singer sewing machine again, and this time it cme out pretty good 🙂
And I just realized that I never posted ANYTHING about the cat bolster I made for Princess’ birthday, so here’s a picture of that as well!
You may recognize the black cat bolster from the “Creature Comforts” theme back in January. He’s mine. Princess wanted a green cat, so we named hers Clover.
I have spent the last couple days thinking about what I want to do for March. I need to make myself a dress for Easter Sunday, and I have a couple of other projects that I’ve been thinking about that I’d like to do. The fabric for the dress is printed with DC heroes on it, including Wonder Woman, and the other projects I’m thinking of are also related to heroes from comics, TV, and the movies, so I’m thinking the theme should be “Heroes” or “Girl Power.” I’ll ask Pixie and Princess tonight which theme title they prefer.
But that’s it for this month’s “Cats” theme. Here’s hoping I’ll get back to regular posts soon (We still have a couple weeks of cookie sales left to go, so bear with me).
I mentioned this was going to be a crazy month, due to Girl Scout cookies coming in, and I did not lie. Since my last post, we have celebrated Princess’ birthday, my birthday, and picked up 1200 boxes of cookies which then had to be sorted out into each individual girl’s order. The girls then have to take those cookies and sort them into individual customer orders. And then we have to start making deliveries. And did I mention that booth sales have started? Crazy, crazy month.
We also had two cases of a stomach bug in the household (me and Princess, the perfect gift for the birthday girls this month). And thanks to the cold damp weather, my arthritis is acting up. I don’t like the arthritis at all. It makes me feel old. But not nearly as old as getting birthday greetings from my pharmacist and my financial advisor. Nothing says, “You’re almost a senior citizen!!” like birthday wishes from responsible institutions.
But back to cats and crafting, because that’s what this post is really supposed to be about. Yes, during the past week I did manage to get some crafting done. I just didn’t get the chance to write about it. I made another cat bolster for Princess for her birthday. Hers is green with big black eyes. She’s calling him Clover. I also did more work on the Catbug pillow, though I don’t think I’m going to finish him this month. I will keep working on him though. Then I stole some time to work on these beauties…
Now, you might look at these and think, “Helen, this has nothing to do with cats!” And in a way, you’d be right. These pieces are not cat-themed at all. But I had to work to keep my cats out of them!
You see, a long time ago, in a glaxay far, far away, I used to have a craft room/office. It was a room all to myself where I could write, sew, paint, make jewelry, and otherwise create a mess, and best of all, I COULD SHUT THE DOOR AND KEEP THE CATS OUT. That craft room/office is now Princess’ bedroom. So these days, I do all my crafting and artwork either on the couch in our living room (and you guys have seen plenty of pictures of that), or in the front half of our kitchen where we have this lovely beat-up old cargo box table that is perfect for working on. Unfortunately, the cats have decided that said table is also perfect for napping on, and anything they find there gets knocked to the floor when they want to snooze.
The pieces above were made with a two-part acrylic resin, which takes at least 24 hours to dry and cure. There was no way I could leave these pieces out on the kitchen table and expect the cats to stay out of them. So while I did all the mixing and pouring in the kitchen, I had to let these pieces dry in the only room I could keep the cats out of – our tiny downstairs bathroom. And I had to put up a sign saying “Do NOT use this bathroom” to keep the rest of the family out as well, because these people do not know how to shut a door to save their lives. And since the door WAS closed, and it had something in it that was NOT for the cats, the cats immediately crowded around the door begging to be let in. Thankfully, the family paid attention to my sign and kept the cats out.
Of course, the cats were not happy about that, so they took revenge by sleeping on the fabric for my next cat-themed project and left that covered in cat fur. Because it’s all about them anyway, right? Riiiiiiiight.
I hope to spend some time today sewing on the afore-mentioned cat-themed project, and then post pictures of the results tomorrow. We’ll see how much cat fur that project collects between now and then.