Saturday, July 24, 2010

Lid It Up

Every time I glance passively in the mirror, I give myself the most flirtatious look completely by accident. I don't know what it is, but everything about my expression will be so perfectly balanced and brimming with such joy and confidence that I... Well, I think I may have fallen in love with my reflection.

I'm slowly coming to terms with the fact that I can sing, but only when nobody else is there. I mean, I think I can sing really well, but as soon as there is somebody within earshot my breathing messes up and all of the lovely stops coming out. Which is a shame, because I think I could come out with an album and make money. I'd just never be able to do live shows... Or record with anyone listening.

My register must be low for a girl, or something, because I find myself singing low notes the best. But I can still sing high, don't get me wrong. I'm a lady, it's what I do. I can't sing very many pop or rock songs, though. I'd be pretty useless in a band unless it was a jazzy sort of band. Because that's what I can sing the best, jazzy sorts of music. Jazzy and lounge stuff and things that are usually better suited to a man. But I sound great singin' it anyways.

Man, it's hard to believe I have about a month of summer break left. Hard to believe because it feels like school got out forever ago! Holy cow, this is a long break! I'm used to two and a half piddly months of summer break that start the week it rains the most. I still haven't finished cleaning my room, though. I pretty much took July off. But I am starting to get the urge to get rid of everything I own again. What I want to do is get rid of all of the things underneath and next to my bed, and then I can push my bed against the wall. And finally, I will have something to rest my back against when I watch TV! It will be great. It's also more or less the last big place I have to clean before I deal with the small piles.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Product Facts

Last night, around midnight, I had this sudden urge to draw in pen until my hand fell off. But I didn't want to draw in my tiny sketchbook, or on a loose piece of paper like I have been for the past few years. So I broke out the last sketchpad I ever used, wrote in the date and went at it. The night ended when I drew on my leg and I guess my skin oils blocked up my pens.

I then had a dream that I drew a picture, and someone else sent it off to an Automatic Inker, which turned out to be a computer that guesses where your lines are and tries to ink your drawings for you. It was horribly inaccurate and ruined my lovely picture. I woke up angry.

Today I went out and bought a couple new sketchpads. I'm horribly picky about these things. I want heavy paper, spiral binding on the top, perforated pages, and a lot of pages. It also has to be around 9x11 inches, but I'm a bit loose with the numbers there. I got mostly what I wanted, except medium heavy pages and there are only 24 of them. The best sketchpad I ever had I bought at a Kinokuniya's. It had pages as thick as bristol board, and there were at least 50 of them. So lovely!

I'm stressing paper thickness because I want to use a lot of pens and ink, and I don't want them leaking through. I decided that I'm too fiddly with pencils, and I need to just belch it out with pens. Then I can't take back anything I draw. This made everything I drew last night look completely horrible. But the sharp contrast between paper and ink is too delicious for me to stop trying.

I want to draw full page comics again, but that's not going to happen until I can get my art style under control. You need to be able to plan if you're going to draw a comic, and as it is right now, I don't know what I'm drawing until an hour after I've finished it.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Stars On Your Toes

I have rodents on the brain.

My parents have two girl cats that love to hunt. When I lock them in at night (which is prime time hunting) so that they don't become coyote food, they verbally abuse me. Being yelled at for a solid hour by the tiniest and angriest cat you've ever seen is a lot less adorable than you'd think it would be.

They're also very good hunters. On average, I'd say they catch 1.5 critters a day. Some days we get no animals at all, other days there will be three or four little rodents awaiting our approval. They always bring their catch inside, but I haven't figured out why yet. At first we thought they were bringing us presents, but they've stopped announcing it every time they bring something in. Then we thought they might be bringing them into an enclosed space so that they don't escape, but there are so many places for the little animals to hide. All a mouse has to do to be free is hide behind the piano for an our or two, and the cat will forget they even brought it inside.

Live mice and shrews are fun but tedious, because they need to be caught and released before they poop anywhere. Live birds are exciting and terrifying because they fly all over the place, but they don't last long because they fly into windows. Live moles are pure horror, unless they're just babies. Dead everythings are probably my favorite, because I can just pick them up and throw them out, and sometimes the cat will even take them out themselves because they want to play with it still. Dead birds are a pain because they leave feathers all over the place, and the cats will fight over them like dogs playing tug of war. Half-dead everythings are sad, because they are too alive to throw out and too dead to release outside. Either I or the cat has to kill it all the way.

The worst so far, though, are live field mice and rats. They're too big and scary for me to catch in a little box. And rats are really smart, so they escape very easily (and they can also jump at you!).

One of the cats brought a rat in yesterday. I thought at first it was just another field mouse, which meant it would be a pain and poop and eat, but it would be too afraid to confront us. But then I saw it in all of its glory today, eating the cat food. Definitely a rat. And it lives under the fridge, which currently reeks because of what is probably a dead field mouse. It's not afraid of me, and it pokes its head out a lot to watch me, and isn't afraid to come out even if I'm only 15 feet away.

I put Stormy by the fridge and then started waving a yard stick underneath to try to flush it out and have the cat catch it, but the smell was so horrible that I could only crouch there for a minute or two. It doesn't smell like dead things or even animal droppings, but it is still very putrid.

I refuse to go downstairs unless I put on my heavy winter boots. I don't want it biting me or running up my pant leg.

I hate rats.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


Here are some finished pictures of that mask I toiled over for so long.

I actually didn't notice how much the details on the mask were crooked until I look at this picture. But it's waaay too late to fix anything.

I ended up gluing the strap down with white glue to the inside of the mask, and then taping it down to the extreme. I also drilled holes into the sides to pull the straps through. They only just fit through the holes. In fact, before I glued everything down, I was pulling on the straps to see how much force it would take to get them to loosen, and the mask flexed before the strings slipped even a little bit.

I used a glossy waterproof coat, on request of Griffin. He says the mask is shiny in the art, so it should be shiny in real life. I kind of like the glossy coat, it makes it look a bit more professional.

If I were to do this again, I would cut the edges and the eyes out while it was still wet, but dry enough to not be tacky anymore. Then I'd be able to get nice and smooth edges with minimal trouble.

I glued the felt in with watered down white glue. At that point I didn't even care if it stuck in well. So long as nobody pulled on it, it stayed in well enough.

You can also see that I didn't put very much effort into making the thickness consistent. Around the ears it must have been over an inch thick, but some places around the snout were so thin you could see the light shine through them. It was still absurdly strong.

I like how the eyes turned out. They're far from perfect, but I expected them to be absolutely terrible and ruin everything. They were a success, and perfectly functional. You can kinda see the black cloth I used behind the eyes in this picture. Even close up, it blended in very well. I have a lot of that stuff left, maybe I'll make about a hundred more masks like this to try to use it up.

Here we are, two attractive people dressed up as two attractive yet conservative people. The mask photographed well, I don't know what I was so worried about. He was able to tie the mask on without problem, but it would take forever and then he would put his hand on it anyways for photos, so he started to just hold it on.

I also want to point out that the vest and skirt I am wearing are the first two things I have ever sewn by myself. Everyone says they turned out well. Hooray!

It took on some damage after traveling to the other side of the country and being carried around a crowded convention, but it still looks lovely. There is a small paint chip on the very tip of one of the ears, and a mysterious dark fingerprint on the other ear. Griffin and I were using a lot of dark fabric paint on his costume, and I wouldn't be surprised if it was that paint that stained the mask. It's hardly noticeable, though.

I don't know if I've even mentioned this yet! The recipe I used for the clay for the mask is based off the one on Ultimate Paper Mache, for Paper Mache Clay. I say "based off" because I am really bad at following recipes, and I ended up with something similar but very very different.

I'm playing Assassin's Creed 2. In case you didn't know that already. I'm doing a mission right now where I have to deliver a letter. I pressed select to look at the map, but instead got to read the letter. It's telling the receiver that he is in trouble and should turn himself in. At one part in the letter, it says "If you are not aware of the charges against you, read Leviticus 18:23." So I thought I would break out my trusty Bible and find out what this guy did wrong! (Other than attack people with his sword.) Leviticus 18:23 says:
Do not have sexual relations with an animal and defile yourself with it. A woman must not present herself to an animal to have sexual relations with it; that is a perversion.

Oh, AC2!

And on that bombshell, I leave you.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Right Now

Man, I have been so busy doing nothing all day that I have completely forgotten to update Ubiquity! But that is mostly because I update Ubiquity at night, and my nights have been so busy. It's like I sit around all day, waiting for nothing, and then all of a sudden it gets dark outside and I go "Yeah! Let's get to work!" and then start doing things.

I finished that mask. Forever ago. I'll post final pictures of it next time, I promise, along with a picture of Griffin wearing it in costume.

I have decided that I will start up an Etsy shop. I am always making things, but there have been a lot of projects I put off because I don't know what I'd do with them once I finish them. But now, I think I will sell them! I will sell them for real money to (hopefully) real people. So I have been spending a lot of time making things to sell in the shop. I have nothing listed yet. I want three to five items finished before I list anything, so that my shop doesn't look super sad. Right now, I have one item 100% completed, one in the works, and about fifty other ideas of things to make that people might like to buy.

The item I'm making right now are, essentially, fingerless gloves. I am putting a lot of stress into the way these gloves feel. They have to be super soft. I could crochet them in a day or two, but crocheted fabric is bumpy and kinda rough. So I thought I would try my hand at knitting again. It would take one or two weeks just for me to knit two gloves, but they would be smooth and soft and wonderful. I even bought a special yarn that is particularly soft, and also thinner than my usual yarn, just for this project. Knitting was going very well, much better than last time by far, until it came time to increase stitches. I couldn't remember how, so I Googled it. The technique I used did not work at all. It left huge holes in the fabric and made the stitches all loose or tangled--It was a terrible mess!

So I tried to undo it back to the part that was nice, but... Well, that is why I don't knit. I'm very slow, and I make a lot of mistakes. When I try to fix a mistake I end up tearing the whole piece apart. All these hours of gorgeous work, gone! Now I'm attempting to crochet them. I'm using a very tiny hook in the hopes that a tighter knit will produce a smoother fabric. But I suppose to get a truly smooth fabric, I have to find the right balance between tightness and thickness of yarn (there's a That's What She Said in there). I wonder if anybody has done research on that.

It probably isn't good that I am staying up this late, I have someplace to be tomorrow afternoon.