obsession

Sep. 20th, 2013 06:28 pm
anotheranon: (ifo)
I am working on A Project(TM).

Some of y'all already know about this but for those who don't: Through a combination of self-teaching, practice, and online/in person classes, I'm learning creative writing.

The main impetus for this is because I am seized with an idea for an original work of fiction. I don't know what it will turn into, but right now I'm focusing on writing something I want to read - what to do with it will come later.

It's a work of historical fiction, so this necessarily means a lot of research, and I am LOVING it! So much to know, such a complicated timeline - I know I'm going to have to break the historical reality to make the story work but I want to have enough info to know exactly where I'm deviating.

I have often marveled at my friends who are already published/recognized for their work (be it writing or something else) and wondered where their persistence to see a project through to the end came from. I think it was Shem who told me once that "obsession helps", and while I have always made stuff this is the first time I've really understood what it is to be in that kind of intellectual "grip".*

So if I fall silent it's because I'm hip-deep in notes and timelines and writing mini-projects.

*Unless you count fencing as a creative act. It sort of is and I'm still plenty obsessed, but it's not the same thing to me.
anotheranon: (creativity)
Preliminary sketches from the cartoon project:

snip )

Lousy quality as these are phone photos of paper sketches in iffy light, but there you are.
anotheranon: (neat)
The first photos from Costume Con are trickling in. H T [livejournal.com profile] kass_rants.

Deconstruct, Alter, and Create and Communing With Fabric, two Miyake fans who faithfully blog their adventures with Vogue and other odd/speciality patterns. Found via MiyakeGroup.

Chic CA chick who will not be wearing pants this year. "I want to make clothes again. I want to do what was the impetus of becoming a fashion designer all those years ago: have fun with clothing." - yes, yes!

50 Photos of Basset Hounds Running, because there nothing as majestic inspiring quite like a basset hound at full tilt. HT H. H., who knows who she is.

SKisM's "Rave Review" [YouTube]. Contains oldskool, dubstep, and sweary language.

Video on the Royal School of Needlework [YouTube], creators of the hand embroidery on Kate Middleton's dress, veil, and shoes [PDF]. If you're near Hampton Court Palace, they do day classes, and if you're not, they're known to come stateside occasionally, like San Francisco in a couple of weeks.

Speaking of embroidery, here's what the results of "1287.5 hours, 1410.5 yards of thread, [and] a new callus on [her] middle finger that will stop bullets" look like.

OMGThatDress seems to be branching into jewelry, but a few weeks back they had a stretch of Vionnet gowns. Want. HT [livejournal.com profile] dustdaughter.
anotheranon: (goodstory)
I used to draw a lot as a child. I was fairly good at it for my age, making decent copies of photos and cartoon-like sketches.

For several years ca. 6th grade I did cartoon-ized versions of the family pets, partly because I was a dog (specifically basset hound) obsessed child, and partly because it was a familial in-joke.

I've not looked at my old work in ages, mostly because for so long I found it embarrassing that I was ever 12 years old :P

Until yesterday.

My sister has asked me to do versions of the current flock/herd of the family "livestock" as a Mother's Day gift, and making my Mom laugh is as good a reason as any to pull my pens back out. She's giving me little leave time and I've not drawn regularly since childhood, so I warned her to have a backup plan.

I did a few trial sketches and was surprised how easily that mode of thinking and doing came back. Mind, it's been so long that I was doing this on spare printer paper and have no quality ink pens to outline with, but that can be easily remedied.

This is an odd but fun little project.
anotheranon: (creativity)
If you've been reading for any length of time, you'll know my main hobbies are fencing and sewing/costuming (hell, just check my tags). Both of these take up a lot of time and there are a myriad of things I'm not pursuing simply 'cos I have to eat/sleep sometime:

  • Painting/drawing - did a lot of both as a child and a figure drawing class a few years ago showed me I have a LOT to learn. Perhaps when I retire.

  • Shoemaking/leatherwork - this may creep into my repertoire (especially if I ever remake the Zoey vest) but as it requires a whole new set of tools/techniques, space is an issue as well as time.

  • Jewelry/beads - see leatherwork, though I already have some of the tools. I'll make something if it's quick/dirty or needed to complete a costume, but I just can't get sucked in.

  • Writing.

  • Knitting/crochet/other yarn stuff - I partly hold out because yarn is my sister's "thing" and I don't want to intrude, but see also: jewelry/leather.

  • Spinning/felting - 'cos those nuno felting scarves are just so rich texturally. Really, someone keep me away from this one...

  • Weightlifting, wall-climbing, yoga - admittedly I do a bit of the latter to keep my back from freezing but in general I'm so committed to fencing at this point that any "extracurricular" exercise I do needs to help that in some way. And as fencing is the best workout for fencing anyway...
anotheranon: (creativity)
Yesterday I went with [livejournal.com profile] ladyaeflwynn to the annual sheep and wool festival. I'd never been before as it always conflicted with something else, but after her offer to drive describing it as one of the largest fiber arts festivals in the region, I realized I'd be foolish not to go.

It was a lot bigger than I expected it to be! The crowd and vibe was some combination of county fair and renn faire, with lots of fair/faire food and mountains upon mountains of wool-related products - everything from raw fleece to fantastic hand-created finished products abounded. And yarn... lots and lots of yarn ([livejournal.com profile] jlsjlsjls, you may want to check out the vendor page!) My wallet is eternally grateful that I don't spin, felt, weave, or knit, though petting the alpaca and cashmere fibers might be enough to make me start (or nuno felting. All the hobbies I don't engage in for lack of time is a whole other post entirely).

And sheep - lots and LOTS of sheep. Sheep being shown, rather like dogs. Sheep being shorn. Sheep being hot in the summer heat (and I couldn't blame them - 80F+ combined with sun is brilliant - literally!). Sheep being herded, though I missed that (I guess the sheepdogs need time to design laser targeting systems sometime). Though they are tasty and quite dim, the presence of so many of the live thing kept me trying the delicious smelling lamb kabobs, lamb sausage etc. - I just felt guilty. But they have eerie irregularly shaped pupils, so maybe I could have gotten over that :P

While A. was getting lemonade, I got lost in one of the bigger barns and got some merino yarn for my sister. Through the valiant coordinating efforts of A.'s husband on their home phone I connected with her cell and we found each other (it that large of a festival).

I got tireder and tireder on the trip home and crashed for a 2 hour nap soon after I arrived. I forgot how bright heat can get to me!

Definitely recommended; if I'm in town I'll likely go again to pet the funny-eyed sheep and shop for gifts :)
anotheranon: (Default)
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anotheranon: (neat)
Just upgraded my OS to Windows 7 Pro and am reinstalling software and getting used to the altered interface (the default font is very, very tiny). Some amusements while I wait on things:

[livejournal.com profile] hrj on character naming strategies. Her attention to detail is impressive to me because I can never come up with anything creative (girls are usually called Elizabeth. Or Mary).

Check out [livejournal.com profile] belfebe's Marguerite de Valois dress site (I've seen this dress in person - it is spectacular!) and follow the links within.

The Library of Congress will be hosting a concert featuring their priceless Stradivariuses (Stradivarii? Strads?) this Friday. IIRC, they need to be played occasionally to preserve quality, so the LOC takes them out of their cases and into the hands of trained professionals once a year on the anniversary of Stradivari's death.

Completely forgot I'd uploaded this photo of my new latchet shoes by Pilgrim Shoes. They look fantastic, smell richly of new leather, and fit like bedroom slippers. Recommended :)

You can print out your own Get Excited and Make Things 8x11" poster in multiple colors. This is cool with the creator.

Moments of Change: The Early 17th Century and the Roots of Modernity lecture podcast (opens iTunes). Free (!) Found via Worn Through.
anotheranon: (Default)
  • 23:18 RT @MargoEve: RT @allisonkilkenny: #Stupak amendment prevents treatment for incomplete miscarriages bit.ly/1U8h9Y
  • 23:21 Brain is full. Need to download.
  • 14:08 Looking @ Yohji Yamamoto on Gilt. All too tiny/expensive for me, but very inspirational. Have stockpile Miyake patterns, will travel.
  • 15:43 Somehow got fabric dye up my nose. This is probably not healthy.
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anotheranon: (Default)
WearPalettes - blog pulling color palettes from streetstyle blog entries

ColourLovers, create/share your own palettes

Pantone has finally come out with a reasonably priced shopper's color guide
anotheranon: (Default)

  • 19:58 Newish red shirt got an irremovable stain. Waste irritates - perhaps repurpose into this: tinyurl.com/yl57uoc

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anotheranon: (neat)
J. R. Blackwell's 365 Days project - artistic/styled/character-driven self portraiture. Really beautiful work that shows facets of the person (rather than a tidily posed headshot in plain clothing) is really the way to go. Inspiration for how I'd like to have my costumes photographed one day (when I have the means/motive/get over camera phobia).

Some Other Scotland podcast, an evolving story based on current news. Listeners vote on a Scottish news story that the author tweaks from the original and weaves into his ongoing "alternative Scotland" storyline. I've only listened to the first one but it's very compelling, and all delivered in a Scottish accent :)
anotheranon: (Default)


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anotheranon: (Default)
Creativity does not have to make money to have value.

I'm about to spend a chunk of change to compete in a sporting event in which I may or may not do well and that is certainly not going to make me any money.

And for years now (can you believe, I first learned how to use a sewing machine almost 20 years ago?!) I have routinely indulged in quality fabric, notions, patterns, and I-don't-wanna-know how many books pursuing the perfect costume(s), which does wonders for my "making stuff" bug but is never going to make me rich or famous.

And sometimes I do get that leetle twinge of doubt that I'm little more than a lucky dilettante and what am I doing wasting my time on these things?

And then I remember - it's not something I do for gain or for other people. It's not to get a rating or an award or a sale or to impress someone or get a job or entertain others.

It's what I do to feed my own curiosity and self-development and, hell, to give my left brain a break and keep myself sane.

I'm damn lucky I can pursue the interests I do; having said that if I were overworked and impoverished I'd probably still sketch costume ideas and fence with borrowed gear when I could steal a moment.

So, yeah, it IS all about me, and with these it's all right.
anotheranon: (crichton)
From [livejournal.com profile] thalionar: Big Damn Barbies. And no, none for sale - gotta mod yer own in this 'verse.
anotheranon: (fandom)
Sharing this because 1) it's public, and 2) I think it would appeal to some of y'all because they want to hear from female sci-fi fans: An Anthology by and for Women Obsessed with Computers, Science, Comic Books, Gaming, Spaceships, and Revolution, Slated for Fall 2006. Hat tip [livejournal.com profile] misia.
anotheranon: (eggman)
Decided to leave off fencing as 1) I've exercised every day this week, and 2) I've been going/doing after work most of this week and just wanted to get home and stay home tonight.

This has, of course, given me ample time to goof off :P For once in my life I decided to stick to logic and realize that I'll never regret not having folded more laundry!

Reading this, this, and this got me to thinking - who do you think are some of the most overrated and underrated talents of all time?

IMHO:

Underrated: Pop Will Eat Itself. Their "intergalactic punk rock hip hop" may be standard dance rock in 2005 but in 1990 there was truly nothing like it. Regrettably most of their back catalog is out of print, but I highly recommend "This is the Day, This is the Hour, This is This" if you can find it.

Overrated: Morrissey. One of my teenage favorites, either I outgrew him or he is still doing the same whiny thing he was doing back with "Bona Drag". Feel free to correct me if he's doing something new (like not feeling sorry for himself).

Underrated: Christian Bale. Perhaps not so much since "Batman Begins" came out, but this guy simply vanishes into his roles - so much so that I've only recently become aware that I've seen him in lots of movies where his identity didn't even register (Swing Kids, Reign of Terror). Hell, he does American so well I didn't even know he was Welsh!

Overrated: Nicole Kidman. I've enjoyed her movies but I'm not sure she warrants all these awards - just never left too much of an impact. Again, feel free to correct me, as I've only seen a few of her movies (Moulin Rouge, To Die For).

What about you?
anotheranon: (Default)
Had a FANTASTIC weekend of the "you had to be there" type over at [livejournal.com profile] hadesgirl's!

more.. )
H.Girl was more, MORE than gracious to host all of us, cook for us, drive us etc. ad infinitum. I'm privleged to know such brilliant and talented people - I think we challenge, entertain, and motivate each other :)

Now recovering from the weekend, doing laundry and otherwise preparing to re-enter the workaday world. Hope everyone had as good a time as I did!
anotheranon: (Default)
Found a link for a national listing of artists' communities through [livejournal.com profile] misia's LJ.

I'm not eligible for most residencies (and doG knows, for various reasons there's just no way to me to get away for more than a few days at a time), but I'm allowed to dream, aren't I?

I've said repeatedly that I'd love to go on a long weekend to Coolfont resort again - a bag of books, no phone, no tv, and a massage or two. If they had a room that could fit my fabric stash and sewing machine, that would be a bonus, but just the lack of interruption would be....very heaven!
anotheranon: (eggman)
Found through Slashdot: From astronomy to activism, from surfing to saving lives, Pro-Ams - people pursuing amateur activities to professional standards - are an increasingly important part of our society and economy.

Despite the tormented classification of "pro-am", I think the researchers might be on to something here. Though the press release seems to focus mainly on amateur astronomers and open source programmers (which are laudable efforts, don't get me wrong), but I also note there are numerous "pro-ams" in the historic costume "hobbyist" community - some of the best regarded researchers out there don't have the "official" training but out of love and fascination have done their work and ultimately lectured/published papers and otherwise been recognized by professional historians/academics.

I aspire to be a costuming/textile "pro-am"; I'm not there yet because there is so much left to learn. No one topic has obsessed me enough to really delve, but hope springs eternal that one day The One will come for me :)

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