Saturday, August 30, 2008

I love Goodwill

I found some great stuff at Goodwill today!



Love this detail!

Both pair of gloves were marked 49 cents, but rang up as 34 cents! On certain days, certain colors of tags are on sale. Great find! "Real" gloves are hard to come by anymore, and they're not cheap when you can find them.


I got two of these. They were also marked 49 cents and rang up as 34! I'm going to attempt to peel the yucky paper off, trace it, and glue new, nice paper (probably with a design on it) back on. Wish me luck with that!

I saved the best for last!


Aren't they great? They have character! $10! I think I'll wear these a lot this fall and winter.


Huzzah! All the above for less than $13. Successful shopping trip, I say.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Halloween Countdown

Only 62 days to go! Look, I even have a countdown:

I'm actually a little late this year in picking out what I want to be for Halloween. Yes, I know I'm almost 23 years old, but Halloween is still my favorite holiday next to Christmas, and if you've been paying any attention at all to this blog, you already know that I love to dress up. I thought about wearing my Tudor gown, painting my face white and making use of some fake blood, and going as Anne Boleyn post-beheading, but that means I don't get to sew something new!

That's where you come in, dear readers. If you have a costume suggestion you think I would like, please leave it in the comment/reply section of this post. I'd love to do:

-Something historical (though not Renaissance; I've had enough of that for a while)
-Something from a book or movie I like (though not Jane Austen; I was Elizabeth Bennett last year)
-Something fantastic, i.e. not of this world: mermaid, fairy, etc.

Be specific! Not just "18th-century French noblewoman" but "Marie Antoinette." If all else fails, I might work on a spiffy steampunk costume, but we'll see.

So, any thoughts?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Internet Toy!

Gotta love the internet. I found a new toy linked from that kaleidoscopes (yes, I've made it a verb) any image you upload into it. Try it!

You get such fun images as these:




Once you've uploaded the image, you can make the kaleidoscope go five-way, seven-way, or eleven-way. You can also click and drag the image around to change the view it takes, and if you hit the "feed" button, it re-uploads the kaleidoscoped image for another kaleidoscoped image! Once you hit "JPEG" your image will be saved, but the url displayed below will only last for a day; if you want to keep it, you'll have to save it yourself. Have fun!

Do you have any other internet toys to share in the comments?

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Bridal Shower

Finally, here are the pictures of Megan's shower.

I downloaded the funky font from, and did all the invitations myself.

The obligatory Megan and Heather pose, holding the camera out with one hand. We have so many of these from various events. :)

Megan and three of the four bridesmaids! That's me on the far left (in my wrap pants!), then Megan's sister, Lisa, Megan herself, and her youngest sister Becca. The fourth bridesmaid is the groom's little sister who lives in Washington state and, clearly, could not come to the shower. (I got Megan a grass skirt and "coconut" bra to wear over her dress, something we did for another luau-themed shower I did a couple of years ago.)

Yum! The cake was a yellow cake with crushed pineapple in it, a layer of vanilla pudding, and a layer of whipped cream sprinkled with walnuts and coconut. Fruit kebabs and yogurt-y fruit dip. Cucumber sandwiches on the little pedastal thing. Not pictured is the punch in my grandma's pretty punch bowl that I borrowed.

One of the little games we played went like this: I passed around rolls of crepe paper streamers in the wedding colours and told everyone to take "however much you think you'll need," but didn't tell them what it was for. Plenty of scrutiny went into the measurements! After everyone had a strip of each colour, I told them we were making flowers for the rehearsal bouquet! I passed out green pipe cleaners and everyone went at it. Turned out very cute, I think.

The other "game" was to make Megan a wedding dress out of toilet paper! Fun fun.

I can't believe the wedding is less than a month away, now! Augh! But we can do it!

Anyone have any great games/snacks/anything for the bachelorette party? :D

Friday, August 22, 2008

I'm a slacker

Ughh, I feel like such a slug. I watched three movies today! My sore throat from yesterday has morphed into a sore throat + sinus pressure + weirdness in ears because of sinus pressure + headache + stiff neck + minor fever. Boo. I called in sick to work and did a lot of nothing.

The first movie was The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, yay! I heart Narnia. I reread all the books pretty much once a year, and while a couple of things from the movies bother me, I think they did a really good job with the two that are out so far, and I can't wait for the next one! And reading those books, seeing those characters... it's like coming home, somehow, if that makes any kind of sense. Love them.

Second was Becoming Jane, which I Netflix'd. I think I've read Pride and Prejudice four times now, though I just haven't made it through any other Austen novels so far. I have, however, seen most of the movies and love them, so this quasi-biography was great fun. I don't know exactly how accurate it all was, but as a movie for its own sake, it was certainly enjoyable. And as you know, I'm always willing to look at James McAvoy. Period costume is just extra fun.

Third was Monsters Inc., a classic. Very cute, and very much not requiring brain power whatsoever, which at that point was a good thing. I tried to take a nap this evening but just couldn't get to sleep, though I was and am tired. *Sigh* Matt even came in this afternoon and said, "Aww, you look tired, Babe." Thanks, Dear.

Adding to the tired-ness is the fact that I've barely eaten today. I had a cup of coffee this morning when I got up (at 10:30, making for a good 12 hours of sleep--yet I still feel like crud, so I guess that wasn't enough) and still thought I might make it to work. Then a bit of leftover mac 'n' cheese and a boiled egg for lunch, a glass of orange juice, and about ten or fifteen saltine crackers and some toast for supper. Between all that, though, I've felt that icky feeling in the back of my throat like I might throw up, so I've been wary of eating much.

Hopefully I can sleep way in tomorrow and recover some more; thank goodness I don't work. Ugh, goodnight, all.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Quick Apron

I did EVERYTHING for this apron in one day, including buying, washing, and drying the fabric. I sort of traced an apron I got from a Swap-Bot swap in order to make this one, though I made it a little less complicated than the one from the swap.

This is me modeling it the night I finished it. The light purple underneath is my cotton dress, not part of the apron.

It was my for friend Megan's bridal shower (I'm a bridesmaid, remember?) yesterday, and it was well recieved, which made me happy.


The fabric is black printed with grapes on the vine. Last I heard, she was doing her kitchen kind of winery/northern Italian, but now it seems they're painting it green and cream... so I don't know if it will still match, but I think (hope) she'll still wear it occasionally.


The ties, which are bias tape (I LOVE BIAS TAPE), criss-cross in the back, then slip through buttonholes and tie in the middle, making it adjustable.

While I was waiting for the apron fabric to wash and dry yesterday, I whipped up some wrap pants from $1/yard fabric. (All the red tag stuff is half off again at JoAnn's and they had some... well, I'm not sure what it's called. Lightweight crinkly cotton stuff.) They seriously took me about half an hour total, and that's with cutting it out and everything. Sooooo easy, and fun! I think they'd made a cool swimsuit cover-up, too. Next time I need to make them a little wider, since they gapped a bit too much at the sides and I had to safety pin them at the knee, but now I know. I want at least another pair or two for the rest of the summer!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Out of the Loop

I'm out of the loop. Matt and I don't care for anything on TV, so we don't have any stations. I don't see commercials about new movies or shows. All the celebrity news I read is from the covers of the magazines in the checkout lines. When a friend mentions a movie star, I have to ask, "What was he in?" to place him, because I don't know any names but the really big ones. I kind of even hate that I have a little box with the top headlines on my Yahoo mail page, but I can't figure out how to get it off.

Sure, it's hard to avoid some things. I know who Hannah Montana is (unfortunately) and that Brad and Angelina just had twins. Apparently John Edwards had an affair (and we care about this now... why?) and the tiny Chinese gymnasts in the Olympics may not all be sixteen years old.

I, too, read Go Fug Yourself every day, but for the longest time, I thought The Hills was an actual show; nope, it's a reality show. (OHMYGOSH, classifies it as a "documentary/drama." Seriously?) I don't know any cool new movies that are coming out unless I happen to go see a movie in the theater and catch the previews before the show. I'm so out of the loop that I didn't even know about the shooting at VA Tech last spring until a friend of mine posted about it on her journal. Something has to be really big before it catches my attention.

But really? That's mostly okay with me. Some of you might disagree and say I'm being a wuss, or un-American, or uninformed, but I don't like reading or watching the news. It depresses me. I only have so many free hours in a day, and I don't want to spend them upset over someone else's kids getting shot, or an army guy raping and killing multiple women, or how bad the economy's getting. (Belive me, I don't need reminding about that.) I think it's ridiculous how wrapped up we've become in the lives of celebrities. Who cares what Spencer and Heidi are doing now, or that Lindsey Lohan has done something else crazy, or that another young star is in rehab again. I get that voyeurism is kinda fun, and these people are beautiful (mostly) and talented (usually), and it's interesting to watch them be beautiful and talented and, oftentimes, screw up. For some people. But not for me.

So I'll just sit here in my office like a good little old married lady, sewing my own clothes, reading craft blogs, and making silly posts like this. You can keep your icky news and your crazy celebs. I'll stay out of the loop.

P.S. The bridal shower for Megan was a smashing success! Fun and good food was had by all, and many spiffy presents were opened with much rejoicing. I'll post pictures soon.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

POV Issues

So I started my new steampunk novel and just started writing it in first person... but I'm not sure if I should do that, or limited third-person, or if I might want to go into third-person but not limit it to one character. Augh! I kind of need to decide now, since it's SUCH a pain to go back and edit everything to another POV (point of view). I don't think I'll want to show anyone's thoughts and feelings besides my MC (main character)... but I'm not sure!

I did, however, "waste" almost an hour just deciding on names for her and her family, as well as some of the other students. I heart the internet. - Where I look up name meanings
Popular Names by year - AWESOME find; I've searched 1900 for old-fashioned names.
Victorian Surnames - Very helpful, and better than flipping through the phone book
Victorian-era names - Also a great list, with nicknames!

Okay, I think I'll go with limited third-person for now. It might sound awkward to explain stuff about the world in my MC's voice, but if there's just an omniscient narrator, I can stick stuff like that in without it sounding too weird (I hope).

Wheee, new story!


I'm not wide awake, but I need to wind down a bit before I get into bed, or else I'll just lie there for an hour staring at the dark. So here's another episode of Heather's Random Thoughts!

1. I'm reading the webcomic Girl Genius from the beginning, and I really like it. It's steampunk-y, which is fabulous of course. The costumes are fun, as are all the "clanks," i.e. mechanical robots. At times it gets very old-school comic book, with the characters saying their thoughts aloud so the reader knows what's going on. There are a few silly gags, too, but it's really intriguing, this world the creator(s?) has built. But he/she doesn't just come out and say "These are the bad guys, these are the good guys. Root for these guys, boo at these ones." Everything is grey, though some things (and people) are more clearly black or white in terms of morality. And everything from the politics to the history to the geography to the characters is so complex! I can't wait to see where the story goes!

2. I haven't sewn a thing since finishing my Ren faire dress! I did this last fall, too, with my Regency day dress. I got the pattern I think five days before the party I wanted to wear it to (a tea party, which I hosted), and sewed like the wind to get it done (barely) in time! Then for a couple of weeks after that, I could hardly look at my sewing machine. It's not that I don't like sewing right now, it's just that I don't feel excited about it at the moment. I really should make some fabric shopping bags like I've been meaning to, though. Something easy and quick to ease me back into things. I've yet to decide whether my next big project should be a cotton vintage shirtdress, while it's still warm enough to wear it, or something steampunk.

3. I still have that free movie ticket! Who wants to see Mama Mia! with me? I have tomorrow (Wednesday) and Friday off. Next week I'll be out of town Monday and Tuesday (I'm so sorry I'll miss our last Dames d'Plume group before A goes back to college!) but I think my other day off that week is... Friday? I'll check. Call me!

4. Forgive me if I've whined about this already, but this is what my Saturday looks like:
8-9am: New-hire meeting - 30 day evaluation
9:30am-1pm: Work
1pm-2pm: Running home, changing, gathering up shower stuff, and dashing to Megan's mom's house
2pm: Megan's bridal shower
Yeah, that'll be a fun day. Hopefully I'll be done with everything by about 4 or 4:30 and can come home and crash for the rest of the night.

5. I'm really having fun building the world my new novel is set in. Steampunk-ness, a family who lives on a train, a boarding school, magic, rebellion, class issues, and fun Victorian-sounding names! I sat and drank coffee at the bread place (you get a free slice of fresh bread whenever you come in! (Don't listen, Carrington)) for about two hours on Monday while scribbling away in my notebook. I really should take a picture of that, I love it so much! I almost want to go back to Borders and get another one. It was only $2.50! Hard-bound, spiral binding, thick, brown, paper-bag-like pages. And gears and swirls on the covers!

6. If any of you like Metallica, here are three videos of my cousin playing some of their songs on his guitar. He's really quite good!

7. I've decided to do my best to stop caring what other people think of me when I dress "weird." This was brought about by messing around in my closet and my costume bag, finding bits and pieces for steampunk outfits. I tried on some of it the other day and thought it looked pretty wicked, but debated with myself about wearing it out. Well, I didn't have anywhere to go that day, so I put my PJs back on and hung all the stuff in the closet, but honestly, why should I care what other people think about my clothes if it makes me happy to wear it? No, you don't generally see a girl in a long skirt and high-necked blouse under a lace-up black suede bustier, especially around here, but oh well! I think it looks nifty, and different, and old-fashioned, and fun, gosh darnit! So from now until I decide otherwise, I'm not buying anything new unless (a) it's an unbelievable bargain (like $5 or less) and I love it a lot, (b) it's a really cute Isaac Mizrahi (LOVE HIM) dress from Target, and is hugely on sale, or (c) I have to have it for work, or to replace something I truly need and cannot make (socks, underwear, a good pair of jeans, and the like) . I'm going to make all my clothes, or get them second-hand, or modify what I already have.

7a. I love love love the Wardrobe Remix people. And now I've decided I would very much like some plaid tights.

8. I want another tattoo, but I'm not sure of what, or where to put it. More on this story as it develops.

Monday, August 11, 2008

My House(s)

There's an old, sort of crumbling Victorian house in a town not far away. I drive past it fairly often as it's right on the main street, and the town it's in is between home and my parents. There's a carved wooden "H" painted white above the front door, and a screened-in porch wraps around half the front of the place. The lawn isn't much, and the house needs new shingles and a fresh coat of paint, though the red bricks that make up the bottom half of it are in decent shape. I joke with Matt sometimes that he's going to buy it for me someday, since it already has my initial on the front.

All my life, it seems, we lived in old houses. When I was about 9, we moved from a house on five acres that we'd had built, into a home that was built about 1910 and hadn't been redecorated since 1964. Out came the green shag carpet. The cracks in the plaster walls and ceilings were patched, and everything got painted or wallpapered. The plumbing was kinda funny, and you couldn't have too many things plugged in and turned on at the same time or a fuse would blow. When I was about 13, we moved into another house that was similar, though the decor wasn't quite as horrific. (We still tore it out and started over, though.) The plumbing was worse there, and the entire pipe that ran from the house to the big pipe in the alley had to be dug up and replaced. More plaster walls with cracks, more blown fuses. The basement was spider-infested, and the roof wasn't great, but there were lots of windows, and my family, especially my mom, made it our own.

A couple years after I moved out and got married, Mom and Dad moved into yet another old old house. This one was built in 1895 (I think--somewhere around there). But they decided to live upstairs and turn the downstairs into a tea parlour. It took a lot of money and work, but it's finally open and beautiful, and Mom loves running it.

You'd think that with all my experience in century-old houses, I wouldn't much like them anymore. And as long as I have the choice, I'd rather not move into one and have to replace pipes, fix the wiring, dig up the lawn and put in sprinklers, repaint, reshingle, recarpet....

...But they're so cute! Having looked at each of the 536 photos in the Steampunk Fashion Pool on Flickr, I searched for "Victorian" there and came up with some costume stuff, but also a lot of houses! Ooooh boy, so cute! I would move into any one of them if they were all fixed up and lovely, inside and out. (Yes, I have just a few conditions.) The colours of the purple one! And the brown one looks like it has a little bowler hat on the left side there! And that turquiose one, all nestled in amongst the trees! Lovely, lovely!

So I think I'll stick to houses that are my age or a little older for now.... unless a fabulous opportunity presents itself.

And if you want to see a really cute video about a little house, go and check out the bottom of this post from my friend, Carrington. I remember watching this one, too, Carrington!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

100 Jam-packed Story Sentences: 76-100

76. The pen scratched satisfyingly over the paper, leaving thin lines of ink in its wake, but when I lifted my pen to dip into the inkwell.... the scratching continued from somewhere else in the house.
77. "That is the ugliest thing I have ever seen in my life," Sarah said. "I have to have it."
78. We didn't think to put the fire out before taking prom photos in front of the fireplace; therefore, I have a small, black-edged burn hole in the back of my dress from a popping bit of sap.
79. Every room of my house has a different bird theme for the decor: the kitchen is flamingos, the bathroom is penguins, the living room is parrots, and the bedroom is hummingbirds.
80. You could always tell a gift from Angie; amongst the pink and yellow outfits, the little white onesies and rattles and stuffed toys, was a tiny black t-shirt with a hot pink, glittery skull and crossbones on it.
81. The dragon lay dead before him, blood oozing around the sword driven deep through its eye. My father was avenged.
82. "The flux capacitator's totally blown," Eric said, peering into the inner workings of the laptop, and the elderly couple believed him completely.
83. The best apple pie I have ever tasted was in a little roadside diner off Route 66, and it was made by a lady in her eighties named Rosie Jean Walker.
84. Mother warned me about will-o-the-wisps, so when I saw the glowing, bobbing white light off to my right, I just continued on through the swamp, squishing with every step.
85. That teapot was in my family for five generations, including me, before I knocked it off the edge of the table, causing it to shatter into a thousand pink and white shards.
86. "Give me your hand!" Elana screamed, but just as Ilias' fingertips brushed hers, the shark sunk its teeth into his calf and ripped him away from her, back into the ocean's depths.
87. If we hadn't stopped for groceries, we would've got home in time to stop the fire before it spread.
88. The fact that Samantha politely got up and moved to a different chair after my mother informed her that she was sitting in Sadie's chair--Sadie their Boston terrier--made me want to marry her all the more.
89. In one corner of my room, the paint bubbled up from the wall, mint-green blisters that had hardened years ago; the other kids told me it was the ghost of a child, shut up within the wall and left to die, trying to escape, but I didn't believe them until the night I heard the eerie moaning.
90. The sand felt like powdered sugar beneath my toes, and the waves tickling around my ankles were the perfect temperature. This was heaven.
91. "If you want to live through the next twenty-four hours," the stranger said, pushing a manila envelope into my hands, "go somewhere you can be alone and read this." Then he disappeared.
92. After it was done, I threw the dagger down the privy hole, washed my hands in the basin in my room, and threw my bloody clothes in the fire.
93. "I still think it was too easy," he whispered, pushing the door open as I tucked the lock pick tools back into my bag.
94. I knew I was really an adult when grandma stopped keeping candy in the jar by the front door for me.
95. I thought I would just lie down for a minute, just one blissful minute of rest, but once I was on the snow-packed ground with the wind gusting over me, I drifted away and knew nothing until I woke up in the hospital days later.
96. "Goodbye, Jonah." With those two words, I felt the weight of the world lift from my shoulders; I was free!
97. I had to pretend to be happy when I heard the news: Alice was "finally" pregnant after four months of trying, while I'd been trying for three years with no results.
98. Shauna was too white for dreadlocks, but she didn't seem to know that.
99. My sister fainted when she watched me get my tetanus shot; luckily she was still unconscious when the nurse administered hers.
100. "I forgive you," I whispered, then scattered the petals onto the lake's surface and watched them drift slowly away.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Dames d'Plume Dress-up Day


Don't we look fabulous? A is in her "Dickens Caroler" outfit, Carrington borrowed some Ren faire clothes from me (and felt very peasant-y), A is in her medieval/Ren faire outfit again, and there's my Turdor gown once more. Thanks to C's wonderful son and A's wonderful brother for taking these photos of us before writers' group! The rest of the set is found here.

(Dames: If you don't see a picture you remember taking, it's because it was either blurry, or someone looked weird. I thought I would save you the embarrassment of such pictures being shared on the wide wide internet.)

Monday, August 04, 2008

Long Post is Long

The title is a reference to this, in case you haven't seen it. (Though the original long cat is here.)

So, the Renaissance Festival!

When we first arrived, we got the Pictures Of The Costumes out of the way.

Ack, eyes closed!


And the back of the gown.

I made all the clothes in those photos except for Megan's shirt. :D


Megan got thrown in the stocks.


I said hi to a really really old pirate. (I hadn't seen this shop before, the Pearl's Revenge, so it's new as of 3 years ago, tops. They had a lot of really fabulous pirate coats, and some lovely dresses, too! Along with other, sillier costume pieces.)


Mathew found a hat just like one his character on EverQuest II had, which Liz and Jamie, who both used to play EQ2 with him, thought was hilarious.


Megan and Liz got Henna tattoos.

Jamie, Matt, kitty, Thomas/Eric, Liz

After the faire, Megan went home, Thomas/Eric came over, and we ate delicious lasagna (thanks again, Liz!) and played Munchkin Fu!

Liz and Jamie have baby kitties.


This is Tickles


This is Taffer


This is Taffer from below. Cats are weird.

We had an awesome photoshoot at writers' group today, and I've started world-building for a new story! More on both those subjects tomorrow. Goodnight!

Sunday, August 03, 2008


Just so everyone knows, my last post was 95% sarcasm. I wasn't really that upset. I thought that would be clear because of how dramatic it was, but I understand tone of voice and facial expression doesn't come through on the internet. Whoops!

Carrington called me Saturday morning and said she'd felt awful all day since reading that blog post, and that she was so sorry, and she didn't mean to upset me. I had to reassure her that I was just giving her a hard time, and it was all okay.

I promise I'm not really that mean and cranky! No worries, Carrington! I'll be calling you tonight to see if you want to come into town early tomorrow and go write before group.

We're back from the faire, and extremely hot (because we left the A/C off all weekend and our upstairs apartment is like a sauna now) and tired. We had a really fun time, though! I'll be taking it easy tonight and posting pictures tomorrow. Night, all!

Friday, August 01, 2008

I knew it!

I predicted this just yesterday. Apparently Carrington wrote twelve--that's 12!!--blog posts in the last few days, but didn't put them up. Instead, she used the sneaky post-dating option Blogger has to set them to post at a certain date and time. Well, the certain date would be today, and the certain time would be within two or three minutes of each other in the last hours of the last day of July.

Technically, we didn't say how or when we would post our entries. Technically, she won the contest by posting more entries in July than I did. Technically.

But I just want you all to know that I feel very betrayed by her sneakiness.

Hurt, even.

I'll probably still buy her a cup of coffee.

But I don't have to like it.

Oh, and Carrington? Maybe your explosive problems are karma for your CHEATING SNEAKING WAYS.

(But I'm such a big person that I still love you, and I'm still glad we did this. But if/when we go have coffee and write on Monday, you might have to be seen with me in full Tudor regalia because the other girls in writers' group wanted to see my costume. So THERE!)