Monday, June 8, 2015

Chippewa Valley Logjam: Opening Weekend

That's a wrap on the first weekend of Chippewa Valley Logjam Wild West Fest & Steampunk Spectacular!  I've driven the longest solo drive I've ever driven (twice - once late-ish at night!), slept in my homemade hammock in the booth for two nights, and generally had a fantastic time hanging out with rennie and college friends I hadn't seen in three or four years.

Our shop!

The shop I'm working out of is called The Smuggler's Emporium, selling inventory that totally didn't "fall" off the back of an airship, just ignore the "Property of HMS Serenity" shipping crate we're using as a floor...  In real life, we're a group of four single-person businesses all pitching in to make the booth happen.

Our headliner and procurer of booth space is Safety Pinner, maker of fantastically nerdy resin-cast jewelry and awesome distressed and/or tentacley hoodies.  Also ray guns.  I feel awful about not being able to place her in my memories of the old renfaire days until after not only meeting her but then Facebook-stalking her old pictures (despite the fact I've had her Etsy shop favorited for like a year or more), because she is just one of the best people.  Some small children of her acquaintance call her "Magical Alex" as if "magical" was actually part of her name, and I think they might be on to something.

Kim, making more Grimly hats.
Then we have Grimly Costumes, stocking the shop with bustle skirts, high-waisted bloomer-style shorts, waist cinchers, and tiny top hats!  Where most tiny hats are made from the same blank hat form and then decorated by each artisan, Grimly hats are completely handmade.  And also freakin' ADORABLE... or as adorable as anything with a skeleton cameo on it can be, that is.  Kim also happens to be one of my best friends from UWEC (although we both suck at staying in touch now that we live in different cities), and was the one who contacted me about this business venture in the first place.

Angela (left) posing with one of the cast members.
Finally, we have Lil' Evil Genie Designs! Decking out the shop with bolo ties, ribbon barrettes, and fantastic air plants growing in oil lamps (and there are rumors that they'll be in tiny hot air balloons starting next weekend, as well). She also does costume design work.  Angela gets more than a few warm fuzzies from me, because while I don't think I've ever described her as one of my best friends, I do think she was the FIRST friend I made at UWEC, and that's kind of a big deal.

The shop interior, shortly after I arrived.
My greatest fear about this adventure was that I'd arrive on Friday to a fantastic, fully-stocked booth, and just set up my nine pairs of bloomers in the corner - in other words, that I'd end up mooching off my friends (old and new) without actually contributing anything but product to the business venture (which may explain why I went so overboard when purchasing snacks for the weekend - if I couldn't give them elbow grease, I would at least give them food!). 

This fear, of course, neglected to consider that all three of the other people in the shop were also helping run the fest itself, and had spent most of their time building costumes for the cast and generally whipping the show and grounds into shape.  So I actually had something to do when I arrived Friday afternoon!

The front door - doesn't it look inviting?
While the other three were wrangling dress rehearsal and hanging signs, I found a stiff brush and dry-scrubbed the last three years' worth of dust off of every surface I could reach, then set to arranging the moveable furniture and displays on hand and distributing my curtain stash where necessary.  With a few more curtains and yet more displays from Alex, everybody pitched in and got their inventory up Saturday morning to create a not-too-shabby looking booth space!

The front table - Lil' Evil Genie's air plants on the right,
Safety Pinner's jewelry, jacket, and ray guns on the rest.
There's still a lot more to be done. More inventory to be built, and we did some brainstorming on how to take the shop from "not-too-shabby looking" to "amazing" - ranging from simple plans of making sure not to put random utility crap on the not-pictured back shelf above counter level (my fault, I put a few things there while setting up, intending to find better places for them later, but they just turned the shelf into a crap magnet for the rest of the weekend), to grand schemes of hanging stuff from the ceiling and building new display racks.  I fully expect to find the space completely unrecognizable when I come up for the third weekend!

Back table and rack - Grimly's hats (and an SP pendant!)
on the left,the Unbeatable Unmentionables on the right.
It'll be a mad scramble to get ready for that third weekend, with more Unbeatable Unmentionables in the pipe, as well as some other small things.  The Smuggler's Emporium is providing prize support for the fest's daily costume contest the second and third weekend, with each business contributing two small items, so I'm doing a few runs of key fobs (and maaaybe dice bags if I have time), the materials for which I just picked up at Day Job earlier this evening.  Hope they turn out well, I wasn't expecting to need small steampunk objects, so I landed on the fobs as the first fast thing that occurred to me...

Okay, it's past my bedtime.  Good night, all, and I hope some of you can make it out to the Fest!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Packing Day

Alright, the bell's rung for this round.  I took some metaphorical blows to the head, in the form of various time-sucking distractions (wrangling Etsy orders, cleaning the living room after a catastrophic lightbulb failure, 5-hour sanity break to hang out in the cigar box guitar workshop and design a case for my new Evil ukulele), but I'm still standing.

The hardest blow was COMPLETELY underestimating how long it would take to install the elastic on the seersucker and gauze bloomers.  The plan had been to add elastic to those two runs on Tuesday afternoon, then full build on the mint run yesterday (and yes, I know that time management strategy makes no sense to start with, but I pick up a HUGE amount of speed between the second and third batch of a thing, because that's the point where I don't have to double-check everything anymore)...  I finished the elastic at 10pm last night.  I think part of the problem was that the method I used put a lot of strain on my (early-signs-of-carpal-tunnel-showing) wrists and hands, which hurt, which then made me work slowly because I was stopping every couple minutes to shake out cramps and fingertip tingles.

So, looks like I'll only be bringing two colors of bloomers for the first weekend.  I'll bring fabric and my ol' reliable Featherweight along, just in case a miracle happens, but as it stands, the mint run has been moved to the third-weekend restock (likely shoving the brown batch off the to-do list in the process).

But!  I'll still have the stretch seersucker and white gauze bloomers, sized Small through... a size I am arbitrarily calling XXL, because "standard" sizes are not at all standard and make no sense, but I think may fit folks who normally wear bigger than 2X.  It's sad that I won't have the third color available right away, but on the other hand, it may be nice to get a bit of feedback before I do any more, just in case there are changes I should make.  Silver linings, and all.

Anyways, I leave for a closing shift at the Day Job at 2pm, and if I'm very, very lucky, I'll have the car packed for Logjam by then, so I can leave straight from my parents' place in Madison tomorrow morning.  For your amusement and edification (and because I needed to write it down somewhere), my packing/to-do lists!

To Do Before I Leave
  • Water plants
  • Do laundry

To Pack
  • Inventory
  • My trusty sidekick, Manuel
  • Cash box
  • Invoice book
  • Tagging gun, etc.
  • Ribbon ladder & ribbons
  • Bodkin, FrayBlock, maybe a lighter?
  •  The Featherweight, needles, thread
  • Business cards & stand
  • Extra hangers
  • Shop curtains
  • Misc. tools
  • Masking tape
  • Pens
  • Suitcase 1: Day Job clothes
  • Suitcase 2: Garb & other event stuff
  • Rope & paracord
  • Hammock
  • Sleeping bag
  • Pillow
  • Snacks
  • Magic Binder Of Thinkyness
Now.  I've got my lists.  I've got my second cup of coffee in hand.  Time to get cracking!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

That's... that's quite a schedule, there...

Hey, guys!  I've somewhat-slightly figured out my schedule!  And you know what I've figured out?

..That I'm doing a Thing literally every weekend in June.

First up is...

Chippewa Valley Logjam Wild West Fest & Steampunk Spectacular!

That's the three-weekend vending gig I mentioned in my previous post, starting on June 6th-7th.  (Website is HERE, but it appears to be down at the moment.)  There's still some fairly important details to work out (what non-inventory stuff I need to bring, exactly how monies are being handled amongst the four of us, where I'm going to sleep while there...), but at this point?  It's happening.  I've been forgoing any sort of "day off" to build bloomers, and I've officially been granted my requested time off of the Day Job for the first weekend.  This is super exciting to me, because these are my old stomping grounds - the venue and many of the people have warm fuzzy places in my heart leftover from their previous incarnation, the Chippewa Valley RenFaire (and before that, the WI Renfaire), where I used to spend summers selling awesome concrete statues for Stone Gryphon Studio, and two of the people I'm collaborating with are dear friends from college.

I don't know what building we'll be in, or what our joint venture will be called, but Unpronounceable Designs' Unbeatable Unmentionables will be in stock!  Inventory for the first two weekends will include bloomers in mint green stretch gauze (still deciding between tile blue and chocolate brown accents), red & white stripe stretch seersucker, and plain white cotton gauze with customizable ribbon accents! 

I will be leaving my inventory in the hands of my cohorts for the second weekend, because June 12th-14th is The Song Remains The Same, the very first weekend-long event for Here At The End!  Hopefully, I'll have enough spare time between building inventory and the HATE event to whip up some stuff for an awesome Edwardian camp, but even if I don't, it'll be great to play pretend with some folk I don't see often enough, and maybe a few new friends we made at GenCon last year and haven't seen since.

20th-21st I'm back at Logjam for the last weekend.  If I can find time, I may be restocking the shop with bloomers of brown gauze with ivory accents and/or blue-on-blue pinstriped stretch poplin.  Mostly, though, I'm just hoping to do enough business to pay for the trip, and looking forward to a second weekend in the old haunt, hanging out with some fellow freaks I haven't seen in years. 

Then, to wrap up the month, June 25th-28th is the LarpCraft World event, hosted by the folks that made Deeplight happen!  I don't know that I'll be able to make all four days happen (the day job is still crazy, although we do have a couple new people to share the load), but I'll be bringing my usual inventory, plus any leftovers from Logjam.

Hope to see you one of those weekends!  June will be tiring, but AWESOME.  Right now, my mom and I are drinking margaritas and watching Supernatural, having declared this night-after-an-early-closing-shift the closest thing to a day off I'll get for a while...

P.S.  My bunny is fine.  He had an ear mite infestation, which caused a nasty ear infection, which made him so agitated that he (with some help from his sisters, who were just trying to clean his ouchie) very badly overgroomed his tail (as in, his tail is basically one vertebra shorter now).  A course of anti-inflammatory and antibiotic meds later, and anti-mite meds in the pipe for the rest of the herd, and he's his old self again.  Actually, all three seem happier and more active now.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Still Alive! ...Well, Mostly.

The Day Job has been getting crazier.  Several of my coworkers have moved on to better things (full-time jobs, grad school, etcetera), and that means that those of us who remain have to cover for them until we get some new blood... especially the few of us (like me) who don't have standing week-to-week conflicts.

In less fuzzy terms: When I was hired, it was the busy season, the store was heavily staffed, and I was averaging just over 24 hours per week - aka four 6-hour days per week.  Now, we're heading into the slow season (who wants to knit when it's 85F out?), there's usually just a skeleton crew working midweek, and I'm getting scheduled for 30 hours per week - another full day more, at least for the part-time retail definition of full.

It doesn't sound like a lot, but with a business to run, LARP/faire/convention season spooling up, self-imposed homework for assign myself, gardening season in full swing, and a schedule that's never the same from one week to the next, I'm starting to get run into the ground.  Because I stay at my parents' place after closing shifts (the majority of my work schedule) so I'm not driving 45+ minutes while sleepy, and sometimes between consecutive days at work to save on gas, this schedule pretty much means I live in my parents' basement and just visit my fiancee and my bunnies and my garden and my sewing room on those two days off per week.  I'm doing my best to bring projects with me and get most of my networking/research/paperwork-type stuff done in the morning and whatnot, so when I actually go home I can focus on the garden and bigger sewing projects, but that sounds a lot better on paper than in practice.

Even something as relatively simple as sitting down and organizing my calendar enough to put in time off requests for the many, many things I have going on this summer is proving difficult.  I still need to figure out how many and what events I'm actually going to be vending at, which effects how many days off I request for those events.  I'm at least one invoice behind (fortunately, it's a piece I made for a friend, so I'm not super worried).  And I'm pretty sure I've missed the boat on a couple of commissions because I mentally composed a response to their inquiry while at work and then forgot that I hadn't sent it in real life.

In related but much cooler news, one of the summer events that was in the "probably going to for a day, but not sure enough to request off yet" category may have just turned into "three weekends of large-scale vending and, oh yeah, only a month to build inventory for."  Not naming names yet, because I haven't officially said "yes" yet, and I'd be partnering with three other people who are confirmed for the booth, one of whom also hasn't given an official "yes" to adding me as a fourth.  This is definitely still in the MAYBE phase, especially since it conflicts with at least one, possibly two, other events that month, and the prospect of building significant inventory in that short of a time span is rather intimidating.  But it has lit a fire under me to get sewing and finalize a product idea that had been in my head a while (colorful bloomers with boxer-style elastic waistbands - low-rise, so they're easy to pull up under a corset), which... may make life a bit interesting, given that the bulk of this post has been all about how busy/short on time my schedule already is.

So yeah.  I'm pretty frazzled, and it looks like I'm going to stay that way for quite some time.  Oh, and to top it all off?  One of my rabbits may be sick.  The fiancee is waiting for a call back from the vet to see if he should be taken in for an emergency visit, or if it would be okay to wait until later in the week for a more normally-scheduled exam... and I'm stuck at my parents' place, about to go head in for another closing shift.  :(

I'll keep you guys posted about both bunny health and event scheduling.  Wish me luck!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015


I think I may have overdone it.

I had like a week or two (maybe longer?) there of being really on top of stuff.  Finally developing a sense of organization for my cartoon sight gag of a to-do list, starting drafts of various blog entries I've been meaning to write for a while (rather than waiting for time/inspiration to write the whole damn thing in one sitting), working out the steps towards long-term goals more clearly, finished a small build for a coworker (recreating a worn-to-pieces favorite garment, not anything original, which is why haven't posted about it before), brainstorming some simple and less costume-y things for me and my Etsy shop, and to top it all off the universe (okay, the internet) spontaneously handed me a breakthrough for a slightly stuck Top Secret Folklore Nerd Costume/Puppet Project of AWESOME.  Look, this video is what the internet gave me, it's amazing:

Then I noticed how many balls I had in the air, panicked, dropped them all, and spent the better part of the last three (or was it five?) days playing Fallout 3.

Okay, part of my sudden collapse of productivity was because a bunch of coworkers called in sick last week, and I volunteered to work two extra days of retail day job in the interests of cultivating time off karma.  So I was a bit frazzled and run down (possibly fighting off the same bug as my peers), plopped my butt in front of the gaming computer to unwind, and stayed long enough to actually make myself feel worse... thereby motivating me to keep playing.  I mean, I got some household stuff done, made some gestures at accomplishing things, and I went to work a couple days in there, so I didn't completely fail at life.  Just mostly.

Anyways, I so overdid it with my game-related reaction to overdoing it in general that when I went to work yesterday, my lower back was so jacked up from all the computer-slumping that... well, I was trying to come up with a description for whatever my muscles were doing, and what I came up with was less a description and more a sound effect.  And that sound effect was "kersploing."  All day yesterday.  For no real reason beyond "Because the Wasteland needs me."

So, yeah, I need to cut back on the computer games.  Which shouldn't be too hard, since I just did the gaming equivalent of making yourself sick by eating an entire bucket of seasonal candy, so a moderate nibble in the evening will probably be all I can tolerate for a while.  Plus, the huge spring sale at Day Job is next week, so I doubt I'll have time and energy to even boot up the gaming machine while that's going on.

The bigger challenge is going to be picking up all those balls I had in the air a week or two ago.  I can do it, I did it once (several times, really), but clearly organization and prioritization are things I need to work on so I don't end up freaking out and backpedaling again.  I'm trying a bunch of widgets and apps and general organizational schema to keep myself together, which may be putting a little too much reliance on my technology (and/or using app acquisition and setup as a means to procrastinate further), but at least I'm thinking about this much-neglected aspect a little more.  Honorable mention among the collection of crutches goes to the SuperBetter website (there's an app, too, but I've heard it's pretty buggy and I haven't tried it yet), the self-help gaming engine by Jane McGonigal (link goes to her TED page - the second of her talks is about the game).  So far, the gamification element is really helpful in getting me to actually keep coming back to my to-do list and crossing a thing or two off of it.

So, that's where I'm at!  Fingers crossed that staying on (or at least near) the blogging horse after hitting one of my walls is a good sign re: my overall togetherness.  Hope to keep this up!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Ukeleles and Home Improvement and Research, Oh My!

Greetings, all!  Been some time, as usual, although it's tripped by rather quickly for me.

I've been a little more active over on Facebook, and done some updating on Etsy (including making not-yet-live listings for larger items like custom gambesons and cotehardies)... still some more organizing to do, and I really should work on descriptions and pictures some more, but I dropped prices on most of my inventory, and really polished up my tags.  The result is that I've finally reached a point where I'm getting a steady, passive trickle of views independent of my posting, which is AWESOME.  I mean, it's only about 6-12 views per week on Facebook, and 30-40 per week on Etsy, but it's enough to indicate that I'm gaining an audience outside of friends politely clicking on what I've posted.

Deeplight went really well this time around, too!  I sold a whole three things (albeit one of those things was bought by the event organizer to give away in the end-of-game raffle), which admittedly is not a lot, but still!  Sales!  It's a slow pickup in momentum, and that's nice to see.  Plus, my event shop is getting more refined and inviting, so just setting it up and seeing my stuff look like stuff in a store is a major morale booster all by itself.

I've been logging some time in the sewing room, although not as much as I'd like, and not necessarily on any salable products.  Most notably, I've built some improvements TO said sewing room.  My ironing board cover had reached such a state of skankiness that I was hesitant to iron anything light-colored on it... upon closer inspection, I discovered that the padding was basic high-density foam which had started to break down, and that there wasn't any sort of heat- or moisture-resistant barrier between it and the whimsical kitty outer layer.  So I took it apart and made a new one out of the proper materials, the outer layer of which is covered in handsome little owls sitting amongst pumpkins.  I've also been working on a cover for my dress form, partly to make it pretty and mostly to bridge the gaps between the adjustable panels.  I, of course, decided to make this project extra complicated by choosing the most difficult to match fabric in existence... it's covered in scattered overlapping star maps.  The design is HUGE, and also delicate, so laying out each panel  of the pattern is like a treasure hunt, trying to find a point where it repeats so I can get the maps to line up across the seams (which also means it's taking at least three times as much yardage to make as the muslin).  It will be beautiful when it's done, but until then, it's a giant pain in the butt that I need to occasionally step away from so I don't go mad and attempt to murder the dress form. 

In other news, I'm teaching myself to play the ukelele, as I threatened in my previous blog!  I didn't buy my own ukelele with my tax return, as I had hoped (due to a calendar derp resulting in failure to cancel my Ancestry subscription in time... love the service, but DAMN is it expensive), but a friend of mine just happened to have a very nice one he never has time to practice with, which he lent to me as soon as he discovered I wanted to learn.  I have the most amazing friends.  After practicing about a week, I can almost play recognizable renditions of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" and Queen's "We Will Rock You" (the latter, by the way, sounds incredibly sad when played on ukelele), and I can barely feel the fingertips of my left hand.

Finally, I'm getting ready to launch myself into trying this whole "grad school application" thing again.  I figure if I start NOW, I'll be able to come up with an essay that will actually be worth something, despite my out-of-the-loop-ness.  The plan is to basically write a short test run of my eventual thesis, which at this point I'm calling a cross-disciplinary study of Postmodern and Classical Greek theatre in performance with the goal of creating an accessible mode for reviving plays of both genres and creating stage-ready adaptations of fragmentary works.  If you could even halfway understand that sentence, congratulations!  You're my kind of nerd, and may be able to help me.  Right now, my biggest challenge is figuring out where to start.  I think my first step is to read up on Buchner?  Also, lots of Greeks, although it probably won't be at all helpful to Read ALL The Plays.  And Brecht will be important, although I'll need to lean towards performance theory rather than his actual plays.  Basically, if you guys could help me populate a reading list, point me towards links to performances, stuff like that?  That would be SO AMAZING.  I will love you forever.  Especially if you happen to know where I can find any relevant academic work, so I don't have to reinvent the wheel for my initial research.

Hope to hear from you, and (as usual) hopefully I'll be better at posting!

P.S.: I've taught myself to knit.  It is a nice, simple task, good for puttering at while watching TV after Day Job-work, but it still qualifies as Making A Thing and keeps me from getting down about a lack of sewing room productivity.  Also, fuzzy!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

So, 2014 happened.

Oh dear.  It appears I've been remiss in my posting again...

I started November with TeslaCon V.  There were dinosaurs.  The end.  Wait.

Okay, not the end.  There was lots of stuff happening, and I did many things.  I was actually not feeling too great that weekend, so there were fewer shenanigans than previous years, but I talked to a bunch of cool people, exchanged some business cards, and otherwise made connections.  I even talked to the organizer of the Geneva Steam Con's Midwinter Carnival about doing a basic costuming seminar there!  I haven't submitted anything official, so that probably won't happen this year, but as this is the second time I've talked about/recieved encouragement to do a talk at a steampunk con, I think that's a sign that I should put some more effort in and make a Plan for the next time such an opportunity presents itself.  Also, a desire to just... Not Move for a while due to a migraine-type situation led me to a three-hour workshop on traditional hand tailoring, which was AMAZING, and I'm looking around for some sort of project where I can actually use this knowledge.

Next up, I finally ceased procrastinating and emailed a professor in the admissions department of the grad school I'm planning to apply to, regarding my choice of writing sample...  I had hoped to add annotations to an adaptation of 4.48 Psychosis that I did in undergrad (which I'm very proud of), and was wondering if that would work as the writing sample for my application.

...The answer was No.  An encouraging no, expressing some apparently genuine interest in the adaptation itself, but still No.  They want a traditional research paper for admissions.  Which may not have been a big deal if I'd asked as soon as I decided to try for grad school in September, but late November?  With a month's notice and major retail and food holidays right on the horizon, it just... wasn't doable.  After three years out of the academic loop, I don't even have a clue what I'd write ABOUT, let alone the resources to get research done quickly.  Even if I could have churned out a paper in time, it wouldn't have been good enough to get me into the program - my undergrad GPA was below the official admission requirement, so the rest of my application materials need to be practically perfect just to get in on academic probation.  And I got the email with this news about an hour before heading to my day job for a shift that would have been awful even if I hadn't been conducting it under an internal monologue berating myself for being a self-sabotaging screwup and fraud incapable of following through on promises.

 So, yeah, that right there has been the biggest reason I haven't posted.  No excuses, no "I've been busy" talk.  Just I've been very, very bummed, my confidence has gone to the wayside, and I haven't wanted to face the internet.  There's a bunch of stuff I've gotten halfway into doing (updating Etsy listings, reading various news tabs, red-inking rules systems, etc.), but I trip up at the point of actually engaging with the outside world productively, as that engagement felt like it required a Herculean effort of will for a while there.  I've pretty much patched my head back together now, but I'm still kind of stuck in a state of "Well, now what?"  My larger Life Plans have suddenly been delayed by at least a year, I don't really know what to do with that, and that uncertainty has infected my other pursuits, as well.

One upside of suddenly going full hermit (as opposed to my normal state of being as a mild recluse) is that I finally got around to spending the Amazon gift card my grandparents got me for my birthday.  I got Neil Gaiman's Make Good Art speech (as adapted for print by Chipp Kidd) and Amanda Palmer's The Art of Asking, and I considered getting a ukelele as a nice thematic pairing with the books (specifically, this dark purple one), but I still lacked faith in my ability to follow through on things I say I'm going to do, which made picking up an instrument again seem less like a fun distraction and more like a sad purple reminder of how much I fail.  So I got a life-sized realistic raven puppet, which is hilarious and awesome and I've been wanting for a while, instead.  I like my raven.  Perhaps if I actually manage to get a tax return this year, I will reward myself by getting the ukelele with my own money.  And then I will play songs to my ridiculous stuffed raven.

In the meantime, the books turned out to be exactly what my brain needed.  Lots of good perspective and encouragement regarding the trials and tribulations of trying to make a life out of the arts, without sugarcoating OR trying to scare anyone away.  I'm still working my way through Art of Asking (I don't get much time to just sit down and read), and it's sort of like iodine and a bandaid for the skinned knee that is my angsty mental state... they sting and pull, but using them makes it feel all better after a while.  And speaking of books, I also received copies of the first 12 Dresden Files audiobooks (and the short story collection) for my birthday, and those have also been a huge help.  When I'd rather be distracted than treated, having James Marsters read epic stories about shockingly human fantasy heroes to me via my computer is the best thing ever.  And now that I've listened to ALL of them, it's very difficult to stop myself from spending way too much money (relative to what I have, that is) on the next three... because damn, that Book 12 cliffhanger was a doozy.

Anyways, sorry for being an absent downer.  But, there's a bright side for you!  I've quietly been making things and coming up with plans to make more things along the way.  Working at a fabric store has done wonders for the Initial Pondering part of my creative process for costuming - I spend a lot of time handling new fabrics and going "Ooh, this could be turned into THIS, or be the ideal thing to do THAT."  Of course, a job with a not-insignificant commute makes transitioning to the next phase of design a little harder, but I've also managed to acquire a bunch of tools on the cheap (yay, employee discount and knowledge of major sales!) that make designing a lot easier, too.  I THINK (maybe) that I've reached a sort of critical mass of Pondering that means I'll crank out a bunch of cool new stuff soon - fingers crossed!  I also got another custom leg wrap order (this time of multiples!), so I've added a few new colors to my stock - just need to update my Etsy page with pictures.  Finally, the next Deeplight event is on February 6th-7th, and I'll be selling my wares there again.

Pictures and more detailed updates about the cool stuff soon!  Pinkie swear!