Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Devenir River Song

Becoming River Song...

River Song is like an action hero. She is constantly on one adventure or another, she has a utility belt with all kinds of neat toys, tools, and weapons; but my favorite thing about River Song is her TARDIS journal.

I love journals. I adore journals. I hoard journals. I will buy a journal and hang on to it for months or years waiting for just the right thing to write in it.

So River has this journal that looks just like the TARDIS. What's the TARDIS, you ask? Well, to put it simply:

The TARDIS is the Doctor's time travel vehicle. It's also an entity in and of itself, but we needn't go into that now. So I started shopping around for River's TARDIS journal (RTJ for short). The BBCAmerica shop sells one, but it's flat and a little pricey. I want a RTJ that looks like the real thing, so I began cyber stalking Whovian websites for tutorials. They were abundant!

Supplies: journal of desired size color doesn't matter (Books A Million for $3), modge podge, cardboard, tissue paper, paint in white, TARDIS blue, brown.

1 - Cut out appropriately sized pieces of cardboard - strips and 1" squares for my size of journal
2 - Paste cardboard to cover and spine - I am a bit OCD, so I like it straight, but you can make it a bit wonky if you'd like it to be a proper RTJ.

3 - Prime journal.

 4 - Paint journal blue, but the right blue, not the wrong blue.
Right                                       Wrong!

4a - Use the indoor latex paint you bought to paint your son's bedroom door TARDIS blue.
Much Better!

5 - Crumple tissue paper and modge podge to cover.
After tissue                            Before tissue

6 - Realize too late that the tissue will not become completely transparent and add yet another coat. It's all good. Next time get blue tissue paper.

7 - Brush page edges with water or coffee to age and ripple them. I plan to use a little lemon juice and hold to heat to brown them further.

8 - Outline squares and borders in black to make them stand out. (Photo to come)

9 - Dry brush a small amount of white paint on raised surfaces to further distress the cover. (Photo to come)
9a - Dot on some brown paint to mimic dirt. The real thing has a little grime on it.

10 - Lacquer on one more layer of modge podge.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Une autre occasion merveilleuse

Another wonderful opportunity.

In 2010, I battled cancer with surgery and treatment. A wonderful photographer in our town had (unbeknownst to me) been doing free photoshoots for cancer patients. He focused on family portraits before the treatment had started and began to ravage the body of weight and hair. A mutual friend introduced us, and I began working on our theme. I literally plunged headfirst into Wonderland. I made our costumes and begged, borrowed, but didn't steal our props.

And there we are. As fabulous and striking as our pics turned out (and I still adore them), I lament that my children have grown. I started thinking that nothing we ever did would be this beautiful, and my children would be frozen at 10 and 5. Not so.

My photographer friend has said that he wants to do a follow up on us - complete with costumes.

I was simultaneously overjoyed and perplexed. What could we ever do that would live up to the Alice in Wonderland? I asked my kids, my friends, my folks. And there it was:

Steampunk Doctor Who

Of course! Why didn't I see it before? Last year's Halloween costume was Steampunk - it was the theme of our entire party.

The steampunk makes sense. It's so fun. Doctor Who was a no-brainer. You see, Series 5 of Doctor Who premiered the same week I started chemo and radiation. I had seen the trailers for it and had decided I would be watching. Then the Mack truck called cancer treatment hit me. Doctor Who became all I could look forward to at the end of each week.

Here's how it will work: 
Hubs - The Doctor

Moi - River Song

Okay, so River is hardcore.

The boy - Rory Williams
 Do you recognize the vest? Squee!

The girl - Amelia pond

So here's where it gets a little weird. Rory and Amy (Amelia) grow up and get married. River Song is their daughter, and she marries The Doctor. It's not a perfect metaphor, but I think it will work the best.

I found this blazer on eBay. Someone sniped me on a sweet Jos. A Bank blazer, but this is nice. The only caveat is that the stronger lines are horizontal instead of vertical. I already have the brown bowtie, and the boots.

River's jacket. The key feature is the off center closure and the wide collar. I will not use the belt that comes with it. Again, eBay - cheap!

Over the jacket is this lovely cincher belt. eBay $3.50.

I have yet to purchase this vest, but it seems to be the best value. Thank you, China!

Now, what would I do to the outfit to make it more Steampunk? Bustle skirt!!!

To recreate River's gun, I need to buy a certain Nerf gun and paint it the right color.

River and The Doctor both carry a TARDIS journal. Every time they meet up, they compare notes to see where they are. I must make a pair of these.
Lastly, I need to find a utility pouch belt. I have her little flashlight. So it's one piece at a time.


Monday, September 24, 2012

Le temps de nuit des sorcières, les gens!

(Halloween time, people!)

I don't know what the French call Halloween. I guess that's what the ole internet machine is for.

So, Halloween is a big deal in my house. Correction: Halloween is a big deal to me. Everyone in the house just plays along. Of course the kids always get excited about the candy.

A couple of months ago, I started grilling my kids as to what they wanted to be for Halloween. Every time, I either got "I don't know" or a different idea each time.

My conversation with the boy:

Me - "Oh! Do you want to be Tin Tin?"

Boy - "Ummmmm. no." He's always afraid of disappointing me.

Me - "The Doctor again?" Re-use. Yes! Re-use.

Boy - "Ummmm." This wasn't going well.

Me - "What's that boy's name on Gravity Falls?"

Boy - "Dipper!!! Yes! I want to be Dipper!"

Me - "Okay!"
 Dipper Pines from Gravity Falls.

It turns out, Gravity Falls is this hilarious, mystery cartoon on Disney XD. Okay, Dipper wears this signature hat with a pine tree on it. I got mine from Zazzle.com. I had a $6 credit from selling items I had created on the website. They also offered a 30-day trial of Zazzle Black that included free standard shipping, and I used a 15% off coupon code. Spent $6 and change on the trucker hat. Working with Zazzle can be a real pain for us fangirls, because if they even get a whiff of something that may ever so slightly hint at copyright infringement, they put the kibosh on it. I made buttons that said "Bowties are cool." I sold quite a few before they removed my items from my store. Jerks. I say this because when I went to the site just now to nab a pic of the blue pine tree hat, they had removed all of them. I think they just monitor my account. This is what I got.
Pretend it's royal blue. Curse you, Zazzle!!!

Next, I needed a Navy blue puffer vest. I found one on ebay for $.99 with one bid, so I bid on it. $1.24. Sweet! $3.75 shipping. I would get through this Halloween on the cheap! Just before the auction ended, someone sniped me and got the vest for $3.25. Grrrr! I did another search and found one on something called Blain's farm and field or something. $18 later...

At least he'll be able to wear it all winter.

Boy has brown shorts, white socks, black sneakers. I just need to hop over to Hobby Lobby and grab one of these for $5.
Costume completion @ $29. Not as cheap as I would like. The girl is next.

Dream outfit update: I got the notice in the mail to pick up my red plaid jacket!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Overall Overhaul

I cautiously excitedly proceeded with my plans to remove the front and back bibs and apply them to my Levi's.

See how the washes on the jeans and the overalls are nearly identical.

I ripped the seams on the back bib.

 Back bib removed!

I ripped the seams on front bib.

Both pieces had unnecessary belt loops - which I removed.

I pinned the back bib onto the waistband of my Levi's. Since this piece will be permanent, I can sew it right on.

On the front bib, I used heavy duty wire cutters to remove the lower button.

 I attached an extra piece of thick denim to the bottom of the front bib, so I would have fabric to attach the front bib to the front of the Levi's.

 Sewing the back to the jeans.

 Oops! In order to attach the front piece, I had to cut the seams back a bit. Then I buttoned the front to the back.

 I sewed the front on the side that ends up under the button, and left the other half loose. It will be tucked in, buttoned up and snapped into place.

The straps came with loose hardware. I wasn't exactly sure how the adjustable hardware was supposed to go on. No directions came with the overalls. I pinned the straps where they needed to be.

 Using the navy thread, I stitched down the sides.


 To further secure the loops, I put a short anchor stitch on both sides.

Almost invisible!!

 Cheap workmanship = wonky hems. I will fix that!

 You are now in order!
 Welcome, my blurry, nearly complete overalls. I will be putting a couple tiny snaps inside the right side so everything lies flat and secure.

Backside. It's so nice to know that these will fit when I slip them on!

No, you can't see them on me yet.