Sep 172012

For ten years, I’ve had the privilege of knowing a man who I considered to be at least as smart as Stephen Hawking.

For ten years, I had the even greater privilege of calling this man a friend. He stood by me when only few others would, and we kept being in contact when no one else would.

We could talk for hours on the phone, discussing various manufacturing techniques and materials. He was the only man – no, person! – in the world who I never had to explain something twice to; he initially understood what I was talking about, no matter the subject.

I loved this man dearly, with all that’s left of my heart; he – and just he! – made me believe again that the male part of the human species could be a good part.

He also was the only man during the last one and a half decades who asked me if I would marry him; and even if it was asked in jest, it still got to me. Also, when I talked about building the impossible, he said, “if someone can do it, it’s you”. He believed in me.

With the deepest sadness I ever felt I received the news that this man had not just contemplated and planned to, but actually end his life on this planet in August; for no apparent reason and without anyone – myself included – noticing that he had plans to do so.

My heart weeps at the loss of this man; but no crying, kicking, screaming or whatever I can possibly do will bring him back; and all that’s left is a huge questionmark as for why he did it.

Goodbye, Martin, I will never forget you; and it will take a whole while longer until  I stop crying when being reminded of you by little things.

May 232012

I don’t know if anyone is even reading my blog, but…

if you do, guess what I do next (or rather, during the next year!).

Two teaser images to help you – straight from my embroidery software:

Can you guess the costumes to which those embroideries belong? 🙂

May 222012

Yesterday I wrote elsewhere how many materials went into making the five costumes for myself, my son and my father, which we wore at FedCon (and some of the materials I estimated wrong at that time); so I thought it couldn’t hurt to write that list down again, this time with the correct amounts.
I used:

  • approximately 85 meters / 93.5 yards of fabric;
  • at least 15 meters / 19 yards of various stabilizers;
  • 4.5 kilometers / 3.5 miles of embroidery thread;
  • approximately 2 kilometers of sewing and basting threads,
  • ~6 packs of sewing and embroidery machine needles
  • pretty much exactly 31,500 beads and pearls;
  • ~2 kilometers / 1.5 miles of beading thread (which is much stronger than sewing thread – note however that this thread as well as the aforementioned beads and pearls went through my hands as I worked them into the costumes; no machine work on either of these! )
  • 12 packs of Fimo polymer clay,
  • 1 liter / 0.26 gallons of epoxy resin
  • 2 spray cans with paint (silver)
  • 3 glasses with paint (various colors)
  • ~0.75m² / 8.073 square feet of various thicknesses of styropor
  • 0.1 m² / 1.076 square feet of drum wrap
  • ~10 liters / 0.53 gallons of water to steam and iron the fabrics and costumes
  • approximately 30 packs of various (shades / brands) fabric dyes
  • approximately 5 liters / 1.32 gallons of fabric washing detergents to wash fabrics before and after dyeing
  • 3 zippers
  • 2 buttons
  • 20 snaps
  • 5 meters / 5.5 yards of velcro tape
  • at least two packs of headache pain killers
  • a gazillion things which I probably forgot
  • and, last not least, I sacrificed my nose (!) for a few days, when I fainted (!) after two straight days and nights of beading without sleeping while sitting at the table, and, in the process of dropping down, hit my nose hard on the edge of the table.
    As funny as this may sound, this isn’t a joke. I wish it was, but my nose still has the wound today.
    Said wound can also be seen (if you look REALLY carefully!) in the closeup pics of my face taken at the convention.

So just in case you always thought that costuming was easy-peasy and boring – no, it’s not.

By the way, ‘five months’ (from January to May 2012) in this case resulted in approximately 400 hours of work on those costumes.
Some took longer to make (Apailana with headdress? Three and a half months of those five!)… others less long (Baron Papanoida? Four days!); but all together took from January to May to make.

This. 100%.

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May 222012

Here’s a speech by Neil Gaiman at the University of Arts in Philadelphia.
I do recommend watching it because rarely agreed more with something that someone else said.

May 132012

My dad approached me yesterday when I was visiting my parents.

“I’ve picked up your dresses from the dry cleaner.” (He was referring to my Queen Jamillia costume)
Me: “Dad, it’s just one costume, not several.”
He (insisting): “No, those were at least three dresses. I got five hangers.”
Me: “Dad, I can assure you that you only picked up one costume; the ‘Queen Jamillia’. All black and white. I only had that one at the dry cleaner. The single parts are supposed to be worn over each other.”
He: “Yes, black and white, but several. That load would be way too heavy to be worn at once.”
Me: “See, that’s why I usually say that those costumes are heavy…”
He: *blank stare*


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Apr 262012

I guess that each and every cat owner in the world eventually discovers two things.

First, a cat will try to get into ANY box.
Second, if there’s paper, the cat has to trample on it.

My son’s and my two cats aren’t different.

A few days ago, and I seriously don’t know how, a box (in which some of the pearls for my Apailana headdress were delivered) ended up on the floor. Said box had a size of approximately 4x4x4 inch.

My son’s cat is is a REALLY large, grey tabby cat with a white belly, socks, and the bottom side of his face is white too. Basically he looks like a tabby cat that’s fallen into milk or white paint. We affectionately call him ‘the pizza’, because frankly, when he lies down, he looks like one. If lying, he doesn’t fit on one of the seats of the dining room chairs – one or more parts of him (head, paws, legs, tail…) ALWAYS has to hang down because that massive body takes up so much space.

Now that we talked about the size of the box and the size of the cat, Continue reading »


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Apr 262012

During the last days I didn’t get to sew anything at all. Or do anything, that is.

Seems my yearly flu got hold of me again.

This time it’s sneezing explosions combined with ‘heavy’ head and a headache the size from here to the other side of the globe. Also, the coughing started just two days ago.

I remember times, when I was much younger, that this flu was nothing more but a bad cold, maybe. I could shrug it off within two or three days; and it didn’t keep me from doing stuff.
However, …

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