Just Because I Can

Just to show you all how absolutely easy it is to use Snaptee, I’ve just created another shirt!

This time, I changed things up a little by using a filter on the white version to make the photo look old. By the way, the photo is from when I built a LEGO ‘nightclub’.

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If you would like to order one, the ‘vintage’ white can be ordered here. The black version with a color photo can be found here. I should probably mention that they have sizes for men, women, and kids.

A New Beginning

As usual, this is my late start to twenty-fourteen. Work has been hectic and there isn’t much to report, but I do have one exciting event to report!

Now there is a background story to this. For a while, I have been wanting to make my own shirts. I bought a screen printing kit, thinking it would be easy to start my own shirt company and say ‘Bye bye, job!’.

It wasn’t.

Luckily, it IS easy enough to create and allow customers to buy your very own tees using Snaptee! For those of you who are hesitating to click on the link, Snaptee is a cool little mobile app that you can use to create shirts that people can then purchase. Not the creative type? No problem! Some designers will allow to ‘remix’ their designs.

Within a matter of minutes, I already have my first shirt! It’s the initial idea I had wanted to use the screen printing kit for, but without the hassle of dyes, stencils, and time. The only downsides so far are that there IS a limit to the text and design choices and Snaptee sets the price for you. Also, you only receive 10% commission from any shirts you sell, but considering that the only work you have to do is the design, I feel it’s a fair amount. For more information, take a look at the Snaptee FAQs page.

And with that, I present my first Snaptee shirt!

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In white...

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...and black!

If you are inclined to own your very own, ‘Life is like a box of CAP’N PHILLIPS’ shirt, you can order it online in either black or white.

I thought it was pretty ‘punny’ myself. ;)

Procrastination and the Life Variable

  It’s been over a month since I last posted. I would LIKE to say the lull was due to a sudden influx of recognition and success, but how could someone possibly be dishonest on the internet?

The truth is that I haven’t done anything to post about. I mean, unless anyone out there is hankering to know about the trials and tribulations of the average waitress (seriously, the thought of a work blog has crossed my mind at times). It’s not that I have nothing to do, rather, I haven’t done anything.

There seems to be a direct link between procrastination and life. I am starting to notice that the more one procrastinates, the less one has to look forward to in life. Instead of doing anything, even just for the sake of doing something, you make excuses. ‘It’s too cold’, ‘I’m too tired’, or ‘It can be done tomorrow’. Then tomorrow comes and the cycle repeats. Soon enough, all the things you were ‘meaning to do’ turn into little nagging feelings in the back of your head and you start second guessing whether you wanted to do them in the first place. In the end, nothing gets done and tomorrow becomes exactly the same as yesterday. When the future gets predictable, life gets boring.

So what do you do when you’ve made your own life boring? No. You start to complain about it constantly. Why do something about it when you can complain first and do what you should do later? By later, I mean never. Are we starting to see a pattern here?

So here’s the plan. ‘I CAN do it LATER’ is going to need to be changed to ‘I HAVE to do it NOW’. Also, it is almost the end of 2013, which means I have lees than a month to close out the year without any unfinished business.

What, exactly, do I have to do? Well…

- Finish the painting I started in May
- Make headbands and bracelets with the materials I bought to do such with.
- Make a sample tee for my colleagues to see to decide if they want to order.

and if that wasn’t enough with work on top of it, I started another painting.

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The canvas is pretty small, though, so maybe it isn’t that insane. The hardest part is going to be getting on task and not allowing myself to be distracted by games, television, and sleep.

Let us see if I can do it, shall we?

Twenty-fourteen ahoy!

Follow Up

As promised, I donned the costume, took some photos, and got a little creative with them, using Pixlr Express.

So without further ado, here is a better look at ‘Recession Batgirl’!

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Front view with 'Artfunkle' filter

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Side view - No filter

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Action pose! Used: 'Beam' overlay twice and 'Tida' filter

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'Lumina' filter

I couldn’t have done any of it without my little photographer sister. Of course, she had to get in on a bit of the action.

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The Peter Parker to my Batgirl

Hopefully, the photos give a better idea of how the costume turned out. I may work on it in the future, possibly for next year, but with the large remainder of moldable plastic left, the urge to start a new costume for next year is extremely tempting.

For now, I think I shall focus my attention on my new goal of finishing one painting a month. Let us see how that goes.

A Tale of Hallow-rush

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My less than abundant stash. Sad, but deliciously sad.

  Yesterday marked the end of October and another Halloween’s passing. Unfortunately, with school, homework (Yes, my little brother got a ‘trick’ from his teacher), makeup, and my poor time management skills, we ended up being part of the straggler group.

The sad part was that most people weren’t in high spirits by the time we headed out (around 8.00) and we faced a lot of dark houses or houses with lights, but no answer. All in all, the three of us combined had a pretty good haul, especially considering that one of the three was a twenty-five year old with a pillowcase. So I suppose it wasn’t a bad night.

Anyway, I was planning to update the costume process here, but since I didn’t start on anything until yesterday morning (Is there a rehab for procrastinators?), this will be more of a ‘How I Made a Last Minute Costume’ post.

For those of you who haven’t read the previous posts, I wanted to make a Batgirl costume this year. The only pieces that were ready yesterday was the bodysuit and cowl base (which I custom ordered online), the wig, a pair of gloves, and the base mask. Which meant, no belt, ears, boots, emblem, cape, or proper mask.

Now I knew I had a lot to do, but last year I managed to put together a decent Wonder Woman ensemble in relatively the same amount of time, so worrying wasn’t an option.

The first piece was the belt. With possible plans of hitting up the downtown pub area after taking the kids around, I had planned a functional belt. The material?

Fantastic Plastic.

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Moldable plastic from Amazon.com

I am absolutely smitten with this stuff. Not only is it easy to use (just drop the pellets it into hot water), but the fact that I can now make anything I want out of plastic is just thrilling! During the first attempt, I hand molded the piece and warped my credit card in the process. The ‘buckle’ was too heavy though, so I ended up making a front and back piece and sticking them together with a thin line of the softened plastic. Then I used a reading glasses case to mold around for the ‘secret weapon compartments’. After that, a quick couple coats of spray paint and voilà!

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The perfect superhero buckle.

I would have liked more time or something better than sandpaper to smooth it out, but the cool part is that the buckle functions as a card holder and the sides are hallow with removable tops.

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It's functional too!

Next, I started on the cape. Since I don’t have a machine or the skill to do a decent hand sew, I cheated with liquid stitch to glue the two fabrics together and measured out a rough template to give me a cape and a way to secure it around the neck.

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I drew the template on with stick concealer, as I didn’t have chalk and made a six inch paper template for the cutouts at the bottom to make them symmetrical. It took a lot of glueing and trimming, but I’m quite pleased with the final product.

At this point, I was running out of time and still had the mask, ears, belt, and symbol to do. That meant I was going to have to cut corners. The belt was the easiest. I had originally planned to either cut one out of a thin piece of plastic or use a belt, but both of those methods required time or materials that I didn’t have. It was time for a trip to the household recycling pile and with a quick cut, some duct tape, and a couple coats of spray paint, I had a passable, albeit lame, accessory.

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I also happened upon a tissue box that worked to make a base template for the ears, which I covered with leftover fabric from the cape. It wasn’t as flawless as I had wanted, but it was light and worked. However, the kids were already antsy to go out and I still had the boots, mask, and symbol to finish.

Now I had looked for blue low heel boots everywhere and the only ones I had found were not in my size. Two years ago, I made boots out of heels and duct tape, but I had no blue tape or paint to cover the silver tape, so the leftover fabric and fabric glue would have to lend themselves to the creation of a pair of boot covers. They were by far the worst parts of the costume, but desperate times, right?

The mask was fairly easy, but was another victim of time. I had to cut the bridge off to remold to fit my face and extend the edges overlap past the hood. The eyeholes and edges had to be reshaped to make the mask look less cat-like and more Batgirl. Lastly, a quick coat of black spray paint was applied.

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Another let down was the chest logo. I didn’t want anything permanent, such as fabric paint, so I tried to make a cling out of acrylic paint, but the paint didn’t dry in time. Printer paper it is then.

In the end, the costume wasn’t anything close to what I had in mind, but for a last minute costume, whipped up from scrap materials and duct tape, it isn’t too shabby. Just think of it as ‘Recession Batgirl’.

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Happy Halloween!

Anyway, I just wanted to get this up to let you guys know what happened with the costume. I hope everyone had a wonderful Halloween and I will update with a couple full costume shots tomorrow. I am much too unmotivated to get into my costume right now. Aha…

Of Suits and Bats

Just a quick update on the costume for Halloween. I felt I should let everyone know the progress and share my fantastic experience with a particular company. That company is lycra-zentai.com.

I placed my order on the thirtieth of last month, a little skeptical of the China-based company, but since the bodysuit is a large part of my costume, I took a chance. The company allows you to customize your suit in a variety of ways, including custom measurements and the option to modify the hood. My order included custom measurements, no hands or feet, an open-faced hood, and the request for a blue hood, instead of grey, which I wasn’t sure would be fulfilled, since the option for a different hood color was not given.

My doubts seemed to be founded when I logged in to my account on the sight and saw that there were three orders and none of them were past processing (it was already past the stated processing time and the payment had been deducted from my account). This has me worried that it wouldn’t come in time, if at all, so I fired an e-mail off to customer support. I received a response quickly and the staff, Jelly, pointed out an error in the order numbers I gave, which I corrected. Jelly and I corresponded a few more times and Jelly assured me that there was only one charge for one order and that it would arrive in time. Overall, the responses were prompt and pleasant, which comforted me and left me feeling like a truly valued customer.

Still, I was doubtful.

Then I received a text last Thursday that said a delivery was scheduled for tomorrow. I was able to track my order on the site, so I knew it was in state, but it was helpful to know the exact day it was to arrive. Unfortunately, I didn’t figure falling asleep into account, as I was brimming with excitement, so I missed the delivery. You can leave a note with the tracking number and a signature to authorize delivery, but as I said, excitement.

So today, I made sure to leave the handy door hanger DHL left, when they came last Friday, to authorize delivery and look what the driver left behind the screen door!

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Thank you lycra-zentai.com!

Not only was it processed, manufactured, shipped, and delivered in eleven days, but they even made the hood blue, like I had asked, for no extra charge! The suit itself fits absolutely perfectly and is better than I could have imagined. I will definitely use them for all my zentai suit needs, whatever they may be, and highly recommend them. There are complete bodysuit costumes on the site as well if you haven’t started on your Halloween ensemble yet.

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One very happy (bat)girl!

As you can see, I still have a lot of work to do. The ears and belt need to be made and attached, the emblem has to be painted on, and everything will have to be fastened securely into place. You can’t fight the crime of being candyless in a costume that falls apart! I also need to decide on a method to adjust the nose on the mask as well. There is just one detail that needs to be addressed and soon! The boots.

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The perfect boot

I found the exact boot I need on sexypromshoes.com, which in itself was a feat. You don’t know how hard it is to find knee length blue boots without a heel, this is literally the only pair I have found. The only problem is that they are close to $200 and the sizes available are too small. Therefore, I am thinking an alternative involving duct tape or spray paint is in order.

Duct tape is a great tool to make boots out of. You can use any shoe as the base and cut off the duct tape layer after. However, they look pretty homemade up close. I made Wonder Woman boots two years ago from heels and Supergirl boots last year for my sister, but you can see what I mean about aesthetics.

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Halloween 2011

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Even superheroines have to be thrifty sometimes.

I guess a little boot browsing is in order. It may be better to paint or cover a pair of boots than make a pair out of tape, but that depends on what is available.

Well, it is almost my favorite time of day, as you all know how much I adore waitressing. I have to cut this short, but am very excited to let you in on the new project I am working on!

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

It has been a rough week, folks. The tendrils of wanderlust are creeping around and I am having trouble focusing on anything other than being anywhere other than where I am.

BUT! Yesterday was a day for being artistic with looks and photo editing apps. Now normally, I don’t get dolled up and take self portraits, but I have to admit that it was interesting and fun to see what the different filters could do and experimenting with makeup in a slightly avant-garde way.

This is by far my favorite photo. The hue was edited before using a filter that brought out more contrast.

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Villainess

As far as the makeup, I tried a technique that was taken much further by ‘human Barbie’ Valeria Lukyanova. The technique of lining your lower lids with white to give the illusion of bigger eyes isn’t exactly new, but I wouldn’t have thought of underlining the WHOLE lower eyelid and then following up by lining under that with black liner. She usually exaggerates hers much more to achieve a doll-like look, but I chose to go more subtle. I paired that with a rich, red, wig and blue contacts in tribute to my favorite Disney princess, Ariel and voilà!

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Ready to lose my voice

For an evening look, I just did a simple eye ‘tattoo’, inspired by the Eye of Horus. I paired it with the black wig I used for my Wonder Woman costume last Halloween and pinned up the bangs with a couple barrettes. I feel that this is something I could put to use more often, possibly at work.

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Walk like an Egyptian

For the editing, I used Pixlr Express for Droid. I like the ease and efficiency of the app, it was easy to use the ‘heal’ to remove blemishes and there are a good amount of filters for a free app. My favorite filter is ‘Alex’. It creates a flawless, porcelain, effect on the skin.

So I guess there are some perks to being a female. Unfortunately, I feel it takes too much work just for minimal makeup to do it everyday. Once in a while, though, it’s fun to be vain.