ladyofthethread: (Sarah)
Merry Christmas! ^_^ I hope everyone is having a nice holiday.

Woke up early this morning and baked a gingerbread cake from scratch since we had a jar of ground ginger and a bottle of molasses sitting around that weren’t likely to get used otherwise. I started from this recipe but since a bunch of the people who reviewed it said they doubled or even tripled the spices, I added an extra 1/2 teaspoon each of ginger and cinnamon. I also didn’t have ground cloves although there was a bottle of whole cloves left over from Thanksgiving so I just left it out entirely and added a teaspoon of nutmeg instead. I think the 1 hour baking time might have been a bit too long since the crust came out a bit hard and started to burn a little. The inside was good though and not too sweet, which is good since my mother usually doesn’t like Western cakes for being too sweet.

I finally finished writing for the [livejournal.com profile] saiunkoku_fic exchange yesterday. It turns out I severely underestimated how long my story would go and had to ask for an extension (original deadline was Dec. 20). ._.; The fics haven’t started going up yet but even if they were, I can’t really talk about mine for a couple more weeks since they do voting on the fics with a little prize for the most popular; we’re not allowed to say which story we wrote or post it elsewhere until afterwards.

Other than writing that fic, I ended up being lazy this year and not crafting any gifts like I usually do. So, I bought a few things instead and still need to figure out when I can go visit a few people and give them their gifts since I haven’t had time yet.
ladyofthethread: (Default)
Gung Hay Fat Choy! Happy Year of the Tiger!

Happy Valentine’s Day, too!


ladyofthethread: (Herald)
Merry Christmas! Hope everyone had a nice day. ^_^

It’s been a somewhat busy week so it’s nice that I can relax now. Monday evening, my brother and I dropped by [livejournal.com profile] neoangelwink and [livejournal.com profile] loudnbothered’s place for a few minutes so I could give them their card and present. Tuesday was a business meeting and lunch, which went a few hours, followed by a little last minute shopping. Our solstice celebration was that night so there was a big dinner. I had a bit of a headache so I napped for a couple of hours before helping my mother and sister wrap presents for some of the store employees. This year, we put together gift bags with a bunch of candies and snacks so there were lots of little things to wrap and we didn’t finish until around 1 AM. Wednesday and Thursday included some last minute crafting (I went though more than half a bottle of tacky glue within the past week! o_O;) and cleaning.

Today was spent at home. My family tends to be impossible to shop for so I just bought The Muppet Christmas Carol for us to watch this afternoon. We rarely watch movies together so it was something nice to do. And tomorrow we’re having relatives over for a dinner party to celebrate my mother’s birthday.

I still have to visit one friend over the weekend and give her my present but most people have gotten my crafty little gifts by now. So I can post some of the stuff I’ve made these last few weeks with out ruining any surprises! :-D

I made this pouch for neoangelwink. It’s another design from the Omiyage book; this one is called “Avalanche Lily.” The bottom piece is a large star and there are little triangle pieces sewn like godets between the points. It has a pretty interesting shape with the bottom being a pentagon and the sides slanting inwards towards the top. (My brother thought that it looked like a weird tiny hat when turned upside down! XD) The closed pouch is supposed to look like a star-shaped flower from the top but I think the cotton was a bit too stiff for it to work as well as the model in the book.



another pic )

The crochet project I mentioned some weeks back was a baby blanket for [livejournal.com profile] sakuralenayuy. I used a free pattern I found on the Lion Brand yarn site and their Wool-Ease yarn in pastel yellow. I actually made it yellow because of a story that my mother told me about a neighbor making a blanket as a gift when I was born; the neighbor had made it yellow so it would be suitable for either a boy or a girl.



detail pic )

I stitched a Christmas ornament for [livejournal.com profile] ngmaster and an extra of the same design for myself. The design is called “Emerald Teardrop” and it’s from a Mill Hill kit from the mid-1990s. I originally stitched the design ages ago but the hanger broke some years back and I’ve been meaning to remake it since then. I got new beads and finally got around to doing it this year!

ladyofthethread: (Sarah)
Happy Thanksgiving! :-)

I guess this is a good time to start collecting addresses since I already have cards and ordered some Christmas tree address labels. If you’re on my friends list and would like a holiday card, please reply with your mailing address. (Comments are screened.)

If you would like to send one in return, leave a link to your own card post or ask me to PM.
ladyofthethread: (D with bird)
I finished a crochet project but haven’t taken a picture yet. I also had my first experience trying to steam block a crochet piece, which entails stretching and pinning it to the proper shape, steaming it, and leaving it for a while. It turned out to be quite effective for turning an irregular blob into a rectangle!

Tomorrow’s Thanksgiving and we’ll be having relatives over again. ^_^ Last year was weird since everyone did their own dinner or went to eat with other relatives. It was so strange for my family to be having Thanksgiving dinner alone since we’d always had relatives over for it as long as I could remember. Like usual, my mother is cooking two birds, one turkey and one chicken. And not my phoenix prop although my mother seemed to think it was a chicken when I was packing for a con! :-P

Christmas

Dec. 26th, 2008 12:53 am
ladyofthethread: (Sarah)
A bit late but Merry Christmas! :-) Thanks to those of you who sent cards!

I guess the surprise this year was that my brother bought me a new camera! O_o; On my old camera, the screen was turning purple and tinting photos in some cases. I’d asked him about it and he thought it wasn’t worth getting fixed and that should get a new one. I haven’t been using it for much other than progress shots and won't go going to another con until May so I told him I’d wait to get a new one. He normally doesn’t get something especially for me so I really didn’t expect him to buy me a new one. o_o

Otherwise, I got clothes and money from my family and relatives. And a cross stitch book from [livejournal.com profile] ngmaster. (Thanks, Dave!)

I was kind of lazy this year so I only stitched one ornament for a gift. ^_^; (I actually finished this a couple of weeks back but couldn’t post it yet since it was for ngmaster. It’s the Mitten Men design by Just Nan. Instead of using a little ornament frame like the one pictured, I just sewed and stuffed it. And I made a 4-strand braid using embroidery floss colors from the design to use as trim. I wanted to make a second one to keep for our own tree but it was so annoying to stitch that I didn’t want to do it two times in a row (so many scattered stitches and different colors for such a small design!). Maybe, next year.

ladyofthethread: (Terra)
Okay, most of my holiday cards went out yesterday; the few British and Canadian ones went out last week. Received [livejournal.com profile] novaraven, [livejournal.com profile] luv_blindly, and [livejournal.com profile] blackmarth’s cards so far. Thanks! :-D

Our tree is up and I finished my shopping for friends but still have one gift to make. Employee gifts have to be ordered tonight. I’d assumed we weren’t doing them this year with the rough economy but my father finally brought it up a few days ago and we’re going to barely make the shipping deadlines without paying extra. >_>;

As usual, I’m not sure what to do about my impossible-to-shop-for family. I’m wondering about getting my parents a meat grinder. They were looking for one at the mall the other day but we only found a grinding attachment for a stand mixer we don’t have and one model of meat grinder which was out of stock. My mother doesn’t trust ground meat so she has always bought cuts of meat and chopped them up herself but it’s a lot of extra work.


Not much new to talk about cosplay-wise. The fairy costume hasn’t been worked on and I’ve been meaning to start Ekaterina but haven’t gotten beyond cutting out some corset pattern pieces.

There’s sort of a funny story about that actually… I’d seen cable ties recommended for corsets in place of featherweight boning on cosplay.com and I asked my father about where to get long cable ties a few weeks back although I didn’t mention what I was using them for. He said he was going to check a place he normally orders supplies for the store from but I wasn’t in a big hurry and assumed he’d forgotten about it. Last week he brought me a package of cable ties that were about 2 mm thick and half an inch wide and asked me if that would work. Overkill for a corset, I think. XD; I asked him to send it back and picked out a more suitable size from the company’s website.

I think I need new veil fabric, too. I bought a piece of sheer black that was on sale at JoAnn’s the other weekend. I can see okay out of it when it’s draped over my hat. But it seems to be too opaque for someone else to really see under it while Ekatarina’s face and mask should still be somewhat visible under the veil.
ladyofthethread: (Eugenie)
Last call for holiday cards! If you wanted one but missed the post, it’s here: http://ladyofthethread.livejournal.com/140894.html I’m going to try to get them in the mail next weekend.


Fortunately, I didn’t get picked for jury duty yesterday and got out after 2 hours. Which is good because I would have been stuck there past 5PM for 2 weeks if I did get picked since it was for grand juries. After they got rid of people who didn’t qualify (non-citizens, underage, not a resident of the county, etc.), they said everyone left had to serve if picked and called 75 names at random; there were only 40-50 left in the room after they were done. x_x;

And I got my package from the Cosworx Thanksgiving sale yesterday. ^_^ I bought a Linda XL in Henna Red that I’ll cut bangs into whenever I get around to doing my Youko cosplay. And I got an Ivy wig and a pack of extensions in 24B since I’d like to eventually cosplay Layla from Kaleido Star. I like that it’s much more of a yellow blonde than the New Look version of that shade; I remember going crazy trying to find a nice long yellow blonde wig a few years back for another character! Boy, I’m accumulating a lot of wigs. I now have 5 new ones for characters I mean to do sometime plus one that I’m not sure what to do with because it turned out to be more orangey than I expected. >_>;

Finally, here are a couple of silly Petshop of Horrors drabbles since I haven't had much interesting to post lately: Hayride, Opening Night
ladyofthethread: (D with bird)
Happy Thanksgiving!

I made a cake earlier and dinner was good although it was a little weird not having anyone over this year. When I was a kid, all of our relatives on my mother’s side would come over (4 siblings and their families). Some of them eventually wanted to start cooking their own Thanksgiving dinner so fewer of them came over time. We only had 2 or 3 over last year. But this year, they wanted to go out to eat in Chinatown with relatives on the other side of their family instead. My mother didn’t particularly mind since it meant less work for her. But as long as I can remember, we’ve always had at least a few relatives over for Thanksgiving so it was a bit strange to have no one over at all.


On a more cheerful note, I got Japanese volume 6 of the PSOH sequel in the mail yesterday. Haven’t taken a thorough look through it yet but ooh, I like this picture from the back cover. ^_^



It might go on my list of possible D costumes but if it did, I doubt I’d get to it soon since there isn’t a picture of the front and I’m not good at art. ^_^;; Don’t know if I’d do the scythe. I lack prop experience and can’t imagine it working well for many poses other than the one in the pic since the blade curves like a hook. And with the giant tassel, it has to be the most impractical scythe design ever. :-P I’m also amused Taizu the mobster is in a robe with pink clouds instead of his usual dark suit.

I also kind of like this one. It would be fun for Halloween. Could work for the Costume Con theme of “Vampires, Villains, and Vixens” too but I don’t think I like it enough to bump some of the other things I was considering making.



I think the above was actually supposed to be Taizu’s imagination or something because in the following pages, D is dressed for Halloween in a robe with cartoony ghosts, bats, and jack-o-lanterns. What the hell? XD;

Most ridiculous D outfit ever )

I kind of wonder if Matsuri Akino has been trying to come up with something silly for him to wear every few chapters because there was already an outfit with cartoony birds in an earlier volume, and one with giant fish which weren’t cartoony but looked silly anyway just because they were so huge.
ladyofthethread: (Terra)

Happy Chinese New Year!



My mother says it’s supposed to be lucky to stay up all night on Chinese New Year’s Eve and she does it every year. So, I also stayed up until 5AM, catching up with some stuff online plus helping put up New Year’s decorations and fillling candy dishes.

Slept for a few hours and then saw this after I woke up: http://www.cosplay.com/costumes/

My 19th Century Count D is the cosplay.com showcase costume for today! :-D Exciting for me since I’d never been featured on any cosplay sites before and kind of fitting that D got picked on Chinese New Year. ^_^

ladyofthethread: (D)
Happy New Year, everyone! :-) I hope this year turns out to be a success for all of you.

New Year’s Eve was just spent at home as usual and today was quiet, too. But we went out on Sunday night to have dinner with relatives and celebrate my mother’s birthday.

Between Christmas, my mother’s birthday, and New Year’s, it’s been cake, cake, and more cake! Right now, we have white cake and ice cream cake leftover from my mother’s birthday plus three quarters of a cheesecake my father got at a new bakery yesterday. o_o; And not cake but I still have half a box of baklava left in the refrigerator. I’d better take longer walks this month… XD;
ladyofthethread: (Youka)
Well, now that Christmas is over and [profile] ngmaster has his gift, I can reveal what I made: quilted ornaments in kimono fabric. I got the idea at NYAF since there were kimono fabric handkerchiefs on sale at one booth and picked out a couple of the smaller prints. I don’t normally quilt so I was trying to design a square block before flipping through a book and realizing that a fan would be the most obvious thing to do with kimono fabrics. Could have been a little neater but I think it came out pretty well. Did 3 of these in all and still have some of the fabrics left to play with so I might try some other designs later on. ^_^ 





Christmas here was pretty quiet. Just stayed home most of the day and relaxed. Dinner didn’t go quite as planned since the ham turned out to be slimy when my mother opened it. o_o; We had some steak in the refrigerator though so we still had a nice dinner.

For presents, I got cash, clothes, a pair of stuffed bears (thanks, Dave!), a few anime/manga things I picked out for myself, and this kaleidoscope. Bought the last for myself as a nostalgic thing after being reminded of them a couple of months back; we had one or two around the house when I was a kid but I hadn’t seen one with actual stuff inside for years. 

And thanks to [profile] neoangelwinkfor the cute card!

Yesterday, I went to visit a friend I hadn’t seen since last December and it was nice to have a chance to catch up. ^_^ Had dumplings and cake while we talked about what we’ve been up to and plans for the future. We went through each other’s online albums together; she showed me pictures from trips she had taken while I showed her some of my more recent costumes. A funny thing was that she told me one of her friends almost dragged her to NYAF; would have been quite a surprise if I’d run into her there! She’s not into anime/manga although her sister is. Talked to her sister briefly about cons and cosplay, too.

Exchanged gifts and I got a photo album and journal from her. But my favorite thing was a package of pretty origami paper with instructions for folding children in kimonos. Haven’t done origami in years but it looks like it should be fun to play with when I have time. ^_^ 
ladyofthethread: (Ayame)
 
(Sorry for the lack of a new picture this year. ^_^;)

Merry Christmas!  Hope everyone has a great holiday. ^_^
ladyofthethread: (Herald)
Well, I’ve finally managed to get most holiday stuff out of the way. ^_^ Cards went out last Friday and last weekend was spent holiday shopping and working on gifts.

I made three of one item using a technique I don’t do often and I think they came out pretty well. Won’t say exactly what it is yet since someone on the friends list is receiving one and I don’t want to ruin the surprise. Keeping one for myself and giving another to an old friend that I’m hoping to see next week.

Then, I made a pair of fringed cushions for my parents, using some of the red upholstery brocade I had left from my Ayame. Kind of random but they’re impossible to shop for and they got a new sofa earlier in the year that didn’t come with any cushions. Also made a tree skirt with the same fabric several days before that so I finally used all the leftovers. Now my costume can match the tree and sofa! XD;

Next, I crocheted a scarf for my grandmother with some fuzzy yarn. It was just rows of double crochet, nothing fancy. But it went more slowly than I was hoping because I’d forgotten fuzzy yarn is a nuisance to work with; you can’t see the stitches that well due to the fuzz so it’s hard to see what you’re doing. ^_^;

And now I’m off to make tangyuan which is traditional for Chinese celebrations of the Winter Solstice tomorrow. 
ladyofthethread: (sequined flower)
Boy, I’m so not ready for Christmas. ._.; I’ve gotten company gifts ordered for our store’s employees but am barely started on my own gift shopping/making. Tree is still being decorated (I’m throwing on a few ornaments at a time between doing other things.) and I’m finally writing cards now so…

Last call for holiday cards: http://ladyofthethread.livejournal.com/120143.html
I’m going to try to get them out this weekend and they’ll hopefully be delivered sometime next week. Cards will be going out from my business address and if you’d like to send one back, please use the return address on the envelope. :-)

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