purely conjectural

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Summer Plans

This summer, this baby is getting revamped.
1. Continue documenting my crafting odyssey as I finish Style School. And, if someone sweet gives me 60 bucks, I might also take Summer School. (I know I totally dropped off the radar, but hi! hello! comps! Graduating from graduate school!)
2. Posting the occasional outfit post. I am under no illusions about how interesting my outfits are, but there are some challenges through wardrobe remix that might be fun to document.
3. Reviewing the books I plan to read this summer. I want to get through AT LEAST the 2009 or 10 (whichever is the latest announced, at this point) Hugo, Locus, Nebula, and World Fantasy nominated books.
4. Talking about the joint etsy venture my mom and I are embarking on this summer. We started shrieking with excitement a lot this afternoon when planning it, but I think maybe we'll do vintage things. And clothes. And crochet some stuff. Maybe sew some stuff. Also steampunk jewelry. So, in essence, all of it.
5. Documentation of Fun Free(ish) Summer of 2010. Mama has a 25 hour a week job, sooooooo.
6. Promotion of the Center for the Study of Science Fiction, for which I am the coordinator. whee aboutsf.com whee
7. Talk about my novels/stories/writing goals/hangups/other thing to create balance in this sentence. I am always plugging away at short stories but also have my family saga to write (whoa) and an SF novel to produce!

Or maybe I'll update again in early 2011. Who knows!
Anyway, I have a 10-12er to write before I finish grade school. Later.

Labels: , ,

Posted by stochastic :: 6:37 PM :: 13 Comments:

Post / Read Comments


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Day two: Wall art part one, and Interim: Vintage Shopping

Here is part one of my wall art. It was quick, fun, cute, and I made it easily while my friend crocheted next to me and a favorite episode of TNG played (a two-parter, but still). I have a vaguely nautically themed bedroom with red, white, blue, and yellow accents, so I made a mobile of me, Nick, my sister, and my brother with his girlfriend.

Gentlemen, behold!

Also, can I just say that I *adore* Lawrence Antique Mall? I went shopping for Week 2 supplies (ha.ha.ha) this weekend and found the following treasures:

A beautiful starburst clock (arms need reattaching, fingers crossed that it still works!)

A really versatile 70s skirt that fits like a charm

Adorable 60s springy dress (take that, overpriced Modcloth)

This pretty trivet

Melamine cups still in their packaging

Material for my quote embroidery pillow (You cant make it out but it's orange, yellow, and blue)

A crewel piece to add to my vintage wall (after I just bought one on etsy, dammit)

The final piece to the pyrex set that I needed

OH AND DID I MENTION THIS TURQUOISE AND MUSTARD REFURBISHED HOOSIER CABINET THAT WAS ONLY 120 BUCKS. No, I don't think I did. I almost passed out when I saw it and then again when I saw how cheap it was. I don't think I've ever found a piece of furniture I've loved so much and I now have a craft table in my library, after shifting two books around.

Next time: the other piece of wall art, a toolbelt craft apron (IF I can figure out how to make my sewing machine work)

Posted by stochastic :: 4:25 PM :: 31 Comments:

Post / Read Comments


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Project 1: Faux Vintage Brooch Wreath

Well, a week later and I've finally finished a project. (Hey, it was the first week of class!) Plus making a yarn-wrapped wreath is a lot more time consuming than I had expected. I think my flowers look a little goofy, and my nails prevented me from sewing the buttons onto the flowers the way I liked, but overall I'm pretty pleased. I made it to match this yarn painting I found in Hot Springs, AR, at a flea market, and eventually I'd like to make the whole wall full of fun vintage stuff. (My yarne was vintage ombre stuff, as you can probably tell, that I found in my town's thrift store).


Wreath detail:

Wreath, in wall context:

Nails of great impracticality:

Oh, and I shouldn't forget to mention that also keeping my house trashed and my time full was the process of making EIGHTY-ONE ATCs. Seriously. I have no idea what came over me. Proof!

Ah well. Everything is getting caught up, and I even have a long weekend to work on it. I also added a few pages to my style file:

That's my cover page; I'll upload more later. Next entry will be a couple cute pieces of wall art: one for my bedroom, and one for a different living room wall.

Labels: ,

Posted by stochastic :: 3:25 PM :: 2 Comments:

Post / Read Comments


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Day 1 and then some: Style File collecting

Although I am still off to a rather rocky start, some things are progressing. Nick and I spent most of our Monday busily trying to track down supplies for the projects for this week. Two of them involve sewing, so we hit up Sarah's, an amazing fabric store on Mass Street, and got an amazingly expensive amount of cloth for an apron, a covered sketchbook, and then whatever random things I need scraps for. This, although incredibly exciting aesthetically, is not something I can continue doing: I dropped 75 bucks alone at the fabric store before even heading over to Michael's. But oh, I'm just in love with what I got.

This material is for my apron:

And this is for my sketchbook. I'm quite iffy about the checked felt, but I did love it inexplicably when I first saw it. {And yes, I'll have a kitchen-themed sketchbook).

Most expensive was this set of nautical themed 10x10 inch material which I am forever and ever amen in love with:

But not all is lost. I have made my style file with pieces of scrapbook paper, mainly from my lovely Studio Calico kits, but it's also full of pieces with excellent patterning that I've always found too busy to scrap with. It's a bit haphazard and full of brown, but at this point, I suppose that's exactly how I'd describe my aesthetic. In fact, that's one of my style goals: stop being so messy and so brown!

Unfortunately, laser printers, while contributing meaningfully to academia, do not work as well when trying to print out pictures of clothes, nail polishes, vintage campers, and Pyrex, so my style file is still pretty empty. And empty it shall likely remain, because of my final problem: School starts Thursday! I begin teaching Friday! I've selected books I'm too stupid to teach! I start my comps reading Thursday! I have 81 ATCs I need to mail out tomorrow and I've only done 54! I have my Marx reading club tomorrow night! I had to return things to Anthropologie today! I work Friday and Sunday this week!

In other words, the largest pile-up of responsibility humanly possible has accumulated this week. I WILL catch up, although hopefully it'll be cheaper in the future. I have a partner, Crissy, whom I'm supposed to be impressing (or at least supposed to be cheerleading), and I need to catch up!

Next blog will (hopefully) feature a more completed style file, a wreath, and perhaps some pretty wall art.

Labels: , ,

Posted by stochastic :: 10:28 PM :: 0 Comments:

Post / Read Comments


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Style School

Now I have a bonafide goal to write in this blog: Elsie & Leigh Ann's style school. Through this craft class, I'll be developing my own personal style and working on crafty things every day. Since it's structured like a "school" class and, God help me, I don't think I can function without something analogous to class, I'll be making 5-7 crafts a week for the next 6 weeks and will post my progress here.

...not that this is a great start. My first project is a Style File, which is a scrapbook-esque documentation of how my style evolves over the course of the six weeks. I have made the pages (out of pretty scrapbook papers), but since I don't have a color printer at home (gobless the laser printer for seminar papers, but...), I will have to catch you up on that tomorrow.

My goals are to a. branch out of scrapbooking, b. learn how to crochet and sew better, c. make more homemade things instead of shopping constantly, d. try and create in colors other than what may be classified as Hipster Springtime, and e. shower my family and friends with homemade gifts next Christmas, when I will have graduated and will likely be jobless with a master's degree and an attitude.

Wish me luck!

Posted by stochastic :: 9:11 PM :: 1 Comments:

Post / Read Comments


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Lawrence has sunk into a gray drizzly pseudo-freeze, and midterms/fall break are next week, which means I've been feeling the nesting urge. Since I have to be inside, of course I want things to be clean and welcoming--something both of our schedules rarely allow us to maintain. But! We have made a resolution! Our house will stay looking like a house, and not like a dorm (read=trash pit)!

I have a lovely little computer desk I pulled off the student-moving-out-trash from the back alley when I moved in the house, and although it's in sturdy condition, the paint is definitely worse for wear. It's white, which makes it doubly susceptible to dirt that's easy to see. I bought the prettiest shade of Krylon to paint it with, and I meant to get it done today, but it's too cold out for the paint to adhere well :/ Here is the color on said desk:


Michael's was having a sale on scrapbook frames yesterday, so I picked one up for five bucks and switched the three LOs over my loveseat into a square, which everyone readily agrees looks better, although I'm not sure why; I thought the other way looked fine. (The vaguely crooked pictures are a result of trying to match plastic hooks with the frame holders, not my general inability to do anything neatly).


We also replaced the shower curtains, which were just liners and in a state of putridity, with fresh, mold-proof liners. I decided the bathroom needed a little color and bought the most adorable shower curtain and hooks from Target:

Photobucket Photobucket

I found a psychedelic little piece of fabric mounted on a frame at a yardsale, and although I bought impulsively, I didn't know what to do with it, and it just hung out awkwardly in the library. I decided to hang it on the library wall next to my desk, and use it as an inspiration display, where I mainly just hang things I like. I stapled some twine to the frame (tenuously; I need better securers) and then used tiny craft clothespins to hang some cool old pics I've had forever and my favorite recents LOs.


Finally, I bought a few Halloween decorations to make my mantle and front door festive. I then discovered how very much Halloween decorations were and cut my purchase in half, sadly :( (Sorry for the blurriness; we lost our real camera at the Renn Faire a couple weeks ago and have to rely on the iphone for right now)

Photobucket Photobucket

Photobucket Photobucket

So, that's decorating.

I went to a Gwar/Lamb of God show with my officemate Jennifer Thursday night--you don't know how long I've been waiting to have a friend who would want to go to crap like this with me--and, although we missed Gwar and thus didn't get shot full of blood, LoG put on a great show.


I shoved lots of big guys around and screamed my head off and had a generally good time. I did get caught in a wall of death (which was AWESOME), and Jennifer's head slammed into mine, bending my glasses and giving me a brvtal, tiny bruise on my eyebrow. Can't wait to scrapbook my metal bruises, ha!


Ok, back to Sybil and modal auxiliaries. Hopefully I'll be able to do some new Studio Calico LOs this weekend--I just ordered my first kit, whee! Raphael says bye :)


Labels: ,

Posted by stochastic :: 1:19 PM :: 3 Comments:

Post / Read Comments


Thursday, October 1, 2009

Hi again

Ok, regular posting again. And this time, I extra mean it.

I'm in the midst of my last year getting my master's degree (al! freaking! ready!) and lately it's been weighing on my mind. It's not as if I'll have difficulty finding a job that pays more than I make for the year I'm taking off while Nick finishes his degree--frankly, working full time at Burger King, I noticed, makes more than I do as a GTA--but, that after that year, I don't have the direction that I ordinarily have had. I'm stuck, ya'll. As I see it, I have three options:

1. Get my PhD in literature. Honestly, this one is last on the list right now. I at first disowned the idea after my first year of grad school ended in some seminars I really struggled with, but since then, I've felt distanced from academia and all of the ridiculous hoops I'd have to jump through to get a job. My friends, who are largely in their PhD programs, are all panicking about what they need to do to get hired--at least, I think they are, since they're buried up to their necks in Henry James so they can "have a wider teaching load." I understand the economy is not being very polite to its citizenry at this point, but frankly, I think the tenure system is sort of an outmoded thing and I'd rather not have to bust people's heads and ignore my husband and hypothetical children to keep a job.

2. Get my PhD in Library Science (or MLIS, if I can't get into schools because of my English MA). This one feels the most likely, and my experience in libraries has really made me feel at home here. Plus, my insatiable desire for books has been quelled a bit since I've started working in them; after all, those are my libraries now, aren't they? There are lots of job opportunities that fascinate me that I feel I'm more than qualified for, but unfortunately opportunity 3 has made me rethink this choice, and that is...

3. ...to give day jobs the bird and really dedicate myself to my writing. Obviously one can both have a day job and a writing career, particularly when one is starting out, but this doesn't help me practically make decisions at this point. There is a thriving SF community here in Lawrence, and I've made a ton of friends, and my writing output has shot up exponentially since I've joined such a supportive group, both in terms of sheer word output and in terms of quality. Hell, a week ago, I just spent all night talking to China Mieville, one of my favorite writers, all night long at a bar! With jokes! And hugs! And email addresses! I could be a part of this! But what a gamble it is. I've not been out of school for a very, very long time, and aligning myself with the SF community--which I've received numerous invitations to do--is, for the most part, not scholarly. Potentially I could get my PhD with an emphasis in SF, like my friend Chris and Nate have, but James Gunn, the professor/grandmaster of SF that works here, is only 2396512056 years old, so I don't know if there'll even be an opportunity to do it, should I want to.

Oh, well. Anyone who reads this blog will likely have heard me talk about it before, but I just wanted to get it out there.

Dream Theater's Black Clouds and Silver Linings, which I had put away since its release in June, is back on my playlist with a vengeance--my God this thing is so much better than I first thought. Also, Redemption's new album has made me relisten to The Origins of Ruin more closely, and I'm so head over heels from them. I saw them live, but they opened for DT, and I essentially wanted them to play their silly setlist so I could see Petrucci's arms in real life. I have an aural crush on them now, and not just because Ray Alder sort of looks like a young Admiral Adama :)

Oh, here are a couple blurry pictures of Mr. Clean--er, China Mieville--himself, for the 0000 people who are curious. I didn't get any pictures of us hanging out because I wanted to act totally cool around him, sadly. So here he is doing a reading from his new book The City & the City.

China 3

China 2

China 1


Posted by stochastic :: 1:18 PM :: 3 Comments:

Post / Read Comments