26 November

Updated To-Do List

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It’s the end of November and I have just one month left in 2014 to Get Stuff Done.

I ended up taking a staycation last week and got three sewing projects knocked out and done, two of which were just finishing them for commission work, the third was my Arwen.  Last night I sculpted and baked the belt buckle, so the things left are fixing the collar, maybe removing the zipper and figuring out if I’m going to baseball stitch the seams or not.  The leather seams have a lot of bulk and it’s hard to keep the stitches nice and tight since they’re decorative and not functional.  I also have to decide if I want to take in the bodice or not.  I think I’ll pick up gloves at some point rather than making them, I don’t really have time to hand stitch a pair of gloves.

Things I Have to do this year:

1) Finish Brandon’s stupid uniform I volunteered to remake because I wasn’t 100% happy with the first one.

2) Eventually make Danielle’s Mara Jade jumpsuit.

3) Finish Arwen this year before the last Hobbit movie.  If I don’t, it will never be completely finished.

Next year:

Rocket Racoon, D&D cartoon characters and Purple Padme. Possible commissions on the horizon.

First con of 2015 MIGHT be Ichiban, we shall see.

 

10 November

Coming soon: A larger workshop

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Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay

We just bought a house, and it’s going to have a two-car garage, potential backyard space for a workshop shed and my sewing area will be doubled. We’ll finally have a room we can put all his grandparent’s antiques in and not leave them somewhere and hope they don’t get scratched.  The house will be built to the design we want, and will be ready in a few months.  Which means we have to move again.

Hubby’s working on a large vacuum former, which right now is taking up a lot of space in our rental place, but soon things will be changing. We’re one big step closer to renting out our original home after this weekend.  In the mean time, we’re plotting up next DragonCon’s costume line up. I think the bug finally bit my husband and now he’s eager to put his workshop skills and tools to use on some fun projects.

This year, we went as our first ‘paired’ costume set, Rocket(te) and Groot. By DragonCon next year, we’ll likely again be Upgraded (fursuit)Rocket and (latex)Groot, some D&D characters from the cartoon back in the day, and a RIFTS duo.  His costume, I think is secret for now, so I’ll just say I’m starting plans for making myself a Lay-line Walker and leaving it at that.  My purple padme gown will make four costumes, and hopefully by then I’ll be in shape to wear Cursed Midna again, making that more or less my costume limit, allowing for one surprise outfit of some kind, maybe. I’m finding myself just not wanting to change all that often anymore.  I’m having more fun wearing a well-made costume ‘all day’ rather than switching out to something I haven’t spent as much time on.

Poking around for Rocket Racoon reference images, I think this is my favorite thing that showed up. (artist and original comic book unknown)

2941191-rocket_raccoon_4

13 October
21 September

Blue Ridge Base takes Costumer of the Year for 2013

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Lizwinner copy

Photo by Ripptowne Photography

This is Liz Welsh, a member of Rebel Legion in our Blue Ridge Base of the North and South Carolinas division. I was base commander when her award came through and I was honored to present it to her in a special ceremony/gathering.

Congrats, Liz, and thanks for being a valued member of Rebel Legion!

4 August

Whelp. Ten years.

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I randomly feel like quoting Gross Point Blank. TEN YEARS, MAN! TEN YEARS! Nothing as interesting as John Cusack’s character, but at least I haven’t killed anyone.

The only thing I’ve spent longer at is being in a relationship with my husband, which also is kind of mind-blowing.  That includes pre-marriage time too – I’ve been at this job longer than I’ve been married.

Crazy.  When I started working here, we did EVERYTHING out of photoshop.  This was pre-VizRt, pre-Chyron and pre-Curious Maps.  We made all our maps as they were requested.  A couple months after I started I made a monstrous photoshop master map that was easier to just pick a an area from and turn around quickly.  All those maps have long since been deleted. I got a lot more use out of my 3D skills when I first started, but have been called on less and less.  Everything was done from Photoshop templates and animated or non-animated layers in Premiere.  Now we have Chyron and a much more set in stone guideline book to how things are supposed to look on-air.

My favorite things have always been being able to do something different- the 3D stuff, sometimes animated web banners, animated printed pages, getting to work on the animation for our coverage of the final shuttle launch a few years ago.  The time I got a complement from the Animal Planet people for an open I did-that was pretty awesome.

Getting free cable and internet all this time has been pretty nice too.

As of today, I am up to four weeks paid vacation- I’d been putting off taking any vacation most of this year because I wasn’t sure what the move to Charlotte would mean.  I think I’m supposed to get a block of plastic at some point as well.  Woot.

23 July

I did another thing – Rebel Legion

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Blue_Ridge_banner_Darinus

A new Jedi Knight member of Blue Ridge Base/Rebel Legion asked for a sig banner, so I made him one.  The Darth Vader is a 501st member – he’s not from a movie screen shot.  “Darinus” is an OC, with a cape instead of a robe in grey tones and a purple lightsaber.  He’s only got the one costume so far, but when he gets more I’ll update his banner be animated.  Though, now that I’ve said that, I’m tempted to go back and animate a glow on the sabers and make them vibrate a little.

The right round logo says “Nexus Temple” – all Jedi are automatically members so we all get to use that logo in addition to the BRB logo.

18 June

I did this thing also

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640x320_Stormfest

I like getting to do pretty web banners. I’ve said it before, but it’s a nice break from the on-air format.

 

12 June

Freaky

Today is my last day in the Raleigh Newsroom. One of my coworkers celebrated 12 years with News 14/Time Warner Cable News today.  My 10 year work anniversary happens in August.  I’ve been here to see the station change names, go from 4:3 and giant backup tapes to 16:9 and digital HD.  When I started, we made our traffic maps ‘by hand’ in Illustrator and Photoshop using templates that we modified.  Not too long after I started, we switched to Curious Maps (thank the gods).  When I started we only had the one building, and now we’re in Charlotte, Greensboro and Wilmington.  I don’t even remember what software we had before we moved from VizRt to Chyron, but it was a pain in the butt.  Sometimes the only surface indication that something has gone wrong was the sight of a news director dashing past the cubes, but even that hasn’t happened in years.  We went from burnt coffee pots to a k-cup machine and I kept going with my “Last Pot Brewed” dry erase comics, which people liked more than I first realized.  On top of that, no one I’ve talked to here even feels like they could ‘take over’, which equally surprises me.   I’m sort of happy to be with the same company for 10 years, but I’m looking forward to the next adventure.

I applied for a contract job that needs 3D models pumped out.  They want Maya and Max, but I’m hoping Lightwave could work for them too.  (crosses fingers)

My boss had my regular workstation/computer moved to Charlotte and it’s going to be all ready for me when I come into work Sunday at the Charlotte Newsroom.  My office decorations are all packed up and ready to go with me out the door today.  I have a box of duplicate markers that I’m leaving here just in case someone wants to draw on the board too.

It’s pretty awesome that my bosses were not only willing to do this for me, but they moved it along pretty fast.   The new drive won’t be much longer than the old drive to work, and I can still miss the rush hour because of my crazy schedule not changing.

We move the cats this weekend too.  This will be interesting.  I hope life continues to be interesting.

 

29 May

ConCarolinas!

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Animazement ended up being a total bust for me – my first year since I started going five years ago that I missed it.  Or was it four years ago? On the plus side, I’ll be getting a bit of overtime pay for the holiday weekend.

ConCarolinas is coming up next weekend, and I’m looking forward to a low-key con.  I just got a brand new round of makeup in the mail from ELF, which seems like a bit of product placement, but it’s really not.

I have a lot of make up to split between personal life and costuming, though I try to keep separate sets for each. Elf became a go-to for inexpensive colors I knew I was only going to use for a specific costume and as a way to avoid dropping 8 bucks on a lipstick I knew I would only use a couple of times.  With the exception of my Rebel Legion characters, I tend to only wear my costumes a couple of times before putting them up or retiring them. I’ve had the good fortune (or sense) to make more costumes that require no make up and are easier to throw on.

A Rebel Legion buddy of mine is working with me to make matching “Weeping Angel” costumes more or less following a helpful Instructable.  While no makeup will be involved, getting into and out of them will take up some time.  Navigating together while wearing them will be the more difficult part, at least at DragonCon.  This week I sculpted one of the ‘scary’ masks, and I’m anxiously waiting to see if the thing is going to crack while drying.

They won’t be done in time to enter the costume contest with them, and I don’t know if I’m entering this year, or what I’m bringing besides Mara Jade.  I *could* enter my True Form Midna, which hasn’t won anything yet, but I have no skit, and groups do better than solo entries at ConCarolinas.  And I kind of just want to not enter this year and let he con be stress free.  I’m not really supposed to enter my Rebel Legion costumes, so no Mara either.  Journey would be great if I could dance at all, but I’d probably fall over anyway.

I’ll play it by ear and see what happens.  Maybe next year I can do a Firefly skit with Becky and put that Kaylee outfit together that I’ve been wanting to do..

25 May

Throwback Sunday

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Lottobillboard

This was a really cool and fun project that has since been retired, as we no longer use VizRt.  A little while after North Carolina got the lottery, someone thought it would be helpful to have a template with changeable numbers in an interesting format.

I built the billboard in Lightwave, in layers. One of the fun things about VizRt is that when you are importing 3D objects, they have to be divided up into multiple objects if you want to use more than one image for any given part of it.  Viz will not accept more than one surface image on any one object.  The other fun thing is that it does not import objects to scale.  If you import a space shuttle and then import the shuttle bay doors and drop them in the same project, they’re both going to be the same length and one has to manually re-size the doors down to match the shuttle again, which may or may not lead to being able to line them up correctly.  I had to import my football in 5 sections, one for each quarter and one for the laces.  When I last used Viz, it did not do a good job of bending images, so ball objects required quite a bit of arranging to get images to line up right.

I imported the board, walkway, number border box and pole separately so I could modify their colors. The dollar sign is a permanent symbol, and the the others were rectangular planes that you could choose which number to display.  Or you could type it in, I forget which.  I had some help with the VB script.  The background displays a moving video loop of traffic on I-40, and the rotating ’14’s.  The billboard image was originally a .jpg saved out of photoshop.

 

 

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