Tag Archive: Air Force Reserves

Summer Love Sets In...

Two of the many ways Dom plans to keep busy. via Instagram.

We’ve all seen it before:  Dom says he’s going to do something, plays around with it, gets busy or upset, then abandons said project for whatever reasons and ends up playing video games all day.  Like this blog (sigh).  Well, that’s going to change starting now, because of one major life-requirement:  art direction.  The ability to learn was there.  The need to create was there.  The motivation and drive were there, at times, faltering because I had no way within myself to combine technique, creativity and raw goods–no vision, no signature.  I had nothing that would stamp the combination with something that stated, for all the world to know, DOM HAS GRACED THESE GOODS WITH HIS OWN HANDS AND HAS CRAFTED THEM INTO SOMETHING EVERYONE SHOULD WITNESS AND MAYBE FEEL THAT MUCH BETTER FOR HAVING EXPERIENCED HIS CREATION.

Well, I have such vision, and I have the tools I need to do things this summer.  And, thanks to the Air Force, I’ll have time away from home and distractions to realize my goals.  I got some shiny new toys, and I plan to make full use of them.

My plans this summer include:

  • Russian Punchneedle embroidery.  I’ve always wanted to embellish my designs with embroidery, and when I went to the Quilt, Craft & Sewing Festival in Del Mar, California, my eyes fell on exactly what I wanted my style to look and feel like.  Russian Punchneedle is made with thread loops, which gives it a napped texture in feel and appearance.  And it’s even more versatile than that.  I’ve planned out motifs I want to do and have great colors of embroidery floss to choose from.
  • Crochet/knit projects.  I started yarn-work just a couple of days ago.  I crocheted a washcloth.  I am very, very proud of that washcloth, and my sister is jealous that it isn’t lopsided like her projects are.  That’s motivation enough for me, tacky as it is to say, but it’s praise in it’s own way, and a blessing omen that I’m can be good at something.  I bought some “teach yourself” kits with needles and hooks, and, while at The Grove shoppe searching for embroidery floss, met a teacher, a wonderful woman, who, without realizing it, told me my gear could be improved and set me on the right path to yarn bliss.  I like yarn-work over cloth-work because you create the fabric, as opposed to cutting into cloth.  You can’t undo a scissor bite.  I can’t wait to actually make the projects I have now swimming in my head.  I love that yarn-work makes me feel that much more connected to my family, particularly my father’s mother, who continues to make useful and beautiful creations with cloth and yarn.
  • Flat patternmaking.  My initial project for this summer was to go through my patternmaking book and go through the lessons again, and play with the patterns on the accompanying DVD.  I have yet to open it and unlock mysteries.  This plan hasn’t changed; in fact, I started early, before my trip.  I’ve been tutoring a lady in patternmaking because she’s retaking it in the fall, and we’ve been meeting to work on projects.  My goal is to create, in half-scale, a portfolio of my skills as a résumé builder, so while I’m teaching her, I work to hone my technical and sewing skills.  So far, I’ve been underwhelming in my sewing technique, but I wasn’t planning on sewing much until I return from my trip.  I am going to specifically miss my new-to-me Kenmore 1802 machine this summer.
  • Exalted RPG campaign development.  I’ll be running a pen-and-paper game when I come back!  It’ll be my first, and I want it to feel just right.  My storyline is specifically loose until I get to know the characters that will be playing in it (adding an organic feel, as if the characters belong to the story).  But I can still plan global events and people the world with NPCs and artifacts and such.  Then I have to teach others to play, cuz no one I know does, and it’ll be new for us all~  But, I’ve read the books for years, so I have a good grasp on the world, and look forward to sharing it with others.
  • Blogging.  You’ve heard this one before, I know, and over the summer, of course, but this time, I know what I want to write about.  I have things to say, and I don’t intend to be whiny.  Weird, most certainly, but not depressive or tedious.  And I really do like the way my blog looks, with the themes offered on WordPress.  Maybe I’ll have it customized later, but who knows.

I didn’t put sewing, or cooking/baking, or mixology on my list because I won’t be near any of the equipment/materials needed for such pursuits.  I could hand sew, yes, and I likely should, and I could buy a small liquor cabinet or sample bottles of booze to play around with, but I think the above is more than enough for six weeks of after-schooltime.  Besides, ambition aside, I’m horrible at gauging time, so I can’t really say how much I’ll get done.  But every effort will be made, no excuses.

Oh! I almost forgot!  Look for me on Pinterest!  And if you crochet/knit, find me on Ravelry!  They’re my new favorite (online) things–besides Ponies.  And goats.  They’re like my new favorite animal.

So Much Fluff...

Angoras are like my favorites. They’re from Ankara, Türkiye, you know…


It’s been a while…I know I was supposed to post all the time, but really, I didn’t have any direction with what I wanted to do, despite planning. So, as a blog reboot, I’ll start with a summary of what we’ve missed and how I came to resurrect my love of seeing my own thoughts published for all to see.

Since last year, around this time, I applied and was accepted to FIDM. I got wrapped up in the notion that, for more money, I would get the same education as San Diego Mesa College‘s Fashion Design Program, but also the added prestige of the FIDM name. It would turn out later that such prestige wouldn’t be worth me going into student loan debt for so much, so I had to drop that–but it was too late to get into Fall classes at Mesa.

I got a job at a department store and HATED it.  HATED it.  It *helped* pay bills (Not really), and though most of the people were nice, except fot the manager of the department I really wanted to be in, I really don’t like the idea of pushing credit cards at people just so the company can save a couple bucks per electronic transaction.  And everything they told you ended with the phrase “a condition of your employment.”  Who really has to use indelicately-veiled threats like that to motivate their employees?

I quit that job when school started again, mostly because my school schedule wouldn’t allow it, but even to this day, I can’t see one of their ads without getting mad.  I myself won’t state the name, but if you have base access in San Diego and you can get to the Navy Exchange, just know you’re getting the same brands that store offers as store exclusives.

And onto school~!  I loved and hated this semester.  I had such good classes too:  Textiles, Fashion History, and my personal favorite, Flat Patternmaking I.  I absorbed knowledge and techniques like a sponge.  It was as if I found my life’s calling.  Patternmaking combines my right-brained need for creativity with my left-brained aptitude for math and geometry.  This promised to be a good semester except three problems:

  1.  I had little money for supplies.  My car got hit in October, and I had to scrounge and beg for money to pay my $500 deductible (on top of my other expenses).  I was just recovering from that.
  2. Fashion Sketching.  The dark cloud of misery on my otherwise partly-cloudy-but-silver-lined sky of promise.  First, let me say that I love the professor.  She is the most supportive, encouraging, and understanding person they could have chosen for that class.  But the workload was far too much just for 3.0 credit hours.  AND I’M MISERABLY BAD AT DRAWING.  It took so long for me to finish less than half the weekly assignment each week.  And I started to neglect my other work trying to get something done in that class.  The semester ended badly.
  3. I was 3.0 credit hours overworked.  I’m not a very good student as it is, and I really could have shined more if I had less to do.  UNFORTUATELY the Veterans’ Affairs office decided that we need to have a certain number of credits to get our full GI bill benefits, or we get a percentage if we have less.  I tried very hard to keep up, as before this semester I rarely got C’s, and when I did, I knew I needed a change in my major.  This semester (I haven’t looked at my grades), I’ll be lucky to get C’s.  I took voluntary F’s in sketching and history (which killed me cuz I was tutoring others in that class), because I couldn’t finish projects.  And Fashion Design is not a “stay up late and knock out a term paper” class (I won’t admit to ever having done that, but will casually state I could do it easily if pressed).  If I had this semester minus sketching, I would have been an A/B student for sure, but I would only have 75% living money (which I wouldn’t have been able to afford).

So the semester’s over.  I have a sewing machine, I’m getting my home cleaned and nice, I’m enjoying the Air Force Reserve, I made lots of new friends and deepened friendships with old ones, and I’m learning new crafts this summer!!!  I’m learning to crochet, knit, embroider, and I’m re-fining my patternmaking skills.  And drafting a campaign for White Wolf‘s Exalted role-playing game.  And planning costumes for my band, Bricklayer Bosh (and we have some FUN things lined up for the fall).  And yes, most of it will get done this summer, because I’ll be on the other side of the country for most of the summer.

It’s been so long…I totally failed all my blogging goals.  But I’m working back into it.  It’s been in the back of my head the whole absence while I figure out an actual format for the blog and some of the serial projects I had planned.  I never did come up with anything good, so I figure I’ll start posting now to get things out of my head.

And of course, as I sit down to write, my materials aren’t nearby.  Shucks.  So, here is an update, with new material forthcoming! Continue reading