My Con or Bust Donations for 2017

Arts & Crafts, Geek out!

Here are my donations for Con or Bust‘s yearly online auction for 2017: two sleep masks.

One is a sleepy critter. It’s made from brown polyester felt lined with a soft linen blend fabric; there’s also felt applique (ears and nose) and embroidery (eyes).

Critter Sleep Mask Collage

The other has a stylized dragon embroidered as an interlace pattern on black polyester felt lined with navy blue cotton.

Dragon Sleep Mask Collage

Bidding will start in two weeks, on Monday, April 24, 2017.

Before that, you can have a look at the 2017 Auction Index (Google spreadsheet), visit the Con or Bust website for more information or browse the 2017 Auction Tags.

Con or Bust, Inc., is a U.S.-based, tax-exempt not-for-profit organization that helps people of color/non-white people attend SFF conventions. Con or Bust isn’t a scholarship and isn’t limited to the United States, to particular types of con-goers, or to specific cons; its goal is simply to help fans of color go to SFF cons and be their own awesome selves. It is funded through donations and an online auction held annually.

As I’ve had firsthand experience of being on a miniature budget and having to limit my geeky hobbies accordingly (i.e., not that much fun), I decided to add Con or Bust to my list of things worthy of support. This is my second time donating.

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Prolonging the Life of a Torn Bag

Arts & Crafts, Fabrics & Materials, My Spaces

I love my blue Marimekko unikko (poppy) bag to bits – literally, I’m sorry to say. Something had to be done.

Poppy Bag Damaged

Ta-dah! Reinforcing the torn edge with buttonhole stitch should give it a few more years.

Poppy Bag Fixed

I used regular cotton embroidery floss, since that was the best color match I had. I know it’s not the most durable of threads; I’ll have to see how well it does under the rigors of everyday life.

Ancient Egyptian Diadem Inspires High Fashion?

Design & Designers

Remember my post about the fantasy flair in Valentino’s fall winter 2015-2016 collection?

Valentino2 fall winter 2015-2016

Valentino, fall winter 2015-2016. Photo Fabrizio Ferri / Vogue Italia.

I said the cuts reminded me of the movie Troy or vaguely of ancient Greek styles in general. While I didn’t get it exactly right, it sounds like historical Mediterranean may have been an inspiration for Valentino.

According to Katherine Barlow on Tumblr, the many head pieces and belts in the collection were inspired by this gold diadem:

Hyksos Headband Collage

Headband with heads of gazelles and a stag between stars or flowers, Egypt, ca. 1648-1540 BCE. Photos via The Met, collage by Eppu Jensen.

It’s from ancient northern / middle Egypt, from the time of the so-called Hyksos culture, which combined Egyptian and Eastern Mediterranean traditions. This diadem is dated ca. 1648-1540 BCE, with animal heads alternating with flowers. Apparently it’s a typical example of how artistic styles were combined in the multicultural Hyksos civilization.

Now, I haven’t been able to confirm whether the Hyksos diadem actually was Valentino’s inspiration or not. Regardless, as a fan of early history, I love how the ancient world still pops up in our modern times even when not specifically looking for it. 🙂

A Star Wars Upcycle Project: BB-8 Bag

DIY, Geek out!, Stunt Double

At the end of last year, I wanted to make myself something fun. Since the new Star Wars release date was coming up, that something turned out to be a BB-8 bag.

I used an old pair of pants and various fabric scraps to make it, so the materials were completely free. The bag took me a few nights to make – combining all of those little pieces adds up surprisingly fast. The most time-consuming part for me, though, was deciding on the droid design.

Here’s a quick how-to in pictures:

Making BB-8 Bag1Making BB-8 Bag2Making BB-8 Bag3Making BB-8 Bag4

 

1 of 4: Deciding on the droid design and cutting as large piece as possible from one pant leg.
2 of 4: Adding stripes and pieces of fabric to the outside to suggest pieces of the droid.
3 of 4: Making box corners, adding an edge binding strip to the top, and adding an inner pocket.
4 of 4: Finished bag.

Not bad for a little fur ball zero dollars! 🙂 If I were to make another, though, I’d probably try a different droid design and fiddle with the inner pocket so that it has more compartments.

Discoveries: Quilling Artist Sena Runa

Arts & Crafts, Colors, Design & Designers

Artist Sena Runa from Istanbul makes quilled paper art so delicate and detailed there can be no doubt whatsoever they deserve to be called art. She combines sketching with paper quilling to create the finished pieces – all original designs.

I just love the combination of colors and shapes! Runa’s pieces are so fresh and bright. Some of her designs inside the letter shapes even remind me of illuminated medieval manuscripts in their intricacy. Below are just three of my favorites – there are so many more!

Snoopy:

Sena Runa Snoopy Dream Big

Sena Runa: Dream Big.

N:

Sena Runa N

Sena Runa: N.

The Dragon:

Sena Runa The Dragon

Sena Runa: The Dragon.

See her Instagram and Facebook accounts or Etsy shop for more!

Found via Colossal.

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Embroidered Version of Van Gogh

Arts & Crafts, Fabrics & Materials

Lauren Spark was asked by her mother to create an embroidery of Van Gogh’s The Starry Night. The results are stunning!

Lauren Spark Tumblr Starry Night

Lauren Spark.

Lauren Spark Tumblr Starry Night Progress

Lauren Spark.

The direction and hues of the stitches are spot on, even on the black tree where they are difficult to see. Very impressive! I’m not surprised it took her almost 60 hours to finish. Visit her Tumblr for more pics of the process.

Found via Colossal.

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

 

 

In a Mockingjay Frame of Mind

Arts & Crafts, Books & Mags, Geek out!, Movies & TV

To prep for Mockingjay – Part 2 premier, I’ve rewatched all the previous Hunger Games movies, reread Mockingjay, altered my mockingjay bag

Mockingjay Bag Alterations

…and oohed & aahed over this Effie Trinket cosplay:

Effie Trinket Morisa9 on Deviantart

Morisa9 on Deviantart.

It’s made by Morisa9 on Deviantart. The butterflies are the most stunning part – she cut, spray painted and detailed all 400 or so of them. Wow! Love it!

Bonus links to arrow motif tutorials: pencil case with embroidery by Glòria Fort Mir (Catalan and Spanish) and gold vinyl sofa pillows by Ashley Phipps at Simply Designing.

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Online Finds: DIY Unisex R2-D2 Apron

Arts & Crafts, DIY, Geek out!

I try not to do two Online Finds posts in a row, but this was just too good not to share immediately:

So Sew Easy Deby Apron-potholders-014b

Deby Coles at So Sew Easy.

Looks fabulous! The details are really great – you can tell that Deby’s a fan. And I’m sure you could use the same technique to make a BB-8 apron, too. For details (including a video), visit Deby’s tutorial at So Sew Easy!

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Vogue Italia Fall Winter 2015-2016 Goes Fantastic

Design & Designers

High fashion now comes in a decidedly fantasy-inspired flare!

Valentino fall winter 2015-2016

Valentino, fall winter 2015-2016. Photo Fabrizio Ferri / Vogue Italia.

Valentino2 fall winter 2015-2016

Valentino, fall winter 2015-2016. Photo Fabrizio Ferri / Vogue Italia.

The cuts remind me of some Game of Thrones designs, the movie Troy (or vaguely of ancient Greek styles in general) and the European high middle ages or the Bysantine Empire. The luxurious combination of black and gold harks back to the late middle ages / Tudors / Reformation. The sheer fabrics put these squarely in the modern period, though.

Photos by Fabrizio Ferri for Vogue; found via The Fashionography (with many more photos!).

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.