And may the odds be ever in your favour!
So one of the reasons for the lack of posts this month (aside from general laziness) is NANOWRIMO! Or “National Novel Writing Month.” It’s like a month-long holiday for crazy people who don’t like having free time and sanity. The idea is you will write 50,000 words in one month (or 1667 words a day). For most people, a nifty little tool called a word processor tallies up the word count as you type. For me, it means making the approximation that there are 350-500 words per typed page, and going from there.
Yes, I type on a typewriter and it is the greatest thing ever. The keys go RAP RAP RAP RAP RAP when I punch them (and you have to punch the keys, for god’s sake!), and I don’t have to worry about the computer crashing before I have time to back up my novel. Maybe I should worry about a house fire, but if that did happen, I would have plenty of other problems aside from a torched manuscript.
To celebrate this overcaffeinated occasion, I made (what else?) a circle skirt. Embellished with a giant red typewriter and a piece of paper with the words “It was a dark and stormy night.” They are not only the words that Snoopy uses to start most of his stories, they are also the first words of A Wrinkle in Time and a book I have never read called Paul Clifford. I don’t have much attachment to that last book, but I love Snoopy and Madeleine L’Engle, so the words were perfect for my new skirt!
For a template? Honestly? Just look up a Peanuts comic with Snoopy in and and enlarge the typewriter. I’m not doing the work for you. I have writing to do (only 5886 words to go…approximately).
If you are not a dork, you will probably not get that. And if you are not a dork, you will probably look at this skirt the way many people did earlier- with one eyebrow raised, head tilted, mouth contorted in a confused grimace.
“What is on your skirt?”
The person will either say something like, “Oh yeah,” and continue on their way, or ask what kind of dice have that many sides. When I explain that the dice are from the game of Dungeons & Dragons, several responses might be heard: “Awesome!” “You’re funny.” “Oh.” Or the person might just look at me like I have two heads.
I suppose this was all inevitable when I decided that I should wear my new skirt to work at the library during the day, before heading off to battle a succubus, an ogre and bar thugs at night.
This skirt took a long time. Many movies featuring embroidering heroines were watched, to encourage me on my progress. Despite my slight contempt for the boring six-sided die, I think my dragon-embellished version is my favourite. I do actually have a few dice like this one in my D&D bag, and they have caused some arguments:
“No, the dragon represents a 1. So you do 2 damage.”
“What?! How can a dragon represent the lowest number on the dice? Dragons are awesome!”
You can probably tell by now that my friends and I have very serious, philosophical discussions.
WARNING: The following entry contains profane language.
I am currently two Jane Austen film adaptations into the embroidery on my Dungeons and Dragons skirt. It started with a need for more Alan Rickman (after Harry Potter two weeks ago), so I watched Sense and Sensibility while I beaded the giant d20. I enjoyed pretending to live in Regency England so much that I watched Pride and Prejudice next. The tinkling piano melodies and romantic entanglements of the landed gentry go exceedingly well with needlepoint crafts.
However, I do not think the living rooms of Barton Cottage or Longbourn Estate ever rang out with cries of “Fuck shit fuck me!” or “Fufufufu blerrrrr!” (when I was trying to control my use of profanities, for the cats’ sakes). The embroidery needle is fat and sharp, while the beading needle is impossibly thin and a million times sharper, giving me a wonderous variety of pokes and stabs throughout the day.
I have great respect for women who, in the past, had to complete all of their sewing by hand. It is tedious and time consuming, but I must admit, it is rewarding to look down and see a d20 emerge from what was once an ordinary dodecahedron.
(Mrs. Effin’ A)
If Harry Potter took place in 1950s America, students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry would probably wear something like this on their Butterbeer dates in Hogsmead. At least, I like to think so.
I knew I needed to wear something good to commemorate the very last Harry Potter movie, but a black cloak and house tie just wasn’t going to cut it. So I made yet another circle skirt, this time embellished with a giant golden snitch! I honestly don’t think I’m going to get bored of these circle skirts. They are way too easy, and there are so many ways to embellish them. Just you wait until I finish my Dungeons and Dragons themed green-beaded dice skirt!
People loved this skirt, and even the people who have been living under a rock and don’t know what a snitch is still thought it was “retro cool” (in the words of one crazy old guy at the library). Oh, and if you can’t quite see it, I was sporting a Slytherin badge and a Dark Mark, to show my love for dear Severus Snape. Love him.
And here is my shoddy Microsoft Paint template. One of these days I’m going to remember to actually make a real template before I sew everything together. But you get the idea.
I got a lot of compliments today, and a lot of weird looks. I am proud of both! I even had one woman ask me if I had a crinoline on “under there.” A little personal, but I obliged and said yes. She looked shocked and impressed that a young thing like me would be wearing practical undergarments. But really, a circle skirt needs a bit of poof underneath, otherwise how are you going to see the kitschy applique? (The reason I am holding out my skirt in the picture is because the wind was blowing like mad, and I wanted you to see the actual lobster, and not a red blur).
Again, this is the easiest skirt to make, ever. I posted it before, but here is a very helpful website: http://www.whatthecraft.com/tuts/circ.htm
Oh, and here is the template, for all those wanting to sew a big fat crustacean on something.
They are yappy and French. Kitties, on the other hand, are purry and usually not French. Which is why I decided to sew a poodle skirt without any poodles on it. Instead, I graced the obnoxiously orange circle skirt with felt renderings of our two cats, Alistair and Compton. They are named after Alistair MacLeod (Canadian writer) and Bill Compton (fictitious vampire).
Circle skirts are the best and easiest thing to make. Ever. You can buy a pattern or you can just cut two half circles out of fabric, do a bit of math to figure out an appropriate size for the waist hole, sew it all together, throw an elastic in the waist and DONE! You don’t even need to make the waist band perfect and pretty, as you can throw a belt around it, or layer a sweater over top.
I’ve also decided that it is time for the poodle skirt to make a comeback, minus the poodles. I’ve started with a kitty skirt, but I’m not stopping there. By the end of summer, I plan on having a lobster on blue check and some sort of book-themed Miss Frizzle-esque number. I am only bound by the power of my imagination! I hope that one day, I might have a skirt for every day of the year (which is totally feasible, time-wise. This skirt only took me 3 or 4 hours to complete, even with the applique).
For those who want the kitty template, here it is! And a close up of the kitties themselves. Note the very realistic bug-eyed stare on Compton. And the slight chub of Alistair’s tummy.