Jun 272012

One of my costumes for DragonCon 2012 is a Steampunk  Bounty Hunter.

In my hopes of hopes it will consist of:

A short stay (much like a Bra)


A bolero jacket



Leather chest Harness.


And I want to make as much as I can.


After much googling  on many many harnesses , I found my inspiration.  (Note, when you Google image, make sure you search STEAMPUNK harness,  unless you want to see some 50 Shades type of stuff)


The harness is from an Etsy  shop called Misfit Leather.  All props goes to them

I decided that I wanted only 2 rows of  buckles and I want the holes to be grommets.  (We will see if I follow through with that)

So I know what kind of harness I want.  We are all good, right?  WRONG. I’ve never made a belt and I’ve sure as shooting never worked with  leather.  I toyed with the idea of using faux leather.  (Not for moral rreasons, for I  will bite the hell out of a cow.  But I thought it would be easier and cheaper) .  But, at the end of the day, I thought leather would look better.

Off to Google making a leather belt.

I looked at a lot of stuff.  This video helped me loads.

Simple and straight to the point.

Next, Google where to and how to order leather.

After much searching I decided that Tandy Leather Factory was the place to order online. I could get everything I needed (Leather, dye, all the hardware).  My plan was to buy several inches of 1 inch wide  pre-cut straps.  The only thing, I was a bit nervous  about buying material I never felt before.  I wasn’t sure what thickness to buy, etc.  If only I could find a place nearby.

OH SNAP.  Turns out there are only four Tandy  stores in Florida and one was 15 minutes from me.  I was in my car and on my way  in 10 minutes.

My Leather Store Experience 

That place is way cool.  And the people were super helpful.  Cost-wise it was better to buy the leather in  slab.  There was sale on scrap belly leather for $9 a pop.  Two would be more than enough.  It would mean that I would have to cut the straps myself….. More adventure, and googling..

Time to make the hareness                                                                                                                                

First I made a paper pattern to determine measurements

I could have sworn I took a picture of my leather piece. Alas, it looked something like this.












I cut out several 1 inch pieces (each about 45 inches long) for the harness, as well as a 2 inch wide in case I wanted to make a belt.

After I cut the straps, I folded and twisted the leather, to give it a more worn look. Then I dyed and finished it.










I used a Crafttool Strap Cutter. It was like buttah             I used Eco-Flo Gel Antique in Mahogany and

Eco-Flo Leather Finish in Super Shene


Word to the wise, although very obvious, use gloves when dying.  For some reason, I did not.  I started to panic, “Oh crap, this dyes leather. Skin is like leather.  I’m doomed!”


No.  I googled a solution.  Lather hands with laundry detergent only (no water) then rinse. It comes off after a few rounds.


That’s all for now.  Next up will be the building of the harness. Part Two

A Place to Call My Own…

 Posted by on June 26, 2012  Sewing  No Responses »
Jun 262012

Unless we have guests.


I made the guest room my sewing/crafting room.   Well, I actually did this about two years ago, but this weekend I added some of my personality to it.  Before, it wast just the bare basics.  No life.


It is now my Lady Cave.


That sounds wrong.


Come, take a look around.











The Dawn of a New Day

 Posted by on February 29, 2012  Uncategorized  No Responses »
Feb 292012

Hello.  Howdy. What’s up.   And welcome. I am a googler.  It’s how I learn how to do new crap, like gardening and sewing and how to NOT pay $80 to replace an  Ipod battery by installing it  myself.


Though helpful, my love of googling sometimes gets in the way of the actual doing. Twice I have tried my hand at gardening.  I even had a gardening blog. http://myownhgtv.wordpress.com/   (which I wanted to import the pages into this one but couldn’t figure it out.  Not enough googling I suppose).  But bugs  went at them and everything died.


SO I’m starting that again


I also want to become a better sewer, so that I can up my cosplay game at DragonCon this year.   I went in 2010 and managed to Forrest Gump my way into making a corset.  Before that, I had only sewn a pillow for my son (Thanks Google).


So I plan on using this blog as a way to keep myself honest.  To stay on track.


Maybe. I hope.

Sep 092010

I’m a geek. Point blank.  I love vampires, cylons and  Mr. Spock.  And I love dressing up, too.  My brain cannot comprehend those who do not like Halloween. So when I heard of this thing called DragonCon, a 4 day convention held in Atlanta consisting of just about every genre known to man, I knew I had to go.  My friend, Meghan M told me about it last year.  I was in a show, so I couldn’t go.  But this year, I was free.  Not only was I going, I decided that I was going to make on of my costumes 

I aint sewed before,  ya’ll.  But I was going to make a corset, bloomers and a bustle skirt for a steampunk look. (My road to sewing is another blog ,ENTIRLY)

The day of departure

Meghan M and I were to drive the day before the convention started.  That way we could get settle and all.  Without going into too much detail, I had had some costume issues and only slept about 30 minutes the night before.  I had to get up, take my son to preschool and wait until Joann Fabrics to open. I had to  finish a skirt and make it to Meghan’s house by 11:30.   I’m driving home, lace in hand and  I get pulled over by the Po Po.  I allegedly ran a red light.  I’m thinking more yellow.  Anyhoo the cop tells me my options.  He was actually leaning towards me going to court.  I’d wind up only paying court fees. We’ll see.

Blah blah blah, drive drive drive.  We’re in Atlanta.  We check into the Hilton and then go to register.  Word to the wise: DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT pre-register.  Yes, it’s cheaper if you do.  But then you have to wait in line with everyone who did.  That line was insane.  By registering onsite , the line was about 15 minutes.  It would have been less if I had used cash.  

We later met up with our friend Dan J, took a mini tour  of 3 of the main convention hotels.  By this time I had been up for 35 hours (barring that 30 minute power nap)  It was time to go to bed.

The Con

It was amazing! Wonderful panels and the coolest costumes.  I mean, there are some really creative people out there.  And everyone just seemed to be friends.  You could just strike up a conversation with everyone.  They even had a parade in honor of my birthday! (jokes)   I didn’t go to as many panels as I had planned, but that was ok.  I didn’t want to have panel overload.  The panels I went to:  True Blood ( Sam, Lafayette and Pam) , Battlestar Galactica (Adama, Chief, Zerick and the Lawyer Guy), Firefly ( River, her brother, Kaylee, and the Courtesan) , Q&A with Avery Brooks and a Shakespeare panel.  The Firefly one was my favorite.  It was like a group of friends shooting the cow poo.

The Celebs

I saw Brent Spiner (Star Trek Data) my first nigt in Atlanta looking for a snack in the hotel.  Remember, I  had been awake awhile.  So, I had to ask my friends if I was tripping.

My first celeb photo was with the fuy would played on of the pirates in POTC.  It was cool, because I was dressed as Tia Damla at the time. unfortunately my corset was slipping during the photo. BOO!

I didn’t realize that there was a big ass room, filled with the celebs signing autographs until Sunday. At the time, I was dressed at Uhurafrom Star trek.  I didn’t want to meet people dressed up, but oh well.  I shook hands and spoke to several.  I did pay for one autograph.  That was from the guy who pays Lafayette on True Blood.  I had him write “Hooka” on it.  Here’s a rundown of the celebrity encounter.  I will be mixing real names and character names.

Levar Burton:  I was next in line and this woman came running up with a camera to take a picture of…me.  Levar said “Well, look at you”   I told him that as a black actor, he was such an inspiration to me.

Lafaytte from True Blood: so sweet

Sam from True Blood: so so nice and so handsome. so so so so so handsome.  I think I froze a bit

Barbara Eden (Jeanie): I told her she was beautiful and I almost broke my neck as a child trying to do that ponytail thing

Larry Hagman (JR Ewing): chiling on a stool with a coyboy hat.

Mohinder from Heroes: (drop dead cute) Told him that I use to call his character “Mohinderance.” Nathan was sitting next to him

My friend Dan really wanted to take a picture with Star Trek TNG’s Deanna Troi.  I held his backpack.  She came up to me and said “I know people tell you you look like Eartha Kitt”  awesome!

And now for my favorite celeb encouter.  We were walking out of the Walk of Fame (celeb signing room) and I see a familiar face.  It was Pete from 30 Rock. I have no idea what made me do this but….

Me: Hey! Hello

Pete(I know his name is Scott): Hello

Me: (smiling like an idiot.  I have an odd crush on him) I really like your work

Pete: I like your costume.  Have you dressed like this the whole weekend

Me: No.  I was Tia Dalma the first nigth, Classic Catwoman last night…

Pete:I saw you last night!

Me: Oh (giggle, holding in the snort)  Could I take a picture with you.

Pete: Sure

He even took a picture with his own camera as well.


I saw him the next day wasI was going down the escalator.

Me: Hey!

Pete:  What are you wearing today?

Me: Steampunk

Pete: very nice.


The Last Day


Checkout was a nightmare. A NIGHTMARE.  Because you pretty much have the entire hotel leaving at the same time, with loads of luggage and 8 elevators.   We were told 30 minutes for bell service.  Not so much.  So, Meghan slowly began to take our stuff to the car. Each trip took about 30 minutes, waiting for an elevator which could fit all the stuff and all.  I was to wait , just in case the bellman showed.  Never did.  Finally it got to the point where we both could handle the remaining bags.  We still had to wait.  FINALLY I was able to squeeze on.   The next stop, the doors opened and there stood Avery Brooks.  But there is no room.  He smiled and said “Aww Man”   I sensed that the other people wanted to push me out, because had I not gotten on, Avery would have had room. hahah.  A the doors closed I said “I’m sorry Avery Brooks, I love your work…” Bing.

Next year.  Get Bell service and load car the night before.

So here are some pictures! You will have to click the photo again on the second page for a larger view.


All in all I had a blast.  Can’t wait until next year.






My first sewing project

 Posted by on January 26, 2010  Sewing  2 Responses »
Jan 262010

After years of daydreaming, I’ve decided to learn to sew.  I got my mom’s old  Singer Athena 2000 from the 70’s in working order.  I had to buy replacement  feet because she had no idea where the originals went.  My mom is not much of a sewer. In fact I’ve never seen her sew.  She made one thing with this machine.

I thought about buying a new machine, but I think the quality of this old horse would be better than any new one I could afford.

Anyhoo.  I made a pillowcase using a pattern from the book “Sew Fast Sew Easy”  by Elissa Meyrich.  A Christmas present from my hubby. I also own  “sewing for Dummies” and The vogue sewing book.


I made it for my 3-year-old son.  He was so happy.  “I love you, Mommy.  I like my pillow. You are a good maker”

Starting Over

 Posted by on January 26, 2010  Sqaure Foot Gardening  No Responses »
Jan 262010

My garden is not doing so hot.  Three reasons  1. I’ve been busy  2. I didn’t use anything to ward off the critters  3.  We had a major cold snap.

I shall begin again

Oct 052009

Yesterday I posted my general October update.  Sad that I was corn-less and pumpkin-less.  Well today, whilst I was weeding my garden I made a discovery.  A wee pumpkin.  Given the condition of my plant, not sure if it’s going to make it.  But it’s worth a shot.

one lone baby pumpkin

one lone baby pumpkin


I also planted my cool weather veggies: spinach, Brussel sprouts, a salad mix, broccoli and collards.  Fingers crossed.

I may try tomatos  and peppers again.  This July I started them in egg cartons and sat them in our green house.  Not enough sun, so the seedlings were just plan sad.  I’m hoping living in Florida, I can still grow them this late in the season

Oct 042009

I really should have been updating a little more often.  But I’ve been super busy.  I have, however, been completely fascinated with the entire process of growing food.  I mean, it just grows out of the ground, not out of wooden crates at your local supermarket.

As I’ve stated before, I have zero green thumb.  My mother grew up on a farm in Texas, went to college and never looked back. (In terms of farming).  My dad, spent a few summers on a farm.  So these people  had NOTHING to offer.  🙂 I had to use books and the net.  I think my plants suffered a bit, b/c  I never knew what could go wrong until it did.  My poor plants had no, as many of our citizens, preventative care.


A full view of my garden

A full view of my garden


My sweet corn doesn't seem to be producing silk

My sweet corn doesn't seem to be producing silk

The flowers open and die

The flowers open and die on pumpkin plants

flower from pumpkin plant

flower from pumpkin plant

this pumpkin stem does not look good

this pumpkin stem does not look good

The watermelon plant seems to be doing OK

The watermelon plant seems to be doing OK

Tny baby watermelon. I talk to it sometimes

Tiny baby watermelon. I talk to it sometimes


I guess it’s going to be a waiting game for these little guys.  My  cucumbers, however, have been doing great.  I picked my first one today.  Go Farmer Me.  Living off the fat of the land, baby!


That is the first cucumber I picked

That is the first cucumber I picked

Cucumber Baby Daddy

Cucumber Baby Daddy


first pickings

first pickings

yummy with vinegar and pepper

yummy with vinegar and pepper

I tell ya’ll what.  Everyone should taste a fresh cucumber from an organic garden.

The final build

 Posted by on July 31, 2009  Sqaure Foot Gardening  1 Response »
Jul 312009


The final build


Today we finished all the building involved in the square foot garden.  The actual frames where super easy.  Sliding the conduits onto the rebar was a bit trickier.  The rebar were not completely straight, so there was some hammering involved which meant the elbow fasteners was a bear to get back on.  But we did it.  One trellis has a little lean to it, but that’s ok.  We also  mulched, mulched, mulched  like a mofo.   All that is left is to plant the seed.



Hope I can actually GROW stuff.  We’ll see

Jul 302009

  Here’s a link to my old blog.  Same post as below, but with pictures  (WORDPRESS IS ACTING WONK)

The start of my Square Foot Garden



“Man!  It would be so cool to have a veggie garden” 


I’ve been saying that for years.  Ever since I got hitched and moved into my husband’s house.  It has an incredible yard.  And I am told by my mother in law that  it was a tropical paradise before my husband  got his hands on it.  The house was bought from the widow of a man who loved gardening and all that HGTV stuff.  There are still tools in the garage.  The lady pretty much gave it all to my husband.  Through no fault of his  new just-out-of-college-now-have-a full-time-job status, hubby was really not concerned with lawn and garden upkeep.



We would talk about what we were going to do with the yard.  Then we would get too busy, or it would be too hot, or we flat out forgot about it.  Every now and then the bug would bite and I would go into full gardening research mode.  I’d get all excited.  Then I’d get overwhemled at the mere thought of all the work. I’d give up.



But this time around, I got my act together. After researching different techniques, I decided on The Square Foot Gardening Method.  THEN  I actually bought seeds.  Money has left my pockets, so I HAVE to do it now.   I also bought a book on gardening in Florida.



Oh, did  I mention I know next to NOTHING about gardening.? No?  Well I don’t.  I’m relying on the Internet and books to Gump my way through this.  Speaking of the net, OMG I found The Garden Girl site.  I LOVE her.  Every time I go to her site I feel inspired.  I just want to raised chickens and make hummus from scratch.



According to Gardening in Florida book, the next time I was to start my major planting would be August.  Starting some seeds for transplant in Mid-July.  So I had about two months to get it together.  We went to The Home Depot  to buy all the supplies (A place I had only gone into about 5 times in my pre-married  years and most of those, I was just tagging along)  .  My plan was to clear the area, build the boxes, fill them with the Mel’s Mix mid-July  so when planting season started all I would have to do is plant.



Yeah…. that didn’t happen. Well, not really.  I did start clearing out the area.  We have a lot of ginger creeping around and I had to dig it all out.  Then, it just got hot.  So, in true “me”  fashion, I waited to the last minute to finish everything.  And that minute was today.


After I’m done planting my veggies, my next project will be to pave this area:

Herb Garden

I want to pave this area and plant herbs in containers. Heck, I may even put a chair out here so I can enjoy the view