Reflections on the Year

I know it’s a little early to start with “reflecting on the year” posts, but given that December will be upon us next week, I will shortly be finding out if I have a new post at work, and the dreaded C-word is looming, I figured “Why not?!”.

So, for the most part, this year has been incredibly disappointing in terms of Cosplay and outfit making.

It’s only been recently that I have started making any headway with the blogging on here, and most projects have had to be parked because of a lack of funding.
I didn’t get to any of the Cons that I was supposed to go to this year, except the Asylum, which doesn’t really count because it takes place right on my doorstep and I was exhibiting and doing talks anyway!
I missed MCM Birmingham, which I have been to for the past two years running; I missed LincCon, Lincoln GEEKS, Sheffield ComicCon AND Steampunks in Space. This makes me feel a bit sad, as I have seen a lot of great photos from friends who managed to go and in many ways, I feel a bit left out and isolated. The problem is, I can’t really figure out where it all started slipping downhill, and that’s what upsets me the most. If I knew where it had all started, I could fix it.

Now, a part of me thinks it has something to do with our husky pup, Skye. She was only 8 weeks old when we got her, and raising and training her has been like having another full-time job. She’s wonderful, and I love her to bits, but huskies cannot be left on their own. They get lonely and anxious very easily, and the only way to make it so that we could go anywhere without her, now that she’s no longer crapping on the carpet every five seconds, would be to get another dog, but that isn’t going to happen any time soon.
Having a dog has definitely made life more interesting, but it has limited us in where we can go and what we can do. A lot of our friends have arranged house parties and such which we can’t go to because we can’t bring the dog along with us for various reasons. And the one place that we ARE able to take her we have not been able to go to as much because Skye had a habit of pooping on their hardwood floor. We went from being regular overnight guests to almost never seeing them. And that was such a shame because they were like family to us – they are probably the people I miss most in all of this.
BUT… it was something that we expected to happen, though perhaps not quiet to the scale that it has happened. We’ve just had to take it on the chin and keep on going – there is nothing else that can be done really.

My dog is such a lady…

Another part of me knows that not going to Cons has had a lot to do with the M-word. Money. In that, we have enough to live on, but we can’t spend any more than that.
We got married in September, so every extra penny we had was going towards that and general living costs. Even now that the wedding is over, I’m not willing to go all-out spending on Cons. It’s not like buying in-game currency to enhance your gaming experience. That’s a one-off spend that will benefit your gaming for months, if not years. If you’re clever with your in-game currency buying, you can actually get a really good deal on the things that are usually out of your price range. But a Con is a lot of money to spend on tickets, travel, accommodation, food and puppy-sitters for just one or two days of gratification. Not to mention, I would have to pay for TWO lots of everything. I’m not bitter or angry about that – I understand that Clckwrk can’t earn money in the same way that other people can. It isn’t his fault that he has a shitty disability that makes him unable to work reliably, and I don’t care that he’s not the earner in this relationship. What I AM aware of are my limitations. Last month I got a little bit frivolous with my spending on patterns, fabric and notions, so yes, I was a bit naughty, but I stopped short of buying us both tickets to SiS. I haven’t even bought tickets to the Steampunk Society Christmas Ball, simply because I am considering my limitations.
Now, of course these limitations frustrate me. I am annoyed that I can’t attend all the Cons I want, but I have to be an adult about this. Living and surviving comes first.

Getting married is expensive – just in case you didn’t already know that!

In terms of outfits, progress has been slow. Painfully slow.

I haven’t managed to complete a single outfit this year – not even Valkyria is completely finished, though I did wear a lot of it to the Asylum this year. It’s really quite frustrating that I have so many ideas, and lots of fabric, but I just can’t seem to get anything to a finished state. I’m not sure if that’s because I am handling my time poorly, or if I simply don’t plan ahead in the right way to ensure I have all the notions to hand, or if maybe I just allow myself to go off on a tangent; what I do know is, they just don’t get done.

Lately I have been doing better. I have managed to focus most of my energy on the Mermaid outfit, which has come along quite nicely in the last month or so, and I think I could have it finished by February next year. I am making it a resolution to try and work on only one project at a time, so hopefully there should be some real progress in Cosplays next year.

Steampunk has been pushed to the wayside of late in terms of going out to the local meets. I just don’t have the energy at the moment to spend there, and while I am a bit sad about this, I know that it couldn’t be helped. Clckwrk has also been ill a lot, which has made it difficult to get about in general. This has been particularly hard on him, because he feels that he has failed me, our friends, and himself.
I have, however, been making steady progress on project work for the Shades project, which is great. I hope to take this further next year and maybe get it out and about at more shows, though at the moment I don’t quite know how to make this happen.

Alice modelling an outfit I designed for “Shades”. Working with her is always a pleasure – even if the weather conspires against us!

Well… That’s enough reflecting from me. I don’t really know what much else there is to say. As a whole, the year has been disappointing, but there are some good things to take from it.

Going forward, I have a lot of new stuff planned for the blog which I hope will make it more interesting, including video and showcase content, some new “make-up look” type posts to compliment what I am doing with my outfit designs, plus the ongoing “Starting out in Steampunk” series. I have the Mermaid to finish, and my next (first?!) “big” Cosplay attempt is going to be Death from Darksiders II. At the moment, it’s looking like this is going to be a gender-bent version, but I am trying to refrain from sexualising the character, which is something that someone mentioned to me when I first told them about my intentions. “Are you going to make it a sexy Death?”

Ummm…. No.

I am not a fan of “sexy-for-the-sake-of-it” Cosplay. I think it’s wholly unnecessary, and I am quite a modest person anyway, so the thought of creating a “Sexy Darksiders Death” makes me want to vomit. I’m more interested in recreating the rendered armour and weapons as accurately as I can, and then dealing with the issue of boobs later!


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