Photo Friday: Write Like the Wind.

This week has been all about writing. I'm gradually catching up on those three lost months (and am no longer coughing up lungs). My inspiration music has been Write Like the Wind (Music and lyrics by Greg "Storm" DiCostanzo and Paul Sabourin). Tomorrow Camp NaNoWriMo starts. You can follow my progress on my NaNo page.

And more research:

I surfaced on the weekend for one of our regular D&D games and a trip to Burnside Library to register a table for LibCon17 where they had a mini Japanese Culture expo. I wish I'd been able to stay for a tea ceremony. To wrap up the weekend, I attended another writing course (a masterclass on Point of View). Tomorrow I end the week as I started, with another writing course, this one on dialogue. These courses give me a good kick in the writing butt. I highly recommend them.

   

During my travels I was reminded of the gorgeous city I live in.

Photos ©2017 Karen Carlisle. All rights reserved.

Plan B

I've been struggling this week - well a couple of months really -  trying to keep from drowning in anxiety. News and social media has bombarded us with images of recent horrific events and celebrity deaths. More recently there have been almost-tragedies closer to home. My mind has been chattering away, creating worst-case scenarios, second guessing, panicking me into petrified inactivity. One of my triggers is empathy. I find myself crying (I mean really bawling my eyes out) over news stories - a lost child (their parents must be worried), a car crash (and the devastation of those left behind), a terrorist attack (how could someone hate others so much). The pain manifests itself as palpitations, muscular spasms, migraines... The list goes on. It's one of the reasons I had to quit my old career. I'd come home and worry . I'd worry about my patients, worry about missing things, worry about dealing with the company powers-that-be. I've tried cognitive therapy, relaxation, mindfulness and hypnotherapy. (I reacted badly to meds.) But it is difficult to turn off the reason why I started that career and the very thing that spurred me to stay in the job, years longer than I should have. Writing helps. I can channel that empathy. How do my characters feel? What will they do? What was the thinking behind that? But sometimes it gets all too much. Even the writing freezes up. Then I retreat into books and get lost in their pages. But even that escape has been thwarted recently. When I was ill I tripped, damaging my spectacles. As a result, reading is a chore and brings on migraines. (Have you tried reading with askew progressive lenses? argh!) So it's plan B for now. I have a list of vaguely-writing-related movies - some inspiring, some just a bit of fun. Some are, well, dubious but, nevertheless, contribute to pulling me out of my funk. Yesterday I pried open my current WIP box and picked up a pencil. I thought I'd share my current list with you:
  • Anonymous
  • A man for all seasons
  • Eat, Pray, Love
  • Ghostwriter
  • Confessions of a Shopaholic
  • Bright Star
  • Cinderella Pact
  • The Devil Wears Prada
  • Inkheart
  • Julie and Julia
  • Authors Anonymous
  • Music and Lyrics
  • Shakespeare in Love
  • The Rewrite
  • Becoming Jane
  • Miss Potter
  • Under the Tuscan Sun
  • Bridget Jones Diary
  • Never Been Kissed
  • Little Women
  • Love Actually
  • Paperback Hero
  • Sliding Doors
  • So I Married An Axe Murderer
  • Sleepless in Seattle
  • Romancing the Stone series
  • Magic Beyond Words: The JK Rowling Story
So now you know one of my deep, dark secrets. Please don't judge me.

TARDIS Corset/Skirt Diary

It is done. After years (and years) of talking about it, I finally pulled my finger out and made it: my TARDIS corset. As many of you know, I am a big Doctor Who fan and have been regularly watching it since Jon Pertwee days (and irregularly before that). A few years back friend (and fellow writer), George Ivanoff unveiled his TARDIS jacket (made by his dear wife). I was a tad jealous. Now I have my own TARDIS corset (and skirt). And this is how I made it.
  1. Pin and cut out pattern on material, and also cut the corset pieces from cotton duck (two layers to sandwich the boning later). Sew the pieces together. (Left side blue pieces together/ left double layer of cotton duck together/ right side blue pieces together/ right double layer of cotton duck together. So you have four separate pieces at the end of this step.)
  2. Pin one side of material to duck layers (right sides together) and sew in the busk (this was an 8 inch one). Size will vary depending on how long the front of your corset is.
  3. Turn right way out. Add other side of busk. (You will need to use an awl to make holes in the material to push the 'lugs' through.)
  4. I added twill tape along the waist. This will help reduce the pull on the corset when laced up. Next I sewed the boning channels in the two layers of duck. A zipper foot is ideal for this. 
  5. Now for the pretty decoration. I made windows from white cotton and hand stitch ribbon to create window panes.
  6. I bought the police box sign from Fandom Fabric's etsy store. (You can also get versions from Spoonflower). I used HeatnBond Ultrahold (double sided iron-on - from Spotlight) to fuse the windows and police box sign to the material, then hand sewed each item in place.
  7. To make bias - cut 5cm wide strips on the diagonal of the material. Use iron and this neat little gadget to create the bias.
  8. The bias was pinned on the front edges - top and bottom - then machine-sewed, folded over to the back of the corset and hand stitched in place.
  9.  Mark up the lacing holes (approx 1.5 inches apart), with the two at the waist closer together to allow for the lacing loops.  I make the holes with an awl to minimise thread breakage, keeping maximum structural integrity. I use larger grommets. I wear my corsets at costume, steampunk events and conventions; the larger grommets have outlasted smaller versions (for me). I bought the grommets and tool from Farthingale's corset supplies.
  10. I needed 5m of corset lacing for this under the bust version. I use 8m for full length corsets. Tie a knot in the middle of the length, crimp on a metal aglet or handsew the ends to form one. The knot is at the centre (between two top eyelets). Lace to the bottom and tie off lacing. Pull a loop out at the two (closer) waist eyelets. These loops are used to pull the lacing tight, then is tied and tucked under the corset.
  11. The finished corset:
  12. For the skirt, I purchased one yard of 'Police Box' print from Spoonflower (ID:767279) There are many versions. I cut every second line of print (to allow enough fold over) and created a 'non-bias' strip using the bias making gadget.
  13. I pinned and sewed the strip along the bottom of the skirt (after hemming).
And here is the final outfit, complete with purple Docs - one happy Doctor Who fan!

 

[A big thanks to Lynne Cook (President Australian Costumers' Guild) who helped with the fitting of the toile for the pattern for this corset.]

photos ©2017 Karen Carlisle and ©2017 D Carlisle. All rights reserved.