Sunday, February 22, 2015

Mommy and Me Batman Beyond Cosplay

Before I had SHB, I used to scoff at moms whose wardrobes devolved into leggings/yoga pants and spit-up and milk-stained t-shirts. Can't you be bothered to wear real, clean clothes, I'd secretly think. And because the universe is fair like that, I now find myself the owner of multiple pairs of black leggings and I've totally thrown on a tank top that "only" had a little bit of questionable fluid stain in order to go grocery shopping. I naively thought that once I had my body back I'd go back to wearing my cute fitted dresses made from woven fabric, but alas, stretch knits are so comfortable and none of my geeky dresses have boob access.

Despairing, I wondered how I could get some of my groove back while still being a functional milk machine. Black Milk has geeky leggings, but at $80 a pop they're hardly affordable. Then one day I looked in the mirror and realized I was wearing black leggings and a black fleece jacket (because it's so easy to wipe milk crud off of fleece and it dries quickly to boot, then there's the warmth factor because you know, winter, and zip front = easy access) yet again, and hey, you know which superhero I love wears an almost entirely black outfit? That's right, Batman Beyond. 

From the Batman Beyond animated series: Terry McGinnis, high school student by day, Bruce Wayne's "errand boy" by night.

I used to love watching Batman Beyond when I was in high school. Yes, that's right, I binged on cartoons every Saturday morning as a teen, because gosh darn it I deserved those Saturday mornings after missing out on eight years of cartoon watching, thanks to Chinese school. I thought Terry McGinnis was so cool (he was in high school, just like me, and he had that reformed bad boy persona that silly girls love!) and kind of hot (inasmuch as an animated character can be), and his girlfriend was actually Asian, so it's no surprise that he quickly became my favorite superhero. It's too bad I've never come across any Batman Beyond sheets in my thrifting; I think I would pass out from excitement if I did. Anyway, my glorious return to sewing for myself and not for SHB was to add a red bat applique to my generic Target jacket. Does sewing two seams and doing a lot of ironing of fusible interfacing even count as a sewing project? 

Simplest sewing project ever: sketch bat design on Heat-N-Bond, cut out fleece, fuse to jacket, sew around the edges. Done!

Mom uniform with a smack of geek!
Our green, suburban front yard is just about as opposite as you can get of future Gotham's gritty, run-down urban vibe. 

In the event that two seams and some ironing doesn't qualify as a MBU, I decided that since SHB could use more non-hooded outerwear, I might as well make it subtly geeky. I pulled out the fleece stash and had just enough brown fleece left to make him a little Terry McGinnis jacket. Unfortunately, because of the odd-shaped remnant pieces, I ended up having to cut it so that the stretch runs vertically. I guess that's okay, since SHB is on the long skinny side? He's still wearing his 0-3 month pants because the waist fits, but they're capri-length on him. Hmm, maybe I should make him some pants next. Or I could just pretend that he's a hobbit. From Gotham City. Um. Right. No mixing fandoms.

I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out, even if none of the inside seams are finished and there's no actual closure. 
SHB was pretty pleased with how it turned out, too. I know it looks like he's crying, but this is his happy scream face. 
Despite the grain issues, mobility is good. Good enough for eating links. 
This picture is probably the most accurate in terms of capturing Terry McGinnis' moody, brooding expressions. 

And now, for a rare, unheard-of occurrence: you get to see a superhero and his alter ego at the same time.

Quick, take a picture to capture the evidence! 

Of course, on the day that we're taking pictures of our fleece jackets, it would be 73 degrees. 

Wait, the alter ego isn't supposed to be the one flying through the air. 

Okay, it's time for the alter ego to go inside and fight his nemesis: NAPTIME. *cue dramatic music and JJ Abrams sun flare*

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Hobbit-y Pyrography

These days, SHB is sleeping somewhat better in the evenings, meaning I can be fairly sure of having an hour or so to myself after dinner. I was so excited at first (a whole hour! I can do ALL the things!), but I quickly learned that after working part time and taking care of SHB the rest of the time, not to mention making dinner and cleaning up, I have no energy left for anything mentally taxing. There are so many lovely new patterns I want to get to (hello Sewaholic button-down shirts -- perfect for breastfeeding access!), but I can't seem to muster up the gumption to tackle muslins or fitting or even thinking about where that one fabric is in my stash.

I still want to do something mildly productive, though (I can only read so much before the words start swimming before my eyes), and I have that whole irreversible task resolution, so I have to settle for my brain-dead craft of choice: pyrography. It's essentially tracing, with very little thinking involved, so it's perfect for a tired new mom. And being the geek that I am, naturally it would all be Tolkien-themed. I'm lucky that one of my fandoms lends itself so well to this medium; it's harder to do convincing wood-based, rustic-looking crafts for say, sci-fi fandoms like Star Wars and Firefly.

So, during Christmas break, I burned two small cheese-sized cutting boards:

"If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world."

It was tricky getting the wood grain to cooperate to make the elvish designs smooth enough. 

Not actually from the books, admittedly, but I still love the list of hobbit meals. 

Oak leaf motif. Because hobbits. 

IKEA won't let me forget where I got the board from. 

I ended up gifting one to Elaine and keeping the other for myself. It was awfully therapeutic to do, and there's the added bonus of a pleasant smoky wood smell (so nice in winter, especially when you discover that your fireplace is out of commission and will cost $4000 to fix!). It was so fun, I found myself itching to do more. Then I realized that we were storing our teabags in an old gelato container, so when I was at Daiso the other day I picked up this wooden box for making into a more aesthetically pleasing receptacle:

I've always been the tiniest bit sad that I gave these boxes away at my hobbit-themed birthday party, so it was about time I made my own Thorin's-map-themed box.

It pleases me that the green tea is on the Lonely Mountain side, since it's vageuly Mt. Fuji-esque. 

I'm really pleased with how well the wood grain works with the mountains on this side. 

The great wyrms of the North came out looking a little goofy. 

Even though nobody will see it, I like knowing that this inscription is under the, tea. 

All credit for the design on the box goes to Tolkien himself, of course.

It's tempting to make even more random LOTR decor -- Jo-ann's has so many nice blank wood items -- but considering only one person in this house is actually a fan, I think I'd better hold back. Unless, of course, I can indoctrinate SHB...then it'll be two to one!