Wintermarch Update

So, at the beginning of the month I got to spend a lovely weekend being shuttled around hospital wards, where I was treated to a number of blood tests, IV antibiotics and a lot of morphine. As it turns out, some gastro-intestinal issues that have been worsening over the last year, which I had put down to “just one of those Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome things”, were actually symptoms of cholecystitis which (likely thanks to the EDS, which causes delayed healing and fragile scar tissue) has not only caused some serious scarring but had given me infections in my gall bladder and liver, hence my horrendous pain. At the moment, it sounds as though surgery is the intended way forward, assuming all goes well at my next round of scans and blood tests, which has meant that quite a few things I had planned for the spring, cosplay and otherwise, may have to be put on hold while I recover.

I’ve had a few weeks to take it easy and deal with my infections and increased pain levels, but I’ve reached the point of going stir crazy, so I’ve had the drive to get my lovely new craft room sorted out and to start prep for my first costume of 2019.

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Looking forward, here’s how I’m hoping the next few months are going to shape up:

Vallaslin Blog Posts

Vallaslin banner (reduced)

Back in December, I promised to write some posts detailing how I create my Dalish vallaslin make-up.  I haven’t forgotten, and two of what I think will be a three-part series are currently underway. I’m not sure whether it would be more useful to publish them all at the same time once I’m finished with the whole process, or whether it would be better to post them individually as soon as they’re done? Let me know on my FB/Insta/Twitter if you have a preference.

Dragon Age Quiz

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If anyone missed it, I have an A2 print of our Hanged Man poster and Inquisition-themed Wicked Grace cards to give away but my untimely hospitalisation meant I had to put a pin in my plans. The quiz is written and ready to go as soon as I figure out the best way to get answer sheets back from entrants. I had planned to set it up here as a form, but WordPress have apparently pulled Plug-Ins for basic blogs, so I’ll have to think up an alternative. One way or another, I plan to have it up and open on Friday the 1st of February, so it’s time to start swotting up!

Cosplans 2019

warden inspired gown - shaded

Grey Warden Inspired Gown

I’ve been thinking about a few different versions of this gown since the first Calling convention in summer 2016, and inspiration struck at Tandy Leather’s workshop back in December.  I’m attempting to get this ready for March but I have a back up in mind if I run out of time.  I’ve sourced some lovely fabrics for it, so expect lots of work in progress pictures in the weeks to come!

Upgrades:  Lavellan’s Superior Prowler Coat

Photo by Max Mace
Photography by Max Mace, 2016

I’ve been really looking forward to upgrading this one.  In much the same way as I upgraded Mahariel’s Regalia of Weisshaupt last year, I have a lot of work I want to do to bring Lavellan’s wardrobe up to version 2.0, including some new props and weaponry.

Events 2019

Unfortunately my next round of blood tests and scans has already struck my first con of the year, Middlesbrough Unleashed, off my calendar.  My surgery has been estimated for March/April, so the following events have been marked as “definitely going as long as I’m not in surgery/recovering from surgery.”

I’ve also got a couple of photo shoots planned and several other projects that I’m really looking forward to sharing so, medical stuff aside, 2019 is shaping up to be an exciting year.

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Project: Undercroft

Last winter we started overhauling our house, which gave us the opportunity to make better use of all our wasted space.  I’ve kept a guest bedroom for years but it’s so small that we could barely fit even a futon into it, and it was mostly used to store things we had no real use for but kept “just in case.”  Every time we actually had guests, it was a mad scramble to redistribute dozens of electronics boxes, winter clothes and all the foam, fabric and crafting equipment that I was trying to hide from the cats.

After we got the room cleared out, my brother spent a week with us to help sort the walls out and get it painted.

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The new floor went down….

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… and then we spent a long couple of days putting Ikea furniture together and moving my stuff in.

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It’s taken some time but my collection has been moved in and the rest of my furniture has been assembled.  Apologies for any motion sickness – I was just trying not to trip over my own feet!


(Music: Trevor Morris / BioWare)

Project Undercroft

We’ve had a busy start to the year giving our house an overhaul, which means that I finally have space to move my crafts into our now-empty spare bedroom.  The room used to be my study, before I realised the guest room had been used twice in the previous twelve months and was twice the size of where I was sitting, squeezed in between art supplies, computers and my extensive collection of books.  Since swapping furniture, almost ten years ago,  the spare room became the safest place to put things away from cats and dogs, and gradually turned into our dumping ground for anything that didn’t really have another place it belonged.  Even with the spare bed folded up into a futon, it was difficult for an able-bodied person to actually get through the door, so other than attempts to squeeze something else in there, it stayed closed up and unused.

After spending most of January clearing out old furniture and finding better places for the things we decided to keep, I was finally able to get in and start planning.  I’ve got loads of ideas for my craft room but for now, I’ll leave you with my new door sign!