Sunday 28 March 2010

My Other Hobby...

When I first started this blog I said that it wouldn't always be about writing. So as I stood at my 'mannequin' attempting to adjust a dress I thought why not blog about that too.
Granted some of the customisations are only a matter of adjusting them slightly for a better fit.
For example, the item I am adjusting now is a Jane Norman dress that I got in a sale. The main base colour is a dark grey-purple, with a dotted flower pattern in dark pink, lilac and white. It is a polyester dress that looks like it is made of a satin style fabric. I had seen it in a UK size 12; however this would have been far too big for me. Then one day whilst browsing the racks I found it in a size 8.
Now you are about to hate me. I find that when it comes to Jane Norman I have to get a size 6. A lot of other shops I am a UK size 8 to 10, however in Jane Norman their sizes do appear to be one smaller. So if you are a size 8, you become a 6; a size 10, you are now an 8; and so on and so forth.
Anyway I knew I would have to adjust the dress but I really wanted it so I got it, I have had it some time now and I have only just got around to adjusting it around the shoulders and bust line.
Which brings me on to my other recent project - I made myself a mannequin. To buy one that would adjust down to my size would have cost me a lot.
Making it was the result of my sister wrapping me in duct tape, cutting the result off me, tape it back up and stuffing it. I found the instructions to do this on YouTube, by simply searching for 'duct tape body form' or 'how to make a body form'. I adapted mine by putting a large postal tube down the centre of it so I could attach it to the top of my easel.
And as a result, I now have a 'mannequin' which is my size (give or take 2 or 3 layers of duct tape). If you have a go yourself, be warned:
  1. Go to the toilet first
  2. You will get to a point where you cannot move the top of your legs or arms very well - don't panic!
  3. Put an old t-shirt underneath to stick the tape to, preferably one you don't mind cutting up.
  4. Take your time - the YouTube videos may do it in 10 minutes, however they have been sped up.
  5. Make sure you have plenty of duct tape - you do not want to run out half way through.
So as I have an immense pile of clothes to customise I may as well tell you what I get up to with it - however I probably won't be putting up pictures of the finished product, maybe one day in the future but not just yet.
Stayed tuned for more writing and customising adventures!

Monday 22 March 2010

Spring Cleaning

A number of times a year I find myself sorting through my clothes (and there are a lot of them) in a bid to make some space. Each time I find that 90% of my clothes go straight back where they came from. The other 10%, I stand staring at for ages.

Shall I keep it? I ever going to wear it again? Probably not, but what if...? I'll keep it, just in never know.

However during a recent sort through I decided that I would be ruthless, I was not going to hang on to stuff that I wasn't going to wear.
Tops were discarded, dresses were dispatched; the combat trousers that, although I know are coming back in to fashion, I will never wear again, all gone. Even a couple of pairs of shoes went (but keep quiet about that as the rest of my shoes might get worried! ;)).
None of the times were wasted, most of it went to my sister, a pair of shoes went on eBay, a few things I put to one side to dismantle and turn in to something else and the rest were parcelled off to the local charity shop.
My wardrobe is still overflowing - I am a fully-fledged shopaholic!

I can tell what you are now thinking.

What does this have to do with writing?

I'll tell you.

The grand sorting out of Chippy's clothes 2010 prompted me to sort through some other things, make-up, books etc.
The final item to sort through was my handbag. As I emptied it, all sorts of things came tumbling out.
Receipts, pens, bills (paid ones), lip balms, allergy tablets from last summer, an umbrella, a notebook I keep notes for my novel in, and bits of paper. Loads and loads of bits of paper, with random notes and ideas scribbled on to them, which had then been banished to the bottom of my bag.

I decided to sort through these notes and write then down in one of the many notebooks that I own, which I bought because I thought they looked 'pretty'.
As I went through them some were written straight in to the notebook. And then with about 10% of them (like with my clothes), I sat and pondered over for a while.

How did I come up with that idea? What was I thinking? That's no good.

My eyes were trained on the rubbish bin, as my hand prepared to scrunch the piece of paper up in to a ball.

No, that idea may come in handy one day; I can adapt it into something at least half decent.

So, when it comes to writing, unlike with my clothes, clinging on to long forgotten items is a good thing.

You never know when half an idea that you scribbled down will become a fully formed story. And ideas scribbled down in this way don't take up half as much room as my clothes! :)

Wednesday 17 March 2010

Random Thought #1 - Writing

How come when you sit down with the intention of writing, your mind goes blank, you spend half an hour trying to think of something to write and after an hour you have written one sentence?

And yet when you are really busy doing other things or out and about, away from your computer, the ideas will not stop coming...

Sunday 14 March 2010

A New Beginning...

Writing seems such an easy thing to do. You learn the alphabet, how to form words and away you go!

But to actually sit down and create something that other people will want to read. Now that is a completely different matter.

As someone who calls themselves a writer, I have struggled to get off the starting blocks for almost two years. Finally I have the motivation to actually get on with writing. Rather than constantly scribbling down ideas and claiming to be 'researching' I now feel I am at a point where I can actually begin...properly.

This blog, although it may not always be focussed on writing, will hopefully keep my motivation alive. If I see that I haven't posted for some time without good reason, I will know that my motivation and enthusiasm needs a boost.

And so 'A Writer's struggle to Write' begins...