Monday, October 25, 2010

Halloween Costume, #4 & 5

This was my neighbor, Pat, who was apparently conflicted as to what to go as for Halloween. Pirate? Cowboy? Pirate Cowboy! Heheh, that looks like a pillowcase on his head. Looks like I'm casting a spell with my beWITCHing eyebrows. Har har.


As a bonus, here's another picture of Pat and I. (Wonder what he's up to these days.) I love this photo because I remember these pajamas, and the horse dad made for me. And of course Tiger Kitty, truly a saint among tiger striped kitties.

What a patient animal.

It's been two (or three?) costume nights since I last posted.

The horse is cut out.


Cale helped me attach both cut outs to both sides.



I did the rear haunches first, to see how things would go. It worked alright!


Sunday night I worked on the head and neck, and tonight I did the front legs, tail and nearly got the mane done. One more night with the goo, finishing the mane and putting another coat of strips, and I should be done with that stuff.

Here's the head and neck all taped up and ready to go. Note the bib over the handlebars.


Here it was at the end of last night.


Tonight, taping up the tail...


...the front legs and the mane, while Cale builds up the new Pugsley in the background.


I tried using a little different technique while working on the tail. For the rest of the horse, it was easiest to kind of criss cross (no, not Kris Kross) the strips to make the smoothest surface. I tried a unidirectional approach, and I'm just pleased as punch with myself.


Nice, right? Here's where I got to tonight.


Today I broke down and bought some boots (but ones that I'll wear after Halloween as well) and a pair of breeches online. They just were not forthcoming. However, I managed to borrow a riding crop and a helmet, things I would probably never use again (yeah yeah, I know, riding crop, hee hee!). The crop needs a little work, as it's missing a piece of leather at the end, but I can use the leather coat I bought at the thrift store to fix it up. So here's my modified to-do list:

1) [DONE] cut out horse(s)
2) [DONE] attach them to bike
3) [DONE] find a way to attach front legs to fork/possible front fender (any ideas?)
4) [mostly DONE] paper mache horse
5) make 'saddle', bridle and half-chaps (to cover calves and look like boots) from leather jacket already purchased
6) switch out thread in sewing machine, sew up jacket
7) sew velvet collar onto jacket
8) paint horse and dogs
9) attach dogs to pedals
10) [DONE] find/buy breeches, riding crop

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Halloween Costume, #3

I think this is the earliest Halloween photo I have. My mom made me a .. what would you call that? Mask? Helmet? out of a paper bag. Yes, I literally I had a bag over my head. I can still remember it, it had glitter eyes and yarn hair.

Halloween Horse

Night three of costume making. I cooked up another batch of goo. Add this to the short list of things I can cook! Jeremy taped some features on his balloon form head and went over them...

Jeremy's Head

and I finished another Hound (the other one I put a primer on the other day).


I started on the horse this evening, too. Gotta hit it hard tomorrow! Here's how I figured out how large to make the horse.

Step 1) I printed out a picture of a Breyer model horse on transparent sticker paper that looked just about right, then I cut it up and stuck it back together to modify it, drawing where I needed to. Then I stuck it to an overhead projector.


Step 2) I projected it over the bike, so I could size it.

Sizing up the horse to the bike.

Step 3) Out with the bike, in with the cardboard. Trace.

Remove bike, put up cardboard.

That's what I got done tonight, after working on signage for the Pegasus race this weekend. I tell you, I'm super busy but I love it. All these fun and interesting things to do after work. MAKING things!

To Do:
1) cut out horse(s)
2) attach them to bike
3) find a way to attach front legs to fork/possible front fender (any ideas?)
4) paper mache horse
5) make 'saddle', bridle and half-chaps (to cover calves and look like boots) from leather jacket already purchased
6) switch out thread in sewing machine, sew up jacket
7) sew velvet collar onto jacket
8) paint horse and dogs
9) attach dogs to pedals
10) find/buy breeches, riding crop
11) make more numbered lists, because I clearly have a thing for them

Uhhh, phwew. And a little over a week left 'til the race. But I WILL get it done, and it WILL look superb.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Badger Prairie

Traditionally I've really disliked this race (nothing personal, Badger Prairie), so it was a shocker when it turned out to be a great race.

Inexplicably, I got the hole shot... what was up with that? I never try for it, preferring to sit a few back and then ramp up throughout the race. I think I got clipped in before anyone else, or maybe nobody wanted the hole shot? It was seriously strange. When I realized what was going on I went with it, though. Through the first loop (before the first lap) I led- preliminary feedback suggests I should have gone faster, but what do I know about leading a race?

At the end of the first loop, Abby and Elicia flew past me and I stepped it up to get on Elicia's wheel. (This is starting to sound like a real race report, isn't it?) We went from the road and onto the grass, where the course snaked around a bit before coming to the first set of barriers. In the first turn Abby went down, followed by Elicia. Lucky for me, I hadn't quite caught up to them, so there was a second or two to slow down and wait to see if I could get through- and I could! I knew Abby was probably the big threat of the day, so I kicked it in to try to get a gap on her. Amanda was right behind me- I forget when she passed me up, but I figured I could catch her later on so I let her go. Dun dun dun!

Abby caught up and we raced for a little over half of the race together, near as I could tell. I'm not actually out there taking notes on each lap for the blog... Anyway, we were racing together for a longer time than I thought I could go. I began to dream of slowly but surely racing Abby into the ground (oh glorious racer, me!) and then catching Amanda for my first win over a horde (OK, six) of excellent, top shelf cyclocross racers.

Was that foolish? Sure was. I think they call it counting chicks before they hatch. BUT it's the first time I've ever thought I could actually achieve that. I think they call that daring to dream. For a few years I've been sweeping up the 3rd through 7th place finishes, resigned to it. There are some top shelf ladies in WI, ladies I thought I could never actually race with. Now, whether or not I was having a great day and Abby was recovering from the Bubonic Plague, we're going to count this race as actually hanging with the upper crust for a good chunk of the race; something I haven't done before.

No doubt dreaming of top spot on the podium. (By djonn)

Back to the race, where things were playing out a bit differently that I had imagined. During one of the laps, Abby led for a while. She was fast on the straights, I was a little bit faster on the steep climbs (but not the run up), and I was blessedly faster on the long descent. I noted that as I put on my brakes not to run into her, and the next lap I was sure to keep the lead until that hill, so I could make her work to keep up. I led for about two laps, but then she dropped me on the run up. So long. That was pretty much the end of my race. I was tired from racing head to head, so I sat back a little, while still keeping in mind that the rest of the race behind me was still going on.

That sounds pretty discouraging, but like I said, I was just kind of tickled to have been in the game for so long. The race ended with Abby catching Amanda, and me not catching Amanda. Hm. Oh well. Glory, perhaps we will meet again at a later date.

Season so far: Last year I was usually 5th or 7th or so. However, this year I've had people come up to me and comment on what a great season I'm having. It's true! I'm consistently placing 3rd or 4th, with even a 1st thrown in there (when almost everyone was gone to a mtb race and the woman in first got a flat, yaaay!). Sure, some of the very fast women in the 1/2s race have moved away. Or gotten pregnant. Or are racing other races instead.

Long story short, I think it's obvious that we're seeing my strict training regimen of racing once a week starting to pay off.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Halloween Costume, #2

Today's photo, a photo of Abbie, my best friend growing up, and I out on the town. Apparently I didn't find it all that important to tuck my hair up under the wig. And that blue fabric draped around my neck? It was shiny and pretty, darnit! So what if it didn't go with the costume.


Last night I tried my hand at making paper mache goo out of water and flour, the easiest and cheapest option. It goes like this: 5 parts water, 1 part flour, boil for 3 minutes. Let me tell you, it works great. I'll have to have a look at the projects once they dry, but they look pretty good to me.

Looks comical, works quite well, thank you.
Uh, that's paper mache paste, alright?

I projected a hound using a tiny projector, cut it out, built up a low relief for it, then pasted away.

A wild Thursday evening.



Jeremy's working on a big head- he's not sure what it's going to look like yet, so he just put down a base coat on the balloon.

Erick came over and did laundry and doodled, too, while Cale pretended not to be interested in helping me make my costume ;) I'll suck him into it, yet.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Halloween Costume, #1

Here's how this is gonna go. First off, Halloween approaches, so I'm working on my most complicated costume yet. Second, I've been uploading family pictures to archive them, and running into costumes from years past that my mom made. So I figure, this is decent blog content. I'm going to do a few posts of different parts of the costume coming together, and post a different old photo each time, too.


"What's this?" you ask. "You said you were going to post photos of yourself- you said nothing of Jane Seymour, star of Dr Quinn Medicine Woman, a series about the trials and adventures of a female doctor in a small wild west town." Well look closer! That is in fact me, 'riding' a paper mache horse w/o legs that was suspended from me using... suspenders! I loved watching Dr. Quinn with my parents.

This year's costume is just starting to take form. I'm going as an equestrian on a fox hunt. I went to a thrift store and raided the blazer section, and I found two likely candidates. I couldn't really decide, since they both had some good points. I agonized over the decision, before buying both for $2.95 apiece. This way I figure, I can ruin one altering it and still have a backup.

First victim is the one on the right.

As always, the cat is helping.
What? Is helping.

More later!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Way Back

I'm so behind on blogging cross races... It'll have to wait for a little longer, but until then can I interest you in a picture of my mom and I, back when I was just the cutest little flowergirl?

Mom and I

Or most stunned looking, I guess you could also say.