Rediscovery

Hey ya’ll,

Gosh it’s been a while. I believe I haven’t really written in several months, and as I look back on everything that’s happened and continues to occur… I can’t really blame myself, despite initially mentally beginning to. I wish I’d had more opportunity, but I’ve always agreed with the idea that you can’t force creative thinking, nor really put yourself in “the mood” if truly, forcefully apart from said mood. So I guess I’m kind of glad I haven’t tried to post anything in the midst of the particular kind of stress I’ve faced the past few months…. even now, I don’t have much to share beyond a brief update, and an interesting morsel.

I don’t remember how much I’ve said before about what’s happened with myself and my family lately, so I think a brief summary is not amiss:

A) This past semester was my final freshman semester of college, and one of the toughest challenges and lets-say-monsters, I’ve faced yet, and B), in the midst of that hardship my father was diagnosed with glioblastoma, the deadliest of all brain tumors (considering its speed of growth and unique composition- okay actually, lets not bog you down in those details now….), and really the biggest monster currently rearing it’s not-at-all-attractive head.

It’s been kind of a train wreck of terrible things, medical emergency, and… geeze, just all-round horrible *ahem* fracking sh*takes to go through. It still is; at least, the stuff concerning my dad’s fight. I’m on summer break, thank the Lord.

So I suppose I’ll update the sitch on my father first, considering I’m currently on that train of thought, then return to school, and FINALLY the reason for the name of this post.

Daddy underwent two surgeries, the second one in the actual cancer institute now handling his treatments and removing ALL of his tumor. That is a good thing. He’s been through chemo and radiation these past few months, and while there’s many challenges in all this… he’s much better than his initial condition, and my family is together. 

God I’m thankful for that. I missed out on a lot of the introduction to this new world of ours, where diet and exercise transcend those New Year’s resolutions never followed and left forgotten by a world majority; where sleep becomes crucial to everyday quality of life in ways not related to the quality of school papers, or conduct in class; where endless meetings and appointments winding within a hospital’s pristine corridors create the rigid schedule all other plans flex around. I was in school in Austin, while my mother and father began this… journey, I suppose, several hours and miles away.

But now I’m with them, and things are better. Things are also scary; that never really stops, but simply takes a backseat. But we’re together, and we find soon what turn my father’s treatment will take.

It’s okay right now.

Now, to productivity, and schooling.

I’ve been… rather productive, I would say, this far in this summer. I passed the program I was in within UT, and the big news is that:

I’m entering the major I wanted so badly!

I’m in the process of necessary paperwork and meetings, but I will be joining the Arts and Entertainment Technologies major, and I will working with anything from 3D printing to animation and set builds. I’m EXTREMELY EXCITED, ah man. S’gonna be so cool.

To prep for that, aaaand also ’cause who doesn’t love personal development?, I’ve been taking extra classes related to the kinds of tech and programs I could encounter in my classes this fall. I’ve also been updating and adding to the drawing programs and software I have, sooooo we shall see what happens there. Ya’ll haven’t seen how my art’s developed, and honestly, I’m at a tipping point as to how good or not I really am. I’ve learned a lot, and within the next few weeks I’ll be seeing what’s changed because of it.

Hopefully it’s all good change, and a more professional-level end product… *cross fingers*

But I’ve also been taking this time to clean and update my space (liiiike my room…), as well; which is where we FINALLY come to the tasty morsel marking the ENTIRE REASON I decided to sit and write this post, in the midst of the chaos of my tiny, mounded, practically avalanching (I don’t think that’s a real verb… ) room.

I’ve found several papers with old writings and drawings today. And thank God, most of the WRITINGS, AT LEAST, are actually perfectly fine. The drawings… oh geeze. *shudder* WHY, ME. WHY DID YOU THINK THAT WAS PROPORTIONAL, AUUUH
Drama aside, one particular writing caught my eye. While slightly broken, and apparently written while half asleep in a sudden burst of late-night inspiration, it seemed oddly, kinda relevant to my current struggles.

Gawd, look at the scrawliness. Aiii.
The offending page, found tucked within a 2013 yearbook, scrawls this (as best as I can decipher):

“A doll, for a girl… a child that hasn’t grown up yet. Because what it means to be a child, is safety…
You live in your head, off the dreams you see inside of there, and those dreams are sweeter… and more nourishing than anything.  They keep you alive, waiting for a time when you can embrace reality.
Because that’s what it means to be grown up: it’s that time when reality replaces dreams, and takes (their) place as nourishment.
And you really are EMBRACING it, not (simply) facing it. You may know it’s there; view it and know it in those secret, alone moments in the dark, but only when you embrace reality as your main existence… and not dreams… that’s when you can’t be a child anymore.
That’s why dolls and stuffed animals are so important. They protect a child’s dreams… let them stay a child for just a little while longer.
Stay a child…
Sleep, and wait.”

Beyond my excessive use of ellipses, I believe the overall idea and writing remains sound. And as of now, I feel I’m in that transition from child to adult, mentally. There’s so much that simply demands I FACE reality, while simultaneously I’m finding more in my reality to actively EMBRACE. While my dreams and fantasies remain wonderful parts of my everday mind and life, more and more I feel the need for (as well as witness the occurrence) of separation from them as my sole drive, and moreso for the health of those worlds and ideas than for any reason in regard to myself. 
It’s not really good or bad that it’s happening; it simply is… and maybe it’s slightly interesting.

(Which, by the way, a note: I refer to dreams not in the “follow your dreams” sorta sense, but akin to the fantasies I mention. The stories and make-believes and what-ifs that exist within us, and can remain healthy companions, or devouring monsters. These are the kinds of dreams that should at least begin to balance with reality, when becoming an adult.)



But I guess I’m growing up, in the midst of this all.

It’s so weird.

But I guess little morsels like this help the transition come along.

SO, for all ya’ll that will read this, I simply say: celebrate your time, in this moment, whether adult or child. No matter what else is happening, simply give a small (or big, your choice really) thanks for those little and big things that make you happy; for breath in your lungs; for memories, dreams, and time with people you actually ENJOY hanging out with. You don’t have to be thankful for anything that really, you could live without: like Dolores Umbridge, or the person at work always stealing your pens, or your cat’s incessant need to step on your full bladder. Also nothing like supposed-to-be-hot coffee, or life-changing events that can seem life-ending. You can omit, nay, IGNORE and EXCLUDE those as much as you’d like.

But give a little attention to the small things; the little morsels of memory and ecperience that can be digested repeatedly in life with only greater nutritional offerings; and I promise you’ll feel at least a little better, no matter what’s happening.

And here, to help it work a bit better, a hug for anyone who needs it. Ready ?

*HUUUUG*

Ah, there. Support is never amiss.
Here’s to a wonderful new undetermined-time-span for you all, until we meet again to renew the greetings!
All the luck,

Jack C.
Oh, and P.S.? A-Kon happened this year, and while it was a struggle as well… it was good. Pictures at some point, hopefully.

Okay, for real-zies now. Sweet dreams, and goodnight! (For my time zone at least; time-appropriate greetings for all others XD)

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It’s Been A Long Time

Hey ya’ll,

Apologies for so late a post. I’ve been absent for quite some time, I know, but I’ve found a chance in the chaos to update today.

It’s been an incredibly stressful semester, due to difficulties with my schedule, crazy teachers and my own tendency to stay up much too late to finish things, regardless of the toll on my health. I’ve still got about 7 weeks of that to get through, which hopefully will mostly fly by.

However, in the past month there has been a second reason for my continued absence; one that’s truly a more serious issue.

My father was found to have a tennis ball size tumor on his speech center, had surgery to remove part of it, and is now recuperating.

We have a lot of changes and work to do to help him get through this and survive, and this initial weeks have been weird and tough. We’re determined to pull through this, and we’ve many wonderful people helping us out, so it’s much better than it could be. But it’s a heavy dose of reality on a semester that already sucked.

I won’t go into more detail than that; instead, I’ll discuss how this affects this blog:

I don’t think I’ll be able to write before school is done with, as my homework load and all that needs to be done around the house kind of seize my possible free-time.

HOWEVER

As soon as school lets out, my friend Beck and I will be teaching at our former highschool once more this year, in the event previously known as “Cosplay Week”, but now know AS:

“COSPLAY HALF-MONTH”

….because now we’ve been given two weeks… but that doesn’t really roll off the tongue well. 😄

This means that we will be putting together projects and tutorials, as well as using this as an opportunity to work on our own cosplays for A-Kon this year (which I believe I will still be attending… though that may change). So all sorts of costuming things shall appear on here due to that work (Most likely. It should).

As for after A-Kon, within the depths of summer, I plan to be researching how to make crenolines for a victorian style dress (for the steampunk character  I believe I posted about before).

I also have officially gotten my hands on a new drawing tablet, so I’ll be playing with that this summer to actually learn how to make more professional artwork. Let’s hope that goes well, so I’ll have some interesting stuff to share here.

Other than that… I can’t think of much. I sketch doodles where I can, so maybe there will be a sketch dump after the semester ends. But we’ll see; I need to get through this crap first before I can really decide what to do after it’s over.

OH I can say that my lineup of costumes for A-Kon have been solidified for now:

Miss Muffet from Undertale  (I fracking LOVE that game ohmygawd. And I liked it BEFORE anyone had ever heard of it *grumble grumble*)

Shirahime from the manga Replica (YAAAY she’ll actually be completed this year… and I’ll have a Manji to come with me. (○w○) )

And Roxy Lalonde from Homestuck, in her Theif of Void outfit. Hopefully.

Miss Muffet’s arms are in the process of/on hold in being constructed as of now… lots of research on making wooden joints and carving foam. All else will be completed when possible.

Okay, so that’s all for now.

See all of ya’ll later- hopefully in a much happier, calmer, and less stressed time.

Have a fantastic week,

Jack C.

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Projects In Progress

Alright ya’ll, I know it’s not this past weekend– obviously; else I wouldn’t be on a train, and instead would be home drinking cider, and ya’ll would hopefully be comfy too. But I’m doing a quick update of things that are happening.

So besides prepping for finals for this semester, I’ve been doing my best to actually craft and draw some stuff so I don’t go completely NUTSO from stress. 😄  Lately, this has taken the form of experimenting with some new crafts and drawing up some potential future custom characters to costume as; plus getting ready for a lovely Thanksgiving break.

Ahhh break… food… SLEEP and GAMING… *nods dreamily* ah, can’t wait.

But as I was saying, before the pre-break day dream of anticipation, crafts and art and stuff.

BASICALLY, I now know how to A) make my own wigs (though have not put that into practice yet), and B) make tails and furry things out of yarn.

…yeah that last one is a little random. But it uses the same methods as the wig, only to make a fake tail that looks as fluffy and furry as a real one. AND I’ve actually been making a tail for the past few days, and I can officially say it’s easy, but time consuming as HECK. I’m currently working on ways to speed up the process, but we shall see.

NOW, I will not be posting pictures of the tail in progress.

…This is because I hope to make a tutorial over the entire process and my findings, once I’ve completed it.

But no pictures yet.

As to new designs… mmmmehhhh

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(Sorry, notebook bent while I was taking the photo…)

Okay, here’s one in progress. Due to all the fur things I seem to be experimenting with making lately, I’ve been in a kitsune-inspired mood– a kitsune being a Japanese fox spirit. They’re one of my favorite mythological figures…. plus lots of interesting styles of clothing can be paired up with them 😀 you can see possible tails sketched behind the figure; all will be sketched in and actually completed sometime tonight and onwards…

Anywho. Also working on shoes and setting up my store. *sigh* school’s been getting in the way of that, lately…

But all and all, I’m making things and drawing things and hanging with friends when I can, to balance it all out. This break will be a nice chance to rest, physically and mentally…

So for all of ya’ll waiting in determined anticipation for the Thanksgiving break in the USA, we’re almost there! Those of you outside of Amurrica, well, I hope you have a break soon, or another opportunity to rest, relax, and recharge.

See ya next week mayhaps,

Jack.

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I Am Terrible At Following My Own Words, But Here Are Shoes And Store Things

Alright everybody; let’s face it:

I am TERRIBLE at posting. HORRIBLE even. I just keep forgetting to, and even if there IS time, it doesn’t feel like it…

But I’ve recently gotten a bit of a break from a bunch of papers and things I was having to focus on, so I’m taking the time to finally post about some stuff.

SO

A) I’m working on my store.

YEAH, I KNOW RIGHT? Ex-citiiiiing 😀

Currently I’ve registered for my Square account, Paypal, and am in the process of creating my store(s?) on Etsy. So soon links to all of that will be on here, and my art will finally be available for people to actually have. Which is neat as HECK.

B) An example of what you may find in my store, besides art prints and probably sewn things and the like, would be these lovely beauties-in-progress:

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Pretty, right?

I’m thinking that these will be in shades of cream, peach, warm butter yellow, soft oranges,  and maybe a gradient over the toe from the yellow-ness to a small splash of light blue on the outside part of the toe.

I think the design mapping is going well right now; I’ll be working on the second shoe today (while also doing a test for government class… *sigh* can’t escape all the homework, unfortunately), and I’ve decided (like most patterns I make) the second will be similar, but the patterns flipped over in places and shifted slightly. It’ll be pretty too *wave wave*, no worries.

But yeah, shoes like these, knee high lace-ups and hightops of various types will appear in my store, which will also be appearing, soon enough. I’ve three different pairs of the knee-highs… Not sure what I’ll do with each of them, but I’ll figure it out. Custom orders also taken, or perhaps a better word is HIGHLY ENCOURAGED. Put a comment if you want to work out a custom project by me, if you fancy. Otherwise, pictures and projects will continue as they kind of have. 🙂 Hopefully store stuff will be done soon, and I’ll be posting more; but who knows what will happen, considering this is ME we’re talking about. 😄

Anywho… lots of rain here. Finally feels like fall, and it makes me so happy, despite all the flooding.

I hope everyone has a great, peaceful, restful week!

See you next time,

Jack.

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Hark! A Wild Apology Has Appeared

Hey everyone!

I know, I haven’t posted in a looooong while… getting started with college has been interesting, but hasn’t allowed much thought to actually keep up with my posts. I’m very disappointed about it, but I’ll try to write every so often whenever I can, as opposed to just my Saturday/weekend schedule.

Since I’m hanging out on the UT campus, I don’t really have any art stuff to post that’s WITH me, I don’t think… I’ll describe some of my upcoming projects though; maybe that will be entertaining?

So let me see… I’ve been drawing my friends as multiple versions of Batman characters… that started because I want to do a Penguin themed costume at some point, and then my mom asked who everyone else would be. Needless to say, I figured that out. So those are all in process…

I’m designing more outfits for some friends, one of which wants to get into lolita clothing. That’s been interesting, as they reallyyy want to dress in victorian lolita like Ciel from Black Butler… which is just victorian boys clothes with some extra ribbons and flowers most of the time. But it’s a bit of a challenge…

Beck, Al and I have been working on STEAMPUNK together FINALLY, which is AMAZING. I’m revamping my own basic steampunk attire (me only in steampunk attire; not a different personality or anything), while they’re designing their basic outfits. Beck and I are also joining my brother’s group we’re developing, which will be arctic themed, so outfits for that are being designed. And Beck and I have created two characters that we’ll be working on over the next two years, as we hope to do some biiig-ish things with them. The outfits will be VERY elaborate and we’ll be designing skits and performances to use with these two, so lots of work to be done that has only just begun. Very exciting 😀

I’m working with a haunt group now (did I mention that before?) and have been drawing lots of monsters and demons in the corners of my notes. I might be scaring a few of my classmates sometimes, but the additional costumes I’ve also been doodling might give them a hint. But it means I’ve been learning more about gore makeup, so AWESOME chyeah. 😀

Halloween is coming soon (she says before October has even started), and this means I’m planning on dressing more like the clothes/costume addict I am EVERY DAY OF THE MONTH. YES. Oh, and I have to figure out multiple costumes for parties and things. What with my recent learning with gore, maybe I’ll finally do something scary… who knows? Never had the chance before, nor did I really think of it. *shrug* BUT NOW I AM. 😀

Aaaaaand… OH I FINALLY FOUND AN AMAZING FABRIC STORE IN AUSTIN THAT ISN’T FOR QUILTING. They’re called TexStyles and the people there are AWESOME, and it’s the only place I’ve found so far in the Austin area that is actually dedicated to designing clothes and fashion fabrics. THERE WAS NICE LACE THERE, GUYS. NOT THE CHEAP STUFF YOU FIND EVERYWHERE. And lots of different fabrics 😀 I hope to take a class with them somewhat soon 😄

Buuut yeah, that’s what’s been up. Also college. But that’s actually… pretty much the same as everything I did before. Lots of review of stuff I already learned, unfortunately; and US Government is aggravating most the time. *sigh* BUT I have made friends in some of my classes– okay mainly my UT UGS which I’m GREATLY enjoying– so things don’t suck. Just a bit boring at times.

So instead I doodle things that I’ll show you soon. Maybe. Probably. 😄

So to cap it off, here’s a pic of my campus:

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It’s very nice outside, if a bit to sunny… the breeze is GREAT though; FALL IS APPROACHING
YESSSS

And I suppose I’ll see ya next time!

Hope you have a great week,

Jack.

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I AM INCREDIBLY FORGETFUL, SO HERE IS HISTORY

As the title suggests, I have forgotten for the past few weeks to post. So since I’m not sure what to post…

I was recently in Oklahoma, due to family stuff regarding my great grandparents who died a few years back. Since my grandmother’s death (she was the last to go), the family there (really, it’s just my great uncle) has been in charge of going through everything and sorting out the house.
Because of this, he’s learned quite a lot about our family history, as well as found many interesting things that I had no idea existed. One thing I learned while I was there was that there was a woman related to my family around the late 1800’s/early 1900’s named Lora; a woman skilled not only as a stencil and fashion/magazine croqui artist, but as a seamstress and embroiderer as well. Also she traveled everywhere  (though we don’t think she made it to far east Asia) and was pretty much an amazing sassy badass.
I’m very glad to know she exists, ’cause I think she’s awesome.
I’ll share one of the fashion croquis she made, I think:

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This one’s pretty, but not the prettiest I think… however there are so many to pick from, so it’s kind of hard to decide what to show…

But in addition to learning such family history, I also gained some family history of my great grandmother’s: mainly items such as her wedding dress, or a yukata my grandfather brought back for her when he was deployed.
….
The wedding dress is beautiful (though too small in the arms for me, unfortunately…), but it’s things like the yukata I’m extremely excited about.
See, I had no clue where my great grandfather had been deployed when he had served, ’cause he never liked to talk about it. And because of it, I never saw things like that; things that my great grandfather brought back during the 50’s and 60’s.

But now, so long after it had happened…

No-one else in my family was interested in saving the important clothing like that.
I’m the one obsessed with clothing and history.
I’m the only one who really jumped to take it all, and I’m perfectly fine with that! ‘Cause you know what, this is the kind of history I know I can help preserve. And I will do anything in my power to take care of the beautiful things I saw there, not stopping at the clothing and such; but the books, and the poems.

I never knew my great grandparents’ pasts, beyond the basics. They never talked about it…
But now I have a chance to connect with them both through interests I never knew we’d share: even if it is post-humously.
So here’s the yukata, folks:

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I will cherish it, and the fact my great  grandfather brought it back for my great grandmother. It will fascinate me for the elements of history it represents: the sharing of cultures, industry at the time, the sort of things that came home with soldiers like my great grandfather. And I’ll appreciate it for its beauty,  since it’s  beautiful. I can appreciate the material aspects as well as the intangible, after all.

Maybe I’ll have a chance to wear it properly some day… that’d be amazing.

So though they’re dead, I’ll say hello to great grandma Dorothy, and great grandpa Jack. And through the  simple, but amazing little bits of their lives I now care for, maybe they’re saying hello right back.

R.I.P., grandma and grandpa. I love ya’ll and miss you both, and I hope it’s okay that I’ve got some of your stuff… but most of all, thank you: for both my time with you, and the things you’ve left behind and taught me through.

… also grandma, your taste was hella rad in the fashion department.

Thanks for letting me share ya’ll; hope this kind of makes up for the absence lately… *sigh*

Till next time,
Jack.

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Henna Art And Neat Trinkets

Heyyyyyooo everyone! It’s only 11 something as I start to write this, so yessss not late.
Now keeping in mind how not late this post is– sorry it’s a bit late, as I’m away from home on a family trip. 😄
We saw Carlsbad Caverns today! It was very pretty, and I took plenty of reference photos for future things involving super awesome caves. I also got some neat trinkets *nudge nudge wink wink*, which I will share as they are fabulous.
So the first thing is a new hair thing I will now be using every possible chance I have, as well as using it as a new integral part of my main steampunk ensemble:

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Wooooh it's a BAT

This gives me a better and more comfortable way to put up my hair when I wear it under a hat, like in my steampunk outifts, as well as making that way muuuuch more interesting.

The other thing is this stone pig I found that I swear looks like a zombie:

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That line on either side of his mouth then runs all around his sides as well.

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And he only has 3 legs, as well as what seems to be a hole in his rear end. -,-

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… I’m not exactly sure why he’s designed this way, but all in all I think he looks like an undead porcine amputee. Especially considering the color of the stone he’s made of. 😄

But yes, I’m having a good time. Trying to think up a fun story think to write for the next post…

Oh, and as the title says, I got myself some henna just before we left on the trip. I looooove getting henna; it’s actually something I’m in the process of learning, so hopefully that’ll work out. But the piece I have kinda got blurred while setting, so it looks like this:

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But eh, I’m just happy to have some henna again- last time I had it was probably a couple years ago…

Anywho, that’s the update this week. Just trying to make sure I post.
Hope ya’ll are having a wonderful week!

Till next time,
Jack.

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