April Small Goals

Sometimes we all feel like an upside-down walk sign.

Hm. This thing still here?

I need to plan a bit more if I actually want to maintain a blog! Or rather, I need to stop overthinking and give myself permission to just write. Not every post has to be rich with insight or full of progress photos. Sometimes, I might just want to check in, perhaps talk about the books I’ve read or some other observation of mine that doesn’t have much weight behind it but would be nice to jot down and would maybe resonate with someone else.

(I’ve been talking a lot with my therapist about how hard I am on my own ideas and whether anyone would care about them, and if other people caring about them really matters as much as I think it does, can you tell?)

So. With that spirit in mind, I thought I might dive in to Feel Good, Dress Better‘s Small Goals link-up. Part of me feels awkward about it, like I’m inviting myself to a party. (See what I mean about overthinking?) But I’ve been making myself engage a bit more with the world – replying to tweets if I have something encouraging to say, reacting to Instagram stories with enthusiasm, things like that. If I want to stop feeling like I’m on the outside looking in, perhaps I should pry myself away from the windows and knock on the door.

April’s Goals:

  1. Spend Less: A very descriptive goal, huh? I want to be more aggressive about saving money for things I want to do, rather than mindlessly buying coffees and lunches and who knows what else. I have a few conventions I’m planning to go to and need to stockpile travel funds, and I want to be able to visit friends a bit more spontaneously, so positioning myself so that I’m A) not in debt in any way and B) able to build a travel-focused savings funds are some of my long-term goals. Shorter term, that means spending less day-to-day. Time to put my travel mugs to use!
  2. Sew More: I feel like I haven’t really participated in my hobbies lately, so I hope to finish two to three sewing projects this month. I have a few close to done, which I’m letting myself count, because I want to be kind to myself in this small way.
  3. Closet Clean-Out: Maybe it’s because I’ve been reading so many style blogs and interacting with the makers of fabulous, geeky clothes, but I’ve had my personal style on the brain. It feels like I’m finally figuring out what I want to wear, and letting myself actually wear it. Which means I’ve got a lot of clothes that I don’t enjoy wearing, and need to figure out the gaps in my wardrobe that need filling! April’ll be when I sort through and figure this out.
  4. Buy Lavender Oil: I swear this didn’t just spontaneously become my shopping list. I’ve been having Mystery Hives for about a month now, and I’m losing my mind over it. Lavender oil was recommended to me as a way to sooth it, and hey, worst case scenario I just smell lovely and relaxing, so I’ll try it.
  5. Be On Social Media Less: This kind of contrasts with the whole “fighting the outside looking in” mentality, but I’ve come to recognize that being on social media is really bad for my mental health. I’m very susceptible to the comparison game. It’s unavoidable in my field, but since I can’t really participate in the comparison (I don’t write for that kind of publication) it tricks me into thinking I’m producing nothing because I have nothing to share, when in reality I’m doing a lot. Limiting my exposure to it is for the better – and may encourage me to do thinks like sewing, closet cleaning, and meal-prepping!

I’m hoping my goals work together, so rather than 5 disparate goals it’s really more like 4 interwoven goals + lavender oil. (I firmly believe in setting one very easy to achieve task, be it a to-do list or a goals list, because if nothing else you can tackle that and feel somewhat accomplished.) Let’s see how this goes.


CosPlanning: Art Deco Rapunzel

I think in the back of my mind I’ve always been tempted to work my way through cosplaying all the Disney princesses in some form or another (excluding many of my favorites – Tiana, Mulan, and Moana, for example – who I could never do justice, being an obnoxiously pale white girl). But! I don’t actually like the idea of wearing most of the Disney princess gowns! Most of the Disney showstopper outfits are gorgeous but just not my style. Take Belle, for example – I identify so strongly with this fish-out-of-water, empathetic bookworm, but I’m just not jazzed about a huge yellow gown. Maybe a historically accurate version of the blue dress someday, but not that. Ditto for anything of Ariel’s, because my god, that pink gown is a mistake. (I know the parks made her dress seafoam green and I appreciate that, but the damage has been done. Us redheads know how badly those animators and their color choices wronged that poor unfortunate soul.)

The dress is cute, but oh, where are the fairies from Sleepy Beauty to make it blue? (Or green. Or purple. Anything!)

I really, truly thought Anna’s coronation day gown was going to be my first foray into the world of Disney cosplaying. Someday I’m still going to make that dress, because frankly I think it’s stunning and probably the prettiest Disney princess gown, barring Tiana’s Lily Pad Gown. It also intimidates the hell out of me, because I’d need to make a boned bodice, those gorgeous box pleats, and then do all that embroidery and the seed bead embellishments I know I’d want to do. Not quite ready for that.

When I stumbled upon this Art Deco figurine of Rapunzel, however, things clicked. The 1920s have some of my favorite fashion styles, and are considerably easier to wrap your mind around (and require considerably less fabric!). Plus, I feel like the more flowing and independent style of the 1920s would resonate with Rapunzel – it just seemed like a good match all around.

Undeniably adorable, just needs a more fun hem.

Plus, I won’t lie, I am dying to tackle that ridiculous wig. (I love a good, ridiculous, complicated wig project, and want to work on more of them to build up my wig portfolio. And torment my cat, probably.)

Arda Wigs’ fantastic Rapunzel wig tutorial will be my guiding light when I tackle this absurd monstrosity of a wig.  I’m picking up a Ferrari in Pale Blonde, two Jumbo Braids in Cream, and two packs of Long Wefts in Pale Blonde at NYCC and then the styling will commence. (Shoutout to Oliver at Arda who was super helpful in figuring out alternatives for me when my original requests were backordered!)

I plan on destroying this thing with feathers, pearls, and cabochon jewels instead of fake flowers. This is glitzy art deco, and that means feathers, dammit. I’m on the hunt for good cabochons in the lavender, royal purple, and honey-gold color range, which I’ll add feathers to and then attach to bobby pins or hair pins. Basically, I’m making my own feather-look hair ornaments out of more outfit-fitting materials.

Oh, so many feathers. Have I mentioned this wig project is going to torment my cat?

For the headpiece, I’m making it a bit more 1920s-looking. The simple pearl-headband-with-gems tiara is cute, but I can have more fun. I found this gorgeous gold cut-out ribbon at M&J Trimming which will become the base of my headband. I’m going to attach six amethyst-colored gemstones (two large, four small flanking the large ones) on either side of the headband, with paler purple flowers peeking out over the top of the crystals. I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to let the ribbon’s tails dangle or if I’ll turn it into a proper headband/circlet thing with a stiff base…

As for the dress, I’ve got a reproduction 1920s dress pattern on hand. I’m going to deviate a bit from the figurine, however, as I’m a sucker for a handkerchief hem. I’m also going to bead all the orange and gold parts. I haven’t decided if it’ll be solid beading or some type of repeating pattern yet – I guess it depends on how much time I want to dedicate to it. If I can figure it out, I might try doing a pattern like the one this dress has along the collar and waist, only making it the Corona sun instead of a flower. I’m also tempted to do some kind of scalloped or vertical striped beadwork on the entire dress, something like this vintage gown, but I’m going to resist that temptation because it’ll be waaaayyy too busy otherwise and I like the idea of the free-dangling pearl strands more than heavy beadwork, anyway.

As for shoes, I’ll likely just grab a pair of purple flats somewhere. Not sure if I’m going to go barefoot for photos or not – I feel like Rapunzel would PROBABLY wear shoes in a speakeasy, but then again, she didn’t in the Snuggly Duckling. Regardless, they’re not really my chief concern here.

Fwoo. Time to start assembling materials. Anyone have any favorite places for buying seed beads, larger cabochons, and feathers in bulk? I’m gonna need a lot of them!