Posted in baking, cosplay, creativity, dragon, family, Personal, storage

6/19: Results of Dragon Baking Shortbread

(random featured image…)

Ummm…. needs more flour. It’s been so long since I made shortbread before that I’ve forgotten how the dough should be… and now I’m realizing it should be on the MUCH drier side. This round liquefied and eventually baked out to a 1/4″ thick mess. It’s…. edible, but not for sharing.

I’m going to have to craft my own damn recipe. I was going back and forth between about 4 different recipes. One uses powdered sugar (don’t have any), another uses less flour (the main one I went with… bad choice).

I have the capability of crafting my own recipe. Despite the bad blood between my mother and I growing up, she taught me a few things. One was baking from scratch. Baking is typically an exact science, but shortbread is one area where wiggle room is easy to manage. Most recipes call for three things: sugar, flour, butter. I went off a recipe that adds vanilla. A comment on that one said almond extract would be better. I might have that here with me. I brought the “spices and stuff” bag back from storage a couple weeks ago… I think the almond bottle is in there. If not, that’s okay.

Shortbread is about as simple as it gets when it comes to baking. Three base ingredients, a little time, and then you have tasty little shortbread cookies. This round didn’t work. That’s okay. I love experimenting in the kitchen. I grew up with a fully stocked kitchen. This is how I do my best to live as an adult. Sometimes I’m lacking in some ingredients, and that’s okay. I make a note to pick them up next trip.

My mother also taught me other things, such as visualizing a finished project and what I might need to make it happen, even if there is no template or pattern. This is how I can design and draft my own patterns for some things. Same for altering patterns and making a “franken-pattern” using two or more patterns. This is where the 3rd jacket project comes from… the one I mentioned in the projects post yesterday or so. There is no template for it, but I know what I want to do and how to do it. I can see the finished coat. I just need to get there from where I am.

I noticed a couple people visited the post about my Kai Opaka ¬†cosplay. During the eviction, I did find the missing pieces and put them in the bin with the rest of it. I can’t really work on it here… but maybe… just maybe… I can get it done for RCCC this September. There are many parts of that costume that I have designed myself. There is no pattern for Opaka’s outfit.

My mother created the costume ideas I brought to her. Sometimes with just a sketch. Many times, with no pattern. My ST:TNG dress uniform top is that way. Everyone else I’ve seen has a zipper at the back of the neck. We were super intense, watching clips of every episode that had those and we determined that it closed in front. We figured out the what, and then the how. I still have that uniform. I need to do some repairs on it, but the craftsmanship on it impressed the crap out of people in higher ranks at the regional Starfleet conference (Yes, I started out doing Trek cosplay in the early 1990’s and was a member of Starfleet). This lowly Ensign had a better dress uniform than her own captain.

Despite the two of us locking horns a LOT (the two most stubborn people in the family also happened to be the two most creative), we did a lot of incredible things. I still have a hard time forgiving her for the emotional abuse she heaped on me. I lost the chance for reconciliation years ago as her Alzheimer’s got worse. She passed away in 2013. The only thing I can do now is to handle it on my own.

She taught me how to bake and cook from scratch. She taught me visual and tactile skills that have served me well as I get older (God knows I’m not maturing. I need to put it into my living will that I go into the incinerator with both middle fingers flipping off the world).

More baking experiments to come… next month. I don’t have any more butter.

I also need to stick to more liquids for a bit. A sizable piece of one of my bottom front teeth is loose/broken off (it’s wedged between the rest of that tooth and the one next to it).

Until the next round…

~Dragon

Posted in artsy stuff, creativity, Personal

6/17: Projects

So, I have three jacket/coat projects rumbling around in my brain. Only one involves sewing… I’ll get to that one later.

  1. The Blazer: It’s actually a mens black tuxedo jacket. Nice condition. I bought it at Goodwill a couple years ago for a cosplay I never used it for. It was the “backup” plan. So, I got this idea in my head: Cut a hole in the stitching between the lining and outer fabric and draft out a design to hand-embroider along the back. I was thinking a Mandala, but there are so many ideas. A dragon would be awesome as well. I’m looking at designs from Urban Threads.
  2. The Denim Jacket: I have a basic denim jacket I don’t typically wear much. I have several patches and make patches on my embroidery machine (when I have access). A friend of mine suggested I turn it into my “Patch Jacket.”
  3. This one will be more vague in my description. I have a hoodie that’s wearing out and I want to do a little “nip and tuck” to it and add more to it. It won’t be recognizable as a hoodie once I’m done. I just need pieces of sweatshirt fleece and old sweatshirts of varying colors to do what I want to it.

Right now, to work on #1, I have the jacket and the needles. But my embroidery thread is buried behind a ton of other things. I need to dig out a hoop and my thread… or get new thread. If I go with the mandala, I want to go with blues and purples. I’m having a hard time deciding on a design. I’ve linked to UT above. If anyone has any ideas, leave a comment with a link to the design you like the best. Nothing too complicated. Look at the hand embroidery options.

Dragons, mandalas, wolves, etc…

~Amanda

Posted in creativity, depression, peace, poetry, politics, writing

6/10: The Prize

The envelope torn.
The card blank.
No winner.
No loser.
No one left
To claim a prize
No one bothered
To save.

The circle continues.
Fire
Fueling
Fire.
No one
Stops.
The prize.
Chemical hate.
No one gets the prize.

The envelope burns.
The card long turned
To ash.
No losers left
To be the
Runner up.
Skies changed.
No going back.

APA 2017

Posted in creativity, life, Personal, silliness, storage

6/1: Thoughts while working on storage

The building my storage is in is a giant metal and concrete box. No cell signal, nothing. So, the list here is a bunch of random thoughts or things I said to myself.

  • It will get better. It will get better.
  • Why have I accumulated so much wine?
  • Ugh.
  • Now, if I can put that there and then that can go there.
  • Avoid avalanches.
  • I HAZ A TAIL!!
  • Found the grey nail polish!

Poem coming shortly.

~Amanda 

Posted in anxiety, bigotry, cats, chronic pain, creativity, dogs, empath life, Personal

5/28: Empath Burnout…

I have this longer post in my head and hopefully I’ll get it out and up on here before too long. It’s about the wave of violence and hate crimes even just here in PDX in the last couple of weeks. One of the worst made international headlines. Some here are freaking out, wondering why here? Why now?

I want to share my thoughts on those questions, but I need to do a bit of research first. I also need to come out of the burnout as an Empath. The fear, anger, and sadness even just among local friends and their other friends is palpable. 

I’m also dealing with more pain. I may have mentioned it. Last Wednesday, my left hip started to hurt in a way I’d never felt before. I have sciatica, so at first, I dismissed it. I did my best to stay off my feet Thursday through Saturday. Today, I went to a big meet & greet with several cartoonists. I’m FB friends with Jim Horwitz, who does Watson (the dog). Met a few others, had a good afternoon, but I was in pain the whole time. I’m still using my cane for my right knee… and now my left hip? There aren’t enough swear words to convey my opinion. It started hurting as I was going down the steps from the porch. I wasn’t 5 feet from the door before it started up. I had hoped the rest would help, but it didn’t. 

I just WENT to the doctor last week because of my TMJ. 

Needless to say, between my physical pain issues and the burnout as an Empath, I’m kinda done right now. So if I’m not posting much, it’s likely been a bad day. 

Here’s Fatcake, one of Jim’s characters. Watson is in the main pic. 

It was a good couple of hours for me, despite the pain. I wish I knew what was going on with my hip. But back to the doc I go, as soon as I can make an appt.

Some days I may only muster a poem. Others a post and maybe a poem. Pain has a way of making other things come to a halt. The sad thing is that all of my annual allotted “therapy” appts via Medicaid are used up/scheduled. You only get 8. I got 4 for speech therapy and the remaining 4 for PT for my knee. So this will be a challenge. First, we have to figure out what is going on. 

One day at a time… 

~Amanda 

Posted in anxiety, bugaboos, chronic pain, creativity, dragon, life, Personal, silliness

5/26: Dragon is frustrated 

I swore I’d be back up and flying in no time, yet my rear landing gear* is still not working as it should. I have bravely fought (and mostly won) a battle against a breach of my current lair by ants. Cayenne is one method of safely breathing fire indoors.

I hope to be back at full speed (even 3/4 would be nice) shortly.

Oh, and I need more cayenne.
* hips/legs 

Posted in anxiety, artsy stuff, chronic pain, creativity, Personal, silliness, storage

5/25: Arting w/o Words & Stuff

So I scribble and doodle a lot…. well, not often enough to be REALLY good, but I try.

A few weeks back, an image came to my mind that I felt needed to be put onto paper. Now, when I do artsy things, they usually involve photography or Photoshop… design-like things… but this image in my mind of a Tolkien-esque elf just kept sticking. I started to sketch it out, but got stuck on shitty erasers and a pencil that wasn’t soft enough… I stalled. I still have every intention of finishing her in watercolor pencils… but now there’s a second version that popped up in my mind while sleeping last night. Same general image, but in charcoal on toned paper…. yeah.

So, while I have some quiet time here at the house, I’m going to work on her. She doesn’t have a name… she’s different than RG, who is the main character of a webcomic I’ve been trying -very unsuccessfully- to launch for over two years… I think my financial instability and such hasn’t helped…

I have access now to storage and can get my charcoals and supplies out… I don’t know at this time if I have any blank toned paper left… if not, I’ll have to get some.

I’m a writer who occasionally likes to draw and paint. And now, as I’ve been writing about this, I’m thinking of a small piece as a gift for someone…. I wonder if I can pull it off in time…


Now, about yesterday. I’m amused that I got all kinds of ‘likes’ on here for last night’s post about not being able to do my usual stuff.

I had my Voc Rehab appt and then went to storage… by the time I got TO storage, both of my hips and both knees were screaming bloody murder at me. I rested for a bit on a bench I have in the unit, then started pulling things out and trying to make the stuff right up front a little more “me friendly.” I’d gotten 5 of these huge waxed boxes for produce and four were stacked up right in the middle of the doorway… trying to get around them was a bitch. They’ve now been split up, a few other things shifted around… etc.

I have two short and narrow IKEA bookcases for sale and a friend is buying my bed frame as soon as I can extricate it from it’s location in storage. I can see part of the headboard, but yeah…. there’s a lot piled on top of it, so it’ll take some major shifting of stuff… MAJOR shifting. My folding table is now withing easy reach for each time I open the door. It got buried in the rush of things in March. I like setting the table up for smaller items and an intermediary spot for heavy boxes as I pull them out.

I really want the bookcases gone… they take up floor space in there, which is extremely precious.

Thanks to a person and their biz PP account, the day after auction, I received enough to pay for June rent for storage. When I went down there yesterday, I paid it early. Needless to say, Dustin (manager) was very surprised. I’m almost always late on rent. So I have a little breathing room to tackle selling off some things, organizing the rest, and just getting the physical stuff together in my life.

My left hip is still hurting as I walk around the house. Not as bad as yesterday, but I’ve been resting and trying to stay off my feet, and thus my knees and hips, today. I think this is my sciatica flaring up… although with only occasional sharp jabs of pain. If I had free access to weight machines like leg press, leg extension, and leg curls, I’d not only make my physical therapist happy, but it would help strengthen both of my hips and my back…

Now to see if I can pull off this small thing in time… I have a kneadable eraser, both WC pencils and regular colored pencils… and a sharpener…

And I’m not posting it publicly until it’s been handed off to the person.

~Amanda

Posted in creativity, paranormal, poetry, writing

5/22: The Room

My eyes cannot
Adjust to the
Darkness.
The room is
Cold.
Empty.
Like those who
Put me in
Here.
I felt them despite the
Blindfold.
No empathy.
No warmth.
Cold.
Empty.
I have felt my way
Around the perimeter.
I know not
Where the door is.
It cannot be felt.
They think
I
Can be
Broken.
Not all of
My kind
Are social creatures.
This was their mistake.
I am
One
With the darkness
That surrounds me.
Let them try.
They will not win.

~Amanda 

Posted in anxiety, artsy stuff, creativity, empath life, faith, life, patreon, Personal, poetry, storage, writing

5/21: quick “note”

You guys (and gals) never cease to amaze/amuse and befuddle me. My earlier post was really nothing spectacular… just more of a “hey, I am still alive here” post… and yet 11 likes on it… this one won’t be much better.

Pretty sure I’ve rambled about this before, but tonight’s poem made me think of this. A lot of my poetry is train of thought. I rarely edit them. Most of the time, I hand write them. Those may get a word change or two when getting typed up, but still, nothing radical. My poems also fall into a “freestyle” form. And they tend to be either observational (the one from earlier this past week about being at the station and watching people is that type) or internal and sometimes extremely personal. I don’t write those to get attention or anything… they’re random stream-of-consciousness pieces. Nothing grandiose.

I sometimes read them to my therapist, who loves them as both a written art form but as being therapeutic. They can trigger an intense conversation in session. Tonight’s poem, which will post at 11pm PST, is an internal reflection piece… it’s kind of an internal conversation… take from it what you will. I’ve noticed a lot of people pay attention to the poetry posts. So, as long as you read them and like them, I’ll keep writing them. The monthly Patreon poem will be a longer, likely more traditional, work. These are just short little ones.

Well, half an hour before it posts… enjoy.

And thank you for bearing with me with my frantic situation over storage… and ensuing “crash and burn” this weekend. It takes a lot out of me.

~Amanda