Simplicity is Overrated

Yes, I should probably be writing, but what can I say, I have an overly active and creative mind – which leads to being easily distracted. But at least today I’m attempting to do something productive with my time as opposed to whiling away the day watching movies or mindlessly surfing the internet. Not to mention, the day is young… there may yet be some writing in the works.

As for right now, however, my poor, sliced up thumb has healed which means that I’m back to my earliest attempts at leather working. This project as a whole should be interesting. I have never done anything at all with leather. I blame the Renaissance Festival. There are numerous leather shops down there selling incredible goodies. Now, where my creative nature comes in… instead of going, hmm… I’ll save some money and buy something awesome this year (ok, I still might), instead I look at things closely and go… I think I can make that. We shall see. Once again, I’m starting sort of simple. At least as simple as I can allow myself to be – and to be honest, that isn’t very simple at all.

For my first project – EVER – in the realm of leather working, I’m testing the waters by making a little 4 inch wide arm bracer. Why so small? Because that’s the biggest piece I could come up with in the sad little bag of scraps I bought at Michaels. I do love the dark, forest green color though. I guess it will basically be decorative purposes. Good thing I’m not making it expecting to go into battle, because I doubt it would protect my arm very well. More of wrist cuff, really. However, I do plan on kind of using it for my archery because that bow string REALLY EFFING hurts if it hits your arm. Technically, I know that if it’s hitting my arm I’m either standing wrong or holding the bow wrong, but things happen and I’d much rather prefer not to bruise up my arm again. And yes, I have bruised before… probably because I’m stubborn as hell and even if I’m having a bad day with my archery I will keep going for awhile.

Back to my bracer though. Let’s just say that even when I’m not writing, I can’t ignore the opportunity to bring my story into my other creative ventures. Being artsy has allowed me to do a lot more with my story, including a number of symbols as well as the beginnings of a set of runes that I’ve been playing around with.

So, behold… the before picture of what I PLAN on doing.

Image

Now, I say plan because once again… things happen. And this has all the makings of potentially going wrong for me. Let’s just say, I’m a perfectionist and if one little line of my own artwork is out of place, I tend to not be very happy with both myself and my project. I’ve never thrown any of my attempts away, but I will continue to nitpick things years down the road, still able to pinpoint anything that was ‘wrong’ with it.

I don’t know why I make things so difficult for myself, but maybe because I live by the internal artistic motto of “If I’m going to try something, I might as well attempt to make it spectacular.” I’ve never done anything simple… even in art class in high school. It got so that my art teacher would actually give me extra time just because he could see the complexity of what I was attempting to do. Often times things would turn out relatively close to how I had imagined… other times, not so much.

We shall see here. For as tiny as this thing is, this is probably the biggest artistic endeavor – save for my writing – that I’ve taken on in a long while. So I figure it’s about time I set myself up for a challenge again.

That paper above the cut out leather? That’s my intended design. This is what I mean by I can’t stick to simplicity, because sadly for me, that is simplistic. NOT. But I won’t be satisfied if I stick with the one single symbol that I was going to go with and call it done. I need to finish punching my holes for the leather laces, but then I plan on using my wood burner for the actual design. I’ve already played around a bit on a smaller test piece of leather and it looked pretty good. Luckily, I’ve discovered that I can draw on the leather with a white charcoal pencil with no unwanted after effects and wipe it off later – meaning I don’t have to completely freehand this. All the design work is mine except for the runes along the bottom which are from the Elder Futhark runes. And yes, it does actually say something. If anyone actually knows how to read them, go ahead and guess what it says. I’ll reveal the answer when I post with the finished project.

Until then, wish me luck!

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Pirate Cove, Fire Shows and archery show offs

As mentioned in the previous post, this is essentially part II of my Tall Ships experience from last weekend. Now, as this coming weekend dawns upon us, I figure I better get this typed out before I forget altogether.

Sunday was the day that we actually paid to get into the festival, and we basically ended up lingering in the same area the whole day, not that it was a bad time. The fact that I was so interested in the area that they deemed Pirate Cove is pretty much why I never left. They had an area set up to test your skills at knife throwing and archery. One thing you will likely learn from this blog is that I’ve recently gotten into archery and I love it, so of course I had to try my hand at that. Not only have I certainly improved from when I first picked up a bow, I think I actually ended up showing up the guy that was actually working there. The booth was quiet when I approached it, so it was just me shooting. He gave me ten arrows to shoot and since there was no one else, picked up two bows and jokingly asked which one of us would get the most bullseyes. I found it a little irritating that he looked at the long bow he was going to hand me and then seemed to think better of it for a moment, asking me if I could pull the weight of it, almost like he saw me as a weakling girl who didn’t know archery. Let’s just say that I probably made him think twice. I got plenty of arrows close to the bullseye, one actually in the center, and all of my ten hit the target somewhere. At least two of his arrows he shot off into the surrounding hay. So, what can I say, I was rather amused with myself. I’m actually really interested now to someday enter into the archery competition down at the Renaissance Festival. Apparently, I’m not half bad.

As for the rest of it, I met the author of Hook & Jill, Andrea Jones. The book is a spin off of Wendy’s story from Peter Pan, and though I’ve never actually read Peter Pan (can’t even say with certainty that I’ve seen the animated movie) I’m excited to start reading it. Not only that, but I talked with Andrea for awhile discussing selling books at festivals like the Tall Ships and the Ren Faire and got some good information on that as well as publishing. It’s always good to talk to authors and research, because one day – hopefully soon – I’m going to be in the same boat. A boat that’s going to be much harder to keep afloat since I plan on self-publishing.

And then there’s my favorite part of the day – the stage shows. All day long there were pirate themed stage shows, and my favorite one, by far, was the A Ring on Fire! fire show. This would be a good time to mention that one of my lead characters in my book – Fura Feuer – starts out in the beginning of the series working at her own local Renaissance Faire as a firedancer. I’ve always thought that that was rather straight forward, but, alas, there still seems to be a smidge of confusion from some people as to what that actually means. Now, I’ll admit, I get excited at these festivals when I catch wind of any stage show that consists of fire. Yet, I’ve been met with much disappointment when the shows get under way and I realize that it’s nothing close to what I’ve had in mind for Fura ever since this story sprung up in my head.  This time, however, I was met with excitement, because this was the first time that I’ve actually seen live exactly what it is that I associate with her. Just to give a visual, I will leave you with the link to the video I took and uploaded to my YouTube channel. Enjoy!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ob_9KQZh8oE