hsifeng: (Ladies Sewing Circle)
You know how you sometimes think, "Why don't all my people know each other more?!? My friends are the greatest and my family rocks! We like the same things! Costumes! Booze! Adventure! How can we all spend more time doing that stuff together...  I have a brilliant plan!"

And thus CoCo 2013 was born.*

[livejournal.com profile] claughter713 and I were lazing around on the interwebz one afternoon** when she sent me a set of pictures from The White Dinner hosted in SF. The images were of our friends, T, J & K, in a series of beautiful shots that all featured the amazing floral headdresses that J had put together for their table's guests at the event. I wish I had those images to share with you here, but basically our reaction is summarized as follows:

"OMGOMGOMG!!! MUCHA MUCHA MUCHA! We need to do this for CoCo!"

A plan was hatched.

We set up a secret pin board and began collecting images, and then we started talking to the folks we normally room with. Would they be interested too? Did they have anyone they'd like to have join in as well? What did we need to do to organize this thing? Etc., etc., etc. We ended up with 13 ladies, some of whom had never been to CoCo before (and some who still need to make it out - *cough*[livejournal.com profile] sewinggoddess*cough*), and a couple of whom hadn't done any costuming to speak of prior to this project.

Thank god for having a deep pool of talent to draw on!

[livejournal.com profile] claughter713 set up a space for workshops, J taught us all how to make fabulous headdresses, [livejournal.com profile] harmanhay shouted encouragements from England, we all hunted the internet for resources. And that is where we hit our first snag...

Dude. The internet is supposed to have EVERYTHING right? Then why are tutorials on how to make dresses in the style of Alphonse Mucha *so damn thin on the ground*?!? Sure, Deviant art and Tumblr have a hand full of images of folks who have done similar projects in the past - but none of them blogged the process of making the darn things!


As a result, a few of us have said we'd write up our processes in an attempt to populate the WWW with something useful to say.

This isn't that post.

But that post is coming soon.


PS: The headdress workshop was amazing and we are trying to convince J to hold one as a class at CoCo 2014 - because EVERYONE NEEDS A MUCHA HEADDRESS RIGHT NOW.

PPS: The best thing about owning a Mucha headdress? Wearing it for non-Mucha related activities. I am not sure I can ever go to Mexican food without one on again. Life. Changing.

PPPS: There may or may not be a secret society as a result of all this. There may or may not be a secret handshake for that society. There is definitely a secret cocktail.

Mucha Maidens CoCo 2013

*Ok, there may be more to it than that (some of these folks may have already been going together for years and others may have been going regardless, whatever - The Plan Was Still Brilliant).

**i.e. Linkspamming each other via FB chat between projects at work and generally going, "Oh! Oh! But have you seen THIS case of humans being ____ today!?!"
hsifeng: (Landsknecht)
So I played dress up with my tiny 'tailors model' yesterday. I started with a pattern layout based on this:

de Alcega Cloak
(Note to Self: Check out [livejournal.com profile] mmcnealy information on de Alcega tailors marks here.)

In which I modified the hood thusly:

Cutting Layout

I also pulled together a standing collar, which I will probably end up basing on the version I used in the fitted brown woolen doublet I made a couple of years ago. A bit of a question regarding that later...

Keeping in mind we want to end up with something like this:

Original Inspiration

I think I may have landed in the ballpark:

Sealed Split In Hood and Hood Attachment

First things first. YES, I need to add length to the back of the garment. The cloak looks to hit the back of the knees and the hood falls to just below the small of the back. But a few things *did* work in ways I really like.

Split in Hood Base

By removing a small triangle of material in the CB bottom of the hood, and then 'lacing' that space closed (in the same manner as the inspiration image) the material of the hood begins to form into a more natural 'bag' shape that makes for a better fit over the head. Many of the cloaks in this period are split much further down the middle and then seamed for shaping (either with a real seam, or with buttons or ties that can be undone to allow the 'hood' to lay flat along the back as this one does). Between this small split, and the 'gathering' of the extra hood length along the shoulders by placing the ties with loose bagging between - as done with pins in the image above) the overall hood becomes...well.. a hood rather than a flat bit of cape.

The forming of hood is hard to see in this scaled down version, but is more apparent in the first of the mock up images above. I plan on playing with the depth of the split and the amount of loose bagging between tie points on the full scale mock up to be done later this week.

Hood Up with Wrapped Tails - Front Hood Up With Wrapped Tails - Back

The 'tails' on the hood look like they are going to be *excellent* at forming the garment around the face and neck. I had guessed this was their purpose when seeing them on the inspiration image, but I love the result in the scale model. I have feeling that hubby may be annoyed by them on occasion (they may not *stay* wrapped without some pinning), but I have a sneaking suspicion they may be more able to hold their position than I think once the full sized version is done.

Now, on to the problems:

1) The collar I intend to use has an 'incorporated' back piece in one with the body of the garment. This doesn't seem to be done with cloak patterning, given the examples in my prior posts, but then *no* collars appear to be present in those extant patterns while we do see them on the actual garments in a number of cases. Thoughts on the best sort of collar method to use to get the result in the inspiration image? I am imagining whatever version I end up using, there may need to be a bit of pad stitching to get the form to hold to the back of the neck in the way it does in the inspiration piece.

2) The fullness of the back of the cloak just doesn't seem to match up with the amount of fabric even a full circle is giving me. If I want the sort of yardage that the controlled pleating under the hood form seems to indicate, I think I may need to add a gore to the CB of the piece to make it happen. There is *clearly* enough yardage in the cut lay out to allow for this

Cutting Layout - added gores

By opening the CB line of the cloak (on the fold currently) and adding one or both of these I would be placing a straight-of-grain against a bias cut which would add some stabilization to the natural stretch in the circular cut. Furthermore, if I reverse the position of the circular cloak piece to the 'open' side of the folded fabric then the gore would actually be on the fold - preventing additional seam lines in the final garment. The hood could also be swapped, but since the inspiration image does not seem to indicate a seam down the middle of the hood I would hesitate to do so.

Part of the issue could be the scale I am working in, or that my 'tapes' were thrown together, or that I started with the first line of 'picks' too far apart (please note, this is the inside of the garment you are looking at below - and yes I am watching Longmire in the background...*grin*):

Controlled Pleating

But honestly, it just *feels* like there is no way to get a circle alone to make pleats like this:

Original InspirationHood Up and Pleats From Back

3) The hubby wants a hood that will hold up to some weather and/or make him look like a ninja (my words, not his - but he *does* love the Nuremberg mourning cloak with its lirepipe hood and black, inky soul). This may mean that I need to add a bit of felt fabric to the lower edge of the hood form (which will end up around the face), and down into the 'wraps", at least far enough to ensure a similar level of face coverage as what we see in the detail here.

This may also allow the hood more 'forward weight' to help hold the wrap in place more securely, and may be one of the reasons for the trim in that location in the inspiration image.

Hood Up - Front Detail

So, on to the full scale mock up! The fabric is going to be muslin or something else that is lightweight, so I need to consider that vs. the final lined wool weight with trimmed hem to help hold it out. Still, it will give me more data!
hsifeng: (Landsknecht)
Here is the one we are working on...

Hubbys Choice

I am working on the following assumptions:

1) Cloak is cut as a full circle that has most of the fullness 'trained' to the back via pleating that is probably controlled with tapes;
2) Small standing collar, trimmed out in same fabric as the band going all the way around the base of the garment (probably up the front split as well);
3) Hood is a trapezoidal shape with elongated ends, tied to shoulders at the 'short side' and probably cut on the fold down the middle from fabric left after the circle is cut. Possible shaping for wear via the split seen at the CB bottom edge that is then 'sized' with lacing. This would help to gather the fullness of the hoods body, as seen in the drapes at the back of the wearer in the image.

Going to work on some tiny mock ups based in part on the de Alcega layout below.

de Alcega cloak
hsifeng: (www.crackafuckingbook.com)
Looking back over my prior entries under the 'cloak' tag as I get ready to take this project on again. My thoughts:

1) Loading the images previously provided by [livejournal.com profile] mmcnealy here as the original links she provided seem to have died on my prior post (they were in the comments to my first entry on this subject, which went like this:

"For the first cloak, I looked up Kohler and he has it as a full circle cloak with long tails. Its an interesting idea, and I think it would probably give the look you're going for.


Another cloak from Kohler a 3/4 circle cloak with arm slits, just for a comparison.

Juan de Alcega hasa similar cloak for men but without the arm slits.


The cloaks with hoods are *so* Spanish! Here's a picture from Juan de Alcega Cloak and Jerkin of cloth. Its a full circle with a hood.


The full circle would give you the fullness needed to be able to put the arms out, and have enough fabric to keep the body warm."

2) Martin's prior website with details on his patterning and cloak project are gone - but not forgotten thanks to the Way Back Machine! *w00t!* I would really consider this more of a Schaube in this version, largely due to the sleeves. I think without these sleeves I think the result of creating a cloak with  an extended and attached collar that doubles as a hood would give you a cloak with a similar look to the Durer image from the post here. As noted before, the PDF file of Martin's pattern is very like [livejournal.com profile] landsknecth_po's here.

3) Additional images of hood patterning are something I should look into... but given the various versions in the art I feel that variety is key here. There were a *lot* of methods including the hood-incorporated-into-the-shawl-collar version that both Martin and Po used.

4) Did some more scrounging for original images in the Single Leaf Woodcut books. Variations galore! There are a number of images of peasants in short capes of various types (which were far less common than coats), some that included splits up the sides of the garment to the shoulders to allow freedom of arm movement (but with enough fullness in the garment that I would guess they are still semi-circular in cut at the least) and various hoods both integrated into the garment and separate (like in the older, medieval style hunting hoods).
  *  Book I, page 160 (G.179-180) includes two small images of gentlemen in cloak garments. One with an interesting triangular shaped hood that is tied to the back shoulders of the main cloak garment (there are a number of hoods like this in prior examples I have seen and I *love* the idea of the hood being pointed on).
  *  Book I, page 226 (G.247) has a standing collar with no visible hood and a large fullness of fabric at the neckline that is pleated to fit. Makes me very curious about the original cut on this piece.
  *  Book 1, page 233 (250-9 & 250-10) Two versions of the same image, both with a simple cloak with tied corners. This appears similar to the type seen on the soldier in the first image here.
  *  Book 1, page 304 (G.326 - Uber and Unter of Leaves in the deck) Two variations on knee length cloaks. Both with slashed trim, one with what could be a tied on hood, possibly with a knot in it's hanging end. The version with the potential hood also has a short standing collar - but this could be the collar of an undergarment showing.
  *  Book 1, page 335 (G.365) Two men wearing garments that may be cloaks with shawl style collars. Sleeves are not immediately in evidence, but possible splits for arm holes are in the body of the 'cloak' garments. Either that or the body of the cloak is thrown back over the shoulder in some way that allows the arm to be free of the material.
  *  Book 1, page 372 (G.402-404) Several gentlemen at a garden party in Venice wearing cloaks. Only one seated showing a hood attached (there may be others, but their backs are not visible).
  *  Book 2, page 640 (G676-683) This is the series of 'cuts depicting the Siege of Wolfenbuttel. A number of men, primarily riders, wear short capes of circular cut.
  *  Book 3, page 778 (G.816) Central figure with back to viewer is wearing a cloak with a tied hood, pointed in shape. G.817 on the page adjacent has a similar figure on the left side with back to viewer, but the detail of that garment are sketchy at best.
  *  Book 3, page 1015 (G.1064) A cloak worn by a prince with only one shoulder covered. Wrapped 'toga style' across body.
  *  Book 3, page 1020 (G.1069) Another simple, open necked cloak worn by a torchdance partner. Another like it on pages 1022 & 1024.
  *  Book 3, page 1027 (G.1076) Cloak of a more complex cut with an apparent hood (tied in place) and knotted detail. Shawl collar may fall over hood.
  *  Book 3, page 1054 (G.1105) Specifically a landsknecht in a cloak with knotted details. This is the image that I have seen reproduced by other artists who interpreted the cloak as a more pancho like garment. It clearly is not in the original image.
  *  Book 3, page 1166 (G.1220) Bohemian captain in a cloak, body of a style similar to the tailors pattern book image above. However, the falling 'collar' (hood?) in the back is interesting. I am pretty sure it is *not* a hood, but its shape and placement are interesting as I can't see a functional purpose for them.
  *  Book 4, page 1185 (G.1235) Front row, cloak wit knotted detail and rolled/slashed 'falling collar'. The carter in this image is wearing a short, split cape of a type seen on a number of men in baggage train images. G.1236 on the next page has a soldier in a shorter cape (waist length).
  *  Book 4, page 1271 (G.1326) Cloak with apparent affixed tassel as detail. Very basic design with simple trim. Image almost identical to character of 'the marriage candidate' on the page prior.

Now to go over choices with the hubby and settle on a design...
hsifeng: (Xi-Feng)
For those of you in the know, [livejournal.com profile] harmanhay, [livejournal.com profile] claughter713 and myself are descending into madness for the THIRD TIME this week.

Care to join us?

#53 - Miss Misha Pumpkin
#59 - Cat Training
#65 - SDS and YOU v1

To play along at home, peruse the list below and let us know if there is anything that tickles your fancy on it...

ALL of the Items below should either be captured as "images" (which are photographs) or "videos". When you click "Submit", there will be instructions on how to submit the links to these images or videos. You should only use IMGUR and YOUTUBE.IMPORTANT - Unless otherwise specified, ALL VIDEOS must be 30 seconds or less:

  1. IMAGE: "GISHWHES Hugs the World!" We are going to break the Guinness World Record for the largest online photo album of people hugging. The current record is 69,004. DO NOT SUBMIT THIS ITEM ON THIS PAGE! Go to www.gishwhes.com/hugtheworld.php to submit an image of you hugging someone or someone you know hugging someone. Every hug image is worth 3 points and your team can earn up to 300 points. If everyone on your team submits 5 hugging images, that's an easy 225 points! 300 POINTS

  2. VIDEO: Go order food at your favorite fast-food restaurant. Greet the attendant, explain how hungry you are, what you want to eat, and how good it will make you feel. One thing, you must speak as the Bard wrote. Place your order in Shakespearian verse. 42 POINTS

  3. VIDEO: Modify a stationary exercise bicycle so that when you pedal, the spinning wheel powers a mixer that whips heavy cream into whipped cream. Make the whipped cream and eat it. You should be dressed in late 80's style aerobics wear. The finished video should look like a short infomercial. 113 POINTS

  4. IMAGE: You know the expression, “Beefcake?” As in, “He’s such a beefcake!” Have you ever really stopped to think about it? What exactly is a beefcake? It sounds good, right? I think we should have beefcake for dinner. Serve frosted beefcake at a family dinner where at least 3 generations are represented. 39 POINTS

  5. IMAGE: A stormtrooper at a laundry mat folding clothes. 56 POINTS

  6. ITEM EVENT: Join Misha Collins to break another Guinness World Record! Show up in the northwest corner of Central Park, Burnaby, BC (part of metro Vancouver) on Thursday at 2pm for 2-3 hours. Exact location in the park and more details to be announced on the 'Updates' page early this week. You will need to bring at least 100 safety pins (each safety pin must be 1-2 inches long), a dozen+ pieces of paper (any type) and a pen or marker. Also (this part is optional but will guarantee you euphoria in the afterlife) bring a gently used coat or blanket that's in reasonably good condition that you are willing to say goodbye to. 20 POINTS

  7. VIDEO: Make a “DIY” (do it yourself) instructional video on how you can repair a damaged marriage using only bubble gum, a stapler, canned peas, dental floss and a hair dryer. Your video must include demonstrations and caution statements. 31 POINTS

  8. IMAGE: Dress your grandfather (or a man over 75) like a teenage girl from Jersey Shore. 16 POINTS

  9. IMAGE: Let’s see you and a friend, seated side-by-side, donating blood or platelets. Wear something festive on your head to commemorate the occasion. 33 POINTS

  10. IMAGE: Jennifer Kristiansen. While showing some sign of the dragon-attack on your clothing or body, panhandle on a sidewalk (NOT ON A MEDIAN IN TRAFFIC!) with a sign that reads: "A DRAGON BURNED MY CASTLE DOWN." Donate any money given to you to your local food bank. Bad karma if you don't. 47 POINTS

  11. VIDEO: Try to eat a large sandwich in one of those simulated skydiving machines. Bonus points if it's a "sloppy joe" (up to 15 second video). 64 POINTS

  12. IMAGE: In my town, the sanitation worker who hangs on to the back of the truck always dresses as the Velveteen Rabbit. What does he wear in your town? 0 points for overalls or standard sanitation uniforms. 39 POINTS

  13. IMAGE: A fully dressed nun in her habit going down a waterslide or swinging on a rope into a river. 100 POINTS

  14. IMAGE: You, dressed as The Flash in the LHC (Large Hadron Collider) tunnel. If this is too difficult, you will get full credit for dressing as The Flash in any actual, operational particle accelerator. 216 POINTS

  15. IMAGE: Vonda Wright. What would a teddy bear hostage situation look like? 28 POINTS

  16. IMAGE: Russian courts have recently imposed a 100-year ban on Gay Pride parades. Let’s support our Russian LGBT Community! Take a photo of two people of the same sex kissing, while holding up a sign that says: “GISHWHES supports the LGBT Community in Russia!”

  17. IMAGE: A rooster wearing a Gishwhes tank top. 62 POINTS

  18. IMAGE: A dog that looks like a wolf wearing a Gishwhes t-shirt. Bonus points if it’s an actual wolf. 62 POINTS

  19. IMAGE: Krista Keith. Attend a ballet class or "spinning" cycling class wearing full scuba gear -flippers, mask, tanks and all. 70 POINTS

  20. IMAGE: Retrofit a wheelchair and its owner to look like a powerful superhero in a “Gishmobile.” 69 POINTS

  21. VIDEO: Find an example of someone who engages in sustained generosity in your community and then do something nice for them. For example there is an 82-year-old Connecticut barber who always offers free haircuts to the homeless in exchange for hugs. You could find this barber and polish his shoes. Find someone similar in your own community and do something nice for them. In the video, you must describe what the person does for their community, and then show what your kind gesture toward them is. 32 POINTS

  22. IMAGE: Alicia Graham. Model this summer’s hottest fashion trend. Let’s see a swimsuit made entirely from tea bags. 68 POINTS

  23. IMAGE: Prom Night! Get dolled up or decked out in your most fabulous prom-wear and pose for an awkward prom photo next to your date holding their… side-view mirror. A car must be formally dressed as your prom date. 91 POINTS

  24. VIDEO: From cardboard and other materials create a miniature movie set of buildings, skyscrapers and homes. The tallest “buildings” must be at least 3 feet tall. Now dress as the Wooster and demolish/attack the city. Submit a slow-motion of the attack including sound effects. 69 POINTS

  25. VIDEO: Do a stealth act of kindness for someone in public or at work like leaving a flower on their windshield, or a “kindness note” at their desk, etc. Film them discovering it. 32 POINTS

  26. IMAGE: Emma Brofjorden Chevin. Take a picture of you with someone who has won an Oscar. The Oscar statue must be in the picture with the two of you. One of you must be wearing a bald cap. Photoshop the name of the Oscar-winner into the image. 93 POINTS

  27. IMAGE: Annie Houston. Get your ducks in a row. 4 of them. But they must be live ducks in movie theater seats. 73 POINTS

  28. VIDEO: Go to work dressed as a robot. We must see clips of you getting ready in the morning, commuting, and arriving at work and doing your job. We must also see the reactions of people you pass on your commute and/or at work. 102 POINTS

  29. IMAGE: You're a pirate, so dress like one. In addition to the eye-patch and other accoutrements you must have a live bird perched on your shoulder. You should be standing on your ship's deck, which in this case is neither a ship, nor a deck... it's a queue at the Department of Motor Vehicles. 75 POINTS

  30. VIDEO: Roost on a busy sidewalk until your egg hatches. Announce the birth with a squawk (no more than a 15 second video). 29 POINTS

  31. IMAGE: Miriam Weiss. Have at least six men in military, police or fire uniforms holding you over their heads as you sunbathe on your beach chair. 48 POINTS

  32. VIDEO: The Scottish have their highland games that include an event where a man in a kilt throws a long wooden pole or trunk (caber) as far as he can. Let’s see this, but have the man in a full Scottish kilt throw a caber that is at least 10 feet long and is painted or adorned to look like a giant piece of asparagus or other vegetable. 59 POINTS

  33. IMAGE: Laura Camanini. Dialysis treatments are long and boring. Entertain a dialysis patient during their treatment. 26 POINTS

  34. IMAGE: A roach retirement home. Must have live cockroaches in it and must be sized to their scale, for their comfort and enjoyment. 56 POINTS

  35. IMAGE: You’re naked and late for your day job of saving cities. You’re in your garage with no time to hit your secret lair. Get dressed using only auto/home improvement tools and landscaping items. 48 POINTS

  36. IMAGE: (CALENDAR ITEM) Make yourself into a truly irresistible pastry or desert. Place yourself where we might find such a treat: on a countertop, in a display case, at a buffet, in a picnic basket, etc. 82 POINTS

  37. IMAGE: An elderly couple holding hands as they crush grapes for wine the old fashioned way. They must be at a real winery in a real wine-grape-crushing barrel and they must be at least ankle-deep in grapes. 72 POINTS

  38. IMAGE: Rage against the dying of the light. 22 POINTS

  39. IMAGE: You car has taken a sudden affinity to trash. Oblige its indulgences. Decorate its entire exterior with trash. 43 POINTS

  40. VIDEO: Kristy DeMoe. Dress up as a character from Supernatural and perform heroic crosswalk duties at a busy intersection. 19 POINTS

  41. IMAGE: Have a pool party with at least three guests swimming. In this case, your "pool" shall be made from a large garbage can or dumpster. The party must also include towels, a BBQ, cocktails and floatation devices. All three people must be in the "pool". Bonus points if it's a dumpster. 80 POINTS

  42. VIDEO: Film your team’s GISHWHES experience - you all communicating with each other via the Internet, doing courageous items in public, items at home, laughing, crying, screaming, running - we want to see it all. Include a couple of personal voice-overs or video clips of one or more of you commenting about how it affected you (bad or good). We want to see the journey. Edit it into a 2-minute video. 103 POINTS

  43. IMAGE: Go to Jigokudani Monkey Park and, dressed like a “Snow Monkey,” pose with your fellow creatures. 124 POINTS

  44. VIDEO: Valerie Grotto. Gel your child’s (under 6 years of age) hair kind of crazy and tussled like Einstein’s, then have them explain Einstein’s Theory of Relativity in his or her own words. 24 POINTS

  45. IMAGE: Strike up a conversation with a homeless person, talk to them until you know their first name, where they are from, and what their favorite food is. Bring them that food and, if they give you permission, take your picture with them and their meal. 38 POINTS

  46. IMAGE: A sitting member of the U.S. House of Representatives or Senate wearing a sock monkey hat. The congressperson must be photographed talking seriously with someone wearing a suit and tie in an office or hallway. Photoshop the name of the congressperson onto the bottom of the image in the following format: Representative John Doe, D-New York. 48 POINTS

  47. IMAGE: Sell an eBook to Jeff Bezos. 104 POINTS

  48. VIDEO: Create a simple two-player video game. Player one’s avatar is, of course, the GISHWHES 2013 mascot, the Wooster. Player two is the GISHWHES 2012 mascot, the Fograt (Google it). 77 POINTS

  49. IMAGE: Take the road less traveled. 9 POINTS

  50. IMAGE. Little Jack Horner, Little Bo Peep, Peter Pumpkin, Little Boy Blue and the Queen of Hearts at a late-night vice-ridden poker game. 87 POINTS

  51. IMAGE: Alana Roberts: Host a diaper drive and donate the diapers to a diaper bank or homeless shelter. Take a picture of you delivering the diapers. 48 POINTS

  52. VIDEO: Have elementary school kids perform the Ukranian Arkan dance or the Greek Kechagiadikos dance – we’re not prejudiced so either is acceptable. 63 POINTS

  53. VIDEO: Using clips of West Collins that his parents have exploitatively posted online, lay down a rockin’ beat (electronic or human beat box) and create an original rap song. The lead “singer” will be West. You provide the dancers. 46 POINTS

  54. IMAGE: Decorate your cubicle or office as GOTTWHES “Greatest Office Trap the World Has Ever Seen,” including an enticement to lure strangers in. Sit in it and wait. 27 POINTS

  55. VIDEO: Erin Leigh: A preacher in church condemning GISHWHES and GISHWHESHEANS. 44 POINTS

  56. IMAGE: Create an online dating profile for your pet on a real dating site. 25 POINTS

  57. IMAGE: Start a twitter feed for your alarm clock. Get at least two hundred followers. At least once a day the account must post: “BEEP! BEEP! 7:00 AM.” We will be checking the twitter accounts to verify count. 46 POINTS

  58. IMAGE: Give a concise summary of the proof of the “abc conjecture." 18 POINTS

  59. VIDEO: Tisha Fay: Hold a pillow fight that involves 10 or more people all in pajamas. 22 POINTS

  60. IMAGE: Safari time! Construct an animal you would see in the African savanna entirely from feminine hygiene products. 47 POINTS

  61. IMAGE: Sidney Scott. CS Lewis once said, "Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: 'What! You too? I thought I was the only one!'" Take a picture capturing this exact moment. The two must have something very visually unique about them. The photo must be taken in a crowd of other people who do not share this unique quality. For example, both could be dressed as cavemen at a crowded train station. 57 POINTS

  62. IMAGE: Let’s see your interpretation of “helium pants.” 32 POINTS

  63. IMAGE: Edit screencaps of 10 different instances of your team using the word, "abnosome" (or one of its conjugates) in online posts into one image. In other words, 10 images edited in a grid into one image. This will introduce the world to this new, and important word, which of course means: "abnormal in an awesome way." 38 POINTS

  64. VIDEO: A university professor giving a technical explanation of why the telegraph will inevitably be making a comeback. 58 POINTS

  65. IMAGE: Have a group of children (the more the better) collect litter from a beach or park. Then have them make a sculpture or sculptures from the trash they collect. This must be two images edited into one with the images side by side: one showing the kids collecting the trash, and the other showing their final creation (with the kids posed behind it). 28 POINTS

  66. IMAGE: (Four photos joined into a single digital image). Shoot a real life comic book page. In other words, shoot 4 photographs of something that looks like it would be in a comic book or graphic novel and arrange the photos like panels onto one page. This must be an original story with original characters and it must be staged, not photoshopped. You have to figure out how to make the thought or dialogue bubbles and lettering during the shoot. 162 POINTS

  67. IMAGE: Use a smartphone or tablet computer to find water. You must be riding a camel. 92 POINTS

  68. IMAGE: Viking rats. 32 POINTS

  69. IMAGE: Toast for underwear. Butter and jam are optional. 22 POINTS

  70. IMAGE: Go to Iguazu Falls holding an umbrella made from used aluminum cans and plastic utensils (forks, spoons, and knives). 89 POINTS

  71. VIDEO: Dress up in your finest “steampunk” attire and get behind the wheel, rudder or other steering instrument of a steam-powered vehicle (train, steamboat, thresher, etc.). 66 POINTS

  72. VIDEO: Time lapse: A family of at least 4 posed for a Holiday Card in full Holiday dress. It must be in a mall or similar crowded public place. You all must stand posed completely motionless for 5 minutes, smiling, with the video condensed to 20 seconds.66 POINTS

  73. IMAGE: Create a shrine to an actor from a CW show. Pay homage to it. 56 POINTS

  74. IMAGE: Create a promotional poster designed to market ukuleles to heavy metal guitarists. Ideally your campaign would feature Dan Spitz. 29 POINTS

  75. IMAGE: “You are what you eat.” Prove it. 21 POINTS

  76. VIDEO: Dance in the middle of a boring school class while your friend beat-boxes. Detention lasts an hour, the memory, a lifetime. 27 POINTS

  77. IMAGE: FOR CHILDREN UNDER 12 ONLY! Paint or draw a picture of what you love most in the world. Then write what it is under the picture. Parents may provide the description if the child chooses not to demonstrate their genius penmanship that day. 22 POINTS

  78. VIDEO: Two people in business suits at a small conference table discussing how fed policy affects mortgage interest rates. Use terms like, “quantitative easing,” “macro economic,” and “private equity.” The conversation must be rife with sexual innuendo. 55 POINTS

  79. IMAGE: There was something you always wanted to do as a child but never did. Do it. 24 POINTS

  80. IMAGE: Create your own homemade team uniform. Each team member must wear the uniform and have a photo taken. Compile the photos into a grid of photos with your team name at the bottom of the image.61 POINTS

  81. IMAGE: A live mouse, as a passenger in Barbie’s car. 22 POINTS

  82. VIDEO: Build a prototype for a WMD (Weapon of Mass Dictation). 33 POINTS

  83. IMAGE: Mexico is famous for the perfect desert: the churro. We know churros are delicious, but what else are they good for? Improve on perfection by modifying a churro to serve an alternate non-food purpose. 27 POINTS

  84. IMAGE: Three of you tour the Dali Museum in Spain. You all must be wearing large fake mustaches. 39 POINTS

  85. IMAGE: There are Seven Wonders of the World. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wonders_of_the_World) Claim one of them for your team by staking your team flag in front of it. 98 POINTS

  86. VIDEO: Start a chant at a sporting event. Rather than chanting a player's name or an inspirational cheer, the chant should be "GISHWHES". At least 200 people need to be chanting. 123 POINTS

  87. IMAGE: Host a seated traditional Japanese tea ceremony in an elevator to make the passengers feel more at ease. 48 POINTS

  88. VIDEO: Let’s see a marching band playing “Carry on My Wayward Son." They must be in marching-band attire and marching in a populated school location or in a populated public area. A cosplay character from Supernatural must be leading them. 89 POINTS

  89. VIDEO: Create a dynamic, documentary short film exposing little-known facts about your hometown (two minute video). 49 POINTS

  90. VIDEO: Someone you know has always wanted something incredible. Get it for them. Surprise them. Catch the surprise on video. 81 POINTS

  91. VIDEO: Pitch a quoit in your finest medieval ware at a popular dog-walk park. 28 POINTS

  92. IMAGE: Jennifer Gutierrez. Cosplay “Gishbot” (www.twitter.com/gishbot) as realistically as possible in public. 66 POINTS

  93. IMAGE: Sara Anderson. Release the Kraken. 19 POINTS

  94. IMAGE: While scuba diving underwater, show us your spear fishing trophy kill. Today’s catch is not fish, however, it’s a large piece of man-made trash with the words “GISHWHES Sanitation” written or attached to it. 74 POINTS

  95. IMAGE: We all know that colonels in the Russian army wear boxers, but we want proof. 39 POINTS

  96. VIDEO: FLASH MOB! Musicians and singers playing and singing “Carry On My Wayward Son.” The performance must take place in a crowded place of people sitting and waiting: a large train station, a mall, a passport office, an airport, etc. The video must begin with all of the performers undercover, blending in with the rest of the public. Then, one musician stands and begins to play their instrument. Then the others slowly join in. Record the full song and 20 seconds before the song begins. There must be AT LEAST 6 musicians and 6 singers playing to a public crowd of at least 35.200 POINTS

  97. VIDEO: Go through a fast food drive-through with an adult dressed as a baby in a car seat in the back. The adult must have a pacifier in his or her mouth and must be pre-verbal. The video clip must scan from the driver ordering food to the adult-child in the backseat to the fast-food employee at the window. FYI the adult-child will require extra napkins. 66 POINTS

  98. IMAGE: Smoke a fake cigar and make a champagne toast as the proud father of a new litter of baby non-human mammals that are displayed next to you. 39 POINTS

  99. IMAGE: Taxidermy animals dressed for and playing or doing one of the following: roller derby, doubles tennis in whites, a 4-some of golfers (must be traditionally dressed with knickers), cricket players in whites, disco dancing (in 70s disco clothes), synchronized swimming (with nose clips), or a karate class (black belts). 111 POINTS

  100. VIDEO: Record the Nerdist.com theme song using anything but conventional musical instruments or the human voice. (The song is "Jetpack Blues, Sunset Hues" by Anamanaguchi.) 78 POINTS

  101. VIDEO: The CEO of a major corporation wearing a business suit dancing to the song “Single Ladies," using the same dance moves Beyonce did in the music video. 77 POINTS

  102. VIDEO: Install a plaque commemorating a fictional historic landmark. 48 POINTS

  103. VIDEO: Create the packaging for a “Pet Cotton Ball.” Get it put on a store shelf and sell it. Video must show the packaging, its location in the store and the customer buying it. Remember, we have expert criminal psychologists on staff who can easily tell if you’ve staged the purchase. 64 POINTS

  104. IMAGE: Have a prisoner make a license plate with the Impala from Supernatural’s plate number. 57 POINTS

  105. VIDEO: A military aircraft with Gishwhes decals. The video must depict take-off. You may not illegally or secretly graffiti the plane. 185 POINTS

  106. IMAGE: Outfit a public statue of a celebrated historical figure with a knitted or crocheted Gishwhes cardigan. 53 POINTS

  107. VIDEO: Jayne McKenna. Film yourself bungee jumping. You must start the jump by saying into the camera: "I’m doing this for _______!" (you fill in the blank), and then jump. Bonus points if you edit together the camera angle of you talking and another of your entire jump. Super bonus points if there’s also a helmet cam viewpoint edited in as well. 72 POINTS

  108. IMAGE: Let’s see a flattering portrait painting of Star Trek’s George Takei or Felicia Day. Your materials will be sand. Your paintbrush will be your finger. 74 POINTS

  109. IMAGE: Shawne Keevan. Make a suit or evening gown from watermelon rind. 39 POINTS

  110. IMAGE: If Gishwhes were a fraternity or sorority, what would the initiation ceremony look like? 43 POINTS

  111. VIDEO: Time lapse item. Make a wig from your own hair. Wear it. 71 POINTS

  112. IMAGE: Tweet genuine compliments to 10 people on twitter. The compliments must all be personal, true and thoughtful. Tweet them consecutively with the hashtag #poweredbyGISHWHES. Submit a screencap showing the 10 tweets. 18 POINTS

  113. IMAGE: Run an ad in a local paper for the cult you are starting. Sell us on it. Make us want to join. Make grandiose promises. 41 POINTS

  114. IMAGE: Let’s see a portrait of Chris Hardwick from the Nerdist.com made from dried fruit. 44 POINTS

  115. VIDEO: Program a Commodore 64 (or similar vintage) personal computer to turn on a coffee maker and brew you a cup when you type in the command, “Rise and shine!” 84 POINTS

  116. IMAGE: Serve salad in a soup kitchen. 52 POINTS

  117. IMAGE: Narrow the prime gap to 47.23 POINTS

  118. IMAGE: Make a cozy quilt from old dirty socks. Snuggle up in it alone or with your best friend. 85 POINTS

  119. IMAGE: Type out your team’s one-page manifesto on an old, mechanical typewriter. The page must be legible and the bottom of it must be partially fed into the typewriter. 16 POINTS

  120. IMAGE: Jessica Mejia. Let’s see your most dramatic interpretation of “Death by Chocolate!” 34 POINTS

  121. IMAGE: Enjoy a burrito standing in front of a laboratory. The international laser-warning sign must be visible behind you. 81 POINTS

  122. IMAGE: A Peugeot car in France with a French License Plate and a “Bush/Cheney 2004” bumper sticker. 51 POINTS

  123. VIDEO: Create your own Sonic Screwdriver and use it to get you out of a sticky situation. 65 POINTS

  124. VIDEO: Collect signatures in front of a health food store on a petition to: “Pave all of California’s beaches so we don’t have to get all sandy to go swimming.” Must have a printed form, vest, and clipboard. You must be extremely smiley and optimistic about the whole petition. 42 POINTS

  125. VIDEO: Fold a paper crane whilst sitting outside, uncovered in a rainstorm. 45 POINTS

  126. VIDEO: Is there an “unsung hero” in your life? Well, make them a “sung hero.” Write a short song about the person and why you appreciate them. Sing it to them. Record the very first time they hear the song. 34 POINTS

  127. IMAGE: Make your country’s flag from food or food packaging. 49 POINTS

  128. IMAGE: Write a haiku about waiting. Post it (no graffiti!) at a bus stop. 28 POINTS

  129. IMAGE: Create an innovative piece of "sock monkey" apparel. It can be anything but a hat. Wear it proudly in public. 67 POINTS

  130. VIDEO: Find a dog named, “Castiel.” Call it. Have it come when called. 46 POINTS

  131. VIDEO: Time Lapse: Play the violin using a bow strung with your own hair. (If you are a horse, you may only participate in this item if we see you operating a pair of scissors to trim your mane). If you’re a human we must see video clips edited together of you cutting your own hair, stringing the bow, and then playing the violin with it. 74 POINTS

  132. IMAGE: Create a stained glass window depicting a character or characters from a CW TV show.91 POINTS

  133. IMAGE: (Screencap) Get Jared Padalecki (@jarpad) to compliment Misha Collins (@mishacollins) on twitter. The post must include a Username from your team. 201 POINTS

  134. IMAGE: As you know, pink ninja sightings are common at Ayers Rock in Australia. Take a photo of tourists spotting one at the rock. 56 POINTS

  135. IMAGE: Have your public service workers over for pie. Seated at the table, and eating their pie, are a fully dressed professional (not costumed) fireman, police officer, teacher and paramedic. 39 POINTS

  136. VIDEO: Train a parrot to say “Jensen,” or “Ackles,” or both. Double points if the parrot chuckles after saying it. 48 POINTS

  137. IMAGE: If Gishwhes were a moving or shipping company, what would its slogan be? Let’s see the slogan on the side of an 18-wheeler. Letters must be at least 3 feet in height. No illegal graffiti allowed! You must have permission from the owner of the truck and we must see the entire truck in the image. Feel free to decorate the rest of the truck as you deem appropriate. 82 POINTS

  138. IMAGE: Design the graphic cover of a romance novel: Misha and the Queen of England in a torrid embrace or otherwise adventurous situation. Give it a creative title. 99 POINTS

  139. IMAGE: In front of the most famous building or monument in your city or town, hold a sign over your head with what your town's tourism motto should be based on how you see it. For example: "Burkfields, MA! Where people used to have jobs!" or "Los Angeles, CA! Where everyone sleeps in!" 16 POINTS

  140. IMAGE: Liv Heller. Recreate a recognizable piece of architecture or a landmark using only books. Bonus points for size. 31 POINTS

  141. IMAGE: Make a picture book for preschoolers explaining the Pythagorean theorem. 22 POINTS

  142. IMAGE: (Two photos in one image.) "Hell and back." In other words, we want to see a before and after photo of a GISHWHES 2013 participant. The first photo should depict the participant eagerly getting ready for the great, adventurous week ahead, and the second photo, what the participant looks like at the close of the hunt. 61 POINTS

  143. IMAGE: Create a grammatically correct anagram sentence using the first names of each of the members of your team. The image must show both the first names of your team members and the sentence. 27 POINTS

  144. IMAGE: Children behind the counter of a post office, dressed in postal wear, dealing with adult customers. They must look really bored. 52 POINTS

  145. VIDEO: “GISHWHES” or a GISHWHES theme in skywriting. The plane must be in the process of completing the letters. In other words, we must see the plane, we must see the smoke leaving the plane and we must see the letters. Take photographs as well. You don’t need to submit the photos, just the video. 216 POINTS

  146. VIDEO: Get your team’s new ice cream flavor on sale in an ice cream parlor. The new flavor must have a catchy new name and must be a combination of ingredients that we (the judges) have never before heard of in an ice cream. The ice cream shop employee must tell a customer what is in your ice cream and the customer must sample your new flavor. 58 POINTS

  147. IMAGE: Go to Neuschwanstein castle in Germany and hold a seated séance in the front courtyard with 5 of your friends. Extra points if you have an Ouija board and are dressed as “traveling minstrels." 64 POINTS

  148. VIDEO: A local TV news piece covering a local radio story. 49 POINTS

  149. IMAGE: Let’s see you in a cage staring down an animal in a cage. The catch: your cage is in his cage. 61 POINTS

  150. IMAGE: Let’s see a watercolor painting of one of your teammates leading the cavalry of a battle charge. The warriors, however, are not riding traditional horses, they are riding rocking horses. Give us a fitting landscape and weaponry as well. 30 POINTS

  151. IMAGE: Surf's up! Let's see you surfing while "tin can" talking to another surfer on a different surfboard. Your tin cans must be connected. 70 POINTS

  152. IMAGE: Get Alexander Misurkin, Pavel Vinogradov, Chris Cassidy, Fyodor Yurchikhin, Karen Nyberg or Luca Parmitano to take a photo of themselves holding up a sign that says, "Hey (INSERT ANY USERNAME FROM YOUR TEAM)! GISHWHES does space too!" or a similar slogan. As a side note, the preceding individuals are all currently on the International Space Station orbiting planet Earth. 334 POINTS

  153. VIDEO: Project the youtube short film "Stranger Danger" or the Oscar-Worthy feature film, "Stonehenge Apocalypse" at an abandoned drive-in movie theater. 49 POINTS

  154. IMAGE. Change a life! Random Acts (www.therandomact.org) and GISHWHESHEANS are going to change the life of someone and their family! Details will be announced on Tuesday (U.S.) on the "Updates" page. You will submit for it at that time. 250 POINTS

  155. MYSTERY ITEM. To Be Announced. 51 POINTS

hsifeng: (*Arrrrrrrr!* Sewing Pyrate!)

Gala Project Dress is DONE. Time for a White Russian in celebration!

hsifeng: (*Arrrrrrrr!* Sewing Pyrate!)
First there were hours of draping. And pinning. And draping some more. And crying. Then pinning myself. And unpinning ALL THE THINGS.

/white russian break

Then a flurry of drape-pin-drape-pin-drape-pin.

And then I had something I am OK with.

Now for hours of stitch, tack, stitch, tack, stitch, tack.


I swear to god. If Disney doesn't send me those sewing mice soon I am going to be so @&*#}+<&...!


/goes to make another white russian
hsifeng: (*Arrrrrrrr!* Sewing Pyrate!)
...teaser image!

One of these things will be *very much* like the other. And no, there were no pyrates involved in the making of this gala costume. Not yet anyway...

hsifeng: (Am I Blue?)
These past few months, Death has seems a constant visitor to those I love. Never traveling near enough to crease my own brow, but moving in concentric circles that have touched many of those that I find most dear. When it comes, I often think of the letter below, posted from one friend to another upon the occasion of his beloved wife's passing.

I am not a religious person by nature. I am not drawn to a need for a dogma or mantra to guide my days or light my nights. But in the face of Death, I find myself hoping that the message of this letter is true; that those whom we love are not lost to us, that a joyous meeting will be had again at a future date not yet determined.

The public papers, my dear friend, announce the fatal event of which your letter of October the 20th had given me ominous foreboding. Tried myself in the school of affliction, by the loss of every form of connection which can rive the human heart, I know well, and feel what you have lost, what you have suffered, are suffering, and have yet to endure. The same trials have taught me that for ills so immeasurable, time and silence are the only medi­cine. I will not, therefore, by useless condolences, open afresh the sluices of your grief, nor, although mingling sincerely my tears with yours, will I say a word more where words are vain, but that it is of some comfort to us both, that the term is not very distant, at which we are to deposit in the same cerement, our sorrows and suffering bodies, and to ascend in essence to an ecstatic meeting with the friends we have loved and lost, and whom we shall still love and never lose again. God bless you and support you under your heavy affliction.

~Thomas Jefferson to John Adams, upon the death of Abigail Adams
 Monticello, November 13, 1818

hsifeng: (*Arrrrrrrr!* Sewing Pyrate!)

Never ending and obsessive thoughts about sewing methods and patterning prevented most of my sleep last night. What little I did get was interrupted by puppy snoring, toy squeaking, and the fact that I am sharing a bed with my husband and two dogs to both seem to think that they need more space than any single human body would occupy.


I need a nap.


I need a drink.


I need to be home sewing rather than at work.




hsifeng: (*Arrrrrrrr!* Sewing Pyrate!)
You know that thing you do, that thing where you plan to Sew All The Costumes and Wear All The Things....

And then you procrastinate. A bit.

Or maybe a lot.

And then THE EVENT looms. Ack!

In the past I have waited until the very last minute (or close enough) and then performed acts of sewing miracles in order to produce a wearable garment. This applies ONLY to costume events outside of my normal period (the 16th C) and only to costumes that I am sewing for myself. The cobblers kids and all that.*

Last year for CoCo this was solved by the plan to rent a tux for Gala. Timetable you say? What is that?

"Please sirs, take this grubby money and make me look swagalicious!"

This year, not so much.

I find myself with a list of things to do. And what is worse, a list that includes things FOR OTHER PEOPLE. And that means my procrastination period ended this past weekend with the development of lists and timetables and meet-up schedules. It may have also introduced a pet-ulcer, but I don't know yet. *snerk*

Will I be blogging about any of this, that remains to be seen. I may do so just vent and maintain my sanity if nothing else.


See you on the other side, in something fabulous! :D

*I rarely screw around when sewing for other people, and the desire to procrastinate vs. real production timetables *may* be one of the reasons I tend to hate taking commissions of any kind. *shrug*
hsifeng: (Buckets of Crazy)

There is a hilarious moment when you are standing in the middle of a fast food restaurant, your eyes closed while you are mentally going through the Olympic lifting exercises that you just trained in. It is the moment for you realize that you are the weirdo standing in the middle of the restaurant muttering to themselves with their eyes closed, randomly twitching and frowning. It's also the moment for you wonder whether or not anyone else in the restaurant is about to call the cops on you.

I find moments like that hilarious.

hsifeng: (*Arrrrrrrr!* Sewing Pyrate!)
Crossfit. It is apparently soul consuming.

What I mean by that is, I really like this style of exercise. But as [livejournal.com profile] vanessa_lynne pointed out in a recent entry, it drains almost every drop of energy I have at the end of my days. This is normally not a huge issue, but with CoCo looming I need to start carving out time on the weekends to work on costume projects. I have a plan, we'll just see how well that plan works.

Oh, and I am adding to the distraction pile by introducing the following element the first weekend of July:

Meet Nigel...
Nigel Bed

Nigel Leap

Nigel - Selfie (he's down with the young crowd like that)
Nigel Eye

So, in addition to Crossfit, I have added morning runs - Every Day - into my schedule. Because both my 'old man' (Fritz) and the new guy (Nigel) will need some exercise and training on a consistent basis to make sure that we have a happy doggy home. And then there are all the other 'puppy extras' when it comes to time consumption.

You know what? Totally worth it.

Don't be shocked when I show up to Gala in a modified hotel sheet.

hsifeng: (Running)
...trying to get back into the posting swing. I have *dozens* of photos of my workouts from the past few weeks. But rather than bore you with those I will upload the following images instead - proof that sometimes the 'exercise' I do is purely in the name of fun.

And getting really, really filthy.


This is my sister, myself, my niece (her daughter) and my 'grand-nephew' (?)
Color Me Rad 2013

Color Me Rad came to town, and being ladies who had previously conquered a Tough Mudder event, we figured we had to check it out. To give you an idea of how much color gets thrown around at these events:

Kaden Before

Kaden After

Yeah, he is not a blond. That is all orange powder (that he happily bathed in post-race when we discovered we had left over color-bombs in our pack.


Now, if anyone has ever figured out how to MAKE THAT COLOR STAY on their white shirts, I'd love to know your secret. The dye and cornstarch washed right out despite pre-laundry treatment with vinegar.

*sigh* Guess we'll just have to run again next year! :D
hsifeng: (Exercise - The Poor Man's Plasic Surgery)
Having spent every spare minute not at work, the gym, or the Craft Room Of Doom (thank YOU for kicking my creative ass, School of the Renaissance Solder!), I have been somewhat....*cough* remiss (?) in posting my workouts here. My solution? I am going to simply post my dates and the bare bones record from the past couple of weeks.

If anyone really wants me to translate the Crossfitees (there really is a separate language for this stuff, I swear) then I will happily do so.

Also, double unders still suck.

Dear Corded Jump Rope - Please stop cracking me on the knuckles, causing my blood vessels to burst and my fingers to sausage up and be sore for two days. That sucks. Signed, No Love - Me.

Thursday, April 11th - Gym Run:
45 minutes at 6 mph.

Friday, April 12th - Crossfit:
The WOD was straight pull ups (I don't know how to Kipling these properly yet) - so harder for each rep. My Met-Con 4RFT (four reps for time) rocked with me doing *more weight* than necessary on the Medicine Ball (MB) Cleans because they were all out of the 14 kg balls - so I used a 16 kg ball instead. Go Me!
April 12 - Crossfit Board

WOD - 15 straight pull ups (no assist)
Front Squats/Rope - didn't record my kg's but I recall I was helping out a new lifter so I am sure the weight was light
Met-Con (4RFT): 12:03 minutes with EXTRA WEIGHT! W00T! 16kg KBS / 16kg MB Cleans

Saturday, April 13th - Gym Run & Yoga:
30 minutes at 6 mph + 1.5 hours of Hatha with Mary! :D

Monday, April 15th - Gym Run & Yoga:
30 minutes at 6 mph + 1.5 hours of Hatha...

Tuesday, April 16th - Crossfit:
Again, I need to learn how to do Kipling pull ups. *sigh* Honestly, straight pulls are harder (so I should stop judging myself for not hitting numbers as high as other folks).
April 16 - Crossfit Board

WOD - 28 pistols squats (mod to a 13" box)
Squat Cleans/Levers - 40 kgs on the squats, the levers are a body weight core exercise that my yoga-fu helped me conquer. :)
Met-Con ("Nichole" - 20 min AMRAP): I managed 7 rounds (1.75 miles) with 62 straight pull ups using the 1" orange band for assist

Wednesday, April 17th - Crossfit:
Add 'Grasshoppers' to the list of 'Mountain Climber-esque' moves that are a PITA. *chuckle*
April 17 - Crossfit Board

WOD - 73 grasshoppers
Front Squat - 70 kgs max on the squats; working with E made me kick all my lifts up a notch (because she kicks ass!)
Strict Press/Reverse Hypers - 35 kg max on presses, used a 8 kg med ball for extra weight on the reverse hypers
Met-Con (7 min AMRAP) - 3 rounds + 14 double unders (those bastards). I finished right on pace with E - *high fives self*

Thursday, April 18th - SRS Run:
5 miles in 39 minutes: 7.7 mph pace. Definitely up from my last run! Honestly, I don't expect to keep picking up pace, especially as the heat builds, but this is nice so far. :)

Friday, April 19th - Sunday, April 22nd:
Weekend was spent wearing wool in mid-level temperatures while running after men with water to ensure that they didn't go down from alcohol poisoning or heat exhaustion (when not drinking beer, napping or goofing off with friends). Hey, even I need a break sometimes! *chuckle*

Tuesday, April 23rd - Crossfit:
Apparently someone told the coaches that I took four days off and had to be punished accordingly. And I was. *ouch*
April 23 - Crossfit Board

WOD - 37 overhead squats (OHS)
40 Minutes In Hell (as opposed to 10 Minutes In Heaven - which I believe is a game I would have preferred) - OK, it didn't take me 40 minutes to finish this beast, it took 24:22 minutes. Second lady/person in, with the following mods: Hand stand push ups (HSPU) from weight bar - this is my standard method until I can actually do a *real* HSPU; Pull ups using a 2" gray band for assist; Double unders consisted of 100 attempts and then 200 single unders - because honestly my hands and shins couldn't take getting whacked any more.

And seriously, who thinks doing a run with a weight plate is a good idea? For future reference, I would use a kettle bell given the chance again. 
hsifeng: (Running)
*chuckle* No, not seriously...

(Answer: 15 minutes of un-weighted squats - what? It was right there on the internet! *grin*)

So the hubby and I went out last night with a friend and had a couple of beers. Darlin', let me tell you that nothing makes you a cheap date like having reduced your overall alcohol intake and then going out for a couple of pints on after Crossfit and a light dinner. Whoa! Who spiked my Newcastle?

(Answer: No one. You idiot. Eat more and drink less! *snerk*)

Anyway, this may explain why the beer hit me harder than normal -

Wednesday, April 10th - Crossfit:
April 10 - Crossfit Board

1 Minute WOD (Workout of the Day): Paralette Shoot-Throughs. I used the mid-sized paralettes (mini hurdles that we also use for L-sits and whatnot). I have seen this exercise done before, but have never done it myself. Day-am. I managed 48 reps in the minute, and according to E my form was spot-on almost through the entire exercise. I can see how the 'back' position is hard for folks to judge their own work in, since you can't really see what you look like in that spot. But no one really has an excuse for messing up the front position unless they are just dog tired (which I can totally see by the end of this thing).

Strength Training: Snatch. This was two different snatch series, both done in a timed manner. The first one I completed with 25 kg throughout on the bar, the second with 30 kg throughout. In the first series, you complete one snatch every 20 seconds for 4 minutes, for a total of 12 snatches altogether. In the second series, you complete one snatch Every Minute On Minute (EMOM) for 8 minutes, for a total of 8 snatches (at the higher weight).  I got to really work on my form in these, although I still think my lift needs to be more consistent and I know I am muscling the weight with my arms too much (the idea is that the momentum of the 'shrug' and jump move the bar, and that you move UNDER it rather than lifting it OVER).

Met-Con: We did the following series for time and I can tell that the summer is on it's way because the run portions were harder than normal in the lovely Spring sunshine. *makes a face* My final time was 14:01 minutes, but I didn't complete the entire series in the proscribed (Rx) manner and let my ego take over with the time factor. Honestly, I need to try to complete with Rx next time since the TIME is less important than the EFFORT. *sigh*
800 m run
50 sit ups (touch floor behind head, touch feet - each rep)
25 Hand Release Push-Ups
400 m run

50 sit ups (touch floor behind head, touch feet - each rep)
25 Hand Release Push-Ups (did the first 10 Rx and then moved to my knees for the final 15 - *gah!*)
800 m run

One of the guys who is a regular at the gym was pretty much on pace with me the whole time. Hilariously enough, on our way back from the last 800 m he was just a little behind me and I suddenly got that old 'Running Event' tickle, were you know someone is about to kick and try to pass you for the finish. We were still about 200 m out (with a corner and warehouse interior to navigate to get to the actual finish still). And I am a bastard. So, I lengthened my stride just a bit and increased my turn-over enough that I felt like I was pushing pace rather than coasting again.

I wasn't even sure he was trying to pass me. *eye roll*

After we were all done, I was mentioning my hi-jinks to E when the guy walked up and said, "Hey! I almost caught you on that last run!" "At about the 200 m mark?", I asked. He grinned. I said, "I knew it! So...I kicked a little. Sorry..." He just laughed and said he was going to catch me next time.

Sure buddy. Sure you are. ;)

Hence, celebratory beer! :D

Appropriate Icon Is Appropriate.

Tuesday, April 9th - Crossfit:
April 9 - Crossfit Board

1 Minute WOD (Workout of the Day): Box Jumps. I did 34 of these in my minute at the proscribed height of 20". I was also super excited to finally harass, coerce, bully encourage N to actually *do* the jumps, rather than using the step-up alternative. She had a bit of 'face plant' phobia (ie "What Happens If I Miss A Jump?"), so we got her a 12" platform to start out, and she quickly changed that out for an 18" one once she got the feel for it. Hooray for progress on conquering fears! :D

Strength Training (Super-Set): Single Leg Bulgarians/Hand Stand Push-Ups (HSPU): The Bulgarians ended up being at 20 kg and I am pretty sure I could manage more. Alternatively, I could use a higher platform (I used the 4" lip on the weight lifting stations), as a higher location for the back leg = harder set. Since I don't have my max-weight yet, I did all sets at the 20 kg weight. My HSPU's were done on the 24" box, and G and I mutually decided to push ourselves by doing sets of 10 and 15 rather than 8. So the workout looked like this:
Bulgarians (R & L/each): 8 reps
HSPU: 10 reps
Bulgarians (R & L/each): 6 reps
HSPU: 10 reps
Bulgarians (R & L/each): 6 reps
HSPU: 15 reps
Bulgarians (R & L/each): 6 reps
HSPU: 15 reps
Bulgarians (R & L/each): 6 reps

Met-Con: "Elizabeth" Not as big a PITA as her cousin, "Fran"; Elizabeth is still plenty of work. This was timed rotation of the following series. I used 29 kg on the bar for my cleans and a 2" assistance band on the ring dips. I got through it in 6:25 using a non-Rx weight. My arms, they clearly need some more work...
Squat Clean: 21 reps
Ring Dip: 21 reps

Squat Clean: 15 reps
Ring Dip: 15 reps
Squat Clean: 9 reps
Ring Dip: 9 reps

Monday, April 6th - Crosstrainer and Yoga:
Crosstrainer for 45 minutes (600 calories) followed by 1.5 hours of Hatha yoga. I love my yoga like BURNING.
hsifeng: (Running)
Friday, April 5th - Crossfit:
April 5 - Crossfit Board

1 Minute WOD (Workout of the Day): Squats. The only part of the workout that I did a max effort on. *chuckle* Competative? Who, me? I got through 51 of these.

This past week was an exhausting one for training. Not sure what was going on with my sleep patterns but they were Not Good and left me totally bereft of energy despite getting to bed early and rising late most days. The suck. :P This lead to a less-than-exemplary performance at Crossfit on Friday, but I am giving myself full kudos for even going since the temptation was to skip, skip, skip.

Strength Training 1 (Super-Set): Snatch/GHD Half Sit-Up: The snatch ended up being at 30 kg (wimpy levels) but I was working with a new lifter and as I said: No Energy. *sigh* Ah well, at least I got some form work in. The GHD work was done with 5 kg (again, WTF weight but I know I *did* work since my lower back certainly felt it the next day.

Strength Training 2 (Super-Set): Dead Lift/Ring Push Ups: The dead lift was a little better with 50 kg, but I can do a lot more with that lift. Ring push ups were done well with good form and close-to-horizontal placement of the body. I did all of them without any cheats, and only a couple pauses to stretch my lower back (which was feeling this session).

Saturday, April 6th - Running and Yoga:
3 miles/6 mph (30 minute run) followed by 1.5 hours of Hatha yoga. I then proceeded to run around like a chicken with my head cut off completing errands and projects for...

Sunday, April 7th - 5k Color Run! (...followed by gardening...*ouch*)
I won't even both recording the time on this one, because I was there to play with family! We all got together and organized a potty break (no small feat at an event with 12K+ attendees) and a Finish Line spot for a picnic post-race (in the shade no less!). The race was totally relaxed, and fun, and the weather was beautiful. :) I love doing these event with my family as it gives all of us a chance to chat and goof off as well as enjoy the race.

When photos show up I will pass them on, promise! :D

Right after the race - because I am an idiot - I headed to Home Depot and picked up a rototiller (still covered in paint, which got comments) and then proceeded to till my back garden plot for the next 1.5 hours. Again, thank the gods for beautiful weather. Although I did end up getting a little red (ah, that Northern European skin! *chortle*). Now, you'd think that a rototiller would have made the process a lot easier and more painless. I am sure that turning the whole garden by hand *would* have been a longer and more exhausting process; I am just not sure by how much. My hands, they are covered with blisters and my shoulders/back are wondering if I just carried that heavy-ass piece of equipment all over my garden rather than 'it walking itself forward and doing all the work'. *eye roll*

Regardless: Next weekend, we plant! Hooray!
hsifeng: (Exercise - The Poor Man's Plasic Surgery)
OK, so last night was a great little chance to 'post-up' with one of the younger ladies in my gym who regularly bests my performance. She did again last night, but I was *this close* to matching up with her. Despite a huge amount of muscle soreness, mind you. :D

Wednesday, April 3rd - Crossfit:
April 3 - Crossfit Board

1 Minute WOD (Workout of the Day): Kettlebell Swing (KBS). I did this with the proscribed (Rx) weight of 16 kg and got through at least 33 of them. To be honest, I lost count at the very end and may have done 35 (the goal I set in my head). Sometimes the effort, she wipes the brain cells out and the maths are gone too bye-bye land. *chuckle*

Strength Training (Super-Set): Zerchers/Toes-To-Ring (TTR). Ladies and gentlemen, I give you 'Zerchers'; perhaps the LAMEST strength move ever. OK, I get that this is to encourage the use of your core during squats, but the way the guys at the gym had us holding the bar (with elbows up, rather than down as in the vid link I included above) basically is an invitation to bruise the *crap* out of your biceps. Needless to say, I will be using the video's form if we do this again since the weights used to avoid bruising in the 'higher' position is basically a non-event for my legs in the squat. *sigh*

The super-set was 5 sets of 5 reps of the Zerchers, interspersed with 4 sets of 15 reps of TTR. I did 34 kg max on the Zerchers, and discovered the "Secret of the Rings"! Basically, there is one set of rings worth using at the gym: they are the second set from the end, they have texture which assists with grip (rather than just being rough), and with enough chalking My Hands Do Not Slip. I have always hated TTR's because the slippage of my hands makes these a total pain for my arms and shoulders *long* before my core gives up. With this problem solved, I don't think TTR's are going to be anywhere near as difficult in the future. YEAH! /does a little dance

Met-Con: This was a 10 minute As-Many-Reps-As-Possible (AMRAP) of the following series. I completed 6 full rounds, plus another round up to 3 pistol squats. I didn't do the Rx weight but I was close with 35kg. I also modified the pistols to a 18" box.
3 Hang Cleans
6 Split Jerks (alternating legs)
9 Pistol Squats - which I still HATE by the way... *sigh*

Amusingly, I ended up in a face-to-face work out with G, the challenging young lady I mentioned above, we even shared a box for the modified pistols. By the end of the 10 minutes we were both straining and grunting and struggling to not slow down (and give the other person the lead). We ended up finishing almost together, which is a great thing for G since she was doing the Rx weight the whole time.

I know that 4 kg more doesn't *sound* like much more weight - but trust me, it is.

Thursday, April 4th - SRC Group Run:

Last Week: 5 Miles/40 minutes = 7.5 mph pace
My goal is to keep the distance at 5 miles with a reasonable pace between 7 - 7.5 mph. It is supposed to be raining today, so we'll see where the day and the course take us. :D
hsifeng: (Namaste Muthaf*ckers)

Monday, April 1st - Running and Yoga:

4 miles in 40 minutes (10 mph pace) plus cool down, followed by 75 minutes of mediation and yoga.

Yoga is a legal drug and I am TOTALLY HOOKED. I blame my instructor. Who is amazing. And wonderful. And makes me feel all bright and shiny and ready for anything both inside and out. <3 How do I keep an even keel in rough waves? Yoga. For realsies. And sometimes alcohol (just kidding! jeeze!).

As C and I have been working on schedules that are almost polar opposites, I have come to depend more and more on this as my 'me space' for rest and recovery (that used to be the time I was snuggling with C on the couch...*self pitying sigh*). But at least I have a replacement that doesn't involve a crack pipe or binge ice cream eating!  Go me! :D

Tuesday, April 2nd - Crossfit:
April 2 - Crossfit Board
All I could think when I saw this board was, "Holy. Crap. What the hell am I doing here?" But broken down into segments, and then into individual movements, it wasn't so bad. I mean, I only got light headed a *couple* of times...and I blame that mostly on the lack of air circulation in the gym.

1 Minute WOD (Workout of the Day): 250 M Row.  Considering I was rowing so hard that I actually slid of the 'seat' of the rowing machine at one point, I feel pretty good about a 0:50 time on this. Not the high end of the class day, but not the low end either.

Front Squats/Hollow Body Holds Complex: Given that I have not had a chance to find a max weight yet, C had me do the following series instead of what was on the board. 2 sets of 5 reps, followed by 3 sets of 3 reps - all done in alternation with the Hollow Body Holds.  I ended up stacking weight the whole series, trying to establish my maxes. I started with 30 kg and 45 kg for my 5 rep sets, and then ended the last 3 sets at 55 kg. This was good weight and I was definitely challenged to hold my form through the whole series.

Met-Con: This was 'for time' series of the following exercises. I completed the whole thing in 17:01 with modifications. My workout buddy, K did the same work with all the same modifications - so I felt pretty good about the overall choices when it came to weight and effort.

400 m run
30 Clapping push-ups: ended with last 20 on my knees rather than full push-up position (K actually *filmed* my first 10 she was so impressed that I was doing full-on clappers *chuckle*)
15 Thrusters: done with 20 kg rather than 25 kg proscribed - throughout
400 m run
30 Hand-Stand Push Ups (HSPU): done from the box, as the weight racks were all occupied
15 Thrusters
400 m run
30 Burpees
15 Thrusters

By the end of this I was *beat* and my knees certainly showed the effects of the Burpees. Damn them. All in all, I think any met-con with running allows me to automatically do well because I tend to make-up a lot of time on the runs (go fast!) whereas others tend to slow down there. *shrug*

I can tell you, I am not looking forward to the workout tonight as I am sore and tired already. On the other hand, I find that I am much happier mentally when I push through on days like today - so that is the plan. :D

hsifeng: (Running)
Sunday, March 31st - Rest Day:

Leaving town for the weekend is always a bit of a challenge for me.

First, there is the packing - whatever I take has to have room for a pair of running shoes (which I try not to wear when I am not running, to save on tread/loft life), I have to pack a whole set of clothes that will only be worn to sweat in (and spares for those, if I am gone longer than a couple of days), and the number of clothes for this activity changes depending on how familiar I am with the area I am visiting and it's weather patterns.

Then there is the negotiations for morning time - my husband, much to his credit, wants me to sleep in and relax when we are on vacation. I totally get this, but I am sort of hardwired for activity at this point and a day without some sort of physical challenge often leaves me feeling pent-up and bitchy. Not Good On Vacations. My compromise is usually this; I get up early (or really, late by comparison to my normal wake-up time, but early by comparison to 'vacation time' schedules), go on my run or hit the gym, come back and take my shower, climb in bed and read/watch TV until the hubby rouses himself a couple of hours later.

This can actually be quite frustrating for me, as my activity time in the morning includes my brain ramping up for the day. By the time I am out of the shower I have a whole list of things I want to be off and doing. According to my love, any sort of planning is antithetical to the whole concept of vacations.

I...get this...*twitches*. Especially as his job regularly has him working 12 hours shifts (he has three this week).

As a compromise I tend to exercise the first day we're out of town and then take the next day off in an attempt to cultivate my inner lounge lizard. So far this has met with mixed results (see the part about me sucking at relaxing, noted above). This past weekend included. However, I will say that we had a lovely time over all, and I did manage to skip working out on Sunday without turning into a total freak.

Thank the gods. ;)

Saturday, March 28th- Running:
Ran 5 miles/45 minutes = 6.6 mph. Not a devastating pace, but considering that this is my first week breaking 10 miles total in training in 7 days that I have hit in awhile I am OK with it. I also ran in the 'mist' (super-light rain/massively-dense fog) and didn't let the cooler weather deter me from getting my miles in. OMG, the coast. The beach.

Spring. Is. AWESOME. In. California. *happy sigh*

Friday, March 30th - Crossfit:
March 29 - Board Crossfit
I was the only person at the 6:30 AM class on Friday - so basically I got private torture training from one of my favorite coaches. It's a little weird being the only person in a class where group motivation is such a big factor in performance. However, I managed to do a good job anyway and certainly felt the effort.

1 Minute WOD (Workout of the Day): Toes-To-Bar (TTB)I did 15 of these and felt pretty annoyed with myself until I took a look at the board and realized that I actually did pretty damn good. :D

Strength Training: Overhead (OH) Squats. Perform five OH squats every minute for 10 minutes. Whatever time you have left after you have completed your five squats is your rest period before the next set begins. I did this with 29 kg, which ended up being a pretty good weight for me. This was also the first time I have used my new wrist wraps and I can tell that they are making a difference. W00t!

Met-Con: As above, this was a timed exercise with sprints, whatever you had left as the remainder of each one minute period was for rest. So, at the beginning of each minute you perform a sprint of the length of the indoor soccer field (from goal box to goal box), and then you rest until the next minute starts. C set me a goal of 13 second reps, I did 12's. *evil grin* I got one 11 second sprint in early, and had a couple of 11.5 second reps in there as well. In the end, I only counted whole seconds so those mid-reps became 12's and my overall combined time for the exercise was 119 seconds. I am curious if I would have been faster with other runners there to amp up my competitive juices.


hsifeng: (Default)

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