Sunday, May 22, 2011

Isabela's Fortune

I’ve had poor Isabela here hanging on my wall for nearly two months, staring at me accusingly. With everything that has been going on, though, I just haven’t had time to photograph the poor girl before now.

Why name her Isabela? Well, it’s almost embarrassing to admit, but the pattern bore a striking resemblance to one busty pirate captain from a certain favorite video game. Yup. She’s named after Dragon Age 2’s Isabela.

I modeled the color scheme after the character’s, and even went so far as to add the little labret piercing under her lip. Yes, I'm a geek. What's new?

She was made using Sew Lovely Embroidery’s Mad Ink pattern set, which I think may be my favorite pattern pack ever.

It was a pretty straight-forward piece, all done with back stitch, with a little satin stitch and a few French knots to make it interesting. The most experimental I got was to tweed the floss (mixing navy blue and turquoise) to give her kerchief the illusion of pattern.

I painted her hoop a nice turquoise to match, which looks really neat hanging next to the purple one for my glow-in-the-dark Calavera (also from the same Sew Lovely pack). I’m envisioning a whole wall filled with colorful-hooped embroideries and cross stitching. It’s pretty well on its way!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Nightmares, Comics, and Travel Plans

Aside from waxing nostalgic for ’80s movies and updating my blog layout, there’s been quite a bit stirring in my corner of the world.

A Nightmare on Van Ness Street

Some of the most exciting news I received recently is that my film, Everything I Needed to Know About Zombies I Learned From the Movies, will be participating in A Nightmare to Remember International Horror Film Festival.

The fest takes place Saturday, June 18 at San Francisco's Opera Plaza Theater. Join us for three hours of indie shorts, trailers, and general horror movie shenanigans, all presented by Horror Hostess Miss Misery (an awesome woman I had the pleasure of meeting at Wondercon this year). If you can’t make it, please wish me luck!

Panel by Panel

In other horror-related news, I also spent a good deal of time working on my very first comic book project. I learned a huge amount about comic scripting in a very short amount of time thanks to an excellent, patient editor (Enrica Jang, who is a marvelous comic writer herself. Check out her comic Azteca).

At this point, it’s all in the (very capable) artist’s hands, and soon I’ll have a link to share. All I can say is that it involves zombies (natch) and a certain favorite storyteller of mine.

Summer Plans

As if a film festival and comic project weren’t enough, there’s some big news on a more personal front: the Professor and I are in the midst of planning our first international trip together! We’ll be spending two weeks this summer in beautiful Thailand (mostly in Bangkok), hosted by some very generous friends. It still feels very surreal, but incredibly exciting.

Photo by D.Alyoshin

We haven’t had an adventure of this caliber since…well, ever! So, any tips and tricks for these newbie globe-trotters is most welcome.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

From Andie to Iona

As part of my overall plan to gradually simplify my living space, I recently purged much of my old VHS collection. I had three piles: Goodwill, keep, and buy DVD first. In the handful of films that warranted “upgrading” was my favorite film from high school, Pretty in Pink.

Oh, Pretty in Pink. It was already considered “old” when I discovered it, having been released 10 years before. But even with the ’80s time-capsule element, the characters and story resonated with the little DIY-goth-misfit that I was. I loved the film so much that I would break up my all-black wardrobe with baby-pink cardigans now and again.

So, when I got my new, shiny Pretty in Pink DVD last week, I devoted an entire afternoon to reliving Andie’s trials (and eventual triumph), and letting the nostalgia wash through me.

Except, a strange thing happened while I watched. There was the nostalgia, yes. However, I found myself relating more with a different character. Not just love-struck Andie, but her mentor, Iona.

Iona. Who is hip, funny, wise...and admits to being 15 years older than 17-year old Andie.Who pretends that teenage Duckie is her son to get him into the nightclub.

Who's prom memories involve a beehive wig and The Association’s 1966 hit “Cherish.”

It hit me, watching her comfort poor, brokenhearted Andie: it’s finally happened. I’ve graduated from being Andie to Iona.

Everyone has those “holy crap, I’m a grown-up!” moments. For a lot of folks, it’s when they become parents. For others, it’s when they buy a house, or land their first salaried job. For some film buffs, it’s when you start relating to different characters in films.

Okay, let’s be fair. A lot has happened recently to reinforce this new, “grown-up” feeling, such as creating my own career in the midst of a shitty job market, and planning for my first trip to Asia. But watching Iona serve Saturday tea in a cyberpunk-inspired cheongsam dress drove the feeling home.

Don’t think this is a complaint. Not at all. Back when I was a teen, I hoped to one day grow up to be a woman as unique, sweet, and well, cool as Iona. It’s a neat feeling to look around at my life, and see I have a few of those personal goals nailed. My wardrobe may not be as fabulous, but hey, I do have a cheongsam dress squirreled away in the back of my closet in case someone comes over for tea.

Ever had one those movie moments? Watching a film you loved when you were younger, and realizing that you relate to a different character now?

(BTW, If you're a Pretty in Pink fan, check out this great post from On This Day in Fashion about Andie's WTF prom dress.)