Monday, September 14, 2015

Adventures in Protein Balls

Dan goes through a shittone of Quest bars and one day discovered that they make an unflavored protein powder that is stable for baking. Being as how I fucking hate how sweet every motherfucking bar is, I figured this would be a fabulous thing to try out.  As a first impression, the Quest whey powder is atrocious by itself in shake form. Mixed up, though, it isn't half bad.

So first, Dan dissolved about 60 g inulin powder in hot water until getting a saturated syrup. He then mixed in 2 oz of Quest powder, 3 oz of milked almond pulp*, and 1 tbsp of dark cocoa powder. Mix well and divide into 12 balls, 1 tbsp each.

Per ball:
5 g inulin - 20 cals, 0 fat, 5g carbs (5g dietary fiber), 0 protein
1/3oz Quest powder - 33 cals, 0 fat, 0.3g carb, 8g protein
1/2oz almond pulp - 10 cal, 1g fat, 0.5g carb (0.28g fiber), 0.5g protein
1/12 tbsp cocoa powder - 0.8 cals, 0.4g fat, 0.25g carb (1/6g fiber), 1/12g protein

Total per ball -  61.8 cals, 1.4g fat, 6 carbs (5.5 fiber), 8.6g protein
Three balls (45g) - 185.4 cals, 4.2g fat, 18g carbs (16.5 fiber), 25.8g protein
Cookie dough Quest Bar (60g) - 190 cals, 9g fat, 20g carb (14g fiber (2g erithritol), >1g sugar), 21g protein

Well, the balls aren't OMG AWESOME, but they are definitely a fantastic first shot in the dark.  The next iteration will have more inulin, since these were a bit bland in the flavor department, and probably some form of nut butter to add flavor. I also want to add more almond pulp since it really doesn't offer many calories but does add volume.  Yay first try!

*The almond pulp was the solids leftover from when I made almond milk. Apparently all of the nutritional values are taken in the milk.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Another season, another weight panic.

Time and time again, I get to a point where I feel fat and inconvenienced by my size/weight.  Two weeks ago I had quite an atrocious practice that lead me to the gym in a frustrated determination to run a mile.  Just out of the blue, I ran.  Since then, I have been avoiding alcohol and logging my intake.  I even bought a vívofit to track my movement (and lack of sleep) which unfortunately I can't fully exploit because I have a Chromebook.  Maybe some day.  In the meantime, here are my measurements, compared to feb 12, 2013 (the last full log I have) and jan 23, 2015 for the basic MFP stuff.

Weight 181.2 lbs (down from 184.6 the monday two weeks ago that I got triggered)
Chest 38" > > 40.5"
Arms 10.75" > > 11.75"
Hips 36" > 40" > 41"
Waist  > 37.5" > 41.5"
Natural Waist 32.5" > 32" > 35.25"
Thighs 20.75" > > 21.125"
Calves 15.75" > 16" > 16.125"
Forearms  9" > > 10.25"
Shoulders 42" > > 43.5"
Neck 13.5" > > 14"

Oh yeah, I got cast as the Narrator in Rocky Horror Show.  I have 3.3 months left to do something about this.  I guess it isn't as atrocious as if I had been cast anybody else.  They don't specifically expect the Narrator to prance around in underwear.  I also really just want to get my balance back when I skate -_-;;

So, I'm counting calories and logging food (Dan claims he'll help me recalculate BMR), skating mon/wed, playing pick up soccer on tuesdays, and trying to do as much gym/skate/jog/ingress on the other four days.  And I've been drinking water like it is going out of style.  Mio and Lippton drops are like crack.

Sunday, June 7, 2015


Pretty pretty pretty please let me get a helmet that actually fits this time and doesn't suck.

1A. Head circumference around the forehead:  23 5/8"
1B. Head circumference around the nose:  24 1/2 
1C. Head depth at forehead:  7 3/8 
1D. Head depth at nose:  8 1/4 w/hair 
1E. Head height - crown to chin:  8 3/4 
1F. Head height - crown to neck base:  10 3/8 (NO armor) 
1G. Center of eye to chin:  4 5/8 
1H. Center of eye to crown:  3 7/8 
1I. Head width between temples:  5 1/4 
1J. Head width between ears:  6 1/2 
2A. Neck circumference at collar:  14 1/2 neck, 17 3/4 WITH braid 
2B. Shoulder length:  5 1/4 
2C. Length of neck:  3 1/4

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

It's time for Big Fun!

Yay to waking up at 8 am with an urge to sew!  The last of my current slew of sewing projects was thanks to Love and Lights Productions, which this spring put on Heathers: The Musical.  It was fucking awesome!  Dan was Ram Sweeny and I did a bit of costume alterations and worked the back stage for the four showings.

I wish I would have gotten a better picture of the skirt -_-  I got home at 2:30 am after the friday shows and couldn't stop dreaming of Lydia Deetz's uniform, so obviously I woke up at 8, drove to JoAnn's, struck out, went to Walmart, struck out, and came home to 2.7 yards of a fabric in the correct pattern, but wrong texture.  Whatevs, I'm in the back, I can fake it.

In about four hours, I ironed and sewed down all of the pleats painstakingly matching up all the black lines, got my hair waffled, threw on some falsies, and was ready to roll!  Too bad my hair had absolutely no intention of staying teased (not that it has ever given me that choice EVER).

I love these guys.  This october will be the traditional Rocky Horror Show, followed next spring by American Idiot.  Definitely fun times!

PS: Lipstick is MUFE, and I LOVE IT.

Aethelmeark Coronation 1560's Venetian gown

Dani somehow managed to sucker me back in to formally participating in the SCA and going to Nithgaard meetings and shit where she was teaching how to sew Venetian gowns and needed some assistance.  Dani also suckered me in to joining Pinterest.  So, after about three months of obsession and several long nights indoctrinating me in Game Of Thrones, we made dresses for Coronation.

This portrait was my main inspiration, and what really got me jonesing for punched sleeves.

Just like my Curious Purse, this gown was a Proof of Concept.  In 1560, they would have used a felted wool that had been lightly backed with wax to better keep it from fraying when it was punched.  I was lucky to find a synthetic fabric at Surplus City in a perfect black/rust crossweave.

First I made the bodice with a layer of canvas duck and another of a cheaper and thicker canvas I'd been storing for about eight Pennsics.  I sewed channels for boning and then added the decorative fabric which was hand stitched in place.

I bought ten yards of boning and failed miserably trying to cut it with regular snips. Luckily a hefty pair was $12 at Lowes and I'll probably end up using them for a lot more things in the future.

I made sure I got a very sharp point in the back of my bodice, and that all the channels were properly closed so the bones didn't escape.

In theory, the front should be able to come completely closed at the bottom and have a five inch gap at the top.  This looked well and dandy on the floor, but I did not like this proportion once I put it on.  I should have brought the top in a couple of inches for a more vertical line.  Meh, it's not the end of the world.

Next came a shitload of cartridge pleating.  It was remarkably simple and faster than it probably should have.  After reinforcing the pleats, I attached the top front edge to the bottom of the bodice.  This could have been great, but it definitely needed some help to stick out.  Either the stiff band that everybody tells you to add but you are still going to be too lazy to do, or a bum roll.

Then, came the sleeves.  I took full advantage of this being synthetic and used a pyrograph to cut through the fabric and melt the edge so it wouldn't fray.

Like I said, this was a proof of concept.  After everything was cut out, I had to sew this to a fake chemissette sleeve for it to hold its shape.  It is then that I realized that the beautifully intricate pattern was going to be a little bitch and curl away from my arm at every possible chance.  So I proceeded to tack down every other tab. Meh, whatevs.  I also didn't like visually how open the design was (which was originally what I thought I wanted).

Three strands of pearls and a $2 hair extension later, I was ready to roll.  Mind you, I had to wrap my braid around my head so it didn't get caught in the seat belt.

Too bad I didn't get a picture of the extra long braid encased in "pearls".  It was glorious.

PS: Hand sewing is bad for you.  I left a very significant hole in my finger from several continuous months of projects (not that I'm complaining that I'm finally sewing again!).

Jane Austen (not) Con (but Annual Society Festival)

I am a sucker for cons.  So when my friend Meredith asked me to Jane Austen Con (despite me never having read any of her books), I said yes! So, much to the complaints of my cat, Meredith and GilgaDave came over to my house for two weekends while we sewed and watched All Of The Movies.

We used Sense and Sensibility's Regency era patterns, which were pretty well done and easy to follow.  Mer is very much not a seamstress, and the most difficult part for her was probably taping together all the print outs.  Though I probably cheated a bit and just plowed through everything.  And she has a fantastic tutorial.

Again, I was able to take full advantage of Surplus City's amazingly cheap fabric!  Which is very necessary, because there are too many layers.

Chemise from the Underpinnings packet.  We didn't have time to ALSO make stays, so we cheated with a balconet bra.

A second under dress who's name, for the life of me, I can't remember. My best guess is petticoat.  This is the third of the white layers that I made and I greatly preferred the lines in these gathers.
(Edit: yes, it is a bodiced petticoat)

Long sleeved Regency gown, lined.  The cotton fabric has really cute white flowers on a slightly sheerer white base.

Pelisse.  Yes, this fabric is synthetic, but it was $2/yard!  I got it in a fantastic steel blue and should have gotten it in dusty purple when I saw it in january, but they were sold out by the time we decided to go ahead with this project.

I had some fantastic rusty red microsuede for a spencer, but we ran out of time.  Mer ended up taking everything home to hem and button herself and trim with lace and embroidery and EVERYTHING!  I had also managed to cut out a gown for myself in a lovely dusty pink I had in my stash since about five Pennsics ago, but that fell to the side for me to make on my own time.

So we're in the process of closing up shop and reevaluating my schedule (and deciding whether I wanted to miss a derby game or not), when I understand that this is, in fact, not just "Jane Austen Con", but the Jane Austen Society of North America, Pittsburgh Region's Annual Festival, with a door cost of $90 plus $25 for the ball.  Seeing as how I have never read any of her novels (though I did grow quite fond of the movies and mini series), I decided it best I bow out.  

I also didn't yet have a job, which I finally have one now! And it even has to do with all of my degrees!  Too bad I'm currently employed through a temp agency that is probably skimming way too much out of what the company pays me (which would still not be what I should be getting if I axed the middle man).  But, at least I've finally been employed for the past ten weeks and it even looks like they have no intention of firing me.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Crucify the insincere

I got a new helmet.  And SP is now touring with MM.  Dave claims he wants to go see them in Toronto, which I won't oppose to (despite it being Pennsic Middle Sunday).  I already told him he needs to do something for our third anniversary, and this would be a pretty decent Something.  It doesn't even need to be romantic!  Which he so vehemently claims he isn't.

I find it amusing I took this picture the same day (feb 19) I painted my helmet, despite them not announcing the concert until about a month ago.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

New Year's Checkin

I just ran in to the post I did last year saying I weighed 168.  Despite dropping keto after february, my life didn't completely topple.  This time I gained ten pounds between spring and summer, and then maintained myself painfully stable at 175 +_ 3, blimping up to 182 for a couple of days around New Years/Thirteenth Night, and then settling back down to 176-178.

I'm in the gym again.  I started up the last two weeks of december, with breaks for all the traveling, but I've kept it up pretty hard core through january.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Curiously shaped purse

I had a last minute invite to an SCA event this saturday and only had one day to make something.  A 16th century dress was out of the question, mostly because I hadn't yet settled on what I wanted.  I have way too many dreams!  But something is starting to congeal >:}

So, instead, I made a... pouch.  In my studies I found a reference to three extant "lute shaped" purses.

Apparently some Italian decided that they wanted to hang a dick off their belt.  Who wouldn't?

I loosely followed the wonderful Morgan Donner's plans and made my own in about four hours.  I started with the cardboard from a 24 pack of Monsters and cut it into four full shapes (a six pack each) and three... girth expanders.

I glued all the layers together and covered them with a fake suede scrap I had in the bin.

As for the pouch, I measured the circumference of the... sac... and used it as the diameter of the semi-circle.  Finished it with a simple rolled hem.

I used a lot of glue and a lot of pins to stick a bias strip of fabric all around the edge.  The double thickness helped cover some of the glue stains.

I finished it off with golden beads along the edge and a finger braided cord.  

It went through the pleated sack and then pierced through the cardboard to tie in front.

Shit wasn't going all too awesome and I ran out of time to attach an appropriate pearl strap.

I learned a lot from this prototype.  First of all, it is necessary to embroider and bead the fabric before attaching it to the body.  Second, it is a bitch to sew through dried glue.  Lots of dried glue.  Penis Purse v. 2.0 will be made of black velvet (to match the gorgeous dress I am planning!), heavily decorated, and with some batting or padding.  The hard cardboard looks too uninviting.  Oh, and definitely needs the acorn tip.

Victorian Christmas 2014

It is fantastic to be able to dress up in fun clothes, get drunk, and harass Santa.  

This year I made Victorian skirt from scratch.


One of the best parts was the pocket I put in to the bumroll that may or may not fit a flask.

At the end of the night, I had to gird my loins to leave.

Eventually I'll get a good picture of the skirt and add it to this post.