Zombie Apocalypse: Now Accepting Applications!

As I slowly chip away at my roster of design classes, I’ve had some great opportunities to broaden my horizons, expand the scope of my skills, and most importantly, increase my chance of survival in the zombie apocalypse

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^^Portland zombie

It is no secret that I was the last child to complete the timed mile run in elementary school, and never got much faster…nor am I notably coordinated and have been known to mistake my finger for a block of cheese….So if I can’t hunt and gather or be a warrior, what’s left?

Translator? Nein, ich spreche nur ein bissen Deutch…plus the Germans have been learning English for decades so that’s out…

Medical expert? Oh! Maybe?  Let me look on WebMD and see….

Prostitute?   Does this look mean anything to you?

Photo on 7-11-13 at 7.24 PM

You cray! *snap snap snap*

I was starting to face the music;  fated to meet my doom as a zombie cupcake with cherry frosting… until now!

My love of needles+thread has led me to a class where I am learning the age-old art of  LeatherworkingOkay so ideally I’d like to be able to throw together some crafty bags or shoes like any girly girl, but as I beveled, skived, and saddle-stitched from the comfort of my desk during a couple-week intensive course at my design school, I realized not all hope was lost for me! Do you think your shoes are going cobble themselves?  Ever tried bringing back enough berries to feed a team using only your two hands? Where are you going to turn when you need a new scabbard?

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Exactly.

Things are off to a solid start- just check out the belt I made this week!!

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If you look at the top left corner of the first photo, you can see the strap of vegetable-tanned leather it transformed from!

 

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Here are just some of the tools used.  An all-purpose leatherworking knife and corkboard (those things are sharp!) , a box cutter and cutting board, beeswax and canvas, and lots of paper towels! We beveled, skived, oil-treated, dyed, smoothed, molded, soaked, hammered, sanded, burnished and punched holes– all in just a few short days! I have to let my belt set for 24 hr before I can buff it, but then it will be ready to wear!  bedazzle!!!!!

(You can exhale, I was kidding)

This weekend I have to go pick up my first pigskin for a tote bag as next week’s project.  The idea of going out to buy skin is still sort of strange, but- hey, I can’t deny that it is a really important part of learning about the industry and basics of construction. And of course, vital to my survival of the pending mass resurrection of conscious-less corpses.

With that, I will be taking applications for my survival team. I still need someone fast, someone who can use a knife without slicing their finger, a translator (pig latin counts, but I’ll need references), Dr. Oz, and a hooker.

Please e-mail applications to dorkychickinlipstick@gmail.com

Deadline pending, we need to find the right people for the team.

More on leatherworking next week 🙂

xo

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DorkyChick Diaries: Heartland Hiatus and Happy New Year

Gosh where is my brain?! Technically it is in Waukee, Iowa sitting at the dining room table of my childhood home. I had so many plans to blog up a storm and to use my break from school obligations for productivity in my creative endeavors. I was going sew and blog and create and do this and that and as soon as I hit touchdown in seat 9A last Thursday my plans dissolved. The hot, sweet summer air has seeped into my lungs and I’m enjoying a kind of serenity that cannot be experienced anywhere other than one’s beloved, familiar hometown.

I’m not sewing. I’m not writing. I’m not pretending like I’m motivated to. I was anxious at first about the absence of my motivation, but have suppressed the ants in my pants with much laughter, a few cocktails, and an overabundance of delicious food. It’s a silent celebration for myself. A year ago about this time I sat here looking at this same tree in my front yard with no idea what the next year would look like, coming off such a strange and beautiful year-long Miss Oregon experience. It was pre-reentry into real life, and I was ready for it. I was hopeful that the year to come would be one where I could realize what it meant to be this “new” real-world Caroline vs. Caroline the Miss Oregon. There was no way of knowing, really. In my time under the crown I’d at times been a 35 year old business woman, ambassador, spokesperson, princess, celebrity, a joke/spectacle, an inspiration, a winner, and a loser. I’d tasted the sweetness of victory, experienced loneliness, extended the list of those I call family, was humbled by unrivaled compassion, and discovered within myself a sort of serenity that can only be experienced from maturation. So with these things in mind, I was ready to graduate the accelerated course of life lessons, and move forward in discovering what it meant to know myself after all of this was put away.

Fast forward a year and I’m sitting looking at the same tree from the same window. Likely, I am drinking the same Panera coffee and wearing the same flip flops, however, this time I know the answers to the questions of how my year would go. I have yet to get my “big break”, I didn’t win the MegaMillions Jackpot, and I’m even still a year shy of my college degree, but I am sure that my year went just as I had hoped. I found a group of incredible people to spend time with who not only are great people, but they also love karaoke (bonus), got a job that has taught me so much and has given me a great escape from college life, had some great times exploring my outdoorsy side in the Gorge, found myself immersed in challenging coursework at Portland State that has made me feel like a smarter human, fell in love and enjoyed an unforgettable companionship, grew in friendship with my Miss Oregon sisterhood, dyed my hair fire engine red with no regrets, and, perhaps most importantly, I rediscovered my passion for creativity in both fashion and writing. I would do some things differently, of course, if I were to relive it, but I’m at peace. It wasn’t an easy or mindless year, but it was overwhelmingly positive, and at times magical.

I feel like it is the beginning of a new year. A year from now I hope to write in this same chair for this same blog regarding the answers to my inarticulable questions of what the next twelve months will bring. I’m going to do everything in my little red headed power to live it well.

I’ve got a little more vacation time to soak up before I’m back to my pursuits, and I think I’m best served to prioritize enjoyment over self-obligation. Iowa is not only a wonderful place to grow corn and beans, but it is also a fertile garden bed for dreams.  The endearing idiosyncrasies of Midwestern culture, the feeling of warm,soft grass underneath my feet, and the echoing of unfabricated laughter are the rain, sun, and soil that nurture the fancies of my heart, which I planted in that garden bed many moons ago.

Happy summer, my dear readers. Thank you for peering into my mind, as I love to share. Cheers to sun, simplicity, stupidity, and serenity. And cheers to cheers-ing. I’ll raise a glass to that.

xo

July 1, DorkyChickinLipstick will be full steam seam ahead 🙂 Readers, what would you like to see more of? Trrrrendddayy outfits? Designer highlights? Sewing project updates?  Fashion illustrations? Puns and pop culture references?!?! I know you want it. e-mail me:  dorkychickinlipstick@gmail.com