June 26, 2017

On Crafting Better Nerdery

You guys may not know this, but in addition to being a writer with a terrible updating schedule, a full time student in computer engineering, and a part time office minion for other engineers, I also make kanzashi for sale at shows. You know, with all that free time I’m not using for everything else (I never saw an extra thing my schedule didn’t like, because horrible deadlines belong in every facet of my life).

What’s that? What’s a kanzashi?  Kanzashi are traditional Japanese hair ornaments made from folded fabric. They are usually floral in theme, attached to one’s head via sticks or clips, in the more modern context. They can be elaborate enough to cover your whole head, or as simple as a single flower. I call them hair origami. I started with the more traditional types like simple rounded and pointed petals, teaching myself via Youtube tutorials.

Once I got the hang of these, they started to seem a little boring. So, all my attention drifting in the nerdy direction, I decided to punch them up a bit.  Last year I could not attend Comic-Con in San Diego because I was taking a summer maths class (BLEH. Adulting, it is the worst), so in lieu of my attendance I offered to send my friends some nerd-themed kanzashi.

These were well received, and when I bragged on Facebook about them, someone asked me why I wasn’t selling them.  Excellent question. Like many things in my life, it boiled down to “Okay, do I actually have time to do this?” and the answer is usually a painful “Not right now.”  HOWEVER, with planning…things could happen.

I started my geek-themed descent with a Doctor Who convention down in LA.  Making kanzashi that represented each Doctor, with a few choice villains, was a great deal of fun.

They sold tolerably well, and my friends said, “Hey, you should join us in bringing fashion nerdery to San Diego this year.”  Sure, why not. So I started the design fun in March, and started my latest round of classes…and hit the brick wall that is all the studying needed to not utterly fail said classes.  Dammit.

Choosing to differ crafting so I could devote more time to schoolwork was probably the smart decision, but right now it doesn’t feel like it.  Classes ended on June 17th.  I have drawn up lists, bought fabric, and made a schedule.  As of today, I have five made, and at least 35 different designs left to make.  I have 26 days. I am officially in crunch-panic-sweet-mercy-I-might-actually-lose-a-finger crafting mode.

Oh, and I decided that some kanzashi needed LED lights and battery packs added. While it is added work, the idea of Iron Man’s eyes glowing in the center of his red and gold mask is a powerful motivator.  Does that make me insane, or just add more nerd points?  I think I’ll decide that the weekend before the convention, when I’ll likely have no more fingertips or nerves left to fray.

(from week 1 of ? of weekly writing challenge)