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DIY Female Marty McFly Cosplay Costume (Part II)

Posted by miss m on Monday, August 17, 2015 @ 11:40pm in Creativity, Entertainment, General Blather, Photography and Pics, Things To Do |

How I created my first ever cosplay costume: a female Marty McFly made for Tampa Bay Comic Con 2015. In this part, I detail how I made my own DIY version of the famous Marty denim jean jacket!

Cacth up on Part I here: Creating My Female Marty McFly Cosplay (Part 1)

Marty McFly's 1985 two tone denim jacket screenshot for costume reference from Back to the Future.

Marty McFly’s 1985 two tone denim jacket screenshot for costume reference from Back to the Future.

Oh, the jacket. First off, this thing has been the subject of heated debate for years! General consensus is that it’s some form of Georges Marciano Guess jacket. Beyond that is mostly hotly debated. *see footnote

The original Marty McFly screen-used denim jacket was listed as a giveaway in the September 1985 issue of Teen Beat. The contest even made the cover! Sadly, no one knows what ever happened to it, though lots of interested parties have been – and still are! – looking and inquiring for any leads as to the results of the contest, the winner, etc.

September 1985 Teen Beat Cover with Back to the Future Win Michael J. Fox / Marty McFly's Jacket contest.

September 1985 Teen Beat Cover with Back to the Future Win Michael J. Fox / Marty McFly’s Jacket contest.

via foxymcfox on instagram

There are options out there to buy a replica. Some are better than others. Most are hundreds of dollars. Any of the George Marciano Guess jackets in similar shapes and/or colors that do show up on ebay tend to also go for large sums of money – and still need modifying anyway. I spent a lot of time searching through listings and thrift stores for something I could use for mine. Ultimately though, it came back to the fact I was trying to make a female Marty McFly costume. Which meant any men’s jacket was going to start off far too bulky and boxy for my feminine build.

What I needed was something that had a similar enough style and raw bones that I could modify to look close enough to Marty’s original. I didn’t need it to be 100% screen accurate. I’m not going for a perfect replica but it was important to find something with enough “good bones” to be able to minimize my modifications.

I initially limited my search to vintage Guess jackets but most were distinctly different from the film jacket. Notably, it’s really hard to find a denim jacket where the pockets aren’t up on the chest area. I needed them lower.

Almost all jean or denim jackets for women have pockets up on the chest but for my female Marty McFly cosplay jacket I needed them to be lower in position closer to the waist.

Almost all jean or denim jackets for women have pockets up on the chest but for my female Marty McFly cosplay jacket I needed them to be lower in position closer to the waist.

Ultimately, I found this. It’s a vintage Gap jacket. The pockets were in the right place. It had a good pale denim coloring. And, this jacket featured a nicely defined section on the top which could be colored to match the two-tone style of Marty’s original jacket.

Vintage Gap jacket I used as my starting point in making a replica Marty McFly 1985 denim jacket as part of my female Marty McFly cosplay for Comic Con.

Vintage Gap jacket I used as my starting point in making a replica Marty McFly 1985 denim jacket as part of my female Marty McFly cosplay for Comic Con.

I debated several options for modifying the two-tone color block of Marty’s jacket, including adding fabric panels but I’m not seamstress and I didn’t feel confident not completely screwing it up. I lucked upon Lumiere by Jaquard Metallic Acrylic Paint one day while browsing around an art supply store. It mentioned being able to use on a wide variety of materials – including denim.

I did a section at a time, using a foam brush and a nice, thick coat of paint, making sure I saturated the denim fully to give it a uniform color. I would then let each section dry for 24 hours.

In progress as I modify a denim jacket to be my ladies version of the 1985 Marty McFly two-tone jean jacket.

In progress as I modify a denim jacket to be my ladies version of the 1985 Marty McFly two-tone jean jacket.

Continuing the two tone paint job of my female marty mcfly jean jacket.

Continuing the two tone paint job of my female marty mcfly jean jacket.

I went back to the film for reference shots and noted the inside of the collar is dark blue and got an approximation of the dark blue points on the sleeves. I made a template out of paper to ensure both sleeves were the same size, shape and length of point. This was the hardest part as I had to stuff the sleeves with a towel to make a flat surface to paint. It kept wanting to crinkle or fold.

Making the dark denim sleeve points of my Marty McFly cosplay.

Making the dark denim sleeve points of my Marty McFly cosplay.

In progress women's version Marty McFly cosplay 1985 denim jacket

In progress women’s version Marty McFly cosplay 1985 denim jacket

After all parts were completed, I followed the directions and heat set it. The fabric was stiff from the paint, but it says that after heat setting, you can wash or dry clean it, so I crossed my fingers and tossed it in the washing machine on gentle with fabric softner. And it totally worked! After washing and drying, the painted parts felt almost completely like the unpainted parts with flexibility again!

Marty McFly 1985 denim jacket screenshot reference from Back to the Future.

Marty McFly 1985 denim jacket screenshot reference from Back to the Future.

I cut the back pockets off a pair of jeans and fabric glued them to give the look of the “flaps” on the pockets. Then I purchased some custom paisely fabric from Spoonflower for the cuffs.

In progress details shot of my ladies Marty McFly cosplay version 1985 denim jacket.

In progress details shot of my ladies Marty McFly cosplay version 1985 denim jacket.

Initially, I tried using “Heat n’ Bond” to fuse it to the denim, but it totally would not stick!! I asked around and Wonder Under was recommended. I bought a yard of it at Joann and tried again. It probably took about two hours to fuse the cuffs together. The shape made it tricky and I wanted to make sure every bit of it would stay firmly in place. Thankfully it worked!

My completed 1985 Marty McFly jean jacket for my female Marty cosplay complete with two tone color scheme and paisley print fabric cuffs.

My completed 1985 Marty McFly jean jacket for my female Marty cosplay complete with two tone color scheme and paisley print fabric cuffs.

Come back for Part III to look at the little tiny details and finishing touches that completed my female Marty McFly cosplay!

to_be_concluded_back_to_the_future

Footnote:
*Some people state that the jacket was available commercially as an off-the-rack item at the time of the filming. They argue that because Michael J. Fox was a late recast for Eric Stoltz six weeks into filming, they didn’t have time to make custom costuming for him. Some claim it was manufactured in Mexico but others say Guess did not have manufacturing in Mexico at the time. Proponents of it being retail claim that versions have popped up on ebay over the years or there’s a “friend of a friend” who remembers having it, or someone says they found one in their mom’s closet or whatever but never any real, tangible proof. Just a lot of hearsay.

Which leads us to the general opinion that it was likely custom made. More specifically, that it was a combination of two retail Guess jackets of the period. Some people have said that crew attached to BttF have confirmed it was custom. Others point to the fact that no legitimate versions have ever surfaced and if it truly were mass produced, we would have seen at least one by now! Plus, there are specific features and finishes on the jacket that are different from anything even close that has shown up furthering the consensus that it was a custom piece.

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Creating My Female Marty McFly Cosplay (Part 1)

Posted by miss m on Wednesday, August 12, 2015 @ 5:30pm in Creativity, General Blather, Movies, Photography and Pics, Things To Do |

A few months ago I decided I wanted to attend my first ever con: Tampa Bay Comic Con 2015. And if I was going to go, I was going to cosplay. Back to the Future is my all-time favorite movie (and movie trilogy) and 2015 is not only the 30th anniversary of it’s theatrical release (originally released July 3, 1985) but in Part II, 2015 is “the future” that they travel to. (October 21, 2015.) So it just made sense that my first ever cosplay should be Marty McFly!

Lea Thompson (aka Lorraine Baines McFly from Back to the Future)  with me in my female Marty McFly cosplay at Tampa Bay Comic Con, August 1, 2015.

Lea Thompson (aka Lorraine Baines McFly from Back to the Future) with me in my female Marty McFly cosplay at Tampa Bay Comic Con, August 1, 2015.

Of course having an idea to do a female Marty McFly cosplay and actually putting it together is two different things entirely! Because as it turns out, Marty’s 1985 outfit is not only more complex than it initially looks, it’s also full of rare, vintage pieces – all in men’s sizing. And while Michael J. Fox may be small guy, he’s still a guy. And I’m not. ;)

So I needed to find suitable outfit parts that would still look like the original and yet be made for a woman. I was also unwilling to spend hundreds (or even thousands!) of dollars on this outfit and wanted to do it inexpensively as possible. It quickly became clear that I needed to approach this creatively.

In other words: this was going to take some work.

To start, this is Marty McFly’s famous 1985 complete outfit:

Marty McFly 1985

Marty McFly 1985 outfit

It’s a LOT of layers.

  • a burgundy tee shirt
  • a white button up with a black windowpane pattern
  • black suspenders
  • custom Guess jacket with those distinctive dark blue accents
  • burnt orange puffer jacket, jeans
  • Nike Bruins red and white sneakers

There’s also a ton of details like three pins on his jacket, his headphones and walkman, his marron Eastpak backpack, etc. I spent a lot of time looking up reference photos and learning all about what the original parts were so that I could find, make or modify compatible female pieces.

For example, the white and black windowpane button up shirt. There was a limited run of a reproduction version a few years ago by Shah Safari. Of course, they were in men’s sizing. And if you could find one on ebay, they were going for $100 and up.

Marty McFly white and black windowpane shirt reference screenshot from Back to the Future.

Marty McFly white and black windowpane shirt reference screenshot from Back to the Future.

Shah Safari reproduction replica Marty McFly shirt, released in 2010 and sold out.

Shah Safari reproduction replica Marty McFly shirt, released in 2010 and sold out.

So I scoured the web and wound up finding this women’s shirt. It cost me about $10 shipped and looked really good. Plus, it had the added benefit of actually FITTING me as a woman!

White and black shirt I used in my female Marty McFly 1985 cosplay costume.

White and black shirt I used in my female Marty McFly 1985 cosplay costume.

Me in my Marty McFly female cosplay in progress. (shirt, suspenders, jeans, watch but no denim jacket or puffer vest here.)

Me in my Marty McFly female cosplay in progress. (shirt, suspenders, jeans, watch but no denim jacket or puffer vest here.)

Next up was the puffer vest. I admit I never wound up finding exactly the right vest. I ordered four separate pieces over several months and settled on a red one. Yes, I know that it’s technically orange in the film. It’s a burnt orange color. Due to the lightning process and coloration of the movie, it looks red. (There’s even a big debate among casual viewers if it’s orange or red!)

The original is by Class-5. They went out of business in the early 80’s, so finding an authentic one is not only nearly impossible, it’s an extremely expensive proposition. Even if I did find one, again, it would be in men’s sizing and thus too large for my size 4 frame.

Marty McFly Class-5 puffer vest from Back to the Future

Marty McFly Class-5 puffer vest from Back to the Future

I wound up settling on a red puffer vest. I also did buy an orange one but it was too neon; much more of a bright safety orange vs the darker burnt orange puff vest original. I also bought a woman’s size one to help give it a little bit of shape. Puffer vests really do nothing for your figure so I opted for one that, while not screen accurate, looked good on me and still gave the impression and look of Marty’s original outfit.

Me testing out some pieces of my in-progress female Marty McFly cosplay.

Me testing out some pieces of my in-progress female Marty McFly cosplay.

Like everything, Marty’s original shoes proved hard to find as well. Through research I found out the originals were Nike Bruins but they don’t seem to make this color combo any longer.

Reference photo showing the white and red Nike Bruins sneakers worn by Michael J. Fox as part of his Marty McFly costume in Back to the Future.

Reference photo showing the white and red Nike Bruins sneakers worn by Michael J. Fox as part of his Marty McFly costume in Back to the Future.

I spent time searching ebay and various websites but the few white-with-red swoosh versions I found were nowhere near the right size. I wear a women’s 6.5 which would mean I’d need a men’s 4.5 (which really is a boy’s size at that point.) I finally had a lucky break when I found a vintage pair of red and white Nikes IN MY SIZE that had a very similar look. They are labeled “ACE ’83” but were really an excellent find.

I couldn't find women's size Nike Bruins but I found these vintage red and white Nike Ace '83 pair which were really close. (And my size!)

I couldn’t find women’s size Nike Bruins but I found these vintage red and white Nike Ace ’83 pair which were really close. (And my size!)

Marty McFly also has a very distinctive cassette walkman that he uses in the film. The original is a AIWA HS-P07 (or AIWA HS-P02 MII apparently one version was US and one was international but they both have the same styling.) These very rarely come up for sale and when they do…you guessed it. They sell for hundreds of dollars! I figured getting something with a similar “look” was close enough so I found this for about $10 on ebay instead:

Back to the Future AIWA HS-P07 Marty McFly original style and my $10 version bought for similar look as part of my cosplay.

Back to the Future AIWA HS-P07 Marty McFly original style and my $10 version bought for similar look as part of my cosplay.

Marty wears a distinctively 80’s digital watch. When he’s trying to call Doc Brown from the payphone in Lou’s Cafe in 1955, it beeps. This was the easiest piece to track down because They still make basically the exact same model! Casio Men’s CA53W Calculator Watch. It’s available for about $15 on amazon!

Marty McFly Casio CA53W Calculator Watch

Marty McFly Casio CA53W Calculator Watch

Marty’s backpack seemed like it would be easy, but it turned out it turned into one of those 30 years later challenges. The original is a marron Eastpak. A few years ago, they even re-released it as the Eastpak Pak’r Returnity Red but…those are sold out too.

Reference screenshot of Marty McFly's Eastpak backpack.

Reference screenshot of Marty McFly’s Eastpak backpack.

Eastpak Pak'r Returnity Red backpack - same as Marty McFly in Back to the Future.

Eastpak Pak’r Returnity Red backpack – same as Marty McFly in Back to the Future.

I wound up buying a vintage Jansport bag. I took off the logo and added some handmade “pig ears” out of sued leather to give it the look. (The leather diamonds are sometimes referred to as “pig ears.”) Another $10 ebay find.

I made minor modifications to a vintage Jansport backpack to give it the look of Marty's Eastpak. By getting the maroon color with suede bottom and adding some leather "pig ear" patches, it looked really good for very tiny investment.

I made minor modifications to a vintage Jansport backpack to give it the look of Marty’s Eastpak. By getting the maroon color with suede bottom and adding some leather “pig ear” patches, it looked really good for very tiny investment.

Of course, the biggest challenge was THE JACKET. A one-of-a-kind, made by the studio just for the production, it was my biggest hurdle. And it deserves it’s own post so….to be continued!

bttf to be continued

See Part II: The making of my Marty McFly 1985 Jacket here!

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Female Marty McFly Cosplay at Tampa Bay Comic Con 2015

Posted by miss m on Wednesday, August 12, 2015 @ 12:23pm in Creativity, General Blather, Photography and Pics, Things To Do |

Saturday, August 1st, 2015 I did my first ever cosplay: a gender-swap/crossplay of a female Marty McFly (of course from the 1985 movie Back to the Future) and attended Tampa Bay Comic Con. This was also my first ever con too! I had such a fun time.

I also got to meet Lea Thompson, who played Lorraine Baines McFly – aka Marty’s Mom – who, in Back to the Future has the hots for her son, “Calvin Klein.” I had planned my costume months ago, long before I knew she was going to be there, so it was a fantastic opportunity!

First off, pics!

But you’re my….you’re my…

Lea Thompson (aka Lorraine Baines McFly from Back to the Future)  with me in my female Marty McFly cosplay at Tampa Bay Comic Con, August 1, 2015.

Lea Thompson (aka Lorraine Baines McFly from Back to the Future) with me in my female Marty McFly cosplay at Tampa Bay Comic Con, August 1, 2015.

I even spotted Doc Brown! Doc, you’re my only hope!

Great Scott! Doc Brown cosplayer with me as a female Marty McFly at Tampa Bay Comic Con, August 2015.

Great Scott! Doc Brown cosplayer with me as a female Marty McFly at Tampa Bay Comic Con, August 2015.

Doc and I proved quite popular and several people came to get photos with us – including Spiderman! ;)

Doctor Emmet L Brown, Marty McFly and...Spiderman? At Tampa Bay Comic Con, August 2015.

Doctor Emmet L Brown, Marty McFly and…Spiderman? At Tampa Bay Comic Con, August 2015.

And of course, with time travel, one needs to be careful not to run into your other self! You might cause a time paradox – the results of which could cause a chain reaction that would unravel the very fabric of the space-time continuum and destroy the entire universe. (Granted, that’s the worse case scenario. The destruction might, in fact, be very localized, limited to merely our own galaxy.)

Marty McFly and...Marty McFly together at Tampa Bay Comic Con, August 1, 2015.

Marty McFly and…Marty McFly together at Tampa Bay Comic Con, August 1, 2015.

There are now two of me here and two of you here! Marty McFly x2 at Tampa Bay Comic Con, August 1, 2105

There are now two of me here and two of you here! Marty McFly x2 at Tampa Bay Comic Con, August 1, 2105

Back to the Future was released in theaters exactly 30 years ago this year on July 3, 1985. Plus, in Part II, Doc brings Marty to “the future” which is THIS year: October 21, 2015. So when a few months ago, I decided I wanted to attend my first ever Con, there was only one character that made sense: from my all time favorite movie ever, Marty McFly!

Marty McFly, Doc Brown and...Marty McFly! This is heavy. Tampa Bay Comic Con, August 2015.

Marty McFly, Doc Brown and…Marty McFly! This is heavy. Tampa Bay Comic Con, August 2015.

I’m going to do a separate post all about the process of putting together the costume because while it looks simple enough, there are a LOT of details and converting a 1985 man’s outfit to something a woman could wear 30 years later and trying to get all the details right, was harder than it appears. Look for that soon.

Save the Clock Tower! (Me in my female Marty McFly cosplay showing off a copy of the famous flyer that explains how lightning struck the clock tower at precisely 10:04pm November 12, 1955.)

Save the Clock Tower! (Me in my female Marty McFly cosplay showing off a copy of the famous flyer that explains how lightning struck the clock tower at precisely 10:04pm November 12, 1955.)

But it was SO much fun and it’s hard not to have a good time when people tell you things like, “you are the most legit Marty I’ve seen!” :D If you get a chance to attend a Comic Con, do it! And, have fun with it and cosplay too! Don’t be afraid of being “silly” or “embarrassed.” Everyone there is there because they also love the same things you do and they will appreciate your enthusiasm and dedication to your fandom.

I will definitely do more cons in the future. (Or perhaps, the past! ;) )

Want to make your own Marty McFly cosplay? Or just curious what went into my girl Marty costume? Check out how I made my DIY female Marty McFly cosplay costume Part I and Part II (the jacket)

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We’re in the Future

Posted by miss m on Monday, July 27, 2015 @ 2:18pm in Entertainment, General Blather, Photography and Pics, TV with Comments closed |

It’s a good time to be a Back to the Future fan. Not only is the movie celebrating the 30th anniversary of original theatrical release (on July 3, 1985!), 2015 IS the future! In Part II, they travel to October 21, 2015.

Which means, so like, you’re not kidding me! We are in the future.

October 21, 2015 - The Future (Time Circuits from Back to the Future Part II)

October 21, 2015 – The Future (Time Circuits from Back to the Future Part II)

As part of this celebration there is so much awesome BttF stuff either already out or coming out soon! I’m going to highlight a few items fellow BttF fans might be interested in!

First up, is a new “behind the scenes” book which is already out: We Don’t Need Roads: The Making of the Back to the Future Trilogy I pre-ordered my copy:

Me holding my copy of the new We Don't Need Roads book

Me holding my copy of the new We Don’t Need Roads book

Coming September 27th, is the new Lego Dimensions game! This is similar in concept to Disney Infinity, but of course the Lego Dimensions is (1) LEGO!!! (which, anyone who’s played any of the Lego games knows what a great sense of humor they have!!) and (2) will feature a Back to the Future Expansion!!!

Squee!!

AND…next year (January 19, 2016) there will be a Doc Brown Expansion! I mean, look at the little steampunk time travel train!!

The day before the future, October 20th has a few really nice items coming out.

First, there’s also a new book coming out: Back to the Future: The Ultimate Visual History Hardcover, full color 224 pages I’ve seen some previews and it looks like it’s going to be a nice collector piece for fans. I’ve got mine on pre-order.

AND, Universal is releasing a 30th anniversary blu-ray edition in several versions:

1) If you just want the movies this is the version: Back to the Future 30th Anniversary Trilogy (Blu-ray + DIGITAL HD)

2) If you just want the animated series (never before on dvd!) this is the version: Back to the Future: The Complete Animated Series

3) BUT…if you want the creme de la creme, with the complete series, complete animated series, new features, documentaries and even a light-up Flux Capacitor box…well, THIS is the version you want: Back to the Future: The Complete Adventures – Limited Edition (Blu-ray + DIGITAL HD)

I have already pre-ordered it. This is a limited edition version so I can easily see it selling for a huge markup after the fact.

Nice thing about pre-ordering on Amazon is that if the price goes down between now and release, you automatically get the lowest price. (For example, it was $99 when I ordered it but it’s now $88 so I will get it for that – or lower if it goes down again. Plus, they don’t charge your credit card until it ships.)

Of course, this just barely scratches the surface of Back to the Future goodies!! You can also dress like it’s the future: Back to the Future: Part II: Marty McFly Cap Replica

..wear some Replica Light up Nike Air Mag Sneakers or “fly” with your very own Hoverboard! (But you bojo! Those boards don’t work on water!)

And this is just a bare handful! There are so many wonderful products out there right now, or awesome items coming soon.

Plus on a related note…here’s a sneak peek of something else I’ve been working on the past few months. Full blog entry coming soon but let me just put the words “female Marty McFly cosplay” and “Tampa Bay Comic Con” out there as a teaser:

Teaser shot: me in my female Marty McFly Cosplay costume holding a miniature DeLorean time machine... to be continued.

Teaser shot: me in my female Marty McFly Cosplay costume holding a miniature DeLorean time machine… to be continued.

bttf to be continued

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Coloring for Grown Ups

Posted by miss m on Saturday, July 25, 2015 @ 12:52pm in Blog, Creativity, Entertainment, General Blather, Photography and Pics, Things To Do with Comments closed |

You may have heard about the new craze: adult coloring and adult coloring books! I have to say that when I was a child, I LOVED to color. So I was very excited to see more complex and detailed books being published and targeted towards grownups.

Back in March, I ordered Enchanted Forest: An Inky Quest & Coloring Book and had to wait nearly a month for it to come back in stock. My copy finally arrived in April. I’ve been slowly but surely working on pages since. Mostly at night after Love goes to bed, I sit down with my Prismacolor colored pencils and use it as a way to wind down from the day.

I thought I’d show off some of my completed pages; a mini gallery of colored pages to help inspire your own creativity!

The first page I colored was a squirrel. I hadn’t colored with any detail for years so I was a bit rusty.

Squirrel colored page from the Enchanted Forest Coloring Book

Squirrel colored page from the Enchanted Forest Coloring Book

Next I colored the “crow” bird. I got a little more adventurous with this page. I figured it’s an “Enchanted” forest so why not let it be more fantasy?

Colored "crow" bird page from Enchanted Forest Coloring Book

Colored “crow” bird page from Enchanted Forest Coloring Book

Third, I did the hedgehog.

Hedgehog colored page from the Enchanted Forest Coloring Book

Hedgehog colored page from the Enchanted Forest Coloring Book

Fourth came the castle on a mushroom. This one I got creative with and made half the trees spring and half of them autumn. I even made the grass on the mushroom reflect this color scheme.

Completed colored page of castle on a mushroom from the Enchanted Forest Coloring Book

Completed colored page of castle on a mushroom from the Enchanted Forest Coloring Book

Fifth, I did the bunny. I went for whimsy with the rabbit, making it colorful and more floral based.

Completely coloring page of floral bunny rabbit from the Enchanted Forest Coloring Book

Completely coloring page of floral bunny rabbit from the Enchanted Forest Coloring Book

Sixth came my largest one to date: the leaf sailboat. This one took me a total of three evenings to finish, about a couple hours each evening. I really paid attention to the detail, shading and layering of it.

Coloring in progress shot of the adult coloring book page featuring a leaf sailboat from the Enchanted Forest coloring book.

Coloring in progress shot of the adult coloring book page featuring a leaf sailboat from the Enchanted Forest coloring book.

Coloring page in progress of the leaf sailboat page in the Enchanted Forest Coloring Book

Coloring page in progress of the leaf sailboat page in the Enchanted Forest Coloring Book

Finished color page of the leaf sailboat from the Enchanted Forest Coloring Book

Finished color page of the leaf sailboat from the Enchanted Forest Coloring Book

As you can see, I’m definitely learning and improving as I go! :)

Most pictures took a few hours to color, either all at once, or in the case of the sailboat, a few hours a night for three evenings. When I first started, I was using Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils, 48 Assorted Color Pencils and later decided to upgrade and get some more colors so I upgraded to the Prismacolor Premier Soft Core Colored Pencils, 72 Colored Pencils.

A lot of people also like to use things like markers or gel pens. I bought Fiskars Gel Pen 48-Piece Value Setfor accent and punch of color details but I haven’t used them yet. I want to add some sparkle to the dragonfly page.

I find it very relaxing and a good way to reduce stress. I’m not alone in this experience! Articles have flooded the internet like this one on Huffington Post which says:

When coloring, we activate different areas of our two cerebral hemispheres, says psychologist Gloria Martínez Ayala. “The action involves both logic, by which we color forms, and creativity, when mixing and matching colors. This incorporates the areas of the cerebral cortex involved in vision and fine motor skills. The relaxation that it provides lowers the activity of the amygdala, a basic part of our brain involved in controlling emotion that is affected by stress.”

or even a study from San Francisco State University which showed:

Creative activity was found to have both indirect effects and direct effects on performance-related outcomes…The results indicate that organizations may benefit from encouraging employees to consider creative activities in their efforts to recover from work.

In other words, coloring is not just for kids anymore! :D

In addition to Enchanted Forest, there are so many other options!! I have also recently picked up Creative Haven Creative Cats Coloring Book and Creative Haven Entangled Coloring Book. (I haven’t started those yet though!)

My coloring books and colored pencils.

My coloring books and colored pencils.

So have you rediscovered coloring yet? Share your favorite book(s) and some of your own completed coloring pages in the comments!

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Flashback: 2004 Stanley Cup Finals

Posted by miss m on Tuesday, June 2, 2015 @ 1:21pm in Entertainment, General Blather, Photography and Pics, Things To Do with Comments closed |

With the Tampa Bay Lightning playing game one of the Stanely Cup Finals tomorrow night here on home ice in Tampa, it reminds me of the last time they made it this far: the 2004 Stanely Cup Finals. I was fortunate enough to go to one of the games (Game 5) to see a Finals game in person.

photo of game 5 Stanley Cup Finals nhl Tampa Bay Lightning 2004 panorama pano pic home ice, inside stadium, arena crowds, whiteout, white out go bolts game

2004 NHL Stanley Cup Finals Game Five Tampa Bay Lightning home ice inside stadium panorama photo of the crowds, Tampa, Florida

I went to Game Five with my dear friend Rand. He had tickets to Game Five (guaranteed to see the game) and Game Seven (only goes to 7 if needed) and he offered to take me to one and Love to another, our choice. I picked game 5 because I just had a feeling it was going to 7 and I wanted the two of them to get to go to a game together. It did, they did and Love got to actually see the Lightning win the Cup in a game 7 on home ice. Experiences like that are priceless.

2004 Stanley Cup Finals NHL Tampa Bay Lightning Game 5 and Game 7 tickets, Calgary Flames at Tampa Bay Lightning.

2004 Stanley Cup Finals NHL Tampa Bay Lightning Game 5 and Game 7 tickets, Calgary Flames at Tampa Bay Lightning.

Let’s hope Lightning strikes twice and we can bring the Cup home to Tampa again this year! Go Bolts!

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I believe I can fly…

Posted by miss m on Thursday, May 28, 2015 @ 1:06pm in Entertainment, General Blather, M's Birthday, Photography and Pics with Comments closed |

…indoors, in a wind tunnel for my birthday that is! ;)

I can’t believe I forgot to write up a post about my experience with indoor skydiving that Love surprised me with for my birthday back on May 16th!! Indoor skydiving is something I’ve wanted to do for awhile now. I always thought it looked like so much fun. All the enjoyment, none of the jumping out of a plane and (potentially) falling to your death.

See, I’m terrified of heights. And I get violently sick on planes. (I haven’t flown since I was like 14 or something.) So there’s no chance in the world of getting me to actually skydive. But indoor skydiving? Flying in a wind tunnel? That sounds awesome. And it was!

photo of miss m. turner indoor skydiving, wind tunnel, flying inside, airborne ifly orlando

Me indoor skydiving at iFLY Orlando floating on air!

Late Friday night, Love surprised me with a birthday card. Inside was a print out confirming my reservation for the following day – my birthday, Saturday May 16th – at 4pm with iFLY Orlando. So the next day, we drove out for my adventure!

Located in Orlando out near Universal Studios, when you arrive, it’s a trailer, a platform with stairs and this big…tube! I thought it was all some kind of indoor thing inside a building but no, not really. You check in at the little trailer and then walk outside and up the stairs to the wind tunnel itself. The tunnel building has the wind tunnel at the center core along with viewing areas, classrooms, and such. So it’s pretty big on the inside.

iFly Orlando International Drive wind tunnel photo of the building, indoor skydiving

The iFLY Orlando wind tunnel in which you do your indoor skydiving and fly on air!

Being a first timer, my group all had a “class” talking about body position and hand signals our instructor would be using to help us position properly in the tunnel. (All of which totally fell out of my head in the excitement and RUSH of actually being in the tunnel! LOL) Proper position is super important or you won’t create enough drag for the wind to lift you. It’s why the instructor can stand there in the tunnel without blowing away while you fly.

Indoor skydiving and flying at iFLY Orlando Wind Tunnel experience

Look ma! No hands!

On the ground, it’s a super awkward position. It’s all about thrusting your hips forward (70% of your balance comes from there in the tunnel), putting your arms out at eye level in front of you (I kept inadvertently drawing them in rather than extending my arms outward) and keeping your chin up (the other 30% is in your chin and it was so hard not to want to look “down” when flying but looking down meant I would go down!) In the tunnel though, there’s no sense of how strangely your body is contorted.

A “real” skydive out of a plane is 45-60 seconds of freefall. I did two, 60 second flights in the tunnel. It’s approximately 2.5 jumps worth of air time. Having done it once now, I would recommend upgrading it to two, 2 minute flights (for a total of 4 minutes) because if you’re like me and you’re so excited you forget all the tips they told you in the classroom in the rush of it, you need the extra time to get acclimated to the tunnel. I spent half of both of my minutes getting myself into position so a little more flying time would have been better.

That’s not to say I didn’t have fun!! I think my face tells the story pretty clearly:

photo of me indoor skydiving and flying on air in the wind tunnel at iFly Orlando

Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Because it was my birthday, they asked me if I wanted to have an instructor take me up to the top of the tunnel during the last 30 seconds. It’s normally $10 extra, but free for your birthday. I said sure. Turns out, they grab you and SPIN really fast as you shoot up to the top, then you’re still SPINNING as you come back down and then more SPIN SPIN SPIN as they take you back up again.

Ok, the up and down part: awesome. The spinning? Oh it got touchy there for a few seconds. LOL I had to close my eyes after the fourth or fifth rotation as I was getting urpy. Spinning and I don’t get along very well. So head’s up: have them take you to the top (about 30 feet or so!) because it’s awesome, but ONLY if you’re ok with spinning while they do it! ;)

Overall though, I cannot stress enough how fun this was!! If you have a chance to indoor skydive DO IT! So much awesomeness. And so unlike anything I’ve ever done before. Being in the tunnel is a rush. It’s so exciting and so cool and everyone there is really great. They all high-five you and encourage you and everyone in our group applauded each person as they came out because we were all having so much fun, even watching the other people in the group do it was exciting.

Few tips for a first-timer

If possible, opt for the two, 2-minute flights.
The extra time will give you more time to acclimate to the wind tunnel and give you more time to enjoy the actual flying part. 1 minute or 2 minutes doesn’t sound like a lot but when you’re in the tunnel, it both goes by fast and slow. It’s harder than it looks so more time is a benefit.

Your hair will totally tangle
My instructor joked, “free dreadlocks with every flight!” and he wasn’t far off. I put my hair in a low ponytail and you wear a helmet, but…it was still a mess. Put your hair up in a small bun and put some kind of handkerchief over it and THEN put on your helmet. Trust me, I had a rat’s nest after – even the hair that was under the helmet got snarled!

You will be sore the next day
Defying gravity is not free. And extending yourself against 140mph winds puts a lot of strain on your muscles. That’s a lot of force you will feel later. During the flight? Pure adrenaline. Next day? Felt like I helped someone move. My right butt cheek was especially sore as the instructor told us a lot of position comes from your butt as you thrust your hips outward. Remember too, I did 2 minutes total. If you take my advice and double your flight time, YOU WILL BE VERY SORE. But I still think it’s worth it for the extra flying time.

There is no sense of falling
If you’re like me and the sensation of falling makes you sick, terrified or miserable, you can still indoor skydive. You have zero sense of falling. Even when they took me up and down to the top of the tunnel and back I never had a moment of stomach-in-your-throat falling feeling. None. It’s blissfully like floating.

Plan on possible additions, add-ons and upcharges when you get there.
You will probably wind up wanting photos and video after your first flight too. The pics here are those taken from a camera within the tunnel. It cost me another $40 for the full video and half dozen photos but it was worth it. Just a head’s up there are a lot of add-on options like extra time in the tunnel, having them take you to the top, pics, merchandise, etc. Bring some extra money just in case you want to opt for options.

I cannot wait to do it again. I had so much fun and now that I’ve done it once, I feel like next time will be even better. People who do real skydiving train in the tunnels to learn advance positioning and all kinds of cool movements. The instructors make it look effortless and amazing and it’s like Cirque du Soliel without any rigging!

Google auto-awesome’d an animated my photos from the flight so I’ll finish with that. I’m pretty sure the excitement on my face sums this entire post up nicely.

iFLY Orlando
6805 Visitors Circle
Orlando, FL 32819
https://orlando.iflyworld.com/

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Birthday Sale

Posted by miss m on Friday, May 15, 2015 @ 5:08pm in General Blather, M's Birthday, PhoenixFire Designs with Comments closed |

It’s my birthday tomorrow, May 16th!!

Save 16% off any order this weekend only in the PhoenixFire Designs etsy shop to celebrate my birthday! Instant savings and promo code good for discounts on all our handmade, wire wrapped jewelry, tree of life pendants and more!

Save 16% off any order this weekend only in the PhoenixFire Designs etsy shop to celebrate my birthday! Instant savings and promo code good for discounts on all our handmade, wire wrapped jewelry, tree of life pendants and more!

You can join me in celebrating and save a huge discount of 16% off any order with code “BIRTHDAY” at checkout. Valid this weekend only!

To use, enter the promo code in the “apply shop coupon code” field in your cart after adding your items during checkout to see the instant savings!

handmade wire wrapped jewelry, silver wire tree of life pendants, wire tree pendants etsy, phoenix fire designs handmade jewelry, artisan, handcrafted

Here’s your chance to get a HUGE savings on the world famous PhoenixFire Designs handmade artisan jewelry including our signature wire wrapped tree of life pendants!

Shop now: www.PhoenixFireDesigns.etsy.com

*Valid May 15th-17th 2015 only. Not valid on previous order. I cannot make adjustments if you do not enter code properly and/or forget to apply it.

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Daughtry in Tampa

Posted by miss m on Wednesday, April 29, 2015 @ 11:40pm in Entertainment, General Blather, Photography and Pics, Things To Do with Comments closed |

Chris Daughtry came out to give a concert performance at Busch Gardens Tampa’s “Food and Wine Festival” on Saturday, April 25, 2015. I of course, knew him from American Idol all those seasons ago and liked the songs on the radio, but I didn’t really know more than that. I was really curious how he would sound in person because we both liked him a lot on Idol. So I made us brave the oppressive heat and head on out for the show.

Chris Daughtry performs live in concert at Busch Gardens Tampa Food and Wine Festival April 25, 2015

Chris Daughtry performs live in concert at Busch Gardens Tampa Food and Wine Festival April 25, 2015

Chris Daughtry performs live in concert at Busch Gardens Tampa Food and Wine Festival April 25, 2015

Chris Daughtry performs live in concert at Busch Gardens Tampa Food and Wine Festival April 25, 2015

Turns out, he puts on a truly fantastic show! Love said, “He’s a rock star!” because he just worked the audience, joking, chatting with us and his band and just really had a great stage presence. I am so glad I was nosey and wanted to check it out because it was a really good show.

Poor Chris though was clearly not prepared for the Tampa heat. He kept wiping down his face and head and drinking after every song. At one point, he said, “How long have you guys been out here waiting? All day?? Bless you!” and laughed. It was about 87F with a feels-like about 97F that day so definitely a typical Florida scorcher! ;)

Really good time though and if you get a chance to see Daughtry, I would recommend it!

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1

Ginger Turns Two!

Posted by miss m on Wednesday, April 1, 2015 @ 1:27pm in General Blather, kitties, Photography and Pics |

My little orange fuzzbutt, Ginger – aka FLÖÖF – turns a whopping two years old today!!

fluffy orange tabby cat laying in a sunbeam

Ginger taking in the morning sun.

I just love my fluffy girl and she brings so much to my life with her silly antics and oh so orange self.

fluffy orange tabby cat in paper bag

Ginger claims this paper bag in the name of cat kind!

I’m so thankful that she came into my life!

orange fluffy tabby cat in window yellow green eyes

Ginger peeks out behind the headboard on the windowsill

fluffy yellow orange tabby cat in window sill peeking out behind headboard frame

Ginger loves the windowsill behind my headboard and hangs out there all the time.

Who knew this little ball of orange fuzz would turn into my fluffy love?

baby orange tabby kitten fluffy kitty

Little baby Ginger kitten via a bad cell phone photo of my mom holding her on the first day she came to “foster” with us. (Which clearly didn’t go as planned since she’s still here for her 2nd birthday!)

Happy Birthday to my FLÖÖF today and many more!

longhaired fluffy orange tabby cat sleeping on blanket on lap, lapcat snoozing kitty

Nothing like a fuzzy orange kitty snoozing on your lap to make for a great evening!

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Sarah McLachlan Clearwater Florida

Posted by miss m on Tuesday, March 31, 2015 @ 12:39am in Entertainment, General Blather, Photography and Pics, Things To Do with Comments closed |

I was so excited last November when I heard Sarah McLachlan was coming back to the Tampa Bay Area – after nearly a decade absence! Even better, she was going to perform at Ruth Eckerd Hall. A wonderful, acoustically beautiful theater that seats just under 2,200 people. The last time I saw her was at the then-named Ice Palace (currently the Amelie Arena) where the Tampa Bay Lightning play; a venue that holds more like 20,000!

Sarah McLachlan performing at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater for the Shine On Tour March 28, 2015

As ever, she was beyond wonderful! It was so good to see her.

Sarah McLachlan performing at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater for the Shine On Tour March 28, 2015

I spent a lot of time trying to find out the camera policy for Ruth Eckerd Hall and was only told “flash photography is prohibited at all performances.” So I figured I would bring my DSLR and my point-and-shoot as backup just in case. Because “no flash” is not the same as “no cameras.” The security guard questioned if it was a “detachable lens” on the DSLR and I admitted yes, but that I had no plans to detach it since I did not bring other lenses and he waved me in. Many people were using their cell phones for photos and I did see some point-and-shoots.

Sarah McLachlan performing at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater for the Shine On Tour March 28, 2015

We were row W, seats 26 and 27 so about 2/3 back just off center. There is no center aisle in the stadium seating but they are nice, comfy seats with plenty of leg room. The view was wonderful and I used my EF-S 55-250mm IS lens to get a combination of full stage and close-up shots.

Sarah McLachlan performing at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater for the Shine On Tour March 28, 2015

The set was a variety of both current songs off the most recent, “Shine On” album (released in 2014) as well as classic songs from older albums. It was a great variety.

Sarah McLachlan performing at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater for the Shine On Tour March 28, 2015

She also took time to talk about some of the meaning behind some of the songs and even joked about the fact she has a large number of “depressing love songs” because she said they’re just so much fun to write!

Sarah McLachlan performing at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater for the Shine On Tour March 28, 2015

She further joked when she did two “happy” songs in a row. :)

Sarah McLachlan performing at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater for the Shine On Tour March 28, 2015

The lighting was dynamic and ever-changing throughout songs, shifting through colors and really made for a beautiful visual companion to the music.

Sarah McLachlan performing at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater for the Shine On Tour March 28, 2015

Sarah McLachlan performing at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater for the Shine On Tour March 28, 2015

Sarah McLachlan performing at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater for the Shine On Tour March 28, 2015

It was absolutely wonderful and I truly enjoyed my “Evening with Sarah McLachlan.” She promised not to be gone so long next time and I think we all will hold her to that!

Click any photo for a larger version.

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1

Goodbye Nanny

Posted by miss m on Saturday, March 21, 2015 @ 12:23pm in Family, General Blather, Grief |

My Nanny – my Mom’s Mother; my maternal grandmother – passed away this morning. She was 98. She had been suffering from dementia for years though so we’ve mourned her in spirit for a long time, today we mourn her in body as well.

Nanny was a widower. My grandfather was killed in a car accident when my mom was only 9 and she never remarried. Nanny had 6 children and I am the youngest of 13 grandchildren. I’ve lost count at the great-grandchildren at this point! She owned a flower shop in New York for years and continued running it years after her huband’s death. Later, she worked at the Social Security department from which she retired.

I used to spend weekends with her when I was a little girl in PA. She’d make me pancakes in funny animal shapes. I’d go with her to church and she’d braid my hair – always too tight! ;) – to keep it neat. I spent several summer vacations being her Navigator as we drove from Florida, up to North Carolina, then PA, NJ and NY to visit with her children and my extended family. We’d be out for two months driving thousands of miles together as I helped keep an eye on the maps and pick out good hotels from the AAA guide books for us to stop at.

Nanny, me (at age 7) and my Mom in front of Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World 1984.)

Nanny, me (at age 7) and my Mom in front of Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World 1984.)

I have so many warm memories of her and us together. Decorating her Christmas tree while listening to old Christmas albums; baking cookies; the special pineapple cream cheese roll she made for me because she knew how much I loved it – just moments of love and kindness.

I’ll miss you Nanny. I love you and thank you for being a strong woman. And instilling that into several generations of women – myself included.

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PhoenixFire Designs Sale

Posted by miss m on Friday, February 13, 2015 @ 12:25pm in General Blather, PhoenixFire Designs with Comments closed |

Love is in the air this weekend and I love my fans! So I’m running a sale this weekend now through Monday. Use coupon code LUVU15 at checkout to save 10% on any order!

Coupon code, promo code, discount code for PhoenixFire Designs 10% off discount sale handmade wire wrapped tree of life pendants and gemstone jewelry

Use code LUVU15 to save 10% off any PhoenixFire Designs purchase now through Monday February 16th, 2015!

Been eyeing a rainbow moonstone full moon tree of life pendant? Maybe my glow in the dark full moon tree of life pendant? Or one of my new wire wrapped heart necklaces? Perhaps you’ve wanted to get a custom family birthstone tree of life pendant to celebrate family? It’s ALL included with the coupon code!

But hurry! Discount only good through Monday, February 16th 2015.

www.PhoenixFireDesigns.etsy.com

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2

Excuse me, have you seen 2014 around here anywhere?

So…um, this is awkward. I’ve been meaning to write an entry for awhile now and it looks like it’s been more than two months since I last did. Whoops. And here we are not only in 2015, but midway through the second month of 2015. Yeah sorry about that.

I did get around to making a fun infographic summing up my PhoenixFire Designs year-in-review over on TreeofLifePendants.com, but…I apparently never got around to doing any kind of recap here, nor any sort of new year post either. So let’s see if I can do a quick drive-by of 2014 and an update of what’s going on now.

January 2014
Hrm, looks like nothing terribly memorable, with perhaps the exception of my now quasi-famous shot of Ginger:

My beautiful little fuzzbutt, Ginger.

My beautiful little fuzzbutt, Ginger.

Which wound up later in the year being voted as one of the sample images used by iPrintfromHome.com calibration pack.

February 2014
Had some problems with my car on Love’s birthday. It was the start of me eventually having my mechanic disconnect my overdrive gear since it was getting stuck engaged which left my car stalling out as a result.

March 2014
I literally didn’t write a single entry that month apparently. The final weekend of the month I did my first ever stint as a guest vendor at the Bay Area Ren Fest though.

PhoenixFire Designs booth premiering for the first time at the Bay Area Renaissance Festival March 31st, 2014.

PhoenixFire Designs booth premiering for the first time at the Bay Area Renaissance Festival March 31st, 2014.

April 2014
Little FLÖÖF cat, Ginger celebrated her first birthday on April 1st. Aw…my fluffy orange girl.

I also got invited back to do the final weekend of the Bay Area Ren Fest again:

Me! (Miss M. Turner) of PhoenixFire Designs in front of my booth for the second week in a row on the final weekend of the Bay Area Renaissance Festival, April 2014

Me! (Miss M. Turner) of PhoenixFire Designs in front of my booth for the second week in a row on the final weekend of the Bay Area Renaissance Festival, April 2014

And, I continued to have problems with my car stalling out. (We still hadn’t figured out the source of the problem at this point.)

May 2014
Well, May is always my birthday month. So I turned 37 on May 16th 2014.

m-may714

I got my awesome EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM lens for my birthday. It’s a beast. L-glass quality (even according to Cannon) but without the official designation because they don’t ever officially label crop-body lenses with the “L” designation.

June 2014
Ginger’s photo (shown earlier) was a finalist in June and would eventually win one of 8 spots in the iPrintfromHome.com sample calibration kit I mentioned.

I made my first ever tree incorporating genuine diamonds for a custom order:

Custom Birthstone Tree of Life Pendant and Matching Bird Nest Pendant set in sterling silver and featuring freshwater pearl (birthstone for June), Aquamarine (birthstone for March) and natural rough diamond (birthstone for April.) Bird nest has the same three gemstones. By PhoenixFire Designs

Custom Birthstone Tree of Life Pendant and Matching Bird Nest Pendant set in sterling silver and featuring freshwater pearl (birthstone for June), Aquamarine (birthstone for March) and natural rough diamond (birthstone for April.) Bird nest has the same three gemstones. By PhoenixFire Designs

July 2014
No blog entries posted this month either.

I received my custom cut, massive 16mm blue flash natural rainbow moonstones from my supplier:

Which allowed me to introduce the stunning, LARGE natural rainbow moonstone full moon tree of life pendant people had long requested:

Stunning large natural blue flash rainbow moonstone full moon tree of life pendants in your choice of eco-friendly reclaimed and recycled solid Argentium sterling silver or striking black wire. By PhoenixFire Designs and available on etsy.

Stunning large natural blue flash rainbow moonstone full moon tree of life pendants in your choice of eco-friendly reclaimed and recycled solid Argentium sterling silver or striking black wire. By PhoenixFire Designs and available on etsy.

August 2014
August. Ugh, that was a month. August 1st, Love was in a major accident and our beloved Element was totaled. Love was ok – really battered, bruised and sore – but he walked away.

Our beloved 2003 Honda Element in Galapagos Green was in an accident and totaled.

Our beloved 2003 Honda Element in Galapagos Green was in an accident and totaled.

We had to search and search because we needed an SUV for me to carry stuff for my shows like my tent, tables, etc. And we eventually settled on a 2011 Nissan Rogue:
rogue1b

September 2014
Ginger’s winning photo was put on display in a gallery opening by iPrintfromHome.com.

Love’s PS3 gave up the ghost, leaving us with a couple dozen games and no console system. :(

We celebrated our 16th anniversary by a wonderful dinner at Capital Grille.

October 2014
Ginger helped celebrate Halloween by being festive:
ginger-hat3a

I dressed up in my Steampunk costume and handed out candy at my Mom’s again this year:

And I premiered my glow in the dark full moon tree of life pendant:

Glow in the dark tree of life pendant, wire wrapped  pendant handmade by PhoenixFire Designs on etsy.

Glow in the dark tree of life pendant, wire wrapped pendant handmade by PhoenixFire Designs on etsy.

glow-in-the-dark4b

November 2014
November was SUPER busy so I didn’t write any blog entries.

But we packed up the Rogue for the first time for a show and everything went in so easily:

PhoenixFire Designs did Crafts & Drafts show November 15th:

PhoenixFire Designs did Shopapalooza November 22nd:

Love and I celebrated Thanksgiving just the two of us (having missed his family’s event which took place the day of Crafts & Drafts!) and we made a turkey:

December 2014
PhoenixFire Designs did the Westchase Holiday Market on December 7th:

And I had a whopping 117 orders in my etsy shop for the month of December!

Including the one that made me reach 2,000 sales in my etsy shop!!

Ginger made best friends with the Christmas tree and spent all of December underneath it:

Love and I enjoyed some seasonal fun at the Magic Kingdom:

Love and I had a lovely Christmas:

And I made gluten free sugar cookie for my Mom who was diagnosed with Celiac Disease earlier in the year:

And the cats helped us celebrate a simple New Year’s Eve at home:

So there you go! A brief look at 2014. Maybe I’ll get around to writing an entry for 2015 at some point. But…not right now. Because now I need to feed the kitties then ourselves. But soon. Look, I brushed the dust off and wrote this, right? ;)

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3

How Disney and Marvel Ruined My Christmas

Posted by miss m on Thursday, December 11, 2014 @ 11:30am in Blog, Customer Service, Finances, General Blather, Holidays |

I ordered the Disney Infinity Marvel Super Heroes starter set from the Shop Marvel website for $39.99 on November 26th. Christmas gift for my guy. I add an Iron Man cell phone case as filler to get free shipping.

A few days later, I also buy a couple extra figures on amazon during a sale.

So. November 26th was the order. I wait. And wait. And wait. By about December 2nd, I email customer service. And wait.

December 3th I try calling. I get a “customer service is not available at this time, leave a message” voicemail. I leave a message. And email again. And wait.

December 4th I get a reply to the first email asking me for my full name and address before they will give me any info. I reply back with it.

December 5th I get two copy-and-paste replies telling me I will “receive my order in 7-9 business days.” I reply back asking how I’m going to get something that hasn’t even shipped yet?!

December 6th I finally get an email that says if it’s not shipped by Tuesday the 9th or if I don’t receive it by Wednesday the 10th, to let them know.

Tuesday the 9th I get a shipping notification. And they recharge my credit card because the initial hold had expired.

Late last night (Wednesday the 10th) the tracking number finally updates. Supposed to be here Friday.

Then this morning, I get this email:

Thank you for placing an order with DisneyStore.com. We always strive to provide a superior experience to you. Sometimes, though, due to unforeseen circumstances, we may not be able to fulfill the high standards that you have come to expect from us. Please know that when that happens, you have our commitment to work with you to find a satisfactory resolution.

Due to overwhelming demand and limited availability, your order, 36492062 will not include:

INF2 MVL STR PK PS4, quantity of 1

Please be assured that in the event that you were charged for this item, a credit has been issued to your account.

We invite you to contact us so that we may help find another item that will meet your needs. Please call one of our Personal Shoppers toll-free at (866) 537-7649. A Cast Member will partner with you to create a “happily ever after” for your recent Disney Store experience.

Again, thank you for shopping with Disney Store

ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME???

How I feel when I find up Disney's Marvel Shop online ruined my Christmas 16 days after placing my order.

How I feel when I find up Disney’s Marvel Shop online ruined my Christmas 16 days after placing my order.

So after like five emails, customer service phone calls that don’t get answered, two days after the order was shipped and SIXTEEN DAYS after initially ordered, I’m not actually going to get the item I put the order in FOR??!!!

Of course, I also tried to call the number and just got voicemail.

So now they’ve charged my credit card the full amount. They shipped me a fucking cell phone case I only bought to get free shipping. I have purchased accessories to go with a starter kit I’m not actually getting AND the $39 sale price is of course nowhere to be found any longer and the cheapest I can find is now $59 fucking dollars. I passed up other opportunities to buy it for $39 at other stores because I HAD ALREADY ORDERED IT.

Thank you SO much Marvel and Disney for utterly and completely screwing me and ruining my Christmas!!!

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