Sickening Ball 2019

I think I worked out how to do my skirt. To be fair it was an idea I had originally but shaped. Anyway. I can’t quite completely cheat and sew three layers I can at least baste and hold stitches. I really need some fabric pleated as well.

I have to be honest, the der Tod outfit probably fits the theme a whole lot more. So I’m having a a break tonight and will see if I can cut the layers needed for that tomorrow.

In theory each outfit would be a week. But I am really struggling with fatigue and with pain. I need to set some energy aside each day for exercise. I have so far managed three walks this week. But two of them were too far and I was struggling on the return trip.

But I have this week flatironed my der Tod wig, nearly got the hoops stitched (being tired means making mistakes which means extra work, which leads to more fatigue etc.) and I put gel tips on my nails and have tidied the lounge a bit so that is quite a lot given the sharp decline my health took last year. I’m still recovering from that.

hand update

I have not really been updating much as I’ve been having playing catch up and it’s because I can catch up 🙂

As soon as my scar was healed I went back on my DMARD because my disease was getting a bit active again. So I am going to take it that yep I am still not in full remission and need to keep going. On the upside, while a DMARD sounds scary the ones I’m on have fewer side effects and long term consequences than the pain relief or anti-inflammatories I would otherwise need.

And it is long term. It’s been 18 years of my RA and I know what it responds to positively and negatively and while it is a constant juggle of rest, activity, diet, looking after other health. And often needing to change each of these as my body is particularly good at contempt of the familiar!

Anyway. So I did have my final physio session. I have been so good at stretching and massaging and flexing my hand that I have a bit more range of motion than I started.

So I need to do a few of these exercises for my general hand health.

Pain? Gone. Occasional tiny sharp flick if my arm is stretched just so. Strength is coming back and I’m getting used to my new weird tendons popping up in my wrist. It’s my one concern and is entirely about other changes caused by my RA. The bones the ligament attached to are so eroded I’m not sure what else attaches where now. As my surgeon got a good view inside my hand I can ask a few questions 🙂

There is a bit of bruised sensation to he side of the scar, and the scar is still quite rigid put I can put a little pressure on to help slowly soften it.

Already the scar is folding in to my natural creases, the stitch holes are just a little more of a reminder but they too will fade.

A few days ago I wasn’t sure how I would go forward with my right hand. But the concerns are resolving regularly, so every few days there is a change, not so much every day.

Soon it’ll be down to a week to see change, and then a month, and so on. So right now I’m happy with my left hand but would not want this stage for both. But it’s still better than a week ago and so I’ll be better able to take about benefits once fully healed 🙂

And of course I went into this knowing it was about prevention of future issues, not repairing.


Okay so two posts one day, sorry. But I think I worked out a way to work backwards from my outerlayer to support layers.

To figure it out I thought about the hem. So for a perfectly convoluting hem it’s essentially a series of circles side by side and C=2r(Pi) or the diameter times pi.

So a little over 3 times. So that at least lets me decide if I want to shape the skirt or be continuous.

Now I’m all about the shaped panel, I really am. Even circles upon circles. But I think the best justice I can do to this fabric is to use continuous lengths.

Which means I have just enough of the pretty top layer and will need as much in tulle. And I have enough for 3 layers of the less pretty but still ridiculous fabric. And I will very definitely need more of the netting, which I already knew.

So then I need to decide just how much support will be netting. I know I will need flounces and I need a shaped yoke to reduce bulk.

Luckily I have enough to start the foundations. Still trying to decide on body shape. I know what effect I want and it should be possible to do at home.

My left hand is back to being able to do like work and the fibro flare seems to be easing back (it was a not fun ride after the stitches came out, desensitisation is part of therapy and extra needed with fibro. My body is a bit in emergency mode despite not actually being in emergency.

Okay so new tag time?

plan for my Sickening Gown

I have been looking through the various Charles James archives and having a blast. I’m not working directly from his system but there is one gown that looks like it will work.

Much as I’d love to use my circle patterning skills I think it’s going to be more effective to use rolled pleats- as opposed to stacked, though I could switch from one to the other if needed. Though it would be a glorious challenge. I can’t really test the pattern at a small scale like I would want to but it might help with deciding where to have rigid support and where to have soft.

I am very hesitant about the body. My sketch has a round waist but I keep coming back to a deep point with an Effigy stays shape- more of a nib to the front. Mainly because it’s a very comfortable shape for me even with my broken rib. Yep that still makes it tough to even wear a belt, so it means I need to avoid compression over my floating ribs. I think I need a bit

I think there will be a lot of chain bars between layers to to control fullness.

ups and downs

Up: my scar is so fine and delicate I can’t see it! I am able to moisurise and exfoliate to reveal the new skin so that is very good.

Down: Fluffer Butter looks like he may need to have his ear removed. That is not an immediate risk but it’s there. He has a haematoma which is not healing and also swollen glands on that side. So hopefully we’ll find out today that it’s just inflammation and not something weirder.

Up: my site domain has registered for the year! It was tricky for a few reasons but it’s back and I’m still hosted and I will be able to publish my new site very soon.

Also Up: am going to “The Sickening Ball” which is obviously very ironic for someone with a life long illness!

So I have a goal for a custom design I have had percolate in my head for a very long time. It started as a thumbnail doodle in coloured pen and over the years has been explored and deconstructed and reconstructed to the point I have a very clear design that I just need the courage to actually make.

I have most materials but will need to invest in structure which might actually be a good thing for a few other projects.

I so want to share WIP but I also really want to keep it a surprise.

I can though say it works with the name, and with Halloween and is a celebration of who I am with a hearty dose of recognising of the tropes I fit into and at the same time really do not.

Currently bringing together all my stash which is a bit tough as some of it is at the very bottom of a stack of WIP materials. So, big deep breath and off to the stash.


So much excite! I can finally stretch my thumb! I can even put some pressure on my hand to open a door (handle, if it’s at home) and can moisturise my hands properly now! To the new skin care regime!)

But I now also ave a deadline/reward to make my dress of epic sparkle! Halloween party/Drag Ball baby!!!!

I do need to take this weekend as my flip the switch phase. I am so close to being fully healed that I can start taking my Leflunomide again, but I also just need to reassure myself that yes the healed tissue is stable enough.

But I almost have full range of motion, for me which is not great but it’s back) and plenty of extra tape and if I am very nervous I have a few steri strips.

But I have a bit of real rest to do.

As expected fibro wasn’t a complication but has been a factor in recovery. The flinch response that is used in a fibro Dx? Yeah really does pop up. It wasn’t really a problem until I was able to see my scar either naked or through the dressing.

But I do know how to use multiple therapies for that, including a bit of CBT as well as low doses of pain relief*) So I am already at the stage of itchy irritation rather than direct pain, and the scar itself can be pressed (gently) and I can shower!!!!!

I can’t wash my own hair yet as I have a leave in colour. But yeah baby,

  • I do not use much at all but it has been helpful to just quiet some of the excess noise so as to be able to walk and stretch and rest.

new site progress

Actually got everything I want in place! So that means I am going to back up and try and move some categories over to my custom taxonomy and very very very soon be able to build content!

I am starting with a timeline of images.

Meanwhile my hand is very nearly back to normal. I can type! No weight and no sewing yet. But I have also been able to sort paperwork for my book.

Now that might wind up completely redone. I’d like to stick with a nice scalable set of images but I also really am stuggling with a mouse to draw with. This is the point where I ask if a tablet might be a rather vital tool to work around my hand issues.

able to work on my site!

I have finally gone back to basics and have been able to get my new site at a point where I can in fact really use it.

WordPress is very flexible at core. But it is increasingly difficult to work with established themes to use it. Most security flaws happen with themes and plugins so ideally any customisation happens in a child theme. But at that point you lose the ability to use breadcrumbs or even display categories and custom taxonomies on pages. Because you need to change core files in the parent theme. Hooray for being able to really get a child theme to tackle everything.

I also am not sure why developers can’t see a use for taxonomies on pages. I use page heirachy yes, but if I go to a parent page I have to manually put in all the child pages. A taxonomy allows you to go to the parent and see all the children.

So it’s really quite a vital function for a site like mine. I need to see the page heirachy in my page list and be able to quickly show that to visitors.

Anyway. I finally have started getting custom taxonomies in place. I can’t quite style them the way I’d like to so I might have to start looking a bit further but so far so good.

I have also started getting my phone and ipad covers matching my theme of Sparkle Princess. Like a lot of goods there is a thin layer of plastic coated fabric and card. So that makes it a little easier to take patterns and make your own.

starting to be able to type again

I mean I often have to type one handed due to hands being sore, but now that I’m a bit more comfortable I can sit at my computer and do some of the typing and data management needed.

So my cunning plan for my image database has fallen over a bit as it is not future proof. So to future proof I need to create several hundred pages with all my categories now turned into tags. Less than ideal but functional, and not likely to break in a theme change.

So I am taking it as an opportunity to really refamiliarise myself with terms and to use the time stamp to help order them in a search. In fact that might really work out better.

first surgery done, life goes on

I’m not as productive as I had hoped. Unfortunately my erosion from my Rheumatoid Disease really requires a lot more rest than we can are usually lead to believe. And my normal methods of reducing strain can’t be applied as I can’t swap hands frequently.

So the new website, and even reading, is on hold for a little longer. A fortnight maybe? No heavy lifting and that really does mean anything that mimics heavy lifting- long key depressing is an issue anyway.

I have to admit so far it’s not actually much more painful than my usual- aside from any stretching near the incision, occasionally little sparks of neuron firing from there to my fingers or near my thumb .

I think I have noticed a specific relief though. I was hesitant about surgery as a lot of tightness has been across the inner wrist, below my hand. But I felt something happening in that region (not as pain! but a pressure from under my skin, and then a ping, again not pain) and while it feels bruised it feels a bit freer.

So far I think I’m healing faster than I expected, which is great- I heal slowly due to DMARD therapy. So I am being very diligent in wiggling my fingers and thumb- careful to not stretch the site. I’m very gently moving my wrist too. My experience is I can always do more physio as a result of less activity that I can repair after too much.

But I’m really surprised by how much it doesn’t hurt. I am even using a half dose of pain relief when it is needed (either mid afternoon or before bed, and that’s it.) But yeah my RA and carpal tunnel impingement in my right hand mean I should probably use a bit more, it takes up so much energy (physical and mental) to just be, let alone try and do.

It really did not help that a) an OS update that frooze my pc then forced a hard reboot b) to have a motherboard (that really does not like a specific brand of solid state drives) forget my ssd and so…. not be able to boot c) have a power cut just as I got my mobo to see my ssd (do not ask me how, there is a degree of weirdness there I can’t explain*) d) go through all of this again when the power came back on.

To try and repair this I had to take both metal sides off my tower, remove my ssds, remove all sata cables, try and put a cable back with one hand and only able to see with one eye as that side of the mobo butts right against the hdd enclosure!

But at least I can see why my os accidentally was reinstalled on another drive. It’s a fancy band and it showed up in my UEFI as a bootable drive. Oh heck to the no.

Anyway. I can probably avoid all of this again by either an entirely new build (which I could do myself sans any soldering- I can solder, but I am not going there with NZ mains being 240V and “dirty”) or a fancy brand ssd that I know will never get lost.

It then could happily transfer to a new build later if need be

*If I leave the UEFI open for a while it seems to sometimes eventually see it. I get no notification though and sometimes it doesn’t.

Another hint was to unplug all power for 15mins. Which seemed to work once, but not again. I even discharged all power I could. Soooo… a degree of magic for sure.

I could boot from disk but ugh, if my ssd can’t be seen then it can’t be seen. Also the disk is an older (still supported) version which would be a day of updates. If not more.

I wonder if there is another solution for a bootable disk.