When Productivity Ends in Tears

So, due to an incredibly hectic couple of weeks – which have involved working late on some transcribing, as well as working on altering some patterns to create a set of colonial-era stays, and working a Saturday at a river clean-up event (and having a disagreement with gravity and a tree), and welcoming my brother home from his 3-month trip around the world, and organizing the early morning Easter breakfast/worship service – I have fallen behind yet again in costuming. By now, I’m starting to come to terms with this. Such are the woes of moving into the time of my life when my work and personal sanity demands get…well, more demanding. There are simply not enough hours in most days to allow me to get my work done at work, and then come to get anything else accomplished.

That being said, I found myself with a few hours last Friday which I could devote to working on Toothless. I was excited. I even put it on my Google calendar, so I wouldn’t forget and decide to do something else during that time. Like, oh, water the garden (it rained that day, so no problem), clean the ridiculous mound of hectic mess that my room has become, or change the oil in my car. No. I was going to work on the dragon.

And I did. I went through the house and gathered up a fair number of wire hangers that had somehow escaped previous bouts of costume building (if you’ve been reading for any length of time, you might remember that straightened wire hangers often form the bones for many of my giant costume heads), cleared all the other junk off my little square work table, and began assembling other materials I would need. Foam, check. Duct tape, check. Somewhat-still-sooty arm extension bits, check. Cardboard, check. I started building up the interior skeleton of the arm extensions, running out at one point to purchase more hot glue for the foam. I also picked up a new glue gun. Somehow, my old big one has disappeared, so I’ve been trying to do all my work with one of the small low-temp ones. Normally, that’s not a problem, but I tend to go through glue sticks faster with those, and sometimes you really need the high-temp glue for a project. My new glue gun has both a low and a high temp setting. Swanky!

Returning to my house, I went back to work on the arm extensions. Mainly, I was working on building up the foam, and trying to shape the arm extensions. I actually worked on them until about 11pm, my tension and apprehension mounting as the hours flew by. Things just weren’t looking right. The bottom of the extensions were coming along fine – perfect size. But the upper part of the arms, the section that extended up past my elbows, were not. I played with the foam, and looked at the cardboard, and tried them on repeatedly, and finally admitted the awful truth…

…the arms are too wide, and I need to cut off have of what I’ve already done. And I need to create the upper shape of the arms on my arms, instead of building an interior skeleton for them, which I foresee being difficult for the obvious reason that I will have to build the arm on my arm, one handed.

To say I was dispirited would be an understatement. A pretty good day of work, and I have nothing of worth to show for it. This costume, I fear, is going to be the death of me.

If anyone has any suggestions for creating a slightly more unconventional quad-suit form (Toothless doesn’t really move the same as a wolf or a bear, for instance), please send them my way.

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