Lobo, Sackboy Badass!

When I received the email asking if I could make a Lobo Sackboy, I knew I’d have to take the commission. Good Sackboy dolls are the ones based on characters with very distinctive markings and costumes. The BEST ones are those that have the recognizable look AND also happen to be the baddest mofos around, like Kratos, Hellboy, and now, Lobo from DC Comics.

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TMMO April 2009 Progress & YNAB Pro Preview

Attending Dave Ramsey’s Town Hall for Hope web cast at the same church where Chris and I took the Financial Peace University course last year reminded me that I hadn’t reported on our progress towards debt-free status in a while. The truth is that things have pretty much been running on autopilot without much need for tinkering on our parts since we set up all of the automatic transfers through our banks and lenders.

Since October 2007, we have gotten quite a bit done, though not necessarily with what Dave Ramsey would dub gazelle intensity.

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Kai Sackgirl Doll (Heavenly Sword)

Check out my latest custom doll commission: an oversized Kai Sackgirl from Heavenly Sword.

When I say oversized, I mean it. Kai stands 13.5″ tall not counting the ears on her hat, and weighs over a pound, most of it head weight. Because of the larger scale, she took a bit longer to than usual to make, but it’s kind of nifty to see a huggable Sack doll.

I used sport weight yarn in an aqua color for the dress, part of the fingerless gloves, and the boots. To keep the same gauge as the rest of the leg, I used a double strand of the aqua yarn for the boot portion.

I also used double strands (and a size I hook) with the worsted weight berry/magenta yarn in the hat to give it more stability and stiffness. Her non-removable hat is trimmed with polymer clay discs.

I stuffed the head and body firmly enough that I didn’t feel the need to put in a rod to stabilize the neck. The head is whipstitched to the body in a ~2” diameter circle. I DID have to add some stability for the open mouth, though. I found some 4” diameter plastic canvas rounds at Michael’s, cut one of them in half, and tacked each half to the back of the open mouth.

There are smaller plastic canvas rounds tacked to the inside of the doll’s soles to keep them flat as well. 🙂

More photos are up in my Picasa album!

Getting Fit with Video Games: Two Week Exergaming Experiment

In honor of my latest exergaming acquisition for the Wii console, Gold’s Gym Cardio Workout, I am embarking on a two-week video game workout program that will use the following three programs:

Gold’s Gym Cardio Workout (GGCW) for the Wii

Yourself Fitness (YF) for the Xbox; for Wii owners, an updated Wii version is sold as My Fitness Coach.

Dance Dance Revolution SuperNova 2 (DDR) for the Playstation 2

Yourself Fitness will be my baseline program. I am setting up my profile with an emphasis on Upper Body Strength and then allowing the program to generate a six-day per week workout schedule for me to follow. I’ll also be doing 15 minutes of GGCW, or the equivalent of one lesson immediately following the YF session. DDR and interval cardio will be alternated throughout the week.

Mon: YF (30 minutes), GGCW (15 minutes), DDR (15 minutes)
Tue: YF (30 minutes), GGCW (15 minutes), Interval Run (20 minutes)
Wed: YF (30 minutes), GGCW (15 minutes), DDR (15 minutes)
Thu: YF (30 minutes), GGCW (15 minutes), Interval Bike (20 minutes)
Fri: YF (30 minutes), GGCW (15 minutes), DDR (15 minutes)
Sat: YF (30 minutes), GGCW (15 minutes), Interval Elliptical (20 minutes)
Sun: Rest

To keep this challenging, I plan to use the heaviest weights I can handle with my YF workouts and integrate my Valslides on lunges and any other exercises that work with them. I’m also wearing 1 lb weighted gloves with the GGCW sessions since those are based on boxing movements. I’m not adding any difficulty to the DDR because I am so inherently uncoordinated that just keeping up will be a miracle for me.

My nutrition will fall into the 1500-1700 calories per day range, with macros of 40% carb, 30% protein, and 30% fat.

My goals over the next two weeks are:
– Be 100% consistent with my workouts and 90% consistent with my nutrition.
– Unlock 1 music style and 1 workout locale in Yourself Fitness.
– Earn enough gold for a new outfit in Gold’s Gym Cardio Workout.
– Try every initially available song in DDR Supernova 2 at least once, even if I fail.

Notice that I’m not including any measurement or body fat targets. I am going to try shifting my focus to earning points in-game and unlocking things instead of worrying about the scale or the calipers for a few weeks. My work and crafting schedules are not leaving me with enough spare time to both exercise AND play any video games, so I am combining those two types of activities into one block of time each day. I’m banking on my drive to improve my scores and unlock goodies in games to keep me focused enough to drop a few pounds, build up some muscle, and increase my cardiovascular health without obsessing over every calorie eaten or burned.

Anyone else using their Wii or other gaming consoles as their primary form of exercise?

This Is Sackboooooy! (King Leonidas from 300)

My buddy and co-worker Ted turned 40 last week, and I had promised him a custom doll based on one of his favorite movies, 300. I knew this was a favorite because Ted not only owns the uber-fancy Sideshow premium format statue of King Leonidas, he also has a life-size replica of the Spartan shield propped up somewhere in his office upstairs.

Given all this, it was clear that I’d have to take a shot at King Leonidas myself. I went with an antique brass tone zipper for him, and crocheted his hair and beard freehand in one piece. The removable helm was made in three separate pieces: cap, a wraparound piece that included the front crown and cheek guards, and the plume, which is further stiffened with black felt and the selective use of a glue gun. His shield was crocheted with a double thickness of yarn for more stability using a larger hook. The cloak was made from a nice stretch knit with a lot of drape and tied with red bias tape. He’ll be getting a proper spear made from a painted bamboo skewer with a polymer clay spearhead tonight to finish his look.

I was told by my sister that I should use some powder bronzer to give him some abs, but I thought that might be taking accuracy too far, no?