it’s been almost 150 years and i’m still not over little women.

Okay. So I’m pretty sure I’ve blogged about this before, but I’m still not over it. And I’m having trouble with the book I’m working on and am avoiding it for a bit so… blog post!

Let me start off with saying that I haven’t read the novel Little Women since fifth or sixth grade (I graduated college in 2008 if you want perspective on how long ago fifth grade was for me), so I’m basing most of this on the movie with Wynona Ryder and Christian Bale and that one episode of Friends where Joey ends up putting the book in the freezer because “Beth is really sick, and Jo’s there but I don’t think there’s anything she can do.” I know, I’m a horrible author.

Like you'd rather read words on a page than look at this face for two hours.

Like you’d rather read words on a page than look at this face for two hours. (source)

I read somewhere a long time ago that Louisa May Alcott didn’t originally write Jo getting a romantic ending, but an editor or agent or someone insisted upon it, so Alcott rewrote the book and put her with Friedrich at the end. Fine. Good. Whatever. He’s a cool guy, he deserves to be happy, I suppose, but… what the actual fuck, Alcott?

Maybe it’s because I don’t have a proper social life/outlet for irrational thoughts, so I might be overreacting a bit to this bastard of a story. I realized when I watched the movie yesterday why I never watch it. It makes me so angry. Like, Jo. Bitch, you love Laurie. How do you say no this shit?

Look at his sad face. Look at it!

Look at his sad face. Look at it!

And after she rejects him, he goes off and makes some horrible decisions of the facial hair variety, and then marries her little sister in secret and you’re just okay with all of this, March family? What the hell? Like, seriously, Amy. That is some serious girl code shit you just violated. Real life, Jo would have two dead sisters when Amy showed up from Europe and told Jo that Laurie put a ring on it.

Seriously. Jo should have just let Amy drown in that frozen creek.

In conclusion, Little Women is the least believable book/movie ever written, and I think I may hate it.

But I really like looking at young Christian Bale’s face. This is tricky.

crystal crafts some shit, v.2

Can I just point out that I don’t know where in the hell 2013 has gone? People aren’t kidding when they tell you that time goes by faster as you get older.

Middle school, though? That shit lasts forever.

I only have one real resolution for 2014 (eating better and working out more are just assumed, right?). My real resolution for 2014 is to seriously cut back on buying clothing made in countries other than America.

And this isn’t some patriotic “‘Merica fuck yeah!” kind of thing. I mean, yay for American jobs and stuff, but my main reasoning behind this is that I don’t want to further aid in sweatshop labor overseas.

I know that one person isn’t going to make a difference, but it’s a start.

And I know that I’ll cave occasionally (I’m looking at you, Target), and when it comes to buying unmentionables because, I’ve looked at American-made undies, and they’re all either super god-awful ugly or expensive as hell. Or both. Like, I don’t mind paying more for American-made clothing, but I am not paying forty bucks for one single pair of cheeksters. I’ll stick to my 5 for $25 at Victoria’s Secret, thank you very much.

So, how do I plan to combat my shopping habit of “Old Navy clearance… must have everything because it’s all only $3”? Well, I have a ton of clothes already. It’s embarrassing, and I should be ashamed, but whatever.

Coupled with already owning a department store’s inventory, I enjoy consignment shopping. I’m the girl who has no trouble spending $50 in Goodwill. Of course, most of why I buy there, I alter.

Which is where this blog post’s title comes in to play. Today is another round of “Crystal Crafts Some Shit”.

I’ve decided to start early with not buying any un-American clothes. I don’t have New Year’s Eve plans, but I’m sure that I’ll cave in and go out by tomorrow night. And the place that I go won’t be anything special (and that’s by choice; I love me some dive bars), but I always feel like I should wear something new and moderately nice on New Year’s Eve.

Enter this dress.

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I bought this ages ago at Goodwill. I loved the shape, and the Audrey Hepburness of it. And, of all my clothes, I didn’t have the coveted little black dress. There was just one little problem with it…

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It wasn’t about to zip!

But that’s okay. Because also at Goodwill, I bought this top.

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The dog ass came separate.

 

What you’re looking at (aside from dog butt) is just a simple tank top with lace overlay that I bought because I love lace and figured it would come in handy some day. And it did. Today. Boom.

With the dress on the mannequin, I cut down both sides at the seam, stopping just a little bit past the waistline, since that’s when the zipper and my fat started fighting. Once it was cut, I zipped the dress up on the form to figure out how much lace I would need.

I’m sure there’s a far better way to measure all of that out, but that sounds a lot like math.

I went ahead and hemmed the dress where I cut it, just to save myself some misery later. Then I cut a couple of wide strips off the lace tank top and pinned them to each side. Then I made sure to get a really blurry photo of the step.

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Then I took it all to the machine. Where much swearing ensued. Pins came out of the dress while I was taking it off the dress form, pins stuck me, I managed to knock the box of pins in the floor… I’m pretty much the Neville Longbottom of sewing.

But it’s okay because it all came together in the end. And it actually fit! I was so certain that I would have to add more fabric. One of my favorite things about the lace that I used is that the pattern is fairly thick so I won’t have to feel self-conscious about showing my skin.

 

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I hope everyone has an amazing New Year’s Eve and that 2014 is your best year yet!

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that awkward moment when you realize that you’re a snl character.

I tend to have a lot of free time.

By all accounts, I shouldn’t have a lot of free time because I work a full-time job, am working on approximately five books, and have a small amount of good friends who I like to not ignore. But the fact remains that I have enough free time to think about the important things in life.

Like who I’d be friends with if I were ever to be famous.

I’m pretty much Mary Katherine Gallagher.

 

So, after a lot of thought, I’ve decided that my two closest celebrity friends will be Jennifer Lawrence (because who doesn’t want to be best friends with her? Answer: no one) and Anna Kendrick. I’ll also hang out with Kat Dennings (because she’s a Hanson fan, and I really want to know what lipstick she uses because I have spent a small fortune trying to find a shade that dark and everything comes out looking like I had a wild time with some mixed berry punch) and Emma Stone (because she’s friends with Ryan Gosling and who the hell wouldn’t want Ryan Gosling showing up in your life on occasion?)

Please tell me I’m not the only person (aside from Mary Katherine Gallagher, that is) that thinks about this kind of shit. I mean, I probably shouldn’t. I’m not going to be famous, and my time could be better spent on volunteering or developing a cure for world hunger or something…

I wonder if Emma Stone could introduce me to Penn Badgley.

crystal crafts some shit (working title).

I bought a sewing machine a couple of years ago. The reason why escapes me now. It was probably something along the lines of “Oh my God, I have a tax refund and I must get rid of it immediately because I don’t know how to properly handle money and what the eff is a savings account? That just sounds silly. Internet, find me something ridiculous and costly to purchase. Sewing machine? That’ll do.”

That’s pretty much the noise in my brain all the time. It’s horrible, I know.

Within the past year or so, I’ve got really into refashioning clothes. I don’t remember how I got into that, but I want to partially blame Pinterest. I’ve been posting my little Frankenstein creations on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, which is super annoying, I know. And now I’m bringing it to my blog.

Nowhere is safe.

This time, however, I’m sharing a “tutorial” for one of my more recent refashions. Whose ready for some blurry pictures and shoddy directions?

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This is the before. A very 90s dress with daisies and pearl buttons that is way too small in the chest. This is a problem that I never have, by the way. And, yes, those are Muppets pajama pants. And, no, I don’t know what in the hell is going on with my hair.

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The first thing I did was get rid of the pearl buttons. Any time you use a seam ripper, I recommend having a show or movie that you enjoy listening to on in the background. It’s nice to have something else going on while seam ripping because you might seriously die of boredom otherwise. You will not want to be tempted to watch whatever show/movie you pick out, however, because you will get distracted and stab yourself in the finger with the seam ripper. You will then bleed and cuss and damn Ted Mosby for not just telling us who the mother is already, dammit.

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Since this dress was already a bit too small in the arms, I went ahead and chopped them off, but definitely held on to them (you’ll see why soon). I flipped the dress around and made the back of the dress the front. This involved hacking away some of the neckline so that I wouldn’t feel like I was being strangled by a really weak guy all day (thanks for that, Mitch Hedberg). I didn’t really measure anything out for that, I just kind of winged it.

By the way, I wing 90% of all my refashions. I recently purchased a dress form that helps me not entirely fuck everything up.

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Those sleeves that I cut off early? I cut them into strips of two different sizes. I don’t really know how wide they were because measuring is just too much work when you’re tired/drinking.

IMG_1874After hemming the neckline and the edges of those sleeve strips as well as sewing down the opening of the dress to hide the buttonholes, I flipped the dress and stuck it on my dress form. Her name is Julia Gulia, by the way. I pinned down the strips, making sure to get one at the base of the opening so that it wouldn’t be so blatantly obvious that this dress was, at one point, way too small on me.

The whole shebang went to the sewing machine where I managed to only stab myself twice with the pins. Seriously. Sewing is very dangerous. I’m like the home ec version of Indiana Jones.

IMG_1920And there’s the end result! Through pure dumb luck, I managed to get one of the strips right where my bra lies. This isn’t necessarily one of my favorite projects, but it’s the first that I’ve documented the whole process. So, you know, voila.

If you enjoyed this installment of Crystal Crafts Some Shit (working title), let me know. I definitely wouldn’t hate the idea of doing more refashion tutorials. And if you want to see some of my previous refashions, you can check the out on my Instagram or the shit I made Pinterest board.

past life wizards, serial killers, and skippyjon jones.

According to this psychic my mom saw a few months back, the ideas for my books aren’t ideas so much as they are past life memories.

Now, you can laugh at that if you want. I won’t judge. As long as you don’t judge me believing in past lives. Because I kind of do. I like the whole idea of it, minus the part where I probably died a horrible Bubonic Plague death during one of those past lives.

I’m telling you this story because, you know what, I feel a little cheated. Maybe in my most recent past life, I pissed off a wizard or something, and they were all “Forever alone in your next life, bitch! Kazaam!”

(I have no idea how past lives work. Or magic. Or basic sentence structure.)

I’m just saying. If I was Jess or Jamie in a past life, or any of the characters in my upcoming books, that’s all well and good. But in this current life, I have romantic dinners for two that I eat alone twice and an online dating profile in a location of the world that seems to be full of serial killers and psychopaths, if they’re creepy profile pictures are any indication (I’m sure some of them are just lovely… as they waltz about in their mother’s dresses down the halls of the motel they own).

Life’s not all bad, though. I have a great family, wonderful friends, and two roommates who put up with me when my emotions reach the batshit crazy end of the scale for no damn reason. And, yesterday, I got to attend to Southern Kentucky Book Fest. I was able to meet a bunch of nice people, and even sold a few copies of my books.

Yes, I use candy as bribery. I regret nothing.

Yes, I use candy as bribery. I regret nothing.

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I even got to meet SkippyJon Jones.

If you stopped by my table/bought a book/begrudgingly took a bookmark from me, I appreciate it like crazy. Seriously. You have no idea how much talking to all of you wonderful people meant to me. Even though I’m a little bitter that my life isn’t like my books, I’ve got to say that I’m pretty happy with what I’ve got.

john mayer and the incredible hulk just gave me an idea for my next book. not really. or maybe really.

I had a weird dream last night.

And, I know you’re all “Yeah, we’ve all had weird dreams. Real original blog content, Crystal. Are you sure this just isn’t a desperate ploy to keep WordPress from deleting your blog for inactivity?”

(I’m sorry. I don’t know why I’ve made you sound so mean and cynical. I’m sure you’re lovely and supportive.)

But, no. I am the Queen of Weird Dreams. When I was in middle school, I had a very intense dream wherein I was being chased by a word. And do you want to know what that word was?

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Not my shirt. But I do/did have one just like it. And many more Hanson shirts that I wore throughout middle and high schools. The mystery of my singleness? Not really a brain-bender.

 

It looked just like that in my dream. And I know that doesn’t look so scary. Ooh, a made-up orange word. Whatever. It was terrifying.

Anyway. Last night’s dream was bizarre. I dreamed that I was dating John Mayer. And he was also the Incredible Hulk.

Yes, my Photoshop skills are something to be envied by all.

Yes, my Photoshop skills are something to be envied by all.

The most surprising part of this dream, though? He was just the Incredible Hulk and not an Incredible Jerk. Zing! Right? Because John Mayer is a notorious douchebag. But, really, he was way sweet. We got into one argument over the fact that I didn’t want kids. He seemed to take it personal that I didn’t want to be pregnant with baby Hulks that would erupt from my stomach like that scene in Alien (which, okay, Bruce Banner became the Hulk because of gamma radiation* and that probably isn’t genetic, but my uterus is not going to be the one to test that theory). But even in that argument, he kept his cool and didn’t erupt into John!Hulk.

So, yeah. I was dating John Mayer Hulk while Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer worked on a cure for John. I think Giles was also a college professor. Or something. It was all very Mr. Feeny from Boy Meets World. At the point when I woke up, there was still no cure and I was apologizing to John at a party for something.It was a really interesting scene and I’m quite pissed my alarm went off. And it wasn’t anything dirty; that’s not why I’m sad my alarm went off. Even having a dream about dating John Mayer kind of makes me want to go get tested for STDs, let’s be real.

The way the room was set up in the dream, the party going on throughout the house, the words we were saying… it was good. Clever, even. Which is why I’m working on writing it up in a Word document. I’ve changed names (obviously) and got rid of the Hulk part (sadly). I don’t know what I’m going to use it for, if anything, but it’s something that I feel like I needed to write down.

Who knows, maybe my next book will be about a girl detective who falls for a guy who turns into a monster when he gets angry. And she spends the book wondering if she still likes him when he’s angry.

But he never hurts her, or anything. Like, he gets angry and helps her find the bad guys and they fight crime and shit together. Then he calms the hell down, they book the bad guy, and then they go out for a night on the very safe town because they’ve eradicated crime.

And there’s the plot of my next book!

 

*My entire knowledge of The Incredible Hulk has come from waiting for 45 minutes in line for the Hulk roller coaster at Universal Studios and drunk-watching The Avengers.

it’s heeeeeeeere.

Guess who jumped the gun and released her book fifteen days early?

THIS GIRL!

I had planned to release Always on the Run on January 28, but I got too antsy. It’s on available for e-readers on Amazon right now. It will be out on paperback later this month/early next month (I have to wait for the proof copy and all of that).

I’ll be updating the site in the next couple days with the Always on the Run soundtrack and Jamie’s Running Playlist. Now, though? I’m going to pop a Tylenol for this gnarly headache and watch Tina Fey and Amy Poehler cast awesomeness all over the Golden Globes.

If you download the book, let me know what you think! I love feedback!

new year, new book, new goals.

Happy 2013, everyone! I hope you rang in the New Year with a smile on your face (or with a hot guy attached to your face, whatever makes you happy). Myself, I was surrounded by friends, drunkards, and cheap champagne that I had to chase with beer.

I am not a positive role model.

However you celebrated, I’m sure you’re knee-deep in Facebook statuses, tweets, and blog posts about other people’s New Year’s Resolutions. I hate to conform, but you’re going to find the same thing here. If I don’t write this shit down now, then I won’t account for it later.

I’m also going to share with you a few of the things I have prepared book-wise for this new year. Let’s start with that first so I don’t bore you with everything else.

This month I will release Always on the Run, the sort-of-sequel to Always the Last to Know. With that release, I will also be sharing Jamie’s (the main character) running playlist. If one of your resolutions is to hit the gym this year (spoiler alert: it’s one of my resolutions), then maybe this playlist, featuring gangsta rap, Ke$ha, and The Ting-Tings, will help you push it out on the treadmill. I may also be releasing a few bits and pieces of some scrap Jess and Riley story here on the blog. So stay tuned.

If you haven’t checked out my latest vlog, you may not know that on April 20, I will be at the Southern Kentucky Book Fest signing books and talking to wonderful people like yourselves (please come by and say hi!). Henry Winkler – The Fonz! – is the keynote author and you know you want to ask him about jumping over that shark on Happy Days. You can find out more, including all the other authors attending and the writers workshop that’s going on the day before at the Southern Kentucky Book Fest website.

I’ve recently started the third book in the Always the Bridesmaid series. I’m calling it Always the Last Word right now, but there’s a very real chance that title will be changed, only because it’s a little bit similar to Always the Last to Know. We’ll see. I’m really hoping to get this book out this year. Which sort of leads into my resolutions for this year…

Crystal’s 2013 Goals

1. Publish 2-3 books this year.

I will be partly done with this goal by the end of the month. Score! In addition to the Always series, I’ve been fighting with the June in Kentucky series. It’s (finally!) starting to come together, but there are still plot holes that the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man could easily fit through that I seriously need to patch up. I feel like once I get those issues fixed, the book will practically write itself. The characters for this book are bouncing around in my head, completely anxious to tell their stories. I just wish the bastards would help me out with the plot.

2. Stop stalking people on social media.

Okay. Stalking is a bit of a strong word. I don’t really stalk. In fact, compared to others, I barely glance at profiles. But I still read way too much into shit. And, you know, I really hate the idea of getting to know someone by what their Facebook likes are. Call me old-fashioned, but I just don’t like what social media has done to relationships. That’s not to say that I don’t love social media, because I do, but I want to stop relying on it so much. You know, go outside and see actual people and all of that jazz.

3. Get my student loans down to $10,000 or less.

This means paying off more than $7,000 this year. And, if I stop buying stupid shit, then I think I may be able to do it. Or get really close.

4. Stop hating my reflection.

Instead of the whole “lose weight, work out” resolution that I make every single year, I’m turning it into a mental resolution. I mean, I want to get healthy this year. I saw a picture with my grandpa at Christmas and I kind of wanted to throw up after seeing it. And I have big plans to hit up the gym during my lunch hour, and utilizing all the resources the internet provides to get shit together. But I want to be nicer to myself. Because I’m not. And that’s more unhealthy than stuffing potato chips and candy bars down my mouth all day long.

5. Do something creative every day.

Even if it’s just a doodle in the margins of a notebook page, or refashioning a thrift store dress, I want to do something every day that’s at least a little bit artistic.

I have more resolutions, little things that I’m not wholly committed to, but these are the main ones. What about you guys? Do you have any awesome or exciting goals for 2013? Let me know in the comments!