Sunday, November 24, 2013

Coraline / Zoraline costume (+ carpal tunnel and RSI struggles)

"Zoraline" and her little me (Z as Coraline from her favorite movie of the same name)
Little Z dressed as Coraline (or "Zoraline") for Halloween, complete with her button-eyed "little me" doll, yellow raincoat and a blue afro wig
Hi all! Sorry for the silence but I've been suffering from some incredibly painful carpal tunnel and other RSI (repetitive stress injuries) from too much computer use and have to severely limit time on the keyboard/mouse (and all other hand activities as well, from baking to washing dishes to sewing to reading blogs) for the next few months.

Don't worry—I'm keeping myself busy learning how to use voice dictation software (which is how I'm writing this post!) going to physical therapy, practicing yoga, exercising, taking long walks and listening to lots and lots of audiobooks. Meanwhile my wonderful husband has been doing pretty much all the housework, and three-year-old Z has been helping even more than previously—measuring and mixing the waffle batter, cleaning up her Duplos, putting away her laundry, and getting herself dressed and undressed, no matter how finicky the buttons and zippers.

All of this obviously put a damper on my Halloween sewing plans, but my amazing mom came to the rescue. Z wanted to dress as "Zoraline" (inspired by the character "Coraline" from her—and my–favorite movie) so my mom made Z a "little me" doll for her costume. These were the inspiration images:
Coraline inspiration image, with yellow raincoat and little me doll

She didn't make the entire doll from scratch—it was a doll Z already had, but my mom sewed a little yellow raincoat and glued on some blue hair (aka leftover sock yarn) and button eyes (from an old sweater):

My mom working on turning one of Z's dolls into a Zoraline doll for Halloween.
None of Z's preschool classmates had any idea who she was supposed to be (I think this rather scary movie is intended to be for ages 11 and up, oops!) but she was just thrilled. Thanks Mom!

P.S. If you're interested in the voice dictation software, I HIGHLY recommend it. You can do pretty much everything on your computer or smartphone nearly hands-free, from sending email and text messages to searching the web to writing essays (though not drawing and PhotoShop or graphic design and such) without even touching it.

The best Mac voice software in my experience so far is Dragon Dictate (though I hear it's more expensive and not as good as the PC version, Dragon Naturally Speaking), and on my Android phone I use a combo of Dragon Mobile Assistant (free!) and the built-in Google Voice Search software (also free).


  1. I adore Dragon Medical Practice - it's what I use at work. So accurate and fast! Sorry to hear about your injuries :( I hope you get well soon!

  2. I use Dragon too! I wrote about my own experiences of RSI on my blog a while back... The answer for me was physio, but it took me years to get there!

    Good luck! And in the mean time, ice helps a lot! :)

  3. Awwwww, she looks adorable! Great save, mom. :) And I really love her blue wig!

  4. Oh my gosh, how CUTE! I love these pics-- Z looks so happy!

  5. Wonderful costume! I'm a big Coraline / N. Gaiman fan. Read _The ocean at the end of the lane_ a few weeks ago. It is brutally fantastic.

    1. I just listened to the audiobook version of that book—it was great but SO creepy to listen to in the dark!

  6. Thanks for the voice software tips. I've been having some similar troubles and have to be careful about how much time I spend typing and knitting. Nothing as bad as what you are going through but I'd like to keep it from getting worse. Hang in there!


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