Friday, September 25, 2009

Apparently they make flowers for goths, or at least people like me who aren't quite sure how they've managed to avoid being goth.

I went to K-Mart the other evening to try to get another seed starter tray.  The outside planters have looked like hell for awhile, and filling them with dirt seemed like a good idea at the time.  And was still better than dealing with pots full of dead plants and probably bugs.

My plan was to get some flower seeds and a mini-greenhouse, then rip out the crappy plants and put in the new ones.  I've been thwarted by the fact that Wal-Mart and K-Mart have both gotten rid of these sorts of things.

I did see a bag of goth blubs at K-Mart, but decided I wasn't going to pay $6 for them.  I picked up a smaller box for $3 at Kroger, and I'm too mathtarded to bother figuring out if this was a better deal or not.

My goth tulips are a black and purple color and have a name as bleak as my soul: Queen of the Night.  They bloom in spring, which seems like an odd choice for tulips designed to show the futility of life.

The internet has confirmed that, if I plant one of them inside now, it'll bloom a bit earlier than normal.  I need to find a good place for the rest of them.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A lot of my own cross stitch patterns are taken from video game sprites, and one of my great frustrations is that 2-D Mortal Kombat sprites are too detailed to easily make into patterns.

I've been able to find fan-made sprites of some of the characters--if you've been to my house you've seen my MK I and II Perler bead pictures--but nothing that I've really liked enough to cross stitch.  Until I discovered all the kharacters of Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 in the style of Pokemon trainers.

Usually I try to stick with NES/SNES era sprites since they're much easier to work with.  Depending on what it is, I'll often simplify the number of colors in an SNES sprite since some of the shading doesn't read well at cross stitch/Perler bead size.

These are apparently DS sprites, which would explain why it's been so frustrating.  The kombatants are too complicated/time consuming to stitch off the screen, so I have been using high tech equipment such as graph paper and cheap colored pencils.

I finally got KG Stitch--a program that lets you import a picture and turn it into a pattern--and it's just giving me another level of frustration.  I guess my real objection is that computer pattern-making software is not magic and requires just as much (if not more) work as filling in squares on graph paper.

I was going to just use it for some shading help and color choices, but then it told me that Kitana's skin should be orange.  Another flaw in the "let the computer decide the colors" is that I'm up to 155 different colors of embroidery floss, so I really need to see if I can make do with what I've got.

Still, Minipop pattern making has gone well.  More on that once I actually start stitching something.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

While setting up some future posts I realized I never posted the finished "TAYLOR":

You can see the embiggened version here.

Friday, September 18, 2009

They're not really dead as long as we have their morbid sampler.

I got Picture It in Cross Stitch from the library.  Which is designed to make corny samplers of your family and garden and such.  I naturally look at it and think "mischief."

In my copy--I think the linked version is slightly different--there is an old timey sampler verse:

When this you see remember me
And bear me in your mind;
And be not like the weathercock
That turn at every wind.
When I am dead and laid in grav
And all my bones are rotten,
By this may I remembered be
When I should be forgotten  (1736)

Apparently in day's of yore it was perfectly acceptable for young ladies to sit around, making samplers with morbid little poems.  And when I see something like those last four lines, I think, "Is there a hilariously inappropriate cheerful design I can put around this?  Like the chart of the baby sliding down a rainbow?"

Given my history, I'm sure I'd be institutionalized if somebody found me stitching something like these:

When I am dead and worms me eat
Here you shall see my name complete.

Mother dear weep not for me
When in this yard my grave you see
My time was short and blessed was he
That called me to eternity

For one thing, planting bulbs is hard enough in "this yard".  I don't even want to think about burying a human body.  I think any hamsters or whatever were buried in the woods next to the house or very close to it, and Garfield didn't give us the option.  (I got a rock.)

Unlike these dead Colonial to Victorian consumptives, my legacy will have to be what a sad nerd I was.   And when I'm dead you can look at my Perler Bead recreation of Mortal Kombat II or a cross stitch of Batman Returns Catwoman and know that I'm smiling up at you.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Finished crochet stuff

First felting project is done.  Yarn is Lion Brand Wool in "Autumn Sunset". (provided by a grant from the Rowe Ellis Foundation)

Here's before and after its magical trip through the washer and dryer:

After the first magical journey, I decided it needed more felting so I soaked it in hot water, rinsed it with cold, and tossed it back in the dryer.

And Baby Lion finally got a body.  Also, I hate sewing yarn pieces together.  Because I suck at it.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Tomorrow's project: planting two yellow mums by the mailbox.

Our soil is absolutely god awful.  It's basically clay, and the two most miserable spots to dig are by the side of the house and around the mailbox.  Right now I'm trying to keep anyone else from messing with the side of the house.  Last year I busted my ass putting some lilies and other plants there for the summer, went to camp, and that was pretty much the end of those plants.

At least one lily came back and was then pulled out since my father's definition of "weed" is extremely broad and inaccurate.  And somebody dropped a bush directly over some of the others.

I did put some spring bulbs in there--the pink oxalis keep popping back up--but I'm trying to encourage "patience" since I'm sick and tired of putting a few hours into just planting something to have the landlords get impatient and pull it up or drop a bush on it.

The mailbox soil is just as crap, and there's a mailbox post in the way.  It gets a lot of sun, but that means anything planted there needs to be watered every day.  And I cannot bitch about how hard it is to dig.  If we actually needed to plant a vegetable garden, we'd probably be screwed.

Mailbox Flowers is tomorrow's project because I missed the last two karate classes (instructor's illness and then mine), and I don't want to come in with stiff shoulders from Honest Toil.  Especially since I haven't been practicing enough.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Somehow my accumulation of crochet patterns and unfinished projects is already starting to rival my cross stitch equivalents.  Which is impressive when you consider that I only learned to crochet in May or June of this year.

Baby Lion from Amigurumi World should be finished fairly soon since all he needs is a body.

I was too lazy to look for felt and couldn't find safety eyes smaller than 9mm.  After looking at Baby Lion's slightly square head, I decided he should have some ears.  They're the same as the pattern for Daddy Lion, but with the Baby Lion sized hook.

The yarn is Vanna's Choice (yes, that  Vanna.), but I'm drawing a blank on the exact colors.

Because I'm a bad sister, dog-aunt, and sister-in-law, I still haven't finished the Daisy Coaster.  The Daisy Coaster is a god awful neon pink and sort of like a large pom sized Snuggle.  Except instead of providing warmth and comfort to a shelter animal, the Daisy Coaster is meant to keep a spoiled, owned Pomeranian from directly touching the furniture.

Obviously, the Daisy Coaster is desperately needed.  As history's greatest monster, I've been working on Baby Lion and starting My First Felting project.  Like all sad starter projects, it's going to be a potholder.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Two more works in progress. Because I never learn.

My cousin's baby was going to be born today (no updates on Facebook yet, but mother, father, and grandmother haven't posted since yesterday's "inducing tomorrow" post), so I need to hurry up and finish the real baby gift:

The pattern's from Cross Stitch Alphabets by Christine Porter.  I should just suck it up and get my own copy --this is my second time getting it from the library, and my color copies of the Nursery Alphabet pattern make it difficult to see some of the backstitch.
I looked up the nursery rhymes each letter is based on because I thought that would be a nice companion piece, but some of them were a huge stretch.
T--Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
A--Pussycat, Pussycat ("...And frightened A little mouse under her chair")
Y--The Duke of York
L--Little Miss Muffet
O--Old Mother Hubbard
R--Ring Around the Rosie (Maybe.)
When finished, "R" is a man and a woman in Ye Olde Fancy Clothes holding hands.  So it's "Ring Around the Rosie" because I burned out the little grey cells trying to figure out "A".

Even though I really shouldn't start anymore cross stitch projects until I actually manage to finish some, the lure of Halloween crafts is too strong.  Despite "TAYLO", [can't disclose], Cirque des Cercles, the Christmas kit that time forgot, Pluto Dead Scream, Poodle Gift 2 of 2, and the stuff I've probably given up on, I've started the Quaker Boo freebie from The Sampler Girl.  The chart isn't available anymore, so I'm using the color chart.  There's been a lot of counting and zooming in.

Colors at the moment are Carrie's Threads Halloween for most of the green areas, CT Orange Zing for the pumpkin, and DMC 4070 for the pumpkin stem.  The cat will probably be good old DMC 310.

The fabric is Charles Craft Monaco 28ct in "Tea".  Usually anything higher than 18ct is worked "over two", but I'm hardcore.  Sure, it takes more concentration, and I could go blind, but it's not like my vision was that great to begin with.

Here's TAYLOR (18ct white aida) next to Quaker Boo so you can get a better idea of how totally Milton I'm getting with this:

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I think I need a new pin cushion.

Apparently sticking your embroidery needles in the sofa arms is frowned upon for some reason, so I've been using an amigurumi coffee cup.  It was supposed to look like this one from Amigurumi World, but mine uses variegated yarn and looks like crap.

The "looks like crap" part helps because I'd probably have a problem jabbing needles in something cute.  Like this "sleeping cat pin cushion" is kind of cute, but potentially horrible.

So like any rational, sensitive person, I'm thinking "voodoo doll".  I'm trying to find a decent free pattern (maybe something I can felt with my new wool yarn?)

I'm also trying to find 6mm safety eyes because neither Michaels nor Ben Franklin carries them.  I assume this is just to spite me.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

I think today's project is going to be finishing up the Bat Mini Treat Holder  from the Michaels website, the companion piece to Pot Spider.

There is a pattern for the wings and ears, but I'm not entirely sure hot to "Trace and transfer wing and ear pattern onto foam sheet. "  Since it's foam, and I assume you can't pin shit to foam.  My best guess is that I'm going to reverse engineer some really stupid solution.  It may involve scotch tape.

I also need to figure out what I'm going to do with a small, wooden coffin.  I would like to believe there's some toy lying around the house that would fit perfectly in it, but I may have to make a miniature corpse.  Are mummies appropriate for a coffin with a bat on the front?  Because, with my skills, I probably have a better chance at a mummy than a skeletal hand or something that requires talent.