Thursday, October 29, 2009

No homo

Hopefully I've scheduled this far enough out for Kristen to have gotten this in the mail and not ruined the surprise.

Earlier this month I talked about doing some MiniPop cross stitch and asking Kristen to help me with some color choices and character selection.

me: Should Kirk's shirt be ripped?
Kristen: no, too gay

Like any reasonable adult, I immediately decided that Kristen needed to be rewarded with her efforts with gay Star Trek cross stitch.  I faced two obstacles:

  1. My incredible laziness
  2. The last scraps of my dignity
I decided I should go with something that one could easily pretend is totally platonic (but is still kind of gay).  This plan would probably have worked a hell of a lot better if I hadn't revealed it to the internet.

Which meant no hand-holding and a severe reduction in hearts and sparkles.

I think you can tell from the picture, but the letters are done in metallic floss, as are the uniform details.  God, I really hate metallic floss, and I always manage to forget how awful it is until I've already started.

As the Sybok, it didn't occur to me that I could easily put a magnet on the back and mail it before I sealed the envelope. (If you want a magnet, just bring it with you next time you're here, Kristen.)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Finished g-g-g-ghost cakes

My mother was right: I'm a food pusher.

Today's project: ghost cakes and candy-coated Oreos.  Okay, by "Oreos" I mean Halloween-themed Kroger brand chocolate sandwich cookies, but they 1)were cheaper and 2)have orange colored filling.

Unlike some of my other Wilton specialty pans, the ghost cakes have worked pretty well.  They're a real pain to clean, but last year there weren't any problems with uneven cooking or the ghosts getting stuck.

Thinking about how well the ghost cakes worked last time was obviously a mistake.  I'm not sure if the directions that came with the pan are different from the ones I found online, but there's some uneven cooking issues, as you can see from their bloated stomachs.

Fortunately, I'm only interested in making adorable ghost cakes.  Ideally people would enjoy eating them, but I'm probably not going to, especially since my costume this year is epically unforgiving.

I don't have the materials to do any of the examples shown in the ghost directions, but I really like Giggling Ghoul.  Piping like that is a huge pain in the ass, and I don't have a frosting tip small enough.

Also, I loathe those plastic frosting bags.  I've never been able to get them to work, and I can't find a reusable icing thing like we used to have.  Which is just bizarre considering all the "go green" stuff now.  Why is the only option plastic bags that you have to throw out after each different frosting color when DMC's sending me e-mails about "eco-friendly" cross stitch accessories?

Since I'm not really in a school (and there wasn't a practical way to bring/leave things for coworkers), I haven't had an excuse to break out the Halloween candy molds, and of course this is the year that I find Midnight Black candy melts.

The test run of the cookies was fairly popular, and they're fairly quick to do.  I'm keeping them two colors because the way the mold is shaped, details like the Jack o'lantern eyes are more trouble than they're worth.

I've still got some of the test run cookies leftover, so I need a volunteer to check if they're stale or not.  I may just give them to my dear old parents anyway since the candy's gotten a bit scuffed (see, when you don't actually want to eat any of the desserts you make, you can worry about things like that).

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Yesterday I planted some of my goth tulip bulbs around the Laziest Little Dogwood.  I saved two to try planting indoors, but I'm having the hardest time finding those plastic planters.  Like a basic, cheap plastic pot to put dirt and some sort of flower in.

I went to Target in the hopes that they might actually have a gardening section that didn't piss me off and because I don't go to Wal-Mart on the weekends.  Just so you know, Target's gardening section is a few watering cans and Christmas decorations.

I decided to grab a small bud vase and some of those flat marble things.  Years ago my aunt had a bulb growing in something like that, so I figured that was an option.

Since I don't know how heavy tulips get, there's a good chance this will end in tears.  And now I have overpriced flat marbles that I'm sure I'll find something to do with.

I also felted my pot holder.  Most of the letters shrank too much, so I spent last night picking them out with my embroidery scissors.  (The fact that two family members immediately disapproved of the color choice may or may not have been a factor.)

So, now it's science blue.  And instead of baking, it's for throwing bowls of soup at people.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I did this while watching series 1 of Pulling, so that's why my phrasing may have gone weird

No matter what the internet or Crochet for Dummies says, changing yarn colors is not fun and easy.

Being the sort of person I am, I want Batman potholders.  If I were smart enough to crochet the bat-logo, I would sit back and think, "Self, today you have actually accomplished something."

My other dream was to crochet a Star Trek potholder and have it say "Bake it so, #1".  And I thought that, even though that site gives a knitting pattern, I could just use the chart and do it in crochet.

Because God doesn't want me to have nice things, I am too stupid to follow a crochet color chart and have it look like an actual design instead of technicolor failure.

And then I found out that you can cross stitch on crochet.  So I thought: that's something I'm way more competent in!

I know people are impressed that I can demand so much of myself for some things and yet still be so lazy.  And I can probably be too critical, but I look at this, and I just think, "Kate, I dare you to do better.  Because this is a bit shit."

And since it's nerd-craft, I can't even give it to my grandmother who is legally obligated to say it looks very nice and pretend they need more potholders.

Next step is to add a border, felt it, figure out what to do if felting makes it look even worse, and figure out what to do about the back.

If anyone ever tells you that the back of your cross stitch should be as neat as the front, they're taking the piss.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


I finally got around to re-staking the tomato plants.  (The fact that my mother just happened to have an adequate number of 3' stakes in her car definitely helped with the "get off my ass and do it" factor.)

Here's Zoot with the farm so you can get an idea of how large the plants have gotten.  All five of them were grown from seeds (I think from one of those little dollar plant kits they have at Target).

If you're not familiar with Zoot, she would be a small, dainty little puss if she wasn't so disgustingly fat.

Boldly going forward

This weekend's project: sorting out my colors for this

Original pixel art is here, under Star Trek.  I used Uhura to figure out the other two ladies.  And since I've got a bit more wiggle room than pixel art, it was super-important to me that the dudes got their stupid 60's pant cuffs.  God willing, I will figure out how a decent way to give everybody heels.

(If you notice that somebody's missing, it's because shunning is a Russian inwention.  Down at the bottom are Ripped Shirt Kirk and Fat Day Kirk.)

In what will probably be one of the coolness nadirs of my life, I got Kristen on gchat to talk about DMC colors.  Red was pretty easily taken care of--when in doubt, DMC 666--but we had trouble with the blue.
And we may have gotten distracted by the reference pictures.

I don't think we figured anything out for Vulcan skin tone, or at least not anything I'm happy with.  (At the top of the picture you might be able to see that I've figured out Uhura's.  Maybe.)  This cross stitch definitely makes Spock a different color than the white humans, but some additional internet sleuthing only got me the graph paper pattern without a color chart.  And the only other Spock cross stitch I can find shows him with rosy cheeks, which is offensive to nerds and space racists.

To get an idea for colors, I usually pull up a DMC color chart online before I go digging through my embroidery floss.  Apparently Kristen's screen shows things at a slightly different color than mine, so that didn't help either.  Still, she may be rewarded for her time.  Since she said that Ripped Shirt Kirk was too gay for a Christmas present to the old man, I am wondering if I want to be the kind of person who makes twee gay Star Trek cross stitch to give to their sister.  Ideally it would involve hearts, sparkles, and a pairing she hates so much that she would immediately send me an angry text/chat/e-mail.