Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I'm taking a Children's Literature course right now, so tonight I made a poster to bring in as part of my Book Talk.  I had to come up with three response activities for imaginary children to do (since I'm licensed in middle/high school, it's very unlikely I will ever actually teach Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH) and bring in an example of one of them.  I went with illustrate a scene from a book, the lazy child's extra credit.

As a child, it would never have occurred to me that collage is a valid form of illustration.  Also, when I was a child, we couldn't just ask the internet to give us pictures of things.  I think we may have used something called a "magazine", as was the style at the time.  Magazines were like the internet made of paper except there was less porn, and they didn't give you infinite amounts of bootleg media.

Mrs. Frisby is a Russian striped field mouse.  Her cape is made of part of a Netflix envelope.  I don't think the cape is mentioned at any point in the book, but I'm siding with Don Bluth on this one.

My commission from Michelle has been on hiatus since I've been sick, but here's what it looks like so far:

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Spirit fingers

I found some Bernat Felting Wool on clearance at Ben Franklin, so my plan was to try a fingerless glove pattern.  I don't know if I'm going to felt them--they're a bit bulky for me, but I think I made the thumb hole too small to felt them.

I was going to put them up on Etsy, but apparently everyone and their grandma is knitting or crocheting fingerless gloves and trying to sell them.  If only I knew somebody who liked pink.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Tally ho!

This  has been a Hot Project on Craftster for the past week.  As soon as I saw it, I e-mailed the link to Amy, who responded thusly:

Amy: are you looking for ways to justify your alcoholism?
me: Always

Since my alcoholism isn't going to justify itself, I bought some grey yarn (also useful for robots) and made two knights.  As you can see, I haven't bothered to make tiny felt shields yet.

The black knight is armed with a plastic cocktail sword that's sewn on with embroidery floss.  I wanted to give them plumes for their helmet, but I'm not sure I like the way either version turned out.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

I'm falling for you

Now I need to find another special Valentine.

This is a pretty quick project--only about an hour to crochet and finish it.

Adventures in Food-Pushing

I'm presenting an article in 18th Century Goth tonight, so of course in my mind that translates to "bring in muffins."

Slight snag in this plan: discovering chunks of Digiorno's pizza in the drawer where we keep the mini-muffin pans and cookie sheets.  I am considering writing a passive-aggressive note, although that would not be as satisfying as making an aggressive-aggressive phone call about not 1)dribbling frozen pizza toppings everywhere and 2)leaving them to rot.

I should've taken a picture so I could take it out every time my elderly parents complain about me being a filth wizard (friend only to the pig and the rat).  Which would also be a much more satisfying form of passive-aggression than a strongly worded letter taped to the microwave.

Anyway, mini-muffins.  Made even sadder by the fact that my peers' response probably has fuck-all to do with my grade on this, so there's no point in bribing them.  And I just wanted to make muffins while we actually had milk that hasn't turned into yogurt yet.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Kate Plus Eight

More snow day cross stitching (after a lot of snow day graduate work)

Friday, February 5, 2010

I'd like to be under the sea

One of my other Snowpocalypse projects is Octopus's Garden.

If you cross stitch and have any online involvement with other cross stitchers, you are basically required to buy more Ink Circles patterns than you can complete.  I'm not even halfway done with Cirque des Cercles (which was started a year ago), I don't know if I've ever even taken Alchemical Romance out of the package, I bought the magazine with Growth Rings in it just in case I wanted to do it someday, and I still covet Much Heralded Sampler.

I'm young and in reasonably good health, so you might think that I could eventually complete four patterns.  What you don't realize is that there will always be more patterns.  And I will need to hoard them.

Anyway, octopuses.  This is one of my rare 14ct projects because those bastards at DMC and Charles Craft only make their interesting colored fabrics in 14 ct.  And I haven't leveled up yet, so I don't stitch on linen.  I'm using DMC Marbled Aida which I just happened to find in Hobby Lobby, sparing me from Charles Craft Polar Ice (it seemed like a good idea at the time.)  The marbled aida looks underwaterish and came with a free, incredibly god damn ugly pattern.

I re-did pretty much all of the color scheme, which has lead to some problems.  Two of my light greens look basically the same on a quick glance, so I had to try a few different things on the seaweed right next to the pink flower.

I'm holding off on one octopus since I'm going to use Carries Threads in Grape, and that floss isn't colorfast.  So, once that's in, washing is out.  But I don't care because it's gorgeous--the link doesn't really do it justice.  Here's an example of it in a law school present to Jamel.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I've been dying a little bit each day since you came back into my life.

This year, I decided that Kendra should be my special Valentine.

This decision was mostly based on the fact that bought sparkly white Wool-Ease because I thought you could felt Wool-Ease.  Which would be super awesome since it's much cheaper, but you win again, Lion Brand.

So, one day, it occurred to me: Twilight.  As you may or may not know, I hate the Twilight franchise because it's popular and because I hate anything that brings teenagers joy.

Kendra once offered to buy my ticket to Twilight and get me liquored up on her dime.  I told her to go to hell which, given how much I love alcohol, free alcohol, and getting liquored up, made everybody realize that I'm super serious about hating Twilight.  (So, they got drunk, went to Richmond's historic second run theater, and ruined the entire viewing experience for a large, gay, black man.)

But I don't hate Kendra, myspecial Valentine, even though she keeps trying to trick me into reading and/or watching Twilight.

Just look at the fine craftsmanship on this potholder.  I want you guys to know that every single one of those ~2,200 stitches was made with love or at least giggling moronically as I thought about how devilishly clever I am.  You may argue that "giggle moronically at how devilishly clever I am" is not a feeling or even a Care Bear, but for me it basically is.

Is my special Valentine actually a member of Team Edward? I don't know, but I do know this: werewolves don't sparkle.  Or maybe they do, but they probably don't sparkle like diamonds.

And since it's not Valentine's Day without a lovingly handmade card, I combined Google Image Search, a dry erase marker, and old glitter glue to make this expression of my creepy, possessive love.

Over on LJ, I posted a meme offering a crude scribble for the first five people who commented.  Kendra asked for "A Kirk/Zapp Brannigan throwdown, MK-style. Bonus points for writing a short story to go along with it."

I rightly assumed this was beyond my abilities.  However, actually utilizing my talents would have taken time and effort, so I just drew this on the envelope I used to send my extremely well made card and potholder.


Monday, February 1, 2010

Ooo, colorful art of the food/It's a beautiful Japanese meal

I finished Space Carter this weekend.  It's been ironed, trimmed down, and put into an envelope for mailing.  I used another letter to get that ringed planet for the second R (I didn't like the swirly thing enough to bother repeating it).

For awhile I've been coveting Sublime Stitching patterns and considering taking up embroidery.

Some of the arguments against this were that I already have too many on-going craft projects, too many patterns I haven't even used yet, and too many damn craft supplies.

But you don't get to have all those things by saying, "You know what?  I should probably just use up the shit I have," so I bought Sushi Bar and two towels (and successfully managed not to buy Unicorn Believer or Under the Sea.  Or Spaced Out.)

If I've learned anything today, it's that using pins to hold the pattern pieces in place is not a good idea.  It creates little pockets where the ink doesn't end up on the fabric.  I don't know if the paper overlap for the sushi rolls made a difference, but I had to do a lot of improvising on the little roll.

You can definitely see the missing ink in the picture with both the towels.

For some reason, people think cross stitch is hard.  I should probably stop telling people this, but it's really not.  There's a grid, and you need to be able to count and make /'s,  Once you've made enough /'s, then you go back and make \'s.  Oh, and you should probably be able to thread a needle.

I haven't worked with an embroidery hoop in years.  I don't think I could really work with the towels without one, but it's still hard to get used to.

Also, I really only seem to have mastered the backstitch.  Which isn't really too surprising since I've been doing backstitch for years--there's backstitch in Space Carter (don't go back and look because I think some of it came out ugly).

The hand's done completely in backstitch (except the fingernail, which is satin stitch).  This is partly because I tried split stitch on the sushi roll, failed, did the outline in stem stitch, and was disappointed.  I'm still trying to decide if it's the ugly thing ever or if my standards are ridiculously high.

Even if it's the latter, my chopsticks are still wobbly as I have yet to master the art of "following a straight line".
The sushi roll fillings I just sort of made up (I wasn't sure what to do with the three dots that're in the pattern).  The little one's a tuna roll and the big one's a California roll.

One thing I like about this is that I've got one towel done in a few hours.  Cross stitch--which does not do well with all those curves--would be at least a few days for something this size.

Zoot decided to sit by me while I was ironing the towels and doing the transfers.  Either she wanted to hang out with me, or she's just interested in any new and unusual behavior.