Friday, July 30, 2010

Pillowcasing the joint

I decided to at least get my supplies ready for Craft Hope Project 9 before going to the beach.

I think I haven't really taken to embroidery because it involves ironing.  First you iron the piece to get the wrinkles out, then you iron it to get it hot, then you iron the pattern on, and then you have to iron it again after you've stitched it (okay, I haven't actually gotten to the last one yet, but I assume that's what happens).

Project 9 is making pillowcases for kids and teens who have cancer.  I'm using my Jenny Hart patterns since they need pillowcases for older kids/teens and most people want to make cute, little kids stuff.  (I found out after I started that they need pillowcases for boys since, again, not as "cute")

I decided there's something pathetic about whining and moaning about ironing when you're making stuff for people with cancer, so I decided it was time for my one-woman performance of Les Miserables (brought to you by Grooveshark.  Get in the Groove!) 

For one pillowcase I'm using the fairy from Gnomes and Fairies, which also comes in the Sublime Stitching Craft Pad.  As a bonus, this pattern served as a reminder that I need to set the iron to Cotton/Wool or the transfer is faint, and you have to draw in some of the details in pencil.

I was going to use Tinkerbell colors because a lot of girls love Tinkerbell, and I have no respect for copyright laws.

But then I decided I'd rather use pink and purple, colors that are also popular among girls.

I also decided unnatural hair and skin colors would be much better than making a fair skinned blonde fairy.  (I've got a packet of reward stickers for students where all of the faces/people on the stickers are white.  Which frustrates the hell out of me and is a pretty questionable design decision.

So, she's going to be blue with a purple dress and hot pink hair.  Hey, they did say they wanted bright colors for the pillowcases.

For the other pillowcase I used my Sushi Bar patterns.  I'd say sushi is unisex, but that hand holding the chopsticks looks pretty effeminate.  I wish I'd taken that into consideration when I was doing the transfers, and maybe done another Maneki Neko instead.

(Maybe in the spirit of diversity/unisex appeal I'll make it, like, a zombie hand.)

I've got a fat little ceramic neko from the British Museum.  I remembered seeing something about the different colors when I bought it, so I decided to look that up.  My neko is black to ward off evil and stalkers--and I had absolutely terrible luck in the months after I bought it, but as far as I know nobody stalked me.  For the pillowcase I'm trying to decide if I should use black or green (health).  I am probably putting way too much thought into an embroidered representation of another culture's good luck charm.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

No, this doesn't make me a furry, Kendra

I think I'm going to have to disagree with Cake Wrecks on this one: this Batman cookie is awesome.  I really want to know how they made the face or what they made it with since the body is just so gloriously half-assed.  I'm going to assume the baker's parents were brutally murdered, leaving them no time for decorating cookies--only vengeance.

Tonight's project: making stationary.

I've had these blank cards for awhile and couldn't think of anything to do with them until I had an epiphany in Michael's: Catwoman.

Catwoman has been my personal hero and role model since 1992. Catwoman is smart, sexy, and does whatever she wants.  Also, she's probably banging Batman, and I am totally on board with that.

Given my talents as an arteest, I've been raiding my own Photobucket and harnessing the power of the internet. This font is brilliant.  I don't know what I'd ever use it for, but if you get a letter from me entirely in Batman movie characters, this is why.

Onto the finished cards--

I really love this Alex Ross drawing.  Apparently it was auctioned off for a cat rescue, so thank god I didn't know that until just now. Even though she's showing a lot of leg, it seems like the complete opposite of crap like this.

The purple dress with the cape is probably my favorite Catwoman costume.  She's had some real ugly ones such as What The Hell Do Green Scales Have to Do With Cats? and Crazy Pirate Hooker, and I'll give her props for being one of the few costumed people to make it through the 90's without a really horrible costume redesign (enormous tits aside).  And I want you to know that the Green Scales thing is so horrible I can't even find a picture of it by itself.

You can see some of the pictures I'm still trying to think of stuff to do with behind the Batman Returns Catwoman.  She's fighting the Joker in the top one--I don't know if I'm going to use it since Catwoman fighting the Joker is awesome, but her face is weird, and her thighs look almost as big as mine.

The picture's by imaginarium on Deviant Art.  Going through there has reminded me I should probably post more nerd folk art since I've got the account anyway.

Oddly enough, the first cards I've made have all involved some of my favorite pictures of Catwoman.  Yes, I have a casual ranking of pictures of Catwoman.  I am that awesome.

I've been trying to track down a source for this picture so I can give credit.  I'll assume you know I didn't do anything more than print it and tape it onto a piece of paper.  Thanks to the wonderful way my awesome brain works, I can remember that it was based on a cosplayer, but not actually figure out a way to find who drew it.

The quote's from Catwoman's first appearance in Batman #1. If you have seen any panel from Batman #1, it's "Quiet or Papa spank!"  Which is an actual panel from an actual comic book published in 1940.  He's talking to Catwoman, whose old lady disguise is ruined by Batman noticing what great legs she's got.  Spoiler warning: there is no spanking.

I found Catwoman's bio picture from Akham Asylum.  I have no idea what's going on with parts of that costume: it's basically the current costume in purple, but with a corset like the Batman Returns costume.  And what confuses me is what look like garters, holding up...something.

But at least she zipped up her costume, god dammit, Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe.  I hate you more for being lazy and giving Catwoman a Fatality, but oh, how I loathe the unzipped costume.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

It's hip to be square

Aside from my other crafting obligations, this week's project is a felted purse.  Like this'un, except in awesome colors and without Marty McFly's Coast Guard jacket.

I thought about using Stitch Nation's Full of Sheep yarn since it was the same weight as a skein of Paton's Wool (100g), but the yardage is different.  Which...I don't know if that makes Full of Sheep more expensive or if that would affect the amounts I'd need.  So, yeah, I have no idea how yarn works.
I really like the colors Full of Sheep comes in, so I've sort of been looking for a project to use it for.  Other than another edition of Kate's Pot Holder Bonanza.

If you want to be awesome like me, the Patons colors I'm using are Emerald, Orchid, and Royal Purple (and the Full of Sheep colors I almost used are Little Lamb, Passionfruit, and Plummy).

Tonight I thought I'd finished one side of the bag, but the pattern says each piece will be 14" before felting and 12" after.  And mine is 10".  That would be quite impressive in certain contexts, but it's no good now.

My super-great plan for dealing with this size issue: add three more rows.  And if that doesn't work, my super-great back-up plan: add more rows.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

I heard dolphins are just gay sharks.

Back in May I signed up for a Glee themed craft swap on Craftster.  You can see what the other swappers made here.


Here's two little pieces I've done so far with two of my swap partner's favorite quotes.

Tinkerbell's wings sparkle, and there's a sparkle outline around her glow (which is regular cotton floss because otherwise I would probably have started screaming).  I also added a little trail of pixie dust behind her because...well, mostly because I'd already bought pale sparkly yellow (E746).

If I've learned anything from this swap, it's that everybody loves the line about Brittany thinking the square root of four is rainbows.

This is a lighter rainbow than the original magnet I made, using my tropical glow floss.  You can sort of see the sheen to it in the picture.


It's just occurred to me that I've got five days before everything has to go in the mail.  This would concern me less if I hadn't messed up the pattern in a way that caused me more work even before I have to rip out five rounds and try again.  Yes, I messed up five rounds of crocheting by adding excessive stitches.

But I've started the stripe pattern and, even more importantly, planned ahead.  (I'm using a free Lion Brand pattern that has four colors instead of the three McKinley High colors I'm using)  At the moment, the plan is to go BBWBBWRRWRR, and so on.  Maybe I should run this by Kendra as these are also the official colors of Kountz House.


Some more progress on the stripe pattern...

...and my little crochet companion.  Zoot has stopped attempting to scale Arts and Crafts Mountain, but she usually sits nearby when I'm working.


I had an incredible bastard of a headache yesterday which cut into crocheting time.  And then my bastard headache continued all last night, cutting into sleeping time.  Which is how I spent a large chunk of today frantically finishing the bag.

I ended up cutting out two rows of stripes to try to save some time (and I think I made some other changes to the pattern along the way)

As far as I know, this is the closest Zoot ever got to this project.  I figured you'd enjoy a picture of my adorable cat rather than my MySpace style picture of me modeling it.  Also, I think "MySpace" means "I took a picture of my reflection" and not "I used a camera angle that was flattering to my stout arms".

Everything went into a shoe box I found in the attic.  As a nice bonus, it was one of my mother's old shoe boxes, so my swap partner will think my feet are slightly smaller and daintier than they really are.

To protect the cross stitches, I decorated some envelopes (and only took a picture of one of them).

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The two seem to get along very well

The Glee Swap is finished, so now I can devote myself to my other, super important crafting pursuits.

If it's wrong to make a cross stitch of Hot Skitty on Wailord Action, I have no idea why I phrased that "if".  And I should probably thank my loyal customers for making 2/3rds of my Etsy sales Pokemon items.  Knowing me, knowing my math skills (ah-haaaa), you can probably easily figure out my total sales.

Recently Newsweek had an article about the need to encourage creativity.  While working on this project, I decided that I have the sort of creativity that should be stopped.  I mean, sure, Johnny or Sally might learn how to problem solve and build an awesome bridge or cure cancer, but what do I do?

I make a cross stitched tribute to Skitty and Wailord's disgusting, confusing, slightly terrifying love.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Make it sew

My TNG crew is turning into one of those things where actually drawing the whole thing out on graph paper might have saved me some time.

But who needs careful thought when you've got an awesome plan like this one?  As a nice bonus, there isn't really a good place to put Wesley.

Here's Troi's hair just before I had to frog the whole damn thing for being too close to the logo.  Fortunately, unlike the primitive humans of previous centuries, I have evolved to a point where I do this while talking to Kristen on gchat and muttering swears to myself.

But the holiday weekend gave me a chance to actually talk to Kristen IRL, as the kids used to say, and discuss some of the color choices.  Which of course involves pissing and moaning about Medical Blreen.  It's not quite blue, it's not quite green, it's not even really teal.

Here's Troi's hair and eyes with more better spacing, and Riker's headless, beardless body.  Other than a frank and totally not the lamest thing ever discussion of Worf's hair color, this Fourth of July I also learned that we all hate Riker--especially his smug, bearded face.

The Kristen thinks Data should sparkle.  I think she's wrong for the following, super logical reasons: Data is not the Gorn Captain's big, beautiful eyes, and that would be a total pain in my ass to do.

I also finished up that pot holder.  I can't decide if I should've used some black yarn to do the insignia details.  It might also have been smarter to have not done all the details freehand, but live and learn.

For a change of pace, here's my grandma's couch instead of mine for the background.

Once I'm feeling better I need to take a few more (and possibly better) pictures so I can list it on Etsy, but I'm just so tired from lying in bed and drinking grape juice.  Actual grape juice or "baby wine" as I'm now going to call it.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Your Stars, both Wars and Trek

Working on another Star Trek pot holder despite being too stupid to make this version actually work.  I had a good chunk of this blue left which I thought would be enough for another full pot holder.  Well, I was wrong about that, so I may be making still more.

I have absolutely no idea where I put the chart for the delta, so I had to get it off one of my other (already felted) pot holders.  A logical being would've made a chart from this one and put it in a logical place before felting, so I'm sure you know what I did.

Here's the full thing, pre-felting, pre-border.  This time I decided to do a double crochet border instead of two rows of single crochet.  It seems to have worked out pretty well compared to the earlier version, and it has the added benefit of being lazier.

Once it's dry, I'm going to try adding some details to the delta.  I suspect the conversation with myself will go, "Circles?  Pfft, how hard is it to stitch some stupid circles?  Or, now that I actually look at it, a circle with a dealie in it.  Yeah, whatever, I'll just use my human emotions."  And I assume this will be swiftly followed by a balloon and something bad happens.

Yoda finally finished tonight is.  Naturally I've painstakingly captured the "shoving fiberfill up his butt" stage.

I think I still kind of hate bobble stitch, but I think I like it better on Yoda than on Darth Vader.  I probably should not be thinking about the fact that his junk/butt are kind of hanging out of his robe, but I totally will (and now you are too).

His ears need some squeezing to get the points right.  Hopefully Yoda's not related to the Ferengi or things could get awkward.  (I don't know if I'm afraid this is the nerdiest post yet, or afraid that it's not.)

You can buy the pattern here if you'd like to try to make your own instead of trying to getting me to make you one.