Thursday, December 30, 2010

Make it pink

So, as you should remember from last time, GEEKSOAP.

But let's start with the washcloths/dishcloths/massive coasters/totally not pot holders first before I go off on a feminist/video game history tangent.

This is something I started for the Kristen and didn't finish in time for some other gift-giving occasion.  Which wasn't her birthday, so it might be slightly less of a failure.  And I needed the hook, so then I had to figure out what hook size I'd been using.  And what the pattern was.

I could not un-see the completely obvious difference between the original rows and the new rows.  I'm sure after a few moments of staring at this picture, you'll be able to tell that I am insane, but the most important part of handmade presents is deranged perfectionism.

And stars work better with the theme anyway.  Kristen only gets one star to make up for the fact that I just made Steven circles because they don't take very long.

Trying to figure out which of the many available Princess Peach sprites would work the best was challenging.  As I predicted, I eventually just went with the select sprite from Super Mario Bros. 2.  Kristen and I always played as Princess Toadstool for what I assume were identical reasons: she was a girl, and she could fly.  Or maybe she couldn't actually fly, but she could glide on currents of wind.

I spent a lot of my youth desperately clinging to what few female playable characters there were at the time.  There was probably a point in my life where I would have had a definite preference for Ms. Pac-Man despite the fact that she was just Mr. Pac-Man in drag (did you know that modern children have so little familiarity with the Pac-Man franchise that when you make your own crude worksheet with little drawings, they'll assume that if there's Ms. Pac-Man, there must be Mr. Pac-Man?)

I decided that there had to be Yoshis.  And since Yoshi is apparently two separate sprites, and I'm lazy, delicate lady's Yoshis!  There was a brief moment of "Peach riding Yoshi from Super Mario World, but I don't really like those sprites for Peach.  (And now that I have mentioned this, it is only a matter of time before Kristen demands such a thing.)

As you can see, I quickly gave up trying to center the Delicate Lady's Yoshis since that involved too much math.  I considered the blank space and decided to put in Kristen's favorite kind-of-a-vegetable: mushrooms.

I toyed with the idea of making them pink since, duh, Kristen, but then I remembered the soap that had started this whole thing.

Here's a detail of Peach.  The crown is metallic and so is the brooch on the front of her dress (or whatever that blue thing is).  The blue thing is just a single French knot because there didn't seem to be a better way to do it in half or full stitches.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Hey! Listen!

 The theme for this year's presents: I felt I had to get you something, and you smell bad.

Given my utter lack of time, social skills, and ability to feel anything for other people around the end of the semester, I decided that this was the holiday to get video game themed soaps for Steven and Kristen.

I looked into a bunch of things and finally went with GEEKSOAP.  I originally thought of getting controller shaped soap, but I decided that paying $10 for a bar of soap that looks like a video game controller is stupid.  Especially since that bar of soap will slowly gather dust until some sort of bathing emergency (and even then there's a good chance they'd just use shampoo or washing up liquid or something rather than damage SNES shaped soap).

I'll concede that Digitalsoaps look amazing...but I just can't bring myself to spend that much money on soap.  Even soap that looks like the Duck Hunt gun I was never fortunate enough to have.

With Steven the answer was obvious.  Well, mostly obvious.  I briefly considered the life meter bar for contrast (see entry on The Kristen).  But it's probably weird to give your brother-in-law something with hearts, and I could at least spring for full health.

The plan: buy soap, make towel and washcloths at least vaguely related to acquired soap.

You know how last year I basically gave everybody the exact same scarf but in different colors?  Well, here's the washcloth I'm giving everyone!  Recipients so far include my grandparents and Tammy.

What's nice is that if you don't want a washcloth, it's a dishcloth!  Or a large coaster!  Or possibly a trivet!  But not a potholder since it's full of holes and made of cotton.

After a lot of counting and math, I realized I could fit four Links on the visible part of the towel.  I asked myself, "Is Steven the sort of person to care about depicting the Links from The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures with sprites from  The Legend of Zelda: The Legend of Zelda?"

And then I noticed I was cross stitching Purple Link as I pondered this important question.

Late in the project I contemplated making bare-legged Links so I wouldn't have to worry about getting the backstitching to stay in place.  This was mostly to distract myself from trying to figure out the mouths and eyes (see Kristen's present).  Also, I thought that would be potentially hilarious.  Maybe next year.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Your Pal Kate's XTREME Xmas Potatoes

This recipe is dedicated to my dear sister who, by not arriving until tomorrow, made it possible to make it.

What you need:

Red potatoes
Portabella mushroom caps
Scallions/green onions
White wine (you can use cooking wine, but you're not supposed to drink that.  Unless you're out of regular wine)

Cut up your potatoes into quarters or, for those of you who are bad at math, pieces that could be quarters.  Look, if God wanted you to be precise, He would've made uniform potatoes.  Boil the potatoes until you can easily pierce them with your stabbin' fork.

While potatoes are cooking, cut up mushrooms and scallions.  Combine mushrooms, scallions, about a tablespoon of butter, and some wine in a pot.  Add as much damn garlic as you want.  Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently.  If the spirit moves you, add some more wine.  If it's been one of those Christmases, add some wine to yourself.  You've earned it.

Drain and mash the potatoes (you know that weird thing that looks like a branding iron or some sort of Medieval torture device?  That's a potato masher!)  Add a modest amount of milk--how much depends on how much liquid there still is in the wine/butter/mushrooms/scallions mixture.  Add that in with the potatoes and continue mashing.  The potatoes should be creamy, but not diluted.  If this doesn't happen, apply wine to yourself until you no longer care about the potatoes.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Black velvet if you don't please

Monday I was baking more cookies and making sure my hands were too covered in food dye to work on people's Christmas presents.

The only flaw in my ingenious plan to make more red velvet cookies was that I'd used up all the red food coloring to make the last batch of red velvet cookies.  So, looking at the available Wilton concentrated icing colors, I decided on purple.  I like purple, and one of the advent candles is purple for some reason.

I should've known better than to listen to the person who keeps giggling moronically because the directions say to shape the dough into one inch balls.

Plan B: black velvet.  Because that's a song.  And I briefly thought it was also a story about a horse until I realized I was conflating Black Beauty and National Velvet.  (If you ever need to explain your pal Kate to someone, just say that I have a big vocabulary and sometimes spend hours saying, "One inch balls" and laughing.)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Romulus and Rebus

My sister's mother-in-law bought us tickets to the ice show (and I say "ice show" because that sounds way classier than Disney On Ice: Princess Wishes), so I figured I should make her a small token of my esteem.

I was working on this while waiting to meet with one of my professors.  Let me tell you, Internet, it is very difficult to explain the Gorn to someone who isn't familiar with Star Trek.  Having your Wonder Woman bag while you explain the Gorn you are cross stitching adds like +3 Coolness.

You can't really tell from the picture, but the caption (Thanks, Krissy) and the Gorn's dress tunic are metallic floss.  I would rather fight the Gorn than stitch any more metallic clothes.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

He only pretends to like you because you give him food

 So, I've been busy trying to be a grad student.  Which, for the savvy academic, includes holiday bribes.

As you may know, my insensitive, egomaniacal nature has been considered "caustic" or "utterly intolerable". That's why I try to trick people into liking me by giving them food!  Horrible food, like candy coated Oreos!
 I also decided that, for students, the true meaning of Christmas is bribing your professors.

Having a lollipop mold that matched the gift boxes was a happy coincidence.
I really hope giving a Milton professor a tiny Satan doesn't backfire somehow.  Like losing points for not giving him wings.

I bought Creepy Cute back when I first started krocheting, and all I've done is make devils.  I haven't even used my smarts to make those bootleg Catwoman dolls I thought I could maybe, somehow figure out.  Maybe after the Xmas Sweatshop shuts down for the year.