Thursday, June 30, 2011

American Girl

So, originally I thought that I'd weasel out of spending 4th of July weekend with my family, but send some festive token of my esteem.  And then the rest of my family weaseled out of spending 4th of July weekend with the family.  Which meant that I needed to get this damn thing done in time for mailing.

There are two ways to crochet in the round: the super cool awesome people's way, and joined rounds.  The joined round technique was invented by Satan at the request of Adolph Hitler [citation needed].  The Lily doll's 4th of July dress involves joined rounds.  And some other shennanigans, but I just did what I always do when I don't understand a pattern: steal the closest thing out of Amigurumi World/Amigurumi Two/Amigurumi Toy Box.  My doll's body is actually the Toys in Pajamas body from Amigurumi Two! (with some adjustments and changes to get it to match up with what I assume the Lily pattern was trying to do).

This is my first project with hair.  What with the deadline I didn't have time for some yarn company's jibber jabber about tape and tissue paper and sewing machines.  I would invite you to imagine an idiot, screaming in stupid agony as she sews her own hand to a tangled mass of yarn and tissue paper, but I don't want to give you the impression that I actually know how to thread a sewing machine.  So instead imagine an idiot using a two sentence online tutorial and a yarn needle.

I think this picture--which makes you all sex offenders, btw--is before I cut the doll's hair.

 The secret to joined rounds is apparently a tight deadline and hoping nobody looks at the back of this thing.

Apparently I don't work well under pressure because the first star got hot glued on with the wrong side up.

I like that these dolls have different outfits (even if I'm too stupid to really understand how to make them), but they're written so that the doll's shoes are sewn to her feet or actually are her feet.  I knew I wouldn't have time to make the nice sandals anyway, so these are the beginning of the nice sandals with a tail of yarn sewn to both sides.  If you look closely you can see that there are technically two "straps" on each shoe, but I think it's pretty well hidden.  And if staring at the shoes keeps anyone from looking at the back...

I was going to leave the doll's hair loose so I wouldn't have to worry about coverage on the back of the head, but then I decided I didn't want to have to put on the note, "Happy 4th of July, Grandma!  Please neatly rearrange your present's hair with your arthritic fingers!"

For the hair ties I used two pieces of variegated embroidery floss.  I tied it in the back in the hopes of avoiding some hideous, bizarre bald spot, then turned the bows towards the front.  Man oh man, I hope nobody looks at the back of this thing.

Did Lily get a mouth before her maker rushed to the post office?  No, no she did not, but she did get to the post office before 5, and Kate got a raging case of Nintendo thumb.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Vaporeon, I choose you!

Since I'm at the beach, you can revel in the majestic awesomeness of Vaporeon, the bubble jet Pokemon!

I've already got a standard Vaporeon sprite stitched up and (badly) framed in a plastic hoop.  Now I just need to figure out what to do with the shiny Vaporeon and if I should add any bubbles.  Or sparkles.

This is how the magic happens.  And by "magic", I mean "I stare at a computer screen, trying not to go blind.  Or poison myself from putting cheap colored pencils in my mouth."  It's almost as glamorous as training Pokemon.

Even though it's a different color palette (and difficult to find official drawings of to check the colors), this was the sort of sprite where certain colors just seemed obvious.  I could probably have dithered over the purples for the rest of my pathetic life, but the spine and fins?  Obviously could not be anything other than 814.

The blue Vaporeon is the second frame from Diamond/Pearl.  This one's based on the Black/White sprite.  Apparently they don't do the crappy little animations anymore?

I'm thinking of doing another hoop (but not being a complete failure monkey at finishing the back of the hoop).  I know I can get a hoop of the right size in purple, but I know it's not lavender.  Internet, is a dark purple hoop going to look awful?  Remind me how fabulously inspired my first hoop choice was?

On the way to the beach I started working on the Gold sprite.  Which is how I discovered that Gold and Silver had different sprites.  Ahh, for those bygone days when people put an effort into their nearly identical games!  Since I'm sure you're super interested, I had Crystal because it let you be a girl.

Just like the shiny sprite, I still need to finish the ruff.  Careful spriters may notice that I added a single pixel to the mouth to make a happy Vaporeon (actually, are species names always treated as proper nouns?  Isn't it about time we figured out Pok├ęgrammar?).  And I screwed up the tip of the ear, but my darling sister pointed out several other horrific flaws (that were actually part of the pattern), so I decided that I'm on vacation.  And lazy.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Working for peanuts

I finally rationalized getting Amigurumi Toy Box.  First project: tiny elephant.  Possibly a tiny vampire elephant since I used my special sparkle yarn.

This elephant has beautiful, chocolate brown eyes.  Its sister would have ugly, muddy brown eyes, but nobody sells those.  Because nobody wants to make an amigurumi with gross hazel eyes.

My cat has gotten so fat that even elephants look tiny next to her.

If I'd known when my tutoring program was ending, I might have tried to make up another one and give them to tutoring kids.  My third graders and I recently read the chapter in Ramona and Her Mother where Ramona tries to sew pants for her stuffed elephant.

Monday, June 13, 2011

The upcycling that will change the DCU FOREVER!

Congratulations on surviving the 90's!  If you endured the comic books of this surly, sarcastic decade, you may have several boxes of floppies, carefully sealed in mylar bags to make sure your precious investment would be in pristine condition for the eBay of tomorrow!  And since every other sad nerd did this, your complete collection of alternate covers for The Death of Superman is worth slightly more than your POGs.
I still haven't figured out what to do with my POGs, but I have found something to do with the comic books that nobody was willing to pay even a penny for!  Such as The Titans #3.  I don't have the slightest clue why I even own this book since it's not a totally necessary part of a Mega Disaster Bat-Books Crossover, and I can't remember ever giving a shit about the Teen Titans.  

Step 1) Find brads.  Brads are those crazy little round headed dealies with the parts you fold up that nobody makes anymore.  I finally found them on a bottom shelf in Staples.  I recommend starting in the thumbtacks/paper clips area.  They're the small "1-inch fasteners" box.

One thing it took me a shamefully long time to figure out: wider strips make bigger, but shorter loops.  Put those at the beginning.

Also, and I'm not sure how to explain this, the bows won't sit right unless you make them strip ends side up.  Smooth side down?  If that doesn't make sense, make a bow.  If it's ugly, pull out the brad and turn the pieces upside down.

Brads aren't very sharp.  I think some people over in the Craftster thread use seam rippers.  I've been using that little thing on the nail clippers.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Gardening and Punching

My strategy of spending the day crocheting--instead of actually reviewing my purple belt material--paid off.

And now I don't have to worry about testing again in my wretchedly hot gi during the wretchedly hot summer months.  I may only be a purple belt in American style karate, but I am a black belt in sweating.  And complaining.

Since it's the most wretched part of summer, I'm probably done planting.  And possibly going outside to water the plants.  Sorry, vegetation; it's too damn hot.

 I planted three of these orange lillies last year.  They've come back with a vengeance.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Black and Yellow Returns

My philosophy is: if you see small, interesting frames, buy them.  They'll be good for something eventually.

So, I've got some small frames from Target.  Grad school's finished up so I've got times for arts and crafts.  The obvious solution:


Unfortunately my math skills are so bad that I can't even do fake math:

Missed it by that much.