Friday, September 30, 2011

You're welcome, USPS

Along with gift/swap stuff I can't post yet, this week I've been working on stationery sets.  They're fairly quick to do (at least compared to cross stitch and crochet), and I like figuring out the color combinations.  I'm sure it's only a matter of time before I get bored with the contrast color stripe thing, but I think it really does add something to the cards.

Sometimes the color choices are obvious.  These two guys are in a Pikachu set.  Even though the internet has learned me that they have nothing to do with the Pichu/Pikachu/Raichu family.  Also, I'm going with "family" because I still haven't reached a level of Poke-craftsmanship where I can say "evolutionary line" without feeling like a moron.

I was going to use the same picture source for Raichu as the other four Pokemon, but I didn't think I could successfully cut around the tail.  Even with this one you can see it's a little bit raggedy.  Which hopefully is part of its handmade charm.  Look, just focus on its adorable face.

 Some of the color choices are more difficult.  Doing eeveelutions was one of the reasons I stocked up on more of these pastel cards (also, JoAnn tricked me, and I wasn't able to get another box of the blank cards I use).  I was going to use brighter colors, but it just made both the card and the Pokemon look washed out.

The Outer Senshi are some of the leftover cards from JoAnn.  Now it's becoming a matter of "what can I actually make with these colors," but I really like the way these turned out.  As you can probably tell, I usually go with skirt color/bow color for the card and accent, but I don't think Uranus would look as good if I'd done it that way.  hurr hurr Uranus

I have since noticed that Saturn doesn't have a little heart.  I'll probably fix that as soon as my friend Jamel, Saturn Super Fan, notices and gives me crap for it.

The Outer Senshi are already up in the gift shop.  Unless anybody's absolutely overwhelmed by the need to have some of these, I'm going to be adding stuff over the weekend.  Since that's basically how Etsy wants me to do things.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Love and Beauty Shock

You want to know if you're a winner in life?  Are you looking at freeze frames of Sailor Venus to try to figure out what the back of her shoes look like?  Which is basically staring at a fictional 15 year old's ass?  My friends, I have made a lot of mistakes in my life, but I can tell you that the ankle straps on Sailor Venus's shoes are not actually attached to anything.

It was super-important for me to gain this information so I could make an awesome birthday present for my awesome friend Kendra's birthday.  Which was last month.  But it's not my fault that things like "deadlines" and "planning" and "doing things on time" stifles my creativity.  You think you're better than me?  Where's your bootleg anime doll you cobbled together out of free patterns?

Another sign that you're a winner is keeping a bunch of severed limbs in your free nerd conference bag.  When you want stitches to stand out (like the orange on the gloves), stitch a round in the back loops (here the last row of white), then stitch the other color in the loops you left empty.

The skirt pattern is taken from a mermaid tail pattern.  I wish it flared a bit more, but I like that it looks pleated.

The original plan was to crochet the collar, but that took too much planning and possibly math.  The solution: felt.  You might think that cutting out felt would require careful planning and meticulous cutting, but the bow covers the...meticulously and skillfully crafted collar.

You should probably zoom in and admire that heart brooch, because that is probably the finest thing I will ever cut freehand.  I should probably have had it framed so that the people of tomorrow can gaze upon  my works and despair.  I'm probably not even going to bother to get dressed today since nothing I will ever do will be as good as that freehand felt heart.

As for assembly, some people would hand sew everything.  Those people are chumps.  The superior person knows that there are very few problems that can't be solved by a hot glue gun.  In fact, the only problem I can think of that can't be solved by a hot glue gun is burning your fingers from using hot glue to secure thin pieces of felt.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Here's the first two cross stitched ornaments for Christmas in Dixie.  Both of these are from 101 Christmas Minis, Book 2 (Leisure Arts #5523).  Most of them probably will be since they're designed for those little round ornament frames (so I don't need to trace cardboard or add piping or anything).

Ornament #1 with all the cross stitching done.  I changed some of the colors.  This is one of those pattern books where the patterns are printed in color, but the colors the book uses don't necessarily match up with the actual thread colors.  I find this annoying, especially when the moon pattern is pale yellow and the actual thread is off white.  As you can see, I made some changes.

As written, all the backstitching (outlining) was that dark brown.  I decided that was unnecessary since I have a metallic pale yellow.

I really like the way this one turned out, so I may have to make another one for tornado survivors...since this one's going to be entered in the VA State Fair.

For the other ornament I stitched all the letters as instructed.  I considered unleashing my vibrant creativity (and continuing to avoid buying more embroidery floss), but I figured I could spare a quarter for the one color I didn't have.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Yes We Cane!

The latest Craft Hope project is making stockings for Christmas in Dixie.  Since I can't sew, I emailed someone at Christmas in Dixie and have volunteered to cross stitch some ornaments.

But cross stitching takes time and can't be easily outsourced.  So, I've acquired an ornament kit, a bag of tri beads, and some wire.

For those of you playing along at home, you need: scissors, wire, a ruler, maybe ribbon or yarn, and 40 tri beads for every ornament you want to make.  If you have lots of beads (and why wouldn't you), it's easier if you count your beads (20 of each color) before you start.

Measure and cut a 6.5" piece of wire.  Make the smallest loop you can at the end of the wire, then alternate bead colors until you run out.  Make another loop at the other end (you may need to fold it over) and shape the ornament.  You've just made a delicious, inedible candy cane!

After making one crude wire hanger, I remembered something--no wire hangers!  And most people just use the curve of the candy cane to hold it on the tree, right?  That's what my special helper told me anyway.  It also meant more wire for the clear beads.

27 pieces of Christmas cheer!  Now I just need to figure out what to do with the leftover green and red beads.  Also, if you buy the Christmas multipack for this project, you will run out of clear beads well before you run out of green and/or red.