A public space for friends and family to keep up with me.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Talk to me Tuesday: Interrupt me Tuesday

Making up for last week's super short video with this week's ridiculously long one!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Crafty Monday: WoCroStiMo Pieces

I've wanted to make this post for about 2 weeks, but I've been waiting until I could post both of the pieces to flickr and then share here. This is the official last post for WoCroStiMo (at least for this year). I wrote most of the post on the 30th and have had it saved, so I'm just going to post what I've got along with some new commentary.

Yesterday was the last day of November and for many people it signaled the end of NaNoWriMo. For me, it was the end of WoCroStiMo, World Cross Stitching Month. If you saw my TTMT post yesterday, you’ll know that I was a “winner” (I met my goal) for the month! My goal was 15,000 stitches, and I’m happy to report that I actually had a total of 16,056!! I did two different projects during the month.

The first project was my swap piece for the Phat Quarter Swap. I finished it early Sunday morning and mailed yesterday, so my partner hasn’t received it yet (and probably won’t for another week and a half or more since the package is going overseas). That piece is the one I’m most proud of. I’ve done a lot of other pieces really like but this one I loved and I was sad to part with it. If I had an extra ninety bajillion hours I would actually consider making another one.

The theme of the swap was OMG! The Horror! and I had a chance to combine the awesomeness of a Peeves (from Harry Potter) quote and the iconic movie cover of Poltergeist. I was a bit ambitious, but once I had the idea I couldn't let it go! The completed stitch was 13430 stitches (not including all of the back stitching) and was done on 22ct fabric using 21 different colors.

Peeves the Poltergeist Scan

Poltergeist Cross Stitch Naughty, naughty, you'll get caughty

The next piece came to me as a sort of favor/commission on Wednesday the 24th. The original plan was to work on my giant cross stitch of d00m for the remaining 2k stitches, but this other project fell into my lap at just the right time. I was contacted by Julie Jackson of Subversive Cross Stitch, Jamie Chalmers known in the stitchy community as Mr X Stitch, and the incredibly awesome Bridget aka Beefranck to stitch a "royal wedding memorabilia on the occasion of Prince William’s engagement" (blatantly stolen from the SCS site because my brain sucks right now).

I tried something totally new for this piece, and that was to dye my fabric. I usually stitch on 18 or 22ct fabric and my color options are pretty limited (always white, basically). Rather than try to find royal blue 22ct anywhere, I got some dye and did it myself. It turned out beautifully with only a couple of weird dye spots, and I am definitely going to dye fabric in the future. Of course, I had way too many issues while stitching but I fought through it and was able to do all 2626 stitches in two evenings.

Keep Calm and Marry On

and because I'm insanely proud of the back
Back of Keep Calm

The pattern for this stitch can be found on the Subversive Cross Stitch website. It's a pretty big project and I have no idea how I managed to do it all so quickly.

But yes, a very delayed post on something that ended two weeks ago, but I hope you think it was worth the wait!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Talk to me Tuesday: Low on stuff and quality

I thought the quality would be better than it is (it looked mildly okay on my computer), so I apologize for how insanely dark it is!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Talk to me Tuesday: I am the winner

WoCroStiMo ends today and yesterday I reached my goal! I did two different projects during the month, one with 13430 stitches and one with 2626 stitches (not counting backstitching). I surpassed my goal of 15k and got to slightly over 16k!! I'm so happy with myself, and you can see what I made this month!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Crafty Monday: WoCroStiMo Update

I was going to write a long post about multi-tasking, but I'm just too busy right now! I had to work later today and I'm all sorts of behind in everything, so I'm just going to post the update and get on with my evening.

For WoCroStiMo I should be at 7500 today and I am at 7875! YES! I'm still on schedule, so I don't need to worry until tomorrow (which I will be since I have etsy orders and my video to do tomorrow). I would post a photo, but it's actually starting to look like something, and I don't want any pictures floating around that might spoil my partner in this swap. But yes, back to work!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Crafty Monday: WoCroStiMo Day 8

I am now 8 days into WoCroStiMo and going strong! In order to make my goal of 15,000 stitches, I will need to do 500 stitches per day.

Current cross stitch project on Saturday with 2867 stitches done

At the time of writing (Sunday night, since I won't have time on actual Monday), I have 4,419 stitches done. Only 81 stitches until I make my goal for Tuesday (which will be helpful since Talk to me Tuesday videos take time). The best thing though, is that this month includes a lot of time off from work. The 11th is Veterans day, and I get that day off. Thanksgiving is also coming up, so I'll have time off for that. If I keep up the same pace, then I should make the deadline. I just wish it were the weekend already. :P

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Talk to me Tuesday: WoCroStiMo

Crafty Monday: WoCroStiMo

meant to write and post this yesterday, my bad

As many of you know, NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) started yesterday and people have been furiously typing away at their computers since (the real procrastination won’t begin for at least another day or so). For the last two years I’ve participated and won NaNo, but I decided not to do it this year. I simply do not have enough time with my new long work schedule, weekly videos, internetting, making music, and of course WoCroStiMo.

WoCroStiMo? No, it isn’t Judoon for something dirty, it’s World Cross Stitching Month! I do like the idea of participating in a big project in November (last year I did NaBloPoMo – National Blog Posting Month) and I have too much stitching to do, I figured I could make it into a fun activity where I don’t have to be alone!

WoCroStiMo is slightly different than NaNo. If you participate in NaNo the main goal is 50k no matter what. That is not the case with WoCroStiMo. While I think we’d all love to be able to stitch 50,000 stitches in a month, we know it is basically impossible (you would need to stitch over 1500 stitches per day, if you can do that, I say go for it!). On my speediest project I only was able to do 1000 stitches a day, and I was stitching constantly.

If you’d like to participate, set a goal. It should be a high number; higher than you think you have time for. If you only stitch about 1000 stitches in a month, go for 1500 or even 2000! With my new work schedule and all of the stuff I need to be doing, I’m setting a goal of 15k stitches. I’m currently participating in the Phat Quarter OMG! The Horror Swap, and the pattern I created is around 13,000 stitches. If you watch my Talk to me Tuesday videos and have seen the progress of my giant DH stitch over the last two months, that is about 17k stitches.

So yes, I may be crazy, but I encourage you to be crazy with me and set your own WoCroStiMo goals! And to everyone that does embroidery, quilting, scrapping, crochet, and knitting – feel free to make your own anagram, crafty goals, and get to it! You know your own work and how long it can take you to do it, so estimate what you think is a formidable goal and start working towards it. Personally, I can’t wait
for my work day to be over so I can start stitching!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Talk to me Tuesday: Distracted Crafter

I was going to post this after it uploaded, but instead I took a very long nap.


Monday, October 11, 2010

Crafty Monday: it's to dye for!

Anyone who knows me is familiar with my t-shirt obsession. I have a closet full of black t-shirts and a growing number of funky art shirts from Teefury, a site known for selling one shirt a day and then never selling it again. An irresistible day on the site is the day they do the grab bag. With the grab bag you can purchase a shirt for only $5; the only catch is that while you can choose the size, you have no control over which shirt you get.

This is both good and bad. I've gotten shirts that I love, some shirts that I grew to love, and a few that I didn't like. The most often course of action with designs I didn't care for is to give them to a family member who loves the design. My most recent grab bag I got had a design that I loved, but the shirt color was white. Since I do not wear white I knew the only solution was to dye the shirt. Below are before, during, and after shots. You can also see my post on the teefury forum (which has been made into a sticky!! This is very exciting for me, lol).

Call Forth the Strange and Embrace

Hot dye

(Dyed) Call Forth the Strange and Embrace

The shirt and the dye

Monday, October 4, 2010

Crafty Monday: Tree Trimmings

I'm a big fan of procrastination. It's just one of those lovely things I do. I like to wait until the very last minute to get anything done. This project is kind of like that. In my recent TTMT, Challenging Myself, I challenged myself to finish the top of the Tree Trimming pattern (available at Sewhooked) by Tuesday. Not only did I finish the top, I finished the whole thing!

I'm insanely proud of it and myself, and I adore the colors. I'm not a big fan of x-mas (except my own family's celebrations) or the decorations, so this is a nice alternative to a tree because when I live by myself there is no way I'll ever buy one.

Quilted Close up

Tree Trimming

Tree Trimming Outside

Also, note of squee - I am featured in a post on MrXStitch.com today! :D

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Storytime Saturday: Eggs

click to see more hilarious comics by Natalie Dee

I want to tell you a story about how I quit eggs*.

All three times.

The first time was in middle school and a girl thought it would be interesting to bring a bloody egg in. Her mom had been making scrambled eggs and when she cracked the egg into the bowl it was bloody and gross. So of course, you bring that in to school to gross out all of the other kids and have the teacher explain it all.

I didn't eat eggs for about 6-8 months after that.

The second time was in 9th grade and somehow one of the funniest things to tell people became "Did you know that an egg is a chicken's period?" I imagine it was funny because by that time all of the girls were dealing with their periods and in an Idaho town with only 2,500 people, the jokes were most likely scarce. So this was the thing to tell people, and it was the thing to keep me from eating eggs.

I didn't eat eggs for about 2 years.

We moved to Florida before my junior year and maybe about a year or so after we moved, my parents decided it was a good idea to have chickens. I was fine with the chickens, but kind of leery about the eggs since the incident in middle school. Then one day it all changed. My dad brought in an egg that a chicken had just produced. He told me to hold out my hand and when I did he plopped the warm egg into it. The egg was warm. Not warm from the sun, but warm in a way that said THIS JUST CAME FROM A CHICKEN'S INNARDS, CAN'T YOU FEEL THE WARMTH?!

I didn't eat eggs for 3 years.

Despite my on and off relationship with eggs, I'm pretty okay with eating them now. I have weird feelings about most foods and usually make up stories that allow me to stomach them (for example: chicken comes from the chicken tree, eggs from the egg tree, and ground beef is harvested like potatoes). I have lots of issues with food if you can't tell (and don't even get me started on my specific silverware, cups, bowls, and knives that I use, I'm more neurotic about those kinds of things than Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory).

*I should note that when I say I quit eggs and didn't eat them, that doesn't include eggs that were used in recipes or cooked in foods without my knowledge. My body was fine with eggs as long as I didn't know they were there, but if I did smell or eat eggs by themselves I gagged.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Crafty Monday: Phat Quarter Movie Swap

I just realized I forgot to post last week's ttmt on this blog, you can see it here or wait for the next TTMT which will have both videos.

I love swaps. I was never much of a swappy person, but once the Phat Quarter Flickr Group started having them, I became addicted. I love having embroidery, cross stitch, and all sorts of lovely fiber crafts as decorations. In the past I participated in the NSFW Swap and the Comic Swap, so it was a no-brainer to sign up for the Movie Swap (anyone familiar with the Phat Quarter would notice that I didn't mention the Zen Swap, I couldn't think of anything to make for it so I didn't sign up).

One of the best things about the Phat Quarter swaps is the fact that there is a broad theme and each person can do whatever they wish with it. Everyone has their own style and their own interpretation of the theme. For the movie swap, the possibilities were endless. I have a deep and intense love for movies, so I've already done several movie related projects. No, really, these are just the stitchy things; I didn't even post purses or stenciled things or books that are also movies.

Arsenic and Old Lace Embroidery Red Dress - typo! Zydrate cross stitch Lips from Afar

Luigi Largo Says Donate! America, Fuck yeah I need to B my L on someone's Ts Saw Doll Cross Stitch

For the swap I chose to do a stitch of one of my most favorite movies of all time (it was hard, because I have about 30 most favorite movies of all time): Party Monster. Party Monster is an amazing movie. If you haven't heard of it, you can watch the trailer here. In the scene I stitched, Seth Green plays James St. James who is dressed as a Troll for a talk show. I spoke about this stitch in a past Talk to me Tuesday video, but here are the stats: 5x4 on 22 ct, 31 colors, 8748 stitches. I was actually pretty sad it send it on its way because it turned out better than I expected. I made it for Carrie_76 and she wrote a post about it.

Troll St Troll Scan

Troll St Troll

This weekend I received my piece from miaumau and could not be more excited about it. She asked me if it was okay if she posted the photo before I got it and I said that was fine. I'm really glad she did post it, because it gave me time to watch the movie. Her inspiration was My Neighbor Totoro, a modern classic that was made in 1988 and re-released by Disney in 1993. Because I basically live on the internet, I couldn't miss seeing Totoro everywhere, but I had never watched the movie. Since I would be getting a piece from the movie in the mail I watched it...and it was amazing.

I am not a big fan of cartoons or Disney, but this movie blew me away. I think a large part of what made it so touching to me was the fact that the girls were able to escape into a bit of fantasy while their mother was in the hospital. I believe I mentioned last week that my mom was in the hospital, and watching the movie during that time was good. I loved Totoro, and I love this piece. Thank you miaumau!!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Crafty Monday: Nerding it up, food style

While the last week has been really fun (my sister Kandi's family was visiting), the last few days have been awful. My mom, who blogs about her experiences with Lupus here, was admitted to the hospital on Saturday the 4th and checked herself out today AMA (I'm sure once she can get out of the bed she'll be blogging about her diagnoses, the treatment she got, and her reasons for checking herself out of the hospital. I don't want to stick my foot in my mouth or get any details wrong so I won't be talking about it here).

The house has been pretty tense and quiet, so yesterday my brother and I decided to marathon The Big Bang Theory and toast some marshmallows. Of course, we are nerds, so instead of using a microwave, oven, or a normal fire, we used the crème brûlée torch (we had just had crème brûlée the night before, so it had recently been filled up). We had delicious giant marshmallows and had a bit of fun.

and a video, just for fun

Monday, August 16, 2010

Crafty Monday: RNGG Contest Entry

Robot, Ninja & Gay Guy MPAA Title Card
image made by me

So this week I've been relaxing (see: lazy), and one of the things I wanted to accomplish was making my entry for the Robot, Ninja, and Gay Guy video contest. RNGG is a really funny series on youtube, and I think the actors and creators are doing a great job. So last week when a contest was announced, I knew I wanted to participate in it. The object of the contest was to create a video of some sort that used the episodes of RNGG in some way. I knew what I wanted to do within 5 seconds: use the audio from the Twilight trailer with video from the show.

I'm a Twilight fan (the books, not the movies), so I'd only seen the trailer once before. After working on this video, I never ever have to see it again because I know it by heart. About 7 or so hours of work went into making this, and I'm still not 100% pleased (I don't know why, but some of the clips weren't widescreen? It bugs me, but there's no way I'm going to go through and fix them now). It turned out pretty neat anyway, so please watch and enjoy! :D

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Talk to me Tuesday: Queen of Dorks

I will have the photos of my Phat Quarter swap piece up on flickr once my partner receives it (which should be Thursday if I can trust the post office). If you want to make a hat like I made, I used this handy tutorial, except I'm super lazy and didn't bother with a brad or punching a hold in it. I used packing tape and tacky glue (the things that were less than 5 inches from my hands).

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Saturday Show-Off: Quiberon Quafflepunchers

I was going to save this for a future Crafty Monday post, but I'm awake right now, so I might as well post it, right? First of all, today is the birthday of Harry Potter & JK Rowling!! Usually I go to the Orlando HP Club's party, but I might have to skip out this year since I don't feel like I'm well enough to drive and be out of the house for several hours. I'll be there in spirit though (I'll just imagine myself surrounded by 10 different cakes, because that is what it's always like).

Anyway, today's Saturday Show-Off (which might become a thing?) is a commission I worked on in the first week of July for a friend for her costumes for Infinitus. It started out with an idea around February, but we both sort of forgot about it until the last week in June, when I was already in a mad rush of crafting and getting ready for the con. Obviously, I was really excited to do the commission and there was absolutely no way I was going to say no.

What she wanted was 28 patches: 2 seeker patches, 2 keeper patches, 6 chaser patches, 4 beater patches, and 14 team patches. Sasha is a fantastic artist and she drew a mock-up of what the patches could be like and the Quidditch team's logo. She wanted 28 of them so each member of the team would get to keep a team and player patch for themselves as a souvenir. She sent me her drawings and I digitized them with a program I have.

Once I had the supplies (Sasha sent me the pink fabric to stitch the larger patches on and included a modified corn painting that was mentioned in my first corn post) I got my embroidery machine to start making patches. Making patches is a bit of long process and since I'm kind of lazy I'll just link to this tutorial on Urban Threads because it is how I learned how to make patches.

The team patches went by really fast because of the size. They were all about 2" so I was able to do 4 on the hoop at a time. I stitched all 14 of them and then made them into patches. I think it took under 8 hours to make them.

Team Member Patches

It was the logo patches that took an age and a half. They had to be much bigger than 2". I think the final measurements for each of them were about 5.25", the largest thing I've stitched. The logo was 4.75" and took 86 minutes to stitch on my machine. Eighty-six minutes of my machine just working on one design! With the patch border and all that goes into making it work, each of the 14 team patches took a little over 2 hours each. The second I got home from work (and sometimes before work), I had my machine running and working on the patches. Even when my machine wasn't running I could hear it stitching. I did get done though!

All of the Patches

One of the only problems I have with the project was that the pink material was a bit slippery and tended to gather and pucker, which slightly messed up the designs on some of them. They still looked nice, and some of them even looked like it was intentional. Although fun fact: you can't even tell from far away.

Quiberon Quafflepunchers

A week after sending the patches to Sasha, I got to see the Quiberon Quafflepunchers in person! I was super excited and asked to have my picture with them. I almost died of embarrassment when Sasha had them all yell, "WE LOVE YOU SHAE!"

Quiberon Quafflepunchers 1 Quiberon Quafflepunchers 2

Here is a better picture that I shamelessly stole from Sasha. If you want to see some excellent costuming, I highly suggest looking around her Deviant Art page (Neapolitan Bonaparte is one of the greatest costumes ever made) or track her down at Dragon*Con, the Quafflepunchers will be there!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Crafty Monday: This is Handmade

I think I'm going to start another Tumblr blog and all it's going to be is 5 minute videos of me or other people weaving, knitting, spinning, embroidering, sewing... whatever. If you can't sit through 5 minutes of mind-numbingly boring ass handwork, then you don't get to whine about how much it costs. Because we have to do this shit for hours and hours and hours and hours. Not even like 6 hours, more like 50 to 100+ hours. And really, it's just as boring for me as it is for the viewer. It really is. - Penny Nickels

This post was published months and months ago, but I thought it was an amazing idea. Two months after seeing the video, I recorded my own five minutes, and then another two months after that I uploaded the video.

Can't make it through mine? I don't blame you! Want to see other examples of super tedious artistry? Of course you do!

This is Handmade

Record yours today and submit it! Penny Nickels has one! And so does Jennifer Ofenstein, and Gigglymama! I know you want to be one of the cool kids!

Click here to see the full post about this awesome project including video rules and how to submit.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Crafty Monday: First Corn

Everything you never wanted to know about First Corn!

I'm going to tell you a story that has spawned some awesome crafts made by friends of mine (sadly, I haven't made any because I suck). This is the story of First Corn and the most awesome vacation I've ever had. It was August 2008 and I was at Terminus, a Harry Potter symposium taking place in Chicago. As is the case with Harry Potter conferences, everyone was a bit silly and totally able to be themselves because they were around fellow Potter-fiends. With nothing else to do, Victor, Laci, Jenn, and I wandered into one of the "Craftable" activities to see what was going on. The current project was, "Make a Magical Feast." Victor was making corn and asked the question that changed the entire rest of the con for us.

"Did you guys ever play First Corn when you were younger?"

We all said that we had never played it and asked Victor to explain. He told us that First Corn was played like this: Corn is ingested during a meal, and one person challenges the other to a game of First Corn. The first person to pass the corn is the winner.

It all went crazy from there. We adopted corn names (I became First Corn, Jenn was Second Corn, Laci was Epic Corn, and Victor was Original Corn), we were Corn Eaters and drew Corn Marks on our arms (like a Dark Mark of the Death Eaters), and we told everyone about First Corn (The first rule of First Corn is that you tell everyone about First Corn).

169 183
171 143

As is the case with crafty people, it was only inevitable that there would be corn crafts, and in the last month I have been gifted with two insanely awesome corn-related pieces.

Laci's first cross stitch

Made for me by Sasha, aka Internets Corn

Made for me by Jenn

I love corn!
taken while visiting Jenn in Ohio at the end of May

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Talk to me Tuesday: My Trip

In which I talk about my recent trip to Ohio!

Crafty Monday: Dalek Victory Propaganda Poster

I got home from the airport around 2am last night, so I wasn't able to make my Monday post on Monday. It is worth the wait though...

My friend Jenn, who was the one who convinced me to start watching Doctor Who, sent me this image, and I couldn't help but want to cross stitch it. I've already stitched one propaganda poster (see my luigi largo stitch here), and it is fun to realize how much I adore them.

Dalek Scan

Dalek Victory Cross Stitch

Lots of people requested the pattern for this, so as soon as I got home I uploaded the pattern and the information for it. :D