Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sewing Sewing Sewing, Keep That Needle Going

pin it on, cut it out,
cut it out, lay it down,
pin it on, stitch it up,
The end is in my sight!

I've had Rawhide stuck in my head for some reason lately, specifically the Blues Brothers version, I don't know why. So I decided to make my own lyrics, as seen above. (am I not terribly clever?) Mostly I'm just procrastinating on doing the applique on my skirt (as I have been doing all week...) I really am not too fond of appliqueing and I've had other things to attract my attention this week and since I really don't have a hard deadline for this project I haven't been able to find the motivation to actually do it.

The deadline I set was the end of February, which happens to be tomorrow (I'm not normally this bad with deadlines, I swear. I'm just usually unemployed and have all kinds of free time, that is not the case right now) So here I am today spending my day off appliqueing until I'm cross eyed; and I'm kind of okay with it, I occasionally really need to do something tedious (the best example of that need popping up is my sewing apron. I spent 3 and a half hours matching ALL of the patterns when placing the pockets. I'll post pictures of it on one of my back log projects entries.)
The first to get done is the triple spiral, I figure if I get it out of the way first it can only get easier from here (exception being the St. Brigid's Cross but that's just a lot of straight lines, how hard could it be, right?... right?)

I cut out the strips for the filler bits the other day and was amused with my lazy method of cutting out multiple strips of the same size.

oh yea... go me...
I accordioned the fabric however many times I needed and then put the first piece I cut on top as a pattern. It worked well for me and I'm not sorry for being lazy with it.

I am actually working on the triple spiral as I'm typing this post up and can I just say that this has got to be the most tedious thing to applique in the history of tedious appliques. This is not the fun focusing kind of tedious this is the "OH MY DEAR JEEBUS I'M GOING TO KICK A WHOLE LITTER OF PUPPIES" kind of tedious.
And now it is done.

On to the other panels! and hopefully I will get the skirt finished today since I have nothing else planned for today except for crocheting; and speaking of crocheting! I have just made my very first crochet pattern, unfortunately I can't tell you what it is yet because it's a gift for someone, but it's adorable and awesome and I'm pleased with it. There will be pictures... eventually.

In other CA news I finally found my scoop for the poly pellets in the little Spartan guys. It will be handy and it just adds to the cute in my life.

Also I am going to try to get on a schedule for posting. I want to post more often, but I get tired after work and forget until it's time for bed and way too late to type anything up. SO I will be adding it to my calendar with an alarm reminder on the days I want to post, which will be Wednesday and Sunday. I figure starting with 2 days a week and going from there will be good.

and now to end this post because I really want to get to watching Xena (seriously, don't judge me) and I will end my post, as I so often do, by introducing the latest addition to my army!
Here he is (the most creatively named Spartan so far) Gluteus Excrucius!

So named because he was a pain in the ass to make! The little bastard...
I don't know why but he was not like the others in the way he went together, I had to work extra hard on making the pieces work, it was seriously frustrating. Notice the bastard smirk, it's because he is one and should have that smirk.

That's all until Wednesday, I bid you good day and craft on!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Thread and beads and paint, OH MY!

It has been suggested that I show you all my back log projects in between the active projects. So that is what I'm going to do!

~Thready bits of craftiness~ 

I started cross stitching when I was about 7 years old. I still remember the very first project I completed, it was a house silhouette, finished it was only an inch square and there probably weren't even 30 stitches in the whole thing, but I was pleased with myself for completing it. I have since moved on to larger, more complicated, and cuter patterns.
Like this one...
it's twue, it's twue!

I get bored occasionally and want to start a project just for the hell of it (I use the excuse that I simply need to practice the particular art form of the project) This next one is just such a case. I decided I needed to embroider something and so I chose to embroider a hanky for specific set of garb I had made and she being an Irish character I chose a Celtic symbol. I chose to embroider, by hand, the Celtic Tree of Life... I'd lost my damn fool mind. I was just going to do the out line in one color and be done with it, but noooooo the project had other ideas (don't look at me like that, your projects get ideas of their own too and you know it!)

I ended up doing the outlining and then filling in with the same color of blue and then using the brown to add detailing so you could make out all the knot work.
Looks awesome but I will most likely never do it again. (unless I'm getting paid to that is)

(points if you catch the quote)

I've had a lot of interesting commissions over the years and one of my first and most interesting was a Santa suit for a man that was a professional Santa. He wanted his suit to be special and unique (or at least as unique as you can make an iconic suit) So I added a touch of beading accents to give the suit the kind of detail he was wanting.

Beading the letters proved to be very difficult, making them look like letters was a serious pain until I made the letters out of wire and then added the beads and stitched the whole thing down. I wanted to do more on the suit but he liked it as it was the first time I showed it to him.
I'm rather proud of this project because it really is the one that started it all for me commission-wise.

Beading is one of my favorite crafty things to do, there is so much potential for disaster when you're working with a large amount of tiny things that can be spilled and mixed up and spread around the floor... heh

This next one is a project I did just because. I was watching My Fair Lady and was inspired by the gorgeous necklace she wears.
I think this was meant to be a scale model to make a version for me, but I got distracted by something else before I actually made the full scale one (don't judge me)

I made this around the same time, same scale as the necklace, and I made it because... well, why not?

~Paint is not a good thing in a tiny closed off room~

Painting is a fairly new thing for me. Both of the projects I'm going to show you are from within the last 4 years and I'm rather proud of both of them.

First, in 2007 I met some pirates, not real ones of course, but a group of people that liked to play them out at Scarborough Faire. I've done a LOT of sewing for these guys and even some calligraphy, the thing that I most enjoyed was designing their flag and then making it. The ships name is Valkyrie's Fury and so I took the winged helmet idea and ran with it.
The flag itself is almost 4 by 6 feet, ya know, flag sized. I made a stencil for the design (Kinkos workers look at you funny when you bring things like this in to be laminated, especially it being the size it is) and then I painted the 2 sides, I flipped the stencil on the 2nd side so that it lined up with the first (because it's the odd details like that, that make me the artist I am) I've made 2 of these flags so far and I've kept the stencil safe in case they lose the one they are so fond of flying out the back of their truck (boys are dumb sometimes) This is a 37 piece stencil, 33 pieces belong to the wing design.

Other painty things I've done also include wings. My own wings in fact!

These are shaped wire covered in fabric and then painted. I get so many complements on these wings when I actually wear them. Which I really don't anymore because they are REALLY heavy (and act as sails on windy days) it is most gratifying when someone asks where you got your wings and you can reply "I made them" and get the Look Of Awe for it. I love it.

That is all for today. I'm going to try to post more often now that I have something to post about more often (seriously should have thought of this earlier...) I have lots of crafty things to share with you other than the things I'm currently working on.

I'll also be able to introduce number 4 to you soon (the little bastard) until next time though...

Craft on my friends!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Because One Project Is Never Enough

Hello again my crafty friends!
I told you I'd be back today and here I am.

Firstly! Here is the picture of Matt in the hat I made for him, in his Don Giovanni costume, before the show. I am still squeeing at the fact they chose my hat over any of the other options.

Now onto my new project! It is another skirt, an everyday sort of skirt instead of a dressy skirt like the pencil skirt.
This is going to be a Wheel of the Year skirt (as seen in The Anticraft book), it has the 8 symbols of the 8 holidays on the Pagan calendar, those being, Samhain (sow-in), Yule, Imbolc (em-bulk), Ostara (oh-star-ah), Beltane, Litha, Lunghnasadh (loo-nah-sah), Mabon (may-bon). Each has a specific symbol associated with it that will be appliqued on the different panels of the skirt. There will be no specific front or back to the skirt, it is made in such a way that it can be turned to the symbol of the holiday we are closest to.
It's going to be a colorful skirt...

very very colorful...
 here is a picture of a copy of a picture of what the skirt will look like.
Today I gathered all my materials together and borrowed a lighted desk to transfer the applique designs to the fabric. I sat down and prepared to get to work and then decided I needed a snack... hey every crafter needs her (or his) snack. Don't judge me.
I got myself a very special cookie and a cup of peppermint hot chocolate.
and they're so pretty too...

Then I got to work on the transfers, it went a lot easier and faster than I was expecting.
There is Samhain, with the Triskele or triple spiral
Yule for winter
Imbolc with St. Bridgit's Cross
Ostara for spring
Beltane with the waxing moon
Litha for summer
Lunghnasadh with the sickle
and Mabon for fall

All of the colors showed up wonky because I took the pictures with them on the light desk, so you can see the symbols, you won't see the true color until I actually start the process of appliqueing.
I managed to get all of the symbols traced and all of the panels cut out today and tomorrow I will try to get the strips of filler cut out (that would be the vertical stripes an the top and bottom of the skirt... in case you were wondering) and maybe even start the process of putting the Wonder Under on the applique bits, I think that is my least favorite part of the appliqueing process, well second maybe to actually placing the appliques (thin spirals are the worst!)
I really don't have a deadline for this project (I mean, I've only had the material since LAST May, why should I be in a hurry NOW???) but I think I want to make one up for the sake of Not Procrastinating. So let's see... a good date would how about the end of February? yea Feb 28 sounds good. Sure, why not? And if not then, definitely by Ostara which is March 22 (or thereabouts)
Sounds like a plan to me!

I'm excited to actually start on this project (finally) I had every intention of making this in St. Louis last year, but the season got busy and the busy got drinking (and I still drank less than the first season with OTSL, which is kind of terrifying really) and so the materials stayed in it bag until now (well actually I've pulled it out 3 times since purchasing it to get a start on it, I just hadn't ACTUALLY started it) though usually once I get going on a project I get through it pretty fast (unless I hate it or it's a huge feck-all project, like making 300 Spartans, but really who on earth is crazy enough to do that? ((don't answer that)))

It seems to be becoming a trend to end a post with introducing a new Spartan, I'll try to keep up with that. So here is the latest addition to my teeny weeny army (though he is taller than both the ones before him) Trivios the pouty Spartan!
I will be starting on 4 soon enough, I didn't get to him tonight because I wrote this blog instead...
Craft on everybody!

P.S. Hannah,
I have figured out one of the things you'll be getting for your birthday, but you won't find out until I'm back in TX, at the END OF MARCH! MWAHAHAHA (mine is truly an evil laugh)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Spear and Magic Helmet

Hello everybody! My sincerest apologies for disappearing for a while, I have had a bit of A Week. I spent the first part of last week trying like mad not to get sick and the second half being a lazy lazy bastard (mostly, I did go on a bit of a cleaning binge at the Mattcave) I was going to post whilst in Syracuse being mostly lazy but found that I had forgotten my SD card reader and couldn't put pics on the computer from my camera.

So at long last! The pictures of the skirt I made for v-day dinner  (I told you I'd get them up Monday, I just neglected to say which Monday... heh heh)

I'm kind of in love with it actually. It looked smashing, even following an evening of dressing to the nines for the opera (an opera that a hat I made for Matt was in! I'll have to ask if he's okay with me putting the picture of it on him with the costume on here for you all to see), I still felt gorgeous wearing my creation.
I should have gotten a picture of the lining peeking out, oh well. (at least I got the pictures up for y'all... finally)

Onto the Spear and Magic Helmet portion of our program!
My army has doubled! I now have 2 little Spartan dudes and numba 2 is adorably doofy looking, there is just something about his face that makes you want to go "d'aaawwww". He also turned out a bit bigger than the first one (and the helmet was SO much easier now that I have the patterns flipped, thus making it magical. Just sayin.) and he has a spear because I wanted to see how it would turn out.
Here he is... Rikerious!
Isn't he cute? I kind of love him. I swear parting with these guys at the end of the project is going to be like giving away puppies; that is to say, it's going to be hard to part with them (even though I'm going to be over run by the end of it... ((OH MY GOD! I Should do 101 dalmatians next!!! (((and of course my housemate just suggested I do a barrel of monkeys... hate. you.))))))

And so I leave you with a picture of my growing army, by tomorrow I will have the 3rd finished and probably the 4th started, I'm getting faster at making them.

Until tomorrow (no seriously, I'm starting another project tomorrow) my crafty friends, I bid you adieu.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Deadline? What Deadline? Oh And Look It! Look It!

Oh right! The skirt! I had forgotten... oops...
I got so excited to start on my 300 project I kind of completely forgot about the skirt I wanted to wear for V-day dinner (that will not actually be on V-day) until Thursday when I got home and realized I had 5 days to work on it and that included Thursday. So I promptly didn't work on it (though I did spend 4 friggin hours trying to figure out the helmet pattern for my Spartan; it's all about priorities) and even put all my sewing stuff away because I was cleaning for First Friday Filk, so yep, you guessed it, no working on it Friday either (but again worked on the 300 project because I could do that and sing. It would have been really rude to drag out my noisy sewing machine anyways... and no, that is not just an excuse) So I got home today around 5pm and got everything set up and going about 6pm. The skirt was still in pieces when I started this evening and now right at 10pm I have finished it. I'll see about posting pictures tomorrow (or possibly Monday, depending on how dead I am after work tomorrow...) when I have a chance to look better than I do now.

On to other things!
I had complete container FAIL on the first test of it's travelibility (yes, I really did just make up a word) as I'm walking through old grungy snow the handle of my brand new container pops off at one end, thankfully I was able to get it gently onto the ground, thus avoiding the spillage of ALL THE THINGS into the mucky snow (w00t!)
It's sad isn't it? So I have made some highly sophisticated modifications to it (woohoo duct tape!) in hopes that it will do a bit better for me because I can't return it, it was on sale (dammit)
Moving on...

Illion is finished! I finished him yesterday, except for his sword, I had to get a different color felt for the sword, I really thought the sandy color I had gotten would be dark enough to not blend in to his skin color, alas. But I found a great granite color to use instead and I have the sword put together I just need to embellish it, which I think I'll do right now...
*insert stitching noises here* (though if you make a lot of noise when you hand sew, YUR DOIN IT WRONG) lol
Here he is! The man of the moment. Standing at 4 inches with his helmet on and weighing... uh, well not much; Illion the Spartan!!!

uh... well there is his body at least...
and there's his head (why my camera would only focus on the carpet, I really don't know)

And we have his shield, cloak (no capes! ((points if you catch the reference))) teeny tiny loin cloth and the helmet (the helmet that collectively took me about 6 hours to do because some of the instructions are, in fact, BACKWARDS)

Avert your eyes ladies cuz...

He's nekkid!!!

I really shouldn't blog so late, I just get silly...
Here we are! Coming along nicely.
And finally here he is in all his glory (or was that an earlier picture?)

I'm quite pleased really, I think this is going to be a seriously fun project and I think these guys are going to develop personalities of their own as I make them.
I've already started on 2, I'm not sure what his name should be yet, I'm sure it'll come to me at some point, probably when I don't have pen and paper handy. That does seem to be the way of it.

Well good night all and craft on!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The PROJECT OF DOOM aka The Epic Project of Epicness code name Insanity

Here it is, the moment you all have been waiting for, well some of you at least...

If I have randomly asked you to pick a number lately and then referred you to my blog, you will now understand why (well some of you at least...) heh...
A friend of mine recently found this book
And I have recently learned to crochet (as I have mentioned before) and I have only been getting better at it (if I do say so meself). So this book has all these creepy and super cute (as the name might suggest) little figures in it and when I was looking through it the first time I saw one of them and this project popped into my head (what project you ask? Well I haven't told you yet, hold ya damn horses a moment! yeesh) At first I was just kind of like "that would be really fun to do" and then the more I thought about it the more I really wanted to actually do it!
So I practiced with some crap yarn and a hook my friend lent me and got to where I could make the proper shapes and stitches and such (youtube is AMAZING) and then went out and got supplies...
As you can see I have a copy of the book (didn't want to destroy the copy that didn't belong to me) I have my handy dandy Notebook of ALL THE THINGS, it has all of my notes, the labels from the yarn (so I can find more later) and every scrap of information concerning this project (if I lose it I'm totally screwed)
I have the yarn of course, just the 3 colors needed for this venture.
tiny black buttons for the eyes, I currently only have 24 and I will need 600... O_O (599 actually)
poly pellets for weighted filling (I have WAY more than pictured) and GIANT lobster closures for stitch markers (a friggin god-send when crocheting in circles) also the felt there for weaponry.
It was really hilarious buying the felt, I couldn't find the right color in the little pre-cut squares so I went to the "felt by the yard" section and picked out the color there and it was this MASSIVE bolt of 74" wide felt and the roll was thicker than my waist and I plopped it down on the cutting table, smiled sweetly at the lady and announced "I need an 8th of a yard" she looked at me and said "just an 8th?", I nodded, so she gave me a look that said "seriously?" and kind of waited for an explanation or what I'd be using it for or anything really to justify my getting and 8th of a friggin yard off the huge bolt... I gave her nothing. Mwahahaha (mine is an evil laugh)
 next we have the 2 hook sizes I will be needing, I got the cheap hooks for my firsts and I may move on to more expensive ones later. I also have my detailing thread, a tiny piece of the stuffing I have (because why take a picture of all of it? I mean really...) and my pretty shears. Not shown is needle and thread for putting the pieces together.
I even picked up a new box for it all to live in...

And now I will actually tell you what this massive project is, this Epic undertaking, this insane project, this no less than a year of my life spent doing something almost entirely pointless except for the fact that it makes me happy, this project to end all projects (not really, I'll continue crafting after this project), this hand cramp in the making, this I really chose to do this, didn't I? this oh my dear lord what the hell am I going to do with all these things after I have finished with them project...

Can I get a drumroll please?
ok, fine...

Here it is, the figure that sparked my imagination and this insanity (and I totally blame Blue for being the second voice in my head to say "you SHOULD do it, true story, you should" just like she said when we decorated Beast, but that is a different story)
I give you The Spartan!
and I'm going to make 300 of them... because I obviously have nothing better to do with my time.

So if I have randomly asked you to pick a number between 1 and 300 lately, the number you chose is the number guy you will be getting and yes, I will be keeping track of which is which, stitching the number on the bottom of them, I'm also going to name them all (wish me luck with that). I really have no idea how long this project will take me, but I will be keeping track of it through this blog (it's the reason this blog exists actually) and I hope you all will tag along for what I am sure will be quite an adventure.

I'm off to start on the first one, he is mine by the way, and his name shall be Illiyon (pronounced Ill-E-on)

Craft on my friends, craft on!