Archive for the ‘Cross stitch’ Category

Etsy!

My Etsy store is now up and running! For the moment it's patterns only, but I plan to sell some finished pieces once I move in a few months (fingers crossed for that). I'll also be adding some new patterns in the next month. I am taking custom orders for patterns and finished pieces though!

2012: Crafty Resolutions

I don't usually make resolutions of any kind, but I like the idea of having some crafty goals for the year. These are definitely subject to change depending on my employment status this year.

1. Make those Christmas cards I flaked out on last year.

2. Try knitting again. It was a frustrating, borderline disaster that really made me question wanting to knit in the first place. I'll try again in the fall.

3. Open an Etsy store. this is going to be my big project of the year (like my site redesign was last year). I've gone back and forth on the whole Etsy thing for a few years, but I think I'm ready to do it and see what happens.

4. Finish (and stitch) at least one pattern that I've put on hold.

5. Stitch something I'm really proud of. It's been awhile since I've done that. Still taking my stitchy break though.

Stitch Story: Somebody Told Me

The theme for the last Phat Quarter swap was "somebody told me", a pretty broad (and unusual) topic.

Somebirdie Told Me

I call this one "Somebirdie Told Me" because it's a pretty awful pun and that amuses me. The piece is a spin on the saying "a little birdie told me". It's very loosely inspired by the Parks and Recreation episode "Practice Date", where they're digging up dirt on each other.

I thought about putting words in the speech bubbles, but I liked the idea of making something that didn't have any words in it since the topic relates to words and communication. And it gave me an opportunity to do something more graphic and modern than some of the things I've done recently.

WIP Wednesday: Sabbatical Edition

Now that my swap piece is finished, I'm going to take a break from stitching. I've lost both my motivation and inspiration, so what better time to take a break. I'm going to try not to think about stitching at all for at least a month and hope that some great ideas will come to me and make me want to stitch again.

In the meantime, I'm going to try knitting and make my Christmas cards. I wasn't planning on making Christmas cards this year, but I came across a great idea, so handmade cards it is! My mom will be so proud.

Stitch Story: Contest Prize

Back in September I had a contest for my birthday. The prize was a cross stitched piece made custom for the winner. The winner, Lynn, was subjected to a bunch of questions from me so I could figure out what to make for her. Some of the things she mentioned that I really gravitated toward were Oscar Wilde, the Victorian era, and her favorite colors (orange, yellow, purple). The colors really reminded me of fall and in particular some scrapbook paper I have. So the color palate was taken care of before anything else.

Oscar Wilde quote

I'd never read anything by Oscar Wilde before, so I spent some time looking up quotes and downloading things for my Kindle. The quote I originally wanted to stitch was "It is only the modern that ever becomes old fashioned", which I thought would be fun to stitch since needlework is generally considered old fashioned. Unfortunately the quote was just too long, so I went with something shorter (and probably way more common). The pattern is adapted from one I found at the Antique Pattern Library.

When I finished the pattern, I wasn't really happy with the way I used the colors, so I decided to stitch something else and really focus on that.

Fall Medallion

The medallion is from the same pattern as the one I adapted for the Shaun of the Dead piece. It's from 1826, so not quite the Victorian era and the pattern is Danish rather than British, so I'll file that under close, but not quite.

WIP Wednesday: Concrete Edition

Here's a very early progress picture of my swap piece. It's probably 2-3 days away from being complete. It's been a great piece to work on while watching football.

wip-stm

I'll have some pictures of completed stitches to show tomorrow. Yay!

WIP Wednesday: Unprepared Editon

Shock of all shocks, it took me longer to finish my swap pattern than I thought. I finally finished it the other day and when I went to choose the specific colors I need, I noticed that I don't have them. Then I wondered if I even had the fabric I needed for the project as well. It was a good 10 minutes of head shaking and facepalming. But it turned out I did have the fabric I need so all I have to do is pick up a few colors and I'll be ready to rock 'n roll. I only feel a little stupid for not having the colors considering I was at 4 different craft stores only last week.

I swear by next week I will have my act together and there will be progress to show.

WIP Wednesday: Halloweenie Edition

Finishing up on the contest piece this week. It's too far along to show any pictures of, since I'm keeping it a surprise. I also finally started working on my swap piece over the weekend, or at least the pattern anyway. Hopefully I'll be stitching it up by the weekend and will have something to show next week.

Mostly, I've been obsessing about yarn. I went to 3 Michaels and Jo-ann's yesterday to look at yarn. At least I think that's why I went, I really just felt the need to go. There's some nice alpaca yarn that is speaking to me very loudly. But since I haven't done anything with the yarn I already bought (I'm waiting until I finish my swap piece) and I'm a raging cheapskate (I think it was like $4 a ball), the yarn stayed at the store.

WIP Wednesday: Sleepy Edition

A bit sleep deprived these last few days, so I haven't been as productive as I would like. I really want to get a good day of stitching in. But that's not going to be today. I have a long nap that I need to take later today.

This weeks' WIP:

wip-med

I also signed up for Goodreads. Not entirely sure why or how much I'll use it, but it seemed like the thing to do at the time.

WIP Wednesday: Schedule Edition

Keeping very busy right now. Here's what I'm currently working on...

wip-contest

Then as soon as a finish that, I have something else to stitch. THEN I'll start on my swap piece. Once I've got all that stitching completed, there's this...


Yarn

Which will hopefully turn into a scarf. I wish I could jump ahead and start working on it now, but I have to be patient. Just like I'm patiently waiting for the new Jeffery Eugenides book to arrive at my door.

WIP Wednesday: Coloring Edition

In my pattern making process, adding the colors is always the last part, usually because it's the easiest for me. For the contest piece, I managed to get stuck on this part. I had no problem picking the colors I wanted to use, they just didn't look right in the actual pattern. Some of that is because of the difference between how the colors look in PC Stitch and what they actually look like when you have the floss. The rest is just because I'm super OCD with my pattern making. I think I'm done with the pattern now, but I started on a new pattern and am now futzing with the colors on that one.

Basically, this is a really long excuse for why I have no progress pictures to show this week.

WIP Wednesday: Bookworm Edition

On a bit of a book binge right now. Yesterday I finally got a library card and now I can check books out on my Kindle, I'm totally happy (well, until I saw all the new fancy Kindles that were announced today, so now I want a new one). It's been so long since I've been to a library, I forgot how much I like them. When I was a kid, my mom and I would go all the time and I'd check out huge piles of books. I owned the summer reading programs (I'm a notoriously fast reader).

books

So I picked up a couple of books, and then checked one out for my Kindle- Black Swan Green by David Mitchell, which I actually own but is packed away.

I'm also in the planning stages for the birthday contest prize piece and the next Phat Quarter swap (theme: somebody told me). I've got ideas for both, but they are completely different, so my brain is all over the place. I bought a notebook specifically to use for my stitch ideas before the food swap, and it is definitely coming in handy right now.

WIP Wednesday: 30th Edition

DSC00190
Photo by andy1807

Still between projects, although not for long with the contest (yay!). I have been working on a pattern I started before the food swap piece, but I'm struggling to finish it. I thought I wanted to add a border, but they kept reminding me of the fishy friends piece for some reason. I'm rethinking some things now. So much for this being an easy pattern to make!

I think I need to come up with a long term project that I can work on during times like this. I go a bit stir crazy when I'm not working on anything.

Birthday Contest!

It’s my birthday, and this just happens to be my 200th post, so I’m having a contest! Last year I gave away a mystery stitch to a great home. This year, I’m doing things a bit differently...

The prize:

One custom cross stitch made by me just for you. Basically, I’ll ask you a bunch of random questions, and use that info to design something especially for you.

How to play:

All you have to do is guess the time I was born (12:03 am, for example). Whoever is closest without going over (Bob Barker style) wins. If anyone guesses the exact time, I’ll throw in a bonus prize!

To enter, comment on this entry with your guess. Each person gets 1 guess. Don’t forget the AM/PM! Here’s a hint, I wasn’t born in the midnight or noon hours.

The contest ends on Sept 26th. I’ll announce the winner the next day.

If you have any questions, problems, or want to send me gifts, email me:  ponyinarope at gmail.com

Good luck!

Stitch Story: Food Swap

The theme for the last Phat Quarter swap was food.  One of the things my partner mentioned was how she liked the art style of the Fallout games (50s) and Bioshock (art deco). I'm pretty familiar with both of those games, so my original idea was to stitch something from one of the games. Then I decided to do something a little more ambitious. The idea was to take one of my partner's favorite foods, Cadbury Mini Eggs and create a billboard ad that might fit into the Fallout world.

food

I searched for pictures of Cadbury's ads from the 50s (Mini Eggs didn't exist back then), as well as food ads from that same period to get an idea of their layout and content. I was craving Crunchie bars like crazy for a few days there.

Since I was basically creating a fake product, I had to give it some kind of name, so I used my partner's last name, which I thought was a good fit for a fake chocolate company and a nice way to personalize the piece. For the slogan, I thought since it's the 50s it should probably involve wordplay or a pun. And I think it fits in well with the products in the Fallout world. It was at this point I started to feel like some kind of bizarro Don Draper.

I knew I wanted to include a bunny and had a pretty good idea of what I thought it should look like. I got lucky and found a picture of a 50's/60's matchbox on Flickr that was almost exactly what I'd imagined. I tweaked it a bit, changing the ears and adding a bowtie.

Overall, I'm happy with the way it turned out.

WIP Wednesday: Website Edition

Now that the website redesign and my swap piece are finished, I'm inbetween projects and therefore have no purpose. There were all these things I'd planned to do once I finished the site, but now I've forgotten them.

Here's the completed Radiohead bear from last week. I stitched it for the patterns page, so I could have a better picture. The old one was pretty sad.

radioheadbear

Next week is my birthday, and I'm planning something fun for that. Watch out!

WIP Wednesday: Sample Edition

So, I finished my swap piece, now I just have to frame it and mail it off. My partner should have it next week and then I'll be able to show it off. In the meantime, I've started something new to tide me over for the next week or so.

wip-radiohead

Here's a hint, it's a Radiohead bear. I'm stitching it for the new site. Normally I don't like to stitch things more than once, but I really like this pattern. I've been considering making a King of Limbs one, maybe this will inspire me to actually do it.

After working with 28 count for a month, 22 count seems ridiculously big.

WIP Wednesday: Extended Edition

So I found out that the deadline for my swap piece was 2 weeks later than I originally thought. That made me so freaking happy. Now I won't have to rush and stitch like a madwoman to try to finish it in time. I hate to be late for things, so I would've gone to insane lengths to make it on time if I needed to. But it won't be an issue now. I made quite a bit of progress last week before I found out about the deadline change, so I could end up mailing my piece a week before the deadline. I haven't been early for a swap since the very first one I joined.

Here's another progress picture that gives nothing away.

wip-food2

Also, the new site is so close to being ready it's scary. Within 2 weeks it'll be out in the wild. Eep!

WIP Wednesday: 4 Letter Word Edition

My swap piece is driving me nuts right now. Not because I don't like how it's turning out but because 28 count fabric can go to hell. I don't know what I did to it in a past life, but it does not like me. In the vision I had for the piece, it was on 22 count, because I knew that it was going to be a lot of stitches and I stitch faster on 22 than 28. Well, I ended up with 28 so it would look better once it's framed. Maybe that's the problem, the 28 count knows it was the second choice. I should probably stop giving inanimate objects thoughts and feelings.

Also, some of the problems I've been having are due to my inability to count. So there's that too.

I feel bad for complaining about the piece cause I know the issues I'm having are my fault. So far it hasn't been smooth sailing with my stitching. But what I've gotten done so far looks pretty good, it's just been a real labor of love so far.

WIP Wednesday: Tiny Stitches Edition

Started on my swap piece. I've got a long way to go.

wip-food

This is the first and probably the last picture I'll show of it until it arrives in its new home. I may be able to get another picture next week without revealing too much of the design.

WIP Wednesday: Vision Edition

Figured out what I'm doing for the PQ food swap and have started working on the pattern. The vision I have in my head for what it's going to look like is really exciting. I've only been working on the pattern for a few days so it's too early to tell if I can make the vision become reality. The goal is to have it finished by the end of the week so I have over 2 weeks to stitch it up. It's probably going to have a lot of stitches, so I'd like to have as much time as possible.

WIP Wednesday: Sketchy Edition

My next stitch is going to be my piece for the Phat Quarter food swap. I'm still in planning mode, so there's nothing to see at the moment. Instead, I thought I'd show some sketches for other pieces I've made.

Cellar Door

Sketches for Cellar Door

Cellar Door


Neko Case

Sketches for That Teenage Feeling

Lyric #5- Neko Case


Bitch pill (in these sketches I was mainly trying to decide on a layout for the piece)

Sketches for Bitch Pill

Bitch Pill

Stitch Story: Unfocused

After I did the uninspired piece, I had the idea to do a series of words that all start with the "un-" prefix. I started working on the pattern for the second word but just couldn't find the right border or layout that worked for what I wanted to do. So I scrapped that word and had the idea to stitch "unfocused" instead, since it happens to be pretty relevant at the moment. The pattern came together pretty easily but when it came to choosing colors, that's when I had the real "a-ha!" moment.

Quick heads up, this might hurt your eyeballs.


unfocused


My original idea for the color scheme was inspired by 3D comic books (red, black, and blue). Then I wondered if there was a way to give the pattern a 3D effect (for the record, I generally think 3D is pretty stupid). Did some research and figured out that what I wanted to create was an anaglyph image. Then I broke out my crazy Photoshop skillz (I found a tutorial), and created the 3D image from the original pattern.

This one really will hurt your eyeballs (unless you're wearing 3D glasses)....


unfocused-3d


Then I used the Photoshop image as a guide to edit the original pattern in PC Stitch. The pattern is originally from the Antique Pattern Library. To get the 3D effect ideally, you have to use pure red and pure cyan. The red was no problem (I used 666) but the cyan was a bit tougher. None of the DMC colors match up to a pure cyan. 3846 is the closest but you really need something a shade or two lighter. Even so, with 3D glasses you still get the intended effect, so I'm happy about that.

Overall, I'm really happy with the way it turned out. Luckily when stitching you generally focus on a small area so the blurriness of the pattern didn't bother me. I did sometimes have a hard time looking at it from a distance though.

WIP Wednesday: Scatterbrain Edition

I'm trying to do too many things at once so my brain is all over the place right now. I started a new pattern, am still working on my wip from last week (I'll get to that in a bit), plus new site stuff and reading a super-long book. I can't really focus on one thing for long periods of time so I'm not making the progress I'd like. I'm dying to get the new site finished and release it into the wild, but the stupid thing will not just magically finish itself. Right now I've got a few big sticking points that have to be sorted out. Until that happens I won't feel like I've made any real progress. If only I could borrow a designers' brain for a few hours.

Enough of that, here's a tiny piece of my wip. As I said last week, I can't show very much of it without ruining the surprise. I've got a third of it done so far, but I had to crop it from the picture. It looks awesome though, trust me.

wip-unf2

WIP Wednesday: The Return Edition

...And we're back! I've been pretty productive lately, particularly in the last week, so let's recap.

My creativity decided to return from its vacation so I've been working on patterns like crazy. Normally I work on one pattern at a time, finish it, stitch it and then move on to the next thing. Since I've been having inspiration issues recently, I decided to work on only patterns for awhile and try to stockpile some before actually stitching anything. I finished 3 patterns and am still working on 2, plus some other ideas I still have brewing in my head. Not to mention the upcoming Phat Quarter swap.

But, I could only work on patterns for so long before I just had to stitch something, so I stitched this bad boy up.

Not what I planned

Basically, in life as in craft, things don't end up like you thought they would. See also, milestone birthday approaching.

Here's my current wip. I can't show much because it'll ruin the awesomeness, but I've actually done a lot more work on it.

wip-unf

In Real Life Land, I had a job scare last week. That's what I'm calling it now cause I must make light of my unemployment and lack of prospects in order to cope. And in my neverending quest to pretend to be a normal functioning adult, I met up with giddygirlie for lunch after my interview. I think I managed to only be slightly socially awkward, which is much better than I expected. It was nice to be able to meet a fellow crafter.

I've also been working on the new site like crazy. Obviously I missed the June 30th "deadline", which I completely expected. After getting stuck on the design (again), I reworked some things and am really happy with how things are turning out. I have no idea when it'll all be done, but my goal is to have it up by September, in time for the birthday contest I'm planning.

WIP Wednesday: No More Bears Edition

Finished!

Woodgrain Bear

I have to admit, there are a bunch of mistakes in this one, more mistakes than I've made in a long time. I don't know what it was about the bear that made me forget how to count. So in that sense, it's not my best work, but I love how he came out and I can't wait to find an awesome frame for him (once I have a place to hang him of course).

If you want to stitch your own woodgrain bear, or something equally as awesome, check out flamgirlant's etsy shop

So now I've got nothing else to stitch at the moment. I have a few concept ideas but I haven't quite figured out the design part of the equation yet. My creative inspiration right now is pretty low, which is part of the reason I've been so focused on the site redesign. However, I've hit a bit of a wall with that as well. So now i'm rethinking some things while still putting off working on the graphical elements. The month is half over, so there's now about a 15% chance the site's done by the end of the month.

WIP Wednesday: Beary Slow Edition

Back in the Southern California Wasteland again. I was an unpacking ninja and had everything put away and back to normal in less than 30 minutes. Made it much easier to readjust after being gone over a month. I wanted to make sure I didn't use the long drive as an excuse to be lazy once I got home, so I've made sure to stay busy. And not just by catching up on 90210 (there's over 60 episodes on the DVR). Mainly, I've been working on the site redesign. I'm thinking there's a 36% chance it's done by the end of the month. I've been putting off working on the graphical elements because that's definitely not my strong suit. Luckily for me, there's tons of other stuff that needs to be done.

I've also finally gotten back to working on the woodgrain bear. I feel stupid for taking so long to start working on it again. The mistake I made was 1 stitch and not a big deal at all. My goal is for him to be finished by next week.

wip-bear3

Yesterday I received my book swap piece. I mentioned to my partner *ennairam that Jane Austen was my favorite author and she embroidered this great quote from Pride and Prejudice for me.

PQ Book Swap

WIP Wednesday: Travel Edition

On the road back to California today. Once I get back I plan to finish the woodgrain bear (finally) and hopefully start working on at least 1 new pattern. Not to mention working on the new site. About a 50-50 chance it's done by the end of June at this point.

Usually on long car trips I try to have something to stitch but since I'm between projects right now (the bear is too prone to mistakes for car stitching), I'll be working on my spool knitting if I get bored. It's now about 6 feet long, so it's getting a bit unruly. But since I do it because it's relaxing, it doesn't really matter.

Stitch Story: Book Swap

The latest Phat Quarter swap theme was books and my partner's favorite author was Haruki Murakami. I did some research and decided to read his book Norwegian Wood and create something based on that.

PQ Book Swap

I wanted to do something to capture the mood of the book. There were a number of forest/outdoor scenes so I used that as the basis for the piece. I wanted to keep the detail simple and just added a single green butterfly, to represent the 2 main female characters, Kaoko and Midori.

Book swap detail

The quote is from a conversation between Toru and Midori:

Toru: "Nobody likes being alone that much. I don't go out of my way to make friends, that's all. It just leads to disappointment"

Midori: "Nobody likes being alone. I just hate to be disappointed." You can use that line if you ever write your autobiography.

The piece is on light blue 28 ct fabric. It's the first time I've worked on 28 ct which took some time to get used to. At times the stitches seemed way too small to be right. But everything turned out pretty nicely, other than the butterfly, which looked great in the pattern but looks like a blob stitched.

WIP Wednesday: Wednesday Edition

Slowly getting back into the swing of things. Started my swap piece yesterday. I won't be facing as crazy a deadline like I did with the music swap piece, so I'll be able to take my time with it. Don't really want to give any more details until it's finished and my partner receives it. But here's a sneak peak:

wip-book

And just cause, here's a sneak peak of the new site.


newsitetease

Exciting, isn't it?

WIP Wednesday: Research Edition

It's been a month since I stitched anything which makes me wonder what I've been doing in that time. Other than watching 90210. Now I'm doing some research for my piece for the book swap. Real research, not like when I watched Monster's Inc. before the movie swap. My goal is to have my idea nailed down by the end of the week and spend next week on the pattern and the week after that stitching. Unlike the last couple of swaps, I don't have a feeling for what type of piece I want to do. I blame my stitchy break for that. It's a little weird being away from home and having to do all the work for the swap in a completely different environment. I only brought a couple of pattern books with me, so I won't be able to obsessively flip through my stash for inspiration.

I have worked on the new site a bit, but I think it'll be impossible for me to get everything done by the end of the month, since I'll be in Texas the whole time. So I'll be shooting for the end of June instead.

WIP Wednesday: Failbot Edition

Last week was a total failure. I barely accomplished anything after last Tuesday. Then I made the mistake of trying to work on my bear while watching the Masters on Sunday and managed to screw something up. Now I can't bring myself to go back and look at it and figure out where I went wrong. I know it's not a big mistake and it's also not the first (or second) one I've made. Needless to say, the bear isn't finished like I was aiming for. My goal was to start fresh this week and really try to get things done but I haven't gotten off to a very good start with that. I have been working on more design and graphic ideas for the site makeover, it's just slow going because I'm incredibly picky when doing anything in Photoshop or Illustrator. My goal is to have everything done by the end of May.

WIP Wednesday: Bearly There Edition

And the pun filled titles keep coming!

I was hoping to have Mr. Bear done by today, but I've been distracted thinking about the changes I'm going to make to the site. I'm still in the early planning stages, which is the most exciting part for me. Next week though, there will be a completed bear. Then I don't know what I'm gonna do cause I'm out of patterns!


wip-bear2

WIP Wednesday: Beary Awesome Edition

Moving right along....new week means new WIP! I'm currently stitching up a woodgrain patterned bear. The pattern is from flamgirlant, who just opened her Etsy store and I was lucky enough to be her first customer. The woodgrain bear is one of my all time favorite stitches, so I just had to have the pattern for myself. I've also got my eye on the houndstooth jackalope pattern.


wip-bear

I'm having lots of fun with this one. Plus it's given me more time (in theory) to finish some new patterns. I think I have 3 patterns that are very close to being done, but they're not quite what I want just yet. I haven't really been in a pattern making mood lately

WIP Wednesday: Endure Edition

Nothing in progress at the moment, and my computer is having some work done today (facelift) so I'll be busy working on that rather than pattern making.

I did finish last week's WIP.

endure

I think I give up on trying to take good pictures. Too many lighting and set up issues right now. It looks much better in person.

I got the idea from a book I read recently where the main character had to get through an awkward situation and kept telling herself to "endure". I thought it was a pretty relevant word for me right now.

Update!: you can buy this pattern in my Etsy store!

WIP Wednesday: Green Edition

Going through a phase where I don't know what's going on. Not completely sure what day it is, and last week I had to think really hard about whether it was 2010 or 2011. But that's not stopping me from stitching so who cares!

New WIP this week...nice and green just in time for St. Patrick's day which means absolutely nothing to me. Maybe I'll listen to Thin Lizzy or something to celebrate.

wip-end

This is actually my 2nd try at this stitch, I was originally going to stitch on linen but it was not agreeing with me at all so I had to change things up. So far, I'm happy with the change. Plus I get to keep my sanity and eyesight.

Lyric Series #6

For this one, I decided to be less ambitious than on the previous lyric stitch and something a bit more basic with just a border around the words. For the border and colors I wanted to go with something that was a bit darker than usual.

Lyric #6- The Good Life

The lyric is from "Entertainer" by The Good Life. It's actually the very first line of the song.

Update!: you can buy this pattern in my Etsy store!

WIP Wednesday: Late Edition

Finished the outer border, by next week I should be onto the text. I've also been in pattern making mode. I'm currently working on 3 new patterns simultaneously. I'm doing different things will all of them so it's pretty confusing/stupid of me to do the patterns at the same time. But really I'm just happy that my creativity seems to have returned.


wip-gl2

WIP Wednesday: Bordering on Insanity Edition

Have 2 things to show this week, which makes it seem like I've been more productive than I really have been. I've been spending my time listening to music and watching 90210.

I stitched a new word on my embroidery before I had to take it out of the frame to start my other project.

wip-mediate2


My real wip, this is going to be the next in the lyric series. I realized it's been over a year since I've done anything with a border, so I thought I'd change it up. I'm not 100% on the design, so I'm hoping once it's stitched up I'll change my mind.


wip-gl

Also thinking about making some changes to the site. I'm getting bored.

WIP Wednesday: Epic Edition

Whipped this baby up in the last week. I've decided when I have my craft room, I'm going to decorate it with all handmade stuff. Hopefully it won't be 90% stuff I made myself. I'd like some variety. But this is going to be included for sure.

Be Epic!

Phrase is from an autographed Kobe Bryant jersey given to Michael Vick. I thought it would be a cool and easy thing to stitch up.

For an actual WIP, I'm finally starting to embroider. My general reluctance to embroider is due to my crafty perfectionist nature. With cross stitch, it's much easier to undo and redo stitches until they look right without screwing up the whole thing. But I'm giving it a go because my latest idea has to be embroidered rather than cross stitched.

wip-mediate

This isn't related to the real embroidery I'll be doing, I'm just messing around and trying to get a feel for the whole embroidery thing. Apparently I have issues with the letter A. Also, I'm not a fan of the pointy needles. It's only a matter of time before I stab myself. I just hope I get my finger and not my eye.

WIP Wednesday: Squared Edition

Finally, this bad boy is finished and I can stop using "square" in my entry titles.



Eventually it's going in a frame, just like all the other things I make for myself. So, in about a year, it might be framed. I'm fairly happy with it. I do think it would've looked cooler on a gray fabric, but there's no way I'll stitch it again. Oh well.

I've kind of changed plans for what my next project will be. In the meantime, I'm going to stitch something pretty quick and simple. I was planning to start early today, but that didn't happen. So I've so no picture to show at the moment.

Lyric Series #5

The theme for the latest Phat Quarter swap was music, which is probably the best and most troubling theme ever since there are so many different ways you can go. Because of that, I used half of my 3 week stitch time just deciding what to do. Then it took me another 3-4 days to create the pattern, leaving me with less than a week to get the piece stitched and in the mail. It took long days of stitching to get it done but it gave me some purpose for a week, which is something you definitely lose when unemployed, so that was nice.

Anyway, here's the piece:

Lyric #5- Neko Case

The lyric is from the Neko Case song, "That Teenage Feeling". The idea was to create something that looks like a teenage girl's doodles, using bright colors (my partner's favorites) and random doodle-y elements. When I doodle, I always draw arrows for some reason, so I included those.

I drew the original design by hand, then converted it into an Illustrator image (using my lousy Illustrator skills) and then imported into PC Stitch. That's why it took so long to make the pattern.

Overall, I'm happy with the way it turned out. I also got out of my 5x5 frame rut. This one's in an 8x8!

WIP Wednesday: Almost There Edition

With my swap piece all finished and mailed off, it's back to working on this bad boy...

wip-square5

Then I think I'm going to do another music stitch. Choosing something for the swap gave me a few new ideas.

WIP Wednesday: Busy Beaver Edition

wip-music

This is a very small part of my music swap piece. Stitching like crazy in hopes of getting it done by the deadline.

WIP Wednesday: Whatever Edition

Finished dinosaurs!

dino

Like the way they turned out, hopefully my nephew will like them too.

Forgot to do this before, but here's a picture of the pattern on my Kindle

kindle-pattern

Since I only finished the dinosaurs yesterday, I haven't had time to start anything new yet. So I'm working on my swap ideas/pattern. Hopefully I'll be starting on that by next week.

WIP Wednesday: Prehistoric Edition

As I mentioned last week, I'm stitching a dinosaur thing for my nephew's birthday. It's most likely the first of a few kid things I'll be doing early on this year since my BFF is having another kid in a few months. Since I'm on a deadline with the dinos, I'm not working on the square stitch until it's finished. It's also given me the chance to work from a pattern on my Kindle. I briefly tried using a pattern on my phone, but with the battery life and the screen timeouts, it's not the best way to go. The Kindle is bigger, takes longer to go to sleep, and has great battery life. So far it's working out pretty well, although I don't know how it would work with a more complicated pattern. You can only zoom in so far, so if the pattern had a bunch of colors close to each other, it might get confusing.

Here's the progress on dino #1:

wip-dino

WIP Wednesday: Slacker Edition

Ornaments stitched in the last week: 0

I've been slacking in that department. I think I'm lacking Christmas spirit.

But on the other hand, lots of progress on my square stitch...

wip-square4

Almost done!

WIP Wednesday: Mini Edition

Started working on my Christmas ornaments. My goal is to make 12 between now and Christmas. I'm not finishing them since I don't really have access to a lot of my non-stitchy craft supplies, so for right now I'm just stitching the fronts and backs. I did a sample one a couple of years ago (or maybe last year, who knows) that came out nicely. Basically they'll have a design on the front and back and will be stuffed.

I'm hoping this will solve my issues with Christmas crafting. It's hard for me to get motivated to make Christmas things before December, but by then I'm already decorating and busy with other holiday stuff and they never get done. I have a few unfinished projects because of this. Since I'm not decorating this year, I have the time and motivation to get some crafting in.

So here's what I've done so far....

wip-diamond

wip-tree1

wip-snowflake1

wip-snowflake2


No picture of the big square this week cause I forgot. Oopsie!

WIP Wednesday: December Edition

wip-square3

Didn't make all that much progress in the last week. I blame turkey and general laziness. And possibly Plants vs Zombies.

Since it's December (where did the time go?), I'm going to start on those Christmas stitches I talked about a few weeks ago. I was going to stitch a wreath first, but now I'm thinking something else. Don't know what though. Riveting information, I know. I'm still looking for patterns and coming up with ideas for some modern looking stitched ornaments. Hopefully next week there'll be something more to show.

Black Friday Five

My super exciting Black Friday shopping included taking advantage of Joann's sale on floss plus 20% off coupon. In honor of that, my favorite DMC colors.

  1. 816- garnet
  2. 3842- dark wedgewood
  3. 3847- dark teal green
  4. 666- bright christmas red (number of the beast!)
  5. 310- black (can't go wrong)

WIP Wednesday: Late Edition

Making progress...


wip-square2

WIP Wednesday: Square Edition

Feeling much much better than I was last week, with help from many stitchy peeps (thanks again!). Started on something new, a pretty traditional looking pattern that I'm using more modern colors on. Now that I've started on it, I wish I'd done it on a dark gray fabric rather than white. Maybe I'll do it again in the future.

wip-ddd

I'm also thinking about doing a bunch of small Christmas/Winter stitches in December. Since I'm not decorating, it doesn't matter if things are done by a certain time. And I've been wanting to make more ornaments for my tree. Figure this is a good opportunity for that. Just have to find some patterns.

WIP Wednesday: Fixed Edition

Started over on the stitch I screwed up last week. Here's what it was supposed to look like:

uninspired

Haven't had much inspiration lately and when I needed to come up with something to stitch on the plane, I just took a pattern from a book, made a few additions and called it a day. I didn't even bother to change the colors.

Got another Phat Quarter swap coming up and a few ideas bubbling in my head. I may finally start my embroidery project as well. Right now I really need to have something going at all times. 

Stitch Story: Poetry!

**This piece is NSFW, you've been warned**

The idea for this piece has been floating around for about a year ago when I signed up to do a NSFW swap and was looking for inspiration. I thought it would be a great piece if I had a male partner in the swap, but I didn't, so the idea went on the backburner. A few months ago, the idea was resurrected when I found a pattern I could use for the basis of the piece (it was a pattern for a Joy to the World Christmas stocking).

The phrase is a line from a Jim Morrison poem titled, "Lament for the Death of my Cock". The full poem is at the bottom. My brother was a big Doors fan and had a book of Morrison's writing that I took from him in high school. I also took his awesome Doors shirt that said "People are Strange". I wore that thing to death. Got so many WTF looks while wearing it (which was kinda the point). High school me was awesome. </sarcasm> I generally hate poetry, too much flowery crap and beating around the bush for me, but some of Morrison's stuff is entertaining.

Ode

Detail shot:

Ode Detail

So for the piece I used the music for "Hello, I Love You", which is my favorite Doors song. Specifically, it's the "Hello, I love you, won't you tell me your name" part of the song, which I thought was fitting for the sentiment. For the colors, I kept it simple and used turquoise for the notes which was Jim Morrison's favorite color supposedly. So it's that and a lot of freaking backstitch, which is not my favorite, especially now. And with all the straight lines, I was constantly tying to make it look as perfect as possible. The OCD tendencies were definitely flaring up. Overall, I'm really happy with how it came out, especially since it's so different from what I normally do.



Lament for the Death of my Cock (Jim Morrison)

Lament for my cock
Sore & crucified
I seek to know you
acquiring soulful wisdom
you can open walls of
mystery
strip-show

How to get death
One the morninaye
show

TV death
which the child
absorbs

death-well
mystery
which makes
me write

Slow train
The death of my cock
gives life

Guitar player
Ancient wise satyr
Sing your ode
to my cock
caress its lament
stiffen & guide
us

Lost cells
The knowledge of cancer
To speak to the heart
& give the great gift
words

power

trance

This stable friend
& the beasts of his zoo
wild, haired chicks
each color connects
to creat the boat
which rocks the race

could any hell be more
horrible than now
& real

"I pressed her thigh
& death smiled"

death, old friend
death & my cock
are the world

I can forgive
my injuries
in the name of
wisdom

luxury

romance

Sentence upon sentence
Words are healing.

Words got me the wound
& will get me well

If you believe it.

All join now in lament
for the death of my cock
a tongue of knowledge
in the feathered night

boys get crazy in the head
& suffer
I sacrifice my cock
on the altar
of silence

WIP Wednesday: Airport Taxi Reception Editon

Last day in Texas. It has been completely relaxing and nice. I think I might have gone overboard with the cross stitch books though. 

What I'm bringing home:

3 books
12 leaflets (!!!)
2 patterns
6" Q-snap
4 new things of fancy floss

Sad thing is, I thought I was showing some restraint.

Here's my progress on my plane stitch. I didn't work on it at all while in Texas, so it looks the same this week as it did last week. 

wip-tulip

I plan to try and get at least one picture of myself stitching on the plane or in the airport.

As I planned, I took advantage of my mom's cardmaking supplies and made my Christmas cards and some basic cards. I made 17 cards in all. I also came up with a different idea for my new address cards so they've been put on hold for the time being. I'll post some card pictures in the next few days.

WIP Wednesday: Homeland Edition

First full day of my trip home, I have tons of crafty things planned including hitting up the used bookstores for new cross stitch books (always a priority) and going to a cross stitch store and hoping my brain doesn't explode like it did the last time.

As far as making stuff. I'm planning to make my Christmas cards, moving/new address cards (for when I actually have my own place again), and cards to include in swaps. All in a week. I will be running on Taco Cabana and sweet tea.

I started a new stitch for the plane ride. And there's supposed to be a picture here but I can't use the interwebs on my laptop. I can't live like this.

My plan was to create a pattern that incorporates 3 random words and work on that during my trip. But the combination of the words (crooked, bake and cryptic) and my slow pattern making pretty much killed that. I have a general idea of what I want to do though. I'm mildly excited about it.

I also tried and failed to finish my nsfw stitch before I left. It's very close though so I should be able to show that off after I get back.

WIP Wednesday: Swap Edition

First things first....the completed mystery stitch...

Mystery stitch revealed!

Which also happens to be the movie related idea I was working on awhile back. For those who aren't awesome enough to get the reference, shame on you, it's from Heathers. To put it in context:

Veronica: All we want is to be treated like human beings, not to be experimented on like guinea pigs or patronized like bunny rabbits.

Veronica's dad: I don't patronize bunny rabbits.

I also completed a swap with filmresearch, who is currently working on an awesome embroidery series. I sent him my Sonic Youth fishy friends stitch and I received this:

Swap with filmresearch

The picture really doesn't do it justice. I love it and can't wait to display it.

Moving on to the wip portion of our show. I'm working on my nsfw piece, hoping to have it finished before I go out of town. I hit a snag the other night when I realized I couldn't count to 5 and had screwed up badly enough that I needed to start all over. The picture is from the first try, about 2 days before I discovered my mistake. It's been awhile since I made a mistake I couldn't fix. Guess I was due. I was really careful about checking and double checking my counting....except on the easiest freaking part.

wip-line

Still need to create a pattern for something to stitch on the plane. 2 of my newest ideas are nsfw so that probably isn't the best idea.


WIP Wednesday: Birthday Hangover Edition

My birthday was yesterday, but part of my gift was that my mom flew in from Texas to surprise me on Saturday. I had no clue, and considering the awkwardness of my living situation these days, that makes it even more impressive.

Yesterday I also started my stitchy giveaway on Flickr. My Dharma bear and Sonic Youth stitches are going to new homes! Yay!

I've been working on my mystery stitch, which is very close to being finished. I'm going to treat it like a swap and wait until it arrives in its new home before posting pictures.

WIP Wednesday: Pony's Progress Edition

My pony is complete! Even though last week I wasn't entirely happy with how it was turning out, I kept working on it anyway just to finish the stupid thing. I'm happier with it now than I was before. Just as a reminder, here's what it was supposed to look like....

Pony kit

I did some fancy Photoshopping to brainstorm ideas for what to do with it...

pony-kit-sm.jpg


The effect reminded me of when you color a sheet of paper with crayons and then paint over it with black paint and scratch your design into it, revealing the color below...if that makes sense. To try and mimic that effect and the images, I used a strand of varigated blue thread and a strand of multicolor metallic thread.

The end result....

pony

I omitted the flowers because I'm not big on them, plus it was easier to just stitch "pony".

I'm now working on something new, which I think I'm going to give away next week, along with some other finished stitches.

WIP Wednesday: Homeless Hiatus Edition

Since I'm jobless, I'm forced to move out of my home of 3 1/2 years, which really sucks a big one. So I'm in the midst of packing up and moving to my new temporary home, which means no stitching for a little while as life kicks me in the ass. Once I get settled, I'm planning to start my embroidery project, my NSFW stitch, and finally finish the pony.

I've already packed all my important stitchy stuff up and damn, I had more than I thought I did, especially fabric. Don't know what I expected, I did have an entire drawer devoted to just fabric.

Still hoping to have the birthday giveaway in about a month.

Also, apparently my last post was #100. Who knew!

Stitch Story: Ode to Shaun

This is the piece I made for the movie swap over at the Phat Quarter. One of the things I like best about making things for other people is trying to incorporate the things they like into what you make. One of my partner's favorite movies is Shaun of the Dead and her favorite color is red. I've been wanting to stitch something with a lot of components to it and since I don't generally do a lot of monochromatic things, I thought I'd change it up.

Ode to Shaun

The pattern is adapted from an 1826 Danish sampler pattern that I bought on a trip home last year. I chose to focus on Shaun as a character rather than the whole movie. I rearranged and added new parts to it to include references to Shaun...cricket bats (which I had to convince myself weren't corn dogs), his shirt and tie, flowers, hearts (it was a love story after all), zombies, and crowns since he was the "fucking king of the zombies".

Closer view of the details...you can see that the ties are actually striped.

ode-shaun-close

I had fun stitching this up and I think it turned out awesome. I was a bit sad I had to send it to its new home.

Also, I think I have a serious addiction to 5x5 frames. This is the 5th one I've used...and my lefties stitch is going in one once I move.

WIP Wednesday: Unemployed Edition

So last week both my bf and I were fired from our jobs in a spectacularly unprofessional and malicious fashion. At this point I'm going back and forth between anger and depression. Mainly anger. Lots of anger.

But I have been working on my swap piece and I'm really happy with the way it's turning out. Stitching has helped me relax somewhat through all of this. On the bright side, I'll have a lot more time to stitch now!

No swap pictures until it arrives in its new home. Maybe next week.

Lyric Series #4

I had the idea to do this stitch over a year ago but struggled to come up with an idea for the pattern (what else is new). While I was in Seattle I picked up some new pattern books and was inspired....

Lyric #4- Hole

I took the original pattern and changed the girls to give them more of a 60s feel- inspired by Mad Men. The green dresses are an ode to Joan. The blue/pink I took from the cover of the Doll Parts single. I left the shoes as is and imagine them being Doc Martens as a reference to the 90s. Overall, I wanted them to be doll-like but not in the obvious blonde/Barbie/Betty Draper type of way.

Note that the one with the scissors is left handed. Haven't decided who or what she's cutting.

I chose the song because I enjoy changing the lyrics...

I am...doll parts...big boobs...small heart

Update!: you can buy this pattern in my Etsy store!

WIP Wednesday: Forgetful Edition

I spent Fri-Mon working on my swap pattern and didn't touch any of my other projects. I did stitch some last night, but I won't bore anyone with yet another in progress picture of that stitch. Let's just say there's more girls than there were last week. In the meantime, this is the mayhem a wip creates...the horror!

Open for Business

Seriously thinking of having a birthday stitch giveaway next month.

WIP Wednesday: Crankypants Edition

Work is pretty much kicking my ass these days, which is really screwing with my productivity. Not cool, work. Not. Cool. But I did finally start on my (little) pony over the weekend. Not sure if I like how it's turning out so far. The back of it is really messy which is bugging me, because I really like the back of my work to be as neat as possible. It's probably about halfway done though so I'll finish it and hope for the best.

Here's my progress on my other stitch, fairly slow going..

wip-girls2

I'll have to put it on hold while I work on my swap piece. Have to admit, I'm not 100% sure of what I'm going to do yet. I have 2 semi-formed ideas that I'm trying to figure out. Definitely feeling like a slacker at the moment. Although I did watch Monster's Inc last night for "research".

WIP Wednesday: Girls Girls Girls Edition

Progress on the pony kit has made it as far as putting the fabric in the hoop and choosing colors. I'm hoping to actually start on it today.

In the meantime, I'm working on this bad boy....

wip-girls

Also finished the NSFW pattern I was working on, which I'll stitch sometime after the pony, and my movie swap piece. I came up with an awesome idea for a movie swap piece but I'd probably need to learn to embroider and possibly sew to pull it off the way I imagine it.

WIP Wednesday: Left is Right Edition

Last week's wip....

Lefties

A lovely sarcastic saying of my bf's, since I'm a lefty and he's a righty. I intentionally made everything left aligned for obvious reasons. I'm really happy with the way it came out, so this one is going to get framed if I can figure out a place to put it. I really need to clear out my finished project stash and start making more things for other people (hint hint).

I think I've figured out what I'm going to do with the pony kit I got. Have to do some experimenting before I start on it though.

I'm also planning my first embroidery project(!!!), finishing up a new pattern that is NSFW, and will be starting my next stitchy masterpiece today (possibly).

WIP Wednesday: Left Right Left Edition

I finished what I was working on last week, and I'm glad I decided to do a second version of it because I'm not happy with how the first one came out. I'll probably wait to do the second one since I've finished 2 new patterns and will be doing a swap soon.

Speaking of swaps, I am super excited for the next Phat Quarter swap. I wasn't able to participate in the last 2 because I was working on the wedding sampler, so I am definitely ready for this one. When I heard that the theme is movies, my mind started going crazy with ideas. I also happen to be working on a movie related pattern that may end up being my swap piece.

In the meantime, my latest WIP...

wip-left

I've gotten over the bit of stitcher's block I had and have been working on a bunch of new patterns, mostly older ideas that I'm going back to.

At the dollar store the other day I found some cross stitch kits with plastic frames. The kits of course weren't all that interesting, but I picked up a few for the frames.

Pony kit

I decided to take this one and change it up to make it awesome, since it's a pony and all. When it's done I'm hoping to add it to my "inspiration board".

Computer view

It's what I look at when I'm at my desk. I try to rearrange it and switch things out every few months and I'm overdue. The Smurfs have to go. For now anyway. Need some new things to look at.

WIP Wednesday: Lost Weekend Edition

So that plan I had to spend the long weekend crafting up a storm? Yeah, not so much. My car battery died last Wednesday and screwed up my plans for a few days. Then my laziness caught up with me and I spent the weekend doing the following things:

  • watching reruns of House
  • watching Bones
  • rewatching season 3 of Mad Men (the season finale is one of my favorite eps)
  • watching The Mighty Ducks
  • playing Civilization Revolution
Needless to say, I'm a nerd and I wasn't as productive as I thought I would be. But I did work on some patterns. Still haven't finished the pattern I've been struggling with. For now it's on the backburner until I figure out how to finish it. I also worked on my spool knitting. It's about 3 feet long now and still has no purpose in life. I also started stitching something new finally...



This may or may not have something to do with LL Cool J...
I think I'm going to do 2 versions of it, so no finished pictures until I get them both done.

WIP Wednesday: Fail Edition

Nothing to show today, but I'm planning to spend the long holiday weekend crafting. So I should have something by next week. I've been working on some new patterns and have hit a wall with one of them. The text is done and I've chosen the colors I'm going to use but it needs something else and I haven't been able to figure out what that is. I'm waiting for my "a-ha!" idea moment so I'll know what to do with the pattern. I did finish one pattern that I'd abandoned months ago so I'll at least have something to work on this weekend.

WIP Wednesday: Throwback Edition

Waaaay back when, I stitched this little number for my bf. A couple of weeks ago I came up with the idea to do a stitchers' version of it, minus the binary because frankly, I didn't want to stitch all those ones and zeros again.

l33tstitch.jpg

I'll be adding the pattern in the next few days, depending on my level of laziness.
(Edit: Pattern for this and l33t crafter on the Patterns page now!)

I also started a new crafty thing- spool knitting. I used to do it when I was a kid and somewhere in my mom's garage is my original stuff. I decided to start up again to give myself something relatively simple to do while watching tennis or golf over the summer. Particularly when I'm not stitching something. It worked nicely while I watched the final round of the US Open on Sunday.

Spool knitting

Lyric Series #3

It's been awhile since my last lyric stitch, mainly because I haven't been able to finish the patterns. I probably wouldn't have stitched another National lyric, but I thought this would be a good one. The design is partially inspired by the ever-popular Keep Calm and Carry On posters.

Lyric #3- The National (again)

WIP Wednesday: Patterns

Right now I'm working on some new patterns. There's a geek one, a music one, and a subversive/naughty one, and possibly something for my mom.

After stitching almost every day for 3 months, it feels weird not to be working on anything. However, I was finally able to read The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, which was really really good. Now I've started on Her Fearful Symmetry, which is good so far.

Stitch Story: Wedding Sampler

One of my friends got married a few days ago, so for a wedding gift I decided to stitch up a wedding sampler.

It's the biggest cross stitch project I've taken on. It took me over a month to finish the pattern (I am a notoriously slow pattern maker), and 3 months to do the actual stitching. So that's what I've been doing with most of my free time.

The finished product!

Wedding Sampler Framed

Close up view...

Wedding Sampler Close Up

For the pattern I didn't want to do something traditionally wedding-y, because that's not what I do and that's not what the bride/groom are about either. I did some info gathering and found out favorite colors and other stuff I could use in the pattern. Their wedding colors were eggplant and olive green, so I wanted to have a lot of those colors in the sampler, along with the colors they said they liked. I incorporated elements from their invitation, the bride's necklace (which she ended up not wearing, oops) and a secret message in morse code. For the text, I used the groom's favorite font since he's a font nerd.

The boring stuff:
Size: approximately 9"x11"
Count/Fabric: 36 ct antique white Edinburgh linen (I've never stitched on 36 ct or linen before)
stitched over 2 squares
Colors: 17
Bands: 20

Below are the progress pictures I took along the way, there are also additional progress pictures here


wip-sampler1.jpg


wip-sampler-day5.jpg


wip-sampler-day8.jpg


wip-sampler-day11.jpg 


wip-sampler-day14.jpg


wip-sampler-day17.jpg


wip-sampler-day23.jpg


wip-sampler-day26.jpg


wip-sampler-day29.jpg

Finally, Something to See!

Sorry for no updates in a while, but I am making up for it today. I was up in Seattle for a friends wedding. But before that, I was frantically finishing up some things for her. She is crafty like me and made tons of things for the wedding. Along with a cake, they had fancy cupcakes and I came up with the idea to cross stitch some simple signs for the different kinds so people would know what they were. She loved the idea and let me take care of them. So the random stitchy bits I've been posting...that's what I was doing.

Here's all 6 of the signs together framed. I used the $1 frames from Joann's which are awesome for small projects.

Cupcake signs

And the individual signs. The pictures (as usual) aren't great because they were taken very quickly and in the evening as I was frantically trying to get all my junk done the night before I left on my trip. Seriously, I don't recommend this.

The colors are purple and green which were their wedding colors.

Classic (vanilla)

Chocolate

Lavender

Peppermint

Red Velvet

Slipped Lakers colors into this one :)

Royale w/Cheese (Chocolate w/cream cheese)

Here's the signs in action at the wedding. The guests didn't eat much of the cake because they filled up on the cupcakes which were yumtastic, particularly the lavender ones. The stands were made by the bride from vintage plates.

Cupcake signs in action pt1

Cupcake signs in action pt2

Cupcake signs in action pt3

WIP Wednesday: Bookmark

No in progress shots this week, but here's the finished product from last week...a bookmark I stitched up for Mother's Day, with my mom's initials. I'm really happy with how it turned out, and even though I was in a rush to finish it, it was fun to do. It arrived today and my mom loved it, as she is contractually obligated to.


Mom-mark 

Messy WIP Wednesday

Sorry no WIP Wednesday last week. My site was down while it moved to greener pastures.

So this week I've started yet another project because I am freaking insane. I'm not built for multiple projects, particulary time-sensitive ones. Anyway, below is my super messy desk including my newest stitch, a Mother's day bookmark. Because it took me too long to finish the pattern, I won't have time to finish it and get it to my mom before Sunday, so I fail. It'll be late but pretty!


wip-desk

WIP Wednesday

To keep with the updates, I'm going to (try to) post pictures of my ongoing projects once a week.

This week, it's the 3rd in the "series" I'm working on for a friend. It'll make sense once they're all done.

wip wednesday


Also, after 3 months, I FINALLY finished The Tipping Point. It was really bugging me that it was taking so long for me to finish when I could easily read a book that size in a couple days. So I really made a point to find time to finish it. Which basically meant reading on the way to work. I enjoyed the book, although I think Outliers was better.

Now I'm about halfway through Juliet, Naked (which is twice as long as The Tipping Point) after a couple of days. So far it's really good.

No Really, I am!

It may not seem like it but I have been keeping busy with new stitcheries. When I'm not watching Can't Hardly Wait on tv, that is. I'm actually working on 2 projects and about to start making a pattern for a third.

Finished today...

peppermint.jpg

Part of a set for a friend.


My other WIP....I am loving this color combo...

work in progress

Catching Up

It's been awhile since I've posted any stitchy bits, or really anything at all. I'm working on a new pattern that is taking forever to complete (which for me is saying something) and in the meantime trying to stitch some quicker things.

Here's my latest piece, finished today. The picture isn't great, the colors are actually pretty bright.

claptrap.jpg


Yet another random video game reference, this one is from Borderlands. More specifically, this promo video for Borderlands:



"So who's Tony Romo now, motherfucker?!" Ha.

I've also very very slowly been making some changes to my craft room, including reorganizing all my cross stitch stuff. I'm pretty close to being done, there's just some new things I need to frame and display. Hopefully it'll be pictureworthy when it's done.

I'm also going to be making some changes to the site, incorporating some new things. There may be patterns involved.

Stitch Story: Bitch Pill

Busy times at the pony farm*, so I haven't finished too many things as of late. Plus I had a raging case of stitchers' block and haven't been able to finish any patterns. But that's where this piece comes in. I like the challenge of making something for someone else, so I tweeted asking if anyone wanted me to make them something. The awesome Beefranck (of Mr X Stitch and Emergency Pants fame) responded, and this is what I stitched up for her....

pill.jpg


This lovely sentiment comes from a story about a female driver with road rage (as told by my bf). It was one of those things I heard and thought "that would be great to stitch". The design is art deco inspired. There's also a face in the design, with the eyes and nose at the top and mustache at the bottom. That wasn't intentional, but as I was working on the pattern it occured to me that the top looked like a face, so I went with it. I like putting random hidden things in my stitches.


*Even I don't know what this means

Stitch Story: NSFW Swap

I joined my very first swap that one of the Flickr groups I belong to put together. The theme was NSFW, which could be interpreted any way you wanted. Normally I don't do many things that would be considered NSFW, but I figured this would be a good opportunity to do something different.....

Farkin' A

The design is from a book of 19th century German designs. I altered the original to make room for the words and to change some of the elements that repeated, but I took parts from other designs from the same book. The phrase has been one of my recent favorites and was uttered a number of times when I screwed something up while stitching. I asked my swap partner for her favorite colors and tried to incorporate some of them. The picture doesn't really do them justice.

For more details on the bits, check out the picture on flickr.

I ended up having an extra weekend after I finished my piece, so I decided to make a bonus piece to send. This one is a bit more NSFW than the first. It's kind of a companion piece, but not really.

C-bag

Because sometimes, calling someone a cunt just doesn't feel right. Another one of my go-to phrases. Border is from same book as the other pattern and the colors are borrowed as well (the text is actually dark blue and not black).

Here's both pieces together framed:

Naughty Words

Looking forward to more swapping!

Happy Birthday Mr X Stitch!

Mrxstitch.com turns 1 today! Over the last year, it's become one of my favorite sites to visit, and not just because some of my work has been featured there (although, that didn't hurt). I've been inspired by so many of the things showcased there and in the official flickr group, Phat Quarter. I love to see what other people are making and how they're pushing the envelope.

I can't wait to see what the next year brings. Keep up the great work Jamie and Bridget!

Speaking of inspiration, yesterday I made this...



I saw this piece by krupp (whose robots I love, by the way), which got me thinking about stitching on upholstery fabrics to add texture. I found some fabric dirt cheap to try out. It's roughly 18 count. So I stitched this to see how it would look. I actually screwed up the original pattern and didn't feel like fixing it so  I had to morph it into something else. I think it worked well enough. I have a project I'll probably stitch on this fabric soon.

Stitch Story: Slugapus

On my way from Texas to California waiting for the plane to take off, I noticed this thing on the wing of the plane that kind of resembled a slug/snail. I thought it would be an interesting thing to stitch so I quickly sketched the shape out to make a pattern once I got home. And so the slugapus was born.



It has a duck-bill like a platypus (although that is not its mouth), and a body like a snail but with an oversized eye. While making this, I decided that its favorite song would be "Boogie Oogie Oogie".

I may possibly be insane.

Lyric Series #2

What I Did on My Summer Vacation-



From the song "Plastic Sun" by Sonic Youth. Flight attendant on my way to Phoenix said it was hysterical. This was my first time using varigated floss and I did the 2 lines of the border separately to try to maximize the color differences and make it look more like water.

Also, I picked up a few cross stitch books which have given me even more things to work on. And went to a cross stitch store which was insane. So much fabric to choose from, I was completely overwhelmed but still managed to pick a few things out. Needless to say I'm going to be busy working on lots of new things.

Update!: you can buy this pattern in my Etsy store!

Counting Blue Squirrels

Latest project, appropriately called Electric Blue Squirrel. This came about after attempting to watch the squirrels that live by the train tracks where I work. Little bastards blend into the scenery, so I decided they should be electric blue so that I can see them, which is really kind of pointless because my actual office has no windows in it. Electric Blue Squirrel also sounds like the name of a 90s alt rock band along the lines of Dishwalla. Or maybe that's just me.



While stitching this up, I convinced myself that it's too big, especially for its intended recipient, the S.O. And since he's the main recipient of my work (the Kobe piece is now in his "man cave" with the l33t hax0r one), I may just keep this one for myself and take it to work. Then I can squirrel watch all day.

I'm having a bit of stitcher's block right now. I'm planning to make some gifts for friends/family for my trip back home next month, but the ideas just aren't flowing. So at the moment I've got nothing to work on...boo.

On a lighter note...I finally bought something from Etsy...



Presenting...Bun the Jacabunny! Kit Lane's work makes me happy. I pretty much freaked out when I saw him and snapped him up accordingly. Now I just need to clean my dust magnet desk and possibly find a better place for him. Even so, my desk just got much cuter.

Stitch Story: How to Spell Kobe

Back in March, my mom came out to visit and was conveniently here for a Lakers-Spurs game (she's a very very casual Spurs fan). At one point during the game, Kobe did something that made her say....



She of course meant it as an insult to Kobe for his arrogance/show-boating/unstoppableness, but the sentiment can really be taken either way, which makes it even funnier.

This was my first time working with metallic/light effects thread. Ugh. What a pain that was. I think the picture makes it look worse than it actually is, but there are some puffy stitches. I was just trying to get through it. I think it's going to be a long time before I try metallic thread again.

New Series

Starting a new series of song lyric cross stitch projects. I've got the next 3 lined up but I'm hoping to find something from the 80s to stitch.

This first one is from "All The Wine" by The National, who are known around these parts (my house) as the Best Band Making Music Today Not Named Radiohead.




Tomorrow I hit Michaels for more supplies.

Update!: you can buy this pattern in my Etsy store!

Lost

In honor of tonight's finale, I made sure to finish this in time.


"The Bear" Station

I saw this on the back of a shirt at the Radiohead show I went to last August. I never saw what was on the front, but Lost + Radiohead = win in my book.

Apparently most of the Dharma station names are related to Apollo. His twin sister, Artemis turned one of her nymphs, Callisto, into a bear.

Favorite Lost characters:

  • Desmond
  • Daniel
  • Sawyer
  • Locke
  • Juliet (Because she wants Kate to die almost as much as I do)
Least favorite Lost characters:

  • Kate (I was REALLY hoping the Others shot her in last week's ep)
  • Jack
  • Sun (Living off the island didn't do her any favors)
  • Michael

X Stitch Bag

My new bag for all my stitching supplies. By far the most complicated thing I've sewn. Despite my serious lack of sewing abilities, I think it came out fairly well, although there are some definite flaws. Namely my complete inability to sew straight, which I blame on being left handed because it sounds like a good excuse. Plus I think my sewing machine hates me. It must sense my growing hatred of sewing.

 

It's approximately 8" x 8" and holds up to a 6" hoop comfortably. An empty 7" hoop fit, but with the extra fabric, it wouldn't fit as well as it should. Most of my work is in 4 or 5" hoops anyway.



Above is the view of the inside. I added a pocket for my scissors and a slightly larger one for thread and a little cushion i made for my needles (better view of it in the photo below). Right now it's not attached to anything, but I'll probably attach it to the pocket. I also added a button (the yellow thing on the left side) to put my unused thread on. More specifically the leftover thread when you take the strands you need.

The hoop in the photos is 5".



Took the bag to work yesterday for a test run, and other than the needle cushion probably needing to be attached to something, it held up well. Most likely I'll add another button and use some kind of ribbon to attach the cushion to it. I may also add some extra flair on the outside.

What I've Been Working On



That's just a piece of my current stiching project. I think I'm about a third of the way done with it. I realized that I've become too "one color" in my stitching. I don't know how it happened, but it has to stop. The pattern for my next project is complete and will have mulitple colors! I'm really anxious to start working on it. I would work on both at the same time, but I am way too scatterbrained for that. My "routine" is to work on a pattern while stitching something, although I haven't been in the mood for pattern making lately.

I'm also hoping to sew a bag to keep my stitching supplies in when I'm on the go. I have a bag I use now, but 5" hoops don't really fit in it, so it only really works for small things. My sewing skills are seriously sub-par, and yet my expectations are high, so this should be interesting.

Cellar Door

Finished my latest project....Donnie Darko inspired (and also the name of a John Vanderslice album). It happened to be on tv when I was working on it one day which was fun.




I opted not to change colors when I started over, mainly because I couldn't find anything I liked better. I think the color looks good though. I may do it again using backstitch at some point. I'm currently working on 2 Lost related things.

Ahhh

Finally started something new and was just getting into the flow of things, then I found a mistake in my pattern (a stupid one of course), which wasn't too bad. But then I left out one stitch and now have to start over from the beginning. Since I had to start over anyway, I figured I should fix the pattern properly, which turned into a massive undertaking. All because of one stitch. Insane. Here's the botched piece (in one of the new hoops my mom bought me)....


takeone.jpg

I wasn't really happy with my color choice either...I think it's too dark, so I'll get to try again on that as well. Here's hoping the 2nd time goes better than the first.

Welcome

The new and crazily improved Pony in a Rope is here! Poke it with a stick and see what happens!

Yesterday one of my latest works was featured on mrxstitch.com, one of my newest blog finds. A running joke around my house is that my web developer S.O. is a l33t hax0r, and this piece is his "proof". The border says l33t hax0r and has his initials all in binary.

Latest Masterpiece



This is bear #4 in my series of Radiohead bears. It's done in the colors from the In Rainbows cover. I may do a glow in the dark one next. Cause everyone wants to see a mutant bear staring at them when they turn off the lights.

Random May Thoughts

Lakers-Spurs game 2 is tonight. There's already been some trash talking going on between my house and my mom's. I'm staying out of it because frankly, I'm a traitor, and I would prefer not to be disowned or thrown out of my house.

Pitchfork has an interesting article about favorite albums. "Like a lot of kids I would spend time in my room making lists of favorite this and that but it was always with one mind's eye on the social world: getting my ideas straight before they were tested." That was totally me in high school, although I don't think i've ever had just one favorite album at a time. That requires too much loyality and commitment to one album. But I can fairly easily spit out a list of favorite albums. I don't like to be limited to just one favorite.

The new Gnarls Barkley album has grown on me quite a bit. I think unlike the first album, this one is much more of a grower. Right now my favorite song from it is "Neighbors".

My latest project...



I need to get a better picture, the light was crappy since it's been overcast all day. Oh well....it's still making me hungry.