Sunday, November 26, 2006

Knitting with something odd

Dear Shayne,

This week, I have been knitting with something odd:

What are you looking at? Well...

(But I've only been knitting with two of those things.)

What have I been making? Napkin rings!

(I had to look all over my house for a piece of white cloth for that photo... all of our cloth napkins have tomatoes on them, which wasn't useful and, ah... I guess I'm just not really one for plain white [big surprise]. I finally found a tea towel that's been waiting for embroidery. So the napkin modeling credit goes to Mr. Tea Towel.)

I made four of them altogether, but they were difficult to photograph in a group:

Kaesea wants to know: "Why aren't you knitting with my shadow?"

(As you can see from this photo... I kind of am!)

I've been too busy crafting to write posts about my crafts... ironic, eh?


Saturday, November 18, 2006

Does this count?

Dear Shayne,

I'm not sure if this counts as crafty, since I didn't actually make this craft myself, but I just have to share.

I don't know why, but I have always wanted a trophy. Unfortunately, this desire has never meshed very well with my complete lack of competitiveness (Is that even a word?) (Do you see how deep my lack of competitive drive goes? I don't even know the terms.) and my fondness for sitting on the couch. Unfortunately, they don't give Best Couch Potato trophies (I would win that for sure!) (If I cared about winning, of course.)

For some unknown reason, I decided to start playing hockey a few years ago (Non-competitive couch potato + hockey? How does that work again? I'm still not sure.) Of course, I'm not very good. In fact, I'm pretty bad. But I have managed to score a couple of goals and, earlier this year, I scored a "game-winning" goal. My darling sweet Bill kept the puck from the game and had this made for me.

It's a trophy! With the puck from my game! Even though I did not craft it myself (nor did Bill), I think it's a pretty sweet-ass craft -- they actually put a screw through the base, through the puck, and through this guy's feet. (Doesn't he look mean?) (I mean, for a 6 inch tall gold plastic guy with his feet screwed to a block of wood, of course.)

So I guess I'm highlighting the craft of some trophy-makin' man somewhere -- good job, sir!

Of course, I did "craft" the goal myself. Maybe that counts... ?

In other Crafty News, I've been making ATCs like mad, so you'll see some of those soon. Aaaand... I've finished the second Knuck! Of course, now there's the embroidery... what's that? Something shiny? Right.

Hope you're feeling better -- I miss you here in blogland!


PS - Today's post was brought to you by parentheses (cause I used a lot of 'em.) (See?)

Monday, November 13, 2006

One down...

Dear Shayne,

I've finished one glove. Yay! Even though this one was fun to make, I am having difficulty getting motivated to start the next one. Hrm... think I'll find something else to distract me and procrastinate on finishing this pair? Me? Never! Oh, wait... me? Yeah... probably.

Seriously, I gotta get these done before football season is over -- the Browns won today! Maybe it was my finished glove! Oooh... it's a maaagic glove... with maaagic powers! Fun!

Meanwhile, I took this photo at night again. Hard to get good night shots. I tried using Photoshop to clean things up, but I ended up making my skin look like a lobster. Lobster claw? Not so sexy. Sooo... I went with de-saturating again. We're going to call this "artistic" and say that this is a "theme." Got it? Okey-dokey.

Off to cast on the next glove! Or, um... go to bed. We'll see.


Monday, November 06, 2006

WIP: Knucks

Dear Shayne,
In my continuing saga of How to Procrastinate on the Crafts I'm Supposed to Be Doing (AKA The Story of my Life), I present to you my latest not-on-my-list project: Knucks from Knitty.

This, of course, is just the finger portion of the glove (the first finger is still on the needles in this photo). I couldn't resist this yarn when I saw it last year -- it's brown and orange, which are the Cleveland Browns colors (football, if you're not into sports). I had two balls of this stuff and I wasn't sure what I was going to make with it. Then I saw the Knucks pattern and realized that GO BROWNS is 8 letters, so I'm going to embroider that on my knuckles when I'm done. YEAH!

Of course, now you understand why I just had to knit these right now. I mean, football season is half over already! I need me my Browns gloves. Wonder if it will help them win... hrmmm... that's probably too much to expect from a pair of gloves, isn't it? Oh, well. I can hope!

As for this weird-ass photo, I apparently took these pictures in the dark and no amount of horsing around with Photoshop seemed to help. So I de-saturated my hand so you could actually see the yarn color. In the end, it looks a little zombie-like, so we'll go with: It's Halloween themed! Yeah!


Saturday, November 04, 2006

Wrapping up the ATC swap

Dear Shayne,
Fair warning: I am now about to bombard you with photos. Ready?

I have finished that ATC swap I was in on craftster so here are the final cards I sent out, plus the holder I sent.

The theme request for this first one was "Vintage hats, purses & shoes." Everyone else made her super-old Victorian style cards. I am a dumb-ass and interpreted "Vintage" to mean 40s/50s. So this card stands out like a sore thumb in the rest of her collection. Oh, well. The cool thing about this card is that it's also a little book, although I didn't scan a photo inside of it. I don't know why. Perhaps it's that "I'm a dumb-ass" problem. I got the idea from an article in Cloth Paper Scissors magazine. The "spine" of the book is along the bottom of the purse. The book is about... I don't know... 8 pages. It was cute (if I do say so myself).

This next one was for a theme of "Myth & Magic." I don't know why, but I immediately thought of The Magician tarot card . I have a spare tarot deck that I got as a promo item (???) at a convention I went to once. (Yeah... weird.)

So I used that card as the base, and then cut up a little book I have on Tarot for the smaller tarot image. The explanation of the card was cut from the little tarot guidebook that came from the deck. I burned the edges and may have exhibited a little too much "self-confidence" in burning (those are the words I nearly burned entirely off). Oh, well -- it's got that "handmade" look, right? Heh.

Here's one that I was totally stumped on but I ended up really liking. Her theme was "Zetti." (If you don't know what that is, click that link and check out Teesha Moore's site. Go ahead. I'll wait.)

I found this theme to be overwhelming, since there is so much possibility with it. But the chick I was making it for owns goats, so I used that as a starting point. I have a butterfly stamp that I used to make the wing and I sort of free-handed the crown. It was a little plain at that point, so I put the "joy" tag on the bottom. He seems joyful, doesn't he? I know I would be if I could fly... that would be so coool. Wouldn't that be cool? I would totally love that! I have these flying dreams and they're so vivid... oh, wait. Where was I? Oh, yeah. ATCs.

The final card for the swap had the theme of "Old Blues Musicians." This is also the person I had to make a holder for, so I was pretty burned out on this theme by the time I got to her card. I ended up doing something totally goofy, but here it is.

I took images from a Bessie Smith song called, well, you can figure this part out, but it's called "You've got to give me some." The images are a "peckerwood" (woodpecker), cream, steak, sugar lumps, and lollypops. They refer to well, er, um... read the lyrics for yourself here. Ahem! And people are shocked by lyrics today -- I guess the imagery of yesteryear is a bit less graphic, but still... pretty raunchy! So that's how I came up with that card. It's a mystery to anyone who isn't familiar with the song, but the person I made it for is, so it works.

As I mentioned, I also made the ATC holder for that same chick. I feel like I might have screwed her with what I made, but, well, here's what I did. The actual original requirement for the swap was a "book" to hold the ATCs in. Early on, I asked her if a non-book holder would be okay with her and she said that whatever I wanted to make was fine. Whoops for her!

As the swap went on, I kept seeing all of these incredible cards and thought about how nice it would be to display them (as opposed to tucking them away in a book). So I made her a little display case/shrine type thing.Here's a bit of a side view.

On this side, we see Bessie Smith, one of the musicians she specifically mentioned as a favorite. Inside the display area is a map of Mississippi. There are widely various arguments about where the Blues originated. This is one opinion. I don't really care if other people disagree. I needed to get the holder done, so Mississippi it was.

On the other side of the holder is Robert Johnson, another musician that she mentioned (he's from Mississippi!) (It's hard to write that word without thinking of the sing-song-y way of spelling it.)

You can also see my random music-y notes embellishments inside... I was kind of desperate with this theme, as the Blues is really not my bag.

The entire time I was making this, I thought, "Oh, good. I can take photos of the ATC I made being displayed inside of the box." And then I promptly sealed that ATC in an envelope before taking photos of this thing. Smooth. So here is a picture with the lovely "Sample ATC" standing in. Sexy nice.

I really love making these boxes. They're strangely satisfying to make and they come out really sturdy. I learned to make them by using these kits from Paper-Source (of course). I highly recommend the kit if you've never made a box before -- the instructions are great and they pre-cut all of the boards. I cut my own boards now, which is cheaper and more adaptable, but also a pain in the butt. I've made a couple of other boxes this past year, but that's another entry for another day.

At the bottom of the holder is a drawer for the ATCs that are not on display above. Here's a photo of it with the ever-lovely "Sample ATC" inside. Yeah... cause you might understand what a "drawer" is or how it works... (this post is going downhill now, isn't it? >sigh<).

The final photo is the top of the whole thing. I found this great quote from Ralph Ellison (click it for a larger version, if you want to actually read the quote).

Of course, I didn't actually learn my "Just Leave It Alone" lesson (did you really think that I did?) with the earlier card and added the swirly stamps at the very last possible moment. For the most part, I like how they turned out, but I totally biffed one of them on the top of the box. It looked horrible. So I slapped that little heart sticker over it. Not sure that it really works, but... 3am? Needs to ship the next day? Right. Done.

Whew! I'm relieved that this swap is done, but... of course... I've already signed up for Round 2. Soooo... I'm off to make some fresh ATCs!


Wednesday, November 01, 2006


Dear Shayne,
Whew! No posts lately, and you'll soon see why -- I've been Halloween costuming up the wazoo. Last week, Bill and I went to a Halloween party with a "Post-apocalyptic World" theme. I was a bit stumped, so put the idea out to a few co-workers for some brain-storming. Almost immediately, someone said, "Twinkies!" Sure -- 'cause they're going to last forever, right? Love it! That led me to think of cockroaches. Soooo... I was a Twinkie and Bill was a cockroach!

I am particularly proud of the antennae on this costume -- I think they came out really well. I was initially going to put them on a headband, but Bill shaves his head and I thought that would look goofy. So he suggested a hood -- we had this brown sweatshirt, so I attached them to that. They really came out even better than I expected... in fact, I had some roach-y dreams that night after working on this. Blech.

The extra legs aren't that great (Bill is a champ for sticking out his arms in this photo in a way that shows them off) but both of these costumes were whipped up the night before the party. Sooo... stuffed pantyhose it was.

For the Twinkie costume, I went with quick and dirty (to tell the truth, this is generally my preferred Halloween costume methodology -- I like costumes that are my basic "uniform" [long skirt + long shirt] dressed up to look like something else. I also rarely do makeup and pretty much never do wigs).

All yellow with white spots where they inject the Twinkies with filling. I had a suggestion to wear a cowboy hat for the "Twinkie the Kid" look, but... is that guy still around? At any rate, I'm not sure that the Kid will survive the apocalypse... he always seemed a little wimpy to me. But those non-baked baked goods? Oh, yeah.

The best part about this costume is that I had everything on hand -- the yellow sweatshirt is a print sweatshirt turned inside out, and the yellow skirt and chucks were straight out of my closet. I had the fleece to cut up and sew into "filling." Mmm... Twinkies.

The only thing we had to buy were brown pants for Bill (which he can hold onto until he's 70 and wear them again!) and the pantyhose for the roach legs. Sweet!

Whew! That must be it, right?

Au contraire, my friend!

That was just last week's party. That doesn't include the crazy Halloween party craziness (I know I said crazy twice -- it's really crazy!) that takes place where I work.

A bit of backstory (cause hey, I never shut up) first: a few years back, the theme was "Haunted Hollywood." At the last minute (notice a personal theme there?) I decided to wear my hockey gear and go as Wayne Gretzky -- you know, when he played for the LA Kings? LA? Hollywood? Yeah, it was a stretch, but I had everything on hand and just had to use duct tape to write "Gretzky" and "99" on my back. So I wore my skates all day. And it was super fun! I looooved skating around the office.

The next year, I decided I wanted to be "wheeled" again. So I went as my car. You can read about it on my very first ever post on craftster here (Awww... memories...). The next year (last year), I decided to go as "Hell on Wheels." I don't seem to have a photo of that one, but I wore a black dress with flames all around the skirt and made an iron-on transfer of Rodin's The Gates of Hell for my shirt. And skates. Of course.

Soooo... this year, skates again. Debate, debate, debate. Waffle, waffle, waffle. Many good ideas were bandied about, but nothing that got me really excited. The Saturday before Halloween, I was grilling Bill for ideas (what a champ that guy is) and he came up with "rolling pin" (dress as a pin, wear the skates, done). I couldn't decide between a bowling pin or a sewing pin and neither of them seemed easy to me. So we kept brainstorming with the word "roll" -- rolling stones, rolling hills [heh. heh.], steam roller, etc. At some point, I said, "High roller!" (dress like a stoner, wear the skates...) Bill's answer to this was: "Holy Roller." YES!

There was much debate between a nun costume or an angel costume (even just having holes in my clothes, but that seemed weak). In the end, I decided that angels=holy more than nuns. Also, I wanted to make some kick-ass angel wings.

So I did.

These babies kicked ass. Seriously. They're 30" tall and totally rock. Everyone asked where I bought them -- just the compliment you want when you make something, right?

I also managed to make them comfortable to wear and easily removable, although I wore them all day. Unfortunately, I don't have a photo of the whole outfit, but I made a long white tunic to go with the wings and halo I made.

I'm such a nerd -- that halo looks like Christmas tree garland, doesn't it? Nope. It's eyelash yarn that I knit into an i-cord and then ran wire through. Right. I knit my own halo. Hahaha.

So that's what I've been busy doing. Oh, yeah -- and I finished that ATC swap, so there are photos coming of that.

The bathroom? Hahaha. Right. Not so much. How's yours?