Work in progress- 666: the (floss) number of the beast

Lets start with a big pile of squishies!

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I now have three different people who all want to roll around in the completed pile of squishies before I sew them all together.

No, they won’t be naked. I hope.

Yes, I’ll probably do it too. And yes, I’ll probably take photos, because how many times in your life do you get an opportunity like that?

Anyway, the pile of squishies is getting bigger, which means the pillowcase they usually live in is getting fuller.

This week, though, has mostly been about embroidery. There are a couple of projects in my 15 in 2015 that have Actual Deadlines, and both of them require significant amounts of hand embroidery. I’ve decided to go with redwork for the project I’m currently working on, as mixing colours seems like a big risk when making something for someone who is notoriously picky about colours.

This means I’ve been buying and using a lot of bright red embroidery floss- I’m not sure how I feel about using so much of a colour whose DMC number is 666. I can think of only three reasons they would have chosen that number.

A) They just weren’t thinking.

B) It’s bright red, which means devilish, which makes 666 the PERFECT number. (This is what it would be if I worked for DMC. This is why I don’t work at places like DMC.)

C) They just didn’t want conservative Christians using their red embroidery floss.

Anyway, thanks to plenty of time at Kapcon for stitching (including during games- I almost always craft during tabletop games), I now have four of the nine embroidered panels finished and ready for turning into quilt blocks:

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The one at the bottom is the Love Birds pattern by Polka and Bloom. The one at the top is the free Owl and Pussycat embroidery from Follow the White Bunny. The other two are free paisley redwork heart patterns I found via Pinterest. Right now I’m working on another heart, this time though I made a transfer of just the heart outline from the other ones, and I’m filling it with a random assortment of different stitches for my own amusement.

Because really, if it’s not fun, why do it?

I now have the transferring patterns to fabric thing a bit more down than I did- sock knitting needles, especially ones made of metal or with metal tips, turn out to be the perfect tool for tracing if you’re using carbon paper. Another advantage of being polycraftual.

What about you? What are you working on at the moment? Let me know in the comments.

Gratituesday: lets all be acerbic and make wookie noises.

The weekend just gone was Kapcon, an annual roleplaying convention down in Wellington. I was one of the helper-monkeys, and it was utterly exhausting but ran smoothly (which is always good), and I got to play in some fun games. I was also Princess Leia, Chewbacca, Owen Lars, Red Leader and Admiral Motti in a reading of ‘William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: Verily, a New Hope’.

Apparently I was especially good at getting the acid tone into Leia’s insults. Even in iambic pentameter. I forget, until I get a chance to do it, how much I enjoy scripted acting, especially Shakespeare. And when I told the Best Beloved I was playing Chewie he laughed his ass off.

I was also a boy scout child of hippies (“I want three of your Mum’s cookies!” “Do you remember what happened when you had *two* of them? DO YOU REMEMBER WHEN WE FED ONE TO THE DOG?”), and a map-reading, accidentally-kill-stealing Greek hero. Those were both great too. And the Police Commissioner in a superhero LARP- for which I won ‘the Nolanverse award for grittiness under pressure’. That’s what happens when you start smack-talking superheroes.

I was very grateful to get back to snuggles from the Best Beloved, and also that I took the day off on Monday to recover. Such sleep. Much naps. Very lazy. Wow.

The 15 in 2015 is coming along very nicely, which I’m definitely grateful for. I got a lot of embroidery for one of the quilt projects done over Kapcon (the advantage of tabletop), and I’ve been spending many pleasant evenings stitching and watching Project Runway. I’m pleased with how things are turning out (with my crafting, not always with Project Runway. We’re on Season 8 at home, which I haven’t seen, but I suspect I’ll come away agreeing that Mondo was robbed…)- which is good as one of the projects is for a very particular friend of mine who once re-wrapped all their Christmas presents so they’d match. You can’t make this stuff up. That’s going to be a challenge for my usual punk-rock, laissez-faire-les-f***-ups attitude to crafting.

The little things

Fun things in the mail, being decisive and actually using one of my precious Molly Crabapple stickers (my Kindle is now 100% more badass), sunshine, Jenny Hart’s Embroidered Effects, the library, plums being in season, experimental rosemary scones, sausage rolls, Burger Fuel’s Firestone Fish burger (it’s what the Filet o’ Fish dreams of being), Stephanie Dosen and Hans Zimmer music, my little red carry-on suitcase.

How about you? What are you grateful for this week?

Time to rock the craft- presenting 15 in 2015

It’s the new year.

It’s probably crazy.

It’s definitely a lot of work.

But I’m not waiting around any longer to be a badass crafter. I’ve been spending a lot of time crafting in the break, and the more I do it, the more positive I feel. I want this to be a year when I achieve something really  spectacular. So it’s time to challenge myself- and if you want, you’re welcome to join me. I therefore present to you:

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What’s that when it’s at home?

It’s simple. I am going to try to take on, and complete, 15 big craft projects in 2015. Some of them are ones that have been started, and are even a fair way along, but are sitting around unfinished. Well, it’s time to actually get them f***ing well DONE and being used and enjoyed. Some of them are for me, some are for other people. All of them require a significant amount of work- some of them because they are big pieces I’ll be using a machine for, some of them because they will need a lot of handstitching, and some include new techniques for me, or ones I want to master.

But the main constant is this: these aren’t things that can be whipped up in a couple of hours (though hopefully I’ll be able to fit a few of those in too. Like I said, probably crazy).

My 15 in 2015:

1) The First T-Shirt Quilt (which has been languishing unfinished for THREE YEARS)

2) The Ladygarden Quilt

3) The Second T-Shirt Quilt

4) The Second Ever Wedding Quilt

5) The Flamingo Dress (seriously, I’ve taken the fabric and pattern with me at least three times intending to start it, and it’s still not done. And I’ve had the fabric for over a year.)

6) A Parfait.

7) An Oolong (bias cut- in other words, asking for trouble…)

8) The Beekeepers Quilt (which I started FOUR YEARS AGO and still haven’t finished- I’ve made 266 hexipuffs out of the 365 I want to make)

9) Mystic Roses shawl (I’ve said this will be the year I master lace knitting. I meant it.)

10: 5 x Misheard Song Lyrics cross stitches (and creating and selling the patterns for them)

11: The Cryptozoology Quilt (incorporating these dot-to-dot embroidery pieces)

12: The Perfect Christmas Jumper (not necessarily for Christmas, but it’s in thin yarn and small needles)

13: The Wheel of the Year quilt (using these embroidery designs from Urban Threads)

14: The Travelling Blanket (languishing since my parents last came out to visit 2 years ago)

15: My first Zine (no I’m not telling you the topic…yet)

This is big, people. This is the most adventurous craft challenge I think I’ve ever set myself and I have no idea if I’ll do it. But I wanted to be accountable, so I’ll be updating you on how the projects are going each week.

How about you? Do you feel like joining me? It doesn’t have to be projects this big, it can be things that feel a little bit big to you. This project feels big to me, it’ll definitely stretch me and require me to be disciplined about making time to craft each and every day. And that has GOT to be a good thing for a punk rock crafter.

I dare you to give it a try with me. Let me know your 15 in the comments, and we can cheer each other on!