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1  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / My Neighbor Totoro Mug Rug on: October 27, 2014 07:34:03 AM
I recently completed this mug rug for roler in the Mug Rug Swap round 6. This was my first ever piece of quilting (and applique, for that matter)! I've always been interested in quilting but didn't want to have to make an entire blanket just to try it out, so discovering mug rugs was the perfect solution. I definitely see myself making a lot more of these!





I attached all my cut-out fabric pieces with fusible web and appliqued around the edges, then I went back and added hand-embroidered details, especially on the leaves as I didn't sew around those edges with my machine and I wanted to add some extra security. (Pro tip: If you haven't already figured this out for yourself, embroidering through several layers of fabric with fusible web in between is a total pain. x_x) The quilting is just sort of free-form where I could find space for it in the background. The binding is attached by machine to the front side but I hand-stitched the back as I'm not super confident in sewing perfectly straight lines and I didn't want it to end up looking messy.

All-in-all, I'm super pleased with my first attempt at quilting! I was really unsure about how the applique would turn out; I was kind of afraid that it would look bad just by nature of it being my first time trying, but I really surprised myself once all was said and done. And there's just something so satisfying about sewing through batting and getting those nice plush lines, mmmmm. I'll definitely be back!
2  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Adjustable Paperback Manga Cover on: October 08, 2014 08:26:08 PM
I was fortunate enough to have an opportunity to visit Japan this summer, which, being the shameless anime nerd that I am, is something I have dreamed about for many years. I got to see and do lots of things I'd always wanted to do, like get my picture taken in those photobooths where you get to draw on your pictures, eat some top-notch, honest-to-goodness ramen, and get my hands on some of those wonderful Japanese knitting/sewing books. One thing I noticed while I was there, travelling around a lot on the train, is that many people read books on their commute (makes sense), and a lot of people use book covers - whether to protect the volumes from damage, hide what they are reading, or just have that extra level of personalization. While there I developed a little bit of an obsession with procuring the perfect book cover for some of the manga that I own. I didn't really need one, but the book/journal/stationary nerd in me just HAD to have something cute like that (I'm sure many of you understand)! I looked high and low for the perfect one that fit my style and wasn't too expensive, but I had a lot of trouble. I ended up buying one that I thought was juuuust right, just to get it back to my hotel room and see that it was just a little bit too small; it was meant for a paperback novel, not a manga volume, and I had misjudged the size since they are very similar. In the end I never found the perfect cover! It was disappointing, but not a total loss since I do own one book the cover would fit.

Fast forward to now, I've been trying to come up with ideas for things I can make relatively easily that would also be appealing and useful that I can sell at my local anime convention next year. Finally, the perfect thing hit me: manga covers! Standard English-language manga editions are 5x7.5 inches which is different from most other common sizes for paperbacks in North America, and while book covers aren't really a big thing over here (that I've noticed), if I know anything about my audience (people like me), it's that they love cute pretty things even if they're only sort-of useful. It's one of those things that you don't think/know you need until you see that it exists. At least that's the angle I'm going for, lol.





This took me quite a few tries to get right, as I was determined to figure it out for myself and not use a tutorial (didn't even look to see if they exist, which I'm sure they do somewhere, but I wanted to make the pattern on my own since I'll be selling these eventually). Originally I was going to just get one long piece and hem all the edges before folding the two sides over to make pockets for the front and back cover, but the hemming part proved very finicky and despite two attempts and what I thought were the correct measurements, I kept messing up and it never fit. I scrapped my original plan and ended up going for an adjustable version so it would fit a variety of thicknesses, and made it lined so I wouldn't have to mess around with those pesky hems. After making a quick prototype to see if the concept worked any better (it did!), I made some final measurement adjustments and decided to go all in on the final version, which is what you see here! Let me tell you, after all that I went through (definitely had a bit of a meltdown after the first attempt bombed so badly), slipping this one on and having it fit perfectly was the best feeling. The pattern I developed is also awesome because 18" is the perfect length, which means I can get the most out of all those fat quarters I love to hoard...;P

This was probably my first major hurdle as still somewhat of a sewing newb, despite having a fair number or projects under my belt. I've made lots of lined zippered pouches and several costumes but this felt like...the first of many final exams, where I really got to prove myself and what I've learned. I'm very proud of myself, and I look forward to making lots more of these and expanding on the design techniques!
3  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Hand Stitched Cute & Nerdy "Merit Badges" on: September 07, 2014 09:11:32 PM
I've always loved merit badges...I never actually earned any when I was in Girl Scouts (most of the requirements were way too long and involved for my 10-year-old self) but they always appealed to me because I like collecting cute little things. Why I like ATCs so much, I guess. ^_^



I've been working really hard over the past couple of weeks making these! I'm doing all sorts of cute little pictures and icons, but of course I have a large focus on nerdy things.

Picture 1 (L-R): Mushroom, 20-sided die, Sailor Moon crescent, rainbow, bi pride flag, Rarity cutie mark
Picture 2 (L-R): Mario 1-up mushroom, Mario Super Star, Sailor Venus symbol, glasses, fried egg (yum!), Sailor Mars Symbol

I have lots more ideas (but I'm always welcoming more!) so I'm going to keep churning these out as much as I can until I have to apply for my local con's Artist Alley in January. Prepping for shows is hard work! I'm not sure how people do it. But I'm gonna work hard so I can finally live my dreams! Yeahhh!! ^_^
4  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Moon Crystal Power, MAKE UP! on: July 27, 2014 09:32:17 PM
HEY Y'ALL. Wow, I have been gone from Craftster for such a long time! Life has changed so much for me since the last time I was active here. Back then I was a floundering college junior, now I'm a full fledged adult with a job. A CRAFTY JOB, no less (I work in a bead store) !!! The past few years I've really been missing the close-knit interactive online communities I was involved with way back when. I got sucked into Tumblr which has honestly been kind of a drag lately, but I can't let myself quit until I have somewhere else to make my home. What better place than with all you lovelies?

SO for my triumphant return to Craftster, I present you with this piece. I'm really not an embroiderer, like at all, but out of nowhere I got this sudden urge to stitch something. This isn't exactly my first time doing this, but it's probably my first completed piece in...15 years?



I'm a big Sailor Moon fan, and what with the new anime airing right now, I've seriously got it on the brain! Sailor Moon has honestly been one of the biggest creative inspirations for me over the years. No matter how old I get, every time I go back to it, it just makes me want to create things. ^^;

To make this, first I found the image of her transformation brooch (the one from the second season of the anime). I actually brought it up on my Cintiq screen and, laying my hoop over top of it, traced it directly onto my fabric with marker. Not easy. Not recommended. But I don't have a printer or lightbox or anything so it was the best I could do. xD I tried using pencil at first but that was too hard. Marker worked great, and it honestly didn't matter what it looked like since I knew I was going to cover everything up with stitches.

After that, I outlined everything with split stitch. The yellow I filled in with satin stitch, and the pink is also split stitch. I originally tried to do the pink in satin stitch, but as many of you probably know satin stitch can get a bit messy and unwieldy...plus I didn't like the movement of the lines. I wanted them to follow the curves of the design, so split stitch ended up working out best. I really love the way it turned out; great texture, great flow of the lines, but also a very neat and uniform look. Smiley The little colored circles are done in I guess some kind of circular/spiral stem stitch...IDK if there's a real name for that. xD

You also might notice that on the thin yellow border I attempted to do some shading (you'd probably notice it better if this wasn't a fancy instagram pic, my bad xD). I used 5 different colors and a kind of hatching technique to blend them together. I wanted to try shading on the rest of it but it ended up looking kind of strange when I tried, so I left it out. I'm honestly not sure if I should go back and try to add any in - I like the way it looks now and don't want to mess it up, but I think it looks kind of funny with shading only on the border and nowhere else! Oh well, perhaps I'll make up my mind when I get around to figuring out what I want to do with this!

Thanks for looking, and I'm glad to be back. Smiley
5  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Clara Plushie - Kuragehime/Jellyfish Princess on: May 31, 2011 08:09:27 AM
I went to a local Anime convention this past weekend, which was my first time going and was super fun! This past semester my university's Anime club watched Kuragehime (Jellyfish Princess) and I decided for the con I could put together a really simple Tsukimi cosplay. All she wears is a dark grey sweatsuit, but to be distinguished as a character of course I needed to make myself a plushie of Clara, her pet jellyfish!

Originally I was going to sew it, but I decided I was much more comfortable knitting it, which would have the added bonus of it being more unique than anybody else who might be doing the same costume.



I didn't want a perfect sphere shape for the body, but more of a flattened sphere, so for the body I modified the Monster Chunks pattern. The tentacles are tubes that I started briefly increasing and then decreasing again at the end to get the bulbous tips. The ruffle is just a simple k3tog lettuce ruffle. I was going to try to embroider all the details on, but that proved far too difficult and not detailed/accurate enough. So I glued everything on! I plan to make more of these to sell next year, so by then I will have used a more professional technique than just plain Elmer's!

Here is me in my costume, plus friends who were doing cosplay from Kuragehime too:



As I said, I hope to have a table at Artists' Alley next year and be selling these among other things. I had SO many random people come up to me and tell me that I should, so I figured why not?
6  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Cute Anime Boxers on: February 13, 2011 05:44:24 PM
Ever since my boyfriend and I started dating, I thought it would be super fun to get him some cute/interesting boxers. There are a lot of fun prints of boxers out there...but I couldn't really find anything that I thought fit him (we're both into anime/manga, but the closest thing I could find were like, marvel superhero undies and whatnot. not exactly his thing).

So I thought I should sew some for him myself! Took me a while to find a fabric that I liked that was cute and fun but at the same time not too emasculating, lol xD Got this off ebay:



And sewn up!



I used this pattern/tutorial to make them. It was pretty easy and I'd love to make some for myself next time!

I made these for Valentine's Day so I still have to give them to him and see if they fit correctly. I mentioned getting him cute boxers before, and yesterday I blatantly measured his waist and asked him where on his waist he'd prefer to wear boxers...and yet he says he can't possibly think what it is I'm making for him! Apparently the obvious choice is too obvious? Tongue hehe
7  FIBER ARTS / Dyeing: Discussion and Questions / Tips for Creative Color Theory & Dyeing Roving? on: January 01, 2011 09:05:40 PM
So I'm a big fan of the color wheel. I could play with that thing all day. I know all about complements, split complements, analogous colors, etc etc whatever.

My problem is, I'm really -crap- at implementing them. At least creatively.

I'd like to do more dyeing. Especially because now my mother got me 5 pounds of wool for Christmas and I'd love to do something interesting with it. Perhaps even start selling on Etsy like I've been meaning to. But I always seem to find myself using analogous color somehow, and while they can be quite pretty, after a while they get boring. Not very interesting at all.

So for people who do a lot of dyeing, especially roving/yarn, do you have any tips? Where to do you get your inspiration? Do you maybe even just throw random colors together and see what happens? I don't know if I don't understand how to implement color theory, am not creative enough, or I'm just too darn afraid to take some chances.
8  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Completed Projects / Fiber Friday - Friday the 13th Edition! on: August 13, 2010 06:54:10 AM
HEY THAR my lovely spinners, how goes things?

It's been all summer and I finally have some yarns to share with you. The past two weeks I've been sharing my time between knitting, spinning, innernets, shopping, and fambly time, but I've managed to squeeze out two yarns for your approval. Or not. (just kidding)



This is silk that I received in the Summer Fiber Club swap from SciFunk. First time spinning just silk, and it was definitely an experience! I'm probably going to try to do some more finishing on it later, because I skeined it on a chair back and it turned out really uneven and kinky (you can't tell in this picture!) and not very shiny. D: I think it's about 300 yards, laceweightish.



The previous stuff took me about a week, and so for a change of pace I finished this baby up in a day! I believe it is about 100 yards bulky. It's corriedale I got from Feeling Sheepish, although I bought it from her in person at a local Fiber Fest. LOVE LOVE LOVE these colors and doing these kinds of 2-plies. Expect more from me later. Tongue

Happy Fiber Friday peeps! Let's see those yarns!
9  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / When reading your favorite Dr Who fanfic online is a bore, bind it into a book! on: July 27, 2010 05:38:20 PM
I made this a year ago but have never posted it...I post way too few projects on here! I guess that's what happens when I just hang around Fiber Friday and the swap boards!


I've been into a few fandoms online over the years, (first Sailor Moon, then Harry Potter, now Doctor Who) and have never been a huge fanfic reader, but every now and then I have an occasion to read something longer than most blog posts...a lot longer. From my days on the internet I've run into a few really long stories online that I just love. The only thing I don't love is reading them on a computer screen. The constant scrolling makes my head hurt! Also, before I had a laptop, there were much more comfortable places I'd rather be reading. Back in my Sailor Moon days I used to print my favorite story out as I went and take it with me on trips.

Now I'm super into Doctor Who. I still read hardly any fanfic, but I ran into a story a while ago and I love love love it. Doctor Who Season 4 is AMAZING for anyone who is interested....anyway. I was messing around with some software I got with my school laptop last summer, and having finally found a way to print out booklets, taking folding/signatures into account, I felt it was finally time to try my hand at bookbinding! Much more fun than just printing out pages and stapling them together.







Some making-of shots:






I used these instructions here. They're great! They're a really good compromise between sturdy/professional looking and easy to do with no special supplies.

The outside fabric and interior paper are supposed to be reminiscent of the Time Vortex. I've got some remnants of the brown fabric with blue pinstripes from Joann that's a good fit for David Tennant's brown suit, but I'm still thinking I may make something out of it so I didn't want to use it up. I still may though. After all, the same author also wrote the equally excellent Doctor Who Season 5....

I never actually read through the story in the book after I finished it, but I did lend it to a friend who was apparently too lazy to read the story online, but would be more likely to read it in book form. Luckily for him, I did have it in book form...he found that amusing. Turns out I messed up a few pages (I spend way too much time trying to format this thing, and probably could have done it in a much simpler way than I did), and the formatting was a bit off - it cut off a few characters on the side of some pages. But mostly successful!
10  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Completed Projects / Fiber Friday 2/19/10 on: February 19, 2010 07:03:31 AM
It's Friday!

I have one yarn to show you guys. This thing is oooooold but lazy oddacity is lazy.





This is about 200 yards fingering weight, chain plied.

Bahhh I hated spinning this. >_< The wool in the batt (which was custom carded for me, yay?) was really greasy or something because after not too long my fingers would feel like I'd been rubbing them on wax for a while. Really unpleasant experience. I shouldn't have started out spinning for a 3-ply fingering weight, but I didn't realize what I was in for! Also I washed the yarn in like 10 baths and the color of the water never got lighter from a sort of navy blue so I just gave up. gah. It doesn't feel as waxy any more which is good. I think I call this yarn "Fail" lol. I don't know what I'll make with it, if anything. :\
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