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1  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / eleventh doctor sampler and stitched quotes (doctor who, scott pilgrim, etc.) on: October 15, 2014 05:52:53 PM
I am stitching more regularly than i'm used to (particularly samples). the largest project i've completed so far is a sampler featuring the eleventh doctor from doctor who (as well as the TARDIS, sonic screwdrivers, "home sweet home" in circular galllifreyan, and a number of other small references).

i've also stitched up a couple of my favorite quotes. (i keep a running list of hilarious and/or memorable lines that i'd like to turn into cross stitch patterns, and i'm starting to think i may never see the end of it, lol.) the first is a quote from scott pilgrim.

"if your life had a face, i would punch it."

the second is a line used by larry the cable guy.

"i'm no stranger to hard work. i've seen it done."

i've also updated an old pattern for the "home sweet goto10" sampler from futurama (seen in bender's apartment), but i haven't had a chance to stitch up the new version yet. hopefully soon though.  Smiley
anyways, thanks for looking!
2  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / tiny spaceships (star wars and doctor who) and sailor moon symbols on: October 15, 2014 05:40:44 PM
i've been stitching a lot of sample pieces. luckily, most of them are pretty small!

i have a series of tiny spaceships which are particularly adorable.  Smiley  first up are some of the ships from star wars: the death star, the millennium falcon, the slave i, a star destroyer, a tie fighter, and an x-wing.

then we have two version of the TARDIS.

i also worked on some tiny symbols from sailor moon. nine in total, featuring the five inner senshi symbols and the four outer senshi symbols.

i'll be working on some more tiny spaceships soon, but i also have an enormous list of hilarious quotes i'd like to stitch up. not to mention the giant ghostbusters sampler my boyfriend requested, lol. good times!
3  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / leonardo (tmnt) guitar strap on: February 11, 2014 07:41:40 PM
so this is my latest creation. a guitar strap with the old-school arcade version of leonardo cross-stitched onto it. (you remember the old-school arcade version of the teenage mutant ninja turtles? the side-scrolling fighting game? and in between scenes, there'd be a cut scene with all four turtles side-by-side? yeah, this is that.)

anyways, it took ages. it wouldn't have taken so long if i'd just left all the black along the right side empty, but it just looked crappy (and the lack of stitching on the side made it warp a little), so i filled it all in anyway. and of course black cotton stitches on black nylon webbing is ungodly difficult to see. it takes like three freaking times longer to stitch than any other color. guh. so yeah, it took a couple of months of stitching, off an on, just a few hours a day, a few days a week. it was a pretty lazy project, lol.

the stitched portion is just over five inches tall and just under two inches wide. taking into account that each completed cross-stitch is actually two individual stitches (forming the x), this thing has over 4,500 individual stitches in it. mostly black. guh.

i'm planning on making one guitar strap for each turtle, so one down, three to go.  Smiley
4  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / "action delivery force" paintings (futurama ftw) on: February 11, 2014 07:32:19 PM
soooooo if you haven't seen the sixth season of futurama, the last episode (called "reincarnation") is split into three segments, each of which spoofs a different animation style. the third segment, "action delivery force" spoofs anime, and features a couple of split-scene cuts (a la old-school voltron and whatnot) with the characters making hilariously dramatic faces.

as a birthday present for my boyfriend, i painted each individual onto their own piece of craft wood using regular old acrylic paints (oooh, faaancyyy), like so:

this is what the pieces looked like pre-paint, just penciled on:

you may have noticed that there is a penciled version of hermes, but no painted version. well, there was one. but my dog ate it. literally. no joke. he must have looked delicious.

some of the colors are slightly off (namely yellows, cuz i didn't have yellow), but whatevs. first thing i've ever successfully painted, so i'm pretty pleased with myself.

individual shots!

5  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / mario guitar strap (yep, another one) on: February 11, 2014 07:03:11 PM
so this is the second mario-themed guitar strap i've stitched. (the first one is here.)

this guitar strap was commissioned by a rad guy with a nintendo guitar. (please excuse the photos. i am terrible at photos.) anyways, he picked all the images he wanted, then i created a pattern and went to. it took ages. a little over a month to complete, i think.

a slightly better picture:

aaand a few close-ups:

i covered the back with fleece, same as i did with the last one. it helps to keep everything from getting completely screwed up, plus it's way more comfy.  Smiley
6  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / tenth doctor: a time lord poppet! (pic chubster) on: August 11, 2010 04:58:58 PM
so this was my very first poppet ever. (and quite possibly my last, LOL.) please excuse the blurry photos i often take. i have no idea why i suck so much.

(the image above was borrowed from my excellent swap partner, irishdaydreamer, because i am lame and forget to take a full body shot. le sigh.)

i joined one of the recent doctor who swaps and was assigned a most excellent swap partner, irishdaydreamer. the one thing that she wanted, more than anything else, was a poppet of the tenth doctor. now, having never made a poppet, or even so much as used a pattern before, there was some trepidation involved. however, i refused to send her a package that did not include the ONE THING she had requested. so i had to man up and learn to make a poppet.

the first thing i did, obviously, was contact the poppet-mistress herself, ghilie, to get the pattern and instructions. i printed them out, and then went about altering the appropriate pieces. the original poppet pattern creates a mildly animalistic doll with paws, cat ears, and a tail, and i needed something more time-lordy.

then i traced all of the pattern pieces onto freezer paper, cut them out, and ironed them to the appropriate pieces of fabric. i was actually kind of a dumbass the first time around and didnt pay any attention to the grain (whoops), so i had to recut some of the fabric pieces so they didnt stretch weird when i stuffed them.

sewing the pieces was the easy part, surprisingly. i actually put off the sewing for a few days because i was totally paranoid that i was going to screw it up and waste all of the fabric id bought special for the project. i used my machine, which is just a kenmore mini ultra (nothing fancy at all).

the first set of arms i sewed actually came out great. until i needed to turn them. in the poppetalong thread, i had learned that it was possible to produce a poppet with bendable fingers (using pipe cleaners in addition to the stuffing). however, everybody who had done so warned that the fingers were unnaturally difficult to turn. stupid me, i thought they meant it was literally difficult to turn, as in turning the fabric during the sewing process. i figured it had something to do with the close seams. NOPE. turning refers to the process of turning your sewn piece inside out to stuff it. THAT was hard.

i did manage to get it turned (after a ridiculously difficult time), only to discover that the fingers were waaay too thin to stuff with much of anything, more less with pipe cleaners. i ended up going through about half a dozen different variations of the arms, because i REALLY wanted the hands to have bendable fingers. i had my heart set on his being able to hold his own sonic screwdriver. but alas, it was not to be.  Undecided

his legs came out alright, with hardly a hitch (though they looked freaking retarded until i stuffed them, LOL). admittedly, his feet are HUGE in proportion to the rest of him, but i wasnt about to start over on his legs after the disastrous experience id had with his arms.  besides, i think his ginormous feet are kind of cute.  Wink

the body was next. like the legs, it was surprisingly easy to put together. when i started stuffing it, i did have a bit of difficulty getting the neck stump properly stuffed. every tutorial i read recommended that the neck be super stuffed to support the head correctly, but as i stuffed it tighter and tighter, the seams started to buckle a bit. so i had to let up and leave it. most of the seams started to pull and fray in an alarming manner at some point, but it stayed together, so thank goodness for that.

on to the jointing! the jointing bit was actually kind of fun, and relatively simple. it was a bit difficult getting the long-ass needle through his body with all the thick strands of floss through the eye, but twisting the needle as i pushed/pulled it through helped. the floss left waxy gunk through the eye of the needle, which made it increasingly difficult to thread, but whatever. the first time i jointed the legs, i didnt pull it as tight as i could have (because i was afraid of putting unnecessary tension on the fabric). but when i jointed the arms, i pulled them super tight with no problem, and the joints were way better than those on the legs. so i removed the legs and rejointed them back on again a little tighter.

his head was fun, but troublesome. i used fun fur for the hair (because i wanted it to be all floofy like the tenth doctors), which was a minor pain in my ass, LOL. the stuff got EVERYWHERE, and i had to attach it in pieces to make sure that the hair sat correctly. the sideburns were totally worth it, though.  Grin  his face was embroidered by hand. i found an outline image of the tenth doctors face on deviantart and traced the eyes and mouth onto pieces of freezer paper. i did the baked-clay-in-the-nose thing (i swear, i was so worried i was gonna burn his head) before i attached the hair, and was surprised at how well it came out. then i stuffed his head and ironed the freezer paper face on. i would have done it unstuffed, but i couldnt get the placement right.  Undecided

finally, i had a finished poppet body. all i had left were his clothes! unfortunately, i dont know how to sew clothes (haaa),  so i had to ask my mama to come over and help me out.  Roll Eyes  mama made up the pattern pieces for his clothes and i sewed them up. after i had most of the seams done, i went over his little pants and suit jacket to give his brown suit the little blue pinstripes. (irishdaydreamer preferred the pinstriped suit over his blue suit. oddly, there is no such thing as brown felt with blue pinstripes. wtf?! hahahahahaha. just kidding.)

i happened to have some aqua thread left over from my betty rubble costume last year, so thats what i used. it turned out surprisingly well! i ran out after i finished his last stripe.  Smiley  excellent timing.

his little shirt has no sleeves because the friction of felt on felt prevented a felt coat from going on over a felt shirt. i would have used regular fabric, but i knew i wouldnt be able to make the clothes look as good. so a sleeveless greaser version of the doctor is now a possible variation, LOL. the buttons on his shirt and suit actually work, which im still kinda proud of. stupid, but it makes me happy that something actually worked out the way i wanted it to. his little tie is made out of a fancy patterned red felt that i found, and it has a little snappy button closure around the back so the tie can easily be removed.

 i bought a plain pair of white infant sneakers and just used markers to add the little converse touches. (i only had washable crayola markers on hand, though, so i doubt the markings lasted very long.)

i used a couple different kinds of polymer clay (which is not my friend) to make his sonic screwdriver and two TARDIS keys. the sonic screwdriver has a blue button for the light on the end of it. i poked holes in it before i baked it so that i could thread elastic through afterward and attach it to his little (unbendable) hand. the two keys were both made based off of images of the prop keys they actually used on-set. the tiny one is for the poppet doctor, while the larger one was a matching version for my swap partner. (she actually had a real key cut to match the doctors as part of the package she sent me, which is far cooler.)

so thats it! or at least its what i can remember, since i finished the project about a month ago and only *just now* got around to posting about it. (ahh, procrastination, we meet again.) honestly, i ran into so many stupid little problems, i just wanted to post about my experience so that others can see its possible to make a poppet without having ANY IDEA WHAT YOURE DOING. hahahaha.

there are a few more pictures in my flickr set, if youre curious.

blogged here.

(c&c always totally appreciated. aww yeeaah.)
7  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / "mario through the ages" cross-stitched guitar strap on: August 05, 2010 02:15:07 PM
i hand-stitched this damned thing over the course of about four months.   Undecided  but it's awesome anyway.   Grin

i used a generic black guitar strap made of a relatively loose webbing material (many of the webbing guitar straps i found were woven too tight to stitch through). since the weave isnt exactly uniform (every row is offset by the last, so that every other row lines up), i had to sort of devise my own method of keeping the stitches even (not that anyone can tell).

i know this is a wicked lame picture, but i'm no photographer, dammit. besides, i couldn't figure out any other way to get the whole thing in one picture, LOL. too loooooooooong! meh.

i used the ever-popular mario through the ages pattern. i just edited out the background bits to keep the individual incarnations of mario. (i don't have the link, because i just downloaded the images for the pattern and the finished piece, but i can dig it out if anybody needs it.)

the reason it took so freaking long is because stitching black floss onto black webbing = SATAN.

ohmygosh, it was the absolute bane of my existence. the marios with solid black bits (as opposed to black outlines) took literally twice as long as the rest. and they generally took about seven or eight hours a-piece, so yeah, wicked lame. my eyes were ready to cut themselves out by the time i was done.

eventually, i wised up and checked the forums here for recommendations. then i went out and got myself one of those fancypants daylight lightbulbs. those things are freaking AWESOME. well worth the money. (not saying much, of course, as it was just a couple bucks. i didn't buy a fancy craft lamp, i just plugged the daylight bulb into my regular old ikea lamp.)

you may notice that hammer mario is a little off.  Shocked\  yeah. not really sure what happened there. luckily, frog mario was next, so i just shoved him off to the other side to even them out. (and it just looks like hes jumping! wooooo!)

another issue i ran across was that some of the marios were originally outlined in black on the pattern (because the background was intended to be white). unfortunately, it meant that a lot of bits just disappeared into the strap. so i ended up outlining those marios a second time with a coordinating thread color, so they still pop out.

as i stitched the strap, a lot of puckering occurred. it was weird. i tried to iron the strap after it was finished, per my moms suggestion. of course, neither of us realized that was a terrible idea (seeing as how the strap is made of NYLON). haaa. a tiny little edge melted, but i noticed real damn fast and stopped. luckily, the backing fixed most of the puckering problems.

i used a regular old embroidery needle and normal DMC thread, nothing fancy. after i finished it, i took some pictures of the back, then covered that shit up with some fleece. that way, its a little softer on the shoulders, and (hopefully) the thread will be protected a little better. i just used spray adhesive to stick the fleece to the back of the strap, then sewed up the sides to keep it down. it was kind enough to lay flat in gratitude.

the strap is still fully adjustable, only now its fully BADASS too. haaaaa.

the boy i made it for seems to like it, so that's awesome. i'm supposed to make another one with zelda-themed images, and another one with an embroidered caricature of frank zappa. but i'm learning to quilt for christmas and, frankly, i'm lazy. LOL. so it may be a while. i kind of wish my mom played guitar so i could make her a galaga one, though. (she LOVES galaga. or tetris...that could be awesome too. have the blocks floating down the strap to settle at the "bottom" near the guitar...nice.)

there are more photos over in my flickr set.

blogged here.

(c&c absolutely appreciated, yo.)
8  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / my funky feathered friend on: January 15, 2010 12:20:19 PM
please excuse my crap picture (as always)...i am by no means a photographer.

okay, so last month, my mom hosted an ornament exchange party. someone brought a cupcake ornament. and you'd better believe i fought tooth-and-nail to get it. (i even had it for a while.) but i did not get to take it home with me.

however, a week or so later, my mom called to tell me that the lady who had brought the original cupcake ornament had gone out and gotten another one...JUST FOR ME!


so, naturally, i wanted to show my appreciation. the only thing i knew about the nice lady was that she liked birds, and LO AND BEHOLD, my roommate just happened to draw this awesome (albeit slightly morbid) bird for me.

at first, he worried that it would be too creepy for her. (it actually does look kind of creepy in black-and-white, because the eyes all googly and glare-y and whatnot.) but i told him that if i used bright colors, it would be fine. (its true, you could embroider a scary penis with spikes and talons and it would be adorable in some bright shades of blue and pink and orange.)

the polka-dotty fabric was the plainest stuff i had on hand, and while i chose the pink floss to match the hoop (because i had no frames it would fit in), the blue and green were just the brightest coordinating colors i could find.

i had meant to do it quickly in split-stitch, but my stupid transfer pencil needs to be sharpened. the lines were so thick i had to satin-stitch the whole freaking thing. ha! yeah, it took me a good deal longer than i had anticipated. but the satin-stitching did give it a kind of cool feathery look, so i dont mind too much.

i used french knots for his little head feathers. also, my stupid transfer pencil left some random stray marks all over the fabric, but ive decided they just give the piece character. so meh. i used some extra green floss to pull the edges in behind the back, but i didnt cover it with any fabric because the satin stitches actually left the back pretty neat and tidy.

mmmyep, thats it!

blogged here.

(c&c fully appreciatedyoure probably smarter than me anyway, and im okay with that. lol.)
9  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / "love you forever" embroidered note (college ruled!) on: January 05, 2010 10:52:26 AM
oh, face it. we all love embroidered notes and letters. because they are AWESOME. i have been looking for an excuse (literally ANY excuse) to make one for aaaaaaages. so when christmas rolled in (and money didn't), i finally had the reason i was looking for...a christmas present for my mama!

the second-hardest part of the whole thing was just figuring out what to "write" on the note. (the hardest part was peeling off the press'n seal, but i've finally let go of my frustration. mostly.) i finally had the brilliant idea to use one of my mama's favorite children's books. my mama is a hardcore sentimental marshmallow, so i knew she'd be happy with whatever i made her. (turns out, though, it wasn't such a brilliant idea. she'd never actually read the book that i was SO SURE was her favorite. i = lame daughter. however, it is NOW one of her favorite children's books. so i also = awesome book-recommender.)

i apologize for my lame flash-y pictures. i will get better, i promise.

if you haven't read love you forever, then you are seriously missing out. it will make your eyes tear up a little. and if somebody teases you about it, all you have to do is make them read the book, and they'll shut their stupid mouths. EVERYBODY tears up at this book. it cant be helped.

i started off with a sheet of college ruled paper and some pressn seal. i traced the lines of the page onto the pressn seal, then peeled it off and stuck it to the piece of plain white cotton i was going to embroider. i waited for the lines to dry some (i used a thin sharpie pen which smudged a bit if you didnt let it dry first), then wrote the text id chosen onto the pressn seal. awesome me, i wrote it on the wrong lines. but since the pen hadnt quite dried yet, i just smudged it all off and rewrote it. HA!

from there, it was just a looooooot of teeny backstitches to get the text right (my stupid wonky handwriting is hard to embroider). after the text was finished, i focused on the lines. lots and lots of lines. followed by some more lines. and then, just for variety, i did a few more lines. yeesh.

towards the bottom of the page, i made an executive decision to try and force myself to include something at least moderately original into the piece, so i deviated on a couple of the horizontal lines toward the bottom right-hand corner of the paper. instead of just stitching the lines straight across, i incorporated christmas 2009 in cursive. (its kind of difficult to see, but if you dont mind wasting some time on flickr, you can check out the large size of the picturemuch easier to distinguish there.)

while the pressn seal totally worked as a stabilizer and/or transfer medium, it was crazy difficult to peel off afterwards. i assume it was just because of all the freaking stitches (which i THOUGHT would act as a kind of perforation to help it tear off, but nooooooo), but i cant be sure. ill have to try it again sometime. maybe.

once finished, i cut out the holes with a little pair of scissors, trimmed the edges of the page down to size, crumpled the crap out of it (to give it a crumple-y paper look), and stuck it in one of those fancypants floating frames. stupid smudges. i swear i cleaned those off before i gave it to her. (i think.)

my mama loved it. there was much (happy) crying, which led to me crying (which doesnt happen often), which led to my little brother taking a picture of me crying, which was just funny as hell.

also, for the record, i have no idea what colors of floss i used (other than the black), because i went into the craft store with the sheet of ruled paper and just picked a couple of colors that seemed to match. (im so lazy.)

blogged here.

(c&c are always appreciated because you are way cooler than i am, and i accept that.)
10  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / fluffy (faux) platinum record on: December 31, 2009 12:34:22 PM
i'm putting this in the needlework section because that's what it is. a LOOOOOT of needlework. i know it looks plushie because i used fleece, but it's really not.

this was my little brother's christmas present. my little brother is the coolest, smartest, most talented guy i know. he is a singer, songwriter, musician, and all kinds of other cool stuff. (i also have it on good authority that he is very good-looking...every girl i know has a crush on him, and they can't ALL be wrong.) he is also the single most difficult person to shop for in the history of EVER. if he wants something (which isn't often), he buys it. if he doesn't buy it, it's because he can't afford it. and if he can't afford it, then i can't even afford to look at it.

(for the record: i love calling him my baby brother and little brother because he's much bigger than i am and looks older, and nobody ever believes i'm the eldest. but i AM! RESPECT, YO! hahahahaha...)

however, this year, my super-awesome baby brother officially started his music career! not only did he get hired as a songwriter for a MAJOR company, but he's almost finished his debut album as well. soon, he'll be jetting off to travel the world and promote all of his super-awesomeness. (this is not an exaggeration, either. lucky little bastard.) i cant be too jealous, though, because hes been working toward this for a looooooong time.

so, in honor of his auspicious start, i decided to make him his first platinum recordout of fleece! (well, it was supposed to be felt, but i couldnt find any platinum-like felt to use, so fleece it was.)

for your viewing (dis)pleasure, a blurry pic of the finished project with a horrible flashy quality (i never said i could take pictures):

it looks a little better when you view the full-size picture on flickr (but not much).

anyways, the record part is standard record size (whatever that is). i traced the shape from one of my old pink floyd records, just to be sure. the black panel its attached to is also fleece, and was cut out using the dimensions of the frame. everything else was just sort of freehand.

i used antique metallic embroidery floss and light silver metallic embroidery thread. i used a few different combinations of the two (like one thread of each, or two of each, or two of one and one of the other, etc.) for the concentric rings of the record, but you cant really tell. i was just trying to give it a little depth and dimension. meh.

anyways, i did the innermost circle first, just to anchor the fake record onto the black field, then i did the outermost circle, so i wouldnt have to worry about the inner circles bunching up. after that, i basically just kept dividing the area in between in half and laying down circles as i went.

so, for example, i did a circle halfway between the inner- and outermost circles. then i did one circle halfway between the outermost and middle circles, and another halfway between the innermost and middle circles. and on and on and on until i basically just ran out of room. (if that doesnt make sense to you, i dont blame you. its hard to put into words. if anyones really curious, though, id be happy to mock up a truly horrible diagram to help you visualize.)

i focused on the record until i had most of the embroidery done (just basic backstitch for the record grooves), then worked on the little fake plaque at the bottom. it was originally supposed to read, Presented to Bryan Ellis to commemorate how awesome he is. Christmas 2009, but by the time i finished his name, i knew there wasnt enough time. i embroidered the text onto a black rectangle using metallic thread, then anchored it onto the black field (with a grey rectangle in between so it wouldnt blend in) with black thread. then i popped right back up to the record to finish the grooves.

i had considered, early on, using a shiny metallic fabric for the record, but my mom talked me out of it. good thing, too. the metallic thread may have been a pain in the ass, but it actually helps the natural sheen of the grey fleece to create a surprisingly shiny effect. it doesnt really translate in photos, but oh well.

this is what it looked like before i framed it:

it bunched up in the middle quite a bit, which irritates the crap out of me, but for the most part, im relatively pleased with it. i had to hot-glue the thing into the frame, though, because i completely forgot that it would shrink up as i put more stitches into it. meh.

my biggest fear was that he would open it up and have no idea what it was, but he knew immediately. (thank goodness.) hes happy, so im happy.

blogged here.

(c&c are delightful and enjoyed immensely.)
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