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1  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Mini Basketball and Hoop on: March 31, 2019 06:53:17 PM
We had a March Madness Blood drive, and to try to stir up interest (and keep people from being too frustrated with the emails) I set up a duck basketball game (and gave away the basketball ducks).

I crocheted the basketball and the hoop...

After a false start trying to make the hoop more like the actual hoops... I tried to make kind of a loom and knot the yarn at the joins...

But I just wasn't happy.

It was silly of me not to just think to crochet it from the start!

Then I set up a photo set...

And took a bunch of photos!

2  CROCHET / Amigurumi: Completed Projects / Cookie Fight! on: January 31, 2019 07:38:06 PM
We had a blood drive at work, and I offered the chance to win cookies as part of it - and, or course, the "fight" between Nutter Butter and Oreo to be the Best Post-Donation Snack had to be more literal... and crafty...


In the Blue Corner, standing 4 1/4 Inches tall and weighing in at 14 grams, NUTTER BUTTER!!!

In the Red corner, standing 2 3/4 Inches tall and weighing in at 11 grams, GOLDEN OREO!!!

DING DING DING DING!  It's ON!  They both come out swinging, and it looks like it will be a tough bout

And the winner, by a KNOCKOUT...


If you're curious, this was the set-up on my computer desk to get these pictures...

I don't know that it got any more donors, but people thought it was hilarious and didn't complain about the number of emails, so I count it a win!
3  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / RPG Dice Tray on: November 25, 2018 11:43:52 AM
We started an Exhaulted game, and rolling 20+ 10-sided dice can be... challenging.  My husband found a tray idea online and asked if I could make something similar, so I gave it a go and made us some dice trays to try to corral all of the dice from skittering all over the table.  And I learned some things in the process...

First, my finished dice tray:

This was made with two different types of cotton and plastic canvas for stiffening the bottom and sides.

Unsnapped for easy transport:

This was actually the second tray I made on the third attempt...

I made his first, he had asked for a fuzzy interior (online they were velvety, I used panne... *patooey!*) and a vinyl exterior.  And I used cardboard inside his.  Man, was it difficult!  So many hard to work with fabrics, because of the stretch and the fact that I couldn't mark on the panne to get straight lines!

And the lesson I learned...  which is so painfully obvious now, but when I was kinda flying by the seat of my pants...

I drew the lines on the cotton and THEN decided to iron some fusible interfacing on it, which, OF COURSE, skewed the lines terribly.

But at least I used a water-soluable marker, and was able to "erase" the lines and draw them properly on the fused fabric.

If anyone has tips for lines on panne, though, I'm all ears!
4  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Knitted Squirrel on: November 25, 2018 10:43:17 AM

Squirrel Pattern: from the book Knitted Woodland Creatures
Acorn Pattern (crochet): http://greatgreycrochet.blogspot.com/2012/12/scrats-acorn.html

Make this for the IYP swap, and it was... a challenge.  I knew it was a bit of a complicated pattern, and I think a little unnecessarily so.  A lot of the end sewing up could have been avoided (and in my case, probably look better) by knitting in the round.  Like the tail, which is knit as a flat piece and then sewn... but I'd rather knit on DPNs than EVER seam my knitting.  I hate seaming!

And I also broke a knitting needle.  Sad  I'd just bought them, thankfully on clearance, and this was the first project I used them on!

So here's what you have when you finish knitting and get ready to sew!

But once he was all sewn up, I was pretty happy with how he turned out.  I added a little crocheted acorn for decoration!

5  CROCHET / Amigurumi: Completed Projects / Dory Blood Drop (pattern included) on: May 31, 2018 06:18:46 PM

Another in the line of my character-themed blood drop squeezies for use during blood donations (no paper-towel wrapped half a rubber ball for me!  Or anyone in my workplace that donates, I make these for anyone who gives.  This one was a custom order for a new employee who threw herself into workplace activities - she adopted a dog at an event and gave blood, all within the first two months!)

The pattern:

Start off with a Bob:

Size F Hook
Worsted Weight Yarn

Round 1: SC 4 in magic Ring (or, ch 2 and sc 4 in second ch from hook).  Join {sl st to first SC, ch1}
Round 2: SC in each st, join (4)
Round 3: *SC in first st, 2 SC in next st* repeat from *, join (6)
Round 4: *SC in first st, 2 SC in next st* repeat from *, join (9)
Round 5: *SC in first st, 2 SC in next st* repeat from * to last st, sc in last st, join  (13)
Round 6: SC in each st, join (13)
Round 7: *SC in first two st, 2 SC in next st* repeat from * to last st, sc in last st, join (17)
Round 8: SC in each st, join (17)
Round 9: *SC in first two st, 2 SC in next st* repeat from * to last 2 st, sc in last 2 st, join (22)
Round 10: SC in each st, join (22)
Round 11: *SC in first st, 2 SC in next st* repeat from *, join (33)
Rounds 12-20: SC in each st, join (33)
(I usually put the eyes in now!)
Rounds 21-23: *SC in first st, SC 2tog* repeat from *, join
(stuff-as-you-go decreases)
Round 24: SC 2tog
(Cram as much stuffing as you can in as youre closing him up, remember, hes there to be squeezed so he needs to be fairly firm.)
Fasten off.

Side Fins:

Start with Blue
Row 1: Ch 3, turn
Row 2: SC in 2nd ch from hook and in last ch (2)
Row 3: SC, inc (3)
Row 4: SC, SC, inc (4)
Change to black
Row 5: SC (4)
Row 6: inc, SC, SC, inc (6)
Change to yellow
Row 7: SC (6)
Row 8: inc, 4 SC, inc ( 8 )

Back fin:

I tried a few different fins for the back, mostly I wasn't happy with the black.  The one on the left was too long, the one in the middle was crocheted from base to tip, and then the black was crocheted down the edges, but it didn't look even, and the one on the right is the one I used.  If I'm honest, I think she looks fine with just the side fins and that would be my preference.

Row 1: In black, Ch 10
Row 2: SC in second ch from hook and in remaining 8 ch (9)
Switch to yellow
Row 3: 3 SC, 3 HDC, 3 DC, ch 2, turn, (9)
Row 4: 3 DC, 3 HDC, 3 SC, ch 1, turn, (9)
Row 5: 3 SC, 3 HDC, 3 DC (9)
Switch to black
Row 6: SC (9)

Aaaaaaand, so together!
6  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Masking Fluid Fun on: May 28, 2018 11:06:58 AM
I've never gotten masking fluid to work perfectly, and this was no exception.  In the end I think I made it work, but honestly, I think it would have been easier to just do the background and gesso under where the girl would be.  Or go with the very Lifebook method of gluing a girl to a background page (so. much. collage.).

I sketched the girl and put the masking fluid down, and boy oh boy is that STICKY.  It will ruin any brush you use, and the working time is very, very short.

Then you background, and peel off the fluid - in theory.  In reality, some of it is still stuck to the paper and under the painting...

And it's really, really messy to remove when you've used water-based paints and ink sprays...

So much work with the masking fluid and it didn't really work!  Urgh.  But, still, in the end, it all worked out.
7  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Gelli Plate/Lifebook on: May 28, 2018 10:55:31 AM
I finally got a Gelli plate so I could finish off Lifebook 2013...

I can't say I love the finished product, but I did enjoy making the prints - here's this one before I put the writing on it...

I used a bunch of stencils I got from kwality570 in the STS swap, and they worked awesomely!

I might have gone overboard on the backgrounds...

And I bought a whole bunch more paint and paper (it takes a lot of paint!).  Now I just need to clear off the space to work on it!
8  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Snowflake embroidery on: May 27, 2018 07:14:33 PM
Many, many, MANY years ago (the kit is copyrighted 1999) I bought a snowflake kit.  My mom, not realizing I had bought it, also bough it for me.  So I immediately sat down, stitched one up, and sent it to her.  And then started mine.  "Started" being the key word.

I pulled it out of the box not long ago...

And this is what I'd done.  After a little (a lot) more work...

The kit had been advertised as cross-stitch, but was not.  There's a sticker on the box apologizing that despite it being listed that way, it's really an embroidery kit.  That's fine, I can do it, except... they had included two pieces of canvas, one was supposed to just be decorative behind the finished piece at a 45 degree angle... and I stitched on the wrong one.  I basically did embroidery on aida fabric.  Go me!

This made it a little... wavy.

But hey, nothing that a little water and stretching can't fix, right?

Slap on the now very sadly tarnished center piece, sandwich it between two piece of glass, and now I have...  a thing.

Absolutely no idea what I'm going to do with it.  It's very pretty and iridescent in places up close!

But most importantly, that is one old (but not my oldest) WIP down!
9  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Lifebook 2013 Lessons! on: April 28, 2018 12:03:24 PM
I'd gotten to the point where there were lessons I just didn't want to do.  Art is so subjective, and there are just some things I'm not hugely fond of.  I'm also not great at expressing my inner most feelings artistically... well...  that's not entirely true.

There was one lesson that was a cut and paste collage that included a drawn-on rainbow kind of thing, so I decided to do the "lesson" by using a rainbow to sum up my feelings about it...

Then I decided to tackle two others... and a big problem for me, being a rather cheap person, was the thought of using expensive supplies to make something I didn't think I'd like.  But then, I found this in my attic:

And I decided to tackle two lessons I'd been dreading.  The first was a grunge-style modern art lesson, with a messy background that you "pick" a drawing out of.

I started with a lot lot lot of scribbling with the super-cheap pencils:

And then I added some marker and collage and it eventually led to this:

... and I texted it to my friend with the picture of the lesson artwork ...

to change your image viewing settings please click here

And her first reaction was, "but yours doesn't have a boob!"
And I replied, "goodness, and there's even the suggestion of a nipple!  Do I need to fix that?"
To which she replied, "absolutely."

And so...

to change your image viewing settings please click here

Lesson done!  Check!

The other one I did with the cheap art supplies was supposed to be inked pieces of paper with deep thoughts written on them collaged to the background piece.  I went with swear words in crayon and marker.  I think it really shows my personality, and isn't that what art is all about?

to change your image viewing settings please click here
10  CROCHET / Amigurumi: Completed Projects / Facehugger on: March 09, 2018 11:01:47 AM

Well, yes, torturing my poor, patient doggie once again.  She was very vexed she was not allowed to eat it after she posed, but sorry, sweetie, that was 15 hours of my life and you'd rip it apart in about 15 seconds.  Never fear, she got a new squeaky toy afterwards, which might last a few days.


This is the pattern I used with a few tweaks.

One, I used different yarn (Caron One Pound in some taupe color) and size 7 and 5 needles - when she said to switch yard and needles, I just switched down needle size.

Two, I did not knit the legs onto the body, I knit them separately and then sewed them on because I didn't want to flop the body around as I was knitting in the round.

It's not quite as clean a look, but I went with it on the "less frustration/ease of knitting" front.

Three, there are a few places where the pattern writing is a little confusing.  I'm not complaining, it's a free pattern and I'm eternally grateful, but here are a few things I found:

The legs say this:

Rows 10-25 (16 rows): K to last 3, K2tog, K1

BUT you're only working with 8 stitches to start out with, so it's not possible.  Reading other comments I found the pattern maker meant it literally - the the LAST 3 stitches of all 16 rounds!  I would have written it thus:

Rows 10-24: (15 rows): K
Rows 25: K to last 3, K2tog, K1

And that works out perfectly.

The breathing flaps say this:

*Row 12: K1, ssk, K to last 3 st, K2tog, K1
Row 13: K*
Repeat from * to * 6 times, til 8 stitches remain

You're starting with 32 stitches and if you look at the picture, it shows a right and left decrease on the TOP of the flap, and presumably there is a mirror image on the BOTTOM.  I think because the pattern writer was working on two circular needles, and explicitly states that half the stitches are on one and half are on the other, these directions are meant per set.  There's no easy way to write it out because the number of stitches in between decreases each round, but if you wrote it all out...

Row 12: K1, ssk, K 10, K2tog, K2, ssk, K 10, K2tog, K1 (28)
Row 13: K
Row 14: K1, ssk, K 8, K2tog, K2, ssk, K 8, K2tog, K1 (24)
Row 15: K
Row 16: K1, ssk, K 6, K2tog, K2, ssk, K 6, K2tog, K1 (20)
Row 17: K
Row 18: K1, ssk, K 4, K2tog, K2, ssk, K 4, K2tog, K1 (16)
Row 19: K
Row 20: K1, ssk, K 2, K2tog, K2, ssk, K 2, K2tog, K1 (12)
Row 21: K
Row 22: K1, ssk, K2tog, K2 ssk, K2tog, K1 (Cool
Row 23: K

And there are your 6 repeats and 8 stitches remaining, which you bind off and sew to the body!  That's what I did, at any rate, and I think (yarn and needles differences aside) it looks very much like the pattern picture!

Super-awesome pattern, if you want your own facehugger I highly recommend it and so much appreciation for the pattern maker for sharing it for free!  It had to be a lot fo work to put together.
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