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1  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!
2  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.
3  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!
4  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!
5  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
6  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.
7  HOME SWEET HOME / Pet-Related Crafts: Completed Projects / More Dog Tugs, Please! on: March 09, 2018 10:39:16 AM
Yup.  More.  And why?  Because I gave her this toy YESTERDAY.  Doesn't she look pleased with herself?

(also, yes, that is what she has done to our backyard, it is nothing but hard-packed dirt out there)

These toys are not indestructible by any means, but for a light chewer they are a great deal of fun.  They take 40-45 minutes to make, and they are at least cheap.  We still get tiny bits of fleece allllllll over the backyard, but what can you do?  I've not found anything with the exception of Kong balls that she can't destroy, and I think that's only because they are round and there's no edge she can gnaw through.

This batch will last a little while, even partly destroyed you can still play with them - that's the beauty of the box braid - it doesn't immediately crumble even if she chews a loop in half. 

I previously posted a tutorial that shows the box braid loop thing:


and this is just so much more of the same. 

Ah well, at least she enjoys them while they last!
8  NEWS AND DISCUSSION ABOUT CRAFTSTER / Craftster Itself / [RESOLVED] Can't update profile picture? on: March 05, 2018 08:30:18 AM
I have been trying to update my profile picture (hubby drew me monthly themed pics for Christmas!) and when I do try I get this error message:

I've tried with a few different images, this is the one I'm trying right now:

9  CROCHET / Amigurumi: Completed Projects / Another Monster (with pattern) on: February 27, 2018 04:38:09 PM

I originally waffled on the eye situation...

But ended up with a simple crocheted eye, with slightly thinner yarn and a smaller hook:
6 sc in mr with black
inc around with iris color
[inc, sc] with white

Sew to face

Or you can insert safety eyes


Head and body, top down

Rnd 1 - sc 9 in Magic Ring (9 st)
Rnd 2 - inc around (18 st)
Rnd 3 - sc around (18 st)
Rnd 4 - sc around (18 st)
Rnd 5 - sc in 5, inc x 3 (21)
Rnd 6 - sc around (21 st)
Rnd 7 - sc in 6, inc (24)
Rnd 8 - sc around (24 st)
Rnd 9 - sc around (24 st)
Rnd 10 - sc in next 8 stitches, [inc, sc] x 2, [sc, inc] x 2, sc in next 8 st (28 st)
Rnd 11 - sc in next 8 stitches, [inc, sc] x 3, [sc, inc] x 3, sc in next 8 st (34 st)
Rnd 12 - sc in next 15 st, inc, sc in next 2 st, inc, sc in next 15 st (36 st)
Rnd 13 - sc in next 15 stitches, hdc in next 6 stitches, sc in next 15 st (36 st)
Rnd 14 - sc in next 8 stitches, hdc in next 20 stitches, sc in next 8 st (36 st)
Rnd 15 - sc in next 7 st, dec, [2sc, dec] x 5, sc in next 7 st (30 st)
Rnd 16 - sc in next 9 st, dec, sc, dec, sc in next 2 st, dec, sc, dec, sc in next 9 st (26 st)
Rnd 17 - dec, [sc, dec] x 8 (17 st)
Rnd 18 - [sc, dec] x5, sc in last 2 stitches (12 st)
Rnd 19 - sc around
Rnd 20 - sc around
Rnd 21 - [sc, inc] around (18 st)
Rnd 22 - [sc in 2 st, inc] around (24 st)
Rnd 23 - sc around (24 st)
Rnd 22 - [sc in 3 st, inc] around (30 st)
Rnd 23 - sc around (30 st)
Rnd 22 - [sc in 4 st, inc] around (36 st)
Rnd 23 - sc around (36 st)
Rnd 24 - sc around (36 st)
Rnd 25 - sc around (36 st)
Rnd 26 - sc around (36 st)
Rnd 27 - sc around (36 st)
Rnd 28 - sc around (36 st)
Rnd 29 - sc around (36 st)
dec around (18)
dec around (9)

Legs (make 2)

Rnd 1 - 6 sc in mr
Rnd 2 - inc around (12)
Rnd 3 - [sc, inc] around (18)
Rnd 4 - sc (18)
Rnd 5  [sc, dec] around (12)
Rnd 6 - dec around (6)
Rnd 7-16  - sc around, leave tail for sewing to body

Arms (make 2)

Rnd 1 - 6 sc in mr
Rnd 2 - inc around (12)
Rnd 3 - sc around (12)
Rnd 4 - dec around (6)
Rnd 5-11 - sc around

Tail ( I  crocheted it from the thick end to the thin end because I found it easier to get a better point that way)

Ch 15, sl st in circle, leaving a long tail for sewing to body.
Rnd 1 - sc around (15 st)
Rnd 2 - sc around (15 st)
Rnd 3 - [sc in 3 st, dec] x 3 (12 st)
Rnd 4 - sc around (12 st)
Rnd 5 - [sc in 4 st, dec] x 2 (10 st)
Rnd 6 - sc around (10 st)
Rnd 7 - sc around (10 st)
Rnd 8 - [sc in 3 st, dec] x 2 (8 st)
Rnd 9 - sc around (8 st)
Rnd 10 - [sc in 2 st, dec] x 2 (6 st)
Rnd 11 - sc around (6 st)
Rnd 12 - dec around (3 st)


Chain 5, turn
Row 1 - sc in the 2nd chain from hook and next 3 st, ch 1, turn (4 st)
Row 2 - dec, sc in next 2 st, ch 1, turn (3 st)
Row 3 - dec, sc in next st, ch 1, turn (2 st)
Row 4 - dec (1 st), ch 1
Turn, sc down 2 sides, leave long tail
3rd edge sew to head in semi-circle

Spines (optional)

[Ch 3, sc in 2nd ch from hook, hdc in next sc] rep. for whatever length you need
10  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Goal Book 2018 - even more madness on: January 11, 2018 07:04:44 PM
Ah, the goal book trend continues!  And, let's be honest, is getting a bit more ridiculous.  Next year I might need to scale back.  Or, you know, finish up a lot of those old, lingering goals.

This year, in place of the what has become traditional pink and blue cover and bright, multi-colored pages, I went with an entirely white, black, and grey theme.  This isn't really a statement on anything (though it matches my wardrobe now), it was that I had a paper pack (I think it is called The Midnight Stack or something?) that was all black, white, and grey and I really liked the patterns.

(Side note, the only reason I've stuck with the pink and blue is because the paint is this weird "paint for plastic" I got years ago that gives the book a very plasticy, durable finish, and over the course of the year this thing takes a beating being schlepped around.)


But before we dive into the new book, a look back...

You can see the 4 years of pink and blue (all of which have been posted here, if'n you're curious - 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014), plus the first two years when I was rational and sane and just wrote lists in notebooks.

There's a lot more background in those posts, and I think I even posted a huge list of goals/ideas in one of the comments at one point.  Probably 2014.  Nope, it's this comment in 2015's thread.  There.  Most of my goals haven't changed that much, I know, just rehashing the old ones, but they're good ones!

And can I take a moment to look back at some of 2017's pages?  

First off, all of you Craftsters who decorate your swap packages and notes with stickers?  You rock.  I'm really going to try to be more like you in 2018.  And I save all of them and decorate the inside of my goal book so I see them alllll the time!

And some pages are just rather boring until they are in progress, like the collection pages.  Here are my completed stamp, tea tag, and produce stickers pages!

On to this year... well, the old style of "50 goals of 50 items each" (and in the insane case of 2014, "100 goals of 100 items each", and the more moderate "20 goals of 15 each" in 2015) was a little limiting.  And even though I don't expect to get them all done this year (have you seen the carry-over?!), and even though I use some quite strange units of measurement to get things to fit (this year we have "scruples" of calcium), it just... was limiting.  And then, inspired by the facebook posts I really don't like ("on a scale of 1-10, how cute is this {insert thing here}"), I thought...

100 goals, yes, but only 1 item for item number 1, and 2 items for item number 2, and so on, up to, yes, 100 items for item number 100 (which conveniently happens to be "100 goal list items thought up", so, hey, 100 items down already!).  And I tried to put a lot of the things I would do anyway (walking the dog, miles walked, games, taking my calcium, drinking enough water) up at the top.

This allowed for more fun and creative goals at the lower level, and some oldies but goodies at the upper end.

I really want to knit a pair of socks.  And I don't watch much TV, so I'd like to branch out.  I'm mulling over if Martin Clune's A Man and His Dogs counts, since it was only a few episodes, but made me feel so much better about Doc Martin!

I also have a goal of 4 5Ks this year (the same number I did last year, but ending up faster).  We'll see!  This probably is directly contradictory with the bread (and cookie) baking goals, but whatever!

My friends and I are kind of a drinking club with a crafting problem.  I always watch the "trying to craft while drinking" videos and don't get it.  Maybe I don't drink that much, or I just craft so much, but I don't find it hard at all....  And, as always, collecting fortune cookie fortunes!

I hate pictures of me, and there's no stipulation I have to post these selfies anywhere, but I'm gonna take them.  I need at least one decent "have you seen this woman?" picture in case aliens abduct me.  And scrapbook pages will almost certainly be accomplished with Little Visitor swaps!  

"Take your canvas bags when you go... to the supermarket!"  *warbles off-key*  Another easy one, I really try to always have some on hand, and while the $0.05 savings per bag isn't a lot, it's something over the course of a year!  And my little spider solitaire drawing.

Now, I know it's almost two weeks into the new year already, but I've been sick for a week.  It's "only" a cold, but man, it's kicking my butt.  I got pretty desperate to finish at the end and... because I'm not a great artist... I broke out the lightbox, printed off some pictures, and did a bit of tracing!

I only play one of those regularly, as you might notice from the current levels... I doubt I'll stop playing any time soon, they're a great little time-waster when you're waiting for your takeaway or as you're watching TV at night.

And speaking of being sick, yeah, I think the cold medicine did something, because at one point I thought this was a good idea:

Bonus points if one, you made it this far (I'm sorry I'm so verbose!) and two, if you see instantly why that is so very wrong.

Oh, and I think this year's book tops 200 pages, so I really, really, really need to work on getting things accomplished this year!  Unfortunately, I may have picked a bad year, I'm scheduled for some minor surgery in February-ish and I'll be down for about 6 weeks.  So, we'll see about some of those lofty goals, maybe next year I'll just have a completely retrospective goal book... Cheesy
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