Look what I’m working on again

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Beautiful, Useful, Geeky Crafts

I’m knee-deep in this giant “tapestry” (actually a needlepoint or maybe a needlepaint). It’s a stained-glass scene from Zelda. I found the pattern on Sprite Stitch a while back and couldn’t resist it. Its on teeny tiny Aida cloth, contains almost 100 colors, and is 158 x 237 (stitches). It’s not huge in physical dimensions, but that’s a lotttt of stitches. It’s turning out really well, although I did encounter a problem over the weekend.

I’m a firm believer in the quote “have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” Google tells me that William Morris is the originator of that quote, but no matter who said it, the idea rings true. I do not believe in crafting for crafting’s sake, but I do believe in making the objects in my home both beautiful and useful. One problem I face in my home is that there really isn’t a lot of geeky stuff (aka, stuff that I enjoy looking at and find beautiful), so I feel like it doesn’t reflect myself very well. I’m working on that. I have a running list of projects I’m itching to make (and I am always pinning more).

I also have some strictly useful things I’d like to make, but there’s no reason they can’t be beautiful too! I am hoping to start making a large dent in all these to-dos soon. πŸ™‚

How’s your to-do list looking?

An Unplanned Break

Well, I *intended* to post a web weekend post this past weekend. I was even relatively caught up on my reader! But, well, I ended up taking a vacation from the internet. We went out and had our Standard Saturday Fun, and that evening I just didn’t feel like internetting. Sunday was Cleaning Day, and when that was done, I started on a needlepainting project (omg it’s amazing by the way).

So let’s just call that a vacation and I’ll pick up again next weekend with the roundup-ing.

Last week I actually managed to find time to *gasp* play a video game! According to the save files on the disk, it’d been a year and a half since I last played Wind Waker, and that’s just sad. I’m enjoying replaying it though – Wind Waker is a very relaxing game to me, and I could listen to Fado’s music for days on end.

Not sure that I’ll be able to play this week or not. I’d like to. In fact, I would really like to find some time to actually finish Skyward Sword. I’ve beaten all but the final boss twice. The first time, I made an idiotic mistake in the fight with Ghirahim, and was too ashamed to play that file again. (I let him break my shield, and it was the only one I had, so I had to let him kill me.) The second time, I defeated Ghirahim and the first stage of the fight with Demise, but couldn’t figure out the trick to the second phase. Yes, I’m dumb. Now I think I know what to do. The problem is, it’s been so long since I played that I feel awkward picking up the almost-complete file, like I’m cheating or something. My husband will laugh his butt off at me if I restart though. (I am notorious for getting halfway through a game and deciding I liked playing the beginning and want to do it again, or whatever.)

Oh, I made an ipad cover this weekend! It was commissioned by a friend. It was fun. I made a little “ipad” out of cardboard to use as a test subject to make sure I got the dimensions right. It’s a father’s day gift, so it was a rush order and I’ll be posting it later today. Hopefully she’ll be able to purchase it quickly and I can mail it out to be there in time. (I just want to point out that the time crunch is not my fault and not typical of commissioned orders. I received the selected fabric in the mail exactly one day before I made the product. )

Probably the only iPad I’ll ever own, lol. πŸ˜‰

By the way, my garden is growing like CRAZY. If THIS is the difference between organic soil and crappy Miracle Gro soil, guess which one I’m using for the rest of my life. (Hint: it’s not the over-advertised one.)

Let’s see, what else… Oh! I’ve also found some time/inclination lately to read some more! According to my Kindle Fire, I am now 50% through with Dance With Dragons. πŸ™‚ I’m really enjoying it. Although, I encountered a particularly painful spoiler the other day and I’m dreading it. 😦

This is going to be a rather busy week, I think – but I am definitely putting “draft posts” at the top of my to-do list, and hopefully I’ll be able to post a bit more often.

Do you find it harder to stay on top of your to-do list in the summertime? Are you planning a vacation? Have you read any good books or played any great games lately? Let’s talk about summer fun. πŸ™‚

Sneak Peeks

You may or may not know this, but my husband and I love renaissance faires. We both grew up a stone’s throw from one of the best: The Texas Renaissance Festival. We miss it a lot now that we live way up here in New York, but we console ourselves with Sterling Renaissance Faire. It’s not as big as TRF, but we had a TON of fun last year. It was the perfect size to see everything, and the shows by the Bless the Mark players were absolutely amazing. We are obviously planning to attend again this year (possibly more than once).

I shared that bit of trivia with you to introduce the stuff I’ve been working on and thinking about the last couple weeks. We’re planning to dress up in costume this year!

The last time we attended TRF, we got our “family crest” researched. This shape here is a water bouget, the central figure for the heraldry of our last name.

I embroidered this with DMC Ecru on some plain off-white fabric. I’m going to make a tunic for Jonathan and applique this onto it. I’m fairly happy with how this turned out, although I definitely feel it could be better.

We haven’t yet gotten the fabrics or patterns for any of the clothes (except for some off-white cotton gauze), but I’m planning on a deep blue for Jonathan’s tunic.

He’s also going to be armored up. His “character,” such as it is, is basically a hedge knight – non-landed, non-nobility, knighted-for-valor sort of thing.

Here you can see a six-rails wide strip of European 4-in-1 maille. We’ve been tag-teaming on this one. We’ve done about half each, at this point. I think he’s wanting to finish it himself, which is probably good since I’ve got lots of sewing to do.

This is the length of the piece. If I hold one end at my shoulder, it reaches to the floor. It’s 6-wide at one end and 4 at the other because of how Jonathan’s weaving it.

It’s going to be a shirt of mail, eventually. This long strip will hang over one shoulder. When this piece is all evened up, we’re going to start on the center part, forming the neckline and the torso. I have no idea yet how we’ll do the shoulders/sleeves. Cross that bridge when I get to it.

I’m fairly sure now that this is approximately what I’m going to make for our little fairy girl. She already has a fantastic pair of wings (which we bought at TRF in 2009). I need to sit down and have a good look at a pattern for this shirt. πŸ™‚ Don’t you just love how it criss-crosses in the back? Even without sparkly pink wings (because she will inevitably want them off), Charlotte will still look like a little fairy. (Photo from this post at Colette Moscrop.)

No, I haven’t mentioned what I’m going to wear, because … I don’t know. I kinda want my costume to tie in with Jonathan’s, but I’m not sure how. I’d also really love to make a Female Link costume, or a character from Game of Thrones (n0t sure who, though). Sigh.

There are things going on here aside from costuming. Not very much crafting, I’m afraid. Soooo busy. My garden is looking absolutely lovely. My house is a complete pigsty. LOL. I took a bit of a break from reading (unintentionally), but I’m still working on Dance with Dragons. Loving it! The books continue to pour in (and out) from Paperback Swap. I have a HUGE stack of new books. πŸ™‚

I may be teaching a crafting tutorial at an FRG event in July. Well, I said I would, anyway. I just have to figure out what I’d like to teach! I’d love to do chainmaille, but it’d be difficult because of the “needing a million pairs of pliers” issue. So I’m leaning toward embroidery. What do you think?

We attended a Sesame Street event earlier this week! It was pretty great. I’ve got photos of it up on my facebook (sorry, random internet people, but they’re private). I made a daisy chain while we were waiting for the doors to open.

I always have hundreds of planned projects, but one that I am REALLY hoping to start on soon is this!

I’ve been jonesing after this baby for months now. There are a zillion colors in it, but I have quite a few colors already so I think I’ll finally print out the pattern, assess what I have, and make a start (and a list of colors to obtain). I even have a scroll frame now, which should make it easier to do! The pattern for this lovely thing can be found at this Sprite Stitch thread.

That’s all I can think of to share right now. πŸ™‚ See you in a few days with my Web roundup. In the meantime, let’s chat! What are you working on?

Finding Nayru’s Flame

If you’ve not yet played Skyward Sword, or haven’t played far enough, this won’t make much sense to you.

I was playing through the Sand Sea area again the other day and thinking about blogging when I realized “hey I could blog about this!”Β  So I did.
I write my own “playing guides” in notebooks, so it was hardly any task at all to blog it.
The Sand Sea area is my absolute favorite of the game (followed closely by the Ancient Cistern, which immediately precedes it), and I hope you love it too. I’m gonna place the guide behind a cut, so it’s your own fault if you click and see spoilers.

I’m scheduling this post to appear at roughly the time I’ll be arriving at the hospital for surgery. Please play nice while I’m unavailable.

Before I begin, I want to make it perfectly clear that Skyward Sword is the property of Nintendo, not mine at all.

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This happened today…

Eventually I’m going to add the bird motif around it, making it the Hylian Crest.

It’s got the fade in the middle on purpose. This was my “inspiration picture” – I like the distressed look.

It didn’t hurt as much as I feared (although the outline felt like a scalpel). The outline stings, the shading burns. Not too bad though. I did it *all by myself* because Jonathan had to go back home real quick and I just didn’t want to wait. He got there just in time for the last bit of shading. He would have missed the whole thing except I started feeling dizzy and asked the guy to stop.

By the way, make sure you’ve got food in your stomach before you go. πŸ˜‰

Geekery In Progress

I always seem to be in the middle of a hundred different projects. I’ve got a Fourth Doctor scarf about 3/4 of the way complete, and just haven’t gotten around to finishing (it’s been like 6 months). LOL. Today I’m gonna share a couple recent projects. None of it is complete, but I’m already super proud of how they look.

First off, here’s a painting I made!

As you can plainly see, it’s a portion of a TARDIS. The details extend around the edges of the canvas, including the top parts of the words. I am super excited about how well the lettering turned out – I really enjoy doing lettering. I still need to complete the lower “panels” and add some kind of topcoat (probably semi-gloss or matte – what do you think?).
Before you ask, yes. I know that it’s slightly crooked. I’m trying to not be too fussed about that. I wasn’t intending it to be perfectly mathematically straight – after all that TARDIS has been knocking around the universe for over 900 years – but it isn’t quite as good as I wanted either. No matter. This was also painted over a previous work that I was no longer happy with (it gave it a nice bumpy texture, which you can’t see here), and on a cheap canvas to boot. So I am perfectly okay with considering this a trial run, just for fun.

Of course, there has also been needlework. I recently got into embroidery/needlepoint, and decided to hone my skills with a geeky project.

There’s actually one more piece to this project – a pair of crossed light sabers (one red and one green, of course) but I actually don’t know where they are at the moment, haha. I want to add at least one more to the group, with The One Ring and a Mockingjay being the top candidates – but both of those will be hella hard so I haven’t tried them yet.
The lower right panel is a Hogwarts wand shooting red sparks. I’ve not decided if this is an Expelliarmus Curse, a Reductor Curse, or perhaps the first moment Harry got his wand (in which case I’ll need to add gold sparks as well). I could *not* get a decent picture of the wand by itself, sorry.


I am SO in love with the stitching on this. I should point out that I designed all these designs myself. I’ve got a page in my sketchbook to prove it.


This seemingly-simple set of triangles gave me NO END of grief. Between arranging the stitches, to fighting with the thread (is there a trick to DMC metallic floss that I don’t know about?)… ugh. I finally devised this stitch pattern, and I like it – I think it gives them a three-dimensional feel. Originally the whole thing was going to be done with the shiny metallic, but that just was NOT going to happen. So I outlined them, and I think that turned out even better.


YES, the right edge isn’t even. All in all, though, this turned out pretty great, I think. That blasted gold metallic thread makes a comeback, and it doesn’t even look too bad…

As you can tell, along with displaying my as-yet-unused supplies as decor, I’ve also taken to displaying my works-in-progress. In the same hallway, even – lots of blank wall space. This gives me a chance to really mull over what I do or don’t like about them, as I walk past them a hundred times a day. I can’t forget about the project. And hey, who doesn’t need a bit more geeky art in their life, even if it’s incomplete?

Input is appreciated! What spell is Harry doing? What do you think of the blue binding I’m adding? Do you think that trying to render a Ring of Power (or a Mockingjay) in stitches is suicidal? Should the TARDIS have a matte finish?