Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Don't call me a mindless philosopher, you overweight glob of grease!

I just applied for Handmade Arcade for the second year in a row. I didn't get in last year, sadly, but we'll see how it goes this year. Fingers crossed!

Anyway, that wasn't the point of this post. In searching my other Flickr account (which I can't seem to actually log into anymore...), I found some pictures of a neat little project I made a few months back that I thought I would put back in the spotlight for a moment! I participated in my first Craftster swap - the theme was embroidery diptychs - and my partner listed among her interests Star Wars and Dia de los Muertos. My mind immediately went to the art of Jose Pulido. So I stitched up these beloved droids...

Probably one of the trickiest parts of the whole project was finding an oval hoop - I looked everywhere and couldn't find a vertical one, so I eventually had to settle for having the hoop sideways, because I really wanted to maintain the size differences relative to the droids. 

(I have to apologize for the photo quality - this was right as my previous camera was giving its last death rattles of non-focusing and weird lighting. Sadly, they were the only photos I got before I mailed them off to my swap partner)

Normally, I only ever use back stitch (what can I say? I'm a simple gal), but these pieces feature a whopping FOUR stitches - back stitch, satin stitch, french knots (which I can now officially say that I hate), and lazy daisy. This is the kind of dedication and involvement I have in creations for other people. I changed the coloring from Pulido's design to be reminiscent of the sugar skulls commonly associated with Dia de los Muertos. 

Soon I will have some pictures of recent embroideries - and I mean it this time!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Weekend in pictures

I am proud to say that mine was the only bid sheet at the auction with trash talking and animal drawings.

One of the girls on the Steel Hurtin goes by The Shocker. Cross stitch by one of our refs, Colin Shenanigans.

McShovin' and the oil painting she did of 'Snot Rocket Science.

Elsie Thudd squared.

A mixed team of Blitzburgh Bombers and B-Unit took on Detroit's Motor City Disassembly Line. We lost, but much fun was had.

Friday, August 26, 2011


When you are sitting in a bar waiting for your friends to show up, here is something you can do with the stack of singles you got in change.  Ask the bartender for a sharpie (tip well!!) and get to work.

I like to draw Darth Vader.  The profile of George Washington looks a space ton like him.

Please don't take this a slight to the great man that is George (huge fan of his work) but it is not my fault that he rocked that helmet cut.  I have been drawing Vader for a few years but tonight I had an idea for a larger denomination.

I left out the bandolier, which pains me greatly but Abe makes a great Chewie.  I think you can slap Lobot on a $10 but I don't have those funds.

Ah, you know what it is...


This weekend the Steel City Derby Demons are hosting an art auction fundraiser called A Black Eye Affair featuring art made by both local artists and some of the Derby Demons! Not to let my crafty skills go to waste, I made a contribution myself:

I made a quilt in this tahn's favorite colors! I have been dabbling in quilting a little bit lately - this is technically the second quilt I've ever made! It's just a basic strip quilt (which is already becoming my favorite basic I-want-to-make-a-quilt-in-a-short-amount-of-time quilt pattern). My mother was quite instrumental in acquiring all of the supplies for me - there was a Joann's going out of business near her so she went and reaped all the benefits of the sales. Fortunately, my mother is a native Pittsburgher, so she knew what I meant when I said that I needed gold fabric, not just yellow.
For the backing, I just decided to go with black, but I quilted the whole thing in gold thread so there's some interesting contrast on the back. I embroidered a little name patch - using a supposedly washable transfer pen that was, in fact, not washable (grrr!) - that I think came out well. Lots of tiny details = lots of tiny stitches. The whole quilt is roughly 42" by 55" - it's the perfect size for sitting on trackside at the next bout or perhaps huddling under during a December game of that football team everyone here seems to like so much.

So, if you're a local reading this and you're looking for something to do on Saturday, come on out to the Black Eye Affair! Good food, drinks, arts, derby folk - and you can feel awesome knowing that your contribution goes to helping out a group of amazing female athletes and the rest of the crew of the Steel City Derby Demons!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Wright Stuff.

Living in Dayton, OH for a huge chunk of my life I love the Wright Brothers (also all things aviation).  Both Erica and I worked for Wright Patterson AFB, went to Wright State, etc... Two months ago Erica found a shirt for me in the most amazing print.

How could I pay tribute to such honored men on this shirt that Cosmo Kramer would be proud to sport?

Erica did the design work and I was in charge of the sewing.  I missed a line in one of the hats but they look pretty old timey and cool in my book.

This is my second "historical gentleman" series of shirts.  Honest Abe was the first.

Look at that ugly face, mine.  I think this is the better of the two shirts.  Still thinking of who the third entry in the series is going to be...  Hemmingway?  Patton?  Capote?  George Lucas?  Harrison Ford?

Thrift score, vol. IV

When I first started dating Eric, he and his brother lived together and the two of them over time amassed quite a black velvet painting collection. Now Evan has some of them still (those that have not been otherwise scattered to the winds), but our house is distinctly lacking. I found this awesome Charlie Brown one yesterday, but it has already been claimed for the Halls of Kegasus. 

Some kitchen things: cute canisters and this cat mug that I kind of couldn't resist even though we already have way too many mugs...

I think my favorite thing that I found is this little bear! He has a weighted string that hangs from the bottom and when it moves, his little arms move and he plays the piano! I made my first ever animated GIF just to show you how totally awesome it is. I have plans to paint him in the not-too-distant future so stay tuned for that!

And books books books. Eric picked most of these, hence all the sci-fi and fantasy, but he also found a book about Belle and Sebastian and some classic internet meme action - remember Real Ultimate Power?

Also, is it weird that there are now things about the internet that have evolved into like nostalgic "Ohhhh, I remember that" things? You know, like Homestar Runner (do you have any idea how much my friends and I watched this my freshman year of college?) or having a Geocities page (which I totally did, in high school, now sadly lost to the ages). I find the relationship of my generation to the internet to be really interesting, because I have literally grown up along with the development of computers and the internet, from using clunky Macs to learn Stickybear Typing and playing Oregon Trail and Odell Lake on even clunkier Commodore 64s in elementary school, to suffering through slow dial-up on AOL in junior high (think about it - there are kids now who probably have no idea what a modem sounds like), to obsessive AIMing in high school, and message boards and silly memes and cat videos in college and beyond. I don't know, I guess I just think it's really interesting watching the internet evolve. Or at least it will be until it gains sentience and destroys all of humanity.

Back into analog issues, we have a serious need for a new bookshelf around here. Ours are all filled and now books are getting stored in stacks around the house:

Quick, to Craigslist!

(PS - I have some new embroidered things that I'll be showing off soon! Yay!)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Now Playing: 08.22.2011

Now eating: I literally twenty minutes ago just finished cooking this summer chowder. It's pretty alright - I didn't have any nutritional yeast to add and in hindsight I would add another ear of corn or too. But it was good, and surprisingly creamy for having no dairy! I love my immersion blender. 

Now reading: I finally finished Game of Thrones! Now I need a little break away from the Seven Kingdoms, although I will read the second book soon. The last time we were in Dayton, I saw this book - The Minds of Billy Milligan by Daniel Keyes - on my friend Travis' bookshelf. You may know Daniel Keyes as the author of Flowers for Algernon, and I wasn't aware he had other books. This is a non-fiction book about Billy Milligan, the first person to attempt to use his multiple personality disorder as an insanity defense. I haven't actually started reading it yet, but I am going to start it tonight.

Now wearing: This sort of doubles as a now playing and a craft mention, because this is a shirt I stenciled on a while back for a special Lady Gaga vs. Prince themed scrimmage. I designed the little hybrid The Artist Formerly Known As symbol / rollerskate wheel hub and cut out a stencil using freezer paper. The back (which I couldn't get a good picture of - apparently it's difficult to get a picture of your own back) features my temporary derby name for the night - Puss E. Control. I also made some sparkly purple hotpants, but I shall refrain from posting those.

(I must admit to some falsitude - the mustache is Photoshopped. No matter how hard I try, I just can't grow a decent one.)

Now crafting: Yesterday I cashed in a horde of Joann's coupons and picked up some fabric to make a quilt for an upcoming baby of a friend. This giraffe print is my inspiration piece and I tried to pick some solids and prints using all the different colors. The mom & dad are not finding out the sex, so I tried to use all the colors to avoid leaning more towards one end of looking too "girly" or "boyish" or whatever. I'm really excited to get this started!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Thrift score III (now with 80% more vintage space action)

So yesterday we stopped by a thrift store near the brewing supplies store. I'd never been to this one before, but the signs were promising:

I love miscellany! Who doesn't? And this place certainly didn't disappoint. While browsing the books, I almost picked up this handy instruction book:

But then I realized I just don't have the dedication to get the kind of abs that LL is rockin' here. Oh, curse my laziness! But I did get the following:

Some little pins! Some kind of duck/pheasant hybrid and a tiny cat angel, which certainly isn't helping my "I'm not a cat lady" argument, but, come on, look at that thing.


Two little vintage critters that I thought would go well amongst the wall of other animal pictures that has developed in our bedroom. The squirrel has seen better days, it seems - some of his stitches have come out - but they're pretty cute nonetheless.

And some books, of course. Perdido Street Station by China Mieville and Magical Thinking: True Stories by Augusten Borroughs. And then, probably my favorite - A Book of Astronauts For You by Franklin M. Branley - which has pretty amazing illustrations. Some of my favorites:

An incredibly accurate spacesuit.
Not just anyone can be an astronaut.
An astronaut in a pressure chamber. Apparently those lamps are exuding pressure.
Ah yes, the Hall of Science, my old alma mater.

"If the astronaut is not strong, the strain of take-off could kill him."

So there, now you are equipped with all the knowledge of space of a ten year old from 1963.