Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas Break and Such

Yeah so, new record of not posting. Heh.

I haven't been posting because, sadly, I haven't been crafting! Well, a little, but I haven't finished anything in a while, heehee. But now the semester is over and Christmas break has begun, which means I have time to get my projects done! I have lots of Christmas presents and other projects to do over the next few weeks, and I intend to craft my butt off, which means lots of updates here! (I hope!)

I'm presently finishing off a Cthulhu plushie I'm making for my bro's coworker, which will be the first of my break projects, even though I have a handful that I've started and not finished yet, heehee. BUT FINISH I WILL! I'm determined to get out of crafter's debt, heehee.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

My Craft Swap (that was over a week ago)

Yeah I kept forgetting that I had to follow up on my craft swap, so I'm going to do it now! It was a lot of fun. Nothing was actually swapped outside of the blaster gun and the scarf between Rhiannon and myself, but it was still really fun. We all partook of our crafts and watched the British Dorian Gray movie from 2009. It was...interesting. I'm a HUGE Oscar Wilde fan and I love the novel, but the movie tried to turn it into some kind of thriller. I enjoyed it, but probably not for the right reasons, and I think I was the only one who did, heehee.

But yes, craft swap = huge success.

As for what I'm working on, I'm making a cross stitch Blastoise (from Pokemon) for one of my friends from camp as a commission. I really need to get my ass in gear with these commissions because I'm flat broke and because I want to make them, so there are a lot of factors pushing me towards finishing.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Knitter's Underground

So yeah. Knitter's Underground. Very awesome. =)

Today was one of Penn State's football games, and Rhiannon had gone swimming so we left later than we thought we would and therefore got stuck in traffic for about half an hour. Once that broke up, it was smooth sailing up to the barn at the end of a long gravel driveway, which turned out to be the place we were searching for. I LOVED it! I've never seen so much yarn in my life! And it was all fantastic quality; none of the typical name brands to be seen! After much browsing, I ended up getting a skein of super soft lavender, green, and blue yarn that I was thinking I'd make another octopus out of (since I often just make octopi out of yarn that I like and need an excuse to use), and several skeins of sock yarn, which was on sale. Denise told me she'd teach me to knit socks, something I've failed at multiple times. I blame the fact that I'm a hands-on learner and no one has just sat me down, needles in hand, and shown me. Denise said she would sometime, so I grabbed some of the proper sized needles and look forward to that day, because I really want to learn to knit socks. ^-^ Also hats, but let's take this one step at a time.

Anyway, for my sock yarn, I got this cool brown with white speckles kind. I got three of the 50 g skeins, since it's one per sock. I'm going to use the last one to make a sort of ascot mini scarf thinger, because I think having it match would be really cute. I also got this dark greenish tealish with goldish brown, but they only had one skein, so I'm going to make another ascot mini scarf thing out of that, too. Overall it was a very successful day! I'm glad I got to go, and I look forward to going again (with more money) sometime and bringing more of the crew.


I have so many plans going on this weekend. It's going to be absolutely insane. But in a good way I guess, at least for the most part. I look forward to it.

One of the big exciting things that's going to happen will occur in approximately 12 hours (it's about 2:30 am), and that is my first ever trip to Knitter's Underground. I've heard many a tale of this land of milk and honey and yarn, and at dinner tonight celebrating a friend's birthday, another friend dropped that she was going Saturday (today-ish but I haven't gone to sleep yet and since the world CLEARLY revolves around me, Saturday is not today, it's still CLEARLY tomorrow) at around 2:30. My schedule instantly cleared. I'm sure there was some important stuff like cleaning my dorm room or doing some homework or reading or crocheting/cross stitching/crafting or socializing that I was going to do Saturday during the day, but now there magically isn't. Funny how these things happen. Anyway, I'm totally going to Knitter's Underground in 12 hours, and I'm super excited!

Progress report on my actual crafting:

- For Christmas last year, I crocheted all my friends something, usually a plushie of some kind. I still haven't finished EVERYONE, though I am really close. For one of my friends from camp, Vicky, I wanted to recreate the squid plush thing from the movie Coraline, because she loves the movie and the "I wanna hugga yo face" line became an inside joke with us. Originally I was going to just make an octopus to commemorate it, but then I found this pattern for how to actually crochet one, so a while ago I got the yarn and last night I just got the urge to start it, even though it's not next in line on my list of things to crochet (but I suck at doing things in order anyway). I can't find the giant button I got for the eye, but I'm sure once I finally clean my room, it'll turn up.

- I've decided to have another craft swap/viewing party of the 2009 Dorian Gray movie, the one with Ben Barnes as Dorian. I've been saying that from the trailer it looks like how the newest Sherlock Holmes movie was, which was nothing like the book at all, but so awesome and fun that you don't even care. Some of my friends who have seen it agree with the description, so I'm excited. Katie (my roommate, if I haven't mentioned that) rented it for me from her Netflix, and I'm eager to see it, but think it would be fun to do with a group, and I'm itching for another craft swap, so I figured I could combine the events, and decided next Friday is a good time, which means I need to make some stuff!

- On that note, one of Katie's friends, Rhiannon, has moved into my dorm building from her apartment, and so I've been getting to know her, and she's a big crafter (she's coming with me to Knitter's Underground tomorrow, er, later). She stole some camo print yarn and my knitting needles one night while hanging out and started making a scarf. She didn't like what she started with (she was inventing a cable stitch) so she made it into a square (more on that later) and started over. She's letting me have the scarf, so I decided to make her something in exchange for it so we could swap. I offered to make another blaster gun (see older posts) and she joyously accepted, so I'll be making another one of those in hot pink, green, and purple. I'm a little excited and almost started it tonight, but I really need to work on the whole "finish what you start" thing that I suck at so much, so I want to do Vicky's present first.

- I really love crocheting squares. I have a bunch that I've made and don't know what to do with, and I have books that add up to several hundred different square patterns, and many of them I want to try but don't want to make a whole blanket out of, so I've decided to make an afghan or a quilt or whatever you want to call it, that's made up of miscellaneous squares I just felt like making. Fun and functional! Rhiannon's camo cable knit square will be added to the collection of random squares for this project.

- I taught Ashley how to make granny squares, and she loves it! Yay!

- On to cross stitching! I mentioned the Pokemon sprite idea, and so far it's been going swimmingly. I started with Bulbasaur because A) it's the first Pokemon on the chart, and B) my coworker Ricky asked me to make him one. I finished the pattern and now I have to choose the colors to make it, but the first one I'm actually going to do is Blastoise, because a friend from camp told me he'd pay me for one, so guess which one I'm making first? I'm almost done drawing up the pattern, and I already chose the colors, so hopefully I'll be able to get started on it soon so I can get some cash!

- Speaking of commissions, I may or may not have another one. My brother's friend from work may or may not want me to make her a Cthulhu, and she may or may not pay for it. My brother had just been asking me about it and said he'd let me know the details, but hasn't yet. Granted it hasn't been very long since the initial proposal, but it's always good to know when money is coming in.

- I will soon have more garb! I started and damn near finished my fencing doublet for SCA, using some extra fabric that Dani had. It's this nice blue fabric with reddish orange-ish brocade on it. It's really thick and durable and looks really nice, and in one night I mostly finished it. I can't wait until it's done! Ashley has been making her garb, a really nice bliaut (I can't find any particularly excellent pictures, but Google will give you an idea) in dark purple, and the Harry Potter club will be making a trip to the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire next Sunday, where we will prance about in our garb. We're both very excited. I want to at least finish the sleeve caps for my Venetian gown, because Dani is going on a trip and I don't think we'll be able to make the sleeves for it yet. I hope it's not too cold!

- I kind of want to get into making softies (abstract plushies). I think they're really cute and interesting. It'll be easier when I have a machine to sew on, but in the meantime I'm bolstering up my scrap fabric collection, since they're often made with random fabric, mostly with odd colors or patterns. I got some great cheap remnant fabric at Joann's the other day to add to the collection. I don't know what I want to make just yet, but I had some good finds and it was really cheap, so I'm glad I got it.

Sorry this post was super long. Heehee.

And now it's about 11 1/2 hours (about 3:00 am) until Knitter's Underground. SUPER EXCITING! =D

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Cross Stitch Pokemon Sprites

I've been looking up cross stitch patterns for a while now, pretty much since I picked up the craft, because I love patterns and sometimes have a hard time functioning without them. I especially like to look up nerdy cross stitch, i.e. video game characters and sci-fi and pop culture characters, because as I'm sure you figured out by now, I'm a super nerd. I found a lot of really awesome Pokemon cross stitches and was seeking patterns for a while last night. I realized that a lot of the cross stitches I saw looked like they were based on the game sprites. Then I realized, duh, the game sprites are made of fairly obvious pixels, and what is pixel art but cross stitching on a screen (heehee)! So I found a site with all the game sprites for red, blue, yellow, green, gold, and silver, and sure enough, they look mad easy to stitch, and now I have an array of patterns to choose from! This'll probably help with my Christmas present idea, because I can just ask for a person's favorite Pokemon and whip that up. Also, I want to have a vendor booth at Setsucon (the anime convention Penn State has every year) this year where I (and Abby and Dani and potentially Emma and Ginny said they'd help, too) sell crocheted stuff, and now I could make Pokemon sampler thingers too! So yeah, yay crafting!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I Continue to Suck and Fail at Posting

I kept telling myself, "As long as I post before September 7th, I'll be okay because that means I would have at least posted within the month." And now it's September 7th. And now I'm posting. Because I suck. -_-;;;

School has started up again and between class and clubs and socializing, I've barely had time for anything. Even before the school year started, as summer came to an overwhelming and kind of sad close, I was really busy. So there isn't much to say as far as crafting goes, which is why I don't feel compelled to post.

However, I have done some stuff. For instance, like I said in the last post, I finished up my awesome snood. I taught Dani how to crochet and she figured out her own snood pattern so she's been going crazy with them, heehee. Also, Dani helped me with my SCA garb: a dark blue striped Venetian style Renaissance gown. IT'S SO PRETTY! It took a lot of work and it's still not quite finished (I still have to sew the trim onto the bodice and make the sleeve caps), but I got to wear it to my local Renaissance faire (which Dani and Ryan drove out to go to with me) and I was a sight to behold. Dani and Ryan wore their garb too, and our total tally was 5 people asking us if we worked there. I was very pleased. I even wore my snood! Heehee. I'm also making a dress doublet in this nice gold-with-purple-stripe fabric. I started with that but put it aside for the gown so I would have had something to wear to the faire, but soon I'll be working on my doublet again.

As for cross stitch, I am one color away from finishing my dad's project! And I would have finished it by now but it turns out I hadn't gotten that color when I got all the colors for the project and I only just got it last night. So that'll be done, yay! I've decided to make cross stitch things for my friends for Christmas this year, and I've started planning out what I want to make for some of them, because I really should get started soon on Christmas presents, since there are bound to be a lot.

I haven't been doing much crocheting. I have a bunch of the TARDIS and one of the Cthulhu done, but I didn't do too much else. I'm designing another afghan based on this one square I really like that does a combination of checkered and striped patterns in each fourth of the square, but the squares take a while so I haven't gotten far.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Crochet Whore Maybe?

Progress Report: I literally just finished crocheting over the elastic thread I'm putting into my snood, meaning that minus fitting, which hopefully will go over swimmingly, I'm totally done with that. I'm also making progress by leaps and bounds in my dad's cross stitch project, so yay all around.

I just got back from a party a little while ago and I'm a little tipsy still but was determined to finish my snood so I did. Part of the reason I don't try to fit it now is that it's late and my roommate is sleeping, and part is because I'm still a little wonky and kind of want to go to bed. @.@

But I realized tonight that partially because of recent financial situations, I've been whoring out my crocheting talents. It started when a friend from Joann's agreed to pay me to make her a crocheted TARDIS (something I've done twice so I'm pretty skilled at it by now). Then another friend said he'd pay me to make him a pair of Cthulhu, one for him and one for his girlfriend. Again, I've made two so far so I'm pretty confident. Then yesterday I posted to my ex a crocheted Umbreon pattern from WolfDreamer's blog (see sidebar; I totally recommend her site!) and a friend commented that he'd pay me for a Snorlax plushie and I DOVE at the opportunity. I couldn't find a pattern but how hard can a Snorlax really be? I'm just going to make the pattern up.

The point is, I've been doing a lot of commission work and it makes me want to get my Etsy store back up and running so I can sell some more. I need the cash, heehee. Anyway I hope I can do all of this because A) I love making things for people, and B) money is nice.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

I Totally Sucked and Failed This Month...

Didn't quite make that "posting at least once a week" thing I wanted to do this month. Sowwy sowwy sowwy! I know some readers (friends of mine) have asked me to post, and this is mostly to appease them and because I want to keep up my habit of posting. I actually can't think of any craft I've finished all month, but DAMN have I started a lot!

First, a bit on the social life to explain why I've been busy. I was working JoAnn's for a while as I mentioned. The project finished a few weeks ago and I didn't get rehired to work during the day (blah blah other job blah can't give 100% blah blah "unreliable" because my meds were screwed up blah blah), but it turns out that might have been for the best because the daytime manager (the one who said all the blahs) apparently isn't so nice, from what my friends who did get rehired are telling me. I searched for another job for a while but most places are rehiring for the fall, and in the fall I get 17 hours a week at the HUB and don't have to worry about rent or groceries so money won't be as much of a problem, so I'm just going to stick with that.

Other reason I've been busy: I'm in a new relationship! Yay! I'm in another polyamorous relationship with my friends Dani and Ryan. We all hang out a lot and have been having loads of fun, and it's really nice to have significant others that aren't hours away like my most recent ex Christy was.

Now, on to the point of the blog, crafting.

Like I said, I haven't finished anything, minus an octopus I whipped together to help Drea with a craft swap she was doing, but I have a lot of stuff I started/progress I made, so I'm going to talk about that. First, I have my snood. A snood is basically a glorified hair net worn most generally in the Middle Ages/Renaissance. The reason I'm making one is because Dani and Ryan are both in the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA), which is basically an organization dedicated to doing awesome stuff from that time. I've wanted to join for a while but didn't know many people in the know, but now I do so I'm getting more into it. Anyway, Dani is helping me sew garb (I'm almost done with my nice doublet, then we'll be starting on my Venetian-style dress and then my fencing doublet) and I wanted to make a snood to go with the fancy stuff. I'm using this one I found on Etsy, because I'm an Etsy addict. >.<>

I'm also almost done with my dad's super-belated Father's Day present. He and my brother visited me on the 4th of July so I told him about it, which means I can write about it here without ruining the surprise, heehee. I'm cross stitching him a Masonic emblem (since, as I'm sure you guessed, he's a Mason) and originally I was going to put it on a shirt but ultimately decided to put it on some fabric and frame it, so that's what I'm going to do. He was really excited for it, which of course made me feel all warm and tingly inside.

Those are the main things I've been making progress with, really. I really need to get my butt in gear because I made a list of everything I want to make for other people/requests I've gotten, and there's a lot! I made a list of it all and the relative order in which I want to do it all, so that'll be helpful.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Home Sick and Awesome Cross Stitch

So much for my epic day of work.

Last night, about 2 hours into my Joann's shift, I had this pretty intense depressed breakdown cryfest. I won't bore you with the details, but needless to say I went home. I couldn't sleep anyway so I ended up getting about 2 1/2 hours of sleep before my pick up barista shift at 6:30 am. I got through that with flying colors. I was extremely hyper and having a great time. Then around 11:15, just before I started my normal shift, it's like I got hit by a bus. I felt so sick. So I went home from that job too, and have spent much of the day sleeping. I called off tonight too so I could keep up the resting.

I've been looking up cross stitching patterns a lot today for no real reason other than boredom. I found that someone beat me to a project I really wanted to do, which is bad because now I don't feel as creative, but is good because they made a pattern I can now use.

Isn't it amazing? As soon as I saw the episode I wanted that poster, and now I can cross stitch it! As I said, the maker gave the pattern, too. I am hereby following her blog. ^-^

While checking out her other work, I came across these lovely pieces, both nods to RuPaul's Drag Race, which is one of the greatest shows ever made ever.

I want to make them both very much. I showed them to my friends with whom I watch RuPaul, and Abby suggested I make a "Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve, and Talent" one. Turns out this blogger did already, too!

Love it. Love it so much.

I'm such a dork. And it's wonderful.

Tomorrow, Abby is coming over to bake with me. We're going to a Fourth of July barbecue on Sunday, and she's making epic caramel apple pie (or so she says it's epic, but it sounds really good) and I'm making cupcakes. Working at Joann's is ruining my life, by the way, because now I want to get into cake decorating. Grr...

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Of Country Music and Men, and Work...and Cross Stitch

I happen to oftentimes like covers of songs, especially covers that bridge genre gaps. But some things just should not be done in this world, and one of these things is apparently country covers of songs.

At Joann's we have our construction workers who put up the pegboard walls on which we stick our products. Some of them, the head included, I believe, like country music, so that's all they play for the better part of the night. After a good three nights I finally cracked and put on my headphones last night. Part of the reason I cracked is because I heard a country cover of Aerosmith's "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing." I could barely hear it due to my proximity to the radio, but still it was horrible. I looked it up just now and the culprit is Mark Chesnutt. Apparently his cover reached number 1 in the country charts, and was in the top 20 of the Billboard Top 100. He even had the audacity to name the album upon which the cover appears as the first track, "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing." Can I please just projectile vomit all over creation? AND THEN I read this nonsense on an Amazon review: "Track one, "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing," is a great remake of the far inferior version done by Aerosmith." In fact, most of these reviewers are saying the like it better than Aerosmith's. HERESY I SAY! First I hear Jack Ingram's stupid cover of Hinder's "Lips of an Angel," and now this. Call me a romantic, but nothing says "emotional love song" to me like screaming into a microphone. Please stop softening my power ballads!

Anyway, more about life at Joann's. The work is progressing well in my opinion, though we got the obligatory "you guys need to pick up the pace" speech last night that was bound to happen eventually. It's the construction crew's last night (which means hopefully no more country after tonight!), which means we need to hurry and clear out some areas so they can put up the last walls. But I think we're doing well. The people are awesome and I'm having fun, in spite of the hours, which really aren't even that bad. Tonight is going to be hard though, because I'm picking up an extra shift at my other job for a girl who's going on vacation, so I will be working from 9:00 pm to 5:30 am, then 6:30 am to 11:00 am, then 11:30 am to 3:00 pm. Then it's back to work at 9:00 pm. This is what next Tuesday and Thursday will be like too. Not gonna be fun...

In the crafting world, I've started another little cross stitch of a star and moon with faces on them that's in the book I got the fairy angel thinger from. It's pretty cute and much easier, though cross stitching with white thread on white aida (fabric) is not the best idea I ever had. I'm trying to focus on making sure the back is nice on this one since I didn't even bother trying with the last two, because I have yet another project I want to do. I want to cross stitch onto a kitchen towel to hang on my and Sarah's oven door the phrase: "As long as no one dies, I call it a success." This is our new philosophy on cooking that we came up with the other night. I want to stitch this in pretty flowery font, possibly pink, and maybe with flowers and little food things on it to make it extra pretty. But I want to not have an ugly back to the towel so I'm practicing now.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Stuff I've Finished

So apparently, as I learned from a sort of lunch date I had today, sometimes "I have a friend I want you to meet; I think you'll like him" really means "I have a friend I want you to meet; I think you'll like him" and not "I have a friend I want to hook you up with." Oh well. At least I looked pretty today! ^-^

Anyway, as the title implies, this is a blog to write about the stuff I've finished recently. Let's go in order of completion!

First we have my green and black beanie I made during Scion (which is my LARP - Live Action Role Play - game) a few weeks ago.

Cute, no? I was bored and beanies are easy to make, and I have a shirt that's black with striped sleeves that are almost the exact same green and black as the hat, so I thought they'd make a nice combination. I had wanted to do more stripes but didn't plan for them properly (meaning I didn't count my rows right so I didn't know when to change colors), but oh well. I still think it looks nice. Special thanks to my two friends Abby and Erin, who were also at Scion, for wearing the hat to see if it would fit my head, since my hair was in liberty spikes (oh


This is an example of the granny squares I've been making for Cait's baby blanket. So cute! I love this yarn! It's a little hard to see the rainbow speckles in the yarn in this picture, but I think if you look for them you can see them. I really should start taking these pictures with my good camera. I currently have 21 squares, and I want 150 for the blanket (10 across, 15 rows down), so I still have a ways to go, but I keep getting distracted by other projects!

That's a really blown-out picture, but it's of my cross stitching endeavors, finally finished! The chick came first and technically should be the first thing posted in this blog entry since I finished it weeks ago.

No flash this time, heehee. I did the dark brown back stitching in the wrong color considering I'd just been going with the few basic colors Meredith had given me to start me out, but I think it looks pretty good!

And there's my birthstone angel fairy thing! I wasn't entirely positive on the backstitching colors again. I think I got it though. I'm really proud of how this turned out, even though it took me forever (I had posted a bit back that all I had to do was the backstitching for the dress, which I didn't do until last night).

As for work, it's been going well. I'm probably going to be dropping my second summer session class to free up some time for me so I can relax for a bit since in spite of being very fun, this summer has been very stressful too. I'll keep my jobs and we'll see where the school year takes me.

Last entry I posted that I wasn't going to sleep between jobs. Turns out this was a very dumb idea. I took off the subsequent night because I was too tired to function. I'm worried for later in this week when I start picking up shifts and my non-fabric store job, but we'll see what happens when we get there. But really, despite the hours, I like my job at Joann's.

This past Friday and Saturday was double discount weekend for Joann's employees, so instead of the usual 15% off, I got 30%. I didn't have much money to spend so I couldn't get the cheap-o sewing machine I'm considering getting, nor could I get all the craft books I want, but I did get a cross stitch kit with a pretty angel on it (and it comes with everything you need), some more aida (the fabric you cross stitch on), and I decided to have a little fun. I've always wanted to try embroidery, so I figured, hey, I have a discount, I should get some embroidery stuff! So I got the hoop and a small cheap book on some basic stitches, figuring I could use my cross stitch needles, aida, and embroidery floss to get me started. I haven't started yet because I got so wrapped up in finishing up some crafts last night, as well as teaching Sarah how to make granny squares because she wants to make an afghan like mine, heehee, that I didn't have time to get started, but I hope to soon.

Also last night I decided to make another square for my star afghan. I almost finished it but was getting tired (it was like 3 in the morning, heehee) so I put it down. I have pictures of the squares by request, heehee, so we can make the decision about whether to have it be inverted on the reversed side or just keep it black squares with green stars. Here ya go!

Here are both of the squares together. Next we have the squares on their own (no flash in these pictures so the color is weird).

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

So About My Job...

Tonight was night 2 at Joann's Fabric; I got back about half an hour ago. My next job starts in 3 1/2 hours so I'm just going to stay up and sleep afterwards. That means I have time to post!

I'm having fun with my job. Even though planograms suck (they're these dumb chart things we use to set up the hooks and shelves the merchandise is on), the people I work with are really great and we make it fun. The hours aren't even so bad. I got 8 1/2 hours of sleep yesterday on accident (I was supposed to sleep from 6:30 to 10 but slept until 12:40, my shift at my other job starting at 1 (oops. Wasn't late though!), then an hour nap turned into a 2 1/2 hour nap) so I got through tonight okay. My perception of time is totally shot, though, and when my hours at my first job start picking up soon I'm sure I'll find this job irritating, but for now it's fun. I really hope I get rehired after the three week project we're working on is done.

As for my crafting, I did the rough math for how much yarn I'd need to complete the blanket I'm making for Cait's "baby shower," which has been cancelled because flying this late in her pregnancy might not be a good idea, so I'll be mailing it to her. I calculated needing about 13 skeins of yarn (not that it's a big blanket, these are just 2 oz skeins). Turns out Joann's had exactly 13 skeins of it left, all on clearance, as I believe I mentioned. Score for me! I felt kind of like a jerk getting all the yarn, but hey, it's a gift and I want it done! I've been fascinating my coworkers with my crocheting (I crank out a granny square for this blanket in about 10-15 minutes, which is how long our breaks are), and they've asked a million questions, which I always love answering. Surprisingly most of them don't know that much about crafting, not that that's a problem. But they all seem to be interested in what I do, which makes me happy because I love spreading the crafting love.

Speaking of crafting love, I also bought a crochet magazine tonight because it had this awesome pattern for these big pretty star pillows. I want to make black and green ones to go with my black and green star afghan. I'm thinking of reapproaching the afghan, too. The squares I'm making are squares with stars in the middle. On one side of the afghan I have black squares with green stars, and the other side, green squares with black stars. So far I have I think three of each square, with two of each kind stitched together and ready to go. But I'm not too crazy about the side that's green with black stars because it's hard to tell that the shape is a star, so I'm thinking of ditching the reverse-side idea and staying with just black squares with green stars. Thoughts?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Project Progress

Again, it's been over a week. I'm following a tutorial blog that updates multiple times a day. There's plenty of material to update on, but I don't know how the writer finds the time to find the stuff/write! Heehee.

Technically I started an entry Thursday I think, but I haven't had the time to finish it, so I'm starting from scratch.

First, work. I went through my orientation/paperwork/training Thursday afternoon into early evening. The people I'm working with are pretty cool and I'd like to think I'm going to make fast friends. Despite the unholy hours, the work doesn't seem very hard, and that's good. I'm going to be leaving for my first shift in about half an hour so I'll be there early. I'm waiting for my dinner to cool so I figured it was a good time to write, heehee.

As for projects, I made a list of everything I have that I'm working on right now, and everything I still want/have to make. I'll probably post it up here so y'all can see what I'm up to.

Speaking of what I'm up to, a few days ago I finished my cross stitch fairy minus the backstitching. I started that and just have the dress to finish backstitching, but I haven't done that yet, heehee. I put it off a little so I could work on the baby blanket, which has come to a complete halt, done a K turn, and gone in a different direction. I started to re-do what I had done (which was almost a whole skein of yarn; pulling it out killed me) because the stitches were too tight (who suggests a D hook for an afghan? Jeeze!) and I wanted to use a bigger hook to make them looser. As I reworked the yarn, I thought about how much money it would cost, based on how many rows a skein got me vs. how many rows I needed to do. The answer was more than I was willing to spend on yarn for one project at the moment, so instead I'm going to make small granny squares and stitch them together into a blanket so it can have a rectangle shape, but be smaller and take up less yarn. Perhaps another time, alphabet afghan...I managed to get a good number of squares done this weekend because I went to Washington D.C. (for the first time. SO FUN!) to visit my friend and I had time on trains and the like (and when I got out of the Holocaust museum an hour earlier than my friends and was sitting around in the lobby with nothing to do...glad I brought my hook and yarn!). So yeah, that's that.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


I got a call from Joann's Fabrics yesterday asking me to come in today for an interview. I figured I had the job; it was implied from how they spoke to me, and that this was a formality. I signed the forms releasing my background check information (because, you know, I'm such a a hardened criminal...) and talked to the manager lady for a bit, then she said we were good to go! Basically what's going on is, they're remodeling the store and need people to help out. So that's what I'll be doing for the next three weeks...from 9 pm to 5 am, Sunday through Thursday nights. @.@;;; But hey, it's money, which I need, and hopefully after that's all done, they'll hire me as a part-time employee, which would be totally awesome! I'm super excited!

Also, back to baby stuff. Remember that blanket I blogged about? I do know someone who is having a baby - my friend Caitlin - and even as I wrote I thought of sending it to her. The trouble is, she's in Colorado, and I'm not. BUT a bunch of my friends back home in Jersey are looking to pool together funds to buy her a ticket to come back to Jersey and visit us for a baby shower. So I'm gonna make her the blanket! ^-^ I'll be using Lion Brand's Coral Gables to make it, which is white speckled with rainbow colors, partially because it's nice (I love the color and it's acrylic so it'll be easy to keep up, which is good for babies I figure) and because it's on sale, lol. So yeah, another project. Heehee.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Because I Don't Have Enough to Do...(Sarcasm)

So yeah, due to the fact that I only have, what, like, 4 projects going on right now, I decided to start another. I've been itching to make a plushie of Dean Winchester from Supernatural, and now that I've been talking about visiting one of my friends in D.C. who is also a Supernatural fan, I want to make it so I can show her. I made the pattern myself (it's like, the second pattern I've ever made in my life, lol) and I've been working on it for the last few hours. I have the arms and legs done after some minor setbacks. Like with my cross stitching, I'll post pictures later. I just felt like sharing that I got started.

Lunchboxes and Beanies

Oh no! I have failed you, blog! I've gone over a week without posting! ;_; Well I haven't been doing much craft-wise because my free time is spent looking for a second job or trying to figure out Dreamweaver for my online class. As for what I'm crafting, I'm STILL working on that dang cross stitch! It's almost done though. I really want to finish it soon. I didn't realized when I signed up for cross stitch that it would take so dang long!

Anyway, a little about my life right now. This past weekend I went home to Jersey to visit Devon and go to her prom. SO MUCH FUN! Busting out our poi and hitting on waiters (including copping a feel. Cody was only 27...but was taken. Darn!) and general antics. That was Friday night. I stayed up all night that night talking to Devon's 13 year old brother about all kinds of stuff, mostly Jim Morrison and music and government and religion and all that good deep stuff. Saturday was spent at Devon's teacher's daughter's (lol) first birthday party, which was the most well thought-out kid's party I'd ever been to (as Devon said, this is what happens when two graphic designers get married, lol). Devon and her friend Steph did face painting, and I assisted, which means I sat there and entertained the kids (and got painted on like you wouldn't believe!). Sunday we went to the beach at Atlantic City in the morning. Devon and I did some shopping while Steph and her other friend Shannon tanned. There was this one store called "It's Sugar" that was an epic candy store (9 inch tall Gummi Bears. Just sayin'.). I bought a Blow Pops lunchbox that I intend to use as a purse a la Seth-Green-as-James-St.-James-in-Party-Monster (only his was black with a Jolly Roger on it. Do want!). I don't feel like taking a picture, so I'll show you one from the Internet.
Cute, non? Very club kid. I love it. And while looking for pictures, I discovered that OMG THEY MAKE ONE FOR JUNIOR MINTS! IT'S GREEN WITH STARS!

I must own this! GREEN AND STARS! What more could I want? ^-^

Anyway, on the ride back home from south to north Jersey (where I live when not in school, and where I had parked my car) I tried and failed to teach Devon how to crochet. But I had my yarn so I decided to whip her up a beanie because I could, and because it was a three hour drive. I managed to finish in about an hour, which is a personal best. It was light pink with three thin black stripes (pink and black are Devon's signature/raver colors, just as mine are green and black). I'd show a picture but I didn't take one.

Monday, May 31, 2010


First of all, Drea was very right: flour tortillas with Nutella is FANTASTIC!!! I've eaten like half a dozen this weekend, along with half a dozen tortillas with cream cheese. It's getting to be time to go grocery shopping, because I need more food than tortillas, lol.

So I was waiting for Sarah to come back from visiting her family this weekend so I can jump in the shower without her awkwardly walking in, and she walked in as I was typing the above paragraph, so I'm going to finish up here and do that.

As I said, I finished the cross-stitch chick, and I'm working on the diamond fairy (if you didn't figure it out already, I was born in April, hence why I chose to do the diamond fairy; it's my birthstone). It's maybe like half or two-thirds of the way done. I'd post pictures, but I'm feeling too lazy for that now. I will post pictures of both when the fairy is finished.

So Drea has gotten back into cross-stitching apparently. She said on her blog (So much crap to make, so little time) that she's blaming me, which I take only partial responsibility for. Meredith started it all because it's her craft of choice, and I just wanted her to teach me, which I guess coupled with me shooting out so many nerdy and awesome cross-stitch patterns to her and Meredith, triggered her interest.

I've become a little obsessed myself, I admit, as I always do when something new and shiny comes along into my life. I need a second job, so I applied at the local Joann's Fabrics, and while I was there, I got a plastic box with those little sections that people use for floss (for a dollar! Yay sales!), and some floss because it was on super sale (3 for 99 cents, so I got 6), but I didn't have my list of flosses I needed so I got what I could remember and some colors I just liked. I got the rest of the colors at Michael's this morning, because they were having a 15% off entire purchase sale, so my grand total was less than $3. I love sales! And now I'm fully equipped to finish the fairy (minus the backstitching because they didn't have the right floss!) and the next few small projects from the book I have planned, though I think I might do the zombie sampler next. ^-^

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Cross Stitch Chick

I just finished the chick, but I'm too tired to post pictures right now, lol. I will tomorrow.

Meredith and Dave took me to the craft store today and I got a book with a small cross-stitch pattern for every day of the year (for making like calendars and stuff). It has some awesome stuff in it. One of the things it has is a little birthstone fairy for each month, so I decided to do the one for April (diamond). I'll post when it's done. ^-^

Friday, May 28, 2010

Cross Stitch

Crap. Crap crap crap. I have a new hobby.

The cross stitch chick is almost done, yay! But I decided to take a break and look up some patterns and the like. I found the first sampler I want to make, pattern here.

Isn't that fantastic? ^-^

I also found a blog that has cross stitch patterns for the cast of Firefly, link here.

Yeah, this is not a good thing to be starting, not when I have work and summer classes and a list of crocheted things to do! Woe is me! Heehee.

Craft Swap = Huge Success!

It was pretty darn epic! Some good trades, mostly yarn and ribbon and the like. I swapped the blaster gun and I.O.U.'d an Emo Bunny (since I wanted to keep Jack, lol) and got some cool stuff in return. But what was badass was all the trade secrets I took in today. Drea showed me the proper way to change colors in crochet, since I read it often but never really got it (I'm one of those people who learns through doing, not reading), which is the only thing stopping me from trying crocheting things in grids, which I've kind of always wanted to try. Also she taught me how to make a yarn ball that unravels from the middle/both ends, so I can ball all my hat yarn! (I leave it unballed so that I can double strand the hats from both ends.) She also taught me Viking wire weaving, which is pretty cool, but I'll need to relearn (again, I learn by doing). Meredith taught me cross stitch, another thing I've always wanted to learn. I'm currently working on a cross stitched chick just to practice (pictures when I'm done!). It's coming along quite well; I'm pretty proud of myself! I'm going to get some cross stitch supplies tomorrow.

Food was had; I reheated some of my mom's epic gravy (meat sauce) with spaghetti and Sarah made meatballs. Sarah and I made a pineapple upside down cake last week from a cookbook we have, and Sarah decided to kick it up a notch for the craft swap and made what I've called a "stuff upside down cake." It had pineapple, apple, blueberries, and raspberries, all beautifully arranged. And she added more sugar than the recipe because we didn't think it was sweet enough last time, but this time was perfect. DELICIOUS!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Seagrass Afghan

So today I finished an afghan I was working on since winter-ish time. Turns out the skein only had about one and a half once-around left in it, so I could have finished sooner. I had the ultimate choice of "do I get more yarn or leave this skein unfinished?" and decided to leave it unfinished, because I'd already used 8 skeins on the thing, lol. But now I have the second afghan I crocheted all finished! It's really just one giant granny square made with Seagrass by Red Heart. As Drea has often said to me friends don't let friends knit Red Heart, but the coloration was soooo pretty I couldn't help myself!

Here is the afghan on the couch, and on it is my giant octopus Hubert (I decided to give him a name besides "giant octopus" just before taking the picture) that I finished the day before I started my blog, lol.

And one more of my "baby octopus" Dumbo on Hubert's head.

Sarah was posing the octopi on the blanket, and she said it was like an ocean scene. She said we should cut off some of Dumbo's legs and make her a starfish, to which I replied, "Or I could just make a starfish..." Sarah continued with something to the effect of, "We need some fish, you think you could manage a coral reef?" I said maybe; she said she had faith in me. Heehee.

We got to talking about Emo Bunny again, and Sarah asked if he had a real name, and I explained the name of Jack. She seemed unconvinced, and said he needs "a more depressing name." I'm leaving it up to her to come up with one.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Emo Bunny!

He's done! ^-^ Here he is posing on my couch with my first afghan. (Sorry about the not-so-fabulous quality; the light in my living room sucks.)

Some close ups of his face.

And a close up of the embroidery skull and crossbones.

I've half-decided to call the bunneh Jack after my LARP character for Scion, who is also an emo, but is a far cry from a bunny. Jack was an adventure in crafting, to say the least. Getting the ears to match the slits in the hood was tricky, but that was just the beginning. I think I got more than I bargained for with the emover; it took a lot of thought and creativity, as well as a good 45 minutes. Then came the skull and crossbones. I believe I mentioned I suck at embroidery, and if not, then I'm saying it now. But I am DAMN PROUD of how this turned out. It might just be the best thing I've ever embroidered (let that be the standard you judge my skills in embroidery, lol). After several attempts at just a skull that looked like some kind of abstract line art, I finally came up with the skull and crossbones idea, and that only took one try! And it looks really good! And I did it with my cheap plastic flimsy tapestry needle because I still can't find my good metal ones! Booyah!

My summer roommate Sarah thinks I won't trade this for anything at the swap. She might be right. He's going to be hard to part with, if I'm even able to. We'll see on Thursday. ^-^

Monday, May 24, 2010

Bunnies and Babies

My older brother needs to have a baby so I can be an aunt. This of course requires finding a girlfriend and getting married. But still, it needs to happen. I could have my own baby, but I too am presently single, plus I'm still not sure I want to have kids, which is philosophizing for another night, but I know I want to know someone who has kids. Why? Because I, of course, want to crochet baby things. ^-^

I worked on my schoolwork a little and rewarded myself with some pattern browsing, and came across this alphabet baby afghan pattern (it's free!). As my friend Ginny would put it, it made my ovaries explode with happiness. It's so cute! And I want to make it! It's so simple, but nice, too. Sadly, there are not many babies in my life, and it would be a little silly of me to make it for myself. So someone has to have a baby!

I also found these adorable monster-themed bibs on Etsy (I'm kind of an addict...). I like the Cthulhu and the vampire one the most. Again, someone needs to have a baby...and a good sense of humor, lol.

Anyway, on to projects I can actually do now.

I've decided on my next mini project for the craft swap. It's going to be one of these bunnies with hoodies, pattern found on Etsy again. But of course (saying that a lot in this entry...hmm...), I decided to kick it up a notch. I'm making the hoodie in all black and depending on how up for it I feel, I might give it an emover. Meredith suggested I also embroider a skull on the hoodie. I kind of suck at embroidery but I'm going to give it a shot. So yeah, emo hoodie bunny. Again, I might end up making one for myself. ^-^;

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Blaster Gun is Finished!

So I didn't finish it BY dinner, but by dinner everything was done but the handle so I finished the handle, ate, then did the button and stitched it together. I was talking to Katie, my during-the-school-year roommate who is presently finishing up her study abroad in Vienna, while working, which is why it didn't get done sooner. But here it is!

Another angle.

Detail shot of the front. I break away from the pattern for the rings and make them more like funnels, since the frontmost one is made like a funnel and this way they all match, rather than have a funnel with three rings.

In my rush to finish and eat, I accidentally skipped over four rows of the handle. I didn't notice until I had bound off and was about to stitch it on and noticed how short it was. So I retied the yarn and threw four rows on the end. The result is a handle that's not exactly right, as it's supposed to be a more gradual narrowing, but it still looks good. Detail of handle (sorry it's sideways!).

The Calm Before the Crocheting Storm

I had a dream last night that I found my good tapestry needles AND my bag of safety pins that have both gone missing since moving into my summer apartment. Dreams can be so cruel. -_-

I'm presently sitting on my bed in my diabetes camp boxers (I won't say what camp so I don't get stalkers!) and black tee shirt with bare feet because my jeans, socks, and shoes got soaked in the rain today while I was at an abandoned drive-in theater taking pictures with a friend (abandoned places make for great photos!). I just finished a chocolate chip Kudos bar (rant below) and am sipping on a diet Dr. Pepper with cherry. I've promised myself I'll crochet until dinner, then do schoolwork for the rest of the evening, so I made a good compromise with myself. Basically, I'm feeling pretty fantastic.

So yeah, Kudos bars. Gotta love 'em. So good. But I kind of feel like a tool, because they brag so much about being only 100 calories, and I'm not the kind of person to care about calories. Sure, I'd like to weigh a little less, and one of my summer goals is to lose a chunk of the weight I've gained since going on my medication, a side effect of which is weight gain, but really, I don't care. I'd rather exercise and control my portions better than eat low-calorie foods. So I feel like some kind of sell out. But I reiterate, they're so good! And they're only 15 to 20 g of carbs each, depending on the kind, which makes Benjamin the Second (my insulin pump) happy.

Rant over, back to crafting.

Yeah I totally didn't finish the blaster gun last night. I crocheted a little longer after I wrote, then went to sleep, so I'm going to go finish now. Hopefully I'll finish before dinner so I can do my schoolwork in peace, because there's nothing like an almost-finished craft to distract you from everyday life!

Craft Swap and Blaster Gun!

Bleeeeeh it's almost three in the morning and I'm wired. I really need to stop sleeping until noon on days I don't have work. Heh.

I finalized the date and time of my craft swap, the first I've ever hosted (OMG SO EXCITING!). It's going to be Thursday evening. I need to make some little projects so I have stuff to trade besides the like three skeins of yarn I can bear to part with. I decided to make another blaster gun like I did for the last craft swap I attended. They're fun to make, pretty quick and easy, and c'mon, who doesn't love a blaster gun? I found the pattern on Etsy; it's right here. Though it costs money (it's really cheap though!), it's totally worth it. And hey, maybe you can figure out how to make it on your own by looking at the picture. Beats me. Do what you will.

Anyway, the last one I made was black, white, and gray, but this time I got crazy. The main part, the knob thinger on the end, and the trigger are all a dark steel gray, while the barrel and the base are a sort of light coffee brown, and the rings are black. I'm totally making myself one in this color scheme, because it looks really good all together. I'll post pictures when I'm done. I wanted to try to do it all in one sitting, but some drama that came up kept me from doing this, but I'm still going to try to finish tonight.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

An Introduction

Of all the blogs I've ever made and kept, I've never had one specifically dedicated to something before, let alone one dedicated to crafting. But I've been crafting so long and reading so many craft blogs that it dawned on me that I should make my own, so here we are now!

As I write this, it's the start of the summer (I got out of school two weeks ago), and I made a list of crafts I want to make (between work and summer classes) before I return to school and have less time to work. I'm making a goal to finish at least one craft every other week (giving me two weeks per craft, which is probably more time than I need but you never know), and to post here at least once a week, since I also kind of suck at keeping up with blogs and journals.

A Little About Me:
My name is Erika, but sometimes I go by Hoshi (Japanese for "star") and I usually write on the Internet as KuraiHoshi/DarkStar. I'm a college student majoring in photography and minoring in Asian studies and world literature. My main craft of choice is crocheting, but I have some sewing projects I'd like to complete. I want to branch out more into sewing, and I'd like to learn to knit but haven't managed to figure it out yet. I also am pretty apt at miscellaneous crafts as well. I have an Etsy; my username is DarkStar888.

A Little About the Blog:
Pretty much all I feel the need to explain is that l'artisanat, according to all available sources I have at the moment, means "the craft" in French, which is a language I studied for a few years in high school and loved/continue to love. Don't ask me why an Asian studies minor and former student of the Japanese language chose to name her blog something French, because I don't really know. I think it sounds nice.