Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Paper Projects 2013

Pictures of some of the cards I made this year (if I remembered to get a picture):

Stamp: SomeOddGirl

Repurposed Damaged C&H book

Cricut Victorian Romance Cartridge

Cricut Victorian Romance Cartridge

Repurposed vintage playing cards

Cricut Cartridge Create a Critter

Cricut Create a Critter

Michaels Fall Stickers

Repurposed Damaged C&H book

Fiber Projects September-December 2013

Final crocheting round-up of 2013! Projects I completed for the last 4 months:

Bat (paid pattern, Ravelry):

David the Gnome Hat (improvised):

Katniss Cowl (improvised):

Monsters (craftyiscool):

Argyle Scarf (mysweetoldetcetera):

Unicorn (littleyarnfriends):

Puff Stitch Beret (creativeyarn/modified):

Sweet Eleanor Scarf (Porcelain) (yarnandspices):

Harley Quinn & Poison Ivy Backpack Dolls (improvised):

Sweet Eleanor Scarf (Sachet) (yarnandspices):

Amelia Hat (waybackmachine):

Flapper Hat (paid pattern, Ravelry):

All patterns (if I didn't just make it up) were found on

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Dr. Who Prizes!

I was a bit disappointed by the lack of Dr. Who related items to purchase locally for my Geek Trivia event last week.  Never to admit defeat, I made my own prizes!

Dr. Who magnets:

Emergency TARDIS kits:
These were just a lucky find. Rooting through my supplies at work, I came across these small emergency first aid kits. Cut out some 1" squares from a Cricut, spray painted everything TARDIS blue and done!

Crochet Katniss Cowl

These are my messed up notes. Has not been tested and probably can't be reproduced, but here's what I did.

I tried my hand at creating a crochet version of this woven cowl from the Catching Fire promos:

1: I have never made a cowl
2: I have never made anything asymmetrical (at least not on purpose)
3: I haven't designed anything using super bulky yarn

Let's do this!

6.5 skeins of Lion Brand Hometown USA in Aspen Tweed
Size M crochet hook
NOT Krazy glue, I ended up using hot glue
Most people making similar cowls used rope, I used some 1/2 inch foam caulk saver because I liked the flexibility (and I won't be drying this)

Step 1: I cut two pieces of 32" foam rope and twisted them together. Hot glue to hold in place. I cut two more pieces of foam rope 54" (32" for circle + 15" for a tail down the back + 7" at the beginning) twist together and glue to hold shape.

Step 2: crochet around first rope. Here's a good tutorial.  For the 2nd rope, I decided I needed to leave 7" before starting to crochet the 2nd rope to the first and 15" for back shaping.

FAIL #1: I didn't leave a tail at the beginning :(

Attaching the 2nd rope (backwards, because I'm left-handed).
After a few failed attempts trying to work the tails and the main cowl neck at the same time, I left the 7" and 15" tails unworked. After crocheting the 2 ropes together (minus the tails), I just picked up the rest of the single crochets from the first circle to complete a round.


R2: 2sc in each stitch (124)

R3: sc2tog (62)

R4-6: sc around (62)

The neck covered the tails, so I reattached the yarn where the tube protruded from the yarn and single crocheted over the long tail, then reattached the yarn again where the tube protruded from the yarn and worked over the short tail. Here is the neck turned inside out so you can see where the tails stick out:

Here's me working on the end of the tail. I chained 8 sttiches and wrapped it around the very end so I had something to work with later.

Try on the cowl. On my cowl, the right shoulder is going to be covered, so I put in stitch markers roughly at the beginning of the shoulder, the middle, and the back. Then I moved the markers slightly to even out the stitch counts (I had 18 stitches):
Starting where the short tail meets the neck:
R7: all FLO *2sc, sc next 4* to first shoulder marker, *2hdc, hdc next 4* to where neck meets long tail, ch 1, hdc 1st stitch of tail, ch1 turn.

R8: *2 hdc, hdc next 5* to center shoulder, 2dc in the 3 center shoulder stitches, *2hdc, hdc next 5" to shoulder maker, *2sc, sc next 5* to short tail, ch 1 turn.

R9: sc to 1st shoulder marker, hdc, 12 dc in center of shoulder, hdc to long tail. For me this was enough of the shoulder built. I didn't want to do any more rounds and make the left shoulder too big.

R10: sc down the long tail and around end. Sc up the back of the long tail and attach the short tail to the long tail at an angle:

FAIL #2: the short side ended up too wide and curvy for my liking:

R11: I crocheted back down the long tail to decrease the total number of stitches to 5.  For me, this meant sc3tog.

R12: sc back up to where the long tail and short tail meet.

R13-18: these rounds were used to build the back. by crocheting around from the short side to the long side around the neck/shoulders.

R13: sc around.
R14: sc around
R15: sc from short tail to shoulder increases, switch to bpdc to long tail (adding some texture)
R16:  bpdc/fpdc alternate to shoulder, switch to sc to short tail
R17: sc to shoulder, bpdc/fpdc to long tail
R18: bpdc/fpdc to shoulder, sc to short tail

 at the end of 5th row on short side, crochet around bottom edge of long tail instead of turning. Now I continued to work the long side of the back:

R19: sc to shoulder, ch 1 turn
R20: bpdc to tail, ch 1 turn
R21: bpdc/fpdc to shoulder, ch 1 turn
R22: sc to tail.

Now try on the cowl again. Mark the front and back of the shoulder for join.

R23: Join with slip stitch to first marker. Add chains to give ease and slip stitch to other marker. I used 5 chain stitches as it gave me great range of motion while keeping the shoulder snug.

I had thought about making a separate front and attaching after, but remembered I hate joining pieces, so I worked the front from back to the front.

R24: sc back over chain and continue to long tail, 2sc in end, ch 1 turn.
R25: *2sc, sc next 6* across, join to next stitch along neck.
R26: *2sc, sc next 6* across, 2sc in end.
R27-29: repeat rows 25/26
R30: *2dc, dc next 4*  sc next 2 neck stitches, ch 2
R31-35: *fpdc/bpdc across, dc2tog at tail end, ch 2 turn. dc2tog at beginning, fpdc/bpdc across, sc next 2 neck stitches, ch 2.
R36: bpdc across, dc2tog at end
R37: dc2tog at beginning, dc across
try on the cowl. Mark where you would like the front to end on the far side. Also check for where  rows should end. I moved my stitch marker up about 12 stitches to designate where to end starting with R38.

R38-40: *fpdc/bpdc across, dc2tog at tail end, ch 2 turn. dc2tog at beginning, fpdc/bpdc across, sc next 2 neck stitches, ch 2.
R41: bpdc across, dc2tog at end
R42: dc2tog at beginning, dc across
moved my stitch marker up 6 more stitches to signify end of R43.
R43-44: *fpdc/bpdc across, dc2tog at tail end, ch 2 turn. dc2tog at beginning, fpdc/bpdc across, sc next 2 neck stitches, ch 2.
R45: bpdc across, dc2tog at end
R46: dc2tog at beginning, dc across
This put me at 3 rows away from where I had marked the end of the front.  Starting at the neck, I sc around entire outside of cowl for 4 rows.

My cowl:

My favorite parts are how the shoulder looks like armor and the texture created by fpdc/bpdc. :)

Katniss Cowl patterns (that are more coherent than this one):
Crochet 1
Crochet 2
Knit 1
Knit 2

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Nerd Wars Tourney 8

Ah, yeah! I love crafting for Nerd Wars on Ravelry. I submitted projects to 12 of the 15 challenges. My awesome projects start with a failed dissertation:
I am going to go ahead and admit defeat on this one. My original proposal was to complete 9 squares. I made 7. My final two squares are a bit complex, and with the chaos that is my life right now, I will not be able to finish them in two days.
So, since my half-way check-in of 5 squares, I made 2 more: 
1: Wreck it Ralph 
2: Beemo 
And the whole Dissertation gang: 
I love the squares I have completed and am confident that someday they will make an awesome blanket :)
T8 R1
Challenge: in the spirit of Kepler's mission, your challenge this month is to craft something that represents the actual genesis or creation of new life.
To meet this month’s challenge, I created a duckling, the genesis of a new duck. 
Duck on a walk
Team Tie-In: 
In the cartoon, Regular Show, Mordecai and Rigby find a group of ducklings. The ducklings imprint on Rigby and start mimicking him, including liking video games and the Step Off karate chop! 
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Team Unity: 
This is also my unity project this month. “T8R1 takes place right at the beginning of summer in the Northern Hemisphere & right at the beginning of Winter in the Southern Hemisphere. The season is brand new, so make something that reflects the new season or photograph your project while you’re out enjoying the new season.” My favorite thing about summer is taking walks along the scenic greenway behind my house, where you can often seen ducks and their ducklings swimming in the river. As seen above, Baby Duck and I went for a walk this afternoo

Challenge: Something inspired by a form of transportation that does not use fossil fuels.
For this challenge, I chose roller skates as my alternative transportation. No fossil fuels required, just a little stamina. Bonus! You can burn up to 850 calories during a 90 minute skate session! 
Roller sk8
Team Tie-In: 
The pattern I used created a speed skate, which is used most often in roller derby. In the cartoon, King of the Hill, Peggy Hill and Luanne join a local roller derby league. 
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Chalenge: Pay homage to your favorite beverage.
I used leftover yarn from my african hexagon project to crochet two flower pincushions. 
Pincushion 1: 
Pincushion 2: 
Each pincushion took me roughly 2.5 hours to complete.
The colors remind me of one of my favorite childhood drinks…Kool-Aid (ooohh yeah!) 
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Team Tie-In: 
In the animated adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, the Grinch and Max sew a santa suit. A santa suit would require a lot of pins and I think these flower pincushions would be perfect for wrangling all those pins! 
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Challenge: Something that represents your birthday
According to the Chinese Zodiac, I was born in the year of the rat. This has never thrilled me, until I realized rats can be really cool. Especially when they have super ninja skills and a knack for teaching.
In honor of my birth year, I have crocheted Master Splinter, the most bad-ass rat around: 
Team Tie-In: 
Master Splinter is sensei to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He taught them everything they know. Master Splinter is present in every incarnation of TMNT, including the original graphic novels by Eastman and Laird and the cartoon series from the 1980s: 
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Challenge: Giving Geeks, Disaster Relief
For this challenge, I donated to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund: 
From their website: The Red Cross responds to approximately 70,000 disasters in the United States every year, ranging from home fires that affect a single family to hurricanes that affect tens of thousands, to earthquakes that impact millions. In these events, the Red Cross provides shelter, food, health and mental health services to help families and entire communities get back on their feet. Although the Red Cross is not a government agency, it is an essential part of the response when disaster strikes. We work in partnership with other agencies and organizations that provide services to disaster victims.
Team Tie-In: 
In the cartoon, Regular Show, the main characters maintain a park, known as “the Park.” The Park is often destroyed. In Episode Exit 9B, the park is destroyed to make way for a freeway exit…and a portal to another dimension. After a lengthy battle, the park is completely destroyed. I think the guys may need a little assistance from Disaster Relief to get the park back up to speed. Here’s the antagonist of Exit 9b (Garrett Bobby Ferguson Jr) destroying the house. :( (don’t worry, Pops isn’t dead…) 
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T8: R2
Challenge: Something inspired by a geeky holiday.
As a librarian, I love FREE COMIC BOOK DAY! Annually on the first Saturday in May. Our library always has some neat things to give away and I love having the opportunity to talk up the awesomeness that is comic books with our patrons!
In honor of Free Comic Book Day, I have crocheted my favorite comic book character, Deadpool! 
He’ll make a great conversation starter sitting on my desk at the library!
Team Tie-In: 
Deadpool is a Marvel comic book character, a-duh! 
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He also guest-starred on the Ultimate Spiderman cartoon series this weekend: 
Team Unity Project: 
This is also my TUP. This month, the Shadies and 1-UP are mashing things together to see what comes up. Activision recently released a Deadpool game. I played it on the PS3 and it is awesome! 
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Challenge: Something inspired by cartography
I have crocheted a pair of bright blue slippers: 
Slippers 1
The blue reminds me of the blue used in maps to designate waterways: 
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Team Tie-In: 
These dainty little slippers remind me of the shoes worn by Lisa from the cartoon, the Simpsons: 
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T8:R3 (or the TMNT round)
Challenge: Something representative of a hero or villain from another team's nerdery
For this challenge, I took my inspiration from Team Fraggle (HELLO!). So, in 1990, the incredible Mr. Jim Henson and his Creatures Shop created the puppets for a totally tubular film, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. 
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I’m gonna side with the heroes on this one. They face off against a father-napping cheese grater, Shredder, and totally kick several ninjas butts. In honor of these bitchin’ heroes, here is my favorite ninja turtle: Raphael! 
Team Tie-In: 
TMNT started as an indie comic book by Laird and Eastman 
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Challenge: Something inspired by a poem
For this challenge, I drew inspiration from Yertle the Turtle, by Dr. Seuss.
So Yertle, the Turtle King, lifted his hand 
And Yertle, the Turtle King, gave a command. 
He ordered nine turtles to swim to his stone 
And, using these turtles, he built a new throne. 
He made each turtle stand on another one’s back 
And he piled them all up in a nine-turtle stack. 
And then Yertle climbed up. He sat down on the pile. 
What a wonderful view! He could see ‘most a mile!
Yertle the turtle is bossy. Just like Leonardo, the leader of his ninja turtle brethren: 
Team Tie-In: 
TMNT has been many things, including a cartoon in the ’80s 
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Challenge: Giving Geeks, give back to the community
So, I’ve been donating blood at my local Red Cross donation center for 9 years this year! I feel this qualifies as giving back to the community, as the blood collected by the ARC can be used for its platelets, red cells, and plasma. The blood can be shipped to hospitals 24/7.
I donated today, 8/23. Here I am reading my donor materials and chillaxing with a giant needle in my arm (couldn’t take a picture of the needle, still grosses me out). Yes, those are my feet. 
Team Tie-In: 
The Red Cross brands everything in red: red stickers, red bandage, red cross. In the Marvel comic book series, Thunderbolts, recently rebooted as part of Marvel Now, the team members all wear red (a perfect fit for Deadpool’s costume!). The Thunderbolts describe themselves as “the selfish Avengers.” 
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Challenge: Finish up to 2 projects, tie it to time travel
So, if I could travel to any time, with my current knowledge, experience, and financial resources, I’d like to go back to the late 80s/early 90s (when TMNT came out as a comic book) and properly enjoy the comics coming out at the time…although collecting individual issues drives me insane, so maybe I’ll be content with being able to buy collected editions in present times ;)
With the last of my stash green, I completed my turtle family with best brothers, Mikey and Donnie:




Now they are a happy family! 
Team Tie-In: 
Interestingly, TMNT was an anime in 1996, called Mutant Turtles: Choujin Densetsu-hen. 
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My reaction, WTF?
Also, TUP: 
The Shady Cels are crafting things in honor of bugs. The ninja turtles are green. There are many green bugs in the world, cleverly disguised to look like their surroundings, like this Katydid. I have one of these in my snowball bush and it matches the leaves very well! 
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