Ice Cream (with 100% less calories!)

So, I’ve been avoiding Hyrule as much as Link avoids those ReDeads in Ocarina of Time. It’s the clouds — I think I estimated that I have to stitch 1,500 squares of one color which is BOOOOORING, but I’m sort of at a point where I have to do them because I need to get to that bottom right corner already.

I’ve been doing a bunch of projects which I’ll blog about some day, but I finished a project today and wanted to share. It’s an adorable ice cream cone chart from cross-stitching.com (It’s free, but you do need to register with the site.). When I saw them, I knew that I wanted to make one for each of my girls.

20140129_135707I went ahead and stitched mine on a plastic canvas. I know there are fractionals, but I just poked a hole with a straight pin and everything was fine. (I did this a lot on the Destiny Christmas cards, so I knew it would work.)

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I followed the chart for A’s ice cream, but I know K loves her mint chocolate chip, so I raided my bins of thread and found some green and added the brown “chips” by backstitching in random directions.

Then, I just covered the back in felt and tied a string in a loop so I can attach it to their backpacks with a slip knot. It was fun and quick and the girls love it.

As for me? I’m going back to the clouds of dooooooom. ๐Ÿ˜› ๐Ÿ˜›

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Counting on Songs like Yours…

So, Icon for Hire released an album out in October. And I’m just now getting to the review.

(Yes, my time management needs work.)

So, yes, Icon for Hire released their second album in October and it is pretty epic, but if you’re looking for an exact copy of their first album “Scripted”, don’t look here.

If “Scripted” was like a newborn baby who was dressed perfectly for studio pictures so their parents could send them out to relatives, then Icon for Hire’s self-titled album is like the toddler who wants to get their own clothes and create their outfits.

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Seeing Icon for Hire’s growth in this second album is a fun ride; they could have stayed safe and produced an album that sounded the same as “Scripted”. They didn’t. The sounds change from song to song — there are hints of a dubstep vibe in “Pop Culture” to an in-your-face screamy verses in “Critics and Cynics” to the subdued “Fix Me”.

The result? A solid, but maybe not 100% cohesive album.

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That being said, it is a really, really awesome album. The lyrics are solid (โ€œPop culture does nothing for me/ The American dream mainstream just bores me/ And we all act like we see right through it/ When we know weโ€™re addicted to it.โ€). The passion the band has for their music is real. (If you ever see them in concert –and you really should see them in concert — you will pick up on that very quickly.) And Ariel has some of the best female vocals you’ll hear, period.

Another bonus to the album? It has my absolute favorite song by Icon for Hire, Rock And Roll Thugs. (I am keeping my fingers crossed at 1.) Icon for Hire comes out here on tour again and 2.) they play this song because it really is SO COMPLETELY AWESOME.)

Bottom line, refrain from your Starbucks for a day and go pick up their album for $5 on Amazon. Your ears will thank you.

(And if you havenโ€™t picked up โ€œScriptedโ€, itโ€™s also five bucks.)

Sorry, Mario, your Princess is in another cross-stitch

I took a weekend off from working on Hyrule. (I know, I was shocked too.) It ended up being a good thing because A.) it helped to give me that break that I have been looking for and B.) I finished something that wasn’t Christmas themed.

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So, I went from one Nintendo kingdom to another and created a pattern for Princess Peach. I went ahead and stitched her on a piece of ecru AIDA cloth that I had kicking around the house, but really, any color could work. (Although if you use white, you’re going to have to backstitch the gloves so they show up.) The design size is just under 4″x4″ — it fits into a 5″ hoop perfectly.

It took me part of Friday and most of Saturday to finish — probably about 6-8 hours. (I’m really bad at calculating time when it comes to cross-stitching because I tend to just pick it up and work on it when I can.)

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I’m going to just hang up this up in the hoop I stitched it in and put it on my wall of awesomeness
, next to my Halo poster (geek!).ย 

Want to cross-stitch your own? Of course you do! Just go ahead and right-click the link and save it to your computer or click the link and the chart will appear it all of its glory. (Sorry, no fancy pdf files for me — I cannot for the life of me figure out a way to convert the Stoik file into one…if anyone has an idea, let me know!)

The Chart
The Color Key
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If there is enough interest, I would be willing to make up chart with Princess Daisy coloring…just give me a shout in the comments. ๐Ÿ˜€ And, of course, if you do tackle the project, I’d love to see the results!

Supply drop

I don’t know about you, but sometimes finding the right size AIDA cloth is tough (especially for larger projects), but I found this seller on Etsy who has reasonably priced AIDA cloth cut in large sizes. For example, a piece that’s 20.5″x18″ is $3.50 plus $2 in shipping — dude, I paid $12.99 for my piece of AIDA cloth for the Dark World map.

Linkage to cheap AIDA cloth — whee!

The only word of caution is that it is on black cloth. So if you hate to stitch on dark fabric, this isn’t the deal for you. But, if you can handle the black, you should snag some up.

I Rule Hyrule

Ok, not really.

But I did succeed in my 30 for 30 challenge. The goal was to work on one major project for at least 30 minutes for 30 days. For someone like me who bounces from cross-stitch to cross-stitch, it was going to be tough.

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Week 1 progress

I’ll admit there were times that I wanted to work on my Halo project or start something different but I stuck through it. For my endurance, Hyrule is a bit closer to getting finished.

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Week 2 progress

I should say that I didn’t work on Hyrule for 30 minutes each day. On average, I spent about an hour or so on this sucker. That brings the worktime on this project to about 75 hours so far.

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Week 3 progress

My goal is to have this finished by August. I would love toย finish it in June before E3, but I have a feeling that sooner or later (read: sooner)ย I’m going to suffer from Hyrule burnout and shove this in my closest for a couple of weeks.

 

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30 days of progress

A big thank you to those who commented, liked, retweeted over the past month. The support was so appreciated.

Progress will continue to be posted on my Instagram.

All in a year’s work…

Looking back, I can say that this has been my most productive year cross-stitching/crafting ever. In fact, I’m sure I couldn’t list off all the projects that I finished if I tried. (Like most crafters I know, I tend to give away the things that I make.)

But, I do have my favorites. So here are my top five projects that I’ve finished this year. (WIPs need not apply for this list.)

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5. The Destiny Christmas Card

OK, I stitched this so many times that I started to memorize the chart towards the end. The card itself isn’t anything spectacular — I just made the design from various symbols from Bungie’s Destiny, but the reaction of the people who I sent these to? It was absolutely awesome.

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4. The Alice in Wonderland Trunk or Treat

Let’s be honest, it wasn’t about the card soldiers. Or the rose topiary. It was about that epic card display. I love, love, love it. The only downside is that gravity is a worthy opponent and it was pretty much ruined within a day or two, but for that 24-36 hours, it looked downright Wonderlandian.

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3. Beck

Yes, he’s from a video game that is slated to be out in 2015. Still, the adorable dude demanded to be cross-stitched. I finished him in record time (less than a month) and proved to myself that my cross-stitching program isn’t necessarily to be trusted in discerning colors (which would have been nice to know before I started the Destiny cross-stitch).

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2. NES Controller Pillow

I made this for my sister and brother-in-law’s wedding. They like all things geeky (They had a Legend of Zelda themed wedding.) and I knew I had to whip up something awesome for them.

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1. The Lighthouse Cross-stitch

There’s not much to talk about with this one. I made it for my grandparents’ birthday and it looked absolutely beautiful. I love the Gold Collection series and this finished cross-stitch shows exactly why.