Tag Archives: craft

Hey, listen!

Oh, Navi, what would the Zelda fandom be without you?

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So, Mollie over at Wild Olive is having a Stitch-Love-Along. I missed round 1, but I was determined to get something done for round two (which goes until the 1st).  She said customizing was fine, but I don’t think she ever thought that her Glowing Fireflies Jar would become a Fairy in a Bottle, LOL

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I made my own fairy pattern and then followed her directions. The project is super simple and easy and fun! Like her, I used glow in the dark thread because everything needs a little glow in the dark thread.

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Because there was only one fairy in the bottle, I decided it needed a little embroidery on the edge of the fabric so I pulled out my Hyrulian to English chart (What? You don’t have one kicking around?) and put “Hey listen!” because really, what other choice did I have?

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I wish I would have thought about embroidering this before I cut out the fabric, but you know what they say about hindsight and all.

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(DON’T) KEEP IT A SECRET TO EVERYBODY

Sometimes on the internet, you can find something so magical, so amazing, so completely fantastic, you’re like, “WHOEVER DID THIS IS GENIUS!!!1!!1!” And sometimes, if you’re really lucky, they write a tutorial on how you can make the aforementioned magical, amazing, completely fantastic thing yourself.

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That’s what happened when I went over to Our Nerd Home and saw a tutorial for a Legend of Zelda 8-bit fireplace (or better said, a fireplace filler?)

And the best part, it’s dirt cheap and you can have it done in an hour.

So, you start with lots of paint samples. Since I have recently spent a bajillion dollars on paint for the house, I didn’t feel guilty about snagging a *ahem* few of them.

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You’ll need about 10-12 red, 6 orange, 2 light yellow, 3 white. (I think.) I kept it simple and just used these four colors. Then it was off to cutting. Now I’m sure I’m committing a horrible travesty using a rotary cutter to cut paper, but I do NOT see any quilting in my future and I already have another rotary cutter kicking around the house somewhere if I do need to cut fabric.

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Ta da!

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Then, I followed the pattern from Our Nerd Home to lay out the design. I did run out of red squares so I swapped it for a few oranges, but I think it looks just fine. Then it was on to the next step: gluing! It took me less than a half of a glue stick to finish the sucker.

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Then, it was time to set it into it’s place of honor on the fireplace. It’s so perfectly geeky, I might have shed a tear when I was taking the pictures.

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Per Audacia ad astra (Or, how to get one step closer to world domination)

In the video game world, my love is basically divided among three subjects: Nintendo, Halo, and Bungie. (OK, there is a sliver for Kingdom Hearts and LEGO games –and the Batman Arkham series– but you get the point.)

It seemed appropriate that in celebration of Bungie Day, I would decide to craft something.

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“Something” being the Bungie crest that communicates its power as our future overlord with the swords and the barehanded grip of a lightning bolt.

(Thor holds no power over them.)

I was tempted to use the image straight from their Twitter avatar. But then I remembered rule number one I learned from last year’s failed Bungie Day craft.

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I went the begging route and dropped DeeJ an email asking for the image.

He said no.

I cried.

The end.

No craft this year.

I, of course, am kidding. He sent me the file with nary a raised eyebrow and I was set.

Originally wanted to do some kind of blackwork the incorporated the various logos of Bungie’s past (and present) games, but some of the logos (Oni and Marathon, in particular) were not going to translate well into AIDA cloth.

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Then, I thought I would embroider the crest with the logos inside, but the more I thought about, the more I thought it would end up looking, well, like this.

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So, I ditched that idea and embraced the KISS principle and everything was set.

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I found this piece of silk that was frayed, forlorn, and had basically given up on the idea that it could ever be turned into something amazing in the bottom of my fabric bin, but I saw its potential, even though it couldn’t.

Now I’ll be the first to tell you, I’m not 100% confident when it comes to embroidery. Cross-stitching is safe and comfortable, like a teddy bear. The squares and I…

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But, there are a couple of stitches that I enjoy in the world of embroidery. (The chain stitch, especially.)  So, I decided to stick with those stitches for this project.  I knew this was going to be an easy craft — I penciled in maybe 4-5 hours of work. I certainly didn’t expect for it to go as quickly as it did.

Bam.

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As I looked upon its awesomeness, it registered in my mind…I actually finished the project early.

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Victory lap time, baby!

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So, happy Bungie Day everyone! Bungie, thank you for making epic games and having some awesome people work within your ranks. Awesome Bungie community (yes, I’m looking at you), you all are so amazing and I am blessed to consider so many of you my friends. ❤ ❤ Enjoy the beta that’s coming out later this month, and become legend. 😀 😀

As for me, I’m off to craft some more. I’ll give you one clue what I’m working on. It rhymes with Stark twirled.

Time Traveler

Imagine sitting at your desk, wondering what time it is. I mean, sure you could look at your computer clock or grab your phone, but why would you miss a chance to look up and see the Traveler hanging on your wall, waiting to tell you when it is?

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That’s right, you wouldn’t.

When I found out that Dave’s (aka @DestinyAuthor) birthday was at the beginning of April, I totally was cool and collected, despite the fact that I already had several crafts that needed to be done by the end of the month.

I knew I wanted to do something Destiny-themed. I could have made him an 8-bit cross-stitch of a Guardian, but I’m sort of a “been there, done that” sort of crafter. (OK, I don’t have the patience to sit and do the same thing over and over which is why I’ll never, ever do a Light World map from A Link to the Past. Waaaaay too close to the Dark World map.)

I remembered seeing a tutorial on a embroidery hoop clock and boom, it clicked. I knew exactly what I was going to make.

A time Traveler.

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(OK, so it’s a clock that looks like the Traveler, but time Traveler sounds so much cooler.)

The craft itself was fairly simple. Attaching the clock movements gave me more grief than I thought it would, but luckily I have a Babe on hand at all times to help me keep my sanity.

My fingers and toes are crossed that it made it across country alright. (The USPS almost poked a hole through the Street Figther cross-stitch I sent — and that was less than 100 miles from my place.)

(My bigger hope is that Dave actually knows what it is when he opens the box, LOL.)

It’s a me! Crafting Mario!

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For Christmas, Babe got me this awesome book. Just what I need, right? More books to enable my crafting habit.

We needs all the craft books, Precious.

The pin cushion on the front totally caught my eye, but if you know me, you know what I was thinking.

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That’s right, Mario.

So, I Binged it up, looking at all the 8-Bit Mario items I could find and traced out some rough shapes that were about the same size as the mushrooms in the original pattern. I ended up making a coin, a piranha plant, a Bullet Bill and and Mushroom. I had a fire flower, but I was worried it would look to busy with it. (I should have put it on there — the back looks a little bare.)

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The total project time took about 4 hours or so. I’m fighting the urge to take off the top and add the fire flower (or a 1-up mushroom) just so there isn’t that huge gap between the coin and the piranha plant. (Which probably means I’ll add it in the next couple of days, LOL)

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My other crafting present was a kit to learn how to crochet. *snicker* Yeah, I’m about ready to give the yarn to the cat and be done with that already. (No, really, I am going to give it a go this time.)

(Artificial) Snowstorm

If you aren’t braving the crowds trying to get that last minute shopping done or watching The Hobbit this weekend, I found a quick and easy tutorial to make some pretty epic looking snowflakes over here.

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I actually made two batches: blue and white for our house (The project is easy enough that my 7 and 9 year olds were able to do it themselves.) and the traditional green, red and gold for my mom and sisters. Each snowflake only takes 10-15 minutes. Not back for something so dramatic and awesome looking. 😀

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The only suggestion that I have is don’t use super heavy cardstock. The glue has a tendency to not stick and suddenly –pop!– goes one of the the sides. Also, that inner tube doesn’t want to bend if the paper is too thick.

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I alternated each piece. So, for piece one, I folded the tube forward, showing the color. For piece two, I flipped it around and folded the first tube so that the white showed itself. It’s completely optional, but I liked the way it looked with the alternating colors in the middle.

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The plus to this project? It’s super light so shipping costs aren’t going to be an issue. BUT, they are huge so hopefully you have an old Amazon box kicking around your closest, waiting for you to ship some paper snowflakes to the masses.

Through the Rabbit Hole

This year, we decided that we’d participate in our church’s Trunk or Treat event for Halloween. Our theme? Alice in Wonderland.20131030_125901

I originally thought we’d go with the Tea Party theme, but nixed that idea when I found some awesome looking flowers over at Hobby Lobby. The Red Queen’s garden, it was!

We had three major components to the decor. First was our Wonderland tree. It only took about 20 minutes to make. If you are armed with a glue gun and a few craft supplies, then you can make it fairly easily. The first thing I did was lay out my dowels and my red and white striped fabric. I cut the fabric the length of the dowel and about five inches wide. Then, I ran a line of hot glue down the dowel and attached one side of the fabric. When it had set, I rolled it (not too tightly — I didn’t want it to look too perfect) and glued the other side.

When I had finished all four, then I set to making the base. I found an old box (Thanks Amazon!) and sealed the top and bottom. Then, I poked a hole for each dowel. When I was happy with the placement, I tied a red ribbon around the four dowels, creating the trunk. Next, I covered the box with the same red and white striped material. Now, I had a couple of topiary spheres kickin’ it on my mantle, but you can pick those up at your local craft store. I put some red roses and hearts in them to make them look like they were fit for a (Red) queen.

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Lastly, I had to make those oh-so-Wonderlandian signs. I just used some construction paper and a Sharpie, but if you’re really wanting something that will last longer than an afternoon, I would suggest using foam board or balsa wood.

The next project I tackled was the card soldiers. This is a super easy project. All you need is white foam board, red and black poster board and some glue. (OK, you’ll need scissors too.)

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All you need to do is cut out rectangles from the foam board. Then, I used this image to make their faces/tops of the cards. Now, I did “cheat” a little — I had Babe use the vinyl cutter to make the card’s respective shapes and the “A”s, but with a little time and patience, you can cut out the shapes on the poster board.

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Finally, I made the card centerpiece that was really cool to make (and to look at). Now, I did not come up with the brilliant idea. I saw the pictures over at MissParty.net and knew I wanted to try to make it up for myself. It does take a little bit of time (I worked on mine for about an hour and a half or so) and you better love working with a glue gun because you are going to have plenty of bonding time with it.

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I followed the guidelines over at MissParty and started with two bases and worked up and out from there. And they are absolutely right — there is no longevity with this project. I made it the day before Halloween and had to go in a fix a couple of things right before the event because gravity was having its way with it. That being said, it looks really quite epic and if you are having an Alice-themed event, it is certainly something that will grab your guests attention.

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The Trunk or Treat itself was a lot of fun (and busy!). We even had a Mirana stop by the car which was downright awesome!

There and Beck again…

Unlike the laborious, tear-inducing Destiny cross-stitch, this latest video game cross-stitch was a breeze!

(Don’t have time for words? Just watch the progression video.)

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A little background…there is a Kickstarter going on for a game called Mighty No. 9.  The character that I cross-stitched is named Beck and he is rather adorable, no?

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If you look closely, you can see just how many squares I pulled out in the name of perfectionism.

I used my STOIK pattern maker, which like the Destiny pattern it created, wanted to pull in ALL THE BROWNS. Unfortunately, I didn’t learn my lesson from last time and just repeated my mantra of, “Follow the chart!” and wasted about 3-4 hours of work.  Realizing that it wasn’t going to look right, I went back and manually edited the colors to make it look like the original picture.

IMG_20130925_230520After that, things went pretty smoothly. (Finally.) Total time, including the wasted time, was close to 40 hours over 22 days. I’m pretty sure it’s my quickest turnaround from start to finish. (My weary eyes can testify to that.) The measurements are 6.5″wide by 9.5″ high so I’m going to try to fit him nice and snug in a 8×10 frame and add him to my room o’ geekiness.

I love cross-stitching.

However, this latest project I finished was like the troubled child that you love, but all they want to do is spite you and make you cry.

(Don’t want to read a bunch of complaining? Go ahead and watch the vid of the cross-stitch’s progress.)

Oh Guardians, why do you hate me?

The original plan was simple: I was going to whip up a quick cross-stitch with a Destiny theme and give it to DeeJ as a thank you for inviting me (and my hubby) over to E3/the Bungie after-hours party. I found a screencap (not hi-res which was my very first mistake), popped in into my cross-stitch pattern maker program. Boom! There was my chart waiting for me in all of its awesome glory. I started it on May 22 and thought, Dude, I so got this.

But, I was wrong. So, tragically wrong.

It was pretty clear that by the Friday before E3, there wasn’t a chance of me getting it finished. So, I modified my goal: I’ll have it finished by Bungie Day! That would give me another month. Piece of cake. I can do that in my sleep.
20130615_190204-1 (1)(At this point, I wish a future version of myself would have appeared, grabbed me by my shoulders and said, “You fool! This is no ordinary cross-stitch. It will haunt you. Every. Single. Day. Walk away while you still have your sanity.”)

So, I kept pushing through, making tiny squares that should have been working together to create something awesome. Instead, it was looking…not right. Follow the chart, I told myself. So I did.
30+ hours and over 10k squares later, I was done.
Or, maybe not.

I could see the respective characters, but they looked mediocre (at best). I’m used to my cross-stitches looking like complete awesomeness. This…did not.

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I told myself that backstitching was probably the answer. So, I set to do the part of cross-stitching that I absolutely loathe. A handful of more hours passed. Somehow, despite the fact I could make out details in the cross-stitch, it looked almost worse. (Not really.) and I pretty much convinced myself to throw the whole project in the trash.

Bungie Day came and went. And I still had this project looking at me accusingly.

I did the only thing I could; I put it away and turned my focus to other things. Instead, I worked on random things like Nintendo pillows, Traveler ornaments and Tricorn plushies. I even went back to my earlier x-stitch project that I had been working on before the Destiny cross-stitch took over my life.

Still, thoughts of the failed cross-stitch haunted me.  I was plagued with nightmares of unfinished cross-stitched Guardians. Crafting is more psychologically traumatizing than one may think.

Convinced that the backstitching was the problem, I came up with a good plan. (Which, we all know based on how the rest of the project went, wasn’t a good plan after all.) I thought, ok, I’ll get a piece of plexiglass and I’ll go around the edges with very fine tipped Sharpies. Then, I’ll set the piece over the x-stitch. THAT WILL GIVE ME THE CURVED LINES AND IT WILL LOOK AMAZING.

No. No. No.

If anything, it screamed, “THIS PERSON COULDN’T FIGURE OUT HOW TO BACKSTITCH ME!!!”

Being the ever-stubborn chick that I am, I tried three separate times before accepting that it wasn’t going to work. So, I went back to backstitching.
20130805_222431This time, before I started the backstitching, I decided to do something I hadn’t done which was add some stars in the background. According to Babe, that was what made it look better. I agreed and suddenly, it didn’t seem so horrible. Maybe, I thought with a glimmer of optimism, I can salvage this thing.

The plexiglass wasn’t a complete waste of time, either. I used the lines that I drew as a template of what needed to be backstitched. So, um, yay?

Finally, finally, finally, after a couple of hours of backstitching, I finished the sucker.

Is it as perfect as I wanted it? No. Is it as terrible as I thought it was? No.

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I did learn a few things from this project.

1. Plead, beg or scour the internet for a hi-res picture before uploading it to the program. (Though it didn’t make too much of a difference, those handful of different colors might have helped with the backstitching part.
2. Never try to fit an extremely detailed picture with a 5″ x 12″ dimension.
3. When there are so many curves, don’t bother with a 14 count AIDA cloth — the squares are just too big to make it look smooth and curvy.

Now it’s back to the secret project that I don’t think will be a secret much longer (If I actually work on it, the image will reveal itself soon.) and my Legend of Zelda Dark World cross-stitch.