Friday, July 20, 2012

Magnum P.I.llow

I made this for my mother's birthday. She should receive it soon, provided the post office does not lose it or run a forklift through the box. *fingers crossed*


Never has there been a more masculine pillow than this. Never! Even with the frilled edging and flowered backing fabric:



This was my first time sewing a case for a pillow form, and my first time sewing a zipper into a pillow case, so it's a bit wonky on the front bottom left. I tried to mash everything into shape and I think that improved it a little.

I marked off a rough 14" square around Magnum, then pinned and basted on the edging, then sewed the zipper to both sides, and finally sewed the other three sides together, basically just crossing my fingers that I was leaving enough room for the pillow form after cramming all that in. (Make note of that edging: it is a whore to work with. If I never work with that edging again, it will be too soon. But it was the best color option at the time. And it looks like a lei! But still -- TOTAL WHORE.)

The real underlying issue for this project was that after a month-ish of embroidering Mr. Selleck's head, the idea of irreparably destroying him in the process of making the pillow case caused my brain to shut down completely and go into forced auto-pilot, otherwise I would not have had the courage to stick him under my sewing machine. It was healthier for me mentally to just keep going and not sweat about getting the measurements absolutely precise. Honestly, I fought the urge to do shots before tackling this, and upon reflection, I deserve a round of applause for that. *clap*clap*clap*clap*clap* Thank you, thank you.

My husband is really disappointed that Magnum is on his way to my mother's house and we don't get to keep him. I wonder if I subliminally hoped to wean her off that Twilight kid and back on to Real Men. *shudder* Sorry, Magnum. You're gonna have to take one for the team. Our thoughts are with you during this difficult time.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Embroidery Round-Up

I think I know why people like doing embroidery: It's hella fast. I mean, it CAN be hella fast, but of course it can also take HELLA FOREVER like the one I'm working on at home right now. But it is possible to take a project from start to finish in about an hour, which is addictively satisfying. Even if you stupidly start the project at 10:30 the night before it's due, such as this card for my friend Patti AKA the Only Person That Reads This Blog:


Patti got a new job and is leaving me here to rot. Best of luck! ;) (I should mention that I got that pattern from Jenny Hart's book Embroidered Effects. Go buy tons of stuff from her.)

One of my metal forum buddies just joined the Air Force, and she put out a plea for "real mail, not fb posts!" so I obliged her and made this card:

(Next time I'll try to get all the green paint out from under my nails.) The embroidery pattern was too big for the card and I didn't feel like jump-starting the scanner, so I had my husband sketch this one because:

1. I didn't want him to see me drawing an F-16 and get jealous since...

2. Drawing F-16s is a boy's job; and

3. I didn't want him staring over my shoulder and critiquing my shitty plane-drawing skills.

So he drew it and I sewed over it. And my friend liked it! I'll probably send her some other plane cards while she's trapped in Basic Training. I'm not sure how much longer that will be.

My neighbor has a nasty habit of baking delicious treats and then bringing them to my house and giving them to me. She really needs to stop doing that. I want a plate of her Oreo truffles on my death bed. Anyhoo, her recent delivery was two red velvet cupcakes. They were both delicious. That's right, I ate them both. Then I made her a card with a cupcake embroidered on it. It was very cute. Too bad I didn't take a photo of it. Sigh.

But I did take plenty of photos of the following. Are you playing the game Draw Something? Of course you are. Everyone is. All of my Scrabble and Words with Friends games completely dried up once that thing hit the market. It was highly addictive at first, but then we all got kind of tired of the same words over and over again, and the obvious fact emerged that you could usually just guess the drawing based on the letters offered before anyone started making any lines. So I got a little bored after a while.

Then my brother-in-law Mike started playing.

Mike is a terrible artist. In addition, he is also the most colorblind person I know. So you can imagine that Draw Something got real interesting real fast when he jumped into the ring. Remember that time you picked the word "greenday" (not on purpose, no one ever picks that one on purpose) and you started by smearing a huge swath of green at the top? Forget that. "Lake" was a blue swath? Forget that too. We're dealing with an entirely different Draw Something game now. I said, "Hey Mike, all your people are orange. You need more colors." He answered, "I wouldn't know what to do with them." HA! Oh yeah, I forgot!! THE STAKES JUST GOT MUCH HIGHER.

In a case of serendipity, the same week Mike joined Draw Something was the same week my husband and I learned how to do screen caps on the iPhone. Which was very close to when I started discovering the Blessing of Embroidery. Behold the result of this confluence of events:

Can you guess what this is? That's right, it's what Mike thinks a poodle looks like. See, I would have guessed that the Jetsons had more than one dog, based on the antennae and weird rings around the body. But no, it's a poodle.

This one might be a little harder:

Hmmm. Gee, it's right on the tip of my tongue. OH WAIT NO IT ISN'T BECAUSE THIS IS WHAT MIKE THINKS IKEA LOOKS LIKE. That's right. IKEA. The furniture store. Now I will admit that I've only been in IKEA twice, and both times it was just to get lingonberry jam for my father-in-law and then haul ass back to the car. So maybe IKEA is some bleak, hellish nightmare filled with giant white dinosaurs, broken tables and yellow meatballs. How would I know? Commercials lie anyway.

To commemorate Mike's eye-opening leap into the Draw Something arena, I decided the only proper tribute would be a satin pillow:


But the poodle was a memorable achievement as well, at least one worthy of some embroidered notecards:

This goes to show that even handicapped freaks have something to offer the rest of us, even if it's just a hearty laugh in their direction. Here's to you, Mike. Keep cranking out the gold!

Brootal Birthday Party

I had another painting request from my metal forum buddies. "The band Nifelheim, but doing something completely ludicrous like going to a kid's birthday party." Ask and you shall receive:

They are NOT going to get the deposit back on that bouncy castle. Some highlights:


My buddy is very pleased and promises to hang it above his girlfriend's doctorate for all time. I couldn't ask for anything more. *sniff*

Super Meat Boy Birthday Time

My brother Daniel asked me to knit him a beanie with this Super Meat Boy gentleman on it.

1. I am unfamiliar with this Super Meat Boy. Though based on his name alone, he has my full support.

2. I really could not think of a way to knit a beanie featuring this gentleman without the whole thing looking like Mommy made it.

3. Remember that rule about foisting gifts on friends and family that were created with newly adopted hobbies before the skill is fully developed? Or even like half-ass developed? Remember?

So I decided the time was ripe for trying my hand at making patches. That way Daniel could go find a beanie that he liked and that fit him and just attach the Super Meat Boy patch to the front of it. Here they are:

The order in which I made them is:

1 3

2 4

You can probably tell that #1 is kind of crappy, but by the time I got to #4 I was doing pretty well. I wasn't sure what the deal was with the forehead bandage, so I made them both ways. Now he can put Super Meat Boy patches everywhere!

After I embroidered the fabric, I ironed on a one-sided fusing fabric to the back to stiffen it and cover up all the loose threads. I cut the shapes out and then ran them through the sewing machine to do the edging. When I sent them to Daniel I included the double-sided fusing he will need to iron the patches onto something, or he can skip the fusing and just stitch directly to the beanie, or fuse and stitch for maximum attachment. Or, rather, have his mommy do it.

As a special birthday treat, I also whipped up this lovely swallow to hang in his bedroom to pretty things up.

Isn't that sweet? I recommended he hang it near a light source so that it can be fully enjoyed to its fullest sweetness.

What? Can't I send my brother something sweet for his bedroom? What's the problem?? No one trusts me anymore!!

On a completely unrelated note, I recently discovered glow-in-the-dark embroidery floss. It looks almost exactly like regular white embroidery floss and cannot be distinguished when sewn right next to the white stuff. Hypothetically speaking, it could be used to stitch secret messages into regular embroidery projects that would not be seen until the lights were turned off. Wouldn't that be neat?

I won't tell you what that swallow says. You would slap my mouth. Happy Birthday, Bro!

Great Big Stitched Postcard Swap 5!

It's that time again:

Join in to win your chance at being horribly offended by my interpretation of "Discovery."