Dark Country Blue (if only)…

•April 23, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Back to the fiber crafts for the beginning of spring! Long projects have a way of driving my brain into a ditch, particularly long knitting projects with multiple components. Crochet stitches are more cohesive — because even with multiple components, you’re seaming while you construct additional pieces like straps and bodices. I decided to try my first large crocheted top in the round.

So far, so good. Coffee and a cookie or two helps. And unicorn frappucinos.

Old school subversive…

•March 30, 2017 • Leave a Comment

We had a funeral in February — a small goodbye for the Chicago family of the friend I lost just before Christmas. It was the first time I’d seen a few acquaintances in more than a year and the first time I had ever met his father and brother. 

I was overwhelmed, ill prepared, and got caught out without so much as a Kleenex in my bag. I bought six handkerchiefs the next day.

3″ embroidery hoop
White colored pencil
Embroidery floss
Imperial men’s handkerchiefs 
Sewing needles
Embroidery scissors

Most of the designs I found for embroidered handkerchiefs online and in my archive of vintage designs involved flowers, swirling patterns and laced edging. I went with something a little different, inspired by how the black cotton reminded me of classroom chalkboards and the way the black made other colors pop.

The heart design came from a diagram in an old school book I had on the shelf at home. I ended up doing a minimalist outline with a “side view” that eliminates the right atrium. Not precisely anatomical correct but recognizable as a human heart. 

For the second handkerchief, I went with a stylized, Stuart Gordon-inspired syringe of re-agent, the serum Herbert West uses to revive dead body parts in Re-Animator. For the third one (to be kept in the craft kit in my first aid pouches), I went with a simple Red Cross.

These were fun to do, and I’ve still got three designs to go. Any suggestions?

Nearing the close of Ms. Moody’s unanticipated hiatus..:

•March 26, 2017 • Leave a Comment

So, I hadn’t planned on going this long without a craft post and, for all those following my progress with some of my projects, I do apologize. I’ll tackle the last few months in depth in a later entry.

In the meantime, I got antsy looking at my five-year-old e-reader case and decided to make a few changes.

The scrapbook paper I used here is from Michaels. Recollections brand paper appropriately named “red and blue stripes,” “typewriter font,” and “cameras.” Small plug for my leather wrist ruler from ILoveHandles. I wear this everyday now — incredibly useful and looks great!

In spite of my ragged window panes, trimming, decoupaging the new panels, and sliding them into place turned out to be pretty easy with the help of some urethane adhesive (and fingernails to pry out the old inserts and the gummy residue from the previous adhesive I used).

Because the brass plating was wearing off the British Army button I used for my clasp, I opted to swap it out for another regiment button I had in my craft supplies. An x-acto knife to slice the new opening and waxed thread to secure the clasp and we were all set!

Not bad! 

How to build a crafter’s city pack…

•February 21, 2017 • 2 Comments

So, I ended up spending a lot of my holiday cash at the army surplus store this year (and the used book store, but that was a given).

I work in a large city, take multiple buses and trains everyday, and, lately, my mind has been on keeping my essentials portable, lightweight, and contained. Usually I have my messenger bag, a tote bag full of scarves and sewing/knitting/crochet essentials, and sometimes a linen lunch tote with coffee, snacks, and mason jars full of rice and noodle dishes…

And if you’ve ever been on public transit or needed to walk more than a couple of miles throughout the day, you know this can turn into an awkward juggling act really quickly.

The good news: integrating my regular craft tools (two crochet hooks, two pairs of circular knitting needles, stitch holders, sewing needles, needle threader, embroidery floss, scrap canvas, ribbon tape, folding scissors, 1″ electrical tape, Swiss Tech multi-tool with pliers and wire cutters…) into my messenger bag gear was as easy as buying two first aid kit pouches. Including one small enough to fit inside the other.

Not bad.

Favorite Videos: “So Long Marianne,” Leonard Cohen

•February 19, 2017 • Leave a Comment

First mood music track of the new year! I recently used this clip to describe two dear friends (Canadian and Australian, respectively) that sent me condolences and continued to touch base with me over the last few months as the disappointments — both national and personal — piled up.

Too often, depression is a beast that sits on top of you and leaves you flat on the linoleum, immobile and unable to verbalize exactly what’s happening in your brain. You look vertical but you’re not. You have the appearance of being functional while, inside, you’re trying not to unravel. Having friends who will just sit with you while that’s going on and wait for it to subside is invaluable.

Garter Stitch Knit Headbands

•February 14, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Soooo, apologies to everyone for the disappearing act! I’m still here, still in Chicago, not quite so easily bored as usual — in part because my free time and disposable income have been taken up by other things (‘saving the world’ comes to mind, but that’s a bit of a grand description for marching and donating to lawyers). Still crafting in the stolen minutes I’m able to grab here and there. I’ve been wanting to knit for a while but, not in need of scarves and burned out on long projects, I opted to tweak a cowl pattern I found to make a couple of head bands — to keep my hands busy and manage my bad hair days.  (Read more…)

Bamboozled…

•January 8, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Holiday cash went a long way toward my craft supplies this year. One of my first purchases was a set of 18 31.5″ circular needles. 

These needles are bamboo and have more malleable tube-shaped plastic cables connecting them. Because they’re softer and more lightweight, the plastic doesn’t retain the circular shape and makes them easy to store and pack when traveling (which, for me, is always).

Having been a child of the late, late ’80s, they also remind me of jelly shoes!

 
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