Distressed Gothic No-Sew Tutu

•October 9, 2017 • Leave a Comment

By chance, I had a medical appointment in the same strip mall as JoAnn’s Fabrics during a Halloween sale. Paying to see my doctor meant I didn’t have much discretionary income to spend, so I wandered the aisles like a goth stray, taking photos and making notes for future projects. I was particularly drawn to the lace skirts and tutus they had available in adult sizes. I’m not great at sewing without a machine, fortunately YouTube crafters came to my rescue with fantastic examples of the no-sew method.

A quick sweep on Pinterest yielded a chart on tutu skirt length and some helpful hints on how to do a slip knot to create the no-sew, layered effect. (Read more…)


Favorite Videos: “She’s Not There,” The Zombies

•October 6, 2017 • Leave a Comment

It’s that time of year again! My spooky childhood full of ghost stories, proto-goth media, and sci-fi/horror iconography is forever linked with the ’60s AM pop my father always listened to in the car. So, naturally, I loved this video.

Mixtape Cross Stitch: The Buggles

•October 3, 2017 • 2 Comments

Even with the upheaval of the past summer, I made it to my usual appointment with Indianapolis and GenCon this year. Didn’t lead any workshops, but I got to spend time with old friends, learn some new crafts (felting or “stabbing things into existence” is quite fun), and play around in the open crafting room.

This year, Plaid ended up donating a bunch of “My First Cross Stitch” kits to the room and, with so many supplies in such a neat package, it gave me an idea.
(Read more…)

Welcome to October

•October 1, 2017 • 2 Comments


I told the universe that I was tired of missing people. In retrospect, that may have been my first mistake.

A brief non-sequitur: I discovered Twin Peaks the summer I turned 17, the same summer I began studying Buddhism. There’s a certain symmetry to that, given David Lynch’s devotion to Transcendental Meditation, and a certain symmetry to Twin Peaks: The Return airing the summer I turned 34, a whole lifetime later.

While The Return was a decent distraction, this past summer was a continuation of the general theme of the year — nailing down what I can before this particularly virulent strain of illegitimate conservatives in high places try to take it. The sad thing is we can only prepare for so much and strive to be proactive instead of reactive. But, with so little energy leftover at the end of the day, doing the things that make me happy and keep my brain away from the edge of self-immolation has been difficult.

August brought new difficulties. Bobbie, the friend I made many Star Trek and Doctor Who-themed crafts for over the years, died on August 10. He went to sleep and never woke up. A month has gone by and I still can’t fathom it. I have lived most of this past year in anticipation of death or mourning the deaths of others — in addition to Bobbie, I lost two other friends, all my age or close to it — but this still took me by surprise. It hasn’t hit me yet and it probably won’t for quite a while.

I spent September sleepwalking through a lot of tasks and interactions. Mostly human, but not completely. Dale Cooper’s (and David Bowie’s) proclamation of “We live inside a dream” feels a lot like my reality most days.

So, what to do? Well, the usual. Meditate, cross stitch, refrain from shouting where you can.

Solutions that center my consciousness and keep me grounded come from sticking to small tasks: give a bit more, watch the news a little less obsessively, focus on the small details in smaller projects. More to come.

In the meantime, there’s always coffee.

Blood Bag Brooch

•August 9, 2017 • Leave a Comment

More fun with the shrink plastic! Inspired by horror films I’ve been watching and urban fantasy stories I’ve been writing, I decided to plug some fun (for me) medical terms into the royalty-free clip-art searches and see what came up. Note: multiple versions of “blood transfusion bags” and “syringes” in a variety of sizes are available (that surprises me less than it probably should).
(Read more…)

Experimenting with shrink plastic…

•July 28, 2017 • Leave a Comment

While my brain resets itself in time for Gen Con and I accumulate an impressive number of Gothic brooches for my work cardigans, I stumbled onto some fun tutorials for shrink plastic pins and decided to do a couple test runs.

(Read more…)

Tedious things in the lives of crafters: wrong size supplies

•July 24, 2017 • Leave a Comment

So, I recently bought some craft cover buttons to make some embroidered brooches — fun idea, but I should have looked more closely at the size.
The 20mm brooch bar pins I also bought are not going to fit the backs of the 19mm button frames I got.


Always confirm your measurements beforehand, kids. As for me, I’m going to need to adjust some designs and get some tie tacks.

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