DIY Saturday…

•September 24, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Woke up and couldn’t decide whether I wanted to stab things with needles or break things with wire cutters, so I’m soaking things in acetone instead.

If this goes well, I may have an idea for Yuletide gifts, or at least a box to present them in. 

Black Banded Agate Ring

•September 19, 2016 • Leave a Comment

“I got antsy so I made a ring” is how I introduced this project on my Facebook feed. When I’m anxious, short-term jewelry projects tend to work best in bringing back to a state of equilibrium (particularly when it involves breaking things with wire cutters and hammering them into shape).

This ring, which initially fit my pinkie and then stretched to fit my ring finger, took fifteen minutes to construct and restored my calm for about twelve hours.  (Read more…)

Tedious Things in the Lives of Crafters: Light-Colored Fiber and Fabrics

•September 12, 2016 • 1 Comment

When you have a long project, your yarn may be on the needle for weeks. And not just on the needles — in your bag, on your desk at work, on the table in the cafe, on your sofa at home…

And if you’re using a light-colored fiber (I’m currently using ivory super fine weight acylic/nylon blend), it gets dingy. As in very dingy, very quickly.

This isn’t a problem per se, because the project always goes in the wash before you wear it or gift it to someone else. Once all the pieces are completed and assembled, a little handwash or gentle cycle in the wash will restore my ivory cardigan to its splendor. But in the meantime, I have to look at dingy yarn and stitches while I work on it.

Anyone else have this nitpick?

You can take your teardrops and drop ’em in a teacup…

•September 9, 2016 • Leave a Comment

via slantmagazine

My ability to focus has been somewhat lacking lately — as many people can probably tell by the deluge of “in progress” embroidery posts with few finished product posts. It’s been getting better the further we get away from the end of summer and, more importantly, August.

August is month full of historical losses for me: father, grandfather, childhood friends. August is also the birth month of my girlfriend, my favorite cousin, and many of my dearest friends. August is convention month in my house — Beatlefest, Wizard Con, Market Days, GenCon. August is the month of the anniversary I moved to Chicago and and when I made the decision to flee an abusive relationship. It’s a time to reflect, be grateful, and watch for falling hammers.

This year, August also came with lots of travel, socialization, preparations for the new academic year, residual medical issues, crippling anxiety, and still more losses.

Striving to balance multiple stimuli often causes me to crash and, rather than becoming more anxious or panicked, lately I’ve become more detached. Some mornings are like looking at everything and everyone through the wrong end of a telescope. Coming back to full awareness of myself and everyone else is a slow, contemplative, almost meditative process: sit down, drink your coffee, write out your to-do list for the day, count the stitches on a new project, wait for the fog to lift.

And it will.

More antisocial embroidery…

•September 7, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Well, I use the term “antisocial” loosely here. Though quite a few people do see refusing a drink as being at least a tiny bit antisocial. Myself, I’ve never been crazy about the response some people give you in return.

September 1st made it five months since my last drink. Period. For those who still don’t understand, I may add a comma.

We were somewhere around Barstow…

•September 4, 2016 • Leave a Comment

At some point, I will frame all of the stitch work I’ve been doing. In the mean time, the test with the 22-count fabric went well. Would anyone care to finish the sentence?

Not only, but also…

•September 3, 2016 • Leave a Comment

The fun thing about testing out new fonts and cross stitch fabric is that, once you start, it’s very easy to keep carrying on. Digging through my “big bag of rainbow” embroidery floss, I came up with the colors from the bisexual pride flag, which gave me a few other ideas…

I like the idea of creating hand-stitched jewelry that doubles as a political statement. Quite a few of us wear brooches in the same places we put our political badges. And I was never happy with the political badges the bisexual community had to pick and choose from a decade ago. If only I’d know then that I could make my own!

(For everyone in the bar after 1am — straight men, straight women, gay men, lesbians — I nearly stitched “Not. Public. Property.”)

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