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.
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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).
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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.

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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.

Cashmere-Wool Patch Job

•July 11, 2017 • 1 Comment

A while back I mentioned that a few projects were de-railed by a favorite sweater that needed an immediate patch job and, while I was sorting through the Photobucket mess, I realized i never posted the photos.

As you can see, it was pretty bad. I had a ball of worsted Aran wool leftover from another project that blended perfectly with the cashmere, but that was where my luck ended.

Swiss darning was ruled out quickly, but my 4mm crochet hook was useful in stabilizing the frayed stitching around the hole. I considered just crocheting in the round to patch the hole before I realized that, in working with the rib stitches, I had created a square. Oops.

Yeaaaaah. Throwing out that idea, I decided to do a patch — something stable that I could sew on that would move without pulling or unraveling what was left of my sleeve.

Working on the patch took the longest portion of time — an hour or so, single crochet stitches, chain one, turn, until I had a square large enough to fit over the window on the inside of my sleeve.

I opted to use a complementary color for the sewing, to follow what I was doing and make sure the patch was secure. The worsted wool blend is Martha Stewart “flamingo.” It worked pretty well. The stitches on the inside aren’t quite so pretty (or even) — fortunately, no one sees that bit when I’m wearing it. Not even me.

Not bad. Obviously a patch job but not distracting and, most importantly, my favorite cardigan is ready to wear in the colder months still ahead. I’ve been told I might want to give the patch a going-over with a felting needle to take care of some of the loose ends. What do you think?

Et tu, Photobucket?

•July 9, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Oh boy.

Well, it looks like all of my posts starting at September 9, 2016 and going back to my first post in 2011 are now covered with that ugly “third party hosting” sticker where my photos used to be. So, it seems I’ll be spending the next week or so doing clean up — moving my photos to a new area and editing one entry at a time. If anyone needs to see something from a back entry, let me know in the comments.

This may take a while.

Did anyone else get hit with this frustration?

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