Saturday, September 26, 2009
The World Is Wonderful
This is a line from the opening song. Obviously there is lots of sarcasm
This is the song they sing in the skit where six "best friends" reunite for their 20th high school reunion. Naturally there are lies about how the have arrived but as the song goes on and the champagne goes too...well the horrible, funny truths come out!
I know this is a short and to-the-point post but I have three more to finish, some carpet to rip up and a friend's CD release show tonight. Needless to say I am a little busy. Sorry and look forward to a REALLY fun post with part 4! Until then, be excellent to each other.
Monday, September 21, 2009
As the title implies the play stars six women. So I am doing six small projects. All will be titles of some of the skits or some of my favorite lines. I hope to give them to the actresses which is why I can't put this off until after my big project. This is from the skit and song "God Is An Alien". It involves a musical religion started after an alien abduction and the deely-bopper at the bottom is what they all wear during this skit. The letters are purple because so are thier robes.
I consider this a testiment to how much I enjoyed the play. Not just about the projects but I used metallic thread for part of the headpiece, despite promising myself to never do it again. Sure there are only a handful of metalic stitches but like Dan Andriano I was hating every minute!
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
It's no secret I only have daughters. I mean Windy has a couple of boys who I love dearly but they have a good dad who cares about them and is in the picture so when it's time to do/learn certain things it will probably come from him. As much as I would have loved a son of my own I have always felt woefully under-qualified for raising one. I didn't get my driver's license until I was 25 and even then it was only because my ex was 8 months pregnant and I was pretty sure that making her drive us to the hospital while in labor was something only a real jerk of a guy would do and let's face it - I'm all class *cough* *cough*. So cars are out. I don't like them and only know how to put gas in them. I'm not very sporty either. I mean I get the gist of each game but damn do the real men get a little over excited about a sports team or what? And the one time I tried to watch a football game I could not understand why they called it the "red zone" when it wasn't red. There was a little yellow line showing how far they had to go to get a "down" or whatever but...nevermind. I don't do sports. Then there's diapers. Changing girls are easy: Front to back!!! That's all. As I gown man all I gotta do is shake it a little (a little more and that means I am playi, er, I only shake it three times. Ever. I swear). But if you are changing a boy's diaper I am pretty sure you gotta clean the little guy's three-piece and that's work people! Girls are sooooo much easier as long as you F2B! I'm told I don't even dress right. Something about the hearts on my belt and my purple velvet blazer. You know when you line it all up like this I bet Windy is pretty embarassed sometimes. Fuck it, she knows I love her!
So why all the rambling? Because my little girl is growing up! She loves to watch me cross-stitch. She will stand in front of me and when I push the needled down she drops to her knees to see it then she comes back up and laughs when I push it back through. She has started "helping" by grabbing the needle when I push it up (I can't control her as well when I can't see the needle too) and pulling it through. She hands it back and waits for the next time the needle shows itself to laugh and grab at it!!!
Her mom is gonna have to show her how to change a tire and paint a house interior but I can't wait to show her how to back stitch. Sorry the pics are a little small but I wanted to
Monday, August 24, 2009
That brings me to what I really am hoping will be a fun multi-piece project: Album Covers! When I am not stitching I am playing my guitar and singing my little songs so music has always been a part of me and has always helped me to get through the tough times. Losing Logan was no different. I am starting this project with the first album I listened to after everything had happened. Bad Religion's How Could Hell Be Any Worse? It's not my favorite BR album but with everything I was going through I was sitting here scrolling through my music library and the album title just hit me so hard and I listened to it over and over and over.
There are some other ones I am looking forward to doing, although I think they will be of various sizes. Certain albums will hit close to home on an emotional basis and some may just be albums I like. There may even be one or two that I think will just make cool projects.
So here is where I am at so far:
It's got a long way to go but once I finish the lettering it will go quicker. I am so in love with the red cloth too!
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
I’ve done quotes from some of my favorite shows and songs. I have quoted songs I have written. I have quoted a lot of people who just say stuff that cracks me up. When it’s said and after we have had a good laugh someone will usually look at me and say “you should stitch that” and sometimes I do.
After losing Logan last month there have been a lot of sleepless nights and one night I decided to check in on www.mrxstitch.com. I went to most of the links including manbroidery.blogspot.com. There was this interview that Jamie (Mr. X Stitch) had done back in April or so. Cool interview and of course I love guys in crafts/needlework talk.
Well this is a quote from that interview. Being that I look up to Jamie so much I am kind of surprised that I didn’t do something from him sooner. In my post at www.craftster.org I even likened it to what young women probably felt like when they here Joan Jett sing “I love Rock and Roll” for the first time.
The fact that I am in the middle of a big project and stopped to truly do this one "one the fly" was kinda cool too.
So who's crafts (not just needlework if you don't want to) gets you going? Got a link? Share with the class!
Saturday, July 25, 2009
As I mentioned back in May I got a new job where I don't have the opportunity to cross stitch all day. Some days I am lucky to get a lunch, truth be told.
The good news is the new job is going great. I am busy but at least I'm not bored. Here at home things have been good (and busy) too. Windy's boys stay with us a few nights a week now that we have their room painted and they have beds. It's summer so there are tons of things for families to do that are being put on by the city such as game show nights on wednesdays and movies in the park on saturdays. And I have been devoting a lot of time to my other hobby: playing guitar/singing/songwriting. Trying to get some gigs for the summer, etc.
The best part was that Windy and I were expecting another child. A boy. She has two but, biologically speaking (cause I love those boyos), I don't have any. I only have girls. She even let me totally geek out on the name: Logan Xavier. Yes, I was into all the "X" books growing up: -Men, -Factor, -Force, even Weapon-.
Unfortunately on Monday, July 6th I woke up at about one or two in the morning to the sound of Windy screaming. She had gone in to labor early. Too early. Logan did not make it. It has been a rough couple of weeks to say the least. We had literally just told our other kids they were going to have a little brother so we had to break the news to all of them.
All of my kids have birth announcements and Logan was not going to be any different. At the memorial service we wrote messages on balloons and sent them off. I included some of the lyrics from "99 Red Balloons" to the announcement and most of the balloons we used at the service were red. I live and grew up in Sacramento and Kevin Seconds has always been a hero of mine, musically speaking. I know 7 Seconds did not write that song but I have heard them perform it so many times and Kevin plays it solo/acoustic once in a while. To me the song sounds like surviving the end of the world and honestly that is a perfect explination of how this whole experience has felt. So the song seemed fitting.
Stitching has been very cathartic during this time. Sometimes I would cry so much I couldn't see the wholes in my cloth or my hands were shaking so bad. But it helped. It took my mind off things. It gave me an outlet. It helped me accept. So in the comments, how has crafting helped you? You don't have to talk about the situation you went through if you don't want but what did you craft? Why? What did you do with the project from such an experience and how did crafting help you through?
I missed you all but I wish I was not "back" yet. I wish there had not been a need for this project. But there was so I would like to share it with you.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Needless to say that my Obi-Wan project will have to wait. Maybe next years State Fair. I am also working on what I call my "Big Push" I am going to try to do as many of my smaller projects as I can before the new job starts and the stitch time ends.
So with that said here is my first piece, also a gift for Windy on mother's day. The kids always tell us they love us to the moon and back, or around the sun and back to my heart or something sweet like that. Windy and I were laying around and she started to tell me she loved me to the moon and around Pluto and out by the other plantets, etc.
I started to explain that 1) Pluto's not a planet anymore. 2) The planets dont exactly line up in their orbit so her love would be constantly passing me as it tried to make its way along the path she set. Apparently poetic romanticism is not to be mixed with scientific fact because this was Windy's response:
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
This brings me to my most recent project. I am a HUGE Futurama fan. I mean, huge. My favorite line delivery (not neccessarily my favorite line) is about 6:25 into the episode "The Why of Fry". The main Character, Fry, is supposed to savethe universe and is told that the fate of all that exists or ever will exist depends on him. He is the single most important person in the universe. He replies with a simple "Oh Snap"! I've been thinking of how important this meeting is today and I keep thinking of that line. I love the unbelievable weight of burden coupled with such an aloof reaction. So I did this last week while awaiting today!
The reason I love Futurama is the Fry/Leela dynamic. He is so in love with her and will do anything to please her, although screws up a lot and has it backfire. I am drawn to this because of my relationship with my better half. I have loved her since junior high and would do anything for her, and yes, I do screw up a lot in the attempt. At the end of the episode I took this quote from Leela has no idea of what Fry has accomplished for her. She has been on a horrible date with an overly self-important jerk and when he walks in the room she says Fry may not be the most important person in the universe but she is glad he is there with her right then. He replies then he is the most important person in the universe! I know how ever this goes today that's how she will feel of me and thus I will feel about it too!
Well that's it for my I am freaking the F out and typing anything and everything that comes to mind in my nervous state post. I promise next time I'll find a way to work in a few more dirty words and maybe something with bananas...
In the meantime how about favorite unrequited or hopelessly devoted loves in the comment sections. Books, Movies, Music, TV, whatever. Even if you wanna go on about those vampire-boy/human girl books that are all the rage right now.
Friday, April 10, 2009
So now that we have introduced my mom to my stitching and all but jeopordized my career, how about some finished projects!?!
The first is a quote from Futurama. I did it as a quick project around Valentines Day because I have always loved the dynamic between two of the characters. One grew up an orphan. She mentions that all she has ever wanted were parents to hold her, stroke her hair and tell her they loved her. The other character is madly in love with the first, to no avail. This was his response.
The second piece I just finished. It's actually a quote from my fiancee. We were having your normal driving-home-from-the-store-with-the-baby-in-the-car conversation about this and that (this being pinching, that being slapping) and eventually got on the subject of leather, ropes, ceiling hooks, etc. I mentioned, while up for anything, I do consider my body a bit on the sensitive side, which prompted her flat-out and to the point question:
Yep, she's the best. Caring and always taking my concerns into account. In all seriousness as soon as she said this we were busting up laughing because we knew I was gonna have to stitch it. She was suprised when it not only jumped to #1 on my to-do list but actually pulled me away from my Obi-Wan project. One of the reasons she is the love of my life is because she can make me laugh and she can inspire me in ways no one else can, even if it's just for something to work on.
I didn't set out to use the same border on these but as soon as I decided to do hearts for the new one I thought that they both kind of relate to each other so why not. While the color scheme on the Futurama quote was definetely for Valantines day, the black, blue, red and purple of the second piece was to be reminiscent of slapping and bruising. Gentle is my middle name.
In the course of writing this I have decided to do one more so that I have a trilogy! I wont ruin the suprise now. I'll try to get it done and up soon. In the meantime any good stories about in-jokes or private moments that have turned into crafty goodness? Let's make that our topic for the comments section.
My mom saw the leather quote. While it took her three readings to understand exactly what was being said she finally just said "Whooooooaaaaa" and left Winna and I standing there feeling slightly embarassed...and at least me ready to "go".
Exhibitionism - it's not JUST for show!
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
"I've been a lot more public with my stitching, doing it on trains and public places, and it's been an interesting experience for me and suprisingly emotional"
Of course my first thought was if you just change the word "stitching" the whole sentence takes on a new meaning and describes other things I like to do on the train and in public. Seriously, if the spelling/ and grammar errors didn't tip you off, this blog is by a 14-year-old.
Once I actually paid attention to what he was saying the implications of it got me thinking. I've been stitching publicly for a while now but not always so. When I first started I would go to my local craft store after closing for thier potluck/UFO night (UnFinished Objects). I would make something fabulous - because I am more awesome with a pan then I am with a needle - but once I got there I was still to embarrased to stitch in front of anyone. I brought my project, I showed my progress and I even discussed my future plans. But I would not stitch. Stitching was a great stress reliever with my last job and I loved doing on my lunch. But I would park the car in the corner of the lot and go out there to stitch.
I would do it at home. My sister and her kids would give me a little laugh but in that "family tease each other about everything" way. but the hardest part was doing it at my current job. I work in a box taking calls and we are painfully slow most of the year. I brought my stuff and kept it in a drawer for a month before I took it out. Then I just left it on my desk for a week to see if anyone said anything. Now, it's all I do at work. I make things for people. I get a lot of questions. But I also got asked to participate in a company craft fair. Well until it came out that most of my stuff was not work appropriate.
But there is still a stigma. One of my tattoos is on my neck. Yep, my neck. But its not because I am tough. You wouldn't know it unless I told you or you and I had being a HUGE nerd in common, but its from Star Wars. Still when asked how a man got into cross stitching I mentioned it was to relieve stress. I kid you not my coworker asked "Did you learn to do it in prison"?
Somehow the man cross stitching and the neck tattoo and wanting to relieve stress led to the conclusion that I had been in the klink. And that was emotional for me because how many people think the same thing and don't ask? I have been called many things by the uneducated and mostly unwashed masses. I've had trash thrown at me because they think a guy with an embroidery hoop can't start some shit.
But as equally important are the conversations my working in public has started, the compliments and oohs and awwws I have gotten at my work, and the friends that I have made because of it.
With that, I am a HUGE fan of MrXStitch. His work and his ideas and his creative use of unwanted projects has been a big inspiration to me. I cant imagine someone so talented and funny having to needlepoint in the dark alleys behind unreputable craft stores.
So this one's for you, Sir! Consider this your Cross Stitch Coming Out Party. Sorry we forgot the chips. Luckily there is a hooker in the corner. And by hooker I mean someone is doing crochet. But men like us were probably already thinking that!
Any good crafting in public stories? Share 'em in the comments section people!
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
I had no shame in mentioning in my last post that I planned on faking a lot of the sky. I am still working on the largest of the two suns and I had to stop and write this. The next big block I am getting ready to do is mostly divided into two colors. 676-Old Gold Light and 729-Old Gold Medium. My apologies if you dont use DMC floss as the numbers wont make sense but I am sure you get the idea. I myself only use DMC exclusively on larger projects so I can keep track of the multiple shades. When doing something in single shades such as straightforward red, blue, green - think my Tetris cross stitch. I just use what I find on sale at the store. I think its usually Jalynn or something like that.
But I digress. Needless to say when I got to the Old Golds I thought "Hell yeah I can just pick one and run with it". Yes there is an obvious shade difference in the two. I personally question if 676 is Old Gold light or more of a light gold. I guess what I am getting at is that I dont want to skimp and cut corners. I am gonna do the two seperate shades and when its all done I may be the only one who ever notices. There is a good chance I will have forgotten. But I want to do it right. I dont know if this is what they are talking about when they say "artistic integrity" or if this is some new personallity trait that (hopefully) will make its way into other situations in my life. I kind of hope so.
Anyway, that's enough out of me for now. I am going to be paning for gold the rest of the night.
*Update* I"M RICH BITCHES
*Updated Update* No matter how "old" the color, the jerk at the bank said I could get more for Fool's Gold then DMC's Old Gold. I yelled "Nu-Uh. Needlework warms the soul, let's see your precious fool's gold do THAT". It would have been much tougher sounding without the crying though.
The Golden Girls
Friday, March 13, 2009
I did not know the suns on Tatooine appearently have some violet in them. Something I did not know about Star Wars...or at least Star Wars cross stitches.
For a day and a half worth of work (we were a little busier today) I think it came out nicely.
Still a lot to do just on the first sun but theres a lot of sky I can fake too!
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
So here is my first self-designed project. I have a shirt with the Pac Man ghosts on it so I made a chart from that. Oh if I had known about sites like http://www.spritestitch.com/ back then. It took me almost a day to come up with something I thought looked right. I like to tell people (like my pastor's wife) that it's not dirty, it's more of a gladitorial challenge being issued by the ghosts. Ok, you got me. There is nothing there but some Pac-on-Poltergeist challenges of
I never got around to framing this. It went straight into my binder of completed/forgotten projects and still has the indentation from my embroidery hoop. Windy actually suggested framing some of my stuff and hanging it around the house. Maybe this one will see a second life. Hopefully it will be better then the Second Life I played. 46 hours a week playing my electronic self who still sat at a computer. But I didn't have a beard so maybe that was an angel showing me how my life could have been.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
240.8 Stitches Per Day: Meetings, Trainings, Meetings About Trainings and Trainings On How To Have Meetings
It seemed like everything was working against my very simple - and dare I say reasonable - goal of 241 stitches a day. Sadly I have not even had time to count how many stitches I have but I know it's not a lot. There was one day I never even made it to my desk. It was all meetings as mentioned above!
Ok it is a lot. But it's not where I need it to be.
I decided to "frame" the top and start the left side. I thought it would give me a sense of accomplishment on every stitch I did if I could see how much closer it brought me instead of feeling like it was one more stitch towards an infinite and unattainable horizon. Someone call the cops. I know all that poetic sadness just stole your heart! Seriously, I am a fugitive of love, people.
Back to framing the piece. It is much smaller then I had anticipated. After crunching some numbers and some Cheetos, as well as looking at my receipts, it appears I have "chosen" a 12-count cloth, not 14 as previously thought. So the pic is gonna be a little bit smaller, which is find because the detail will be a little bit more in your face. Plus it will look more like an actual photo. At least when I take my glasses off.
To test that theory I hung the finished computer sim of the portrait on a wall and walked towards it without my glasses until I could tell it was not really a portrait. Needless to say I was right!!! I also have a bloody nose and a small hole in my wall. Yep, I was right.
Stitches to date: Don't ask, don't tell
Monday, March 2, 2009
Also someone asked how many colors are in the finished piece. 72. Wait, 72? Really? I knew I should have done that silly looking Obi Wan from the Clone Wars cartoon. Probably would have been like 5 colors and even then I wouldn't really need to fill in the white if I used white cloth, right?
Honestly while I was not expecting 72 colors I did allow for up to 75. I feel if this is going to be my only piece with this kind of scope then I want to go balls-out. My apologies to any readers of the fairer sex. Not because I use language like "balls-out" but because you have no idea how great and natural it feels to be balls out and thus probably can't appreciate the analogy.
I have two other big pieces I want to do but both are based on simple art or cartoons and thus 8 colors tops and all primary ones at that. This is my crowing achievement, I hope. So even though 72 colors at what feels like breakneck speed is probably gonna drive me to crazytown, I hope it will all be worth it.
Total stitches to date: 671
Friday, February 27, 2009
"Enter it into the State Fair" I thought
"Is there a prize for winning? Or at least a participants ribbon" My brain replied.
"Quit talking and eat something" my stomach rudely added.
Well a little more debating (mostly about cup o noodle flavors) and a check to see there is a $700 prize later and I have decided to enter! Also I found out that entries are due May 29, 2009 (or 29 May 2009) for our friends across the pond. The piece I want to do is a portrait of Ben Kenobi, the classy older version. Here is a dramatic representation of what my computer thinks it will look like:
Finished it should be 8.5"w x 12.29"h and total 20,468 stitches. I would like to finish with a few days to spare, giving me time to frame, photo, etc before submitting it to the judges and my calculator says I have to complete 240.8 stitches a day to get it done on time. I think doing .8 stitches is lazy so I am going to do 241 stitches per day. Go for the gold. That's me.
Here is what I have so far. Wish me luck.
Total stitches to date: 418
I so did.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
I thought this should be posted to most message boards where the hate mongers and overly-uninformed make it too much of a chore for the rest of us to hold interesting conversation and maybe even debate like adults. After really thinking about it I figured I needed to make a sign since it really applies to most of the idiots we all meet in our day to day real lives and not just on the internet.
Mr. Sessler, I Salute You!!!
First is a heartfelt admission of my love for my fiancee. I'm a huge Star Wars fan (tattoos, toys, books, named my daughter after a character, etc) and I wanted her to know where she ranked in my life. You would think that she would figure it out when my action figure collection disappeared and in its place was an engagement ring, but just in case there was any confusion... and yes, I did make the hearts out of lightsabers. That's how I roll.
Second is a quote from Futurama. I love this show and really wanted to do one of the many sweet things that Fry says to Leela. That didn't happen. I was going through some episodes when I came across "Leela's Homeworld". She is talking about being an orphan and wanting parents to hold her, stroke her hair and tell her they love her. I thought Fry's response should have been picked up by Hallmark. I'd send one to my mom every year. I mean my fiancee...I mean my junk!
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Yes, both of these are finished.
Second is a classic saying found on everything from bumper stitckers to notepads. I made sure not to complete the last word and thought that given the nature of cross stitching it would be cute to leave a couple of individual stitches un-crossed.
I would normally try to finish this post with something clever, but I am tired so lets just leave it as one more of those unfinished anythings.