October 28, 2011

Kitty Mittens!

It is finally starting to cool off in Texas. Where high 50s might be warm for many parts of the country, it is positively freezin' in the Lone Star State. I am one of those people who can never be warm in winter, even with the heater going! With fingers rapidly freezing into icicles as I type, some hand-warmers might be nice, I think to myself. Naturally they have to be fingerless, so as to not hinder my work, but long enough to cover about a third of my fingers, cover my palm and enough of my wrist to tuck into a sleeve.

Hunting around for free patterns I found this one here by Suzetta Williams. Didn't look like much, which made me think it would get the job done perfectly. This pattern whipped up in about 2 hours total! FAST! I only changed the pattern slightly since after the pattern's 16 rows I didn't think they would fit all the way around my hands. I have a feeling it is because I was using a smaller hook than recommended, so I increased the rows to 20. To finish, rather than simply sew the first and last row I slip stitched them together and then turned them inside out to keep the seam hidden inside.

I know that frillier/girlier people then me could easily add a trim or buttons or embellishments, but I liked them as they were. But then I remembered it was almost Halloween and regular hand-warmers are for the boring people of the world. SO, with two flat heart shapes and six little circles I created Kitty Mittens! Since the seam is already inside the long tails from the shaped used to sew them on will never be seen, either.

Simple, easy and fun. Meau! Just FYI: I used Red Heart in Grey Heather and I Love This Yarn in Rosy Cheeks. Now to find a ribbed hat pattern to match and make some ears.... OH and then I could make a scarf that looks like a tail! ...and then be looked at strangely forever more.

Stay Warm!

October 25, 2011

Holiday Creation

A white elephant party is a tradition among my friends every year around Christmas. If you are unfamiliar with this kind of party I direct you to the Wikipedia article, which has the general gist of it. Through the course of the year, we develop many inside jokes as we socialize... not the least of which pertain to the movies we have seen as a group. Last year The Golden Compass and Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'hoole were popular material for being so very bad, far from the books they follow, and in the latters case, simply having a terrible, terribly long name.

Naturally I had to get one of these movies for the white elephant party gift. A movie by itself is fine, but we all expect a little more from one another, something to make it scandalous, hilarious or pointless. In the past, a dvd jacket has been slid from the original (often bad) movie to cover an even worse movie. I decided to use a bit of skill to make a silly addition to the movie, something to remind everyone even when the offending dvd is tucked away.

I found these ornaments at a local World Market. They were perfect; an owl for my present and a polar bear for me. One common thread in both movies is that the animals felt that wearing armor was the height of fashion. So, using an old paper grocery bag I began to fashion paper armor for these two.

For the Owl, I followed the movie's depiction of a helmet kind of thing to cover eyes and beak and the deadly claw armor for the foot.

And for the Bear, following it's movie as well I created a face mask connecting to tank-like plates of armor along the back and spine.

After a bit of puffy sparkly paint was added for decorations, I attached the armor to the animals with a bit of invisible thread. For the bear it was important to add a hole for the hanging string to poke through so it could be hung on an actual tree.

Shiny and majestic in their armor, they went off to new homes.

October 24, 2011

Happy Howl-o-ween!

Halloween is here and costumes are a must in my opinion. Why should our puppy be left out?

She is going as Krypto the Superdog! Her cape and collar were made from a couple of child's size t-shirts from your craft store. The studs on the collar and S logo were drawn on with a gold fabric paint pen. Finally her custom Superdog-tag is hand-drawn by me on shrinky plastic. The cape is safety pinned to the collar which fits like a tube over her real collar.

With the perfect costume and pose, our little Gingko is ready to save the day!
Just for reference, you can see how she has grown from the last post she was in: Tilt Shift

October 4, 2011

Concrete Results Logo Work

So, with my current position at Concrete Results, I do a lot of things. My position involves creating banners, flyers, e-blasts, e-newsletters, maintaining our Facebook pages, creating new websites, working on packaging for products, getting printing quotes, creating brands, etc. It is a challenging position that requires me to constantly be learning new ways of doing things. One of the most fun parts of my job, to me, is getting to design a new logo for something.

I have a fascination with logos. A truly great logo says everything about a company without saying anything at all. The foundation of a good logo in current trends seems to be the type you choose. I feel like the personality then can come from the colors you choose. These two things can set the tone of either fun and whimsy, strict or tight-laced, efficient, archaic, etc. Here are just a smattering of some of the logos I have worked on... You might just see a few in stores in the near future.

Changes and Updates

Updates 10.2011

So I realized today that some of the older posts on this site have terrible grammar, some are just plain confusing, and most lack any artistic explanation of their subject matter. I guess it is to be expected; to feel that your younger self was a just a little bit dense. With that in mind I made a few changes to previous posts, not the smallest of which was fixing typos.

I also realized that the name of my blog here has never been explained. Expect a new post in the near future with the story and a few images.

Thanks for visiting! Stay tuned! :)

August 29, 2011

Brain Sucking Octopus!!

So there are some pretty cute things on Etsy, and being creative means that what I see I can most likely make for myself in some form. One store in particular sells crocheted toys. I have no intention of starting a business, but nor do I feel like playing $8 for something I can make in half an hour. By tweaking an existing pattern for the Brain Slugs I have previously made, I can simply change the dimensions to a little more rounded shape, add a different fringe to make tentacles, and voila! Octopus!

Since the store near me does not sell safety eyes, I had to make due with a few buttons. A quick embroidery with black thread for a mouth. (FYI, I have no idea what an octopus mouth looks like...) and add a hairclip to the bottom and shes done.

My little sister in law, who is 6, really wanted to learn to crochet and sat watching while I whipped up the body. I think she expects to see this in the mail to her. We shall see...

August 8, 2011

Lovely Ladybug

My trend continues...another baby shower, another crochet toy. :)

This time it is my husband's cousin. She is having her first girl (she already has three sons!) and her theme is basically anything NOT princess-y or pink. She also mentioned that she loves ladybugs, so with that in mind I set out to find a cute and quick pattern. I saw a few that I really really liked, but they were not children friendly. Thanks to a bit more searching I found this free pattern from Michaels and Lion Brand yarn.

This pattern is very beginner friendly and great for anyone looking to jump into amigurumi. Total time for this project I estimate to be just about 3 hours. The most difficult part is sewing all the little pieces together. I started following the pattern exactly and made the upper body, head, base, feet and spots all according to the pattern. Since I wanted this to be sturdy I sewed everything to each other with the yarn tails from the pieces. I added the eyes and stitched on a mouth with red yarn. The pattern was not very specific on the antenna for the head, so I used the antenna pattern from doing brain slugs (Chain 7, three dc in second chain from needle, slip stitch into the remaining 5 chain, bind off). I tied them into the stitching before stuffing. I also sewed the spots to the upper body before stuffing and the feet onto the base before sewing them together.

Two things to note, I used the black safety eyes I had lying around, since they are so large, I thought it made the lady bug look SUPER cute. (more so than the image on the pattern anyway) Also, since I wanted it to be a girl ladybug, I decided to add a flower. I wanted to make a really small one for on her head. A quick image search led me to Mimi's Crochet Stuff blog and this pattern which I really liked since it used two colors and had a little leaf! Since it came out larger than I expected I decided to add it to the back of the ladybug and I think it came out darling. Hope they like it. Such a fun little project for a baby shower.

July 16, 2011

Little Monkey, Jumping on the Bed

So, you might remember the Socktopus I made a while back for a friend's baby boy... Little did I know, but I feel like this is becoming my gift trend to friends babies. I have just completed work on an adorable Monkey for another of my high school friend's new baby boy. The pattern is Jaques from Pica-Pau on Etsy. Obviously mine doesn't look quite the same. I tweaked the colors to match my friend's color scheme and found a soft fluffy brown for the monkey fur. I also used different safety eyes that I had left over from another plush. I decided that I didn't like those eyes alone so I crocheted a quick circle to surround them. I am really happy with how this turned out. This pattern was interesting and fun, and a little bit challenging for the legs part, but I feel like my confidence has grown by learning to do something new.

Anyway, here's hoping their new addition loves it. I put a lot of love into the toys I make and it feels good.

Update: Socktopus has now become a good and faithful friend to his kid. Pictures hopefully to follow. :)

Next Project: Mr. Tuff-Guy T-Rex

May 17, 2011

Trying Tilt Shift Photoshopping

A job, a move and a new puppy can suck up your life. Saw a cool tutorial online today about turning your ordinary photographs into faux tilt-shift photographs with photoshop. Naturally I tried with whatever was on my desktop... that being a photo of my little pup, Gingko.


Not sure if the photo is quite right to use; it isn't really an aerial shot or far enough away. With that said, I still like it a lot.

April 15, 2011

Welcome Home

Garage Sale Season. Need I say more?

It's that time in Texas. Every neighborhood has decided that this weekend is THE weekend to have a huge garage sale. So, naturally I am drawn to old wooden tables, wire carts, strange plant holders, old knick-knacs and all kinds of rubbish. But sometimes the best things are right at home.

My mom produced this strange welcome to our home slate sign and showed it to me. I guess I don't understand, but apparently pineapples are common on welcome signs. Not sure why. I took one look and knew it had to be mine... with modifications.

I present: The New-and-Improved Welcome to our Home Sign.

A close up in case you cant see how I changed it...
I took one look at that pineapple and went "who lives in a pineapple under the sea?!" I felt like Doodlebob was an excellent choice given the little doodly flowers around the sides. Silliness, but it fits me, my home and my life.

One other thing to note: I changed my signature... :)

Keep smiling. Stay young at heart. Be happy.

March 10, 2011

Baby Shower

Tis the season I guess for friends to have babies... To be fair I have gone to A LOT of weddings last year.

A friend requested a drawing of a baby monkey for her shower invites. She is going with monkeys as her theme since she is waiting to find out the sex at birth. So... from a quick sketch...
to a cleaned up and painted photoshop cutie!