Greetings from the Omnigraphic Blogopticon. On view are vile sticky things dragged from the attic, snarky commentary on the world at large, and all-encompassing ennui. All that and a weird rubbery smell. A horrible time will be had by all.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Dreams In the Witch House

Progress on Away We Ride.  I only bought three of the fancy hand-dyed colors, black gray and yellow, thinking those were the ones where it really mattered.  Ha.  I used DMC for the witch house and rather than looking like stone it looks like stucco with rust stains.  I think I can fake it with a paintbrush and strong tea.

Linen isn't as horrible to stitch on as I imagined, but I wound up having to roll the unworked sections up and putting clothes pins on to keep the fabric out of the way.  I did miscount at the beginning so the windows are a couple spaces off, like that matters.  The only place it'll make any difference is when I start in on the main border.  I'll have to start in the center of each side and work out, then fudge the corners.  Just so long as I don't have to pick out as much as I did with Ohm Sweet Om.

My knitting UFO bag mocks me.  I have a mitten, one legwarmer and half an afghan, parts of two scarves and a third of a vintage Shetland lace shawl.  Oh, and most of a purse I don't much like.  Crap on a cracker.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

A Cross-Stitched House, Apparently

I've been plugging away at my eBay Diamond Avenue cross stitch for the past couple weeks and I'm regretting starting in the center like you're supposed to do with cross stitch.  The center house, of course, is the ugliest one of the three.  I should've just done the two outer ones as separate pieces and saved a hunk of fabric that I could've used for something better.  Like a Robocop hand towel, for instance.

Stop laughing.

I'm liking that before all the flowers and bushes and crap are put in it looks like the house has been ravaged by termites.  This would've been a good place to say the hell with it and stitch in some giant ants.  Or fire.  Glorious fire!

House in Shades of Sad Adobe.

Once you get the cartoonish outlines in it's not too bad, though I doubt any real human has ever put that many flowers on a real house on purpose.  It's like a 1980s chintz sofa exploded.  I'm guessing the owner regretted their tan color scheme and rather than repaint the whole thing they thought flowers would be a cheap fix because that electric blue door just wasn't cutting it.

The other two houses have a lot less floral going on, like the owners weren't quite off their meds like the lunatic in the center.  I do like the useless little cupola thing and laugh at the idea that some poor loser has to lug a watering can up to the third floor to water a fucking window box.

Club-foot kitty has six colors.  WHY.

Another big WHY is why doesn't this center set of windows have a dark accent thingy like the others?  WHY.  It upsets my brain.  It's one of those things nobody else would notice but I know if I somehow finish this thing and frame it I'll look at it every time I go past and years later I'll completely lose it and rip it from its frame with my teeth.

So I'll change it now and say nothing else about it.

See, it's not in the pattern so I didn't forget it.

I bought Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock a month or so ago and decided to work on that to clear the floral insanity out of my brain for a while, though the large blocks of color are making me tired.  As you can see by the giant catdog paw, Grady knows Paper disproves Spock.

Away We Ride mocks me.  I have all the stuff for it, fancy hand-dyed floss I said I wasn't going to buy and a piece of actual linen, but the more I read about stitching on linen the more intimidated I am.  You can't use a hoop because that'll mess up the weave and it doesn't have holes like Aida cloth does so you have to pay attention rather than use my method of jamming the needle in willy-nilly and hoping it looks right.  I'll have to count THREADS for fuck's sake.

I'll also have to build a frame for it since I've run through all my largish old-timey thrift store frames.  Lowe's has that fancy wood edging I've used for frames; you just have to glue a strip of thin lathe on the back so there's a slot for the glass, then cut the pieces out of that.  The Victorian house project will just go in an 80s brass frame I've had for a while, since that's what it would've ended up in way back 30 years ago.  Everything wound up in one of those things.

Did I mention way back then I worked in a custom frame shop?  That's how I know everything wound up in either a shiny brass or shiny chrome frame, with a mat painstakingly matched to whatever fugly thing the customer dragged in.  The 80s were so damn matchy-matchy, despite the wrongheaded notion that the whole decade was haphazardly thrown together by Cyndi Lauper on acid.

Anyhow, we had wood in stock but hardly used it unless somebody brought in an antique Audobon print which was, like, never.   It was usually a pair of those Robert Furber prints that everybody that wasn't doing Southwest had in the 80s (I recently bought a pair at the thrift store for the frames), or some boring art museum poster you bought to let your parents know that you'd grown past that Duran Duran poster you had over the sofa.

Everything looks better in a crappy 45-cent thrift store frame.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Accursed Embroidery

After many curses and picked-out and re-done embroidery here is the finished Ohm Sweet Ohm complete with pencil lines and scribbles.  Those washed out better than expected and somehow this actually fits into the thrift store frame I had planned for it.  Now if I could just keep the cat from pulling it off the wall.

It's an easy pattern but it does eat a lot of floss because most of it is done in three strands instead of the usual two.  I ran out of red because I thought I'd get all fancy and use a border that went all the way around, plus I had to re-do at least ten of those stupid little flowers since I can't be arsed to pay attention to a simple embroidery chart.

Finished Star Trek embroidery.  I was much too lazy to photograph them both after I sewed the second one on its towel.  Deal with it. 

Old-school Garfield hand towel, from back in the day when he walked on all fours and did cat things.  This is the other half of the bath towel I used to make the Back to the Future towel a couple weeks ago.

I pretended the rainbow didn't exist, much like I do real rainbows.  The pattern had lots of those pointless half-stitches and quarter-stitches and some stupidly complicated outline stuff that seemed to be unnecessarily popular in 80s cross stitch.  I especially love the late-70s disco font.

Speaking of 1980s complicated outline cross stitch stuff, take a gander at this crazy-ass thing I just got on eBay dirt cheap.  I mostly bought it because it reminds me of the neighborhood I rented an apartment in back in 1987, except where there are cats in the embroidery there should be winos.  The couple who owned my building had a lavender Edwardian house with purple and white trim; this was when Painted Ladies had a brief vogue here.  I'll admit I'm much too lazy to walk three blocks to see what it looks like these days, but I'm pretty sure it's whatever gray could be gotten on sale at Lowe's.

Anyhow, my kit came with two huge wads of embroidery floss that took me at least an hour to sort.  There are nine different shades of green in here.  Lt. Green, Lt. Lime Green, Med Green, etc. and there isn't a color chart.  You kinda have to count how many yards you have of something and check to see if the symbol for whatever it is in the photo is next to the name of whatever shade of green is six yards.  Yeah, awesome.  I'm currently muddling through the center house which comes in Tan, Pale Rust, Lt. Rust, Med. Rust, and Pale Peach.  Whatever, dude.

Lookit how many colors they used just in this one section.  I think the person who originally bought this kit (and all those other unopened kits on eBay) took a closer look at the photo when they got it home and tossed it in the to-do pile and never saw it again.

Doesn't look like such a bargain now does it, smart girl?  Couldn't you have used that $15 to buy yarn or vodka or something that wouldn't cause an aneurysm?

It's gonna be such a party.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Old Lady Crafting be Damned

I keep making stuff but yet I never seem to post any of it these days.  My knitting/crocheting winds up on Ravelry or the occasional Vintage Stitch-O-Rama post but everything else gets photographed and forgotten.  I have an arm chair to cat bed project I've been meaning to post since forever but I keep forgetting I can post stuff from my smartphone. 

Click on photos to embiggen.

Warning: plastic granny-grid is a gateway drug to other old lady crafts.  Thankfully I couldn't find any other tissue covers I liked so this is where I stopped and there aren't any stupid little gingerbread houses with tissues coming out the chimney hiding in my apartment somewhere. 

Of course I found out later the Rubik's Cube tissue cover on The Big Bang Theory is either painted wood or solid plastic and not plastic mesh so I could've just bought the damn thing on Amazon.

Marvel at my early morning photography skills!  This one came out of the book Star Trek Cross-Stitch, which I'd bought thinking there might be something I could convert to colorwork knitting if I added a few rows to un-flatten it.  Ha.  This is a big piece, like 11"x13".  I goofed up the stitch count somewhere in the middle and didn't notice until it was too late so I had to fudge it a little, but it doesn't seem to make any difference in the design.

This book also had a plastic granny-grid Borg cube ornament but I'll be damned if I can get cross stitch on plastic mesh to look like it does in the book, so I said the hell with it.  

 Another one from Star Trek Cross-Stitch, on top of the black towel I'm going to sew it onto.  I cut a beat-up old bath towel in half and the other half will have the original series crew because why the fuck not.

Three different Back to the Future cross stitch patterns combined into one unholy Frankenstein's monster of a design.  I still need to turn the edges and sew them down.  Same thing as with the black bath towel but I haven't decided what to do with the other half yet.

Four random patterns using scrap Aida cloth.  All are pretty small, maybe 3 1/2"x5" and are brutally shoved into thrift store frames.   

The top sampler is part of the Blackbird Designs pattern Bittersweet Moon using just the tree and a weird alphabet crammed around.  Unicorn pattern found here and NOPE made by squinting at a photograph of someone's project and getting the flowers wrong.  Nevermore was drowned in strong tea because I really seriously hated making those little doodads in the background; most of them are ONE STITCH.  I'm pretty sure there's come fancy way of doing that which doesn't involve two knots and severe cursing but I'm not privy to that technique. 

Current project. I thought I didn't already have enough nerd projects littering the place so I chose this dandy resistor chart from Adafruit.  It helps that they also sell all kinds of electronic stuff I shouldn't be buying instead of groceries; stuff like the Raspberry Pi.

Groceries are overrated.

I hate metallic embroidery floss by the way.  There are only a couple squares of that on here but they took at least two hours punctuated by creative swearing.  So, fuck you metallic embroidery floss and the scrofulous nag you rode in on.

I just ordered this pattern.  Away We Ride, from Blackbird Designs, because it has a witch house and ravens and it's all old-timey without having one of those priggish homilies smack in the center like a lot of cross stitch patterns seem to be plagued with.  I'm not bothering with the fancy-ass hand dyed floss because I doubt my stitching skills warrant that kind of expense.  I prefer to spend my bucks on fancy-ass hand dyed yarns and computer parts.


Salem - 1826 from notforgottenfarm on Etsy.  Another recently ordered pattern that's all spooky-old-timey.  I've got a piece of linen that should be the right size for it and some scraps of carved wood trim to build a frame.  Because you can never have enough stuff on the walls.  Landlords love it when you fill the plaster with nail holes.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Meh and Feh.

I know I missed my usual Xmas Gift Horror posts for the past couple holidays but there's been a complete lack of new material.  I keep hoping I'll encounter some bad vintage crafts made from chicken bones and army boots or bleach bottles and glitter but all I'm finding these days is relatively new and incredibly lame.  I think the local thrift stores are on to my crap and now just throw those magazines out instead of putting them out in the racks.

On a recent parental visit my trip to the thrift store scored me 25-30 old Workbasket magazines from the 1970s and I fully expected it to be knee-deep in bad crafts but they've mostly been a disappointment.  Loads of ads for magnifying glasses, compression stockings, laxatives of all kinds and incontinence pants make retirement seem like a long, slow road to death with no reward at the end but pain and shame. 

Most of the knitting/crocheting is pretty dull and it seems to be geared towards those elderly crafters who are counting their last days and just plain don't care enough to bother making insane things out of outdated pills and false teeth glue.

I managed to weed out a couple things from my sad sad Workbasket stack and because I seem to have a radar for things made of garbage I found this prize.  Behold, the Googly-Eyed Church Bazaar Owl, because gluing googly eyes on anything makes it fun!  Try that on some random item, like a dead frog or a tampon.  For some reason the designer thinks this particular prize would fetch 50-75 cents.  I suspect over-medication was involved and she perhaps meant she would give you spare change if you take one of her magnets.

I've always been confused by the plethora of bazaar items made from food.  I dimly recall a varnished Oreo cookie on the fridge when I was young though it seemed to have disappeared by the time I started high school and was replaced with a weird molded rubber version.  God knows why it wasn't covered in ants. 

I think this sweater commemorates the comment General McCauliffe made to the German commander when he requested the 101st Armored Division's surrender during the Battle of the Bulge, though I think I'd knit a tank instead of the squirrel to save confusion.

Long before bored crafters crocheted cooter tissue boxes there were weird grandmas on the wrong medications making severed head Kleenex dispensers.  I know when I hack a hole in someone's skull the first thing I want to see pouring out of it is tissue paper. 

Back to my nap.