Embroidered Graffiti

Here's an odd thing to admit: I have a soft spot for graffiti.

poutine! = poutine

Don't get me wrong, I know why graffiti can be awful, particularly if it's your building that has the graffiti on it. And lately, I've seen some rather tasteless graffiti on a nearby church (I have no time for that sort of vandalism). But there is an art to graffiti and I can appreciate that. So when I found a challenge on Feeling Stitchy to make embroidery out of graffiti, I was pretty excited. The challenge also suggests turning embroidery into graffiti, but I haven't yet thought of how/if I'll do that. I really don't see me stitching onto a bus seat. But am totally up for turning some graffiti into embroidery. I'll have to go through my photos I've taken of interesting graffiti or take a walk around town in search of something I like. I think this will be a fun challenge.

Posted byHello Pineapples! on Tuesday, June 24, 2008 0 comments Links to this post  

free pattern friday: early edition

Even though it is technically Friday, I never really consider the previous day to be finished/started until I have gone to bed/woken up. Having said this, I'm trying out the "blog this" feature on flickr as a way of sharing this cutesie pattern called "meet the eenies!" by annieoakleaves.

What I really dig about it is the mushroom. I really enjoy mushrooms - aesthetically and for eating. It really got started when I was visiting Newfoundland last summer with my mom and I found an old bracelet of mine with a mushroom charm on it. Sadly, I can't find it anywhere. It wasn't worth much, but it had sentimental value. And it was really cute.

Perhaps, in honour of the misplaced bracelet, I'll see if I can round up a few more mushroom themed patterns and post them later today. For now, I must get to bed. Tomorrow morning we're renting a car and picking up my radioactive cat. I'm pretty excited. The poor little guy has been away from home for nine days now and he's the last of the radioactive cats left at the vet. Although, I'm pretty sure he's happier being the only cat there. He doesn't really care for other cats, including the ones he lives with.

Posted byHello Pineapples! on Friday, June 20, 2008 0 comments Links to this post  

Adventures in Sewing: Tragedy and Triumph

Boo melting socks! Seriously. Who knew socks could melt?

What the heck am I talking about?

I'm talking about this:

Sock versus Iron = tragic

That is a melted sock. I was sewing monkeys on the machine and thought it would be easier to iron the sock first (the edges curled up). Instead of making my life easier, it made things so much worse. What you see there is my attempt to remedy the situation without having to ditch the sock altogether. I folded it over - which will make for much shorter legs - in order to hide the holes. The monkey will still have a crunchy leg and I may still have to do some creative embroidering to cover some wee holes, but there is hope that I will save this monkey.

On the bright side: I sewed two monkeys on the sewing machine! I'm using my pal J.Lau's Brother LS-1217, which seems to have much better tension when it comes to stretchy fabric.

Before I sign off for the day and get back to my work, here's a picture of the gnome meeting Henry at WWKIP day:

Gnome and Henry

They look pretty good together.

And finally, a trailer for the documentary 'Beautiful Losers', which I found via Love, Me:



It's not about the Leonard Cohen book, but about DIY, graffiti, music and a group of artists. It looks like it might be awesome. I'm hoping it'll come to Halifax; with luck, for the film fest. If not, I'm sure Video Difference will bring it in some day.

Posted byHello Pineapples! on Thursday, June 19, 2008 1 comments Links to this post  

WWKIP Day

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Aside from the fact that I nearly collapsed with exhaustion because of my mad quest to get as many photos as possible for the scavenger, World Wide Knit in Public Day was great. The Halifax organizers should really be patting themselves on the back right now. It was fun to be out on the lawn of the library with fellow knitters and there were some fantastic prizes (thanks to some very generous local yarn stores). I was happy to get to hang out with Hark for a bit. I can't remember the last I saw her, let alone spent time chatting with her. I also had the chance to meet some new people.

I did well with my attempt at the scavenger hunt: 60 points! I had taken some liberties (i.e. I wasn't able to get on the ferry or buy a beaver tail. lack of cash was the reason for both) and would have been okay if they weren't counted, but I guess they were. Aside from about six items crossed off before today, everything was done this morning. I started around 9:30 a.m. and I covered the bulk of the south end of the peninsula. My feet still ache a little. And for a person with some serious social anxiety, I managed to say the following an awful lot: "This is an odd request, but can I'm participating in a scavenger hunt and I was wondering if I could take your picture. Holding my knitting". Most of them thought I was a bit odd, but were more than happy to pose with my knitting. For the pics without people, I used my roaming gnome and put the sock on his head - just to make the photos a bit more interesting to look at. SO, to those who agreed to hold a stranger's knitting for a photo: merci beaucoup!

Now I need to go crash. It has been long day.
A bientot!

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Posted byHello Pineapples! on Sunday, June 15, 2008 0 comments Links to this post  

Free Pattern Friday: Pimp Stitchin' and some crochet hookin'

I know I mentioned Pimp Stitch last week, but it gets a headlining mention this week because I tried out one of their patterns today:

birthday card

pimp stitch pattern finished

It's a shrunken down version of their first free pattern, "Let's get this party started". I made it as a card for a friend, so I resized it in photoshop. It was my first time doing embroidery on paper and it was not without its challenges. Not helping the matter was my crappy transfer pencil that didn't seem to want to transfer anything. (although, it could be me. I've never used a transfer pencil before).

It's week two of a four week pattern giveaway over at Pimp Stitch, so you should keep an eye out for more adorable designs to come. I'm really enjoying the party theme they have going on right now and am looking forward to the next two weeks of patterns.

And if embroidery isn't your thing (which is too bad...I'm really hooked on it right now), I did find a great resource for free crochet patterns, courtesy of Crafty Carolinagirl. She's put together an amazing list of free crochet toy patterns. Some are free with purchase, and some are direct links to a pdf download (which isn't necessarily bad, but there doesn't seem to be a warning that you're about to download something).

In non free pattern news, I'm super excited about tomorrow being WWKIP day! (WWKIP = world wide knit in public). According to the official site, there are 779 KIP days being held tomorrow! That's awesome. You should check to see if your hometown will be having a large gathering of folks knitting in a public place. Even more exciting that knitting downtown is the photo scavenger hunt. I started my photos on Wednesday, but I've fallen a bit behind since I forgot my camera when I headed to campus today (although I did remember the knitting).

That's it for me. I'm wiped out from an evening of Wii and BBQ and the cats are looking for food.

Posted byHello Pineapples! on Saturday, June 14, 2008 0 comments Links to this post  

My first solo project on the sewing machine

I've attempted to use a sewing machine in the past, but always with limited success. I made stockings as a gift for my bro and his ladyfriend this past Christmas, and they turned out a little wonky and puckery. I also had to call on my friend (and owner of the machine) to rescue me from bobbin troubles a number of times. Bobbins are not my friend. I really want to own a machine with a drop-in bobbin so that I don't have to figure out how to load them properly. I'm also a little bit terrified of the machine and often go too slow. And I have a knack for breaking needles. I broke two on this project.

But, despite the fact that I was on my own for this and that I had to wind and load a bobbin and change the needle twice, the project was (mostly) a success:

blanket is a hit

(you can see all the dangly threads on it. That's after I cut off most of them).

The project involved sewing a piece of fabric onto the top of an old pillow sham. I then used stuffing from an old pillow and stuffed it so it was still thin and flat and blanket like. The idea was to create a bed/pillow for my cat to take to the vet. He's hyper-thyroid and getting treated with radioactive iodine. It's the same treatment that people get for the same problem, but since it is for an animal, the nuclear safety people say that he has to be quarantined for at least seven days and that anything in the cage with him for that week has to be incinerated. That meant I couldn't send him over with anything that I wanted back.

The fabric I used is the same as what I used when I re-covered a blanket (known at chez Pinapples as the "sick blanket") that is a favourite of the cat. I knew it would be a hit when he decided to lie down on it while I was still trying to pin it to the sham.

allistair likes it

My stitches got tighter and neater as I moved around the edge of the blanket.

Start:
messy stitches

Finish:

neater stitches

I've still got a ways to go before I can consider myself to be a competent or even mediocre seamstress, but for now, I'm happy with sewing things that don't fall apart.

and the cat seems pretty happy with my skills as well.

blanket is a hit

Posted byHello Pineapples! on Thursday, June 12, 2008 1 comments Links to this post  

Pictures: Stitchin' Fish

Finally! Some pictures of crafts I've done lately. So here's my submissions to the EAC Stitchin' Fish North Atlantic sea floor project:

The plastic bag jellyfish in progress:

jellyfish in progress

The white grocery store bag didn't work for me, so I scrapped that part and found a different bag. I tried to use mostly bread bags for the jellyfish, as I liked how the clear plastic looked.

I think I've managed to post some jellyfish photos before, but here is a close up, where it looks like a big crocheted mess:

close up of plastic bag jellyfish

Actually, most of my submissions looked like a big mess. They looked much better when they were added to the rest of the submissions:

hyperbolic coral reef and plastic bag jellyfish

The hyperbolic ruffle:

ruffle, part of hyperbolic coral reef

It used up a an odd ball from my stash, but it was deadly boring after a few rows.

The hyperbolic spiral:

part of hyperbolic coral reef

the window at the Loop:

Stitchin Fish at the Loop

Stitchin Fish at the Loop

Check out all those jellyfish! The display at EAC's World Ocean Day looked really great. I've only seen photos of it, but from what I saw in the window display, I know it was awesome. And it was really neat to pass by later in the week and see the things that I made in the window.

Next up: Pictures of my recent attempt to sew with a sewing machine!

Posted byHello Pineapples! on Thursday, June 12, 2008 0 comments Links to this post  

Just when I thought I knew everything about knitting...

I thought I had knitting abbreviations and stitches down to a science. I mean, I've even managed the kitchener stitch in the past. But with my recent acquisition of mochimochi's stackable cats pattern, I've discovered that I did not know how to "w+t" or, wrap and turn. I sort of guessed at it, but ended up with lumpy and holey looking legs. Thank heavens for google and knitters on the internet! It is times like these when I have to ask, "what the heck did people do before the internets???" I'm old enough to remember life before the internet, but this is one of those times when I'm glad I have more than a stack of World Book Encyclopaedias to help me out. (and wow! You can still buy printed encyclopaedias! who knew?)

Edited @ 12:38: good grief. I'm still trying to figure it out. I thought I had it, but then I was getting holes when I was trying to finish the pattern. Turns out that I needed to know more than just the mechanics of the w+t, but how to do a short row as well (I think I've done one of these before, but can't remember how it works). Ravelry and its forums came to my rescue and I found a how-to by misocrafty on the short row heel that (a) makes sense, (b) has pictures, (c) can be applied to my stackable cat.

Posted byHello Pineapples! on Tuesday, June 10, 2008 0 comments Links to this post  

My crafty friends are awesome

One last post before I head to bed.

I always knew my friend Sara/Grammardog was one heck of a crafty bitch, but now the crafty whole world knows it! This crafty lady created an impressive looking headboard and posted a how-to on craftster. It was so awesome that Craftzine blog posted about it earlier this week (I'm behind on reading my blogs).

crafty art by grammardog

Isn't she awesome?

And if you think that's pretty good, then you should see what she can do with a sewing machine - I love her quilts. They are fantastic.

Posted byHello Pineapples! on Monday, June 09, 2008 0 comments Links to this post  

Monkeys go for a ride

A video I took of some sock monkeys going for a ride in the dryer:




I washed and dryed a bunch (barrel?) of monkeys before bringing them up to Love, Me. Seeing them in the dryer was so funny that I had to get my camera and make it a video.

You can't always tell what is happening, but every now and then, you see a monkey or a monkey limb flying by the dryer window. The clicks and clacks are monkey eyes hitting the side of the dryer. I think what amused me most was that it reminds me of how Kermit looks whenever Miss Piggy yells "hi-yah!" and karate-chops him across the room. I love the flailing limbs of a puppet.

Posted byHello Pineapples! on Monday, June 09, 2008 0 comments Links to this post  

Free Pattern Sunday: dust bunnies and party time embroidery

I hadn't forgotten about the free pattern on Friday, but I was out of the house most of the day. I brought my sea creatures to the Loop, did some work at Starbucks, retrieved my cellphone/visited with a friend, went to help out with the Canadian Cancer Society's Relay for Life and then drinks with friends. I also managed to sew with my sewing machine over the weekend! This is quite the feat. Still no camera cord, so pictures will have to wait, but I made a blanket/pillow for my cat to take to the vet. The poor little dude has to stay at the vet for the next week while he recovers from his radioactive iodine. The husband likes to make Hulk jokes; one friend has decided that kitty's radioactive blood will make him SpiderCat. I wonder if "superhero powers" are one of the side effects.

The free pattern is a bit of a "cheat" on my part, but since I was out of the house all Friday, I didn't have as much time to spend on looking for the right one. But there is a method to my madness. This week is Mochimochi's dust bunny, which is free with purchase (there's the cheat). But it is so darn cute that I had to share. I also had to share because my apartment has some dust bunnies that are threatening to take over.

mochimochi dust bunnies

Seriously. They are the cutest. I'm on a pretty tight budget, but I'm thinking I need to purchase something for that pattern.

Having said that, Mochimochi does have some of the cutest free knitting patterns online. And, Mochimochi is having a photo contest. You knit up one of the patterns (free or purchased), take a picture, submit it on Flickr and maybe you'll win cute stuff.

The other free pattern is from the new and fabulous Pimp Stitch:

Let's Get this Party Started, by Pimp Stitch

If you read other crafty blogs, you have probably already caught on to Pimp Stitch, but if not, enjoy the free patterns they have planned. I know I will be. The site looks like it will be an awesome pattern/idea source for embroidery fans.

Posted byHello Pineapples! on Monday, June 09, 2008 1 comments Links to this post  

Wednesday's Website: How About Orange (and then some)

As I was trying to decide on a website to write about today, an odd-ish thing happened: I noticed that two of these sites appeared on the top 50 blogger powered blogs and appeared very close to one another. Along with them was a blog that I had recently come across and enjoyed. A sort of interesting coincidence, n'est pas? I think I'll take that as a sign to write about all three.

#44 is PoppyTalk, which is described as "A Canadian design blog collecting inspiration and promoting emerging design talent." It's a roundup of design, craft, DIY, and just plain pretty. It's also a great resource for those who are into design: PoppyTalk provides a ton of links to take you all over the arts and crafty internets. I also like that it's Canadian. My complaints about the site: it's a little bit too busy and the links to different sections of the site open up a new window/tab. I appreciate sites that link to a new window when I'm headed to a new site, but it's excessive when I'm exploring the same site. Regardless, I like PoppyTalk and I like how it is separated into sections such as 'affordable art' (my kind of art!), 'the decayed' (aka. vintage), and 'collecting' (a look at the collections of design folks).

#43 is Bitch, PhD., which is "A feminist, leftist and personal blog." Not exactly crafty in nature, but I appreciate it because I am attempting to finish my MA in Women's Studies and I'm a member of the Women's Centre Board of Directors at my school. These things mean that school, feminism, and sometimes just feeling like a bitch are all on my mind. But to make a link between feminism, a PhD and craft, I'm going to link to the work of "maximalist artist" Allyson Mitchell. My favourite is her Granny Square Wreck Room. I had a chance to help her out with her Finger of Craft exhibit at the Khyber in the fall. It was pretty awesome.

#42 is of no interest to me. I'm sure it's a very good blog, but as I haven't visited it yet, and it does not indicate that it has anything to do with crafts of any kind, I'm not going to bother to visit or write about it right now.

#41 is my choice of the day: How About Orange.



Described as "Visual treats and hands-on projects dreamed up in an orange office", the blog of graphic designer Jessica Jones is one of my favourite reads in Google Reader. She posts on an almost daily basis (which is an awesome feat in itself) about design and crafts and other pretty things. She also provides tutorials for many of her crafts. I'm a huge fan of her desktop designs and the desktops she shares with readers. I'm also in love with the fabric that she has recently designed and is for sale (online) at j. caroline creative.

So, if there is some reason why you are not part of the reason that How About Orange is in the top 50 blogger powered blogs, you really should go check it out.

Posted byHello Pineapples! on Wednesday, June 04, 2008 0 comments Links to this post  

Stitchin' Jellyfish

I can tell that summer is just about here. Not because we're having some really nice weather, but because I can hear bagpipes off in the distance, probably at a nearby hotel. This city loves its bagpipes. And I guess our tourists do too.

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Still no camera cord, but I do have a camera phone with bluetooth, so here are some pics (as promised) of my jellyfish made of plastic bags:

plastic yarn and jellyfish

while that looks like a mess, it really isn't. For the finished jellyfish, I used mainly bread bags. The clear bags make it look transparent-ish, a quality I think is important in a jellyfish.

the plastic bag jellyfish

I've also made some "yarn" out of a reusable Sobeys bag (that was broken) and some Superstore plastic bags. The superstore bags haven't really worked out so far, but that could be because they were some of my first attempts at plastic yarn and my original method makes them look a little messy. The Sobeys bag crochets up real nice, but I haven't managed to work it into a pattern that I like.

a crappy looking jellyfish

(the photo is fuzzy because it was hard to take a picture and hold the ruler steady).

I had originally attempted to make some "coral" with the green bag, but no luck - there wasn't enough for it to look good. the jelly fish is a little iffy. I think I'll try making the tentacles with clear bags and some pretty woolly yarn for good measure.

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Since I'm on the subject of sea creatures, here's today's Natalie Dee comic:


nataliedee.com

I frakking love Natalie Dee. Sometimes, when she draws things that coincidentally relate to my life (like pineapples, or cake, or octopi), I feel like she might be my doppleganger and if we were ever to meet, one of us would have to die. She probably isn't my doppleganger. Instead she's probably someone who has a sense of humour that is somewhat similar to my own. But that isn't as fun as saying that I have a doppleganger.

Posted byHello Pineapples! on Tuesday, June 03, 2008 0 comments Links to this post