Saturday, 29 October 2011

Crafty Avengers

Double posting alert!! If you read both my blogs, you'll be treated to this post twice. And if you follow me on twitter, three times :)

This is my latest crafty project all finished. Well, I say latest - I started it almost a year ago, but academia got in the way and I've only now got around to completing it. I've already started on the next one, and have plans for many more - I may have found a new addiction!

 The super reflective glass was a bit of a nightmare to photograph, so apologies for the poor quality. I got the pattern for this from the fantastic wee little stitches on etsy. If you're itching to do some stitching I strongly suggest you check them out. They have all sorts of cool patterns, from The Breakfast Club, to Ghostbusters and Doctor Who. Lots of fun and easy to stitch - well worth $6 of any one's money.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Cape Tutorial

Looking for a quick and easy cape tutorial? Of course you are. Check out how I made this great superhero cape over on Daily Waffle.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Guest Post: Elise from NerdNuptials

(Today is a very exciting first for Dropped Stitches. I have my very first guest post written by the lovely Elise from NerdNuptials. Elise makes beautiful paper bouquets for brides who want something a little unique. So if you, or someone you know is planning a wedding, why not check out her store. And even if you're not getting married, her lovely hair pins would add a touch of literary chic to any outfit.)

        My name is Elise, and I am the proud owner of the Etsy shop NerdNuptials.  I don't know if creativity is born in nature or nurture, but I know it's something the women in my family treasure.  Hearing a sewing machine from the next room will always trigger sense memories of my grandmother; my mom would often occupy me with various craft projects when I was young.
Because of that, it seemed instinctive to me to DIY as much of my wedding as I could, as we never had much of a budget to work with.  My fiance and I pretty quickly decided on a book themed wedding.  I spent an entire summer working on flowers and decoupaging paper mache boxes.  As the weather cooled, my projects wound to a close.  I was oddly disappointed.  Not with my results, but that all of the sudden, my most frequent  passtime was essentially done.
My father, a man of few words, told me I should be selling the flowers.  That alone was enough to get me thinking.  Initially, Etsy was incredibly intimidating to me.  Up to that point, I had never been much of an online shopper, and was even less of a postal shipper.  Originally, I opted for selling my flowers and paper mache boxes in a local handmade shop.  Putting my items under the name Nerd Nuptials was a time based impulse.  I was heading over to drop off my first supply of pins and hair clips and needed to put something on the tags.  I like aliteration.  My product was born of a wedding theme and does cater to the geekier clientelle.  The moniker popped into my head and now I can't imagine ever having called it anything else.
When I sold a few things in the shop, I decided it was time to reach the much larger audiene.  Just over a year ago, I signed up for my Etsy account.  It took me a couple nervous weeks to read EVERY bit of the rules for the site.  Then I made my first few bouquets and started listing.  I did the most ridiculous happy dance when my first sale went through (October 25th, 2010 - a Walking Dead keepsake box).  A little part of me still does it every time.  Okay, a big part.  I will never get over the excitement that I can create something with my bare hands and someone out there wants it.  Furthermore, that someone is often a bride.  I am a bride.  I know full well how picky we can be!
I try to offer a good variety in my shop.  I use book pages for the Lit geeks (and I've had requests for everything from Twilight to Sherlock Holmes).  I love using comics.  You end up with a really great pastiche of image and color.  And for trivia, almost everyone asks for Marvel.  A few customers, after my own heart, convinced me to cut up the extra copy of the first Sandman graphic novel from my own library.  I doubt any other page was as hard to cut into as that was!  I'll use anything.  I've used sheet music.  One customer even sent me a copy of her school's newspaper.  
One of my huge breakthroughs was getting into steampunk styles.  Open up a google page.  Do a search for "steampunk bouquet".  My shop will be somewhere on the first page.  If you click to do an image search, you will see my flowers.  With such a completely ideosyncratic style, I have no idea why this type of bouquet doesn't already flood the interwebs.  They're my favorite to work on, by far.  I can still use any kind of paper or paint color, but selecting the embelishments is completely zen for me.  I always love the results.  It's pathetic how sad I am every time one of them is purchased.  I want to keep them all for myself!  
Custom orders are also fantastic.  I love working with the people who buy from my shop: messaging back and forth, making recommendations, and reading the great ideas the buyer has.  Then, from an idea this buyer had, I create something.  My favorite part of that process has to be reading the reactions when I send the pictures of the final product.  It's a total thrill to have someone tell me that I made them exactly what they wanted.  Then I get to read their feedback (100% positive, I'm proud to say) and enjoy the satisfaction of a job well done.  
I hope you'll stop by my shop and check out what I have to offer!  Maybe you're the next person I'll be working with.  Lastly, thanks to all the people who have encouraged me and especially all the people who've purchased from me.  You're all delightful!

Friday, 14 October 2011

Cosplay for Kids

My exam is over and done with and the relief is astonishing. So naturally, I got immediately down to the very pressing business of creating hallowe'en costumes for my twins. Hallowe'en is a big deal when you're a geek parent, and, as per usual, the boyfriend wonder had hugely ambitious plans. Unfortunately, I'm not quite a wizard with the sewing machine just yet, so some adjustments had to be made to his original idea.

Working with what we already have, we've decided to persuade the boys to dress as Thor. This is kinda the look we're going for.

Only, you know, with less lightning. And a little simpler.

We already have the helmets, so we can check that off the list. A while back, I made the twins capes, and as is their way, they were pretty much worn out within a month. So, using a new pattern, some plain red cotton and ribbon (now that I'm convinced they won't strangle themselves) I've made pretty nifty replacements. I'll be writing up yet another tutorial for those next week. Likewise, their Thor hammers now look like they've been attacked by a family of foam-loving beavers but alas, it turns out those particular hammers are like gold dust now. So the chewed look will have to do.

The rest of the costume cost practically next to nothing to make, but I'm quite chuffed with how it's looking. I bought two navy t-shirts for under a pound each, removed the sleeves and sewed up new seams. I found some silver card at home and cut 6 circles for each shirt and then glued them on with E6000 glue that I bought for another project. Then I layered the t-shirts over grey long-sleeved shirts for his armour (and also for warmth, it's cold in October in Scotland you know!) and I have yet to make the wrist bands, but it's on my list, along with  possibly a belt. They'll be wearing it with jeans and wellies, in all likelihood, but that hardly matters. I still think it'll look pretty kick ass.

And don't worry, as soon as possible, I'll get photos of the kids proudly wearing this - unless ,of course, by that time Jake is still sulking because he wants to be Bumblebee. There's no pleasing some people.