Well, I am officially homeless for the immediate future. All I have to do now is sit around and play Pokemon until the big day of departure. Since Mister Boy pointed out there has been quite a bit of “the sky is falling” in my recent posts, here is something completely unrelated to moving or impending doom.
Remember those plushstaches from a while back? It turns out making your own mustaches is dangerous, because it’s hard to tell when to quit. At first it’s fine to have just a couple, but soon you find yourself asking “do I really have enough mustaches?” Today I will be the villain, but what if tomorrow I need to be a stoic cowboy? Black and brown are so droll, what about pink or teal? Or sparkles? It is truly a dangerous path.
Lucky for you, in the ongoing quest to fill-out my cache of ‘staches, I have created some new patterns! These are made the same as the previous ones, but in case you need help, here is my handy tutorial.
For your wearing pleasure, I introduce to you:
The dapper “Little Belgian Detective”
And the sure to impress “‘Boh ‘Stache”
You can get both patterns (it’s a two-in-one) right here:
Good luck and remember, a girl (or boy) can never have too many mustaches! Especially if they are horrendously trendy.
Besides this being the time of year when everybody gets sick, this is also the time of year that I start to go a little crazy. As I’ve said before, I am not a fan of cold weather, and by late January, early February I am very tired of winter. I’m tired of it being freezing outside, and I’m tired of being indoors all the time. Almost more than anything, I hate everything being gray and gloomy. I seriously start to get depressed without regular sunshine and by this point it feels like it’s been months since I’ve really seen the sun. Perhaps this doesn’t bode well for my move to northern Japan, but I’m hoping it’s at least sunnier than winter in Maryland.
Every year, these grey doldrums spur me to wage my own personal campaign against winter indoors. Primarily, I have a collection of house plants that I nurse through the cold months and periodically add to their ranks. Green things are good company in the dull winter months. They don’t smell funny, make as much noise as the kitties or Mr. Boy, or judge my singing (that I know of). Continue Reading…
I’m a bit of a packrat crossed with a magpie. I collect all sorts of little odds and ends. Over the years, I’ve managed to curb most of these tendencies, but one thing that remains a great weakness is fabric remnants. Every time I go to the fabric store I am compelled to beeline to the remnant bins and rifle through those half-price goodies. I know I don’t need them, but how can I resist? It’s like a treasure hunt and it’s rare that I walk away empty handed. These frivolous purchases have come to make up a large portion of my fabric collection. I suppose if I was a quilter it would all be perfectly justifiable, but I’m not and I refuse to be. (I’m pretty sure it would spell certain doom for me and the livable space in my apartment if I had that kind of excuse to buy fabric.) Luckily I’ve become quite skilled at coming up with other uses (excuses) for my ever growing collection. Most often I channel this into one of my sewing favorites, all manner of bags.
Last year I started making these particular little lined drawstring bags. They aren’t anything new or amazing concept-wise, but they are pretty cute, easy to make, and don’t require much fabric. Perfect for using up those remnants and fat quarters.
I also think this is a good way to practice hand sewing, if you’re into that sort of thing. Despite the fact that I own three sewing machines, sometimes I just want a good hand sewing project. I find it pleasant and calming. And sometimes I get struck by unbearable envy of little Japanese women who hand sew everything, and it’s all disgustingly cute.
If you don’t like hand sewing you can whip these little bags up lickety-split with a sewing machine (less than half an hour if you are on good terms with your machine). Either way I think this is a good beginner sewing project. They are cute, easy, fun, and also make nice little reusable gift bags. Continue Reading…
To be the owner of a handsome mustache is quite a thing and seems rather popular these days. However, life is very unfair leaving some of us genetically powerless to grow our own or forbidden to do so by the edicts of fashion or significant others. Long troubled by this problem, last year I finally created my own solution to this age old inequity without the need for razors, wax, or hormone treatment. It turns out it is quite simple (and inexpensive) to create your own facsimile of awe worthy facial hair. All you need is some felt, a needle and thread, and some sort of stuffing. Although perhaps not as satisfying as the real deal, a plush-stache is still very enjoyable. In fact, if you are already a mustache bearer, you can even increase your coolness without all the maintenance. Continue Reading…
This past week I needed a simple activity to distract me from being desperately unhappy about being on a diet of gelatinous material. For some reason I can’t fathom now, I allowed some villains to remove seven of my teeth. I think I must have been tricked. I get rather put out when I am denied enjoyment of tasty foodstuffs. Combined with all the other discomforts resulting from teeth thievery this made me a big Grumpasaurus Rex. To alleviate this situation I turned to my store of instant gratification projects. Continue Reading…
Every now and then I find it important to have what I consider an “instant gratification” project. Usually it’s the end of the week and my brain is through being creative, but I still want to make something. Other times I use it as a pick-me-up when I get frustrated because a prototype has just epically failed or I’ve had another string of losing battles with my sewing machine. It’s something that I know I can’t screw up and that is going to turn out fine even if everything else I’ve been working on has made me want to cry. Ideally these projects are quick and entertaining, cheap as free (or nearly so), and don’t require any special tools or skills. I’ve come up with many of these projects over the years, so this is the first of many in this theme. Continue Reading…
Resolution at last! Often I have this overly optimistic uncluttered timeline that I think I work on. In reality, unless someone is paying me, things never get done like I imagine. I actually finished this up last weekend, but it took me a whole week to get the time to post it. I’m still figuring out this whole blog thing.
Anyways, picking up from where I left off last week, this is the exciting conclusion of my companion cube tutorial. At this point I have the six sides of my cube finished and it’s time to transform it into a 3-D shape.
Well, I have recovered enough from my grievous thumb injury and mostly caught up on work to continue on with the undisclosed project. Now for the big reveal! I am working on making a Weighted Companion Cube. Again. This is not actually the first of these I have made. Two years ago I had just finished playing Portal and was still feeling the pangs of loss over The Cube. In my grief I decided to make an effigy for Mr. Boy. At the time I was very satisfied and even made a crude tutorial.
Now it has recently been announced there will be a Portal 2!! My inner fangirl went squee and decided I must make a new and improved homage to the beloved cube. And so we are brought to the present.
If you have no idea what I’m talking about, let Wikipedia enlighten you or better yet, go play the game. In short, Portal is a delightful first person puzzle game and the Cube is part of it. It’s hard to understand what the fuss is about unless you have played the game, but the wiki will give you some idea what I’m making.
Now back to what I was doing…
If you would like to follow along with this project listed below are the things you will need. Just a warning, this isn’t a particularly expensive or difficult project, but it is a bit time consuming. There are a lot of little pieces to put together and it is all handsewn. It is not a quick afternoon project. Unless you are some kind of sewing wizard. I’m not quite at that level yet, but I’m working on it.
- 1 9×12″ sheet light gray felt
- 1 9×12″ sheet dark gray felt
- 1 9×12″ sheet light pink felt
- light pink thread
- light pink embroidery floss or pearl cotton
- gray thread
- polyester fiber fill (or other stuffing of choice)
- rice or plastic pellets for weight
- extra felt, fleece or quilt batting for padding
A few notes on materials: The first time I had trouble finding both colors of gray felt in the handy 9×12″ sheets so I used white and gray instead. I eventually realized the felt can also be found on bolts in the regular fabric section. A quarter of a yard is plenty for this project. If you check the remnant bins at the fabric store (usually near the cutting tables) sometimes you get lucky and find the colors you want and it’s super cheap. Another option is to buy all of it online where there is usually a greater selection all in one place.
A pattern might also be handy at this point, and luckily I happened to have made one. This pattern, left unsized, makes a cube that is 3″ big.
On to the nitty gritty!
- First off I cut all the pieces out. My pattern has the corresponding color and number of each piece conveniently marked, so I end up with 6 dark gray squares, 24 light gray corner pieces, 12 light grey tabs, 6 light grey circles, and 6 pink hearts. I also wanted to add a bit more dimenstion to my cube so I cut out extra pieces to go underneath the circles and the tabs. I have lots of fleece scraps so that’s what I used, but felt or quilt batting would work too.
- Starting with the bottom layer details, I used pink embroidery floss and the backstitch to add the lines that cross the center of the cube. The stitching doesn’t go all the way to the center or the edges since other pieces will cover those areas.
- Next the little hearts were sewn onto the gray circles using whip stitch. From here on whip stitch is what I use to sew everything together unless I state otherwise.
- Taking the padding and the just finished small circles, I carefully center and then sew them on top of the dark gray squares.
- Now comes probably the most tedious part of this whole venture: attaching all 32 corner pieces to the squares. The corners are lined up on top of the squares with the edges sticking out and sewn together where they overlap. It makes more sense if you look at the pictures.
- And that’s all for part one! Now there are six finished sides and all that’s left is putting them together and stuffing. Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion sometime next week.
There’s no sense crying over every mistake
You just keep on trying till you run out of cake