Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Huzzah! A Happy Announcement!

A day long foretold has come to pass...

I have published my first official listed-on-Etsy crochet pattern!

Yes, I grant you that it is only the beta, but the gal I wrote it for bought it within 5 minutes of my notifying her that it was finally available!

(And I sold one other copy, too.)

Sure, it's only $2 for the beta pattern, but I need all the help I can get to improve and make the pattern better.

Pattern is for sale here!

Woohoo!  Something finally crossed off of my to-do list!

Tomorrow I hope to show you the first of the Art Trades for 2014; the recipient and I are meeting for coffee tonight and I'm crossing my fingers that she likes what I chose to make her.

So many projects!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Minecraft Plushie Pattern! - Early Stage

I've been taking copious amounts of photos during the assembly of the PauseUnpause plushies (which were supposed to be done at the end of May...shhhh).

Yesterday afternoon I was finally able to assemble about 50% of them and insert them into my first-ever written crochet pattern!

I've already got the draft up in Ravelry, and I'm tweaking it as I go based on suggestions from their guide.

Here's the cover image I made:

Don't the Mindcrack boys look snazzy?

It was my largest group photo, so off we go with it, then!

I still have to do photos for the most complicated technique in the entire pattern: changing color in the foundation row.  I mean, the pictures are taken, but I haven't cropped, resized, or inserted them into the document yet.

(I have this sneaky suspicion that I'm going to end up doing a video tutorial for that part, anyway.)

I'm excited either way; I intend to list the pattern for $1.50 while it's in beta...which basically means I'll leave it up for a couple of months, see if anybody contacts me with problems, and then change the price to $5-6 USD.

I hope it works out; this is my first officially photographed and written pattern!  XD

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

A Pile of Pauses!

So while riding to and fro last night in Lord of the Rings Online with Deevius and DSCA, I managed to sew both of the arms and a head onto the second PauseUnpause plushie that I was supposed to have completed by the end of May.

I arranged them on the couch for a quick picture with PauseUnpause v.1.0 before heading off to bed:

I still have the headdresses to sew, but I'm going to try doing them on plastic canvas so they won't curl up and lose their shape like the original Pause's headpiece.

Can't wait to get them all finished and posed for some pictures worthy of tweeting!

(And if I'm super-lucky, PauseUnpause might respond to the tweet!  I've tweeted him before, but never heard anything back.)

Hey, it's good to have fangirl goals, right?  ^_~

Monday, June 16, 2014

A Weekend of Crochet

Featuring your new and improved summer scheduling: 3-day weekends!

(Although whoever invented 10-hour workdays for Mondays should seriously reconsider their life priorities.)

Alas, though I have no pictures yet (hopefully later tonight to be posted tomorrow), I did spend the bulk of my weekend working on plushie PauseUnpauses.

As of yesterday, I have one completely put together (minus his headdress) and the second has his legs attached (admittedly the hardest part of the assembly).

I am also photographing the process in order to finish writing my first complete pattern, which I hope to sell on Ravelry and Etsy.  (Nope, no idea what I'm doing!)

In addition, I also got to Skype with my bestie April over the weekend, and she has told me her Christmas and birthday wish lists for this year!  It includes one Mr. GenerikB and a Dalek of her very own.

This could be a challenge!

(I'm secretly hoping, however, that having 3 days off per week will allow me to get more crochet done on the whole, even if I'm at work later Monday thru Thursday.)

Oh, and then the Broken Buttons Lore stuff!  There was lots of that over the weekend, too!  We're trying out a new method of organization for our files and checklists.  It's called Trello, and I spent some time on Saturday setting it up, and then had a few chats with different people regarding layout, format, and how to post things in particular places.

I'm hoping that it will be a good tool that will allow the lore writers to stay in better touch with the admins.

Maybe tomorrow I'll have a chance to tell you about the Broken Buttons project that's put KotS 3 on hold.

But until then, happy Monday!

(What a contradiction, amiright?)

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Etsy Spotlight: Tatoke

For those of you who don't shop on Etsy much (what's wrong with you?...just kidding), it has a suggested items function, just like most other online stores.

Only instead of generic suggested items, it suggests the Favorite boards of people who have liked similar things to you.

Well, today through some board-hopping, I came across Tatoke, which sells out of Dublin, Ireland.

What caught my eye?

Well, this fleece dress:

Listing here.

I could wear this to LARP, on those bitterly-cold night mods where you wear every layer of clothing you've brought, plus your most portable blanket.

It's a snuggie for LARP!  (Much more stylish, though.)

I can't say no!

And then poor Midori who has none of the body fat I do, loves purple, so:

Listing here.

I love to support other Etsy sellers, so perhaps in a few more commissions I'll be able to place an order for both tunics in a few months, before the weather up in the mountains turns too cold.


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Happy Birthday Deevius! - Part Two

So Deevius and I attended the SC Comicon together, along with Midori, and I knew she was looking at LEGO minifigs as well as vintage toys.  But I also caught her checking prices on sonic screwdriver replicas.

Well, caught off-guard as I was by her birthday, I went to my fall-back plan: the Panda's Amazon Prime membership, which promises free 2-day shipping on select merchandise from participating sellers.

I began my research!  I knew that I wanted a replica that not only lit up, but made the sonic noise, too.  I think I went through two or three listings before I came across the only one that made noise:

Courtesy of Barnes &

I remembered seeing a Doctor Who display in the local Barnes & Noble, however, so I did a price comparison.  With tax, I would only be spending a dollar or so more at a brick-and-mortar location, and not have to worry about shipping mishaps.

And then!

And then...

I remembered that I had an old, ancient giftcard from some friends.  (Like, 2011, 2012 era.)

(Of course, there was a warning on the back of the card saying that after 12 months of inactivity, the company would deduct $1.50/month.  I sent the Panda to the store with it anyway.)

Success!  The full amount was there!  Boo-yah!

But it wasn't enough!  I am famous for handmade craftsies; Deevius is one of my main cohorts in crime!  I couldn't let her down...

So on Friday (we celebrated on the following Monday) I went through Ravelry in search of free Doctor Who related patterns.  

(I am fabulous at last-minute panics.)

I took the pattern I chose and appropriate yarn colors with me to Shadowmoor (since my character has a RP Skill - Weaving: Crochet tag, I can crochet while in play and have a good reason for doing so).

Yes, I did have to give Deevius a not-yet-finished project.

But the final result is totally worth the effort!

Pattern by Lucy Ravenscar here.

And of course I couldn't leave well enough alone:

Etho:  ...?  Kurt...someone here to see you...

I tweeted a similar picture to Kurt and Etho, as well as put it up on Deviant Art.  If I'm lucky, I'll be able to get a picture of Deevius with the Dalek before she moves north.  ^_^

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Happy Birthday Deevius! - Part One

Last week (June 5th, if you want to know) was Deevius' birthday!

(I was totally side-swiped; thank you Facebook for saving me.)

Lucky for me, she was booked up for the week of her birthday, and we weren't going to be able to celebrate until after Shadowmoor.

I planned a menu, courtesy of a suggestion by Midori for crockpot French dip sandwiches that went over fabulously well.  The Panda was kind enough to make dessert, which were chocolate cake batter muddy buddies.

And although it turned out nothing like the picture:

Recipe here.

Deevius took what remained of the large bowl home for future consumption before she moves out of state next week.


She has accepted a job in Michigan, from whence she hailed originally, and now is as good a time as any to get out of the rapidly-declining work environment she's been in for awhile.

So we celebrated like mad fiends, far later than we should have, in our glorious nerdy tradition of watching an episode of Rosemary and Thyme, followed by an extended stint of Lord of the Rings Online.

We were of course joined by DSCA, another friend of ours from college that now lives in Virginia.  She plays with us on our weekly runs through the various countrysides and dungeons of Middle-Earth.

Well, last week we had started a running joke due to the new character titles we had unlocked ([Character Name], Summoned by Lord Elrond).

(This is following all the salacious jokes about how embarrassed DSCA would feel if she truly were talking to Elrond while wearing his son's pants (they were a quest reward and she kept them to wear cosmetically)).  Many comments ensued about how her little hobbit lass obtained Elladan's pants.

(*innocent whistling*)

Anyway...when it was discussed last week that Deevius might accept the job, she quoted what has become our slogan:

The friends that slay together, stay together.

...which is exactly what we do every Monday night from 7:30-10:00 (or later).

Now it's just devolved into us saying that we're going to call ourselves Elrond's Angels and make t-shirts to wear in real life, even if we're not ever together physically ever again due to geographic constraints.

Of course, then we decided that in-game we should all have Elrond's Angels outfits.  My character, Keywen, is a tailor.  DSCA perused the LotRO wiki until she found something she liked; I went through my vault and found the proper supplies, and tailored us each a matching outfit.  

DSCA, as a scholar, makes many sundry dyes for said clothing, and fetched us black dye.  Then we passed around a raven mask and a raven cloak from the bygone Halloween festival (items remain equipped cosmetically even if you're not wearing them--the trick is to not ever replace them or the appearance will vanish).  

And then of course we posed outside in semi-dim lighting:

From left: Nevrian, Pipara, Keywen
(Deevius, DSCA, moi.)

Our awesome raven cloaks from the back:

Classes:  Guardian (moi), Minstrel (DSCA), Champion (Deevius)

And then of course us doing emotes:

Emotes:  /rich,  [DSCA's didn't trigger], and /cheer

In my next post, I hope to show you the lootz the Panda and I got for Deevius; but one wasn't quite finished so I'm working on it like crazy!

Gotta go!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Picking Music for Patreon

A few days ago, I mentioned attempting to set up a Patreon page for future crochet endeavors.

While I've come up with some milestone markers, I have yet to input individual gifts.

Also, Patreon recommends you put up a video or other artwork to demonstrate your art style and goals.  (First of all, I don't video or photograph.  We're doomed.)

But then I thought:  what if the plushies did one of those cute, quirky stop-motion videos with the white cards?

That's all fine and good, but then you've got to have the perfect background music to cut it to.  The best collection of royalty-free music I know about is courtesy of Kevin MacLeod, via

Here are some of my picks so far:

Montauk Point - Contemporary, bouncy, and long.

Pamgaea - Electric, bouncy, and unusual.

Wallpaper - Electric, smooth background quality.

Sock Hop - 50s feel, bright, conversational quality.

Happy Alley - Bouncy guitar; this is what I think a traditional stop-motion video would use.

Bright Wish - Positive piano sound, short but loopable.

Hilarious honorable metions:

Motivator - This reminds me of the commercials of my childhood.  Or possibly my parents' childhood.

Silly Fun - I can imagine a Let's Play series for kids starting out with this.

But now, kind geeks and crafters, I go to enjoy my weekend away at LARP!  I leave you with this cute saying:

Thursday, June 5, 2014

An Introduction to LARP

I'm preparing to go away this weekend to King's Mountain, North Carolina.  I'll be spending the weekend sharing a cabin with 3-6 other people, mostly men, with no privacy.  Additionally, I'm lugging containers full of Asian-themed decorations and clothing with me.

Yes, it's my clothing.

And then I will spend a weekend dressed in said Asian clothing, toting around a PVC pipe with lengths of foam taped to each end to fashion what is known as a 'boffer-style' staff.

Have I lost any of you yet?

That's a basic, outsider description of LARP, which stands for Live Action Role Play.  LARP isn't just restricted to nerds who like to wear funky costuming and pretend to be elves and fairies.  Other, more historic forms of LARP include reenactments such as Civil War battles.

The LARP I attend is:

Owned and operated by Kevin and Casey Hardy.
Running since 1996.

Mike the coworker introduced me to the concept of LARP when I first became a full-time employee in his department.  When he would go away for an entire weekend and come back with what (to me) sounded like live-action D&D dungeon runs, I couldn't help but be intrigued.

He kept insisting that the first even was free.  So Midori and I decided to attend our first event at the same time in May of 2012.  I did attempt to skim the player's handbook; I picked a race and a class for my character build, and ordered authentic clothing from Thailand.  

But I was convinced I had no idea what to expect.

And I was right.

People that have never tried LARP look at it and think it's an uber-nerd activity, like I did.

But you know what separates tabletop D&D from LARP?

The theatricality.

Sure, you can sit at the table, consult your character sheet for your healer, and then roll to see if you can cast a area burst of healing for your party.  If you're in a role-play only campaign, your character might even be concern, and your voice reflects that.

However, knowing that your party is lying bloody and dying on a porch and only your life spells can pick them back up is something else entirely.  Because you can see their bodies.  

Sure, they're pretending to be dead.  But they're on a timer.  And you left your magic stick with life spells in your cabin down the hill.

It takes some imagination, but it's not such a far leap.  And it's far more enriching and real to me than numbers on a paper.  I mean, one of those people was my character's sister-in-law.  She was visiting Shadowmoor for the first time and my character was supposed to be watching her.

Yeah, imagine having to explain that to my character's husband (which is actually my husband's character).  (See what I did there?)

I have watched some amazing acting in my time there.  I've cried when fellow Sampan (my race) did not listen to me and endangered their lives.  I've fought in a six-hour long field battle to save the world from an enemy they had been trying to defeat for over two years.

And I have had so much fun.

Okay, most of the time I sit in the cabin and crochet.  Or make tea to serve to guests that come by.  Or basically just guard Midori while she sleeps.  (I have one job in this lousy's stupid, but I'm gonna do it!  Okay?!?!)

But then when I do go out, I am seldom disappointed by the different mods the plot members have for us.

Midori scouts our surroundings to make sure it's safe.

If I'm lucky, perhaps I'll get some photos this weekend to share with you.  I hear that Tao and Rax (my character's guild mates) intend for us to actually go out and slay monsters for fun.

Should be wild!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Adventures in Needleart

So thanks to my fabulous friend Drew, whom I was able to visit in Canada during my spring break in April, I got a new, fun idea for making Minecraft props and accessories!

Left: Redstone Torch, 3-scale
Right: Lava Bucket, 2-scale

I'm rather proud of the lava bucket; it turned out pretty much the way it was supposed to.  The redstone torch had a few more issues, but I was in a rush to get it done and I don't intend to try and sell it without solving those issues first.

I'm still getting used to adapting different shapes to the needleart form, and in my third piece (to be featured here at a future date) I even had to go back and change the shape because I couldn't count pixels correctly.


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

A Tuesday of Ethos

Sorry, no pictures today!  I just plain didn't have time yesterday to sit down with the Panda's laptop and get them off of the SD card!

Things are really starting to take off with the Kingdom of the Sky 3 plotting; the lore team has it's official weekly meeting tonight, but yesterday StrikerShane and Bullethail went a little nutso in the Skype chat, making documents, naming all the towns and cities--I'm happy that they're getting into it!

But of course I was trying to saute veggies for quesadillas and grate cheese at the same time before my dinner guest (Deevius) came over with her zesty and delicious crockpot chicken taco soup.

We enjoyed an episode of BBC's Rosemary and Thyme with dinner (in between me changing laundry loads around like a boss) and then started our weekly run in Lord of the Rings Online (LotRO).  (I may also have been applying layers of Scotch-guard to the fabulous oriental parasol my friend Drew gave to me when I visited her in April, up in Canada.)

...I only have about a hundred things to do this week, and I'm on #8.

So today I decided that I needed to be a little more proactive about the next commissions in my queue, which happen to be twin Etho plushies.  (No, I'm not done with the Pauses, but I can't easily transport them to work anymore.)

My goal is to get 6 Etho panels done per day until they're finished, and finish Pause at the same time.  (I'm a little crazy.)

But for today, in the midst of the busy week, I leave you with a happy tweet from a gal I played online with during the Broken Buttons build team event on Saturday:


Monday, June 2, 2014

A Complete Month of Blogging Behind Me...

...the world ahead.  And there are many paths to tread--


What do you mean I can't quote Pippin?


So, I've successfully made it through one month of blogging without slacking off too badly.

(I could give myself cookies, but that means I'd have to use the oven and heat up my house.  Bleh.)

I had a pretty good weekend; I just forgot to bring the pictures of my crochet projects with me to post them on the blog today.  >.<

Tomorrow for sure!

I'm in the final stages of sewing two PauseUnpause plushies together, but  these are the "v.2" Pauses; I am going to attempt to make their headgear out of something more durable and better-fitted than hodgepodge crochet.

Although I had hoped to be done this weekend...clearly I'm not.  (What're ya gonna do?  Creative people are just so unreliable sometimes.)

I was also semi-interrupted on Saturday by a Broken Buttons event--we played a couple of games with BTC and he livestreamed.  He killed me.  I took a few whacks at him.  I think we're all still friends.

But I digress; I'm pretty sure that I kept my crochet within reach during the downtime between games.

So, here's to tomorrow's post, hoping that I have picture proof of partial shenanigans this weekend!