August WIP: Sterling Archer

The wip I determined to finish in August is my Archer piece. I started stitching Sterling Archer over a year ago and put the project away when I got frustrated and didn’t enjoy working on it anymore. Originally, I had planned to stick to just a black outline of the character, using satin stitch for thick black outlines that would mimic the way the cartoon is drawn. My mistake was in transferring the pattern to my fabric and then stitching away and never looking back at the original cartoon to gauge which lines should be thick and which thin. I kind of randomly went to town on it without paying too much attention to what I was doing, and when I got to this point, I realized that it looked weird and not right, and the thought of fixing it was overwhelming so I just said *&$% it and tossed it aside.

archer

I picked it back up again at the beginning of this month and proceeded to continue in the same vein as I had started. After filling in the thick black line at the left side of Archer’s face, I still hated it. I asked Pritts for his honest opinion, and he offered that based on the illustration, some of the places I was filling in with black really shouldn’t be black at all.

archer

Pritts has this annoying habit of being right a lot of the time.

So I made the decision to revamp the damn thing using colors instead of just black and white.

archer detail

I’m satisfied with his shirt and suit, finally, and here’s where I’m at now:

archer now

I’m still not 100% loving this piece, but I think when I finish, I’ll be happy that I reworked it. It was a severe pain in the ass going at it with my seam ripper, and I’m not sure how I feel about filling in his face. It’s looking kind of weird to me.

I may not make my end of August deadline, but I’ll be darn close, and when I’m finished, it’ll be FINISHED. At this point, that’s all I really care about. Finished beats perfect, every time. ๐Ÿ™‚

Granny Square Progress

I’ve been crocheting granny squares for a few weeks now, and I feel pretty confident about it. Crocheting, at least this one very uncomplicated pattern, is a great go-to craft for when I don’t want to have to think. I can make granny squares while watching TV, while sitting through Eliot’s taekwon do classes, while waiting in lines, etc. I don’t go anywhere these days without a ball of yarn and a crochet hook in my purse.

I think it’s cool to look at all my granny squares so far side-by-side. It’s pretty obvious which ones were my first tries and which ones I’ve completed more recently.

granny squares

The rainbow squares are pretty wonky and uneven, the stitches not consistent in size, with noticeable errors in almost every square. The creme colored ones are a bit more regular, more even, tighter…and then by the time I was working on the light blue stack, I could actually stack them atop each other and line up the holes. Score!

granny squares 2

Now I think I need to start weaving in all the ends and joining them, since I have a feeling that I’m going to be bored out of my skull if I wait until I finish all the squares to do that. I’m not sure yet what kind of pattern I’m going to join them in. I just know I want the finished blanket to be sort of randomly rainbow-y. Is rainbow-y a word? It is now. ๐Ÿ™‚

WIP: Archer

Since I committed to finishing at least one old WIP per month, for August I’m focusing on Archer. I started this hoop at least a year ago and abandoned it when I got frustrated that it wasn’t coming along as I had planned. I wanted to do some thick black lines to preserve the way the cartoon is drawn, but I started satin stitching without a clear plan for which lines to fill in, so then it started looking weird to me and I got pissed off. Ha ha. Story of my crafting life: start without a plan, get frustrated and angry, abandon project.

archer

But this month, he shall be finished–Oh yes! Yes, he shall.

We’re in the danger zone here.

Wip it; Wip it Real Good.

I made a list of all of the embroidery/cross stitch projects I have in progress: everything from almost finished pieces, to errant patterns that I’ve traced onto fabric or tracing paper and keep meaning to start. I have a plan to finish them all! Okay, so it isn’t much of a plan, really, it’s just a determination to nominate one at a time to work on and give myself a month in which to finally finish it for good and forever.

This way, I can still start other projects and not feel guilty. So for example, during the rest of July, I’ll work on whatever projects I want, but alongside whatever else I’m doing, I’m going to commit to finishing the Ruth Bader Ginsburg portrait. My self-imposed deadline for finishing that piece is the end of July. If I finish before the end of July–that’s just awesome–I’ll start in on one of the other wip’s, and the deadline for finishing that one will be the end of August. And so on.

Here they are, in all their unfinished glory:

wip collage

Theoretically, I’ll have all of these projects finished within the next fifteen months, although I feel that if I really put it in gear, I can finish them all sooner than that. Wish me luck! ๐Ÿ™‚

p.s. I should probably admit that these are only my EMBROIDERY wip’s. I’m not even thinking about all the random sewing and quilting projects I’ve got in the pipeline. Those will just have to wait their turn. Ha!

Notorious R.B.G.

Remember when I said I had craft ADD? Well, it continues. Ha!

I’ve found the recent Supreme Court ruling on the Hobby Lobby case disconcerting, to say the least. As a citizen of the United States, as a woman, as a crafter, I couldn’t be more disappointed.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s dissent marks what seems to me to be the voice of reason in a court gone bonkers. I could rant on and on all day about the case and the repercussions and implications of the decision, but instead, I’d rather show you my embroidered homage to the Notorious R.B.G. In my eyes, she’s a human rights hero.

rbg wip

 

And even though I have a million and one wip’s sitting in hoops, this weekend, I felt compelled to stitch her up. As we celebrate Independence Day here in the U.S., I’m focusing on Americans who still make me feel that there’s something about this country worth celebrating.

Bob Silverstein from Better World Heroes kindly gave me permission to use his drawing as an embroidery pattern. Better World Heroes and Do One Thing.org maintain a list of heroes with short biographies, quotes, and coloring pages great for introducing kids and adults to people who’ve made a difference in the world.

In regards to the astronomical number of wip’s and ufo’s I have going on right now (when does a wip officially become a ufo?), one of my goals this weekend is to make a list of all my ongoing projects and recommit to finishing some of them. I need a plan. I can do this. Wish me luck! ๐Ÿ™‚

Complete Lack of Focus

I basically have crafting ADD. I suspect that a lot of creative types have this problem, but I have SO many more ideas than I have the time, money, and energy required to invest in making them a reality. Most often, it’s not even the time and money and energy deficits setting me back, though; it’s the lack of focus. I start one project after another until I have various projects at various stages of incompletion and a million and one NEW ideas in my head that I WANT to start on, but can’t in good conscience give time or serious thought to until I finish SOMETHING, ANYTHING that I’ve already started.

I feel like Wembley from Fraggle Rock.ย Does anyone remember Wembley–the character with the Gonzo-esque nose, only yellow colored? He always wore a Hawaiian shirt. I remember countless scenes from that show where Wembley would have such a difficult time making a decision; he’d be pulled in two or more different directions and stand there agonizing, chanting, “Or maybe…or maybe…or maybe…!” until steam started to roll out of his ears from his brain’s engine overheating and he’d just collapse onto the ground in a helpless, defeated pile of crazy Wembley.

I’m a craft Wembley. (Come to think of it, ALL of the characters from Fraggle Rock would make awesome hoop pieces, using some felt applique and blanket stitches… That would be a great series.)

Wait…what?

Oh yeah. Inability to focus.

So today I want to share yet another work in progress, my gigantic butterfly cross stitch. I will very likely never finish this one:

butterfly cross stitch

I do work on the butterfly fairly regularly, though. It’s just so damn huge. I don’t know how other people go about large cross stitch projects, but I can only stitch with one color for so long before I get bored. I can’t bear to work across row by row without skipping around. Does anyone do that? So as you can tell from the photo, the black was really bumming me out, so I had to dive into that amazing blue for a bit. Ahhh…that’s better.

On an unrelated note, stitching outside is nice in the summer. ๐Ÿ™‚

Wednesday: Work I Admire: TextileArtist.org

I just stumbled into a wealth of inspiration and information atย TextileArtist.org.

(And then I read that sentence back and realized it sounds super spammy. But this post is not spam, I assure you, and they’re not paying me anything to promote their website. I honestly just found it and wanted to share.)

Startย here, with this post featuring 10 contemporary embroidery artists, and then I dare you to try not to fall down the rabbit hole admiring all of the stitchy amazingness that is available throughout the site.

These artists’ work make my little stitchy fumblings look paltry.

I mailed a commissioned piece off to its owner this morning; can’t wait for her to receive it so that I can post it here. In the meantime, I’m just fooling about with pieces of felt and leftover floss, playing and adding to this silly piece:

Image

What are you working on?ย