Friday, November 23, 2007

Supercute Sea Creature Patterns & Instructions

I'm so excited about completing another pattern, which you can now get on the free downloads page. I designed the octopus in April, and he languished on my craft table since then.  Just last week, I decided to re-do my starfish pattern and add a jellyfish and fish to the group.

They are all easy-to-make and perfect for customizing.  There's lots of room for experimenting with color combinations and embellishments.  I think an all-white set would be really cool, too.  There are a couple extra photos in the Futuregirl Supercute Sea Creature Flickr group.

Each creature is between 3 and 4 inches tall and wide, which makes them the perfect size for ornaments, package tags, or clip-ons for backpacks.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Anticraft Project Three

I was really excited that a crochet project of mine was included in the Anticraft  book.  I designed this lined crochet tote bag so it would be a canvas on which you could add your own personalized design.  I submitted two designs for the book.

The "I [Skull] Trouble Tote" is actually mentioned in the promotional blurb, which totally set me on fire when I noticed.  I included a chart for the whole alphabet with this design so that the saying could be personalized,  Everyone has something important to say on their tote, right? :)

The second design is the Apothecary Tote.  I was inspired by Victorian apothecary medicine bottles.  When I was adding this design to the tote using my graph paper chart, I miscounted the spaces and had to redo it 4 or 5 times.  It was driving me nuts!  But I really loved how it turned out.

While writing up the crochet instructions for the tote, I realized how hard it is to actually explain in words how I do the seamless crochet technique.  Supplementing this pattern is a lot of the reason I put my seamless crochet tutorial on the web.

I also plan on posting a tutorial showing how I hand sew my linings into my crochet bags.  Several people have asked about it, and it would be a good supplement for the book, as well.

I'm compelled to write tutorials because I HATE it when I get the instructions for a project and they blithely say things like "sew the lining into the tote."  HOW?!  It seriously drives me nuts when they give no hint or clue about the techniques they actually used to do it.  I don't want to be a part of THAT problem. :)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Anticraft Project Two

I originally designed the Bad Eggs around Easter of 2006.  I did a set of four in black with embroidered designs.  At the time, I thought subversive Easter eggs (traditionally-colored eggs with non-traditional imagery) would be hilarious, and I got my chance to make some when they were accepted  for the Anticraft  book.

Look at that squirting arterial blood!  I can't tell you how much I love that decapitated bunny.  It warms my heart.  I couldn't be happier about how it turned out.  The white-on-white embroidery outlining his leg doesn't photograph well, but it looks good in person.  His tail is a bunch of floss loops making a 3-D puff.

Ahhhh ... a cute chick with a taste for eyes.  Chirp!  The eyes filling the basket are made with a tiny sequin and a black seed bead ... and embroidered eyelashes.  I do realize that if a chick was digging the eyeballs out of peoples' heads and collecting them in a basket that they wouldn't still have eyelashes, but I think that makes it all the more creepy. :)  It totally oogs me out that the chick is holding an eye by the optic nerve.

The other two eggs in the Bad Eggs set are based on the original designs.  One is embroidered with 360° flames and the other has evil eyes on each side in alternating warm and cool colors.

Certainly, you could make non-snarky Easter eggs with the pattern ... but why would you? ;)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Anticraft Project One is already shipping the Anticraft book!!!  I don't have my free copy yet.  I'm freaking out because I can't see the book and the pictures of my projects.  Is it professional looking?  Is it a nice book?  Are the instructions for my projects accurate? Ack!

Deep breath.

Without further ado, here is project one of the three projects I have in the book:

You probably recognize the Three Owls, the first original stuffies I designed.  For Anticraft I made them a little scarier.  Thank goodness for the felt and floss stash.  Look at all those greys!

This project might seem a little anticlimactic, which is why I started with it.  I love my sweet little owls, though, and I think their goth/industrial incarnation is cute in a menacing kind of way.

The red beady eyes on the little one make me think of Amityville Horror, which I read in one night when I was in the third or forth grade.  I wasn't quite old enough to realize "based on a true story" didn't mean it was true.  It scared the hell out of me. In that book, the demon, which appears as a pig sometimes, also appears as a set of red glowing eyes.  I swear, the red dots on my alarm clock still creep me out a little because of that book.