My Crafting Adventures: Embroidery

Warning: I’m basically telling this story to show off my new obsessive  hobby. Sorry for the blatant self indulgence.

 

My sister, J, asked me to make her a beaded bib necklace. She wants something large and intricate and reminiscent of Alphonse Mucha. He is one of our favorite artists. And since you all know how much I love my sister, I was determined to learn how to make it for her.

She wants this chest piece, specifically.

But I realized I needed to learn to embroider to learn to embroider with beads. Embroidery was already on my list of crafts to learn anyway. I figured there was no better time.

 

I decided I wanted to embroider an anatomical human heart. I doubt that is surprising to anyone that reads this blog. I also didn’t put any thought into the level of difficulty involved in this project. As usual.

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My first embroidery!

You guys have already seen my cross stitch creations. Embroidery may look similar, but the techniques could not be more different. Embroidery was hard. And serious. And gorgeous.

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This is framed and hung over my toilet.

I was only learning embroidery at this point as a means to an end.  I had no intention of falling in love with it. And yet, I am completely obsessed. It is so satisfying to finish a piece. I love everything about it. It is soothing and rhythmic. And just mindless enough to do when I am emotionally exhausted.

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I made this for Debbie at More Than Sweet Potatoes. It’s a whale skeleton. Freaky.

Embroidery is like drawing with fabric and string. You can make anything. In fact, if you guys go to my Pinterest (link on the right) my crafts page is mainly full of incredible embroideries done by people far more skilled and clever than myself.

 

I have gotten around to making myself a beaded bib necklace, but that is a story for another post. I haven’t made hers yet. But I will, and once I do, I will share it with you all.

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This is a Nordic protection symbol. I have always loved it.

Almost every other craft I have ever learned had a learning curve. The first few times I tried it were awkward, uncomfortable, and the results were pretty disastrous. I’m not sure why embroidery wasn’t that way.

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Fetus in feto for my sister. What can I say? I like bones and diseases, she like furs and medical disorders.

I fell in love with the first thing I ever made. And have been mostly pleased with all my pieces since.

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Owl for my brother.

I can foresee me turning into a crazy embroidery lady with hoops on every wall, just littering my apartment with string and fabric pictures.

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Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!

My Crafting Adventures: Cross Stitch

When my sister, M, had her son, I made a guided cross stitch bib for him. It was a cheery outdoor scene with blue cross stitch skies. It was basically a paint by numbers for cross stitch. I was 13.

I can’t even find something awful enough. Cutesy like this. But worse.

 

Two years ago I was playing on some random internet site, looking at crafty things, as I am wont to do. I saw something amazing. It was a dirty cross stitch. Adult cross stitch!

If you haven’t seen the ‘Washington Rap’ do it. Now!

 

I quickly did a Google image search for anything I could find. And I could find a lot. Google images; the good things you lead me to almost make up for the horrible images that scar me forever.

When I am having a bad day, this video makes me laugh. Every. Damn. Time.

 

I loved the idea of combining foul language with something as old fashioned and old lady-ish as cross stitch. I determined to immediately make a few bookmarks. After all, I am extremely foul mouthed, hence the name of this blog. And I am super crafty. Besides, I had cross stitched once upon a time.

 

The supplies were easy enough to come by. And I already knew what my first grown up cross stitch was going to say.

 

But I really didn’t know the first thing about laying out a cross stitch pattern. In my typical half assed fashion I just decided to wing it. I figured I could just make it up as I go long. This has historically not worked out very well for me.

 

I can not tell you how little I thought about it before I started (which should be the unofficial title of this blog). I began that fucking bookmark 10 times. I kept stopping and starting and undoing the stitching. It was extremely frustrating. Especially when I could have been spending hours on a craft project I was actually good at.

 

But I finally got it laid out. There is a surprising amount of math involved in most craft projects. And despite this post, I am usually very lazy about math.

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You’ll notice at the bottom I had to change the border size. Oh well.

 

I went out and bought some graph paper to help me plan out my next bookmarker. It went much more smoothly. It only took me 3 tries to get it laid out the way I wanted.

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It says: Be the cockblock you wish to see… It’s from a feminist blog about not sleeping with assholes and Gandhi too, I guess. Reminds me of that John Waters quote about not fucking people that don’t read. Words to live by.

I have lofty goals for my next cross stitch projects. I am imagining floral embroidered tablecloths and funny stitched wall hangings.

 

 

How many times can I mention Alan Tudyk before he gets a restraining order?

And then, the other day, my sister, J, sent me this:

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Squee! Cross stitched diseases!

And now I absolutely have to make that too. The combination of two of my great loves: crafting and diseases. My life will not be complete without it.

19 Fictional Dudes I Love

There are a lot of lists going around right now in my blogger world. Things you hate, things you love, things that turn you on. I am kind of a list-y freak. If you ask me to make a top ten of anything, literally anything; I could in two minutes. Fruit? Zombie movies? Diseases? I’ve got it all in my head.

I was going to do a list of things I love but that would take too long. So instead I am going to talk about something else. I’m going to talk about being attracted to animated characters. Not in a serious, “furry” type of way. But if I was a cartoon character…well, here you go.

Human:

6. Cyril Figgis (from Archer): Nerd. Horn rimmed glasses. Greying at the temples. And there are plenty of implications that he is packing much more than a gun in his pants. Plus, sweater vest.

5. Marshall Lee (from Adventure Time): He’s a demon/vampire. He’s adorable. And that singing voice!

4. Li Shang (from Mulan): He’s handsome. He’s earnest. And he fell for a strong independent woman in a time when that shit was seriously looked down on, while she was in drag, no less.

3. Ralph (from Wreck-It Ralph): He’s a hairy, lumberjack type. He overcomes his bad guy nature and does the right thing. And Felix is pretty foxy too.

2. Dean (from the Iron Giant): He befriends a young boy and helps him to harbor a fugitive robot. Plus, he’s a welder and that shit is so sexy!

1. Roger (from 101 Dalmations): He is so gorgeous. He is a kind, socially awkward musician. He was a hipster before that was a thing. And he is the handsomest Disney prince.

Non-Human:

6. Sully (from Monsters Inc): His love for Boo is irresistible and charming. He is tall and crazy hairy.

5. Balto (from Balto): He is heroic. He is the underdog (no pun intended), the scrappy hobo dog that saves a town. And it is based on a true story.

4. Gil (from Finding Nemo): He’s a sexy , tough guy with a scar. Also, the accent.

3. Jake (from the Rescuer’s Down Under): He’s like the animal version of Indiana Jones. With an Australian accent.

2. Robin Hood (from the fox animated Robin Hood): Again with the heroes. I even thought he was sexy as the stork when he was in disguise.

1. Basil (from the Great Mouse Detective): He is smart and sexy. And he actually reminds me of both Roger from 101 Dalmatians and Jake from The Rescuers Down Under.

And while I am at it: Some actual human, non-animated fictional characters I have a crush on. Not the actors (though they are cute too) but the actual character.

7. Neville Longbottom (Matthew Lewis from Harry Potter): I know he is hot now, but I liked him from the beginning. He is so brave and good but not in an obnoxious Superman type of way.

6. Mister Spock (Leonard Nimoy from Star Trek): Smart and logical. I know it would never work out between us. But I can still dream. Plus, he rocks some serious eye makeup.

5. Mohinder Suresh (Sendhil Ramamurthy from Heroes): He is so earnest and always trying to do the right thing. Plus he’s a doctor.

4. Sherlock Holmes and John Watson (Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman from Sherlock): Do I need to even clarify? Smartest private detective in the world and his ex-military playboy companion. I know it’s two people, but let me have this!

*sigh*

3. Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford from Indiana Jones): Better than Han Solo. Why? The accessories. Hat, whip, satchel, glasses, bow tie. Besides, he is an adventurer and a professor.

I couldn’t decide between the two.

You’re welcome

2. Hoban “Wash” Washburne (Alan Tudyk from Firefly): You know that opening scene with him playing with plastic dinosaurs? I was sold from that point and he didn’t disappoint. Kind and caring and funny. Best character ever!

Still makes me laugh!

1.  Peregrin Took (Billy Boyd from Lord of The Rings): I would totally violate my height guidelines for him. I think hobbits are all pretty adorable. And I love how he gets into trouble all the time. Also, that hair. I kind of have a crush on the whole movie cast, but, he’s the best. Can I just marry a hobbit? Please?

*swoon*

And if nothing else have proved my true nerdiness, I believe this list has ended all doubt. I almost did one for fictional, cartoon robots but I thought that might be pushing it. Apparently more than cartoon animals.

How about you guys? Who do you have unrealistic crushes on? Please comment so I know I am not the only freak in love with fictional characters. Or attracted to cartoons.

First date

I have been really busy looking for a new place to move to. But don’t worry, I still managed to find the time to have this happen to me:

This past Saturday an anomaly occurred within the universe. I was out enjoying my day when an incredibly handsome man that I know asked me out. He and I are not friends, but I know him through another friend.

Let me tell you right now, that I have always been a bit judgmental towards attractive men. I spent most of my life believing that there was no way a conventionally good looking man would ever like me. And if he did, it would either be as a joke to humiliate me or he would be abusive.

I always preferred tall, chubby, hairy men. Nerdy guys with glasses and bad clothes. Older men. Beards. I liked faces with character and people that were interesting looking. Like sexy  ugly, if that makes sense.

I think he is super hot and my friends are like, no Nathan Fillian is the hot one.

I never found these “handsome” men to be attractive. I always likened them to paintings in a museum. I could stare at them all day and appreciate their beauty and artistry. But I could never own one.

Gorgeous! But out of my price range.

This lead me to act like myself around handsome men. They didn’t make me nervous because I knew I had no chance. I was only ever going to be their super cool friend.

But I realized how weirdly shallow this was of me. Good looking people can’t help their appearance any more than bad looking ones can. It was actually pretty rude of me to assume that someone good looking was a bad person. Besides, I have been dating my ‘interesting’ looking men for 12 years and quite a few of them were abusive. So I decided to allow handsome men to date me (I’m a giving person like that).

When this gorgeous dude asked me to go to the beach with him, I was like: “Sure. But just so you know, I hate the beach.”

J and I texted back and forth for a few hours. He was interesting and we had a lot in common. But warning bells were already going off. Not enough to make me change my mind. But enough to make me realize there wasn’t going to be a second date, for sure.

He started telling me all about myself. Maybe this is just me, but I don’t like it when men I don’t know very well tell me how sweet I am. What the fuck do you know about it? Also, I think ‘sweet’ is code for ‘doormat.’ Don’t call me sweet, call me kind. That’s what I am.

Then when he didn’t like how I responded to a question; he told me how I was supposed to respond. He had just unleashed my inner bitch.

“Why are you even bothering to text me? If you already know how you want this conversation to go, just write yourself a script and act out both parts. You don’t need me for that.”

He did not like that one bit. How’s that for ‘sweet’, motherfucker?

He apologized. By this point I was having serious doubts about the beach. But, he was the friend of a friend. And the friend hadn’t said anything negative about J. I was willing to let it go. I haven’t been on a date in a very long time. Did I also mention that he was hot?

The next day he texted me.

“I’ll be leaving for the beach tomorrow at 8am. 8:15 at the latest.”

I responded. “That’s a bit early for me. I have a doctor’s appointment in the morning. Can we push it back to 9 or 9:30?”

“No.” He replied.

I was surprised. “Well, can you at least come pick me up so I have time to see my doctor.”

“No. You need to meet me at my place.”

Now, I was really stunned. “Well, I won’t be meeting you at 8, so I guess I am not going to the beach.”  I sort of expected him to relent at this point or maybe make plans to meet up with me later.

Instead he said, “Fine. Please delete my number and I’ll delete yours. I won’t bother you anymore.”

Seriously.

Now I was shocked. What. The. Actual. Fuck. Who the hell acts like that?

All I could say was “Okay.”

He said a few things about how he didn’t have any hard feelings and hoped I didn’t either. But, could I not tell anyone that he had asked me out. (Which is exactly why I am telling all of you right now).

I chose to not respond as the only things I could think of to say would have been very counterproductive.

So, he called me. Our conversation consisted of him repeating his last texts and me telling him to delete my number and never contact me again.

The next day I told my doctor that she had definitely saved me from going on a date with someone that was disturbed in some way.

Who the hell acts like that on an attempt at a first date? Did he think I was going to cancel my doctor’s appointment to go to the beach with him? Where do I find these men? And, most importantly, why do I seem to draw them to me?

At least all is now right with the universe again.

SECOND UPDATE: Damn, I just realized some other point I was trying to make here. I hate when that happens. I always said I didn’t want to be one of those women that ‘tested’ men. But I don’t see how I can NOT do that. I’m starting to see how important it is to find out how someone reacts when they don’t get what they want. And the sooner the better. I think it will help me to avoid guys like this one too.

UPDATE: I just thought of someone better to use as an example of a guy I like that is unconventional. Because Alan Tudyk is seriously hot. Here you go:

Richard Dreyfuss in Jaws. Check off the list: Nerdy, glasses, hairy, beard. Done!