Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Flurries of activity

Mini monster is finished!

Perhaps one of my New Years' Resolutions should be to take better photos!

He's a few days late, oops. I'm terrible with deadlines. I love to do things for people and send them things, but I'm no good at actually organising it to be done. I have an excuse this time, though. You see, Boy downloaded Sim City 3000 for me. I'd mentioned to him that I was a bit nostalgic for it. I'd been completely obsessed with it about 6 years ago. Then my computer died and I lost all my cities, as well as my not-quite-legal copy of the game. I grieved, and I moved on. Other computer games filled in the gap. None of them had quite the same charm, though. Now it's back in my life - and it's back with a vengeance! My first city is named Lennyville (after my laptop). I may never craft again. (Just kidding.) Actually, SimCity is quite a good game for the crafter, as you can leave it running on the slowest setting and do some craft while you decide what to build next. As long as I keep one eye on the info bar where any problems or complaints come up, I'm easy!

Anyway, monsty is finally done. I thought ahead a little bit and made all of his arms and legs first before I started on the body. That way I got the fiddly bit over and done with, and I didn't have to worry so much about running out of yarn and/or not being able to re-create what I had done before. I think I will do it that way from now on. I had some trouble with his hair. First I tried embroidering it with eyelash yarn for a fuzzy look. I failed completely. No, it wasn't me, it was the yarn. Grr! I DON'T recommend doing this. The fuzzies on it make it impossible to pull through the hole, and the yarn is very weak so it snaps when you try to pull it hard. Resulting in much aggravation. When I switched to plain black acrylic I had much more luck. It took quite a while to cover his whole head though, and I'm not all that happy with the result. To me he looks like an army recruit! The monsters definitely need hair, though. They just look naked without it. The three methods I've tried are:
1. needle felting (Monstrous Muriel);
2. embroidery (mini-monster);
3. holding eyelash yarn together with the yarn used for the body (Scary Selby)
(I know I've only shown 2 of those up til now, sorry!)
Needle felting is the most aesthetically pleasing to me and the least pain in the butt to accomplish. With this particular monster, I decided to use black buttons for the eyes, but I immediately regretted it. That indefinable aspect that gives the face personality was missing. I made a last minute decision to embroider on some eyebrows, and that helped a lot. It still takes time for me until the bits of haberdashery I've attached seem to meld together into a face and they 'come alive'. I don't really have time for mini-me to sit there and develop a personality - I have to send him off straight away and just hope the recipient can see something in him. I also sent my swap partner the green and purple Japanese braid that I showed you in progress in the last post. I couldn't think of anything to do with it straight away, so I neatened up the ends into tassels and put it in with the package. I figure the green is quite festive!

I got so excited about working on monsters that I even got out the long-neglected Scary Selby and finished off his head as well. I've only got his arms to go now! Selby has the most adorable face; I can't wait to show him off to the public.

Last Thursday I also went to the Kris Kringle Night Market at Northcote Town Hall. I'm so glad that some of my friends could come along as well and support the handiness. I picked up some neat stuff:

There's an elfy Christmas decoration from jellibat, a little pouch to keep my USB stick in so it doesn't get lost in my bag, and a giant pincushion from the MS Society stall. I did get a couple of other things, but I can't show them to you because they're gifts. Even though I spent a little more than I would normally on these items, I loved doing it because I know they're made by someone from start to finish, not just churned out of a pollution-belching factory somewhere.

My copy of Japanese Braiding for Beginners arrived on Friday as well. I'll talk more about that next time. That one was a reward to myself for achieving my first weight loss goal. I've been buying way too many presents for myself lately, though! I promise I will save up more money next month for travelling!

Work has been very very busy, and it's been annoying that I've had to spend my spare time organising things. Now that I've finally finished something though, I just have to decide whether to finish my current braid next, start a new mini-monster, or do the sausage dog with antlers embroidery I found on a blog the other day. Decisions!

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