April 20, 2010

Something is better than nothing…

Turns out packing is a ton of work!  Hah, every time I move I forget how long it takes… so I don’t have any time to do any real blog posts for this week and next, sorry!  My brother is coming up from LA tomorrow (yay!) to go to Bridgetown Comedy Festival this weekend, which we are also going to (yay again!) and then official moving day is Wednesday, a week from tomorrow!

boxes03 boxes01

So, I did this silly threes thing (below) that Kimya Dawson had on her blog, just to put something up here… I hate having an empty blog for too long, soooo, I’m going to copy something Cosy did awhile ago:

Ask me questions! Big or small, about anything, here in the comments.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to find bits of time between all the excitement in the next couple weeks to do blog posts every few days answering them!  Big questions that will require photos or more time will be saved for later, so ask anything you want me to talk about… Hopefully I’ll get a few fun posts out of it!


Three names I go by:
1. Lee
2. leethal
3. Lee Anne (but only my grandparents)

Three jobs I have had:
1. college radio operations manager, and DJ
2. counterperson at local pizza place, in high school
3. college theater stage crew

Three places I have lived:
1. San Diego (Hillcrest neighborhood)
2. Long Beach, CA
3. England, University of Sussex campus

Three favorite drinks:
1. coffee with soy milk
2. beer
3. orange juice with pulp

Three TV shows I watch:
1. 30 Rock
2. Parks & Recreation
3. Glee

Three places I have been:
1. Scotland
2. New York
3. Wisconsin

Three places I would like to visit:
1. Chicago
2. Canada
3. Ireland

Three favorite old TV shows:
1. My So-Called Life
2. Mary Tyler Moore
3. Buffy

Three favorite dishes:
1. The Loaded Bowl at Jam, with tofu and black beans added
2. Mac and Cheese at Hedge House
3. Drunken Noodles with tofu

Three makeup/beauty products I cannot live without:
1. face scrub
2. wee bit of moisturizer
3. baking soda (for hair)

Three things I’m looking forward to:
1. after we’re all moved in to the house!
2. Summit of Awesome
3. Bridgetown Comedy Festival

Filed under: personal,portland stuff — leethal @ 8:03 pm

April 17, 2010

Make-a-Long results!

Oh yeah, how did the Make-a-Long go?!  I’ve had to dive head-first into packing this week, as our moving day quickly approaches, so I kind of forgot to blog about it sooner…

I think many of you had fun with it!  I followed along on twitter and facebook a bit througout the day, but didn’t reply much since I was busy making!  Looking through the flickr group now, fibrouspics’ lemon ginger cheesecake looking amazing, I love notfroggiknit’s yellow/orange bracelet, and all of her food looks awesome, and esea’s soft ruffle top looks fabulous!

Plenty of blogging happened too!  Read about make-a-long fun at Craft Evolve (with the ruffled shirt), Big Girl Feet (love the colors in that granny square! and the tiki quilt is awesome), That Yarn Store, and again (about the cheesecake), Genuine Mudpie (shirt reconstruction!), Designed by Diana (cute PJs and apron), …Beachcombing Day, and Green Stockings Crafts & Design.  Hope I didn’t miss any!

As for me, how about first I’ll show you what I made, then I’ll tell you how it was and lessons learned… I got up around 8am, made some coffee, and started on an embroidery project first:

stitching during the make-a-long!

I worked on that till finishing around noon (more on the project later, which is related to my April club, with its fruits + veggies theme):

veggies stitching!

Sometime during the morning, I made myself a breakfast quesadilla, with asiago cheese, yumm!  I’d planned on food being a part of my make-a-long day, thinking I’d make a supergood dinner, and maybe bake something, but that ended up not happening because I was too immersed in the crafty stuff, so this is my only food photo:

breakfast quesadilla!

After the stitching, I headed into the studio, got it cleaned up, and finally did the sunny photoshoot I’d been needing to do forever (more on that later).  Once it was clean, it was time to mess it up again!  I dug through some old stash and pulled out a collection of partly done projects and to-be-done clothing repairs/reconstructions (these are some, there were more):

stash of in-progress projects

I decided to start with this top that I’d started sewing maybe 4 years ago – it was being a bit of a fail, so I’d set it aside with plans to fix and finish later.  Well, make-a-long day was later!  Ok so it’s still in the fail category, but I still plan to try to make it work, after which I’ll blog details (if I can’t, I’ll have to blog about it over here instead):

weird shirt worked on during make-a-long weird shirt worked on during make-a-long

So after giving up on that, I moved on to a black skirt I’d started sewing maybe 8 or 9 years ago and forgotten about – it’s the one in the top left corner of that photo above.  It’s super plain, I don’t know why I wanted to make it in the first place, but eh, it was still fitting, so I decided I may as well finish it.  I did so successfully, but man was it boring!  Definitely needed to be spiced up… Crochet Adorned to the rescue!  I’m not doing a project directly from the book, but I am using a pattern from the backpretty pineapples

crocheting for make-a-long!

This is as far as I got that day, and I’m sure I won’t have time to finish it till after the move; when it’s big enough (one pattern repeat maybe) I’ll hand sew it along the bottom edge of the skirt, and possibly make some more crocheted embellishments up the side or something.  See how boring the skirt is?  This is the back of it in the photo, with the zipper, since the front is just plain black (of course, once it’s all done, I’ll blog the finished skirt!):

skirt in-progress during make-a-long

After crocheting for a few hours, I moved on to what would become my only completed sewing project of the day.  Shirt sleeves skirt!  This one will get its own blog post later – I love it!!

shirt sleeve skirt made during make-a-long! shirt sleeve skirt made during make-a-long!

When that was done, I was well caffeinated and still getting so sleepy.  I had this in my to-do pile for like a year, so I decided to get it done, then crash.  It’s the alpaca applique I ironed onto a sweater back in November ’08, which was fine as it was, until the edges (especially the legs) started to come off.  So I needed to sew it on, but hadn’t ever gotten around to it – so happy it’s done now and I can wear it!

applique alpaca!

How did the whole 24 hours thing go?  Well, my main lesson learned was never to schedule a make-a-long for 2 days before a club mail-out day!!  I had been trying to get all the club stuff done early, but things took longer than I’d hoped and I stayed up later than planned Friday night trying to get more done, pushing my sleep schedule so I slept later than planned on Saturday morning.  But, much worse than that, being stressed about getting the stuff done right up until sleeping resulted in absolutely terrible sleep that night, so my intended 8 hours was more like 4ish decent hours and 4ish hours of tossing+turning half-sleep, or laying in bed not sleeping at all…

So, my main problem was sleepiness all day – if I had a full night’s sleep and wasn’t stressed out, I would have no problem at all staying up 24 hours.  Then on the other end of things, all for the same reason, I knew I had so much work to get done on Sunday (and really didn’t want to be working on the club during the make-a-long because that would be against the whole point of it!) so if I stayed up till 8 the next morning, I didn’t know if I could do it.  So I crashed around 6am, slept till 10, and finished all the club stuff on 4 hours of sleep.  Better than no sleep at all!

Those were the bookends of the day; as for the middle, there were some interruptions there as well… in between the crocheting and the sleeve skirt, there was a bit of a gap.  I took a nap for about an hour and a half, the only way I could make it into morning, and then Pete and I went out to dinner with friends – it wasn’t planned, but I didn’t want to say no to the invitation because of the making.  I knew I was already failing at the 24 hours straight plan, especially after the nap, and I had to eat something, so I got coffee with my food and had some social interaction thrown in there.  So from about 7:30 to midnight, the make-a-long was paused.

The only other problem I had, which wasn’t a huge deal, but I’ll be better about it next time around, was that my plan to not have any plans didn’t work out so well.  I thought, just planning to make stuff nonstop the whole day, and leaving what that stuff was up to whatever I felt like doing in the moment, would be the best way to do it; but it ended up resulting in all those still not finished projects, and gaps of time throughout the day that were wasted trying to figure out what I was in the mood to make… Next time, I’ll have a pile of projects ready to go, and I can still choose what I feel like working on, but with some limitations, there won’t be so much indecision, maybe…

Ok that was a lot of babbling, sorry about that.  In about a month and a half, something like that (maybe May 22nd?), I’ll arrange another make-a-long, on a weekend with no deadlines in front of me, and hopefully the date will work well for you too, and we’ll all give it another go!  Yeah!

Filed under: general crafts,lots of links,make-a-long,skirts — leethal @ 1:59 am

April 16, 2010

Brimming with Color!

Brimming with Color!

Did anyone wonder what all the dyed Imperial Stock Ranch was for?  This is what! (rav link)  (I actually started out designing The Shapeshifter with it, pre-dyeing, resulting in this prototype, which didn’t work out; then I started designing Twisted Ankles with it, making this hand-dyed pair – then overdyeing, but that wasn’t working out for the context either, so then this hat happened!)  For now, I’m just showing you for fun, but in October the pattern will be available to all!

Update 7/04/10:  Turns out I got to release it earlier than I’d thought – the pattern is for sale to all now in my shop and on ravelry! Hooray!

Brimming with Color!

It’s for the Twisted Single Skein Club!  The same club that I designed Ocean Breezes for last year (which, coincidentally, will also be available to all in October!) – Twisted is the coolest yarn shop ever, by the way (duh)!  So yeah, the hat… it’s pretty basic, bulky, so quick to knit, and versatile – wear the brim up or down for different styles:

Brimming with Color! Brimming with Color!

Brimming with Color! Brimming with Color!

And the pom poms!  Optional, of course, but one skein of yarn is plenty for the hat plus 3 or 4 of them if you want (or fewer huge ones)!

Brimming with Color!

The top is a little bit interesting, easier to see in these pre-blocked shots with the harsher lighting (click to see bigger on flickr):

Brimming with Color! Brimming with Color!

So, the Twisted club members all received the skein of Imperial Stock Ranch Lopi yarn, the pattern (with pom pom tutorial), 5 packets of Kool-Aid, and pdf versions of all the dyeing tutorials!  Fun!!

Brimming with Color!

Designing this hat with the hand-dyed yarn in mind, and designing the dye jobs with the hat in mind, are what inspired me to do my next ebook on yarn dyeing!  The project is on hold till after the move, but I’m excited to get going on it!

crock pot dyed yarn! Self-Striped Yarn Dyeing!

Filed under: hats,knitting,yarn — leethal @ 12:12 am

April 13, 2010

April 4th – 12th photos

This has been a long and hectic week!  Lots of yarn, food, crafting….

4th – Easter was a weirdly normal Sunday… Pete’s stupid company decided it was a good idea to have stores open, so he went to work as usual, and I stayed home and worked pretty much as usual.  But I wanted to do something special, so I made cookies!  We’ve been trying to use up all the food in the kitchen before moving, so I gathered all cookie-friendly ingredients, and made coconut, oatmeal, white chocolate, and dark chocolate chip cookies.  (weird – I just found that last Easter I also made coconut chocolate chip cookies, I guess it’s an accidental tradition now!):


5th + 6th – These days were filled with yarn for the club.  First, winding a ridiculously huge skein (almost 700 yards of chunky wool), since I had to dye it in 5 yard color sections, and I chose to try doing it all together in a massive skein, divided into 3 sections.  It was messy… but it worked… Then, more unraveling, and spinning for the recycled spun club yarn, which I really love this month:

0405 0406

7th – We finally got over to Burgerville for the seasonal Rosemary Shoestring Potatoes – yummmmm!!  They have so many fantastic seasonal items throughout the year, and these fries are definitely one of my favorites!  (ps – if I ate meat, I’d be way into that turkey burger, yumm spinach!)


8th – I needed to buy some fruit for my club photoshoot, and to test out the produce bag (so happy with how it turned out!!) so I walked to Limbo, grabbed an assortment, carried it home in the bag (and got a compliment on it at the store) and then I had all this fruit that I wanted to use up… I also happened to have a bottle of cheap red wine in the fridge from a long time ago… So, I tried making sangria!  Total success!  I had my whole “recipe” typed up here, but then I thought, I’d rather just give it it’s own blog post… soon…  yumyumyum:


9th – Forgot to take an official photo of the day… this is the day I finished designing and knitting the other club pattern, dish scrubbies, and photographed them, so this is from that photoshoot.  (By the way, here you can see the intended purpose of these cup things that I have in my studio – they are from Ikea in the kitchen organization section.)


10th – Make-a-long day!  A post with everything I worked on is coming soon; here’s a peek at the mess of craftiness I had going on.  Linda’s book is the only one I ended up using directly, the rest of my projects were either finishing old things I’d started years ago and forgotten, or improvised projects I’d been planning for awhile…


11th + 12th – Club prep days… Of course, I was extremely sleep deprived on Sunday, but I had tons of work to get done, so the day is a blur of writing, printing, cutting, winding, sorting…… And then I did all the distributing, packaging, shipping label printing, all on the mail-out day (usually I try to get more done ahead of time!) which ended up being ultra chaotic because I ran out of packing tape halfway through the packages!  I knew I had more somewhere, but I wasted something like 40 minutes looking for it with no luck!  Anyway, I ended up messily finishing the packaging in line at the post office right at the last minute – they went out on time, but man, it wasn’t pleasant…

0411 0412

Now that the April club is out (and it’s a good one!), the make-a-long happened, and I have no more major deadlines or anything for awhile, my focus gets turned to the move!  Extreme packing starts today!  Woo!!

Filed under: 2010 photos — leethal @ 3:28 pm

April 9, 2010

Make-a-Long participation details and making ideas!

Update 9/16/10: the 2nd make-a-long is happening on Saturday, Sept 18th – use these same links and info to participate again!

Ok this Make-a-Long (tomorrow, Saturday!) is getting a MUCH bigger response than I’d expected! Exciting!!  A couple of things have been asked about several times (and some fantastic ideas have been shared), so I thought it would be a good idea to do one more post about the event before it starts… First, exactly how do you participate (especially if you don’t use twitter)?

I’ve just set up a facebook group, a flickr group, started a ravelry forums thread, and then there’s the twitter hashtag, and there’s this blog, and the blog-world in general.  If there’s another place you think I should set something up, let me know… I’ll address each thing…

make-a-long on facebook

The facebook group is here; I’m not super facebook-literate (I kind of hate it, but eh, everyone uses it, so there I am), so I’m not sure exactly what you can do on the group.  Post messages to the wall, and share photos for sure – facebook people, you can go further if there’s more ways to interact through groups…  So, go ahead and post stuff there throughout the day, share photos of what you make during and/or after, and post later about how it all went!

make-a-long on flickr

The flickr group is here; it’s up to you how you use this group.  I will be waiting until a day or two after it’s all over, then sorting through and editing all the photos I took throughout the day and uploading them to flickr.  If you want to, you could post photos to flickr all throughout the day.  There’s also a discussion board over there, so feel free to use that!

leethal ravelry group

If ravelry is your discussion board site of choice, I started a thread there where you can post your progress throughout the day and talk about making.  Of course, if you have another forum (on ravelry or elsewhere) where you talk about making, get some members to join in the make-a-long and chat about it there!

my blog comments

You can also post about your making progress, links to photos, etc here in my blog comments, or do short posts throughout the day on your own blog!  If you are posting on your own blog, be sure to post a link to it either here, or on one of the other message boards – next week, once all photos are shared and everything, I’ll be writing a post with lots of links!


For me, I think twitter will be my main outlet to all you makers throughout the day, with the hashtag #makealong.  If you don’t know how twitter hashtags work, it’s very simple – a word with a hashtag (#) in front of it becomes a link to a search of all tweets with that same word.  To view all these tweets, without clicking on a hashtagged word, you can go to search.twitter.com and search the word (makealong, in this case).

#makealong on TweetDeck

If you happen to use TweetDeck, you can search the word using that little magnifying glass icon at the top, which will create a column for all tweets with the word, so you can keep track of make-a-long tweets throughout the day!  Of course, when you tweet about what you’re making, or anything make-a-long-related, include #makealong somewhere in the tweet!


The other question I keep seeing pop up is “what should I make?” – whether it’s meant to be hypothetical or literal, I’ll try to help you out!

Personally, I plan to use a bunch of the craft books that I fall in love with, purchase, then let sit on my shelf collecting dust because I only design my own projects and never do crafts just for fun!  I also might be going back to some online tutorials that I’ve favorited and wanted to try out.  So, you could try the same – look at your bookshelf, bookmarks, or wherever else you have project ideas stowed away for later use…

japanese hat book Crochet Adorned weavingbook

As I said in the first post, making can include anything, not just crafts, and I’ve loved reading some of the things makers are planning on doing!  I hadn’t even thought about food!  It looks like many people will be cooking/baking during the make-a-long and I think I might join in!

beer bread into pan

Some other thoughts for genres of making besides crafting:

  • gardening – it’s Spring!
  • home projects – like furniture hacking, room makeovers, wall decals, painting a mural?
  • art projects – maybe you majored in art like me, but haven’t touched a drawing pencil or paintbrush since you graduated, like me…
  • computery – like redesigning your blog/website, or backing stuff up with the Archive-Along!
  • writing – or zine making, or book-making
  • photo-related – organizing old photos and putting them into albums, perhaps

I’m sure there are many more I’m not thinking of… And how about some craft genres?  Maybe you’ll see something on the list that will remind you of a project you were forgetting!

  • clothing reconstruction
  • clothing embellishment
  • home decor projects
  • jewelry making
  • yarn making (spinning, dyeing, recycling)
  • weaving
  • crochet
  • knitting (finishing old unfinished objects, perhaps?)
  • paper crafts
  • print-making (stamp carving, freezer paper printing, to name a couple varieties)

Ok those are some, but there are so many more, of course!  Just trying to get your creative juices flowing, or something…  I did a roundup on Threadbanger today with Spring sewing projects, and I also linked there to some other sewing roundups I’ve done.  Threadbanger is a great resource for project ideas, if you want to find some tutorials to use during the make-a-long (all the roundups I did in my first year are here, but I haven’t updated that for the last yearish because I suck! sorry!)… Here are some other great online places to find crafty tutorials:

(If you have other favorites, share them in the comments!)  Ok that’s enough listing!  If you’re making something that I didn’t mention here, or have more ideas, tell us in the comments to help out those having a hard time figuring out what to make!

Now I need to try to get sleepy, so I can go to sleep early, wake up early, and get making!!

Filed under: general crafts,lots of links,make-a-long — leethal @ 9:49 pm

April 7, 2010

My yarn-holding coffee can cubbies!

Well I know I said last week that my studio series would be this week, but I still haven’t been able to get in a good photoshoot of the whole room because there hasn’t been any freaking sunshine since last Thursday!  Damn Portland, don’t you know it’s Spring already?!  So, here is my coffee can cubbies yarn holder thing that I made, and I’ll probably do more studio posts spread out over the next couple weeks or something…


The unit is made with 14 Trader Joe’s coffee cans, covered in faux bois contact paper, glued together with contact cement, then screwed into the wall…


The idea came from a project in Readymade a few issues ago – they covered Pringles cans with contact paper, and made a desk organizer – it looked awesome!  I’d already been saving my coffee cans for awhile, knowing I’d find a good use for them someday, so I washed them and took a trip to Home Depot for some contact paper and contact cement.


I carefully cut pieces of contact paper to size, covered all the cans, then cemented them together – this was easier said than done.  Over several days, I cemented together pairs of two, then those pairs to each other, and so on, until they were all connected.  I felt like they still needed to be more securely stuck together before using the unit, so I cut strips of cardboard and used a bunch of heavy duty duct tape to really get them stuck in place:

coffeecubbies03 coffeecubbies02

Then to attach the whole thing to the wall, I first put in a couple of nails which I could hook the cardboard strips onto back there, so it would stay in place while I screwed it all in.  Then I screwed in in place in maybe 4 of the cans (I don’t remember exactly, maybe 3?) – sticking my hand in the can with the screwdriver, pushing it through the can, through the cardboard and duct tape, and into the wall.  It wasn’t easy, but it worked!!


View from the bottom:


And straight on, with my new Ikea magnet board underneath, yay orange!


Filed under: home stuff,yarn — leethal @ 6:33 pm

April 6, 2010

Crafting all through the night? Yes please!!

Ok this is an idea I had way back around maybe July of last year… I kept pushing it and pushing it, thinking next month, next month, and now with the move happening so soon, I just really want to do it, finally!  What is it, you ask?


The idea is: 24 hour Make-a-Long!  The brainstorm came to me when Portland had a 24 hour zine making event – something like, everyone goes to a coffee shop in the morning, starts a zine, and finishes 24 hours later.  I loved the idea of a bunch of like-minded creative people all creating their own things, but together, and going through cycles of energy, sleepiness, caffeine highs and lows, creative weirdness that happens in tired states of minds and can be awesome….. and coming out at the other end with something rad to show for it!

06 07

So, for my 24hr Make-a-Long, the “make” part can be anything – I didn’t want to say craft-a-long because I don’t want to limit it to crafts only.  I’d like Create-a-Long, but it doesn’t sounds as good… So 24 hours of making it is!


It’s happening this Saturday (April 10th) – but the specific times are up to each individual.  Personally, I am a night person, and I know I’ll do much better staying up through till the morning than I would waking up in the middle of the night, so my times will be something like 7am-7am.  Maybe you’d do better with 3am-3am…

That’s just if you want to be hardcore and go for it all the way – but you can totally jump in as far as you want, which may only be 15 hours of making-a-long (8am-11pm?), or 10 hours even (11am-9pm?) – whatever you want to do, it’s up to you!  The idea is to have fun, not push your body too far and risk getting sick or anything, and to create things that you wouldn’t normally create!

t-skirt how-to 2

That brings me to the next part – what’s the point? Well, the idea is to spend this designated make-a-long time making things that you wouldn’t normally be making on a weekend day.  Either, trying new things you’ve been wanting to try, or devoting hours to things you normally rush through, or going back to projects you used to love and haven’t touched in years…… The point isn’t to sit on the couch and knit for 15 hours straight – the point is to really spend some quality time with things that don’t normally get your time.

my new cardigan! cardigan close-up

For example, I made a pretty rad reconstructed cardigan about a year and a half ago – I’d just gotten done with some really stressful projects or something, and I decided to just make something for me, for fun.  I actually devoted a decent amount of time to it and I was super duper happy with the finished result.  Well, I think that was the last time I spent any time on a project just for me (I’ve made things for me, but I always rush through them), and that was a year and a half ago!  Kind of ridiculous.


So, my plan for this make-a-long is to really spend some serious time with several clothing reconstruction projects I’ve wanted to do for so long but never find the time to even start.  Instead of rushing through a few simple steps, I’ll be taking my time, doing it well, adding hand-crafted embellishments and time-consuming elements that I normally don’t even think about.


On a side note – I’ll definitely be using up some materials that have been sitting on the shelves for years, and plan to buy zero new supplies for this make-a-long, which fits in perfectly with April Stash-Bust! Yay!

Then, the other step to participating is to document your making-a-long! There are no set rules, but I do plan to semi- stay away from the computer for most of the day, so no blogging or other time-consuming computing.  I’ll be tweeting throughout (hashtag #makealong perhaps?) and hopefully a bunch of us will so it feels like we’re doing it together… But the main thing, I will definitely be photographing everything I’m working on throughout the whole day, keeping track of it all, then doing one or several blog posts later about how it all went and what I made.


If you have a blog, you can do the same, of course!  If not, you can upload a series of photos from the day to flickr, with captions.  And/or you could post your projects on craftster, or other craft websites…  If there are several participants, I’ll probably set up a flickr group just for the make-a-long…  And then, it would be awesome if everyone participating makes sure I know – comment here, or email or tweet to me or something, and I can post about how it went for everyone and link to all the blog posts, pictures, etc.

UPDATE 4/9: I added another Make-a-Long blog post with more specific ways to participate, plus ideas on what you can make!

Red T-shirt Dress sweatshirthat2.jpg

I understand if there’s little participation in this first one, it’s pretty last-minute… I’ve just had this idea in my head for so long, I really want to finally try it out – I’m thinking of this one as a beta test… see if it works, if it’s fun, and then plan a “real” make-a-long, with more advance notice, in the summer.  And for the future one, I’ll make blog buttons and banners and all that fun stuff to make it more official!  For this trial run, any participation will be excellent – if you’re busy on Saturday, but are free on Sunday and like the concept, you could try it out then just for fun!  Let me know if you have any questions in the comments… Ok I think that’s all!

kitten on my kitten stash!

Oh yeah, except for something else – the winners of my 5 book giveaways were Rianaire, Nia, Kacy, iambunnicula, and mizzelle – congrats!  (You all should have gotten emails from me already – if you didn’t, let me know…)  Thank you everyone for all the great comments, I really loved reading them all!!  Yay!!

Filed under: general crafts,make-a-long — leethal @ 2:02 am

April 5, 2010

New Stitch Sets, Kits, and Spoils!

Oh my gosh new connect-the-dots stitch sets!!  Wooo!!  New in the shop are Sea Creatures, Ocean Abyss (plus a special Under the Sea 10 pack option!), and Rock Instruments


…plus, kits!!  There’s a 3 Set Kit, and an Ultimate 5 Set Kit!  (scroll down close to the bottom)  Kits come with a hoop, needle, and assorted colors of embroidery floss (from Knittn’ Kitten, the reason I bought so much the other day).  When ordering a kit, you can choose whether you want each set packaged normally, or have them all shuffled together for maximum mystery fun!  Also, you fill in a box with which sets you want; if you wanted to be even more surprised, you could write something like “anything except for dinosaurs,” or “sea creatures and surprise me for the rest!”

new stitch set Kits!! new stitch set Kits!!

The Ocean Abyss set is my personal favorite of the new sets – creepy creatures of the deep sea depths!  The example is an angler fish:

Angler Fish! Angler Fish!

I’ve also done a huge makeover to the spoilers page – now, all the extra example pictures are over there, plus you can click to see pictures of mystery images that I’ve stitched from each set!!  So if  you’re super curious about what other creatures, craft tools, cameras, etc, the sets have to offer, you can click to spoil just one at a time and still keep some images a mystery!!


Want a bit of detail about how the actual stitching works?  Basically, you can stitch up the sets however you want, but they come with an instruction sheet with 3 different ways to connect the dots.  The second way is the how the drum set above was done – by making long back stitches between each number, then tacking them down after they’re all connected, you can make the lines curved and make the picture neater.  Below, that method in progress:

In-progress stitching! In-progress stitching!

Then the stitches were tacked down with a contrasting, variegated thread.  See how the tentacles are all curvy?


The main other method is short back stitches, which means only one step instead of two (no going back over the whole thing a second time), but the lines will generally be more choppy, from number to number, since you’re not going back over it to neaten it all up.  (For the record, I like this way best – I like it looking a wee bit choppy/un-perfect and I much prefer one step to two steps!)  This one was done that way:


Another example of the long stitch method, tacking the lines down curved – and you can see in the tail part how you can decide to tack together lines, or separate them, if they’re close together…

Angler Fish!

The yellow/green fabric angler fish at the top is done in the short backstitch method.  Oh, another thing, I don’t have matted sets of the new themes yet – I should have them in a couple weeks probably.

I’m thinking about some way of selling the sets on paper, with instructions for transferring the designs onto any fabric (I need to do more experimenting to figure out the best ways – see Sea Creatures spoil picture two for an example), so you can stitch them onto clothes and stuff… can’t decide whether it would be best to sell the physical paper prints (maybe as postcards), or pdfs so you can print them out whatever size you want… either way, the puzzle element is a little lost in this format, since I’d want to tell you what each design is since you’ll be transferring to clothing and stuff… ok what do you think?  Any interest?

Filed under: connect-the-dots,leethal store — leethal @ 8:30 am

April 4, 2010

March 28th – April 3rd photos

Not any really exciting photos this week… spent a lot of time working on website coding, business plan writing, and other non-photographable worky stuff, so… here it goes!

28th + 29th – We hung out with some buddies at Amnesia for a couple beers, then headed to Laurelwood for late night happy hour house-made veggie burgers – if you live in Portland and like veggie burgers, you must try them, yummm!  Nothing photogenic on the 29th, so I photographed our Trader Joe’s black bean taquitos, always yummy:

0328 0329

30th + 31st – More food and beer… split a New Seasons wok bowl for dinner before Radio Room trivia, yumyumyum.  The 31st was trivia-packed – Pete hosted a special Nike event in Beaverton in the afternoon (weird, yeah, but it went super well!) and then we went to Zach’s trivia that night, where I did a little stitching (embroidery at a bar = awesome!):

0330 0331

April 1st + 2nd – On the day Banzo’s butt became famous, she was acting kind of bratty all day, like she knew she was hot stuff, and wouldn’t stay still for a photo.  That day was crazy super nice Springy weather; the next day – hail storm:

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3rd – So much stitching!  Stitched up a bunch of connect-the-dots examples (which are now viewable on the spoilers page), including an experimental try at stitching a design from paper onto a shirt, using the method Kristin describes here as “tissue paper transfer” – worked pretty well!  (See the result on the spoilers page – Sea Creatures picture two.)


(More about my stitch sets update tomorrow…) So hopefully this week will be more photogenic, unless you’re really into food/beer photos, in which case last week rocked!  hehe… oh yeah, happy Easter!  Have you been eating lots of chocolate? I have! yay!

Filed under: 2010 photos — leethal @ 5:47 pm

April 2, 2010

Book Giveaway #5: Manga Cross-Stitch

Here’s my last book giveaway of the week, and definitely the most specialized one – Manga Cross-Stitch: Make Your Own Graphic Art Needlework, by Helen McCarthy:

manga cross-stitch

This book needs to find a very specific home, with a needle crafter who is a huge manga fan – I know you’re out there!  I think it’s awesome that such a specialized book got published in the first place, and it’s a super nice book!  If you’re a manga fan but have never tried cross-stitching, this book will go through all the basics to get you started with the craft, including lots of simple and complex stitches…

manga cross-stitch

I know basically nothing about both cross-stitch and manga, so I can’t get into much detail for you, but it seems like a great book with everything you could possibly want to know about making custom manga designs with a needle and thread on canvas.

manga cross-stitch manga cross-stitch

Oh yeah, and there’s a CD!  From the publisher’s website: “Also included is a CD with hundreds of unique manga designs. On the CD are charts for printing out and stitching. Plus, the software included lets artists create their own personalized manga designs by creating their own color palettes.”

manga cross-stitch manga cross-stitch

To enter to win this book, comment here either telling us your favorite manga character that you’d love to stitch, or sharing a cross-stitch project that you’ve done (either just say what it is, or link to a picture).

I’ll pick a winner (at random) on Monday (April 5th) around 3pm.  I’m sorry, but I need to limit these giveaways to within the US to keep my shipping costs low.

(Since I’m giving away 5 books this week, and I really want each of them to go to a home where they’ll be used and enjoyed, please only comment to win the books that you want.  If this book doesn’t appeal to you, see if some of the other books are more your style, and only comment on those – thanks!)

Filed under: books,contest/giveaway — leethal @ 10:00 am

April 1, 2010

My studio (and my cat) are famous!

Check out today’s Oregonian Homes & Gardens section cover:

Oregonian article!

That’s my studio, and my foofy kittenhead!  You may remember a couple weeks ago, in a photo-of-the-day post, I mentioned having had a photographer visit – well, it was for this article!

Oregonian article!

My studio landed the cover and a whole spread!  So exciting!  You can read the article over here

Oregonian article!

To kind of go with this, I was interviewed (about yarn-making and knitting mostly) for the Oregonian’s knitting blog!  There are also a few more shots from the studio photoshoot over there.

Oregonian article!

I don’t think I ever mentioned here that a couple months ago my studio was featured in the Craft: blog!  That was fun!  With an interview about craft space organization, in which I was pretty honest about my naturally messy nature!  Unfortunately, having had to photograph the room back in January, in Portland, I had to deal with terrible lighting, bummer.

my studio

So… today was supposed to start my series of me showing you the studio, until I went to sort through and edit the hundred-ish shots I took a couple weeks ago, when it was in perfect condition and there was good natural light, and… horribleness… I somehow managed to delete them from my memory card before transferring them to my computer… gone forever.  So sad.  The room is not in such perfect shape anymore (fixable though), but I do need to wait till tomorrow to re-shoot since it was too late in the day and the sun was setting by the time I realized what had happened…

my studio my studio

So, these are a few shots to hold you, and next week I’ll be doing the series, telling you about where things came from, tips and tricks, etc, complete with good, well-lit photographs!

my studio

Let’s take advantage of this delay – if you see anything in these photos that you want to know more details about, tell me in the comments!

my studio

It’s pretty silly that I’m finally posting about my studio as I’m packing it all up to move… yeah… oh well.  It should help motivate me to get it looking fabulous and functioning asap in the new house!

my studio

Filed under: home stuff,photos,portland stuff — leethal @ 9:52 pm

Book Giveaway #4: Mother-Daughter Knits

This is my 4th, and last, knitting book giveaway (tomorrow is a different kind of craft book) – Mother-Daughter Knits: 30 Designs to Flatter & Fit, by Sally Melville & Caddy Melville Ledbetter.

mother-daugher knits mother-daugher knits

This book is all about making knits custom fit to your body, and includes a whole chapter on shapes and body types and getting the most flattering results.  The patterns, all designed by mother-daughter team Sally and Caddy, are mostly garments, as you’d expect, but there are a few fun accessories thrown in for good balance:

mother-daugher knits mother-daugher knits

The garments include a wide range: shrugs, coats, pullovers, cardigans, shirts, tanks, vests, skirts, and dresses…

mother-daugher knits mother-daugher knits

I like this Altered Austen Jacket a lot:

mother-daugher knits

You can browse through the patterns on ravelry to get a good feel for the book.  I think it would find a good home with any garment knitter who wants to be able to modify patterns to get the best personal fit.

Enter to win this book by commenting on this post… I’m running out of ideas for questions to ask you… Just share either why you’d like to have this book, or tell a story about your mom (or grandma), or daughter, and knitting, or other kinds of crafting… My mom taught me basic knit and crochet stitches when I first wanted to learn (in college), but then I was mostly self-taught.  I really wish I’d met my dad’s mom and been able to knit with her – she was a super amazing knitter but died before I was born.  I’m very anti “not your grandma’s knitting” kinds of slogans – grandmas’ knitting was/is awesome!  Ok that was a tangent, but comment with anything related to any of that to win this book!

I’ll pick a winner (at random) next Monday (April 5th) around 3pm.  I’m sorry, but I need to limit these giveaways to within the US to keep my shipping costs low.

(Since I’m giving away 5 books this week, and I really want each of them to go to a home where they’ll be used and enjoyed, please only comment to win the books that you want.  If this book doesn’t appeal to you, see if some of the other books are more your style, and only comment on those – thanks!)

Filed under: books,contest/giveaway — leethal @ 10:00 am
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