26 October 2014

After six years in the making, the Slipknot cross-stitch is done!

You guys have no idea how it feels to write this, let alone finish a project that I've had going for six years. It is with great excitement that I can say that the Slipknot "Vol. 3 (the subliminal verses)" special edition cover is done!

It probably shouldn't have taken me six years. I started this in 2008 around the time of their "All Hope is Gone" album. That album was released after Vol. 3. Designing this project was a process in and of itself, but stitching it was even more difficult. There got to be several times I was so frustrated that I balled it up and put it in the corner and sometimes I had to put it in my little wastebasket.

In 2009, I went to Germany and didn't work on it much. In March of 2010, Slipknot's bassist, Paul Gray, passed away - needless to say, I still didn't want to work it because it made me too sad. After taking close to a year off, I eventually started to slowly work on the piece finishing the greater majority of it all. I thought that Slipknot was pretty much done as a band, and even so, I still wanted to finish the piece. In December of last year, my favorite member of Slipknot, Joey Jordison, was fired and they hired a replacement drummer.

Again, I lost a bit more motivation. My two favorite members were gone, and my favorite band that I've loved since their self-titled release in 1999 was falling apart. Then, I heard that Slipknot was going to continue without Joey and Paul. They scheduled the release for ".5 The Gray Chapter" for October 21, 2014. Even though I wanted a new Slipknot album, I had mixed feelings about listening to a Slipknot without two key members. Something just didn't seem right about that. I pre-ordered it anyway, and after finding out they were touring in Baltimore in November, I started to get more and more excited. Slowly my motivation for this came back.

It might sound corny, but I figured if the band could work through all these bumps in the road, why couldn't I? I was just a fan making some artwork. I didn't actually know any of the band members, and with that new mind set, I was able to finish this.

This is definitely a code: Awesome!

I get asked this a lot, so I'm going to address it: this is a one of a kind design and will not be sold. The reason I made this cross-stitch is not because I'm obsessed with Slipknot, rather they've been a very important part of my life for the past 15 years and their music has had a very positive impact on me. I thought that there was no better way to show my appreciation than with artwork. I hope someday the guys will get a chance to see it.

With that being said, I dedicate this piece to Paul Gray (1972-2010).

03 October 2014

Great find: Isaac Mizrahi craft yarn

I really love Isaac Mizrahi. I find his designs a lot of fun, and he has a great personality. At first, I only knew of his fashion line from QVC, so I thought originally that "Isaac Mizrahi LIVE!" was just a line carried by QVC. Since that was really where I had heard of him, I thought he was just an in house designer.

Even though I never bought anything of his, I liked his fun fashion line, and I always enjoyed watching when he and Shawn presented the new things on TV. The two of them are so crazy together! Well, it gets a little more interesting because I went to work last week and noticed Band-Aid had teamed up with Isaac Mizrahi and created "Isaac Mizrahi loves" Band-Aids. I started to think he was becoming a bigger name in the fashion industry. My mom clarified that he has his own line separate from QVC.

The next morning, I got an E-mail from Michaels craft store showcasing Isaac Mizrahi's yarn line: Isaac Mizrahi craft. I was so excited because the yarn was really pretty and it was affordable. The past few weeks I've been looking for projects to start aside from Amigurumi. I've never made anything wearable or trendy with crochet. The crocheted fabric was always so thick and bulky, and most of the designs I've found weren't really my taste.

I had to do some birthday shopping for my father and sister and figured it would be an opportune time to stop by Michaels. The yarns looked much nicer up close than on the website. They were also really soft and didn't suck all of the oils out of my hands like most cheaper yarns tended to do. I found a slouchy hat pattern online and figured Isaac Mizrahi yarn would be perfect for this project. The only downside was that the yarns were either bulky, or super bulky. I like using dk yarn or worsted weight and smaller hooks. I needed to use a 9mm crochet hook. My regular addi hook set only goes up to size 6mm. I remembered that I had a 9mm hook in my tunisian Addi click set. The larger hooks 6,5mm and 9mm were plastic instead of metal. Even though I love Addi hooks, I wasn't too keen on working with plastic hooks. I guess a metal hook would have been really heavy? Oh well... C'est la vie.

I bought the Carlyle yarn -- it's a soft black acrylic blend with red metallic in it. It's really pretty. I made the "Waffle cone slouchy hat" by Gleeful Things. You can get the pattern here. The pattern went by really fast; it only took me a few hours. The hook size and the yarn weight definitely made a difference, and turned this into a super quick project. Here it is:
Waffle cone slouchy hat
I'm not really photogenic, and I hate pictures, so you can see the hat on me (though it does blend with my hair). Hey, at least you can see the cool shirt I got from the Kix concert a few weeks ago. That's always a plus...

Too bad you can't really see the metallics of it that well. I'm also not very photogenic. I thought about  having Beethoven model it, but you really couldn't see it that well on him. So, in order to make up for my lack of photogenic qualities, I pixelated my face like they do on TV. haha. I guess if you really want to see my picture, you could just look at the little avatar in my profile...

02 October 2014

Throwback Thursday! (sort of)

I'm not sure if my Throwback Thursday that I came up with just now will continue, but I have a few finished projects to share that you might enjoy seeing. I didn't make either of these. In fact, one of the pieces was made by my Mutti about 20 some years ago. The other was a graduation gift from my best friend Nancy.

So let us start with the piece my Mutti made. I'm not too sure how long ago this was stitched. As my mom was straightening the basement, she came across this piece in the yarn cabinet. There are a lot of nice little treasures in that cabinet. Whenever I need some yarn, that's generally where I look first. We both (Mutti and I) are leaning towards this design being a Dimensions kit, but again, we aren't 100% sure on that. It was stitched with the intent of being hung in my room as a kid. Obviously that never happened. I decided to hang onto it in hopes that I can frame it and hang it up. It was just too cute not to share.

Now onto the piece Nancy made for me after my graduation in 2009. If you might recall from my earlier posts, Nancy was the one who taught me cross-stitch during my undergraduate studies. She designs her own pieces and is very creative and talented. I used to always watch "The Adventures of Tintin" on TV growing up. As it turns out, Nancy used to (and still does) love Tintin. She had posters all over her house of the different comic book covers. I personally always loved Tintin's dog, Snowy. He was the adventurous light-hearted character in the series. Nancy took a picture of Snowy in his little brown jacket and stitched "I'm going to cause a sensation" in the colors of the German flag. I was getting ready to go study in Germany, and Nancy thought that quote was really fitting. I thought so too.  I especially love the slight air of pride that Snowy projects. He knows he looks great in his little brown jacket, and with that, he's virtually unstoppable.

I've been working on a few projects too, so stay tuned for more cool posts this week. :)