Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Swap Stuff: Patches and Stuffies and Bags, OH MY!

Time to show off two recently completed swaps.


(one of these hasn't been received by my partner yet but I have a few minutes to post this so I have to post while I can).

First up, a lone patch (this was already received):

The swap was a dictionary dip swap.  Just so happened, that was my idea for a swap, too (I don't host much, but I share ideas).  The dictionary dip is just like it sounds.  Randomly open the dictionary and put your finger down on the page.  The word you land on is the one you use as your prompt for your patch.

(I used to do dictionary dips all the time when I was deep into playing Sims 2.  I got some of the best names that way, including a Zweiback).

My dip word was "vacancy".  Ok, true confession, I did a best out of three.  I've always done dips that way (when I would dip for writing prompts, sometimes I'd do three and try to work them all into the writing).

This fabric scrap was PERFECT for that dip.  I just love having so much odd fabric in my stash.  Scrap packs for the win, y'all!

OK, next up is the swap that I just mailed out today.  I showed a few teaser pics of things on my instagram (@madameugly) but I'm showing it ALL here.

The swap was a Fandom in a Bag swap.  I like these but usually I wait to sign up to see what other folks have chosen as their fandom (the premise is, your partner tells you the fandom they like and you craft based on that).

For this swap you had to make a bag, two patches, a stuffie, and one additional item of your choice.

I got lucky.  My fandom was EASY (and something I also like!).  South Park!

For the bag you could just use the theme of the fandom.  (the example given was Harry Potter, and if you couldn't get Harry Potter fabric you could use "magic" themed fabric instead. . .or buy a bag in that theme. . .the bag didn't need to be hand made).

I was originally going to make a Terrence and Phillip bag (applique or some such) but I just wasn't in love with the idea.  While I was picking in my stash for fabric to make my original idea, I remembered I had t.v. fabric.  I knew I had to use it.  When I was looking for the lining fabric I discovered I still had enough of the punctuation fabric.

Punctuation = cartoon curses!

So the bag practically made itself (yup, used the Green Bag Lady pattern only a bit smaller).

Next up, the patches:


They fucking rock.

(yes, I'm modest too!)

Mr. Mackey turned out JUST the way I wanted him to.  Sometimes you try to make your own version of some character and they really look like "fan art". You know what I mean, they're just a tiny bit "off".  Good and all that, but not quite there.  I think this Mr. Mackey is as spot on as possible.

(the only "flaw" is he should have stubble. . .the episode where he gets high and thinks his head is a giant balloon, he had stubble. . .I didn't realize that until I was completely done with the patch and was just looking at some South Park stuff online.  I thought it would bug me that I missed that detail but really, this patch turned out so well I'm ok with it.)

Ok, I know I should be such a braggart about it.  It really doesn't take a genius to trace a image from the internet and use it as a template to cut out felt and glue it down to some fabric.  Then add some embroidery.  It's really just advanced tracing.  But even if it is "easy" like tracing, you have to be careful and pay attention to detail.  I think I nailed the detail pretty well (ok, now I'm sounding obnoxious. . .I'll stop).

The second patch is so simple it's almost criminal.

Just some hand lettering with heat set fabric marker.  I almost felt like I was cheating with that one, but I brought it with everything else that I thought it was ok to be "weak" with the second patch.

Next up. . .I'm not use if this is the stuffie or the "other item".  Doesn't really matter.

It's Mr. Hat!

(bonus of Gene creeping him like a super creepy feline creeper, even giving the stink eye. . .nice).

(oh, he does have his mustache under the hat rim, the pic is just weak. . .empty puppets are hard to photograph)

This was trickier than I thought.  I totally had a "that's going to be sooo simple" attitude so you know that means I had to make some mistakes and re-do some stuff.

First, I made the body in the wrong color.  Yup, straight up made a green body.

Second, the body shape was all wrong.  I made a classic "little kid draws a ghost" hand puppet shape with the arms up.  Mr. Hat is not shaped like that.  His arms jut right out from his body at right angles.

Third, I didn't keep in mind that he has flesh tone hands and face.

So the first run at the body was just all wrong (it was still a good generic hand puppet all in green, but useless for what I needed).

Once I had the right colors, things went smoother.  No issues with making the body.  Even got the had going fairly well.  But (as you can see) I hit a tiny snag with the rim.  I just could not get that bastard to lay as flat as I wanted.  Looking back I see two things I could have done.

One, make it two parts (and put the seams at the sides).  I did it as one continuous circle with is what caused the waviness.  I thought about trying to fix it after the puppet was completely done but that would have lead to there being a fugly as hell seam right in the front of the rim which I think would be worse than the waviness.

I also could have made the rim on cardboard.  That would have forced me to make the darts (take up the slack, whatever it's called) as I sewed and pretty much guaranteed a really flat rim but I knew I was going to work with cardboard for the other stuffie based item (and working with cardboard gets annoying. . .and it makes thing harder to ship because you don't want to crush the cardboard).

So, Mr. Hat has one major flaw but he still looks pretty good.

Last but certainly not least. . .


Gee, Naomi, you smell so nice and flowery!   (Naomi is my partner for this swap. . .my sister said my partner was going to hankey their pants when they saw this. . .that's the ultimate compliment right there).

Mr. Hankey was pretty easy to make.  I just got out my favorite shit fabric (yes, I've used this fabric to make a turd before. . and pretzels. . .but not a turd pretzel. . .ewww!), drew up a pattern and that really was that.  He's a turd.  Turd are easy.

The only tricky part was making sure the glue held his face to the turd fabric.  It's kind of slick pile and I had to do some touch up gluing after the first round (to make sure the edges were really down so the whole face wouldn't peel up).

You can't see it in the photo (because I'm a lazy photographer) but he does have a black mouth with a red tongue.  The pic kind of makes it look like he only has big red kissy lips but that is NOT true.

I wish I had shorter pile pipe cleaners for the arms.  They do make less shaggy pipe cleaners but I couldn't find them (and you know I waited until the last minute to work on this project).  I had one low pile pipe cleaner in my stash but the damn thing was white.  NOT acceptable.

I just poked a small hole on each side of the turd and threaded the pipe cleaner through.  Bend the ends to make a small bulge (and fold down any jabby bits) and then sew the mittens around the bulge (I knew glue alone wouldn't do it, so I didn't bother with glue at all. . .glue never holds on pipe cleaners).

That there mug is why I wasn't keen to use cardboard on Mr. Hat.  I made Mr. Hat first and KNEW this mug was going to be cardboard-tacular (it's fully filled with cardboard, side, base, and handle).  So I was saving my annoyance to get through this mug since I knew the cardboard would make the mug so much better (than just doing double layer felt).  It made packing the swap a little more challenging but I had some bubble wrap to fill it with and then took some scraps of the t.v. and punctuation fabric and made a little wad to support the handle (so it wouldn't crush).  I also packed the box tightly so there won't be a lot of shifting.

I LOVED doing this swap.  Everything turned out so well and I'm so proud to give every item to my partner.  She always makes great swaps, so she's worth the effort (and, as I've already established, I seem to enjoy bragging about my mad craft-tacular skills, y'all!).

Next up?

A bag swap and fluff sewing.  I have chameleons and cats in progress and puppies cut (but nothing more done on them yet).   I need to get caught up on Fluff!

Friday, April 29, 2016

For a swap: Clowing Around

WARNING:  This post contains CLOWNS.

Twisty offered to give Orangina a little hair cut.  Orangina looks he's ready to escape on his tiny bike!

These were made for a swapbot swap.  It was circus themed art dolls.

I used the same clown pattern I used previously (from the book Sock it to Me).  But this time I added arms made from the toe pieces.  The pattern calls for cutting off the heel and toe for each shorty sock, so I had enough leftovers to ame arms, no problem.

This is Twisty.  It wasn't until I started calling him that (because of his pretzel shirt) that I remembered Twisty from American Horror Story: Freak Show.  My Twisty isn't evil.  Just a little devious (and lives dangerously, he runs with scissors!).

This is Orangina.  He's quite proud of his flowing orange locks, so Twisty's "offer" to take a bit off the top was just not well received.  He can, and will, escape on his tiny bike if necessary.  (and my sister reminded me of the Simpsons episode where Krusty the clown rides on that tiny bike. . .hadn't even thought of that but damn, that episode is so funny!)

Their hair is wool roving, which worked like a charm.

Of course, Feline Inspector Number One had to get all up in my face when I was taking the pictures.  Then he tried to eat their hair, the dirty little wool sucker that he is.

What's up next?  I have a two swaps to work on (one is short/easy, the other is multi-tiered and should be really fun to do).  I'm also still doing Fluff sewing.  Need to take a weekend and just churn out some stuff.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Rochester Contemporary Art Center 6x6x16 Submissions

The internet is great and brought to my attention the Rochester Contemporary Art Center 6x6x16 art show.

What is that?

Well, the link gives you tons of details but long story short, the Rochester Contemporary Art Center has an open show (meaning anyone can send stuff, no jury) but the catch is your art has to be 6x6 in size.  Any medium (except no glitter or unfixed charcoals/pastels) but it needs to be 6x6.  If it's smaller you need to put it on a 6x6 mat.  Bigger?  Don't even send it, they only want 6x6.

They collect up the art and then have a big show and each piece is available for purchase ($20 each).  The funds go to the art center.

How fun is that, right?

When this crossed my radar my first thought was PATCHES!

I've had two patch ideas in my head for a while but no real reason (no, making them just to make them wasn't reason enough for me, sadly) to make them.  But with this opportunity, the time was right.

You can submit up to four pieces.  I made three.  Two of them were the patch ideas I've had for a while.

Here they are:

"We Come in Peace"

I've wanted to make this patch for a while.  Ever since I made the Lizard/Spock patches and the "Oh My" George Takei patch.  I needed to make an Uhura patch using the funky peace loving alien fabric I bought just because it was fabulous (oh, how many times I've used that reasoning to buy fabric. . .that's why my stash is so freaking fun!).

Super simple.  Just heat and bond Uhura to the sweet alien fabric, add some embroidery (and some machine stitching) and add some beads to Uhura's ear area (to mimic that giant ass communicator thing she used to have to wear on her ear. . .that thing was NUTS!).  I gifted off all of my peace symbol fabric (I think it was all of it) so I used some funky flower print for the back

"The Caged Bird Sings"

Yes, that is a farting cat.  Yes, I've wanted to make this patch ever since I used this same fabric and made a similar patch (only without the fart, if memory serves).  I think the original patch was a cat with a fish in its stomach and one with a bird and I called it Fish or Fowl.  But when I was making that patch I noticed the butt in the air cat and immediately thought he was cutting a fart and those other cats were talking about how nasty he was.

This one was even SIMPLER.  I just added the button, embroidered the music notes (and fart lines) and that was that.  I used some scrap fabric for the backing.

"I Want You"

This one was thought up when I was gathering the fabrics for the other two.  Of course once I started thinking about the Uhura patch I remember how awesome the "Oh My" (George Takei) patch was (it had a sexy man's torso with the Sulu image from the Star Trek fabric looking at it and the catch phrase "Oh My!" embroidered on it.  There were also french knot nipples which amused me because deep inside I'll always be a 14 year old boy) and how great that sexy man fabric is.    (let me pause for a moment to note how the entire line of beefcake boys fabric is fabulous and more risque then you notice at first. . .I love when I find it at Joanns because Joanns just feels like such an uptight old church lady store and there are bolts of fabric with shirtless men with pubey happy trails. . .HAPPY TRAILS!  yeah, that amuses me a lot)

So I really wanted to use some more of my patriotic beefcake boy fabric.  At first I wanted to be less subtle and take one of the shirtless men and put the rocket pop in his hand.  I even had one guy who was playing a flute and I wanted to put the rocket pop in his hand instead of the flute but I was worried that might be too R rated for this event (even though there's nothing in the submission info that you have to keep it "family friendly" but I didn't need to work blue, really).  I was also worried it just wouldn't look good (like it would look stupid, not just silly/fun).

Then I noticed the fully clad sexy uncle Sam beefcake.  He's looking all cheeky.  The way he's winking and pointing.  Yeah, he knows what you're thinking when you look at that rocket pop with its glistening red tip.  Oh, he knows and he approves.  God bless America, land of the free and home of sweet phallic treats.

I debated for a second about using the text from the fabric (under the sexy Sam image it read "I want you to love yourself". . .I think that's what it said) but that seemed too obvious, too.  And there really wasn't room for the "I want you" text.  I didn't want to cover up his pointing hand so I saved that bit of text for some other project.  Less was more with this one.

Super simple, too.  Just heat and bond Sam to the rocket pop fabric and that was it.  Then I used some of my very favorite heart fabric for the back.

I also did something I never do with my patches and I signed them all on the back.  I made little iron on name tags and added them to the back.  Hey, if someone wants to follow my instagram because they saw my silly patches, that would be cool.

I really hope someone buys them.  I think they're cheeky and fun enough someone (with a glass or two of wine in them) would unroll a 20 and buy one.  It would be cool if the art center could make $60 off these silly things.

Teesha Bag for a Swap

I can show this off now that it has safely arrived at its new home (I didn't want to accidentally spoil this one since it was a big project type swap).

For the swap we had to make a bag using TM style patches.

Just like there are different acceptable (for the folks I swap with) types of TM style patches (well, there are two basic types:  puffy "original" style that are more like the TM tutorials and flat style which are more like little mini quilts) there are also different acceptable ways to make bags.  The standard (more TM type way) is to sew patches edge to edge to make the bags.  The way I prefer is to apply patches to a stand alone (basic) bag.  I think I like that way better because it lets me show off the actual bag a bit and since the bags we make usually have themes, I can get some fun theme fabric to act as mortar between the patch bricks.

My theme was Minions.

That there is one MINION-tastic bag.  I used the Green Bag Lady bag tutorial (only a bit smaller) since it's a very easy bag but always turns out nicely and is sturdy (but I always make my straps a bit longer since I prefer a longer strap).

Let's get a closer look at those patches.

Cyclops minion.  CHECK.

Wild hair minon.  CHECK.

(I forget their actual names but I wasn't really trying to make "bob" or "carl"  I just wanted to have at least one cyclops and three different hair styles for the yellow ones and one purple one).

Since I was being all matchy, matchy with this bag (I wanted all the patches to have the banana border, to have two minion faces per side and two "little minion/banana" patches per side).

I knew I'd end up using the minion beads and the banana beads again for this bag.  I also realized that some of the beads are cyclops and some aren't.  Very cool discovery.

The "bead/banana" patches are fairly similar per side but a little bit different.  I only had so many fabrics to work with and since I was going matchy, matchy I was ok with similar.

Purple minion.  CHECK.

I made all the minion portraits from felt and for the purple one I took the metal bristle brush and scratched up the felt to make it fluffy.  It wasn't as wispy as I'd really like (ideally this hair would have been like the mega block purple minion I have that has the best fluffy purple hair EVER. . .ask my cats, they grabbed it and lost it under the entertainment center and I had a mega embarrassing childish fit over it. . .hey, we all have our moments, right?) but I like the slightly more controlled hair on this.  Ultimately it will probably be better if this bag gets used with any regularity.  (the hair is glued down but still fluffs out a bit).

Comb over minion.  CHECK.

I love this one a lot, too.  The hair is what I love.  So stupid simple, too (it's just a few embroidered stitches. . .none of these minions are that complicated to make, just felt and glue, a bit of embroidery for the hair, and sew on google eyes).

See, similar but a little different.  I had to add something to the minion bead ones so they wouldn't be so boring.  A spot of embroidery does the trick nicely.

I really like the minion jumping for the banana.  It's so cute.

The lining was the low volume fabric.  I really like that fabric.  I still have a little bit of it (I have a little bit of all the fabrics) but this one is my favorite.  It's subtle in its novelty-ness.  I look forward to working it into some low volume quilt projects (I'm really into low volume prints right now. . .I'm late to the trend but that's nothing new).

What is that little gray blur there at the top of that picture?

"Hey, that's my paw, mom!"

Yes, Gene, yes it was.  The minute I started moving things around on the table to take pictures you know a Feline Inspector had to show up to oversee.  It is their duty and they take it very seriously.

"I'll just hold this for you."

Oh, so helpful.  Thanks.

Gene does look ravishing in that pic, though.  My new phone does take nice pics (and the lighting was good for this one. . .it's hit or miss depending on how I'm holding the camera).

"Dude, I'm looking GOOD."

Yes, yes you are, brah.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Disney Alphabet Patches Revisited

Felt like showing off the whole Disney Alphabet patch series I just completed.

 A:  Am
 B:  Banzai
 C:  Cruella DeVille
 D:  Dumbo
 E:  Evinrude

 F:  Ferdinand
G: Goldfish (Fantasia)
 H:  Hippo (Fantasia)
 I:  Ice Fairies (Fantasia)
 J:  Jaffar
 K:  King Louie
 L:  Lumiere
 M:  Mickey Mouse
 N:  Nightmare Before Christmas
O:  Oogie Boogie
 P:  Pongo and Perdita
 Q:  Queen of Hearts
 R:  Roz
 S:  Stitch
 T:  Timon
 U:  Under the Sea
 V:  Violet
 W:  Walt Disney (initial)
 X:  'x' marks the spot on pirate treasure map
 Y:  Because we like you! (Mickey Mouse Club)
Z:  Zero