Halloween Projects

Autumn means cooler weather, a beautiful palate of changing leaves, and that indescribable scent of change on the air. Here in the desert we don’t really get any of that invigorating weather change, and the only things that really feel like Autumn to me are the American football season and Halloween. Instead of trees exploding with color, I see houses exploding with spider webs, witches and skeletons:) It isn’t until October when the temps finally edge out of the 100’sF. I love going to craft stores and seeing all the black, orange and purple Halloween decorations and crafts!

hallowallhang

This year I made a Halloween wall hang in order to bring some fresh love of the holiday into my living room. I crocheted the background and then cross-stitched into it. I sketched out the design on graph paper and found the poem online. I think it came out great, and it really has me wanting to design a wintry one next (we don’t get snow here, either, lolol).

halloweentee

After that, I’ve been inspired by the movie A Nightmare Before ChristmasI saw a T-shirt design featuring Jack Skellington and the hellions doing the Abbey Road walk and just HAD to cross-stitch it. I quickly did a sketch on some graph paper to work it out, and have spent the last two nights working on it. I think it’s coming along nicely, and I can’t wait to share it when it’s finished!

hallosketch      hallojack

10 Awesome Cross-Stitch Projects for Harry Potter Fans

I’ve had Harry Potter on the brain lately – the first cross-stitch I ever personally designed was a golden snitch, and I am planning to undertake a laaarge blanket project featuring a sampling of HP-related paraphernalia. While on my Internet rounds in search of inspiration, I came across these awesome Harry Potter cross-stitch projects – all of which I would love to do if I had all the time in the world:

1. Alohomora

list08hp1

From the simple, such as this Alohomora key.

2. HP & Friends

list08hp2

To the three musketeers and their familiars:)

3. Chocolate Frog Card

list08hp3

And Albus Dumbledore himself. PatronusStitch has some other cute HP designs available as well.

4. Harry Potter Monopoly

list08hp4

Perfect gift for someone who loves HP and Monopoly! Love this:)

5. Academy of the Magic Arts

list08hp5

For a bit of a departure from the traditional, check out this wizarding school.

6. Lumos

list08hp6

I love this white on black aida! LUMOS, indeed:)

7. Hogwarts Acceptance Letter

list08hp7

Wouldn’t this be the perfect personalized gift for an HP fan?

8. Hogwarts in Detail

list08hp8

The colorful whimsy of this piece makes it so unique and interesting.

9. Hogwarts Castle

list08hp9

Or you could go the traditional route with this impressive rendering of Hogwarts Castle.

10. Fun with Friends

list08hp10

And what better way to celebrate the holidays than with this joyful scene in the Three Broomsticks?!

Stat Buffs for Real Life – Coffee and Pizza Cross-Stitch Projects

One of the recent cross-stitch projects I did for my cross-stitch time lapse video series was called Coffee Buffs. In video game speak, a buff is something beneficial that is added to your stats to aid you during the game – plus 10 fire resistance, plus 8 speed, etc. In real life, coffee is seriously the one thing that gives me buffs in order to make it through the day – it wakes me up in the morning and gets me going, and DEFINITELY adds to my stats when I didn’t get enough sleep the night before 😀

coffe

My son saw this project and it was the first time he ever said, “Make me one, please!!!” We are a gaming household, if you couldn’t tell from previous posts, haha. So I made him a pizza one, since that is one of his favorite things. These frames are going to go in our kitchen to spice things up a bit in there.

What I love about this concept is that you can personalize it to anyone’s favorite thing and gift it for any occasion.

A steaming cup of tea: +5 focus, +10 inner peace, +7 wisdom.

A bar of chocolate: +4 energy, +8 sweetness, +10 happiness.

If you could use a real life object to add buffs to your daily stats, what would it be? I’m thinking of putting together some cross-stitch grids for a future blog post and would love some input! 😀

IMG_20150922_140409943

Crafting Cross-Stitch Beginnings

Cross-Stitch is one of those mediums that you can use to translate anything you love, just by using mathematics. If you can pixelize it, you can cross-stitch it. This allows for infinite expressions of love, hate, and life. Much as you want to wear shirts advertising your favorite things, or plastering your walls with posters, or filling your desk at work with odds and ends – so you can use cross-stitch to the same effect. Even more so – since homemade paraphernalia is much more meaningful and unique than store-bought (although it is awesome to support the fandoms you love).

Growing up, cross-stitch was a hobby I enjoyed in order to spend my free time making something. Creating in and of itself is an act of beauty, and extra meaning is added when you spend your time doing it for others. I purchased kits from the craft store and was very ambitious with large projects that never got finished (see this video where I show some of these examples).

After a time, I began to use my free time solely on crochet, since I had a better track record of finishing afgans, hats and baby gifts (I even have an Etsy shop, and I’ll be doing some crochet videos on my YouTube channel).

cswall10

Cross-stitch peaked my interest again with the advent of fandom-inspired creations, and I am completely addicted again. My goal is to fill up my blank dining room wall with cross-stitch creations, and you can view my progress with the time lapse videos I post to my YouTube channel.

bender

Here’s one of the most recent ones, featuring Bender from Futurama (this is one of my favorites so far!)

Fan Shirt #3: Zork

shirtzork-IOkay, who remembers Zork? A text-based computer game that started back in the 1980’s? Well, it was a fantastically imaginative, sophisticatedly infuriating interactive fiction game that brought you to a whole different world without showing you one graphic. It was all in your mind, just like a book. You can actually play some of the games for free online nowadays, and if I had free time, I would love to play them again… sigh.

I decided that my next shirt needed to indulge this old school game, and I was very ambitious with my first thought – which was to have the entire opening line included on my shirt:

>West of House
You are standing in a field west of a white house with a boarded front door. There is a small mailbox here.
>_

shirtz1         shirtz2

As it turns out, I am terrible with small letters, and there was the small logistical issue of fitting all the text on the shirt where people could actually read it…. The next plan was to just do “West of House”, but again, the lettering was just too small, haha. So finally (third time’s the charm, right?), I landscaped that bad boy and made the letters even larger.

shirtz3

I love the way it came out! It’s short and sweet and simple – and only people who know what the hell Zork is will get it:) That’s the best part about a fan shirt! (You can see me wearing this shirt in Video 3.0 Doctor Who Geeky Cross-Stitch DIY Project on YouTube.)

shirtz4

10 Fantastic Amigurumi to Give as Gifts

Amigurumi is a specialized crochet art that can make the most cutesy-wootsie adorable doll-like plushies – they are the chibis of the crochet world. But in my opinion the art form can really make Funko-like figurines that make awesome gifts out of your friends’ and family’s favorite games, movies or books. Check out these ten cool amigurumi to make for your favorite people:

1. Harry Potter
list05ami1
No one would mistake this figure for anyone but our favorite wizard, and just look at that hair!

2. Gandalf
list05ami2
Here’s our other favorite wizard – how cute is that hat and beard?!

3. Bilbo Baggins
list05ami3
Look at that Hobbit hair! And a removable jacket! Bilbo never looked cuter. You could easily change the color of the hair and clothing to make Frodo.

4. The Sorting Hat
list05ami4
And I couldn’t get away from wizards or Harry Potter without mentioning this awesome mini Sorting Hat! What a frown!

5. Halo’s Master Chief
list05ami5
Halo 5 is coming soon, and what better way to celebrate than make this little guy? You could make him smaller by using smaller yarn, but I am duly impressed by this awesome design.

6. Link
list05ami6
I love this combination of crochet and felt in order to get truly detailed in the design. Look at that shield! Any Zelda lover would love to get this little Link as a gift.

7. Portal Cube
list05ami7
This isn’t an adorable little hero, but who could pass up the Portal Cube? I want to make this so bad!

8. Captain America
list05ami8
I love this one of Cap. My son would probably love to get the whole Avengers set to put on a shelf in his room, haha. (Ooo, I think I just came up with a Christmas idea….)

9. Doctor Who
list05ami9
The Eleventh Doctor! I, selfishly, want to make this one for myself:)

10. Deadpool
list05ami10
And, I mean, does Deadpool even need a blurb? I love the use of felt for the detailed utility belt, and I know so many friends who would love one of these. Talk about a heartfelt gift ❤

Geeky Cross Stitch DIY Demo Video Series

I love crafting, and my current obsession is cross-stitch – and not your floral or Thomas Kinkade-inspired pieces either. COOL CROSS-STITCH. Pieces that are equal to an awesome fan shirt or tattoo. Pieces that inspire or make a statement about your interests.

What’s even better than making a project simply because you enjoy it? Turning it into a challenge! I have this huge blank wall in my dining room, and I want to fill it up with a whole collection of these cross-stitch pieces. I am happily calling it the Crafting Wall of Awesome. Not only has this challenge been ACCEPTED, but I’ve turned it into a timelapse video series on YouTube, where each video shows a project from beginning to end in 2-3 minutes. Maybe it will inspire you to join the cross-stitching fun; or maybe it will convince you that cross-stitch is pretty freaking cool after all:)

So stay tuned to my YouTube channel @prospergeek as I work my way through all of my favorite things – from Shaun of the Dead, to Star Trek, to Supernatural, to Doctor Who and Harry Potter and Star Wars and BEYOND.

Check out my most recent video featuring Supernatural here.

Fan Shirt #2: Assassin’s Creed

Nothing is true.

Everything is permitted.

There is something about Assassin’s Creed cosplay and fan art that is just something special. I found this meme on Pinterest the other day and had a good chuckle – I wish I ran into cool people like that at the gas station (or, well, anywhere).

acmeme

Using the Assassin’s Creed logo on a shirt has been on my list for awhile, and when I found this red shirt, I knew exactly what I was going to do with it. I took the original symbol and added a little flair to it. The original rendering I wanted to do turned out to be just too complicated:

acembroideryIsn’t that some amazing embroidery?!

Anyway, I was working on this last Tuesday night, and my brain was too tired from work to make this work, so I went for something a little less complex:

acsketch

Anyway, I ended up loving the simplicity of it, and I have to say – I am totally addicted to this… I already have a plan in mind for what the next fan shirt is going to be of… and we will be going old school:)

acme

5 Epic Minecraft Builds That Will Make You Feel Like a Kid Again

You know, when I was a kid, legos were a big deal. You sat on your bedroom floor with your tub o’ bricks – a collection of Robin Hood, medieval knights, and beachside fun (it had a ice cream parlor, and a shark – my sister and I fought over that one), along with a myriad of others, and you BUILT STUFF. Of course, these builds weren’t anywhere near as epic as some (like this 8-foot tall Tower of Orthanc from Lord of the Rings), but still, they passed the time in a creative way.

I was saddened when my son never got into legos – my brother and sister got him a huge garbage truck of Awesome for his 5th birthday, and then proceeded to put it together for him. About a week later it was broken. I tried buying him those Creator packs – where the same box of legos could make 3 different things. Still, abandoned after the first build. I gave up.

Enter Minecraft.

Maybe it’s because this generation are the techno-babies, where a five-year-old can teach an adult things about their smart phone they never knew, but everything Cameron is into has to do with technology.

And Minecraft is all about collecting resources and building things. One day Cameron pulled up a save he wanted to show me, and this huge statue of Steve met my gaze on the screen. I was floored. He couldn’t sit still long enough to build a little motorcycle, but he has the patience for THAT?!

Seriously, Minecraft is the Legos of the new generation. Just check out The Diamond Minecart – DanTDM, a 23-year-old, makes his living on Minecraft and YouTube. Amazing.

If I had a lot of time, I’d love to sit down and build something EPIC, but in the meantime, check out these amazing Minecraft builds:

List04MC1
This is The Crossroads – get a full tour of the world that was built here. Insane!

List04MC2
How about Elsa’s ice castle from Frozen? Check.

List04MC3
Even better? Hogwarts castle!

List04MC4
Or this epic castle. (Okay, enough castles.)

List04MC5
This isn’t so much a castle as a really awesome watchtower or headquarters! When Cameron and I do our epic PVP battle, maybe my base will have to look something like this!

Fan Shirt #1: Dragon Age!

There’s something about a personalized shirt that people love – it’s just like decorating your locker, or putting up art on your walls, or tattooing your skin. It’s a way to express yourself and love what you love. Last year for my son’s birthday, we did a Minecraft theme, and I made him a personalized Minecraft T-shirt. I found a plain green shirt, and then I made a Creeper stencil, and then used that stencil to ink in the Creeper face on the shirt. I then wrote, “STOP IT! You’re creeping me out!” on it. Sigh. He loved it. It was easy, personal, and I always told myself that one day I’d make myself a personalized T-shirt – you know, whenever I found the time.

Well, I was totally inspired this weekend, and you are about to see the fruits of my labor!

After work on Friday, I had a list of errands to run so that I could work on my creative projects this weekend, and for some reason the crazy blue moon made the whole world go crrrrazy. I left work just as a huge storm hit, dropping so much rain that you couldn’t even see the road. When I finally made it to Target, my first stop, I took my time and found two cute plain shirts that would work well for the T-shirt project. All the while crazy loud cracks of thunder shook the building. When I finally made my way up to the registers to pay, the lights flashed on and off twice, and their systems went down -___________________- So. I stood there and waited – I mean, how long could it really take for a computer to boot back up??? Fifteen minutes later I dumped my stuff and left. I was a bit disheartened because without the shirts I wouldn’t be able to do my project – and I wanted the shirt done that night so that I could wear it the next day for the OTHER project I’m working on (more on that later, but hint: it involves Youtube videos).

My next stop was Michaels, where I bought fabric markers and several colors of embroidery floss for a project I’m working on (same as the aforementioned video project). I decided to consider their selection of T-shirts, even though my initial thought was that they would be too rough and boxy and I wouldn’t like wearing them. And guess what?! It turns out a youth medium fits me JUST RIGHT. And they were only $3 each! I bought a grey one and a red one, and saved myself $8 from my original Target plan. Yay!

I’ve got several video game symbols saved on a Pinterest board, and I already kind of knew what I wanted to do – I just had to decide which one I was going to do first, because I probably wasn’t going to get to the other one this weekend.

Black and grey won out, and I sketched out the symbol from Dragon Age: Inquisition on a piece of blank white paper, using a ruler to get it just right.

daitemplate

Then, piece by piece, I outlined the symbol onto the shirt using a black fabric marker. (I started in the middle and worked my way out.)

daitemplatecut

Finally, I filled it all in and TA-DA!!!

daicoloring      daicolorfinish

I love this shirt, and I can’t wait to make another one! I have a list of ideas, so we’ll see what I end up doing. I really want to wear a different fan shirt for each video I make (the other project I’m working on – you’ll see). Ah, what aspirations!

daifinished
(Yep, obligatory bathroom pic!)