Harry Potter Golden Snitch Cross-Stitch

After making so many amazing little cross-stitches, I was finally inspired to grid my own:) I sketched out the snitch on some graph paper I printed out for free (I Googled “free graph paper printables” and found tons of choices), and then marked the cross-stitch grid from that. It was very liberating, and I made a time lapse video of the cross-stitch creation for my ProsperGeek YouTube channel. I promised to post the grid here, and it was way more difficult to digitize the grid than I thought it would be, hahaha. I don’t have any special programs, or know of any special programs, and so I simply used Excel, which was slightly time-consuming:) Anyways, here is the little Golden Snitch, which fits into a 4×6 frame:

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I apologize for the “I open at the close” lettering – that was the hardest part to do! I’ll do better next time:)

Free Pattern | CROCHET BEANIE with Cross-Stitch Embellishment

Yeah, that’s a Sherlock Holmes silhouette! I’m in love!

I love cross-stitching and I love crocheting, and recently I’ve been playing around with cross-stitch ON crochet. Cross-stitching on crochet is a great medium for larger projects such as pillows and blankets, and is fantastic for personalization. I am going to be providing some free patterns here on the blog for this particular art form, because I just need to spread the love, lol.

The first CS on crochet project that I did was a bookmark, because I just wanted to see how it would work, and I actually really love the way it came out:

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After that, I wanted to make something that I could wear, so I took the traditional beanie and worked out what size grid would fit on it, and just went to town. I made two different hats, but it was so hard to choose a grid, so I have 4 grids available below, if you’d like to personalize your own beanie.

If you are interested in learning how to cross-stitch on crochet fabric, check out the quick tutorial I made.

If you are interested in learning how to crochet, check out this video series of tutorials (including tips for working in the round, using the first 3 rounds of this exact pattern).

Without further ado, here is the first pattern:

CROCHET BEANIE with Cross-Stitch Embellishment

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Sizing: Adult – one size fits all

Materals:
-Size H Hook
-Medium Weight #4 yarn – 1 skein for main color; 1 partial skein for accent color (I used Impeccable, a Michael’s Craft Store house brand)
-Yarn Needle

Gauge: 4in x 4in = 13 sc sts & 15 rows

Abbreviations:
Chain – ch
Slip Stitch – sl st
Single Crochet – sc
Round – rnd
Each – ea
Repeat – rep

Pattern:

RND 1: 2 chains, 10 single crochet stitches into 2nd ch from hook, slip stitch into 1st st to close round. (10 sts) (If you’d like help on how to get started, check out this video.)

RND 2: 1 ch, 2 sc into each st around. (20 sts)

RND 3: 1 ch, 1 sc into 1st st, 2 sc into next st, *[1 sc into next st, 2 sc into next st], rep from * to end of rnd, sl st into 1st st to close rnd. (30 sts)

RND 4: 1 ch, 1 sc into each of the first 2 sts, 2 sc into next st, *[1 sc into ea of the next 2 sts, 2 sc into next st], rep from * to end of rnd, sl st into 1st st to close rnd. (40 sts)

RND 5: 1 ch, 1 sc into ea st around, sl st into 1st st to close rnd. (40 sts)

RND 6: 1 ch, 1 sc into each of the first 3 sts, 2 sc into next st, *[1 sc into ea of the next 3 sts, 2 sc into next st], rep from * to end of rnd, sl st into 1st st to close rnd. (50 sts)

RND 7: 1 ch, 1 sc into each of the first 4 sts, 2 sc into next st, *[1 sc into ea of the next 4 sts, 2 sc into next st], rep from * to end of rnd, sl st into 1st st to close rnd. (60 sts)

RND 8: Rep rnd 5. (60 sts)

RND 9: 1 ch, 1 sc into each of the first 5 sts, 2 sc into next st, *[1 sc into ea of the next 5 sts, 2 sc into next st], rep from * to end of rnd, sl st into 1st st to close rnd. (70 sts)

RNDS 10-28: Rep rnd 5. (70 sts)

Some grids that will fit on this beanie are below. Basically any grid that is about 20 sts by 20 sts will work well. If you wanted to do some sort of motif, you have about 20 sts high and 70 sts long to work with.

crochetbeaniegrids

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 😀

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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! 😀

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Fan Shirt #4: Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland is one of those stories that stays with you for your whole life. One of my favorite quotes is “We’re all mad here.” I have a photo of a tattoo I would LOVE to get of this, but due to monetary constraints I decided it would make a great concept for a custom shirt.

Since I’ve made a few so far, I wanted to do a little something different this time around, and I’ve been wanting to use a v-neck for a while. I included a whimsical silhouette of a kitty, not only for the Cheshire Cat flavor, but because I love kitties 😀

alicesketchI sketched out the stylized lettering and did a few cat renditions before I did one I liked. I cut out all the words individually and then laid them out autonomously on the shirt so that I could figure out how best to fit them around the V.

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I love the way this one turned out – I’ve worn this one a few times and love how it speaks the truth, haha. We’re all off, we’re all human, and we’re all weird. Right?!

alicefin

Terry Brooks TV Series on MTV – WHAT?

elfstonesEarlier on this blog I was being nostalgic for Zork and Myst, and now I’ve come across a trailer for the new The Shannara Chronicles, a new fantasy series on MTV (???) based on Terry Brooks’ novel The Elfstones of Shannara.

I grew up with Brooks’ Shannara series – I practically LIVED in the Four Lands during junior high and high school. They were the books that cultivated my love of the fantasy genre. They helped me mentally escape the stress and anxiety that constantly bombarded me and helped my writing blossom to the next level.

Suffice it to say, the Shannara books hold a special place in my heart – and always will (even though I’ve made several attempts to go back and reread them and FAILED! Has that ever happened to you? It’s like they’re just not the same as I remember, and so I’ll just hold onto my memories of them instead.)

The entire scenario of this TV series just doesn’t make any sense when you lay it out there: 1) a series based on Terry Brooks’ work (I mean, there have been several false starts in the past, and these books are now going on 40 years old); 2) the series is airing on MTV (I could imagine the SciFi channel, FX, or even Fox – ha, although that last one probably wouldn’t last long); and 3) Terry Brooks himself and Jon Favreau are producing it. Since it is loosely based on the book, it may give the series the leeway it needs in order to be successful – but I will tentatively reserve judgment:) Since I do not have access to MTV I’m not sure how I’ll get to watch it, but I look forward to seeing how it does!

At the very least, the trailer looks EPIC:

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).

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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!)

What I Learned From My First YouTube Video

When I first started the crafting time lapse video project, I had a very specific image in my head of how it was going to go. I sat down and filmed the Shaun of the Dead piece – and that part was a lot of fun and went smoothly. Then I had to edit it – and I had no freaking clue how to do that. I’m definitely a self-learner and I thought I could wing it and figure it out in an evening. (HAHAHA!) I learned so much from putting together that first YouTube video that I still put it up on the site, even thought it isn’t the best work (and that’s putting it kindly). It stands for all the progress I’ve made, and that is crucial to remember as I continue moving forward.

Some things I learned:

1. You need to keep your left arm as still as possible. Otherwise, when you speed up the video you’re going to make people want to puke as they try to follow the progression of the work.

2. You need better lighting. I was a slave to the time of day and had to sit right next to a window, turning the work so that it got the best light. It wasn’t so bad except that it’s 110 degrees here in the desert and the heat emanating from the window was brutal after two hours of sitting there.

3. Choose your projects wisely. Yes, subject matter is important, but so is the size and difficulty of the piece. You have to keep in mind how many color changes you’ll have to pause for – which will contribute to editing time, not just film time – along with how involved with counting you’ll have to be. If you have to pause every five seconds to count the next section of stitches, that adds up to a very lengthy film. Think in terms of editing, not filming. There’s also the sheer amount of time it takes to finish the piece. Anything over two hours will make the final cut go longer than your goal length.

4. Post production is king. I probably spent 30 minutes prepping the shoot, 2-2.5 hours shooting (and actually crafting), and then 3 hours filming/editing the intro and conclusion, picking out/editing the music, editing the raw footage of the project, and putting it all together, not to mention testing the first cut, and possibly having to go back and edit some more, followed by another render.

(This does not include the time spent learning the editing software, Blender, which (if I were truly honest) took a total of 15+ hours – between the tutorial videos I watched, to trial and error, troubleshooting, and redoing. It was frustrating at times, but when it started making sense to me I felt super victorious!)

My third video (Video 2.0 – Supernatural) was the first video that I actually liked. I’m sure the tenth video will be leaps and bounds better than that third one, but it’s good to step back and reflect on how far you’ve come. Ultimately, I’ve enjoyed every minute of this project, and that’s what counts!

10 Geeky Cupcakes for Your Next Party

This weekend was my son’s birthday weekend, and every year I try and do something a little different for his birthday cake. Last year he had a Minecraft-themed birthday party and I slaved away on a Minecraft cake that he loved. This year was a little more low key, and I ended up making some funfetti cupcakes with red icing (his favorite color). However, before I settled on that cop-out, I found SO MANY amazing cupcake ideas on the interwebz. Maybe next year!

1. Super Mario Bros.

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I think these little guys would get played with before they ever got eaten!

2. Doctor Who

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Okay, this one’s more for me than my kiddo – but look at the color of that icing!

3. Pokemon – I Choose You!

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Now this is a great use of cake pops!

4. Naruto

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Here’s another great anime-themed one – but I would love to do a Bleach-themed one instead;)

5. Indiana Jones

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For the adventurer in all of us.

6. Fallout

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Including the post-apocalyptic adventurer!

7. Minions

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For all the little minions in our lives:)

8. Plants vs. Zombies

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My son and I used to play Plants vs. Zombies 2 all the time together, and he would have LOVED these cupcakes at one point.

9. The Lord of the Rings

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Anything LOTR-related is a YES in my book!

10. Pacman

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And last, but certainly not least, these Pacman cupcakes would be the highlight of any party.

12 Cross-Stitch Projects That Celebrate Star Wars

In the wake of all the goodness that came out of D23, including the first illustrated Star Wars: The Force Awakens poster and the announcement of Star Wars theme parks, here are 12 awesome cross-stitch projects to make right now to help tide you over until December:

1. Choose a Side

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Classic good verses evil! For a simple piece, I love the detailing on the light sabers.

2. We Have Cookies

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The Dark Side can be so tempting….

3. Do or Do Not

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The good side isn’t always the easy side, that’s for sure.

4. Hokey Religions and Ancient Weapons

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Of course Han doesn’t believe in any of that crap!

5. Pixel People – Star Wars Edition

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The Pixel People strike again! I can’t get enough of these pixelated renditions of all the best movies (my first cross-stitch time lapse video was of their rendition of Shaun of the Dead).

6. Star Wars Alphabet Sampler

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And then there’s this awesome sampler that includes a good 28 of the best figures in Star Wars.

7. Mini Spaceships

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Yes. All the things. I especially want to make that x-wing!

8. Sweet Death Star

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Maybe if you chose the dark side….

9. Bless This Mess

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Or maybe you’ve come to terms with your inner flaws. (At the very least I think I’ve found some good examples of what to do with my black aida!)

10. Bless This Hive

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And sometimes the dregs and grit are what make life interesting.

11. That Snow Moon

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I want to make this one SO BAD. No explanation needed! This is from a design collection of geeky Guardians of the Galaxy, Star Wars and Doctor Who sweatshirt designs inspired by ugly Christmas sweaters. I mean, seriously!

12. Ultra Epic Star Wars Tapestry

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This monument to the Star Wars universe is ahmazing. “The Coruscant Tapestry,” a 30-foot long tapestry cross-stitched by artist Aled Lewis, which depicts the entire Star Wars Saga. You can’t make this stuff up.

YouTube Video 3.0 Doctor Who Geeky Cross-Stitch DIY Project

Video 3 of the crafting time lapse series, featuring Doctor Who this time, just went live on YouTube this morning, and I am super excited about this one because I learned a new trick – adding a fadeout! I’m telling ya, things are getting serious around here! Haha.

I will tell you this – if you watch the video, you may notice that the first circle ends up being a little uneven. I did not notice until watching the playback later, but it is just a testament to the amount of mistakes I made during this project – and it was just one I didn’t catch. This is what happens when you try and watch Doctor Who while working – what a distraction!

I not only learned about fade transitions with this video – I also learned that you cannot watch something while working on a cross-stitch project if you are on a time crunch. In order to shrink these projects down to a reasonable 2 minutes, the project can’t really take more than 2-2.5 hours. I probably added an hour to my time while watching Doctor Who because I kept looking up at the screen, kept messing up and having to go back, and was just generally distracted. Sigh. It made for an interesting edit later, I can tell you that!

I suppose I will stick to Pandora and Audible in order to stay entertained. The thing is, I listen to music or my book all day at work during the week, and I don’t want to come home and do the SAME THING while doing what I love – hence why I tried to watch a show instead. I mean, I’m going to be sitting there for two hours at a time… so I was thinking of maybe getting into podcasts? (I know, I know – late to the party on this one.) I’ve heard great things about Welcome to Night Vale… I’ll do some research on what’s out there and report back!