beck's blog

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Have a Snapey Christmas!

I made a new stocking for myself this year. (Click on photos to enlarge them).

Houndstooth stocking

I started out with this really neat houndstooth stocking I found at Hobby Lobby.

Snapey Claus

Then I got a great photo manip. someone made a few years ago with Snape as Santa, printed that onto an iron-on fabric and then ironed it onto the front of the stocking. I added a red ruffle lace border to make it stand out.

Snape Stocking

Here's the back. I did the same using the original photo without the Santified Snape. It already had a "frame" as a border so I just left it plain like that.

Snape with buttons

I also added two black and white face pin-back buttons I had already. One's a mime. One's a lady. This side didn't have black buttons like the reverse so I thought they would look nice there.

I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and thank you all who visit my blog.

Once again, here's a Snapey Christmas poem and card from me to you...

A visit from S. Snape


Monday, December 22, 2008

Triple Nips (LCR) dice game covers

Sam: "What's up, Norm?"
Norm: "My nipples, it's freezing out there."

Ah yes. Who can ever forget the Cheers t.v. show? And it certainly is that cold out right now too, Norm.

But this quote really has nothing to do with my next project except for the word nipple which is always fun to throw in as an attention-grabber.

Anyway, I've tapestry crocheted covers for the dice game officially called "Left, Center, Right" (LCR).
Click on photos to enlarge.


But if your living in the quirky towns of Oswego or Montgomery in Illinois you'd probably know this game by it's unofficial title; "Triple Nips". a.k.a. "Triple Nipples"
Now I'm not sure how or who first started calling it this, but that's not important now.

What is important is the fact that it's a really fun dice game that anybody can play from kids to grown-ups. It has three dice and some playing chips in the container along with the game instructions. But we've never played using the chips. We always use quarters or pennies.

They used to sell them in stores like Target or Walmart or Walgreens I was told. But I couldn't find them there so I had to order mine online. It's cheaper to buy in numbers so I got three. One for each of my sons for Christmas. I had already made two covers for games which I gave to my nieces over the summer and I haven't heard back yet about whether they've played the game yet or not.

The covers really make the simple dice game feel like you've got something more valuable and important in your hands. It also attaches the lid to the container so you don't lose it. You don't have to remove the container from the cover, just tip out the dice. And you only need one dice game for a whole group of people to play. My guys will be going back to college so they can each have their own game with them.

Now, one more word on this game. It seems to become a lot more fun the more folks you have playing and the more you have to drink while your playing.

To play the game, I hope you all have someone like my absolutely insane former neighbor named Pam who will do a hilarious sort of "Triple Nips" dance movement whenever she rolls three dots. It's really a highlight of the game and we always hope she'll get those triple nipples just to watch her go!!! LOL!!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Coke Joker Cross Stitch

I'm still here. I'm just working on making presents that I can't post here yet.
So, to keep you-all busy I thought I'd post something I made almost 4 years ago but never showed anyone. (Except maybe my sister).

So, first, let me say that I love old playing card jokers.
(I know. It does sound weird. But that's just how I am). LOL!

So, when I was surfing ebay one time, looking for interesting old joker cards, I saw this one that looked so awesome.

This is a photo of it I just lifted from the auction so many years ago.
I think it was from a Coca Cola deck of cards.
See how the joker is balancing a coke bottle on his tray there?

Alright. So. I thought this would be a great picture to cross stitch.
So I enlarged the photo on my screen, held a sheet of paper up to the screen, and literally traced the whole thing onto the paper.
Then, I traced that image onto a sheet of graph paper.

Then I went about stitching the thing.

Here's the finished design...

He kind of looks like Sideshow Bob from the Simpsons. LOL!

Anyway, I used variegated floss and simply filled in the diamond shapes of the jokers bodysuit and hat.
The trick to remember with variegated floss is to always complete each X as you stitch. (Instead of going ///////and then returning back going \\\\\\\ because, if you do that, you will mess up your colors really badly.)

Here's a sideways version of the design.

I embellished it with real jimgle bells. (You can get these at any craft store. They are so tiny, yet, they still "jingle".
I also used a metallic gold floss for his lute strings.

I still don't have this framed or anything. It's folded and placed inside a Ziplock bag, (like most of my projects).
It's nice to see it again.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Mondrian Umbrella

Look what I bought at the Goodwill store last week! (Click to enlarge pictures).

Yaaaaay! A Mondrian umbrella from Totes! I saw it just hanging on a hook on an endcap of an aisle of baskets and snatched it up. Then I began foaming at the mouth and falling over backwards.

Well, ok, that last sentence was a Monty Pythonesque joke but I was doing a sort of "happy dance" of joy. LOL!

This photo reminds me of the last scene in Miracle on 34th Street. Only my santa is a way-cooler Mondrianmaniac! LOL!

Monday, December 08, 2008

People Let Me Tell You 'Bout My Best Friend...

I've been working on Christmas presents. I feel safe in posting this one because I don't think she checks in here very often. (Like, maybe once a year).

So, here goes.
(Click on photos for enlargement).

This is a tote I decorated with an embroidery of my friend Sue on one side. The other side has the "give green a chance" words on it.

The tote I bought at Target (from Xhilaration).
The embroidery kit I got on e-bay for $1.00 !!! Woohoo! It's an old Caron kit from 1977.

When I saw it listed I flipped out. It was so cool and retro-looking and the price was a steal. Obviously the seller wasn't looking to make money. Just to pass it on to someone who would actually make it. I love people like that!

Here's a shot of the whole tote.
And now I will tell you about my best friend Sue.

Sue and I met in 3rd grade. In elementary school you had the same kids in every grade. You just advanced along with the same group. So we shared class throughout 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades.

We were like the offbeats or something. Two people who others thought were just too weird to hang around. Two people who were lost within our own crazy world. Two people that, without each other, would have probably been chewed up and and spit out by all the "normal" kids out there.

I thank God for Sue!!!

We would make up games to play like unscrabble. Using a Scrabble game, you'd made up a word with the letters you had on you tile holder. BUT, you had to think up a definition for that word too. (We even made a list of all the made-up words we had. (No, really!) LOL!

Or, on field trips on a bus we would make up all the words we could from one bigger word. (It usually started with the word CARPENTER as that was the name of the bus manufacturer and was printed on the seat in front of us.

Or "two-word story" where we would write a whole story, (each only contributing two words at a time in turn until the story was finished.) God, that was great! (And, of course, we wrote down all these stories and they do exist somewhere out there still.)

Oh! In the fall, we would rake all the leaves up in our yards, (whichever house we were at), and arrange the leaves into "walls" of a layout plan for a house. (No, I'm not kidding you). If we didn't have enough leaves, we would steal leaves from neighboring houses. (I'm sure our folks would have just loved that if they ever knew!) LOL!

It is no surprise that Sue became an architect. She went on to Cornell and designs homes, (especially bathrooms), for a living now. Isn't that great??!

She was always so smart and so bright. (But she will never let you go on about it.) Because she's just that way. Very unassuming. She would always let me be me. Even if I wasn't the sharpest crayon in the box. She just accepts you for who you are. I think she prefers the used, rough-rounded, peeled crayon wrapper, stub of a person that I seemed to be. (Am).

She called me on my birthday in November, (like she always does), and we talked and talked and caught up again on a years worth of happenings. This is how I found out she is taking another class. (She is a forever-student. Always taking something. Always learning new things).

Her class this time is on a "greener" lifestyle, I guess you'd say, and how to convince your potential clients, (in this case her future home owners), why and how they should be trying to have a more environmentally-friendly home. Sometimes the cost scares people away. I guess this class will help her to convince them that -in the long-run- it does pay off. For everyone.

ANYWAY, that's why I chose this tote for my gift to her.
And I knew the profile of the girl was just perfect.
1977 is about the time she moved away from me. But this is how I remember her.
I love the wild Farrah Fawcett hairstyle and the thick false eyelash look. (Obviously this was never her, but it does capture the time and the spirit.)

I also added her name at the bottom of the embroidery. I didn't like how the original picture kind of just gave up on that area.

I wanted to find an avocado green to border the picture with, (like on the other side that has the word "green" on it). But you just can't find that color anymore. So I had to settle for a hunter green felt and a Christmas green lacy trim.

When Sue moved away, it was somewhere around 7th or 8th grade in between. I thought I would die. But thank goodness there's always square pegs out there like me who find a way to meet others like us!

We wrote to each other, sometimes weekly if you can believe it!, throughtout highschool.
I still have every letter. (I am a packrat as you may well have guessed). Sometimes my Mom would bring up my letter from Sue and shake her head and say, "I can't believe the mailman could read this!", because Sue would write out my address in such bold insane graphics with colored markers, (all our letters had to have colored markers, usually each paragraph was a new color), that it was like deciphering a code in order to read the address! God bless mailmen too!

I feel sorry for people who think they have a million friends when, in fact, they've never really had one true friend at all.

A best friend.
Someone like Sue.

My best friend.

I love her.