Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Mystery of the Glowing Calavera


Sugar Skull Embroidery


Okay, so maybe it's not much of a mystery. I took some nifty glow-in-the-dark floss, a scrap of fabric from a pair of torn trousers, and an awesome pattern from Sew Lovely.



Sugar Skull Embroidery (close up)


The results? A spooky-yet-festive embroidery, perfect for scaring your spouse in the middle of the night.

Seriously. Wouldn't it freak you out to wake up to this?


Sugar Skull Embroidery (in the dark)
Boo!


Tee hee. I'm mean.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

NaNoWriMo madness and Halloween recap

It's been a little quieter over here lately, I know. This time, I have a genuinely good reason, beyond the excitement of Halloween and Dia de Los Muertos, the thrill of the Giants winning the World Series, and the turmoil of the election season.

I have finally plunged off the deep end and straight into the vast, blue waters of National Novel Writing Month. It's something I've always wanted to do, but have always had some reason or other that I couldn't. Mostly work-related. Well, this year, little unemployed ol' me has run out of excuses.

I'm knee-deep in my first real novel, and I have to admit I'm loving it. I'm also having days of hating it, to be fair, but all in all, it's been amazingly freeing to sit down and just write every day.

All I can tell you now is that it's officially a high fantasy story of sorts (and here I thought I'd be writing a nice, marketable romance), which is as daunting as it is exciting. I never thought I'd be one of those people who wrote a book with a map in it (seriously, this was the reason I never read fantasy books when I was younger. I hated the idea of having to use a map).

But before I set out on this mad writing crusade, I did manage to squeeze in some holiday-related baking and crafting!

Usually for Halloween I go all out with the decorating and cooking, but this year I decided to mellow out a little. I'd put a lot of energy into some different holidays this year, and I felt like I deserved a bit of a respite.

So rather than baking a passel of cookies, I focused on one new recipe: quince turnovers.




This marks my first successful attempt at making pie crust, as well as with cooking with quince. An interesting fruit, that. Looks like a big, green apple, but once cooked becomes a lovely pink color.


I also finally, FINALLY finished stitching up the Halloween Ghosties I was working on last year from a free Annie Oakleaves pattern.



Here's a close-up of the brand-new one:



Last, but not least, were the touches I put together for the spouse's and my Halloween costumes.

I decided to be Maryann Forrester from True Blood, the wicked -- yet classy -- Maenad who plays the big bad in season 2. Considering my costume was mostly just a long black dress and hippie jewelry, I thought a little human heart would get the point across that Maryann is not to be trifled with:



I whipped it up in an evening out of felt and embroidery floss. I figured it'd be much more fun to have around than an ugly rubber heart.

Also, I helped the Professor put the finishing touch to his creepy officer's costume, an armband sporting the hammers from Pink Floyd the Wall.



This was a total no-sew project, using only stitch witchery, glue, and Velcro. I'm pretty stoked with how well the emblem transferred using print-at-home transfer paper. I may have to play around more with it in the future.

(I just want to put it out there that I understand that in the film, the hammers were used as a neo-Nazi symbol in Pink's hallucination. The costume was meant to be something out of Pink's nightmare world, and the Proferssor wore the officer's uniform with a gas-mask and gloves. No disrespect was intended. We did get asked at the supermarket on Halloween if it was a "Nazi thing," but the mood lightened as soon as the Prof explained it was from Pink Floyd.)
There's on more project I have to share, but I feel like it deserves a post all its own. Not to mention, I should get writing! That book isn't going to write itself.