Artist in Residency

This week, I’m the Artist-in-Residency at a lovely, quiet retreat in the sunny hills of Santa Clara.  Aka, cat sitting out in the burbs.  We started our time together with an afternoon photo shoot.  The boys cooperated…at least for a few minutes.

79D1275F-27A6-4869-9DD8-6C80E43C5A7D

They’re friendly kitties so I had a shadow all afternoon.  Like when I scoped out the chainlink fence as a potential cross stitch photo spot.

IMG_1136

I got a late start so I missed the best light but this was a good practice run.  I’m always looking for new places to take Etsy photos.   A backyard with a bunch of random stuff in it, is a treasure trove of spots, just waiting to be discovered.  Like the random carpet or this great wall…

 

In the city, we’d call this a park!

Maybe the ‘burbs aren’t so bad!  I mean, how can I be mad when I’ve got a driveway to use all week!?  It’s been decades since I’ve known that feeling!  Woooo!


 

New Cross Stitch Gallery

IMG_9765

When it was suggested that I have a page with all my cross stitching on it, I agreed it was a good idea!  And now, here it is finally…

FogKnits Cross Stitch Gallery

You can also find a gallery link at the top of the homepage.  In the gallery, there’s individual pics of each hoop and notes on where the designs came from.  It’s a work in progress but I’ll keep adding to it.  Turns out there’s a lot of cross stitching that hasn’t made it onto the blog, yet.

These two for example,

 

Sent off as a housewarming gift.  Leslie Knope approves, obviously.

The second hoop, started when I was messing with beads a couple weeks ago.  The beads were the first element in place.  I picked a song lyric to match the stars.  I wouldn’t pick Coldplay intentionally.  I rather dislike them but the sentiment matched the star beads.  I picked a pretty font and a pretty color for no reason other than I liked them.  I really hated those beads though.  They were dreadful and tacky.  I just couldn’t.

Once I got rid of the beads, I was left with a font that just screamed Little Prince to me.  I didn’t have room for him but I did manage a lovely replica of his asteroid, B-612.  That’s about as artsy fartsy as I get.  Despite my intense dislike of Coldplay, I’m really pleased with how it turned out.

Then there’s stuff like this…

 

You can see where all my knitting time has gone :)  I’ve been doing a lot of cross stitch this summer.  And I’ve got pages and pages and pages of notes with more ideas!  It’s just so fun…I can’t stop.  I’ve got plenty more to add to the gallery but I’m off to a good start!

And, many of these hoops aren’t for my permanent collection.  Check out my Etsy shop to see what’s currently available to purchase!   FogKnits on Etsy


 

Cross Stitch Wednesday

 

I made a fun amazon discovery over the weekend…cross stitch baby bibs!  Of course, I had to try them out!  Yay for 2 day delivery!  The first one is done already.  I wasted no time with it!

 

I’m not sure how useful it’ll be but it’s pretty stinkin’ cute.  Interestingly, I ordered two of the same item, blank cotton aida bibs but received two different items.  One polyester bib, one cotton bib.  It seemed like too much of a hassle to correct, so I just went with it.

I don’t like the polyester at all though.  It’s weird to stitch, floppy and loose, even in a hoop and I question it’s bib-ness.  The cotton is sure to be better, for stitching and for catching baby messes.  I’ve got an idea.  I just need to spend some time with a bit of graph paper!

My other stitching this week was a bit of commentary on television.

And then, I went a little crazy.  It’s a pinterest fail and a glitter bomb all wrapped into one.  After seeing some really cool embroidered tulle pieces, I thought…of course I can cross stitch on tulle!  and of course, when presented with tulle or glitter tulle…the answer is glitter.

IMG_9311

I’m worse than a raccoon stuck in a trap by nothing more than a shiny bit of metal.  (Where the Red Fern Grows, amirite?)   I know glitter is bad.  In fact, I’m a glitter hater.  I’ve never liked glitter.  It’s bad for the environment.  It gets everywhere.  No good can come of releasing glitter in my own home.  Somehow though, I still walked out of that store with glitter tulle.  WTF?  I don’t know what I was thinking.

I deserve the mess it made.  No amount of vacuuming has helped.  It’s everywhere.  It, literally, exploded when I unwrapped the spool it came on.  I had the vacuum out instantly but it was no use.  It’s on my hands.  It’s in my hair.  It’s waaaaaay in the back of my desk drawer already.  It’s all over my clothes.  It’s definitely been spread around my bed.  That’ll teach me to control my craft store impulses.   (hopefully)

At least, the cross stitch was a bust.  Tulle and the technique needed for see through work is really much better suited to embroidery and I’m just not having it.

finished cross stitch cat butt nope

NOPE!  I don’t want to embroider and you can’t make me.  So, it’s back to standard aida for me.  I’m gonna play around with some more beading.  That could be fun (and far neater than glitter!)


 

Making It

It’s finally July 31st!  I’ve been waiting for today since March!  That’s when I first shared the trailer with you, for Making It!  The new craft competition show hosted by Nick Offerman and Amy Poehler.   Tonight, Making It makes it’s debut!  Woo!  I have to wait until it’s streaming online but for you TV types, you can watch it tonight at 10 pm!

Just thinking about it, has got my creative juices flowing.  Along with the looming threat of getting a job, it’s super motivating.  I’m making progress in all sorts of crafty pursuits.

I’ve been watching Parks & Rec while I patiently wait for Making It.  I’d never watched the show before.  I love it.  It’s comedy gold.  Ron Swanson is just the best!  (That’s Nick Offerman’s character, if you don’t know.)  He’s inspired me to change the cross stitch design on my phone case.  It used to say ‘don’t be a prick’, with a cactus.  You can still see the outline a bit. I’m just gonna go right over it.

IMG_8941

My new Ron Swanson themed phone case is going to say ‘clear alcohols are for rich women on diets’  :)  I can’t upgrade my phone yet but I can definitely upgrade my case!  It’s gonna be so fun!

In other cross stitch news (don’t worry, there’s knitting news too!), I’ve got an ode to the Violent Femmes’ Blister in the Sun nearly finished.   From original concept to execution, you can see it changed a bit.

I really wanted to capture the blistering quality of the sun.

Ultimately though, I couldn’t get the colors right, so the oranges and reds got cut.  It turned into a study in yellows.  After a sunflower phase, two decades ago, I’ve got every shade of yellow embroidery floss imaginable.  Good thing because I’m really happy with this result.  Now to come up with some more sun song lyrics…Here Comes the Sun (Beatles), Sunshine Daydream (Grateful Dead) and millions more…feel free to remind me of your favorite sunny day lyrics.  I’m bound to be missing lots…

The pop culture train continues with this next little project.  I had a few scraps of aida cloth.  Google told me people make bookmarks with their scraps.  Easy enough.

06A6D9D4-52B9-4FF0-90CB-240917F4B5E8

Baby got book, alright!  lolololol!  Seriously, no one should laugh at themselves this much.  I just can’t help it.   This joke is getting serious mileage with me.

Anyone who knows Becky, can probably guess what comes next in the series…I like big books and I cannot lie!  bwahahahahah.  For those not in the know, it’s a play on the song Baby Got Back by Sir Mix-A-Lot.   Replace ‘book’ with ‘butt’ and you’ve got the original song.   It’s the pun that just keeps on giving.  I’ll definitely be turning my future scraps into more bookmarks!

I was going to share some actual knitting content today, but I think you’ll have to wait until tomorrow!  All this crafty talk has my fingers itching to Make It!  :)  I’ll let you know how much I love the new show too!


WIP Wednesday – All Cross Stitch Edition

Happy Wednesday!  It’s been a while.  Hope everyone is enjoying the summer and staying cool.  While much of the country has been having a heat wave, we’ve been enjoying really perfect weather here in San Francisco.

It’s pretty much always knitting weather here.  There’s no summer break because it’s too hot to even think about wool.  Despite that, I don’t have any progress to show.  I am making progress though.  It’s just that my WIPS have all grown to the point where progress is lost to the jumble of fabric crammed on the needles.   Soon though, I’m sure to have a breakthrough and get something finished.

In the meantime, I’ve turned to cross stitch for my instant gratification fix.  I love a project that only takes a couple hours.  Song lyrics are perfect for that!  From idea to execution to finishing in no time!

I’ve been watching the World Cup.  Our regular knit night takes place in an English pub so when they opened for a 7 am game, I had to go.  That was the inspiration for this piece…

D8A5D691-3EE7-457A-8D23-CF8D8253729C

and once I’ve got a taste of instant gratification, I want more.  These two came in rapid succession, as well.

39597DAC-F497-48F1-8C84-8EA1B85D45C5

My lettuce looks more like a pea, but he’s happy about it so I can’t be mad at him. I’m contemplating an upgrade for him, though.  In the meantime, I’ve got a jellyfish going on.

IMG_8611

His shading is so perfect.  I’ve finally found the ideal use for the variegated thread I’ve got.  I love him so far!  He’ll be joining his friends on the wall soon.

IMG_8610

It’s getting crowded…definitely making it’s way to full quickly!  I’ve still got a plenty of ideas left!

FO Friday – More Tom Petty Cross Stitch

2017-10-23_20-44-39_585

My latest cross stitch is, once again, Tom Petty themed.

For the uninitiated, this is the text of a hidden track, from the Full Moon Fever album.  CDs were the new big thing when this album came out.  Certainly still a novelty for 11 year old me.

This was probably the first hidden track I ever heard, even if I didn’t know that’s what it was called.  And, the background to the track was barnyard animal sounds.  It was pretty much tailor made for a kid.  I loved it.

Turns out, I still love it as an adult.  And when it occurred to me that a CD is round just like an embroidery hoop…well, done deal!

Laying out the chart was the most time consuming part of this.  Here’s a peek at my process…

2017-10-15_11-36-33_114

I charted the the text and then cut the pieces out for easy manipulation.  The only downfall of cross stitch is all the counting.  There’s really no way around that.  I’m slowly figuring out my anything goes approach is okay with knitting.  Not okay with cross stitch.  This piece was worth it!  I can’t wait to add it to my wall.

Here’s the current state of the cross stitch wall…2017-10-22_09-07-21_020

It’s filling in but I have plenty of free space to go!

My next dead songwriter is Warren Zevon.  He’s a treasure trove of amazingness, perfect for cross stitching.  I’ve got some ideas…oh yes. I never seem to run out of ideas.  I can’t wait to work on them! TGIF!


 

FO Friday – RIP Tom Petty

Like everyone else, I’m bummed about Tom Petty.  He’s one of the few people who could still put out an entire album worth listening to, on repeat, all day.   Naturally, he’s been in heavy rotation here at the FogKnits’ headquarters this week.

There isn’t much ‘Tom Petty Knitting’ but his songs sure are quotable…

2017-10-04_21-07-09_154

…and that lends itself to cross stitch, easily.

2017-10-05_20-06-06_196

I like cassette tapes.  I didn’t really have any particular reason for going with the tape.  Then, I listened to Full Moon Fever.  It was one of the first CDs I ever had.  By which, of course, I mean one of the first CDs my Mom ever had.  In any event, it got listened to constantly.

I nearly forgot about the hidden track.  I loved that when I was a kid.   Tom gave us a moment to stop and consider how convenient CDs were.  No stopping to flip the tape.  Ha ha!  It just cracked me up.  It still does.  The perfect, unexpected surprise in the middle of a CD, which was already a thing wonder.

Hello CD Listeners…

2017-10-05_20-49-41_742

And an embroidery hoop is round like CD.  That can’t be a coincidence.  I’ve got a tape.  Now, time for a CD.  Yes, it’s a bit wordy but my next idea has been born!

RIP Tom, I hope you like being immortalized in bathroom cross stitch!