Monday, March 28, 2016

Monday Monday - Behind the scenes week

The vast majority of my energy this week went toward finishing my tattoo Wednesday and the subsequent loooooong slow healing process.

I've been using this organic cocoa butter based Redemption stuff for aftercare instead of the usual ointments and this is hands down the fastest heal I have ever experienced.

It's also pretty amazing as a moisturizing butter, so I may get more to use as a cuticle and scar butter down the line, but it is a bit on the spendy side for that.

Courtesy John Lally at Masquerade Tattoo NY
Click through to @jlallyart on instagram for a few detail shots
That made it really hard to move my right arm so I reacted to this by... hanging lots of pictures! I also set up that little Aero garden which has wee bebeh basil seedlings after only three days. Which is good because I could seriously eat all of the basil.

We have a slightly staggering amount of art which has pretty much never seen the light of day and I am resolved to jettisoning the poster tubes and getting it all up. Framing is spendy so for now I'm focusing on the already framed stuff. It'll be a slow process to get it ALL up to be sure, but so worth it to actually see all of the art we've been getting for each other over the years.

We are amassing a serious pile of stuff from Mondo and Angry Blue, especially - I also have the added complication of planning everything around a reprint of an original Frankenstein bus poster which is literally taller than I am (he lives behind the couch).

And I get to tetris it all into our tiny tiny tiny apartment! Hence the 1840s bat plate/Muppet movie melange up there. Whatever, it makes me happy.

Sometimes fancy crafting requires unfancy ingredients.

My other major project this week was to make a PVC lap stand for embroidery! I based it on this design and while my clothes and porch (and probably my lungs) were covered in PVC dust the whole thing took all of $20 and maybe an hour to put together.

I haven't gotten a chance to really test it out yet but I'm very hopeful... if I can keep the kitten from eating the rubber bands currently holding it together! It does have a bit of a tendency to explode.

It's not glued so I can break it down as needed and sub in pieces of different lengths to fit a multitude of other projects. Currently it is set up to hold my usual scroll frame over my lap while I am sitting cross legged but it will also hold a 8x11 Qsnap with a few piece changes.

The Badasscrossstitch yearofstitch project is moving along nicely and this weeks entry Fly Stitch may not be the sexiest but it's still new to me!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Monday Monday - chugging along

This was a quiet week all told.

Most of the "work" I have done this week has been theoretical research for a couple of big online projects I'm hoping to start soon.

If I move forward with both they could change the face of this blog significantly, so more on that as there's more on that. If you have any suggestions for stuff you'd like to see more of/less of this is the time.

I am all ears (all eyes? You know what I mean).

I'm still in the process of a major apartment re-org so whole days are being devoured by the random belonging slide-puzzle game and bookshelf building, but stuff is finally getting unboxed and a functional office/craft space is so close I can practically taste it.

My main cross stitch project, Mini Shades of Red by Heaven and Earth Designs, is all sloooooooooooow particular stitching right now so that is crawling along at a snail's pace. I'd post a pic but it wouldn't look like much of anything.

Our new couch setup makes it very difficult to use my floor stand so that is slowing down my pace even more. I have been looking into lap stands but I work very close to my canvas and plan to work on some big pieces so anything I buy is going to be a relatively significant cash investment.

My #yearofstitch project is moving apace. Week two has been posted and week three is actually done as well. I had originally posted on Friday and then I remembered the Instagram blackout protest due to the planned format change so I took it down and reposted Saturday.

Haha No by thedisasterlife on Etsy

I've been particularly caught on Evil Eye and Ouija designs lately so I picked up a Ouija themed shirt from Amazon and an art print *points up* (click picture subtitle for link or here for her instagram @permascowl) and am in the process of stitching an evil eye themed project as a gift. I'd also really like to reproduce that "Haha No" piece in embroidery but haven't yet contacted the artist about permission yet.

I also picked up a sort of cape/sweatshirt hybrid to replace my trashed hoodies. I expect I'll have to do some surgery to it to make it look like something other than a shapeless bag but I'm tired of supposedly comfortable garments that are huge on my upper torso but somehow don't fit over my hips. 

Perhaps they are afraid of my Puerto Rican-ness, my natural heat.
I'm getting a little tired of the hyper masculine style I've been rocking all winter so hopefully this will be the Spring I finally embrace my inner Norn. I'm planning on a longer, softer haircut once the blue grows out and I've started wearing eyeliner again.

It's hard to do long, flowy, and aristocratic when you sit in an office chair eight hours a day but hopefully I'll manage. If nothing else I have decent hand sewing skills so I'll be able to mend all the skirt damage.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Monday Monday - almost missed posting on time due to DST!

I generally deal with DST by trashing my sleep schedule so hard that weekend that I barely tell anything is different on Monday. Works like a charm.

I got most of this written out earlier, got distracted by things, and suddenly realized it was almost midnight, oopsie!

Not much motion on the big stitching projects but I did finally start the Badass Crosstitch #yearofstitch and post the first week on Wednesday.

I have the second done as well but am not sure when I want to start posting them. I'm thinking maybe I'll post them Friday to split up the week a little bit.

The biggest thing that I did this week was finally rearrange my apartment. We moved in early July but the space never settled into a good functional flow and so many things never really seemed to find a proper place. We switched two of the rooms so that we now have the worlds tiniest great room and a separated office/craft/workout space.

Operation "be able to take a single picture in my home and not see a random cardboard storage box" is moving along nicely, but there's a lot left to do.
One of the projects I really want to tackle is a makeup and beauty product re-org. I literally have a box full of subscription boxes full of stuff that hasn't been sorted.
So of course I bought more beauty stuff on Thursday.

I stopped in at Ulta after my hair appointment to pick up the Tarte facial oil on the far right and see if I could get my brows done at the Benefit Brow bar (could and did!). I'd been stalking that particular NYX liquid Suede lip colour for a while so I grabbed that and another red. The third red was entirely accidental as I was comparing them to a color I knew I liked and simply forgot to put it down. Still haven't decided whether to keep or swap it. 

I really like a long sweeping liner brush so I'm enjoying going back to a true liquid liner but I would prefer it to be even more matte. I'm also looking forward to trying that silicone brush with a gel liner as I'm not a big fan of the usual suggested firm angle brush and I feel like I've lost the ability to do things I used to do daily on a moving train with liquid (I commuted to college and grad school).

I've gone back to dark blue hair as I grow out the white and it's like hanging out with an old friend. Note also my freshly waxed brow line! Even without filling them in (I always break out less if they don't fill them after) I haven't had brows that crisp since Halloween!

My nails were pretty trashed so I repainted them on a shade I hope will stand up to the blue hair dye. 

The more I use that gold flake polish the more I want to. Not to mention that I saw both a macro gold flake indie polish and a gold foil enhanced mani tutorial vid on instagram within the last day that I'm trying not to think too hard about. Following Sveta_Sanders is kind of a problem as it's Russian language so I can't even read her posts much less buy those polishes, and she post some AMAZING polishes.

My other main beauty related move this week is to drink lots and lots and lots of water. It's so trite but it really works and I hate that I forget that. 

I haven't used lip balm in days and I could probably apply a lip stain right now with no prep whatsoever. I was noticing my skin looking pretty grumpy lately (for example that pic collage above, eek) and this has immediately perked it right up.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Monday Monday Part 5 - A New Beginning

The Friday the 13th reference is apropos of absolutely nothing, that's just where my brain went this morning.

Not as much to report this week as I would like.

Tuesday night was game night, so unless you have interest in my very bare surface understanding of the Dungeons & Dragons 5e system there's not much to go into there.

Lvl 2 Goliath Barbarian, in case you are wondering
Wednesday was colour session one on my Halloween inspired bat sleeve with John Lally at Masquerade Tattoo. It was a bit gruelling but so cool to watch the piece start coming to life bit by bit.

At our first break I texted this pic to my husband and it was the first time I had gotten to see it from the "proper" angle. What looked like some nifty shading from my perspective practically jumps off my arm in 3D from the right side up. There is, not incidentally, an entire BACK of my arm to this project as well.

Interesting note; I am apparently more upset about the movie Prometheus than I am about someone repeatedly and painfully injecting ink into my arm over the course of several hours. Anyone who feels like having a captive audience to talk about horror hit me up for when my next appointment is scheduled.

I'm not entirely joking. It really helps.

Thursday I got to hang out with the family, my Mom is doing better every day and seeing my brother is always a pleasure.

Friday was kind of a crappy day at work so when I got home I buried myself in TV and crafting. My husband eventually went out to a local music show leaving me to my own devices.

These devices apparently didn't involve hitting the bathroom until about 8:30... which is when I found this Limecrime lipstick I've been eyeing for months casually taped to the mirror! Because my husband is the ginchiest I now have Velvetine lipsticks in Beet It, Utopia (the color I wore for my wedding), and Pansy. I just realized all three of these colours are LEs, woo!

I will probably continue eyeing Red Velvet and Wicked (both reds) for some time to come. My current go-to red is NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Monte Carlo. Not that I have any lack of red lipsticks but when you got one that really works it can be hard to commit to an untried product for a night out.

Craft wise I switched up working on the Blackwork piece to get some work done on Shades of Red. So far everything in this piece has been a study in extremes. Huge blocks of slightly mind numbing unrelenting black background or incredibly fussy "confetti" stitching of no more than three stitches of one colour at a time. Thankfully the next section should be a much larger section of colour which will hopefully be a bit more laid back.

I'm realizing as I get further into this project that I like the higher count fabrics more and more and I think I will be sticking to 1/1 on 25 count and up from now on. I thought the lower count would be easier on the eyes but it's not really until you get to 18 and the annoyance of dealing with two strands of floss for proper coverage on a full coverage project is NOT worth the small amount of relief.
I don't think the dark color of this fabric is helping much either.

I'm sort of gearing up to work on the Bowie piece. I FINALLY settled on a fabric but I prefer to work with floss cards and making your own floss cards for intricate designs with upwards of 75 colours is possibly even fussier work than much of the cross stitching itself.

Controlled Chaos
There used to be a system available from a brand called LoRan with little soft binders and pre-punched cards, Dritz has taken over the cards but they don't have enough colours on each card for the sorts of projects I do and they are small for my needs (also SPENDY). I am strongly considering altering some kind of 3 ring datebook to be a project floss holder. Come to think of it I should have a really nice pink leather one lying around somewhere that would probably be just perfect.

As far as the #yearostitch project I am really hoping to get that underway in the next few days. I just haven't taken the time to find the first entry (um, nevermind... check) and take stock of what fabric I will need. I kind of like how Instagram user @Queenofslacking has laid it all out in 20x20 blocks so I'll probably do something like that.

OH! I sort of idly mused last night that I hadn't seen a ship notification for that cone of thread I mentioned buying last week only to dig back through my emails and realize I never.... actually... ordered it.

I know I hit submit on Paypal but I'm pretty sure I must have closed the browser before hitting the final submit on the full order, so I went to do it aaaaaaall over again. I missed out on the shipping coupon but happily the cones were still half off, and threw in a clip on magnifier to boot since I've resigned myself to staring cross eyed at impossibly fine evenweave for the next decade or so.

Oh also, Cheeeeese Gromet!
My Cheese of the Month delivery came on Saturday. I've already tucked into the Dubliner and the Mellville and can highly recommend both on their own merits.