Sunday, January 27, 2008

First Chapter Posted - Dawn Child

Hello my friends,

I am taking the advice of a dear friend and starting my posting of "Dawn Child", at least what I have written so far. It is nowhere near complete, but the first few chapters are close enough that I can release them. So I am releasing it a chapter at a time, unlike my normal habit of releasing the entire story at once. I will update it as I can. Unfortunately, I cannot promise any kind of regular schedule.

I do hope you enjoy it! I have enjoyed everyone's comments and emails of encouragement. They really do mean a lot to me.

Here is a link to the first chapter, which is all that is posted so far:

Dawn Child

Thanks & have a great day.



Thursday, January 24, 2008

Blog Changes

Hello all,

I am figuring out how blogger lets me change things on my web page, a little at a time. It is vastly different from what I do at work. However, I don't spend a lot of time tinkering with the blog... it's too much like work! Go figure.

Anyhoo, I have figured out the great Header mystery, so I am playing with my header image. It may change over time. The above image is the one I use in my signature over at RBSU. The main design was a gift from a friend. I added items to it. I may play with it a little bit, so this probably won't be permanent. I want to play with the colors as well. I haven't upgraded my template to the more-friendly editing type yet. I don't want to lose what I've done so far, and I'm always proud when I figure it out myself. However, some of it is just frustrating. It would be nice if Blogger put more comments in the HTML, like "if you want to change the image in your header, you would change it here". That would definitely make the learning curve less steep, especially for people who like to blog but don't have a lot of time to play with the settings to see what does what.

Tomorrow night is Craft Madness with my friend. We get together with a group at her church the last Friday of a month to do crafts. It started out as scrapbooking (a gathering known in scrapping circles as a "crop"), but it has since expanded out to cover any craft that someone wants to bring in. I've done drawing, cross-stitching, and scrapbooking (I collect hobbies) at these events, and I just enjoy it. It's great to have a time that is dedicated to making something, without interruptions from the dog or the phone. It's nice to get together and hang out, too. I enjoy spending time with my friend, crafting or no. But tomorrow night's project: continue work on the Jane Sagan patch.

In the meantime, I AM still working on Dawn Child. I've just been suffering from bout upon bout of writer's block. I did sit down and make a lot of pre-write notes the other night, and I think that will get me moving again. I am seriously considering posting a chapter at a time this time instead of the whole thing, just so I can get this ball rolling. What do you think?

UPDATE: I just changed the header image again, this time something I created myself. I may still play with it over time, but it is a sampling of some of my hobbies.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Raven Cross-stitch Complete

Hello all, I hope you are keeping warm. We are going to get a cold snap tonight, so I'm about to go enjoy a cup of hot tea. I'd like to share with you pictures of my latest cross-stitch project. This is a picture of the comic book version of Raven. The original sketch was done by George Perez and can be seen on Bill Walko's website, Titans Tower . The link directly to the sketch is in the previous post. I imported it into a cross-stitch rendering program to create the chart. I don't think I made any changes to it once it was imported -- the upload was very clean. I then printed the chart and stitched it up. Here is the result. I really do like it, and I hope you do too. I truly love this picture of her. This is the original Wolfman-Perez Raven. I thought it was so beautifully drawn by Mr. Perez that I just had to stitch it up. He draws her in such a hauntingly beautiful fashion.

She is 150 stitches wide by 200 high on 14 count Aida fabric. It's all done in black (DMC color 310) and took about 2 full skeins of thread. I started this on New Year's Day, so it took the better part of 3 weeks to stitch. All stitches are full cross-stitches (no quarter or half stitches are used).

I had her on a scrolling frame while I stitched her. I only use hoops if the design is smaller than the hoop itself. I don't like the way hoops bend the Aida fabric.
This does tend to curl the fabric at the ends (even though it does offer some protection from fabric fray). I need to press it out before it can be framed. I'm not sure what I'll do about the framing yet, but I do intend to get it framed.

My next stitching project: the patch for the Jane Sagan costume. This will be a little different, as it will be mostly satin stitch and not cross-stitch. I am way more experienced with cross-stitch. It's almost mindless... I just make little x's. Enough x's, you get a picture. The satin stitch in and of itself is easy, but I don't have the nice pre-made holes to guide me. I am following a trace of the design, but it's a little harder to get the stitches exactly side by side. We'll see how it goes.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Being Crafty

I took Friday off in hopes of getting some work done on my costumes. When I first tried to sew, the machine started a fight with me. It won. I think my husband may be able to referee between us later, but for now, I did not make any progress on the gloves. :( However, I did get something done. I made the clasps for the cloak: old jacket buttons from the 80s (literally), funky foam, and 2-sided adhesive. They look pretty good, but I want to sand down the foam to get the outer edge nice and smooth. I'll try to put up pictures later.

I also got some work done on my Jane Sagan patch. I traced the design that I did several months ago (seen here) onto some stabilizer fabric. I have basted that onto the actual patch fabric and placed it in the hoop. It is now ready for stitching. I will probably attack it with a series of satin stitches. The hardest part was getting it set up. Hopefully I will have pictures of it when I am done.

I am working on another cross-stitch project, one that has helped me generate ideas for my latest story (which I have been stuck on for some time). It is a cross-stitch rendering of a George Perez sketch of Raven, as seen on Bill Walko's site. I imported the JPG into a rendering program and turned it into a chart. I've been stitching on it since New Year's Day, and it is nearly complete. Again, I will post a picture once I'm done. I probably won't post it on deviantArt since it's not my sketch originally, and I just don't feel comfortable posting it on an art site. I don't mind showing it here as a "Here's what I'm doing now" sort of thing, though.

I hope everyone is doing well!