Thursday, June 24, 2010

Projects, Old and New

So many projects to talk about, so little time! (mostly because I'm exhausted, but I simply can't resist sharing..)

I haven't been crocheting much for myself lately. Boyfriend has opened up a whole new world of possibilities, and it's been amazing being able to make things for someone who not only appreciates them, but appreciates me. That being said, a few selfish projects have managed to worm their way into my schedule.

First, there was this guy:

With his three layers of ice creamy goodness and his multi-colored bugle bead sprinkles, he was a joy to make. There's nothing like envisioning something in your head and then watching it come to life. He's a modification of the Strawberry and French Vanilla Ice Cream Cone Pattern that's available in my shop. When I decided to make him, I knew I wanted something larger than the original and with a little more spunk. And he certainly has spunk.. especially the scoop of strawberry ice cream at the top. I think the sprinkles make him a bit more sassy than his peers.

Then I didn't make anything for a while that wasn't for someone else until... the fifth season Doctor Who episode with the weeping angels aired. A friend of mine was cleaning out his garden and found his old cement fountain had cracked over the winter and the pudgy cherubs had broken into rather large chunks. He gave a particularly whiney looking severed cherub head to my Mother to stage in my room as a joke. She wanted to throw it out afterward. Unfortunately, I had fallen in love.... and decided he needed a hat, of course.
So, here he is, hat and all: (his mushed face and tempermental whine remind me of the mandrakes in Harry Potter.... I mean, really, how could you resist?)

As for future projects... I just discovered these (unfortunately) at PurlSoho. They're needlepoint canvases based on the work of illustrator Charley Harper, who I idolize. His colors range from the vibrant to the mundane, but the minimalist way he depicted animals infused such a life and sense of soul in them, it's hard to look at his work and not be inspired. He broke nature down to its base parts in such a unique way, his silkscreen work became ledgend and it is easy to see the building blocks of every modern, minimalist artist in his pieces.
Unfortunately, PurlSoho has taken it upon themselves to attmept to make these needlepoint canvases as snooty and expensive as possible. Needlepoint is a dying art, and therefore the canvases are a bit more expensive than they used to be and a bit harder to find, but charging upwards of $100 for the canvas alone is obscene. Apparently, PurlSoho felt the need to have the canvases handpainted instead of simply printed because it makes them "extra special" ::coughcoughextraexpensivecoughcough:: Here, you might as well read for yourself:

"Handpainted needlepoint canvases are extra special because the artist takes extra care to paint the colors on the canvas grid in such a manner that it is perfectly clear what color each stitch should be. If this process weren't taken so seriously, colors would bleed from one hole of the mesh to the next, making it unclear what colors should be used for what stitches and therefore creating a much less satisfying result."

Oh, I get it now. They're trying to save me from having to think about where I'm putting my stitches. Well, that makes sense. A crafter isn't supposed to be thinking about their work or the overall aesthetic value of it. Thanks, PurlSoho for saving me from the incredibly difficult art of using my brain to make creative choices. You really are swell.

Thankfully, in what seems to have been a lapse of judgement in the company's "lets bilk our customers for all they're worth because we're in Soho and we can" department, they not only posted a picture of the completed Rainforest Birds canvas (which happens to be my favorite)...

they also posted a detailed color key which can be seen at full size and downloaded here.And so, armed with the tracing skills I picked up in the first grade and some old, blank, needlepoint canvases I picked up at a yard sale, I'm ready to get started... and save $90.
How's that for using my noodle, PurlSoho?

As an unrelated side note, there will be a boyfriend picture in the next post. I'm done resisting...

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