Soft Sculptures For the Hard Hearted

Croshame

Croshame Summer Sale!

After going through one of the most grueling winters of my existence, I’m anxious to celebrate summer — even if it’s not technically starting until the 21st.

You know what that means…

Summer Sale

 That’s right, Mr. Sun! A sale!

During the month of June, anyone who uses the coupon code “SUMMERSALE” at checkout in the Croshame Etsy Store will receive 20% off ANYTHING in the whole dang shop (commission work excluded)! The sale ends on June 30th and the store will be temporarily closing for at least a few weeks shortly thereafter , so make sure to take advantage of these sweaty, hot deals during this month only!


Welcome to the Martyr-Dome (free pattern)

If you follow my work, you’ll probably know I enjoy watching movies. And for me, nothing provides the perfect escape from reality like a hefty movie marathon – unless, of course, it’s a hefty movie marathon steeped in even heftier religious plot lines! Last month, that’s just what I did: over the course of a few weeks, I undertook the arduous task of watching an array of distinguished religious epics such as The Passion of Joan of Arc, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Devils, King of Kings and The Last Temptation of Christ, among others.

I was on or around the fourth movie in five days, sitting in my recliner crocheting and watching a crucified Willem Dafoe blink back Karo syrup blood tears, when a thought occurred to me. For as uncomfortable as they look, and as fake as they might seem, there is one essential religious costume prop that is actually pretty attractive, fashionable, and — dare I say it — sexy:

The crown of thorns.

Dafoe

Willem Dafoe lookin’ bloody good in The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)

passion de jeanne

The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) — beautiful, yes, but you don’t have to cry about it

Kanye

Leave it to Rolling Stone magazine to make a messiah out of a molehill

King of Kings’ spring bling ring: Stephane Rolland runway show

King of Kings’ couture bling ring: Stephane Rolland runway show.

The fabulous Peaches Christ, rockin' it as usual.

Fab cinephile tranny Peaches Christ gets thorny with it.

See? Sexy.

So instead of wondering, “Oh death, where are thy thorns?” I threw up my hands and said, “Breezy lies the head that wears a crown,” and set about making a new pattern, which I share with you all here today.

Ladles and Gentlebugs, I present the fully crocheted, D.I.Y. Crown of Thorns!

Thorn glow

Let’s face it: some days are better than others. For those times when the sins of the world hang heavy on your shoulders, simply whip up this torturously simple project and feel a sting of pride from your handmade crowning achievement.

D.I.Y. CROWN OF THORNS

Pattern: ©2014 Shove Mink / Photos: ©2014 Chuck McNary

Please, for the love of all that’s good and slightly holy, don’t distribute or sell this pattern, or sell finished products made from this pattern — because after all, I don’t come into YOUR temple and knock over YOUR money changing tables, do I?

Thorn 1

Thorn 2 MATERIALS

  • “F” and “B” crochet hooks
  • Worsted weight yarn in light brown
  • DK weight yarn in dark brown and dark red
  • 6 – 10 red plastic beads or small crystals
  • Wire
  • Yarn needle
  • Fabric glue

PATTERN

Branches (make 2)

With light brown worsted and “F” hook:

Sc 6 in magic ring (or ch 2, sc 6 in 2nd ch from hook).

Rounds 1 – 135. sc 6 (or repeat to reach required length needed to wrap around head comfortably.)

Bind off and leave tail.

Insert length of wire to fit fully into both branches. Weave the two branches together around each other as shown below. Pattern Thorns alone Form into a circle, fitting around scalp and flattening front to sit on forehead “comfortably.” Wrap ends tightly around each other and sew the beginning closed end to branches along the open end. Pattern Back crown Thorns (make 24-30)

With dark brown DK and “B” hook:

Sc 4 in magic ring (or ch 2, sc 4 in 2nd ch from hook).

Rounds 1 – 2. sc 4

Round 3. [Inc, sc 1] twice – 6

Bind off and leave tail.

Sew each thorn to branches as shown in the photos, or however randomly you’d like.

Blood streams (make 3-5)

With dark red DK and “B” hook:

Leaving a long tail at the beginning, ch 9, 12, or 16.

Row 1. Hdc in 2nd chain from hook, sc 1, sl st, sc in next 5 (8, 12).

Bind off and weave in end tail.

Using fabric glue, attach red crystals or beads to either side of “drop” (on the hdc). Pattern blood gem Use beginning tail to attach to inside of bottom thorn and branch, as shown below. Pattern attaching blood to thorn Once completed, fix that cushy coronet atop your glowing pate and go about your day, fielding all those sharp-tongued compliments from enthused passersby that are sure to be flung your way like arrows! This would also make a great last-minute bonnet replacement for an Easter egg hunt, the perfect addition to your Sunday best, or a stunning accoutrement for the upcoming junior or senior prom.

Make one just for yourself, or a whole bunch for the family — the more, the martyr-ier! Thorn whoopsy

And remember, even when life hands you lemons…


Croshame Mega-Sale!

That’s right, you heard it here first, folks (or, if you were directed here from another source, you may have heard it here second). For a limited time throughout the month, four of my Croshame Etsy pieces are on mega-sale!

(*puts on best used car salesman voice*)

The Exorcist Playset has been blasphemously lowered from $250 to $150!

That’s a nauseatingly huge savings of $100!! Get that yarn vomit while it’s steamin’ hot!

Exorcist Playset, 2010

Crochetin’ In Blood has been GOUGED from $90 to $70!

Yeee-OWCH! That’s gotta hurt!

Crochetin' in Blood, 2012

The  Who Killed Nancy-gurumi set has been SLASHED from $95 to $75!

Whaaat?!!! These prices are killing me!

 And Hogtied has been SLICED from $90 to $70!

That’s one chunky slab of savings!Hogtied, 2010

Sale prices and supplies are limited, so if you ever felt like owning these pieces but were an Andrew Jackson or two short, now is your opportunity to scoop them up!


Waiter, There’s a Fly in My Blog

Question: What you get the entomology student who has everything?

Answer: A Croshame figure of the creature from the 1958 version of The Fly!

The Fly full with table 2

Knowing that this commissioned piece was going to a movie-loving bug enthusiast (a friend of a friend), I wanted to make it somewhat accurate in the insect’s details while simultaneously capturing the weird cheesiness of the film’s main character.

The Fly closeup

The creature’s head only shows up for about 3 minutes during the entire film (if that), so getting a clear picture of what he really looked like was tough. I kind of made it a cross between the original Fly and the one from its 1959 sequel, Return of the Fly. (Move along, Cronenberg; you’re not needed here.)

The Fly - face closeup

His head (which was VERY difficult to photograph accurately, by the way) was made of a crazy, fuzzy-bumpy novelty yarn I bought ages ago on a trip to Portland, OR.

The Fly - close closeup

The facial features were made from a pipe cleaner wrapped with eyelash yarn and needle-felted “mouth” details. (Check out those maxillary palps!)

The Fly - Fly hand

The creature in the film has one normal human hand and one deformed, hairy fly claw — which, again, I needle-felted with love.

The Fly with head covering

Naturally I had to include the blanket that the good doctor drapes over his face whenever dear ol’ wifey comes traipsing through his household laboratory. And the handy pocket on his lab coat is perfect for concealing that hideous fly-claw!

The fly wide closeup

After all that hard scientific work, I’d say the experiment was a rousing success!*

*Unless you count that whole grisly “assisted suicide via crushing with a mechanical press”  part of the movie. Then probably not so much.


As Above, “Sew” Below

Baphomet was a symbolic representation of a deity supposedly worshipped by the secretive order of the Knights Templar during the 11th century, and more recently adopted by the Church of Satan in their religious iconography. When I received a commission for a “cutesy-fied” crocheted Baphomet figure, I knew I’d seen other “Baby-Baph” type plushies by various artists before and wanted mine to be different than the others with some added Croshame flair and detail.

So based off of this 1856 illustration from Eliphas Levi…

baphomet…I came up with a drawing of this little guy.

Baphometsy drawing

It was then I set about conjuring my tiny being into this world. After donning a fetching black robe, playing around with a bit of yarn,  and ending with a loud  “Shemhamforash!”, there came forth from my hands the new horned God I dubbed

Baphometsy-Wetsy.”

Baphomet with Candles full

His arms, pointing both towards the sky and the ground, read “Solve” and “Coagula” (needle-felted into the crochet).

Baphomet arm Solve

This literally translates into “dissolve” and “create,” but is also interpreted to signify the path of all knowledge:

“As above, so below.”

Baphomet arm Coagula

From his head, between the horns of virility, emerges a flaming torch (crafted from tufted yarn strands) — the magical light of universal equilibrium, natch.

Baphometsy flame closeup

Baphomet’s wings represent the flight of the liberated soul. (Of course you already gathered that from the hand-sewn felt, yes?)

Baphometsy back closeup

Baphomet, ever the amazing androgyne, bears both crocheted female breasts and a needle-felted phallus, shown as a wingless caduceus representing eternal life.

Baphometsy boob closeup

His hoofed goat legs have wire inside so he can sit, cross-legged, or stand — as ritual dictates.

Baphomet rod detail

Baphomet is the light bearer clothed in the disguise of evil.

Baphomet face closeup

Evil and unbelievable cuteness!


New & cuddly Croshame Christmas characters

I’m proud to introduce two new members of my Croshame family, each accompanied by their own irritating Christmas poem!

Braindeer

Braindeer

One reindeer too many. Oh, what to do?

Bring him round back and grab the shotgun, too.

Braindeer brain detailHe’s too pretty to eat, so no venison this year.

Instead let’s stuff and mount him, our little Braindeer.

Braindeer closeup tongueA holiday decoration bringing smiles left and right,

But they’ll be no visions of sugarplums for this guy tonight.

Braindeer with mantle 2

Over the mantle with care, in silence he’ll hang

Keeping watch over Christmas and bringing in 2014 with a bang.

(AVAILABLE AT THE ETSY STORE HERE)

Santa Clawed

Santa Clawed fully fullThis year St. Nick got quite a nasty surprise

When a flock of wild fowl went after his eyes.

Santa Clawed closeup long faceBirds circled his head as fast as a rocket

and tore his orbs out, each one plucked from its socket.

Santa Clawed face close upwardBlood-curdling screams came from his belly,

and his eyeholes, they glistened like cranberry jelly.

Santa Clawed backSo watch in the skies and mark my words:

Goodwill towards man is NOT for the birds.

(AVAILABLE IN THE ETSY STORE HERE)


Week long holiday sale on select Croshame items!

All this week get 10-20% off select items at the Croshame Etsy store! Just look under the shop section “SEASONAL ANXIETY SALE” for marked down pieces. (Sale will end next Monday, December 9th.)

Addam full 480

 


Honed for the Horror-days

Looking for the perfect way to avoid that big-box shopper stampede while giving a unique gift and supporting handmade art? Well, just in time for this year’s Christmas consumerism feeding frenzy, the Croshame Etsy store is being stocked for the holidays!

Stock Shelf 2

Most of the Croshame “classics” are either presently in stock or can be custom ordered and made especially for you and yours this season! I’m currently working on a couple of new Christmas-themed pieces that I will unveil shortly, as well as preparing to set up a week-long holiday sale closer to December.

I’m also accepting commissions this year, but keep in mind that special order requests can take some time to complete, so please try to get your orders in early to ensure they arrive in time for your particular celebratory occasion. Thanks everyone!

Etsy Banner

(Click the sassy new banner above to visit the store!)


Movie Still Monday: Famous Afghans

Socialite Patricia Hearst is most famously known for being kidnapped by the radical guerilla group The Symbionese Liberation Army in the mid 1970s, held captive for several months against her will, and brainwashed into becoming a tool for their violently militant, left-wing cause.

Patty Hearst 1974

After myriad misadventures, crime sprees and rabble-rousing, Hearst was captured and imprisoned for over a year in a California correctional facility, during which time she was evaluated, analyzed and “deprogrammed.” During her time served, she suffered from malnutrition, a collapsed lung and much public ridicule and resentment.

Patty Hearst 1976

But through all her ordeals, Patti kept herself sane. How, you ask?

The power of crochet.

Patty Hearst


To Boldly Go Where No Hook Has Gone Before

Exciting news, everyone! My Spock Ears pattern is featured in the newly released book The Star Trek Craft Book: Make it So! now available through Pocket Books, a division of Simon & Schuster.

Star Trek Craft Book

You can buy it on AmazonBarnes and Noble, or preferably, through your local brick and mortar book store. Trust me, they need your support!

Although I haven’t gotten a chance to flip through a physical copy yet, I can guarantee it will be a treat for both Trekkies and crafters alike — particularly crafting Trekkies! They really get to experience the Best of Both Worlds, if you know what I mean…

Thanks, everyone!


Yes, I’m still alive.

Hi everyone. I’m sorry for the dearth of posts lately; you can blame my hectic schedule, lack of motivation, and need for an actual social life. Because things have been pretty busy for me lately, I will be taking a short vacation from making Croshame figures for about a month or so and have put the Etsy store on Vacation mode temporarily.

I will try to post more next month; I do have some exciting news which I will be sharing tomorrow, so stay tuned!


DIY at DIA

Last week I traveled back to my hometown of San Francisco, flying out of and back into the Denver International Airport (DIA). Before my departing flight, as I was on my way to the TSA checkpoint alongside one of those people-mover treadmill thingys, I came across a large display of work from local Colorado craftspeople.

DIA Handmade ColoradoThe start of the exhibit had a piece done by Denver’s very own Ladies’ Fancywork Society, whose needlecraft work I have seen and admired all over the city since I first arrived back in August.

DIA handmade sign

Needless to say, I was both excited and intrigued as I made my way past the various cases filled with examples of knitting, crochet, sewing, felting and other crafts.

DIA Crochet DisplayThen, somewhere in the middle of the long line of cases, I discovered a little cubicle set up for passengers and visitors to make their own contribution to the display.

Oh happy day, what a little paradise!

DIA DIY stopover craftsThe space provided seating, knitting needles (huge ones!) and a crochet hook, with little cans of yarn and hooks on which to hang the finished work. Several people had already made and hung their donations.

DIA DIY displaySo you KNOW I had to make something and hang it! I didn’t know how much time I would have to wait in the TSA line, so I whipped out  quick little tiny something in a couple of minutes.

DIA DIY Croshame 1st contribut'nSo that was satisfying and all, but on my trip back I decided I really wanted to show my appreciation to the Denver Airport and the Ladies Fancywork Society for giving the public a crafty respite, so on my plane ride back from San Francisco I made a pretty straightforward crocheted “Thank You” card.

DIA Croshame closestAfter touching down, collecting my baggage and meeting the husband, we traveled back to the exhibit and I put the ol’ girl up.

DIA Croshame <3

Going to SF was like a big chocolate cake, being back in Denver was the yummy icing, but putting my piece up in DIA was the big red cherry on top!


New segment: Hookin’ at the Movies

Wherein I share stills from (oftentimes unwatchable) movies, miniseries and TV shows displaying hilarious, dubious or questionable crochet tendencies.

From A Cinderella Story: Once Upon a Song :

Another Cinderella Story

Ooooh… no thanks. Socks crocheted by Lucy Hale sound about as appetizing as a macrame bra made by Selena Gomez.


2013 means ch-ch-ch-changes

With a new year comes new changes, and this year that adage also applies to Croshame. There will be several differences in the way Croshame operates in 2013, specifically because I’m going to be working on several big projects this year, but also because I’d like to concentrate more on making more fine art and creating new Croshame pieces.

NEW PIECES: Although I will still be making new Antigurumi characters and posting them here on croshame.com, I will no longer be making those featured pieces available for sale through the Etsy store. Don’t fret; there are still a plethora of “classic” Croshame characters that will be available.

COMMISSIONS: I will no longer be accepting commissions, at least for a while.

PATTERNS: I probably won’t be releasing any new patterns this year. This is partly related to one of the aforementioned “big projects” I’m working on, but I won’t mention anything else about that until things are a bit more fully formed.

Thanks to everyone for making 2012 a great year for Croshame! Here ‘s to a 2013 filled with many crass crafts and lotsa laughs.


Plush Fiction

Although I’m an ardent cinema lover, I can be a pretty stubborn little mule when it comes to watching certain movies. I generally try to steer clear of most westerns, serial killer movies directed by Ulli Lommel, and just about anything with Vin Diesel in it. And for about 20 years, I avoided the Quentin Tarantino movie Pulp Fiction, telling people, “The only way I’ll watch that film is if someone pays me.”

Well, someone finally paid me.

I was recently commissioned to recreate Uma Thurman’s character Mia Wallace, specifically from the scene in which she’s revived from an accidental heroin overdose with a giant shot of adrenaline.

So, yes, I finally caved in and saw the damn thing. And no, it wasn’t so bad (particularly whilst reassuring myself it was only for research). After watching, pausing, and re-watching Uma Thurman being impaled with a syringe by a doughy, greasy-haired John Travolta, I came up with the following figure…

“A-Mia-gurumi Wallace”

More photos of “A-Mia-gurumi” can be found at my Flickr page here.


Digging Your Own Grave: A Free Pattern

Getting into a scary-looking costume, wearing massive amounts of theatrical makeup, smearing blood all over yourself and scaring the living shit out of  people is a damn good time indeed. It’s also what I call a Tuesday. But because Halloween is (possibly) the one day of the year that I can step outside and be myself knowing I won’t be harassed or have trash thrown at me, I still have a soft spot in my heart for the old girl.

So what better way to commemorate the festival of Samhain than to give all my readers a free pattern in celebration of that most wonderful time of the year? Yes, yes, there’s always the oh-so-spooky neo-tradition of donning a skin-tight “sexy” maid or cat outfit and drunkenly vomiting in public… but we all know an Antigurumi crochet pattern is much more satisfactory, right? Uhh… right?

Putting the “fun” back in “funeral” and the “me” back in cemetery, I present to you…

GRAVEYARN!*

©2012 Shove Mink / Photos: Chuck McNary

*Feel free to make these as decorations, costume embellishments, or as gifts to friends — but please, please, please!! For the love of all that’s hallowed, do not sell or distribute this pattern or sell finished products made from the pattern. (I swear it will haunt you to the grave — the real, final, stone one.)

MATERIALS:

  • Size “F” (3.75mm) crochet hook
  • Worsted weight yarn in light grey, brown, green, and off-white
  • Felt in dark grey
  • Cardboard
  • Fabric glue
  • Sharp scissors
  • Tapestry or yarn needle
  • Tracing paper and pencil
  • Stuffing

ABBREVIATIONS:

ch – chain

dc – double crochet

hdc – half double crochet

rnd – round

rs – right side

sc – single crochet

st – stitch

ws – wrong side

yo – yarn over

SPECIAL STITCHES:

Popcorn (Pop): Make 3 dc in the same st. Drop loop from hook, insert hook from front to back into first dc made, pull loop through and ch 1.

Reverse Popcorn (RevPop): Make 3 dc in same stitch, drop loop from hook, insert hook from back to front into first dc made, pull loop through and ch 1.

Loop stitch (Loop st): Insert hook into st and form a loop of yarn around your finger. Moving over the front and around the back of nearest facing side of the loop, grab the farthest facing side of loop with your hook and pull through st (2 loops on hook), yo and pull through both. (Confused much? The effervescent June Gilbank of Planet June has an excellent loop stitch video tutorial available here, which is much easier to understand than written directions.)

PATTERN:

TOMBSTONE (make 2)

With light grey:

On one of the tombstones, leave about a foot-long tail before chaining.

Ch 11.

Row 1. Sc into 2nd ch from hook and continue to end  – 10

Rows 2-12. Ch 1, turn, sc 10 across

Rows 13-14. Ch 2 (counts as first hdc), turn. hdc 1, dc 2, tr 2, dc 2, hdc 2.

Bind off and weave in all ends EXCEPT the foot-long beginning tail. Holding both parts of tombstone together, use beginning tail to sew together along sides and top, leaving bottom open.

Trace tombstone shape (along the interior of seam) onto cardboard, cut out and place inside tombstone opening.

Cut out the letters “RIP” from dark grey felt and glue to front of tombstone.

DIRT AND LAWN

With brown:

Ch 14.

Row 1 (rs). Dc in 4th ch from hook, dc in next, pop, dc 3, pop, dc 3.

Row 2. Ch 3 (counts as first dc), turn, RevPop, dc 3, RevPop, dc 3, RevPop, dc in top of turning ch.

Row 3. Ch 3, turn, dc 2, pop, dc 3. pop, dc 3.

Rows 4-9. Repeat rows 2 and 3.

Do not bind off.

Attach green yarn with rs facing up and towards you.

Row 7.  Ch 1, but do NOT turn. Sc 1 in each st around both sides and top, making 3 sc in each corner.

Row 8 (ws). Ch 1, turn, and loop st around, making 3 loop st in each corner.

Row 9. Ch 1 and turn. Holding loops down, sc around, making 3 sc in each corner.

Rows 10-11. Repeat rows 8 and 9.

Bind off, weaving in ends of green yarn and leaving tail of brown yarn.

Take brown tail and sew tombstone bottom (through both sides) against the open end of dirt.

Snip loops and trim to give the lawn a grassier look.

ARM

With off-white:

Sc 6 in magic ring (or ch 2, sc 6 in 2nd ch from hook).

Rnds 1-10. sc 6

Stuff and bind off, leaving tail.

FINGERS

Attach off-white yarn to round 1 of arm, then:

[Ch 5, turn, sc 4, sl st in next st] 3 times, then sl st in st below on rnd 2, sl st in next st, ch 4, turn, sc 3, sl st in next st.

Bind off and weave in ends.

Take arm tail and attach open end to the middle upper side of the dirt.

To build a teeny yarn cemetery, make multiple graves and sew them together along the sides with green yarn. 

THE END!

If you need additional angles for reference, more Graveyarn photos can be found at my Flickr page here.

Don’t forget to keep the holiday safe! Go out at night in pairs. Keep away from gang colors. Don’t buy masks from the Silver Shamrock Novelties Company. And make sure to take those razor blades out of the Snickers bars BEFORE giving them to trick-or-treaters.

And above all… have a HAPPY, JOYOUS HALLOWEEN!

I know I will.


Plush You 2012

I will have a piece in this year’s Plush You exhibit, held at Schmancy Toys in Seattle, WA!

I really wanted to make three pieces, but with my out-of-state move and resettling (not to mention a violent bout of brutal food poisoning), my hectic schedule only allowed me to finish one piece, which I call The Bunny Trio.

(Sorry about the horrendous quality of the pictures, but “resettling” also entails not having proper photography equipment.)

The big opening reception happens tomorrow, October 12th from 5-9pm, at Schmancy Toys. Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend, but if you’re in the area please stop by and support all the fabulous artists. There will be tons of impressive pieces by some of the biggest and most talented names in plush.


Back in Business

As some of you may have read in a previous post, I took some much-needed time off from Croshame to make the move from San Francisco to Denver. It’s been a crazily busy couple of months, but now that I’m somewhat settled and have gotten my yarn and supplies out of storage, I’m ready to start crocheting again.

The Croshame Etsy Store has been reopened, and I’m set to start taking orders and commissions. Anything that’s marked “Ready to Ship” in the listing title is precisely that — a finished product that’s eager to make its way onto your doorstep ASAP.

HOWEVER — if you would like to order something marked in the listing title as “CUSTOM” or you’d like me to make you a special request or commission to be shipped out by the holidays, please get your orders in by November 7th. (Or if you don’t give a toss about Christmas, just order them whenever!)

Unfortunately I have very limited time and arm strength this year and won’t be able to work my crazy speed-crochet magic as I have in years past, so please remember that my two doozies, the Krampus figure and the Exorcist Playset, as well as more specific commissions, can take at least 2-3 weeks to complete.

I’m also hoping to make some neato-keen changes to the site and additions to the gallery and catalog in the upcoming months, so there will be all the more Croshame to love…

…or despise!


A Horse Shoots Horse, Of Course, Of Course

(Also known as “Horses Shoot Horse, Don’t They?”)


Making Croshame a Family Affair

My husband Chuck is a wildly talented individual who enjoys a slew of artistic hobbies: drawing, painting, sculpture, animation, woodworking, photography… yeah, he pretty much does it all.

So it came as a bit of surprise when, as I watched Kristin Omdahl‘s Crochet Corner segment on Knitting Daily one morning, Chuck started asking me to explain what she was doing. Whuuuuhhh… REALLY? Chuck has seen me crocheting for at least 4 hours almost every day for the last three years, but for some reason — maybe it was Kristin’s perky dimples or those professionally smooth KS Inc. close-up shots — something captured his attention this time around and he expressed a sincere interest in learning to crochet.

Without me forcing it on him!

I could just imagine Kristin’s reaction…

Seizing on Chuck’s enthusiasm, I immediately cleared some room on the couch and whipped out my extra hooks and surplus yarn. After a few demos, soothing words,  handholding, and the shocking revelation my husband has the opposite hook hold I do, by early evening I was staring from across the room at the surreal sight of Chuck crocheting.

Morning:

Afternoon:

Night:

For the first few days I would just look across the room and think, “Weird. This is so weird.”
But then I taught him how to make hats and it became a pretty frequent occurrence.

So now it isn’t so weird anymore, and we have an entire stack of crocheted hats that are fun for the whole family.


Moving On Up (and a little to the East side)

Next month my husband and I will be moving to Denver, CO — a pretty big deal for me considering I’ve never lived outside of San Francisco before. I know I’ll miss the foggy ol’ girl, but  it’s high time for a change of scenery after shackling myself to the Golden Gate for over three decades.

The Ladies Fancywork Society‘s Blue Bear Installation @ The Denver Convention Center 

Unfortunately, conducting business with half-filled moving boxes and my personal belongings piled everywhere is more than a bit challenging, so the Croshame Etsy store will be temporarily closing for a little while starting July 15th. I’m not sure for how long, exactly, but I’m hoping it won’t be more than 1-2 months. Please feel free to make purchases before the hiatus; although some of my more labor intensive custom pieces (Exorcist, Krampus) have been taken down, there’s still a lot of ready-to-ship items and other custom product available. So if you have a hankering for some summertime Antigurumi, be sure to scoop it up!

I know I’ve been pretty lax about blog posting lately, but I’m going to try to continue to post here in the interim as I have some new, non-sale work I’ve been meaning to show off, as well as some other forthcoming projects and scheduled events. Once I’m settled in, I’m hoping things will be back to normal and I can start making and posting new things again, but for right now all my nervous energy is permitting me to do is bust out dozens and dozens of afghan motifs and hexagons.

One thing’s for sure… even if it is currently 90 degrees there, at least I’ll have something to keep me cozy in Denver.


Giveaway winner!

Time to announce the winner of the first Croshame giveaway! The entrants were designated numbers chronologically in order of their purchases, then chosen via a Random number generator.

So congrats to the #1, Jenny, who had originally bought Grimm the Little Black Metal Dude. She will receive an Anton Crochet hat, a set of Croshame stickers, and a Crothulhu print!

A big thank you so much to everyone who made purchases from the Etsy store this month; you’re ALL winners in my book!


Etsy Update 6/3/12… and Giveaway!

Yes, yes, giveaway! But first, let me tell you what’s new in the shop!

I’ve introduced a new option to customize colors when you order a Wolfy Baby or a Viking Hat; just pick the two colors you’d like and I’ll whip ‘em up for you!

Next up, Wolfy Baby’s new distant cousin, Yeti Baby. Available here!

 Last but not least, the popular “Anton Crochet” devil cap — as seen at Maker Faire! Found here.

OKAY! Now onto the GIVEAWAY!!

Starting today and lasting through the month of June, anyone who makes a purchase (within the U.S.) from the Croshame Etsy Shop will be automatically entered into the 1st Official Croshame Customer Appreciation Giveaway!

I’ve put together a prize package with the following items (worth over $50!):

  • A Croshame sticker set, featuring adorable drawings of Wolfy Baby, Tuggin’ At My Heartstrings and other Croshame creations
  • A Crothulhu print
  • Your very own Anton Crochet Devil Cap (available in Small, Medium, or Large)!!

All you have to do for your chance to win is to buy something from the Croshame Etsy store! (Again, giveaway applies to orders made within the U.S. only.) Numbers will be assigned to customers in the order that they purchase items. If you purchase more than one item, you’ll be entered more than once! (Oh happy day.) The winner will be chosen via a random number generator and announced on the blog July 1st, and the winning entrant will also be contacted through their Paypal/Etsy email address.

GOOD LUCK!!


A Match Maker’ed in Heaven

As most of you may already be aware due to my multiple recent “reminders,” I spent last weekend selling Croshame products at the Bazaar Bizarre tent at the Bay Area Maker Faire.

Now that the Faire is over and I’ve (somewhat) recovered from the excitement, it’s time to blog all about it!From the first moment the Faire opened, I had a lot of passers-by who were interested in my stuff…so that was encouraging. I would often see people far out on the fairgrounds crack an “OMG” face in my general direction and make a beeline for my booth. Some folks even recognized the Krampus and Exorcist displays, which were set out above the other shelves of stock.

The beautiful wooden displays and hat rack were handcrafted by my wonderfully talented husband Chuck, who was also a booth assistant extraordinaire that weekend!

Being at Indie Mart last year had prepared me for the likelihood of an onslaught of small children coming to the booth, so I “cleaned up” some of my more saucy pieces a little bit: “Goatse Cheese” was turned into the innocuous “Goat Cheese” (“-se” no evil!), Cairo Sheraton‘s peek-a-boo skirt was only lifted in front of two curious (adult) ladies by request after learning she was “anatomically correct,” and I placed my more PG-rated pieces towards the bottom of the displays and the naughtier ones higher up and out of the reach of small hands.

My prior “kid-friendly” assumptions were proven correct — my booth was a big draw for the wee ones. While a few parents steered their young’uns away once they realized most of my crochet was on the darker side, the majority of parents got the general humor and feel of I was going for and were genuinely supportive.

One Rad Dad even gave me a hug after his little daughter fell in love with her pink She-Wolfy purchase; she had to be one of my favorite pint-sized patrons from the weekend!

I had some new products for sale, like “The Anton Crochet” devil caps I made, which were sold out by the end of the faire.

This guy looked perfectly dapper in his devil cap, like a little brainy Beelzebub.

A lot of people snapped photos of me as I “happily” crocheted away behind my booth. Good thing I kept that lipstick-covered archaic smile plastered on my face.

Photo of Croshame at Maker Faire by Jordan Townsend of EuroVision (facebook.com/jtownsends.art)

I was even interviewed a couple of times for various video projects, which only seemed to prove that I turn into a blathering, incomprehensible cross between Corey Haim on painkillers and Sarah Palin when I’m asked to speak in front of a camera.

There were lots of talented people selling their wares alongside me in the Bazaar Bizarre tent. Our booth was stationed next to the gifted ceramicist Linda Fahey, and over the course of the Faire I got to meet and talk shop with fellow crocheters Narumi Ogawa from Mr. Funky and Steph from Nerd Jerk, who was also a guest juror for the Bazaar Bizarre panel.

I also met the fantastic artist Bill Robinson from Flimflammery, who bought one of my Wolfy pieces. I made sure to get myself one of his fabulous prints as well!

Professor Schnauzer print by Bill Robinson. Available for sale here: http://www.etsy.com/listing/60469896/professor-schnauzer-medium-print

The two days seemed to draw pretty different crowds. Saturday was filled with happy attendees, curious children, and lots of sexy steampunks in leather-tooled top hats, while earlier on Sunday there seemed to be a lot more looky-loos, lollygaggers, and a couple of “I’m too-cool for this” teenagers – although the turnout definitely got a bit more lively towards afternoon time with lots of Utilikilts, more sexy steampunks and Rad Dads. Marvelous Makers were everywhere on both days, of course!

Things got especially exciting near the end of Sunday, when I was presented with an “Editors’ Choice” ribbon from MAKE magazine photo editor Gregory Hayes. SWOON!

I’m so very proud of my ribbon. You like me! You REALLY like me!

The whole shebang concluded with the solar eclipse at the end of the day. (Chuck and I almost resisted singing Klaus Nomi‘s “Total Eclipse” in high pitched voices, but failed miserably.) Besides an actual observatory, what better place to see an eclipse than Maker Faire, surrounded by robotics geeks, crafty bastards, and real-life science enthusiasts?

One important business lesson was definitely learned, though… next time I’ll probably get (or preferably borrow) some kind of newfangled electronic device to help me accept credit card payments, because — just as the great prophet Huey Lewis predicted — in the 21st century it’s apparently hip to be Square.

All in all, it was great fun and a big success. I got to share my work with a whole new audience, ran into some old friends, and met many fascinating people. And even if I did only get a chance to walk around Maker Faire a little bit (and most of that “little bit” was angrily spent trying to find the frizz-a-frackin’ bathrooms), I also got to see a lot of crazily fantastic projects and displays. I mean, really… where else are you going to see motorized muffins, Super Awesome Sylvia, and needle felted handguns all in the same venue?