Author Archive

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?”)


Thundercleese, the Metalhead Pomeranian

A couple of months ago I received a commission from a guy asking to have his adorable Pomeranian, named Thundercleese, made into an amigurumi interpretation of a little metalhead.

(The original Thundercleese the Pomeranian)

He said their favorite metal band was Pentagram, so I got to work on some sketches, bought some novelty yarn, and ended up making this little guy.

The fur was made from Patons Divine, then brushed out with a metal comb.

Behind that adorable smile lurks the soul of a real hellraiser!

Yes, even fuzzballs can be tough.

Boys are made out of puppy dog tails, aren’t they?

The teeny tiny Pentagram patch was made from with an iron-on transfer on black felt, then sewn on the sleeveless, crusty denim jacket.

I loved making Thundercleese, and thankfully I had a great source of inspiration sitting right next to me during the whole process…

because after all, I’m a pentagram-loving Pomeranian owner myself.

My pomeranian Manson as a puppy (in 2008).


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!!


Tinker, Tailor, Felter, Sigh

My good friend Sarah Scherer is not only an enormously talented hair stylist, but also a gifted fine artist whose subject matter usually centers around teeth, abstracted female genitalia, and naturalistic tree knot formations.

So for Sarah’s birthday this year I thought I’d make her an artsy sculpture out of hair (aka wool roving) using some of the thematic elements she loves so much.

Orificial Artifice

2012

Needle felted Corriedale and Merino wool

Approximately 4.5 x 5 x 3.5″ (?)

———————————-

I spent some time working on the piece with one of my favorite needle felting artists and personalities, Moxie, when she held a needle felting Tinkering Studio session at an event called Open Make at San Francisco’s Exploratorium.

Moxie felting with the masses (Photo courtesy Made By Moxie Flickr page)

I was honored to be felting alongside one of my heroes in the field! Watching Moxie patiently instruct both children and adults on the basics of the craft was really interesting, and everyone seemed to be having a great time stabbing wool into shapes. She even turned me on to her environmentally friendly felting foam (available for sale here), a nice departure from the sticky Clover brush mat I usually employ.

Moxie’s eco-friendly foam. (Courtesy www.etsy.com/shop/hifiberkits)

During the making of Orificial Artifice I found myself working more quickly than I had before, using blending brushes for the first time to mix most of the colors (with the exception of the teeth), and beginning to further explore making wrinkles, nooks and crannies within the sculpture that lent themselves to crisper dimensions.

But, perhaps most importantly… I got to put a smile on someone’s face.

(Frightening photo courtesy Karen Wilkinson/The Exploratorium)


Crochetin’ in Blood

I think I speak from experience when I say twisted minds sometimes have too much time on their hands… especially if those hands happen to be attached to the arms of a Slayer fan. (NSFW video evidence here!)

Well, you know what they say… if thine arm offends thee, slice it off.

Uhhh… don’t worry dude, I’m pretty sure it’ll grow back!

This once-menacing hand gesture of “HAIL SATAN” has been unfortunately morphed into the ultra lame, mom-like “YAY! THIS ROCKS!” over recent years.

Needle felted arm carving? Those crazy kids! What’ll they think up next?

DAMN! My favorite bracelet! I knew I forgot something at the show last night!

Available for sale in the Croshame Etsy store here!


Maker Faire, Maker Faire, Make Me a Match

So yeah, this blog has been a little neglected over the last couple of weeks… but there’s a good reason why.

I’ve been accepted into the Bay Area Maker Faire Bazaar Bizarre craft show!

Yes, coming up this May 19th & 20th at the San Mateo Event Center, Croshame will have its very own booth in the Bazaar Bizarre tent at Maker Faire. I’ve been busy as a bee on speed working my tendons into pulp to crochet up my old standard pieces as well as designing some new stuff that will be premiered at the Faire!

CRAFTS! INTERACTIVE EXHIBITS! ROBOTS! FIRE BREATHING DRAGONS! ADAM FREAKIN’ SAVAGE! There are going to be so many wonderfully creative and amazing displays, speakers, teachers and projects that there’s sure to be something for everyone. If you live in the Bay Area or Northern California area (or anywhere else in the world, for that matter), I highly encourage you to attend! Discounted “Early Bird” tickets are now available through the Maker Faire site.


R.I.P. Kurt Cro-bain

Today marks the 18th anniversary of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain’s death.

As an angst-filled teen I was a fan of both his music and lifestyle, so when a customer commissioned me to make a Kurt Cobain figure a few months ago I was pleased to do it.

 My first reaction naturally was,  “You want him to be dead, right?”, but the buyer assured me she preferred him alive.

Creepiest. Safety eyes. Ever.

That’s Flipper the San Francisco punk band. Not the dolphin.

Yes, Kurt was left handed. Sinister.

It just wouldn’t be 90’s grunge without holey jeans and Chuck Taylors.

“And I swear that I don’t have a gun / No I don’t have a gun.”

Sure you don’t, Kurt.

If only he could have picked up a better hobby than gun collecting…

R.I.P. 1967-1994


Bring in the Spring with a Ring!


Since the Easter/Eostre/Ishtar time festivities are almost upon us, I thought I’d remind “peeps” about the Bunny Ring pattern and tutorial I posted here last year. It’s an easy pattern and very quick to make, so feel free to make a bunch, stick them in those plastic egg thingies and hide them in the grass for all those tiny Easter hunters and gatherers in your life. (Just make sure your pets don’t eat them; trust me, they’ll try.)

Pattern is found here: BUNNY RING 

Aaaand the tutorial video is here (WARNING: contains mild expletives, heavy sarcasm, and myriad views of my hideous man-hands):


They’re all going to laugh at you

Believe it or not, I never went to my high school prom. Shocking, I know. It wasn’t due to the fact that I didn’t have a date (I didn’t) or couldn’t afford the ticket (I couldn’t), but I was just very skeptical and apathetic toward the whole school dance situation in general. So instead, I stayed home, ordered a large pizza from Round Table, and watched the best movie ever made…

Carrie (1976).

Even though I’m (long) out of school and no longer required to face the terror of teenage dance-angst, I still watch Carrie about twice a year. On my last viewing, as the school gymnasium burst into flames and various high school students were either burnt to a crisp, crushed or drowned, I knew it was that time again — time to crochet a horror movie tribute!

Presenting…

CARRIE BEAR!

Carrie Bear comes with her own sash, rose bouquet, and bucket of spilled pig’s blood; she’s ready to come home with you and telekinetically set fire to your heart.

Available now at the Croshame Etsy store!


Open up and say “Cheese” (NSFW)

The internet is a great place for many things: socializing with friends, finding historically inaccurate information, and looking at photos of kittens with infantile quotes written underneath them. But for all the eternal sunshine and endless giggles the information superhighway provides, there are just as many damp, dark, and disturbing corners filled with nightmarish imagery and unsettling ideas.

One such corner discovered and popularized by internet trolls some time ago was a phenomenon called Goatse. WARNING: If you’re unfamiliar with Goatse and have a low tolerance for the utterly repellent, I don’t recommend rushing out and doing a Google image search as it’s probably considered objectionable viewing material to 99.99% of the population.

Mr. Goatse seemed to get a pretty bad reputation fairly quickly, so to lighten up his persona a little, I’ve decided to create my own tribute to the “meme”-ory of this infectious image…

GOATSE CHEESE!

He’s all business in the front…

And all party in the back!

Awwwww… so cute!

Awwww… not so much.

Although I’m not expecting this one to exactly fly off the shelves (“Makes a great Easter or Mother’s Day gift!”), it is available in the Etsy store here.

They don’t call me Croshame for nothing, folks.


Croshame featured in this month’s Simply Knitting!

My work is featured in the UK magazine Simply Knitting this month!

They’ve put me in their “Knit One, Purl Fun” segment of the magazine that profiles unique and offbeat needlework designers. If you want your own copy and live in the UK, issue 91 is available on newsstands and stores until March 20th; if you live in the U.S. or elsewhere, you can purchase a copy here.


Crothulhu Tees Now Available!

Crothulhu t-shirts are now in the Etsy shop! Available in Ladies sizes Small, Medium, Large and X-Large.


Etsy Update 2.25.12

My pieces from the Luvable + Hugable show are now available for sale at the Croshame Etsy shop!

There’s the Crocheted Friends Forever:

TILLY, available here

and BREE, available here!

There’s Jumbo Wolfy Baby…

Available here!

And last but not least, there’s Rugby the Pugbee!

Available here!

These pieces are much bigger than my usual crochet work — each at least a foot tall — making them truly “Huggable!” They have also been marked down significantly from their original pricing, so grab ’em while they’re hot!


Fun and games with Knitting Daily

In June 2009, when analog television became a thing of the past, I was introduced to KCSM, a Bay Area public broadcasting station which airs instructional programming on subjects like watercolor painting, wood working, gardening and quilting. Even though I can watch those kind of shows all day long, I usually have no real interest in applying what the program is teaching to my everyday life.

This blasé approach to watching instructional programming changed one afternoon when I flipped on KCSM and began watching an episode of a little show called Knitting Daily. A sage, grey haired woman (who I now know as Becca Smith) was demonstrating a relatively easy tutorial on knitted bags, and my interest was piqued. I saw what she was doing and said, “That looks fun. I can do that!” So I picked up some knitting needles and yarn, and the rest is history. Well, kind of.

It’s almost three years later, and because KCSM plays Knitting Daily every day, I definitely get my fill of episodes. Unfortunately, since it takes about 4-5 months for KCSM to air new episodes after they’re announced, that means A LOT of repeats. Having seen every episode of Knitting Daily at least two times — most of them three or four times — I came to realize there are a number of factors which come up continually from season to season and episode to episode. Therefore and hitherto, I’ve invented a little something I like to call

THE KNITTING DAILY DRINKING GAME!

I’ve been playing it for about a week now and I can tell you, it really adds to the viewing experience — although I generally substitute hot tea for an alcoholic beverage (I guess you could say I’m a “tea-totaler”). For those of you who may be a bit more adventurous or possess a healthier liver, please feel free to crack open a bottle of Jack or a jug of moonshine and start chugging away.

DRINK WHENEVER:

  • Eunny Jang says “Primer.” (pronounced both “Primmer” and “Pry-mer”)
  • Shay Pendray says: “Is that a fair/good/correct way to say/put it?”
  • Shay Pendray interrupts someone to ask about something they just went over (or were about to go over).
  • Someone interrupts a guest to say, “And this pattern is up on our website!”
  • Cables, entelac, provisional cast ons, mobius, felting or tunisian crochet is demonstrated or taught.
  • Laura Bryant wears a piece of clothing made from variegated yarn.
  • Kristin Omdahl wears a piece of crocheted lace.
  • Penny Sitler promotes her Helping Hands NeedleArts Mentoring Program. (Drink more if there are embarrassed teenagers with her.)
  • Adina Klein uses some kind of self-deprecating tone or makes a quasi-sarcastic comment.
  • Barry Klein demonstrates something with novelty yarn. (Drink more if there’s self ruffling yarn involved.)
  • Mustard yellow, moss green, or reddish purple yarn is used, demonstrated, or worn.
  • The top of someone’s head or hair pops into a close up instructional shot.
  • Socks are the common theme.
  • Organic wool and earth-friendly fibers are covered.
  • Someone talks about how rare and wonderful Qiviut is.
  • A picture of a sheep, alpaca, llama or ox is shown.
  • Someone says “Make time for yarn every day.” (Depending on how drunk you are at this point, be sure to loudly scream “NO!! YOU make time for it!” back at the screen.)

Of course, the usual “don’t be naughty” disclaimers apply here: Be sure to drink and knit responsibly, don’t drive after consuming complex pattern information, keep away from children, and remember… it’s all in good funzies. This game is not intended to undermine the fantastic job that the Knitting Daily crew does, but to enhance the viewing experience for real fans.

So let’s raise a glass to Eunny, Shay, Kim, Kristin, Liz, and all the fabulous Knitting Daily crew.

Can’t wait for season 8!


Etsy update 2.16.12

Crothulhu prints are now available at the Croshame Etsy shop!

 I’ve recently gotten many requests for Crothulhu t-shirts. I’ve been trying to get some printed professionally, but finding a place to do it affordably is apparently harder than staying awake during The Mclaughlin Group — very difficult indeed. Until then, I will try to make some more shirts myself  in a variety of sizes, so please stay tuned for that.

Also a reminder (in case your memory is short) that The Odd Couple is currently available at the Etsy store as well!


A love that lasts through the rages

Being ostracized from society can be an agonizing affair, particularly on a day like February 14th.

Don’t believe me? Just ask…

THE ODD COUPLE!

To some, a Goth boy dating a Punk girl sounds like a subculture disaster waiting to happen.

Sure, their days are filled with drunken fighting, bad dark poetry and the occasional accidental overdose, but they still know that true love means never having to pretend you’re normal.

There definitely won’t be a marriage, children, or a white picket fence in their future…

but that’s the way they like it.

 Someday they’ll be able to look beyond their vast differences, but for now these two star-crossed lovers are happily living out the phrase “Opposites Attract.”

(Available here)


Knitmares and Craftholes: Valentine’s Eve Special!

Did you know once upon a time Susan Bates featured a deformed-looking cupid on their products?

Although an illustration of a winged, nude, and seemingly hydrocephalic child may have been a great marketing ploy in the 1960s, I figured this questionable vintage packaging could use some modern day pessimism — just in time for Valentine’s Eve.

Ahhhh… that’s much better.

Happy Valloween, y’all!


“Were” There’s a Will, There’s a Way (to make a month out of it)

From National Blog Posting Month to World Malaria Day, these newfangled kids and their internets seem to be obsessed with creating new daily and monthly celebrations you’ve probably never heard of before (some which may very well not exist next year). Well, I simply refuse to be left out of all this nonsensical dedicatory amusement, so I’ve designated February as Werewolf A-Were-Ness Month.

I actually made this designation about five years ago when I went on a February Werewolf movie binge — the first of many — and have been celebrating it as such ever since.  Sometimes werewolves just don’t get the credit they deserve, squeezed behind vampires and zombies like some kind of second-class monster citizens. My private lycanthropic celebrations were somewhat vindicated last February when Hollywood released The Wolf Man remake, but this year I’m taking my message to the streets (the internet streets, that is) in the hopes of letting everyone in on the fun!

In celebration of this fine month, I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite Werewolf movie selections. I highly recommend watching them all in one 8-hour sitting to confuse yourself as thoroughly as possible.

#1: My Mom’s a Werewolf

Because let’s be honest: everyone needs a mother more monstrous than the one they currently have.

—————–

#2: Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf

(AKA Stirba: Werewolf Bitch)

Sexy Sybil Danning as a Transylvanian werewolf queen? Yes, please!

—————

#3: I Was a Teenage Werewolf

I’ve been on a real Michael Landon kick lately, watching Bonanza in the afternoon, Little House at night and Highway to Heaven on the weekends. Now that it’s February  I’ll turn up the Landon  factor to “10” with a re-watch of this 1957 stinker!

————–

#4: Werewolf of Washington

(Full movie online HERE!)

Dean Stockwell stars in this 1973 satirical tale about a reporter who changes into a cute white fuzzy-wuzzy fur-face and then becomes Press Secretary to the POTUS. Talk about a horrible transformation.

—————

#5: Teen Wolf Too

If you’ve already been traumatized by the ending scene in the first Teen Wolf where that extra in the audience exposes himself, trust me, you’ll step into a whole new realm of ecstatic trauma watching this dreadful sequel. Bonus points if you watched every episode of the horrible cartoon as well.

—————–

#6: Curse of the Werewolf

A Hammer horror production starring the delightfully delicious Brit actor Oliver Reed as one of the fluffiest werewolves ever.

———————————-

Oh, hey… and while you’re at it, why not bring home some Croshame Wolfies to love and cherish?

There’s the original Wolfy Baby!

She-Wolfy!

And Teen Wolfy!

However you choose to celebrate Werewolf Awereness Month, make it a safe and happy one…

but watch out for that full moon on Feb. 7th!


Etsy Update 1.29.12

Now available in the Croshame Etsy Store, the compounded Catholic cuties known as

Conjoined Sisters!

Sister Mary and Sister Madeleine are two pious ladies fresh from the nunnery. They’re sometimes friends, sometimes enemies — but they’re always incurably inseparable!

Available here!

Also currently available in the Etsy store are my 2011 Plush You pieces:

Hostess with the Mostest! Available here  SOLD!

Imaginary Friend! Available here SOLD!

And last but not least, The Clown Box! Available here

All of the Plush You pieces are original, OOAK works and have had their prices highly reduced, so get them now while they’re still drastically slashed and bleeding!


Rashes are Red, Violence is Blue, Here’s A Free Gory Pattern Just For You!

Oh goody goody gummy bears! It’s almost February, and that means Valentine’s Day! YAAAAYYYYY!!!

EVERYBODY LOVES VALENTINE’S DAY!!!

Oh, wait… no they don’t.

In fact, there are more than a few people out there who feel that February 14th is nothing more than a big sham designed to make singles feel like crap and keep greeting card companies in business. Keeping these folks in mind, this year I decided to come up with my own Valentine’s Day greeting to make and share with the ones you love… or loathe.

If you’re tired of getting the same old “Oh, I love it!” or “How incredibly sweet!” upon gifting your sweetums their usual, mass-produced Valentine, sit back and watch the lovely look of confusion strain their face when you plop this little sucker into their lap. Maybe you’ll even get a sexy lower lip quiver or a tear-filled eye in the process. HOT!

This little fellow works up pretty quickly, is crocheted back and forth (as opposed to rounds), and requires only a scrap amount of yarn .

Download the pattern PDF here!


Etsy Update 1.15.12

Announcing two new, deliciously adorable additions to the Croshame Etsy shop!

Kitty Catsup! (Found here)

and Weiner Dog on a Stick! (Found here)

These two compliment each other wonderfully, but you might want to separate them at the table since they fight like a couple of bottles and sticks. They’re both nutritiously yummy and notoriously perishable, so grab them now while they’re hot!


Painful Lessons in Needle Felting

Some of you may recall me expressing jubilance over starting my first needle felted project early last year.

Yes, it looked fairly decent then, back when it was still a work in progress. It took me 6 months of hard work, finger stabbing and arm pain to complete it, but unfortunately the final piece came out looking very different than I had originally planned, leaving me so disappointed in the end result that I never showed it to anyone. I’ll admit, it was an ambitious first project and I got in a bit over my head (as well as my neck, shoulder and elbow). But even though my once-graceful swan lady turned out more pockmarked than Edward James Olmos and took donkey’s years to finish, I masochistically dove into another needle felted sculpture directly afterward, determined to learn from my mistakes and create a final product I was happier with.

Titled “A Scent”, this second piece is part of my mixed media series Pink Period (which can be viewed here).

There were several important things I learned between my first and second needle felted pieces, and although I still consider myself an amateur felter with much to learn, I thought I would pass along some of my recent revelations and pointers to other interested beginners. Careful, though — needle felting tips are pretty sharp.  *snort*

#1. Needle felt the wool into a solid shape BEFORE adding it to the work. This may seem to be a huge “DUH” for needle-felters-in-the-know, but it took me a while to truly figure out. Trying to felt something into submission while it’s on the piece just ends up pushing it into the work instead of adding on to it.

#2. For larger pieces, USE A MULTI-NEEDLE TOOL INSTEAD OF JUST A SINGLE NEEDLE. I put this in shouty-style capitals because, like a complete dumbshit, I only used a single needle on my first piece — which was over 12″ tall and had a wire armature inside — leading to more frustration than was necessary. I’ve found single needles to be better for felting tiny things, making details, and attaching pieces.

#3. Needle felt only for as long as you can. Stop when you start hurting, or preferably, before that. This is a very hard thing for me to do, as I often get so rapt with sculpting that I can sit for 10-12 hours at a time without leaving the art. This works fine for clay, but not so much for felting. (My ulna agrees.)

#4. Have patience. Unless you’re making a small, simple piece, needle felting takes a long time. Hell, even small and simple can take a while.

#5. Stabbing yourself with a barbed needle only hurts slightly less than everyday life. Don’t be scared to bleed for your art. In fact, welcome it. Then thank your lucky scars you’re not felting in the 19th century.

Felting Machine from 1880


#6. If you can squish it with your fingers, it’s probably not done. The more solid the work, the better. Of course, this is merely my own personal preference and opinion; depending on what you’re making, you may want to leave your felting as hard or soft as you desire. That is, until the NFTF (Needle Felting Task Force) is formed… then you should be worried.

#7. Lastly, wooden felting tools make great blood absorbers.