Tag Archives: bloody shakespeare

an antidote to terseness, or, what I’m doing when I’m not making things

I’ve realised that my posts recently have been pretty terse, and I think I want to try verbiage instead.

You know, in lieu of actual craft, since I have no beautiful pictures at the moment. (If you would like pictures, please scroll down. There are lots. Many of them are pretty.)

I do have a lot of works-in-progress, though. Like, waaay too many. I’m knitting a scarf that I started last September, and I’m still halfway through knitting a bamboo/silk camisole. I honestly don’t know where that pattern for that has gone. I’ve got a knit-graffiti tag to be finished, and ‘finished’ can only be defined once I work out where it’s going to end up. On top of all this I am foolishly trying to start a lace hood/cowl thing with my cloud yarn. And I still have a scarf on my loom, which will remain unwoven for now, because I was dumb enough to think that using two kinds of feathers yarn was a good idea. Yeah, no.

There’s also a bunch of cross-stitches that I want to design and make. I’ve got some Bloody Shakespeare ideas that are waiting on art from my awesome artist friends. I also have plans for more NSFW Exegetical Profanity – “FUCK” is definitely the next one, though I’m torn on what the third should be. Four letters, definitely, but I just can’t decide.

There will also, at some point, be a piece of embroidery that asks one of life’s ultimate questions – “where do all the calculators go?”. This will happen just as soon as I design a decent-looking halo-wearing cross-stitch calculator.

I also have a design ready-to-roll, which I want to cross-stitch soon: ‘viva la stitch’, which needs to be ready for the crafternoon’s exciting tour schedule. Thinking of which, I need to co-ordinate and plan for the crafternoon’s exciting tour schedule. July is going to be a MAD MAD MAD month. We’re going down to Flinders Uni for the Students of Sustainability conference (fingers crossed), which totally counts as touring since it takes me two hours and three busses to get there. We’re then heading to Murray Bridge with Format Festival, which will involve hardcore crafternooners sitting around, plotting the radicalisation of rural South Australia’s crafting community. CWA? HTFU.

And THEN we’re going to have a crafternoon. Because there really wasn’t enough going on.

*      *      *

Anyway, I had a really cool moment today. I was out shopping (for lace-up boots with NO FUCKING ZIP! Is that too much to ask? Really? Well, it would appear so.) and stopped into the bakery for lunch. The girl behind the counter said I looked familiar – I sort of recognised her as well, but I could not remember how we knew each other. I live in Adelaide, so stuff like this happens to me on a regular basis, especially since  I’m fairly rubbish at recognising people out of context. The girl at the bakery clearly has no such impairment, however, because she then said, “you’re the crafternoon lady, right?”

Random craft-related recognition! Followed by random craft conversation in bakery, where I found out that one of my “I (heart) zombies” patterns not only got finished, but gifted to a sister. Which is very cool.

This conversation completely made my day.

(Even though I wasted four hours looking for a still-elusive pair of lace-up boots.)

*      *      *

I just realised that, despite my avowed aim of reducing terseness, I’ve written over 500 words of increasingly terse prose. Note to self: remember to use more conjunctions and pronouns, and stop slipping into the imperative voice. Oh. Damn.

Writing ditsy teenage dialogue is messing with my prose.


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Posted by on June 1, 2010 in Deviousness


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I didn’t really realise how many frames I was buying

One day, I went op-shopping for some frames to put my finished embroidery in, and I came home with a handful. However, it then became known that I was looking for second-hand frames; in my family, a quest like this quickly becomes contagious. My Mum picked up a few each time she passed by a thrift shop; my Grandma pitched in with several frames from far-flung antique stores.

And so it went, until one day I stopped and looked at what had been wrought.

And I thought: This is so awesome!

This is only a portion of the total frames; there are others that already have actual things in them, including all my Mothers’ Day presents and some other random stitchery.

Some of these are already earmarked for big things – the oval with the panda will end up with more exegetical profanity, and a number of the golden ones are destined for my bloody shakespeare series.

However, there are a couple of other frames that I want to custom-stitch for – the burgundy velvet triptych frame especially. I’m just not sure what, exactly. Anyone have any bright ideas?

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Posted by on May 23, 2010 in Craftiness, Deviousness


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Anachronistic creativity

Huzzah! After interruptions, plane travel, compliments from random nonnas, unpicking and assorted tribulations, I have finally finished my latest Bloody Shakespeare stitchery: The Mad Blood Stirring.

The quote is taken from Romeo and Juliet, about half a scene before Mercutio dies. The pattern for the poppies comes from this extremely awesome vintage pattern, and the text was stitched freehand. I quite like the slightly mad, eye-bending effect of the text; the words follow the shape of the leaves, but the leaves loop and interweave, so the image echoes the quote’s theme of insanity. (I didn’t plan for this to happen, but I was pretty chuffed when it did!)

I really got a buzz out of stitching from a pattern that was designed in 1900, especially since I worked on this piece at last month’s Steampunk Ball. (Which, by the way, was exceedingly awesome, with some fantastic costumes and a really complex, twisty plot!) It was so nifty to be stitching in character, especially with a pattern that was contemporaneous to the Victorian-era aesthetic of the ball.

If you squint really carefully, you can spot me stitching behind the guy in the brown suit.

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Posted by on April 3, 2010 in Craftiness


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Huzzah! I  finally I have an avatar for this blog!

Introducing the new face of Crafty and Devious:

Ta da!

It even looks passably like me. Sort of. Except that I have arms.

My Amigurumi Avatar has actually been sitting around for more than a month, only without hair and accessories. Yesterday I finally bit the bullet and learned how to make fringe hair; it was okay once I got the hang of it, but an extra hand would have been incredibly useful. Yarn, thread and coathanger wire tangled themselves up repeatedly before I got them tamed.

Also as promised, here is the work-in-progress shot of the latest Bloody Shakespeare stitchery:

I’m a bit excited about the Bloody Shakespeare stitchery I’m planning after this, which will (with any luck) be a collaboration with an artist friend of mine. More coming on that soon…

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Posted by on March 17, 2010 in Craftiness


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It has been a fairly strange and hectic week (fortnight) what with actually getting shifts at work, submitting grant applications and, on the whole, acting like a proper grown-up.

It is also MAD MARCH here in the Festival State. So there’s the Fringe Festival, the Adelaide Festival of the Arts, Womad, Soundwave and I don’t even know what. (There’s also some kind of “car race” but that only registers on the periphery of my consciousness as “unexplainable road closures”). So it’s been a bit mental, seeing cabaret (violet rapscallion is mindblowing), music (amanda palmer is here in Adelaide!), and theatre (I saw VS Macbeth last night. They had paintball guns. Made of awesome). I was also in the Fringe opening parade, wearing a high-vis vest, fluro fishnets and a hot-pink wig. Gotta love the public service.


But I am also going to the Steampunk Ball, and I’m more than a little crafty-excited about it.

For the uninformed, steampunk is like sci-fi meets Victorian-era. Clockwork, brass goggles, zepplins, long skirts, corsets and top hats. The Steampunk Ball could just as easily be called a Steampunk LARP – according to their website “You will be ‘boarding’ the air/Aether ship the Olympia on its first voyage to the moon. Among the guests will be Royalty, Explorers, Spies, Mad Scientists and many other people of Interest. All the guests will be give characters, back story and motivations akin to a “how to host a murder mystery” evening – albeit with 100 people.”

The upshot of all this is I get to put together a costume and craft some steampunk accesories. I have about three different costume options from my pre-existing wardrobe (which really does tell you something fundamental about me) but I’m thinking that some extra corsetry will be called for…I’m also going to upstyle my hip-length hair and make a massive feathery hairpiece. This whole thing has really captured my imagination, and I think it’s going to be fairly brilliant.


I’m also working on some other crafty projects at the moment, but I can’t post the outcomes. It’s quite distressing. But this weekend I’ll be able to fianlly put up the TOP SECRET gift for my Granparent’s wedding anniversary, in all its glory.

Another hidden-outcome project is my piece for the current Phat Quarter Swap, which I will not be posting until my swap partner gets it in the mail. Suffice to say, it’s a comic-themed swap, and there will be pie. I’ve finished all my prep and will be stitching like a manic this week.

Last but not least, I’m also working on a pattern for my next Bloody Shakespeare project. The base is from The Antique Pattern Library, and the quote (from Romeo and Juliet) will be stitched freehand on top. I’ll post some wip shots once I’ve put thread to fabric.

And now it’s time to stop blogging and get sticthing.


Posted by on February 28, 2010 in Deviousness


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Shakespeare: not actually boring

I admit it – I’m a word nerd. I read Shakespeare, and I enjoy it. Get past the “doth” and “thou”, and it’s sex, violence and daytime TV. (It’s all like, she’s in love with him, but he’s in love with her best friend, who’s eloping with some other guy…) And Macbeth is the 17th century Underbelly (as noted in the Sam Worthington film).

So, without further ado, here is the second piece in my Bloody Shakespeare series: So Much Blood, from Macbeth, Act 5, Scene 1.

It’s a bit of a favourite quote, from Lady Macbeth’s madness after they kill the king. Not sure how clear it is, but the idea was that the petals morph into blood spatter.

For my next trick, I think I’m going to snatch a quote from Romeo and Juliet. If I can just find some good flame-like design elements…

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Posted by on February 21, 2010 in Craftiness


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Weaving. (It’s not actually like knitting at all.)

Long before I learned how to knit, or to crochet, I taught myself how to weave. I basically sat down and thought out how it could work, and then I made myself dinky little looms and heddles out of cardboard boxes. (It was a means of saving my sanity during year twelve.)

However, this is a totally non-sustainable way of weaving. I soon got extremely frustrated, because I couldn’t really make anything bigger than a coin purse. Not Cool. So I was really pleased when my parents gave me my very own loom. Best Christmas present EVER.


As far as looms go, it doesn’t really do a lot – it’s a rigid heddle loom, so there’s no complicated patterns. It’s just a dead basic loom. Which is actually a very good thing, because you can do interesting stuff fast, just by choosing nifty and different yarns. Like these:

But in any case, back to the original point of the post. I make a lot of woven items, especially scarves, but practically everyone who saw them asked me “did you knit that?”. At which point I would patiently explain that, no, I had no idea how to knit, but I did weave. This mostly got me blank looks.

SO, I just thought I’d say: knitting isn’t actually like weaving, except that you start off with yarn and end up with fabric. Knitting is a complicated way of looping threads around sticks. It’s stretchy, easy to make in weird shapes, and unravels like a bitch.

On the other hand, weaving is like what you did with cardboard strips when you were a kid – over, under, over, under. It’s not stretchy at all and doesn’t really unravel at all. It’s also really, really fast when compared to knitting. (Or at least, how fast I can knit.) A scarf that could take days to knit could take hours to weave. I like this a lot.

Sadly, a weaving loom is not very portable, so I eventually did learn how to knit and crochet. But I still have a soft spot for weaving. It’s the first craft I ever actually chose to learn for myself.

.   .   .

I realise that many of you either already knew all the factual content of this, or really didn’t care. That’s OK. I mostly wrote this because I needed something to distract myself. I just stitched a whole row in my latest cross-stitch project – about a dozen letters – which turned out to be ONE ROW TOO HIGH. Perfectionist that I am, I just unpicked the entire goddamned thing. I am very, very cross indeed.

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Posted by on February 10, 2010 in Craftiness


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