Monday, 21 February 2011

Lizard Queen*

Roxie, like many T-rexs, has thalidomide** (t-rex mummies suffer terribly from morning sickness, and the drug legislation in dinoland is not so hot on withdrawing stuff from the market), so do not mock her puny arms for fear of being accused of non-pc-ness. Or possibly having your head bitten off.
It does make it rather difficult for her to play Bananagrams, unfortunately. Her life-partner Alan appreciates that, because it's the only way he's in with half a chance of winning***.

Roxie is a girl dinosaur, and wants to be an actress, but struggles to find work that she likes, because most T-Rex performing opportunities require qualities such as 'scary' or that the actor eat people off the toilet - which isn't really Roxie's thing. She's more into the kitchen sink drama, and mourns the lack of dinosaurs in Delaney's work. If you happen to require any Theropoda to appear in your production of Look Back In Anger, please do contact Roxie - either via her agent, or just pop down to the Royal Court (she likes to hang around Sloane Square on the off chance that she'll get 'spotted') - you'll recognise her easily by the desperate look in her eye, and because she's a giant purple lizard.

The socks I used to make Roxie... well.. what can I say? I was thrilled to find them, expensive though they were; the material is nice and silky, and they come packaged in a matching bow (I'm a total sucker for nice packaging). but... oh, they are awful, really, for crafting purposes. The thin silkiness makes them a nightmare to work with - they unravel at the speed of light, so poor Roxie is covered in darned patches, and because they're so thin the seams are really prominent, and they've gone all translucent so you can see the white stuffing (which i expect with cheap socks - but I want more when I pay a tenner for a pair!). Plus, the toe and heel formation is horrible, very long and narrow - they're be really uncomfortable to wear, and caused structural issues for me. I don't like using knee-highs anyway (except where I'm making a feature of the height) because I like to feature the ankle band if I can,  but these were such a good match for the colours I wanted, I couldn't resist.
well, I learned my lesson, and Joules will be selling me no more outrageously expensive socks!
that'll show 'em

* I have more to say on the concept of the Royal Family as lizards - but I am saving it for a later post. Get me and my cliffhangers, eh?
I would suggest that you waste a bit of time looking around this site. It's genius.
**what did you think the T stood for?
***Alan maintains that he is good at Bananagrams, but this is all lies. You will notice, if you play against him, that if it looks like he's going to lose, he will sabotage that game by 'accidentally' collapsing the table, or somesuch. He's a total cheat, too, and does not always peel when instructed. Keep an eye on him. 

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Un-dead Valentines

Eating Each Others' Hearts Out

I don't normally buy craft books. I normally flick through, nick any good ideas and save myself £15. I've got a couple of manuals, picked up second hand mostly, to refer to for new techniques. But, let's face it, craft books are mostly ideas for how to use those techniques and skills. so, yeah, look at the pictures, make a metal note of good ideas and save the staff in Foyles from having to do too much re-shelving by putting it back in the right place.

However, on one of our mooches around Forbidden Planet, the boy spotted something. A craft book, with a  pattern to make a pirate zombie.
Well, now, I could hardly refuse his request that I sew him one, given that he is constantly making beautiful things for me, and so I brought the book.

It's not a bad book, actually. There's no real skill needed, but the patterns for every design are included full size, so you can just photocopy them out, pin em to your fabric and go. There are some nice touches on Pirate zombie, and I didn't make too many changes to the pattern (I completely ignored the how to assemble bit though, so I guess different methodology may have created different results). The suggested use of a hook-and-eye hook for a hand doesn't work as well as I'd hoped - even after attacking with pliers, the shape isn't quite right, I think a jewellery finding may work better. And I'm not a fan of the bead-as an eye - I reckon a sequin would work better by pure dint of sitting flatter.
I've sewn a pin on pirates back so he can be worn as a badge - and with that in mind I only half-stuffed him. 
The only other thing of note is the coffin I made him to live in. Again, photocopied the template from the book. It's a shit template (the lid is the exact same size as the base, so they don't fit together, and the tabs are too small to be of any use) . Don't bother. You'd be better off drawing your own. I ended up having to sandpaper the edges of mine to distress it and thus disguise some of the shitness as intentional.

anyway, it makes an incredibly romantic not-valentine's day present for your beloved. on the assumption that your beloved it a pirate who likes that kind of utter nonsense.