Friday, December 21, 2012

Smoking Hooks

I’m sure I’m not the only person caught up in the rush of down-to-the-last-minute Holiday Crafting! In my defense I wasn’t slacking, I just had to finish the Paid Commissions before I could focus on the family presents. But it does leave me feeling a little bit like Lola as there are only 3 days until Christmas Eve when I’ll be exchanging presents with my family.

Obviously I can’t share certain pictures yet because they would spoil the holiday surprise for the recipients, but I can share my biggest and most fun Commission of this holiday season. It was ordered by my co-worker, Linda, who also holds the distinction of being my first customer and my best repeat customer.
This year she wanted a Pink and Purple Smiley Face Pillow, a Stuffed Turtle, and a Custom Pillow. The pillow was designed by the recipient and I was given the challenge of translating a little girl’s design into a crochet-able pattern/color chart.

Challenge Accepted. I tried running a basic Paint Mock-up of the piece through several pattern creator websites, but I just wasn’t happy with what they produced. So I went back to the drawing board and created my own pattern chart by hand.

  The turtle was fun and gave me an excuse to revisit a pattern I spied on Pinterest. Admittedly, I didn’t check the gauge before starting in on the project, so it’s a bit bigger than I originally anticipated. But on the plus side, I had a great deal of Hunter Green yarn sitting around looking for a good use, so I did accomplish some Stash Busting with this one.

There isn’t much to say about the Smiley Pillow. Carolina received a Blue and Yellow Smiley Pillow last year, and the younger sister, Emily, wanted a Purple and Pink one this year.


Overall, I’m really pleased by how all three turned out and, even more gratifying, Linda was ecstatic to receive them. She’s told me multiple times she’s not sure she can give “Charlie” up to Eduardo. Even James threatened that the turtle wouldn’t be leaving the house! He was fun to work on.

In other Holiday Office news we had our Secret Santa Exchange today. By some strange and fortuitous coincidence my Secret Santa and I got each other, so Taze received a Purple Crochet Owl Ornament and candy and I got a set of Crochet Hooks, a Project Bag, and Dr. Pepper.

Honestly, I own all the hook sizes I received. BUT, I only own one of each of those particular hook sizes and I do like having multiples of each size so that I can keep hooks tucked in project bags, or just to have backups for when I inevitably misplace a hook.

Taze was pleased with his gift. He even clipped the owl to his sweater to wear around the office today. He and his close friend (maybe girlfriend?) have been thinking about getting something for a while, so now he has something and she doesn’t. At least that’s how he put it. ^-^

But, I need to return to my hooks and finish off these last few things before they become IOU gifts! Then, I can take a small break before returning to the orders queued up for the beginning of January. All together, it’s not a bad position to be in as we approach the end of the year.

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Gobble, Gobble


There are so many things that I am thankful for this year.  James, Harlequin, and Trousers who make coming home such a pleasure.  My family who is incredibly wonderful, and supportive. My friends who are smart, goofy, and talented individuals.  BRAG and Comic Book Club. B&D Comics which is a wonderful local business with a wonderful staff. Podcasts such as Craft Lit, Cast-on, Yarn Craft, Word Balloon, Aw Yeah, Ape 4 Comics, Fanboys Talking, and so many more that strive to keep me entertained and informed while at work or while crafting. Happy (Belated) Thanksgiving!

Black Friday and Small Business Saturday

Black Friday is an interesting day, especially now that it starts Thanksgiving evening for some places.  James and I stopped by Walmart on our way home last night to pick up kitty litter. It was around 5:30, but it seemed like half the store was saran wrapped with signs noting items would be recognized at the register for special prices at 8pm. There were people already there scoping things out and making attack plans.  I'll give Walmart some credit, though, they were making an obvious attempt to mitigate trampling.  They had the high end electronics scattered through out the store and used Caution Tape to create queues through aisles with practical items.  The biggest problem with that is it went through the cat aisle and an employee tried to stop us because it was part of the line to a TV or something.  I am glad that we arrived at 5:30 before any lines had actually formed!

Small Business Saturday is the newest partner to the weekend shopping.  It encourages people to shop at local businesses where you know you are supporting individuals and your local community.  It's a great way to show the people in your community that you care, and many local businesses provide unique, one-of-a-kind products.

This year I have tried to avoid both holidays, though I do plan on shopping small and local this holiday season.  I also intend to make a lot of gifts.  As such I decided to limit my participation in the shopping madness by only venturing out to get a much needed crafting component this weekend: Clear Plastic Globes.   I can't tell you what I'm doing with them yet, but I can't wait to share!  I was honestly a little wary about heading out on such a busy shopping day, but it was incredible how friendly everybody appeared.  Plus now that the errand is off my plate my Saturday and Sunday are cleared for a gluttony of crafting!


And now I just want to hint and say I am excited and can't wait to make an announcement that will affect customers in Roanoke, VA.  Before I can make an official announcement, though, I need to do some prep work in my Etsy Shop and get everything tidied up a bit.  Hopefully I can share the good news Saturday or Sunday!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

On to Christmas!

So now that Halloween has passed it is time to blow through Thanksgiving and head straight to Christmas, right?  At least that is what it feels like walking through my neighborhood and into just about any store!  Only one brave neighbor has a giant inflatable turkey on their lawn, but even more already have Christmas trees and lights up in their yards.  As someone who feels that you can't really move to Christmas until the day after Thanksgiving this is a little distressing.  But stores do have the Christmas candy out... though, do we really need Christmas candy?  Only if it's a 5 lb Hershey bar- spotted at Kroger.


I've already received several commissions for this Holiday Season.  And, I'm open to accepting new Christmas Commissions up through Dec 10.  Anything submitted after that will be a case-by-case basis, or not available until after Christmas!

Today, I'm focusing on a child's giraffe hat and a Smiley Face Pillow.  I've started the hat and will post pictures next Saturday.  The pillow has also been started, but I had to take a break because the shades of purple and pink I originally planned on using were a little off, so I had to pick up some new pink yarn and now it's ready to rock and roll.


I updated my Etsy Shop today with two new Superhero inspired comic totes.  I've actually made 3 designs, but one is a custom design for my Local Comic Shop, B&D Comics.

Aren't they fun!  They are sized to fit standard single issue comics and trades.  But, since crocheted fabric has inherent stretch they can fit some over-sized and irregular sized items as well.  Because of a yarn defect in the Aquaman bag, James has claimed it as his own.  On Tuesday I'll blog about learning the Crocodile stitch and provide links to tutorials.

I added a belt to the final B&D design.  I feel that it really helps the colors pop.  I'm also looking at various techniques to improve the lettering on the bag so that it comes out more even.
I'm incredibly happy with the way the Aquaman design turned out.  The crocodile stitch turned out to be perfect for replicating the scale look of Aquaman's body armor!

I had fun making the Iron Man tote.  Now I can be the cool kid with an Iron Man Comic Tote and Iron Man Wristers, and so can you since both are available through my Etsy Shop!


I'm going to make an effort to post more frequently.  Part of this will hopefully mean that my posts will start to fall into certain patterns with Technique Tuesday, Wild Card Wednesday, BRAG About it Thursday, and Sales Saturday.  I'm leaving Monday, Friday, and Sundays "free" because James doesn't work those days which makes it more difficult for me to find time to post!  Also, with the cold weather setting in, it's a labor of love to sit in a cold room and type, even with a cat cuddling in your lap. 

That's all for today, it's time to watch Magic Mike and work on those commissions!

Post at you later,
     Super Nerdy Hooker

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Fall out that Led to Cos-play Appreciation Day

Tony Harris, comic book artist known for his work on series such as Starman, Iron Man, and Ex Machina, touched off a flurry of reactions when he made a Facebook post about the women who cos-play at cons. So, after you take a moment to read the original post I'll break down his argument and talk about some of the good that it did inspire.

Now, in case someone may have felt that his sexuality might invalidate his argument, Tony Harris assures readers that he appreciates "a pretty Gal as much as the next Hetero Male.  Sometimes I even go for some racy type stuff." This, he feels, we need to know so that we understand his harsh words for "Cosplay-Chiks" doesn't extend from a lack of physical attraction (wanted or not on his part).  Instead his harshness stems from his preconceived notions that:

  1. Female Cos-players don't read or have any working knowledge of comics. "I know a few who are actually pretty cool-and BIG Shocker, love and read Comics.So as in all things, they are the exception to the rule."
  1. Female Cos-players are "Quasi-Pretty-NOT-Hot" resulting in an illusory "Con-Hot" rather than possessing any actual attractive physical qualities (because we all know that's what really counts when you Cos-play).
  1. Female Cos-players secretly hate Nerds, but are so insecure they prey on "a LOT of average Comic Book Fans who either RARELY speak to, or NEVER speak to girls. Some Virgins, ALL unconfident when it comes to girls..."
As one might imagine many female readers, writers, artists, and all around geeks got mad, leading Gail Simone, current Batgirl writer, to declare today Cos-play Appreciation Day.  A great idea, and you can feel and share in the love and fun on Twitter by following the #CosplayAppreciationDay.  Sadly, some females do agree with this sad and jealous statement.  And, if there is one thing I hate, it is women who try to advance themselves by putting down the rest of their gender.

But, let's take a step back here and break down and consider the rest of Tony Harris' argument of who can and cannot be a "Real Nerd" or comic fan.  Clearly, Tony Harris believes that a true comic fan is a socially awkward male who is uncomfortable around the ladies and blindly worships the comic writer and artist.  A few females who actually read comics may pass the test and be allowed into this select club.  Chances are these particular females are also socially awkward since sexually confident females "wouldnt give [the Real Nerd] the fucking time of day." So, ladies and gentlemen, here's a news flash, if you are a socially confident individual who who is active in the dating scene (or in a relationship) you cannot, by Tony Harris' definition, be a real nerd.  You are probably to busy being social to "KNOW SHIT ABOUT COMICS, BEYOND WHATEVER GOOGLE IMAGE SEARCH YOU DID TO GET REF ON THE MOST MAINSTREAM CHARACTER WITH THE MOST REVEALING COSTUME EVER." 

However, as Tony Harris points out, these characters are created by writers and artists.  Therefore, one must consider that if female cos-players are dressing provocatively, there is a good chance that the characters they are portraying are written and drawn to be provocative.  This led to one of my favorite Twitter comments.
This is a sentiment I wholeheartedly agree with.  I'm not trying to say that there should be no provocative female characters in comic books.  Villainesses are by default very sexy and provocative, because it's a large part of being "bad."  And, honestly, some of our heroines costumes are also very revealing hence why Kelly Sue DeConnick changed Miss Marvel's costume from the standard leotard look to a more powerful flight suit, plus gave her a promotion to Captiain.  The point being, you can't complain if a woman dresses provocatively when portraying a character that is provocative.
Yet, Tony Harris ends his rant by writing, "And the real reason for the Con, and the damned costumes yer parading around in? That would be Comic Book Artists, and Comic Book Writers who make all that shit up." He's right that the characters were created by writers and artists, but he's wrong about the reason for the cons.  The cons are for the fans to eat, drink, and be merry with like minded individuals and, yes, the chance to meet the creative minds behind their favorite stories and characters.  But without fans, writers and artists don't have a job and therefore there is no con.  It seems to me that Tony Harris is really just jealous that the fanboys who he thinks should be falling to their knees in praise of him are instead enjoying the company of creative and confident females who share their interests and have the dedication to Cos-play.

Because, in the end, there is something truly sexy about an individual who has the dedication, confidence, and creativity necessary to Cos-play.  So check out and add your pictures and comments under #CosplayAppreciationDay on Twitter.

Also, check out another great blog post by Amy Ratcliffe about how the notion of the "fake geek girl" hurts all female geeks.

Post at you later,
     The Super Nerdy Hooker

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Happy Halloween! (pic heavy)

Okay, so I've been a little busy lazy (let's call it what it is and not sugar coat it).  My computer has been back for a couple of weeks, but I just haven't felt like blogging.  Why write about what I've been up to when I could just be up to something?  But, with Halloween barely under our belts I wanted to share my Halloween/Cosplay Costume with you while it was still seasonally relevant.  Though, I do know many people have already moved on to Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The Process

So, I started with my Inspiration.  Batgirl from DC's New 52, admittedly the lining of the cape was changed to be yellow instead of purple.
The cape came first and Trousers decided to help me lay out the fabric.

There are tiny little paw prints on the back of the fabric from when he discovered that if he ran and jumped on it the fabric would go sliding.  I threatened to lock him in the bathroom until I was done, but I didn't really have the heart to do it!

So then it was time to make the gloves and cowl.  These I decided to crochet.  The "ear" pieces on the cowl are plastic canvas that I stitched into, but I may try to crochet "slip covers" if I do it again.

I found the black shirt at Goodwill and added an emblem to it.  Harley was particularly helpful during this step.

For the belt I took a long strip of yellow fabric, folded it in half (right sides together) and sewed up one side.  I flipped it right side out, sewed up the end and added some snaps.  It looks a little ugly, but the cape will hide that little detail until I can re-do it.

The leggings and boots I already had.  I would like to, when I have more time, create yellow slip covers for the boots so that they fit with the inspiration a little better.

So, the final product:
Standing outside B&D Comic Shop on Halloween

Roanoke Valley Comicon

I assisted my fiance in working the B&D booth
I was hoping to share more pictures from the con with you, but people haven't been tagging them in such a way that I can find them easily.  What you need to know to enjoy the following pictures is that for the first time the Roanoke Valley Comicon held a costume contest divided up between those 15 and under and 16 and older.  If I can find where these photos got dumped I'll share them.  But until then, one guy came dressed as Vash the Stampede and I found his photo dump for the con.  So, that's why Vash is in so many of the pictures!

When this pink Batgirl walked in with her dad in Joker make up, I knew a picture was necessary!
Cloud was the winner of the adult costume contest, a well deserved win for an awesome costume!
Vash and Cloud together; Vash was the runner up
This Batman looked more like a Gotham City Imposters Batman, but he was a really nice guy  and had fun with it.
If you don't know who Slender Man is then there is plenty of material on the web (and a few videos) that will  teach/scare you into knowing who he is!
Vash, just Vash
All four Ninja Turtles were present to have a good time.
An adorable little Inuyasha
L from Death Note.  A fantastic manga with a surprisingly good live action movie adaptation that I strongly recommend. I wish I could find the picture we took together!
And last but not least a Storm Trooper Captain.

I was really excited that this year was the con's biggest turnout!  I thought it seemed hopping, and I should know since I've been to the last four (two a year for two years).  The organizers said they are hoping to have a costume contest at each one from now on.

That's all for now.  I will try not to let so much time pass between now and my next post, especially since I've been busy and have stuff to share!

Monday, September 24, 2012


 Camping was soooo much fun, but before I get to that I want to touch on what I did earlier in the week.

Tuesday night my sister posted a picture of TMNT nails, and I decided that I was going to give them a shot right that second.  So I gathered my nail polish and gave the design a whirl.  I really should have done something different with the thumb nails, because they look a bit like frogs without the masks. I wore my Leonardo Wristers the next day to show off my turtle power.
 I also whipped up an adorable Vampire Cupcake Amigurumi that I started Wednesday and finished Thursday.  This adorkable character is based on the Vampire Cupcakes in Sweeten Village.  You know, the free online web comic illustrated by Beck Seashols and written by Brad Duncan.  It earned me a big hug at the last BRAG meeting.    

Oh!  I also got my Harley Quinn picture that I won from Beck.  I will take pictures of the illustration with Harlequin, since she was named, in part, after Harley Quinn.  But right now Harley is curled up in my lap and I don't want to move her.  She is so skittish she doesn't cuddle often, but I think being stuck with Trousers for two days she wants some loving.


Meet Spike.  Spike is an old white chihuahua (I don't remember his exact age), and he is a grumpy old man. But he remembers us from when he was simply an old man.  Honestly, Spike has been old as long as I've known him and I've known him for close to 5 years now.

 But we didn't make the trip just to visit with Spike.  We went to see our friends Eric, Casey and Logan.
Logan impressed us all by walking most of our hike, which was straight up the mountainside, cutting across the ridge, and then picking our way down to a real path.
James and I have known Eric and Casey since college.  Eric's was the place to be if you were smart, artsey, and liked animals.  We got Trousers (the tabby) from Squirrel's (Eric's cat) last litter ever.  Squirrel disappeared a week after giving birth to seven kittens.  Sadly only three survived: Trousers, Skirts and Cheeto.

Anyway, Eric has a plot of land up in the mountains that serves as a private campsite and future home.  The house is still in the planning stages, but they've been developing and landscaping the creek that flows along the edge of the property.  We were there when the log bridge was set up Memorial Day Weekend.

What did James and I do while Eric and Casey worked? 

James found chalk and drew on the rocks. 
 And, I dangled my feet into the water and crocheted.  

This is why my nails are relevant.  I tested the colors on one foot and never painted the nails on the other foot.  I looked a bit uneven!
 I worked on the Reef Blue Ripple Scarf made from Lion Brand's Amazing yarn in the Glacier Bay colorway.

The scarf isn't finished, but I did take an assortment of cliche Scarf in the Woods pictures.

The colors matched the rocks so well!


I can't remember if I mentioned this in an earlier post, but my computer is having a small issue.  It really is a small issue, but the fan is a little out of whack and the blade is hitting the side of the power supply.  Luckily the computer is still under warranty, but I do need to send in my power supply (where the fan is located) and wait until a replacement arrives in the mail.  On the plus side my computer will stop making terrible noises when I turn it on, but on the downside my computer access will be very limited until I get the part back.  Therefore I don't know when I will post next, but I may try to borrow James' computer, even though he doesn't like me to use it (I don't have a good track record with computers.

Video of the Week

 This is just a fun and cute short video.  Enjoy!

Post at you later,
     Super Nerdy Hooker

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Crochet and Cats

How do you spend your Saturdays?  I spend mine cuddling with the cutest cats in the world (yes, in the world), crocheting and watching movies.  Sometimes I do crafty things that aren't crochet, but I'm trying to finally finish that sweater for my mom that I keep mentioning, which means today is devoted to that sweater.  I'm making progress, the first sleeve is about an inch away from being done.

This week's movies were Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and E.T. They were both good, but Tinker Tailor wasn't the best choice for Saturday crafting movie.  In fact, I don't think I would have really liked it all that much if I hadn't read the book first.  It's a very slow paced movie (like the book) and it has a lot of cutaways to past events (like the book).  But, unlike the book, I didn't really feel like I knew the characters as well, or really understood what was happening.  In the book, at least, I was trying to guess who the mole was, but watching the movie there wasn't the same build up of solving the puzzle alongside George Smiley.  There were a lot of hints and innuendos that never really panned out or provided much insight because you weren't in Smiley's mind.  You were one of the people watching from a distance, and the movie didn't even show the final confrontation.  I won't tell you who it is, but there was no final confrontation in the movie.  It was a rather flat movie, and while I don't think that they should have turned it into an action movie, they could have created a deeper sense of urgency through the cutaways.  In short, if you like psychological spy movies without a lot of action this will be a treat.  As I said, the story is good, it's just very slow paced, like the book.

E.T. on the other hand was fantastic.  I haven't watched E.T. since I was a kid, and even then I only saw it once.  I won't bore you with a full review, because you've probably seen it.  Or, if you haven't, you don't need me to tell you to run as fast as you can to your Netflix queue, Redbox doesn't have it.  I, however, do not have a Netflix account at this time, but I did pick up a VHS copy of E.T. at Goodwill a while back and I am so happy I decided to finally watch it again.  Drew Barrymore was adorable as a kid.

Speaking of adorable kids, here's the best comic panel from the week for you:
Batman and Robin #0
By Peter Tomasi, Patrick Gleason, Mick Gray, John Kalisz, & Carlos Mangual 
Is that not the cutest thing you have ever seen?  I know it's one of the cutest things I have ever seen (at least in a Batman comic).  But if you aren't a comic reader, the cutie in the bat suit is Damien Wayne, Bruce Wayne's son.  Yeah, Bruce Wayne has a son, mothered by Talia al Ghul, daughter of Ra's al Ghul, leader of the League of Assassins.  That was a bit of a mouthful, but if you are even the slightest bit interested I suggest that you run, don't walk, to your nearest Comic Shop and pick up a copy of Batman and Robin #0, if they aren't already sold out.  If they are sold out then don't hesitate to order a copy because it gives you Damien's back story (honestly it leaves out the conception, but if you really want a comic where Batman is actually caught in the act pick up Catwoman #1 and #2).  Then, after you pick up the Batman and Robin zero issue, you should pick up some other comics from DC's New 52, this is the month to pick up back stories and jump into the fray.  You just might become addicted.

Wolf Hat Variation #2

On Wednesday I mentioned that I was frogging the black-on-black hat and restarting as a headband using the same materials as the first Wolf Hat with ear flaps.  I whipped this baby up last night, and even recorded most of the pattern as I made it.  I need to retest the pattern and fix some of the issues where I know it is unclear, then I'll release it.  I don't know if I will put the pattern up here for free, or if I will put it in my Etsy store.  Or, I might post it on the blog, leave it posted for 1-2 months, and then move it over to my shop.  Decisions, decisions.

As you can see the weather finally decided to co-operate so that I could take some good pictures outdoors. Now I just need an actual camera that isn't my phone! The next step in the Wolf Halloween plan is to work out some matching gloves, and to send the pictures on to Jenn! It's been a fun project, but communication is sometimes a little slow.

Before I forget, I probably won't post next weekend because James and I are going to go visit some friends for the weekend, and the weekend after that my grandparents will be in town.  I will try to make a midweek post in lieu of my Saturday post, but no promises.  

Post at you later,
     Super Nerdy Hooker