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Sunday Song: Paganini gives me nightmares.


Caprice No. 24, as played by the absolutely incomparable Jasha Heifetz.


52 Weeks Project: January


I decided this would be more fun if I did a monthly post, rather than a weekly one.  Less to clog your feeds, more to look at when you do look, yeah?

(That’s not true at all.  Actually, I got real busy with work and apartment hunting and food poisoning and, while I took pictures, I pretty much didn’t take them off my camera for a month.  But it sounds nicer the first way, doesn’t it?)

For those new to the concept, a 52 week project is a lightened-up version of the 365 project: I take a picture a week, for the whole year.  Now, I take a lot more pictures than that, but most of them aren’t very good.  My goal was to take a picture a week that I liked.

That’s a much higher hill to climb.

So here’s January:


Week 1: Lanterns at the Denver Zoo’s holiday light event.



Week 2: A feather. Experimenting with deliberate overexposure in an attempt to convey softness.




Week 3: This is not a chameleon.  For one thing, look at the feet.

The reptile house at the zoo is my favorite on cold days.  Indeed, my favorite picture of 2012 came out of there.




Week 4:  This is why I get no sewing done.  Could’t possibly wake him up, you know. He’s too cute for that.


And some experiments which have not matured into quality pictures yet, but which I hope to play with more this year:




Long exposure of myself, playin’ on my violin.  I like the effect, though I want to hold the actual instrument steadier, so all the blur is in the bowing arm.  Which might require I not actually play a song, and where’s the fun in that?


It’d be interesting to do different songs in front of a neutral background (and with an expensive lighting studio- sigh, I dream).  Does Bach look different from, say, Gassoc?  Is Paganini anything more than a giant fuzzy blur?


Look, I made a GIF!  This is a toadfish, and he makes me want to play with stop motion animation. And use a tripod next time. Maybe I can just claim it’s a toadfish in an earthquake?


What’s your favorite picture you took this month?

Sunday Song: Paul Halley’s “Winter”


Heard here backing a fantastic little animation, “the Maker”.


It’s funny, because at the beginning you think the rabbitbeastie is trying to manufacture a girlfriend, because that’s how these stories go; insert Bride-of-Frankenstein pseudoromance here and maybe that’ll make it seem meaningful.  Romance, while awesome, is also like refined sugar: the fastest way to make a story tasty without necessarily adding anything more nutritious than empty calories.

I sound cynical, sure, but romance really hasn’t been doing it for me lately in storytelling- a lot of the time, it’s used as a shortcut for character development or individual motivation or, y’know, plot.  Boy gets girl (heteronormative much?), or slays dragon to get girl, or overcomes challenges to get girl, or makes girl. Girl is reward. Story is simple. Zzzzz.

But that’s not what our bunnymonster doing.  It can’t do that. It doesn’t have the time, and it knows it.  All it’s trying to do is make something that will continue on after it.  And that?  I get that.

You can download the track on Paul Halley’s webpage.

I commented asking for the score and he e-mailed it to me.  I am weirdly ecstatic and in love with both the composer and the internet, because seriously, that’s awesome.

Friday Outfit: Cream Anglaise




Heart Locket – thrift store

Smilodon necklace – Moon Raven Designs

Lace dress –

Heels – Miz Mooz Lance

Brown tights –

White polka dot sheer tights –

Sunday Song: The Civil Wars, “Barton Hollow”


My schedule has changed (rejoice!), and now Sundays are my Mondays.  Still, they deserve songs.

What have you been listening to?

52 Weeks: Week 1


Because this is what amateur photographers do for New Year’s, right?


I’m gonna go after a 52 weeks sort of deal.  One picture a week.  52 total.  I take more than that a week, of course, but I want to take one I really like.  So here we go my dears, with week 1:





I went to the Denver Zoo Lights with a few friends and my camera, and played with the dark.  The lanterns they hung in the Elephant Passage exhibit were particularly beautiful.

Tutorial: Antler Necklace Holder




Point one: I like to keep my favorite necklaces out and on display, because that’s the only way I’ll actually wear them.  Point two: in my bedroom I’ve tried to combine the whole “oh hey, someone’s actual functional room” vibe with a sort of nature/museum vibe.  Because yes, I am nerd.  This is what I did:




And this is how I did it:

Antlers grow and are shed on a yearly basis, and if you poke around on ebay you can easily snatch up shed antlers that people have found whilst wandering about the great outdoors, no harming of animals required.  And they’re awesome and pretty!

I put it in a barnwood frame because it matched the rest of my room a bit better, but I think a really ornate and fancy frame would look awesome as well.  Here’s how I did it:


I gathered my supplies and tools, which included the following:

-A frame that fits your antler

-An antler that fits your frame (circular instructions for the win!)


-A pretty piece of paper or fabric large enough to fit in the frame in the color of my choice

-A knife to cut the foamboard


-A hammer and some small nails

-Something to lash the antler down (twine? ribbon? hemp? leather?), and a yarn or tapesty needle large enough to sew it.

-Frame mounting bits

Oh, and some help:


I’ve always got convenient help sitting around.  Sometimes, even when I don’t want it!

Using ruler and knife, I cut a piece of foamboard to fit snugly into the frame.  I wanted the fit to be tight, because I was going to attach a heavy antler to it.


I cut the pretty paper to fit and glued it neatly onto the foamboard:


Then popped it back into the frame, and lined up my antler about where I wanted it.  Protip: you want the tines of the antler pointing up, so your necklaces don’t succumb to gravity.


Using hammer and nail, I marked where I would need to attach the antler to the foamboard, then I removed the antler and poked holes all the way through with a quick hammer whack.


I realighned the antler, threaded up my needle, and got to stitching:


I went around and through a bunch of times to make sure it was stable, then knotting off the twine on the back:


Then I globbed some glue on the knits, just to be sure they stayed strong. I have a lot of necklaces to hang on this thing, after all.


I hammered a few nails around the edge of the frame to make sure the foamboard stayed in (I tried my little staple gun first, but they weren’t long enough for the foamboard):


And attached a hanger onto the back of the frame, so I could, y’know, hang it up:


Et voila!




Properly bedecked:



The Snowflake (aka Dragon’s Winter Coat)


Merry Christmanukkwanzwhatever!  I hope you’re having a lovely day, because I am not.  I worked last night, I’m on call today, and I work tonight. And tomorrow night. And it sucks.  But you know what? The money ain’t bad, and I’m going to take the first day I have off this week and spoil Mishto and myself silly and call it Christmas. So weep not for me, because my day will come.


Well, maybe you could weep a little.  Y’know, for my noble suffering and all.  Maybe just a sniffle.


Still, for most of you, I’d bet that today is the big day.  And hey, look! I got you something!  Careful, though.  She’s one of the challenging ones.





A wintry dragon investigates a snowflake. I imagine she has to hold her breath, lest she melt it.


Per usual, click through for the full-res (and with all the fiddly furry detail, I’m betting bigger will be easier).  I release these free bits of line art under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

You are allowed and indeed encouraged to do whatever you want with the piece(s) (use, reuse, abuse, remix, share, and of course, embroider), just follow these two simple rules:

1) Give me credit (a link back is always appreciated- that way, everyone else knows they can use it too)
2) Don’t make a profit off any use or modification of my work.

To be fair, I won’t sue you or anything if you don’t give me credit- I’ll just feel all hurt, and no one wants that.  Also to be fair, should you really want to use them in a profit-making venture (ie: stitch it on something you then sell in your etsy store, use it as a print for your own fabric line, etc.), talk to me and maybe we can work something out so everybody wins.  Should you want to say thanks, leave a comment and/or tell a friend or six, or show me what you do with it ’cause that’s all sort of inspiring.

You can find a reminder/introduction to embroidery, including basic stitches and a by-no-means exhaustive list of methods of transferring patterns to fabric in this post (there’s also a good round-up here and another one here). You can find the rest of my patterns under the Embroidery Patterns category.


Sunday Song


The Real Vocal String Quartet does Regina Spektor’s “Machine”.

My violin teacher wants me to consider joining a quartet this semester.  I’m both terrified and excited.

Cookie Party!


Last Sunday was my second annual cookie exchange of awesome!  I had a pile of friends over and fed them a tasty dinner, with the cost of admission set at one half-batch of cookies per head.  They were all delicious.


These were my contributions:




These delicious morsels were Orange Creamsicle Cookies.  I zested two oranges and one thumb for these things, and it was worth it.


Second, I made these, and then was so damn proud of myself I proceeded to drag every single person who walked over my threshold over to look at them while squealing like a small child.





They’re Dinosaur cookies!  I used the recipe for turning cake mix into cutout cookies here.  One box of chocolate cake mix and a pair of dinosaur cookie cutters later and I had myself an entire herd:





The cookies spread more than I’d like for cutout cookies, but were quick and easy (which was the goal, what with party to be hosting).  Luckily my planned method of frosting -ie, bones- really just needed a generally-dinosaur-shaped background.


I whipped up a batch of buttercream, popped it into a ziplock bag and clipped off the corner, no fancy tips required. There were triceratops, and also stegosaurus:





It may sound a bit self-centered, but I’m just so damn proud of myself for these.  I’ve never really done much fancy frostingness, and I may have exploded my first bag of sugary goodness in the squeezing of it (protip: don’t pack a ziplock bag full, that’s bad), so I think these are kind of epic for my skill level.




Now I want some actual frosting bags/tips.  And more dinosaur cookie cutters.