Sunday, February 28, 2010

Introducing "These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things"

I've decided, in an attempt to get back to this blogging-with-some-frequency thing, to start a new section, entitled "These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things" (original, I know). These will be posts, at least three times a week, in which I will post a photo of something I love - anything that is inspiring me or making me happy that day. Today's is this wonderful throw pillow I received for Christmas! I've been lying on it to study, and it's super comfy as well as gorgeous. I don't know where it is from - maybe Pier 1?

Crystal Nicole

Finished at last, Sylvi Evenstar!

That's right! I have finally finished my (sort of) Lord of the Rings-inspired Sylvi. I am so pleased with it. It looks very like I imagined when I was planning it, which is a rarity for me. The photos are not very good - I took them with a self-timer, after my boyfriend reported seeing snakes in the yard (I hate snakes!), and it was really, really hot and bright outside. But, here is me modeling my Sylvi.

If you are familiar with the pattern, you'll notice quite a few changes. The front of the original design was just too plain for me, and I'd been researching Arwen's Chase Dress from LotR (someday I will make it). So, naturally both the edges of the coat and the collar are inspired by that dress. Then I decided that I may as well do the petal sleeves. I also added a bit of waist shaping as I've never had good luck with A-lines (I know they are supposed to be universally flattering but I've never liked anything with an A-line). In retrospect, I probably would have left the A-line as it would have left more room in the back for my flowers and might have even been more flattering, but I'm ok with it as is. I didn't make any large flowers (well I MADE three of them, but I didn't USE any). The back is all small flowers, and the front is a small flower knit with only one strand of yarn. (BTW, this is knit using Wool of the Andes, held double). The trim is Paton's, originally in natural but hand-dyed by me to a silvery-lavender. I added pockets to the sides (although I wish they were deeper). I initially planned to line it, but right now I don't see the need to. I may later. The clasps I originally bought, while very "elven" were too small, so I bought these findings and used jump rings to attach the original clasps onto the findings to make them larger. And of course, I have a love affair with pretty glass buttons, and I used quite a few of them, as centers for my flowers and to hold my petal sleeves together (as those sleeves wouldn't be very practical for a sweater coat otherwise). Obviously the color is less Tolkien-inspired, and actually more What Dreams May Come-inspired, but I think it's still appropriate for the elves.

(Sorry to turn on the word verification, but I was starting to get lots of spam comments. While I loooove to get comments from people, comments from "bots" are quite unwelcome. But real people, please comment although the annoying word verification is now activated!)

Also, I'm going in costume to Mardi Gras next year, I think. I am going to start planning that soon.

Finally, I'm looking to pick up a few new things. I want Anthropologie-esque style but at a more affordable price. Does anyone know of sites offering this? I know of and, of course, I love handmade items, too, so suggestions for your own shops are welcome! (and I don't mind paying more if I am supporting local/handmade businesses). Of course, I'm not skinny enough to pull off most trendy styles right now, but I like things that are romantic and flattering, with a hint of faerie.

Now I've got to get back to studying for Forensics. I'll post again fairly soon, I hope, and discuss projects, books, and Jim Henson's wonderful "The Storyteller" which you should see if you have Netflix streaming. Also hoping to finish up my first real portrait ever (a self-portrait) soon, and I'll be posting that. Someday I'll figure out how to make this blog prettier, too. Won't that be wonderful and lovely?

Crystal Nicole

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A little update before bed

I've been so busy with school, Mardi Gras, and personal things that I've quite neglected this blog. I want to say thanks to those of you who left such nice comments! Sorry I don't keep up with the blog better! It's all Ravelry's fault - I've just been knitting, and it's easiest to go update the notes section of the project on my Ravelry project page than to come here and make a new post, etc. I've a few things I'm finishing up and will be posting soon, including the long-awaited Sylvi! I am THISCLOSE to being finished with it, at last. I have a couple of paintings to finish as well, which I'll post. And I am going to start planning a costume for next year's Mardi Gras. I intend to keep up with my progress here. Here is a sleeve from Sylvi to make up for the lack of content lately. It's quite a bit different from the original sleeve.