diary: somehow i’m graduating; and misc. arts and crafts

guess i’m graduating in two months? if i get my work done? but i feel so burnt out about it, which is confusing. i think i should feel happy and productive. i’m not sure what’s going on. i guess i don’t have anything to look forward to, really, after ward. no happy post doc, job, vacation, etc. awaits me. (but shouldn’t i find happiness where i am?)

have you ever picked up serial crafts to avoid thinking about work, because

embroidered cat brooch

first i tried embroidery, there’s a ~$16 embroider-patch-cat kit online. i liked it a lot actually! it has a video of the full process (20 mins) on youtube and on amazon.

how does it turn into a brooch?

after embroidering, you cut it and the back piece out. then you sew / glue on the pin to the back piece. then hem the two together (watch the video — turns out you use a running stitch to get the two pieces aligned, then go back with a x2 thread to hem so it looks neater). (I left a little gap and put in some stuffing to make it plush).

lessons learned:

  • where to place stitches? i imagine where i’d make a line if i was coloring it in with a gel pen, to mimic the direction of the cat’s fur
  • watch very carefully at the beginning that pull the thread all the way through — i could make a snarl in 10 seconds / two pulls through the cloth, that would take 5 mins to undo. frustration
  • Re the hem of the cat: “hemming is easy right, just keep looping it back and forth a lot” “wait i should fill in this spot” “wait now the threads are crossed” “mother of pearl wtf happened”
  • to separate the embroidery floss, which has 6 strands, into individual strands (most of it is done with a single strand, looped around the needle so it’s two strands going through the fabric) — can start separating from the center and pull through
  • can use wax (or soap) to make separating earlier / get some of the loose fuzz gone

so much regret, so quickly (thread tangles)

then i tried cross stitch

there’s a ~$10 pusheen kit online

it’s oddly addicting. just filling it in one square at a time.

with a side of paint-by-numbers

you get the wood frames, which have a bit of gold, and have outlines milled out. and one brush (I supplemented my own). and all the colors, and some instructions.