Wednesday, March 10, 2010

How Much Is Too Much Awesome?

As you may or may not have heard, my most recent foray into new and exciting crafts has been embroidering.  I started off with some flower outlines, which I worked on until I felt I was okay enough at technique to attempt something more complicated than the equivalent of needlework paint-by-numbers.

This is the last piece of the flowers that I worked on, practicing chain stitching (orange) and filling in (pink).

I might go back to it if I can think of something awesome to do with the finished product (suggestions?) but for now it's relegated to sitting next to the remote on the coffee table.

For my first stab at what I consider real embroidery, I decided to take an idea I'd had previously and tweak it to embroidery specs.

My buddy Adam makes super fantastic paintings of robots and zombies and dinosaurs and other things and for a long time I've wanted to take his art and use it in a collaborative kind of way.  I've already made a screen of the penguin-buster (so I could give Adam a penguin-buster shirt for his birthday, and also make some for the rest of Team Awesome) so when it came time to pick an embroidery subject it was a no-brainer for me to head to Adam's blog and grab some inspiration there.

I went with the first dude on the on page, this guy:

I like his whole "What, Me Worry?" air, and his relatively simple lines that I figured would lend themselves to a beginner embroiderer like me.

I sketched out a free-hand drawing of Cla1r@nc3 on some of the new fabric I got at the White Elephant Sale, then set to.

The process is pretty slow, but also very low-stress.  I get why Marin picked embroidery as a medium (though her stuff is so far beyond what I'm doing that it doesn't even belong in the same category).   She makes really, really beautiful pieces based on hunting and skeletal imagery, like this gorgeous pelvis piece:

In any case, after a night or two of stitching while watching archived Daily Show on Hulu I had most of Cla1r@nc3 finished.

This morning when I got home I decided to use the hour and a half before work to try and complete him, and after half an episode of Mad Men he was pretty much all done.

I think (after examining the original painting while writing this post) I'm going to go back and fill in his eyes and monitor thingamajig with some yellow floss and then he'll be done for reals.

It's encouraging to have completed him with relatively little difficulty, and whatever I make next will probably move in a more advanced direction.  I don't know if embroidery will become a mainstay in my skill set, but it's a fun distraction for now.


  1. Looks great! I'd take him over a fancified pelvis any day. Though the pelvis is splendiferous in its own special way....

  2. aw man. i wanna see the penguin shirt! i'm adam's friend from nj that actually owns that painting now. i'd love to see how it turned out and maybe perhaps give you money to make me one! haha.

  3. Will have to take a photo of Adam wearing it so I can post it, and then we can chat :-)