Shop Talk: Cute’thulhu!

10 Dec

Hey All! I’m really happy to talk to you about my favorite cute little star-spawn:

Cute'thulhu!

Cute’thulhu!

Cute’thulhu is my first foray in to crochet amigurumi design. A couple of years ago, after making a crocheted C’thulhu from a pattern, I thought a smaller-shaped C’thulhu would be even more adorable. I couldn’t find a pattern, so I decided to create my own! After some experimenting, I came up with teeny little Cute’thulhu.

cutethulhu_lil3_ck

He has three little face tentacles, teeny little arm flaps, and a set of itty bitty wings!

He’s about 3.5″ tall, though he’s a bit squish-able and can be slightly flattened or pulled up slightly taller. I used acrylic yarn and hard plastic safety cat eyes, and stuffed him with poly-fil.

I love this little guy so much! When I first created him, I took a bunch of random pics of him around the house.

In his house at R'lyeh, dead Cute'thulhu waits dreaming.

In his house at R’lyeh, dead Cute’thulhu waits dreaming.

Cute'thulhu creepin' in the corner, snacking on Christmas ornaments.

Cute’thulhu creepin’ in the corner, snacking on Christmas ornaments.

Cute'thulhu's helping!

Cute’thulhu’s helping!

Crocheting his teeny little face tentacles with a teeny little crochet hook (I use a size C – 2.75 mm) is kind of a pain, so it takes a bit for me to be motivated to make a bunch of these. But for now, there’s a cute little green dude available in my shop: Cute’thulhu – cute teeny C’thulhu amigurumi.

Shop Talk: Shop Til You Drop

26 Nov

Sorry I’ve been so quiet lately. I’ve been busy getting my Etsy shop up and running! This is something that I’ve been working on for a while, and I now (finally!) have some items posted: etsy.com/shop/absolutelyicebox

It’s pretty small at the moment, though I already have lots of plans for the upcoming year. One of the things I’m concentrating on right now is greeting cards. I love making greeting cards for my friends and family, and making cards available in my shop is a natural extension of that. So some of the designs may be familiar to a few of you, but here are a couple that are brand-new.

“Abominably Gifted Snowman” (c) by Chrissy Kurpeski

“Abominably Gifted Snowman” greeting card. Who doesn’t love an abominable snowman bearing gifts?

“Abominably Gifted Snowfolk” (c) by Chrissy Kurpeski

“Abominably Gifted Snowfolk” greeting card. Once I drew one, I had to draw three more. 😀 😀 😀

Okay, so this next one isn’t a new design (though I re-did the illustration), but there’s a story behind it.

“Nice Catch!” (c) by Chrissy Kurpeski

“Nice Catch!” greeting card: Every year, my large immediate family does a gift grab at Christmas, and one year I got my dad. He usually includes at least one fairly meta thing on his list each year (like “world peace”), and this particular year, he joked with one of my sisters that he wanted “a monkey and a boat” for Christmas. Haha, whaaaaaat. But I had a way to counteract his smart-ass-iness with smart-ass-iness of my own: I drew a monkey on a boat, and turned the drawing in to Christmas cards to send to all of my family and friends. And I wrote on the back of the cards, “My Dad asked for a monkey and a boat for Christmas, but all he got was this lousy drawing.” I thought I was being so clever with this whole monkey/boat business! But on Christmas morning, when I presented him with his own card and told him the story, he had no recollection of the conversation he had with my sister. Bawwwwww. But I ended up really liking this sassy monkey on a boat fishing for love! Fun fact: in the original drawing I did, the boat had the name “S.S. Nikto” on it. I don’t know why, I think I had slyly asked my dad what he would name a boat if he had one. (Army of Darkness is one of his fave movies.)

There are more cards available in the shop, as well as a few little crochet items. I’m hoping to have a few more crochet cuties up this week, and after that, who knows? I’ll keep ya updated!

Homestead ViVi: Viva ViVi!

15 Aug

Hey there! Long time, no see! Usually I come up with some excuse after a long hiatus. Summer’s been crazy per usual, and I have a bunch of stuff that I’m working on, should be working on, and tell myself that I’m working on when I really haven’t touched it in months (a “Two Hour Sweater” shouldn’t take four months to knit…). But I have a lovely reason for my current lack of productivity:

Three months ago, WE GOT A DOGGIE!!!! Timbo and I had been talking about getting a dog for yearrrrrrrrrs, and we finally decided to take the plunge.

Our little bundle of joy’s name is ViVi (“Vee-Vee”), and she’s the coolest, most adorable pup with the biggest, cutest underbite. She was found wandering the streets before Animal Control picked her up, and since nobody claimed her, she was moved to the Animal Rescue League in Dedham, MA. Where we promptly fell in love with her, and gave her a new name and a new start.

Vivian “ViVi” Garpeski

Because of her mysterious origins, we don’t really know anything about her. We think she’s a “Chug”: part Pug, part Chihuahua. She’s pretty small at only 10 lbs., and we think she’s around 1 years old because her coat’s still changing and she still has crazy puppy bursts (Though her dental suggests she’s about 2-3, and an eye test suggested she’s 4-5… But we think she just has terrible teeth and eyes, just like her new parents!).

ViVi and Mumma

It’s been quite an adventure these past few months. ViVi’s the first dog I’ve ever had, so I’ve been learning lots. And I’ve also had so much fun getting to know her, playing with her, training her (she’s super smart! Though I guess it helps that she’s also very food-motivated…), and exploring new places with her.

Hangin’ with Dad

She loves people, other dogs, and pretty much everything else! She sometimes (usually) puts off some dogs because she loves to play and is crazy about it. But she likes saying hi to all the people and dogs in the ‘hood, and I’m quickly becoming known as “ViVi’s Mom”. My neighborhood has lots of dogs, but my town doesn’t have a dog park. Booooo. So when she’s not visiting at friends’ houses or trying to chase down other dogs on the sidewalk, she’s content jumping off of all the furniture and running circles around the house.

We were out in the garden one morning, and we looked up to see ViVi prancing in the living room window sill. Doesn’t she look happy with herself?

I just finished a little painting of ViVi to hang up in our house. I was inspired by all the new things we learned about her, particularly the things she feels passionately about:

10″ x 10″ (12″ x 12″ trim size, for easy framing), made with my favorite watercolor pencils and Micron pens. Her eyes came out a lot less happy-looking than in the sketch, and I seemed to have dropped the ball on the placement of the word “pinecones” with the pinecone (also, I learned that I really hate drawing pinecones). Oh well, maybe I’ll do another painting soon. I have years to do cute little drawings of my most favorite dog in the world. Viva ViVi!

Now that ViVi’s settled in to her new abode, I hope to be posting more stuff soon!

Homestead: Craft Table

15 May

Through the kindness of a thoughtful ex-coworker, I had inherited one of those little IKEA laptop tables. At first, he lent it to me because my make-shift workspace was severely lacking in table space. But on my last day on the job, he said he considered it a “permanent loan.”

I hope he meant it! Cuz a few years later, I was severely lacking in outdoor porch furnishings, and I thought it was a good idea to throw some IKEA furniture out there.

I don’t have a photo of what a summer of crazy weather did to the table…

…But here’s what it looked like when I attempted to chisel off and sand down all the weird lumps and cracks it caused.

Here’s a close-up of the heinousness.

I was attempting to smooth out the tabletop so I could try to do something fun with it. Make the little table look fun and arty-crafty, rather than “the person who lives here is a cheap lazy bum.”

Since I enjoyed my first foray in to decoupage, I figured I try it again! Over the years I’d collected lots of little squares of patterns and images I like, and I thought this would be a great way to put them to use. So after attempting to sand the table, I painted the tabletop with some acrylic paints (I mixed up whatever colors were closest to me in my art stash), then I started gluing down squares of paper using Outdoor Mod Podge. I knew that the squares were different sizes and wouldn’t perfectly line up with each other, so I decided to follow my intuition on where to place each square, and leave the gaps where they naturally form.

I quickly realized I would soon run out of squares. So I spent a week hunting down and cutting out more squares from catalogs and magazines, and I printed some out from websites. Once the table was covered, I applied four thin layers of the Outdoor Mod Podge over everything.

And here it is, the table that went from “crappy” to “colorful” in just… well, three or four weeks.

Here’s a close-up of some of the squares. The table’s still a little lumpy underneath, but I’m hoping that the flurry of color and pattern will camouflage the bumps. And the bumps aren’t so big to cause a beverage glass or something to fall over, so that’s good.

It’s nice to have a crafty-colorful table out on the front porch now, and it also doubles as a cool background for picture-taking. Here’s an excellent example: My talented friend Tess made this adorably cute ceramic juicer! And the decoupage in the background emphasizes its sassy-ness. Way more than if I took a pic of it on my dirty kitchen table.

The Outdoor Mod Podge is sure getting put to the test the past couple of weeks. It’s been raining lots, and so far the table seems waterproof. We’ll see how it holds up throughout the summer!

Though it’s accompanied out there by other cheapy IKEA furniture, so who knows… maybe I’ll have to decoupage these chairs next.

This was a fun project, but now I really wanna make a resin table top. Or get a custom-cut piece of glass to cover up a tabletop. So many project ideas, so pitifully little time.

Gifties: Isa’s Tulip Hat

8 May

I found the perfect spring hat to crochet for my friends’ sass-ily adorable daughter, Isabel: this delightful little Tulip Cap! I used Cotton-Ease yarn so the hat would be light-weight and easy to wash, plus I really like the dark pink color. (Extra thanks to Melanie for providing the perfect yarn!)

Cute! I was worried it would be a bit small, even though, according to the pattern, I made the correct size. I can’t figure out if I’m terrible at making hats, or if the issue’s really with the patterns and not me. 😉

You can’t really see them in this pic, but for some reason, there are holes at the top of this hat. It’d be easy enough to whip-stitch them up (which is what is suggested in the bag version of this pattern), but I decided to keep them. Perhaps the hat having air holes will help keep Isa cooler in the warmer Spring months?

Isa and her mum came by my work to see me and a few other buds, so I was able to present the hat to them in person.

Awww, what a cutie patootie!! (And hooray, the hat fits!)

Isa’s mum also shared this pic of Isa rockin’ her new hat during playtime.

I also heard that the hat made it down to Chile during a recent trip. How cool is it that something I made ended up in another country??

I really like this hat. I think it’s lovely, and it was fun to make. I’d definitely make it a bit bigger if I ever make it again. (I guess I should start making gauge swatches before starting a project, instead of jumping right in…)

Gifties: Spring Hats for Lulu and Rosie

1 May

My cool little nieces like to dress up, so I made them little, brimmed hats for the spring. I followed the Cheri Hat pattern, and I made the flowers by following this Flower pattern. And I used Sugar’n Cream yarn so the hats are light-weight and hold their shape.

This one’s violet, for Lucille Violette (Lulu).

And this one’s rose, for Rose Madeleine (Rosie).

A close-up of one of the flowers.

It’s hard to get the full effect of the hats unless you have a cute little model showing them off. Luckily, Lulu and Rosie’s mum took some pics and shared them with me!

Lulu’s going to be FOUR this summer (can you believe it??). She loves to draw, swim, and play with her friends at school. She also likes to build blocks, do puzzles, and have dance parties with Auntie Chrissy and Uncle Tim. She’s such a sweetheart! Photo (c) Liz Frazier

Rosie’s two and a half years old now! She also loves to draw and color, and she’s got some amazingly smooth dance moves. She’s very giggly and adventurous, and she looks up to her big sis to learn new things. And I hear she never leaves the house without a pair of sunglasses. So cute! Photo (c) Liz Frazier

I really like how the hats and the flowers came out. And I can already tell I’ll be using this flower pattern for future projects, it’s so simple and cool-looking. I hope the little ladies enjoy their hats!

Homestead: Cut-Paper Spring Wreath

24 Apr

Made a spring-time wreath for our front door! I was inspired by this very lovely project: Gorgeous DIY Paper Wreath.

The leaves lay flat because I used glue instead of staples. I’m fine with it (though I really do love the 3-D-ness of the wreath in that link!).

The leaves are made from really pretty paper I found at Paper Source. Some sort of shimmery ink was used to make the patterns on the paper, so there’s a nice play between natural/hand-made-looking paper and pops of shimmery-ness.

The bird design was inspired by an image from one of my fave stock image sites. I used scraps of paper that I happened to have left over from other projects. The copper paper is shimmery, which echoes the shimmery-ness of the rest of the wreath.

I used a lighter-weight cardboard instead of the usual bookboard, since it’s easier to cut in to a circle. But this means that the wreath started to bow pretty soon after hanging it on the door. 😦 Maybe next year I’ll try to fix it by adding heavier-weight cardboard to the back.

You can’t really tell, but I used a semi-sheer, shimmery, copper-y ribbon to tie it to the door.

Unlike the Vintage Valentines wreath, this did not get a complement by the mailman. Ah well! It makes me happy to see it whenever I come home, so that’s what counts!