I know, I know. It’s been awhile since I’ve posted, but I’ve been busy! (Excuses, excuses.) After Gen Con I started a brand new, amazing job right away, and then Lucas and I just moved closer to my work last weekend. Between the new job (which used to have a long daily commute), continuing to create huge amounts of soap to fulfill customer orders, and our recent move, I’ve not had as much time to create other things or update. Now that we’re finally settled, I’m excited about how inspired I am to get crafty again to create new works of art to decorate our new home.
I LOVE the fact that all of the art on our walls are original prints and artwork by friends and geeky artists, or something I’ve painted myself. My latest creations are acrylic paintings of my favorite animated couple in one of my favorite TV shows of all time, The Venture Brothers. Introducing… The Monarch and Dr. Mrs. The Monarch! (Note: I have yet to do the solid magenta backgrounds on these that I’m planning, so stay tuned to see them 100% completed and on the wall in our office in a future post!)
I based my paintings on images I found online of the pair, which came from screen captures taken from the show. You can see the images I used on the floor in front of each painting in the first photo. The Dr. Mrs. The Monarch was originally going to be done à la Dr. Girlfriend, but as I worked on her I decided to modify the design to transform her into the Queen Butterfly instead. It seemed fitting; the paintings will soon be hanging above Lucas and I’s matching computer desks next to each other in the new office, and the color scheme of the two together will be more consistent.
It’s been awhile since I’ve painted; I was so tickled with how well these turned out that I may just have to do a few other pieces for the new place. Besides painting, I’m also excited about some digital art I created for our guest bathroom, which I am using to display some geeky-themed soap of mine and @KyleeLane‘s. I envisioned this Andy Warhol-esque design of my Game Cartridge soap and Kylee’s NES Controller soap. I wanted the colors used to match the four colors of the shower curtain and accompanying accessories to tie everything together between the curtain, the walls, and the soap on display. These will be printed at 12″ x 12″ and I created them in Photoshop using photographs I took of our soap. Not bad, hey? I can’t wait to see them up!
In digital scrapbooking news, I’ve even found time to FINALLY update our Family Life 2010 digital scrapbook. Even though it’s been months since I’ve updated, My Memories Suite is always so user friendly and fun that I found myself getting back into the zone and creating new pages quickly to share some of the things that has happened in my family’s life this year. And wow, has 2010 been our year! It’s only September, and already the Family Life 2010 album looks to be on course to surpass last year’s album in length. Which makes sense since there has just been so much good stuff in 2010 and so much that we want to share and remember. :)
So while soap orders still keep pouring in and there are some exciting things for GEEKSOAP on the horizon (Like being approached for an upcoming feature on an NBC TV segment!), I’ve managed to find time to revisit some of my other crafty passions like painting and scrapbooking, too, and I’m loving this inspirational and creative energy flowing through me right now. And now that it’s fall, I’ve got people wanting to purchase my Cthulhu toques again, so I’ve been craving a little knit and crochet time. I’ve got the toques AND some new Cthulhu accessories coming very soon to their own storefront; look for that in the near future! (Like next week.)
So much good stuff going on in my life right now, it’s hard not to be ecstatic and want to shout it from the rooftops. I am truly blessed with an amazing husband and some amazing friends, family, and customers who just really inspire me with their love and support to keep on creating in all facets of my life. Thank you. I hope you’ll like what you see coming from me in the near future! <3
I already wrote and posted this up over on G33Kmade.com, but I thought I’d also share the post here as well, as a way to wrap up how Gen Con went for me :)
Wow. Just… wow. Gen Con Indy was amazing! Thank you SO much to all of the fabulous people that stopped by our booth and supported handmade geek at the best four days in gaming!
Firstly, we have SO MUCH LOVE for all of the independent geek artists that made up G33Kmade’s booth. Though Kylee and I were there as the face promoting our cause, G33Kmade was more than just soap; we had amazing prints by GEEKLEETIST, fantastically detailed nerd pillows by Victoria the Germ, and epic dice bags designed by Lyndsay of Dragon Chow. And not only that, we also represented other featured G33Kmade artists and friends such as GeekyCookies, UberDork Cafe, and Ruth of CthulhuChick, whose plush Cthulhu was our booth mascot. We were givin’ out super sweet geeky buttons made by Wendy of GeekyBoutiquey left and right, and tried to ensure our mission of spreading the love between everyone that made G33Kmade’s booth a success to anyone that would listen. And boy, did we have a lot of listeners!
Wil Wheaton came by the G33Kmade booth on Saturday and picked out a Dragon Chow dice bag as part of his mission to collect as many dice as possible at Gen Con. Getting a Dragon Chow dice bag was part of another spread-the-love geeky mission initiated by @cmdrsue via Twitter. It’s the kind of thing that makes you feel weak in the knees and love what you do that much more: seeing so many people come together under one banner for one awesome purpose… to support each other’s handmade geek. It’s the foundation that G33Kmade was built upon. Share. Support. Promote. Love. Geek. Wil picked up some of our soap sculptures of awesome offerings and chose a dice bag. When he realized what G33Kmade was and what we were all about, he told Kylee and I how PROUD he was of us. Of what we had started with G33Kmade. Of promoting independent geek artists and all of us working together. The fact that so many of you were on board doing this together. He compared it to how he got started and all of the people he’s worked with, and just kept repeating how proud he was. It was surreal. And awesome.
Who would’ve thought? Independent artists working together. G33Kmade is not just two people. It’s one giant geeky dogpile of epic proportions and each and every person supporting us – whether from the sidelines or as a featured artist – is an important part of that pile. It really was amazing to see how well received the whole concept was. People loved hearing stories about the artists of G33Kmade as they browsed geeky wares from all over North America. They were surprised to see Kylee and I selling soap side-by-side and promoting and cheering each other on instead of competing. But that’s what it’s all about, and the warm fuzzy feelings I got from being able to work with so many thoughtful, giving geeks had me glowing all weekend. I am proud to be a crafty geek.
The famously clean superheroine you all know as @DeodorantDame even came by so we could help aid her in her quest for cleanliness at cons everywhere! Equipped with her deodorant spray and a D20 Soap on a Rope, she was unstoppable. United we stand for a meaningful cause!
So enough gushing already, right? BRING ON THE PICTURES! For your viewing pleasure… (There are multiple pages, so don’t forget to click the Next links!)
THANK YOU to every single person who has supported G33Kmade. Handmade FTW!
As you can imagine, it’s been busy ever since Gen Con around here. On a personal note, I got a job offer for a school district on the north side of town about 10 minutes before our Gen Con booth opened, and started said job at 7:30am the Monday morning after Gen Con. The good news is that the job is amazing; I love it! The bad news is that it’s an hour commute for now, so not only am I juggling a successful small business in what little spare time I have, I also have a new full time job AND we’re planning to move in a few weeks to be closer to work. As if I needed more things on my plate, Lucas and I are going with a bunch of friends down to Atlanta, GA next weekend to attend Dragon Con, too. Should be a really fun time!
In crafting news, expect a few new little things coming to GEEKSOAP soon, and my Cthulhu Toque should be back in stock both on Etsy and over on geeksoap.net in the next few weeks as we get closer to fall and hat season. I’m also planning a slight redesign to my Baththulhu Cthulhu Bath Mitt pattern to create Cthulhu Mittens for this holiday season as well :) Oh, and did I mention that Lucas and I are trying new recipes each week and attempting to stay on top of our family blog, too? Stay tuned! Somehow I’ll accomplish all of this in the midst of a move ;) Take care!
I just wanted to give you a head’s up – GEEKSOAP will be on vacation from June 19 – June 29. Check out the On Vacation page of my store for more information. Basically the store will stay open, just be aware that my house sitter cannot make soap, so I won’t be able to begin work on your order until I return on June 30. :) I will then begin processing orders in the order they were received in my absence, and I promise to get your order out to you ASAP! Thanks for understanding :)
So what’s the vacation for? Well, Lucas and I’s anniversary is coming up on Sunday, and it’s our tradition to stay in a bed and breakfast on the ocean over our anniversary. Last summer we did Nova Scotia and I still daydream of the place we stayed at. I think the sound of the waves crashing up through the open patio door all night is the most relaxing thing ever! This year we’re going to Vancouver, which is a good choice since it means we get to stay on the ocean (we’re actually going out to Victora on Vancouver Island for 2 nights at a bed and breakfast there) and also head inland a little bit to visit friends and family. I’ve not yet been to Vancouver, so I’m excited about exploring after our getaway on the island. We’ll visit Lucas’ uncles and Matt and Laresha (brother and sister-in-law) and then head even further inland to spend some time in Penticton, where Lucas grew up, to visit his parents and some more friends. I can’t wait! I’m working extra hard this week in the GEEKSOAP soap studio to prepare; not only am I working on orders daily, I’m also still prepping for Gen Con in August! Whew!
When I return you can expect some new goodies, too! I’ve got 2-3 new soaps coming PLUS a rumored 3D Dalek soap from Dr. Who…. that won’t be ready immediately when I return, but it’s in the works! ALSO, the awesome Cthulhu bath mitt I designed and crocheted will also be made available. I will be calling it the Baththulhu Cthulhu Bath Mitt, and it’s extra cute! Currently I have a mens and womens’ size as well as being able to make it in a lefty-friendly design. It’s 100% original and made from super soft 100% cotton; perfect for getting clean with my Cthulhu GEEKSOAP! The Baththulhu mitt will be my FOURTH original Cthulhu design since 2009… first it was the Cthulhu toque (and a baby toque that came out last year), then it was my Sock-thulhu Cthulhu plushie in late 2009, then my Cthulhu soap came out in January 2010 and the Baththulhu mitt will be out July 2010! Exciting!
So July will bring some new soap and some new items for GEEKSOAP with the Baththulhu Cthulhu Bath Mitt! I will most likely be having my Cthulhu toques and Sock-thulhu plush added to my product listings at GEEKSOAP in the near future, even though they aren’t soap related… they’re still geek related and complete the set with my awesome, original Cthulhu soap. I want to prepare ahead of time because the Cthulhu toques get popular in the fall and winter months so I need to get started on some stock! I’d also like to take a few to Gen Con if I manage to get the time. Some bath mitts will for sure be going, but I may not have time to make very many toques or Sock-thulhus. (Speaking of which… I need to find a good wholesale supplier of various colored chenille socks… lol)
So that’s the news for where GEEKSOAP is right now, and what you can expect to see from me soon! Now I need to turn your attention to something incredibly awesome… my friend Natali (AKA @UberDorkGirlie) is amazing. She has this dream of a super fantastic geeky cafe that she calls Uber Dork Cafe – a family-friendly place where art and science and geek come together to provide patrons with a completely fantastic cafe experience – and she needs your help! Uber Dork Cafe was granted a pledge page at Kickstarter, where you can help pledge your support to various ideas and creations by all kinds of people and their dreams. Please go check out Uber Dork Cafe and pledge any amount that you can to help Natali fulfill her dream!
That’s it for today – I’ll see you back here after I get home from vacation with an update on the crafts I’ll be taking with me on the plane (Lots of Baththulhus will be made for sure!) and to announce new soap and finally release the bath mitts! Thanks for stopping by *hearts* <3
Whew! It’s been busy around here at The Pink Toque. Firstly, I’m on Spring Break! In case you didn’t realize, teachers get just as excited about breaks as their students do. I’m really enjoying the time off because it means I can focus on getting ready for the Bloomington Handmade Market coming up a week from today. One full week to prep soap and all of the accessories and extras I need to have at the table setup. Like a sign, which I plan to hand paint this weekend. And more business cards. And more soap wrapper tags…
You’d think that I’d be most busy preparing stock for the show instead of re-designing some of the old soap styles, but nooooo…. I’ve been too busy re-doing some of the previous designs AND adding a bit to them to round out the GEEKSOAP geeky soap line. Most notably adding an Alliance version to the Warcraft GEEKSOAP series. And let me tell you… making the Alliance geek soap was a pain in the you-know-what… just like the Alliance are in-game. Heh heh heh :) (I crack myself up.) So feast your eyes upon the re-designs here… instead of colored soap with a black silhouette I’ve reoworked them to be clear like the majority of the GEEKSOAP line with colored, hand carved and cut images inside. I like it better this way and am really happy with how the re-designs turned out. And ooooooh that Cthulhu re-design was my absolute favorite! Cthulhu, as some of you remember, was the first GEEKSOAP in the series that inspired more… and the old design was great, but with the new “angrier eyebrows”, the NEW design is even better – don’t you think?
As always, all of my geeky soaps are available in my Etsy Shop! http://www.geeksoap.net !
Besides getting ready for the BHM next week, I’m also prepping for the Handmade Promenade on April 17, (Check out Handmade Promenade’s GEEKSOAP feature!!) and GenCon Indy from August 5 – 8. WOW! More about those upcoming shows in a later post. And before I go… quick shout out to some other geeky crafty soapmaking ladies I’ve met this past week… GeekyClean and KyleeLane! xoxo
It was only a matter of time before my crochet Cthulhu toques spawned pint-sized versions for children. Due to many requests, I finally sat down and put together the youth version of my pattern. I’m now selling child-sized Cthulhu toques in my shop AND am offering the youth pattern included in the same PDF as my original adult sized version… at no additional cost for the pattern! Now my Cthulhu toque pattern is like having 2 patterns in 1! You can either buy the pattern, which includes adult and child instructions OR you can purchase adult or child-sized Cthulhu toques already handmade by me at The Pink Toque Shop. Just in time for the holidays!
The new youth sizes includes instructions for creating a newborn, toddler, and child sized version of the Cthulhu toque. Now you and the child or children in your life can be in matching style together! The model in my picture is my brand new 2 week old nephew, and he’s sporting the toddler version, which is why it’s a bit big. But aren’t they both adorable?! As I said, I’m selling the child-sized toques individually in my shop, so if you love the Cthulhu toques but don’t have the crochet know-how, I can make one for you :)
As of the time of this writing, I’ve sent out a mass email to everyone who has purchased the Cthulhu toque pattern from me in the past via Etsy or Artfire and sent them a complimentary copy of the youth sized pattern update. Going forward, new purchases of the pattern from Etsy or Artfire will receive the updated PDF that includes both adult and youth pattern instructions. I also uploaded the new PDF to Ravelry and sent out a mass message to those who had purchased it via Ravelry to get them the new copy. If I somehow missed you, please contact me immediately with your name and email so I can ensure you get the updated version!
Adding youth sizing to my pattern is not the only update that I’ve made to my most recent version; I also updated the pattern to include tips and blocking instructions specific to the design to help you get the most out of the pattern and get it to look just right.
Want to buy the new and improved Cthulhu toque crochet pattern? Check it out in my Etsy shop! Want to buy pre-made Cthulhu toques already crocheted by me for yourself or a loved one? Get thee to the shop!
Enjoy! And thanks for your business :) Hope you had a great weekend!
Well… I take that back. Ok, so we did make some no-sugar-added blueberry jam this weekend to complete our jammin’ adventure with 24 jars! 10 jars of peach, 7 jars of grape, and 7 jars of blueberry. That means plenty to send off to family and friends as gifts this season and plenty leftover for me to pair with peanut butter for lunch.
It’s getting chilly out and I can smell Fall again. This normally wouldn’t be so extraordinary except I’ve lived without a true Fall for the past three years. I had almost forgotten my favorite season; Calgary’s summers usually crash landed right into Winter, and I realized this past week that I really missed the season of cooler sweatshirt-and-long-sleeved weather with beautifully changing golden and red leaves everywhere. That little nip in the air along with a fresh hockey and football season has brought back one of my favorite things about Fall; cuddling on the couch watching [insert hockey or football game here] while I knit. I recently have had a lot of Cthulhu Toque orders crop up, and I realized that it’s probably due to the cooler weather rolling in. It’s about time to start thinking about toques and scarves and all of that gets me energized to pull out the yarn and needles (or hooks) and get to work.
Speaking of my Cthulhu Toques, I’ve got plans in the making for a toddler sized (due mostly to the several requests I’ve received) version as well as a few other little surprises. I just hope I can find enough time in the day to make and do all of the little creative plans I’ve got in mind AND get a head start on my Christmas gift knitting. Stay tuned!
Have you noticed the cooler air? Don’t you think your head would be a heckuva lot warmer if you were being snuggled by the tentacles of the mighty Cthulhu?! Of course you do. Be sure to check out my Etsy shop and get your awesome Cthulhu Toque before the weather gets too cold! Are you a crocheter? You can also just purchase the pattern…
So we’re finally settled (mostly) back home in Indiana. The move from Calgary, AB Canada to Indiana was a long one, but well worth the drive. It was quite an adventure with Lucas and the two boys — three long days of long hours in the car. You’d think anyone would go crazy being cooped up in a vehicle for such a duration, but I tackled my very first sweater on the trip and completed a set of baby mittens, too!
My future nephew is due in October, so I’ve been on a bit of a baby knitting kick lately. I’ve made bibs, spit up rags, toques, and now mittens and a baby sweater. The mittens were super simple and super quick and I love the result. A friend of ours suggested that they were mittens for Vulcans based on the way I posed with them, haha. Live long and prosper… warmly! The mitten pattern I chose was [Ravelry link] this one, “Baby Mittens” by Sassystitches.
The baby sweater was the big project that took most of my time on the trip. I chose the very simple 5 Hour Baby Boy Sweater by Jesse’s Branch Charity Crafts. [Ravelry link]. I love the great little garter ridges on the yoke area and the matching garter trim on the jacket body and sleeves. I’ve never knitted a sweater before, so it was probably a good thing that I chose a baby-sized sweater to familiarize myself with the process. I knit starting with the yoke and went back and forth, increasing in a regular pattern, doing the cute little garter ridges until it was time for the sleeves. It got a bit complicated for me at this point because I had a lot of separating to do. Thank goodness for having a full interchangeable Knit Picks set, because I used extra short lengths of cables to hold stitches while I worked the sleeves. I think I would’ve rather knitted the sleeves in the round via magic loop now that I’ve gone through this pattern once, but I was worried about trying to modify an unfamiliar pattern on my first try. I should also admit that the “5 hour” of the 5 Hour Baby Boy Sweater actually took me more like 12 hours, but I chalk that up to my inexperience in knitting sweaters and the fact I was trying to spread the project out over a long car ride and taking my time. And, well, I’m also a pretty slow knitter! I blocked the sweater after we arrived and I think after adding the little car button as a finishing touch, that it turned out really well.
Speaking of little car buttons, I picked up a small pack of them and used them on my Modern Cabled Baby Bibs, too. Don’t the buttons add an adorable little boyish charm?
I recently had a few more people purchase my Crochet Cthulhu Toques so I barely had time to get settled in Indiana before I was busy crocheting away to complete the orders. While I’m job searching, it sure felt good to have orders to fill! Cross your fingers that something comes along soon… I’m starting to get antsy! :)
That’s right, my Cthulhu Toque pattern is FOR SALE! :D It’s available for the low price of just $3.00 now, so if you’ve been wanting to make one of your very own, now is the time. I promise it’s easy, even for a beginner, and you’ll love the super cute results.
Where Can I Buy the Pattern?
You can purchase from whichever site is easiest and most convenient for you :) You’ll love the way Cthulhu looks innocently over the top of your head as he noms on you. I cannot be held responsible for any problems resulting from your new abundance of coolness and popularity once you go strolling down the block wearing one of these on your head. Note: If you purchase from Ravelry you will be able to instantly download the PDF pattern from the site after purchase; If you purchase from the Pink Toque Shop, you will receive your PDF pattern via email within 24 hours of purchase via email.
All the Details
* 1 skein of worsted weight or sport-weight wool or acrylic, green
* Size I or H hook (or size to obtain gauge. Size I for sport-weight, H for worsted)
* Safety eyes, buttons, felt or black embroidery floss for eyes
* Darning needle
* Stitch marker
Approximately 4 single crochet stitches = 1″ in worsted weight.
Stitches and Terms Used
* chain (ch)
* single crochet (sc)
* double crochet (dc)
* slip stitch (sl st)
* half double crochet (hdc)
See how easy it can be to sport your very own crochet Cthulhu toque? But Lesley, I don’t know how to crochet! Well that’s easy – you can also purchase a completed toque, already handmade by yours truly in case you don’t have the skills to make one for yourself.Â It’s never been easier to get your hands on a one-of-a-kind creation that will make you the talk of the neighborhood. For serious.
I have another pattern I’d like to complete and release sometime next week, but until then enjoy your Cthulhu toques and thanks for your business :) Have a great weekend! Updates coming soon on Lucas and I’s Father’s Day sock projects…
I had an order for one of my Cthulhu crochet toques to fill this week and whipped up a new one to ship off yesterday. I’m really proud of how well it turned out, and especially how well the pictures turned out. So another shameless plug… check out the cute new pics:
So my original Cthulhu crochet toque design I made up at the end of last month is now for sale! It’s up in my shop AND Ravelry for purchase and download. How exciting is that? My first pattern for sale. If you purchase at The Pink Toque Shop, I’ll be emailing out the PDF pattern within 24 hours of receipt of purchase. If you purchase on Ravelry, you’ll be able to purchase and instantly download.
I’m a little sad to admit that my KnitPicks order of sock-sized DPNs and a suitable 40″ circ for magic loop sock knitting still hasn’t arrived, though it’s not any fault of KnitPicks… it’s just sitting with the Canadian Postal System! UGH! To keep me from stalking the Canada Post website to see some change or update on where my order is now that it’s crossed the border, I pulled out two great sock knitting books my mom
bought me for Christmas last year — Getting Started Knitting Socks and I Can’t Believe I’m Knitting Socks. Together the books are amazing, as the Getting Started book goes into lots of details about the “how” and “why” in construction of socks, and then I Can’t Believe I’m Knitting Socks shows the basics using every kind of sock knitting method out there: knitting on DPNs, magic loop with one circular, knitting with 2 circs, etc. They were really handy visuals. Friday evening (After I freecycled a large box of yarn in the basement that I wasn’t using to a kind woman who will be using it with senior citizens), Lucas and I sat down to watch a movie and I followed the books line by line and came up with my first official sock! I just used my size US8 DPNs and sport-weight yarn and didn’t worry about gauge since I just wanted to practice constructing the various parts of a sock’s anatomy. It worked! I did it! It really wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be, and I REALLY can’t wait for my KnitPicks order to arrive now!