Octo-Boxers, Tentacles and Stitching from here

The Octo-Boxers are done.  I repeat, the Octo-Boxers are done!

(This is my headline, à la the Simpsons spinning headline “The Lincoln Squirrel Has Been Assasinated!”

I’ve never taken so long to complete a fairly simple project. A testament to the challenges of this Spring and Summer.

I hope that my friend likes them. They were stitched with a lot of love and appreciation for all of the support and kindness he has given me during a time of unbelievable change in my life. That kind of friendship is rare. This is the kind of friend for whom you make handmade gifts. That you put in the time and stitch in the love.

Fingering the crazy crotch tentacle

My friend is considerably larger than me and these will fit him differently, but here I am modeling the Octo-Boxers after nipping them in with clips.  (Forgive the horrible beige background…this is the horror that is my sublet apartment.)

The final, happy crotch tentacle

They make me smile, crazy things. I’ve decided that embroidered boxers are great stitched gifts for you male friends or boyfriends. Boxers and dishcloths, because every man seems to cook these days! Whew-hew!

Next up in my life: Finding a more permanent place to live (I’ve been living like a refugee in a sparse summer sublet). Continuing to form deeper connections with people I care about. Continuing to be wide open to the world and possibility and friendship and passion. Full discloser: Over the last several month, I have learned just how warm, open and embracing of life I actually am. And I think it is kind of extreme and one of my unique traits. I’m vulnerable just like anyone else, but I’m unafraid. I won’t be crushed. And this feels amazing!

Looping chain stitch garter belt

Artistically, I will gather up my art and stitching supplies around me. I’ll set up my beautiful Bernina sewing machine in my new home.  I will absorb all of the inspiration I can from my world (last week’s museum visit was a revelation for me; I should be doing that MORE.) And I will sketch and stitch and sew and make my art and crafts. I could not be happier about this.

Writing this post from NYC.  I’m trolling museum and galleries, collecting found text, shopping for art supplies, visiting friends, feeling grateful and just enjoying the city of my birth and how far I’ve come. Musing a little bit about what comes next. But also, living in the moment.

Octo-Boxers, I love you! I release you and your eight tentacles back into the ocean. Be free and be happy! 

The Final, Happy Tentacle

Decided to go all in with the Octo-Boxers. Embracing all that is the playful, racy and inappropriate about embroidering a pair of boxer shorts for a man. Stitching this final, curving, thick, huge tentacle on the fly of the boxers.

Could this happy tentacle suggest something phallic in its tentaclehood? What a question!

My stitching and creating continue at the pace of a geological epoch. Intend to finish the Octo-Boxers before the end of Cenozoic Era. I remain hopeful this is possible!

To that end… back to stitching.

Felt Popsicle Plush Toys and Octo-Boxers, Oh my!

Surprisingly fun times on Saturday with Juline at the Maker Faire NC in Raleigh! Must admit, I haven’t been in a “making for sale” mode for a very long time, but I went to support Juline and OJ Designs. Juline sold her beautiful, spiral felt earrings and necklaces and her embroidered felt hair clips (both available on etsy.) Lucky me, she even made me a pair of felt drop earrings!
Spiral felt necklace, by Juline, OJ Designs
Maker Faire is a hands on event, not just a craft sale, so OJ Designs had a very popular button making table and, freakishly exciting for me, I got to teach kids how to make my simple Felt Popsicles Plushies! This was amazing!! The design is insanely basic, but walking kids (as young as 4) through the process of cutting, gluing, stitching, stuffing and assembling a smiling, google-eyed popsicle plushie was oddly energizing! (I’m not a kid person, I admit.)
They showed such focus, such determination! And they held needles and STITCHED with their chubby little fingers! I was teaching STITCHING! They’d look up at me, not believing they could do it, could stitch ALL THE WAY AROUND the edge. I untangled many a string. They stuffed their little plush toys with "cotton candy you can't eat." But in the end, they smiled with insane glee when they held up the little, smiling popsicle friend that they’d just created with their own two hands! SHAZAM! How inspiring and fun it was to walk them through that.
One little girl was very proud to say that she was taking sewing classes and had a sewing machine. Most of them had stitched before, but a few hadn’t. The six-year-old little girl who was with her parents all day at the booth behind ours held her popsicle all day. I even saw her kissing it late in the afternoon, as her eyes got heavy with sleep. How sweet and amazing is that?!
So, hell yeah, that was a surprisingly fun day. Who knew that I’d like teaching kids to make something so much? That I would find it inspiring? Not me, that’s for damn sure. I know that crafting with kids a a huge part of the crafting community, but for me... I’m an artist, not a teacher. I swear and make inappropriate comments, not suited for children (but I didn't yesterday!) Life is so freaking surprising and odd.
Making weirdly slow progress on the Octo-Boxers (I’m digging this new name for the boxers coined by a clever new person I've met online, but not yet in person.) But I’m still enjoying making them for my friend in Brooklyn. Just have to decide how inappropriately wacky I want them to be.
Other than that, just slowly, haltingly, trying to make it through each day, connect with friends, new and old, and embrace the moment. Stitch the moment. THANK YOU to everyone who has been so kind and supportive of me, both online and in 3D, as I stumble through this tumultuous time of change and uncertainty in my life. 

People are freaking awesome. Most of the time. Gaw.

Maker Faires are held all over the US, so check them out because there is likely one in your area.  It is a super cool event that describes itself as a celebration of  “Makers, Crafters, Inventors, Evil Geniuses, Scientists and Artists.” There were crafters AND robot fighting and hacking clubs (I didn’t know such things existed!) and all kinds of ways to get your geek on.