Saturday, December 12, 2009

Not One of Our Projects

Oh. My. God!

Sometimes I believe that I can be more creative than the average schmo, but there are times when someone else's creativity indisputably is the winner. I have spent many-a-night—before the sleeping pills take effect—thinking of creative uses for the Big Bad Barudan. This never entered my mind.

It is exactly what it looks like it is. Not in a million sleep-induced nights would I have even thought of doing this. It's pretty cool, tho' I would have had it say, “I like corn dogs” or “I love bacon”. I mean, is there anything quite as great as toilet paper? (well, bacon, but I could probably still survive without [shudder] bacon.)

This lovely creation comes from FlatOutFun's Etsy shop out of Astoria, Oregon. They'll embroider just about anything you like on a roll of the finest fluffy stuff just for you. Okay, I will to, but they have the logistics of the project already figured out so I defer to them…

FlatOutFun's Etsy Shop

They specialize in "fun" T.P. gag gifts like a roll for that special someone on that “1st (paper) anniversay”, or if you don't want to wait a whole year they have “Bride” and “Groom” T.P. roll sets. Other items of note are the “Emergency Roll”, imported “Lé Toilet PaPer Wee Wee”, and the always popular, always funny “Wipe Out”.

Check out FlatOutFun for embroidered T.P., but check with me if you need anything else embroidered. Remember, I do that too.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Trimmin' Mah Beaver…and Other Stuff

Isn't He Cute?
Well, what did you think I was talking about?
This is one of our newest “test stitchouts” There are no green polka dot fabric shirts anywhere around here…but the remnant was cheap and I just needed to run the file. I also didn't have the right colors of fabric or thread but this is close enough. Hey, I could have done him in pig-hog pink or all grey.

This is our most ambitions appliqué project to date. Lots of pieces to place, tack down, and trim. I have a nice special set of sharp scissors to get all the details. It doesn't look like much right now.

Now all the fabric pieces are in place. The beauty of appliqué work is that a shape of colored fabric can be put down in lieu of thousands of stitches as a background. We figured out how to do this fairly fast.

As you can see the stitching adds detail and dimension to the appliqué pieces. This went well until quitting time last night where the particular color needle I was using kept detecting “false thread breaks”. That's how I knew to quit for the night. I don't troubleshoot really well close to midnight.

The following morning I found the take up spring for that needle to be completely…er…sprung. They get fatigued after a while and need to be replaced. I didn't want to replace it just then. I just pulled that color thread to the next needle and continued with the stitching. I wonder how long I can procrastinate on replacing that spring. I guess that depends on the next design.

Then there's the cursed design from the other day. On the red and black color-blocked shirt. It looks okay, but I really, really wanted the teeth stitched and not appliquéd. Rather than have the horns, beard, and eye flames the same contrasting color, I decided to do the horns and beard in red and the flames in the eyes as orange. We'll come up with something else to complete this shirt back.

For example, “something else” could mean the “Ride Like the Devil” tagline above or below, and perhaps some nice tribal-ish swirls like on this white size 5X shirt. This white shirt is finally finished. I thought it was finished before the swirls. The swirls were very scary to line up and have meet in the center. I let out a “WOOO!” and did a happy dance when the two designs “kissed” in the center. I had no way of knowing if they would or not, I only had measurements…and those don't always work.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Dreaded Triple-M and Grocery Hell

I have been preparing for the dreaded triple-M this upcoming Monday Morning's Mammogram thusly:

Many women are afraid of their first mammogram, but there's no need to worry. By taking a few minutes each day for a week preceding the exam, and doing the following practice exercises, you will be totally prepared. And you can do this right in your own home!

Exercise 1:
Open your refrigerator door and insert one breast between the door and the main box. Have one of your strongest friends slam the door shut and lean on the door for good measure. Hold that position for five seconds (while you hold your breath). Repeat again, in case the first time wasn't effective enough.

Exercise 2:
Visit your garage at 3 am when the temperature of the cement floor is just perfect. Take off your clothes and lie comfortably on the floor with one breast wedged under the rear tire of the car. Ask a friend to slowly back the car up until your breast is sufficiently flattened and chilled. Turn over and repeat for the other breast.

Exercise 3:
Freeze two metal bookends overnight. Strip to the waist. Invite a stranger into the room. Press the bookends against one of your breasts. Smash the bookends together as hard as you can.

Set an appointment with the stranger to meet next year and do it again!!

In other news...

I have got to start going to the grocery store by myself!

Chips, drinks, snacks, sleeping pills (on sale), five pieces of fruit, and a frozen lasagna—$114 and change.

The big question about four hours later will be, "So…what are we doing for dinner?".

I don't plan menus. I don't even like going to that particular grocery store where the produce is so very fresh and crisp because they keep the entire store at the temperature of a gigantic walk-in refrigerator. This does not work for me as all of my meal planning is done wandering the grocery store aisles. It's hard to concentrate when my extremities are going numb! And the second reason, shopping with Big Al. I wander the aisles gathering ingredients and he takes off with the cart to go find whatever snack food he's looking for. I'm generally juggling bags, boxes, and cans, searching every aisle looking for his cart-pushing ass. And usually he is in line before I even get finished.

Yes, I really need to suck it up, get in the car, and go find a (different) grocery store all by myself. And maybe I should take a list too.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Fat Boys, Hogs, and the Devil

In the "to be continued…" department, the FAT BOY shirts have been enhanced. The pig-bulldog has been reworked to look more like a pig-hog and has been added underneath the Ride a (real) FAT BOY. We have pinky-fleshy shades so I didn't have to use grey again. That WAS just a test, after all.
Notice, if you can, the earring. We were able to do this in shiny gold metallic thread…mmm, so shiny and sparkly!

The front of the shirt has a left-front above pocket hit that says HOG using the pig-hog eyes and nose from the back design. I really didn't want a Harley logo there.

Besides, the HOG is way more fun!

The final touch is a hit above the left front hem with the "big ass dude" logo. No, the photo is not upside down, I had to stitch it upside down because of how the shirt had to be placed in the hoop. That's a lot of stitch work for just one shirt, but that's our goal. We want to make really cool stitched, not screen-printed shirts with some fun built in!

I'm working on these shirts and all I can think about is going for BBQ!

Today's project has been completely cursed…and curse I did! There was a slight redesign for the devil-skull to make it slightly larger as the new frame would accommodate it. Lining shirts up on the new frame is much easier than using a traditional hoop. The shirt lays flat on the tabletop and then is clipped in on four sides. If I have placement measurements they are much easier to line up because I don't have to worry about the fabric shifting as I'm down on "all fours" pressing the hoop with both hands and both knees.

The center of the devil-skull design turned out to not exactly be the center of the shirt. This really matters as it is a panel shirt with a red back panel, black sides and red front panels. If I'm off on either the right or left, it's going to show so accuracy here is a must. As usual the devil-skull design was as big as possible and there is a very limited area it will fit into. If I'm off to the left or right the machine will just beep at me anyway.

It was going along pretty well, I had everything programmed correctly, the appliqué was easy to cut out, and everything was going beautifully—then there was a strange noise. I looked over and it was still sewing, no problem, I let it go. A couple minutes later I wandered over and yelled, "What the f*ck?!" then put another quarter in the swear jar. The right devil-skull horn was stitched up and to the right of where it should have been. Then I remembered the noise and that the machine had hit a limit, skipped, and the pantograph was thrown out of alignment. I wondered what it could have hit. I hadn't left my magnifying glass on the table to be trapped again. Then I found the bottom of the shirtwound up in the gears of the right-hand side of the machine. After making another deposit to the swear jar, I pulled and tugged trying the whole time to not rip the shirt. I freed the shirt, eventually no holes or tears, but a little bit of grease.

Then it took me, an ultra-sharp pair of scissors, a pair of tweezers, and a magnifying glass to unpick the stitches that were out of place. Yay me! Then I had to find "center" again. Since the machine had skipped forward a few gears I had to run the pantograph to the right a few times to "knock it back into place". Then I had to find the center of the design, realign the needle, etc. This takes some time!

Next, I was running the machine along and something just didn't seem right. Why were the teeth being outlined when I hadn't placed the applique yet? This was odd to me yet BigAl said, "Trust Me". I still thought something was wrong. Maybe one of the kernels of popcorn he was eating got lodged in his brain. But it finished out. I thought he was going to make the devil-skull teeth a stitched background rather than appliqué. He didn't. He added more top-stitching…ugh!

Need to make appropriate corrections to this project tomorrow. Yes, tomorrow.

Something else happened but I can't remember what it was.