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Friday, May 26, 2017

Cruz de Milagros

I've been meaning to make a cross covered with milagros for a number of years.
I started with a plain wooden cross from the craft store and painted it a deep yellow in the recess and purple elsewhere.  I then glued milagros all over, and for good measure added little pink plastic flowers (really teeny hair barrettes broken in half) to the corners.
I hung it with the painted cross and portrait of La Virgen de Guadalupe my mom gave to me.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Gabriel Finley and the Raven's Riddle by George Hagen

I bought this for Beadboy2, and he loved it so much I got intrigued.  Gabriel is a seventh grader with missing parents and a mysterious legacy, who soon learns of the significance of ravens both to his family and the world at large. The obvious comparison is to Harry Potter, but that's fairly superficial; this novel is its own story, based in part on Nordic myths and more grounded in the real world (specifically, Brooklyn).  Hagen develops a rather fascinating avian culture -- ravens use riddles to evaluate the world, owls love puns, and so on -- and ties it to a dangerous magical object that must be kept from those who would use it (shades of LOTR, here).  The literate plot is engaging and moves quickly, so much so that I was disappointed when the book ended.  Good thing there's a sequel coming later this year!

The characters, too, are a step above the ones usually found in these sorts of novels.  We are introduced to certain stock characters like the bully, the clueless adult, and the untrustworthy companion, but they don't remain two-dimensional for long.  Hagen gives his young readers credit for understanding that the world isn't always black and white, and the story is better for it.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Friday, May 12, 2017

I Don't Like Walking Around this Old and Empty House

"Little Talks" by of Monsters and Men:

It's been a while since I made an ATC about song lyrics.  Although this looks similar to the house I made for Where'd You Go, Bernadette, the idea has been floating around in my brain for a few years.

The first step was laying a piece of background fabric onto super thick, stiff interfacing, and sketching out a house shape with the sewing machine:

I then appliqued little scraps of fabric to make the wallpaper for the different rooms:
which I then trimmed close to the stitching:
Next up was the embroidery -- pieces of furniture, decor items, stick-figure ghosts, and, of course, the famale narrator of the song.  I trimmed the result to 2.5 by 3.5 inches, backed it with felt, and zig-zagged twice around the perimeter.

I'd forgotten how much fun these are, and I should start doing more.