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A Picture is Worth a Thousand Stitches

Thursday, June 14th, 2012
By Twistie

Have you ever wanted to take a family photo and turn it into a cross stitch pattern? Well, it turns out you can do just that for free online at

Just upload a photo from whatever source you have, and the site will convert it into a cross stitch chart, complete with suggestions about what colors of DMC thread will look best.

Of course there are limits on how big the picture can be and how many colors are involved, because, well, this is a free program and it’s got limits like all free online programs. Still, they do suggest in the FAQ that you can send in a bigger, or more elaborate photo and request a custom job.

Anyway, the pattern stays available for about an hour online, during which time you can download it and print it off. There is, however, a gallery of patterns put up (with the originator’s permission) and available for download to anyone. I was particularly amused by the cross stitch pattern of some random knitting… and the zombie Hello Kitty, of course.

But wait! There’s more! The good folks at Regretsy saw this one and couldn’t help themselves. Helen Killer asked readers to create patterns and send her the images. She would then pick her favorite and have the reader make it, or send money to commission someone else to do the stitching and display the results on Regretsy.

Of course the readers have already sent in a plethora or possibly several myriads of demented, twisted, bizarre, or otherwise potentially scandalous ideas and Killer has opened up the floodgates to a reader’s poll to determine the winner. When last I looked, Carol Channing shouting ‘raspberries!’ was in the lead, closely followed by the Captain Picard facepalm. I voted for Spock and Jesus. Then again, readers are invited to vote early, vote often, and vote whimsically.

Warning: some of the images are astonishingly unsafe for work. Visit the poll from your desk (or anywhere else, for that matter) entirely at your own risk and don’t say I didn’t warn you. Just keep in mind that scatological humor runs rampant at Regretsy.

Help a Fellow Crafter Win Her Dream Dress

Friday, February 17th, 2012
By Twistie

This is Ami Amour, for those of you not familiar with her blog devoted to all things amigurami. She’s getting married in june (best of luck and all happiness, Ami!) and has a dream of a fabulous wedding gown. In fact, she’s entered a contest to win said fabulous gown by Enzoani. The contest is being held by the design house and in order to win, Ami will need to get the most ‘likes’ on the Enzoani Facebook page for her video explaining why she feels she should win the gown.

It’s a mermaid gown with a detachable strap and… well, it’s the dress on the amigurumi in her hands, there. In fact, that doll is how she expresses her desire for the gown in her entry video. It’s entirely hand crocheted by Ami except for the lace ruffle at the bottom of the skirt.

So go to Facebook. Like Ami’s video. It’s the seventh one. She’s wearing a blue shirt and holding the doll. Right now, she’s in fourth place, but we have until Feb. 27 to change that.

What say you? Shall we help a crafty lady win her dream dress?

And the Winner Is…

Monday, July 4th, 2011
By Twistie

… Julia!

I got some lovely entries for this contest, and believe me each and every one is well worth some serious public kudos. However, for sheer scope, range of technique, and ultimate impact I had to go with Julia’s amazing Harvard departmental thesis project.

The project is a 10′ x 15′ tapestry depicting scenes from various fairy tales, myths, and folk legends that include fiber arts. From Rumplestiltskin and Sleeping Beauty to Penelope weaving all day and unraveling her work all night to fend off suitors until her husband’s return, it’s all there.

Techniques used include: felting, printing, embroidery, painting and knitting, as well as others not enumerated in Julia’s email.

This is her illustration from one of my favorite Russian tales, The Six Swans.

The whole project took nearly a year to complete and almost a thousand dollars worth of materials. Now that’s dedication!

It was all worth it in the end, though, not only because I love the way it came out, and couldn’t be happier with the finished project, but also because, as a result of my project, my department has changed the requirements for graduation – instead of a long written academic paper, now all future concentrators will have the option of making a creative capstone project to fulfill the guidelines. I’m so pleased that my project could serve not only to demonstrate the work that I’ve personally done creatively, but to allow other students the option of exercising their creative muscles when planning their theses.

Julia, I couldn’t agree more!

Please contact me ASAP with your mailing address, and your prize:

will be wending its way to you quickly.

Congratulations, Julia! And thanks to everyone who entered the contest. Your work will be showing up randomly during the month of July for readers to ooh and aah over. You all had amazing work to share!

A Quick Reminder….

Sunday, July 3rd, 2011
By Twistie

… that the deadline for the Crafty Manolo contest is 6pm PDT today.

So if you’d like to enter your handiwork in said contest, get your photos and stories to me ASAP!

That is all. You may return to your regularly scheduled crafting.

Happiness is a Bubbly Gun?

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011
By Twistie

So. These guns? Are actually handmade soaps. Pomegranate and vanilla, no less. They also come in Tangerine and lychee, or Tattoo Aftercare. They run $3.15 apiece from the creators at SouthSideSoaps of Montreal via Etsy.

I love the scents chosen… but I have to say I don’t think I’d deal well with facing a gun at my own sink in the morning when I go in to do my daily ablutions. Maybe I’ll stick with the tea tree ones. I’m not as excited about the scent, but I gotta say waking up in the morning to dinosaur heads sounds a lot more like my cuppa… well… tea tree, apparently.


PS: Don’t forget the Crafty Manolo Contest in progress now! I’ve gotten some really great entries… but you’ve still got time. Just get your entry to me by sunday, July 3 at 6pm PDT. Remember, even if you don’t win, you’ll get a chance to have your craftwork featured in a future article right here on Crafty Manolo.

Contest Time!

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011
By Twistie

Friends, it’s time to face one another in a Craft Corner Deathmatch… of sorts.

Nobody will be forced to go up against the Craft Lady of Steel, nor will anyone stand a chance of winning a scrapbooking cruise. Alas. Even more sadly, the lovely Amber will not roll out the materials looking like she just returned from a week-long rave.

Instead of a panel of minor celebrities sitting in judgement, you’ll have… well, me. Instead of a random pile of crap, you’ll have whatever materials and techniques you like to use. Instead of a scrapbooking cruise, the winner will receive a fabulous prize that any crafter in any medium can find a use for.

So what are the details?


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