WIPocalypse July 2014

12 07 2014

Another full moon, another update!

I finally finished all those secret stitches, and I still can’t post them. I was actually panicking because I used a blue wash-out fabric marker to mark the center of all of them, and when I went to wash out the marks, they turned brown!! I was so upset. Before I did anything to even try to rectify the situation, I’m not ashamed to say that I cried for like an hour.

After that, I bought some internet minutes (because I was on the ship, and we have to get internet minutes like phone minutes…it’s expensive-ish), and Googled my fingers off. One website said that rubbing alcohol would take out the marks, but all I had at my disposal was a box of alcohol prep pads. I tried scrubbing the marks with those, and they seemed to work, but barely.

Then I found this quilting website, and that article was about my same problem. She ended up washing her quilt in a vinegar/water mix, and it fixed it. I agonized, because I couldn’t buy vinegar for two days. I just kept staring at the upper bunk in my cabin, where I was keeping the tainted cloths. When I finally got the vinegar, I made about a 1:1 mix with water, and let them soak for about an hour. Worked like a charm!! The white fabric even looked a little whiter! Or maybe I was just so happy the brown was gone…

Conclusion: Stubborn fabric marker marks? Vinegar.

So, topic time…

Topic:  It’s halfway to Christmas.  Do you start your holiday stitching this early?  If so, what do you hope to accomplish this year?

I am not sure where I’ll be fore Chrismakkah this year, and not sure what I’ll be giving everyone. I have started this early in the past, but we’ll see.

I was inspired by the positive feedback from my last theatre-based cross stitch and pattern (mostly pattern), so I tried coming up with a couple more. I finished this one a few days ago:

It’s a visual representation of one of Shakespeare’s most famous (if not the most famous) stage directions: [exit, pursued by a bear]. Out of context it’s a little ridiculous. And did they have an actual bear in the Globe for this? Or just a guy in a costume?

Some of my friends think this is too abstract to be understood. Prove them wrong, theatre geeks!

I also started a rather big project to be going on in the background of all my other project ideas. Think the Triforce of Badassery that I made for Frank, but Harry Potter, and for myself :)



IHSW and Smalls SAL June 2014

23 06 2014

This post will be for two SALs, as the title suggests, because they were more or less one in the same. I used IHSW to work on my Small project. It’s for my friend Ed, a singer here on the Paradise. He said he wanted an “original Rachel” and he loves super heroes. So, I found out his favourite, and came up with this:

Green Lantern

It wasn’t difficult. I have quite a bit of green 22 count that I’m still not sure what to do with. This ended up being small, but perfect for one of my new 3 inch wooden frames :)

I couldn’t get a good shot of it, but I can never resist using glow floss, so this thing glows in the dark, as well. This one was particularly fitting, I thought.

I also have been working on my other series, which only has 1 and 1/2 pieces left! Very excited about that.

WIPocalypse June 2014

13 06 2014

First, let me just say that the last couple of days have been crazy. I can let it out now, because the surprise is done: I took a work break from the ship (which took months of planning and paperwork) so that I could come home for my mother’s wedding. Catch: she had no idea. I was coming up with schemes to be able to Skype during the ceremony and such, all the while knowing I’d be able to come home. So, the wedding is tomorrow, and I just got home this morning after traveling for a little over 24 hours. I stitched a bit in the long layovers and flights :D

So, Wipocalypse.

June 13 – Topic: Have you ever been to a stitch gathering such as a retreat or a festival? If so, tell us about it!

I can’t say that I have. It sounds interesting, though. I’d like to find out if there are any festivals or retreats near me, though timing is against me in most cases, because of the nature of my work. I have entered some of my work in the local fair, though, and that’s pretty humbling. I really can’t believe that I won second place last year.

Anyway, last WIPocalypse post, I mentioned an 8 piece series I’m working on that I can’t post yet. I was only through like 1.5 of them. I’m proud to say that I’ve finished 5 of 8 so far, and took a tiny break to make a few things not part of that project. Though, on the plane I started one more and I’m about half done with that one. Can’t wait till they’re finished!!!

First was a small piece made from love and frustration for the people I work with:

Places is not a suggestion

Next was a piece also based in theatre, and inspired by another’s work:

Theatre Tech

This blog pretty much blew up that day lol

Then I finished a not-so-small, but still pretty easy project for this month’s Sprite Stitch Challenge: use only three colours…


As soon as I’m finished with this one, I’ll go back and work on the 3 pieces I have left for the secret project (as that actually has a deadline…and it’s closing in fast!!), and I have a big project in the queue for right after that, that I’m super excited about.

For Backstage Stitchers

10 06 2014

There was a lot of positive feedback for my last project, and there are more people like me than I thought :)

Theatre Tech

Theatre Tech

So, I figured I’d share the pattern. It’s really simple, honestly. I left all the text in one color, but obviously they can be changed to whatever.


When I stitched it, I used 18 count black aida that I bought on ebay, the white was actually DMC E940 Glow-In-The-Dark, and the black is DMC 310 Black. It’s framed in a 4 inch hoop.


Inspired by the work we love.

7 06 2014

Several weeks ago, I discovered this comic as it was circling around Facebook. It’s now hanging up in our tech office. Anyway, I went through all of the ones posted, and there were several. I got to this one, and loved the tagline. As a theatre technician, or even a choreographer, sometimes no news is good news when it comes to reviews. I found the artist on Facebook liked the page and sent a Facebook message asking if the artist would mind if I cross stitched it. He was really cool, and we ended up having a really nice conversation.

My fiance, a sound technician (as I’ve mentioned before) and I have now added this comic to our weekly reads :)

So here’s my tribute to those words that are oh so true:

Theatre Tech


The white words are actually glow-in-the-dark because I can never resist, and also because (and I totally thought of this before Frank pointed this out…) of flashlights and glow tape to maneuver backstage. The other words are black on black as a commentary of what we do, as theatre techs..or something artsy like that. Not seen or heard, but we’re there, and necessary to the shows running the way they’re supposed to. The black words are the line I borrowed from Q2Q: “If you’ve done your job well enough, no one will care.”

Fittingly, I did most of the stitching for this either backstage during rehearsals (we have a new dancer…so many rehearsals), or at the soundboard during the comedy shows.

Originally, I was going to embroider the words on duvatine, a black, easily rippable fabric mostly used for masking in theatre. Unfortunately, not only am I VERY inexperienced with embroidery, but duvatine is not made to be decorated. The thread sank right into the fabric, and the amount of effort that it would have taken to make it look good was astronomical. So, not wanting to put the fabric to waste, I used it for what it was made for: masking.

Theatre Tech

I also plan to hang it up with tie line, a small rope primarily used in theatres, just to ice the cake a bit.

Again, special thanks to my new friend Steve and his awesome comic! Continue to draw what we’re all feeling :)


Stitches for Backstage

15 05 2014

Despite the name of this blog, I rarely do stitches based on theatre. I would do more, but I’d have to design them myself, and I already have so many patterns in my queue………

HOWEVER! I did come up with this idea a few days ago. This isn’t based on any one incident, but tiny things that have happened several times over all the places I’ve worked (which really isn’t many, when I think about it…even if I break all the ships up into individual venues….)


The reason for this is that, usually, at least one person will still be putting on a bra or pants when I call “PLACES,” which is supposed to be the call for everyone to already be in costume and to come out to their places onstage. Interestingly, since I started this piece a couple days ago, I haven’t had a problem with dancers not having their clothes on in time. Maybe they saw my pattern…

As soon as this dries, this baby is going on the automation panel for all to see.

On the secret series, I’m about 1.6/8 done now :D

WIPocalypse May 2014

14 05 2014

May 14 – Topic: What designs or themes do you really wish you could find? What do you think is missing among stitching designs?

I’m not sure. If I can’t find what I’m looking for, or at least elements of what I want and put them together, or I try to draw out what I want. I did that with the Best Little Whorehouse piece. I looked through some pattern books to find house patterns, and took pieces from some of those houses, and just drew the rest of it. Other than that, I suppose I with there were more theatre-based cross stitches, or at least pixel art so I can stitch it.

Speaking of which, I’m in the middle of a theatre-based cross stitch myself. It’s nearly done, so I’ll put that up in a couple of days. I’m also working on an 8 piece series, and as of this month, I’m done with 1.5 out of 8. :/ I really need to pick up the pace on that.

Smalls SAL April 2014

1 05 2014

I know it’s May 1. I wanted to join this new SAL, and the first post, I’m late! I’ll be better at this when I’m on land…or at lease when I have reliable internet from time to time.

So, this new SAL is called Smalls SAL, and you can find it by clicking this:

Basically, every month, stitch something small…whatever that means to you.

I actually stitched this one way earlier, but I wanted to save it for the Smalls because a) it was small, and took almost no time at all to finish and b) the girl who commissioned it wanted to give it to her boyfriend on their anniversary, April 28, so I wasn’t going to post it till after then anyway. She ended up giving it to him early, and I’m going to assume that it was just so good and she loved it so much that she couldn’t wait :)


Their initials are in the hearts, and I’m not sure how well you can see in this picture, but the frame is ombre, with each row slightly lighter than the last. She wanted red and black, so I didn’t want the effect to be too drastic going into a more pink color.

On another note, I have not been working on my secret stitches as much as I need to/want to…and it’s my own fault. There’s an app that you can download from an iOS browser, and you don’t need to jailbreak your device…and it plays Gameboy, Gameboy Color, and Gameboy Advance games. So, I’ve been playing those…and getting really into Golden Sun and its sequel. I’m almost done, though, so I can start stitching again.

But wait! This happened while trying to help a friend:

I pinched my thumb (twice!) with my Leatherman pliers while trying to fix an aircon vent. It’s a right pain in the…thumb. It doesn’t have too much impact on stitching, though.

I have a couple small things I’d like to start soon, but I want to finish these big ones soon. 1/8 finished only…


IHSW April 2014…

24 04 2014

…Was a huge bust…. Also this is late. Those two things are related.

First of all, my family came to cruise for five days. I was unaware that would wear me out so effectively. In a good way, though. We went to the beach and stuff.

Then we had a new initiative at work called Carnival LIVE ™. I met some of the members of REO Speedwagon. That was awesome. I’ll post more about that over on Backstage Travels.

This week I’m going to try to catch up on sleep and stitching. I hope.

In other news, I have 50 followers on my tumblr, so that’s something.

This piece is legend–wait for it–

17 04 2014


How I Met Your Mother was introduced to me by my roommate at the time. I took little heed at first because I get a lot of people saying things like “OMG you should totally TOTALLY watch Twilight…it’s pretty much the best thing since the mp3 player, like, word.” But it wasn’t the best thing since the mp3 player, was it? No.

However, I did start watching it…and ended up binge-watching the series on Netflix. Even during an online road safety course (don’t worry, I aced the test I had to take at the end). Frank and I are the Lilly and Marshall of most of our social circles, especially on the ships.

The conclusion of this nearly decade-long series was…cathartic? I didn’t particularly like it…but I wasn’t vehemently against it, either. It was coherent, and made sense…even if I didn’t want that to be the ending.

This is how I channeled my sadness of the ending of a great series:


I tried my hand at a little blackwork embroidery this time. The frame around the main words has the quote “It’s going to be legend-and I hope you’re not lactose intolerant because the second half of the word is-dairy. Legendary.”

Frank likes the way the thread sits on the fabric for this one. Like it pops of the fabric a little more. In my rather large order of fabric, I got this ~8×6 piece of 22 ct Hardanger that was just begging to be used for something awesome. I looked up a couple of blackwork designs, created a few, and here we are.

Neil Patrick Harris is a national treasure, and Barney Stinson is one of the most exciting characters ever written. So his words deserve to be immortalized in my blackwork. Yes.


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