Crafting for Gaming

Dice_bags_1I have finally stolen my Fate dice back from our Dresden GM (he has his own sets, anyway, so we’re not going to be short for those games). I have the Eldritch set – they glow in the dark! – but I’m also a fan of the Winter set, which is the other special one we play with. One of our players swears that any blue ones hate him, so…um…I may have just ruined his game by stealing the green ones. Oh well!

Dice_Bags_2But anyway, I needed something to keep them in. Having a brief pause between skirts at Hackspace, I decided to make some dice bags.

The one on the left has drawstrings, and was my second effort. The one on the right is lined but was just a simple bag, and I’ve currently got that tied with ribbon. They were both done with rectangles of fabric, sewing the sides and top, and then turning inside out; nothing too complicated until I got to the drawstring top, which refused to co-operate! But I did get there eventually, and so far they’ve worked very well and mean I don’t lose twelve dice someplace in my bag every time I have to travel, which believe me is a real problem for gamers.

denarius-julius-caesar-elephant
Caesar: elephant

On a slightly related note (as in they’re currently in the dice bag as well), have I told you guys about my coins?

denarius-augustus-mars
Augustus: Mars

I got four reproduction Roman Denarii from Dorchesters.com. I can’t get a decent photo of mine so I’m using the site’s ones (damn camera phone).

I chose coins from the first century AD; they had to be in use at the time of Jesus. It’s a Dresden Files thing; the Order of the Blackened Denarius are fallen angels, bound to the thirty denarii paid to Judas for betraying Jesus – so it had to be things that were already in circulation. I admit I got to geek out a little over my choices; Antony&Cleopatra wouldn’t have been in wide circulation, so I didn’t got with that, and the same with Antony&Caesar.

Augustus: Comet
Augusts: Comet

I also got to absolutely geek out over the coins themselves; although I partly wanted them for a project (which I’ll explain in a minute), I also wanted an excuse to get Roman coins – and from my period, too! Or at least as there aren’t many Republican coins in existence, I’ll take early Empire.

My choices; two with Caesar’s head, with a sacrificial bull and one with a triumphal elephant. And two with Augustus’ head; one with the comet of his ‘father’ Caesar, and one with Mars to celebrate his Parthian campaign.

denarius-julius-caesar-bull
Caesar: bull

The project that I had originally intended them for was to try to mould them and create replicas, and then engrave or enamel them to get the sigils onto the obverse. However, we’ve been batting around ideas for doing it, and haven’t got any closer to working out what would actually work…so it’s in progress! Other projects have unfortunately got in the way, although I don’t particularly mind; the coins are awesome and I can still use them!

I’m just waiting for someone in a DFRPG to take a Coin, and then I can actually give them one…

Samplers and cross-stitch

completed_sampler2Have I showed you all this sampler? Apologies for the light on Kermit – it’s currently in a frame and a faff to take out. It’s the third alphabet that I did, and I absolutely love it! I did most of the designs on my own from pictures; I think Death is my favourite, but the Luggage is rather cool too, and third is tied between Glados and Cthulu. Hobbes was the most fun to do as he’s all wonky! The central bottom panel is blank for a name if I do choose to give it to someone, but it’s currently on our wall upstairs.

I’ve also got an update on my Totoro sampler – see, grass! And some background!Totoro2

I have been working on another sampler for two lovely friends of mine who were down this weekend, so I can now put it on here (as they’ve seen bits of it). I mentioned it previously as I was doing some music, and that was quite a challenge!

HeartThe sampler’s for their wedding, so I’ve been trying to combine lots of nice stuff that they like. I wanted to add two pieces of music; All You Need Is Love by the Beatles and It Must Be Love by Madness.

I’m doing both pieces of music from sheet music (and as a plus, I have the sheet music for the piano!). I’ve finished All You Need Is Love, but I’m only halfway through It Must Be Love and thought you might like to see the process.Madness_progress

So; I’ve drawn out the basic staves in permanent marker on the plastic, and then placed the note positions over the top, including the rests and barlines. I’ve then gone over the notes with single black stitches (except for the semibreve, which actually isn’t in this picture; that’s four black lines over the top of the background). To prevent the background covering the details, I’ve also marked the barlines above and below the stave, and the rests are marked above the stave. I then fill in around the notes with white, and use black to put in the tails, barlines, rests and details.

All you need is loveIt ends up looking like this! Or at least, All You Need Is Love looks like this (and you might spot “Let’s do the time warp again” below it as well.)

So I’ve been spending this afternoon with Asterix and a cat (Benny), sewing large chunks. Backgrounds are tedious but simple, so I enjoyed having some brain power available to focus on the details, and I got a load done! It’s been lovely.

Benny_helping

 

Crafting update: August

This is the latest skirt that I’ve been making! It’s even more gorgeous in real life, and I’ll get some better pictures once it’s more complete. (The right is Sam’s crochet Portal scarf, which is going to be amazing).

Totoro with grassI’ve also been working on my Totoro sampler; the grass is now done and I’ve started working on the background.

Do RPG games count as crafty? Well, they’re going to. I’ve got two new crafty projects related to my gaming!

The first is a bag for my Fate dice. I’ve got the Eldritch set and if I’m going to be playing multiple games, I need to be able to transport them. Sam’s suggested a canvas bag (for durability) with a green silk lining (because I have the material) so that’s hopefully something I can run up at the next Hackspace Crafty Night.

The second project is for my potential Dresden RPG NeverNever campaign.NeverNever map
As you can see, we had fun…Sam and I were on the floor with a sheet of A1 paper, multiple coloured pens, maps of Roman roads, the Ridgeway, old railway lines, tabs for translations of place names, a map of Stonehenge (which involved swearing by me as I got the Cursus and Avenue the wrong way round… #archaeologistFAIL) and some amused eye-rolls from Jon. Astonishingly, we didn’t get joined by a cat; I think they both thought we were being strange! But hey, less cat paw-prints all over the map.

The idea is to hopefully overlay a hex grid onto the map, or at least highlight major points so that it can be used for routes. I’ve still got several things to add to it (pubs and Accorded Neutral Territory, gateways to the Real World, an overlay of Summer/Winter/Wyldfae territories, some Points of Interest) but it’s at least started. I’ve also got a few other ideas for props which could also be fun, but will have to wait until I see what’s happening with the campaign.

Beyond that, I’m still working on skirts at Hackspace and my samplers at home. So that’s it for the moment, but it’s all a work in progress.

Frankie asleep
Frankie’s helping…

Craftytimes in July

I seem to be in the middle of a pile of crafty things at the moment!

Fabric_2My sister brought back some sari fabric for me from India, and I finally found my second piece of it. I’ve now got enough to make three or four long skirts, using the patterns as inlay pieces. I want to get some darker silks as well to make the skirt bodies, but as it’s a fairly simple design I’m hoping that I can make the skirts pretty quickly. I usually go to a Textiles & Sewing Evening at Cheltenham Hackspace every Monday, so I’ve got my project for the next few weeks!

I’m also making progress on my samplers. I just added several bars of “All You Need Is Love”, which was a bit of a challenge! I get to play with gold thread today and I’ve also been filling in more on Totoro. Pics when I’ve done a little more, I promise.

Invisible Demon Sampler
PixyStitches
Cant-take-the-sky-from-me
X-Stitch-My-Heart

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keep_calm_and_hulk_smash
X-Stitch-My-Heart

And I keep finding projects I want to do…Pixy Stitches on Etsy has some wonderful sampler designs – the Invisible Demon one is Dresden-themed but she’s got some brilliant other geek ones. On the subject of cross-stitch and samplers, I’m also a big fan of X Stitch My Heart. I’ve done Keep Calm And Hulk Smash previously, but how cute is the Firefly one? She’s got LOTR, GoT, Avengers, Buffy, Dr Who, Sherlock, DC& Marvel amongst others…

I’m also plotting another Dresden one-shot, which isn’t really crafty but is very satisfying! I’m giving player-against-player a try, with someone being the baddy in the scenario. It’s likely to end in tears (or bloodshed) but should be very entertaining!

Writing news coming later this week, I promise. I’ve been working on quite a few things so I’ll do a general update 🙂