Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Designing a tattwo

When I sent the original drawing, I told him I would move the guy out of the fire to the right a little so it wouldn't look like his junk was burning up...something i'm sure no man wants to have to think about everytime he looks at his tattoo for the rest of his life.  My brother also asked that I take out the detail of the hair and clothes on the people.  He said to keep the fire colored but that he might decide to have it black and white when he gets it done.

I redrew the first one the way he asked and he loved it! Personally, I like the detail of the other one better and I really hope he keeps the color in the fire.  I can't wait to see it on him!

Designing a tattoo

I am on a touch football team with my brothers.  We play every fall and winter.  This year, I started to design our t-shirts.  For the fall, we were Maek Chmura's Hot Tub Horrors.  Mark Chmura is a pro football player who got caught in a hot tub with under age girls and alcohol so I drew a skeleton in a hot tub enjoying a beer with a bra strap dangling from his finger. This winter, we are Najeh Davenport's Laundry Basket Tortes.  Najeh took a dump in his ex girlfriend's laundry basket so I drew a laundry basket dumping out socks.

Anyway, flash forward.  My brother wants to get his second tattoo and he asked me to design it. He gave me a picture of a man telling a story around a campfire and asked for something along those lines where the people were just outlines.  So I came up with this first drawing.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Fixed It

Yay, I fixed my broken heart. What once was nearly ripped to pieces can march along to its own beat. I ended up sewing a few holes in the main section and covering up the larger ones with more blue veins. I sewed the ragged top of the heart together as best I could, cutting away stray felt as I went along. Luckily, there was still a little resemblance of tubular outposts at the top, so I used those as stepping stone for the larger, pink veins to wrap around. All in all, I'm happy with how it turned out. It's always good to have a project go awry once in a while so you can prove to yourself that you can fix your (or your hungry dog's) mistakes.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

How Do You Mend A Broken Heart?

Oh Gums, why do you do me like you do? In all fairness, it is my fault. I left my door open and the my heart on my bed. How can he resist a soft plush? And to his credit, he always chews my creations in the least destructive way. He avoided the bigger veins that took hours so I can't really be too mad. Plus, this is a somewhat easy fix. Plus, I hadn't even finished it yet. Plus, I got to reference Al Green in the title so it's all good.

Thanks to my friend Ellissa, I am starting a stuffed organs series. I already have an Organs-in-a-Box series so it is an easy transition. This heart will look fly when its done, with large blue and pink veins at the top.

I know I say I'm starting a lot of series and then there aren't any follow ups, but if weapons taught me anything its that too much of one thing can get taxing. After the heart is complete, I'm going to make a nifty pair of moose antlers.

24 Soaps of Christmas

So for a while there, I forgot that I make soap. I have had a back log of soap chilling in a cooler in my office for months. Luckily, I had labeled them with their ingredients before they were buried in the freezer that time, and Megan, forgot. Anyway, I'm attending a craft fair this weekend and was excited to try to sell my stuffed items. My boyfriend asked "what about your soap?" Of course! It was so simple. After all, people are probably more likely to buy soap than stuffed weapons and various animal parts.

Anyway, I spent the last couple of days wrapping the 24 acceptable soaps in postal paper and bakers twine. I wrote little ingredient cards which encouraged people to enjoy their new soaps. I came up with zesty, goofy, and just plain stupid names for them.

Hopefully I get rid of some of them, otherwise, I have Christmas presents set for co-workers.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


A picture of me, being an idiot.

Side Head

Almost as exciting as a side boob.

Cow Eye

The cow's eyes were fun to make. I had a bunch of beaded eyes left over from my squid project and was glad to get rid of them. Alone, they didn't look like a cow's eyes. So I sewed half circles of black fabric onto the tops of the beads and came out with a lazy, drowsy cow.

Cow Head: Revisited

The nose took me 9 hours. I am a psycho. I sewed on all of those little bits myself. When I was halfway through and pressed for time, I thought I should start gluing the bits on instead but then I realized it would look silly half-sewn and half-glued so I stuck it out.

I have always been a stickler for details and I hate half-assing my work, so gluing wouldn't have worked for me anyway.

Cow Head

So I made a full-scale cow head for my brother's party. He was having an Urban Legend themed party. Now, I know you're probably thinking 'what urban legend has to do with a damn cow head?' And you're right, no urban legend I knew of. But, once I got the invite I started researching different urban legends. Most of the common ones had been mentioned in his email or had no real plausible way for me to make a stuffed imagining of them.

So I stumbled across this Japanese urban legend involving a cow head. The gist was that there was a school teacher with his class on a field trip. He started to tell them a story about a cow's head. He became entranced, he couldn't stop talking. When he was finished, all of the children were laying on the ground, foaming at the mouth and the school teacher couldn't remember the story he had told.

I know, what an obscure and ridiculous story to choose. Well, I certainly stepped in it at the party when I had to explain that to everyone who asked why the hell I made a cow head. I couldn't just tell them i had secretly been wanting to make a full scale animal head for quite some time. I'm thinking that a horse or a bison will be next...maybe an alligator.


I have to admit, I didn't know what animal the antlers I made belonged to right away. After some research, I found out that they were Impala antlers. I told my brother about my idea and he said I had to add a Chevy Symbol to make myself a Chevy Impala. So I wore all brown clothes, wore black gloves and black shoes for hooves, painted my nose black and made a Chevy sticker. My costume was a hit, though the antlers were a hazard to anyone around me - many an eye was poked in my presence.

Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of me in my full garb and I'm too lazy to get dressed again just for the picture so you'll just have to deal with this stupid picture of me being stupid.

Chevy Impala

When I finished sewing and stuffing the antlers, there was the issue of getting them head-ready. At first I thought I could just sew a loop to the bottom and string them onto a headband. That idea failed as the loops weren't tight enough on the headband and the antlers kept falling forward. I then decided to sew the antlers directly onto a thicker headband to give them more surface area and voila! It worked!

Halloween: Chevy Impala

Halloween! Ok, so unfortunately I didn't take a picture of my actual costume, but I was a Chevy Impala. It sprang from me wanting to make a series of stuffed antlers (look for moose next!). So I cut four identical curvy sections out of dark grey (modeled off some sweet cast resin antlers at Crate and Barrel). I sewed one side of two of the curvy pieces together leaving the other sides open. Then I cut out strips of brown and folded them over each other to make them thicker to stand out on the antlers. I positioned them on the gray, making sure they would match up when the second side was sewn up. This was definitely the longest part of the process.

Mini Louisville Slugger

I am, however, getting really good at embroidering. I think when I get a little more practice, I'll make a sweet and goofy embroidered pillow! Suggestions are obviously welcome.

Mini Louisville Slugger

Wow, its been a long time since I've posted anything on here. That doesn't mean I haven't been working on stuff. I finished this addition to the soft weapons series in September but I didn't like it much so I kept putting off taking pictures of it.

I guess I don't really like it because it is so simple and plain and boring. It was boring to make too! Oh well, live and learn. Next time I make a bat, I'll model it after a metal one. Or a cracked one.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

How Does Your Garden Grow?

So after Hurrican't Irene, I was a little disappointed. We had mayors, govenors and even the president saying New York was gonna get smashed. Of course I didn't want anything seriously bad to happen, but I was hoping I'd see a little more damage the next day. There were leaves and sticks on the ground in my neighborhood and my power didn't even go out. I mean, I bought a lantern and I didn't even get to use it.

Anyway, I found out that week at work that I was being a real smug asshole. Just because the hurricane didn't effect me or do any damage to my area didn't mean no one else was effected by it. Case in point, my friend Lana at work. She lives on Staten Island. Not only did her power go out, but her basement flooded (something that has never happened in the 10 years she's lived there) ruining the carpet and a lot of her stuff. But the topper was that a tree fell on her garden and she wasn't sure if her veggies were ok or not. As she told me this story, I could tell she was really upset. I felt terrible for thinking not enough happened and I wanted to make it up to her. I decided to make her the three veggies she grew in her garden, eggplant, cucumber and tomato (fruit?).

Anyway, these guys turned out great and were real easy and fun. The tomato took me about an hour only, making it the fastest thing I ever did sew. Unfortunately, I only had a neon green for the inside of the cucumber so it ended up looking more like a pickle. I decided why not go with it and so I made some extra bumps on the outside and voila, you have a pickle.

The best part of this project was that I got to make some stuffed food. I wanted to start a new ongoing series like the weapons and I had been thinking about foods for a while. I love making weapons and that series I don't think will ever end, but its good to have some variety in my life!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Soft Weapons: Medieval Flail

Another one for the Soft Weapons series. I had actually always been calling this weapon a mace. Then when I looked that up, I saw a staff with a metal ball right on it. What I had always thought was a mace was actually called a flail or a morning star. This has always been one of my favorite weapons. It is beautiful in its simplicity but deadly in its execution. This is definitely my favorite stuffed weapon yet. Up next: blow darts!

Doug Trivets

I took a loooong break from making coasters out of perler beads. I had made a bunch of loveable cartoon characters from the days of yore about three years ago and then just kind of forgot about the medium as a whole. Recently, I needed a break from sewing and wanted to do something fun so I thought of perler beads! I love working with these beads. The process of figuring out how to make it look like a character is really fun, constantly switching out beads until the shape is just right.

I love this craft because I made something completely original out of what is essentially a kid's medium. Making character coasters is one of those things I consider to be mine, that no one else does. Of course, I haven't met every crafter in the world so I can't say for certain!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Brass Knucks

Another for the Soft Weapons series! Some brass knucks! I was lucky enough to have both the perfect color in my repetoir and a lazy Sunday to complete these babies. This project was quick but taxing. There were so many holes to cut and recut to get the right shape and as I said in my ninja stars post, that is not my strong point. But, I am getting better. Stuffing this thing was the hardest time and has caused a little sharp pain in my back from hunching so much.

I've already cut out the parts to make a second one, but I think I'm done sewing for the day. Next weapon: Flail. Stay tuned.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Swiss Army Axe #86

The fourth in my Soft Weapons series, this axe is based off an actual Swiss Army Axe. On a ridiculous whim, my boyfriend decided he needed an axe and bought this one for himself (eye roll). It worked out for me though, because I got to base my stuffed axe off of a real one. I think it turns out much better when I can see the model in person instead of just pictures online.

I like that I can pretend I'm thwacking zombies without swinging the actual axe because I am a weak girl and that thing is pretty heavy. Also, axes are scary unless they're plush!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Topping it Off

Even More Polar

I couldn't write all the small words on the nutrition facts label, but I did try and make it look as close to writing as I could.

More Polar

Now, I've been called insane more than once on account of my attention to detail while crafting. This label was no exception. At first, i thought I would just make one big Polar section, but then decided to make the two smaller ones that appear on the actual label. I've always thought that if you aren't going to make something right - especially for a friend - why make it at all? I want the things I make to look like the things they are based off of so I try really hard to make that happen. This label is possibly my most proud accomplishment. I really honed my embroidery skills with the writing. Being insane might make me work harder and longer, but I can't argue with the results.

The Polar Bottle that Could

Ok, so I'll start at the beginning. My friend Ellissa and I are huge seltzer heads. And we are seltzer heads for the same reason, we had both been addicted to coke - diet coke in my case - and decided we needed a healthier option. Now we are both ladies who enjoy a little excitement in our drinks, so plain flat water just doesn't work. Seltzer, on the other hand, has bubbles for days that dance and pop on your tongue. Each sip is exciting and fresh!

Anyway, Ellissa went to school in Binghamton with one of my best friends from home, that's how we met. About a year ago, we visited our friend Lauren in Binghamton. Ellissa kept buying this Polar seltzer. I had never seen it before but I needed a seltzer fix so I bought some as well. Oh my seltzer! Polar is by far the best brand of seltzer I've ever had the pleasure of tasting. And, they have the most imaginative flavors....pomegranate (Ellissa's favorite and the bottle pictured above), grapefruit, blueberry, peach...the list goes on and on. Each flavor is as refreshing and crisp as the last, you really can't go wrong.

Anyway, excited at the discovery (or rather, the introduction) to this new and beautiful beverage, I started to search for it in Brooklyn. There was none! The next time Ellissa was coming in form NJ, I asked her to bring me some Polar, I needed my fix! She dealt me a devastating blow, Polar is not sold in NYC or New Jersey. It is sold in Westchester, Upstate NY and Connecticut (at least that's all I know...maybe more of New England).

Our only way to get a Polar is when we visit Lauren or when our friend Greg comes in from Stamford. Ellissa's birthday was recently so I decided to make her a bottle of her favorite flavor so that she could always have it close by!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Perils of Crafting with a Dog in the House

Oh Gums, why did you do me like you did? This is what I get for leaving my crafts out when my dog is home with my boyfriend. I had just finished this project last night after a couple of weeks of work on it and was rejoicing at the accomplishment. I didn't take a picture of it last night and left it on the top of the couch before going to sleep. Then today, I was in a meeting at work and returned to some very urgent gchats from my boyfriend who proceeded to tell me the bad news. Emotional wuss that I am, I actually cried at this picture. After having some time to mull it over though, it really is miraculous that he didn't destroy the cap, the label or the bottom. The label is insanely detailed and is my current pride and joy and definitely isn't something I'd want to try and make again. The bottom of the bottle took some serious math skills to figure out so I'm very glad he didn't get to that.

I came home, checked my fabric, and was glad to see I had enough to remake the top. I already cut out all the pieces I need and will begin to sew them together after this post. I will undo the top and sew on the new one when it's done. All in all, it could have been way worse. And I can't stay mad at my boy Gums!

More on the bottle when it's complete!

More shotgun


My biggest ever craft fail! This shotgun took weeks of time and effort, a project I put on hold simply because of the amount of time I would have to spend on it. And it turned out all topsy turvy. It has so many twists, you'd think R Kelly came up with it!

I am proud of the individual pieces though. My stitch-work on the stock (which you can see in the next post) is, in my opinion, really fantastic. The two hammers took some yanking and turning to get in the right position but I really think they turned out just right. And the trigger turned out just as i wanted it to as well.

I love the barrels for their color and the length and the little insets I made at the front to make it look like you could actually look into them. However, since I didn't measure perfect rectangles, they began to twist. At least I got something out of the mistake, I have started measuring all pieces of my projects mathematically and they are turning out much better for it.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Crafting Pains

My back hurts. My fingers ache. My eyes are strained. No, I did not just get back from a vigorous fight or running a marathon. I simply crafted yesterday.

This is not a new development of course, I have been crafting for years and have always had the aches and pains that come along with it. I constantly complain of joint pain, sciatica, scoliosis and just about anything else I can diagnose myself with. My boyfriend begs me to get it checked out, assuming anyone who so incessantly complains of pain must have something seriously wrong with them. But what is wrong with me cannot be fixed. I am a crafter through and through, bold and proud, and nothing is stopping that any time soon. I guess I just wanted to vent to a larger audience (probably three people) with this post.

When I work with clay, my fingers tense up to the point where they no longer listen to my commands. My hands form a rebellious claw, confidently illustrating why I should craft no further. Of course, it only takes a few cracks to get them back into fighting shape so I ignore their warning and soldier on. But I crack them back into place so often that they have swelled permanently. I jokingly call them my pregnant fingers and secretly pray they make rings big enough to fit over the biggest humps. Like my fingers, my nails also crack often. They break and bend and no matter what I do, they can't seem to stay more than stubs for any extended period of time. The constant breakage leads to hangnails and loose skin around the anails that I just can't ignore. I pull at them and bite at them until my nails bleed. My finger tips look like a horror movie. Ashamed at the thought of what first impression such gnarled hands make, I have ben trying to improve my nails. I slap myself when I pick at them, I curse myself when I bite them. So far, this self hatred has been improving the overall health of my nails, but we'll see how far I actually take it.

When sewing or beading or animating or clay-ing - basically general crafting - my body is in a hunched position for hours at a time. I like tp picture myself as an evil scientist working in a dank basement somewhere, avoiding detection from my nemeses until my world-dominating creation is complete. Though my illusions of granduer are entertaining, they are obviously not true. And while I have crafted some darker things (weapons, most recently), my actions do not justify the posture of an evil scientist. But what am I to do? Crafting with a stick-straight back is virtually impossible. So the hunchback of crafter fame (another illusion of granduer, but I couldn't resist the loose pun) I will remain, sore neck, sore back, acute scoliosis and terrible posture be damned.

Any crafting position will have you sitting directly on your ass, mostly unmoving, for a good few hours at a time. Sitting for prolonged periods has seemingly given rise to an overly sensitive tailbone. Any time I sit of a hard surface (ie, not my couch or bed), I need to viciously readjust until my tailbone has found some ass fat to protect it from the elements. I sometimes wonder if I have started to devolve and my sensitive tailbone is really just the beginnings of a tail. Though I highly doubt that, I do check on it periodically. The sitting has also given rise to sporaddic and painful bouts of sciatica. Shooting pains down my back and legs so bad they literally bring me to tears. For this, I have used icy hot patches to dull the worst of the pains. I have bought an ergonmic pillow for my chair at work which doesn't do much but make me look like an old ninny. Some cases are so bad, I am relegated to my bed until the pain subsides.

I guess what I'm getting at is that crafters suffer for their art. They sit in the same positions for hours, reeking havoc on their bodies, all to make cute stuffed animals or neat storage devices. While I do love to complain to anyone who listens, I would not change my grandma joint status if it meant giving up crafting.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Ninja Starz

These ninja stars were a fast an easy project. Cutting them out was difficult because I've never been good at cutting circles or other shapes into another shape. Hopefully I'll get better.

Stuffed NunChucks

I am currently making a stuffed weapons series. This idea was inspired by my boyfriend's want of a shotgun. I told him there was no way he was getting a shotgun in our apartment unless it was stuffed and so he challenged me to do so. I'm still making the shotgun, it's one of those projects that takes a lot of time and so naturally I don't want to devote any to it. These chucks were easy and fun. The red thing on the chuck on the left is an abstract dragon...this will be the hitting chuck, hopefully it will leave an impression on a sucker's face!

Expect more weapons to come.

Havin' a Gas

Gas masks are creepy. Red eyes are creepy. Double creepy.

Monday, July 11, 2011


Antlers! I think antlers my be the most beautiful design found in nature. They are ornate and powerful. If I weren't against hunting animals for sport, I'd be sporting some of these babies above my fireplace - my imaginary fireplace. I'm not too pleased with this drawing, I mean I just used a bunch of dashes to make it look like there is some depth to the antlers and that didn't even work. Talk about lack of technique. I've never been one to shield my failures from the public eye - it would be impossible not to. But I do like one thing about this drawing and that is the slightly vintage feel the plaque on the green background gives it. Please excuse the fuckery of using the word vintage. I know it probably doesn't even bring out that feeling in anyone else, but I drew it when I was watching a lot of Melrose Place so I was in a place of throwbacks.

Love is All Around Us

Okay, so drawings may not be considered crafts, but I did a few over July 4th weekend because I was too lazy to work on my latest sewing project. Drawing is by no means my forte and I actually have a hard time enjoying or sharing my work. I try to make everything as simple as possible so I don't get too bogged down with how awful my detailing is. So, this drawing is super simple, just a few lines to show what's supposed to be there. I looked up 'couple kissing' in google images and came across one that was passionate and funny and could be broken down into simple lines and I'm actually pretty happy with the result. The squiggles are my signature drawing trademark - I use it to make my boring drawings pop a little more. The squiggles are actually just one long line (three in this case as I couldn't loop through the feet) so it takes a long time but makes for a good tv watching activity!

Blog Overhaul

There comes a time in a young woman's life when four blogs is just too many to handle. Along with this one, I have a crafting blog with two of my friends (http://crafterihardlyknowher.tumblr.com/), a 'just-cause' blog (http://whoknowskent.tumblr.com/), and a rules of New York blog with my brother (http://nwhycny.blogspot.com/). I rarely post on any of these, including this one. But this one at least had an excuse, it is only for things-in-boxes and I haven't been making too many of those recently.

I think I am going to combine all of my crafts into this blog. It will still be called Megan Finnegan in A Box, because it will include all of my crafting (successes and failures), putting me in a nice little box. I am not going to get rid of any of the other blogs, but I will probably be posting here much more often than the other ones. And by more often, I mean probably like once a month.

So anyway, expect more crafts!