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December 22, 2011

The world must be ending - Panda is posting!

I bet you came here to check out Xanthe's amazing minis/blind bags/patterns and everything else in the world (because she is great, you know).  Sucka.  You're stuck with me for the moment. 

I know - you're probably a little bummed, but hey - I'm not so bad. Xanthe has poked and prodded me to post on what is supposed to be our MUTUAL blog for patterns, crafts, arts and other awesome crap... so here I am!

I'm working on a few crochet patterns -- and I have a really easy one that would be great for beginners or people who want to make a quick scarf for someone.  :)   I'm going to try to go into different, bolder directions and make ones that have a more obviously Poni flavor to them, but this one starts out as a Packers one for my friend.

It's really simple -- pick out two yarns (I used worsted weight myself, and I think that bulky would look really nice and classy, too) that you would like to use. 


I used:
Vanna's Choice:  Mustard   and   Premier yarns: Dream:  Balsam

Hook size:  I used the blue hook... which is called...H.  (I know my hooks by color)
Pattern itself?  Super easy:

Legend

ch = chain
dc = double crochet

Step 1
:     Ch 23 (or as wide as you want it +3), dc in the 4th ch from the hook; dc across (should be 20)
Step 2:     Ch2, turn, dc across.   <--- Do this 8 more times.
Step 3:     Switch colors of yarn.  (There are several tutorials on youtube or the internet in general.  I'll link to a couple if necessary)
*Repeat.
(I personally made mine to have 21 blocks total, but hey - it's your scarf.  Do what you want.)
Step 4:     The last thing I did was cut 40 pieces of yarn and made a fringe.  I personally put one of each color and just put the hook through a dc, pulled both pieces (in the middle) through and made a knot with the hook.  :)

I'll add some pics, but I thought I'd get this up before I forgot. (I'm kind of prone to that)

Also - let me know if this sounds super confusing or lame or whatever.  I'm new to writing patterns that need more than just ME to understand.  Tak!

/Panda

December 17, 2011

Newest completion - The Cutie Mark Crusaders!

They're done!

They're finally done.

I present to you...the Cutie Mark Crusaders!


These little buggers have taken me far longer than I had expected, but they're done now and their commissioner loves them, which is what's important!


Here's Apple Bloom. She was made by heavily modifying a Twilight Sparkle figure.


Scootaloo is made from a Rainbow Dash, with her wings removed and new ones sculpted on.



Sweetie Belle was also made from a Rainbow Dash. All those stripes were a pain.

Keep an eye up for new commission information after Christmas!

December 10, 2011

My Little Pony - Christmas/Winter wear

Hello, my bronies!

I have been silent and busy with projects as of late, but today I bring you not only my first original crochet pattern, but a pattern meant for G4 My Little Pony brushable toys! Much to my surprise, it also seems to fit Little Pet Shop figures - at least it fit the kitty I used in place of an Earth Pony!




If you want to make it for an LPS animal, you can skip the ear-holes if the animal does not have them.

Hook this on Ravelry!


For this project, I recommend using hook F5.
For the main yarn, I highly recommend using Red Heart Shimmer, as I have exclusively used it. It is flexible and fits tightly together, to allow for it to fit on brushable My Little Ponies. For trim, suggested yarns are Red Heart Buttercup, Bernat Pipsqueak, or Bernat Boa. Any fuzzy yarn could be really great though!





Hat:
1: Chain 18 and join into round
2: sc 18 in round
3: sc 2, ch 4, count 4 st and re-attach, sc 4, ch 4, count 4 and re-attach, sc 2
4: 18 sc
5: sc 2tog, sc 1 * 6 times
6: sc 12 * 2 times
7: sc 4, sc 2 tog * 2 times
8: sc 10
9: sc 3, sc2tog * 2 times
10: sc 8

join trim color

11-12: sc 8
13: sc2tog * 4 times
14: Slip stitch until hat is closed

Close and sew yarn into hat. If you want the hat to fold over, use the end of the main color to sew it in to place and hold it down.

Hat, bottom trim:
Join at original starting area
1: sc 18 (If making the hat for a unicorn, sc 8, chain 2 and re-attach 2 st later, sc 8)

Depending on the yarn you're using for trim, you may want to add another row of 18. With Bernat Pipsqueak, I do.


Scarf

1: ch 25
2: ch 1, turn, dc 25
3: ch 1, turn, ch 6 and reattach at end of 6th st, sc 19
Finish and sew ends in

(The scarf works to stay in place by the opposite end looping through the loop created by the chaining, as seen in the picture below)



Scarf Trim on both sides

Attach at end of scarf
1: sc 4
2: ch 1, turn, sc 4
cut and sew in ends

Repeat for other end of scarf


Front boots:

1: magic loop sc 9
2-4: sc 9 in outer loop
cut and sew in ends


Back boots:
1: magic loop sc 10
2-4: sc 10 in outer loop
cut and sew in ends





If you are interested in this outfit, but do not know how to crochet, Panda and I will be selling these outfits for 15.00 as a set, or 5.00 for either a set of booties, a scarf or a hat. Please contact me at xanthestar@gmail.com if you are interested. The current colors I have in stock may fluctuate, but right now I have ...

Shimmer Yarn in the colors Hot Pink, Purple, Red and Turquoise for the main color.

Buttercup in White Coral, Bernat Pipsqueak in Whitey White and Funny Bunny, and Bernat Boa in Chick for the contrasting colors.

Please remember I am not guaranteeing I can make one for you, if demand turns out to be a little too high.

November 21, 2011

Custom Sculpt: Chief Thunderhooves

Auction is HERE!


Thanksgiving is just around the corner!

Because of that, I created a Thanksgiving Exclusive - Chief Thunderhooves, sculpted from Super Sculpey!


Unfortunately, this Holiday Exclusive thing doesn't really seem to be taking off. But, it was worth it making him!
I'd love to hear feedback on what kind of exclusives people would like. Halloween Twilight was kind of a bust, and it looks like the Chief isn't doing so well.

November 12, 2011

Works in Progress Update



Hello bronies,

It's been a while, but I'm still around and painting!

Just...hit some snags with some commissions, and have had less time lately.

Here are some WIP snapshots of what I've been up to.


Applebloom

The CMC Commission piece is taking me longer than expected!
Some work on a Pathfinder PC while watching my hubby run a game of the new Beginner's Box set.


A preview of a part of my Thanksgiving Exclusive...



Do you think Applejack grows pomegranates?

October 30, 2011

Halloween Twilight Blindbag Custom

While finishing up the Cutiemark Crusaders, I've had time to also finish my Twilight Sparkle Halloween exclusive!

I started on her well before Nightmare Night was released, so I didn't have Star Swirl the Bearded to go off of.




This one was a real project. Her body isn't varnished, though her cape and hair are - for some reason, the colors I mixed to make her purple shade separate when varnish touches them. I had to repaint her all over again!

The ebay auction is HERE

October 24, 2011

Work updates - commissions

I've been busy.

CMC commissions!















Rainbow Dash winter hat!

(image modified to protect my super secret identity!)














Celestia!















Twilight and a beholder:















Pathfinder Goblin Christmas Ornament!


October 20, 2011

Smartypants Plushie



Well, who's this?

Smartypants is up on Ebay!

Link

As soon as I saw the new episode I had to make one. She's too cute!

And the pattern was something I just made on the fly. She's only about 5" tall.

Not much else to say, but expect more crochet in the future.

Moar pics!



October 15, 2011

Crocheting and WIP - it's been a while!

And boy, have I been busy.

My blindbags have dwindled down in frequency, as work has taken over. I've also become enamored with crocheting - but I'm working on a lot right now, and I'd love to share it with you.

Firstly, I'm working on a commission for the brony why bought my first Octavia. They've gone from this...









To this - there is a lot of work to go still, but it's the CMC, if you can't tell. I've got some other super-secret projects in the back ;)


For another brony, I'm working on a plushie. Look at this fat little pony. It looks like a hippo right now...but it'll be a pony.

She's also crocheted - never would have guessed, huh?







Lastly for this post...a hat. I've been trying to do some hairing with yarn, but when a little crazy and it's covered in way too MUCH yarn. Now I have a lot of work to do, but this is what I do in transit.

Between all of these and my super-secret blind bags, as well as an art trade...

Wouldn't it be nice not to work?

Gold Standard made it home!


One of the winners of my blind bag contest made it home!
I love seeing my ponies with their new owners :)

September 18, 2011

A Quick Aside

Hi there everyone,

This is un-related to my blind bags, but a quick update on a few side projects.

Firstly, I'd like to pimp Gamemaster's Kip/Gamemaster Kevin. I've been doing some artwork for his Personae Malevolent for a while now, and just did one of Obould Many-Arrows. Panda also has done artwork for his PMs - I encourage you to check him out HERE.

Nextly, I've been doing some amigurumi work on the side and trying to come up with a small pattern for ponies. Would anyone be interested in my posting it once I perfect it?
This Fluttershy was the first completed one, and I sewed her together kind of like a gummy bear.

Number two was a Rarity -


I sewed her together in a sitting position,and managed to figure out how to make her hair curled while still yarn!

Which design do you like more?

September 17, 2011

Octavia (mark 2) Blind Bag Custom

Hello again,

another update for the day. While finishing these two up I decided to finish up another side project. I give to you ... Octavia (mk II)


Octavia was my first blind bag custom ever attempted. At the time, I used Applejack to create her. As I currently lack Applejacks, this Octavia was made using a Rainbow Dash base.

Taking the criticism from the first one, I made this Octavia's eyes larger, and her expression a little more dynamic (and show accurate)

Her hair was modified for both accurate bangs and length (though I'll admit, there are remnants of her Rainbow Dash base in her hair here), and she has her bowtie, too!

The auction for Octavia can be found HERE.

Gold Standard - Start to finish!

Well, I've been over my desk all day but finished my outstanding projects. :)

Say hello to Gold Standard:


Oh...that's not right. That's what she started out as.

Let's see...


Aah. Now we're getting there!

Close. SO CLOSE.


There she is!

Gold Standard is the second winner in the contest I ran for a custom Blind Bag pony. It's taken me longer than I wanted to finish them, but they're both ready to go to their new homes now.

Also, a tip: more modification = harder time painting...especially when you're dealing with light colors. This girl was a real pain, but she was very well worth it!

Also, check this out:

That is one killer base. Panda helped me find what we needed for it! It's a giant gemstone...fitting with the theme of the character.

Hiya!

Hi guys!

Up until now, it's been primarily Xanthestar posting her customs and her tutorial of how to do what she does.   My store is here - and I thought I would post with one of my (seemingly rare) updates on designs:

I have a few in my mind at the moment, though the one that is winning is a design as a celebration of the season 2 opener -  I don't want to give too much about it, since I don't know who all has seen it.   I'm working on a kind of complicated design of the mane cast.

I... well, I guess I can post a teaser:



Any thoughts, ideas, questions, comments, concerns -- anything, feel free to comment, and thanks for keeping with us!

**  Panda~♪

September 14, 2011

Puffcloud Custom Blind Bag - Part 5

We're getting closer guys, step by step!

Onto the eyes!

When you are working on eyes, remember - smaller brushes are better, but also beware of ones that are too small. If you get one that is too small, the bristles may easily come displaced...and that makes accuracy harder to come by. Do some test eyes on paper, if you're unsure of the size to use. The last thing you want to do is make a big mistake and start all over!



Next, let's follow the chart - I tried to make sure to take pictures of the process, so that it's a little more clear as to what to do:

Step 1: The first thing I do is the pupils. On ponies, the pupils are very large, so use reference pictures! Make sure you have full coverage for the black, and do your best to smooth out the edges. If you make a mistake, use some of that eye color you saved earlier (Useful, right?) and make fixes once the paint dries.

Step 2: Highlights in the eyes are next. I prefer not to use the shadows that the show has at the top of the iris, but you certainly can if you think it looks better! Using white, I created a two lighter shades and layer them next to each other at the side of the eye.

Step 3: The eyes will look pretty dead until this part. Using reference and white paint, create the light reflections on the pony's eyes. Make sure to follow the expression you reference - most of the time, the reflections will be on the same spots on both eyes.

Step 4: Now it's time for the Sharpie extra-fine oil paint marker. You'll want to lightly press on the tip on paper until paint bleeds out, and make sure you have a controlled line. If you're even a little too hard on the Sharpie, it can begin to uncontrollably bleed - so treat it with care! Working off of your pony's eye shape and type, carefully draw out first the outline, then the eyelashes. If you can't reach a spot, don't force it - you might mark an area you don't want marked.

Step 5: Using your small brush, dip it lightly in black, and very carefully paint the areas you could not reach with the pen. Though the pen is a shiny paint, once everything is varnished you won't know they were done using different tools. Use this to fill any gaps.

Step 6: Look at the eyes from all angles, and if necessary use any of the colors you've saved to correct any errors. If you've saved colors, you'll have everything you need to fix your errors without completely re-starting the eyes.


Now, the eyes are finished!

At this point, when I was working Puffcloud only a few more things needed to be done. After working with her for detail clarification, I made some changes to her mane colors. The final piece on the pony herself is then the cutie mark.


It's hard to explain the cutie mark, since it varies from figure to figure. But you need to get creative, and think careully if you're dealing with a detailed one.

In Puffcloud's case, since I had no more spare blue paint (I left it uncapped after following my own advice! :( ), I had to do the blue lines separating the clouds another way. So I used negative space, starting with only dots of white paint and working upward, making sure to leave lines between the areas it needed. Then, I shaded the necessary areas. If you're careful, you can get a lot of details in on these babies.

...at this point, the only thing left to do is varnish!


(Paint fingers!)

I prefer to use a satin varnish, but you might choose to use a matte/dull varnish. Matte varnish definitely photographs better, but satin looks very vibrant in person.

When applying it, make sure to do so evenly and do not be afraid to add several coats. Just make sure you have changed your water since painting. If you haven't, you might have a disaster on your hands!

We're almost done...but not quite! Next, I will cover how to base a figure, as well as the construction of an accessory to finish out the figure!

September 12, 2011

Puffcloud Custom Blind Bag - Part 4

And here we go.

After priming Puffcloud, I mixed up her base paint coat. A good rule of thumb is to set aside some of your base paint color in a container that will keep it moist. If you make a mistake further down the line, you will want to be able to fix it without having to try and match up a custom mixed color.

You can see what I mean when I say the white primer is a little grainy. With a little work, tweezers and paint the issue is completely fixed...this is the only downside to reaper brush-on white. The black does not have this flaw.

For blind bags I can't stress enough how much it requires primer. Paint will run off of it unless it is now thinned.

Speaking of thinning, now is the time to thin your paint! Make sure you do so as you are mixing your color. Some paint product are milky, not clear, and this can affect the color if you don't take it into consideration.

Starting with the lowest layer (usually the body), begin layering several coats of paint. Thin them and wait for each layer to dry...if you try to put more paint over a layer still firming you might end up with brush marks.

Sometimes, a warm light will help speed up the drying time.

Make sure that as you layer up you get hidden spots. With the ponies, often behind the legs and between them can be harder to get coverage on.

Once your base coat is sufficiently thick and appears to be the level of coverage you're looking for, it's time to move on to the next layer - the mane.

Mix up your color, incorporating the thinner into it, and make sure to set some extra aside in a container! You might not be able to tell, but Puffcloud's mane contains purple. Be creative with your mixtures...sometimes a color you wouldn't expect will help to get the shade you want.

Like the base coat, work it up slowly with thin layers until you get the coverage you like. Expect there to be some paint loss if you handle this with your hands...that set aside paint will be very important.

Now, onto the eyes -

When I do eyes, as you can see I completely ignore the eyes that figure comes with. If you want a more show accurate figure, try to make the eyes larger than the blind bags have. In this case, I'm using the picture of Puffcloud here for reference as to her eye size - and taking a little creative liberty to make it appear best on the figurine.

Start with white paint, and using your brush paint the shape of the eyes and fill it. This is a good reason to have backup paint for your base coat - if you make a mistake, and shape it wrong, use this paint to correct your mistake.

An important part of this is to make sure that your figure's eyes line up from a front view as well as a side view. This is another reason bigger is better than smaller on these little ladies...bigger eyes look more show-accurate from the front.


Following this, decide what expression you want your character to have. I cannot reiterate enough to look at screenshots from the show of the expression you are attempting - the ponies have very specific designs, so if you vary too far you can make an enthusiastic pony look psychotic without even trying.

Using your pony's base iris color, fill in the eyes with a ratio you decide you like. Try to make this look as circular as you can, don't be afraid to use white to go over this if necessary and to fix your mistakes. Now's the time to do that, before you get too far!

The remaining eye tutorial - and finishing touches - coming soon.