Saturday, July 18, 2015

Arcade Field Trip Photos- Pinball, Strange and Nifty Games, and Neo Geo Rubbish!

Hello! Today's post has nothing to do with cross stitching, but a lot to do with "dork," so it seems kind of appropriate! Today, a couple of friends and I drove for about an hour to visit a couple of arcade museums- the Route 66 Arcade Museum in Atlanta, Illinois, which has arcade games from 1935 until the early 1980s, and Arcadia: America's Playable Arcade Museum in McLean, IL, which has games from the 1980s until the early 2000s. The museums are both free to get into, but on their website (, it says that it's helpful to post about trips to them on blogs. I am good at chattering and passable at taking photos, so I shall be using today's post to document the trip!

Disappointingly, the Route 66 Arcade Museum was closed today, despite the fact that we went during its open hours. It was a tiny town, so I asked about it in the library, where they told me to ask about it in the artisan's shop, where the woman behind the counter told me pretty bluntly to get lost. I want to go back when it actually is open, and then post more rubbish about it then, but that could be a while. Later in the day, another group of nerd tourists said they'd heard at a local restaurant that the museum was repainting, which is more information than we got.

Even though the first museum was closed, Arcadia, which was ten minutes away, was open and very spiffy. We spent about an hour and a half there, and, thanks to my low to moderate skills at DDR, pinball, and Neo Geo games, I did not use up all of my quarters. I also got a bunch of pictures, with a handful of them actually being usable!

Setting the tone for this set of photos is my selfie by the miniature Neo Geo MVS cabinet. There were only two SNK machines in the whole place, but I spent several quarters on them to justify my horrible cell phone photography. This machine played Metal Slug and Blazing Star, and if you look behind me, you can see the title screen for Metal Slug.

I'm also in front of Pocket Racer, but since I don't have any misguided love for that game, I don't have much to say about that.

I couldn't get too good of a photo of this machine, since the lights on the display make it look even more out of focus than it would be otherwise, but this is the Doctor Who pinball machine that I spent a lot of time playing. It was really cool because when you do certain things, the Dalek on top starts screaming at you. I like it when pinball machines threaten to exterminate me, so this was essentially my dream game. Aside from the nifty nerd aspect of this machine, though, it was actually really fun.
This is about half of the pinball machines that they had. The Back to the Future one ate two of my quarters, but someone shut it off before we'd left, so the people working there at least seem careful about that sort of stuff. There was a really cute Super Mario World era Mario Bros pinball, too, but it wasn't on at all, so my picture of it looked dingy and bad.
This pinball, Space Mission, wasn't with the rest of the machines, I think because it was a little older (1975) and less flashy. It was so fun, though! It made dinging noises like pinball machines do in cartoons, and every time I did something, the score would click up on the number flaps at top, so even though it had less lights and stuff, it still felt like I was doing something impressive if I'd hit a target. It was a little slower paced, too, so one quarter lasted quite a while on it.
This is a tiny portion of the main room, across from the pinball row. The SNK machine from my first photo is over at the right, though I can't really make out the screen on it. The games in back are Burger Time, Pac-Man, Galaga, and Ms. Pac-Man, with Pocket Racer right in the center, taking up the best spot in the shot.
Here is the Tron machine, which was very cool looking, but also served as a confusing murder simulator. According to this, if I were in The Games, I would have run straight into my enemy and exploded many times while trying to spin a dial that served no purpose. If they had given me a tank, I also would have run straight into my enemy and exploded many times. Today, I felt very lucky that Tron is not a true story.

These two pictures are of Time Traveler, a super-fancy, but still kind of dumb FMV game that we kept playing. In the first photo, the close-up, you can kind of see the display. Instead of having a normal screen, it shows a 3D video of cheaply costumed actors on a small display inside of the black dome, with no backgrounds. It's really cool looking! 

The game itself is kind of like a more playable version of Dragon's Lair or Space Ace. Here, instead of trying to figure out some mysterious command, you turn left or right and hit the shoot button really fast. If you fail, a bad sitcom version of a wizard yells at you. It's not awful, but it wasn't great, either. Also, I died in the tutorial level and then cleared three levels, so I'm not sure what's going on there. 

My cowboy got stabbed in the guts by 80s punks for my game over, and since that was kind of awesome, I did not continue.
My last photo for today is of the other really strange machine I played, SNK's The Irritating Maze. The game itself was not too weird- you guide a circle through mazes with a trackball and try not to touch the edges of the maze. If you do hit the edge, though, the two yellow and silver bars on the side of the screen shoot a pop of freezing cold air in your face.

I can see where this play mechanic could be considered bad, or even horrible, but today, it was over 90 degrees, so The Irritating Maze became one of the finest games in the arcade. I didn't lose on purpose, but I wasn't good at it, either, especially once I hit the expert maze. Design-wise, I'm not sure why you would make losing turn an arcade cabinet into a personal air conditioning unit, but today, I appreciated it.

Those are the best photos I have from today, so I am done for now! I'll be back again soon with some actual craft-related stuff, though. Until then, have a good weekend!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Jumping on Tama's Bandwagon and Learning Chromebook Image Editing

Hello! Over at Stitching Daze, Tama has been posting a lot of cool stuff about a giant stack of pre-printed Chinese cross stitch kits that she bought. I was really excited to see them, as I have a couple of them, too. Mine are smaller than hers, and are of generic anime girls rather than pretty, classy stuff, but since that seems to be the cold, hard truth of most of what either of us stitch, it seems fair. After seeing her posts, though, I got all excited about my own pre-printed kits and made a renewed effort to actually finish them.

Tonight's post is dedicated to me showing these kits and my progress on them off while still learning to use my Chromebook for image editing. I did all of today's stuff without switching to Linux and am kind of proud of that.

First up is Kimono Girl, who I've shown WIP pics of here before. In this collage, every frame is a different color that I finished on her, with the big picture being how she looks as of right now. I think I'm about a third of the way done with the normal stitching on her, so finishing this kit feels like an attainable goal! A lot of the weird pre-printed colors are covered up now, and the real image is starting to show.

Since starting Kimono Girl, I've gotten a second one of these, which I call Moon Princess, because I'm very creative. (The kit calls her Moon Girl, but she's very fancy, so I'm upping her title.) This kit actually seems a lot simpler, but since the pre-printed squares are a tiny bit off, I get slightly annoyed working on her. Still, I love the image, so she's still fun to work on. I only have two floss colors done on this one so far, so the collage is the un-started canvas in the first frame (upper left corner) and then the first two colors of floss.

Now that I have these posted, I'm done for today, but I will be back and posting again soon! I want to get better at constructing printouts for my patterns on here, so I'll probably continue the Game of Thrones sprite pattern set. If anyone has any character requests, let me know, because without guidance, I'm just going to make the characters with the most elaborate clothes, because that is the kind of rubbish that I like to stitch. However that goes, though, I hope that all of you are doing well with your respective craft projects!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Testing Linux's Cross Stitch Pattern Making Abilities with a New Sprite Pattern

Hello! My Windows 8 machine met an untimely, sad demise that involves slowness, funny car type noises, randomly inserting capital letters into anything that I typed, and occasionally getting really hot and smelling weird, so I got a Chromebook. It is a cute computer that runs super-fast and does a lot of cool things, so I'm really happy with it. However, I was worried about making new patterns for this blog on it. It was taking me 6 or 7 minutes to open each image file on the last computer, so it's not like I was doing a fantastic job on that, but at least the programs were available.

Luckily, my sister showed me how I could download Linux distros onto a Chromebook, meaning that I could use a lot more offline programs on it! I was kind of slow with it, and spent a good week convinced that I was far too dumb to make Linux work, but today, I sat down for a few hours and decided it was time to figure it out. It took a while, but I got it.

After getting KXStitch, a nifty Linux exclusive cross stitch pattern maker, and GIMP, a stupid and bad image editor that I am going to continue hating for a very long time, I drew in my base sprite patterns and then set about making a trial chart. As I mentioned before, I have to buzz through way too much Game of Thrones this summer, so I ended up making a sprite pattern of Arya Stark. I think the pattern itself came out really well! Her outfit uses a lot of browns, so I got to play with the pallette editor on KX Stitch, and because she's shorter than standard height, I learned some of the editing tools, too. The layout is a mess, though. I ended up with a rubbish word processor that doesn't even have Arial, and am having trouble sizing my charts and preview images right now. Still, though, I think it's readable, if not weird looking.

Anyway, here is today's sprite pattern of Arya Stark! Would you guys like more Game of Thrones sprite patterns? I can pass it off as studying until late December, and the outfits are really detailed, too.

This is all I have for today, but I've been working on a lot of stitching of my own and have been considering posting some photos. I need to get better at using this computer to make cross patterns, too, so I will keep working on that. It's just going to be sprite patterns for a while, but I will work my way up to fancier charts as I get better at it!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Dork Stitch's Seventh Annual Heal Slime Day, With My Blog's House Banner

Hello! I have had this blog for over six years, which is cool, even though I am not doing well at keeping up with it this year. I've still been making patterns, but just haven't posted them, which somehow seems worse than not doing anything at all. I've been pretty excited for today's post, though, because it's always fun to try to make a new pattern for Heal Slime day!

In the fall, I'm going to be taking a graduate level history class on Game of Thrones, so I've been trying to read and watch the entire series over the summer. Because of that, this year, it made sense to take out a pencil and graph paper and try to draw Dork Stitch's house banner- a Heal Slime floating against a field of lilac. It may not be practical in battle, but it is cute and cheerful, which is what actually matters.

I've been stitching this on plastic canvas, and so far it's going pretty well, so I can say with certainty that it's quick and easy to stitch. I'm considering somehow putting it on a bunch of my school supplies for next year and being like, "It's my house banner, of course it's on all of my notebooks," so I may even be able to fairly judge what it is like to stitch this multiple times. It's simple, with no half stitches and only a few colors, and it's not very big, either, so if any of you have even the remotest interest in stitching it, I hope you enjoy it!

For today, this is it, but I hope to do better with actually posting here in the near future! Like I said, I have a lot of stuff to post, particularly where brightly colored anime characters are concerned, and I have some projects of my own to show off, too, including a charming Walking Dead sampler that I designed, one that would look right at home in any kitchen. Until my next post, good luck with all of your craft projects and all of your other stuff, too!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Okay, Cross Stitch Pattern Making Is Once Again Fun

I have been feeling kind of blah about this blog lately, but today, I went to Anime News Network and saw that Sanrio had designed one Hello Kitty to look like each character from Love Live School Idol Project, and then I suddenly wanted to make every cross stitch pattern ever. I got started on that set this afternoon, and will probably start posting patterns from it later this week, because they're cute and fluffy and in bright colors, and I want all nine of them to be on my wall. After working on those for way too long, I went to turn on my TV and HBO Go wasn't working, so I came back to my computer and started working on sprite patterns again, which was also fun. When I went to actually chart things, it got a bit iffy, because I forgot what sizes I copy and pasted all of the pattern elements at, which is why when you look at tonight's pattern, you may feel like the preview image is a little too small. It's a cool pattern, though, so I'm sure you can deal with it.

Tonight's post is for a sprite pattern of Imperator Furiosa from Mad Max: Fury Road. (If you are surprised by this, I think it might be the first time you have been to this blog.) I made it because this blog needs more cross stitch patterns of people with robot arms who drive semi trucks from hell, but am pretty happy with how the pattern came out. The outfit I gave her in the pattern is a composite of a couple different ones, because I wanted to stitch her on black fabric, but I think the point comes across well enough. I'm probably going to use silver floss for the arm and belt buckles, too, but it's totally up to you if you want to suffer through metallic floss or not. Anyway, here is the pattern!

I'm going to go stitch this now, while listening to my sister's lovely radio show, and then I am going to watch Game of Thrones and Silicon Valley, as the internet has stopped failing me. Soon, I'll be back to post some really frilly-girly nonsense, but until then, good luck with your crafts!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

A Fancy Avengers Sprite Pattern That Was Difficult to Make

Hello! I have not been blogging much lately, mostly because I did not really want to and felt like my head was going to explode. My Spring 2015 semester of pursuing an MA in History sucked, partially because my classes were stressful (though I was getting straight As, which is cool!), partially because I had a very strange roommate situation, and, in the last chunk, partially because I was panicking over work stuff. All of that went by, and I intended to get back to blogging nicely, but last week, I broke a futon, thought I was going to lose my summer work for a very stressful day, and stabbed myself in the hand with a kitchen knife because I was trying to make a nice sandwich and had an unfortunate coughing fit while doing so. These things were also not conducive to blogging.

Things have gotten way better! I got a new, not campus-owned apartment with people I get along with, have a tuition waiver job next year and work for the summer, and, of my three classes next semester, have one on American feminist histories and another on using real historical methods to study Game of Thrones. From here, I should be able to blog a lot more.

Though I am blogging right now, I can tell you now that if you have requested something from me, I probably have not made it. My current desktop patterns to chart and post are, in terms of sprite patterns, some more stuff from Avengers: Age of Ultron and the equally popular Project Justice, a Dreamcast fighting game. Inexplicably, I also made a very nice portait pattern of Plucky Duck from Tiny Toons while I was throwing a mental snit fit about the internet's lack of Tiny Toons patterns. (I loved that show when I was a kid, so I felt it was necessary.) I also have a Walking Dead sampler I'm working on, because every well put together room needs a shout-out to Terminus, but I want to stitch that before I post it. There's also a lot of half finished stuff.

Anyway, I did not really want to post tonight, but I got sick of watching TV and wanted to accomplish something, so here I am! Tonight, I'm back to my Avengers rubbish, because I like making sprite patterns of characters from Marvel movies, with this super-impressive pattern of Falcon, who first showed up in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. It's probably the best in the new round, so I'm wasting my grand finale here, but I don't care. Designing the wings and, suprisingly, the sunglasses for this pattern sucked, so I'm showing it off! Plus, I posted Bucky last, so I'm sticking with a theme, I guess. Here is the pattern!

I have four more Avengers patterns left to post, but don't really know when I'll be posting them. I'm sleepy now, though, so it won't be tonight! Thanks for reading, and have a good week!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

You Win, Here Is Bucky.

Hello! I made a bunch of new patterns today after having seen Age of Ultron, which I will start posting tomorrow. For today, however, I am posting a sprite pattern of the character most requested here by a longshot, Bucky Barnes, in the Captain America: The Winter Soldier outfit. I am not really sure why Bucky is so popular, but I made the pattern anyway, so here you go! I hope that all of you who wanted this pattern are pleased.

I am done for today, but, like I said, I'll be back again tomorrow with some new Avengers patterns! Until then, good luck with your crafts and stuff!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Promoting a Class Project, Future Patterns, and My WIP Kit

Hello! Tonight I am writing here mostly because I am babysitting a class Twitter project and I want to make sure a couple more things work before I go and watch TV.

For the project, one of my grad history classes, on history and digital media, is live tweeting the assassination and funeral of US President Abraham Lincoln, for its 150th anniversary, on the account @AbesLastRide! I'm making sure that the tweets go out for the next week, which is way less stressful than I expected. (HootSuite's scheduling is saving me from getting up at 6:20 tomorrow morning, and I am grateful for that.) If any of you are interested in the project, though, you should follow it! Our class has been working on it all semester, occasionally as I sat in the back of the room wishing that Twitter had never been invented, so it's cool that it's finally underway.

With this blog, I'm about to start posting a lot of new sprite patterns, almost all of which have been requested. I am not sure what nonsense I will start doing when it comes down to it, but I've been working on a new requested set of Cardcaptor Sakura patterns, the rest of the Love Live School Idol patterns, and one that was requested quite a while back of the main character from Kill la Kill. (I don't watch the show and can't remember how her name is spelled, except that I suspect it is a different spelling of Ryoko than is used on Tenchi Muyo.)

For tonight, however, most of what I have is WIP photos of the cross stitch kit I was writing about a couple of weeks back. I've taken a picture every time I finish a color, so these are not very exciting, but here they are! I have five colors done, and it is gradually looking less and less weird.
Well, with that done, I was going to post some more, but computers are gradually losing all meaning for me. I am going offline now, but hope to be back and posting again soon! Until then, have a lovely day and good luck with whatever you are doing!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Showing Off a New Project, With Questions for Other Stitchers!

Hello! Today, I do not have a new pattern for you guys, though I am working pretty steadily on the Love Live! School Idol Project set of sprite patterns. They're coming out to be really cute, and since they just released some of the artwork for the new series, complete with new characters, I might end up making them, too. School has been busy and weird, so I will probably keep posting them slowly, but they shall eventually appear.

For today, I am posting to show off a new cross stitch kit that I got in the mail yesterday. I'd been looking at this on Amazon for a while, and, despite the fact that it was inexpensive, not ordering it. I had a really bad day earlier this week, though, complete with kitchen fires and the (completely, totally, non-threatening, but still annoying) promise of medical tests, so my mom sent me an early birthday gift in the form of some Amazon money. That seemed like a very good excuse to buy this cross stitch kit!

As you can tell, in my quest to do only serious and classy crafts, I bought a kit of an anime-style kimono girl, meaning this kit will be totally different from everything else I've ever made. I thought the design was really cute, but I also wanted it because it was a kit with 11-count Aida cloth, which is always fun to use.

What I am less sure about as I start this kit is the fact that it has pre-printed fabric. (The fabric itself is in the upper left corner of my photo set above.) It comes with a pattern, too, but the printing is clear and high quality enough, despite the weird colors, that I don't know if I'll need it. It makes it look even more fun and easy. I have not really done a project on printed Aida cloth before, though, so I'm not sure what to do in the end.

Have any of you stitched a pre-printed kit before? The thread is high quality, so I'm not worried about color bleeding from the thread, but when I wash the gridlines and stuff out, will that mess up what I've already stitched? I know it is a dumb question, but I am having trouble finding an answer, as many shopping sites as come up when I type in "pre-stamped cross stitch finishing help."

Regardless of how this needs to be finished, I'm going to start working on her later and, hopefully, post updates as I go! I don't think she'll take too long to stitch, but it should be fun and come out well. Hopefully, I'll be able to get some good photos of it, too!

I am done posting for today, but I hope to post again soon, whether it's about this or patterns! I just got done with a really big chunk of schoolwork, so I feel a lot less stressed than I did when I got up this morning. Anyway, I hope all of you have a good day, and good luck with all of your own craft projects!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

A New Set of Patterns of Anime Pop Stars, So You Don't Forget What Blog This Is

Hello! I have not been blogging that much lately, though I am working on patterns. Tonight, though, I decided to change that by starting a new set of Love Live! School Idol Project sprite patterns. (This round of anime idol singers is acceptable because they were requested.) However, I am kind of sleepy, so I only got one character done. I mean, I made the pattern of Honoka, and since she's the main character, that could be a lot worse. I'm half done with Umi, too, so there will likely be another one very soon to make up for my slacking tonight. For now, though, enjoy this pattern! If you don't like it, that's too bad, because eight more that match her are coming!

Also, this is a question specifically for Hani- is this the outfit set you asked for? I left the reference picture I printed on my desk at school, so though this looks right, I may have picked the wrong one from the comfort of this couch.

With my own stitching, I don't have a photo tonight, but I will very soon! On Sunday, I found a giant piece of Aida cloth with a stack of Baccano cross stitch patterns in it, made on the software that I had two computers back. I was obviously ready to do some intense fan art based on an anime where someone gets punched in the face until it kills them, but for some reason, forgot all about it. I'm starting that, though, and am making good progress! I'll show that off with my next patterns of Love Live! School Idol characters, because the two shows match so very well.

I'm done posting for tonight, but am going to force myself to post more patterns in this set very soon! Until then, have a good week and best of luck with your crafts!