I’m about two weeks late on this, but after a close call with Suicide Squad I’m back to my rule of making new critters only AFTER its source material has been released and vetted. BEHOLD! THE DOCTOR IS IN!
I think I’ve found something that might be more frustrating that putting hair on my critters: making tiny jewelry for them from scratch. The eye of Agamotto. THE FREAKING EYE OF AGAMOTTO. It involved wires, sequins, rhinestones, string, and lots of careful cutting and patience. I’m still not 100% happy with it, but short of learning to use a soldering iron it’s good enough for me.
At least it doesn’t take away from his music trivia sessions.
His sling ring skills could still use some work. Somehow he always ends up in London or on a strange spaceship.
As for my non-spoiler thoughts on the movie:
- Doctor Strange is 100% worth seeing in 3D. I usually feel like 3D movies are a waste of money and in most movies there’s only one or two scenes that fully utilize that “OOOOH AHHHH LOOKIT THE 3D STUFF” effect, but with all the crazy folding worlds and 360 views of visually stunning effects, Doctor Strange is worth putting on those goofy plastic glasses for 2 hours.
- Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One: I. LOVED. HER. Casting controversy aside, I’m pretty biased on this one because dammit, Tilda Swinton isn’t just an actress, she’s a shapeshifting alien from another planet who can transform into ANYONE and nails it every time.
- It followed your classic Marvel movie formula. Introduce the big baddie by showing him/her doing something terrible. Introduce your diamond-in-the-rough hero by presenting them as a human being first. Produce a montage of the hero transforming into the hero. Throw in a few one-line zingers. Throw in the obligatory Stan Lee cameo. End off with a big fight. It’s predictable, but IT WORKS EVERY TIME. Marvel clearly knows what works for them, and they’re very good at making good use of it.
- BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH. Swoon-worthy as usual. However. HOWEVER. If I had to point out a flaw, it’d be his American accent. It’s not ‘Murican enough. He kind of cheats and does the James Earl Jones formal American tone, and many times his English accent starts to leak through. Benny, I love you darling, but your British is showing, do cover up dear.
As for the spoilery thoughts:
- Wong! I freaking loved Wong! I actually wish there was more of him, but I guess his character was supposed to be the stone-faced librarian to begin with. He barely talked and I still loved him. Again, Marvel’s writers know how to work out quick ongoing jokes, and the whole “let’s try to make Wong laugh” running joke was pretty fun.
- I love how smart the writers were with including that one-liner of “It’s our wi-fi password. We’re not savages.” That single line alone broke any expectations of Kamar-Taj being some sort of ancient temple trapped in the past, so when we see Doctor Strange writing an email to Christine or Wong listening to music on an MP3 player no one would be crying out “WTF THAT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE.”
- LOVED the fact that the final battle wasn’t actually resolved with a massive fight between Doctor Strange and Kaecillius, but with Doctor Strange basically being an asshole to Dormammu and saying “I can do this all day, bro.” It was a battle of wits in addition to showing Doctor Strange’s growing powers. When most of the Marvel heroes depend on superpowers, superweapons, or straight-up super strength for most big fights, it was fun and refreshing to see something a little different.
- Post-credits scene: WAIT, SO ARE WE GETTING DOCTOR STRANGE AND LOKI IN ONE MOVIE??? YES? YES PLEASE???
Needless to say, I loved Doctor Strange, and every time I think Marvel will have finally drained their resources and stop making fun movies, they prove me wrong again and again. I can’t wait to see what’s in store.
Like many others with a Netflix account, I hit the “play” button on Stranger Things out of curiosity, and immediately lost 8 hours of my life to a bunch of kids seeing some REALLY weird stuff. It had suspense, a tinge of horror, plenty of charm, and LOADS of 80’s nostalgia hitting me in the face over and over again. Oh, and most of the show was performed by a bunch of kids. I LOVED IT. If the hooker likes it, it will be made into yarn:
WE HAVE LIMBS. OMG.
I made a little Eleven! AND SHE HAS LIMBS. Up until now my critters have mostly been limbless little lumps of yarn. I thought I’d try something different this time. This decision was made largely because I felt like Eleven HAD to have her little socks.
Of course Eleven could’t go around terrorizing people/saving her friends looking the way she does. She needed to be a little more “presentable” to stave off suspicion and recognizability from the bad people.
Wow. Much blonde. So fluff.
Eh, I’m thinking she was more comfortable without the wig anyway.
It cracks me up so much to see that the wig alone is practically the same size as Eleven herself. SO MUCH HAIR. Someone call Dolly Parton.
And with that, I leave everyone with a message from the upside-down!
When I did an art trade with Marcy of Moon’s Creations I felt terrible that I only sent her a critter and a half (a little Starlord with an even littler Groot) while she sent me FOUR awesome little crocheted bunnies. GAH. I had deadlines to meet for my upcoming book, but I vowed to send her more stuff once that was done. I recreated a Ponyo that I made years ago, and cooked up a new critter: a Neko Atsume cat! Snowball, to be specific.
For those who havent’t played, Neko Atsume is the dumbest “game” in existence. I hesitate to call it a game because there’s nothing to play and there’s nothing to win or lose. You put imaginary cat food in an imaginary bowl in an imaginary yard, and imaginary cats show up. When the cats leave they’ll give you imaginary fish, which is apparently a new form of currency. You then use said fish to buy imaginary cat toys to leave out in your imaginary yard. To attract more imaginary cats. And if you feel like it, you can take pictures of these imaginary cats to save into albums.
That’s it. That’s all you do. You don’t even get to play with the cats. It’s a lazy man’s hybrid between Pokemon Go and Tamagotchi: you don’t have to leave the house to “catch ’em all”, and nothing dies if you neglect it. It’s all so, so stupid. AND I CAN’T STOP.
Oh, and there’s cat butts too. So. Many. Cat butts.
So I couldn’t possibly leave that little detail out.
BEHOLD. THE CAT BUTT. Look deep into it. Yep.
BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE!
I’ve written up the pattern for this kitty too if any of you hookers out there want to make a little Snowball of your own! Pattern is available for the low, low price of FREE! You can find the pattern here. Just a note that it hasn’t been tested, so drop me a line if you find any goofs in the pattern! Go forth, and make all the imaginary kitties!
The last time I made little baseball bat-wielding critters I posted a “teaser” photo of two painted baseball bats, inviting everyone to guess who they’d be for.
The ones that I posted were for making little Harley Quinn, but there was another guess who was a frontrunner:
“Well hello sweetheart.”
Negan was a popular guess for a baseball bat-carrying character, and once a friend asked for one as well, I thought I’d give it a whirl. One of my stupider ideas was putting actual barbs on Negan’s beloved Lucille. When I initially wrapped the wire around the little bat it just didn’t look right. I twisted up some barbs to add to the bat, and ended up making an ACTUAL hazardous item. Given it’s more like getting stuck by a loose staple than actually being beaten by a baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire (thank goodness), but still, I’ve already given my friend a hefty warning to be careful with this little dude.
Oh. Oh no. Oh no oh no. Now you’re REALLY going to late for that board meeting. It’s okay business zombie, everyone else is going to be late too. REALLY late. You’re still the best undead employee ever.
On a side note, making little Negan made me realize a little Bob’s Burger set might have to be added to my ever-growing “to-crochet” list! I’m sure Negan could probably make a killer burger. His secret technique? He’s got one hell of a meat tenderizer in his hands. Lucy’s Post-Apocalyptic Burgers, anyone?
Yay! You didn’t suck in the movie! HARD WORK JUSTIFIED.
Alright, so I watched Suicide Squad over the weekend. Remember when I made that little Harley Quinn for Comic-Con? I spent a lot of time on that little bugger. And it made me nervous. I normally wait until the movie comes out before I take the time to make a critter from a new movie, because what if the movie sucks? Then I end up bitter that I spent all that time making something that I ended up not liking. Even with Star Wars: The Force Awakens I had people suggesting left and right that I should make a little BB-8, but I wanted to hold off on it until I saw the movie myself. That being said, I made a little Harley anyway because I loved her new look in Suicide Squad, and hoped for the best when the movie came out. Good news! The movie itself wasn’t anything great, but Harley Quinn was good. Here are my thoughts:
I’ll start with the caveat that I don’t know much about the characters in Suicide Squad outside of Joker and Harley, so I watched it more or less as a layperson. Otherwise let’s start with the good:
- Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn: Margot Robbie’s acting skills were severely underutilized here, but for what little they DID make of her, I loved it. She got the flirty-killer thing down, and I feel like she managed to show Harley’s conflicted romantic feelings for the Joker really well in just one short scene.
- Viola Davis as Amanda Waller: Loved her too. I also loved the parts where people would start babbling on to Colonel Flagg before he’d interrupt them and say “you need to be talking to her, not me.” That used to happen to me SO MUCH at my old job. The struggle is real.
- Will Smith as Deadshot: Deadshot was probably the only other character who helped hold the movie together. Classic “badass who did bad things but HEY LOOK he’s a daddy awwwwwwww,” but it worked.
- The bar scene: The movie needed so much more of this. We got some backstories (because OMG bad guys are people too), we saw the characters finally start to find some common ground…and then it all quickly went back to their disjointed “squad” that doesn’t really act as a squad. Sigh.
And then the bad:
- Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn: See above. They could’ve done so much more with it, and they didn’t.
- ENCHANTRESS. WTF: The introduction to Enchantress was pretty cool. Then it all went downhill, FAST. I feel like the director told Cara Delevigne “Okay, stand here and flail your arms around like one of those inflatable waving dudes you see at car dealerships. Yes, YES, WAVE MORE! FEEL THE EXCITEMENT ABOUT THE 0% APR.” No. Just no.
- Too much in too little time (or inefficient use of time): I still don’t know who the hell most of these characters are or why I should care about them. Harley and Deadshot were the only ones who had backstories that were fleshed out beyond an ineffective 1-minute montage. Keyword being ineffective. Ocean’s Eleven introduced ELEVEN people and still managed to make me like them for one reason or another.
- Boomerang and Katana: They didn’t need to be there. At all. Also as much as people gripe about Harley’s hotpants and stiletto-boots, can we talk about those long-ass ribbons on Katana’s outfit? Girl, you’re going to get tangled in that shit in no time. Also Katana sobbing to her sword seemed out of place and awkward. You know what? Killer Croc could’ve been taken out too and the movie would’ve been exactly the same.
- There was no “squad moment”: Look, movies like this follow a formula. Gather a bunch of misfits, introduce all of their individual abilities and personality quirks, and then towards the end you have a big “OH SHIT THAT’S HOW IT ALL WORKS TOGETHER” sequence. It’s cheezy, it’s predictable, but it works. Suicide Squad completely missed the point of the “squad” part. Deadshot shoots things. Diablo sets things on fire. At no point do any of them do these things in a concerted effort. They do their jobs individually at the same time, but none of it meshed together well enough to make it feel like everyone’s roles were falling into place.
On the fence:
- Jared Leto as the Joker: Still not sure how I feel about this one. Jared Leto did pretty well to make his own Joker, which is a pretty difficult feat when you’ve already got two VERY different bars set by Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger, but something still felt a little off about it. It was never QUITE where it needed to be. Not scary enough to be dread-inducing. Not crazy enough to make you say “oh holy shit, what’s wrong with you??” The end result was a mafia boss in clown makeup. Supposedly a lot of footage was cut and the Joker was meant to be much darker, but look, what matters is what’s actually IN the movie. You don’t buy a shitty chocolate chip cookie and then have the baker tell you “oh, the original batch had higher quality chocolate in it, but we had to cut it out” – what matters is the freaking cookie that you bought.
Overall impression: there were loads of flaws, but I actually liked it. It was pretty much what I expected it to be: nothing ground-breaking or particularly distinctive, but fun enough that I wasn’t constantly asking myself “are we done yet?” It’s a superhero (villain?) movie for crying out loud, you’re not going to find anything deep or substantial here. Compared to Dawn of Justice Suicide Squad did FAR better in keeping things relatively consistent (none of that “Superman can hear Lois Lane all the way in Africa but can’t hear his own mother in the same city” crap), and at the very least it didn’t take itself too seriously. On the other hand while Dawn of Justice dragged things out, Suicide Squad crammed in too much. DC needs to find a happy medium soon, or the upcoming Wonder Woman and Justice League movies are going to be a rough time for everyone.
Over the weekend I had some of my work up at the Castle of Dreams: Studio Ghibli tribute art show. It was a small and casual art show, with over 200 pieces of work on display in all kinds of media, free beer, and lots of fun enthusiastic people in attendance. There were paintings, sculptures, painted wood rounds (some of my favorites!), and other crocheted items in addition to mine! Check out all the goodness!
By Cathy Le
THE FEELS. ARGH. Painting by Cathy Le
By Cathy Le
Loved the color and detail on this one. Made by Kristina Dang
Close up of the panels
Close up of the panels
By Joshua Hernandez
By Kimberly Smith
By Bad Saber
By Bad Saber
Look at the detail!
By Bad Saber
By Mike Esparza
By Mike Esparza
I just wanna hug it! By Cully Mulryan
By Cully Mulryan
By Tess Hinkleman
By Kristina Kenner
By Phuoc Tran
By Sophia Duran. It’s all paper cutouts!
Close up on the paper cut out details. Super impressive.
By Christian Navarrete
By Valerie Gudell
By Valerie Gudell
By Valerie Gudell
By Jessica Padilla
…and then there was my stuff, which looked pretty underwhelming compared to all the other amazing art that was out there.
But hey, all three pieces got sold! If there’s one thing I’ve taken away from this, it’s that I need to learn to present my work better if it’s going to be up for purchase. I’ve gotten used to taking some photos of my critters and then unceremoniously dumping them in public places, so presentation “in the wild” wasn’t on my mind. Maybe I’ll put it all in a nice diorama and price the entire thing instead of having a bunch of sad looking little items in a glass case. One way or another a lot of great art was shared, and proceeds all went towards the Center for Recycled Art! I’ll have to look into more art shows around town, I’d definitely do this again.🙂