Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Winner, Sales and New Items

Congratulations to HeartofGoldPlate. Thank you for entering my contest. A new contest will be announced December 1st. Stay tuned!

Black Friday sale on my etsy

Use coupon code BFRIDAY to save 25%

Be sure to check out some of my new items.

Chozo from Metroid

Marcus Fenix

Charmander from Pokemon

Cyclops from X-Men

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Different types of stitches

I'm a big fan of creating tissue boxes, but the problem is that making the same half stitch over and over again is both a long and tedious project. By using different styles of stitches, you can create some exciting new projects for just about anything. I always start with my basic design first and then stitch around it. Let's have a look:

The beaded tent stitch:
Adding beads to your work is something people do not think of too often. By adding beads you can create dimension and cool designs.

Here's an example of the application of this technique. I changed the bead and alternated colors, but you get the idea:

The scottish stitch creates a pop square look.

And here is the Cushion Stitch (aka Squares Stitch)

And here's the application of the Scottish and Cushion Stitch

The weaving stitch is great for making a basket type look

The last stitch that makes for amazing design is the lattice stitch. This is a complicated stitch that can really mess with your mind as you work on it, but the end result is gorgeous.

Here is the final side of my tissue box with the lattice stitch. You can see the weaving stitch on the top.

As you can see, using different stitches in tandem with main designs can create exciting new work. Here are some other helpful bits of information:

Helpful links:
Pretty Impressive Stuff - has an entire database about stitches with some very clear pictures.
The Stitch Guide - is also a great source for plastic canvas connoisseurs.
Plastic Stitch Dictionary - can be found at most craft stores. This is the book I use and it's wonderful!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Batman's best handmade items.

In honor of today's Batman listing. I went through Etsy and found some gorgeous Batman items. Here's a list of my top 5 favorite Batman items

First up: My Batman Magnet. Available now at my shop.

Xero created this awesome Scarecrow Batman art. He has more Batman items available at his shop.

EroidDIY handmade this Joker / Harley Quinn Hoodie. ErosDIY has an assortment of hoodies from famous video game and tv shows. Be sure to check out the rest of her shop.

WireNWhimsy creates beautiful stainless steel items. Be sure to check out this Batman Necklace, as well as more items available at his shop.

Youpublicist creates his items through woodburning. This Batman will surely stand out this holiday for the ardent Batman fan.

Although he's more like superman, here's a picture of my brother who is in the Army - in honor of him for Veteran's day.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Retro Station Giveaway

In order to get some views and general pre-holiday excitement, I'm offering a special November giveaway. So today I'm happy to announce that my Ninja and Gameboy Giveaway officially begins. It's easy to enter and you have a chance to win a free Ninja or Gameboy. If I receive at least 25 entries, I will be giving away multiple prizes.

To Enter
1) Follow my Blog
2) Leave a comment on this entry.
3) In the comment, link an item you like from my Etsy Shop
4) Name if you would like a Ninja or a Gameboy - and a color preference
5) Leave a way for me to contact you if you win.

Extra Entries
Follow my twitter and give me a mention @Retro_store

(Ask for other colors, even if you don't see them here, I have over 100 available)

Contest Deadline
Contest ends November 20th, 2011 at 11:59PM.
Winner will be announced November 22nd, 2011.

Contest Eligibility:
Contest open to any US residents

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

How to get started with Needlepoint

Plastic canvas is a technique that seems to have largely gone out of style these days. I'm here to really breath life back into this older technique. Today, Cross Stitching has really started to dominate the needlecraft landscape; however, Plastic Canvas has a lot to offer. Some things to keep in mind about Plastic Canvas.

Plastic Canvas is cheap. It is a fairly inexpensive hobby that has fairly cheap start up costs. Once you get the initial supplies, you're pretty much all set for life.

Plastic Canvas is time consuming, but not as time consuming as Cross Stitching. In almost all cases, a Cross Stitching project can take you double the amount of time in comparison to Plastic Canvas.

Plastic Canvas is stiff. This means your items can be manipulated in ways other needlecraft projects can't be. I have turned my items into anything from castles to handbags to gift bags.

So what do I need to get started?

Needles and Pin Holder:
First up - needles. These can be found at any major craft store and even Wal-Mart. My preference is this exact brand and size. 16 DMC Tapestry Needle. They're sold in packs of five.

Make sure the circle on the bottom left says 1
6. If it says anything bigger, you can break your canvas as your making your project, and if you get too small, you can end up causing pain to your fingers or struggling to get yarn through the loop. A 5 pack of needles won't run you more than $5.99
A pin holder/cushion is optional, but there are many people on Etsy who sell really beautiful and fun pin cushions.

I got mine (It's a mini-cheese grater) from Fibrous. Be sure to check out her Etsy for other cool pincushion.

Spincushions also offers a variety of beautiful handmade pincushions.

Again these aren't necessary, but I use my pincushion everyday, and if you become a serious needlecrafter, you'll want a nice pincushion.

Next, you'll need some clear plastic canvas. I use 7mesh Plastic Canvas for all my projects. the number 7 refers to how many holes you have per inch. So every 7 holes is ~1 inch. Bigger count means the more work you'll be doing. Counts can get up into the 20s. Again, I recommend 7mesh plastic canvas. Most craft stores will have clear plastic canvas. It averages anywhere between 39cents - 79scent for a sheet. All you need is 1 or 2 sheets for your first project.Be sure to be consistent with whatever brand you purchase as different brands might measure up every so slightly different which could mess up a bigger project. This is what you'll use for most basic projects.

You can also get colored canvas. They come in all sorts of colors. They run approximately the same price as clear canvas.Clear canvas just naturally feels different than colored. Colored has a slightly waxy textures. I love colored canvas for making bags. Such as a Christmas Bag for the holidays. Be sure to check out my Mario Mushroom Bag and Zelda Triforce Bag.

You can also get Canvas with predetermined shapes. But actually these are used in more advance designs to create structures.
I recommend just buying a couple pieces of clear canvas for your first project. These other items will be great later.

Yarn will be the last thing you need. 7Mesh has big holes. So you cannot just buy your generic assortment of cross stitching fabric. My recommendation is Red Heart Brand Yarn. Buy whatever colors you need for your first project. Your first project shouldn't have more than 5 colors, just to keep costs down and your frustration level down. Yarn can get expensive, but since you get so much when you purchase it, you rarely need to go and buy more of one color in your lifetime. I only go through black and white consistently. After years of doing this, I'm finally running low on yellow.

These are all the colors I needed to make Fluttershy
This is all you need to get started. Check back later this week for a giveaway, as well as some great first patterns for your project. Good luck on your first project and happy stitching!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Pattern Resources

People often ask where I get my patterns for my items. The answer is always - all around the internet. But there are a couple places you can go where there is a plethora of patterns for free. If you're interested in free patterns, here are some places you should be checking out.

Pixelgasm Forums
For the love of pixels is the forum motto. Here, hundreds of people post their creations and there is a pretty open door policy with taking each other's patterns. Just remember to keep good etiquette about who you got the pattern from. Just referring back to the person suffices with most of the posters in the forum. In the event you forget, just say so.
(The Stig sprite I made - taken from Ronin's pattern)

Sprite Database
Paul aka GRIM has been running this site since 2005. His collection of sprite's is one of the largest on the internet. Search by game system and title, and then you're all set. From Atari Lynx to Nes to current gen like PS3 - his extensive collection is really a treasure.
(Mr. Shine and Mr. Bright taken from the Sprite Database Kirby section)

The Spriters Resource
Another site similar to Sprite Database. Spriters Resource is more particular as they tend to lean towards more anime inspired games, but you'll still find plenty of Mario, Street Fighter and other items as well. The Game Boy section I particularly love as it has great television shows like Scooby Doo and Ahhh! Real Monsters
(Picture of the Scooby Doo! I made. Pattern taken from The Spriter's Resource)


Ever need a Pokemon sprite. Here is the entire collection ever. From Red/Blue to Black/White. A must have for Pokefanatics.

(Mareep I made. Pattern from this Pokemon Database)

Lego Portrait
Turn any of your pictures into sprites. This site really works well for photography or just any image you saved. I recently turned an Invader Zim into a Lego Portrait and made this:

Sprite Stitch
Is one of the most popular stitching sections on the internet. While the forums are not as extensive as Pixelgasm, there are some really good finds. Plus the inclusion of the blog is really great and from time to time there are some fantastic patterns posted. The patterns in this forum tend to be a bit more complex, anyone up for a good challenge should check out some of the patterns on here. Check out this amazing stitch from Lord Libidan

Other sources:
Free Patterns - Strictly for plastic canvas. The patterns here are more elaborate and many 3Dimensional. You do have to sign up and be prepared for a bunch of random pop-ups, but the site itself is good.
DeviantART - This is mostly people's artwork, but some of the spriter's don't mind if you take from them. Ask before you do though.
Capcom sprites - a collection of Capcom sprites.
NES/SNES sprites - another database of sprites
Cross stitch collection - great collection for cross stitch. Not sprites, but other miscellaneous images like ballet, horses, and fairies. I use some of this stuff for Needlepoint.
Fuse bead patterns - Mini pattern database. Good collection of Pokemon, Digimon, Final Fantasy and other miscellaneous game sprites.

Be sure to leave comments if these were useful - also if you know any other sites be sure to post and I'll add them.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Top 5 Holiday items

Welcome to my Blog for my Etsy store -

I'm entering my sixth month on Etsy and sales have been fantastic. With the holidays upon us, it's important to start thinking about what to get for the holidays; thankfully, I have some perfect Holiday items for you or that loved one. Let's see what's available.

1. Pixel Ninja - This $1 ninja will make the perfect stocking stuffer this holiday

2. Christmas Mario - Mario fans will love this holiday themed Mario

3. Christmas Mega Man - Capcom fans will love this recolored Holiday Mega Man

4. Fluttershy - My Little Pony is one of the biggest shows on television and the internet.

5. Nintendo bob-omb - again, at only $1 - a perfect addition to any stocking stuffer

As you can see - there is a wide assortment of handmade items available, and more available at my shop. Be sure to check it out, and Until November 15th, be sure to use coupon NOVEMBER15 to save 15%. And as always. All items have free shipping :)

Happy Stitching,