Happy National Grammar Day! If you’ve been reading me for a while, you likely know I have a bit of a fixation on grammar. And spelling. And language. Nothing aggrieves me more than getting a mass email at work from “You’re Social Committee”.
I’ve marked this occasion (I’m loath to call it a holiday) in the past by flying my language-freak flag with a tea towel, and one fun if amateurish t-shirt. I shouldn’t be so hard on the shirt, actually. Despite its clearly homemade vibe, it doubles as a nod to The Simpsons and still makes me laugh. A few weeks ago, I found the perfect design to try my hand at another shirt, and kept my fingers crossed that the execution would work as well as the idea.
I started out with a plain maroon t-shirt from Michaels, and some silvery heat transfer vinyl, and got the design ready to cut on my Silhouette cutting machine. (A note: this picture is the most accurate representation of the shirt’s colour. Don’t ask me what happened in the later pictures.)
This is the back side of my cut. See the outlines of the letters?
A confession: it took me two tries to get this cut out properly. When I initially adjusted my cut settings for “heat transfer vinyl, metallic”, it cut straight through the vinyl and the plastic carrier sheet. When I adjusted them to “heat transfer vinyl, smooth”, it didn’t cut quite all the way through the vinyl on the first pass, and I had to feed it back into the machine for a second go.
While I was weeding the excess vinyl from my design, I discovered that if I pulled/stretched it too much, it sprang back on itself like curly ribbon – you can see a little bit of that above. Between my cutting issues and weeding issues, I should have realized how finicky this stuff was going to be.
Did I mention that this metallic vinyl was finicky? After following the application instructions, I still found that parts of it really, really liked hanging on to the plastic carrier sheet and were reluctant to adhere to the shirt (although an extra taste of my heat press solved that). It’s a bit hard to see in this shot, but the serif on the bottom of the “r” in “your” positively refused to join the rest of the letter, and the serif on the bottom of “I” folded over upon itself. Finicky.
Although the instructions advise to wait 24 hours before laundering my newly festooned garment, and it’s been several times that, I’m still convinced this (finicky, finicky) stuff will all slide off the first time I wash it. But I have pictures now to prove that, however briefly, I had an almost-professional looking grammar shirt.
Those of you who have been following my exploits for a while will know that I’m a bit of a stickler for grammar. There was the tea towel, the t-shirt, and the rant about “whatever“. (Oh, yes, and the snarky cross-stitch for a friend.)
It probably shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone, then, that abbreviated text-speak annoys me to no end. There might have been a case made for it, back when SMS messages were allotted only 160 characters, and you had to key “4-4-3-3-5-5-5-5-5-5-6-6-6” just to say “Hello”. (Remember that?) But with the proliferation of smart devices – or worse, when someone’s using a real computer and keyboard? That’s just lazy.
Despite my aversion to that “How R U?” kind of stuff, I found myself drawn to “C U L8R” from the “Cats Rule” line by Heritage Stitchcraft. For one thing, the cat looks a bit like mine; also, I figured it would make a great companion piece to “Whateva”, and by extension, a great birthday gift for my mom. I love Heritage Stitchcraft’s designs for their detail and nuance – and for the fact that each pattern comes with two sheets: one for cross-stitch and one for the backstitch – but oh, my, those squashed fractionals! Evenweave is a must with those guys.
Weekly progress shots are available on my Instagram feed, but I present to you now the finished piece in all its glory:
It’s particularly appropriate since I’m the one who taught her how to text – back when “4-4-3-3-5-5-5-5-5-5-6-6-6” ruled the airwaves.
Beside its companion piece, whose subject looks utterly disinterested in being Cn L8r.
….my true love gave to me a hoop that says, “Speak properly!”
This is the final Craftmas post, and quite possibly my favourite of the lot: my gift for my friend, Bill.
Let me preface this by stating without reservation that I did not come up with this saying, nor the pattern. Rather, I saw this post made by the wonderfully talented Homerof2 on Craftster, and knew I had to have one. I used PCStitch to design a chart based on the photo, and think it turned out quite well – but all credit really belongs to the original artist.
Bill and I have many things in common, but one of our favourite shared pastimes is mocking other people’s bad grammar and/or spelling. Don’t get me wrong; we’re not a couple of total jerks. We would never make fun of someone whose first language isn’t English, for example, or mock people simply for being less well-read than we are. Our favourite target is the media (both print and otherwise), because really, if you’ve chosen a career that entails communicating effectively and clearly, you ought to have a handle on the language. (Wouldn’t you be terrified of a doctor who didn’t know the difference between your arms and your legs? So why should the meteorologist who speaks glibly of “tempachure” get a free pass?)
I used a dark blue floss (and hanging ribbon…and backing felt…) to keep it a little more neutral and masculine without using plain black everything, and didn’t paint or cover the hoop for the same reason. I’m not sure if or where he’ll want to hang this, but I thought it might make a fun decoration for work.
As always, thank you for looking, and I look forward to blogging with you in 2016!
Hello, dear readers and crafters, and let me be the first (probably) to wish you a very Happy Grammar Day!
Having a fairly relaxed dress code, I wanted to do something wearable to mark the big day this year. I saw a t-shirt eerily similar (ahem) to the one below on a website, and knew it was perfect. They had a little blurb asking customers to contact them regarding international shipping rates, so I sent a very polite message doing just that…and never heard back. (Still haven’t.) Either they’re extremely skittish about shipping to Canada (“But the dollar is so low! How will she afford it? How will she afford it?”), or they’re now completely defunct. In either case, when it became readily apparent I wasn’t going to be finding a parcel in my mailbox in time for March 4, I took matters into my own hands. I’m crafty like that.
Yes! Something to combine my love of The Simpsons (as it used to be, anyway) with my inherent grammar geekiness! The shirt is just a standard men’s crewneck from Old Navy, and I used Tulip soft fabric paint for the logo. I would love to learn how to screen print to get cleaner lines, but overall, I’m pretty happy with how this turned out.
Fun fact: although the purely fictitious National Grammar Rodeo from the episode “Bart on the Road” was to be held at the Sheraton Hotel in Toronto, the original artist apparently decided this needed more of a Calgary vibe.
And because I know you’re all dying to know: yes, Andy Williams was on heavy constant rotation while I painted this. 🙂
If you read this blog regularly (thank you!), you might have surmised that I’m a bit of a grammar geek. (Grammar tea towel, anyone?) That geekery extends to language of all stripes, and almost annoying and [sic]-making as bad grammar is lazy speech. Cami. Mani-pedi. *shudder* Appies. Quit being so lazy! You’re not limited to 140 characters when you speak, so snap out of it!
But by far, the one that sets my teeth on edge the most? “Whatever.” I freely admit that there are entirely appropriate moments to use it, for example: “Want to hang out tonight? We can watch TV, or play a game, or whatever.” That’s fine; it suggests flexibility and openness. But ah, using it as a substitute for wit or accurate information? Language FAIL! “Actually, Jimmy, it was Neil Young who was in Buffalo Springfield, and not Neil Diamond.” “Whatever.” Um, no, Jimmy. Big difference.
I suppose I could handle this if my mother didn’t use it constantly, as an all-purpose answer or conversation-ender. But she does, and she uses its red-headed stepchild “Whatevie”, too. She is my mother, and I love her, and this is what prevents me from grabbing the nearest crowbar (full disclosure: I don’t have one, so it’s not really a threat) and going postal. And when I saw this design from Heritage Crafts, I knew I had to stitch it for her.
It’s called “Whateva”, as you may well imagine, and as an added bonus, the cat in the picture kind of looks like hers, albeit with a far worse attitude. After busting my hump trying to find an appropriately coloured squarish frame for it, I opted for pragmatism and snapped up this bright blue hoop from my local stitching shop. It’s not exactly an heirloom piece, so, you know…whatever.
For the past few years, National Grammar Day has come and gone without my even noticing. This had to stop! I’m a huge grammar geek, and knew that this year I would have to do something to commemorate this holiest of holidays. On Sunday, I took a break from my math lab (more scholarly and less financially productive than a meth lab, for what it’s worth), and came up with this:
The wording is hardly original, but I try not to let that bother me. I typed the text out in Word, then traced it onto my towel and went over the words with Aunt Martha’s ball-point paints.
Now I just need another grammar quote so that I can make a partner for this one…