FF Felts – The Tonberry

Since my initial foray into felting, I began to look for a good source to buy roving from. I had started a list of potential projects, and had a loose idea of some of the colors I hoped to find, but roving isn’t nearly as prevalent as yarn when it comes to woolen crafts. You can find a bit at places like Michael’s, but with that comes low variety and high prices. After a few sessions of Googling, I discovered The Felted Ewe. Not only did they have a ton of colors (over 100!) but they’re also based in California! I picked out a project from my list, decided which colors I would need, and put in an order.

First up… the Tonberry! I’d finally beaten Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core a few weeks prior, and just loved the tonberry design in this game. Mine borrows from several FF styles, but this one most heavily. One lesson learned while making this guy: when working on tiny details of a model (in this case the lantern and knife), a thimble is an absolute must. Felting needles are incredibly sharp, and my index finger now looks like it went to war against a hamster. I persevered though, and am quite happy with the results!

Let me know what you think!! :)

Felted TonberryFelted Tonberry - sideFelted Tonberry - back

Also, just because. ;)

June 25, 2013 | Arts & Crafts | Comment


At a craft fair in San Francisco last year, I came across a booth for Woolbuddy and was totally enamored. I’d never really looked at needle felting before, but these little creatures were all so adorable! That they sold kits was perfection: you got all the things you needed to experiment with the art, without having to invest too much for supplies, in case it turned out to not really be “your thing”.

As seems to be a constant state in my life, I decided not to purchase one because I was just too buried in other half completed projects. I really needed to work on finishing up some of them before kicking off an entirely new obsession. This didn’t stop me, though, from pouring through their shop and picking out my favorites, and when the holidays came around, there was a small box waiting for me under the tree from my husband containing the octopus kit. :)

Woolbuddy Octopus KitThe instructions in the kit were a bit vague here and there (maybe because it was considered one of the “Advanced” ones), but with a photo for each step, nothing was too difficult or confusing to figure out. There were plenty of materials too; I had a good sized wad of leftovers that I’m saving for other projects, and it was comforting to have a spare needle in case the first one breaks. It was a quick project too — I finished in about two evenings — and, like knitting, it’s easy to do while relaxing on the couch and watching a movie.

Completed Woolbuddy Octopus!I have to say, I really loved doing this project. There was some familiarity as well, to the hours I spent as a kid making tiny models with Sculpy, and I think that is one of the reasons I’m so drawn to this craft. If you have any interest in needle felting, I definitely recommend checking out the Woolbuddy kits. It was a load of fun and gives you lots of freedom to make your own artistic tweaks to the pattern!

June 24, 2013 | Arts & Crafts | Comment

RSS Reader

Something to display RSS feeds, but without using any server side scripting. Hmm, what to do here, and how to get around the cross-domain JavaScript restriction? The feeds to be displayed did not have a JSON-P option, so that was out. After some research, the workaround I came up with was to use Google’s Feed API to pull the data into the page. It worked quite well; the only issue I had was that the API couldn’t seem to pull beyond the first 4 entries, regardless of the value set in .setNumEntries().

I’d also recently been playing with creating my own ExtJS components, extending Ext.Panel and so forth, and this was a great opportunity to put what I’d learned into practice. It’d be loads easier to maintain if I could keep most of the code in one place and off of individual pages. In the end, the instantiation code was only 9 lines! Awesome! :)

var rssReader = new Alcedine.component.RSSReader({ applyTo: 'rss-reader', width: 750, feeds: [{ title: 'Alcedine', url: 'http://alcedine.com', feed: 'http://alcedine.com/feed/' }] });

One bug I discovered is that when including multiple feeds, whichever one loads faster will show up first in the list. Ideally, the feed order should mirror the order they are listed in the feeds array. It’s a fairly straightforward fix in my head; I’ll post an update when I have it working!

Live Demo | Gist

September 21, 2012 | Code | Comment

ExtJS Grouping Grid

One of the things I’ve repeatedly had a need for is an easy way to organize large amounts of data. Manual HTML tables just weren’t cutting it anymore, so it was time to build a JavaScript solution with an XML database. The framework I was working with was ExtJS 2.3, and the grid needed to be sortable, searchable, and have category groupings. Having the search automatically filter the data as you type was also a must.

I’ve used this code as a base numerous times, and it’s proven to be pretty rock solid. It’s also super easy to modify, allowing customization for various use cases. The only major thing I’d like to change is to have the combo-box automatically populate its options from the xml categories.

ExtJS Grouping Grid

Live Demo | Gist


September 20, 2012 | Code | Comment

QR Code Generator

QR CodeThe need came about for a locally hosted QR Code generator, preferably not requiring any back-end scripting to produce the graphic. After some research, I found this by Kazuhiko Arase. A pure JavaScript option? Yes please! :) I dug around in the code to make some modifications in sizing, added the ability to increment the version number (1-10)automatically, plus a few other changes per client requirements. It was a fun and challenging project, plus a great opportunity to learn a bunch about how QR Codes actually work.

Here is the result!

September 19, 2012 | Code | Comment