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Crash the Sand Dweeb

Crash the Sand Dweeb

You're looking for who? Oh no, no, this is Crash! Crash the Sand Dweeb! He's a very big fan of Vash the Stampede, but as you can see, he's a bird!

Well. I kinda had to. I realized this early on, unfortunately, and had some time to form it all in my mind, which immediately imploded. As for whether this is a chocobo, a toma, or a chocotoma... yes! Excellent, glad that's settled. He's got a fully wired neck, legs, toes, tail feathers, wings, and primary feathers for posability, and this year the wings can pivot forward and backward a bit for extra expression, along with a jaw joint that allows the top and bottom beak to pose independently of each other. He can grasp very small light things, but not... well. ...It's not a grippy yarn.

This time I decided to try natural fiber yarn all the way through, as a bit of a personal challenge. The sandy gold superwash merino I decided to make bulk of the body was... very different from what I was used to, so my process had to change pretty quickly. Luckily in having to put pieces together instead of making the body as one large piece, it left me opportunities to include subtle "scars" where I just didn't smooth out the joining bits. The beak, legs and "prosthetic" wing are all baby alpaca yarn, and I had a much easier time of that. Only the tongue is a scrap of old acrylic yarn, because the color was too good to pass up on. Back to the "prosthetic" wing, the lovely (and perfectly colored) wire is from a friend who has accidentally managed to fill every wire requirement I might have for the next several years, but particularly this one. As for the eyes, they were too perfect to pass up; semi-frosted, reflective, aquamarine or blue depending on the angle of the light, and appear to glow from most angles. The claws are ancient glass beads I've had forever, as is the fabric I used to make the coat. All by hand, no pattern, just determined to make a coat for a small bird. Like you do. As for the glasses, I spent quite a while trying to decide how to accomplish those, but in the end buying some small round acrylic blanks and trying a few different methods for keeping them in place worked. Eventually. I may have broken some in the process. ...Beadwork was the winner, with attached wire for the nose and ear pieces, and since I had no reason to give a bird a golden earring (birds got no earlobes!), I elected for a golden chain to drape between crest spikes to keep everything in place.

tldr; He took a really long time and a lot of love and effort, as per all my chocobos, and would love a donut, thank you.

Of special note, to go here because it must go somewhere: some choices were very much made with this being a worldwide, all-ages-focused charity item in mind. The more overt scars and gun, specifically, which are very important to the character himself. I'd considered the chest grate as well, but... as stated, this isn't Vash, this is Crash. And a bird doesn't really need a gun, right?

Watch the Desert Bus for Hope web site in/closer to November, or check back here for further information as to how and when you can have the chance to bring this fine chocobo into your home!



Using Final Fantasy VII: The First SOLDIER's rainbow chocobo as inspiration, may I introduce the lovely and joyful Lotus!

As is usually the case, I did actually intend this to be... simpler. I really don't know why at this point, but I'm also extremely glad that I continued on with new and different wild ideas. And sparkly yarn! Very important, that. Obviously we needed well-fed racer legs, yes? The open mouth is a kweh (or wark, as the case may be) of sheer exuberance, ready to be an uplifting inspiration... and totally not just waiting until someone turns their back to take little nibbles out of their sandwiches. Just little ones! The tail feathers, first primary feathers and wings, legs, and front toes are all wired for poseability, but I tried a little something different with leaving the back toes reinforced but soft to allow for an easier time with Lotus actually standing properly no matter how the weight is shifted. Experiments. The eyes are raspberry pink-purple dyed agate. They stand at a purely accidental 12 inches to the top of their crest, with an 11 inch wingspan and currently 5.5 inches from their chest fluff to the base of their tail.

Amongst other things, the lotus flower often represents hope and determination. From the muck and mud comes life and color. Much congratulations to Catachrel for a high bid of $3,030.30!

Chickobo Shift Parade

Chickobo Shift Parade

Welcome to the Chickobo Shift Parade! For those not in the know, this 24-hour week-ish-long charity marathon has four daily shift changes to allow folks to actually get something called "rest". On the left side, we have the banners for Dawn Guard (orange and yellow) and Alpha Flight (red). Over on the right side, we have the banners for Night Watch (blues) and Zeta Shift (purples). In the center... that is the land where time no longer makes sense at the very end of this marathon, and we call that Omega Shift. These very specific banners were inspired by JonDale1's work here.

Seeing as how this is the tenth year (I recounted three times) I am making prizes for this magnificent marathon and delightful charity, I decided we needed a little extra celebration. I also decided that surely making five smaller chocobos would be easier and take me less time, right? Well, the chocobos did. ...The layered felt banners with clearly hand-stitched embroidery and then stands to keep them on, which I ultimately decided they ought to be able to be removed from and so decided that magnets were obviously the best solution, however... Yeah, let's not talk too much about that.

Well, we can definitely talk about how the banners can be refrigerator magnets. Or just stick to metal things, because that's fun. The chocobo chicks are also up for some fun, but mostly they just really like to be adored. They're all acrylic yarn and polyfill, with wired poseable feet and semi-precious gemstone eyes (green jade, obsidian, tiger's eye and ametyst). I also decided to fancy up the mostly wood (with some clay and iron wire) banner stands with a little bit of gold paint at the bases and super tiny green Desert Bus trees on the front "foot" to indicate what side the magnets will best stick to. There's also some dark green real silk velvet at the bottom of each for extra fanciness. And also extra green.

Despite taking a little longer than intended because I just had to have Brilliant Ideas, I'm really happy with the result. I hope whoever wins them will ultimately be even more happy. As per the last nine years, it's an honor to be a part of something so joyful and hope-instigating.

This give-away raised a grand total of $2,331. THANK YOU, and congrats to obladerek!

Date: 16 September 2021


This is... so much. And better known as: Six FFVI-inspired Beadwoven Panels, Two Displays, and One Storage Box.

A long time in planning, a long time in making, and a couple of tricks discovered. Mainly that I can make little wooden boxes! The beadwork was already a thing I did, clearly, and this time I sort of had to force myself to actually keep track of how much time they took to make. "A lot", is the answer that everyone else knew and I refused to think about, but once I had a little working system in place, I enjoyed the challenge. And very much the demon chocobo.

The easel stand is a modified mini-easel with a solid panel for the (otherwise floppy) panels to rest against. Tiny black wire loops keep them from sliding off.

The hanging holder was a bit more of a process, since my first iteration was an "over-design" involving a hinged panel with a clear vinyl window. I'd still like to do that for something, but I'd have to figure out how to keep the vinyl from getting scratched up from being breathed upon, let alone actually used. This design was the better option: a solid curved backing acting as a counter-weight, three thin black wires to hold the panel against the backing, and two padded clips on either side to actually keep the panel attached to the board and also to serve as a point to hang the displayed panel from interchangeable chains.

The storage box was the one thing I was least certain about, but turned out to fall together easily once I actually started figuring out how all of the pieces fit together with some reinforcement and so much sanding. I also put a bit of wire at the bottom front and embedded two tiny magnets into the lid so that it snaps closed and stays that way until enough force is applied to open it.

Date: 02 December 2020


You know what 2020 needs? A bright, cheerful, soft chocobo, big enough to help you barrel through! Solana is just such a chocobo, sweet and friendly and ready to remind you there's light at the end of that tunnel, but sometimes you just gotta kick your way through. She offers her services.

I felt an exceedingly bright rainbow chocobo to be extremely necessary for the Desert Bus for Hope Craft-Along this year. I had not actually planned on doing fully wired legs, but that just kind of happened. And then a simplistic wired tail to go along with it... and while it doesn't necessarily look like it, simplistic wired wings for a few poses. There, see? Simplicity! With a few very small beaded accents that are actually ridiculously rainbow, but photographs just do not show them off. And some iridescent pigment that is almost too subtle for the camera, which is a surprise but also the intent, so score there.

I am pleased that I did not accidentally lie about the size, because she's less than 15 inches in all dimensions. 12.5 inches tall to the top of her head (just under 15 inches including crest), with a full wingspan of 12 inches, and just under 7 inches from chest to tail.

Sold for a much appreciated $2,350 to duaiwe!

Date: 10 September 2020
Light Remains

Light Remains

I've tried repeatedly to summarize the person who inspired this, or to put our friendship in simple terms, but I've come to think that's basically impossible. I will simply say that there is a light so bright and sustaining that I feel the need to share it in whatever ways I can.

A personal piece, shall we say. Deeply so; before the greedy bastard called cancer showed up, my friend Zellie was eager to encourage creativity and expression. She made a particular impression when it came to sending me random things to use and be inspired by, and one of those happened to be a collection of beads. The silver and abalone beads, along with the blue AB "crystals", were some of them. I'd been wanting to do something special with them for 9 years, and here finally everything came together.

As for an explanation of the pendant, something about Carbuncle had always reminded by of Zellie. She loved "ocean colors" and enjoyed "adorable monsters", but also Ruby Light and Aura were just... very much her. Sustaining, protecting. Without specific spoilers, when FFXV's Carbuncle and the Platinum Demo came around, it all very much aligned. So I used the abstract shape of Carbuncle which has shown up in official merchandise, and filled it with tiny abalone chips I've had laying around for probably quite a few more than 9 years, matching the necklace band itself. I thought the other beads, some stainless steel chain, and a little stainless steel chainmaile were just the things to finish the piece off.

And for the curious, please do feel free to check out Lightning Spliced by Zellie Blake, her only completed novel. To this day, all profits go to the American Cancer Society.

(For Sale. One half of the profit will be donated directly to the American Cancer Society.)

Date: 29 October 2019


So I've only been thinking about doing a tiny Journey pendant since I first did the large cuff bracelet... er, some years ago. (Don't make me time and math.) I was finishing up the 2019 Desert Bus for Hope chocobo when the MP3 player randomly selected a track off the Journey soundtrack and then I listened to more and... nostalgia. Even if I really should have been concentrating on something else. I'll get there.

I hadn't really been thinking of adding the drape at first, but I was already digging around for beads. You know how it is.
(For Sale)

Date: 03 September 2019
Nera's Choker and Earrings

Nera's Choker and Earrings

Commission for both the earrings and the choker from the Dragon Quest series' Nera Briscoletti. Not gonna lie; while there was plenty of initial annoyance regarding materials and some things that had gotten damaged and needed replacing, I had a lot of fun getting these together, though.

The earrings themselves are "plunger-style" clip-on gold-plated hoops, gold-plated base metal beads, and... cardboard. Layered, reinforced, hardened, and then made to look like gold. No, it's most definitely not going to bend, warp or fall apart anytime soon. The beads themselves are dangling from 4 extra-strong beading thread... er, threads. So they're dangly!

As for the choker, I tried quite a few fabrics to see if I couldn't simulate the texture and look of gold, and ultimately settled upon some lovely soft suede. With a nice little mostly hidden bar clasp, there's enough comfortable stretch to the suede itself to allow it to be worn without, you know. Choking every time you try to take a drink of something. (I know cosplay isn't about practicality, but I have my priorities.) The jewel is a little sky blue fiber optic/"cat's eye" cabochon.

The gold coloring itself? Took (4-6 layers of) one paint, one pigment wax, two additional iridescent pigments, and a variety of mediums to get that shine.

Date: 28 January 2019