Krampus Challenge – Day 05, Krampus Cowl in progress

Krampus Cowl!

We are a little further along!

Actually, I had hoped to have another 3-4 stripes done on this cowl, but I discovered I’d made a mistake… About 3-4 rows after I had made it. So I ended up tearing out an hour’s worth of work and starting over again for the day.

But that’s okay! Mistakes happen, things have to be torn out, and we all have to start all over again from time to time. At least that’s the lesson I try to teach Pixie and Princess whenever they work on a project. And we’ve been starting a lot of new projects lately, especially Pixie. She got a set of knitting looms two weeks ago and has been learning to use those. Then this week she got a new sewing machine! Not a kid’s sewing machine that uses glue or string to put fabric together, but an actual Singer sewing machine that uses actual thread, and has a bobbin and real needle. We set it up today and I watched while Pixie sewed a very basic pillow first and then started work on something a little more complicated. That’s probably about the time I made my mistake on the Krampus Cowl, but that’s okay. I got to watch my youngest figure out how to thread her sewing machine and set up the bobbin, figure out how to pin fabric and run it through the machine. There’s nothing like watching a kid catch fire over a new hobby.

But if she breaks into my yarn or fabric stashes, I will squish her like a bug. Just between you and me.

ACW Episode 282 – Run, Princess, Run!!


Click on the image above to see it bigger.

Yes, it took me forever to get this one done. I apologize. I started this at the beginning of October, which turned out to be one of the busiest months I’ve had to deal with in a loooooooong time. It was so busy and so hectic, in fact, that I look forward to the peace and quiet of Girl Scout cookie season.

Yes, I actually said that. And now I’ve put it in writing.

What kept me so busy? Well, Girl Scouts was one part of it. In addition to our troop meetings, we also had an archery trip and a murder mystery party. Then there was Halloween and All Saints Day. The girls attend Catholic school, and this year Pixie’s class held a “Courtyard of Saints,” where all the students dressed up as different saints and gave a sort of living history presentation. Pixie was Mother Teresa, so I spent a week sewing that costume for her. And then, since we can’t visit one end of the spectrum without seeing the other, I also had to sew her a Kylo Ren costume for Halloween. Princess wanted to be a Jedi, so there was that to sew. And of course, I was busy working on the October Crochet challenge. But what kept me busiest of all in October was…

Cross Country.

Princess was encouraged by her friends to join, and I’m very glad she did, because it was a great experience for her. She went from barely being able to run a mile to running 3 miles, and over the course of the month shaved 4 minutes off her mile run time. Thankfully, though, the Cross Country season ended before Halloween, because practice was 3 days a week with a race on top of that, so just about every day after school, we were running somewhere for 2 hours at a time. Well, Princess was running. I opted to do lawn work at the school (we do school service hours every year), or drive kids to races and chaperon at events. It was time-consuming, to say the least.

But now Cross Country is over, and November’s challenge is drawing, so I’m going to get back to regular work on the webcomic. I can’t promise weekly updates, but I certainly think I can do better than once a month!

Enjoy the webcomic! Later today, I’ll post another update for the November drawing challenge.

October Crochet – Day 31, Double Death Spirals of DOOOOOOM!!!


Nautilus Shawls

This month just really spun out of control…

I did it. I finished the second Nautilus shawl. And most of it was done this evening while watching “Manos: Hands of Fate!” Terrible, terrible movie. Perfect for crocheting. Now I just need to sew up the ends a bit and stitch the two shawls together at the shoulder to make them into a PONCHO! Beause I never wear shawls. Unless I can turn them into ponchos.

It’s just after midnight right now. There are 8 girls downstairs in my living room, screaming and giggling and challenging each other to “Truth or Dare.” Before I came upstairs, I told them the truth – I would get really scary if they keep me up all night. And then I dared them to do it. The girls have promised they will quiet down in an hour. If not, I did set up a graveyard in front of the house.

I’m going to come up with a new challenge for November. I’ll announce it tomorrow. And I’ll explain what happened to the missing day of October Crochet. But for now, I’m going to curl up with a collection of Lovecraft stories and read myself to sleep. Or maybe strangulate a bunch of girls. I haven’t decided which yet.

Good night.

October Crochet – Day 13, Scrambling For Time Today


Yarn Bag

My day was just like this bag… a MESS!

I think the month of October is going to kill me. Princess has Cross Country 4 days a week, including one race each week. In the next 10 days, I have 3 Girl Scout events to prepare for and run. And on top of all this, I still need to make 3 costumes for my two children. Since Pixie is in fourth grade, this year she is participating in the “All Saints’ Day” event at school. She is going to be Mother Teresa for the event. The next day, on Halloween, she wants to be a Sith Lord, because we simply can’t go to one extreme without visiting the other.

Anyway, during all the madness today, I only managed to steal about 15 minutes to sit and crochet. I’m hoping I will be able to steal a full hour tomorrow and make some serious progress on this shawl. And for those that asked, there is a knitting version of this pattern. I will look it up tomorrow or the next day and post the link here.

ACW Episode 275 – Like Mother, Like Daughter


Click on the thumbnail to see the full-sized webcomic.

Apparently my daughters share my tastes in movies… books… comics… feminism…

UPDATE: The response to this particular episode was so strong, I went ahead and set it up as a print on Society 6. You can buy a copy here.

I also set it up as a coffee mug, so enjoy!

ACW Episode 272 – Hello, dolly!


Click the image to see it full-sized.

When my girls were toddlers, my mother started buying them Barbie dolls. All kinds of Barbie dolls, but mostly princess dolls. At the same time, my mother was also buying the girls a LOT of pink dresses. We had one year where the mailman brought us a new package every week, and it always had a new pink dress and a new princess doll, and the girls just ate it up!!!

A few years later, my kids now like Goth fashion, Minecraft (and video games in general), steampunk, cartoons, and comic books. Pixie still wears pink on occasion, but her dolls are more often painted bright green, with splatters of red for that “zombie” effect.

It’s nice to know I have some influence on my kids 🙂

ACW Episode 269 – Sleeping Beauty


Click on the webcomic above to see it larger!

Kids are so much fun to draw comics about. And so easy. They offer so many real-life instances for inspiration.

Princess does not wake up easy. Even as a toddler, she would sleep hard for hours at nap time (ah, those were the days) and then wake up all bleary-eyed and groggy. Not much has changed now that she’s a pre-teen.

When I started work on this cartoon, it immediately reminded me of some of my favorite “Bloom County” comic strips. Nobody draws groggy, sleep-deprived people like Berke Breathed does. I even pulled out some of my “Bloom County” books for inspiration and spent all day reading comics. That was not a waste of time at all. Nope, no-siree-Bob.

The Awful Story of the Krampus Beneath the Lampus

Happy middle-of-the-start-of-Ridiculous-Shopping-Season! Otherwise known as “Thanksgiving Day.”

For the holiday season this year, I thought I would introduce you to a little family tradition the girls and I started last year, called, “The Kids Want Something Very Bad that Mama Absolutely Hates.” Actually, this tradition started years ago, and it’s not even a tradition unique to our family. I’m sure your family has a similar tradition. What may vary from family to family is what awful thing it is that the kids want and how Mama decides to deal with it.

Last year, Princess and Pixie both wanted an “Elf on the Shelf.” I hate that thing. I hate the smarmy look on its face. I hate the effort some families go to make the Elf “come to life” (i.e. make a mess and tear up the house to convince the kids the elf is actually ALIVE). I hate that this frikkin’ elf seems to come with more outfits than Barbie these days. Have you SEEN the displays at Barnes & Noble? Really, the elf does not need clothes. Its clothing is sewed onto its body!!!!

But for whatever reason, millions of kids the world over want “The Elf on the Shelf,” including mine. When we went to Barnes & Noble last year and they asked for elves, I nearly choked to death on my Peppermint Mocha Latte.

“You’ve got to be kidding me!” I said, spewing hot, frothy, over-priced and over-flavored coffee everywhere.

“Please Mama?!” they begged, eyes getting big. “PLEEEEEEEEEEEEEASE?!!”

I looked at the EOTS. If you’ve ever taken a close look at these things, you realize it has the same gleeful, murderous look as the Chucky doll from those cruddy horror movies. Only Chucky has more personality.

“No,” I said, backing away in fear. “Nononononononononononononono!!!”

“You never get us anything we like,” my children whined as they sipped on their own Peppermint Mocha Lattes.

Anyway, the kids kept asking for an EOTS, and I kept saying no, and the whining kept getting worse. But then, then I got very lucky. I picked up a holiday crochet magazine and I found a pattern for ugly little monsters, designed by Jill Watt at The pattern is here –

What’s so great about a pattern, you ask? Why is it any better – or less awful – than buying an actual EOTS?

It’s better because I realized I could take that pattern and make my own horrible little elves. And that’s exactly what I did.
I changed the colors, choosing the most yucky green yarn I could find. Red Heart Super Saver has a couple that I love to use for crocheting zombies, including a sage green and a tea leaf green that are just to DIE for. I used Red Heart’s variegated oatmeal color for the faces and picked a couple of dull grays for the trim. I had some pink “monster” safety eyes. And to all that I added this really awful hairy black yarn for the elves hair and beards.

Yes, beards. You see, these weren’t just going to be elves I was making. They were going to be KRAMPUSES!!! OF DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!! MWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!

Or you know, Krampuses beneath the Lampuses.


We are KRAMPUSES!! Beneath the LAMPUSES

So I spent a couple weeks putting these creatures together, following the directions in Jill Watt’s pattern but using my own colors and adding monster eyes and beards. And the result was truly god-awful. I wired up the limbs so that I could pose the critters, and very early on Christmas morning, I posed the little darlings beneath my favorite lamp in the living room, complete with notes about whom and what they were.

Their names, according to the notes, were Kankle and Krum, and they were Krampus dolls. When the girls came down on Christmas morning to open their presents, there was a lot of squealing and then some confusion and then some screaming.

“Oh my GOD! Mama! What are these horrible gross THINGS?!”

It was exactly reaction I was looking for.

The Krampuses, or Hairy Elves, as the girls decided to call them, have since become permanent fixtures in our home. On various occasions, they can be found hanging from the dining room chandelier (sometimes by the neck)…



Sometimes they can be found crawling around in the girls’ dirty laundry, or stealing toys and stuffing them into trashcans. They have tied up Pixie’s Doctor doll and tortured him with his own sonic screwdriver…

Hairy elves, attack!

We have you now, Doctor!

They have stolen letters sent to the girls by the Doctor (did I mention my kids get letters from the Doctor? Yeah, they’re future companions). And once, they laid eggs in the kids’ underwear drawers.

Poo egg

This is an egg. How do you like your eggs?

But they never, EVER make a mess of my kitchen, or destroy anything of mine. No, these hairy elves are too smart and too lazy for nonsense like that. Instead, I tell the kids that their elves are the kind of creatures that prefer to fart in their faces with the girls are asleep. And that seems to be naughty enough behavior for Princess and Pixie.

But still, they want the original “Elf on the Shelf.” And still, I refuse to get them one, or let anyone else get them one. So this year, I’m going back to Jill Watts pattern, and this year, I’m going to make another set of hairy elves. This year, the elves are going to be GIRLS, and GIRL hairy elves (complete with beards) are even worse than BOY hairy elves.

For starters, they eat normal, boring “Elves on the Shelves.” And I plan to stage evidence of that crime for Christmas this year. All I need is a stuffing, a few shreds of red and white felt, and two willing, horrible, awful HAIRY ELVES to help me do the murderous deed.


Evil hairy elves…

And maybe that will keep the girls from asking for things they know I hate 🙂


ACW Episode 255 – Mo’ Money!


Click on the thumbnail to view the comic full-size!

The conversations I had with Pixie this past weekend regarding chores were not nearly this pleasant. I swear, that kid has mastered the stink-eye. Of course, it has no effect whatsoever on her terrible, horrible, EVIL mother.

To quote Bill Cosby, “I brought you into this world, kid…”