Cat Ladies Unite: a New Embroidery Pattern from Scarlet Tentacle

What have I done?

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Cat Ladies Unite, the embroidery pattern collection inspired by the madness of this coloring book greet card! This embroidery pattern collection for cat lovers is the first deluxe embroidery pattern kit I have published, with several more in the works; this deluxe pattern collection will also be available soon as part of an embroidery kit. Ten pages, six of them embroidery patterns, endless combinations of pin-up ladies and cats, oh my. You can get the whole thing in the Scarlet Tentacle shop, cats and cat toys and cat ladies all.

Here’s a sneak peek at one of the pages:

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To see the rest of the pages, you’ll have to purchase the pattern, but rest assured: they’re awesome patterns, and each cat-themed element they can be rearranged into an infinite number of new patterns.

For the record: this might be the most ridiculous product I’ve ever offered for sale, and that’s saying something coming from a person who makes embroidered vulvas for a living. What’s the point of being your own boss if you can’t make things that are absolutely & wonderfully ridiculous from time to time?


Things I’ve been up to recently: a photographic essay.

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Above: a custom piece from the end of 2013 I’d forgotten to post about here. You can order your own custom-made embroidered vagina from the Scarlet Tentacle shop.

Things I’ve been up to recently: a photographic essay.

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1. Working on this piece for an auction benefiting CCWP and the Oakland production of the Vagina Monologues. Also, multitasking in my backyard: embroidering while line-drying.

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2. Taking selfies of me & the puppies I fostered for a few days. All they wanted to do was be held and cuddled and were perhaps the cutest puppies ever?

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3. Putting all of the things in my bag onto my cat. It’s dreary work, but someone’s got to do it. For science.

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4. Being RIDICULOUSLY EXCITED that my miter box arrived. Like, jumping up and down and squealing level of excited. GOTTA TAKE A SELFIE OF ME AND MY MITER BOX IMMEDIATELY level of excited.

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5. Visiting Lake Tahoe for my partner’s business-related thing and hiking. Lake Tahoe is bananas-level beautiful; I hiked a few trails myself and ended up taking 20000% longer than I normally would have because I kept stopping and asking myself: how is it this beautiful? How is this real? And also: how am I so out of shape/blame it on the altitude.

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6. Working on this project, Between a Butch & a Femme Place. It’s been really fun to get to work with fashion-oriented content and document some of my feelings about body image, gender identity & expression, and the like. It’s also been awesome to take reference photos of myself that don’t involve pin-up girl level contortions.

Not pictured: buying a refrigerator, spraining my fucking ankle just as I was closing in on running a 10k, fighting a winning but really difficult battle with depression/mental health, dithering over which California native plants to plant in my yard for maximum water saving (right now it’s weeds, and my neighbors hate me for it), adjusting to living with a roommate, asking the many random people sitting on my front stoop off to get off of my front stoop, etc.. You know, the usual. The winter show season took so much more out of me than it has in the past, so I’ve decided to take some time off to figure out what direction is next for Scarlet Tentacle.

Free Embroidery Pattern February

Have Your Cake

Inspired by this illustration from long ago, here’s a free embroidery pattern for February!

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As always, the pattern is free for personal, non-commercial use and if you do decide to embroider with it, send me a picture! I love seeing your embroidery projects.

To get an XXL version of the pattern, click on the image of the pattern above, which will take you to said XXL version of the pattern; right click to save the image to your hard drive and then print and transfer it onto your new project from there.

And, as ever, if you like this free embroidery pattern, consider checking out the rest of the Scarlet Tentacle shop for more embroidery patterns that would make your grandma gasp (for delight or in shock, either or).

Scarlet Tentacle at Renegade Handmade, San Francisco 2013

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Renegade Handmade in San Francisco was, oh, a week ago, and with that, the 2013 holiday season is officially over, as far as I’m concerned. Hooray! On to 2014 and new adventures and venues.

Again with the less-than-great photos of my booth this year! I’m really happy with the layout, but not so with the photos of it, which I don’t think do it justice. Oh well: I’d rather have a layout that looks inviting in person, rather than a layout that encourages people to take photos instead.

Pictured above: my lovely housemate and booth helper. They showed up on Saturday which meant that I got to walk around and PEE and I quite literally did not know what to do with myself for the rest of the afternoon. Buying things? What?

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The sign I worked so lovingly on. Thankfully, no 13-year-old girls took selfies with it this season, hooray!

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Action shot of customers!
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My booth, moments before packing up.

Did you visit any Renegade shows this year? What’d you think?

Scarlet Tentacle +’s Armory Workshops

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My naughty ornament class at’s Armory was last week and it was so much fun! I couldn’t have asked for a better, more enthusiastic group of students than the 30+ folks who showed up for class & trusted me to teach them how to make naughty ornaments.




Here’s some photos from the gorgeous classroom I got to use at’s Armory:

Funny story about these photos: I was snapchatting friends pictures of the classroom before the class started — I got there, oh, only an hour early. Just in case. — because I was SO IMPRESSED by this fucking room; it’d been years since I’d been to the Upper Floor, and they’ve come such a long way, and instead of being blown away by how huge the tables are and how well engineered they are, my friends thought I was sadly sharing pictures of a class that no one had showed up for.

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Nope, not empty: all those seats were filled with holiday cheer. But they’re giant! The chairs came up to my chest, and the tables can probably support, oh, at least 500lbs of porn performers on each table.

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Pornaments waiting to be embroidered!

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NBD, just a chest full of sex toys.

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The Upper Floor wouldn’t be complete without a picture of Peter Aceworth,’s founder. I love how wonderfully smarmy he looks in this photo — when I met him a few years ago, he was incredibly kind and very drunk and not wearing any pants.

Scarlet Tentacle Winter Craft Show announcements

Big news, everybody! I’ve mostly finished moving into my new place, whose bathroom has now been fixed in such a way that the toilet is no longer in danger of falling through the floor into the basement. The place I now live still lacks functional hot water, but toilet-related bodily functions can now be performed in relative safety, so. Ah, the glamorous life of an artist — I know you’re quivering with envy at the glitz of such an existence.

Which brings me to my winter show announcements:

December 13th & 14th, 2013 from 10am to 5pm: Los Angeles Renegade Craft Fair at the LA State Historic Park in Downtown/Echo Park/Chinatown/Dodger Stadium/LA is confusing. Also, did you know that LA has a river near downtown? According to the Google, this is a true fact.

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Anyway. It’s free, it’s in Los Angeles, and I will be there at an as-yet-unannounced booth number, probably looking rather wide-eyed, as this will be my first time at this show. Hooray! Do come say hello and purchase some of the many coloring books for adults & other paper goods I will have for sale.

Saturday, December 21st & Sunday, December 22nd, 2013 from 11am – 6pm: San Francisco Renegade Craft Fair. The show is again at the San Francisco Concourse Exhibition Center in the Mission/SoMa/the Design-District-is-that-really-a-thing/right next to the Zynga building/just come visit and there are 248 other amazing, amazing vendors, so do stop by and say hello! I’ll be at booth 203 with a bevy of coloring books and other fun things. This is also free, and it has a bar and crafting demos and a free photobooth, so you should definitely do all of your last-minute holiday shopping here.

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And here is the map of the fair:


Booth 203! Booth 203! Don’t worry, I’ll only remind you about this fair a billion times before it happens.

Also, hi, Brain Pickings readers, it’s nice to meet all bazillion of you. You might be interested in this embroidered vagina, or this embroidered vagina dentata, which is a vulva with teeth, or this array of embroidered vulvas, or this lovely orange embroidered vulva, which is my favorite, or perhaps even this vagina postcard, which is on sale for $1.50.

an illustration just because


Just dropping in to quickly share an old illustration I created for my last job that I don’t think I ever shared here. It’s one of my favorites — it’s illustrating a very long piece of medieval-themed erotica, hence the stained glass inspiration. Amity Simone was one of my porn pseudonyms for my last job — I’ve lost track of how many I’ve had over the years.

What I’m Doing: Bathroom Holes Edition


Hello, and welcome to What I’m Doing: Holes in the Bathroom edition. Because yes, that is a bathroom! Apparently, toilets are underrated, because we no longer have one in the house — though, to be fair, the one we had before was rather terrifying, because it was going to fall through the floor any second because there was no floor below it, just a tiny layer of tile, oops.


Also in the category of home renovation porn: oozing lead paint removal! Aww yeah, almost 100 years of built up paint on that door hardware, sweet.

If you don’t hear from me soon, assume my embroidery needles and I have either been sucked into the dark abyss of the toilet-less basement, have been overcome with the vapors of paint removal or have been overwhelmed by the task of drawing a Home Renovation Pin Up Girls Coloring Book For Adults.

Reminder: Shop the Scarlet Tentacle sale before it’s too late!

A quick reminder: get some awesome Scarlet Tentacle merchandise like coloring books for adults & greeting cards at super-discount prices!

I almost never do sales, but I need to make room for a bunch of new amazing products from Scarlet Tentacle AND I’m moving soon — I want to schlep less stuff across the city — so do me a solid and buy some things at super-duper ridiculous discounts.



Renegade SF & Scarlet Tentacle on Sale!

Did I mention that Scarlet Tentacle would be at Renegade Handmade last weekend?

Scarlet Tentacle at Renegade Handmade

At the end of Day One.

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Day two, looking to the right-hand side of the booth.

Scarlet Tentacle at Renegade Handmade

Coloring books for adults!

Scarlet Tentacle at Renegade Handmade

A tiny, very old lady came into my booth and was terribly, terribly upset that I wouldn’t sell her this spray-painted tea-cup.

As always, the show was great — the atmosphere is lots of fun, and it’s really inspiring to be among so many other incredible creative folks. Also: thanks to all the lovely people who came out to say hi — it’s so amazing to meet previously faceless internet visitors in person.

Note to self for next year: take some non-cell phone pictures of the booth, eh? It looked really great, and these photos don’t particularly do it justice.

Also, in the category of big Scarlet Tentacle news: Scarlet Tentacle is on sale! I need to make room for the new products I’ve been working on, and I’m also moving across town soon, so some of the shop is one SUPER SALE!

PS: If you have a coupon code for a discount, that discount will also work on top of the reduced prices, so you can get some Scarlet Tentacle action for an especially low song.

SF Rengade Handmade is this weekend!

San Francisco Renegade Handmade

Last reminder, I swear! This Saturday & Sunday from 11am to 7pm Scarlet Tentacle will be at booth 25 in Fort Mason Center at San Francisco’s Renegade Handmade. I’ll have new, not-yet-released-on-the-internet coloring books for adults, greeting cards, posters, art prints and more.

In addition to my coloring books for adults & other naughty sundries, there will be 249 other amazing vendors so you can shop all weekend to your heart’s content. There’s plenty of parking and you can’t beat the view of the bay from the end of the pavilion. There’s no cost to attend the fair, so you have no reason not to go. See you there!

Scarlet Tentacle at Renegade Handmade

Renegade SF 2013

I know, I know, I’ve beaten you over the head with reminders about this. But just in case you’ve forgotten, I’m going to be vending at Renegade Handmade this weekend at Fort Mason in San Francisco. I’ll be at booth 25 with a huge selection of new & fan-favorite coloring books, greeting cards and other goodies — come say hi!

Renegade Handmade sneak peek!

I’m in the middle of preparing to vend at Renegade Handmade on July 27th & 28th — here are a few shots of my preparation!

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This is the stack of coloring book pages I need to fold and assemble. This stack iss somewhere between 700 and 800 pages of paper and is not the end of the books.

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And here’s a sneak peek of a draft of the cover of a coloring book that will debut at the fair!


Tentacle Uterus

tentacle uterus

Hello, random visitor, I made you a thing:


OK, so really it’s a fallopian tube tentacle monster, but you get the point. Is this what the GOP is picturing when they attempt to legislate women’s bodies?

Also: do I really want to know what else comes up when one searches for tentacle uterus on the wild reaches of the Google?

Between a Butch & a Femme Place

Are you a fan of Scarlet Tentacle? Chances are yes, seeing as you’re here. If so, you might like a new project that I’m working on:

John Berger - Ways of Seeing

Dinner Date with in-laws - Between a Butch & a Femme Place

It was a flask kind of party - Between a Butch & a Femme Place

Dillon Beach - Between a Butch & a Femme Place

The face one makes when one's friends tell you that they like your crazy new project.

It’s called Between a Butch & a Femme Place, and it’s a personal project about body image, fashion, gender identity, gender presentation, queerness, intersectionality and more, and it’s got lots of illustrations and snark and if you enjoy the rest of my Scarlet Tentacle work, you might enjoy this as well.   

Scarlet Tentacle at SF Renegade Handmade July 27-28th


It’s that time of year again: Scarlet Tentacle will be at the San Francisco Renegade Craft Fair at Fort Mason this July 27th & 28th. I’ll be at booth 25 with my just-under-6-feet-tall wooden pin-up sign both days & will have oodles of brand new merchandise debuting at the fair; there will also be 249 other super amazing vendors with all the things you never knew you needed to own, so clearly, should you be in the Bay Area that weekend, you have no excuse not to go.

Yes, yes, that’s nice, you say. But where is booth 25? Where is Fort Mason Center? Look, I made you a map!


There’s also this map showing where in Fort Mason the fair is — don’t worry, that looks slightly more confusing than it is; once you get there, there will be signs and hoards of people heading toward the fair.

If you’re interested in going & plan to drive, Fort Mason has a rather large parking lot; you also can use this newfangled sorcery to reserve a parking spot in the area on the days in question? What a world we live in: now you have no excuses not to buy your adult coloring books and posters in person.

Hope to see you there!

PS: Are you on Facebook? There’s this here Renegade Handmade event page as well.

Pontification on Wooden Pin-Up Work in Progress


Hello and welcome to this edition of Scarlet Tentacle’s Ye Olde Pin-Upe Woodshoppe, in which I will share in exhaustive detail how to construct a nearly 6 foot tall wooden automaton constructed out of plywood, ink, sweat, tears, acetone and unicorn hairs. I know! It’s everything you never knew you wanted!

zipvanStep one, not pictured: wander around the local Home Depot looking for appropriately textured wood and realize that eight feet by four feet of materials — be it plywood, MDF, particle board or that really excitingly shiny insulation wood substitute  — are not going to fit into my relatively tiny car, no matter how much I push and shove. Make lots of ‘That’s What She Said’ comments and text your friends about how you’re channeling A-Camp and Handy Jobs with Marni and then proceed to have lots of feelings about Mount Feelings.

Step two: rent a giant van that has no rear view mirror, painted-over windows and beeps when you back it up. Make multiple comments about Home Depot, U-Hauling and wood. Pretend that you’re Chase from the Runaways, driving your non-descript van around Los Angeles to fight your supervillan parents. Also, for the record: eight feet by four feet of wood is a whole lot of wood, and it will fall over onto your head and give you splinters in places that you would not have guessed splinters would be able to access.


After dropping the board on your head a bunch of times and locking your partner out of your house by setting up your eight foot by four foot board against the front door of your too-small-for-giant-wood living room, proceed to find that all your fancy plans for the project are not going to work! Hooray! Maybe drink some whiskey and step away from the power tools for a while.

So yeah, transferring the pattern onto the wood was intensely more complicated than I’d anticipated — originally I’d planned to rig up a projector using a Fresnel lens & was going to just trace the projected image onto the wood, but that didn’t work out because the internet lies, so I found myself at three different hardware stores in one day scrambling to find first CitriSolv & then acetone, neither of which ultimately worked, though one left my test scraps smelling pleasantly like citrus, and the other left my yard smelling like I’d gone on a nail polish removal binge to end all nail polish removal binges. Also, all of my patio is now more flammable than ever before, thanks to the gallon of chemically horrors that did not actually transfer the laser printer toner onto the wood. Did I mention that the internet, especially the DIY section of  Pinterest, lies?

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I finally resorted to playing connect the dots in a manner somewhat resembling screen printing — first I printed out the almost 6-foot tall pattern, painstakingly pieced the paper together to make a full-sized pattern, then shoo-ed my inquisitive pets off of what they thought was a new cat tree. Next, I raided my fabric stash to find the flimsiest length of cotton muslin possible , taped the pattern and the fabric onto the wood, then traced the pattern onto the fabric. I then removed the paper pattern from underneath the fabric and then re-traced the image onto the wood through the fabric by letting the ink bleed through the fabric in the form of a million-billion tiny dots.

If you are following along with this craziness at home, please learn from my mistakes: don’t do this at 2am, take frequent breaks to rest your hand and for the love of Lesbian Jesus, shut your cats in another room so that you don’t upend the giant slab of wood in fright when your cats jump onto your workspace & wake up your partner by shouting “FISH TITS!!!” at the top of your lungs.

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Next: Instagram that shit.

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Now that you have approximately six feet by three feet of tiny dots on wood, it’s time to punish your neck, your back by inking in the lines between dots. Maybe watch an episode or two of Pretty Little Liars and The Good Wife while you’re doing this and be rather glad that you don’t live in Rosewood or the upper echelons of Chicago political society, because neither A nor Peter Florrick would not stand for you taking time to make a giant wooden pin-up girl sign.

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Step back and feel pretty proud of yourself — this doesn’t look half bad, does it? Take some more photos with your shoes for scale and put them on the internet.

Make the sound decision to not use a jigsaw at 5am after staying up all night playing connect the dots, then set up your makeshift sawhorses in your living room again. Nothing could go wrong with this plan!

Assemble your safety gear: eye protection (welding googles work surprisingly well for this, FYI), close-toed shoes, a long sleeved shirt and maybe ear plugs, because wow, cutting 1″ thick plywood with a jigsaw is really, really loud. Bonus points if your long sleeved shirt is rainbow plaid and you are wearing a pencil skirt instead of pants #tomboyfemmeforever.

Cut the wood. Power tools are so much fun!

Spend twice as much time vacuuming up the wood bits as you did actually cutting the sign, which are now scattered across all rooms & objects adjacent to the wood-cutting location, including but not limited to the kitchen, kitchen sink, dishes on the drying rack, bathroom floor, interior of the electric tea kettle and the bristles of your tooth brush.


Take a photo of yourself holding a non-plugged-in jigsaw, staring dreamily at the almost six-foot-tall wooden sign you have made mostly for the fuck of it. Spend a lot of time wondering if that’s what the back of your head looks like to the folks that can see it. Rub more aloe on the nasty sunburn you acquired at the SF Dyke March.

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For an authentic Kira Scarlet/Scarlet Tentacle wooden sign-making experience, spend lots of time looking at nearby carpentry classes because hot damn, working with power tools & wood is super fucking fun.

Next, get out your power sander. Power sand the shit out of your sign while wearing protective eyewear. Keep your mouth closed; sawdust tastes exactly like sawdust ought to taste.

Optional: take a picture of your dog & pretend that your sign is so awesome that even Igor approves.

So there’s that: all the exhaustive details of my progress so far on this almost six foot tall sign in progress.

My next step is to complete the base of the sign so it can stand by itself & not be knocked over accidentally in a crowded fair like Renegade Handmade at Fort Mason on July 27th and 27th (hint hint). After that I’ll finish the internal signs — they’ll have the Scarlet Tentacle logo and some price call-outs — then I’ll figure out whether or not it needs any spot colors — maybe red for the lips and the logo — and then I’ll finish sanding the edges of the sign down much more and will the be able to seal the front with varnish and cart it around with me to craft fairs for folks to admire.

Work in Progress Wednesday: red ink corrections


Here’s the part of my process where I scribble extensively over all of my work in an attempt to not forget the changes I want to make the next day — and since it’s digital ink, no layers were harmed in the marking of these corrections.

Can you guess what the subject matter of this piece is? Hint: it’s related to this Scarlet Tentacle vintage San Francisco poster.

Work Completed: Emily Moldy benefit poster


Here’s the completed gig poster I was working on last week for a friend’s fundraiser where Emily Moldy played. What?! You haven’t heard of Emily Moldy? Go here right now and listen to My Own One and don’t be surprised when you end up playing it on repeat for the rest of the day.

A bit about this illustration: because the circumstances of this particular performance were so over-the-top ridiculous, I felt like the poster for the performance needed to be equally as whimsical and ridiculous. And while it wouldn’t have been particularly kind to all of the musical instruments, I wouldn’t have been terribly surprised if the night of performances, which included Emily Moldy, a lecture on dubstep, several drag performances, a ukelele sing-along and face-painting, actually had ended up with people performing in the (defunct) hot tub.

I also wanted the piece to reflect some of the singer’s personal style — the earth tones with yellow highlights come from some of her existing promotional materials — and some of the specifics of the, er, venue — the plants in the poster (clover, sourgrass, passionflower, morning glory, climbing roses, jasmine, plus some other kind of vine I’m not sure of the name of) are all in the hot tub in question’s backyard, as is the trellis and Yoda the Cat.

The poster was designed as an 18×24 inch regularly sized gig poster  so that you can really enjoy the ridiculous detail the poster goes into, from the woodgrain on the hot tub & guitar & trellis to the hand lettering on the date & time.

PS: Like what you see? I’m available for hire for freelance illustration & graphic design projects.