Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Craft Confession October

I warned you this was going to happen WAY back in early 2012 I checked out a book at my local library and did a bit of swooning and then returned it. And wouldn't you know it - I snatched that baby right back up again as soon as an opportunity presented itself. My Crafting Confession series gave me an excuse to try out a craft that caught my eye all those years ago- needlepoint.

As you can see it's not a gigantic leap from embroidery but there are a lot of differences. And I should probably add before I get much further - please don't judge needlepoint by what you see here. I really didn't get too far and there is such an amazing world beyond this - you should really check it out!

What I was able to do was to try out a few of the stitches. What you see here are all of my second or third attempts at a stitch. It seems I always had to screw it up before I could get it right. But that's okay, really. Once you get the swing of a stitch it is really relaxing and fun to see the textures and patterns come together. 

Are you wondering how I could mess up something that looks so basic? Don't worry, I am wondering that too! It was just a matter of having the counts right. I would complete a row and then when a second row didn't line up I would see I was off by one square or something silly like that. You have to watch that kind of thing closely with needlepoint. The good news is that it's easy to back track and fix things once you realize where you were "off."

I stuck with embroidery floss because I have millions of miles of it on hand but you can achieve a huge variety of looks using different fibers and canvases. I recommend needlepoint to anyone who is drawn to textures, interesting color combinations and geometric designs. It's a craft that lets you explore and make the most of all of those. I hope that, in spite of my humble trials here, you can see the potential. Would I do this craft again? Yes!

November is going to be a tough one folks. It's my busiest month in the shop and finding extra time for laundry can be tough, let alone crafting for fun. I have come this far though and I don't want to quit now. All I ask is that you keep your expectations, like, super low, okay? I am going to do my best. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

'hot' new items at SeptemberHouse

Hi everyone! I am stopping by today to share some exciting news. SeptemberHouse embroidery patterns are making their way on to the iron-on scene. Transferring patterns could not be easier with this format and it's ideal for people who dread that part of the process.

iron on transfer embroidery patterns septemberhouse

booksmart modern hand embroidery patterns iron on transfers

I am kicking off this new option with three of the most popular pattern sets from the shop. Booksmart, Scandistitches and Kaleidoscope are all available as iron-ons.

scandinavian embroidery patterns iron on transfers

scandinavian embroidery patterns iron on transfers

Each set comes with the iron-on sheet with all the patterns from the collection, a full color insert with instructions on the back, a stitch guide, and suggestions for projects and materials.

butterfly embroidery patterns iron on transfer

butterfly embroidery patterns iron on transfer

All you need to get started with these is some embroidery floss, fabric, an embroidery hoop, a needle and an iron. Then you are set to go for many projects as these transfers can be used several times before they lose their 'ink'.

how to transfer embroidery patterns

See how easy these are to use?

I am looking forward to adding some more pattern sets in iron-on format soon!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

you want it, you need it

I gotta tell ya,

I ♥ my DMC floss color card! Why did I not seek this out and make it mine years ago? Well, I guess because I had heard rumors and complaints that these were no longer available or that they were outrageously expensive and wouldn't you know it - both of those statements are wrong. 

I am so glad I looked into it further. When I began my search I was coming across a lot of the photographed/printed color guides which wasn't what I really wanted, I knew I was going to need something more accurate than that. And yes, I did contemplate making my own - boy am I glad I abandoned that idea! It would take me years to create something as organized and complete as this baby. 

I did just a bit of digging and there on the DMC website was this gem at a price that I found to be perfectly reasonable. Especially considering the use I was going to get out of it. These are actual floss samples of regular DMC floss plus the specialty flosses. Now I can shop for floss online knowing exactly what colors I want and need. I can also find color matches when I need to identify a color from a project and I lost my little paper band (happens all the time!). And I don't need to drag my project and myself to the fabric store to do it! It also comes in handy when choosing colors for a new project. I love it!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

calavera cat

dia de los muertos calavera cat

If I never embroider just for fun then embroidery isn't going to be fun anymore, right? That's what this guy was all about - stitching for fun. He was never intended to go in the shop, this was a pattern I made for newsletter subscribers and I usually don't embroider examples of those. But I found myself having a blast stitching him up anyway when I probably should have been doing shop work.
dia de los muertos calavera embroidery

I just couldn't help myself. I HAD to see what he would look like all decked out in embroidery floss. So, I picked some super bright colors for the face (I know, I know, except for that light aqua and red I have strayed outside of my color comfort zone, haven't I?) Then I picked some white and grays for the floral border. I wanted a bony/skeletal look for that part and I hoped the face would stand out more if it didn't have to compete with the border.

dia de los muertos calavera pattern

And before I knew it he was ready for his premiere on So September. But I suppose it's back to work now. I have some new offerings I need to finish up before the holiday season really starts to kick in. I hope to be back soon to share those!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

craft confession - september - micro macrame

micro macrame owl

Whooooo is ready to find out what this month's craft confession is? 
It's micro macrame! This little guy is the final result and I am okay with how he turned out. 

micro macrame owl

I have a craft challenge for you now. Watch this micro macrame tutorial and try to NOT think, "oh yeah, I can TOTALLY do this, it looks so easy and beautiful" That's what I thought when I watched it. Well... it was a little tougher than it appeared and this guy is actually owl attempt number 6 or 7 - I lost count. He still could use some improvement but overall he does make me smile when I see him and he looks WAY better than owl number 1. I hoped to try some bracelet or necklace patterns this month but didn't quite get there. As you can see I have about 5 miles of cord left so I think I will have the materials needed for a future project, don't you?

Why micro macrame? My twin sister was actually the macrame pro growing up and she could knock out a toothbrush holder or plant hanger in no time. It was fun to see what she could create with just some knots. My sisters and I were also fans of the friendship bracelet back in the day too so I had some experience with some of the techniques. I was also drawn to the completely hands on aspect of this project. It's good for me to be pulled from the computer and besides watching the tutorial (again and again and again) I kept myself in the tangible world for this project.

I hope you will find yourself getting your hands dirty with a creative endeavor this month too!

Friday, September 4, 2015

craft confession august - wouldn't you like to know

August's crafting adventure was one that I have wanted to try for years and I am thrilled to have had a chance to do it. There are no photos to share this time and I cannot even share too many details so you will need to use your imagination a bit. This a secret.

This month I gave guerilla art a try. (sneaky grin). I have loved this concept since it was first brought to my attention way back in my post college/ pre-baby days. Keri Smith explains it brilliantly as this:
Guerilla art is a fun and insidious way of sharing your vision with the world. It is a method of art making which entails leaving anonymous art pieces in public places. It can be done for a variety of reasons, to make a statement, to share your ideas, to send out good karma, or just for fun. My current fascination with it stems from a belief in the importance of making art without attachment to the outcome. To do something that has nothing to do with making money, or listening to the ego.
You would think with the freedom of anonymity one wouldn't worry quite as much about the appearance of whatever it is one decides to make. But that was not the case and I worried quite a bit about it. But I powered through my doubts and ended up with several nice little bits that I could distribute all over the city/cities.

Actually I am still in the distribution process - I am not used to being 'sneaky' and it turns out I am pretty slow - and I am probably thinking about it too much. Hopefully what has been put out there so far has been found by someone who needed a happy surprise right at that moment they found it. Of course I realize there is a good chance that these bits may make their way to the bottom of a trash can and that's okay. You have to accept that once your art leaves your hands you cannot control what happens to it.

It's so rewarding to watch creative projects move from my 'want to do' list to my 'did' list and it confirms my suspicion that this year-long crafting confession undertaking would be worth the effort and dedication. There are still 4 more installments to go and I am looking forward to sharing them all with you.

This month I hope that some unexpected delight will find YOU out there in the great big world.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

new stitch sampler buttons from septemberhouse

I'm stopping in today to share a little something new from the shop shelves.

Hand Embroidery Stitch Sampler Buttons

A new color/stitch option for the SeptemberHouse sampler buttons is now available. This one is called "Pinwheel" and it is the brightest of the bunch. It includes four new stitches: stem stitch, split stitch, seed stitch and cross stitch. 

Hand Embroidery Kit Stitch Sampler Buttons DIY kits

These are available as a DIY kit and also as completed sets of two or four. Thanks for taking a peek at this new option!