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 project....is 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!

Monday, August 31, 2015

i get a kick out of gardening

Okay is this hilarious or what? Who knew a vegetable garden could inspire so many giggles or turn up so many surprises?
I think Adam had to think twice about munching on this one - it seemed to have too much of a personality to eat it for dinner.... but we managed to do it anyway.

My garden has been tons of fun this year. It helps to have a near perfect growing season (that is what the local experts are calling it anyway). Now there is talk around the house of doubling the garden's size next year. Do you think we can handle it?? I am sure that by April we will be so ready to take on a challenge like that.

Of course this week we are scrambling to find ideas for what to do with all our tomatoes. These babies were roasted up this morning for a cherry tomato sauce. Most of it went in the freezer but I did sample some for lunch - yum! Thank goodness for neighbors who are nice enough to take a few of these off our hands and for Pinterest for helping me find temping possibilities like this and this and this

I would love to hear how your garden did this year!

As I mentioned in my ONLY other post this month - it is TOUGH to get to the blog during the summer months but I hope to be here more often once school kicks into gear again. I have a craft confession to share this week too - it's a good one!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Crafting Confession July - Cast Concrete

concrete casting DIY garden projects with concrete

Finding time for extra crafting during the Summer can be tricky around here. Luckily my boys generally like taking on new creative challenges - which is good because they are around so much more in the summer months. They are not as patient while I am preoccupied with photo editing and blog post writing but who can blame them - that's not nearly as fun as getting your hands dirty with a project like this one. For July we took on Concrete Casting! You'll see a little shallow planter above that we made with concrete. I just put grass in it but wouldn't it look great as a base for bonsai or moss?

concrete garden projects DIY

This project incorporated three of my priorities for this month 1. It had to be something that the boys could help with 2. it had to be an OUTSIDE project that would STAY outside and 3. It had to be something I had not tried before. Step one - we gathered materials. We found some goodies at a local thrift store and our recycling bin and we picked up some concrete at the hardware store. I tried it with the countertop concrete shown here and also with some regular quikcrete. I liked how both turned out so I probably would not spend the extra money for the countertop stuff if I did this project again.

cast concrete pavers DIY garden projects

This little gem was cast from a bottle of "Simply Grapefruit" juice. Let me just stop right here and tell you that if you try this project you will never look at your recyclables in the same way. It didn't take long for all the interesting shapes, textures and designs found on plastic containers started to jump out at me. This was no exception. Wouldn't these make a lovely little garden border? I think so!

concrete garden globe DIY

We also took on this project that has been circulating on Pinterest. It was super easy and I love the way it turned out.
concrete garden globe projects

My boys like to take out the sidewalk chalk on draw on our new garden globe which is fine with me. It lets us change it up and adds some color and creativity to our garden. Now I just need to scout out some more glass globes at the thrift store so I can make a little set of these.

DIY garden projects with poured concrete

There were a few more little pieces that the kids made with silicon molds and mandarin orange cups. This is going to be one of the confession projects that lives on past it's designated month because I have ideas for even more things to cast and I of course I have a half bag of concrete left as well. Fun, easy, perfect for Summer - I am going to call this one a success.