Saturday, March 28, 2009

thrift love and technical difficulties

So, I was dropping stuff off to donate at the thrift store yesterday - trying to de-clutterfy my house a teeny tiny bit - and the next thing I know I'm browsing through the linens rack. sigh. In the end I only spent 99 cents and what I came home with fit in my purse so I don't feel too terrible. I found this little printed linen piece of fabric and thought it was too cute to leave behind. It didn't have any tags or anything so I don't know much about it (for all I know it came from IKEA or something) Don't know for sure what to do with it but it will find it's way into some project I hope. I was thinking about how I have developed an actual thrifting pattern - I'm like a machine. Here's how it goes: 1) Housewares (I always dream that somewhere there is an employee that has mistakenly set out a set of real vintage fiestaware marked to, like, 25 cents a piece - hasn't happened yet but one day....) 2) Linens - I know it's mostly ratty old Power Ranger sleeping bags but once in awhile there is a treasure hidden there. and 3) Books - don't need to explain that one, do I? I love thrifting!

And here is the part where I was going to post some photos of this week's embroidery projects. I'm not sure if I just haven't had enough coffee yet this morning or what but I cannot get my photos to upload properly. They are coming up sideways and the wrong size. I'm not sure what is going on but I will try again later.

See you soon!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

first pattern freebie!

Is this little guy sweet or what? I'm in the process of getting him listed in my shop and I decided to also offer the elephant image as a free embroidery pattern. This is my first time trying this so if you click the link and it does not work - please help a girl out and let me know - thanks!

This is all I have to show for this crazy week. Peter had his tonsils and adenoids removed Thursday so I have been playing Florence Nightingale (doling out ice cream) and Nurse Rachet (forcing the meds.) He's doing great now though - our biggest problem is trying to keep him down.
Luckily our day-long hospital stay meant a sizable chunk of embroidery and reading time for me. I hate to admit how nice it was but ... it was pretty great!
As I was enjoying both of those things I had an idea for a really fun project of epic proportions that I will, in reality, never do but it's fun to think about. Ready? I was reading "Life of Pi" - yes I know everyone and their dog read this like, 5 years ago - I'm a little behind the literary times. Anyway I was thinking how much fun it would be to embroider one of the scenes from that book (like Pi and the tiger catching flying fish for example). Then how about embroidering great scenes from all your favorite books and making them into one big 'ol quilt? Oh wouldn't it be beautiful? Talk about cuddling up with a good book(s). I suppose it's my love for illustration, embroidery, books, and quilts all rolled up into one big project. *sigh* Maybe one day....
What's your dream project?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

lucky strikes

As I mentioned previously, we have fallen victim to a tiny terrorist in our house in the form of a leprechaun named "Lucky". This was his first strike - tangling the velcro straps on Peter's shoes into a hopeless jumble. (sigh). He left his telltale leprechaun dust and a tiny note stating that we were to give him some gold if we didn't want to be bothered anymore.

Being as we have no gold (does anybody in this economy?) we continued to be plagued by pranks. One day he hid all of Peter's clothes, another day he made a tower with the couch cushions, climbed onto the top of the tv and stole the remotes. Then another day he turned Peter's drink bright green when he wasn't looking.

Peter took matters into his own hands and made an impressive trap - complete with an alluring rainbow and some handmade gold (well worth the glitter-mess), but alas, it failed. The gold was gone the next day but the trap was still there along with a nasty note - leprechauns can be so rude!

Finally today we decided to spring for some chocolate gold coins (I hope he falls for it) and a short letter to our friend, Lucky. I hope it does the trick - Wish us luck and Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Monday, March 16, 2009

window shopping

Can you believe this fantastic shop window? [sorry for all the annoying reflection - a night shot would have looked better but, well, it was daytime] When we were at the parade on saturday we were positioned right in front of this shop and I had a hard time keeping my eyes off the window display and on the marching bands and mayoral candidates (oh, and my boys). This is a beautiful shop - chock full of things that will make you curse the recession. I thought they did a great job with this display - don't you love those mushrooms? The whole look reminded me a little of this shop and all her exquisite creations. I always thought it would be so much fun to put window displays together - just another bit of creative fun that I would love to have some day.
What creative fun do you hope to have?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

rollercoaster week

It has been a strange week with lots of ups and a few stomach churning downs all mixed together in 7 days. But here I am, wobbly-legged, stepping gratefully off the ride and looking for the cotton candy booth. The ups were quite lovely, I must say.

All I have to share right now is a small diversion I came across this week over at all sorts . Here's how it works: Do a google search using this phrase: "unfortunately, [your name]" use the quotations, don't use the brackets. So mine was "unfortunately, Corinne". Then be prepared to laugh out loud as you read what comes up on your search. I got some great ones including:

Unfortunately, Corinne’s career took a downhill plunge the moment she and Oswald met.

Unfortunately, Corinne gets malaria and is forced to return to Switzerland for a month to recover

Unfortunately, Corinne wasn't there I hope she gets on Project runway though =)

Unfortunately, Corinne had to witness the profusion of blood and water.

And here is my favorite and folks, I kid you not, this really came up ... are you ready?

Unfortunately, Corinne also found out the hard way that the squid were immune to lightning.

Now go try it!

Today it's off to the St.Patrick's Day parade downtown. We have been visited by a pesky leprechaun in our house lately so perhaps we will see him there and we can tell him to stop causing trouble. I'd better save that story for another post.

What's ahead for you this weekend?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

defeating the dark side

Oh it's been so gloomy here lately! Observe my dismal photos for proof. So what is the cure for all that damp darkness? Why cuteness of course. I have been infusing a lot of it into my days lately and I recommend it highly. First of all I checked out this book:
What a fun book. I'll warn you though, it will make you want to run to the nearest thrift store or onto Ebay to scope out some vintage sheets. I never gave them a second thought but somehow Ms. Ryan transforms them into the loveliest things. Oh, and colored snaps! Now I think I must find a way to use colored snaps because they look like so much fun in this book.
Check out this eyeglasses case:

Loved this book!

I have been embroidering up a storm lately too. I made this little gal yesterday, isn't she fun?

I think that I spent approximately 20x as long on her hair as I did on my own that day but that's okay. What am I going to do with her? Well, I hadn't really thought about that part. I'll come up with something.

And finally, we made a family trek to the BIG garden center here today. It was wonderful to smell the dirt and look at the thousands of flowers. It was a perfect destination for such a grey day.

What's your cure for the gloomies?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

sweet dream stitches

This week hasn't left me a whole lot of time for stitching so far but I did get to work on this fun little project.

It's an embroidered pillowcase for my niece who turns 7 next week. Her sister got one from me for her last birthday so it was Maria's turn this time. I have to admit that I try to take every opportunity I can to make things for my nieces. I only have two (and 6 nephews!) and I just suspect that girls treasure handmade things more. Maybe I'm wrong - it has been known to happen - but that it how it always seems to me. Besides I get a chance to make girly things with flowers and such.

I used an iron-on embroidery design which actually feels a little like cheating to me. I suppose it's just a guilty feeling for not drawing out a design myself. I also wasn't crazy about having the pattern placed on the fabric permanently. I like to have a little wiggle room as I stitch and when it's on there for good you can't do that. But I did enjoy using all the different stitches. I got to go a little french knot crazy. I used to hate and dread french knots until I found this website. Somehow the way it was described and illustrated there made sense to me where it never really had before. Now I love french knots!

Meanwhile, I have two sick boys home today and while I hope to squeeze in a little more crafting today I'm not sure it will happen. Oh well, as long as I don't catch what they've got I'll be happy.