Sunday, December 30, 2012

new year, new projects

Okay, who is looking for a fun and creative way to kick off the New Year? Hop on over to the Feeling Stitchy blog and check out their new contest. Choose your favorite vintage embroidery pattern and use your imagination to stitch up something new and fabulous.

Oh and also take a peek at the prizes that are up for grabs. Chances are good that you will find a familiar face!

Friday, December 28, 2012

thank you ever so much



Just popping in with a quick round up of some favorite free printable thank you's. I figured I wasn't the only one working on Thank You notes these days so I might as well share the love. Thank you to all the artists who shared their talents so generously and made their designs available on their websites!

Classic and beautiful from Cottage Industrialist
Cute heart filled thanks from scrapbooking and papercrafts.com
Watercolor loveliness from Sincerely, Kinsey
Beautiful bunting from 74 lime lane
Fun and Modern from Love vs. Design
Simple Sweetness from Pumpkins and Posies

Thursday, December 27, 2012

it pays to be a good girl

Time to pack up Christmas for another year. I am always happy to do that and ready to get a fresh start on the new year. As much as I love the holiday season at about the halfway mark I tend to miss 'normal' and from then on I look forward to these days of tucking away the boxes of decorations.

I know you all are dying to know if I was a good girl and what on earth Santa brought me, right? Well folks, he brought the 80's...
                                                                                   Yes!
There was a lot of nostalgia and fun that came wrapped up in boxes and bags for me this year and I have been having so much fun re-living some favorite memories from my childhood and teen years. I am a lucky lucky girl!

I am working through a 'year-end' favorites post in my head and hope to get that posted before the new year is upon us. Hope your holiday was filled with happy memories both old and new!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

frenzy indeed

I'm here I swear. Things got crazy there for a little while and somehow I just could not get over here and post. There were a few days where I must have embroidered about a mile's worth of stitches. Then other days when I was completely zapped from a nasty cold I managed to catch. And there were some very happy distractions like Christmas shopping/making and entertaining guests. So, there was some good and some not so good that kept me away. I wouldn't say I have all my loose ends tied up just yet but the quiet of January is there on the horizon and I feel like I am getting my wits about me once again.

I'm feeling pretty good about how the season has turned out so far. I did get a few things done this year that had fallen by the wayside in the past few years. Things like Christmas cards and a gingerbread house were checked off the "to-do" list this year. The gingerbread house collapsed approximately 20 minutes after it was completed but oh well. Those darn things never turn out like you imagine they will but some of us are still foolish enough to keep trying. I blame Pinterest for showing me so many inspiring photos of beautiful gingerbread creations!

And lastly, I know I'm not alone when I say that I am also feeling a lot of sadness this season after Friday's tragedy. Honestly my mind can not imagine anything worse than what happened that day and as a parent I... well I don't even know how to end that sentence - everything that comes to mind is too sad to say. But you probably know what I'm talking about. Something good has just got to come out of this and it's up to everyone to make that happen. I hope this season and the coming of the new year will bring opportunities for all of us to bring positive change in our own lives and the lives of others.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

mini merry mistletoe

Stopping in to share a little something new for the shop today. Just a wee mistletoe stitched up and ready to go along to a holiday celebration.

I am always happy at this point in the holiday season when it becomes socially acceptable to listen to Christmas music. No more turning down the volume on your car stereo when you pull up next to someone. After all, you wouldn't want them to know you were humming along to some pre-Thanksgiving "Winter Wonderland", right? Oh, what's that you say? It's just me who does that? Ok well, shhhhh...don't tell anyone. Anyway, it's perfectly fine to listen to any holiday tune you please now and I am fine with that.

Somehow I managed to miss every single Black Friday doorbuster deal which is actually just fine with me. Unfortunately I missed cyber Monday as well and am feeling behind on my shopping already. Please tell me I'll still get it all done, okay?

Let the frenzy commence!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

that time of year

pumpkins
I know it's practically sinful of me to start a blog post right before Thanksgiving by complaining about what I don't have BUT...

Oh my gosh I just need more TIME
This is a sentiment that I feel like shouting at the top of my lungs on a regular basis but I don't, I keep it inside and remind myself to have patience. Today though, I'm just going to throw it out there.

Now that that is out of the way I'll share some things my crafty self is very thankful for...

Coffee 
the frequent and generous sales at JoAnn's
Pandora
OTT lamps
naptime (back when my kids took naps - if you still have 
nappers in the house you know what I'm talking about)
my local library
all my inspiring and amazing crafty friends
my mom who introduced my sisters and I to all kinds of crafts
all the encouraging art teachers I have had along the way

Where would I be without all of those?

I hope you all have a very happy Thanksgiving and thank YOU for being a part of So September!

Friday, November 9, 2012

i haven't lost my sense of humor

 "Ryder" for the tricycle ornament example
and "Harper" for the angel ornament example
get it?? 
snicker snicker. I crack myself up sometimes.

Monday, November 5, 2012

an unhappy distraction

Hi everyone, I'm here with a post that is not one of my happier entries into the So September archives I'm sorry to say. I wanted to share this anyway and hopefully help others, like me who regularly share their creative pursuits with the online community.
You all remember this little friend, right? It's the "She Scatters Shamrocks" free embroidery pattern released with much enthusiasm back in February 2010. She's been pretty popular and has apparently been making her way in the world unbeknownst to me. In September of this year I received an email from someone who was familiar with this pattern informing me that she saw this image on the cover of a book and wanted to let me know because she wasn't sure it was supposed to be there. I'll stop the story right now and say that if there is a hero in this sad tale it is that woman who emailed me to tell me about this. I would have never known otherwise. THANK YOU to her and to everyone else I say - if you see or suspect copyright violation please let the original artist know, please.
And now back to our story. Turns out this image does in fact make an appearance on a book cover*. I was never asked permission to use it, I was never given any credit or compensation. I have a copyright notice on my blog, on the pattern file AND a notice that states it's for personal use only. In addition to all of that, it's also my personal belief that if you are a book illustrator you just know that you can't just use someone else's image that you find online like that. You just know

So, from that fateful day in September on, I have been dealing with the aftermath of the situation. I have talked to lawyers, had countless discussions with my husband and my law-degreed mother-in-law, scoured and scoured the internet looking for information on what to do next and trying to decide what to do next. Needless to say it has cost a LOT of time and energy. It is also extremely disheartening. This is the kind of thing that really makes you want to throw in the towel. Why do all this work if someone is just going to steal it out from under you? I could go on and on about all the dark weepy thoughts that go through your brain but I try to keep that kind of stuff to a minimum on my happy little blog so I will spare you all any more of that.

Anyway, ALL of my work now makes a trip through the government's copyright registration office. Yes, you still own the copyright without taking that step but it really does offer an additional layer of protection that maybe you think and hope you don't need but you do.

I also learned a great deal about the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 which is something for which I am very grateful. The process is still ongoing but I wanted to at least take a pause and share a bit about it with you all here. I will be sure to follow up with any other developments in this very educational experience.  

* Notice I did not scan in the image and post it here - that would be against their copyright.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

i have to say...

I'm impressed.

If you have followed So September for a few years than you might remember this little project from way back in 2010. It was an embroidered fleece blanket created for a holiday craft article on Good Housekeeping.com. In the process of working on that project many blankets were made. They did not end up selling but that was okay because a fleece blanket (or several) is something we can actually use in our home.

And use we have. These babies have been used and loved over and over again. They have been turned into forts, warmed chilly little feet in front of Saturday morning cartoons and have even been dragged along on road trips.
Snowflake Embroidery on Fleece SeptemberHouse
photo from 2010

Snowflake Hand Embroidery on Fleece SeptemberHouse
photo from 2010
And I swear these are actual photos of these blankets from then and now. You'll see they look pretty much the same. After all those trips through the washer and dryer (and NOT the delicate cycle) and all the rough play they have endured. I am pleasantly surprised that the embroidery has held up so nicely.

This was the first project I ever embroidered using fleece and after this experience I have to give it a thumbs up! Don't rule this fabric out when planning handmade holiday gifts or just some fun household items. If you missed the tutorial and project back in 2010 you can find the free snowflake embroidery pattern here as well.
Snowflake Hand Embroidery SeptemberHouse
photo from 2012

Free Snowflake embroidery pattern SeptemberHouse
photo from 2012
All I'm saying is give fleece a chance. (giggle)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

holiday happenings

It's that time of year...no, wait, it's way past that time of year. That's right, it's a new Holiday Embroidery Pattern set! I like to get holiday patterns out in the summertime because that is when organized people start planning their holiday projects (so I hear - personally I wouldn't know as I am never that organized). So, it's a little later than I hoped but I am still pretty excited about this new set. This Christmas pattern collection is called "Season's Stitchings" and it is a really fun mix.  

Holiday Elf Embroidery Pattern SeptemberHouse
Initially I planned to design a set of pattern based on holiday motifs from the 1950's and 60's. As I started looking into more vintage Christmas items I decided not to limit it to just those two decades. 
vintage christmas ornament embroidery pattern septemberhouse
Browsing through old Christmas cards, wrapping papers and advertisements was perhaps the most fun part of this project. Plus I also learned a lot along the way.
Christmas hand embroidery pattern dog
Did you know that images of scrappy little dogs appeared frequently in holiday decorations from the 1930's? Not the pure bred stately dogs but the feisty mutts that could get through anything and look adorable doing it. After reading that I knew that somehow or another a puppy was going to end up in this pattern set.
hand embroidery pattern christmas tree septemberhouse
And what about those aluminum Christmas trees? It's a good enough reason to try out those metallic flosses, don't you think? Vince suggested I find a way to add some sort of color changing device to the back but I'm not quite that good... yet. 
septemberhouse holiday hand embroidery pattern deer
Finally I added a graceful deer reminiscent of the brass variety that was, and now again, is so popular. I've had my eye out for some in the thrift shops but I think they have all been snapped up! I guess I'll have to settle for my little embroidered friend for now.

So there you have it a Holiday hodge podge from SeptemberHouse. You can find Season's Stitchings in the SeptemberHouse Webstore or on Etsy.

Now I really really need to swing back to Halloween mode and get some costumes figured out for my two little goblins. That clock is ticking you know. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

2 things

SeptemberHouse_Online Seller_ feature
It's been kind of a roller coaster week here but I am here to share a couple of the 'ups' with you today. The first one is a bit of press for SeptemberHouse on the Online Seller website. What a fun opportunity to share more about the challenges and rewards of selling online. Hopefully I did more encouraging than scaring when it comes to the topic of selling online, even though it certainly has been both at times for me.

And secondly, I mentioned previously that I planned to do a wee bit of Etsy shopping for SeptemberHouse's fourth birthday and promised to share what I bought. Lately my weakness and obsession has been with prints ( I should probably say 'reproductions' though I adore prints as well). I have so many on my personal 'wish list' and part of me is determined to one day have them all. It's hard to choose just one at a time but this week here was the lucky selection. I ordered it on Monday and it was in my hands on Wednesday which is pretty amazing. I can't wait to hang it up!

Other recently acquired pieces include this gem, this little beauty, and this lovely. See, I am slowly but surely making good on my pledge to NOT have bare walls in this house like we did in our last one. < sad, isn't it? It's true though - indecision stopped me from ever hanging up anything and I refuse to let that happen this time.

What new beauties have you hung on your walls lately?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

i took the pin plunge

SeptemberHouse on Pinterest
It's true, I did, in fact climb aboard the pinterest train. I tried to be oh-so disciplined and not get into something that would be a huge temptation. But, I saw a lot of shop views coming in from Pinterest (and also everyone else I knew was already there) so I started peeking around to see what it was all about and well, you know how that goes. Have I spent time there when I should have been doing something else? yes. But not too much and overall I have been a pretty good girl I think. Besides, there are worse habits I could pick up, am I right?

Here is where you can find me on planet Pinterest.

Monday, October 8, 2012

SeptemberHouse turns 4!

SeptemberHouse birthday promo
Seems like only yesterday she was just a wee-little shop, eh? Well, I still feel like she is a wee-little shop but here she is, FOUR years old today!

I have loved watching SeptemberHouse grow and have especially loved getting to know you all through So September! It's so exciting to think what is to come in the next four years!

Let's just keep the party rolling today with a little birthday sale over on Etsy - where it all began. Enjoy 20% off site wide today with promo code 'birthday'.

I think I will celebrate by treating myself to a little Etsy shopping too. I will be sure to tell you what I choose though I know it will be an extremely tough decision - my favorites list over there is ridiculously long!

Friday, September 28, 2012

lucky 13

Who ever said 13 was an unlucky number sure got it wrong today because guess who won the giveaway? That's right, number 13 



Rita who said...
wow! what a sweet giveaway -- the ornaments are really beautiful! the snow angel is my fav, but it's also my grandson's first Christmas, so it would be hard to decide. thank you for this opportunity!
Congratulations Rita! Please email me at [septemberhouse(at)hotmail.com] and let me know which ornament you would like.
I apologize for not getting a tutorial or a printable posted this week. I just could not figure out a way to get around the camera issue. So, once that is back I will be getting a little something ready to post, late as it may be.  I mean really it has been so much fun, maybe I should just keep the party going into "Floss-tober"?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

hey hey it's a giveaway

SeptemberHouse Embroidered Holiday Ornament Giveaway
I'm happy and sad to announce this week's Stitch-tember giveaway. Sad because it's the last one which means my month-long party is drawing to a close. Happy because I think this is a pretty good one and I hope you will like it too. 
This week's giveaway is for a SeptemberHouse hand embroidered ornament! Four choices are available: 'Our First Christmas', 'Baby's First Christmas', 'Snow Angel (pink or aqua)' or, I will stitch up a custom monogram ornament from the Winter Wonderland pattern set. The winner chooses, I send it - you know how it goes. All you need to do to enter is leave a comment on this post. A lucky winner will be chosen and announced on Friday. Good Luck!!

Monday, September 24, 2012

last week, last sale


September is winding down but I have one last sale going on this week.
10% off all ornaments! 

There is more to come during this final week. I am trying to figure out how to swing it without my camera. It's having it's sensor cleaned and I won't have it back for a week or so. Hmmm... I may have to get creative. Or my posts may have to get really dull. Either way, I hope you will stick with me, I promise it will be a fun week.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

and the winner of the week three giveaway is...



Mary Ann who said...
I'm just a beginner so I would love some new fun stuff...specially the pen and the hoops:)
Congratulations Mary Ann! Watch for an email from me later today. Thanks everyone for participating!

P.S. A big huge thank you to Marci who was kind enough to tell me how to post the random.org graphic!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

a how-to for you


septemberhouse applique embroidery tutorial
I'm back with another little something for you today. I was working on one of the patterns for my new holiday embroidery pattern set and decided to use some fabric appliqués. Then I thought, why not share the ins and outs of that process here with you? So, it's a 2 for 1 deal today - a sneak peek at the new pattern set AND a fun tutorial.

The first thing you need to do is decide what shapes you want to use for your fabric appliqué. I decided to make each of the ornaments in fabric for this example. 
applique tutorial septemberhouse
Next you will need some fusible webbing material. Two popular options are Wonder Under and Heat n' Bond. I have used both with good results - just be sure to follow the directions included with them. Both have a smoother, paper surface side and a more textured, glue surface side. The fusible webbing is semi-transparent so it's easy to place it over a pattern and trace the shape you want. It's important to trace the shape in reverse! After you have traced your shape iron the webbing material onto the back of the fabric you are going to use.
applique tutorial so september
After that is done and the fabric has cooled a bit you can cut out your shape(s)
applique embroidery tutorial
The paper layer will still be on the back of your shape at this point but you can see that the glue layer is bonded onto the fabric. Next you will need to position your appliqués where you want them to be on your base fabric. I always peel off the backing paper first so I don't need to pick them back up again once they are in place.
applique embroidery tutorial septemberhouse
For this pattern I chose a semi-transparent iron-on stabilizer as my transfer method. Therefore, I have to match up my pattern with my fabric appliqués. This can be a little fiddly but with patience it does work. 
Once everything is placed properly it can be ironed to set your appliqués permanently. The next step is the fun part - adding the embroidery! Once that is complete the stabilizer can be removed.
septemberhouse applique tutorial
You don't have to add stitching around the outside of your appliqué but I like the finished look that it gives. And while the instructions that come along with the fusible webbing always say that the finished item is machine washable, I have never had the nerve to do it - I am kind of wimpy that way. I have, however, washed one or two things by hand and I'm happy to report that they stayed put. 

There are other methods for bonding fabrics together such as sprays and glues. You can also find tutorials for sewing fabric appliqués on by hand or by machine which gives beautiful results as well. Whatever method you chose, have fun with it and enjoy the process!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

something to get you stitching

It's week three and time for giveaway number three! This week, to go along with the pattern sale I thought I would put together a little starter kit for anyone who is building their stash of embroidery goodies. OR - if you are someone who just loves shiny new things to add to your stash (like me!) - this works for you too.

There are some fun little things included like bright colorful flosses, my favorite transfer pen (it has a very fine line and I, for one, am picky about that), an awesome little pocket guide that illustrates a whole variety of stitches, some wooden hoops and some thread heaven (love that stuff). Chances are some surprises will be included as well but I can't say anything more about that.

I am a day late with this giveaway announcement (sorry, I meant to get this up yesterday!) so I'll wait til Saturday to pick a winner. Just leave a comment to be included. Good Luck!!

Monday, September 17, 2012

have i got a deal for you

It's a pattern sale! 
All patterns are 20% off this week!
It's a great time to try out a SeptemberHouse embroidery pattern. Instant downloads are available in the webstore and you can stop by and see me in Etsyland as well. 
I'll be checking in again before too long with this week's giveaway!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

to: you from: me

Guess, what? I've got a little free printable to share with you all today. I'm keeping the birthday theme running for this Stitch-tember goody. This one was inspired by this dilemma:
Since we don't live near family we ship a lot of packages for birthdays and Christmas. I hate sending a bow-less gift BUT sometimes a bow just isn't going to make it over the miles, you know? If it stays on the gift at all it is surely smashed and bashed by the time it makes it arrival. I have been meaning to make a little digital version for some time now and Stitch-tember has inspired me to go ahead and get it done. So I'm sharing it with you today. Just click the link to download the Print-Snip-Ship bows file.
I had to try this out of course and here are some of the results. For the first one I printed one of the pre-colored pages (there are 5 in the file). I printed it onto white cardstock and trimmed it was done.
Then I used the page of blank bows and printed it on to yummy glittery gold paper. You can't see the sparkles as well above but look below!
 Ooohhh shiny!
 Then I tried it out on some origami paper

and some patterned scrapbook paper. Pretty!

So give it a go the next time you need to mail a gift and want to add a little something different to the front of your package. These would even be cute on the outside of the mailing box, wouldn't they? Just be sure to cover with clear packing tape. 
This digital file is several pages long and not all of the bow graphics are shown here. I think you will like what you find!
Please note this printable is for personal use only. Thanks!

Friday, September 14, 2012

it's time to...



Announce a winner for the Embroidered Sampler Magnet giveaway. Although I can not for the life of me figure out how people copy and paste the little box graphic from random.org, that is indeed how winners are chosen. That being said, the winner today is Number 16!
Lee who said... 
How sweet - I adore that lazy daisy! thanks!

******************************************************************************
Congratulations Lee and watch for an email from me in your inbox!

I'll be finishing up a little free printable this weekend and then a new week of Stitch-tember fun begins!

Somewhere in the mix I am also making progress on a new pattern set and enjoying the PERFECT Minnesota weather (70 and sunny?? does it get any better?? - I think not)

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

an attractive offer

Who is feeling lucky? This week's Stitch-tember Giveaway is for a set of embroidered sampler magnets! There are three color schemes to choose from and each set features 4 different embroidery stitches. All you have to do is leave a comment and I'll pick a winner (well, random.org will pick a winner) on Friday!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

stitch-tember sales continue

I am positively charged about this week's sale -

20% off all magnet sets!
You can check out the sets available over at the SeptemberHouse Webstore or the Etsy Shop.

Friday, September 7, 2012

and the winners are...

Happy Friday everyone! I am ready to post the winners of the calendar panel giveaway if you are. Here we go..

# 22 Singtatter who said...
I like the aqua vintage calendar. Thanks for the giveaway!

and #11 Charlotte who said...
How generous. Thanks for this chance to get organised :-)

Congratulations Ladies! watch for an email from me in your inbox! 

Have a wonderful weekend everyone.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

embroidered pendant tutorial just for you

Embroidered Pendant Tutorial from SeptemberHouse
You know these guys, right? They have been a hanging out at SeptemberHouse for a few years and I get asked about them all the time. I thought these embroidered pendants would make a good tutorial to share for the "Stitch-tember" festivities. And yes, I am opting for a birthday theme. My SeptemberHouse birthday is coming up very soon (it will be 4 years - can you believe it?) and September is a huge month for birthdays in my family so we are always knee deep in birthday cake around here. I chose a cake image but you can use whatever you like for your necklace.

Let's get started, shall we?

Embroidered Pendant tutorial

1. Here's what you will need: one pendant setting available at one of my favorite little Etsy shops, Kailea. She has lots of sizes and shapes to choose from and she is lovely to work with too. Each pendant setting comes with an outer open frame piece, and inner solid circle that supports your fabric and a solid backing piece that covers the fabric on the back side.
You'll also need a small piece of fabric. Just 3 x 3 inches works fine for this project. I also use some iron-on interfacing on the back to give the embroidery a smoother look and to eliminate any glare from the metal piece underneath.

2. Just trace the inner circle from the setting onto your interfacing and cut it out.


3. Next you'll need to iron the interfacing onto the back of your fabric. Next choose a design you want to stitch onto your pendant. I used a birthday cake pattern and guess what? That pattern along with three other tiny birthday cakes are available for download. They can be used for this project or any other personal project requiring a teeny tiny birthday cake image. Click on over to get the free embroidery pattern.

4. Transfer your design using whatever method you like best. I used a water soluble marker and a bright window.

5. Stitch away! I love this part.

embroidered necklace tutorial

6. Using a running stitch, stitch all the way around the circle about a 1/4 away from the interfacing.

7. Trim another 1/4 away from that.

8. Place the inner metal circle over your embroidered circle on the back side.

Embroidery Pendant tutorial

9. Pull the ends of your floss to cinch your fabric around the metal circle. Double check the front side to make sure it is positioned correctly.

10. Insert this into the open metal frame and turn face down on a table or working surface. Making sure all the fabric is tucked in, carefully add the backing piece to the back side. Turn the metal prongs down to secure (I use needle nose pliers for this). 

To finish it off I snip the floss ends and use a needle to tuck in any bits that can still be seen. You can add any chain you like to complete your necklace. 

I should be sure to say that this is how I have made these embroidered pendants but there may be other methods out there that work just as well or even better. 

Let me know if you have any questions about this project - I'm always happy to help!

If you haven't entered the calendar panel giveaway be sure to stop by and do that before Friday. More exciting Stitch-tember events to come!