Tuesday, January 31, 2012

how i do my hair

I thought today I would take a step back and take a look at some of the various hair options I have used in the past and share those with you all today. Stitching hair is really fun for me and I love trying to dream up new ways to approach it.  

So first up is our little bug boy. I used two strands of green floss and just made rows and rows of chain stitches. I liked how the part in his hair really shows and I'm also quite fond of chain stitches so this was a great option all around.

Our little forest girl is just a wee lass and I did that on purpose just so I could do her hair this way. Had I made her larger I would still be working on those french knots right now. I know I wanted big puffs of 'curls' on top of her hair and that french knots would be ideal (with a little satin stitching for her bangs and for the top where her hair is "pulled back"). To cover a little more ground a little quicker and also to create a little more texture I did "up" my floss to three strands.

Okay, this one is my favorite. It doesn't look like anything more than a slightly messy satin stitch. And I know I'm not that great at satin stitching but I really can get the threads straight - really I can. I added a little twist though because I thought the satin stitch looked a little too neat and a little too solid. So, after satin stitching all the hair I went back in with just one strand of floss and make some long stitches here and there. I generally followed the basic direction and length of the satin stitches but also wove my thread between and at slight angles here and there to 'tousle' the hair a bit.

I think it really makes the hair look more 'natural' so to speak. I first used this technique last year when I made my caroler ornaments. It's so subtle but really effective.

Last comes the backstitch method. Just rows and rows of it. Sometimes I use an outline in a slightly different color just to add a bit more detail. I like how it creates such a solid look. Sometimes satin stitching isn't an option due to the size or the shape of the hair so this is a really good alternative.

Interested in more tips for embroidered hair? Check out this tutorial for making embroidered braids or this great discussion on floss color suggestions for hair. What is your best advice for stitching hair?

Friday, January 27, 2012

Super Stitching

Guess who is here to rescue you from winter weekend boredom - it's Kindersquad! A brand new team of pint sized superheros ready to be stitched up by you! Drawing these up was really fun and I couldn't help but mentally attach little personalities to them. When it was all said and done I concluded that I am, in fact, kind of a dork. But that's okay and I certainly would never let something like that stop me! But enough about me, let me introduce you to my new friends:
First up we have Bolt Boy with some crazy electrified hair - hey that just happens when you play with electricity all day.
Then comes our tiniest friend no bigger than a fly (and set in a four inch hoop) but don't let his size fool you - he's ready to fight bad guys of any size.
 Then comes our sweet friend from the forest ready to defend all things green and growing. She's got a pixie spirit and a lion heart - watch out litterbugs and land developers!
 Last but not least is our little rainbow superstar. She's armed with her prism power necklace, sunshine cape and a whole lot of cheer and she's ready to fight off grey clouds wherever they may lurk.
So there it is - Kindersquad  you can find it here for free. All four patterns are included as well as color and stitch guides for each. I thought these would be fun designs to stitch up for the little superheros in our lives that we all know and love. Perhaps on a wee little tote bag or pillow for their room? If you do decide to try these out and have any questions at all as you look it over please let me know - I'm more than happy to help.

Sorry but I have to add that selling of this pattern is not allowed nor is selling of items made using these patterns - thanks!

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

finishing touches

The floss is flying over here as I try to finish up a new pattern set. I think I'm almost there! Here are a few tidbits about it that I can share:

1. It leans to the 'cute' side as you know some of my patterns do.

2. There are 4 patterns in the set.

3. Some  might call this set "Super"

4. Oh yeah, I almost forgot.... it's going to be FREE

Back to work for me!

Monday, January 16, 2012

and the winner is...

Shannon who wrote:
I love your fish. Embroidery is something I love, but rarely take the time to do. I have grand plans for embroidery this year, we'll see if anything pans out.

Shannon, I think this is a sign that your grand plans are destined to become reality. Congratulations and enjoy this premier issue - you are going to love it!

Friday, January 13, 2012

so, what do...

Brooke Burke Charvet and I have in common? (I know, this is tough one!)
We are both in Ladies Home Journal this month! Even though I have known about this for close to a year it wasn't hard to keep it under wraps because I honestly did not believe it would really happen until I saw it myself. Last Spring I was contacted through Etsy by the author of the article and that got the ball rolling. I was so excited, shocked and most of all NERVOUS. Oh my goodness. I really cannot adequately express how very far out of my comfort zone I had to travel to do this.
Somehow I made it through the interview. It helps when the person conducting the interview is absolutely delightful, which she was. Then there was the matter of photographs. You know I would prefer do just about anything rather than have my picture taken, right? Long division, bathroom cleaning, untangling knots in embroidery floss - anything anything but don't take my picture! I managed to luck out again because they sent over a miracle worker makeup artist and a super talented photographer and somehow they transformed frumpy old me into this:
Oh my gosh, what an honor and a thrill! Thank you Ladies Home Journal!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

have you heard? psst....there's a giveaway here too!

If you spend any time clicking around the world of embroidery online you have probably already heard about the premier of  &Stitches. In case you have not, let me be the one to give you the good news. Nicole of "Follow the White Bunny" and Carina of "Polka and Bloom" have collaborated on a new ezine all about embroidery. It's jam packed with fun and useful information, interviews, patterns and ideas and beautiful photographs. You are going to love it!
I was lucky enough to be asked to contribute a pattern for the first issue and here it is. I wanted to design something that would let people play with different color combinations since the theme was color. It's right there in issue one available right here.
isn't this the most beautiful and enticing cover you have ever seen?
If you are feeling lucky .....

I get to GIVE one away to a So September reader - yea! Yes, that's right. Leave a comment and take a chance. I'll pick and announce a winner on Monday, Jan. 16th and Nicole and Carina will take it from there. Good Luck!!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

don't get me started

 I did not intend to leave the library with this the other day but there it was yelling at me to bring it home so into the bag it went. You can understand this, right? Of course you can. 
Anyway, regardless of it's beautiful introduction, I would have normally skipped over this chapter but found myself a little memorized instead. Aren't these textures fun?
 I've never tried needlepoint but this book sure makes you want to give it a go, doesn't it?
You can see the potential can't you? I knew you could.
I know what you are thinking, "Corinne, didn't you say you were going to learn how to crochet?? And what ever happened to the quilts you were making for your sons?" Okay okay, you're right. I will put needlepoint on the 'someday' craft list. If you have tried it though, please tell me what you think. I need to know if I should put it on the top or the bottom of the list.