Thursday, January 21, 2016

Petite Pups Premiere

Hand Embroidery Patterns Chihuahua and Yorkshire Terrier
It's that time of year again - the time when I get to focus on pattern designs and try out some ideas that have been floating around my head for months - sometimes even years! Something new that has come of all that focusing is a hand embroidery pattern collection called "Petite Pups"!
Hand Embroidery Pattern Chihuahua
This new pattern set features some favorite little dogs  - chihuahua, yorkshire terrier, dachshund and boston terrier. And yes, it was extremely difficult to choose which breeds to include. Narrowing it down to these little guys was tricky but they fit better in a hoop than a great dane would and they are also pretty irresistible if you ask me.
Yorkshire Terrier hand embroidery pattern
I was also inspired to take on this theme by customers who have asked if I have any other patterns of dogs. While I have a couple tucked into other pattern sets here and there I did not really have anything else to offer. So that became my 'square one.' Also, because people's pets are so personal to them I knew this collection was going to need some personal touches and that became my next creative challenge.
Dogs embroidery patterns boston terrier and dachshund
So, while it's perfectly fine to stitch these up on their own, I also included some accent patterns that can be added in to create a more personalized project. Adding a name or other text is easy with the floral banner or abstract dog house frame designs. There are some other goodies in the mix as well so it's possible to stitch these up in so many different variations.
dachshund embroidery pattern for hand embroidery
I hope people will find these designs to be a fun way to celebrate their favorite little pups but I also think they could be a fantastic starting point for some DIY gifts. I know some dog lovers who might just love some hand embroidered cuteness and I'll bet you do too. 
boston terrier embroidery pattern for hand embroidery
Thanks for taking a peek at this new pattern set. To give these designs a go stop by SeptemberHouse where you can find Petite Pups and more!

Friday, January 15, 2016

confessions from a crafty year

DIY Crafts SeptemberHouse

You can read about each of these on my blog: Papercutting, Beadweaving, Stamp CarvingSewingPolymer ClayHand LetteringConcrete CastingGuerilla ArtMicro MacrameNeedlepointPhoto Editing

As I close out my year of Craft Confessions I thought I would take a moment to look back those twelve months and also let you in on some craft confession secrets.

1. Why call this series "Craft Confessions"? 
From the beginning I thought I probably needed a catchy name for this project. In order to make time for these 'extra' projects I knew I was going to have to carve out some of my SeptemberHouse time. It would mean setting embroidery aside for a few hours each month and to me it felt like I was cheating on my partner somehow. Maybe it shouldn't feel that way but it did - it was something I had not allowed myself to do for a very long time. And I am trusting you not to tell embroidery about this - got it?

2. How were projects chosen for each month?
When the idea for this series first occurred to me I actually sat down and made a schedule for what crafts I would try each month. Plus I also made a list of alternatives in case I changed my mind about one when it came time to do it. Here is the truth though - I actually only ended up following my list TWO out of the twelve months! The other months I switched things around or picked new crafts altogether.

3. Which crafts did not make it into the series?
I am not saying that I don't want to try these projects - they just didn't quite make it in 2015 even though I hoped to get to them. They are: weaving, fabric dyeing, quilling, woodworking, homemade soaps/lotion/lip balm, cake decorating. I mean, those all sound like fun don't they? You can see how it can be difficult to decide and to make time for everything you want to try.

4. Which projects were your favorite and least favorite?
This is tough. I ended up using the stamps I carved a LOT so that one wins for most useful (and it was really fun). The one that makes me the happiest was the guerrilla art project (which is actually still going on). That was the one that is probably closest to my heart. One that I plan to revisit is the concrete casting from July - I still have tons of ideas for that one!
The two that make me cringe when I see them are the beadweaving from February - even though I really think I could get that one right if I tried it again - and also the hand lettering project. The hand lettering project was one of the more time consuming projects as well so it's frustrating that it is also one that I am least happy with. It's just really hard to get it right and that's all there is to it.

The crafting confession series was a great way for me to make connections here on So September and I hope to explore some new ways to do that in the coming year and I am looking forward to that. I thank you so very much for following along in 2015 and for joining me for all that comes in 2016!

Did you take on any new crafts in 2015? Leave a comment and share your 'confession'!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

craft confession December - photo editing

I realize we are nearly to the mid-way point of January so a post about my December craft confession is indeed late (and do we need to even mention the absence of a craft confession for November?) 
before
after
November was all about the ornaments and extra crafting became one of those things (like housework) that had to be sadly abandoned for a while. Once that whirlwind passed the idea of making something with my two tired hands just did not appeal. But hopping back on the computer suddenly sounded very appealing so that's what I did.
before

after
I decided that since I had paid for Adobe Lightroom almost a year ago, I should, oh I don't know... maybe actually download it, install it and open it up? Crazy idea, isn't it? I have used Adobe Photoshop for years and am still kind of a 'surface scratcher' with it. I know it's capable of so much more if I would just take the time to figure it out. And I definitely want to do that! I at least know enough about Photoshop to feel like Lightroom might be something I could navigate my way through.
before
after
I was curious about how Lightroom was different from Photoshop. You can make some of the same changes and adjustments in both but the format felt very different to me. What I did learn I learned by pouring myself some coffee and plunking down in front of a long list of tutorials on YouTube and it really was enough to get me started down the Lightroom path. The best way to make what you see on YouTube stick is to dive in and try it for yourself so that was what I did next.

before

after
So I loaded up some photos from the last year or so and started to play around with them and see what I could do. I would like to take a moment to re-emphasize the word "play" here. These are amateur efforts intended to help me figure out where all the buttons are and how they work. And it was really fun to see the changes you can make. Adam came over and watched for a minute or two and then scurried off to get his camera. Not five minutes later he was thrusting the camera in my hands and insisting/demanding that HE be able to edit his newly-taken photos. Even he could see the potential here. 

There are lots of different software applications for editing photos obviously so if it's something that you have always wanted to try, give it a go. It's a pretty forgiving hobby (just always keep your original files of course) and there is always that handy 'undo' option that I love, so you really can't go wrong with this. (Now if only every craft had an 'undo' button!)

Missing one month of my Craft Confession series is disappointing to me but on the other hand, I wasn't sure when I started, if I would make it to month three so I am going to try to not be too hard on myself.

My plan is to post a little mini-wrap up of my craft confession series in the coming week! Thanks for following along in this creative adventure!