June 28, 2008

Cranky for You


I spent a great deal of time browsing the Flickr account and Etsy account of Gracierei
also known as Jacqueline Yeo who lives in Singapore. I want to post all of her work as it is so inspiring and free spirited, but I will have to limit what I show you here. But trust me, all of it is noteworthy, including the little two year old who inspired this wonderful sachet.

There is something charming to a mother of five children--(speaking of me) about a lavender filled sachet that states loudly "Cranky for You". Since lavender is known for its soothing/calming abilities. There is a great deal of creative inspiration that comes from observing the antics of toddlers and teenagers.....For years I carried around a notebook ready to jot down the little wisdom quips that popped out of them unaware.....

The other sachet that caught my eye was this one:


Need I say more?

What I really liked about Jacqueline's work was the profoundness and simplicity of it. Hmmmmmm, is there another way to state this? I think of the words: quiet-loudness. Huh. That probably doesn't make sense to you either. There is a lot in her little pieces, they aren't loud about it, it helps to have the heart to feel it.

One of the projects she is so good at is book covers. This happens to be a bible cover and I was drawn by the little stitched word, "praise". There is a lot of words in a bible, and to figure out which one sums it all up----that is what spoke to me.




In her last post on her blog she tackled the issue what constitutes "original design". Being an architect, she wrestled with all the people who have input into one design---who's is it then?

Being an artist/crafter, if you use one element of someone else's, does that negate the originality? She used for example, an applique that you may have purchased to add to your original design.....does that keep it from being original, once it is applied? It's a very thought provoking post and worth reading for the creative person.

Here is a stunning example of her bookcovers available in her store.



Here is a stunning example of her cozies also available in her store.



I don't know about you, but I have been inspired by all the beautiful cheery colors and simple blanket stitching and patchwork. Oh, I must show you one more piece.......


Jacqueline called this "Love Cloud" and said the green stitching was the silver lining. See what I mean about quiet-loudness? Be sure to look at all her Flickr embroideries.

June 26, 2008

How to turn a photo into an embroidery pattern

Leave it to the fabulous Calamity Kim to bless us with a fun technique. She's the queen of fun! She starts with a photograph and ends up with an adorable embroidery pattern.


1. Print photo
2. Trace over the outlines with a small tip sharpie on acetate (i.e., transparency sheets or any stiff-ish clear plastic sheet)
3. Scan and then print
4. Adjust size by increasing or decreasing in size with either Photoshop, Corel, Flickr or your scanner settings. Print out smaller size.
5. Use light source to trace on to fabric. I used a mechanical pencil to get a small, fine line.
6. Embroider and applique fabric.

For more tips visit Calamity Kim.

June 25, 2008

Chart your own text

Stitchpoint has a nifty tool for charting text for embroidery and crosstitch. Simply choose your favorite from the available 6 fonts and start "typing" using the keyboard on the screen. For @, &, and other characters click on Special Characters. The buttons in the top right corner make it super easy to figure out stitches for the particular fabric you are using. Enter your thread count, number of threads stitching across, and how much space you want around the stitching. For spaces between words use the keys to the right of the Special Characters key. When you're done print. Easy peasy.




June 23, 2008

Bookmark it!

She knits, felts, and sews among other things, but one of my favorite items at Lisa's Needle Wood Designs Etsy shop are these darling embroidered bookmarks. The "flowers" are bits of cotton with a French knot.

On her blog, Lisa wrote: "I'm not happy unless I'm creating something new, something pretty, something unique. I love to work with my hands so hand sewing (embroidery, needle felting, quilting) are my passion. I create every day. Sometimes with success and sometimes not."

Oh, dear Lisa. These are quite successful.

Stitching Dragonflies


I love bugs on embroidery. I find that people especially love dragonflies and damselflies. I looked through the flickr and found some people who like to embroider them, too. I posted patterns and a tutorial on my Shebrews blog for this particular damselfly. There are many ways you can stitch dragonflies and many stitches that can interpret their beauty.


LindaB from flickr did this crazy quilt loaded with dragonflies and damselflies. LindaB actually incorporates dragonflies quite a bit in her work and even includes tutorials on her blog. Dragonfly wings tutorial is here.



The above dragonfly is also LindaB's. I found another artist who offered a free pattern for a dragonfly, too. Knitting and Co.


And here are a few more examples from Flickr. The first one is Jo in NZ.

This next beaded dragonfly is from LindaB.


Try some of these little bugs on your work. They are really quite fun! In one of my early pieces I did one with organza ribbon for a ribbon embroidery class, but I have forgotten since then how I did it.

June 22, 2008

Update on the Banner Contest: Prizes!

Hey all! Thanks for voting on the prizes you want to see for our Banner Contest - it looks like you'd like a little bit of everything.... so, we delivered! Thank you, to Sublime Stitching for donating a Craft Pad and other goodies as prizes and to our own Feeling Stitchy bloggers for donating floss, tea towels, and other goodies!



Feeling Stitchy Banner Contest Prizes

Winner's Prize (FS Reader's Pick):
SS Craft Pad and Doodle Stitching book
1 year Flickr Pro Account
2 tea towels
2 linen napkins
2 embroidery patterns: 1 vintage, 1 Sublime Stitching
a set of floss in the 5 favorite colors of our FS bloggers


Finalists' Prizes (there will be 4):
2 tea towels
a set of floss in the 5 favorite colors of our FS bloggers
a vintage embroidery pattern


So, are you excited yet? We are! Remember all the finalists will be interviewed and featured here on Feeling Stitchy, more details here. You have 1 week left (June 30) to stitch an entry and post it to the group, and please, folks, don't be shy! The prizes are here just to make it fun, but the point is not to win - it's to celebrate the creativity and uniqueness of each one of you. Enter as many times as you want, we want to see it all. And, if you don't have a Flickr account and/or are too shy to show off your entry to everyone, just email it to us at flickrem AT gmail DOT com.


To get you in the stitching spirit, check out these awesome entries...

2 entries from artful.artsy.amy



from sewitsforyou
Feeling Stitchy Logo

June 18, 2008

Too much cuteness to keep to oneself


Can it get any cuter? Free embroidery patterns, or "eenies" from the talented Annie Oakleaves. They're a sneak peek of the patterns for sale soon in her Etsy store. My hands give up - they can't possibly embroider all the cuteness out there!

Hey, that's not embroidery!

Not yet at least. I really like graffiti and street art and I think they are closely related to the contemporary 'anti-craft' movement (if it is a movement?). I think most people have heard of Knitta and similar groups. Although, they are mostly focused on knitting and crochet; there's not a lot of embroidered graffiti going on. Here is one example though, Ulrika Erde's work on public transportation. I just love that stuff!

There is something really wonderful about the unexpectedness of embroidery on a bus seat. A very interesting aspect, I think, of embroidered graffiti is that graffiti is mainly associated with anonymous guys in hoodies defacing trains and any other surface. There is something aggressive about graffiti (sometimes), for some people it is mainly a way of giving the authorities the finger and less about an art form.

Crochet and embroidered graffiti are gentler forms, perhaps, but I think they can say just as much, although in a more subtle way. To me it is about changing the world ever so slightly, even if it's just by covering a hand rail or a tree trunk in a knitted cosy, saying "look over here, did you ever notice this tree before?" I like that. That someone takes the time to make you stop and think. For no other reason than just that.

I also really like the cross pollination between different disciplines. So, I would like to propose a wee challenge. Which actually has two parts and you can choose to do one or both of them. First, go for a walk and take pictures of the graffiti you see (if you live in the country and there's no graffiti around you can look on the internet or bust out the spray cans yourself!), pick one of them and make it into embroidery. Second, either do embroidery directly on a bus seat or somewhere else in a public space (but try not to get into trouble), or make an embroidered piece from home (geese in bonnets, anyone?!) and attach it somewhere in a public place (again, keep out of trouble.)

Right. This was a very long post, but I hope you'll play along. I'm definitely the slightly timid type, so I may only do the first option. Although, doing the second option would be a bit of a rush. Being ever so slightly illegal. ;-)

June 17, 2008

Tea Towel Love (Part 1)

I love tea towels - I have many from my grandmother, including days of the week and many more that she embroidered when she was first married (she's almost 95 now). They have a special place in my heart. I did a tea towel swap a couple of years ago and it was so much fun - I also have a tea towel group on Flickr, so if you have some you'd like to share - feel free to post! Here are but a few from the Flickr Embroidery Pool - enjoy!



1. Tea Towel Tour 3 - Saffron for rectangel, 2. new tea towel, 3. won't you please come by for tea?, 4. Days of the week ~ vintage embroidered tea towels, 5. Gigi & Big Red Tea Towel, 6. Tea towel tour, 7. beautiful towels stitched by Jackie, 8. Set of 4 Redwork Tea Towels, 9. The SS Tea Towel Tour, 10. Tea Towel Tour Center, 11. camper tea towel, 12. Tea Towels, 13. Tea Towel, 14. Tea Towel Tour, 15. my first "tea towel", 16. New Arrivals - Tea Towel

Created with fd's Flickr Toys.

June 12, 2008

As seen on the Web...

I love the look of spider webs on embroidery pieces. Crazy quilting often includes at least one in all the other wonderful stitches. Different spiders spin different type of webs, but really, I don't think any one is looking for scientific accuracy when including one in their art. I always hesitate about how many legs the spider really has, and I suspect, I have often stitched one too many, or one too less........this particular embroidery is done by lasassone.

Lassone says the web was made with Kreinik 105 cord and spider with one strand of white silk floss.

Spiderwebs and Embroidery
1. Roomy block close up
2. Scarey Spider lives here
3. Center TIF- February block
4. Hussif
5. spider web
6. wet spider web
7. spider web brooch
8. spider web
9.spider web

(Alright, I tried the mosaic thing, but I ended up doing it manually, so, that is why it is the way it is. Cut and paste isn't always what its supposed to be, I guess......)

This is more of lasassone's work from Flickr. I posted pictures of real spider webs for inspiration. I have a Halloween piece that I do quite frequently and use various different spider web designs. I thought I would find more spider webs while searching Flickr, but surprised at how few. Hope this inspires you to try a few......

From Japanese Freehand Embroidery Book:



**I added these because I got interrupted by a bad storm last nite. I wanted to include this spider web as I thought it unusual. Hope you like it. **

June 10, 2008

Sugar Skull Softies


I was checking in on Alicia Traveria's blog and was sent into an embroidery orbit of bliss over these sugar skull softies she made. Nyeah nyeah- they're for sale at Parts and Labour here in Austin and I'm totally going down there to buy me some.

Link

June 7, 2008

Embroidered Banner Inspiration

The vote for our Banner Contest prizes is still going strong (be sure to cast your vote in the sidebar before the day is out!) In the meantime I thought I'd inspire you with a few examples of awesome, hand-embroidered blog banners:



from Claudia (Stitchado)

interview here



from Amy (Early Bird Special)

interview here



from Alli (One Pearl Button)



Inspired yet? Then get stitching! We'd love to see your header! :)

June 5, 2008

Stitchy Woman

Good evening, lovely stitchers! Tonight I'm sharing an interview with another fantastic stitchy woman, Rectangel (whose real name is Erin, by the way)...

"Here's my design for my towel...this was my first time blend thread colors...the writing is mine and I might work on it a bit yet...but I like seeing my hand writing in stitches :) I changed the original transfer by adding clothes and cutting her hair.
I also tried out the new sublime metallic thread for the first time here. It is very different from regular metallic thread (it is kind of woven and I don't think you can separate it) most significant is that even with a thick strand it stitches beautifully."

Tell us about yourself, and where you live.
I am in my early 30s, single, and work in the northern most provincial capital in Canada doing graphic design, mapping and GIS work. My family all lives fairly close. I have 2 younger sisters and I am an aunt to 3 girls and a boy. Despite living in the city I would classify this area as very rural when compared with people living in densely populated areas in the east.

How did you come up with the name Rectangel?
I am mildly dyslexic and I draft for a living. In the past I used to type rectangle into my computer drafting program and screw-up the el consistently. One day I noticed the angel and in the tangle and I thought that it just suited me. I’m a bit of a wrecked angel most days and I liked that it could mean a lot of things and I’ve always been a bit of a square ;)

What’s one thing that would surprise us about you?
I hate crafts – no really, I do. My sympathies have always been with the people who don’t like getting crafty items for gifts. My reason is that I’m really hard to please and I have a glass face. If I don’t like it I would prefer not to stomp all over someone’s labor of love just by them catching my micro expression of disappointment. Enter the internet.

Have you always been crafty?
Unfortunately yes –what this means to me is I will never realize my dream of having a clean Spartan house. I despise the chaos that being creative seems to necessitate.

All the women and even my grampa (the biggest dreamer of them all) are all scarily crafty. When money was tight in our family my mom used to sell all sorts of her crafts by consignment. My mom bless her heart is one of the least patient people on earth you either learned things on your own or hoped one of my aunts or gramma could show you. I have never learned to knit or crochet because of this. Ladies don’t be hard on your children when they need you to thread the sewing machine ;) Those sewing machines with the bobbin case underneath are no small feat to learn how to thread. Thank goodness for instruction manuals and home ec.

Do you do other crafty things as well?
Oh I’ve tried lots of things because I am generally creatively frustrated by an inability to draw well or play music but embroidery is the only thing that has stuck. I sew and was once going to be a fashion designer until I realized I’d have to do all the sewing and not just the designing. I love architecture, d├ęcor, design, fine art and baking. I have big dreams and ideas but mostly like to offer them to other people who actually do more than plan them in their notebook.
Do you collect anything?
Yes but I try not to do it actively. Collections like crafts disturb me a little. I worry about being one of those people that they have on the news with the house so full of junk the fire department has to come and clean it out.

Do you remember your first “real” craft/sewing/art project?
Right now I am remembering a hanger with heart pipe cleaners mobile that I designed that I was particularly fond of…oh and a spool knit mouse out of an egg shaped foam and with pipe cleaner ears and legs!
I’m not sure about real…I have wore things I’ve sewed since the 7th grade (most spectacularly a stretch knit bat winged shiny pink damask jacket and skirt with white ribbing in the late 80s).

Stitching is very creative, yet also very detail oriented and precise. Does it reflect your personality?
Well – I am not detail oriented but I am creative and I love working with color. My mom used to call me a fussbudget and in that respect I am a bit of a perfectionist. I don’t know if it’s the dyslexia or what but I am really sensitive to balance -in my world if it is not symmetrical it “darn” well better be balanced. Do you ever rip out stitches to re-do them in a different color or type of stitch? All the time but less than I did when I first started I think because I have better feel for what will look good.

Where do you find the patterns you use?
Mmm…everywhere these days -I started with sublime [sublime stitching] designs but now the whole internet is my image playground. I try to always be respectful and give credit but lately it has come down to taking various sources and re-drawing them into what I am envisioning…I have every piece of software I could ever want at work but most often AutoCAD comes to my rescue creatively…being draft person gives me a different parameters for how I think things should look.

Do you have an all-time favorite pattern you’ve used again and again?
Mmm I have made a few from sublime more than once (the alien girl, the hula girl, the martini, the tiki man) but I try to avoid it because there are so many things I haven’t stitched.

Do you ever make anything for yourself?
Not really -I have my three tea towels from the tea towel tour and that is it. The world of digital photography has given me some peace. I can photograph any crafts I make embroidery included and send them off and I always have the photos to keep and look at later. It has been great for tracking my progress.

Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration in the people I make things for – I try to make the designs as personal as possible. My sister when she is not mad at me calls me the Present Princess because I have a bit of a knack for it.

Are there any websites or blogs you visit regularly for creative inspiration?
Mmm…I love flickr and craftster but before any of them I was addicted to the websites below…not Martha circa 2002 was my first taste of the craft blog and I’ve never looked back since. Bath bombs marble magnets anyone?

not martha
erica mulherin
loobylu
ljcfyi
jejune
doorsixteen

Do you sell the items you make?
Not really. I’m looking into doing commissioned pieces though in the vein of one of a kind customized artwork. I’ve had a number of requests from people after I have made them things and I don’t think I would get the bigger projects done without some sort of financial commitment.

If you could listen to anything while you worked on a project, what would it be?
My grampa telling me one of his tall tales.

Grab your ipod and hit “shuffle” - what song comes up first (no cheating – no editing!)?
Phew! It could have been anything but I lucked out with Rubberneckin’ by Elvis Presley it was an extra lucky shuffle because next was Country Boy by Johnny Cash and no I’m not making that up ;)
"I traced her from a book of sailor jerry tattoo stencils. Originally she was wearing this strange strand of pearls over her arm and I made a few other changes to things but then it was all good to go...
the book [by Kate Hellenbrand] is awesome"

What three movies are next on your Netflix Queue?
Hmm no netflix for this chick but I was thinking about maybe buying the following King Creole, The Misfits, and Gilda…I love old movies but I saw the Sex and the City movie the day it came out last Friday ;)

What’s your favorite candy?
Dark Chocolate does that count if not then I will go with Whoppers or Swedish Berries.

Where can we find more of you?
Flickr [where she also shares her enormous stash of vintage transfer patterns] and craftster and commenting on your blog anonymously, I’ve organized the last 2 tea towel tours on craftster, an embroidered patch swap and just lately a round of the rockabilly swap (which is my favorite music). I also am helping Average Jane Crafter and Jenny Hart moderate the TTT group on flickr which it turns out is almost no work ;)

Thank you so much, Erin. Your work is so beautiful. I can't wait to see what you'll come up with next!

xoxo

Pimp Stitch


Looks like there's going to be another embroidery pattern source on the block! Check out Pimp Stitch.

Link

June 3, 2008

Berries Berries

I love berries - spring and summer bring about beautiful berries to enjoy (and embroider) and winter brings the wonderful holly berries that I love too. Here are a few berry creations by Flickr Embroidery pool members...enjoy!


1. apronpocketdetail, 2. Pine-n-Berries Heart, 3. IMG_1497.jpg, 4. Christmas Tablecloth embroidery, 5. Musical Berries Tea Towel, 6. Two bunnies for two little girls (best friends), 7. Juniper Berries, 8. Raspberry Dessert (Small), 9. Berries close - up

June 1, 2008

Feeling Stitchy Banner Contest

bigger

It's time for a new blog header guys... and we want YOU to stitch it! Feeling Stitchy has grown so much in just a year's time, as has the Flickr Embroidery group. There are so many talented people in our group, working in so many different styles, and what better way to showcase your work and what you do, than to have YOU stitch our header!


The old banner is nothing fancy, I made it with clipart, and it's high time for a change:



We need a banner that reflects all the cool ideas, cuteness, cheekiness, and sauciness in this group, so... stitch our banner, guys! Here are the details:


  • Be creative - use any colors or motifs that strike your fancy, it just needs to be embroidered and have the words "Feeling Stitchy."


  • Banner size: Use the old FS header as a guide (but it doesn't have to be exact).


  • Tag your banners with "FSBC" (Feeling Stitchy Banner Contest) and add them to the Flickr Embroidery pool by June 30.


  • Top 5 finalists will be chosen by the goddess of embroidery, Jenny Hart of Sublime Stitching (who needs absolutely no introduction, but if you want to drool over her talented stitching, go here).


  • Finalists will be featured on Feeling Stitchy (by the lovely Jessie and other FS bloggers) and you'll all get to vote for the winner!


  • This contest is not about winning - it's about seeing and featuring what all of you do... so please don't be shy and enter, regardless of your skill level - we want to see everything!



Prizes: Help me out here. Obviously, the winner will be our featured banner on Feeling Stitchy, but, what else should we give the winner? I am a bit hard up for ideas so, I added a poll to the sidebar (choose as many items as you like) so YOU can decide. Update: thanks for your feedback, here are the prizes! :)


Feeling Stitchy Banner Contest Prizes

Winner's Prize (FS Reader's Pick):
SS Craft Pad and Doodle Stitching book
1 year Flickr Pro Account
2 tea towels
2 linen napkins
2 embroidery patterns: 1 vintage, 1 Sublime Stitching
a set of floss in the 5 favorite colors of our FS bloggers


Finalists' Prizes (there will be 4):
2 tea towels
a set of floss in the 5 favorite colors of our FS bloggers
a vintage embroidery pattern



But what about the thimble guy?
littleguy

I am sad to say goodbye to thimble guy. We've had a close relationship and I must admit I've become attached to his smiling face. So, if you feel like I do, and want to include thimble guy in your banner, I whipped up a few very basic banner designs to celebrate his jaunty spirit. Feel free to use these as part of your design:


1
banner pattern #1

2
banner pattern #2

3
banner pattern #3

I think I've covered everything, but if you have a question, feel free to ask it in the comments here! Oh, and if you don't have a Flickr account and would still like to enter, just email your entries to flickrem AT gmail DOT com. I'll find a way to feature them in the group so everyone can see them, too! Thanks everybody, for making this such a great place to be online, and please, stitch our header! :)