July 30, 2008

Chicken stitcher

So... embroidered graffiti - have you done any? These are my feeble efforts. Pathetic, really. But you know, I'm just too much of a chicken to do anything, well, really cool! ;-)

So what I have done is make these little embroidered 'patches' which are stitched onto scraps of paper with a sticky foam thingy on the back. This way it can be attached almost anywhere, but be removed easily. By anyone who might not appreciate embroidery.

I have left these on a railing and a bench on a little promenade right next to where we live. Not the busiest place in the world, so I thought that would be a nice place to get my feet wet, so to speak.

I fantasize about putting these in the toilets at airports, but I haven't done so far. I either plum forget or don't have time (= courage).

There is another patch which is on a bench facing the Thames (in London), right behind the London Studios building. Or there was, anyway, who knows if anyone's removed it by now.

So, that's a little update on that. Not as much doing as I'd like. How about you?

July 29, 2008

3 Day Banner Celebration

As you know, there were so many awesome entries in our contest, and as a thank you to everyone who entered, over the next 3 days I will randomly swap each one in and out. This is a good reason to click on over if you're viewing this in a reader - keep checking back throughout the day as I show them all to you, and hopefully you'll be able to see your own!

We still have a winner and finalists who'll be receiving their prizes, but I was wondering what you thought of rotating the banners on a weekly or monthly basis? We could leave the banner contest open-ended, so anyone can stitch a banner for us at any time, and we can swap the nice ones in and out... Hmmm.. this might call for another vote... just an idea - let me know what you all think!

In the meantime, enjoy the guest banners and beginning August 1 you'll see the winning banner stitched by PlanetCoco in all its glory here!

July 28, 2008

We have a winner!

Congratulations to PlanetCoco (Kirsty) for winning our first-ever banner contest!
Feeling Stitchy

Thank you to all of our finalists, they were all so talented it was so hard to pick just one. And thank you to everyone who entered - I was blown away by how imaginative, fun, talented and silly you all can be! :) I can't say thank you enough to everyone who made this contest possible, including: Jenny Hart, all the Feeling Stitchy bloggers new and old: Jessie, Jackie, Eydie, Sally, Carina, Pam, and Amy.


But most of all, thanks to all of you! It's you who keep us going and keep the crafting community generous, fun, and filled with new ideas. That's what the embroidery group is about and what Feeling Stitchy is about - sharing what you've made and inspiring each other to do more... thanks! :)

July 20, 2008

Cast Your Vote!

Last week you saw all of the finalists banners in action and learned about each of them (thank you Jessie, for interviewing everyone!) Now it's time to cast your vote in our sidebar - you have one week to vote! The winner and finalists will receive some wonderful prizes.


Thank you to everyone who contributed designs to our competition, and even if your design was not chosen - please leave it in the pool! I have a surprise related to that which I'll reveal soon... :)


Here's one last look at the 5 finalists chosen by Jenny Hart (and their interviews):



Flossbox - Emily (interview)
Feeling Stitch banner #2

PlanetCoco - Kirsty (interview)
Feeling Stitchy


Shebrews - Eydie (interview)
Feeling Stitchy banner popart

Maraland - Mara (interview)
Feeling Stitchy Banner Contest

Early Bird Special - Amy (interview)
Feeling Stitchy Banner

Good luck to all of our finalists!

July 18, 2008

Finalist #5 Early Bird Special

...a mini interview with Amy Bindel, aka Early Bird Special

Feeling Stitchy Banner

Amy, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I live in OKC, OK with my husband, our daughter (who will soon be 2 years old), and our 2 dogs. I'm actually a stay at home Mama, so all avenues of my life are constantly intersecting. My daughter, the duties of daily life, and embroidery keep me very busy. If I'm not working, I'm usually sleeping.

You blog under the name "Early Bird Special" - could you tell us how you came up with that name?
I came up with Early Bird Special after my daughter Darcy was born. She is a very early riser, and sleeping in past 6am is a sweet memory and a rare treat. I noticed my most productive times were early morning hours.

Have you always been crafty?
Yes. Some of my fondest memories of childhood are spending the day with my Granny, who was an artist and a crafter too. She would dress me in one of Grandpa's old, paint splattered shirts, and call it my "artist's smock." I had tons of paintbrushes to choose from, as well as a variety of oils and acrylics. I would then paint pictures of owls, birds, flowers, and anything else I could think of. I've always loved to draw, and would spend many days and nights sketching and doodling. Unfortunately, I lost the sketchbook from my "sketchiest" period, which was from age 17 to 20. It was very much like a diary, but I would sketch, instead of write. Oh, how I wish I still had that emotional gold mine.

Do you do other crafty things as well?

On rare occasion I will knit, although it's been a couple of years since I've picked up knitting needles. I have a love of fabrics and dabble with the sewing machine from time to time, making things for our home, or softies for Darcy. For the most part I limit myself to embroidery. I've tried to be a multi-crafter, but I'm easily distracted, and too many crafts at one time make me feel like I have crafter's ADHD.

Where do you find inspiration?
Everywhere! Most of the time I'm inspired by my daughter and whatever she shows interest in at the time. I love all things cute and anything that makes me say, "Eee!" Flickr is always a good place to find inspiration, as well as my neverending blog subscriptions. When I'm burned out on computer time, I look to my collection of Japanese embroidery books for inspiration.

Please tell us about your banner design submission...
I drew the little craft characters a few months ago, and thought they would be perfectly cute for the Feeling Stitchy banner. The colors are just softer versions of some of my favorites. I thought keeping things soft would help keep focus on the characters, while being inspirational.

Amy, thank you so much for doing another interview with us (you can a read a past Feeling Stitchy interview with Amy here). Good luck with the contest!

July 17, 2008

Finalist #4: Maraland

...a mini interview with Maraland

Feeling Stitchy Banner Contest

Mara, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I have lived in London for more than 10 years (but I’m originally from Argentina), with my husband and 9 year old son. At the moment I’m full time mum and completing a computer designer course. Two years ago I finished my degree in Surface Design which I really enjoyed.

Have you always been crafty?
Well, yes I have always been - I loved fabrics, colours, different textures. My grand-mum used to teach me how to do embroidery and crochet, also I remember my craft lessons at my primary school and all the different skills I learned. I’m always looking for time to do some project.

Do you do other crafty things as well?
When I was at College I spent a lot of time drawing, working with mixed media art, printing and doing a lot of surface embroidery, also I did scrapbook projects. Now I’m still drawing sketches and trying to work them in my computer. At the moment I’m designing a range of patterns, and hopefully I’ll mix them with embroidery.

Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration everywhere, I love to take pictures of everything around me, I love nature, books, I have lots of magazines, and I like to go to exhibitions, travel and look at blogs.

Please tell us about your banner design submission...

I was looking for different fonts and how to use them in my cross stitch banner. I tried the fonts drawing them first on paper and playing around, and then I started to stitch the title using pink (one of my favorite colours). After that I was drawing more ideas, and because I wanted to used the little Thimble guy in my design (he is so adorable!) I was looking for little friends for him as well, so I traced them onto paper and I worked it out the pattern for my cross stitching. My intention was to used nice cheerful colours.

Mara, it's so nice to learn a little bit more about you. Thanks for the interview... and good luck with the banner contest!

xoxo

July 16, 2008

Finalist #3: Shebrews - yellow mod

... a mini interview with Eydie, aka "SheBrews"

Feeling Stitchy banner popart

Eydie, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I like the sounds of clinking china in a diner; crunching dead leaves under my feet in the fall; heavy blankets when I sleep; listening to sound of snow falling in the early morning in the woods; reading aloud to myself as the words are delicious in my mouth; *a good sigh*

so, the physicalness of embroidery marches right into my world as a delightful experience: picking out colors, stabbing the fabric, /myself,;/ threading the needle, losing the thread; wrestling with the thread, pulling out the thread; losing the needle.....etc.

Honestly, I thought I would be a writer rather than an artist. It has become a surprise to me that I do this for a living. I work full time as an artist/crafter doing approx. 43 shows a year. The difficulty of this is not what you think----it is shutting down at nite. I cannot sleep well. Things parade across the screen of my mind all auditioning for the next project. Prodding me, poking me, /sheesh, let the poor girl sleep!


You blog under the name "shebrews" - could you tell us how you came up with that name?
Shebrews is a combination of my contemplative nature and my love of the book of Hebrews.

Do you do other crafty things besides stitching?
I love all things creative--one thing attaching to another--suddenly my work, like life becomes a collage of sorts. I combine my drawing, painting, calligraphy, reading, authoring, love of children's illustrations, sewing, and embroidery skills all in one package......

Where do you find inspiration?
The question is often asked of me, "Do you ever run out of ideas?" The answer to that is: "No. I run out of time." Time is the limited quantity in my creative life. One idea just births another, and I can't get them out fast enough. However, my worst enemy is when a project goes awry. Valuable time is gobbled up and I don't like that to happen. I can usually salvalge the materials, but I cannot get back the time I put into it.

Where do I find the inspiration? I never would have thought what valuable information my five children could provide me in their lives growing up. Now, their children are keeping me supplied. Also, living in an area close to woods, waters, and nature, I have lots to garner.

Please tell us about your banner design submission...
My banner submission is a good illustration of my "collage" attitude in everything I do. It's about being different and yet fitting in. It's about being separate and yet being able to connect. It's about being an individual and not losing the individuality but making a difference by working together. And the thimble guy? well, he seals the deal!


Thank you so much for the interview, Eydie. Good luck with the banner contest!

May the Stitch be with you*

I love Star Wars. Love, love, love it! And when you combine it with embroidery, well, it really doesn't get much better in my book. So I was really happy when I spotted woundupladybug's Star Wars embroideries in the pool a little while ago. And of course I just had to know more about these fab creations, so I contacted her and asked her a few questions which she graciously answered and gave me some food for thought in the process. Thanks, J!

You're making some Star Wars embroidery at the moment, intended for a quilt as I understand it. Can you tell us about why you have picked Chewie, Storm troopers et all?
I picked the images that I thought would be the most instantly recognizable. Star Wars has been a part of pop culture for close to three decades. I also wanted to chose characters that were central to the original story.

What do icons of modern pop culture gain by being embroidered?
Embroidery is much like photography, it can capture the mood of the period. Embroidering these characters doesn’t add or elevate the status, but it can, in a more personal way, create a snapshot of our feelings about the characters. So it’s not so much what the characters have to gain but what we can gain. As crafts come back into prevalence our nostalgia for the eighties can be translated into to something more tangible - something we can keep. At the time our grandparents or great-grandparents were crafting, they were creating heirlooms that would be pasted down and treasured. But our culture seems to live in the moment and does not value the past. So we have lost some of the desire to record our own personal histories. I love the idea of capturing my childhood in these relics of pop culture.

How do people react when you tell them you are embroidering Star Wars
characters?
When I tell people that I’m embroidering these Star Wars characters they usually say that it “brings them back.” I also get lots of requests for my patterns for the characters.


*Sorry, I just couldn't help myself. ;-)

July 14, 2008

Finalist #2: Kirsty Neale

... a mini interview with Kirsty Neale, aka PlanetCoco
Feeling Stitchy

Kirsty, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I live in London with my boyfriend and work full-time as a freelance writer and designer. It can be tough (skin-tight deadlines, eighteen-hour days), but I wouldn’t change what I do for anything. I mostly write children’s books (fiction and non-fiction) and I design all sorts of creative projects for magazines.

Have you always been crafty?
Yes. I remember learning to sew when I was five. The first thing I made was a simple orange A-line dress for my Sindy doll (sort of a British version of Barbie). It had a very unsophisticated neck-hole cut at the top and the stitches were bigger than her head, but it was all my own work and design!
I also loved drawing, and at around the same age, I had a picture featured on a children’s TV show called Take Hart. It was of a snail, and was made from plasticine and lentils. I won a book, and I haven’t really stopped making stuff since.

Do you do other crafty things as well?
I love working with fabric – embroidery and appliqué especially – and have recently been enjoying drawing and creating little pieces of mixed-media art. I spent a big chunk of last year making cards, scrapbook pages and mini-books for a papercraft project and I contributed to a couple of books which were based on eco-crafts and recycling. I also do quite a bit of crafting for children, which is great fun. My partner often comes home to find the weirdest things drying around the house, from disembodied fake limbs to a dead rat made out of old socks (yes, really!).

Where do you find inspiration?
This is such an obvious answer, but really – everywhere. Books of all kinds, films, going to the theatre, walking in the park (I live opposite a beautiful Victorian park which has a maze, sphinxes and giant vintage dinosaurs) and, of course, the internet – Etsy, Flickr and more blogs than I probably have time for.

Please tell us about your banner design submission...
I love how clean and uncluttered the Feeling Stitchy blog looks, and the variety of different types of embroidery it features, so that was really my starting point. I wanted to do something quite contemporary and a bit different, but very stitchy (obviously) in fresh, clean colours.
I started off with the words, and didn’t actually get much further than that! I love typography and really enjoy playing with letter styles and fonts in paper and paint projects, but had never tried doing the same with fabric. I doodled the words onto plain paper, then realised that if I used different types of stitches and techniques to apply them, the stitchiness and detail would be built right into the title.
To put it all together, I traced the blocked letters on to Bondaweb, ironed to fabric scraps, then cut them out with embroidery scissors. I used white linen for the backing fabric, and traced the whole design through before stitching. The border gives it a more ‘finished’ look, and the buttons were added for a little bit of extra dimension.


Kirsty, thanks so much for sharing a bit about yourself with us. Good luck with the banner contest!

Finalist #1: Flossbox - Outer Space banner

... a mini interview with Emily, aka "Flossbox"

Feeling Stitch banner #2

Emily, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’ve lived in Sweden going on 8 years. In my former life, I was an organic chemist and lived in Boston, DC, Chicago, and Orlando, but I am still just a Midwestern girl at heart! I also have a degree in clinical lab science. Despite all the lab training, I decided to move towards web programming and database design with a side business of making patterns.

You blog under the name "flossbox" - could you tell us how you came up with that name?
I needed a name for my blog when I moved over to my own domain, and “The Floss Box” sounded good. I use it for all my user names now on crafty sites.


Have you always been crafty?
Yep. My mom did a lot of different things with us, mostly using textiles. I got my first cross-stitch sampler at age 9, a project abandoned by my sister. My mom attempted to teach me to sew, but I resisted till I was in college when I got my own machine and took off making clothes and stuffed bunnies. Stitching-wise, I did counted cross stitch exclusively (for 10+ yrs) until last fall when I decided I needed to branch out a bit. I do a lot of surface embroidery, and I am madly trying to learn raised embroidery techniques, so I can make interesting figures.

Do you do other crafty things as well?
During my college and post-college years, I branched out into polymer clay, jewelry-making, acrylic painting on wood, quilting and some other things. However, there isn’t time or space to do all the things I’d like to do, so I decided to focus my energies on stitching, but I still love to mix in a bit of sewing and other things here and there.

Where do you find inspiration?
I read on someone’s blog (I don’t remember where ☹ ) recently that if something is a good memory, then stitch it! I thought that was great advice. I also look for things that have made a strong impression on me that might make an interesting project. I look for inspiration for ways to convey my ideas everywhere: blogs, Flickr albums dealing with all types of crafts and arts, books, magazines, people, nature, etc.

Please tell us about your banner design submission...
I wanted a design with the little thimble guy in it. I made over 5 versions before I found the right combo of motifs. One half is supposed to be day and the other night, and I wanted it to make you think the little guy just stitched it all. The bee and snail are padded a bit, although I think more thread ended up on the back of the fabric than the front! ;) I chose a more informal font for the letters and did those in whipped chain stitch so they are really defined. I was playing with the little green guy for some other designs, but I thought he might look cute in this design. Mostly I just wanted to make something bright and cheery.

I don't know, the actual piece looks a little softer and nicer in RL, but I have such a hard time getting nice pictures. They all turn out so dark, so they need to be lightened in photoshop which makes them brighter but not always nicer.

Emily, it's so nice to learn a little bit more about you. Thanks for the interview... and good luck with the banner contest!

July 7, 2008

Hello from Craftster land!

Hi from the land of crafty goodness known as Craftster! So much has been happening on the needlework front. We had a wonderful needlework swap that just finished up. The items crafted were amazing! There was such a wide variety of talent represented. I'm sure many of you recognize many of the pieces of work.




1. doo_leroux, 2. Sewphie, 3. Joolz, 4. Kitten Wrangler, 5. Pearliepie, 6. kittykill, 7. rectangel, 8. stargardener, 9. Lovely_Gangster, 10. EOcrafter, 11. Accountantbyday, 12. Lilyvanilli, 13. cupcakeguru, 14. Harvey, 15. goatgoddess, 16. Amyracinrose, 17. onthinice, 18. hngoodlett, 19. Purelectricity, 20. Sewsew-a-Gogo, 21. Dinosaurus Meg, 22. AlwaysInspired, 23. Amphripodgirl, 24. Sew~Amy, 25. therisa, 26. beefranck, 27. ritapizza, 28. Malina, 29. kook-a-loo, 30. Craftycat, 31. AlwaysInspired Angel, 32. Nannetta

But that's not all that has been going on. We are having our summer needlework/embroidery challenge going on until August 5th. The theme this season is, "Your Favorite Quote Sampler". It could be from your favorite movie, a wise thought from a family member or just something you say all the time. Prizes include scissors, floss, tea towels and a few other goodies thrown in. Hop on over and check it out.

Banner Contest Update!

Good afternoon, stitchers!
I'm so glad that I didn't have the difficult task of narrowing down the banner entries to five finalists! No, that job fell to the one and only Jenny Hart.

Jenny emailed me her picks for the top five, and I have contacted each of the five finalists via flickrmail - so if you received an email from me, please contact me as soon as possible....and congratulations to you!

We will be announcing one finalist each day next week, and posting a mini interview with each of them. After that, the rest of you get to vote for your favorite. The winner will receive lots of cool prizes!

Mainly, I just wanted to brag that Jenny Hart personally emailed me. Because that was pretty cool.

xoxo

July 3, 2008

The Black Apple

Could it be true? Could the very darling Emily Martin ( The Black Apple) have collaborated with Sublime Stitching for some super wonderful embroidery patterns?

Mmmm-hmmmm.......


The Black Apple + Sublime Stitching = Love.

xoxo

You delivered! The Banner Contest officially rocks!

from PlanetCoco
Feeling Stitchy

This is precisely why I craft and why Feeling Stitchy is such a blast to maintain. We ask for more entries, and you, being such wonderful, cool, last minute crafters, deliver! :) We now have so many amazing entries that narrowing them down to 5 finalists will be difficult... which is why the goddess of embroidery herself, Ms. Jenny Hart, is doing the narrowing down for us! (Thank you Jenny, again, it's an honor to have your help.)


Stay tuned while we find our 5 finalists and interview them. Here's what will happen very soon:

  • We'll do a post a day to feature our talented finalists (thank you Jessie, for doing interviews!)

  • Each day we'll swap out the Feeling Stitchy banner so you can see the finalists' work in action.

  • When you've seen and learned about each finalist, we'll have a vote and YOU'LL DECIDE.

Sound fun? Oh yeah! :) Here's some more amazing-ness from last-minute crafters:


from Amy
Feeling Stitchy Banner

from flossbox
Feeling Stitch banner #2

Want to see all the entries? Here they are! Thank you, everyone, for making this contest so fun and such a success!

July 1, 2008

You little elves are sneaky! (Banner Contest Update)

Feeling Stitchy Banner contest - sewing pixies
sewing pixies by pinky and boo

I hope you don't mind me taking the liberty of calling you "elves" but you certainly are crafty! :) Yesterday I was thinking of postponing the competition deadline because there were only 8 entries... all really, really good entries, but I had a feeling there would be a few more... maybe you were all busy with summer activities. Lo and behold, this morning I see 15!


2 Day Extension: for last-minute crafters!

Maybe some of you are last-minute crafters (like me)? People who stay up all night the night before a deadline, anxiously crafting away. People who stare at their half-finished masterpiece sadly, thinking, "if only I'd started this eight hours earlier..." Does anyone need an extension? If so, I am offering an extra 2 days to complete your masterpiece. Remember, you are welcome to enter more than once, and we welcome all skill levels! Can we get 20 entries in this contest in 2 more days? I think so. Remember the cool prizes? Come on, last-minute crafty peeps, and stitch our banner! :)


Here are some more fun and talented entries to inspire you:


from Claudia
feeling stitchy!

from indelible88
My Banner Contest Entry

from Carina
Feeling Stitchy banner contest

from lucky lisp
fsbc

from Eydie
Feeling Stitchy banner popart

from Sally
banner!

from woundupladybug
Thimble Guy and Thread Man are back, but now they brought friends:Feeling Stitchy Banner Contest #2

from Suzy-Cat
feelingstitchybanner

from maraland
Feeling Stitchy Banner Contest

from flossbox
Feeling stitchy!