25 Jan

Embroidered Note Card

Did you know that you can embroider paper?  Why yes, you can:

Orange card with yellow embroidery

It’s my grandma’s birthday this week, so I took 20 minutes out of my Friday afternoon to dress up her card.  (20 minutes, people!  Grandma is worth it.)

Orange card with text and embroidery

I feel like you can kind of tell that this is a first try, but I think Grandma will still appreciate it.  I’m not gonna lie – those french knots in the center were tricky (and that’s why I went for the more paper-friendly “specks” when I added the pink around the outside).  Jenny Hart does a nice tutorial using embroidery transfers, but don’t feel like you need something fancy to get started.  I made a light pencil trace of a nickel to get a good circle and just lined up the points of my lazy daisy with that!

04 Oct

You guys, I totally made this.

I finally finished this project that I started almost two months ago at Stitch Lab. I got everything arranged on the kitchen wall yesterday morning, and I’ve been dying to show it off here – I just couldn’t figure out what to say about it. I keep putting on my blog voice, you know?

So… here’s why I want to share this piece with you:

1. I think it’s awesome. Yes, I am concerned about going a bit overboard about my little arts and crafts project, but c’mon – it’s awesome, right? :) I am not an artist, and this is the first project I’ve ever done like this. But Kat‘s class description sparked an idea, and I thought it would be a fun way to use my craft love in a new way. There is a poster in my living room which says, “To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong” (Joseph Chilton Pearce). I referred to it constantly. The other day, when I was almost done with it, I was SO EXCITED about how it turned out (except for the lips, which is a whole other story). I started planning out the kitchen wall, and then the judgement snuck in. Should I really put this in the kitchen? Where everyone will see it? This is kind of stupid, right? So I thought, maybe I will hang it behind the bar, in the other room, where just about nobody ever goes. When my best friend came over for dinner on Saturday, though, I couldn’t resist getting it out. And she loved it! Her excitement gave me some courage, and onto the kitchen wall it went. Lessons: art doesn’t have to be perfect, you’re not the only judge of what looks good, and when in doubt, invite your friends over.

2. I got to make it with my mom (and some other fun girls over at Stitch Lab). Maybe I’ve mentioned this arts-in-community thing? Visits for my mom and I actually tend to include some kind of project – we’ve sewn a shopping bag at Christmas, built a hidden medicine cabinet when I was getting ready to sell my place in Chicago, made dishcloths during a fall visit (she crochets, I knit), put together our own “deluxe” pin cushions from fabric scraps (you can see a picture of mine – at least for now – on the home page for Retreat Austin). My mom is a whiz on the sewing machine, and she continues to amaze me with the power tools she’s able to master. So I learn a lot from her (and sometimes she learns from me), and the work feeds our relationship, and then of course, we usually end up with something tangible that’s pretty cool. This project was a bit of an accident – not sure I would have suggested that we sign up for the course together, but I’d already registered when she booked her trip, so I asked her if she wanted to come along. We had a great time in the studio, met some fun and interesting women in the class, and had something to work on for the two weeks she was visiting. I love this.

3. Courage. Do you mind if I digress for a moment?
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29 Mar

Sublime Stitching

How fun is this website? It is all I can do not to order up La Petite Embroidery Kit right this minute, but then, right this minute, I am anxiously awaiting the mail delivery of my first DSLR, and I am feeling a bit overloaded on spring projects. (Plus, I can’t decide between the campout transfers and Craftopia. Oh! And I will need Lucha Libre on my second trip.) I will also be picking up this book at some point in the near future. I promise, I’m not a Jenny Hart stalker! I just stumbled onto the site today during a particularly enthralling portion of my cubicle afternoon, and the creative vibes totally picked me up. I’ll let you know how it goes when I commit to the purchase…

This post started out on a different site, but in an effort to get more of my writing in one place, I moved it to cindyscovel.com in January 2012.