Monday, 21 November 2016

Wintery felty friends

Most things have fallen by the wayside here as things really hot up in my shop and I'm busy making kits and sending them off. 
Every so often I do find myself in the midst of packaging a kit off to Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland (to name a few of the many countries I have sent to)...and have to stop and marvel at how incredible the internet is and how priviledged and grateful I am to be in this position. Absolutely amazing!
Anyhow I digress.
The botanical sketches in stitch have been well and truly put on hold for now (that's ok, they'll be back!) But I do still crave something that I can pick up easily when the opportunity presents, and this lately has taken the form of handstitched felt friends... 




The deer are based on the deer kits I sell (here), and the fox softie sculptures are based on a pattern I will be offering in my shop shortly (fingers crossed!)




I've been sharing them on a new Instagram page I created so that my embroidery page wasn't inundated with deer spam! :) You can find more pics of my felty friends at overhillsandheather, and if you are interested in buying one you can find them in my other etsy shop here.

It would normally feel a bit premature posting such a festive pic..but the temperature here over the last few days has been well below zero (the words 'brass monkeys' come to mind!), and a thick white frost covers every available surface.....so it feels rather in keeping :) Hope you are keeping cosy xx


Saturday, 29 October 2016

Botanical Sketches in stitch - update

Ooh yes! I've made it before November sneaks in. (Whaaa November already??)
I'm very pleased to say I've managed to keep up my 'challenge' of stitching a botanical sketch each week (though that could all change as I've one day to go and I've still to do this weeks one.. aherm).
I thought it would be nice to gather the little sketches that have been stitched so far in one place (and help keep me motivated!).

Rowan


Oak Wand



Conker ( from Horse Chestnut )



Fern

I've discovered a few things through doing these stitched sketches so far. I know that stitching is sloooooow, but it can become almost painful when a simple line that would take milli-seconds to sketch takes several minutes. It's fine if i'm not working within a time constraint,but to make this challenge do-able my aim was to fit the sketch in an hour. I didn't manage that on any of these pieces except the oak wand,the longest being the fern which took me 3 hours. 
I took some photos while stitching the fern, which you can see below. The photos are not the greatest as it was evening time (I was sitting on the sofa watching a film). You can see the running stitch which I use as a quick way to stitch the shape of the line and work from, as it's all free hand stitched.


I'd like to make my stitches more loose, and I miss using colour.
I'm going to play and see how I can add some colour to the mix and still keep things 'quick' and sketchy. I shall be back with more soon :)
Have a lovely weekend xx

Friday, 23 September 2016

Botanical sketches in stitch - A personal project

So I've started this little personal project which I announce with a little trepidation because my track record is that while I'm great at starting something, I'm pretty rubbish at keeping them up! However this project ,I feel, is a little different because it's bite sized and manageable...and it's one that I'm really interested and curious to see where it takes my stitching style and skills.

The project is to create one botanical sketch a week using freehand stitching...or perhaps I should call it  'skitching' , because basically I'm aiming to create a rough line drawing as I do with any sketch, only this time I'm using stitches...no pencils (or rough drafts) involved!
The plan is that I bring a little piece of nature back home from one of my runs each week and stitch it up. I'm allowing myself an hour to create each piece to keep things loose and quick (hey, thats quick in embroidery terms!), if it takes a little longer and I have the time then all is good and well.
If I can do more than one a week then it's 'pat myself on the back' time.....however I've come to realise that over stretching only ever brings guaranteed doom!! haha!

The thing I really love about this project is that by gathering a little piece of nature each week I'll be recording the changes of the seasons in stitch, AND I'll also get to learn the names of flowers and trees that I'm not familiar with yet.That tickles me no end!
So I'll stop going on and I'll show you my first Botanical sketch in stitch....







 


Monday, 5 September 2016

Mollie Makes, one fox and two new Deer!

It feels great to be back here writing a post, it's been a while!
I've been playing catch up on so many things, and feeling a bit like a swan...calm on the top half but the legs furiously paddling underneath!
However, the fact that I am here writing this does suggest I'm getting up to speed now :)

It's been a bit of a whirlwind I have to say, and there are a couple of celebratory worthy things I'd love to share.

The first thing is the commissioned front cover project I created for the latest edition of Mollie Makes Magazine. 

photo credit Mollie Makes

If I sound like I'm saying this in a blase way....I can assure you I'm not :) I subscribe to the magazine (because I LOVE it!) and it gets delivered monthly to my front door, so it was quite a magical moment to unwrap the packaging and see my fox peaking back.
It arrived on the first day back to school after the summer hols, so I had no one to witness the heel clicking 'yippee's' that followed (probably for the best), but I did manage a cheesy selfie! You can tell I don't underplay my successes. Haha!
It was a great project to collaborate on and I smile when I see the rough mock up fox compared to the finished one....got to share this with you too :) 


Quite a transformation, but I still think the first one is my fave...though I am known to always plump for an underdog...(or fox in this case)
It's always a gooooood thing to be challenged and step outside what you would naturally create, I reckon. So I welcome with open arms the next collaboration/ commissioned project!

I had the best of intentions to have my Felt Deer kits all ready to launch for the release date of the magazine, however the summer holidays put paid to that idea.... which is no bad thing as the sunshine does need to be enjoyed when it makes an (all be it brief!) appearance.

It catches me out every time just how time consuming it is to design and create a new kit, summer holidays or not....sourcing materials, designing & printing packaging, writing instructions and tweaking templates....can feel a little like Groundhog day at times. 
However I'm delighted to say they are finally GOOD to GO!! Woohoo!
Heel clicking 'yippeeee' time again :)
I'm so happy with how they have come together. The kits come with great quality (and lovely to work with) 100% wool felt. 


Illustrated instructions are included in the kit but I've also created a video tutorial which walks you through the steps for those a little nervous or unfamiliar with stitching little deer. You get the access details with your kit.
This means everyone can get in on the deer stitching act!
Spirit Deer is available here, and Leafy Deer is available here.

Unicorn kits are a-coming sooooooon.........just needing to come up for a little air first.

Last but not least......if you are going back to school/uni soon and need a little pocket notebook then pop over to Sewmamsew for a fun tutorial to make your own birdie inspired one, designed by yours truly xx

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Summer stitching - fushia, marigold, dahlia oh my!

We are exactly half way through the school summer hols here and there as been a flurry of activity as well as plenty of stitching (surprisingly!). Holidays usually mean a slowing down on the creative front, but it's been amazing how productive I have been alongside the holiday fun. 

I think the key has been 'focus', so any moment spare has been put to good use......this includes a couple of REALLY fun and super cool projects I've been involved with which will be revealed soon! Can't wait.



The 'focus' maybe came when there was a complete LACK of it at the beginning of my hols....I managed to leave behind my bag in the holiday home we stayed in a few weeks ago. It had all the embroidery supplies I'd been working on, my sketchbook full of designs and some vintage reference books I'd been using...... oh man I was sooo annoyed...mainly because I'd made sure everyone else's stuff had been packed and put in the boot...just not my own. *sigh*
Anyway it will be returned to me in a couple of months, a sweet chain of people and meet ups will eventually bring it back (postage costs just seemed too outrageous and the reality was it was nothing I couldn't LIVE without!)


Silver lining was I found a new embroidery 'holder', an old pouch I made years ago which had been gathering dust in a drawer...and I started a new project (the flower pieces you see here). I have (yet another!) plan in mind for these samplers...but given that I have so many other little projects in the works it may take a little time...but I'm having fun playing meanwhile :)  



It made me smile as I realised that my nails were matching my embroidery...well I suppose if I was a 'real lady' then I guess it always would haha!

Verbascum


Dahlia

I hope Summer is treating you well so far...... let these summer inspired flowers infuse you with sunshine if not :)xx

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Embroidery Samplers- sneak peak

It's a shame we can't enjoy a slow, relaxing process AND get things to completion quickly!
It feels like I've been working on the same project for aaaaages.......
Let's rephrase that.... I HAVE been working on the same projects for aaaages!

I've designed some embroidery samplers , 8 of them infact and I am slap bang in the middle of stitching them up, choosing colours, deciding stitches, tweaking and unpicking.(lots of unpicking!)
I've also been getting myself versed in the technique of screen printing as I have grand plans for these samplers. That's all I'm saying for now.... 
The plan was to have them ready for summer but that's clearly not going to happen! Oh I do like to give myself the most unrealistic of deadlines ;)
So I wanted to give a little taster of what I've been working on and what's to come.....

As per usual the designs are nature themed:





It's in full down pour here so the leaves are looking luscious and green but too wet to photo.
I chose a combo of 10 thread colours, with the intention of using only these for all 8 samplers. I went for muted tones and a collection of colours that are quite the opposite to my norm. This has probably presented the biggest challenge as while I really love the look of the muted tones, it's the vibrant colours and playing with different combinations which make stitching fun for me.


Hopefully I'll have all 8 finished samplers to share with you soon!!

Friday, 10 June 2016

Free! Summer Garden Stitching Project

Oooh! I'm so excited to share a 'Summer Garden' sewing project for you to stitch up and decorate your home with summery sweetness.
 I've collaborated with the lovely Nicole at Cloudcraft and created a F*R*E*E pattern and tutorial to make these summer inspired bird and flower decorations. I used a selection of the gorgeous 100% wool felt that Nicole offers. 

It's a simple and fun project for you to stretch those sewing and embroidery muscles if you are fairly new to sewing....or it's the perfect opportunity to get creative and embellish with your own designs and stitches if you the more seasoned stitcher :)

 You can find the tutorial and pattern here on the Cloudcraft blog...simply follow the link download the pdf file, print and get stitching! 



Nicole is offering a fab giveaway over on instagram, of the felt and threads that were used to make the decorations. To be in with a chance of winning 7 x wool felt pieces and 5 skeins of DMC threads (shown below) you can go here and get the details.


Enjoy!! :)x