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

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

New stitchery projects

A friend posed a question this morn, which in turn has prompted this post (the first in a while you may note!).
The question went along the lines of : When did comparing my experience to someone else's rob me of happiness, and cause me to miss my own unique experience? 
How can I enjoy my own experience more?
Ok, so that was 2 questions!
They weren't being directed specifically at me, and they weren't asked in a way that needed an immediate answer (more of a quiet rumination).... but despite the focus on a less than pleasant thought process, the questions felt expanding and inviting.

We can all think of a moment where we have compared ourselves and felt rubbish. (Ha! If only it stopped at one moment!) 

My latest 'comparison moment' lead me to feeling that I wasn't showing up enough on social media, that I 'should' be doing more, posting more, promoting more,more,more....
As you may have noticed my reaction to that was to do the polar opposite and just not show up at all..... *sigh*
I blame my stubborn streak....I hate being told what to do even if it is me telling my self! 

Ridiculous...and funny :)

So anyhoos I'm neither going to let my 'comparison' OR 'stubborn' JOY robbing thoughts stand in my way.....I have so much stitchery goodness to share. Yipeeee!


I have introduced 2 new kits to my shop, which may be my favourite designs yet.(Available here)
This bear one is called 'Homeward Bound'. I may have mentioned before about my love of bears.....they remind me of 'home' somehow....hard to explain, coming from a somewhat 'bear-free!' Scotland...but they do. I really love the rose quartz coloured background and the mix of pink threads. A new colour mix to the kits but I'm so happy with how the designs all sit together. 
I'm a proud embroidery kit mumma!


Kit number 2 is below...... and introduces Long and Short stitch in some more pinky threads. Each kit I create comes with illustrated instructions on the stitches involved, but I like to add extra support for those who need it. You can find an extra detailed tutorial on Long and short stitch over on my website, here.
The idea for this kit was that the flowers are stitched and the swallow zooms out from the negative space.....This piece is stitched on a 4" hoop and so is a great pocket sized project to take out and about with you. I find this time of year so great for stitching in the sunshine while the kids play merrily...be it beach, park or bubbling stream :) It's available here.

I've also added a couple of new pdf's to my shop.
The first one is based on some bee designs I stitched up last summer. It's called 'Free to bee' and comes with a few different versions of the design so you can be(e) creative with it! The pdf pattern is available as an instant download here.


The other Pdf is a pattern now available is to make this sweet owl. He wants to accompany your little one for snuggles, or sit on your shelf or computer and whisper to you sweet secrets from the woods......

I've safety tested this little Owl, even though it's not normally done or legally required for patterns. I've been negotiating the tricky waters of safety testing some deer 'doll' designs (I shared about here), and got this owl involved too. Feels good to be able to offer designs that are not only sweet sewing projects but safe too! The pattern Pdf is availabe here.

Phew! So that's us all up to date now...and the comparison/joy thief has left the building :)
I'll be back with a fun FREEBIE to share next week.....A collaboration with Cloudcraft and a Sweet Summer Garden stitching project...if you like the sneakpeak below then you'll LOVE what's a'coming x

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

A mended hand...

My hand has returned! woohoo! 
Well of course, it never left, but rather the use of it. And jeezy peeps....that old adage about not knowing what you have til it's gone.....Yep, I felt that full force.
I've vowed to make more of an effort and not over do the sewing. Easier said than done! Sewing and embroidery may be my 'job' but it's also my go-to place for pleasure. 
However 5 weeks of not sewing did lend itself to finding out other pursuits that I enjoy... I went for a world record breaking amount of walks, re-found pinterest, and re-aquainted myself with a paintbrush again. Oh and my bathroom got new wallpaper! :)
This time also provided the space for a few ideas to marinate...


I've been navigating the waters for safety testing and getting my woodland toy designs CE approved... it'll take some time. However mini soft sculptures are not toys, and as soon as my hand would allow , the marinated ideas began to take form...... 




Part of my 2016 plans/hopes are to add some soft sculpture sewing kits to the mix..... this may just be one of them. I'm a big bit smitten. Is this something you would enjoy stitching together? 

Poor deer though, she did have to go through some major abdominal surgery before making a full recovery..... it was touch and go for a while. eek!

I made a unicorn too....


No matter what I do, I always seem to make unicorn hair look like it belongs to the 90's and those mullet days..... I'm going with it! Bon Jovi rocked it, so can this little dudette!



A few other lovely things have also happened while my hand was laid up.
I did an interview over on My Giant Strawberry. Anne asks the most thoughtful and insightful questions and it was a real pleasure to do....you may want to grab a cuppa before heading over.
My stitchbook also got a feature in the latest edition of Uppercase magazine. This is a really highly regarded , independent publication with the mission to 'spark the imagination and inspire creativity'. It's a total honour to have something of mine included! You can view the full issue over here...it's a low res version but may be enough of a nudge to buy the real thing! My little half page is on Page 63! Yipee :)

xx