Thursday, January 31, 2013

Stitchy Goodness to Wear

 It's been a big week for my Etsy shop!  :)  I just loaded several of these fun textile pendants into my shop.  I don't know what's gotten in to me...soooo productive am I!  It goes like that, though, doesn't it?  Fits and starts, peaks and valleys, activity and quiet.  I'm learning to be okay with those waves, the older I get.  I can really beat myself up for those quiet periods: "I should be...", "I need to...", "Why am I not...".  I am my own biggest fan, and my own worst enemy.  Do you know what I mean? 

 Take these textile pendants, for example.  I stitched the little pendant parts last summer I think.  Since then, they've been sitting quite prettily in a little dish in my studio because I didn't quite know what to do with them next. 

 Then, as I was stitching valentine's last weekend, my eyes happened upon that little dish, and I thought, "pendants!"  Perfect.

 I originally thought about putting them just on ball chain.  But I really liked the tactile quality of the pendants themselves, and decided I wanted to continue that theme, so I cut some narrow linen strips and did a twisty-turny thing on my sewing machine with them to make "necklaces".

 I used vintage mother of pearl buttons and made a little loop for closures.  They're very shabby and vintage-y and fun.

I think you could wear it with a little t-shirt and a pair of jeans, or even with a sweet little cotton dress and a sweater. 

I stitched each one with layers of linen and vintage fabrics, and then hand embellished them with little textile hearts, or buttons, or...

a big rhinestone.  They make me very antsy for springtime. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Stitched Valentines

 Over the weekend, I did some stitching.  Shocking, I know.  I was feeling very valentine-y, so I cut out a big stack of little cotton hearts, in pinks and reds.  So fun.

 I set myself up in my favorite cozy spot, brewed a cuppacuppa and sat down to work...make that, play. 

 I had a lot of fun pulling out bits of vintage trim from my stash, and plucking tiny mother of pearl buttons from my button jar.
Then I just layered things up.  A bit of fine white linen for the backing, then things like velvet ribbon, vintage rick rack, embroidery floss, buttons, and the hearts.  All in the sweet and love-ly palette of pink, red, and white.  *heart*

 I was inspired by those conversation hearts candies...remember those?  I even bought a bag on my way home Friday night so I'd have the right phrases to add to my hearts.  Clever, eh?  And tasty, too!

 I added a bit of mellow yellow and this length of brown velvet ribbon to one of them.  Just to change things up a bit. 

 I am a collector of phrases and quotes, so I selected a few of them for these mini art quilts.  Perfect.

 I think this one might be my favorite.

 I adore this quote by Audrey Hepburn.  So true.

 And Oscar Wilde.  Always a favorite.

 I even made one for those of you who are a bit jaded when it comes to Valentine's Day, love, hearts, and cupids.  Love stinks, right?

Such fun.  And they are all now listed on my Etsy shop.  Happy hearts.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Pillow Goodness

I'm like the little bad girl with the curl.  When I'm good, I'm very, very good.  When I'm bad, I'm...well, late mostly.

Over the past few weekends, I've been stitching up these pieced pillows for my niece and nephews.  Whom I adore.  Lovelovelove.  I have one niece and four nephews.  They are all awesome, and all very much their own people.  I love watching them grow up.  I can't believe my first nephew has just been accepted to university and will leave us in the fall for Manhattan!  And my youngest nephew started middle school last fall, and loves sports sports sports.  My niece is adorable and plays softball and loves her girlfriends.  My second nephew is growing into a really cool guy and is a nationally ranking rock climber.  My third nephew is smartsmartsmart and did I mention smart.

We all live here in the Portland area, so we get to see each other fairly often.  They have such busy lives, but family is important to my sis and brother and I, so we make it a priority to get us all together regularly.  And, I'll just say it out loud.  They're all pretty crazy about Aunt T.  :)

So, the very good auntie had a brilliant idea to make big, fun pillows for all the kiddlywinks for their birthdays.  Last year.  Last year.  Mmm hmm. 

I just got them done.  For their birthdays.  Last year's birthdays.  Very bad auntie.  Latelateverybadauntie. 

But, as these things go, better late than never.  And I could tell they were really quite pleased with their pillows, as I gave it to each one of them.  Their auntie loves them.  That's what sticks.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

An Update to my Be Bold Sampler

I've gotten so many requests for this, that I just had to make it happen!  You can get the SAMPLER ONLY now if you want it. 

Thanks to everyone who requested this. 

I hope it will put my little stitch-witchery into more happy hands.

You can get yours right here.

Happy stitching, everyone!!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Be Bold Sampler is Finished, and now you can stitch one too!

Be Bold Stitchery Sampler and Kit

I finally finished it up into a pillow.  I think it turned out quite nicely, if I do say so myself.  :)

Be Bold Stitchery Sampler and Kit

And now you can stitch one up, too!  I've had my hand-drawn design printed onto brushed cotton and created a Be Bold sampler kit.  You can get all the stitch-y details and order it over at my Etsy shop.  Pour yourself a glass of wine, cozy in, and let's get stiched!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Keeping Myself in Stitches

I love to get up in the morning and cozy into my favorite chair, with my furry friend, to do a little stitching before I go into the gallery.  It makes such a nice start to my day.  In fact, when I sleep in and don't get my stitch-y time in, it can make me a little crabby.  And no one likes that.  Believe me.

Don't you just love this little red case?  My sister gave it to me many moons ago, for a birthday, when she gave me a big box filled with red items.  This  was one of them.  I use it in the summer as a purse, but just recently decided to re-purpose it as my embroidery basket.  It's really quite perfect.  This is the view from my lap most mornings.  My mama made this quilt for me.  Love it.

I'm working on a little sampler, which is based on a painting I did a few years ago.  It's coming along quite nicely. 

Most of the shapes are outlined, and are just waiting for a little filling-in.  It's fun to watch it come to life.  I do a lot of crafty things.  And I enjoy all of them.  But my favorite, hands down, is stitching.  Whether it's a sampler like this, or a quilt top, or a series of granny squares for an afghan.  I just love to stitch.  It's in my blood.  All of the women in my family were stitchers, quilters, knitters.  It's a lovely lineage to come from.  And I love that I always come back here.  It just feels like home. 

I'm not sure where this will end up when it's finished.  A pillow maybe?  Perhaps a little wall-hanging?  It will tell me.  When we've finished.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Up to Some Old Tricks

Oh, I love this little old box full of crochet hooks and double-pointed knitting needles.  It's one of the random things I took from my mother's sewing room after she passed away, wow, almost six years ago now.   When she passed away, I would sit for hours in her sewing room, missing her so much it was hard to breathe.  I would run my hands over her fabric stacks, sit at her sewing machine, page though her sketches for quilts.  I don't know if it helped or made it hurt more, but I would go there everyday.  Hmm.  Haven't thought of those days in a long time.  Must be the time of year.  The thinking of when this box came home with me.


I say one of the random things I took because at the time  I was a very basic knitter and I hadn't picked up a crochet hook in years and years.  Seriously.  Since I was a little girl. I just liked the box.  And I loved that it was my mom's, and that there was something about it she liked.  So, I grabbed it and took it to my studio. Put it on a shelf.

And it has sat there all this time.   But, I kept having this fantasy about re-learning how to make a granny square.  It was one of those things that I was going to have my mom re-teach me after my dad passed away.  I had a long list of things I would do to help keep her busy and occupied so she wouldn't be so sad.  What none of us knew at the time was that she was already sick.  Ovarian cancer.  She left me three months after my dear old dad.  I don't think it was a coincidence.  They were soulmates.

But I digress.  

Granny squares. 

A year or two ago, I mentioned to my best friend, Christine, that I'd like to teach myself again how to make a granny square.  She said she used to make them, and thought she could help me.  Christine and I celebrate our birthdays one day apart and have an annual trek to the beach for wine drinking, stitching of some sort, and singing along with "Mamma Mia" on the dvd player. 

So, at our birthday beach weekend last November, we set about re-teaching ourselves how to granny-it-up.  It turned out I didn't have the right size crochet hook, so Christine gave me one of her extras.  (See?  That box had been up on the shelf so long, I totally forgot there were even crochet hooks in there!)

I managed to get three whole granny squares done that weekend.  hahaha!  I suppose wine drinking and singing might have taken precedence.  I'm not sure.


But, I've been plugging away at them.  And I'm amassing quite a stack.  I'm ambitious...I want to make enough for an afghan.  I have many, many grannies to go.  But I'm uncharacteristically okay with that.  That in itself would give my mom cause to smile, as she often said to me, "patience is a virtue, T".  Because I had none.  I'm only recently becoming aware of having more patience in general.  It's weird.  But good.  But weird.

Anyway, I'm having such a lovely time of it, and can feel my mom's presence with every loop of the yarn. I feel so thankful, so often, that she passed her love of handiwork to me.  The stitching, the looping, the sewing...all of it.  It's such a part of me now, I think my life would be very flat without it. 

P.S.  Christine, remind me to return your crochet hook to you.  Turns out I have the right size after all.  :)