Crafting on the Go

Posted on

Happy Sunday, all!

Gen Con starts this week and we are super excited to be there again! I don’t know about you but I always have some kind of projects I am working on and many of them are small enough to tote along with me. The problem I often have, however, is how to best travel with everything I need but in the smallest possible space. Even when there are only two of us in the car, we are often gone for at least a week and that requires a lot of luggage so the crafts need to be condensable. I currently have a couple of specialty bags that travel with me for different purposes. The one for my embroidery/cross stitch has two large side pockets and a three ring style plastic organizer for floss bobbins in the center. It lays quite flat and I definitely have plenty of room for a couple of projects at once. I sometimes have to carry more so I’ve been looking for another to buy or make and in my searches have found the following…

This first one on Craftsy is everything you could wish for and more. It is quite a large tote with all kinds of pockets for pretty much anything you need to bring along and it seems pretty straight forward. I really like the optional shoulder strap and the variety of pocket and zipper options the pattern mentions so that you can completely personalize it to your needs.

   

This second one from the Embroidery Library looks like it may lie flatter, more like my current project bag and could be a great option if I want to use these for a different project a piece.

This last one from Handmadiya was just too cute for me to pass up and it is also incredibly small so it may be great to organize smaller items within one of the larger ones.

 

I’m honestly tempted to make the last one just because it is so adorable. In any case, next week we will have a look at some totes that may be better for yarn type projects on the go.

Stay crafty!

~Laura


Zenbroidery

Posted on

About 2 years ago, adult coloring books became the hot new thing. Remember when that happened? Sudden any store that carried books now had “adult” coloring books that were basically geometric patterns the be idly colored in. Well, it took some time for the sewing world to follow it seems, but follow they did. Check out what I found at Jo-Ann’s yesterday.

This is just one of many patterns in a new line called Zenbroidery by Design Works. Same basic principal of adult coloring books applies, but here you are embroidering free style on a stamped fabric. No patterns to tell you what to do, just an image and your imagination on how to fill it.

You can find all sorts of themes such as kitchen wares, Inspiration words, Mandalas, animals, and much more. They’re also fairly inexpensive at $5-10 each as the kit only provides you with the fabric and instruction sheet (which is mostly filler and stitch suggestions). You must provide your own floss separately. Not a problem for someone like me that has a collection of a few hundred from years of embroidery work, but could be an issue for those that work only from kits. They do sell their suggested color packs of floss of course, some of which include beads for added options, that are only $4-5 but you could still just chose your own.

While I wouldn’t recommend these for beginners to embroidery I do find the idea behind them fascinating. They’d make a great idle project to fill time and certainly let you explore more then just the basic stitches most kits use, but I do wonder at how many people would display the finished product. Either way they’re worth a look into at least next time you’re in your local craft store. 🙂


Beautiful Biscornu

Posted on

Happy Sunday, all!

I’ve been getting my crafty groove back lately and it’s inspired me to finally plot out something I’ve wanted to do for quite a while. Make my own geeky biscornu! What is a biscornu, you ask? It’s essentially a fancy pin cushion but there are so many different ways to assemble and decorate them! The “traditional” style usually has 8 sides with a repeating pattern in some combination of cross stitch/black work/other embroidery and even some beads as embellishments:

Scrolling flowers, vines, and bees seem to be very popular choices.

There are plenty of tutorials out there for assembling your own and I quite like this one from Tiny Modernist:

Complete with lovely southwest style pattern!

But as you hopefully know if you read my posts on Sundays, I love things with a geeky theme so, of course, I am going to include pattern links for some! One of my favorite cross stitch pattern makers, Cloud’s Factory, has several for adorable biscornu, like this Alice in Wonderland:

Appropriately titled, “We’re All Mad Here” and I am definitely mad for it!

And one of our lovely Sprite Stitchers, Sirithre,  has some amazing biscornu patterns in her Etsy shop. One of my favorites is this Lord of the Rings pattern:

And you can stab the Eye of Sauron every time you stitch!

I have so many ideas for amazing biscornu designs! I’ll make sure to share when I put some into action. Until then, have a relaxing rest of your weekend.

Stay crafty!

~Laura


Adorable Mini Plush Animals

Posted on

I know I’m biased since I make small cute things myself, but I just love adorable animal plushies. Extra points if they have a cat one cause, much like most of the internet, I’m a sucker for adorable cats.

Maine based artist Floydine makes these one of a kind felt animals and they are just so cute. Not only are they tiny and hand sewn, but the little detail embellishments really make the piece, imho. After the cats, some of my favorite ones are the horses.

I love how they’re the realistic horse with the My Little Pony style imagery on the backside. Their use of imagery on the plushies doesn’t end there though. You’ll also find ones with little embroidered scenes on their sides instead.

There’s not much in their etsy shop at the moment, but if you also like adorable animals, this is certainly a shop to check out and bookmark for the future. 🙂


Incredibly Lifelike Embroidery

Posted on

So I know I posted about embroidery recently already, but I just saw this and had to share it.

Yes, that is embroidered, AND it’s super tiny. :O I’m seriously in awe. I know it’s become popular to do miniature sized creations lately but this is just incredible to me. The artist who named them is Japanese artist ipnot and she was inspired to work with thread due to her grandmother. She introduced ipnot to embroidery and she was so taken by it and the french knot that she then spent years perfecting her techniques.

Working with a selection of over 500 different colors and shades of yarn from varying brands and lines, ipnot creates everything from sushi rolls to chocolates bonbons and more. Each tiny creations is remarkably realistic and her use of different stitches and colors to even emulate texture is amazing. It’s all in Japanese, but if you like the few things I’ve shared here you should do yourself a favor and check out her main gallery as there is so much more.


A Racket Job

Posted on

So I’ve seen a fair amount of things used as embroidery canvases. Clothes, shoes, flags. Just about anything fabric based has been attempted really; which is why this artist stood out to me.

Perhaps not what she was originally wanting to be known for, South African artist Danielle Clough has also enjoyed embroidering many a canvas surface, but her racquet designs really jumped out at me. Embroidery it’s self often lends well to impressionist style art due to the way it’s created, but she really takes it a step beyond with her bold use of colors as well. The gamer side of me also enjoys the pixel like additions of some background color that she occasionally uses.

Using a racquet as a frame/canvas also reminds me of the Dadaist movement with their ‘anything is art’ approach (a movement I love to pieces), so it’s possible this just hits all my art nerd interests only, but if you like the few I’ve posted here I recommend checking out her gallery at the very least. She has a store as well, but it’s currently down.


Birds of a Felted Feather

Posted on

Perhaps it’s my bias towards sewing skills, but felt and embroidery projects always catch my eye. It’s like my brain is playing a Where’s Waldo type game but with fabric and thread without telling me. 😛 It’s no wonder I easily came across these awesome felt sculptures as a result.

Jill Ffrench, is the owner and artisan of Fantails and Feet, a custom felt sculpture artist that makes beautifully expressive birds out of felt, thread, wire and wax. While you can see she has a passion for peacocks, her entire collection of birds is simply lovely.

I especially love the extra detailing the feathers get to selectively make them pop, but they’re all wonderful. If you’re a bird lover, or know someone who is, I definitely recommend giving this shop of fine feathered friends a look over.


Stitched Towels

Posted on

I know I’m biased since I’m a crafter by nature anyway, but I’m really excited about the idea of decorating my house with the skills I’ve learned over the years. With stitched towels being my most anticipated, though sadly most often moved to the back burner. They have such a large range of design options available to them as well.

This is the style most people probably think of when they think of decorating towels (though that’s not a terribly common decoration to see on them!) with simple cross-stitch x’s making the design. I’ve been growing more fond of the much more versatile back and satin stitch style though; something that this stitcher has done absolutely beautifully.

While my towels are going to be cafe themed, I loved that MadX-Stitcher used their skills to add a touch of fandom to their kitchen. If you want to go for master class, try mixing some embroidery paint into your design. It comes in a fairly decent range of colors and is a special oil based paint that can be washed and used on a large variety of mediums. So get crafting! 😀

~Nicole


DIY Father’s Day Gifts

Posted on

Another month, another holiday and this month we get to honor the male role models in our life. 🙂 Since not all of them want power tools (like the TV ads would have you believe) I’ve gathered up a collection of some great DIY gifts that range from customization to from scratch creation to help inspire any last minute gift ideas you might need.

Hanging Belt Rack

First we have a customization one that’s pretty simple. With just a wood hanger, a drill and some cup hooks; you can make a simple space saving belt hanger! Depending on how tool ready you are the only thing you may need to buy are the hooks themselves.

 

Personalized Neckties

Keeping with the clothing theme, here’s a simple one for all you sewers out there. Make that tie you get him a little more personal this year by embroidering his initial on it! Even if you don’t have an embroidery machine you can still create one with a simple stencil, a needle, thread, and an embroidery hoop. Might take some time if you pick a fancy font to do it in though so budget your time wisely the next few days.

 

 

Date with Dad

Okay, here’s one you need no instructions for that will work great if you have a close relationship with your Dad. Make a card asking to go on a ‘date’ with him and include the tickets/vouchers inside. Really simple and can mean a lot more as you’re setting aside time just to spend with him and create new memories. Can also work great for younger kids as well if the other parent helps set everything up.

 

Firewood Tote

While this could work for people other then you dad as well, this nifty little gift could certainly see a lot of use come winter time. I know I would love to stop piling the wood up in my arms when I try to carry it inside (All the while hoping nothing crawls out and decides to come say hi…. >.< ) Another very simple gift that won’t break the bank with the only required materials being some canvas, flannel and wooden dowel rods.

 

Wooden Beer Tote

This one is for all you wood workers out there! Put those skills to work and make your Dad a custom 6-pack tote this year. I love the addition of the bottle opener on the side, and you’ll likely score bonus points if you fill it with some of your Dad’s favorite drinks. 😉

 

Modge Podge Coasters

Lastly, if you have a sibling looking to compliment you awesome Drink Tote, why not suggest they make Dad some custom coasters? This crafty creator found round electrical outlet covers at the hardware store to use that keep your coaster weighted without having to use stones/tiles. All you need are those, some glue, modge podge, and prints of whatever you’d like to place on them. 🙂


Baby Clothing Embroidery Tutorial

Posted on

My sister just had her first baby this week! 😀 In honor of this exciting occasion in my family, I’m gonna do a simple tutorial on how to embroider baby clothes. I’ve used a onesie/bodysuit in this tutorial, but the method can easily be applied to any fabric clothing. For this project you will need: Waste Canvas, Sewing Pins, Embroidery Floss, Tweezers, Embroidery Hoop, Baby Onesie, and a Sharp Pointed Sewing Needle (I was a gauge 14, but use the size that fits best for you.)

 

First thing you’ll want to do is decide what you will stitch and gather your materials. the pattern I’ve decided to make is a nice happy Kirby. I made this pattern in a free program called KG-Chart, but you can also use PC Stitch for a some enhanced color accuracy. If pattern making is not your thing, your lovely friends over on the sprite stitch forums are always happy to help make patterns for those in need. 🙂

KirbyNow that we have our pattern, we can see that it needs to be at least 26×26 stitches. I recommend adding another 4 stitches on as you’ll need this area to pin your waste canvas to your material.

051Where you place your embroidery is completely up to you, but make sure to leave at minimum an inch (3cm) between your design and edge. You’ll need this space free so you can place your embroidery hoop around the area. This will keep your design wrinkle free and somewhat tight while you work. I say somewhat because clothing will typically have some stretch/give -especially baby clothes- and if you pull it too tight, it will make the fabric pucker and keep your design from laying flat.

052Everything is set up and we are ready to stitch! Just like any other cross stitch project, you want to work from the inside out, and light colors to dark colors. This will keep your design at an even tension, while also making sure your dark strands don’t show through your light colors from behind. Unlike most other cross stitch projects, you’ll want to use 3 strands of floss as you work instead of 2. The extra strand assists in keeping the background material from showing through as it makes your design nice and dense. My last recommendation is for those who still use knots to start their strands. You cannot do that with baby clothes. Knots in general aren’t recommend, but if you try to use them on baby clothing it will make the back side bumpy and possibly irritable for infants. You’ll have to practice holing the starting tail underneath your work and then stitch over it, using the stitch tension to keep it in place.

 

Once you’ve got your piece all stitched up, it’s time to remove the waste canvas! I forgot to take a picture of this step, but the beauty of waste canvas is that it’s designed to come apart. Thoroughly wet your design and then take your tweezers to pull out each strand one by one. Tedious, I know, but the results are worth it. 🙂

050Wash and dry your finished piece like normal and, ta da! You now have a custom piece of baby clothing for that special infant in your life. 😀

~Nicole