Friday, September 4, 2009

OMG Hello

So it's only been about 4000 years since I've had anything to do with the keeping up to date here. I was facing some personal medical issues and haven't really been active online or with crafting. However with fall rolling around (my absolute favourite season) and feeling somewhat better, though still working on my health, I figured maybe I would give'r another go. I may post once a week or so, I can't say that I will keep up an every other day approach; I just want to take it easy for now.

Thanks for your understanding! <3

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Owl Needlebook

So this needlbook was actually started long before the last one that I had posted. It was one of those projects that kind of just got set aside and I only really remembered it after I completed that other one for the swap I was in on Craftster.
I really liked that owl so much that I wanted to keep it but figured since I already sort of had my own that I may as well keep my end of the bargain.

This little fella was needle felted; the white part from loose fibres, and the creamy part of crochet fabric. It was kind of an experiment as the fibre content of the felted yarn is actually mostly synthetic (!!) but it seemed to work out just fine, especially in the case of the loose fibres. In anycase, it's been embroidered with crochet cotton from the stash, a few pieces of bought felt. As you can see from the only in-progress shot, my owl has a heart. When I was attatching the wing I wanted more reinforcement, had red felt and thought, "why not, really?"

The embroidery of my name isn't terribly clear in these shots, however you can see that this book can hold both the rediculously large needles and your more standard sizes. (Truthfully though there are only two actual needles in the picture, all my needles are off some place stuck in various pieces of fabric, so I improvised for the sake of illustration with some pins.)

There are a number of different stitches used, back-stitch, lazy-daisies, bullion stitch, french knots, satin stitch, fly stitch, chain stitch that's been run over, misc. running stitches, overcast, and a really lame attempt at Japanese darning (though in my defence sewing through what was once crochet fabric, with varying density throughout the new felt cloth, made it very difficult to keep the more geometric pattern even).

Truthfully I have had this fella done for at least a week, however this week has been an uphill battle to say the least. Between being fought back by my camera, my makeshif light-tent imploding, losing my camera cable, a cat that is pooping and barfing everywhere, finishing my taxes... and the big whammy, I've been laid off; on Friday I was told Monday was my last shift which hardly left me with the ability to make plans for anything else. They think maybe they will have work for me again in a month, but who knows really. I've been left scrambling tring to figure what I am going to do about it all. I have actually been embroidering a lot, and if I can convince my ol' man to come out so that we can get batteries for my camera, I am thinking I will be able to post in progress pictures of that hanky that I have been working on so much lately. Lourd knows now I have the time...


Sunday, April 12, 2009

Just a little peek at a matching pair of ACEOs (art cards editions and originals) that I've just finished up recently.

I am sort of aiming towards making a set for the game concentration, or the memory card game. I think that it is a fabulous idea to be playing with actual miniature pieces of art, of course this means that I have to do doubles of each little piece created so that it can be put to play. Sure I could just do prints and then have doubles really easily, but then each little piece wouldn't be its own original. I don't think that I can explain my special sort of insanity but I am hoping that there is someone out there who understands.

I have another design in the works that is a cute duck-girl with an umbrella but for some reason I am not so eager to go forward with it. I think that I will just leave that idea to stew for a little while longer and go onto other things, maybe when I return to the concept I'll be able to pull it off in a way that I like better.

Another thing that I have to consider is how to make all the backs the same so that there is no cheating. The markers that I use actualy soak through the cardstock sometimes which makes it all to clear what card I am looking at. I am considering just designing a back for them digitally, printing the backs and laminating the two together. I'll see how that idea goes too, I wouldn't want the lamination to make the cards larger than the standard size though. Another thing I might try that would be pretty simple is to just use the backs of playing cards and slide the two of them into those litter individual card protectors that you can find a comicbook shops. I think this may actually be a good idea.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Craftster OTT Swap - Owl Pincushion

My partner in the swap actually received a few days ago but every time I opened my image editor, to fix up my photos, it would crash, I got frustrated and left it alone each time. If you click on the picture you can see the full size, but it is a big picture! The item itself is under 4x4" which was part of the rules for the swap, though I don't have any exact measurements. It is, if not obvious, a little owl needlebook; I have one of my own in the works that has been a WIP for some time now actually, and is completely different than this one. Yeah I am lazy it seems like.

This one is made of some bits of cotton from my stash, felt on the inside for a little more structure and felt for the "wing" pages. Embroiderized, I had fun trying out a few new stitches and there she goes!

TheSapphireMoon sent me a lovely little beaded snap wallet in return. It was a really fun little swap to participate in.

PS. I'd like to thank the one or two individuals that keep coming to check my stuff out. I know I am not the most reliable in posting, but I definately appreciate you sticking around to take a look-see.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Craftster OTT Swap - Teaser

The teaser for my part of the One Tiny Thing swap on Craftster with TheSaphireMoon. As before we don't want to give the surprise away too soon, but to build the suspense like a terrible, terrible person. Though I can't wait to see what I am going to get. This was sent out just the other day but I just haven't had the chance to blog about it, and that is really just about it.

Anyway I really find that I enjoy doing swaps. Uh... Take that?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Free Embroidery Pattern

So I have been having a pretty sh*tty go of it for a while now. I am so cross and drained.

In hoping that spring would just warm up and stop snowing already, also in the need for cheer, I have designed a sun-shower set of embroidery patterns. My favourite is the happy sun, with its rosy cheeks (not sure if that is apparent) and its wavy sunrays; followed closely by the very cute cloud. You should be taken directly to the full image by clicking on the above image, that is if I did the code correctly. The patterns are free to use for personal projects, please don't use it to sell, redistribute the pattern, or alter it and claim the design as your own. If anyone uses the pattern I would be absolutely thrilled to see what you make of it! So if you don't mind, email me and show me. :D

Monday, March 16, 2009

Full of Excuses

Yeah so... yeah...
Have been really pushing hard for end of the month deadlines at work, I am even working 6 day workweeks and am totally burning out. I know it is just another excuse. :/

Sunday, March 8, 2009


Wow it's been a while. I was very sick for a couple weeks and while I thought that all the missed time at work would give me a chance to do a little extra crafting, as it turned out I was really unable to. On my embroideries I ended up pulling each stitch at least 3 times, every stitch of crochet that I had done has also been frogged, an ACEO (art card) that I was making for a friend smeared and warped and had to be tossed, all just beacause of the glaring errors that I had made the whole way through. I couldn't function that well, it was a flu, I had a pretty bad fever. The only thing that I ended up being able to do was to weave in ends on the afghan project that I have had ongoing for a while now.

I'm sorry for the delay, I am surprised to see that I still have people stopping by every now and then. I will do better.

Friday, February 20, 2009


A wonderful friend of mine, Ariel, sent me a handful of pretty paper for my birthday which was a few weeks ago now. Having just recently completed a few ACEOs and not really having a safe place to put them, I put 1+1 together and made a sweet little ACEO size box for them using one of the sheets of decorative paper with a lovely gold marbled paint effect, 2 sheets of cardstock, and some contact paper.

I am notoriously bad with remembering birthdays which oughtn't be so, but it is. I am always impressed by others who are good at this. I sometimes feel guilty about being as scatter-brained as I am. Even for my husband, whom I've been with for years and years, his birthday is remembered as the 20-something-th of a month that starts with "J".

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Rainy ACEOs

Happy Valentines Day! Sure so these ACEOs are not exactly Valentines related but the Valentines and things made for my hubby are for his eyes only! I hope that a pretty love day related banner up top will make up for that.

I have been dreaming of Spring. I'm done with all this snow and ice, cold wind and dry crackling air. Give me the rain and the fog, puffy fast clouds and peekaboo sunshine! The lighting in the photo while not that bad isn't as good as could be, because if you can imagine, it is snowing today. I enjoy the small format of ACEOs though I haven't used it much in the past, I can see myself doing it more often in the future.

I hope everyone is having a good Valentines/Singles Appreciation Day!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Finger Puppets

I can't believe it has been basically a full week since I last posted anything. I must seem lazy. I really have no excuse for myself, save that I have a few bigger projects on the go, working nonstop and few recently completed things to share. However here we have it, a sort of big "little" project. Felt finger puppets, 25 little birds for kids at the local children's hospital. Sorry the picture is small and on my carpet, but I was in a rush to get them out!
I hope to make it up to you in a few days, that is, if I can stop procraftinating...

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Damask Inspired Cutwork Hankie, Work In Progress

How is that for a nice long title? I am suspecting this to take a while, I am hoping 15 hours tops, but I would not be surprised if it meandered into the 20-25h range. I am looking at the viability of hand cutwork as a saleable craft in this day and age. And the more I look at it the less likely it seems mainly due to the time involved and reasonable recompense for that time. Maybe if I do something simpler and forgo hand turning a rolled hem (break my heart) for the quicker, but less supple and lovely, machined hem.

I wanted to do a more complex design this time just to keep interest levels up, so I sketched something up that had been inspired by damask patterns. There are a lot of pins holding my curved bridges in place untill they are worked, I have never done curved bridges and I don't think I have ever seen them done intentionally on handworked pieces, uncharted territory! I have a plan - I think. I am also terribly excited by the fabric, no 2 yards of which are the same, I have a lot of it, in different colours, and a lot of ideas for it.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Embroidered Heating Bag Cover

This is a project that has been awaiting its completion for just about a month now I estimate. It was one of those projects that makes you go crosseyed. At first I thought the blue was an awesome addition to pink and black, but working with it was something else entirely. Satin stitch, whipped chain stitch, running stitch and french knots on a piece of stash scrap.
I like the idea of removable covers for heating bags, because the idea that the bag cannot be washed and gets all full of body dirt just makes me kind of grossed out. Please excuse the hairs on it in the picture. Pussums, my kitty, is friends with the heating bag and he likes to snuggle its warmness.

In kitty news, Puss is adjusting to his meds, slowly. He's regaining some balance, but he still looks pretty drunk sometimes. Also he is getting his saucy personality back which is a major plus in my opinion. He's still not 100% but working on it :)

Friday, January 30, 2009

Craftster Bookmark Swap

It seems like all my swap partners have gotten their bookmarks as I have gotten good feedback on my craftster profile. Being that I no longer have to worry about ruining the surprise I'll post them up here. The images can be clicked for larger views.

For Taniquel who loves birds and nature. I really like the translucent effect that was created by cuting around the inside of the image and attaching blue tissue paper to the back; it is, of course laminated for strength. I love chickadees, for the record.

For gamemom42 who likes owls, kitties and trashy scottish romance. Not being familiar with the genre myself I googled, and this bookmark was totally inspired by The Scotsman's Bride (which seemed to fit the bill as trashy, scottish and romance) combined with the poem "the Owl and the Pussy Cat". What fun! The orange of her hair photographed more nuclear in colour than it was in real life, by the by.

For Oyhana who happens to like trees and black and white things. I drew a sugar maple because they used to grow prolifically in my parents' yard and I had a hard time pulling up these cute little seedlings, I totally lucked out because as it turns out Oyhana's favourite trees are sugar maples. I really like drawing in this style.

For stuckmachinic who likes music and animals. Who can really say no to a squirrel playing a lute, for serious? As with the owl and pussy cat one, the orange is a wee bit on the wild side in regards to intensity in the photo compared to real life. I tried to fit something of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite as the background as it would suit perfectly, but it wouldn't play nice, we ended up by a piece by Grieg instead.

I have no kitty related updates. Pussums is still wobbly from his meds, and we still haven't gotten our test results back. I am just stuck on worry mode.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Tiring Weekend

I know I didn't intend on this being a "personal events" blog however we will have to cope. Pussums, my furry baby, has been taking seizures. I had suspected he was for a while but thought I was just being paranoid, or a hypochondriac on his behalf (I had convinced myself that he was just having kitty dreams because all told they have only started recently and had not been that bad, and I am a known worry-wort). However this weekend he took his worst yet. We saw the vet right away and Puss is on anti-convulsants now and we're having a series of tests done to figure out what is wrong. Admittedly I haven't been sleeping much because I have been staying up late to keep an eye on him; he only seems to take the seizures in the night while he is sleeping. I also have to keep an eye on him by day, as his pills are making him wobbly. He's just not used to them yet and keeps stumbling around, falling off stuff and getting trodden on. It comes at a time when our budget is tight; we were going to have his teeth fixed up next month, but since it has come down to one thing or another, treating his seizures is definately more important. He's a bit of an old codger at 10-12 (he was pretty well a stray, his former owners didn't keep track of these things before we adopted him from them about 2 years ago), but I am hoping to get him up to at least 17years as long as they are healthy years.

I tried sitting down to do some serious sewing today, but I just ended up sewing wrong pieces together and falling asleep at my sewing machine, I am just pooped. Thankfully I didn't end up with any pins or scissors stuck in my face, what a thing to wake up to!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Bio-Hazard Surgeon's Mask

It has been a while, hasn't it? In anycase here is a surgeon's mask. Hot off the press. Just for you.

There are loose tails because I am on the fence about this project. I am not sure if I want to classify it as a failure or finish it and be happy. I am not too pleased with the workmanship on it, the only thing I am happy about is the hand turned edges along the top and bottom (I always derive pleasure from turning edges for some reason). I am terrible with drawn shapes, the pattern I drew was off from the start, so the embroidery is just not geometrically accurate. The circle part of the symbol is more like a fat triangle; I didn't even follow my own drawn lines in some places so there are a couple stumpy branches on the biohazard symbol. To make matters worse the functionality of the object has been compromised, in making room for the embroidery I changed the pleats. There needs to be more pleats, they need to be more shallow and they should span from top to bottom; the result is a squished nose when this mask is worn! The sides where the straps are attatched are too stiff leading to strange puckering. It is shoddy, even so, I love the appeal of the mask, so this is why I am torn.

This is the third surgeon's mask I have made, all told. The first was a prototype that I was generally pleased with, the second was a test to improve some concerns, this time was an attempt to address aesthetics. It is a project I pick up from time to time, the others were done some time ago, and I contemplate the topic every now and again. I am developing the "pattern" for it as I go along. I think that I am doing well enough, never having seen the real thing. I think I may just chalk this one up as a learning experience and when I get the itch to make surgeon's masks again, probably in a season or two, I will have fuel for improvement.

Why? Well I am not sure.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Terrible Realization

I have come to a terrible realization that I get nightmares constantly when I am not actively creating something. It seems silly but I suppose it makes sense. I shouldn't let my projects idle as I have. Apparently it isn't good for mental health.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Craftster Bookmark Swap Teasers

I managed to get these out just barely on time. I got to the post office, got stamps and posted the letters. I then popped into the grocery for a few small things and not even 15 mins later I saw the postal van collecting mail from the post office! I am so glad I got them out by the due date. The swap was a lot of fun. I hope nothing gets lost.

Of course being that no one will have received their bookmark yet, I don't want to ruin the surprise by putting up pictures. However I think these teasers will do nicely!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Etsy Finds: Financial edition

This second instalment of Etsy finds is inspired by another of my resolutions: become even stronger with my budget. I have always been good with money, I am naturally frugal, but I feel that I could be better. Of course buying things doesn't really help you save money but one can look and maybe gather inspiration.

{1} Cash Ledger - Green on Tan by OrangeBeautiful
This handy little ledger book helps you keep track of that spending, as it happens. This is the first line in defense when it comes to your budget, properly kept it is a real time display of how much (or how little) money you have left.

{2} Mesquite Postal Bank - Keyed by Williams' Mesquite
This is a fine example of a piggy bank, save that it isn't a piggy at all. It's a handsome way for grownups to save that loose change, not to mention it looks as though this bank will last near forever. With keyed access, it is a fantastic alternative to those sometimes just as pricey, one time use break-open banks.

{3} Set of 3 Notebooks Made From Upcycled Monopoly Money by Vintage Paper Works
If these aren't a deal I don't know what is. These sweet little Monopoly notebooks could hold your shopping lists as a playful reminder to keep on track at the store. Who knows, if you save enough you can buy a hotel on the Boardwalk!

{4} Money Drawing Votives Set of 6 by The White Magick Shoppe
A little white magic couldn't hurt, if these candles will help draw money to you. Even if you don't believe in magic, there's nothing wrong with lighting a few nice green and scented candles to relax after vigorous financial planning, or while you contemplate your next big fiscal decision.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

New Job

It has been a couple days since I have posted anything. I have a new job though so I have been kind of busy; my projects have been mostly laying around untouched. I have only really been working on my part of a swap I am participating in, on Craftster.

I am sure that things will settle out soon enough and I will be able to pick up my crafting again. Thanks for your patience!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy new year! I hope that everyone had a pleasant holiday season. I had a fairly good go of it, we did a tour of both families and as you can imagine ate a lot of food. My little niece experienced her first Christmas; it wasn't so nice at first, she had a terrible lung infection for a few days but fortunately the antibiotics started kicking in Christmas day so she wasn't too miserable and could get excited about all her new shiney toys and books.

I just finished this stamp and I am thoroughly pleased with myself. I tried stamping it with kids craft paint, it worked out well enough but I couldn't get an even application. Also I don't think I let the glue dry long enough (it has a long curing time) because when I washed the paint out, the glue turned all white again. Oh well, I am still happy with it.

Etsy Finds
I love (window)shopping on etsy. There are so many fantastic things that you can find there. I would love to start featuring things I find every week that I am particularly fond of. Since it is new year's day and time for resolutions, I will start out with one of my resolutions: to read more intelligently, to read a book and not forget halfway through what I had already read. Here are a few fun book and reading related items that I am charmed by:

{1} Genuine Fish Leather Bookmark by Stacy Studios
These absolutely fascinating bookmarks are made of fish leather, in the shape of fish if you can imagine! They are colourful, they are charming, they are unique, they hold your page; what more could you ask for?

{2} Book Re^marks - Magestic Mr. Owl 3-pack by The Sherwood Press
These little bookmark notebooks are the most clever idea. They hold your page and also allow you someplace to take notes, (that isn't the margin of your books! Not that I would do that, oh no, never.) What a great way to keep track of information and thoughts, definately something I could make use of.

{3} Custom Ex Libris Bookplate Rubber Stamp by The Mayberry Sparrow
My own attempt to carve a bookplate stamp pales in comparison to the absolutely sweet work in this shop. Bookplates are a wonderful way to introduce a little personalized artwork to your beloved book collection; also it serves as a gentle reminder to those who borrow and don't return books. I have been craving these for a while, they are just so pretty.

{4} A Reader's Diary by Green Chair Press
Someone bought this just today! Still I love it. It lets you keep track of what you read, when, and what you thought of it. I admit I have a neurotic attraction to listing things, and stationary for listing things, and the silly rating system would make me smile with every use. I am sure the seller will post more, or would be glad to fill your request if you, like me, NEED one.