18 March, 2013

marching on..

Friends! Again, it's been weeks since my last update, but this time, it's not because I haven't been doing work, or that I've lacked motivation -- this time, it's that I've been SO busy, and doing SO MANY projects that I'm super excited about, that I just haven't given myself the time to put down the stitches for taking photos and writing about all of the balls I've got in the air at the moment.
Here are some of the highlights...

January, February and the beginning of March were busy with a lot of custom orders. Of course, most of them I didn't photograph, usually because I finish and frame a piece at the end of a day and then it's dark and I have to wrap and pack the piece to go out in the mail the next morning.... But some did get

A collection of pieces for a nursery:

I'm sure they look much better in their new intended home; here I was just hanging them on nails that were already on the wall in my studio.

The clouds were lined with gold instead of silver, and all of the hoops were painted gold as well.

The little commissioned "dream" piece inspired me to stitch up another "dream" piece that I think would be darling for a nursery.

I'm holding onto that one for the spring/summer fairs...

I did a set of custom-stitched Smiths quotes:

And, something a little different; a Biggie Smalls quote:

Done with metallic champagne-colored floss -- I love that it has that bit of sparkle (though oh-my-goodness, that stuff is painful to work with; so much fraying and breaking of threads...)

I finally learned how to use a serger -- something I've been meaning to tackle for the last couple of years. My mama has one and she and I spent a couple of days together figuring it out, so now, I can finally (more easily) make my own hankies and pocket-squares, with neatly rolled/serged hems!

I made some for dudes:

And, using a bit of the vintage fabric from my great-aunt Mary's stash, I made some for the ladies:

I'm still not completely confident with the corners, so I'll be working on that next time I'm visiting with mama, and then, I'll make up a bunch for those spring/summer fairs.

Also in getting ready for that season, I've made up a bunch more cat pillows, including this one in that amazing super-special folk print vintage fabric that I've been hoarding.

I'm kind of excited about the market fair season this year. I've got a vision for a chez-sucre-chez "mercantile" as well as a new collection of stitched pieces and the diy kits.

Speaking of kits -- new designs are in the works!!! I have one almost all ready to go, but I'm just working out the colors and sourcing those materials. That'll be in the shop sometime next week.

I had an idea for one that didn't work out to be quite as cool as I expected.... I was envisioning a really simple piece with the idea of a bouquet of forget-me-nots scattered around the hoop.

I like the sweet simplicity of the design, but not enough to make it into a kit.....

But, if you like it, here's the pattern: (click on it to enlarge)

As with my other patterns, it was designed to be worked on 14 count aida. The hoop size is a little itty bitty 3" hoop, and I think painting or staining the hoop really helps to make it look more finished. I tried white paint and dark wood stain, but I'd bet that colors that match any of the stitching colors would be pretty, too. (Note: If you are going to paint or stain the hoop - let it dry FULLY before even attempting to finish/frame the piece. I've had a couple of very disappointing disasters come from stains left on my aida from not-yet-dry paint or stain. No fun.)

And, a note on the stitching -- since the little flowers are so small, I used 3 strands of floss (rather than 2, as I usually do) for the yellow centers and the flower petals, and then 2 strands for the leaves. I wanted the flowers to pop just a little more than the leaves. I don't remember what exact DMC colors I used, but I think you could vary this in a lot of ways that would look just as sweet; red flowers, flowers of different colors, or bright bright pinks or blues on a background of black....

If you do end up stitching the pattern, I'd love to see a photo!

Lastly, I finished up this piece:

It's from a vintage/antique pattern that I've been carrying around for over 5 years, meaning to complete. !!! It's one of the very very few pieces I've stitched directly from the pattern (the last one I can remember was here) and I think I love it so much that I've got more plans for this same pattern.... It just works out in the hoop so well!

I have several other pieces in the works - and sooo many ideas now. I'm really happy that Spring is in its way and with the lengthening days, so too does my inspiration continue to grow. Right now, however, I'm on a little vacation; spending a few days with good friends in sunny California. (!!!) My Etsy shop is closed right now, but I'll be opening it back up again a few days before I get back. And then, a few days after that, I expect to be stocking it with some brand new Spring goodies. Really, I have so many things in the works right now - I'm excited to share. Stay tuned!!

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