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1  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Embroidering With Beetle Wings! on: November 26, 2007 05:14:32 PM
I've discovered that beetle wings are a great way to embellish embroidery! These wings of the jewel beetle are gorgeous, and they're pretty sturdy, too, so they work well on textiles. So I thought I'd post the "almost" completed project I'm working on.... it isn't 100% complete, simply because I keep thinking of other things to add.



The last thing I did was fill in the two side leaves on the little flower on the right with little gold seed stitch, to give it a kind of filled-in, dusty look.

I can't decide if I should work something around the wings in the top flower!

Anyway, I've been tracking the progress of this project on my website, with directions on how to prepare the wings and use the different types of gold. Eventually, I'd like to do some video tutorials for some of the goldwork stitches - when time allows!

Any ideas for the any further embellishment??
2  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 22 ENTRIES / Awake : Asleep - Opposite Faces Pillowcase on: November 05, 2007 07:59:29 PM
Sorry about the last minute - I didn't think I'd finish, but here are my opposite pillowcases.

My theme is "awake : asleep." No great inspiration here - just the question "what are pillowcases used for?" and I generally either go to sleep on them, or lie awake on them.

I actually had some text I thought about using on the cases. One is from Plutarch, to this effect:

When we are awake, we are in one common world;
When asleep, we are in a world of our own.


And the other line I considered is from a sweet little poem by Thomas Dekker:

Golden slumbers kiss your eyes, Smiles awake you when you rise.

It was the second quote that won out, since there really is nothing better than awakening to smiles. But then I skipped the text idea, because I wanted to do faces. The faces are actually "inspired" by a line of stationery and notecards drawn and copyrighted by me when I was in college. One summer, to help raise money for school, I "marketed" a bunch of notecards and stationery similar to these faces, called "A few good laughs" (because everyone needs them). Since then, they've kind of been a "typical" item in my family's correspondence. The faces were made by tracing pennies.

For the pillow cases, I merely traced a plastic vitamin lid to make the circles and free-handed whatever came to mind for the faces. I used a pencil and a lot of spray starch to draw the circles, and I used regular DMC cotton and 19 different embroidery stitches.

Actually, I'm editing to start with the close-up of one, and then I'll show both and so forth...



Here are both pillow cases:



And here's just the white one followed by some close-ups:













And here's just the black one, followed by some close-ups:









I tried to keep the images "small"... sorry for the bulk! And sorry I couldn't do a close-up of each face - there are 46 altogether!

Let me know what you think!

And thanks for looking!
3  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Finished flower.... what to do with it? on: September 27, 2007 09:35:53 AM
Well, I've never posted an image on here, but I thought I'd try it for the fun of it! (not to mention it's been ages since I've been on, and I don't want to bore everyone to death!

I finished this flower last week - it's from a kit from Tanja Berlin at www.berlinembroidery.com. I love her needlepainting kits!



So the question is ----- now that I'm finished, what to do with it? Framing it seems very... ordinary. The whole thing is about 3 1/2 inches high (so it's not very big!)

A lot of people like the look of needlepainting, but they think it's hard - it isn't! I'm going to spend some serious time this weekend working on my long-and-short stitch video tutorial, so I hope I can get it online soon!

I've got some closer up images of the flower here:

http://www.needlenthread.com/2007/09/needlepainting-project-complete-peony.html

So, what think ye? Any ideas for the "finished product"Huh!

Thanks,
MC

4  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Discussion and Questions / Treecatus embroidery video tutorials on: November 06, 2006 05:21:09 AM
Several people asked for a video clip for French knots, and I had a chance to get around to that this weekend, so it's up! Feel free to check it out. I think there are lots of versions of the French knot, but this is the one I find easiest!

http://www.needlenthread.com/2006/11/french-knot-video-tutorial.html

Enjoy - let me know what you think?!?
5  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Get Product and Website Opinions / Hosting a Contest on a Website?? on: November 02, 2006 04:59:35 AM
Have any of you ever hosted a contest on your website? I wanted to drum things up and get people excited about making up their own designs, so I contacted a couple of needle work shops and asked them if they would sponsor a contest by donating gift certificates - and they did! The purpose of my site is to promote embroidery, especially among my age people who always say things like "wow - can you show me how to do that?" or "I'm just not talented - I couldn't do that" when they sure could do it.

Anyway, in proposing a contest, what are the drawbacks to people joining it? Do people trust each other enough to join in something like that for the fun of it? Or do they automatically think "I'm not going to share my design, someone will steal it" or "How do I know she really has a prize, maybe she's just making that up" or stuff like that?  Am I working against common sense, if I think people would be excited about this kind of thing?

And then, are my rules reasonable???!

Here's the contest: http://www.needlenthread.com/2006/11/embroidery-design-contest-with-prizes.html

Any advice you can give me would be really appreciated!
6  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Discussion and Questions / Needlework Contest or Design Idea...?? Any Advice?? on: October 30, 2006 04:41:03 AM
Ok, I was thinking about having a really informal needlework contest on needlenthread, with some kind of prize (like $25 or so off your next purchase at this or that online shop). I thought about a design contest - people submit their own (original) designs, and I'll post the runners-up with credit to the owner.

What do you all think of something like that? Just fun, not anything formal, not anything official - any designs or anything that you come up with are "yours" - the only think I'll do with them is possibly post them.

I thought it might be something to get some creative juices flowing, to put a little excitement into the "thinking about what I want to embroider" stage of starting a project.

Any advice or ideas for something like that?
7  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Discussion and Questions / Embroidery Stitch Video Tutorials... on: October 22, 2006 07:43:17 PM
Ok, so I finally figured it out - I've been musing for a while about how to get video clips to look "ok" and put them online.

I'm starting to put together a video library of stitches, for people to learn basic embroidery stitches.

I'll be posting a few stitches a week, until I fill up my list - and then, if I can keep up the pace, I'll go to the more complicated stuff.

If you want to check out some video clips on stitches, here's the index:

http://www.needlenthread.com/2006/10/video-library-of-hand-embroidery.html

And here's the first video tutorial, which is on the running stitch. I'll add stem stitch tomorrow!

http://www.needlenthread.com/2006/10/embroidery-stitch-video-tutorial.html

Please let me know what you think! Is it a good idea, or a waste of time? What can I do to improve the concept? What stitches would you like to see, etc..... I'm all ears!
8  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / A Christmas Stocking - underway - half a tutorial (complete w/ photos) on: October 22, 2006 08:41:35 AM
Here's a Christmas stocking I've been working on - just mostly as an experiment. It's relatively small, would be perfect for a tree ornament (to hold a special gift or goodies on the tree), and it's simple to stitch up, since it's only backstitch. I like the look of it - I'll be adding a white linen cuff to it this week.



http://www.needlenthread.com/2006/10/embroidered-christmas-stocking-work-in.html

My dilemma is whether or not I should stitch the back identical to the front, or just use plain velvet...Huh?

Let me know what you think!!
9  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Discussion and Questions / EZ Bobs for Thread Storage on: October 12, 2006 07:38:25 PM
I saw some praises for stitch bow on here, and some curses for those little winding cards....... have any of you tried EZ Bobs? They're covered, flexible plastic bobbins that come in three different sizes. The small and medium hold a skein of floss.

Yes, they still require "winding" - buy you don't end up with kinky (!) thread. And it's the unwinding that is so incredibly easy about them.

And, not only that, but they snap together, so when you're working on one project, you can keep all your threads together by snapping your bobbins together.

I like them. I want to make a kind of dowel stand that I can put the bobbins on... another one of those "projects" that I won't get around to any time soon!!
10  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Half-way Completed on: October 02, 2006 05:17:11 AM
Here's a half-way completed project - lots of satin stitch, for those of you who like satin stitch!

http://www.needlenthread.com/2006/10/silk-on-silk-satin-stitch.html
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