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1  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / xkcd: real programmers have wives who embroider on: January 09, 2011 12:16:40 PM
This was my husband's Christmas present from me this year.  It's the last panel from his favorite xkcd strip (http://xkcd.com/378/).  I did the whole thing in backstitch, which I HATE, but it produced a very sketchy line which I thought was appropriate for the subject matter.   Wink

2  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) / my first ATCs! on: July 20, 2010 02:02:10 PM
I just started making ATCs, and I would love some feedback!  Here are my first few.

Don't Turn Your Back!
This is actually my first, and I think it's my favorite.  I originally stamped the cardstock (recycled from an old calendar) with the word "believe", but it rubbed off everyone bu on the sky, leaving the impression that the word is disappearing behind the hill I liked it, so I kept going!

I embroidered this bicycle onto watercolor paper ages ago, and just came across it while looking for material to make ATCs.  I decided to just rip the edges and paste it onto cardstock to make a card.

Green Owl
This looks much better in person -- I don't know why my camera hated me today.  I used the packing tape transfer method for the owl and put him onto a piece of ribbon from one of my birthday presents.

Heaven on Earth
I'm not normally a big angel person, so I don't quite know where this came from.  It just sort of came together!  Everything here is recycled -- the cardstock comes from an old calendar and the text and angel come from a catalog I've been saving for collage.  Ignore the piece of embroidery floss coming off the bottom -- I haven't put a back on it yet, which will pin the floss in place.

Comments and criticism welcome -- I want to get better at this!  I would love to start trading soon, so if anybody is interested in collecting crappy first attempts the early work of new ATC artists ( Wink) feel free to PM me!
3  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 39 ENTRIES / Ride Like a Girl collage on: June 02, 2009 05:37:54 PM
When I read about the challenge for this month I knew *exactly* which catalog I would use.  Almost a year ago I ordered some cycling clothes from a company that specializes in women's cycling gear.  Everything they sell is so cute!  How could I go wrong?  Except that nothing fit, and everything failed to fit in different ways.  ::sigh::  And they won't take me off their mailing list, so every month I get another catalog to taunt me with cute stuff.  Very frustrating.

So I knew what I would use, but didn't have the faintest idea what to make with it.  I kept hoping for inspiration to strike as I went about my usual crafts.  After several false starts I realized that I could use my newfound obsession with crazy quilts (which I haven't had time to indulge in yet beyond the dreaming/planning stage).  Eureeka!  I could make a faux crazy quilt collage!  So I ran to my stash and grabbed some tissue paper to use as a background.  I wish I could say that the red and pink is some sort of political commentary on girly bike gear..... but those were the only colors I had that blended nicely together.  Once that was decoupaged down I added pictures from the catalog.  Mostly these were logos from t-shirts, but I mixed a few other things in there as well.  Then I embroidered along the edges.  Since I used tissue paper and overlapped the pieces I didn't always have clear edges, so I just pretended that they were there.  If I do something like this again, I will use thicker paper and make it look more quilt like.  To finish it off and continue with the faux quilt idea I used strips from the magazine to make faux binding tape and wrapped the edges with it.

Here is a close up to show some of the stitching, as well as the soure of the projects name (there's another copy of that logo in the collage as well, in pink)

I'm still not 100% happy with the outcome, but it was a daring experiment and a learning experience.
4  NEEDLEWORK / Sublime Stitching Embroidery / Framed Tattoo Heart and Dagger on: May 03, 2009 12:09:28 PM
I've been waiting for an opportunity to use this pattern since my copy of the Sublime Stitching Craft Pad arrived in mail back when it first came out.  When two of my friends announced their engagement, it's time had come!

I decided to try crayon tinting, which I'd been reading about on the forums here, and I think it worked out nicely.    It really adds a certain something, doesn't it?  This was also my first time framing a piece of embroidery.  It took a few false starts, but thanks to btlgrl's instructions here (https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=36349.0), I was able to get it done successfully. 

I had quite a bit of trouble with the initials.  I was afraid that marking them onto the fabric from the start would mess up the crayon tinting, so I left them until last, only to realize that crayon tinting made it impossible to transfer the initials on!  And this was far too work intensive for me to risk messing it up by free handing them.  In the end, I had to trace the initials onto a piece of paper, pin it to the back of the fabric, and embroider through that.  The stitching perforated the paper enough that it came off easily when I was done.

And here's a close up to show my stitches.  It makes the crayon tinting look ugly as sin, so I ask you to kindly ignore that -- I swear it looks better in person!  You can see that I used mostly stem stitch and split stitch, with a bit of backstitch.  In other areas I ventured into french knots, which I finally mastered thanks to Jenny Hart's detailed instructions at Sublime Stitching!  In retrospect I wish I had done the heart in chain stitch, but it's a bit late for regrets now.

I'm quite proud of this project, and can't wait to give it to the happy couple this weekend!
5  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Embroidered Recipe Notebooks (pic chubby) on: February 12, 2009 01:10:27 PM
I swear, I do embroider on normal fabric objects sometimes!  Really!

It all started with my attempt to play with crayon tinting.  I tried it with the cake pattern from Sublime Stitching, and it worked fairly well, but then I was left with a bit of embroidered tea towel and no use for it.  Inspired by a recent recipe sharing meme, my tendency to scribble recipes from the internet onto index cards, and a friends' new apartment I decided to see if I could someone use the embroidery to decorate a notebook to hold recipes.  Finding a suitable notebook -- the right size and with a cover I could punch holes through -- was the most difficult part!  The cake turned out so cute that I made another one for myself, this time decorated with the "bitchin' in the kitchen" skull from Urban Threads.

Here are close ups of the stitching on the notebook I gave away:

And the one I kept:

I'm quite proud of the second one.  Part way through it I finally figured out how to make sharp angles with stem stitch or split stitch!  After several months of embroidering, you might think I would have worked it out, but I didn't.  The secret which I discovered was to use a single backstitch to make the angle, and then to switch back to the original stitch.  I got sharp corners and you can't tell that I switched stitches!
6  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Embroidered birthday card on: February 04, 2009 05:40:31 PM
So I was browsing the Sublime Stitching website the other day and saw that they are selling a kit to embroider directly onto cardstock to create a valentine.  Eureeka!  I ordered the kit (of course!), but I was too impatient to wait for it to arrive before trying it out, so I decided to try to make an embroidered card on my own.  Since my husband's birthday is on Friday, I drew a large cupcake with a candle on a piece of scrap paper, then taped the pattern to a blank card and make pin holes along the lines.  I didn't manage to keep the spacing of the holes very even, but I think that by the end of embroidering I had figured out what the correct spacing was!  Too small and the cardstock collapsed when I pulled the stitch tight, too much and it looked messy.  That said, I think it came out rather well!

(Please excuse the lack of a close up -- I resized the picture before realizing that people might want one, and didn't save the original.  Oops!)
7  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / "Be Mine" - embroidered felt necklace on: February 04, 2009 01:40:46 PM
This necklace was inspired both by the heart pin tutorial here (http://www.purlbee.com/valentine-heart-pins/) and by those conversation heart candies that seem to colonize every grocery store and CVS in the U.S. in February.  Since I am physically incapable of making anything exactly by the directions, I used the tutorial as a jumping off point for my own Valentine's Day jewelry (I didn't even have the patience to print out the provided template, and just drew my own heart!).  The embroidered phrase was a given -- what conversation heart sentiment is more trite (or easier to write) than "be mine"?  I couldn't picture the resulting pendant on a chain, so then I had to make an entire necklace to go with it.  It seemed that a fiber necklace was the only way to go, perhaps with smaller red felt hearts scattered along it.  I wanted to use some cotton thread that I have on hand for crochet, but alas it was too thick to thread onto any of my needles.  After some experimentation, I decided to use the left over embroidery thread, and that worked like a charm.  Here is the result:

This is the first time I've made a necklace like this, so I am rather proud of it!
8  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Yuletide Cordials! on: December 22, 2008 08:24:17 AM
Having recently gotten into making cordials, my husband and I made several batches as gifts this holiday season.  And being a crafty sort of person, I couldn't help decorating the bottles as best I could!  I didn't have time to get all of them prettied up, but here are the ones I did.

First, I give you banana cordial (recipe at http://brewerylane.com/liqueurs/recipes/banana.html)

And Murfitt (a traditional Christmas beverage, or so the internet tells me - recipe at http://www.guntheranderson.com/liqueurs/christma.htm)

The best part is that they taste as good as they look!   Grin
9  NEEDLEWORK / Sublime Stitching Embroidery / Ultimate Embroidery needle size on: April 29, 2008 10:16:41 AM
I just started emboidering a week and a half ago, thanks to Sublime Stitching, and now I'm hookied!  But I have one question -- does anybody know what size embroidery needle comes with the Sublime Stitching Ultimate Embroidery kit?  Because I'd like to get more needles, and it would help me to know what size I already have!
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