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1  A lovely lady kitty portrait in Needlework: Completed Projects by urka on: January 29, 2015 06:08:41 PM

My friend Lindsay's cat, Margot. Watercolor and embroidery. Thanks!
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2  Dapper pet portraits in Needlework: Completed Projects by urka on: April 16, 2014 04:14:13 PM
So, it was recently my friend's birthday, and she super likes her cats, so I made her some fancy portraits of them! These are sort of inspired by the works of Lucky Jackson and Ryan Berkley.

(Unfortunately, I got so excited about wrapping them when they were finished that I failed to get decent pictures of them, so unfortunately I just have Instagram/dark restaurant pictures. Sorry!)

The coloring is done in water color and all the outlines are done in a single thread of floss. There's also some satin stitch thrown in for texture.

This is Loki.

And this is Shiva!

This picture shows some of the detail a bit better.

The frames were cheap wooden ones I got at Michael's and painted brown. Voila!
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3  This is our most desperate hour. in Needlework: Completed Projects by urka on: February 06, 2014 08:11:16 PM
This is a little Star Wars themed piece I stitched up a few years ago for Pittsburgh's annual Art All Night show. It's stitched on some sort of vintage hanky or doily.

Some close ups:

Her little sacred heart is the Millennium Falcon.

Hope you like it!  Grin
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4  Re: Embroidery Hoopla R4, Diptych Round - Gallery (SendOut 3/21/11) in The Swap Gallery by urka on: April 03, 2011 10:03:40 AM
Here are my hoops from Songs4Drowning! She did some toothy pieces inspired by Emily Martin (aka The Black Apple), who is one of my favorite crafty ladies!

(I apologize in advance for these pictures - my real camera, after years of rough treatment, as finally given up the ghost, so I had to take these pictures on my phone. Grumble.)

An incredibly demure felt appliqued gal and her little tooth! So cute!

She said she agonized over the band-aid and whether or not it made it clear that it represented the gal getting her tooth yanked out, but I got it right away! I wish I had looked this cute when I had my wisdom teeth out! Also, I love how she wrapped the hoop!

She even has a little rosy blush to her cheeks! Eep!

And I love love love the little tooth hoop! Unbeknownst to her, I have a lot of tooth anxieties - maybe I can hold onto this guy the next time I'm in the dentist chair!

I used so many exclaimation points in this post! Thanks, Songs4Drowning!

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5  Dia de los Droids in Needlework: Completed Projects by urka on: March 22, 2011 09:29:48 AM
So, these were my submissions for the Hoopla Round 4 Swap for my partner, Songs4Drowning. She received them today and I was very excited to post them so here they are! Among her interests, she listed Day of the Dead, and she had some nerdy stuff on her wist, and my brain immediately went to the work of Jose Pulido. So I stitched up his version of C-3PO and R2D2:

"Don't you call me a mindless philosopher, you overweight glob of grease!"

I tried to keep both a bit of their usual coloring as well as adding in some bright sugar skull type colors. I have to apologize for the relative lousiness of these pictures - my camera is literally being held together by duct tape right now (helloooo, tax return).

They are primarily done in backstitch, my go-to, do everything stitch, but also feature some satin stitch, as well as lazy daisy and french knots, both of which I learned specifically for this project.

I tried to use two colors of gold for C-3PO - a brighter gold for his outlines and a darker gold for his details, but you can't really tell the difference unfortunately. Also, despite much searching, I could not find an oval embroidery hoop with the hook at the top, so his is sideways and in a cheapy hoop. I could have put them both in round ones, but I really liked the idea of the hoops corresponding to their shapes.

Finally, and maybe the most exciting thing:

I ACTUALLY FINISHED THE BACK PROPERLY. This is a landmark step for me, as usually I am just too damn lazy and don't do anything but trim the fabric close to the hoop. Ha!

I am glad you liked them, Songs4Drowning!
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6  Mama's sassy apron! in CHALLENGE 55 ENTRIES by urka on: October 05, 2010 07:34:19 PM
So, I've been a Mama fan for nigh on years now, and when I heard about this challenge I was super SUPER excited. Coincidentally, one of my derby teammates and fellow crafty babes, McShovin, just discovered the joys of Cooking Mama for the DS. So with our powers combined, we came up with this cutie:

Shovie sewed the apron from a vintage pattern and came up with the pixelated Mama picture on Photoshop.

I put together the Mama by using fusable interfacing to stick handcut pieces of fabric to the apron. We mostly used basic quilting cottons, with the exception of some shiny silver fabric for her knife.

To give it some extra flair, we each embroidered some details:

Shovie embroidered the Cooking Mama logo and turned it into a pocket...

And I added this little "Let's cook" banner to the neckline.

Then you tie it up with a cute little bow in the back!

Sorry the pictures are a bit grainy - she goes to nursing school and I work two jobs so we can really only get together in the evenings, so thus our lighting wasn't super great. We had a ton of fun making it, particularly the challenge of collaborating and still coming up with something awesome.

Hope you like it!
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7  Shoes on a cat? THAT'S CRAZY TALK in Needlework: Completed Projects by urka on: February 10, 2009 08:56:25 AM
So my very dear friend Katie has a birthday coming up on Sunday, so I thought I'd make a present for her! She has a kitteh named Finn who really likes to lie on shoes and often times will even sit with his paws in your shoes. It is quite amusing, I assure you. So I took this picture:

And made this!

and a close-up (sorry it is blurry! and has hoop marks... and cat fur...):

AND just for kicks, the token "Look, my cat is being helpful!" picture that we all know so well... I guess he just wanted to give Finn a kees.

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8  Space Firsts Matryoshka Dolls in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by urka on: January 31, 2009 01:06:59 PM
I guess technically these are dolls, even though I don't really play with them... My friend bought me some Matryoshka dolls with a bunch of other random things for my birthday, and they were kind of dull, so I decided to revamp them. I originally had this idea for an embroidered portrait triptych which has yet to be completed... but I figured this is a much quicker to complete format. They are all marking great firsts in space exploration:

Laika, the first living mammal in space (and sadly, the first living creature to die in space).

Ham the Chimp, the first hominid in space.

Yuri Gagarin, first human in space.

And Sputnik 1, the first satellite. Originally, I had wanted to do either Sally Ride or Valentina Tereshkova but this thing was just too damn small.

So yeah, I thought they came out pretty okay, despite that I am not the best painter and the brushes I had suuuuuuucked. Comments & criticism welcome!

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9  "...an elite squad known as the Special Victims Unit. These are their onesies." in Needlework: Completed Projects by urka on: January 31, 2009 12:53:01 PM

So, my best friend just up and had a baby. She and I are big fans of Law & Order, particularly SVU. For her baby shower, I made her a onesie with an embroidered Lennie Briscoe face (which, unfortunately, I don't have a picture of) and it inspired me to make a whole set of the beloved cast of SVU:




Munch, with token dark glasses

And, my personal favorite, Finn


So, I have been doing a large amount of embroidery lately and I've come up with a technique that I found helpful and I thought I would share it with all of you! If you're like me, you never have transfer paper or washable pens or any of that good stuff, and I'm also not the best free hand artist, especially with complicated things like, say, the faces of the cast of SVU. That's when, while looking around my house for something to solve this problem, I found this:

If you've never used this stuff before, it's kind of like plastic wrap that is mildly adhesive on one side. It's pretty awesome stuff, quite honestly. Here is how I use it with embroidery...

You can either draw directly on to it or place it over whatever you would like to trace...

And then you stick it onto whatever it is you're embroidering on! It's sticky enough so it stays in place but yet can easily be peeled off and repositioned until you're happy with it. Then you just slap on your hoop and stabilizer and get to stitching! It sort of adds a little bit of extra stability while you're sewing, which is nice. And when you're done you can peel it off! Viola!

I hope that comes in handy for someone!

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10  Space Cowboy Shirt (lots of pictures) in Needlework: Completed Projects by urka on: November 30, 2008 02:24:37 PM
So, I've been embroidering on shirts a lot lately and my fiancee asked me one day if I could embroider something on one of this shirts. He has a large collection of what we call cowboy shirts, sort of western looking plaid shirts with pearl snap buttons. He also really likes space a lot. So I came up with this:

Saturns over the smile pockets:

The back is in commemoration of the space shuttle, which NASA is retiring in 2010. My symmetry wasn't quite perfect in my design but I think it's probably one of those things that's mostly just obvious to me because I know it's there.

My embroidery skills, like most of my crafting knowledge, are self-taught and somewhat half-assed, so this is done entirely in backstitch, the only embroidery stitch I know. My apologies that the pictures are not the best.. it's very dark in my house today.

Hope you like it!
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