Findings–09/23/16

Findings Blog Graphic

Autumn is officially begun in the northern hemisphere. Happy Fall, y’all!

Findings is my weekly round-up of needlework, textile, books and art links from my wanderings around the web. Here are this week’s links:

Video of the Week

I’m selecting this video for the city of Venice, Italy because of its wonderful visuals and cinematography. Makes me wish I was there!

Venezia from Oliver Astrologo on Vimeo.

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WIP Weds: Stumpwork Embroidery Update

This is becoming the project that will never end. I am beginning to resent it. I am tempted to put it away for a while, but I also want to finish it…We shall see if I make any progress over the next week.

I did finish all five petals:

flower petals stitched on embroidery project

Woo hoo!

I won’t cut them off the fabric until I am ready to place them, but I am glad I finished stitching them. They turned out okay, too.

I also lightly transferred the background design onto my other fabric, and I pulled the threads recommended in the pattern for stitching the background leaves and branches.

transferring the embroidery design onto fabric

You can tell by the scale of the floss skeins what a tiny deign this is. It is only about 2 1/2-3 inches wide.

The pattern calls for 5 different shades of green. I am not sure I’m going to use them all. We’ll see.

Now I need to pull out my embroidery stitch dictionary and get to work on the background design. I don’t do enough hand embroidery to remember offhand how to work things like fly stitch, so my stitch dictionary is invaluable.

And, because I could not keep her off my desk while I was trying to take these photos, here is a bonus photo of my “assistant” Chi a second before she made off with the skein of brown thread:

Chi checks out the embroidery threads

You can see the blur in the photo as the skein is whisked away…Ah, life with kitty…

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How Do You Organize Miscellaneous Threads?

I spent some of the weekend trying to corral my needlework and craft supplies. I had WIPs, finished projects, fabric, charts, kits, magazines, hoops, and more stacked in many little piles around the room.

I threw a few things away, recycled some others, and put the rest into plastic storage bins.

But, I have a hard time getting rid of threads, even threads I will probably never use again.

Many of these threads were bought for a specific project or else they came with a kit, but some of the threads are so old I no longer remember why I have them. Here are a few examples:

box of miscellaneous embroidery threads

I have a plastic storage box that contains a number of colors of DMC threads on bobbins. I only know they are DMC threads because that was all I bought back in the day. DMC is still my go-to embroidery floss brand. But, the bobbins are not labelled. I know I could probably match them to my DMC color card and figure it out, but for now they sit in the miscellaneous thread box.

The miscellaneous thread box also contains some random skeins of J.P. Coats and Anchor threads. These are the only Coats and Anchors threads I own, so I am unlikely to use them at this point. At least the Coats threads are black and white, so I could probably get away with mixing them with DMC.

miscellaneous balls of cotton perle threads

Then I have some random balls of perle cotton thread. Two of the white balls were purchased for a hardanger project that I never completed, and the other three balls of thread were for a counted canvaswork piece I stitched a year or so ago.

miscellaneous specialty threads

Finally, we have the random specialty threads. These threads all came with kits or were bought for specific projects.

The problem is that these are all orphan threads. I’m not likely to use them again unless I purposely create or adapt a project to use them up. So, I don’t know what to do with them other than throw them in ziploc-type baggies and then throw the baggies into one of the plastic storage bins.

Does anyone have any creative storage or organization for miscellaneous orphan threads? I would love to see or hear what others do!

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Findings–09/16/16

Findings Blog Graphic

What? Can you believe we’re already halfway through September? The weeks are just flying by.

Findings is my weekly round-up of needlework, textile, books and art links from my wanderings around the web. Here are this week’s links:

 

Video of the Week

“Soy Yo” by Bomba Estéreo. The girl in this video is hilarious and awesome. “Soy yo” translates as “It’s me.” It is a positive, upbeat song about just being yourself.

 

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How I Finished My Chicken Scratch Heart as a Pillow & Other Updates

When I sat down to write this post I was feeling a little sad because I have not touched the stumpwork embroidery project since last week. But, I did get some things done over the past week.

First, I finished my chicken scratch embroidery project by turning the piece into a small pillow. I actually dusted off the sewing machine for this one, so it was a minor accomplishment. This was my first attempt at sewing a ruffle, and I botched the corners, but otherwise it turned out okay. If you look at the bottom edge of the ruffle, you can also see I pinned the ruffle the wrong way so the seam ends are facing the front of the pillow instead of the back. OH WELL. :)

chicken-scratch-embroidery-heart-pillow

I stuffed the pillow with fiberfill and added a teaspoon or two of lavender buds to the stuffing, so the pillow smells very nice.

I finished the pillow this past weekend because I needed to bring the chicken scratch piece to my embroidery guild dinner on Monday night. This was the sample piece I stitched for the little workshop I’m going to be leading in October for the guild. I think I had 6 or 7 people sign up for the class on Monday, which is pretty good!

I also brought my Liberty Stars counted canvaswork piece to the dinner for my summer challenge project. Everyone votes on their favorite project, and I was delighted to win third place this year! Woo hoo! There are so many incredibly talented ladies in this guild who do such incredible needlework and quilting, so this was a real surprise. I never even had a chance to get it framed, so I brought it to the dinner still on its stretcher bars. Here’s Liberty Stars again:

patriotic-stars-needlework-wins-third-place-v2

Last, but not least, even though I have not touched the stumpwork project since last week, I did make a start on the fifth and last flower petal. There will definitely be some progress on this for next week’s update:

stumpwork-embroidery-petals-progress-v2

Until next time, thanks for reading and following along!

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Findings — 09/09/16

Findings Blog Graphic

Friday again already? How did that happen? That means it’s time for another “Findings” post.

Findings is my weekly round-up of needlework, textile, books and art links from my wanderings around the web. Here are this week’s links:

 

Video of the Week

This week I was enchanted by “La Luna,” a sweet animated short film from 2011 by Pixar.

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WIP Weds: Two More Petals Completed

Last week I only had two flower petals of my stumpwork embroidery project finished after several weeks of agonizing. Now I am on a roll, and I have stitched two more flower petals in just one week.

four stumpwork embroidery flower petals stitched

I only need to stitch one more petal for the pattern I am using. Woo hoo. I should have no problem completing the last flower petal before the end of the week.

I still need to stitch the background, though. Whoops. I should probably get on that. I will not have anything to which to attach my little flower petals if I don’t get the background stitched.

The background is tiny — less than three inches in diameter. I am going to try to follow the stitch and thread suggestions in the pattern.

I’m not sure if I will attempt the covered beads, though. Most likely I will add some beads for the read berries, but I’m not sure if I will wrap them with floss. We shall see.

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Findings–09/02/16

Findings Blog Graphic

This week I am very grateful for this three-day weekend. Happy Labor Day!

Findings is my weekly round-up of needlework, textile, books and art links from my wanderings around the web. Here are this week’s links:

Video of the Week

Hail and farewell to the incomparable Gene Wilder.

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Slight Progress on Stumpwork

Hello, stitchy friends. I’m afraid my stitchy bug has rather wandered off the last few weeks. It’s not that I don’t want to stitch, but I never seem to have the time. So, I only have slight progress to share on my stumpwork embroidery project.

I finished a second flower petal, and I did a better job with the buttonhole stitch this time around. I realized I couldn’t be as lazy I was about where my needle came up and made an effort to keep the stitches as close to the wire and as close together as possible.

second flower petal finished on stumpwork embroidery project

I know the white stitching on white muslin fabric does not make for exciting photography, but I think you can see the difference in the buttonhole stitches between the two petals. With the first one I stitched, on the left, you can see some gaps between the stitches where the metal wire peeks through. In the second petal, on the bottom, the stitches are much closer together and there are no gaps.

The second petal went faster than the first. Now that I am more confident, I may whip through the remaining three petals. Then we can start seeing some real progress on this project!

I also want to share a gift I received this week. There’s a long back story, but the super short version is that a friend gave me this wonderful stitched bookmark, just because:

stitched bookmark

I happened to receive it during a rather stressful morning at work, so I may have shed some happy tears when I got it. When you spend time making things with your hands yourself, I think you have a deeper understanding and appreciation of the time and care and thoughtfulness that goes into a handmade gift. I love this bookmark so much. :)

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What I’m Reading — September 2016

What I'm Reading Monthly Book Roundup

My reading slowed down in August. I only finished two books. That’s okay. Here’s what I finished:

What I’m Reading Now

What Are You Reading?

What books are your recommending lately? Tell me in the comments!

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