Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Before and After

The former lives of three of the newest additions to my Etsy shop:

This elegant lacy shrug began it's life as a table topper.  I rescued it from a thrift store.  It was presumably discarded because it had a few snags and loops pulled.  They didn't mar the pattern, however, and the extra loops gave me enough yarn to sew up the sleeve seams.  It must have been fate.

This snazzy skirt started life as a window valance.  It looks OK there on the window, but not near as good as it looks wrapped around a waist.  Those crystal bead grapes especially, swing much more prettily on a set of hips than on a curtain rod.
This charming skirt began as a charming tablecloth.  Unlike the other two above, I didn't know immediately what to do with this one when I bought it.  Then I picked it up by the center and saw how it flowed, and just like the valance, knew it would look much better on a moving person than a static table.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Pride of Place

 At long last, it is finished.  Over two years in the making, though admittedly much of that time was spent dragging my feet.

Truly, the difficult part was finding a mat that would fit both the embroidery and the frame.  In the end I had to cut a larger size mat to fit the frame.  Then, because no project is ever that simple for me, I felt the need to paint the mat to better suit the embroidery.

The end result is that I finally have a piece of embroidered art in my home that is of my own handiwork.  This long awaited creation finally gets it's place in the center of the mantle.  Perhaps sensing the gravity of this occasion, even Nessie is making way for it.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Old is New

When I was in high school, my mom started cleaning out her closet of things she'd kept from decades before.  Since I was nearly of a size with her younger self, I claimed several of her old things before they hit the donation pile.  The blue t-shirt with the bamboo and bluebird was one of my absolute favorites.  I wore it until I grew out of it, and held onto it for years trying to find some way to enjoy it again. 

Old linen handkerchiefs and napkins remain among my favorite things to embroider on.  The fabric is so smooth and even, it is a joy to place each stitch.  They are also very beautiful when embellished with a new monogram.

I like to wonder about the makers and owners of the original pieces I reuse; what did they have in mind for it?  Would they like what I've done to it?  My mom, at least, was happy with the fate of her old t-shirt.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

All Is Roses

I've had the rose hankie for years, looking for the perfect use.  It's machine embroidered, but pretty anyhow. With Valentine's Day nearing, inspiration struck and it became a cute little hanging.

For some reason that bitters bottle set into the candle holder with the pearls spilling out makes me think of a doll sized bottle of champagne on ice.

I picked up the little Ball And Claw bitters bottle at an antique store thinking it would make a great magic potion bottle.  Later I'm watching Grimm, and see a Hexenbiest make a magic potion in the same little red bottle.  Clearly the props staff thought similarly.

Every time I look at that pillow with the diamonds and the giant rose, I can't decide if I love how over the top it is or not.  Maybe next time I need to photograph it atop a stack of Harlequin Romance novels.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Catching Up

I have a new ironing table and my sewing buddy has a new favorite perch.  The dresser was a not-quite-impulse buy from an antique store.  What really sold me, was the top drawer folds down like a secretaire desk.   Storage space for my linens and a taller surface to iron on, what could be better?

The stack in the chair is me prepping things for selling at a craft show.  No, the cat didn't get to help with that :)

There's the craft show spread.  Got lots of ooh and ahhs, and had fun talking to people and handing out cards, but I can't say it was financially successful.  Lots of people looking, but not a lot buying.  Economic uncertainty abounds, it seems. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

My Sewing Buddy

I am discovering that making lavender sachets out of vintage linens is both fun, and it makes my workroom smell really nice.  I love finding uses for old linens that would just languish in a drawer someplace otherwise.  The spirit of my mother and grandmother hover over my shoulder gasping whenever I cut up one of these old treasures, but seeing the beautiful finished product, and the new, loving use these old linens can get tends to quiet them.

I think it's a rule in the Cat Code that if you need to spread something out to work on it, it needs a cat sitting on it.  Luckily for him I only needed to cut one corner of that fabric.

So long as the hair doesn't get all over, he doesn't pounce at my scissors when I'm cutting, or try to stick a paw in the sewing machine, I'll let him stay and 'help' as he wants.

Between the lavender scent and the purring, I think this was one of the most relaxed work sessions I've had in a while.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Huck Embroidery - Good For More Than Just Towels

 I really like huck embroidery, it's super simple to do, and it has this really awesome geometric-art deco look to it.  I see a lot of hand towels with huck emboidery at antique stores, and I love all the patterns, but I don't really use hand towels for anything. 

So my solution is, turn them into something I will use, like sewing accessories.

It's really fun to plan out how to use the fabric in a way that shows off the most of the embroidery.  Also, I learned it's really fun to make a pincushion out of a paper towel tube.

I also found out what a good photo spot my sewing thread box makes. 

Discoveries abound this week.