Tag Archives: Crafts

Favorites on Friday

This Friday’s favorites are all about embroidery! I am so inspired by all the talented stitchers in the Phat Quarter group on flickr and these are some of my recent favorites.

One:
This faux doily by Smallest Forest

I love the simplicity of the white on the blue (my favorite kind of blue!). Her blog is also filled with beautiful embroidery, illustrations, journaling, and other crafts.  As someone who’s really just starting to blog I look at hers and find myself very inspired.

Two:
Pretty much anything Lucky Jackson stitches!

I love her illustrative style and I am jealous of her drawing and stitching skills. Not only does her 365 project make me want to try and stitch something every day, but I want to get better at drawing too!

Three:
Four:
Abstract stitching by Sarah Hennessey
I love the abstract city she’s created here. Very striking. Using different thread thicknesses gives it a lot of depth and is something I always forget I can do.

There is so much amazing embroidery being made every day and I am so overwhelmed with inspiration. Hopefully I’ll put down the knitting needles for a little while and embroider some more in the near future!

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Home Sweet Home

This is one of my favorite pieces! I combined the Black Apple patterns (the houses and the bee) with the simple and classic “Home Sweet Home.”  I’m pretty proud of the color palate I chose as well because choosing what colors go together is something I struggle with.

I think I’m going to make a pillow with some of these patterns on it as well!

I can’t wait until Ryan and I have our own Home Sweet Home for me to hang this in!

Keep Stitching,

 

Buttons!

A while back I made some buttons out of an old apple tree branch. I was inspired by this post on Shrimp Salad Circus. Luckily my dad has a barn full of tools (he makes and repairs golf clubs) and he helped me. This is what I ended up with!

This is before I drilled the holes.

This is what I did with them!

I found this embroidery pattern somewhere online (and can’t remember the source because I’m terrible!)

Here’s a close up:

I think it turned out quite beautiful!

Keep Stitching,

Hoops & Bows

My friends and I had a crafting night! As it should be this night was filled with embroidery, hooping, and making bows out of our own hair.

First thing’s first: Embroidery.

My friend Whitney (who you will hear more about all summer as we get things going) is an amazing artist and helped me by drawing a great octopus in this funny little teacup thing I bought for a dollar at Michael’s. There is a companion to go with it. I’m working on them now and will post again when they’re done.

Onto the bows!

My other lovely friend, Brianna, learned how to turn our hair into bows and taught us. She found a video on Youtube that taught her how. It was really much easier than I thought it would be.

BOWS!!!!!

After that there was some hula hooping, as there always should be! I was very happy to wear this vintage dress that I bought for a whopping $5.

I’ll leave you with the sillyface picture of me hooping.

Keep Stitching,

Where My Embroidery Lives.

I have a lot of containers. I love them. I keep boxes and bags and buy suitcases and baskets. I probably have more containers than stuff to put in them.

My embroidery lives in a beautiful suitcase I got for $7 at a Goodwill.

However, that’s not really practical for sitting in the living room working on one project so I also have a current projects basket that I modified to hold my transfer pen, a pencil, a seam ripper, and my adorable embroidery scissors as well as some needles both out and in a container. This way I have a basket to throw my project in but I don’t have to dig for the tools. I also keep hand lotion in the basket, gotta take care of those fingers!

My Things!

 

p.s. the needles in the blue packet are some of the best needles I’ve ever bought and they came from the dollar store!

Keep Stitching,

Leslie

The New Year

Besides my adventure in felting this year I’ve also been able to embroider quite a bit (and get a few friends into it, which makes me super happy!).

For the FFoF swap over at Phat Quarter I embroidered a Weezer themed piece, this makes three all together that I’ve done.

If you want to destroy my sweater...

Then my best friend, Sheri, had a birthday so I made her a two piece set of Totoro and a Soot Sprite from My Neighbor Tototro.

I also made my friends Chase and Shelley monograms, they are a lot less orangy in real life but my bedroom at home is orange and does weird things to photos.

For my partner, Ryan I embroidered a quote from the action movie “Daylight.” It’s one of those really cheesy Sylvester Stalone movies that are not good but kind of fun to watch. I thought it would be interesting to juxtapose an action quote with the art nouveau border.

Unfortunately I was using weird fabric, it was a flour sack and was just too floppy and stretchy for such a big piece I think.

There is a theme here, most of the work I’ve done this winter has been gifts, I even embroidered something for my tattoo artist in November. I really think it’s great to be able to give someone something I really enjoyed making. It is sad to see my work go though.

For myself, I’m working on a piece from the book Embroidered Effects by Jenny Hart of Sublime Stitching. I’ve been wanting to experiment with patterned fabric, so I got some at JoAnn’s over the break. I also got some glow in the dark thread and need to come up with a project to use it for!

I was going to post my current projects basket, but I think I’ll save that for another post along with my embroidery suitcase!

Keep Stitching!

Leslie

Adventures in Felting

Happy New year!

This is officially my first post here all year!

I recently went to Hobbly Lobby with the boyfriend. I was taken aback at first by how religious the store was but of course that didn’t stop it from being filled with great craft supplies, including felting supplies!

I have wanted to try felting for a while now but have never tried. When Hobby Lobby happened to have some supplies at the right price I was very excited. I got two different packs of wool roving, one teal and turquoise, and one black and white. I also got a little foam block and two needles. These are special needles with barbs to help tangle the wool.

I started by just messing around with a ball of roving and it didnt really turn out well. Next I went to this great website (who I will be buying more felting supplies from when I have money to do so) and read the tutorial which pretty much summed up what I had done wrong. I semi-successfully made a little octo-friend. I don’t think the wool is tight enough, but maybe just more patience and time spent felting will fix that.

next perhaps I’ll make a stegosaurus!

Craftivism

I think this sums up how I feel fairly well:

The needle and all of the textile arts achieved through the use of a needle, including knitting, crocheting, sewing and quilting, latch or rug hooking, embroidery, and cross stitch, seem to be apt visual metaphors for Third-Wave feminists. Growing up in the punk and Riot Grrl movements which fought to reclaim so many aspects of traditional femininity in powerful new ways, Third Wavers have been beset with an exploration of female power and pride intertwined with pre- and postfeminist imagery. The needle is an appropriate material representation of women who are balancing both their anger over oppression and pride in their gender. The needle stabs as it creates, forcing thread or yarn into the act of creation. From a violent action comes the birth of a new whole. Women are channeling their rage, frustration, guilt, and other difficult emotions into a powerfully productive activity.

This is from an article called  “A Stitch in Time: Third-Wave Feminist Reclamation of Needled Imagery”

You can read the full text here:

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1540-5931.2010.00765.x/full

 

I really like the idea of “craftivism”. I think consciousness raising groups are an important part of feminism and I think that craft nights and crafting groups are one of the most viable ways to get women together right now. I am fairly certain that I am going to try and hold a “craftivism” night at least once every month next semester. I run a women’s health clinic called The Alternative Clinic on my schools campus and would love if more women than just our interns and patients could feel involved. This may be just the ticket.

Reclaiming Women’s Work.

I am an embroidery artist. I am a feminist. I can’t do them separately.

My beliefs inspire my work and a conscious reclamation of “women’s work” is present in my embroidery.  I am impressed by the community of artists I have found online on sites like Flickr (the Phat Quarter group in particular) who use embroidery in a subversive way. Many of these people are men, further deviating from the idea of “women’s work”.

The Phat Quarter group regularly does swaps which I think reflects some of the DIY ideals of the Riot Grrl movement. I really enjoy making something tangible to give to someone, and I love receiving someone’s work. The swaps are so encouraging because you get to see other peoples work and I have never felt discouraged or not good enough.

I was very proud this summer when I woke up one saturday morning for work and saw one of my pieces on the Mr X Stitch blog. My Vulva Mary had been posted on NSFW saturday (here is the post). This and the time the fuckyeahladygaga tumblr reblogged my cross-stitch (seen here) make up my 15 minutes of fame.

I don’t aspire to be internet or real life famous, but I love when people enjoy my work and are (possibly) inspired by it. I think that just because needlework and crafts are what women historically have been encouraged to pursue as a hobby rather than going into the “fine arts” (generally speaking this meant painting) doesn’t mean it is not an important and beautiful medium to work in. The history of needlework really lends itself to feminist art because of its accessibility (it is not a hard thing to learn!) and straightforwardness as well as the subversive possibilities.

Since this is sort of an introduction I will link you to my flickr (which you can see to the right)-

http://www.flickr.com/photos/lesliegrace/

I encourage you to pick up a needle and some thread and start embroidering if you don’t already. Please check out these great homes to embroidery on the web:

The flickr Phat Quarter group

The Mr X Stitch blog

The Subversive cross stitch website and flickr group

The Feeling Stitchy group blog and flickr group

The Sew Lovely Embroidery website, blog, and flickr page and,

The Sublime Stitching website.

There are so many more great sites and resources but I’ll stop there for now.

I’m off to stitch something,

Leslie