Saturday, May 2, 2015

Where have I been?...

I suppose the time has come for me to apologize for not updating my blog as much as I should... er... as much as I would like to. It thrills me that anyone would stop by to read my blog, and so for those of you who might be wondering where I have been, this is where and why...

I promise, the reason for my absence here, is a good one. 

If you have read my "about" section, or have been following my blog or instagram, you know that I am a graduate student. I am finishing my PhD, and desperately trying to use up my words to complete the last two chapters of my dissertation. Funding, at this stage in my process doesn't come easy, so in addition to teaching university and college courses (which I've done for 8 years), I had to tap into some of my other work experience in order to secure more permanent work. 

While I was living in Albuquerque, completing my doctoral coursework at the University of New Mexico, I had a job in the main library. I helped catalogue and digitize new acquisitions into the library collections. You can see one of the collections I helped build and digitize here. I loved that job... LOVED. When I made the decision to move back home to Tucson and write my dissertation here, leaving that job was the most difficult. 

Needless to say, I am back in a library again. In addition to teaching traditional and online university courses (online classes seem to be the big thing right now), I have been working as an elementary school librarian since January, and IT... IS... AMAZING!

This is why you haven't heard much from me the last few months. I spend the majority of my time working with young students in the library, then writing my dissertation, and teaching college courses. I stitch and sew in the evenings, and share the majority of that work over on Instagram.

"I left my Heart in the Library" totes available in my shop.

So, that's where I have been, working with pre-school through 5th grade students. Don't tell anyone I said so, but they are way better than college students ;)

All that being said, I have made a commitment to myself to get back to sharing consistently on my blog. Even though I am busy with working in the library, writing, or teaching, I would be lying if I said there wasn't stitching and making going on around here. 

Personally, I thought this was a good reason for my absence around here lately. I hope you do, too!

Until next time!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

St. Patrick's Day Stitches & Freebie

I fell in love with green, and all the shades and hue variations of it, when I watched the Wizard of Oz. Something about the Emerald City was just way too appealing to me. When I was able to catch the musical stage production of, Wicked, in London a few summers ago, the costumes during any act that included the Emerald City were breathtaking. 

I assume that's why I love St. Patrick's Day. Usually red is my favorite color, which is why I love Valentine's Day, but I guess green is one of my favorites, as well. That being said, I wanted to combine all the colors of green that I love into a St. Patrick's Day-themed embroidery. 

If you would like to stitch one for yourself, you can find the pattern here.

What's your favorite color? Does your love of that color make you enjoy specific holidays or celebrations more than others?

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Stitchalong Update & Some Sewing Projects

I feel that February went by in a blink. I thought I would have so many projects finished by now, and instead it seems I have more to do! That's okay, though. I love having sewing and embroidery projects on my list of things to complete.

Something I did finish, was the #stitchthrough2015 Stitch-along that Monika from Bits of Stitching and I partnered on. Her patterns (see previous post for links) are so darling and I loved adding some fun stitches to my version to create some varied texture.

On a different, yet related stitching note - I had some Valentine's-themed embroidery that I completed last year and hadn't done anything with. Of course, I am a bag lady, so this year, I turned them into a Valentine's Day tote. I didn't have a chance to share that tote until now, but I did get to use it for a whole week before the 14th of February.

I had a stash of Valentine's Day fabric that was perfect for this tote. I especially love the fabric I used for the reverse side of the tote, it has this whole sewing theme - "sew in love."

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I have taken to sharing more there than I do here. It's only because I forget to take pictures with my camera and I use my iphone instead, and really, I forget to manage all my devices. I guess a bit of a new year's resolution for me is to make sure I take more photos with my camera so I can share more projects here.

That being said, I realized I hand't shared my version of the Box Car Tote by Green Bee Patterns. I fell completely in love with the size and shape of this tote. It fits everything I cart around with me - laptop, books, embroidery projects.

It's no secret that I am a huge Aneel Hoey fan, her fabric designs and embroidery patterns really tug at my heart strings. I came up with an idea to combine some embroidery patterns from her Little Stitches book with fabric from her Little Apples line. I hadn't decided on a bag pattern until I saw the Box Car Tote pattern, and it all just came together perfectly. 

Here is the finished bag. The front pocket panel has the embroidery on one side and the fabric on the other. I tried to create contrasting accents throughout the bag, by using three different fabrics styles from the Little Apples line.

The inside has a pocket that fits my laptop perfectly. 

The reverse side of the tote has a large pocket panel, as well. I absolutely adore the fabric and the embroidery. I have only used the bag once, which is ridiculous, I know. I just stare at it mostly. I'll start using it up eventually.

There are my stitched and sewn projects from February. What did you work on this month?

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Embroidered Tote Bag

When I caught a glimpse of the Tuesday Bassen for Sublime Stitching pattern, I knew I had to stitch it up. I had been wanting an embroidered tote (yes, I needed yet another one), and when I saw the Tuesday Bassen for Sublime Stitching pattern, I knew it would make for a perfect tote. I ordered the pattern and a tote, and transferred the design to fabric faster than it took the postman to walk away from my house after delivering it. 

I just adore all the elements of the pattern. They remind me of sketches in a notebook. I tried to use as many different colors as I could to make them vivid. 

I decided to add one of the patterns to the reverse side of the tote, as well. 

Now all I have to do is fill it up and use it up!

Time to get to the February Stitchalong patterns I shared in the previous post. Have you decided to join us?

Sunday, February 1, 2015

February Stitchalong - National Embroidery Month

Happy February, everyone! Did you know it's National Embroidery Month? Well, it is, and in honor of this month, the very lovely and talented Monika of Bits Of Stitching and I are hosting a Stitchalong to celebrate!

We encourage everyone to join us in stitching these super darling embroidery patterns that Monika created - Around the Fence or Around the Fountain. The PDF is available for download here.

I think I have Springtime flowers on the brain, as it's been very cold and rainy where I am. These patterns are sure to bring some bright sunshine and color to the rest of the wintery days we have left.

This will be the first in a series of stitchalongs we will be hosting over the year, as we #stitchthrough2015 . If you share photos on your blog, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or Flickr, use the hashtag 'stitchthrough2015' , this way we can find you, see your work, and marvel in the unique way you brought each pattern to life!

Grab your hoop, needles, floss, and let's get stitching!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Valentine's Day Projects and Tutorials

I love Valentine's Day. I think my two most favorite days of the year are Halloween and Valentine's Day. I love the red and pink and hearts and glitter. I know lots of people are getting a head start on Valentine's Day handmakery, so I wanted to share some of the tutorials I created, both here and over at Feeling Stitchy that you might like to make for yourself or share with others.

I have my Valentine's Day Wreath Tutorial here on the blog, and I wanted to re-share it, because it seems to be a favorite amongst my blog readers. 

Then over at Feeling Stitchy, there is a Cupid's Arrow Tutorial using felt.

If you are up to making treat bags for Valentine's Day, here is the tutorial for negative space embroidered heart treat bags.

I have so many ideas for items to make for Valentine's Day. I will be back with more!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year & Thank You!

I can't believe it's already New Year's Eve again! I felt like Christmas, and the year preceding it, flew right by me! As I reflect on 2014 and all that happened over the year, a chunk of it makes me sad, I am so glad some of it is over, and am so grateful for the lessons learned and new life experiences that I can carry with me from now on.

As far as bittersweet events over the year go, I had to end 2.5 years of stitching and creating tutorials over at Feeling Stitchy , in addition to a short stay at the Craftsy Embroidery Blog, in order to take on a full time teaching position that would benefit my professional career. It was great being able to share my embroidery knowledge with so many people and have the great people who built Feeling Stitchy and Craftsy put their trust in me to create posts to share. 

Great things that happened over the year include opening my Etsy shop, Bobby Pin Stitches, having great adventures with my sister, and putting an end to my nomadic lifestyle by finding a nice little house to live in. 

Aside from everything that has happened, I really just feel grateful and want to say thank you to everyone who stops by my space here. I find so much support, inspiration, and encouragement here and on Instagram @bobbypinbandit - It is truly appreciated and I thank you for letting me share my stitchery and handmade items with you. 

I hope the road in 2015 holds only good things. I wish you the best in the New Year and look forward to all the items we'll continue to make and share in 2015!

Thank you and Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Embroidered Hand Warmers

I have lived in Southern Arizona the majority of my life. I love the sunshine and heat. I tend to always feel cold, even in the summer time. Since it's been cold and rainy in Tucson lately, I have been longing for the heat and sun. Being it that our weather is always unpredictable, I decided that I needed hand warmers to help me through this bout of cold temperatures.

I spent a few years in Albuquerque, New Mexico while I was in grad school, and while it was lovely experiencing the change in seasons there, I found their winters to be much more rough than Tucson's. I hadn't realized the drastic difference between high and low desert until I experienced it first hand. Even though I try to remind myself that Tucson winter could always be worse, I am still cold!

I was excited to find a hand warmer project in Zakka Style. I suppose it's pretty clear that this has become one of my favorite pattern books. 

I am way too excited to use these! Hooray for warm hands!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

More Christmas Sewing

It's no secret that I love Aneela Hoey's Cherry Christmas fabric line. I made quite a few pillow covers a few years ago and had been saving the scraps for a while. I finally decided to do something with them. 

I am going to turn these scrappy wonky stars into a quilt. I am still trying to figure out how to place them, but I know I want to find some white fabric with red polka dots to frame each star block. 

I adore the clotheslines and snow globes on the fabric.  

I had enough to make myself a sewing pouch using the Zakka Style book that I have become such a huge fan of, as well. 

I had enough of the Cherry Christmas line left over to make a sewing pouch. I made a Little Red Riding Hood sewing pouch as a giveaway on Instagram, and I loved it so much, that I decided to make a second one for myself. I guess it's Merry Christmas to me, right? ;)

I know I have shared a few photos of this sewing pouch before, but I just love the Little Red Riding Hood fabric so much, I had to share more photos.

There's lots to finish and lots to keep sewing. I have so many projects I need to finish this week. 

Are your projects coming along?