Friday, December 14, 2012

Christmas Stitches & Little Stitches

It's a cloudy gloomy cold rainy day today. The kind of day that requires a large mug of tea, a good book, and a comfy snuggly blanket. I picked up a super adorable book at Barnes and Noble recently, and it's given me so much inspiration. Which means that on a day like today, I get to enjoy some stitching, in addition to the good book, while I wait for the rain to go away.

Aneela Hoey, of Comfort Stitching, published a book called Little Stitches. It is the most darling embroidery book I have ever seen! I almost shrieked in the bookstore, but because I didn't want to disturb other customers, I made sure to internalize my shrieks, ooohs, and aahhs. Incidentally, do the rules of the library apply at a bookstore? I am not sure, but I always try to be as quiet as I am in the library at a bookstore... why, I don't know. 

At any rate, I decided to use what has become one of my most favorite embroidery patterns - the snow globe! I am not sure what I will be using this finished piece for. I might gift it to somebody for Christmas... or I could keep it for myself...

 Little Stitches, is super adorable because in addition to offering you embroidery patterns, there are various sewing projects and ideas for where to place your stitches once you have finished. AND, there are even alternate embroidery patterns offered for the different projects. If you don't want a taxicab pincushion, Aneela offers various other patterns that would work just as well for each different project. 

This book is making me feel like I need to invest in a new camera, as well. The images of Aneela's stitches capture all the detail so precisely. I mean, it's just phenomenal!

The next two images are photos I took of the image in the book. It almost looks like the actual stitched piece is in front of me. 

Fantastic, right? 

The last few pages of the book have a ton of patterns. There are also iron-on sheets with all the patterns included as the last portion of the book. I decided to transfer a few to fabric. I am still not sure what I will be giving everyone for Christmas, but I am thinking some little stitches will be good. 

Until next time!


Monday, December 10, 2012

New Stitches

Stitching is my most favorite thing to do, so I make sure to do a little everyday. I received a packet of the new embroidery floss available over at Sublime Stitching in the "fruit salad" colors and proceeded to use them for this adorable house pattern. It's amazing floss and it didn't tangle or knot on me the way some other brands do. 

I found a pattern for a darling Unicorn courtesy of Andrea Zuill of Bad Birds. It didn't take very long to stitch, and I know exactly who I am going to gift it to this Christmas.

There's much more stitching to do! 

Until next time!


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Heirloom Hanky

Ever fallen in love with vintage embroidered hankies? Now you can make your own. Head over to Feeling Stitchy for the tutorial.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Library Love

I have this very special and undying love for libraries. I can't think of a time that I didn't have a library card. The first thing I did when I moved to Albuquerque was get a library card from the public library and one of the first things I did when I moved back to Tucson was make sure my library card was still valid. 

On my recent trip to Los Angeles, I was treated to a visit to the Los Angeles Central Library in downtown L.A. I loved the hustle and bustle of people shuffling through the stacks with their items for borrow.
Image Borrowed from Vermont Square
I worked in the main campus library at the University of New Mexico (UNM) as part of a fellowship I received for two years. I loved working alongside all the books. I love the organization of libraries and the sort of silent work that is accomplished by studying, researching, and writing. I appreciate so much when libraries showcase their collections and archives, which was the highlight of this trip to the L.A. Central Library.

I made my way through the library to the Getty Gallery on the second floor with my darling friend, Nick. He laughed at how giddy I was to be at the library. We wandered into the gallery where we were able to check out these items all about the Mexican Revolution in an exhibit entitled, A Nation Emerges: The Mexican Revolution Revealed.

The Central Library, in partnership with the Getty Research Institute, had various images from the Mexican Revolution on display for us to see. I only took a couple pictures so as not to disturb the exhibit or the items on display. 

I curated an exhibit at the UNM library with a similar theme last year, which I blogged about here. I felt so excited to see some of the same images that were in the UNM library could also be found at the Getty Research Institute. 

As we made our way through the exhibit, I felt more and more excited to have spent some time in the library. Before we left, I noticed there was a shop on the ground floor. I almost lost my mind with some of the amazing items they had. Many libraries have done away with their card catalogs and artists and designers have taken to creating jewelry and art pieces with card catalog pieces.

I only bought a few things. I am going to hang that greeting card as a little piece of art in my office, because I have, in fact, left my heart in the library. That tiny bottle has a necklace in it with the birthstone for November that I picked up as a birthday gift for one of my friends. Everything else came home with me, although there was plenty more that I wanted. 

All in all it was a great time in the library and I can't wait to get back to the library and snuggle up to a good book.

Until next time.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Vintage Stitches.3

On my recent trip to the Los Angeles area, I knew I had to explore the vintage and antique stores in order to find treats and treasures that I wouldn't find in Tucson. I found this place in Fullerton called, The Brick Basement. They had amazing items and I didn't know how I was going to pick just a few things. BUT, I did, and managed to get everything on the plane and home!

One of my favorite finds and new treasures is this very lovely vintage embroidered table runner, that can double as a scarf, if need be. I know this is exactly what I need... no scarf, no worries, the table runner will suffice *wink*wink*

I can see the pattern underneath the stitches, and for some reason, that made me love this piece even more. I am not sure if it is that noticeable in these pictures, but if you look at the pink flower below, there are little bits of the pattern peaking through. 

The runner has the same image on both sides. So, if I were to wear it as a scarf, I would have two poodles around my neck. 

On one edge, there was a little note that said to ask for free instructions. I wish I knew where this came from so I could see these instructions! This is also where it was noted that this could be a table runner or scarf. 

I love vintage embroidery. It inspires me to keep stitching. I haven't decided if I might turn this into something else, but for now, I am enjoying these vintage stitches and am glad I brought this piece home with me.

Now that Halloween has passed, it's time to get back into the groove of work, writing, and stitching. I can't believe it's November... I just can't believe how quickly time passes!

Until next time!


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween from Disneyland

That's right. I went to Disneyland for Halloween. My friend, Nick, convinced me to venture to Fullerton and stay with him so we could go to Disneyland for Halloween. He lives very close to Disneyland, so how could I pass up an offer for a free place to stay and a visit to the happiest place on earth? I couldn't, so I packed my bags and took off!

Halloween is my most favorite time of year, and because I believe that love and joy are in the details, I knew Disneyland would do it up right. Every single little detail in the park was perfect and Halloween-related. I live for those sorts of things. It made me so excited to be around all that Halloween festivity.

My younger brother, Adam, lives in Los Angeles, so he joined Nick and I on a 16-hour excursion with the Mouse. Our day started with Mickey Mouse pancakes. We proceeded to get drenched on Splash Mountain and then we got to take a ride on one of my most favorite rides in the park... The Haunted Mansion. It was decorated with Tim Burton's, The Nightmare Before Christmas

I absolutely adore Tim Burton. I wish I could live in his mind for a day, maybe two. I love his imagination and creativity. That, combined with the Disney magic, made for a fantastic Haunted Mansion experience. 

I adore this chandelier in the foyer of the Mansion. I put my camera away so I could live in the moment and enjoy the ride with my two best guys. 

At some point during our journey in the Disneyland and California Adventure parks, we stopped off to check out the exhibit of Tim Burton's new film, Frankenweenie.

Everyone that knows me, understands that I love my dog and would totally turn him into a Frankenstein just to keep him with me for always (not really, but I shutter at the thought that one day I will have to live without him, so I might). So, I instantly fell in love with the idea of Frankenweenie... that, and my love of all things Tim Burton, were instant reasons to love the film.

The exhibit was amazing. There were all these sketches and models of the actual characters they used to create the film. Which, incidentally, was done in stop-motion so all the characters actually have moving parts and joints to make it appear that they are having visible reactions on their faces and in their movements. 

I learned how to sew as a kid, when my grandmother showed me how to make clothes for dolls and barbies. I don't know if it is nostalgia, but I have a very special place in my heart for doll clothing. Which is why I shrieked, like literally let out a loud sound, when I turned the corner and saw Weird Girl's (that is her actual name in the film) little shoes and costumes. My brother and Nick were over my desire to photograph everything, so I took some very quickly so as not to receive that ever so classic eye roll that boys like to give girls.

Everything was miniature. I wanted to touch everything. Good thing they had those glass cases because I would have tried to take everything with me. 

There were miniature sets of scenes of the film in each case. It seemed like each case was more amazing than the last. Each one of these characters would have fit in my hand, easily. I got so close for the photo that it looks like I could have been standing there in that classroom!

As with everything in Disneyland and California Adventure, the details here were not spared either. Each book has its name and title, every poster has legible information, bottles have their labels, and even the homework on the childrens' desks had notes from the teacher!! I was in awe the whole time I ventured through this exhibit. 

It was so much fun spending Halloween with the Mouse. I can't believe I braved the crowds, but I am so very glad I did. 

I have some other adventures to share with you while I spent some time in the City of Angels, but I will share them later. For now, I wish you a very Spooky and Happy Halloween!

Until next time.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Dia de los Muertos Tote

It seems I was tardy to the Halloween sale at Michaels last week. I had in mind to buy a skeleton to fit inside of a large pumpkin and another skeleton to turn into a mermaid. When I arrived at the store, there was hardly anything left in the Halloween section. No matter how many times I walked around the store, I just couldn't manifest one out of thin air. So, I had to give up.

I was about to leave the store, when I found a flocked Dia de los Muertos patch of La Catrina. Apparently, the Crafty Chica designed these wonderful Dia de los Muertos items that Michaels carries. I couldn't resist the flocked patch and brought it home.

I have a stash of Halloween and Dia de los Muertos fabric and new that this patch would look great against some of these fabrics.  

It was a quick iron-on process. I had half a yard of fabric that I was able to turn into a quick patchwork with la Catrina centered. I was debating what to turn this into. Which is a problem I seem to have with lots of my WIPs. Considering I have quite a bit of fabric to work with, I decided to make a tote bag. Yes, I have a large collection of tote bags.

I used this lighter Dia de los Muertos fabric to line the bag and used the other piece of colorful fabric for the back side of the tote. 

I used some lightweight interfacing in order to give the bag some sturdiness. I have already overstuffed it with library books and embroidery projects and it held up nicely. 

I love how my new tote turned out, but I still would like to find two skeletons for my Halloween projects. If you happen upon any, send them my way, please!

Until next time.