I finally started Janeal‘s giveaway present. I grappled with what exactly to make for ages, obviously, but I’m pretty excited about my final design, and if it goes well I might use the idea as a “custom item” option in the shop.
Anyway, there’s something really delicious about laying out a meticulous grid like this one before starting a project. I generally won’t do it for cross-stitch projects, but this design will be particularly difficult to execute, so I’m taking every possible precaution. I took this picture last night, and in the last 24 hours have spent every spare moment (between emergency trips to the chiropractor and cleaning toddler puke off of, well, every surface in my home*. sigh.) stitching tiny little exes, slowly making progress. I’m about 70% sure that the idea will work.
And no, I’m not telling you what the idea is yet. Not because I want to create any sort of anticipation, but because while I want to share my creative process, I can’t really allow any possible negative feedback while I’m in the middle of it. The smallest comment can shatter my confidence, and once that’s happened I just can’t stitch. So that’s where this teasing is coming from.
(Janeal, obviously you are exempt from this rule if you want to know what I’m doing.)
Sigh. Anyway, cross-stitching always makes me think of my mom. I guess I’ll talk more about that when I can share the finished product. (Which, if I maintain my current rate of stitching, may be in about two weeks. If we’re lucky.)
*W/r/t the puke: Grady’s been having a bit of a gastronomic episode this week. But, knock on wood**, she appears to be returning to her happy, healthy self.
**This and throwing salt are two superstitions I cannot exorcise, even though I do not believe in their supposed power.
Here it is! That thing I finished months ago!
Also, while I’m thinking about giveaway pieces, I think I forgot to give the hedgehog I made to Dani. Did I? I know I finished and framed it. Sorry, Dani, if I haven’t given it to you yet. #worstbloggerever #alsoworstsisterever
Sorry. I’m kind of addicted to twitterspeak.
Anyway, here is the thing I made for Jack. He is obsessed with the Giants/Brian Wilson. The hardest part about this was turning the idea into a cross-stitch pattern, but I enjoyed the tedium of it.
And since I made the pattern for myself anyway, I might as well make it available to all of you lovely people. I didn’t make it fancy like professional patterns, but I think the point gets across. If you have any questions about the pattern, please ask it in the comments here. Thanks!
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD A FREE ‘FEAR THE BEARD’ CROSS-STITCH PATTERN.
I love this. It makes me want to do embroidered cartoon-y portraits of all my friends. Also, using chain stitch as a filler to emulate knitwear? Brilliant. “mr magillicutty” by cath @ chunkychooky on flickr.
Love. Found via Mr. X-stitch, by Amanda Jean.
Love love love love love. By yukamila on flickr.
It’s probably pretty obvious that I am trying to narrow down my choices to the very best, because I am obsessed with every picture I’m posting this week. Anyway, references to Catholic imagery + vagina-art? Two of my favorite things. By lockedinthepark on flickr, found via Mr. X-stitch.
THIS IS SATIN STITCH. IT IS NOT RUNNING STITCH. It makes me respect the stitcher so much. By Mrs. Gibson’s Atelier on flickr.
1. The color choice is magnificent. 2. So. Many. French. Knots. By PataPri on flickr, found via Mr. X-stitch.
I want an embroidery-inspired tattoo sooooo bad someday. I haven’t figured out exactly how that will work yet, but I still want one. This cross-stitched tat is lovely. From benjibot on flickr.
By What Delilah Did on flickr.
Dear everyone-who-asks-me-to-mend-their-jeans: I will happily sew your patches, but I will want to do them like this. You must be very specific about your desires if you don’t want your jeans to come out like this. By Sherri Lynn Wood, via WhipUp.
I really love everything Cornflower Blue Studio does. How do you think would be the best way to mount something like this on a wall? I guess it’s technically a mini-quilt. Maybe you could sew little loops along the top, thread a tree branch through the loops and then hang it by the branch? Yup, that would be adorable.
Sigh. Posts like this make me wish I could devote all of my time to crafting. Damn you, UVU, for not having a fiber design program.
If this post was to look at all of my unfinished fiber-related work, it would … well it would make me cry. Let’s just focus on embroidery.
1-3. The giveaway prizes! Prize one is finished, framed and on its way to its new owner, piece 2 is finished but in need of a good frame, and piece 3 is designed but needs the right color of thread. The third piece is counted-cross stitch, which takes about sixty billion years to design without the proper software. But I’m excited to start it.
4. “we make darkness only by getting in the way of the light.” I was reading assigned chapters in my acting textbook, The Actor and the Target by Declan Donnellan, and when I read this sentence I had to stop reading and embroider it. It was entirely impulse. Read the phrase, look up from the book, see this fabric hanging on the wall, immediately know that this had to happen. I’m working the letters in two abutting rows of backstitch, which is kind of awkward, but effective.
5. “A book must be the ax for the frozen sea within us. – Kafka” This was another gut-instinct piece. I wanted to do crazy couching with yarn, but didn’t know much more than that. So I opened a book of quotes, closed my eyes and pointed at a random spot on a random page – this was the phrase that I pointed at. I closed my eyes again and reached into my bag of embroidery floss, and pulled out this blue. Then I saw this scrap of denim (from a pair of pants I adored in junior high which are now cutoffs), pulled out the scrap, wrote on it in fast freehand (obviously) and got stitching. I started this one months ago but lost interest. I still think I’ll finish it, though.
6. The Marx portrait in my header. I finally picked this fellow back up, and am almost done with his beard; just need to finish the right and top quadrants of hair. The dude had so. much. hair.
7. An old, old, old, bright yellow cross-stitched version of that iconic Led Zeppelin album cover that I haven’t worked on in at least three years. I really need to finish this eventually, but man. It is tedious.
I think that’s all that I actually am working on; but my pile of designs waiting to be stitched is getting mountainous.
Embroidered tank. Really adorable.
How to pad your embroidery hoop. I’ve always wanted to know how to do this.
Free embroidery pattern from Gennine’s Art Blog.
Susie Cowie embroidery. Amazing. Those colors are amazing.
See-through embroidery! Eeek!
Someone found this immaculate hand-embroidered piece at a thrift store for $7.50. I’m in love with it.
I don’t know what this is, but I love it. Keeping the picture big so you can see that detail.
Embroidered Chester Arthur!
I am obsessed with this.
Crocheted laptop case pattern from WhipUp. I think I’ve had a crocheted, knitted, or sewn laptop case in progress since the day I got my laptop. But none of them have ever been completed.
Freeform crochet from laughing purple goldfish designs. I adore this website. She is one of my primary fibery inspirations, which is strange because ore styles aren’t much alike at all.
Crochet letters! I think this would be a fun way to introduce a new word to Grady each day or week or so. Pin them someplace prominent, let them seep into her memory.
This makes me so uncomfortable.
Crochet doily wedding dress. Um, yes. I think this is brilliant – and so well done!
Potholders are another thing that I just cannot accomplish. I’ve made a zillion dishcloths, but can’t tackle a potholder. These were found at Whipup.
WARNING: The next four images may kill you. They are all crocheted dresses from Posie Gets Cozy. And they are breaking my heart. (The images are the links for these next four.)
Yeah! Am I right?! Found over at craft.
This is just heinously beautiful. Click here and look at the detail in the hair.
There’s something so sensuous about a French Knot. How can you look at this and not want to rub it all over your face? By Alexia Brown, found via Mr. XStitch
I had a really emotional reaction to this one. Moved to tears, to be honest.
Here’s a post on how to embroider a French Knot if you want to create your own little patch of sumptuousness.
Woah woah woah. There is just too much amazing stuff out there.
Mustaches always remind me of my old friend Spencer. Anyway, free embroidery pattern!
Ug. This use of white space is too brilliant. Doesn’t that look like it would be fun to make? Also, it is a unicorn. A UNICORN.
Yes, this is an eleventh “tenth thing.” There were two cool pictures on one pretty page, so you get a bonus. A Tesla bonus!
So, I promised pictures. Here’s the best I can come up with:
The accomplishments of Summer 2010. I suppose.
I’ve finally begun to tackle my pile of almost-perfect clothing. Half of it is skirts that need shortening. That fuzzy sumptuous lump in the upper left corner is Winston’s groin. You’re welcome.
This image was supposed to be vertical, but I’m far too lazy to change it. I’ve pieced my first quilt, and begun hand-quilting it. The quilt is 5×6′, made of fifteen blocks with a fly-by-night border on two of the sides. I’ll give it a proper post eventually, maybe.
I love this fuzzylump. He’s such a jerk most of the time.
I’ve been on a hat-making rampage for a while now. I wish I were capable of working on one rampage at once. Anyway, this is a lovely bulky wool beret. It’s from a book, and I have no desire to link you to the pattern. I think I’ll make every hat in the book, so when that happens maybe I’ll let you know where it’s from.
This corner of my magnet board is pretty devoted to embroidery. Clockwise from the bottom left corner: a color-your-own Toulouse-Lautrec that I’d love to embroder (it’s so sensuous), a Bowie cross-stitch pattern, a beautiful drawing of a fox that local artist Jess Smart Smiley has given me permission to embroider, a drawing of feathers that I’ve been hanging on to for months, a swarm of jellyfish from a SpongeBob Square Pants book that I think would be great embroidered and hung in Grady’s room, my kitten calendar, a bunch of peacock feathers from a long-forgotten thrifting trip, a fedora, and the pamphlet for the International Peace Gardens. I know. I’m so interesting right now. Don’t let the excitement throw you into a panic.
Gross. Everything is gross. No more words.