Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Procrastination Station: Doctor Who

While I sat contemplating tracing out my next large project (tracing is the most tedious part of the whole embroidery project), I came across another project. So, because I am a master procrastinator, I decided to work on that project instead. Cue tedious tracing of 11 patterns...

Why 11, you may ask. Sounds like an odd number of patterns for a project. (Pun intended BTW.) I will tell you. They are Doctor Who patterns. All 11 Doctors as drawn by a few awesome embroiderers. The link to my flickr set is here.

So far I completed 6 of 11. Not bad since the Doctor Who Stitch-a-long started more than 2 months ago. & I just heard about it.

10th Doctor as played by David Tenant
Doctors 10 & 6 were designed by Jennifer Ofenstein.

9th Doctor

The 9th Doctor was designed by Aalia Zaman.

8th Doctor
The 8th Doctor was designed by Jordan Frederick.

7th Doctor
Doctors 5 & 7 were designed by Kristel Carnahan.

6th Doctor
Now, I am not a huge Doctor Who fan, but I have many friends who are, so I thought this would be a fun way to show off my embroidery to them & procrastinate at the same time. Ha!  For more information on this & to get the patterns... check out Fandom In Stitches!

5th Doctor
 More to come as I finish this up. Then I will have to commit myself fully to what I am avoiding.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

It's (nearly) Fair Time!

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Summer means lots of things to lots of people, but I think many would agree that "The Fair" is a summer must. No matter where you live, fond memories of local county fairs abound.

For me & mine this means the Washington County Fair on Route 29 in Greenwich, NY. (The fair is technically in the Town of Easton, but as Easton has no post office, or even one, unified zip code, the address says Greenwich. Bear with me, the historian in me is coming out. Let me switch gears again.) It is, arguably, the best county fair in NY State.

Anyway, Mom & I have decided to (gasp) enter some of our projects in the fair! Why had we not thought of this before? Mom has been quilting for nearly 20 years & she used to win awards for her clothes when she was in 4-H. The quilt divisions tend to be pretty competitive, but Mom did get 3rd place in the NY State DAR competition!

The needlework/embroidery/cross-stitch divisions tend to be a bit more open. I have quite a few pieces that fit into the categories. Plus, two more projects I need to complete before the middle of August. All told, we are submitted 6 items each!

portrait of Fiona in progress- based on a selfie

Oh, & Mom has a new blog! Check it out here...

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Orphan Embroidery: Children's Picture Book Characters

I don't know about the rest of you, but I have a tendency to make something without a planned outcome. Meaning, I embroider something without a pattern, or project. Many times without even thinking about the size. It's all about the embroidery. Hence I have many pieces, that would be classified by my mom's quilt friends as "orphan blocks." Or they might call them UFOs (UnFinished Objects). LOL

Well, I thought I would share a few of these with you on this hot & muggy, upstate NY, summer day... There is at least a theme for these "orphan blocks", as you may have gleaned from the title of this post: children's picture book characters.

My favorite picture books as a child where the Frances books by Russell & Lillian Hoban (Garth Williams drew the original Frances in the first book, Bedtime for Frances 1960). This is partly because they are great books, with wonderful illustrations, & partly because my middle name is Frances. Other books in the series are A Baby Sister for Frances (1964), Bread and Jam for Frances (1964), A Birthday for Frances (1968), Best Friends for Frances (1969), A Bargain for Frances (1970), Egg Thoughts and Other Frances Songs (1972). They are all still in print (HarperCollins) & can be purchased at any decent children's bookstore.

Frances the badger

The next 2 are both from books by Mo Willems. My daughter loves him! Oh, & there is an exhibit at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art featuring Willems this summer. You should check it out.

Gerald and Piggie 

The embroidered & crayon tinted piece above is based on the beginning reader There's a Bird on Your Head (2007) in which a pair of birds nest on Gerald's (the elephant) head & hatch 3 babies. It is very amusing, especially if you come up with a funny voice for Gerald like I do.

The pigeon below is from the famous Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus (2003) which has fast become a staple in any preschool & public library.If you don't know it, I recommend going to the children's book section & reading it, preferably with a school age child with you or the librarian or bookseller will think you mad... or a teacher.


& finally we have Olivia. She might be upset that I didn't put her as the headliner, but Frances has to be first in my book. Olivia is based on author/ illustrator Ian Falconer's niece of the same name. I love Olivia because she likes clothes, is stubborn, creative, a bit of a daydreamer, & she loves... RED!

Olivia trying on one of her many red dresses

So, now what to do with them? Pillows, wall-hangings, little tote bags? Comment here on on facebook if you have any ideas.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Kira's Drawing Embroidered

My friend Jane gave birth to her daughter Kira the year before I had Fiona. Kira is definitely an individual who knows her own mind & will not be swayed by trends & fads. She loves rocks & has a fabulous collection, only part of which is on display at her local public library for the summer! Someone (I don't recall who) gave her a block of salt for Christmas & she LOVED it.

One day, I was at their house & I noticed the cliche "drawing on the fridge." By this time I had begun embroidering Fiona's drawings, so I asked Jane if I could copy Kira's & embroider it for her. Kira's favorite color was red which made it perfect!

Kira's original drawing

Above you can see the original drawing of an 8-legged alien drawn by Kira Weston & you can even see her hand-printed name at the top of the page!

Final pillow before it was wrapped & given
Here you can see the final product. The alien is rendered in redwork & I even capture Kira's handwriting, adding it to the bottom like a painter's signature.

Happily, I noticed it in a chair in their living room the other day. It is not as pristine as in the photo above, but that means it is well loved.

Should you like a custom order like this, visit my shop.