Merry Christmas!

This year I made an illustrated Christmas card! I really like the way it turned out, and it was a big hit with family and friends. For all two of you that read this blog and don't know me, it's me, my husband, and our 3 dogs and cat.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!



I've had a category at the top of this blog labeled "books" since I started writing it, so it's crazy that this is my first book-related post. I don't have a ton of embroidery books yet, but I'm looking to expand my collection. Here are some of my recent finds!

The only one I own so far is The Ultimate Sashiko Sourcebook, which I bought after writing this post. I think I'll have time to practice some sashiko stitching this weekend, and this book has tons of great designs to try out. I'd also like to try my hand at dyeing fabric to use as a base for some embroideries, so Tie-Dye: Dye It, Wear It, Share It and Shibori for Textile Artists would be good to have. Lastly, Storyland Cross Stitch was featured on quite a few embroidery blogs a while back and has been one of the first books that actually made me want to try out cross stitch.

My only problem is finding enough bookshelf space (don't get me started on the non-craft books on my wish list!).


Hello baby!

Here's a little banner I made this weekend using watercolor paper, watercolor pencils, and a gold pen. It's for a friend whose little boy is due very soon! I'm excited to mail it to her along with some gifts for the baby.


From My Home to Yours Pt. 2

A while ago I participated in my friend Kim's art project entitled From My Home to Yours. I thought I'd share a photo Kim took of the finished apron!

From My Home to Yours project

I used wool thread to stitch a different pattern on each letter, then used the little drawing of a sandwich Kim made as an applique. Finally, I added a little arrow and a bow made from the velvet ribbon that was included in the kit. I like the way it came out, and Kim did too. See more about her work and recent installation on her website.



Lately my eye has been drawn to projects and images that involve sashiko stitching. I love the look of the white thread on indigo fabric and have been wanting to try out this technique myself. I find it really cool that sashiko can be used to repair garments as well:

I found this embroidery project from Design Sponge using the running stitch that makes up sashiko patterns with the addition of different colored floss to create an ombre effect. I just might try this one!

This post from Feeling Stitchy put the idea of combining embroidery and tie-dye in my mind.

Further searching revealed that there is a Japanese dyeing technique similar to tie dye that also uses the indigo and white color scheme - shibori. Here's a beautiful example:

So much inspiration for one post! Hopefully soon I'll be able to post a sashiko project of my own.

Image credits: Dungarees via Sanforized / Scarf via Design*Sponge / Bunny stitched by Sandy Chidester, pattern by isewcute via Feeling Stitchy / Shibori via Folk Fibers / 


Works in Progress

I've finally got a couple of new embroideries in the works! First, my very belated contribution to the July-September Illustration Stitch A Long. I was excited for the choose your own illustrator one, but after getting married in July and changing jobs twice in August and September, embroidery was put on the back burner. I still wanted to do it though, and I picked Quentin Blake as my illustrator. One of my favorite Roald Dahl books is Matilda, so I chose Blake's illustration of her.

Here's the little bit I've done so far!

Matilda WIP

Matilda WIP

So I can catch up, I also started working on my Dr. Seuss embroidery, which is the next quarter's theme. I picked this guy: I love his smug expression and that Seuss's titled it "Pinkish Cat on Greenish Pot". I'm planning to tint him a bit with some watercolors. Here's my tracing on the lightbox:

Dr. Seuss WIP

More to come soon!



I did this drawing of a gorilla with a chainsaw for one of the clients of my Dad's sign shop, who wanted it for their logo. I can't wait to see the finished version when they get done with it!

I haven't blogged in forever, but I'm finally starting some embroidery again after lots of wedding and job changing craziness in the last several months. More pics soon!


Phat Quarter 80s Swap

Here's my piece from the recent Phat Quarter 80's Swap. I was inspired to created an embroidery that referenced the Back to the Future movie series (I watched all three in a row a few years ago, they were still as awesome as I remembered). It's is a simplified version of the countdown clock in the DeLorean. Here's a little clip with the dates Marty travels to and from in Back to the Future, Part II:

and here's the stitching (I think my partner liked it!)

Phat Quarter 80s Swap

I also got this tubular Ghost Busters themed piece from my partner, Lyndzi:

Phat Quarter Swap

It was a totally radical theme.


Collar Project

While searching for just the right piece of jewelry to wear with my wedding dress, I happened upon this gold mesh beaded 1950's collar on Etsy. Though it was all the way in England and looking a little worse for wear (some of the beading had come off, loose threads, etc) I decided that it was just the thing I needed to put the finishing touch on my wedding ensemble.

Since the beading was somewhat lopsided, I decided to start from scratch and remove all the gold pearls and rhinestones. I plan to redistribute and reattach them on the collar and then add a clasp. Next step: planning the layout for the beading.

Photos by Gloria Days Vintage, via the original Etsy listing


Phat Quarter Blinded by Science Swap

My swap piece finally made its way to Northern Ireland into the hands of Cherry and Cinnamon, so I can post pictures! Since Bridgeen said she liked odd creatures, I stitched an okapi (okapia johnstoni), one of my favorite unusual animals.

I used a picture from Wikipedia (and you can find out more about the okapi on Arkive). Now, on to the embroidery! I embroidered my okapi illustration in reddish brown and black threads onto a canvas totebag.


Omut Naive

Some amazing embroidered clothes from the Omut Naive lookbook, discovered via Les Yeux sans Visage


From My Home to Yours

I'm working on a piece as part of an ongoing project by my friend Kim Kwee. It's called From My Home To Yours, which takes inspiration from Martha Stewart (read more here). She sent me a kit with assorted supplies, and now I have to complete the project! The box contained an apron, some thin wool yarn in a bunch of colors, a piece of a t-shirt, ribbon, and a drawing of a sandwich.

I'm not totally sure how everything is going to come together yet, but so far I'm appliqueing the letters from the shirt onto the pocket of the apron. Luckily there was some thread that matched the t-shirt color really nicely. I actually made the t-shirt for Kim a long time ago, so that's added another interesting layer to the piece.

A use for the sandwich drawing is still to be determined. I might use it as a pattern and embroider the image on the apron, or stitch the paper directly on to the apron.

It's taken me awhile to get started on it (sorry Kim) but now that I have started, it's a fun and challenging project!


The Original Conjuring Cat

Here's my finished embroidery from the Edward Gorey illustration stitch along. I really like the way it turned out. I felt like I was getting behind (the next illustration stitch along is starting this month), but the little cats didn't take nearly as long to fill in as the big one.

Since this illustration is from Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, here's a bit of T.S. Eliot's poem "Mr. Mistoffelees" for you:

His manner is vague and aloof,
You would think there was nobody shyer--
But his voice has been heard on the roof
When he was curled up by the fire.
And he's sometimes been heard by the fire
When he was about on the roof--
(At least we all heard that somebody purred)
Which is incontestable proof
Of his singular magical powers:
And I have known the family to call
Him in from the garden for hours,
While he was asleep in the hall.
And not long ago this phenomenal Cat
Produced seven kittens right out of a hat!

Check out the Flickr page for more great Gorey embroideries!


The Adventuress

I just came across Audrey Niffenegger's book The Adventuress in the library. It's beautifully illustrated, and this image in particular stood out to me. It's the ghost of the Adventuress with Maurice, the cat she gave birth to (doesn't that make you want to read the book?). I'd love to turn it into an embroidery, maybe for a future illustration stitch along?


Swap roundup on Mr. X Stitch

There was a roundup of the Tiny Things Swap on Mr. X Stitch recently. My bumblebee was featured along with a bunch of other awesome stitching. See the two part post here and here. I'm excited to participate in the next swap, Blinded by Science!


Spring is coming

Spring is coming, but so is the season premiere of Game of Thrones! Here's a little direwolf illustration I made for a friend who is also a GoT fan. It would be fun to do some GoT-themed embroidery too.


Wedding invitations

Here's an illustration I did for my wedding invitations. The wedding is safari theme, so I did a border of some plants and flowers native to Africa and various tropical locations. It's watercolor paint outlined with a brush pen.


Embroidered coat

I love how embroidery looks on felt/wool. This embroidered coat in these photos by fashion blogger Calivintage is really striking.


Gorey Stitchalong pt. 2

Slowly but surely getting it filled in. I'm just using one strand to get that sketchy, pen and ink look that is essential to capturing the Gorey style. I think I'll work on it some more today!

Gorey stitchalong continues


The Sasquatch

This is still one of my favorite pieces of embroidery I've done. It was a Christmas gift for my fiancĂ©. He's done in wool thread on linen. Maybe I'll do a cryptozoology series?

The image is based on this video, in case you aren't a bigfoot enthusiast:


Embroidered collars

I've seen some really awesome embroidered shirts, both vintage and recently stitched. My favorites are usually denim or chambray shirts, and I especially like embroidered collars. Here are two great ones:

Embroidered chambray shirt by Alexandrine Lemaire (above) and a vintage embroidered shirt by Loves2Stitch2 (below).

I bought a plain denim shirt at Target recently so I can try my hand at an embroidered collar. Now to decide on a pattern...


Edward Gorey Illustration Stitchalong

As soon as I heard about the Illustration Stitchalong co-hosted by Follow the White Bunny and Cherry and Cinnamon I knew it would be a great choice for my first stitchalong. The first choice of illustrator was Edward Gorey, whose illustrations I already knew and loved. It's been great to keep up with everyone's progress so far! I chose an illustration from Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, written by T.S. Eliot and illustrated by Gorey. It's from the poem Mr. Mistoffelees (the original conjuring cat) and shows him with seven kittens and a top hat. Here's the original illustration:

Mr. Mistoffelees
So far I've got the outline done and started stitching on the big guy. More updates on my progress to follow!

Gorey stitchalong progress



I recently participated in the Phat Quarter Tiny Things swap. This was my first swap and I had a lot of fun deciding what to make for my swap partner.  I decided on a bumblebee with a french knot body:

I loved the swap piece I got, which was a vintage handkerchief with a super tiny bird on it. I can't wait for the next swap!


Craft fair

Back in December 2011, I decided to use my newfound embroidery skills to stitch up a few things to sell at a craft fair. I made a bunch of Christmas ornaments (mostly shaped like cats):

These guys were my favorites. I sold almost all the stuff I made which was really exciting. Another favorite piece (my first big embroidery project) was this rock and roll squid:

I was sad to see it go!

First embroidery project

About a year ago I decided to teach myself embroidery since I needed a new artistic venture that didn't take up too much space. After a bit of searching, I found Mary Corbet's Needle 'N Thread, which was a great place to get started. I gathered some supplies, watched some of her stitch videos, and off I went! This was my first project:

A little bunny in stem stitch. I just drew the bunny right on my scrap of fabric with a pencil and stitched over it. After using Tumblr to share photos of my art for a while, I'm switching to this blog to track my stitchy exploits, share things in the world of embroidery that interest me as well as other crafty projects I'm working on.