Monday, 12 March 2012

Embroidery is the best

Every train journey this week, my needles have been flashing and jabbing (and of course, stabbing myself in the finger and even the leg – thanks french knots) to finish my 'Pete the Pirate: setting out' design. Look, it even has a proper name now and everything! I finished it on Friday, with one subtle change. With the addition of some long blondish hair this one became Priscilla the Pirate. Well, girls can be pirates too right? RIGHT.
Go forth and have adventures! Huzzah!
Little close-up to show some of the textures
I've enjoyed making this so much that I've already started on a second Pete pirate, and I think I might even make a few more. This is the first hoop design I've made that just really clicked for me, straight away. Here's to many more! A few people have asked if I'll be selling these, and I do plan to make one or two extra to sell in...wait for it...that's right, my Folksy shop! After months of a small amount of hard work and a large amount of prevaricating, I have actually set up my Folksy shop, and you can find it here. Now, before you have a peek, there is actually only one thing in the shop at the moment. However, now I've taken the plunge, I will get some more things up soon. The whole thing seems much less scary and onerous now that I've actually tried it out. When I get more things up I'll update you all on here, and then I'll pop a button up on the blog to shout about my shop!

Oh and another exciting thing happened this week! I usually post on a Sunday night so I quite often link up to the excellent Nifty Thrifty Sunday linky party. There are always some fun and smart things on there, and I love a good browse. I linked up my unfinished pirate design last week and I was pretty stunned when Vanessa commented on my blog to say that I'd been picked as one of the six features of the week! WOW. I also got the notification yesterday which was my birthday, so it seemed like a lovely extra special birthday treat! Thanks Vanessa! I was chuffed to feature and will display my badge with pleasure.
 {nifty button}
I've also added to my fabric hoard this week after a trip to my local fabric store. I got some lovely Michael Miller fabric which I plan to use as a background to some more new embroideries I have planned, and I also couldn't resist this lovely stack of black and white fat quarters. No idea what I'm going to use them for, but I'm sure something will come along that needs them :)
Bought loads of this...better get moving!
*droooool*...what will you tasty fat quarters become???
No WIP updates this week, I'm far too busy stitching, stitching! It's also now just over a week until my first embroidery workshop, so I'm beavering away getting the final things in place for that. So excited!



Sunday, 4 March 2012

Hoopy designs

I'll admit it, sometimes when I set myself a new system or procedure designed to help me create or focus, it doesn't always work. However, my new embroidery hoop sketchbook is going great guns! Who would have thought that a simple outline of a 6 inch hoop and a few guiding words in pencil on some pages of a sketchbook would help focus and guide my creativeness so effectively?

After my first batch I posted about here, I had a vague idea to somehow portray stories in hoops. I'm a big, big comic fan so doing a panel per hoop seemed quite natural to me. I'm contsantly lamenting the fact that I haven't done much stitching for my daughters room, so I decided to come up with something themed for children. For some reason, a rabbit pirate leapt into my head (well why not?), and I thought a three-hoop simple story would work well. I took my sketchbook on the train to work one day, and by the time I returned home that evening I was bouncing with glee at what I had produced. Thank you sketchbook! 
 This is design one, entitled 'setting out'. This design is pretty finished, though I'd like to see the whole thing shifted down a little in the frame. Easy to do though.
 Design two entitled 'an encounter'. Well a pirate rabbit has gotta have adventures right? Things look quite desperate here, a giant squid has captured the boat! Whatever can he want? I have drawn the squid with one eye here but I think I will change it to two. The only thing missing here, which is important in the last frame, is that there should be a large, prominent picnic basket on the boat.
 Design number 3: A new friend. Well what do you know, the big squiddy was only peckish and wanted a sandwich and a bottle of pop! I wanted a really positive yet unexpected end to this series, and anyway, giant squids are pretty cool :) This design is the one I'm least happy with and needs the most work, hence the sketchiness of it. Maybe it's because there is a lack of movement and action, but I'm sure I'll find a solution. I think perhaps using the squids tentacles to create a circular affect around the edges of the frame might help. We'll see how it develops.

I was so excited by my new designs that I decided to start stitching right away! Well, I held myself back long enough to try and select my colours correctly, then I just had to get started.
I think it's coming together quite well. I like the appliquéd sail, and the chain stitch I used to give the boat texture and colour. And the french knots on the clouds were a last minute brainwave which I really like. Still a bit to do and then I'll need to finalise the last two designs.
Clever sketchbook! Good boy! Have a cookie :)

{nifty button}