Here’s something a little fun from a blog I subscribe to. On the mend, but it’s slow going especially since I started PT for Frozen Shoulder this morning. But I’m getting a lot of reading done!

Kincavel Krosses

Design: Halloween Biscornu (Side 1)
Size: 50w x 50h
Designer: Kell Smurthwaite, Kincavel Krosses

Watch out for two more designs to go with this one over the next two weeks!

Permissions:

  • This design is copyright to Kell Smurthwaite and Kincavel Krosses
  • You may use, copy and/or share this design, and you may change it to your liking for your own use
  • You may not sell this design or use it to make up kits
  • You may sell the finished piece for charity, but you may not sell it commercially

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Whole Lotta Stitchin’ Goin’ On

Thursday, September 27 PM

I’ve been stitching and been stitched on in the past 24 hours! Maybe I should back up a little.

Monday, September 24

When I was at the laundromat the other day, I practiced a few TAST Week 38 Drizzle Stitch.  I was glad to hear that this Brazilian Embroidery stitch is often stitched with rayon threads.  I just happen to have some rayon floss and some metallic floss that I hate stitching with.  While it is pretty and shiny, it is unruly and knots and slips about and is hard to keep threaded.  I was thinking about giving it away.  But that seems kind of cruel.  I thought about sending it to Fireside Stitchery so they could sell it on their E Bay service, but I kept thinking that is the coward’s way out.

Thanks to the Drizzle Stitch and other Brazilian Embroidery stitches, I have found a way to use these threads and take advantage of their lovely sheen and sparkle!  Unfortunately, the sampling I did at the laundromat, was not exactly “pretty,” so I didn’t photograph it to present in the weekly TAST review over at Pin Tangle.  I thought maybe I would just incorporate it into a sample I work up for other TAST challenges.

Who knew the opportunity would come so quickly!

Tuesday, September 25

Every Tuesday Sharon Boggon announces the new stitch challenge, hence the moniker “Take a Stitch Tuesday!”  This week was no different.  The Week 39 challenge is the Knotted Buttonhole Stitch.  And, like every week, I start thinking about where I might see a similar shape or pattern in nature or in general.  I think about where it might have fit into previous stitching I’ve done.  I consider what colors and thread textures would really stand out with this stitch.

Wednesday, September 26

I’ve found a button that would go very nice with the thread I want to use for the Knotted Buttonhole Stitch.  I’ve been enjoying using the DMC Color Variations perle cotton and will use it yet again.  I had just finished hand stitching the lining of Katie’s Stocking to the stocking and was about start working with the Knotted Buttonhole Stitch when I went outside to try to catch my neighbor before she closed up for the night.  Almost immediately I found myself slanting towards the ground and hugging the propane tanks to avoid falling to the ground. It felt like my leg was wedged into the trailer hitch.   The pain was incredible.  The fact that I could stand suggested the leg was not broken.  But the amount of blood I could feel pouring down my leg suggested this was more than a bit of a boo-boo.  Jeff had a good description of the wound, it looked like someone took an ice cream scoop and dug out most of the front of my leg.  All the ER doctor would say is, “this is really a challenge.”  He said it more than once.  It took over two hours for him to stitch the leg back together.  There are 35 stitches on the inside and I don’t know how many on the inside just to try to get the top closer together.   Luckily, Dr. McClung was up for the challenge.  He even listened to my stupid jokes/stories.  Knowing some are sensitive to such images I’m not posting the pic, but if you want to see the Doc’s wonderful stitching, you can click on the last hyper-linked text.

Blue Badge of Courage

Vintage button surrounded by Knotted Buttonhole Stitch and Drizzle Stitch fringe all attached to grey fleece.

So, Knotted Buttonhole stitch.  I ended up making a badge for myself.  It is a combination of my attachment series and my patch series of stitch samples.  It has not only the Knotted Buttonhole stitch, but also the Drizzle stitch to make the little fringe at the bottom of the button.  It’s to congratulate myself on surviving what was akin to surgery without anesthesia or pain medication until the actual stitching began and Lidocaine  was injected into raw tissue.

It’s about all I can accomplish at this point.  It’s taken me three days just to write this post.  And I’m ready to go back to bed now.  I’m not supposed to be up and about as there is every danger that the stitches will tear through the thin skin, especially since quite a bit of the subcutaneous tissue sloughed away during the injury.

So, I’m going to bed.  You may not hear from me for a couple weeks.

Pistil Stitch Pomander Patch

TAST 2012 Pistil Stitch Challenge

TAST 2012 Pistil Stitch Patch with Pistil Stitches, and French knots on Organza and muslin

Pistil Stitch Pomander Patch—say that five times real fast!

(Aside:  I do love alliteration!)  The Pistil Stitch is this week’s TAST challenge where one can learn the stitch or, if familiar with it, go crazy using it.  As you can see I didn’t get crazy with it, but I did mess around a bit.

You will not see the Pistil Stitch in a lot of my work.

Mainly because I don’t love making French knots.  And as you know (or can see), the Pistil stitch is basically a straight stitch which is finished in a French knot. Fancy name for two not so fancy stitches.

But patches…you will begin to see more of.

From me, at least.  It is my latest way to make my TAST samples functional.  (The other two—so far—are the TAST 2012 Sampler and the TAST Attachment Quilt Blocks.)  For me, it is important to have an end product.  I don’t need any more bit and pieces of stuff to collect.  I know!  What are patches but more bits and pieces?!  But these are bits and pieces with a future.

I have been making some clothing and sorting through fabrics in storage.  As I find a piece that is too small to do something useful with, I consider if it would make an interesting background for an embroidery stitch of some sort.  If the answer is, “yes,” then I have added the piece to my trailer embroidery fabric stash.  If the answer is, “no,” then I ditch the piece of fabric.  All part of my seasonal reorganization for on the road crafting.

When I have collected a few patches I will begin to stitch them together to make a patch-worked wall hanging.  I already have two patches.  The background fabric in the following is a scrap of leftover binding I made for a kaftan I made for Jeff.  (One day I’ll get him to model it for a photo!)

Cast On and Sheaf Stitch

Poppy Field–Cast on stitch poppies and sheaf stitch stems

The patch I did this week has a scrap of muslin leftover from the lining of Katie’s Christmas stocking.  The bow is made from a scrap of ribbon that my best friend used on a birthday gift she gave to me years ago.  The orange organza is a remnant that I couldn’t pass up at JoAnn’s.  I mean, really—it was on sale and I had a card for 10% off the sale price, too!  I picked up a couple other remnants the same day.  You’ll see them sometime in the future I’m pretty sure!

TAST 2012 Pistil Stitch Challenge

TAST 2012 Pistil Stitch Challenge

A better look at the pistil stifches

Closer view of the Pistil Stitches

When the wall hanging is completed, I will assemble the posts that tell about the provenance of the “bits and pieces,” the patches.  That might make I nice little gift-y, or even a blog give-away.

Or maybe I should just make the individual patches blog give-aways?  What do you think?

Theft of Copyrighted and/or Confidential Internet Materials on the Rise!

http://www.copyrightauthority.com for more info on copyright!

http://www.copyrightauthority.com for more info on copyright!

Do you have a copyright statement on your blog or website?  Something like this:

“Copyright Notice:

Copyright © Julie J. Castle 2012 – 2013 Please contact author for permission to use material from The Shop Sampler, including pinning images.”

According to the article I received from The Blog Herald today, more and more people are reading these statements and saying, “So what?!”

 According to this article, close to 6 million requests were sent to Google to have information removed immediately from search results.  This represents an increase of over 1.3 million in the same time period compared to data from last year.

Amanda DiSilvestro writes: 

“What This Means to Online Marketers

This spike in requests is significant because it proves that copyrighted or confidential information is being used improperly. This means that online marketers need to be on high alert about when their company is mentioned online. “

Amanda DiSilvestro suggests some safeguards, too:

“This means that online marketers need to be on high alert about when their company is mentioned online. You can do this by setting up virus tool such as McAfee and Copyscape, and even creating a Google Alert for your company name to screen for any potential duplicated content.”

What’s your take on this?  Does it concern you?  How do you protect your creative property rights?  Does your concern keep you from sharing your art online or otherwise?  I would really love to hear what you think and I’m sure others would, too!

Attachment to Guilt Can Kill Creativity

Cast On and Sheaf Stitch

Poppy Field

I’ve been feeling pretty guilty these days.  I don’t like feeling that way.  And why do I feel guilty?  Because I committed to participating in Sharon Boggon‘s Take A Stitch Tuesday at the beginning of the year and back on Week 24, I got hung up and have not been able to catch up.  Look at this list of stitches!  There are 12 of them!  Do you get overwhelmed looking at it?  I do!

(Note:  Click on the stitch name to go to Sharon Boggon’s Tutorial page for the stitch)

Not only that, I’ve started yet two more projects which means I’m adding insult to injury! (Project 1 & Project 2)
And then there’s all those UFOs!

It’s no wonder I’m having “bad food days” and “bad brain days”!

So how does one get past this block?  Well, my Mother, the inveterate no-nonsense Vermonter, would simply say, “Knock it off!”  The Buddhist translation is: “become free from your attachment to suffering!”  Begin by accepting that you have this feeling.  Then you are free to release it.

I’m releasing the guilt by taking action—by considering what I have accomplished and determining what I CAN do to accomplish what is left to be done.

First:  I have color coded the word “Week” in the following list.

RED= Completed, yea!
GREEN= Completed & posted about earlier
Black= Yet to be done

Here are photos of what I have been doing with the exception of a Caftan that I created for Jeff, a dress I’ve cut out for myself, and Blackwork Lessons details some of what I’ve been up to as well.

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And Second:

Wow!  There are only four more stitches to go on the list and I already know where I’m putting them.  I’m going to layer three of them along the Linked Double Chain at the bottom of the TAST 2012 Sample.  The Up and Down Buttonhole stitch will become the rays on the sun in the “Sunshine and Lollipops” piece.  How about that!

Finally, Third:

There!  No longer attached to guilt!   I feel so much better!  How about you?!

I don’t really like the idea of “reblogging,” but when I read this article I’m thinking I may have been wrong. I could never say what this young man says so well. He deserves to be not only read by everyone, but followed, too! I know I am!

Cristian Mihai

There’s a part of me that believes art to be a primordial aspect of the human condition. Art inspires, art is a way of achieving greatness, of building a better world. Art turns strangers into friends. Without art, without artists, we wouldn’t be ourselves anymore.

Because I feel that within the confines of any artistic form of expression, we allow ourselves to wear a mask. The artist hides behind words or paints or brushes. And he feels safe. He can be anyone he wants to be. His freedom is limitless. And he plays this bizarre game of hide and seek with the rest of the world, constantly changing the rules, until he decides – maybe on a mere subconscious level – to  be himself, thinking that people will never find out.

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Return to TAST 2012

It’s been a while since I’ve done any Take A Stitch Tuesday stitching.  I’ve been designing my flag for the Prayer Flag Installation next month.  And working on a Christmas project for my youngest great-niece (a Shepherd’s Bush Stocking!)  I’ve determined it will take a minimum of 175 hours to complete this project for her.  I’ve never figured out my time in a project before, always just done an approximation at the end.    You should try to calculate your stitch per minute some time.  Your stitching will take on a whole new value for you!  You will be awed by yourself.  AND SHOULD BE!

While I have not stitched Sharon Boggon’s TAST selection for this week, the Pekinese Stitch, I have stitched it before.  And here it is:

Pekinese Stitch on CyberPointers Ruby Ribbons

The Pekinese Stitch
AKA
the Chinese Stitch, the Forbidden Stitch, the Laced Backstitch, and
the Blind Stitch

While I was a member of the cyber chapter of the American Needlepoint Guild, I participated in the project to celebrate ANG’s 40th (or Ruby) Anniversary.  The final, framed four panel piece will be auctioned off at the National Conference in Philadelphia later this month.  The project piece was called Ruby Ribbon and was based upon a ribbon patterned quilt block, something like  Celtic knotwork.

One quarter of the quilt block is represented in each of four panels to make a whole block when appropriately arranged.  (I’d show you the block but can’t due to copyright issues.)  Each of the four panels was divided into 144 squares (12×12 grid) about 1.5 inches each.  Participants were told what value of what color to use in each block.  Then it was up to each stitcher to decide what stitch to do (there were to be no duplicate stitches!) and what thread to accomplish the goal.  The colors were different values of red, white, grey, and black.  It was kind of nice because you could sign up for a block based upon what threads you had available in your stash so it would not be cost prohibitive to participate in the project. Last I heard, CyberPointers was working on compiling directions for the piece to be sold as a fund raiser for the group.  Keep an eye out on their web site store page to see the completed piece and to get the pattern if you like.

My Pekinese block was supposed to be a Dark Grey, akin to DMC 413.  So I just used DMC 413 for the backstitching.  Then I used Rainbow Gallery’s Fuzzy Stuff in #19 for the lacing.  It gave an incredible texture, fluffy and soft.  Here are a couple photos of the block in context with several other blocks I stitched near the Pekinese square to give you an idea of how textures and shades worked together.

Pekinese Stitch, French Stitch, and my own padded combination stitch

Padded Stitch Combination in Black…Watercolours Midnight and Kreinik black
French Stitch in Very Dark Grey…DMC # 3799
Pekinese Stitch already described

Fern Stitch in Grey done in DMC #414
(The smidgen of red was stitched by someone else)

I really enjoyed the effect of the stitch, but using the Fuzzy Stuff was a bit of a challenge.  I would, however, do it again.  This was a great choice for Santa’s beard or stuffed animal representations or animal fur.  I look forward to using it some more in some of the Buddhist images I’ve been sketching on muslin to embroider.

I wonder?  Is anyone else as far behind in TAST as I am?  I got hung up way back on the buttonhole wheel.  I’ll finish it, I promise!  It’s pretty bad when a stitching sample becomes a UFO!

Orts

A couple little bits (hence title!)

  1. To help you know if there’s anything new on support pages, check the bottom as I always note the update date!
  2. I have just updated Photography Tips in the References Section.  Don’t know where I came across him, but Timothy Adam of Handmadeology is a successful craftsman selling his art on Etsy.  He has created this blog to help others be successful on Etsy, too.  I just like his tips for success in general and for photography in particular.  He has done some research and posted a “big list” of photography tips that you bloggers out there might appreciate.  Check him out and subscribe if you like what you see.  I do!
  3. My thread storage system is going to get tweaked.  I can’t close the photo album, so I’m going to either create my own book using rings and foam board for covers or I’m going to the old fashioned ledger with expandable pins so I can grow my “thread book” as needed.  I upload some pics when I get it moving along.

Thread Storage Is Not For Sissies!

Whether your passion is embroidery, quilting, knitting, or mixed media, storage is a problem for any fiber artist .  But when you live in a space that is 27 foot long by 8 foot wide, the issue of storage is a problem whether you’re a fiber artist or not!  From the beginning of our time on the road I have been searching for the perfect solution.

Initially I had  been “alotted” the space under the bed (queen sized and 17 inches deep) and one half of the cupboard area over the couch (about 8 ft wide and 14 in deep by 14 in tall).

Since Jeff and I have consistently been trying to decrease the weight we carry in the trailer, I am now using about ½ the under the bed space and ¾ of the living room cupboard space.   This has taken a lot of work and a lot of honesty, not to mention a fair amount of growth in the realm of non-attachment—for both of us.  (The dogs refuse to make any changes at all!)

A couple of things have helped to make this downsizing possible.

  • I decided what projects I really want to have done in a year that could realistically be completed given my stitching history.
  • I picked a couple UFOs to focus on, keeping in mind if I finish them before the end of October I can always pull out a couple more.
  • Given these choices, I picked out which reference materials would be critical to carry with me.
  • Everything else was put in  the front of the storage unit and labeled very clearly for ease in sorting next spring.
  • I found a way to store all the thread that doesn’t fit neatly on floss cards (without spending a small fortune for some fancy new “System.”)  Yup!  I did!
My new thread storage system

My new thread storage system for items that will not fit into my DMC floss card boxes.

I found a photo album that has archival quality photo pockets.  The pockets are divided by acid free paper.  They are supposed to hold a photo that is about 4 X 6, so are perfect for perle cotton weight thread.  I labeled each pocket front and back with the thread company, thread weight, and color number. (Each pocket will hold two skeins.)

Photo album for 4 x 6 photos, perfect for Perle Cotton weights

Ends close to rings stapled to prevent escapees!

I also found archival quality pocketed storage sheets meant for the older, smaller baseball cards.  The little pockets are perfect for Rainbow Gallery thread cards, Weeks Dye Works flosses, and other smaller skeins of thread.  Again, I labeled each pocket with relevant info.

Smaller pockets for smaller threads

Intended for smaller baseball cards but perfect for my smaller thread skeins and cards.

I like this because it’s flexible.  As I add a color, I can take off the labeled info and rearrange as necessary.  I have loads of extra pages so I can add as my inventory changes.   And it’s easier to maintain my Excel inventory of threads.  Most importantly,  I can easily pull colors from different companies to create my color palette.

There are still a few oddball items, particularly spools.  Those I have in two boxes, one a tin for metallics and the other is a Shaker box (made by Allen Fannin) that I use for my balls of Perle cotton.