Crafting is infectious. Spread the disease, visit my etsy store!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Wow, peeps!

I mention tatting and people start showing up.

That's actually awesome.

I left to go on my trip yesterday. I've arrived safely. Had some time during the 4 hour flight to actually teach myself some basic tatting stitches. I thank goodness that I spend all my time playing with string because it seems that my working knowledge of thread combined with the inability to do anything ELSE helped me figure out what I'm supposed to do. It's not that tough, actually, though I don't know how I'd teach anyone else...

I'll take pics at some point. I'm on someone else's computer so I didn't want to overload their system with photos and all the other stuff I'm regularly dabbling in.

Obviously I need to get a laptop. :p

Oh, and howdy to the people who stop by to give me helpful links and say hi :)

Friday, March 27, 2009



I like to bring small crafts on a trip, so I guess on this 'vacation' I'll be learning tatting. I know the very basics of using shuttles, but needles? I don't know what those are for. I picked them up anyway. Might be used in the same technique or another one. I guess I'll know when I get some time to work with it.

Anyone else know tatting? I tried to get someone to show me, but it's a dying art and I can't find anyone that knows it.

It's important to keep the old skills alive. They contain and display our history.

Leaving on a jet plane.

I'm nowhere near packed. I don't even know what to bring at this point. Eh, I'll get it all done. I always do.

I wanted to write an article or two today to have some windfall for my travel time (I have to write a certain number of articles for work) but I've felt awful the last couple of days (ear and sinus infection, it's a doozy and I'm on 3 kinds of antibiotics...oof) so I haven't been following latest trends.

Anyone following the craft sites that knows some good trends I may have missed in the past week?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


What's this? Oh it's chicken scratch embroidery, which is beautiful, easy, and full of history. Read more in this brief article I wrote, with another picture.

Also, if you want a free sewing machine, you can enter to win one at the link below. How awesome is that?

You Can Make This! Blog

Monday, March 23, 2009

OMG frogs


Almost done with the Chinese frog buttons for this pair of pajamas. Have to buy another yard of soutache, then I can finish the last set. I think my comforter-eating rabbit wandered off with my last yard. Figures.

Once I get these buttons done I put them on, snap some pics, and send out some custom pajamas. I'll be very glad to get these done.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

When packing...

Everyone has things they start packing as soon as they know they're going on a trip. They go through the checklist of things that need to go and try to figure out what can be packed now, as opposed to what has to wait until just before they leave.

What do you think a needleworker starts packing?


Ah yes :) This is going to go with me on the flight because I don't have time to work on it right now. I can't wait to see it done.


This is a close up of the completed design. It was on the cover of Zweigart's September, 2007 issue of at home with Needlework.


I fail at getting anywhere on it because I'm trying to wrap up all the time-sensitive work I'm doing ASAP.

Look what I found!

A new thread, and a new contest to win some of your very own! The thread is Lecien Cosmo embroidery floss from Japan and oh man, I can't wait to get my hands on some. She found a local distributor, so she's lucky, but you can order from them too :) Just follow the link from her blog.

Contest ends: 3-25-09 at 11pm PST. GOGO!

Friday, March 20, 2009

New crafty articles :)

If you're so inclined, check out my recent articles.

This one's about a new trend, using fabric selvage in your craft projects, which is actually really neat and I can't wait to try it. If any of my readers try it, please link me your pictures!

Also, with several events right around the corner, I've gathered some ideas for party invitations for Celebrating this season's return of baseball as well as Earth Day party invitations, and if you weren't sure if you wanted to throw an Earth Day party this April, or you weren't sure how to do it...I can help there, too, with tips and tricks for throwing an Earth Day party as well as craft ideas for kids within the Earth Day theme.

Don't forget to visit my profile on to see if there are any articles you missed. I'll be updating there again in a day or two. You might also want to help me dust off some old articles I wrote about gift ideas for stitchers, and introductions to blackwork embroidery as well as hardanger, and if you're looking for drop spindle recommendations, look no further, I tried some Kundert drop spindles and I'm in love.

Is it the weekend yet?

I'm booking flights and juggling finances for an emergency trip, and I'll be gone a while (but still blogging), but I wanted to let you guys know about this contest I'm getting ready to enter.

It's for a free apron from the Hip Hostess. I visited their website through the post I linked. Their aprons and tea towels are divine. GO GO, and sign up!

Also, if you don't win but still want an apron, that link offers a coupon code valid through the end of April. Don't miss out!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Did you hear?

Lark books just notified me of a new contest to generate interest in their new book:

Head on over here, download the rules, and get started! You have until April 30th to be entered to win that and 9 other selections from Lark Books

Also, in case you were not aware, I'm now the Detroit Arts and Crafts Examiner for If you'd be so kind, please check out my new article about National craft month at Jo-Ann's, which is running all this month. The article has a link to their new patterns for lots of different types of crafts.

Also, have you heard about people using fabric selvage now for crafts? *sigh* I want to try it. If anyone else me a pic!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Did she just?

f snow

This winter was a doozy, wasn't it? This is my meager revenge. I drafted the pattern, should be easy enough for anyone with a basic understanding of the stitches to duplicate but if anyone wants the pattern, let me know :)

Oh wow!

I just won a contest over at CraftGossip for this book :D I can't wait to see it.

They're running another contest for a different book now. Why don't you head on over and sign up? Maybe you could win too!

Friday, March 13, 2009

March is Mending Month!

Before - Mending a Comforter

This obviously needed mending, no? My rabbits got ahold of my comforter goodness-knows-when and I've been meaning to fix the underside they chewed, but never got around to it.

Now I'm glad I didn't, because I entered the Get Er Done Giveaway over here (contest is almost over) and it gave me just the kick in the buns I needed to finally do it. I don't know if I'll have time to get anything else done because I'm so busy (which is why I hadn't gotten it done in the first place) but boy am I relieved it's done now.

Want to see?


Lights had to be on took a while to fix it since I was doing it all by hand.

That's Civil War Era Reproduction fabric my grandma gave me. I'll think of her every time I see it. Patches don't always have to match the original. Sometimes it's better if they don't!

New shipment!


What's this? My new shipment from Valdani! I'm testing colors for my upcoming kits because I want one of them to contain Valdani threads. Being a designer is awesome.

Oh that's right, I probably haven't blogged publicly about my kits.

They're educational kits for my favorite type of embroidery, with some of the best supplies available in the market so that people get a good understanding of what to look for when they're choosing their own supplies in the future. I've tried threads from all over the world and I've done some truly wonderful and awful things to them to make sure that I know which products to recommend to others. 2 of my 4 beginner kits are already being tested. I want the 3rd to have Valdani threads.

Would you like to know which products I've tried and how it turned out? I'm getting ready to write reviews and comparisons on some of my favorites...

But, to focus on what's important here...let's talk about you, my dear readers.


I hope you like purple, because that's what color I'm getting ready to do my new sampler design in. Of course, if you don't like purple, that's okay too...because you get to pick your own supplies.

The pattern will be available here, on my blog, for free. I may even run a contest with it. Anyone interested?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Crafty business...


My secondary nickname is "God of Crafting Chaos" for a reason. This is 5 of the projects I have running right now. 2 are almost done (yes one DOES contain a cuss word), and one is going to be unveiled, with free pattern, on this blog.

Note Buddha. He is unfazed by this chaos because he knows it all works out in the end. He's how I keep my sanity (what's left of it anyway).

Monday, March 9, 2009


If you're looking for some swag from or for crafters, there are contests on a couple places right now.

One, craftgossip is heralding their return with a huge giveaway. You could win one of over 440 prizes in their March Madness Giveaway so head on over and sign up.

Also, this month it's all about the buttons (which goes well with mending month, no?"

Crafster's current craft challenge is all about the buttons.

If you decide you like working with buttons, you might want some more ideas. You're in luck, too, because Craftstylish is having a March Book Giveaway.

Head on over and sign up. It's good to participate in the craft communities...I get some of the best ideas from community participation.

In other news, look what I did :) I finished one of these new frog buttons. It looks rather heart-shaped, to me.


Sunday, March 8, 2009

Guess what else March is?

In honor of national reading month (I love, love, love to read) I've added some more books to my amazon store but I'll link them here so you can get an understanding of why I'm recommending them.

Can reading an embroidery book really be reading? Only the best kind. Even grown-ups like picture books sometimes, especially for learning.

For freeform embroidery (more creativity, for those who don't like to color in the lines), there's a new good beginner book out there.

Have you seen it? I haven't gotten a chance to buy it yet but I've perused it several times and it's definitely going to be added to my collection.

I love it when they make needlework contemporary, but keep it beautiful. This is crewel...more structured than freeform embroidery, but it'll help build your skills.

For counted work work like cross stitch, needlepoint, hardanger, pulled thread, etc.

Cross stitch book, has some cute little patterns...for those who like to work only in cross stitch.

The best beginner-level cross stitch book to come out for those of us with a cranky side...ever.

It wouldn't be me if there wasn't any hardanger. Trust me on this one. I teach classes on this technique for a reason. It's that awesome.

Speaking of things that are awesome, these are must haves for your needlework library.

These two are some of the most comprehensive contemporary guides I've seen for a wide range of needlework stitches and techniques. I don't know how I got by without them. I started designing my own patterns just so I could do the weird stitches I loved in them. Absolutely A+.

Now, while you wait for your books to arrive, just wanted to let you know that eyeball hat is on sale.

Yarn spun by hand, eyeball felted and embroidered by hand, modeled by moi. You can't possibly hate on eyeball hat. It has an eyeball on it.

You might even be able to read faster with it on. Extra eyes are quite useful!

March is Mending Month!

According to Craftzine, March is now mending month. Check out their site for some great tips on upcycling, tutorials on things like darning (not nearly as hard as it looks!), and more.

As for me, I'll be mending and taking in a lot of things this month...some that have needed doing for a while. Feel free to get inspired with me! It'll help me get through altering these pants (I lost weight, now I have to take them in) and fixing this comforter. Ugh...rabbits. At least they only chewed on the bottom side and not the top.

Remember, if you don't fix holes, they just get bigger, so fix it while you can!

In other news, been finding some good stuff for beginners and freehand embroiderers on and putting it in my store. I like to stick with DMC (or better quality) threads...bundle packs of cheaper threads can seem economical but let's face it...if you're going to do the work, you want it to hold up well no?

Probably this week I'll do a tutorial on washing your needlework, which is a daunting task for some. I'll also let you in on a little secret about threads that are 'color safe'.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

DMC Mentor Program

I figured while I was playing on the net today, I'd let you guys know about the DMC Mentor program, in case you're interested in joining.

If you're a cross stitcher or needleworker, particularly one that teaches or would like to teach, you should check out their Mentor program for good ideas on curriculum, how to start groups, and supplies.

It was really easy for me to join and I'd like to do more with my approval at some point very soon. I'm not sure how long the program will be running, so if you're interested, get in while you can.

Sign up here


I've been looking around trying to find an easy way to recommend things I use to you guys so you can check them out...but their selection is somewhat limited when it comes to things I use except for books ;)

Obviously they need more sellers.

Oh, awesome!

I recently became a DMC Mentor. DMC=embroidery supplies company. Mentor=instructor/teacher. I have to say, I was pleased at how easy it was to sign up for their program, and it really helps MY work (I'm a needlework instructor), but that's the backstory, and I may expand on that in a bit.

What's awesome is that they just sent me a bunch of tiny cross stitch kits for a class I'll be teaching in April, and I didn't have to pay a thing. That'll cut everyone's costs for the class so hopefully more people will sign up :D

I realize it's the whole 'get people addicted to our product and they'll keep coming back' thing that gives people the willies, to a point, but it's really nice to see even big companies giving out freebies to their future customers. How often do you get something free in this day and age?

They're such cute little kits, too. I should take a picture.


It's actually laying over a copy of Zweigart's needlework magazine, at home with Needlework. I'm in love with that publication. I'm doing the cover piece and I'll post pictures when I make any significant progress.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Coffee is delicious...

Boring run-downs: what I'm doing today.

I've been working on a pair of pajamas. I should probably post pics (I might edit later to do that). I'm using Olivia the Pig flannel for the pajama bottoms, which turned out quite cute.

I hand-embroidered the collar. I'll get pics of that, too.

Mostly, all I have to do now is the frog buttons. Frogs are Chinese knot buttons. They're quite cute, and simple to make. I have to make 4 sets. ONE is done. I'm so behind.

Check out the knot, though:


SO much easier than it looks! It's just soutache...which probably sounds foreign and weird to everyone but me.

Thank goodness

Got stuff reorganized on here. Have to tweak some settings, but that isn't too complicated.

Getting ready to do a review for Valdani threads. Can't wait. I've been working with them for a bit now since Puerto Rico. I have to test them for colorfastness. That's always fun.

I think I might actually finally open this blog to my regular bloggers. I don't think they know it exists...yet.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


Down in Puerto Rico last year, I had the opportunity to check out some threads from a company I hadn't heard of here in the states called Valdani. When I got back home, I contacted them and got some samples so I could try them out.

I've been having fun working with their threads. I'm probably going to write up a review soon, if you want to stay tuned. I'm sure pictures will be involved.

At any rate, not new to blogging but this is a (relatively) new blog. I wanted to make one that's focused particularly on products and market trends related to my hobby-of-choice, so I'm going to be flipping the posting over to that.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Might be useful ;)

Gotta tweak. I might actually be able to do something with this blog. I've wanted to for a while, but wasn't sure what to do with it. Now I know ;)