March 30, 2012

Wild Olive's Stitch Swap

So this month, I decided to do something I've always wanted to do: participate in a crafting swap. Since embroidery and knitting are kind of my thing, Wild Olive's Stitch Swap was the perfect challenge. I'll be honest, I still consider myself a beginner when it comes to embroidery and hand-sewing. I have a small repertoire of stitches, most of them are basic. And I had never before done any kind of finishing to my pieces to make them "wall ready." Mostly I stitch textiles like towels or t-shirts. So I stretched myself a little, and over all, I'm pretty pleased with the results:

After doing some stealth research on my secret stitch pal, I discovered that she has a Boston Terrier. I hope my little embroidery piece reminds her of him.

To see more of everyone's stitching, check out the Flickr pool.

October 25, 2011

September 13, 2011

Call Me Ishmael

So. Let me start by saying that I've read Moby Dick, and I'm not a fan. Man, that Melville could really have used a firmer editorial hand. The book is about 625 pages, depending on your edition and there's really only about 250 pages of story there. Everything else is just minutia...pages and pages of minutia. Was the guy getting paid by the word?

Our friends over at Feeling Stitchy are running a little contest called Covered in Stitches. Essentially, you stitch up the cover of a book. It can be your own design or you can embroider an existing cover, doesn't matter. But it got me to thinking about book covers and cover artwork in general. And I'm going to repeat something I've been saying for years: here in the US, we have terrible taste in cover art. Nothing says "chick lit" faster than a blurry photograph of some cropped body part. But digging through my (massive) book collection tonight, I found a few that stand out:

Why yes, it is Laundry Day...why do you ask?

Uh, yeah...up in the corner of that one photo is....Moby Dick. The cover art is about the only thing that I like about that book. And I like it a lot. In fact, I'm thinking that it may be my entry for the Covered in Stitches contest.

September 2, 2011

Every Day I Write the Book*

I've never been someone who keeps a journal or diary. It takes time and self-discipline, both of which I never seem to have enough of. But I keep hearing over and over about how important keeping a regular journal is to the creative process, whatever your outlet is. And I get it -- I do. It's just that I feel so, well....uninspired. My life is....mundane. Ordinary. Boring. And I like mundane and ordinary, for the most part (drama is really overrated, trust me). But the very qualities that make for a relatively comfortable existence don't necessarily lend themselves to scintillating self-expression.

And then I saw this. And this.

And I've been thinking about one of these.

And I'm feeling kind of...inspired.

I like the 30 Days of _____ idea. And starting with lists is brilliant. For me, it's perfect -- I can take the day's topic and expand on it as much or as little as I want to. Or have time for. And I love lists -- I'm always making mental lists of things. And so without further ado:

Things I'm Looking Forward To

1.  Receiving my new Fuji Instax 210 and experimenting with it;
2.  Lunch at Zono on Monday with my friends, Penny and Sue;
3.  Finishing my current embroidery project
     (it's a secret for now since it's for someone's birthday);
4.  Starting 2 new embroidery projects:
  • A black-work portrait of Franny based on a pen-and-ink drawing that some friends' daughter did years ago;
  • Feeling Stitchy's September Stitch-Along;

* Every Day I Write the Book is an Elvis Costello song. Because my life has an 80s soundtrack.

August 17, 2011

Current Work In Progress

My current work-in-progress.

Feeling Stitchy has been doing a series of stitch-alongs lately. The one for August focuses on a technique in which the stitcher embroiders on patterned fabric. It's an effect I've wanted to try for a while and this seems like the perfect opportunity.

So far, I've blanket-stitched some applique birds on my piece (put-a-bird-on-it, anyone?), sewn a few shell buttons on it, and did some simple outline and fill stitches.  But now I'm kind of at an impasse. It needs some oomph but I don't know creatively what to do next. Satin stitch? Some lazy-daisies? A few twinkle stars?  This was my original inspiration.

April 18, 2010

Sin-Taxes and George Hamilton

The new health-care reform bill is responsible for some new, so-called "sin taxes." Read about the uproar this is causing in this article about taxing tanning salon services:

Me? I'm as pale as they get. And I embrace my pastiness -- practically shout it out from the rooftop. But what gets me about our over-reaching government is this little nugget I read:

The Food and Drug Administration is considering new tanning rules that may include banning people with pale skin.

In my opinion, tanning is stupid.  But what right does the FDA have to exclude a certain segment of the population, the pale segment, from getting our inner George Hamilton on?

April 12, 2010

The Internet Makes Us All Smarter? Oh, Really.

I just saw a commercial for AT&T. They claim that access to the Internet makes us smarter. And then it goes on to ask, "What happens when everyone has it?" 

     1.   I have recently learned that the term “idiot box” now refers to the computer. It was once used exclusively to describe the television;

     2.   AT&T is my wireless service provider. They also used to provide my landline telephone service, and kept sending me information about U-verse and high-speed DSL. The only problem is that despite living less than 10 minutes from a major metropolitan area, DSL and U-verse aren’t available in my neighborhood. AT&T doesn’t provide these services to my location.

The irony of the above-referenced commercial isn’t lost on me.