Free Easter Egg Patterns!

Easter is now only 6 days away!  There is still plenty of time to stitch up one of these little mini Easter eggs.

The simple, modern pattern is very relaxing to stitch and the colors are sure to call spring in once and for all.

Each is 39 by 26 squares. 2.8 by 1.8 inches on 14ct aida cloth.

Get them HERE.

Herringbone, Triangles and Chevron

egg2 egg3 egg2

{No-Sew} DIY Baby Knee Pads.

My boy is crawling.  I can’t even believe it.  
The temp is up over 50 FINALLY in beautiful Chicagoland.
So he really doesn’t need pants in the house.  51 degrees feels like 72.
I came up with these helpful little guys.  He doesn’t mind them at all and they do the job  :)  
Note*  He is 6 months old and on the 25 percentile arc for weight, so this size of fabric maybe be to small for your little one, or too big. 
Let me know how they work out for you!  

Last week on Instagram {3.28-4.4}

I’ve decided to this little weekly instagram post to Wednesdays.  So don’t go looking for it on Fridays anymore, k?
1.  A pixel family for a friend that recently moved very far away.  I hope that she gets it soon.
2. A vintage wheelchair.  My uncle is in the hospital.  Yes, it’s serious.  No, I don’t really want to talk about it.
3.  The chicken in the hospital room playing on my mom’s ipad.  I don’t have one so when she gets it it keeps her busy for a bit.  They ponytail is new and it makes me really happy to fix her hair for her. I’ve never really been doting on children, but this is something I always wanted to do with my daughter.  There is something special about it.
4.  How to blog post about stitching on paper and boxes and whatever else that you can think of that isn’t fabric.  
5.  My mom’s medicine.  Easter is coming.
6 & 7. Hoop-La!  I finally got one.  It’s great.   
8.  Randolph Street Fair.  This is what I picked up.  Read about it in this post.  The place is outstanding, suffice to say.
9. Something I was working on.  Stitched on paper.
10.  Baby foods!  It’s that time again.
11. It’s a grim cat.
12. My to-do list.  The most important thing is the last thing.  Buy beer.
13. I made Violet this blanket when my orginal one failed.  Well it didn’t fail.  I just didn’t like it and i didn’t want to do it anymore.  BUT she still needed a blanket.  She’s starting to use it more now.  I love these colors, some is made from vintage yarn.
14. #stitchaday #astitchaday  March.
15, 16 & 20.  A little owl my mom requested.  She’s teeny.  3.5 by 3.5.
17. She got some cowboy boots. OMGCUTE
18. #TBT  My second afghan.  And the beginning of my chevron problem. February 2013.
19.  I screwed up the paper project from #9.  How NOT to stitch on paper, here
Happy Wed-nes-day!

{Outing} Randolph Street Market

I got tickets on Living Social and paid $4 each.  SO WORTH IT.  Even just to walk around and know that some of these things exist makes me happier.  Flea markets, artisian fairs, thrift stores, they all open something in my brain that just makes me happy.

They happen monthly.  In May – September they are in a three level Union hall AND a huge parking lot. They boast 250 vendors.

Tickets.

Schedule.

If you are in or near Chicago, I highly recommend checking it out.

Here is what I bought.

I really love interesting jewelry.  Especially anything having to do with fiber art.

I didn’t “buy” this but it’s great.  As a camera nerd, I love this set up.  You just smile, hit the button, and this super nice guy hands you your ticket to claim your prize; your photo.  So clean and clever.  They have a single fashion style soft flash that creates the most beautifully textured photos.

My mom and I both feel super dorky trying to act all dorky.  So it’s just a simple smile from us.  :)

Some of what I saw.

Finally, He’s my boy and Aunt Gail.  My kids are going to be like 15 and ask how Gail is related to us. She totally isn’t.  It will blow their minds.

{tip} Anatomy of a Failed Artwork

One thing that I sometimes do is, I get too excited.  I get too eager and I don’t plan ahead.  This is mostly fine.  I improvise as I go, but sometimes it just doesn’t work out at all.

It is wise to know what you are good at, and not be modest about it.  It is equally as wise to know your shortcomings, and not beat yourself up about them.  I have a ton of respect for someone that tried something, over someone that decided they couldn’t do it.  I’m good at spacial intelligence and organizing information.  I am not good at thinking abstractly about math concepts.  Bleh.

Failure is the condiment that gives success it’s flavor – Truman Capote

All that said.

I wasted about 8 hours on this.  I didn’t have a good feeling about it from the start, but I knew if I could pull it off it would look very cool.

This month’s ArtBar theme is posters.  So I decided to get a poster for the poster show and stitch over it.

Here is the poster.

That takes me to -

Problem Number 1.
The poster is paper.  I need to have a sheet of paper over the poster because the pattern is so intricate. I’ve done this easily for larger scale works on cardboard, but not paper then paper then thread.

I stitched up about 75 % of it when I decided it was time to pull some paper to see what would happen.

Then.

Problem Number 2.
I used double sided tape to hold down the paper with the pattern on it.  I used double sided because the poster is glossy and there shouldn’t have been a problem.  However, I was holding the work in that exact spot and the heat from my thumb melted the sticky so when I pulled up the pattern it peeled off a bit of the poster. (Here is where I decided that I could crop the poster and it would be just fine.)

Problem Number 3.
I used only one strand of DMC floss.  I was thinking I can just pull up on the paper and the floss would rip the paper.  Apparently, one strand isn’t strong enough to rip the paper.

Problem Number 4.
The motif is so small that I can’t get my scissors or tweezers under most of the threads and …

Problem Number 5.
My scissors scraped the poster. ( Here is where I decided I wasn’t going to try to charge for it, and probably give it away.)

Problem Number 6.
As a last ditch effort I sponged some water lightly on the paper hoping that it would give under the thread.  I scratched off more poster with my fingernail.  (Here is where I decided all was lost and I wasn’t even going to waste more time on it.)

So. This it.  Woulda been interesting, right?

Here’s the damage.

What did I learn?  Don’t stitch an insanely complicated pattern over the only canvas that you have.

Have you ever made anything that you learned more from doing it wrong than if you had done it correctly?

{photography} Mood Series

This series I’ve always called “Mood”.  They were all taken on my D60.

Beatles Cover band at Balleydoyles in Aurora in 2008

My brother in Laws 30th birthday.  Oct 09

Wizard World Chicago

Snack Manor.  Chicago 2008

Christmas 2008

This is one of my most favorite shots I’ve ever taken.  Driving into Chicago 2009

Campfire

Under the L.  Chicago 2009

My concerned pup.

At a house party.  Summer 2008.
This series I’ve always called “Mood”.  

This week on Instagram {3.14-3.24}

Good Friday, friends!

I’m combining the last two weeks because I didn’t post as much as I usually do.

My phone (Sony Xperia) stopped working.  And I mean it completely bricked it self.  It took a few days to get a new one.  Then 4 days later, it bricked it self again.  I’m now on my third in 9 days.

Awesome.

Anyway.

Instagram, yay!

1. My biy is crawling.  It’s an awkward jerky random crawling.  But it’s also effective.
2. Baby’s first mythos.  I love Greek mythology and Neil Gaiman.  Both of my kids are named after personifications and characters in Gaiman’s The Sandman.  Violet Moirae (fate) and Westin Oneiros (dreams).  As it is Greek, there are beautiful explanations.  Google it.  :)
3 and 4.  My dream catcher I won on a giveaway.  It beautiful!  It’s by BettyB.  Like her page.  It’s totally worth it to see what she makes.
5.  New business cards with a preview of the new wordpress site.  This is my incentive to get the site going.  We’re maybe 50% done now.  My husband is a software engineer.  I get domain names for my birthdays.
6.I bought a uke.  I hate learning to strum.
7.  Instamatic.  I need to take some photos and count and catalog all my old cameras.  So many are just so well made and good looking.
8. Sugar n Cream.  I love this color so much.  For an ex goth I really love these springy colors.  No shame!  I forget what I bought this for, but at the time I needed it.  :)
9.Size 6 toddler bowling shoes.  We took the kid bowling for the first time.  She’s a smash and grab kinda chick, so she loved the concept.  My husband and I met through mutual friends at a bowling ally in 2002.  So, this was a bit of a special outing for us.   He’s still a much better bowler than me.  Jerk.
10.  This afghan was started in September for a baby that was born 4 weeks ago.  :/  I’m not usually so behind.  I also like bright socks.
11.  A local theater plays free movies Sunday morning.  I took Vi to see how long she would last in a theater.  Longer than me.  This movie sucks.  But it was really fun watching her reaction to a theater.  She asked me for popcorn.  I have no idea how she knew.
12.  Middle of the night exhausted selfie.  I still need a profile pic to put on everything that’s recognizable.  As my “brand”.
13.  My boy is sweet and cute.  :)
14. My best friend most of my life moved to Italy in January.  I’m sending her a little care package.   This one is a little different from the other’s I’ve made and I like this line up a bit better. It’s tiny tho.  If her husband wasn’t so tall it would fit in a 3″ hoop.
15.  An antique wheelchair.  We were congregating in the hospital waiting test results.  They were not good.  I take photos when I’m upset.  And I have a thing for old medical equipment.
Do you have an instagarm?  follow for follow?  ;)

{How to} Stitch on the Unstitchable

OR- How to stitch on stuff other than fabric.
Don’t get me wrong, I love fabric.  But I like this a teensy bit more.  
I don’t make things that can be made in a simpler medium. Meaning if fiber doesn’t add to the art I don’t make it fiber art.   A cross stitched portrait is beautiful.  But it’s time consuming and I would rather just hang a photo.  
What I love is to combine mediums.  I’m not an artist.  I’m a try-er.  
And this is something I had to try.
First – get your materials
In this case I had a cardboard box from Hobby Lobby.  You know those brown boxes.  I think they are cardboard.
A phrase printed big enough to put onto said box.
A large needle, tape (double sided and normal), scissor, thread, ruler, a pen and a “poker” (an Awl tool).  An Awl tool is used for leather crafts.  It’s near the jewelry at Micheal’s.  You can use a needle too but the eye hurt my fingers when I pushed it through so I switched to this with it’s comfy rubber handle.   It works perfectly.

Use double sided tape to adhere the phrase to the box.

Double sided works better than normal tape because it’s somehow not as adhesive.  It comes right off, not ripping anything.

Figure out where you want your holes to be.  I chose to split up the larger lines so the thread wouldn’t easily get caught on anything.  I used the ruler to make it uniform.

It ended up looking like this.  The purple dots is where I poked the holes.

Poke your holes.

Here’s the back.

Your holes should be somewhat uniform, so try to give the same pressure with each hole punch.  This will take a while.  Longer than you would expect.  I had to stop to rest my wrists a few times.

I used a simple backstitch and all 6 strands of DMC.  And this is the result.

Added a border.

You have tape to tape down the excess when beginning and ending thread.  I don’t try to tie them in simply because this is easier and it holds firm and flat.

I’ve used this method to stitch on paper, cardboard, boxes, canvas, and leather purses.  At some point I want to stitch on wood.

 At the moment I’m trying to decide if I should stitch on my new coach purse I got off ebay.  Hmmm.

{instagram giveaway} MadebyBettieB Dreamcatcher.

I never win anything.  I’m making* cranes to try to put some positive luck out there.

*  hahah I haven’t made one in a week.  Sigh.

I made 10 in one day and reposted this

A few days later I was notified that I had won!

“Betty” is extremely friendly and creative person.  The whole experience was a pleasant one from start to finish.

I’m still in shock, especially when I received this beautiful dream catcher with a phrase from T.S. Eliot.

“Anxiety the handmaiden of creativity”, that I picked it out.  :)

The stitching is beautiful.  The colors are gorgeous.  I honestly couldn’t have been more happy with it or impressed.

YOUGUYS!

Lookit.

 Support my new favorite artist at facebook or instagram.  

{photography} Couple Shoes

One of the things I love about photography is the attempt to tell a store purely with images.  We have all heard that a picture is worth a thousand words.  I feel the real trick it the picture being worth the correct 1,000 words. 
What do you think their names are?