Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Personal Issue: Cochlear Implant Issue

Today I am not talking about sewing. In reality, It is way too late and I should be in bed. But I am up, upset and distracted, because of the propaganda about cochlear implants that I have just read. I have taken two courses in American Sign Language partnered with Deaf culture. (Capital 'D' Deaf means that the person identifies themselves as Deaf, is involved in the Deaf community, signs and does not feel 'hearing impaired').

A large part of this was learning about deaf children who were forced to attend 'schools' where they were punished for signing and forced to speak, although they could not hear nor control the pitch of their voice. Our book (which I have to find) had a very special story entitled 'CBS hurt the Deaf community by Caitlyn's story'.

Caitlyn was a young deaf child whose parents decided to have a cochlear implant installed. The Deaf community largely is against the Cochlear implant. Personally, I can't blame them. The story highlighted how Caitlyn was deaf and now can hear, can respond, 'acts like a normal child'. As though a (D)deaf child is less desirable than a hearing one?

I still remember the last sentence from the article- that when Caitlyn is ready, the community is waiting for her. I am reading this story now:

and I hope to finish it in the morning. Personally, I find discrimination of any kind disturbing. try to remember the last article you read in a newspaper about a deaf person. Can you remember one? Great! Do you remember how the person was referred to? By their first name, most likely, just like reporters refer to children or pets- not adults.

Just a parting thought. Now its way too late and I'll be at work in six hours... My boyfriend has learned some of the signs and as somebody who works at the airport, he says its amazing how his interactions with Deaf people have changed, how grateful they are who finds someone who understands them- even if its just a hello and thank you. We are hoping to take a class in ASL together soon. I can't wait to be in a ASL class again. I started the classes around three years ago, but I haven't practiced and forget a lot of the signs. I admit, I am excited when a Deaf person comes through my que. A chance to practice, a chance to remember! I simply wished that I understood more of the Deaf culture. There's some things that wiki just can't teach you. Maybe this class, we can make some headway into understanding Deaf culture better.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Free Pattern!


I had so much fun after the tutorial, I sketched a new pattern. I'm offering it to you for free to practice out your new embroidery skills!

The long, straight lines are foxgloves. The curved lines are irises. The little x's are wildflowers- the aster tutorial will show you how to make them :) The pattern to the right is a broken stone wall sketch (rough, sorry!) I hope that you like it. Send me pictures of your finished embroidery, I'd love to see your own touch shining through.

Tutorial: How to sew foxgloves and irises

Today's Tutorial ^ !

Truth be told, these are my favorite flowers to embroider. They are also one of the easiest! If you mastered my delphinium tutorial, than this will be just as easy.

First off, determine what sort of colors you would like your flowers to be. Foxgloves are best in hues of pink and purple and irises can be any shade and still look lovely. For this tutorial, I have chosen pink foxgloves and purple shades for the irises.

To embroider the foxglove, you must first stitch a long green stem with two to four plies of green embroidery floss. I like to use four, but this stem will only be viewed in portions, so its up to you. Once you have your green stem, thread your silk ribbon through your chenille needle and bring it up an inch or so up the stalk.
Stitch a downwards ribbon stitch for the petals. A ribbon stitch is when you bring the needle through the ribbon, giving that nice curled edge. For the first petal, I like to leave a bit of room between the petal and the stem. Like the delphinium, you will be stitching over and across the stem, so its best to only sew through the ribbon when placing your ribbon stitch petals.Here is my second petal, directly beneath where the first stitch came up.
The completed stitch.For this foxglove, I freehand stitched all across the stem. I didn't stick to downward stitches, resulting in a more free form flower. I strongly believe in stitching however you feel like it- silk ribbon embroidery is extremely forgiving and just about anything looks good! Here are more traditionally stitched foxgloves using the downwards stitching that I mentioned:

Marvelous! If you have any questions on this, comment or email me at
Onto the irises!

These are one of the most relaxing flowers to stitch. If you know how to stitch a flystitch you already know how to make this flower. Now I hate memorizing the names of stitches, so I'm simply going to show you in pictures (lots of pictures!) how to stitch the iris. This is another flower where you can stitch out of turn- stitch the bottom first, or the top.

There are two sorts of irises, closed and open. I will show you both.

After you place your stitch and leave the ribbon in a loose 'u' shape, bring the ribbon up at the bottom curve of the 'u'.

Place the stitch downwards in a simple straight stitch- be sure to leave some space the length of one ribbon.

Like so:

Now go below the first stitch and do the exact same thing- create a loose 'u'. Yet this time, bring the ribbon through the straight stitch that you created.
Just like that! This is a 'open iris'. Congrats!

Here are a few more pictures to help you embroider.

In order to make the stems and leaves, simply make straight stitches with green silk ribbon.
Congratulations on completing the tutorial! If you have any questions, please comment or email me. Happy sewing!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

How did the crafting day go? Well, step in and see!

Today was my assigned crafting day! A whole day off, with my only obligation being to pick up my pay check. The day started off with me enjoying the sweet pea soap from ljctree. I then opened my packages from justupthealley, paintedandcreated and Baggavond!
I was pleasantly surprised with each item. I have new scrapbook things, a new bow clip holder and a new bead mat! I feel rich :)

I started out with measuring and cutting for some head bands out of upcycled material! I then washed the lining for my pink purse. Then it was time to pack up my pinned blue head band and take it to work with me to get my check! Two thirty at McDonalds is rushed, so I sat and sewed with Kara while we waited.

I returned home around four and picked up a half completed project- the pink purse material is now dry! While embroidering the final patch, I photographed the process for the tutorial that will be up tonight :) I stitched on the two 'patches' - a silk ribbon foxglove in pink and foxgloves & irises!

The next thing on the to do list was to cut out the pattern for my new idea- a purse companion or simple organizer! The idea is that it is a small pouch for lipstick/keys, three card pockets, side coin pouch, fabric toggle for clip for wristlet or keys.

It's calling to me now- off to sew :) Keep an eye out for upcoming photos & tutorial on irises and foxgloves!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

New Line (Crazy Quilt) & new embroidery idea


I've been practicing my crazy quilting for a bit and am finally happy with what I see. Here is a headband that I have finished:
The pattern that I am using says 'just fold and sew over the elastic' but I need a seam to feel good about. *Then* I'll fold & sew :)Here are some gorgeous flowers that I found on Google:

Wouldn't they look stunning in ribbon?
Those are some flowers at Del's that I really like!
Off to list the headband on Etsy!

Favorite Items of the Day

I have found that walking outside has opened my eyes to the natural beauty- yeah, that sounds a bit too new age for me. Yet, it is stunning how lovely flowers can be. I plan on stitching these- and trying my hand at Birds of Paradise and the strange purple flwoers on my step dad's deck.

These are a few of my favorite items (I was chatting with these lovely Etsians today!)

If you don't buy them, I will :P

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The new embroidered letter line!

I am happy that my new embroidered letter line has been launched. I have completed a 'B', 'C', 'K' and 'S'. I've drafted designs for A, B, C, D, E, K & S that will be embroidered as soon as I can get a nice craft block.
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Sunday, April 11, 2010

New Pouch type

I am glad to say that I have created my own pattern for a pouch!

I based this project from a wristlet pattern that I have been using for my wristlets.

Substantial changes were made to the pattern- the pattern for a wristlet required folding the completed wristlet so that it makes a compact size on one's wrist. I altered the pattern to allow for a larger size for a pouch.

I'll likely be using this pouch for light carrying at the gym. Its the perfect size for a cell phone, locker key and gym towel.

I plan on making a few changes before this is availiable to the public. I'll be adding a stable lining and a strong drawstring cord so that the pouch can be used to its full potential. I'm off to alter the pattern and create a new pouch!
Be well!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Paisley Headbands are introduced!


One of my promised new lines has come to fruition! The Paisley Line will consist of unique, hand sketched paisley designs embroidered onto headbands, wristlets, cuffs and pouches. I have enjoyed crafting the debut of the line immensely.

I started with 18 by 4 1/2 piece of purple diamond patterned fabric. Using a water soluble marking pen, I sketched designs freehand along the length of the head band.
I then selected the colors- aqua, light blue, rich purple, pink! As i stitched, I saw several opportunities to introduce silk ribbon embroidery. I stem stitched lilac along the pink and purple. Satin stitches of maroon marched along, then were flanked by more delicate ribbon stitches.

I couldn't resist adding a few beads for shimmer!I decided against filling the length of the band with designs as I had originally sketched. The designs chosen complemented each other and ensured that the piece wasn't too outlandish. I carefully stitched the head band, stitching back and forth to ensure that the stitches were tight and would hold up well for extended wearing!

The embroidery is slightly off center, but in laying it against my head, I saw that the headband can be slid along to display different designs!
Please forgive how horrible my hair looks in this photo, I washed it prior to trying on the headband and didn't take time to style it. I did want to ensure that the exposed elastic isn't visible- and even though I've recently had 18 inches of my hair cut, my short hair style easily hid the elastic.

Photos! There are *lots*!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Anne's Reading List


Today is a busy day :)

Planned things to watch for:

Thursday: Anne's reading List!

Friday: A photographed step - by step of how to embroider a Blue Convolvulos!

I'll be getting this post finished as soon as I get back from mailing my trade to LJC. Not bad!

--- After the Post office--

I had forgotten that the post office was such a big chore! The town that I live in has recently moved the post office to share a building with the library- which is right next to the police station and the fire department. As i pull up to park in Vons across the street (as these four buildings share these small interconnected parking lots), I spot three dozen police officers running around. Odd. I then notice three fire trucks parked in the same lot as I had. It turns out someone had tried to steal another ATM from a local store!

I'm not sure what the fire trucks were there for- supporting the cops? The lesson of the day? If you are going to steal an ATM machine, try for one that isn't across the street from the local authorities.

As I left the post office, I saw that my parking lot was still swarming with police officers- and fire trucks were still parked behind my car. I decided to stay out of a potential news scene and ducked into the library. Am I glad that I did! I picked up four new books- 'In the Nursery', '50 nifty beaded cards' , 'Doodle stitching, fresh & fun embroidery' and 'First steps in quilting'.
These are a few of the projects that caught my eye:

Friday's new gimmick- Anne's reading list :) See you soon!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

New Cuff line to be loaded ASAP!

Thank you for reading. I am in the process of finishing the closures on three new cuffs that will be on sale on Etsy! I am also crafting a masculine cuff for a Gypsy character who plays with my Dad in Ohio.

I'll update this post when I upload!