Monday, February 19, 2018

On Creativity

Lately, on Facebook and various message boards, I've seen a lot of talk about "Priscilla's."  I was not familiar with this particular site, so I Googled and found her blog.  It is filled with many lovely little projects, to be sure.  But then I see people lamenting that they just "aren't as creative as Priscilla," or that they "could NEVER come up with that."

Stop selling yourselves short, people.

We're crafters!  We make things!  And some things come out better than others, to be sure.  But don't devalue your own creative process just because you don't have a blog with a bazillion hits.  Wander the craft store and thrift store aisles with an open mind, and you never know what you might find.  Of course places like the blog I mentioned above and lovely finishers like Vonna (The Twisted Stitcher) are great for ideas...but when you start combining materials and colors in a way that pleases YOU, it is YOUR creation, not theirs.  This is where I start to wonder how much credit I need to give when I finish things anymore - for example, my little clock.
I was "inspired" by all the pocket watch finishes I'd seen - including Vonna's, and a few others.  But finding a piece that fit, the elements I used...it was all mine.

And what about my little zombie girl?
Someone else had used a little Halloween house decoration from Michael's for a similar finish before I posted this.  But there are Michael's stores all over the US, and who knows how many people decided to purchase one of these and do something like this.  Same goes for my mermaid lantern...
...and my re-purposed jewelry boxes.


I just don't feel that I "own" any of these ideas.  I'm not a professional crafter, and there's no profit for me to make in this.  Please, take them, change them, make them your own...and share them with the world.  In the end, we're combining threads and fabrics in ways that please us, and  then sewing or gluing them to other bits that make us smile.  

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Frustrated

Selling finished needlework never works out for me.  I know, people tell me over and over not to devalue my own work by pricing it too low....but if I price it closer to "what it's worth," no one buys it, and I certainly don't need all these finished pieces!  So earlier this month I decided to dip a toe back into eBay, and see what would happen.
This was a Stoney Creek design that drove me mad while stitching, and while it is a very sweet finished piece, I have no desire to keep it.  So I listed it, with a starting bid at $10 and a Buy It Now at $20....and I got ONE bid (at $10).  So away it goes, leaving me with about $6 in my pocket after eBay and PayPal fees and shipping costs.  <:(  And then I made myself feel worse by packaging it all pretty, with a "card" made from some old database marketing materials I found in my office at work.
Ah well.  I still love knowing my work is out in the world, even at a discount to its new owner.  Hopefully it will be loved.

And I'll probably try selling stuff again in the future....I certainly have enough stuff in bins and boxes!  My mother once mentioned the annual school fundraiser/craft fair at my old high school - I used to turn up my nose at that idea, but now it is seeming more appealing.  A little table, with finished pillows, ornaments and other smalls?  It could work.  And maybe a few larger pieces, unframed....I could reach out to the local framing shop and see if they'd be willing to offer a coupon or something ("buy this unframed needlework, here's a 10%-off coupon to get it framed at XYZ Frame Shop").  I doubt I'd make a huge profit, but it might still be fun.  Something to think about, anyway.

Thursday, February 08, 2018

In which I cannot decide

After showing my husband the piece I started in my previous post, he commented that he "didn't love" the fabric/floss combination.  And then I started to second-guess myself....the thing is, I don't have a lot of options in my stash, and I'm not going to buy anything.  So I started pulling every purplish silk I could find, and stitching bits.
The peach at the top center will be the little fairy that perches there, and the brown and green are the stems and leaves.  There are also some flowers that are supposed to be the same purple as the letters, and I'm considering swapping in another color or 2 for those.  But I still think the original shade I used for the text - all of the middle line there - will work.  The thing I like least about the rest of the options is that they are NOT variegated.  The one on the lower left is a tweeded option - but still not my favorite.  Argh.

Since I couldn't decide, I started something new.  And while everyone else stitches snow and hearts, I decided to pull out Bent Creek's "Autumn House" kit (or at least, most of the kit - I found it in a freebie pile at Celebration of Needlework).
It is just a wee thing, with a finished size of about 4 inches square.  I don't have the acorn charm that came with the kit, but I'm sure I can find a little button or other doo-dad to use in place of that.  I just love those goofy tall, skinny houses....and I did swap colors for the window, because I have an aversion to stitching houses with dark windows.  Lights!

Thursday, February 01, 2018

WTH, start All The Things!

Yeah, I was feeling all responsible and WIPocalypse-y.  Then I went looking through my patterns, to see if I had one that someone else was looking for...and it was all over from there.  Down in the Stash Hole, only to emerge with a new project.
This is "May You Believe" by Moonflower Needleart.  I think the designer has gone out of business/stopped designing, as the website on the pattern is no longer active and I can't find her patterns at any of the big ONS.  I also wasn't loving the pink, and I didn't have the Belle Soie silks called for anyway, so I went nuts.  The fabric is 28-ct. "Jade" from Picture This Plus, and the purple floss was something I got in a Hand-Dyed Fibers detritus bag (I just hope I have enough for at least the lettering - I can substitute another shade for the flowers if I have to).  The purple does show up better IRL, I think my light was washing it out a bit.

Monday, January 29, 2018

New Plans

Over the weekend, I pondered the WIPocalypse Olympic Challenges a bit...and in the end, I did decide to get out Family Treasure III and power through.  That's not to say that I won't get distracted by other shiny things, but this piece is loaded on the scrolls and staring at me (either wistfully or accusingly, depending on the day) from the table next to my stitching chair.  Here's where it stands as of last night -
The top, including the cute little fence and gate, is already rolled around the scroll.  On the right is the model picture - sadly, it is tiny and dark - and the circled bit is the hearts that I turned into lazy daisies.  Thankfully, that motif isn't repeated anywhere!  It was one of those circumstances where the first one or two were lovely, and then frustration set in as I tried to get the rest to "match."  I did okay in the end, but afterwards I put this piece away for months (years?).  But I'm back at it now!  I've also added beads - white ones in the border, and an occasional pink or purple one here and there.  You can see some in the big bouquets underneath the lazy daisy rows.

And then my daughter found something she loves.  
Sigh.  It is Stoney Creek.  And it has 5 different shades of Kreinik.  Can I finish something like this before she outgrows it?  Argh.  I don't know quite what to do.  I typically gravitate toward designs that feel more "timeless," and little girls quite often aren't so enamored with unicorns and rainbows as they get older.  I've already planned to change the quote - if I stitch it, I'm leaning toward a J.K. Rowling line about magic (she's been getting teased by kids on the bus about believing in magic).  We'll see.  I'm sure I've got some hand-dyed fabric that looks suitably "magical," at least...

Friday, January 26, 2018

January SAL Updates - Smalls & WIPocalypse

Let's start things off with this month's small - Bent Creek's "Chalet" from the Winter Snapperland series.
I stitched it on 32-ct. natural linen, and substituted for most of the flosses (either DMC or other hand-dyed colors I had in my stash).  I also left off the snaps - I just don't "get" that design trend, and don't feel like it is missing anything without them.

And for the WIPocalypse, I did make some progress on Ship's Manor's Beautiful Sea.
That darned octopus is now in the right spot!  And if you are wondering why I started the border in random spots, it is because I've heard that the one skein of hand-dyed blue that came with the kit isn't quite enough for the whole border.  I ordered a second skein, but it is a completely different shade...so I'm hoping if I need to use it, I can make it a little less obvious by using it in small spots throughout as much of the border as possible (that top bit is already done, and I'm not frogging it all out!).

Now to answer Measi's questions: What SAL’s are you participating in this year? and If you are participating in the Olympic Stitching Challenge, what challenge are you accepting?  What are your goals?
SALs - well, that Beautiful Sea piece was an SAL I signed up for in 2016...and we see how far I got on that one....but I DID sign up for the Cloudsfactory "Mythical Creatures" SAL this year anyway.  LOL  I have no intention of keeping up, though.  I just loved the little Medusa that was posted as a teaser, and couldn't resist!  Other than that, just the 2 in this post (WIPocalypse and Smalls).
As for the Olympic Stitching Challenge, I haven't decided yet.  Given the option, I think I'm more an "Endurance Race" kind of stitcher, but I haven't picked a piece yet.  I might stick with Beautiful Sea, but it might be fun to pull out Family Treasure III for a while...

Monday, January 22, 2018

Argh.

I had good intentions, I swear.

So I started the WIPocalypse projects, and was stitching merrily along on "Beautiful Sea"....when I realized I was off by ONE STITCH on my octopus.  I discovered this when I tried to stitch the border.  So there was much frogging and gnashing of teeth....  Needless to say, that project has been benched for a while.  Instead I stitched a small (pic coming next week with the monthly Smalls check-in!), and worked on the superhero quilt.  Here's my progress on that:
I'm not using any pattern, but it makes sense in my head!  The measurements are "close enough," certainly not to the exacting standards demonstrated by other quilters I've seen.  It makes me happy, though, and that's all that matters.  (And it might actually get finished, which is also important!)

Oh!  And I want to try one of these.
Lined Project Bag w/Zipper
Has anyone done one like this before?  I have a handful of smalls in particular that seem like they'd be perfect for these.