Dec 15, 2014

Samplers of the Month: Pansies and Feather Stitches...


I spent Friday packaging up everyone's monthly subscriptions, and somehow managed to get them out the door and into the mailbox before Saturday.  Some of you might even have them on your kitchen counters by now....
I've been having so much fun sitting in the glow of the radiator stitching these Colorburst Samplers in the late afternoons.  In a season without a lot of color, they make me really happy.   This one, Pansy, is in the mail now.  I stitched mine with back stitch, running stitch, french knots, and Algerian eyes.  How would/will you stitch yours?


If you are a Stitch of the Month subscriber, this month you'll receive Feather Stitches- the version pictured below was stitched by my Mom. Hi Mom!  For the entire year in one book/post, click here.  For a mom that will stitch them all for you, I can't help you.  She's all mine.


Dec 11, 2014

Holiday Gift Guide...

I was so excited this week to see (I'm probably the last to know) that Deb Perelman has organized all her recipes onto boards, including an entire board of food gifts. If you are on my Christmas list, please don't click this LINK!

This year, Katy and I have been working on a few little Christmas projects together (which may or may not include Smitten Kitchen's recipes...)that will be revealed post holiday, but for those of you still working on what to stuff into stockings this year, I thought I'd come around and offer some suggestions...


These wrap bracelets are easy and fun to make following my friend and editor Melanie's instructions on Creativebug.  

A cozy and a cuppow!   My friend Cal makes these awesome granny square cozies for the Cuppow/Ball Jar combo.  I've got a cuppow that I mostly use in the summer for iced tea since the jars are too hot to hold onto with tea, but this solves that problem, with beautiful wool yarns in your choice of colors.  Of course, you could probably figure out how to make your own by taking Cal's class over here.

Maira Kalman's new book, My Favorite Things.  This book is at the top of my Christmas wish list.  I love Maira's paintings and poetic takes on life so much, and can't wait to get my hands on this newest tome.


Lastly, a pre-ordered copy of a certain someone's Embroidery Book  (with printed sampler included!) would make a lovely gift that keeps on giving- especially when it hits your friends mailbox in April and they remember what a great Christmas they had with you....


Dec 9, 2014

Christmas Ornaments...

Last weekend I set up a little Christmas tree in our kitchen, and started to unwrap some ornaments.  I only a put a few on the tree this year, mostly swedish straw ornaments and my little painted Santa Lucia.  Most favorite this year are the Raggedy Ann and Andy that used to hang on my Grandma's tree.  I remember searching for them every year as I helped decorate her tree, and finding them again on Christmas morning.  When we sorted through her things, I was excited to get them, even though one of them needed a bit of repair.  I fixed it up last week.   It's bittersweet to have them with me here in Brooklyn.  

I have such great memories of my Grandma, and especially great memories of being with her  around the holidays.  I helped her get her house ready every year, and helped right before the big day to bake breads and make huge bowls full of chex mix.  A few years ago I designed this ornament project for a Creativebug class, and used her house as the example.

I've gone on to make a few other house ornaments for friends and relatives over the years.  The last one I made was for my brothers' in law, and since I didn't have a picture of their house, I used google street view, which worked out really well!   Unless your recipient lives in a very small town, it's a great way to get a full frontal view of the house you're trying to replicate without ruining the surprise by asking them for a photo.

I am happy to announce that in the spirit of giving, one lucky commenter from today's post will receive a one-month subscription to Creativebug.  With it, you can take this class in addition to hundreds of others.   I promise that it's not too late to start this one.  It uses simple materials that you probably have already (save for a 4" hoop).   Simply leave a comment sometime between now and next Tuesday, December 16th, bonus points if you share your other favorite handmade gifts.  I'll choose one lucky winner then and put you in touch with Creativebug to get you started.  

* Bonus! You can up your chances of winning by entering a second time with a pinterest pin! Just leave a link to your pin in the comments section.  Thanks!

Nov 26, 2014

Meet me in Maine.....




In the chaos of trying to get my life in order post honeymoon (I know, queue the tiny violins), I have been remiss in telling you about a very exciting prospect for next summer.   I am very happy to announce that I'll be getting in a car (a rarity for this city girl) and driving north to one of my favorite places- Maine- to teach at a new retreat.  I hope you'll join me.  Slow Stitching, hosted by Portland's A Gathering of Stitches,  makes its debut next summer in Washington Maine.  Come spend a long weekend with Carolyn Friedlander, Chawne Kimber, and me.  Each day you'll spend time with one instructor, and by the end you will have taken all of our workshops.   Bonfires, stitching, and star gazing in the evenings.  Lobster rolls on the way there and on the way back (or maybe that's just me).  All the information (including how to register) is here.  

Nov 13, 2014

November Embroidery Pattern Subscriptions...

I can hardly believe it's November.  I was restless the night we got back from our honeymoon last week, and I walked to the grocery to get a few things, noticing the pumpkins on my neighbor's doorsteps.  It seemed so early for jack o'lanterns, I thought, wondering what said neighbors would do when their pumpkins were rotten when Halloween rolled around.  I told Katy when I got home, and she kindly informed me that, in fact, Halloween was over.  I missed it! I Rip Van Winkled it!  There was no Halloween celebration or even candy at the little beach-y resort in Costa Rica where we were holed up.

WNYC just reported that there might be snow tonight.  I'm cooking a big pot of soup for friends tomorrow night, and today, as I walked to and from my studio I was bundled up in last year's down vest and my mittens.  Life is good.  I love this time of year.  Late fall, sweater weather, it's my jam.

Today and tomorrow, in between stirring a big pot of bean soup, I'm packaging up this month's subscriptions.  This month, Colorburst Subscribers get Blocks, featured here:




I stitched mine with a motley assortment of DMC and Valdani perle cottons and a ball of unidentified metallic laced perle cotton that I got at last year's quilt market in Houston.  I think it's from Turkey, wish I had more info to offer you.

Stitch of the month subscribers will receive weaving stitches this month- make sure your dull tapestry needles are ready!  Some of you will get both- thanks for being *supersubscribers*

Please note that for the first time ever, by popular demand, I am now offering back copies of select Colorburst samplers on a limited basis, but starting with this month's Blocks sampler.   They are available here.  Should you wish to dip your toe into the Colorburst world without jumping head first into a subscription, there are five or so designs available now.   Thanks to all of you who asked...

As always, please keep on hashtagging on Instagram with #dropclothsamplers  I check everyday to see the latest and greatest, and when new ones pop up it makes me smile.  Thank you!

Nov 12, 2014

The Book...It's Coming Soon!

I was surprised to come back from my honeymoon and find an e-mail from a friend letting me know that my book is now available for pre-order on Amazon, with a picture and description and everything.   Wow.   What a feeling! After pouring so much of my self, and my time, and all my energy into this project, it's exciting to see its publication date getting so much closer.   Here's a link should you wish to check it out.

Nov 11, 2014

I got married!

I'm back from what was the best party I've ever been to- our wedding!  Here are a few little pictures from the evening.  Our wedding was also (suprsingly) featured on the Huffington Post here.



If you've taken one of my workshops, you may have met (or heard me talking about) my good friend Angela Morano who I'm lucky to have as my TA sometimes when I teach.  She's one of the most talented people I know- a milliner based in Chicago.  I hired her to make my veil and sash, and she used my Grandma's dress as the material to create the flowers.      It was my favorite part of my outfit (dress from BHLDN).  *You can hire her too- more info here* Katy's dress was a surprise- we didn't know what the other was wearing until a big reveal on the big day.  I love how it turned out with one of us in black and the other (me!) in white.  More instagram pics here if you're interested.   
What fun. . . . . . .       

Oct 20, 2014

Colorful Stitchery Winner...

Thanks so much to everyone who entered last week's giveaway.  We have a winner!  Laura R, I am e-mailing you now, and I'll be mailing your book soon...


Meanwhile, I am heading out to the studio soon to pack up the very last orders before the shop closes.  I'm getting married on Saturday!  

Oct 15, 2014

October Subscriptions....

I'm rushing to get this month's orders out while my mom is here in town helping me pack them all up.  I wish she could be here every month!  This month, Colorburst Subscribers get the Mermaid in their mailboxes. 

Stitch of the month subscribers get Raised Stitches.  Some of you get both- big thanks to you all for being supersubscribers.    

Oct 10, 2014

Colorful Stitchery: Review and Giveaway



For me, one of the most fun parts of being part of Creativebug is getting to watch all the teacher trailers.  I feel like I've gotten to know many of the teachers this way, and in the cases in which I've actually met some of these women in real life, it has felt easy- as if I already knew them.  Somehow the team of interviewers and cameramen really know how to capture stories and scenes that are true.   I loved filming mine.

I had a moment of longing and admiration when I watched  the Kristin Nicholas trailer.  Her cold, dark, New England Sheep farm gives way to a bright beautiful home, reminiscent of Charleston.  I love the layers and layers of color and pattern that seem to be on every wall, and seem to penetrate all her design projects in knit and embroidery.  Recently, Kristin reached out to me to ask if I'd like to review her newly re-published book Colorful Stitchery, and of course I said yes.  

The book, no less colorful than Kristin's house, is full of fun, bright projects.  Maybe it's because it is suddenly sweater weather here in New York, but my favorite is this one, that makes use of the grooves of corduroy, which I can't get enough of these days, and thanks to Kristin I can't wait to start stitching on!   Perhaps that new dress that I got yesterday will get a little stripe treatment.


Thanks to the nice people at Roost, I've got a copy for one of you, too!  Tell me what embroidery projects you've got on tap for the fall, and I'll pick one winner to receive a copy.  Entries will close next Wednesday, October 15th  Friday, October 17th, and I'll pick a winner shortly after that. Good luck!