WIP: Archer

Since I committed to finishing at least one old WIP per month, for August I’m focusing on Archer. I started this hoop at least a year ago and abandoned it when I got frustrated that it wasn’t coming along as I had planned. I wanted to do some thick black lines to preserve the way the cartoon is drawn, but I started satin stitching without a clear plan for which lines to fill in, so then it started looking weird to me and I got pissed off. Ha ha. Story of my crafting life: start without a plan, get frustrated and angry, abandon project.

archer

But this month, he shall be finished–Oh yes! Yes, he shall.

We’re in the danger zone here.

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Finished Object: Maya Angelou

I finished my embroidered portrait of Maya Angelou on the very same day I said goodbye to Ruth Bader Ginsburg and shipped her across the country to her new owner. (The embroidered portrait of RBG, that is. I don’t deal in human trafficking.) I was pretty darned excited to get my first Etsy sale, and I think RBG is one of my favorite embroidered pieces I’ve created.

Until the completion of Maya Angelou, that is. ๐Ÿ˜‰

maya angelou

I think she came out rather fabulously. I love how the chain stitch worked to give her hair some texture. The photo really doesn’t do her justice. Sadly, I ran out of 7 inch hoops, which is what she needs to be framed in. This 6 inch is too small to get her centered correctly. But once I replenish my stash and get her hooped, she’ll be going in my Etsy shop as well.

Next shero in line: Malala Yousafzai. She’s an incredible young woman who miraculously survived the Taliban’s attempt on her life and has since continued to advocate for education rights for women in Pakistan. I haven’t started reading her book yet, but it’s been on my list for awhile now, and I plan to start reading as I stitch her portrait.

I haven’t yet decided what Malala’s banner word will be. Any suggestions?

Come back and visit here on Monday, where I’ll commit to finishing another WIP for August. This one has been plaguing me for quite some time, but I’m determined now!

Work I Admire Wednesday: Sambalou32

I have a major craft crush on Samantha Louise, an embroidery artist from the UK. She uses free motion machine embroidery to create stunning pieces of artwork.

I discovered her on Instagram, and quickly found myself hearting practically every picture she posted. I love her work so much. Naturally, I was crazy excited when she launched her own website earlier this month. If I could stop being poor for five minutes, I’d own a piece of her artwork for my bedroom wall.

View this post on Instagram

Stripy socks

A post shared by Samantha Louise (@sambalou_embroidery) on

I only recently started scouring Instagram for other embroidery artists, and I have to say, that place showcases a wealth of talent. Simply search #embroidery, #embroideryart, and the like, and you’ll find a wide array of contemporary stitchers sharing their work.

If the piece I’m admiring most on Sambalou’s website is still available when I get paid this week, then it’s so mine. I’ll gladly cut back on the groceries for one of those beauties. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Meanwhile, work continues on Maya Angelou and rainbow granny squares. I’m hoping to have the Maya Angelou portrait piece finished by Friday, but that might be wishful thinking. We shall see. I already know what shero I’m planning to stitch up next, and I’m anxious to get her started. I have a habit of getting ahead of myself.

Sheroes: Maya Angelou

After finishing Ruth Bader Ginsburg, I thought I’d embark on a series of strong, female role models, modern day heroes. I love stitching up portraits of people I look up to; it’s my way of paying tribute, I suppose. So next in line is Maya Angelou. If you’ve never read any of her work, you definitely should. She was an amazing human being, and although most well-known for her writing, she was also an actor, dancer, teacher, activist, and beacon of light into this too often dark world.

angelou

She’s getting a ribbon banner underneath her portrait like RBG, and hers will say “rise.”

Can’t wait to share the finished version.

Finished Objects

I was pretty productive over the weekend on the crafting front. I finished my tote bag/purse, and I’m really happy with it. It was surprisingly easy to make, and I actually enjoyed the process. I even ran out of bobbin thread, wound a new bobbin, replaced it, and kept on sewing without running screaming from the room.

my purse

finished purse inside

I would useย  this pattern againย in a heartbeat. I like the shape of the bag, and the straps are long enough to sling it over my shoulder and carry it the way I like to carry bags. I hate when the straps are too short. Next time I might get brave and try to add pockets to it. It could definitely use at least one inner pocket. My Ruth Bader Ginsburg portrait is also finished and has been listed in my Etsy shop:

IMG_20140713_133633

I also got my next portrait pattern transferred to fabric and started stitching it. She’s another strong female role model and hero of mine. I’ll show you on Wednesday. Any guesses?

Wip it; Wip it Real Good.

I made a list of all of the embroidery/cross stitch projects I have in progress: everything from almost finished pieces, to errant patterns that I’ve traced onto fabric or tracing paper and keep meaning to start. I have a plan to finish them all! Okay, so it isn’t much of a plan, really, it’s just a determination to nominate one at a time to work on and give myself a month in which to finally finish it for good and forever.

This way, I can still start other projects and not feel guilty. So for example, during the rest of July, I’ll work on whatever projects I want, but alongside whatever else I’m doing, I’m going to commit to finishing the Ruth Bader Ginsburg portrait. My self-imposed deadline for finishing that piece is the end of July. If I finish before the end of July–that’s just awesome–I’ll start in on one of the other wip’s, and the deadline for finishing that one will be the end of August. And so on.

Here they are, in all their unfinished glory:

wip collage

Theoretically, I’ll have all of these projects finished within the next fifteen months, although I feel that if I really put it in gear, I can finish them all sooner than that. Wish me luck! ๐Ÿ™‚

p.s. I should probably admit that these are only my EMBROIDERY wip’s. I’m not even thinking about all the random sewing and quilting projects I’ve got in the pipeline. Those will just have to wait their turn. Ha!

Notorious R.B.G.

Remember when I said I had craft ADD? Well, it continues. Ha!

I’ve found the recent Supreme Court ruling on the Hobby Lobby case disconcerting, to say the least. As a citizen of the United States, as a woman, as a crafter, I couldn’t be more disappointed.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s dissent marks what seems to me to be the voice of reason in a court gone bonkers. I could rant on and on all day about the case and the repercussions and implications of the decision, but instead, I’d rather show you my embroidered homage to the Notorious R.B.G. In my eyes, she’s a human rights hero.

rbg wip

 

And even though I have a million and one wip’s sitting in hoops, this weekend, I felt compelled to stitch her up. As we celebrate Independence Day here in the U.S., I’m focusing on Americans who still make me feel that there’s something about this country worth celebrating.

Bob Silverstein from Better World Heroes kindly gave me permission to use his drawing as an embroidery pattern. Better World Heroes and Do One Thing.org maintain a list of heroes with short biographies, quotes, and coloring pages great for introducing kids and adults to people who’ve made a difference in the world.

In regards to the astronomical number of wip’s and ufo’s I have going on right now (when does a wip officially become a ufo?), one of my goals this weekend is to make a list of all my ongoing projects and recommit to finishing some of them. I need a plan. I can do this. Wish me luck! ๐Ÿ™‚