a random update

Life’s been crazy. The blog is totally on the back burner until 2015…but then I have big goals and aspirations. Here’s a few glimpses from the past little while and a few words.

My custom birth announcement design got a lovely shout out from Urban Threads for the use of their animal patterns. I love their patterns and will use them over and over again. They are hip, simple, sweet and honestly they are just a great company to support.

Untitled

I’m deep in the throws of a huge commissioned embroidery. This is a double wedding vows embroidery with a little applique in the middle. I’ve got big plans for that tree, but first I’ve got to finish all the text. Almost there.

-3

-4

-6

-7

I’m wrapping up my last few embroidered shoe orders for the year. If you would have told me at the beginning of the year that I would end up stitching so many pairs of shoes AND loving every minute of it I would have called you a liar. Honestly, it’s this little venture that has really helped me shape the direction I hope to go in the new year.

Custom embroidered TOMS - wedding shoes

One thing I love most is the stories I get to be a part of. For example: this bride requested a sunshine on the side of their shoes because she and her groom met for the first time on a sunrise hike. What a fun way to remember that awesome memory!

Custom embroidered TOMS - wedding shoes

That’s about it for now. Like I said, I’ve got big plans for 2015. It’s been an amazing year for me – learning what I love to do, learning what I don’t love to do and learning how to say no and also how to stick my neck out in big ways. I’m excited for the future and so hopeful.

tree skirt collection 2014

Untitled

I’ve wanted to try my hand and designing and making Christmas tree skirts for the past couple of years. This year, I was determined to make it happen. The stocking collection last year honestly had some pretty dismal sales. It did lousy on etsy, lousy in the local boutique and lousy at the markets. I’m still trying to figure that one out, but I’m crossing my fingers the tree skirts hit the big time…well sort of.

All of these skirts measure roughly 48 inches in diameter and are made from red felt. They have a velcro closure down the back/middle. Due to the mix of materials, they cannot be machine washed.

Here’s the details on each one.

The Poinsettia
2014 holiday tree skirt poinsettia version. Hand beaded.

This one is a mix of red, maroon and white felt flowers. The flowers are all machine stitched down and then it is hand beaded for that extra accent.

2014 holiday tree skirt poinsettia version. Hand beaded.

Scandinavian-Mod Ornaments

Harking back to my Norwegian roots I came up with this one based on a vintage skirt that I saw posted on flickr that was merely printed on cotton.

Vintage ornaments skirt

This one has a fun white pom pom trim around the scalloped edge and then felt ornaments are strung with colored ric rac all around the skirt. This skirt is machine sewn all the way around.

Snowflakes

Untitled

The last skirt has a beautiful satin snowflake trim along the edge that is machine sewn for durability and then snowflakes and vintage buttons are hand stitched all around the middle for that extra pop.

Untitled

I love the simplicity of this skirt and I really think the vintage buttons were the best finishing touch.

You can find all of these skirts in my etsy shop (along with the said stockings and other holiday goodies) now until the end of November. I have limited spots available and the skirts are made to order with about a 2 week turn around.

throwback thursday {irish blessing embroidery}

On Thursdays I “throwback” by pulling from my archives and remembering where I’ve come from and this journey I’m on. Today I share one of my first commissioned embroideries. This Irish Blessing embroidery was the request of a customer and has become one of my most popular patterns and kits over the years. It’s a great pattern for beginners, is customizable because of the applique and makes a super gift for a baptism, birth or just because. Here’s the original post back from September 2011.

irish blessing 3

I was commissioned via etsy to embroider this Irish Blessing and I’m so happy I did it. It was a great experience designing where to put the applique and a great test of how much my hands can handle embroidering in one day too!

irish blessing: close up

I’m really pleased with how it turned out. So much so that I listed it on etsy!

me + you {custom embroidery and new listing}

I feel like it’s been forever since I introduced a new embroidery to the shop.
I’ve had this wedding hoop idea roaming through my head for a while now and I usually love to stitch up prototypes as gifts, rather than letting them hang on my walls forever. There’s an upcoming wedding coming up at my husband’s office, so I thought I would stitch up the design for the bride and groom.

New me+you wedding hoop. Negative space lazy daisies

I took what I knew of their wedding colors and style of wedding and chose some really light blush pinks, greys and champagne colors.

New me+you wedding hoop. Negative space lazy daisies

I outlined a 5×9 oval hoop and the initials of the bride and groom and filled in the hoop with french knots and lazy daisies. I’m absolutely in love with the idea of negative space and the trick it sort of plays with your eyes.

New me+you wedding hoop. Negative space lazy daisies

The listing is up in the shop now. It’s a perfect wedding or anniversary gift and can be stitched in the colors of your choice.

New me+you wedding hoop. Negative space lazy daisies

I typically wrap my hoops with fabric or ribbon, but this time around I thought I would try something different and used this satin trim. I love how it turned out, but as with any hoop you are welcome to have it left natural or wrapped with a variety of materials.

tutorial {mini buckle mat}

One of my biggest sellers this year has been my preschool/toddler buckle mats. I’ve lost count on how many I’ve made, but it was all started via a request from a friend. Truly, people coming to me with their custom orders is why I love doing what I do.

Buckle matAt the zoo

While these larger mats are made to order, at one point I decided to make a smaller version to sell at markets. These are much quicker to put together and a great beginner project for learning how to make a great quiet activity for a child.

buckle tutorial cover

One of my goals in the next year is to start writing more tutorials and patterns…so here goes! A tutorial for making your own pint size buckle mat and I spy toy.

SUPPLIES

Mini buckle Mat tutorial

cotton fabric for the top
stiff felt for the middle (regular felt can also be used for softer mat or a thin cotton batting)
regular craft felt for the back
cotton scrap fabric for the straps
small piece of vinyl
1/8 cup of poly pellets (which I just discovered you can buy a small bag of at JoAnns)
small jewels, buttons and/or beads for the I Spy game
2 side release parachute buckles
a 4 inch circle template

Cutting directions

Mini buckle Mat tutorial
Cut your cotton fabric, stiff felt and felt back into 6 1/2 by 6 1/2 inch squares.

For the straps, cut two of each coordinating fabric into 5 1/2 long by 4 inch wide strips.

Making the straps

Mini buckle Mat tutorial
Take your strap pieces and lay them wrong side up on your ironing board.

Mini buckle Mat tutorial
Fold them in half, wrong sides facing and press.

Mini buckle Mat tutorial
Open them back up again, and fold each long end towards the middle and press.

Mini buckle Mat tutorial
Fold in half again and press and repeat with the remaining straps.

Mini buckle Mat tutorial
Take them to your machine and using a 1/4 inch seam, stitch down the long end of the strap.

Mini buckle Mat tutorial
Flip it over and repeat on the other side. Then repeat with the remaining 3.

Attaching the straps

Mini buckle Mat tutorialMini buckle Mat tutorial

Pin the straps in place onto the cotton piece and baste these to the sides of your square.

Making the I Spy Mat

Take your 4 inch circle template and cut out a piece of vinyl for the back. Just a hint…don’t put a pin through the pattern or the vinyl because it will put a hole in your vinyl. Just hold the pattern and do your best to cut around it.

Mini buckle Mat tutorial
Go to your machine and stitch around the circle with a 1/4 inch seam, being careful not to pull too tightly on the felt as you go around the circle.

Mini buckle Mat tutorial
Make sure to leave a roughly 2 inch opening to fill!!

Mini buckle Mat tutorial
Now you are ready to fill with your poly pellets, charms, beads, sequins, buttons etc.

Mini buckle Mat tutorial
Go back to your machine and starting at the opening, stitch the opening closed and stitch a second time around the circle on top of your original seam. I like to do this for aesthetics and also because it gives an extra line of stitching for safety.

Mini buckle Mat tutorial
Now you want to baste your felt piece to the piece of stiff felt. If you are using batting or regular felt, I still suggest basting this piece, but it’s not as necessary.

Putting the square together

Mini buckle Mat tutorial
Now you are ready to sew your squares together. Make a sandwich using the basted I spy mat and the cotton piece with wrong sides together. You want your I Spy mat and your straps facing out.

Mini buckle Mat tutorialMini buckle Mat tutorial

Sew a roughly 1/2 inch seam around the sides two times. Again, I like this extra line of stitching for looks, but also to give an extra measure of strength for the straps.

Mini buckle Mat tutorial
Because my squares never come out just perfect due to pulling etc, I take my rotary cutter and cut about 1/4 inch off on the sides to even them all out and straighten them up.

Adding the buckles

Mini buckle Mat tutorial
Now you are ready to add the buckles. Make sure they are put together and slide the ends of the straps through the ends of the buckles. Pull the straps to make sure that the buckles are even in the center of your mat.

Mini buckle Mat tutorialMini buckle Mat tutorial

Fold the ends of the straps under and pin in place.

Mini buckle Mat tutorial
Open the buckles up and take it to your machine and sew in the middle of the fold. Make sure to do a lock stitch (stopping and starting at the beginning and end) or tie your threads before you snip them.

You Made It!!!

Mini buckle Mat tutorial
Check to make sure all your loose threads are tied and snipped. Pass it to your nearest toddler and proclaim victory!

**please respect that this is my design and share only with a link to this original tutorial and please give credit where credit is due. Also remember that this is a toy with tiny parts and while even the best sewers will tie up all their loose ends, children who are at the age of putting things in their mouths do not need to play with this unattended.** Thanks!!! ~ aimee

throwback thursday {onesies}

On Thursdays I look back at my store of archives as a way to tell my story and remember where I’ve come from along the way. God is merciful and He is using this way of looking back as a way of reminding me of His blessings and how it is Him that has grown my talent and love of embroidery and not me.
This week we look back at a host of onesies. While the first thing I ever embroidered was a burp cloth, the first products I ever really sold were onesies. I did a whole line of onesies with little animals on the front and silly words on the bum and sold them on etsy, at a local shop and mostly word of mouth through friends. I don’t do onesies anymore, except for the occasional request, but it’s fun to look back and see where I got started with embroidery. This is back from September of 2008.

 

welcome fall

I’ve got many more to come, but couldn’t resist posting the newest additions to my inventory. These are all new designs and I can’t figure out which one I like best. I’m running out of flickr space so until I have the money to upgrade, I don’t have pictures of the words on the backs…sorry!

Here’s the acorn (it says “little nut” on the bum)

acorn "little nut

Here’s some pumpkins (it says “my punkin'” on the bum)

pumpkin "lil punkin"

Here is the new owl. This one turned out much better than my first owl design. He’s sitting on a branch that is hard to see when it’s folded up. (it says “hoot” on the bum)

owl "hoot"

And last is mr. frog. I think he’s my favorite so far (he says “hop” on the bum)

frog "hop"

In other news, I am going to be a vendor at the Dixie Lee Farmer’s Market on October 4. If you are local, come out and visit and support local farmers, crafters (and me of course). And cross your fingers, say a prayer or whatever that I can actually get everything done in time w/o crashing and going to funny farm instead.