Spinatomy

Archive for the ‘embroidery’ Category

Last week I shared with you the fabulous Dandelyne and we had a little giveaway to celebrate.

Personalised family portrait by dandelyne

Well its time to announce the winner!  I used boring old random.org to choose the winner. No time for anything more creative I’m afraid because its school holidays here and we are super busy having fun, painting walls & stuff.

So did you win your choice of these?

Which one will you choose?

Your comment number is your entry number and here is the result :

Result:        32        Powered by RANDOM.ORG

Congrats Miranda of Modern Wyoming Blog   I’ll be in touch and you’ll receive your lil piece of Dandelyne real soon.

Thank you so much to all of you who entered.  I really appreciate you taking the time to have a read of my lil blog.

Huge thank you too to the gorgeous Sonia of Dandelyne for offering up her fabulous work as a giveaway.  xx  mwah!

See you next week with what exciting things we’ve been up to these holidays.

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I have something pretty exciting to share with you today.  Recently on instagram, I stumbled across the lovely Sonia, creator of Dandelyne. I fell in love with her 100% cute work.  We chatted a bit, liked each other’s work and have very quickly become insta-buddies.

Sonia - Dandelyne

The next logical step was of course for me to toss her some questions and feature her gorgoeus work here.  But that’s not the best bit – the best bit is a giveaway!  Sonia has very kindly offered to giveaway one of her lovely items to one of my readers.  How awesome is she?  Yes – pretty awesome!

But first, my sticky beaking into the world of Dandelyne.

What’s the story of dandelyne?

Dandelyne blossomed as a result of an embroidered/appliquéd family portrait that I designed, and made, in July 2011. My husband and I wanted something a little different from your large, family photographic portrait. So I thought … I should stitch us up (so to speak). I was so pleased with the result that I wanted to sew more. I began sewing and playing with embroidery again. I felt 100% alive and it was from this point that the dandelyne parachutes began to float …

Customised Family Portrait

Customised Family Portrait by Dandelyne

Your mini-hoops are almost as cute as your embroidery – who’s brainwave was that? They look amazing!

Yes yes yes … hands up it was me and thank you ^_^!

I will take credit for the actual brainwave but, I must hand the credit over to my delicious husband for the laser cutting. The production line of sanding, drilling and construction is a team effort between my husband and I. It is most definitely a labour of love.

Sonia at work on her mini embroidery hoops

Sonia at work on her mini embroidery hoops

Have you always been a crafty type? What was your first crafty creation?

Yes! Every since I can remember I have always made things. I remember mum heading off to work in the school holidays and leaving me with her sewing machine. Oh the joy! I would make clothes for my cabbage patch doll Fiona Crystal (I still remember her name – wow!). I would inspect my own clothes to see how they were constructed and then make mini patterns. I think my first crafty creations were Christmas presents for my family. I made white and orange polka dot ties for the boys and fabric covered photo frames for the girls. Very special indeed!    

Bunting Embroidery Hoop Necklace by Dandelyne

What do you make for you and your family? or do you get stuck just making dandelyne goodies (not that there’s anything wrong with that, but sometimes I know I forget about me & mine)

I like to think of myself as a bit of a crafty minx (wink) so I am continually making things for our home. Most recently I have made painted sticks to decorate the brick walls, curtains for the cubby, cushion covers, crochet blankets, aprons, bunting. You name it I’ll make it and if I don’t know how to do it, I’ll investigate how to. As a young girl I often dreamed of working on Play School and making all the props for the show. I thought that would be a dream job and I still do :-D!

Sonia in her Dandelyne Studio

Sonia in her Dandelyne Studio – I have studio envy!

Are your stitched folk based on real life people?

Each of my little people are based upon qualities I admire in family and friends, elements of life that I love and things that have been said by my boys. It is so much fun giving each of them personalities. As I sew it feels like I watch them come to life. Here are a couple for you to enjoy:

Billy is the sweet blond cutie with plaits. She is a jill of all trades. She has a black belt in karate. Her love for cake mixture exceeds eating the cooked option and she absolutely loves reciting quotes from Dr Suess books. One of her favourites, “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

Billy Mini embroidery Hoop Necklace by Dandelyne

Finn is the little spunk with white rimmed glasses. She absolutely loves to read stories by Enid Blyton. She also loves to paint and eat … wait for it … melted marshmallows in a biscuit sandwich. Have you tried this? Delicious and then some!

Finn Mini Embroidery Hoop Necklace by Dandelyne

Finally Fletcher …. cute little Fletch wants to be a Monster Truck Driver. His favourite colour is gold and he believes .. NO HE KNOWS … his crown has special powers. 

Fletcher – Mini Embroidery Hoop necklace

What are your plans for the future of dandelyne? New ideas?

It is still such early days for dandelyne so I am extremely excited about the tangents that are possible. My head spins when I think about all the things I want to do and where I could end up. I honestly want to stitch up a storm. I am working on a new idea right now … are you ready … mini embroidery hoop rings – cuuuuuuuuuuuuute! I am super excited about these so stay tuned for these cuties … and so much more! XO (Put me down for one of them Son!)

Here comes the sun Mini Embroidery Hoop Brooch by Dadnelyne

Where can we find you? 

At the moment I sell my products via my Etsy store and by word of mouth. Instagram has also been a great source of exposure and sales. My website is coming VERY SOON. I hope to be in MANY brick and mortar stores by the end of the year too. I have so many dreams for dandelyne so I want to be everywhere I can possibly be. I can also be found on Facebook.

Thanks so much Son for letting us into your bright and cheery world.

Now on to the giveaway!

Sonia has very kindly offered up your choice of her simply superb mini embroidery hoop hot air balloon necklaces.

Win one of these – the choice is yours, thanks to Dandelyne!

To win, there are no hoops to jump through (hehe). Simply leave a comment here and the winner will be chosen using random.org.  I like to think of it as blowing on a dandelion flower – who knows which one will be the one? Oh and its open to anyone in Australia, the world and the universe.  How cool is that?

Make your comment by 6pm Thursday 27th September Australian Standard Eastern Time.  The winner will be contacted that night and announced here next Friday.  Good luck!

Have I told you before of my love for instagram? Yes, yes I have.  Well this week, instagram introduced me to a wonderful embroidery artist from Japan.

The artist is Yumiko Higuchi. Now all of the information  I have found has been in Japanese, so I am relying on goggle translate, which is a bit hit and miss.  This is taken from the artist’s about page :

About the work

of embroidery design, the work is done by hand all the way up to finish the process.
I’m with the aim without being bound to the traditional method of representation of embroidery, please make the work seem yumiko higuchi.
It’s something nostalgic, landscape painting that would burn the eyes, longing. Have been put to such work is the artist’s personal feelings.

My translation of the translation is that all the work is by hand, using traditional methods.  Please link back to the artist, or you will hurt his/her feelings very badly!  So please, if you are planning on pinning anything to pinterest, please click the pics and pin from the artist’s websites, not here.

So on to the amazing. Remember this is all hand stitched – every bit.

Dragon Fruit by Yumiko Higuchi

Wine label by Yumiko Higuchi

Playing cards by Yumiko Higuchi

William Morris Bird Embroidery by Yumiko Higuchi

Botanical Garden Purses by Yumiko Higuchi

Sigh!  The skills are incredible, are they not?

I thoroughly recommend have a browse through Yumiko’s blogwebsite including shop and Yumiko’s pinterest and of course search the user name “yumikohuguchi” on instagram.

Anyone thinking of buying me a present would do well to note the purses – if only they weren’t all sold out  😦

Last weekend I got out the family crafting heirlooms from my camphor chest.

I wish I knew more than I do about it all.  All I do know is that it was all made by my great-grandmother on my Mum’s side.  She was amazing.  She could knit, crochet & embroider and probably a whole lot more too.

Hand Knitted Bedspread

Knitted baby blanket

Hand sewn & embroidered tablecloth

Can you see a faint line around the middle of the tablecloth?  I have no idea how it was done, but it is perfect on both sides. This is it up close :

How?

This tablecloth was done by embroidery Cutwork – you sew it & then cut away the middles.  These days you can do it all on a sewing machine with special fabric stabilisers.  Imaging doing it by hand?

Cutwork Embroidery tablecloth

I’m guessing my great granny had a round table or 2.  Here’s a fillet crochet tablecloth.  I can’t wrap my head around the time this would have taken.

Fillet Crochet tablecloth

Hankies didn’t escape the Great Gran’s touch

Hankie love

Of course, in those days you needed a pretty cloth to put your crystal perfume bottles on – more fillet crochet.

Dressing Table Cloth

Now this is another bedspread – my mum has memories of this always being on her Grandmother’s bed.  I thought it was damask, but Mum thinks not.

Damask?

Now we are up to the pride of the collection of Great Gran’s creative works.  This is truly mind-boggling.  It is a bedspread  done with fillet crochet using the finest of cottons.  I have no idea how on earth she managed this, with poor light and a vastly different lifestyle to ours that would have left very little time.  It must have taken months if not years of work.

Peacock Bedspread

Details

Wow huh?  I am so glad that this has all survived to come to me.  Treasures!  Somehow I can’t see my creative things being as revered by my descendants LOL.  Do you have any treasures?

I love how the human brain works.  I was reading somewhere about how personalised gifts just keep getting bigger & bigger.  You can pretty much get anything you could imagine with your initial emblazoned on it.  So, of course I thought of pincushions with initials. Nothing new there.  Lots of folks make them.  This is my take on them.   I hand cut each of the initials 🙂

This was my first basic style, simple but effective I think with the colour combos.

Then, I had thoughts to add a little more, and so the next style was born

Of course, my head kept going

But that’s not where it ends, oh no.  I am now working on a completely embroidered design.  I am sure that wont be the end of it either 🙂

Does your brain keep expanding from one idea too?

Today, I thought you may like to see what goes on to make my pincushions.

Every now & then, I sit down to my big kitchen table with my pile of felt and go nuts preparing pincushions for sewing.

felt pile

I have my popular designs that I make reglarly, but I also always have ideas kicking around I need to try too.  Today was a day for both types of preparation.  I am out of peacocks (my biggest seller), I have a creative challenge to meet for an etsy team I belong to, and I want to upsize a couple of mini pincushions I’ve made recently.  This is the extent of my written plans for this session.  Not much eh? LOL  A slack prep day today!

And so on to cutting!

I cut my felt a few different ways.  I do die cut a couple of things – like my big circles, and use the rotary cutter for the sides, but most other things are cut with good old scissors freehand, making it up as I go.

If a design turns out to be popular, I will sometimes make a pattern to make it a little less fiddly and time consuming when it comes to preparation.

Once all the cutting is done, its on to embroidery thread selection and then the prep is all done.  8 pincushions ready to be made!

Now its on to the fun part – the sewing!  I’ll show you once they are all done. 🙂

I joke that I have every embroidery floss colour known to man.  Well, I may not have every one, but I come pretty close.  I love having such a choice of colour to work with.  But, it can be troublesome to work with.  Over the years I have tried a few methods of storing my thread and today I thought I’d share the way that works best for me.  And it wont cost you a penny – just a little time.

If stored incorrectly, embroidery floss can be a real chore to sew when you get lots of tangles and knots. Got a bag full of loose, tangled, inseparable threads? Or maybe those little white cards with their compartmentalised boxes that look very organised and neat? Not only can that method be expensive, I found it caused too many kinks from being wound around the card and hence knots when sewing.

Also, embroidery floss generally comes in 6 strand, 8 metre lengths.  This can be tricky if you only want one or two strands, or a little bit for a small piece of embroidery, and often a whole skein can be wasted if it’s not separated carefully.

So how do I avoid those pesky tangles and the hassles of different lengths?  I pre-cut all of my floss to the same length for starters. This is particularly handy if you need 2 strands of different colours as is quite often the case in intricate cross stitch patterns.

This method will give you lots of skeins all the same length – regardless of how many threads are left in each.  Here’s how I do it. :

  1. Carefully remove the label rings with the number and brand – don’t throw them out – you’ll need the number at least.
  2. Put one hand carefully through the centre of the threads
  3. Find one end and start unravelling the skein, but keep a hold of that end as you go.  I tend to pool the loose thread on the floor or table
  4. When it has all been unravelled, catch the other end and align it with the end you held onto at the start.  Double the thread carefully – if you go slow, you wont tangle it. If tangles start to form, gently work from the looped end up.
  5. Now double again and keep doing so until you have a length that you are comfortable working with.  I generally use DMC  floss and I like my length at about 100cm (about 39 inches) which is 8 lengths of 6 strands each.
  6. Fold the threads over one more time and slip the paper ring with the colour number over the loop with no ends and the brand label as well if you want to.
  7. Cut the threads at the other end only (don’t cut both ends or you’ll have very short, annoying lengths – I know – I’ve done it!)
  8. To keep it all together neatly, place 2 fingers through the loop end in and hold  the cut ends in the other.  Begin twisting and twisting the loop end and then thread the cut ends through the loop.  8-12 twists should be fine for a full new skein. When you let go, the skein will twist loosely together.  (The less strands of threads you have, the more twists you will need.)
  9. Voila!  A neat skein of thread. 
  10. If you are using already started skeins, just do the same keeping an eye on the length so you can keep it roughly the same lengths as full skeins.

Now how to store those neat skeins?  I have a large metal hoop (that used to be a belt hanger) I use to store most of my threads on & yes I do keep them in number order.  This is a hangover from my cross stitching days when the number was very important.  If I started again today, I’d probably store them in colour groupings.

I find this to be a great method.  If I need to match a thread colour to a felt piece I am working on, I put a bit of the felt in the centre and bring the various shades into the centre & see what matches best.

Of course, you can do the same thing with smaller collections of floss too.  I have a small plastic ring that I use for smaller projects, or in this case different threads.

Getting one or two threads out of the twisted skein is easy.  Just take the cut ends out of the loop and untwist the skein – place the loop over your finger, holding it firmly & using the wrong end of a sewing needle, pick up a thread and pull it out.  If it starts to get snarled, pull from the bottom, cut ends and try again.  Then re-twist your skein.

The labels come in handy too.  When I run out of a colour, I pop the number label in my purse & grab a new skein next time I’m in the right place.

I hope this has been of some use to you.  It does seem a daunting task to re-organise if you have a lot, but I assure you, the time and angst saved from tangles while embroidering makes it well worth the effort.  I’m not saying you wont ever have a tangle or knot again – you will, but you will have a lot less.


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