Monday, July 28, 2014

Foxy

Hello Friends!
Not so long ago I participated in an embroidery swap on Craftster, the theme of the swap was "Twinchie". What in the heck is a twinchie, you ask? Well, it's a little embellishment, a piece of art, in this case embroidered, that is less than 2" square.

For this swap I was lucky enough to be partnered with my friend, Crystal and so I was also lucky in that I knew exactly what I wanted to make for her, love that! No fretting this time around like I usually do, wanting to make just the right thing for my partner. This time I knew... I was gonna get FOXY! 

Mama & Baby Fox Embroidery Hoop by Lisa Leggett

Crystal loves foxes as do I, all woodland animals actually, so this was really going to be a pleasure, I just needed to find the right fox and when I stumbled on this image I knew it was the one. Crystal is a wonderful mama, her little boy Baxter is a cutie pie, who just turned two years old, I feel lucky to get to see him grow into a little boy, it's astonishing how time flies though, seems like he was just an infant yesterday!

Picking the colors, I love this step.

Picking colors for this sweet, nestled mama & baby fox was fun, russets, burnt oranges, browns and creams, a fox has all of those colors and more. As soon as I had a good mix I started right in. Stitching was a dream, some projects just flow and this was definitely one of them. Even though it was early summer when I started this project this snoozing autumnal duo had me dreaming of fall.

A twinchie is less than 2" square.

See? All nice and little and confined to two square inches. Yay twinchies!

Stained Embroidery Hoop by Lisa Leggett

I did hit one snag when it came to hooping up this mama & baby, I'd ordered some special tiny 2" hoops, so that this could be an embroidered pendant necklace but alas, two inches was the size of the outside of the outer hoop, poop. My foxes didn't fit. Plot twist! I grabbed a 3" hoop from my supply (yes, I actually keep a supply of a variety of hoops at all times as evidenced here) and was back in business.

Mama & Baby Fox Embroidery Hoop by Lisa Leggett

To add a little sparkle, I embellished the hanger with a couple of gold & amber beads.

Back of the hoop

This is how I've been finishing the backs of my hoops lately, card stock glued to the back of the hoop with Fabri-Fix. I finally, finally have found a way to finish these hoops that I really like and gives me a neat, consistent result. I've done this a couple dozen times now, love it. I've tried lots and lots of different methods and for me, this one is best. Usually I use plain brown card stock, but for Crystal's foxy pair, I wanted something a little different.

Mama & Baby Fox Embroidery by Lisa Leggett

I was very pleased with how this mama & baby came out, my favorite is the baby paws, eep! So little! And his (or her) tiny face.

Crystal knows me so well, look at what she made for me!!
A Vespa, with rainbow toots! Lol, I'm sure they're not toots, but the thought of a tooting scooter makes me laugh and laugh.
Rainbow Scooter by crystal-fiberartsy.blogspot.com

Seriously though, how sweet is this? I love mint green, I love eyelet, I love rainbows and lawdy, lawdy do I love me a red Vespa! It's so perfect. Thank you, Crystal!!

This was a really fun swap, I'm so glad I got in on this one.
What about you, are you participating in any swaps this summer? There are a LOT of them going on, I wish I had time for all of them! There are a lot of stitch-a-longs going on as well, I'm doing two of them, I'll post about them soon, promise!
oxo,
Lisa

Monday, July 21, 2014

Little Birthday Things

Greetings Bloggy People!
Wow, this summer is zooming by, I have so much to tell you and so much still to do! Before I get too scattered thinking about aaalll that other stuff, let's back up a minute and and look at some cute (if I do say so myself) little things I made for my pal Pam for her birthday, some I made, some I just tjuzed up a bit.

Like I mentioned in my last post I am woefully behind in birthday making this year, like seriously, a few months behind. Actually, if I'm being honest I feel behind in just about everything right now, Lord help me, there's never enough time to get it all done, so many balls in the air... At any rate, I personally don't mind a bit if I receive a giftie some months after my actual birthday, but I sure don't like doing that to other people (sorry Melissa, sorry Dez - I haven't forgotten your milestone birthday's, I promise, I swear.). For my dear Ms. Pam, her birthday coincided with our vacation to her home town of Portland, Oregon and there was no way I was turning up empty handed on her birthday, I do have some couth. But still, right to the last minute I was working on her pressie, on the train and my hotel room the morning of her birthday. Last minute Lisa, that's me!

In fact, these photos were taken in the window sill of the hotel room right before I packed them up and met her for a really nice day spent futzing around together along with my sweet hubby (who's birthday was also the the purpose of this trip, more on that later). And can I just say, the light there in Portland, it's gorgeous! I don't get pictures like this here at home... sigh... So! On with the goodie parade!

A few months ago we were having a conversation about mini's and Pam's desire to create a doll house, in particular we were both gaga for these rugs. Ah-ha, inspiration! So I set about making a punch needle mini rug. Somewhere along the way I thought, "wouldn't it be neat to start a room for her?" and since we're crafty friends I thought a craft room was a nice start so I expanded my initial idea a little more...

Mini Craft Room Things by Lisa Leggett

Here is the finished rug, a whirling, swirling sea of blue accented with little French knot roses in shades of mauve & pinks. I've only ever done punch needle once before and it was a looong time ago and a stamped pattern at that, which I vaguely recall was similar to coloring within the lines but with a needle. I don't remember much about it though and was surprised at how much floss punch needle takes, this little rug which is approximately 3"x 6" took 5 skeins of DMC for the base. Round and round and round I went. I enjoyed the process once I got the hang of holding the punch properly. Once I got the rug to a size I liked and stitched in the flower sprays, I cut it out of the fabric it was stitched on (14 count Aida), glued it to some wool blend felt, then blanket stitched the two together. I kinda like it!
Punch needle and embroidered rug by Lisa Leggett

Good lighting is essential for good crafting so Pam's little room needed a light! I made this one out of things I already had in my various crafty stashes. Beads, washi tape & a pretty little button are all you need to make this mini lamp. I used this tutorial. I genuinely love it, it's stinkin' adorable.
Miniature Lamp by Lisa Leggett

A crafter also needs a comfortable chair, preferably a pretty one. I bought a simple plain wooden chair and painted it as best I could (be gentle, I'm no painter), I also bought the little craft basket, it was already put together but the basket was also plain so I painted that a sunny, mellow yellow - much cuter.
Mini painted chair & craft basket by Lisa Leggett

Anyone who crafts is *always* short on space, so I also gave Pam a craft cabinet. Purchased in plain wood I also painted this little cabinet inside & out and make a teensy bunting with washi tape to decorate the front.

Mini Craft Cabinet with bunting by Lisa Leggett

Just for kicks I wanted to make a couple of things to go in the cabinet, since Pam and I love embroidery so much I had to make her a tiny skein of floss (tutorial here - not in English, but you can manage with just the pictures). Look how dinky it is! 

Tiny Embroidery Floss by Lisa Leggett

And lastly, maybe my favorite tiny thing, a wee stack of fat quarters! I used the smallest prints I could find in my little stash of 30's repro fabrics from this project (still in the works). I think they're so cute all tied together!

Mini Fat Quarters stack by Lisa Leggett

Just for scale here's another picture, see how little? I love little things! I used this tutorial to make the fat quarters.

Mini Fat Quarters stack by Lisa Leggett

So there we are, a few little things to start out a miniature craft room. Nothing too matchy, but they all kind of go nicely, don't you think?

Mini Craft Room Things by Lisa Leggett

Mini's are fun. I have very very little experience with them myself, but I sure enjoyed making these little bits, even if they aren't perfect, they sure are cute!

Mini Craft Room Things by Lisa Leggett

In a happy turn of events, guess what Pam got for her birthday? A dollhouse kit! So now she'll have a few things to start off with and I'm so pleased I could be a little part of it. Pam has the touch for mini things, just look at her new beach themed fairy garden, so I just know her doll house will be darling! I can't wait to watch it come together slowly but surely.

I hope not to be away for so long between posts this next round, I have so much to share with you guys! It's becoming difficult, sometimes a downright challenge to keep up with blogging, but I'm digging my heels in, I will do better! I started this blog in part to remember and document all the different little things I make and right now many of those things are stacked up in my computer and need to get out, so I'm hoping I can find my rhythm again and be more regular about posting. I so love to share these things and seeing what you all are up to as well, the blogging community is a great one and I definitely want to stay involved!

SO! What have you guys been up to? Do share! And let me know what you think about my little foray into the world of mini's! Have you done mini's? Point me to them, I want to see!
oxo,
Lisa

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Ana's Mermaid

Hi Guys,
Oh, the eve of a three day weekend, is there anything better? Yes! A three day weekend that starts off with fireworks! Happy Independence Day everyone! Do you have any plans this weekend? We have a little and a lot to do, does that make any sense? Kind of a weird weekend. Me personally, I have A LOT to do, like stitch, stitch, stitch! Next Friday I am going to be the featured artist at The Rowan Tree for Lodi Arts Commission Art Hop! Eeeep! I'm stitching like a mad woman to have enough to show, plus making a display and a sign, eeegads! Where does the time go?

Speaking of time, it's time I finally shared about this lovely lady! This Urban Threads Dark Fairy Tales Mermaid is something I stitched for my niece, Ana. It was meant to be for Christmas, and it ended up being for her birthday 5 months later. Oh, the shame...

I am *SO* behind with my birthday gift makings this year. There are a couple people who probably think I've forgotten them. I haven't peeps! I'm just notoriously late! I need to replicate myself so I can stitch twice as much, so many ideas so little time... 
Dark Fairytales Mermaid stitched by Lisa Leggett

Rather than hoop this embroidery up once complete, I decided to stretch the fabric over an artists canvas, I really like the clean, contemporary look.

Hair Detail of Dark Fairytales Mermaid stitched by Lisa Leggett
Hair! An embroiderers favorite thing to stitch! I jest. It's really not that bad, just tedious, but I'm generally happy with the results, I did all of this mermaids hair in stem stitch. You can see some other hair stitchery I've done here & here.

Dark Fairytales Mermaid stitched by Lisa Leggett

Her body is also stitched in single strand perle cotton, simple backstitch.

Gallery Corners

As I mentioned I stretched this piece over artists canvas, I did gallery corners at each corner and was very pleased with how neat & tidy they came out.

Back side of finished piece, trimmed out with ribbon & hanging hardware

I trimmed the back with some lacy printed black ribbon just to make things look more finished and I had the hanging hardware added at Aaron Brothers, they do that you know, for $5! What a bargain.

Dark Fairytales Mermaid stitched by Lisa Leggett

Ana told me that she loves her Little Mermaid and has hung it in her house, yay! I love to hear that kind of thing as does anyone who makes handmade gifts, you want the person to love them as much as you loved making them and sometimes that comes with a risk. This risk paid off, woo!

So what are you all doing this weekend? Do tell!
oxo,
Lisa

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Imagine

Hi Y'all! 
Today I thought I'd share a little something I whipped up for my mom for Mother's Day. She's been a Beatles & Lennon fan all my life and I don't know why I never thought of making something like this for her before, but I'm so glad I did. Sometimes stitching a simple line drawing like John Lennon's iconic Imagine is such a pleasure, I wish I did it more.

John Lennon's Imagine in Stitches by Lisa Leggett

This particular drawing translates to embroidery so well, I love it when that happens! 

You May Say I'm A Dreamer by Lisa Leggett

I added a short lyric from the song, one of my favorites.

John Lennon's Imagine in Stitches by Lisa Leggett

I'm a dreamer too.

Not The Only One

I have little dreams, but they are mine and I'm working at making them a reality. One at a time. Baby steps and then leaps and bounds, and then baby steps again. ♥

John Lennon's Imagine in Stitches by Lisa Leggett

Pleased to report that Mom loved her little 'broidery. I had a feeling she would, but I can't take credit for that, she's a fan, this is his work. 

Mom's doing me a solid this week, she's staying with our pups because by the time you read this, we'll be off on an adventure, a little dream. We're taking a train trip! We've always wanted to ride a train and tomorrow we're headed to Portland for a few days for a little R&R and some special birthday's!

You know I'll be taking pictures! Can't wait to share!
Have a great weekend, darlings!
oxo,
Lisa

Friday, June 6, 2014

Little Lovelies ~ Linen Pincushions

Hello Everyone, happy Friday!

Today I thought I'd share some little handmade goodies with you. Do you like wildflowers?

These small pin cushions are some of my favorite things I've made, I want to keep them! Because everyone needs a dozen different pincushions, right?


I used 100% wool felt to make the flowers, which I cut freehand, then added embroidered stems and details wherever it seemed pretty.


Linen California Poppy Pincushion
California Poppies

Linen Echinacea Pincushion
Echinacea 

Linen Forget-Me-Nots Pincushion
Forget Me Nots

Red Poppy on Linen Pincushion
Red Poppy

Little Leaves Linen Pincushion
Little Leaves

Dragonfly Linen Pincushion
Dragonfly

Black Eyed Susan Linen Pincushion
Black Eyed Susan

Little Lovely Linen & Felt Pincushions

I made each of the cushions with linen on top and either a sagey green microfiber or purple velvet on the back. I really like these two backings, especially when I realized the don't slide of the arm of the sofa! Maybe if I make one for myself I'll stop sticking needles in the arm of  the couch? That's a really bad habit, y'all... The wee cushions are stuffed with crushed walnut hulls which give them a nice weight and help keep your pins & needles sharp. 

These little lovelies are now for sale at The Rowan Tree, in downtown Lodi, CA. If you're local pop in and have a look, it's a terrific little shop, if not local give the gals at the store a buzz, or shoot me an email, we'd be happy to pop one in the mail for you! This still seems such a dream to me, that I could actually be making things to sell. What a trip!

I'm thinking about opening a little Etsy (or similar) store as well as making for The Rowan Tree, but the thought gives me hives, I'm skeered! Do you have an Etsy or web store? Let's talk about it! What do you like, what do you not like? I'm barely, barely dipping a toe here, I don't know much about it and would LOVE your opinion, so please do share ~ I'm listening!

I hope you're having a fantastic spring, I can't believe it's already June!! My little Claire graduated from high school a couple nights ago, I thought I was dreaming... to me, she'll always be that rosy cheeked ballerina I remember from not so many years ago, in fact it seems like just yesterday. She's had so many obstacles over the years, we are so proud of her!

Oxo,
Lisa

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Lucky Girl

Thank you all so much for your kind emails and comments about Egypt, he really was a gent. He will be greatly missed. Happier news for today!

Not long ago, Sean and I got all gussied up and went to the prom (look, there's proof, I'm an actual girl! A girl who wears dresses even!). Wait, I know what you're thinking, you're a bit old to be going to the prom aren't you, Lisa? Yes, ahem, yes I am. This particular prom was at our local Moose Lodge, and to be honest, I had WAY more fun at this prom with my hubby than I did way back in 1992 at the tender age of 17. That whole night was kind of a drag, this one was much better and we danced our butts off. Youth is wasted on the young, but I digress...

At this prom there was a positive smorgasbord of  raffle prizes and among them I did spy with my little eye some embroidered treasures. You can bet this girl sashayed over and dumped all her tickets into the two baskets with hand embroidered items... naturally, right? Well guess what! I got luckier on this prom night than that disaster long ago (shazam!) and I won the item I really, really wanted! Let's look!


This is a hand embroidered lap quilt/wall hanging, and it's the prettiest thing.


So much work and detail in this beautiful quilt.


Added bonus, Sean and I were seated at the same table for dinner as the woman who stitched this, her name was Phyllis, and let me tell you what, she was a firecracker! I'm guessing she was in her late 70's or early 80's and she was an absolute hoot! Dirty jokes and gossip the whole evening, I loved it! 


She was really excited when I told her I'd hoped to win the embroidered quilt, she stood right up and said "oh yeah? well I made that! It took me a long time, I kept falling asleep." Her husband corroborated this story with by imitating his wife stitching and nodding off, head lolling to the side. HA!

I told her that I also loved all kinds of embroidery and we talked about it for a while. Said she's always afraid she's going to get jabbed because she keeps sticking her needles in the arm of her couch. Me too! If she hasn't broken that habit, I don't hold out much hope for myself.


When they pulled the ticket and called my number and Sean ran up to claim my prize she was very pleased, and boy howdy, so was I! It meant a lot to her that someone who appreciates how much work and time went into making this got to take it home and love it. We know that feeling, don't we?


Gorgeous, right? I am so lucky.

I need to add some loops to the back so I can hang it on a dowel, should be pretty simple.

I practically *never* win anything, I was so happy to win the very thing I wanted, so awesome.
What have you been up to friends, keeping cool in this hot weather? I have a feeling this summer's going to be a scorcher!

Happy Hump Day!
oxo,
Lisa

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A Letter To My Cat

Dear Egypt,
Oh, handsome boy. It's been one week since we said goodbye and I miss you so much. The physical realities of your absence are little needles that keep poking at me. I step extra wide around doorways because you liked to hang out at intersections, I tip toe out of the bedroom in the morning so that I don't wake you up, and I find myself scanning for you before turning in for the night, looking to see that you're okay and checking your bowl to make sure there's fresh water. You trained me well, Egypt.



For twenty years you were my shadow, my familiar. Quietly observing me with those golden, green eyes.

Our last evening together was so peaceful, I think we both knew it was the end of your road.


We all sat under the big tree out back, listening to the birds and the breeze, remembering and talking about all our long years together and the antics you used to get up to. Man, you used to be such a badass! 


More recently it was all about the naps and I don't blame you, you were ancient by cat standards. Dr. Stoops said you would have been over 100 years old in cat time. You deserved all the naps your little heart desired.

This last night you were the picture of somnolent tranquility, accepting enthusiastic doggy kisses from both Lola & Boswell with a dignity rarely seen when being half swallowed by an over affectionate, slobbering dog. Talk about grace under pressure...


This is how I'll always remember you best, solemn, regal. The King of the house.


Not that you didn't have your moments as the jester...


You two and those boxes... You loved them beyond measure. I was sad when we moved to this new house and didn't have a sunny window to put them in. 

You also had the knack of cool headed ironic humor. Is that normal for cats? You were a master, look at you, so serious with that embroidery floss all over your face.


"Look at me, I'm a clown. Yaaaay." 

No one did deadpan as well as you.


You were a good neighbor, too. Always friendly with the neighbor cats who'd come to watch in the windows. All except for that one time when that big ginger came flying over the fence and chased you under the shed for the night. That was scary for me too, I never heard you make noises like that before! We thought you'd run away! I was so worried that night, I made posters and everything. When you finally reappeared I didn't know whether to laugh with relief or strangle you for scaring the shit out of me. I know I wanted to strangle that other cat, or at least blast him with the garden hose. Come to think of it he never came around after that. Maybe I radiated malevolence on your behalf?

You were okay in the end, if a bit disheveled with dusty cobwebs floating from your ears and the tip of your tail. It's kind of funny in hindsight. Badass, forsooth. 


Oh cat, you were one of a kind. I miss your jet engine purring. I miss your cranky maowing, or should I say "MAOWING", because it was never subtle, you meant to be heard when you made your demands and accordingly, you roared like a lion. I still don't know how that much sound came out of such a small cat.


I miss you all so much, you & Chyna & Butch.

We've lost three of you in two and a half years. Ouuuch. Losing you was worth having you, and we'd do it all over again. You gave me twenty years. Twenty years!! I am so grateful for you, Egypt.

I hope you know how much you were loved, and that you carried it with you beyond. 
Til we meet again, tell the others I love them, too.

Your person always,
Me

Dear Friends,
Thank you for indulging me to say the things I couldn't say while he was still here.
~L