Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Pretty ~ Calm

Hi Girls!
Wow you guys! Thank you so much for all of your wonderful comments on my 35 Squares sampler, you girls sure know how to make me smile! Too kind, you're all too kind! Schwwwwwaaaa! That was a big ol' smootch from me!

Ok, so! A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I stitched up a goodie for my girlfriend Melissa, for her birthday, since I finally shared the last two squares of the stitch-a-long with you, I can start sharing the other stuff I've been up to, yay! I like sharing! Here's how it all went down...

Have you ever consciously known that something, a wedding, a birthday etc. was coming, but somehow it doesn't really dawn on you?? Like you see the date approaching on the calendar, but somehow you don't fully appreciate that the event in question is right upon you? This is what happened to me the night before  Mel's b-day. I knew full well that her party was Saturday, and Friday after work, the light finally came on and I realized I hadn't gotten her a birthday gift... awww nuts!

Not to worry, I'd had a vague notion of a little goodie that I wanted to make for her for a while and her birthday was the perfect excuse. The question was, could I get it stitched and sewn in a few hours the night before the party?!? Heck yeah!! I'm a stitchin fool!

Pretty & calm, that was my mantra...ohm...

Water and lotus...ohm...

M is for Marvelous Melissa

More water...more lotus...ohm...

Here's the fabric for the back

Here's another view to see the top & bottom together.


She likes it!

Yay, I liked it too. Start to finish, it took me about five hours, including a quick trip to the store for the top fabric and a pillow form. I am by no means a fast stitcher, but this is a simple pattern and comes together pretty quick.  I got the idea for the stitch combo (ripple and lazy lotus) from my newest crafty book purchase, Sublime Stitching's Embroidered Effects by Jenny Hart. I really like this stitch combination;  I even used a tiny version of it in my sampler (square 6).

Saturday morning, I even had time to bust out Mr. Sizzix and whip up a cute bag to put it in... Success!

I love rising to a challenge! Makes me want to hold an embroidered flag and sing (badly) from a mountain top.

Thanks for visitin'

Sunday, April 25, 2010

34th & 35th Squares

Drum roll please... Ta~daaaaaa!
My homage to the great outdoors.
Purple mountains majesty, the forest and a river tying it all together.
We love to go camping! The Sierra Mountains of Northern California is our place of choice, it's technically called the El Dorado Nationial Forest.We try to go a few times each summer, but it's never enough. 

In these squares I wanted to play around with the idea of "painting" with thread, and be more free handed. To fill in every square milimeter. I sketched in the shape of the mountains, the river and the tent for spacing and perspective, the rest was added as I went along. I'm really happy with 34 & 35, I wanted to go out with a bang, so I tried to pack in a lot of detail in these two square inches. I think I did all right, what do you think?

Here is my completed 35 square grid...
I wish I would have taken a picture with a quarter or dime lying next to one of the squares. Friends and family who've seen the piece in person all say the same thing "Wow, it's so tiny, it looks so big on the computer." It's true. I think that's why I've been so critical of my own work, because when it gets blown up so big on the computer screen, I can *clearly* see all of my mistakes. It's funny, my eyes definitley see my good & bad days. Days when I felt good and went in with confidence, I produced stitching that I'm happiest with, days when I felt lost or rushed, not so much. Over all I'd have to say that now that the piece is finished, I'm more or less happy with it on the whole, even the squares I didn't like originally (fan, wreath, sunflower). I haven't framed it yet, but when I do, I'll be sure to share a picture or two.

Speaking of pictures, are you ready?!? Here are all 35 squares all in one spot.
SQUARES 12 & 13
SQUARES 34 & 35

Whew! That's a lot of stitchin! Thank you all so much for hanging in there with me, I really don't think I could have done with without all your kind comments, feedback and advice along the way. I love emboirdery, but you bloggy girls made this fun! I enjoyed sharing with you all, and those of you who played along, I have LOVED looking at your squares along this journey too! You stitchy sisters ROCK!

Are you ready for another stitch-a-long?? Check this out!
Here we go again! A slower pace this time, but I'm game! Who else is in??

Humongous hugs to each and every one of you!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Spring Scootin'

Helloooo Ladies!
Well, another week... no embroidery... shame, shame, shame! I'm gettin to it, I'm gettin to it. But today was really fun and I wanted to share my adventure with you gals!

Early this morning I packed up my scoot and took a good long ride into the hills with my friend Richard. This was to be my longest scoot yet and it didn't disappoint. My part of the ride was 125 miles, round trip! That's a lot for a rookie, right? I'm gonna earn me an iron butt badge!!

So before we start, and since this is really my first post about riding, I would like to start by saying that I'm all about safety. I value my life, I don't do stupid things and I won't wear irresponsible clothing. It might look cute to ride a scooter in a skirt and flip-flops, but it's stupid (IMHO). One of the first pieces of advice I got when I got my first scooter 3 years ago was "you don't dress for the ride, you dress for the crash". I take that to heart. Lord bless me, I have never yet crashed, slid, lost traction or wrecked. Fear and a healthy respect for my body, speed and road conditions keep me a very careful rider. Besides, if I got hurt, my mom would kill me. Having the right gear was a priority, and in the month since I bought my new girl I have acquired all new gear for riding at the speeds it takes me to ride to work (19 miles each way through the country, city and if I'm ever brave enough, the freeway) and road trips into the country. Let's go through it quickly shall we?

First and foremost, a new lid. Here's mine... ain't she a beaut?

Secondly, a new jacket. Serious road protection, has shoulder, elbow and back armor. Textile and vented so I can wear it in our HOT California summers and still be fully protected.
And you know I gotta have some embroidery on this baby, right?? Check this out...
I'm not really into the look of "bas-a$$ biker chick", but I think this is pretty cool. I like biker chicks by the way... I'm just one one of them. Wrong kinda bike. I'm a bad-a$$ scooter chick!!

And of course, I gotta protect the digits! how else could I serve tea and embroider??
Look, the knuckles protectors are hearts, squeee!

But no outfit would be complete without a touch of the handmade, so I made this!
It's a "turtle neck". It goes over my head, under my jacket and beneath my helmet. It's purpose is two fold. One is obviously to keep my neck warm, you'd be surprised how cold that one inch between jacket collar and helmet gets, brr! And secondly its a "hair-holder-downer" Hehe... I don't like my hair flapping when I ride, it bugs me, and this helps keep it down in my coat.

Lastly, some new shoes! Tennies won't protect your ankles and feet if something bad happens, so they recommend you wear boots... these are the ones I picked.
Dr. Martens are supposed to be really comfy and these kinda go with everything...and... they have flowers!


That's what I wear whilst commuting and on long rides. Now with all that said, in the interest of truth I will be very honest and say that if I'm just scooting around town, or to the grocery store I usually just wear jeans, a hoodie and tennies. Some folks are Team ATGATT (All The Gear All The Time), which is smart. But it does take a little of the fun out of scooting if you have to put on full gear each and every time you run to the store...  I know that there is an inherit risk involved in two wheeled vehicles and I accept that risk. Cool? Ok, now lets get to today's ride!

So I left Lodi and met my friend in Linden, it's about 20ish miles from my place. Meet Richard, he's not just my friend, he's my boss. Pretty cool, aye?
Talk about safety gear, get a load of that outfit! At 130mph I'd wear it too...
Yes, he really goes 130+ mph... he's got mad skillz!
Bellisimo! Two hot Italian red heads! Ducati & Vespa.

We left Linden and wound our way up into the foot hills of Northern California's gold country... We went through Burson, up into Valley Springs, and across Pardee Dam and Reservoir.
There I am!

It was such a gorgeous day!!! You could see for miles!
There's my new helmet... covered in bugs, splat! Major gross-o!

While I was being my usual snap happy self, Rich was setting up the video camera to film the ride, too cool!
He even got video of me riding ahead of him, I'll add it later if I can.

From Pardee, we took some seriously twisty roads and dropped into Jackson for some grub.
BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger and Fries... SO not on my diet... Hey man, scootin gives a girl an appetite!

There were hundreds of bikes on the road today, there was some kind of poker run/charity ride happening. We didn't know it until we stumbled into it, there was a sign in post at Mel's. So many smiling, waving Harley riders today! It was rad.
We left Jackson and headed out Hwy 49 up into Mokelumne Hill, then across the rim of a portion of Hwy 26, which is gorgeous and I wish I woulda stopped for pictures. We dropped back down into Valley Springs, and back to where we started in Linden where I filled up with gas, cleaned some of the bugs off of my visor and headed for home back in Lovable, livable, Lodi.

There were baby cows and wild flowers everywhere! I want to do another ride like this again soon to take loads and loads of pictures before the hills lose their green and the flowers dry up. It was a beautiful, beautiful ride. I'm so glad I did it!

Here's a link to a Google map I made detailing our trip if you're really curious, it's got the locations of all the towns we passed through, haha.  I actually made this map so that Sean and I might be able to take this ride together when he gets a bigger scoot.

I was pooped when I got home! I changed clothes and took a nap, whew.
What an adventure!

I hope you enjoyed my little pictorial!

Hoping to post some cute stuff tomorrow.