Sunday, April 19, 2009

New dress; green things

I followed up a gorgeous day in Brooklyn yesterday with a visit to Target (which I was thrilled to find - we don't have those in Manhattan!) I took an armload of clothes into the dressing room and did my quickest-change routine ever. A beautiful lime-greenish dress called out to me from the wall, and although it is totally unlike my usual style, I loved it:

new dress

It's all cotton, but has a pretty sheen - I think it'll be perfect to wear on one of the billion hot, sticky nights I have to look forward to this summer...

Fitting myself in a dress is a nightmare, and it's one of the few times I wish I was wealthy so I could have all my clothes tailored to me. There are tons of structured, lovely vintage-style dresses in Target now, but sadly, they all fit me from the top, but the bottom is another matter. The funniest dress was a gorgeous little number on clearance - amusingly enough, my head was too big to fit through the neckhole. Yup. I got one big head.

Thanks to everyone who chimed in on the Feeling Stitchy badges! The most popular also happened to be the ones I picked for the blog:

new badge new badge blue badge

Yay! Hope everyone is enjoying the Spring, and having weather close to the glorious stuff we're experiencing in NY.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

New Feeling Stitchy badges

Old Feeling Stitchy badge

So, I decided the Feeling Stitchy badge needed work. And I thought I'd let you tag along on my laborious, haphazard process. :)

We've had a lovely handmade banner by Kirsty for oh, almost a year, and I wanted to incorporate its awesomeness in a new badge...

Hmmm. I opened up Photoshop and went nuts. The first version was very simple - I just moved around Kirsty's lovely letters, cropped, and sized it down to 140 px:
new badge

Still, my first love continues to be that little thimble guy, remember him?
I try to incorporate him often...

The original fabric background gave me trouble, so I erased it (yes that takes A LONG time. :)

I found another fabric background with a nice canvas-y texture, and used that. I added a very slight drop shadow to thimble guy and the FS letters to make them pop:
too light? too dark?

Harumph. Something about that nubbly background just wasn't working for me. I tried another natural linen background, but that one looked too dark.

I even tried putting it all in a wooden embroidery hoop. I was getting tired and lazy, so my execution on this one wasn't the best:

I dropped the fabric altogether, and used colored shapes in Photoshop instead as background. Pink, too, for good measure:
blue badge new badge

What do you think? Did you like old thimble guy better (at the top)? Like any of those fabric backgrounds? Think I'm a nut for redesigning badges in my spare time? All comments welcome... :)

Edit: Ooh, or how about these? I basically want to include an option that a man wouldn't be afraid to add to his blog. There are man-broiderers out there, you know...
just letters? blue
yello lt. green

Friday, April 10, 2009

Furniture for a restless mind


I just snapped up a wonderful little book the other day for a special person I cannot name, who'll be receiving it soon. I totally flipped when I looked in the back and saw the tiny plastic templates to trace the outfits. Now, aside from the fact that they are drawn to fit a body with no hips, they are so sweetly drawn.

textures and patterns

I fell so hard for those little templates that I scanned them into my computer (new hard drive, yay!) and embarked on hours of fun with them + online fabric swatches. It's all the fun of the paper version, with no scissors! (And I'm such a perfectionist with scissors, it's a blessing to be apart from them.)

little outfits

I love seeing the different textures, and how the outlines stand out so crisply and cleanly, like real cut-outs. Too much fun. This is just another one of the little "projects" I like to do in my spare time - because I find it hard to be still. Oddly, it is in the process of making, embroidering, and thinking through these little projects that I become still, and quiet within myself. Does that make any sense? Anyway, if you flip at all over teensy-weensy traceable things, this book will bring hours of fun.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Newest Desktop Wallpaper, I have found Thee

courtesy of Rebecca Danger, knitter and photographic genius

I just cannot express the rivers of sheer joy that run through my entire being at the sight of this cuteness. This cuteness is so severe I almost suffered a heart attack. If so, it would have been the cutest heart attack. Ever.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Flickr doesn't disappoint

These three adorable things have nothing to do with what I'm talking about... but I found them on Flickr:
1. Repurposed/Upcycled Suitcase Pet Bed - Green, 2. Project 7: RVA Felt Family Wall Art, 3. Clark

This morning I logged in to Flickr and expected to see the same number of imposing messages in my Inbox as yesterday - oh, somewhere around 40-something. I'm really not that popular, they're just the automatic notifications I get when people add me as a contact. But, surprise, this morning, there were only 8 messages. Real messages! Flickr had cleverly moved all the repetitive notifications into another tab. Presto!

This little tweak got me thinking about Flickr and how, on the whole, whatever changes they make to their layout, structure and design, they always keep Flickr looking good and make sense.

Let's compare this to Facebook - anyone out there use it? I used to use it, but ever since its re-design I've almost completely sworn off of it. None of their changes make any sense - the layout is awful-looking, cluttered, and totally unfriendly. Tweaks they once had, which allowed me to "tune out" people I'm not keen to know everything about are gone (so now I have to scroll through the last 5,000 quizzes my distant relation took before I can get to my best friend.) What is up with Facebook? They could learn a thing or two from Flickr.

What do you guys think?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Trying out a vintage transfer


I was in a really lazy mood this weekend, and I had nowhere near enough energy to trace over a really intricate pattern with a transfer pencil. So, instead I decided to put the 40-50 year old inks to the test...

I had a couple of scraps of green-line pillowcase transfers, and they looked in good enough shape to try ( the paper was yellowing a tiny bit):

transfer before

I did try a tiny piece first, on the inside of the pillowcase, it took, so I pinned and tried the whole thing. I peeled off the corner first:

peeling off...

And, voila! It worked!

peeled off

Not bad, considering it's older than me. I decided to embroider it all in white on light blue... if I ever finish you'll get a pic of that. So, just an FYI - some of those old transfers really work!

white on blue

I scanned the transfer, if any of you want to try it: