Saturday, June 23, 2012

Stitching Saturday: What I've been up to

my narwhal so far

I've been stitching steadily away on the June Stitchalong pattern (designed by the awesome Corvus Tristis). I'll admit I was a bit intimidated by the design - it's complex and beautiful and I wanted to do it justice, but I wasn't sure how...

I started off by tracing it onto a white twill cocktail napkin - I'd say it's about 13 x 13 in:
just starting

I decided to go light on the colors - using a very pale off white for the top of my narwhal and a slightly darker beige for the bottom. I used very light blue (almost white), sea foam green, and light teal for the waves:

Of course, then I was looking at a very light image - with very little to distinguish one shape from the next:

I wanted to add texture, but I didn't want it to take FOREVER, so out of laziness, I took 2 strands of sea foam green and started stitching thin diagonal lines - for a sort of hatching effect. And I decided I loved it:


Next, I tackled my narwhal - I am a dud about fill stitches, having never really used them before, but I used 2 strands of the same off white floss and went nuts. I left gaps where you can see the fabric underneath and laid my stitches down haphazardly, on purpose - I wanted to create a nice, rich, random texture like fur:


Next, I tackled the horn, stitched in a light gold color:

So that's where I am so far! I've stitched at least an hour a day for the past week and a half - but it's gone much faster than I thought, and I hope to finish by Friday...


Here's the other thing I've been doing - preparing for a free craft class I'll be helping my sister with. I used the Purl Bee Flower Charm template, and flowers from the Purl Bee Winter Wreath template.



I have been a cutting machine. Each night I've come home and cut for a few hours - looking at and playing with those sweet, brightly colored shapes is truly addicting. It's a good thing I'm so addicted because the class is large, and we'll need quite a few!

I've also done a bit of scanning - there's a poll on VTF so you can vote on the Days of the Week vintage pattern you'd like me to scan next. So far, creepy lambs are in the lead... ;) So, in short, busy, busy, busy!

I managed to squeeze in a movie night to see Moonrise Kingdom, which made me re-fall in love with Wes Anderson (we were on the fritz after Darjeeling Limited). Hilariously enough, I'd just purchased a pair of super-sharp Fiskars that were in my bag and I was itching to use, and well, scissors figure pretty prominently in the film. Wes Anderson peeps, you will not be disappointed.

Hope all is well with all of you! :)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Wardrobe Wednesday: Costume, Character, and Film

I was clicking through the pages of a 1918 book called Handicraft for Girls, and was struck by the chapter on Wardrobe. If you read Feeling Stitchy, you'll see that Lia just started a series of posts based on a project in this book, and I was curious to see what the other chapters might say.

I LOVE books that were written in other time periods. I think they have something to say in particular to this generation that moves at such a frenetic, fast pace. I love the care with which they write their sentences - they're all crafted so elegantly and are such a pleasure to read, even when you're smiling at their seemingly outmoded sentiments.

So here's a few quotes from the Costume chapter that I found fascinating, and I completely recommend a readthrough of the whole thing. :)

In the selection of one's garments there are a number of points which must be taken into consideration, such as health and comfort, cost, fitness, color and style, as well as beauty.
It has been wisely said that the best dressed woman is she of whose clothing one is unconscious, whose dress is neither conspicuous from extreme style nor too noticeable from a total disregard to the custom of the times. Good taste demands that one be not overdressed. Street and business suits and young girls' school dresses should be plain, well made and neat, of subdued and becoming color.
Before sewing machines were to be found in every home and ready made clothing in the stores styles did not change so rapidly. Commercial conditions now make it to the advantage of a great army of people that the styles in dress change often and radically. The manufacturers of cloth, the wholesale merchants with their agents, the retailers and their numerous clerks, wholesale garment-makers and their many employes, pattern-makers, dress-makers, milliners and the manufacturers of all minor articles of clothing are all benefitted by this oft recurring change in style. This condition has come about so gradually that we hardly realize to what extent we are victims of trade-tricks. It is not necessary nor desirable that woman should enslave herself to follow all the vagaries of style.

Whenever I want to really sink into wardobe talk, I pop over to Chris Laverty's blog, Clothes on Film - I love the way he breaks down costume in delicious detail, and his analysis of costume as a means to move a movie forward and express a character's mood and personality. If you're at all a fan of 60's style or Doris Day, you'll love the piece he did recently on Pillow Talk.

Chris also did a post recently on a book by Liz Gregory called Sew Iconic, and the description he gave left me salivating - it apparently has a breakdown of tons of famous, iconic dresses in film, and accompanying "patterns" so that you can (maybe) reproduce them yourself...

I can't rationalize buying a book on sewing when I can't do anything more than basic handsewing. But I may break down and order it anyway, as it's just as much about iconic films as it is about costume.... :)

Friday, June 8, 2012

Flashback Friday: My vintage transfer blog

sweet deer

Those of you who know me well know that I have 3 blogs. :) I edit and blog for Feeling Stitchy, I have this blog, and I have a blog dedicated to vintage transfers, called Vintage Transfer Finds. At this point, the average human being has fallen asleep. Enjoy your nap, those peeps! For the rest of you awake folks, I'll carry on. :)

When I first started blogging at VTF, I loved my vintage transfer blog - I used it to minutely catalog and categorize my large collection of old transfers. Over time, I've shared there less and less, but as the blogging world so often does, other nice peeps were inspired by my blog and have filled in the gaps, sharing their own vintage transfers and stitching on Flickr.

My friend Bethie is doing a guest post on VTF this Saturday, so in an effort to clean house, I blew the cobwebs off my template and tinkered away. I un-archived a whole mess of free patterns, which I'll be sharing there in the weeks to come.

nice spices

VTF is a mirror for my soul - painstakingly catalogued, full of weirdness, bad puns, and ephemera.

I've always been fascinated with changing times - with everyday values - what changes over the years, what stays the same - what's funny, what's cute, and that subtle shift each generation goes through that results in cute becoming creepy, and vice versa. The 40's, 50's, and 60's fascinate me - but so does this time period - where we all sit around on our butts reading our phones and pawing at our computers and iPads. :)

sassy señorita

I don't know how long I can keep up 3 blogs and 2 Flickr accounts (cough: not much longer, I think :) so you might want to hop over there and grab up some patterns. I revamped the navigation and have tried to make it easier to find all the patterns. Hope you enjoy your visit, and that you all have awesome weekends! :)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Three things Thursday: Vintage tones

missmultitete b   v n132    toptailsport 24
All images courtesy of pilllpat (agence eureka)

This week's three things all come from the lovely photostream of pilllpat (agence eureka) on Flickr. I love poking around and looking at her cat pictures and her lovely trove of scanned French ephemera. I especially loved playing with the face and features in Photoshop and those fun top and bottom cards that you can print and rearrange to great effect. If you took the numbers off of them, they could also make a great memory game. (I loved memory games as a kid.)

Here's a color palette based off of that third image:

Also, this makes me feel like an old crank, but here are three things I don't like about the new Flickr - that automatic sizing to the largest size (the weird re-sampling and sharpening it does makes even nice pics look odd), the new Uploader, which is WAY too complicated, and the default lightbox view when paging through group streams. I can think of far more than three things, but the crank will stop there. :)