In my new book The Amazing Stitching Handbook for Kids, I included a glossary of lots of line drawings that kids can use for stitching guides. I stitched a bunch of them on felt from A Child's Garden. Here are some of them.
This project would be a nice teacher gift project.
Any new stitcher needs a pincushion to store their needles and pins. This sweet little pincushion is made of felt from A Child's Dream. I wrote the word Sew and added some stars. Sweet project that will become a keepsake.
The next project is one that goes with the current trend of framing embroidery in embroidery hoops. For this project, the dots are printed with fabric paint. Then the outlines are stitched in fun colors. It's quite nice to get kids thinking about cross-crafting like this.
On Sunday, the new kitty mama to George and Harry came to pick them up. We are so happy that they are going to live on a farm in New Hampshire and help with the rodent population and perhaps herd chickens. Here's a photo of the two of them the morning before they left our farm.
Such little darlings. It is much quieter here without their tearing around after each other. Hope everyone has a great weekend.
Just a quick note today to let you all know that I have a Crewel Embroidery Retreat coming up August 8 and 9. I still have three spaces available if you have the urge to attend or have just come into some $ and you have been dying to come to a class here at our Leyden Glen Farm.
What will you learn? We will be doing Crewel Embroidery which is hand stitching on linen fabric with wool threads. This class will be going beyond the basics -- introducing stitches that are less common than the basic 8 or so stitches that are commonly used. It will be helpful if you have past experience with Crewel and Embroidery. My Craftsy Class is a good primer or substitute if you can't get here to the farm. Click on the link at left to get that class at a discount. Linen fabric and wool threads are included in the cost of the class. Food included too. On Day Two, you will have the option to do some of your own designing including fabric printing - similar to my Paisley Pillow.
Because these classes are small and intimate, I am able to tailor them to my students' needs and wishes. They really are a good time and good value. My studio which sits next to our garden definitely beats a generic hotel, bad expensive food, and fluorescent lights. Check out the information here. I have had people ask me about next summer classes. I do not know if I will be able to run these classes next summer. Next year promises to be a really busy year for me. If you are on the edge and have always wanted to come, I highly suggest you think about coming in 2015. There is one more retreat this season - a Knitting and Color Retreat on September 26/27. There are 4 spaces available at this time for that retreat. Our farm is exceptionally beautiful in September and October. Check that out here.
Custom Retreats are also available for a group of 4 people. Just shoot me an email if you would like to set one up for you and a group of creatively minded friends. Hope you all are having a great week!
Here's another couple of projects for kids from my new book - The Amazing Stitching Handbook for Kids. This first project is a super project for kids. They will stitch flowers or any design on felt. The embroidered felt is then sewn as a pocket to the outside of a purchased canvas bag. Makes a nice present. Felt from A Child's Dream.
Project No. 3 from my new book - The Amazing Stitching Handbook for Kids - is for your kids who love their tech.
You know how hard it is to get the tech away from the kids. Why not tempt them to make something to carry their phones and ipods? Using some homemade wool felt, a button, and a little embroidery floss they can have a sweet little pouch.
Hi All - popping in today to share one of the new projects for kids in my new book - The Amazing Stitching Handbook for Kids.
This project shows kids that they can use fabric as a backdrop for their stitching. I found the fabric at Joann's in the upholstery section. Upholstery fabric is great to stitch on because it is a little more coarse. I added a whole bunch of stitches to make a fun wallhanging. Then I framed it in a hot pink frame. Sweet project.
Last Friday evening, my family and I attended a lovely Farm To Table meal at a gorgeous farm at the end of a dirt road in Conway, Massachusetts.
The meal was a fund raiser for CISA - the local non-profit encouraging support of local agriculture.
I have read about these kinds of events and always wondered what it would be like to attend. When you live on a farmer's and author/artist's income, there really isn't anything in the budget for fancy fundraisers, much less nice dinners out. (Yes, I sometimes do miss the days of travel and nice dinners out on a company expense account - not often, but once in a while.) We were invited at a reduced cost because we grew the lamb for the meal. It is good politics to include some real farmers when you are trying to raise money from people who have the means to support such an organization.
The event was thrown and organized by a young couple named Shawn and Grace and held at Grace's family's farm. They had invited Chris Fischer, a chef from Martha's Vineyard and author of the new cookbook The Beetlebung Farm Cookbook to cook the meal. Here and here are some articles about Chris.
Here are some photos from the meal. Chris set up a "kitchen" in the field on some tables.
He cooked over a wood fire on grates and in large woks.
He used the entire animal.
Including the head.
There were lots of veggies - most of which were raised at the farm we ate at.
It was a fun experience and maybe we will be lucky enough to supply another one of our Leyden Glen Farm lambs for a similar meal another time. Thanks so much for inviting Mark, Julia and me to the dinner Shawn and Grace. We will remember it for sure. Such a beautiful evening.
I've been holding out on you all! I have a new book that was published on July 7th. It is called The Amazing Stitching Handbook for Kids. Here's the back story to this book. Back in 2004, my very first embroidery book was published by STC. It was a hard cover book that was aimed to teach children to stitch. It was edited by Melanie Falick. As you probably all know, books come and books go. Books do not stay "in print" forever. The term "in print" means that the publisher is continuing to hold stock of books in their warehouse and to ship them. Kids Embroidery was eventually put OOP (out of print). When a book goes OOP, depending on the contract, the rights revert back to the author, illustrator and photographer. This was the case with my book. The rights to my words and my illustrations came back to me. And as you all know, 2015 is a very different time than 2004. DIY has blossomed. Sewing and crafting and embroidery, and all kinds of things you do with your hands, are more popular than ever. I've been lucky to keep working and writing in this world of craft book writing. My Literary Agent Linda Roghaar and I met up one morning. We talked about the direction I should go in my writing career. She asked me if I would be interested in working on a second incarnation of Kids Embroidery - for another publisher. I agreed and pretty soon, I was working on a new book on stitching for children. If you have my first Kids Embroidery book, this one will look somewhat familiar. We used my colorful illustrations that were also featured in Kids Embroidery. I made 15 brand new projects though so it will look new to most of you. I'm so thrilled that C&T Publishing has the faith in the art of embroidery to introduce it to children. You can check the book out on my website here. Over the next week or so, I will be posting projects from the book. Books will begin shipping after August 5th. BTW, Melanie Falick has now left STC and is out on her own. There is a good podcast interview with her on the site "A Playful Day" here. Check it out if you are a fan or are interested in the publishing and writing world. Melanie has always been one of the real pros in the world of DIY, craft and publishing. I look forward to seeing what she does next.
When Rick and his crew were here from Houzz.com in May for the video shoot of our farmhouse and family, he asked me if I would demonstrate one of my decorative painting techniques for a video tutorial. I chose the Stairwell above which was one of the favorite photos of Houzz readers.
This technique doesn't need fancy equipment and can be done in less than a couple of hours. The video doesn't have an embed code that I can figure out and it isn't on YouTube. If you would like to watch it, click on over to this page. You will find the HOW TO STAMP VIDEO just below the main video. Just click on it and you will be able to watch it. And just so you know, it took me over 10 tries for the ending line! I can't believe how lived in my studio is looking right now. So different from when I moved into it. Good messy. Lots of creative vibes floating around the space.
A couple weeks ago I introduced a new project I have begun. A couple years ago I purchased a chair at a junk store. It has sat idle in my studio. I am going to make a slipcover for it.
I thought it would be fun to print the fabric and then embroider on top of the printing. I decided upon a simple oval and circle design. The graphic shapes make for a nice base for stitching. First I tested out the paints on my orange linen. I used Jacquard's Neopaque Series which work quite nice. I used the Versatex Fixer too so that I won't have to heat set my fabric. Here are my test splotches.
I decided to use the hot pink and the red colors. I purchased the small 2 oz. jars and there is plenty of paint to get me through the project.
I planned out the repeat and drew lines with my favorite light blue removable fabric markers using a graphed quilting ruler as my guide.
Using the pattern that I made following the Craftsy Slipcovering Class, I stitched a line on the fabric so that I would know how much area to print.
The printing went really quick. Next to start the stitching. You can follow along with my progress on my Instagram feed.
On the second day of the retreat, we learned about block printing. Each student focused on a motif they liked. I demoed how to do a block print - how I design and then carve the rubbery pink pads I prefer with simple linocutting tools.
Then it was up to the students to think about their design and carve their own printing tool. It's a bit tricky because you have to think about negative space and how the stamp is going to print. They did a great job. What intense concentration.
These are Margaret's sunflower and graphic designs.
Here are some of her prints on different colors of fabric.
These are the stamps that Tamson made and took home. She also printed a whole pile of paper to make into cards.
Tamson decided that she liked the simple circle stamp the best and made a set of napkins and a table runner.
Darcy has a fondness for dragonflies. Here is her block and resulting fabrics.
In the afternoon I challenged her to add some handpainted color to the butterfly motif. Lovely, isn't it?
In the afternoon, we all worked on two color printing and painting using both foam stamps, acrylic blocks and rubber block printing. Here is Margaret's project which I think turned out stunning. Can you tell she is a quilter?
When she got home, she added some embroidery and took a photo to share with you all.
Here's a photo of the crew on the end of Day Two. Heather is missing. By then, it was hot and humid and we were all exhausted. Good exhausted though. Another great weekend of creativity here at the farm.
Thank you to Tamson, Margaret, Darcy (who drove 412 miles!) and Heather. What a great group!