120 zipper pouches in 14 days

Well, I took on something a little crazy recently. I was asked by an event planner to sew 120 embroidered zipper pouches for an event. When I was originally asked I thought I would have almost a month to finish them. However, by the time all the details were ironed out I only had two weeks. But… I really didn’t want to pass up a great opportunity. So I said yes, and was determined I was going to get it done on time. I couldn’t believe myself to be honest. I didn’t even know how I was going to find that many zippers on such short notice (there aren’t a lot of sewing supply stores where I live). But with some help from my amazing family I rounded up all the supplies. I’m lucky I have people who were willing to help me find everything and even pick some of it up for me.

So I basically sewed constantly for 2 weeks. It was hard. They’re pretty simple pouches to sew, but 120 is a lot. Especially when you’re embroidering the same thing on every.single.one. Even though it was super overwhelming, I realized there’s something to be said for that feeling of completing honest, hard work. This felt less like art and more like a one person assembly line, but I made every single one from scratch with my own two hands, and that feels pretty good.

My pouches were for a portion of an event for women entreprenuers sponsored by Etsy Canada. 120 women received a gift card in one of these:

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Thanks for reading!!!

From the bottom of my heart

It has been way too long since I’ve written here unfortunately. Life has been crazy due to moving along with a other busy-ness over the summer. I wanted to check in with a quick post today, and now that things are settling down I’ll be able to share projects here more frequently again.

yesterday I had a really awful end to the the week at work. However, I had a really great week in my embroidery/etsy/crafty world, and at the end of the day that’s where it counts for me. Although I don’t make a living off of my art work, it is truly where my heart is. And I just want to say thank you to you wonderful people who take the time to look at and take interest in my work, from the bottom of my heart.

I will do this for the rest of my life and continue to share it with you even if I knew I would never sell another thing. ❤

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A re-newed love affair with painting

For my latest piece I tried a new idea; incorporating acrylic painting into my embroidery. I wasn’t really sure it was going to work out until I actually started working on it. I’ve never painted on fabric before so I had no idea how the paint would go on. However, once I was working on it, I couldn’t believe I had waited this long to do this. I L O V E  it. 

Here’s a little bit of background on my art experience: I started drawing as a child (like most people), then eventually got into acrylic painting. My Dad is an acrylic painter, so basically I didn’t really know there even was other types of painting until I had the opportunity to learn about them in art class. Eventually I discovered that water colour painting was my favorite and dabbled in that for a while – but most of my artistic experience outside of needlework is in acrylic painting. 

As much as I’ve struggled with painting in the past (it’s just not meant to be my main medium and focus), I have to say….wow did it feel good to pick up that paint brush again. It makes me realize that even though it’s not my main focus, that doesn’t mean I can’t still love it.  Something about painting on fabric was just so satisfying. I guess maybe it was the thrill of using a skill I spent a lot of time working on in the past in a way that’s so relevant to my current work.

However, I didn’t use painting too extensively in this piece, it’s pretty minimal. Mostly because it was an experiment to see if this idea would even work, and also because I still wanted the embroidery to be the main focus. Also, I haven’t used my acrylics since the painting class I took about 3 years ago, so I had to work with the colours I still had on hand – I didn’t even have white. Needless to say it was a bit limiting for mixing colour. I am heading out to buy some new paints tomorrow.

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This piece is framed in a 6 inch hoop and is for sale in my Etsy shop here – http://www.ceestitchery.etsy.com

This is what it’s all about. When you have one of those ideas that gets you so excited you can hardly keep your hands still. There will be more pieces incorporating painting into my embroidery to come. This is the start of a new love affair, I can feel it.

 

I miss my bike – Parts I and II

Hey friends!

I feel like I’ve been absent from here for a while. The weather is finally getting nice, and life is getting busy! But I’m back with a drawing and an embroidery piece to share. 🙂

I’m enjoying my “a-drawing-a-day” journal project so much. It’s become even more than a little something to give me a creative outlet during my work days. It’s become some what of a stress reliever. It’s also really helped me to find inspiration in my every day. Suddenly little thoughts and ordinary happenings from my every day life are becoming ideas for embroidery pieces. I really love this.

I drew this bike a couple of weeks ago when the weather was still really cold. I was dreaming of getting my bike out for the summer. My favorite thing about this one was that I always felt like bicycles were difficult to draw, but when I broke it down and spent some time on it I came out with a result I really like. That’s what this project is all about, learning and becoming a better illustrator.

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I then decided I liked it so much I wanted to embroider it, so it became this:

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This embroidery is for sale in my etsy shop http://www.ceestitchery.etsy.com

I wish my bike had hearts on it in real life. Thanks for reading 🙂

 

Always turning a new leaf

Hello! Today I want to share my latest embroidery piece:

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I put quite a bit of time and work into this one, and I am happy to say I am satisfied with the end result!! I really wanted to work on something with a little more detail, depth, and density, and this leaf project that I’ve had in my sketchbook for a while seemed like the perfect opportunity to do that. I used a fish bone stitch on most of the leaves, which was really fun. It’s not a stitch I have used often, but I love the look of it. I also used a lot of satin stitch and stem stitch in this piece. My original idea was to use all different shades of green, but once I got started I felt it needed a contrasting color to add some interest. I added the purple and instantly loved the dimension it added to the work. I am always learning in my work and want to always continue learning. I like to think theses leaves represent how every project turns a new leaf and teaches me something as an artist.

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You can see more of my work in my Etsy shop http://www.ceestitchery.etsy.com

A little bit more on my wanting to get into some projects with a little more detail: I recently joined the Embroidery Association of Canada. Basically this is a nation wide association devoted to “preserving traditional techniques and promoting new challenges in the art of embroidery”. I was really excited when I found out that an organization such as this exists, and joined right away. It’s really exciting to be part of a community that is as passionate about this form of art as I am. I am inspired to start trying more traditional techniques and incorporate them into my work. This is something I’ve always been interested in, but I think now more so than ever! I usually focus on quite small scale projects. This type of work seems to suit me the best for some reason. Mainly because when I get a new idea I tend to get really excited about it and want to start on it right away. If I’m working on a large time consuming project, this often results in me abandoning it to start the new idea. However when I work on small pieces I find it easier to finish them before starting on the next one. So, I don’t plan on changing that, but I am making it a new goal for myself to start adding more detail to my work, and to continue experimenting with different techniques and stitches that i haven’t used as extensively before!

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Any Canadians out there interested in the Embroiderers’ Association of Canada you can find out more here http://www.eac.ca/

Something else I want to mention quickly: I have noticed recently that a lot more people are recognizing needlework as art. It IS art, and I can’t even tell you how much this fills me up with joy and pride that more people are seeing that. Over the years needlework somehow developed this reputation of being a pass time hobby for well, your Grandma. And while there is nothing wrong with that (at all!), It can be difficult to feel like you are taken seriously as an artist when people have only that in mind and won’t see past it. The hand made movement is changing that in a huge way and I just want to say – that. is. amazing. I didn’t feel like a true artist until I discovered needlework as my medium, and I’m a true believer that all art is just that – art. Just because you’re not a painter or sculptor doesn’t make your work any less beautiful and important. And with the end of that rant/rave I will leave you with a quote from a VERY talented textile artist:

“Many people disregard embroidery as just a hobby. As an artist you have that extra battle to make people see it’s potential.” – Karen Nicol

Challenge accepted. 😉 Read more about Karen Nicol and her work here http://www.etsy.com/blog/en/2012/embroidery/

Thanks for reading!! XO

Spring?! Dandelion Acceptance, Skirts, and the Encyclopedia of Stitchery

I am finally feeling optimistic enough about Spring being potentially on it’s way that I can talk about it out loud. It has been really cold in Saskatchewan where I live. I mean REALLY REALLY cold. If you have been to or heard of Saskatchewan you’re probably thinking Isn’t that normal? Well, yes. But even Saskatchewan doesn’t normally have as much snow in March as we do right now. And -25 to 30 Celsius temps are usually behind us. Not this year. However! The forecast for this week is looking promising – we are supposed to have above 0 temps in our future! So on that happy note here’s what’s been going on lately:

Here is my latest finished embroidery project:
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I have had this idea in my head and then in my sketchbook for along time – so I am happy to say here it is in real life! I’ve always thought dandelions were pretty even though they’re considered weeds. When I heard this quote I really loved the message. I think a big part of being a happy well rounded person is all about seeing the positive and the good in people, things, and situations. Dandelions can be really beautiful if you choose to see them that way.

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This 10″ hoop art is for sale in my Etsy shop! you can find it here http://www.ceestitchery.etsy.com

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I have been really into skirts lately. I should also mention I love dresses. I pretty much always wear them, seeing me in pants is rare. So I’m really excited about incorporating more skirts into my life for spring and summer. What I’m most excited about is finding some unique fabrics and prints to sew my own skirts. This is one that I’ve made recently. I hope to do a skirt post in the near future when I get some more sewn!

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Last but not least – I snagged a copy of “The Complete Encyclopeida of Stitchery” this weekend! It is filled with lots of great illustrations like this one and some stitches I haven’t tried and even a few I haven’t heard of!

Well that’s just a little peak into my latest creative adventures. I hope Spring is starting to show up where ever it is you may be reading from! Keep your fingers crossed for me that one day our dreams may come true and it will come to Saskatchewan too 😉

“No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.” -Hal Borland

Create

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Hi friends, this is my latest finished embroidery! So I post almost all of my work on instagram (username: Ceestitchery), and I was struggling to think of something clever to say about the word create when the most obvious thought came to mind.  We all create every single day in one way or another.

Some people create art, others create food. Some of us create awareness, support, music, safety. We all create every day in our own way, and that’s what’s so beautiful and inspiring about this one little word. We all provide a balance for one another by creating in a way that we’re passionate about.

I like to think of this piece as a tribute to all of the different ways we create in our daily lives, and how creativity connects people.

This wall art is for sale in my etsy shop —> http://www.ceestitchery.etsy.com

Thanks for reading, XO

 

Farminista

I have mentioned a couple of times lately that I was working on an order for Farminista – an online store that is an extension of a local shop where I live. The embroidery I did for them has been posted and I just wanted to share the new items and their website! The following are all for sale and can be found here http://www.farminista.com/collections/handmade

ImageBird Hoop Art $40.00

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Tea Cup Hoop Art $40.00

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“Shine on” Hoop Art $40.00

ImageFloral Embroidered Pouches $30.00 Each

Farminista is “A craftily curated collection of vintage inspired fashion and home decor.” There’s a lot of really cool stuff to browse through on their website – they sell lots of gorgeous dresses and accessories as well! I feel like my style is fitting for this website. My work often has a vintage feel to it, and my obsession with stitching floral motifs fits right in!

More of my embroidery can be found in my Etsy shop http://www.ceestitchery.etsy.com

XO

 

 

 

 

That’s a Wrap, February!

It’s so hard to believe February will be over tomorrow! I think I say that every month.  I’ve been on vacation for a week, and was working furiously to get a project done before I left so I feel like I’ve been MIA from here for nearly half of February.  Here are some highlights from the past couple of weeks to end off this wintery month:

ImageI made my first Etsy sale to another country! I sent the purchase off to the States, so definitely not too far but it was still pretty exciting.  Now that I’m back from vacation I’m working hard to get some new items posted in the shop very soon! You can find my Etsy shop here http://www.ceestitchery.etsy.com

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The weekend before I left for my trip there was a huge flea market here in Saskatoon. It was fantastic and I found some really great things. My favorite find was this huge basket of embroidery thread. $10 later my thread stash has tripled! I was so excited. I also found some amazing vintage needlework magazines, as well as some vintage hand bags and a belt. Not a bad haul!

ImageI mentioned a few weeks ago that I was working on a wholesale order for a new website which is an online extension of a local shop here. I was really down to the wire trying to get the order done before I left for my trip. It was a little stressful, mostly because I don’t like to rush my embroidery/sewing. It’s important to me that I take my time to do my best possible work. However, I was really pleased with how everything turned out, and shipped the order off just in the nick of time! Above is a sneak peak at some of the products. I can’t wait to share more once they are up in the online store 🙂

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A week ago today I headed off to Vancouver B.C. for a vacation with two of my best friends.  It was much needed time away, and I always treasure quality time with these two girls!  As you can see, it was a pretty rainy vacation (to be expected for Vancouver in Feb). But the weather certainly didn’t stop us from having fun.  Here is an Etsy treasury I created in anticipation of the rainy city before we left: http://www.etsy.com/treasury/MTg2NzI2MTB8MjcyMTQyMDEwMQ/rainy-city-vacation?index=0

ImageI love this Walt Whitman quote we spotted as we strolled along the seawall. Such a beautiful thought in such a beautiful place. ❤

ImageWe got tons of shopping time in Vancouver (my kind of vacation!), this is just one of my new outfits. It was so much fun getting to shop with two of my best friends, we encouraged each other on a lot of purchases and therefore spent a lot of our hard earned money – so worth it though!

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I even found a fabric store in our travels. I snapped this photo of a vintage Singer sewing machine in a shop on Granville Island called The Cloth Shop http://theclothshop.com/ .  I found some amazing fabric there that I can’t wait to start creating with.

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This gorgeous piece of embroidery was hanging as a window covering in a bathroom of a restaurant we visited. I absolutely love spotting beautiful hand embroidery in random places, it was definitely a highlight for a needlework fanatic like me. The restaurant was called the Naam – fantastic vegetarian place. Definitely try it if you’re ever in Vancouver! http://thenaam.com/

ImageI’ve been to Vancouver a few times, and have always wanted to but never gotten the chance to visit the Vancouver Art Gallery. I got the opportunity to go this time, which was exciting. There was an Emily Carr & Charles John Collings exhibit which was so fantastic. I am a bit of a secret art history nerd. Although I don’t know a ton, it’s something that really interests me. In fact I almost pursued a degree in it once upon a time, but that’s a story for another time. The Vancouver Art Gallery is a great one to visit. http://www.vanartgallery.bc.ca/  And the two Canadian water color painters I mentioned are definitely worth checking out. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emily_Carr  http://www.vanartgallery.bc.ca/the_exhibitions/exhibit_hope_at_dawn.html

February was a great month, jam packed with lots of projects and fun times with friends. Hopefully March brings more of the same! Hope you enjoyed some of my snapshots from my creative and other adventures this month.

XO

 

There’s Wisdom in the Trees

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This is my latest “hoop art” embroidery. Trees are one of my favorite things to stitch, and I’ve been wanting to do a whole forest of them for awhile so I’m pretty happy to have completed this one.

Has anyone ever heard the saying “Can’t see the forest for the trees”?  I hadn’t until this week. I was hanging out with my Mom one evening while I was working on this, when all of a sudden she said it.  Here’s what it means according to wiki answers:

“When you are too close to a situation you need to step back and get a little perspective. When you do you will notice there was a whole forest you couldn’t see before because you were too close, and focusing on the trees.
Simply that you have focussed on the many details and have failed to see the overall view, impression or key point.”

Sometimes we all need a reminder to step back and look at the big picture, no matter what it is we’re dealing with at the time.  I thought it was kind of neat that this embroidery reminded my Mom of this saying. It’s nice to have something hanging on the wall that serves as reminder to “see the forest” and not just the trees in life.

This hoop art was listed in my Etsy shop but it just sold right before I started writing this!! It was my first sale on Etsy – big moment for me!! It’s fitting that this piece ended up being my first sale because selling my work is an example of something in my life that I need to remember to see the big picture in regards to.  It’s very easy to get hung up on the small things. But the big picture is, I do this because it I love it and it makes me happy to share it. When someone connects with my work, that is something really special and it might take time but it’s worth it.

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I definitely want to create another of this design and re-list it in the shop in the near future. http://www.ceestitchery.etsy.com

Remember to see the forest.

XO,

Carrie