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!!!

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Singer sewing machine dreams coming true

Ever since I started sewing I have dreamed about owning a vintage Singer sewing machine. Well that day came a couple of weeks ago, and I am now the proud owner of this beauty:Image

This is actually the third one I’ve come across. The first one I stumbled upon at a flea market and battled with myself the whole time trying to decide if I should buy it. It was beautiful and only $50. However when I went back to look again, it had been sold. It was sad, but I guess not meant to be. The second one I  found was at a another flea market. It was in way worse condition than the first one and the man selling it was really pushy. Once again, just didn’t seem like the right one, so I passed it up.

This time my friend happened to find this one at a thrift shop. When she saw it she texted me pictures right away. I was unsure at first but decided it wouldn’t hurt to go look after work. So I did. And instantly fell in love. This one was perfect. It was in great condition, still working, and I love love loved the table. It was a lot more compact than the other ones I’d seen. I honestly probably would buy the table for my home even if it didn’t come with the sewing machine, it was so perfect. I just knew this time. Probably the fact that I had turned down two others already made it easier to say yes this time. So, $75 later and I own a vintage Singer sewing machine! Dreams really do come true.

The Singer website is amazing. It was so easy to date my machine. They have model and serial numbers listed which match up with the year the machines were manufactured in. My machine was made in 1948. http://www.singerco.com/support/machine-model-numbers

Now I just want to learn everything I can about vintage Singer sewing machines! I’m so happy I found the right one ❤

Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

 

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

Sometimes I get really nerdy about thread…

Okay. So, sometimes I get really nerdy about thread. It’s just one of those things that happens, so here’s my recent thread obsession story:

I went to a flea market recently and ended up scoring a huge basket full of embroidery floss. I am talking like a ton of floss…you can see a photo of my almost complete stash on my instagram (I couldn’t fit it all quite into the picture but it shows most of it) username –> CeeStitchery. I was excited #1 because I just tripled my stash for $10, and #2 the majority of it was Anchor brand floss, and I always buy DMC, mostly just  because that’s what is accessible to me. So the idea of trying a different brand of floss and adding so much to my color palette was really cool.

 It took me a while to get around to sorting through this messy basket. I separate all of my floss into groups of pastels, brights, and darks. I have slowly been working away at it when I have a few free minutes or decide to take a break from stitching. A week or so ago I came across a skein with a label I had never seen before.  It looked particularly old so I decided to ask my mom if she’d heard of it before. She hadn’t , so we googled it. The label said “Corticelli”.  I found out that Corticelli was indeed a thread manufacturer once upon a time but hadn’t existed for quite a while. And that was it. I was obsessed. I spent more time than I’d like to admit the next day researching it on the internet, but was surprised at how little there was on it. It doesn’t even have it’s own Wikipedia page.

ImageHowever I did discover that Corticelli played a pretty cool part in the history of sewing thread. Basically, it started out as the Nonotuck Silk Company in the 1830’s and grew to become the world’s largest supplier of silk thread during it’s time. The company stayed in business until 1930. They were the first to manufacture “machine twist” thread, and to produce a thread that worked properly in the newly invented sewing machine. They of course, also manufactured other types of thread including embroidery floss.

Here are a couple of links that provide a more detailed account of what I’ve briefly explained above: http://www.textilehistory.org/NonotuckSilkCompany.html   http://www.smith.edu/hsc/silk/northampton.html

I got a huge portion of the rest of the floss organized this past weekend and found a few more skeins of Corticelli! I think what initially excited me the most was finding out that Corticelli went out of business in 1930. Meaning these skeins of thread have to be at least that old. I expected that they were vintage but not quite that vintage!

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I’m so curious as to who this basket belonged to. I imagine the Corticelli thread and maybe more was probably passed down to her. It was a man that sold it to me at the flea market but I didn’t get a chance to talk with him – it was pretty busy! It’s fun to daydream about where all these threads came from, what projects they were intended for, and what they were used for over the years. I live for this stuff.

 

Thanks for reading,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

 

Lace and Scraps

My life goal: Never waste fabric. Just kidding I have lots of other goals. However, I don’t think I’ve ever thrown fabric away. I love when I think of something to make out of a left over scrap.  And the best thing ever is when the thing I make ends up being something that I use a lot. I also have an obsession with the remnant bin at my local fabric store. There’s just something about digging through that bin, wondering what rolled up scraps from the end of a bolt of fabric I’ll find. I have found many a treasure in that bin, actually they are what I use for almost all of my embroidery projects! Anyway, I think I’ve made it pretty clear that I make sure to use every last piece of fabric in my possession. So here’s what I did recently:

A couple of weeks ago I posted about a skirt that I refashioned. I decided to use the fabric that I had cut off the bottom of the skirt to make an infinity scarf. It was already a big loop because I had cut it off that way. I picked up some lace and just sewed it along the cut edge.

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I love how it turned out, and it’s super cozy! It’s been so cold here so I’ve worn it quite a few times already.  I just have to say, isn’t lace one of the best things ever? I love adding lace to something boring or outdated. It can breathe so much life into any garment. Ever since I made this scarf I’ve been getting a ton of ideas for adding lace to things – I plan to share some in the future 🙂

 

My Favorite New (Old) Skirt

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I just wanted to quickly share my new favorite skirt! The reason I want to share it is because it’s actually an old skirt. It was my Mom’s in the 80’s. Right before Christmas I went through a box of her old clothes from back then and claimed a few things for my myself.  I love skirts and dresses, they’re my favorite thing to wear and I also love things from days gone by. So needless to say, this was an exciting moment for me.

 

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This Knit skirt was actually ankle length to begin with.

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All I did was cut it to the length I wanted (plus a seam allowance for the hem) and Hemmed it up using a straight stitch on my sewing machine! It was a little hard to keep the seam straight at times because it is a stretchy knit but I actually really like how the hem ended up looking! A few simple updates here and there and something outdated can easily become something amazing. There’s something about wearing an article of clothing from the past that you’ve refashioned that just feels so good, try it! Seriously it’s awesome. I have plans for more of my Mom’s clothes from another time, and I can’t wait. I have a feeling they will end up being faves….

 

Hello world!

Hello 🙂

Welcome to my little place in the world. I suppose the first order of business would be to explain the focus of this blog in a little more detail. My number one passion is embroidery/cross stitch.  I spend most of my free time with a needle and thread in hand and a million ideas bouncing around in my head. There are times when I feel like I can’t get the images in my mind onto fabric fast enough. I have always been a creative minded person and art and craftsmanship have always been something that stirs a passion inside of me. However, it wasn’t until I got into textile art that I felt that excitement of being truly passionate about something, that feeling that consumes you (in a good way)!  It is hard to even put into words how I feel about needlework. It’s not just the beauty of the finished project or having a fun hobby to pass the time. I love everything about it.  Experimenting with different fabrics, as well as different threads. Combining different stitches together to create an image that means something. To me, the act of pulling a needle and thread through fabric is the most peaceful and comforting activity there is.
I have also in the past year started using a sewing machine. Not for embroidery…that is something I will always do by hand. It is more of a means to make my embroidery into useful items. I enjoy sewing cosmetic pouches, coin purses, you name something you need a pouch for an I’ll make it, I’m a little addicted to sewing zipper pouches. I am also quite into knitting, although I still consider myself a beginner. I can’t seem to soak up enough knowledge about it and am loving learning new things all the time. To sum things up, I love all things creative, crafty and handmade! I am excited to make this into a place for me to share my work, ideas, projects, and inspiration!