Showing posts with label gifts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gifts. Show all posts

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Mama's Day Flowers


Taking a strong variation on a similar theme, I decided to make my Mama an embroidered brooch for Mother's Day. Where my friend gravitated more towards darkness and tentacles, my Mama is definitely in the sunshine and flowers camp.

This, I'm proud to say, is a wholly original design of mine. In English, my mother's name translates to "Daisy," and she has two children. I thought it appropriate to have the two little daisies symbolizing my brother and I. Which flower symbolizes whom is up to debate: I'm older, but he's definitely taller now!

I sketched out some variations on the design on some scrap paper, then transferred the final design using carbon paper (I like the clean lines, transfer pens and pencils tend to bleed). I then stitched the petals and stem using satin stitch, and the centers with tiny French knots.


Again, not a tiny embroidery, but definitely small enough to keep my on my toes, especially with those pesky French knots!

My Mama adored it! She wore it proudly to her Mama's Day outing to The Avengers. 'cuz that's how she rolls.

I've been having a lot of fun with these little pieces of jewelry. Next up, I think I may actually stitch a little something for myself to wear. It'll probably be a combination of darkness and sunshine...just to change things up. Maybe if I'm quick I'll be able to have it done in time for the panel I'm speaking on this weekend (/shameless plug).

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Embroidered Dice Bag




I managed to squeeze in a bit of crafting before I got taken out by the double-whammy of Con and cold. The Professor’s birthday was at the end of March, and he had been dropping hints that he needed a new bag to hold his gaming dice. I was more than happy to oblige!

This was the perfect excuse to break out the brand-spankin’ new sewing machine my Mama gave me as an early birthday present. I don’t know why I hadn’t given it a run sooner! It’s truly a thing of beauty:




It’s a computerized machine, which is a light year leap from the antique Featherweight I’d been struggling with for months. Though I still love the old girl dearly, there’s really nothing like a sewing machine that is wholly and completely yours to bond with.

It only took me a couple hours to fully put together the bag, which is made from up-cycled denim from a pair of torn jeans. The embroidered emblem is the symbol of the Codex of Ultimate Wisdom, from the old Ultima computer games. It’s a game that the Professor loved as a child, and I thought it’d be appropriate for a dice bag.




He truly loved it. It was nice to finally be able to craft something just for him that he’d actually enjoy and use, as opposed to the knit scarves I keep trying to hoist off on him!

I'm really looking forward to tackling some other sewing projects, and learning some new skills. Is it too ambitious to think I can sew a sundress by summertime?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Hand: Lucky Cat Apron



Though my Dad's Steal Your Face got delayed in delivery by the car crash, oddly enough, the crash was the reason I was able to make this sweet little Lucky Cat apron for my sister-in-law.

You see, my sis-in-law also lives in SoCal. I'd bought the Sublime Stitching "I Heart Sushi" pattern months before her birthday in December, with the intent of stitching it up before we headed down for our Xmas/Yule/New Year's holiday. Alas, in all the holiday commotion, I'd run out of time to stitch up her gift. I ended up buying her some things -- handmade and cute, true -- but I was disappointed I wasn't going to get a chance to make her this apron for another year.

Then, the crash, and I suddenly found myself with a couple weeks of "free" time when I was pretty much trapped on a couch healing up. It was the perfect time to stitch, and actually kinda helped me normalize again. Stitching adorable Japanese food and Lucky Cats will do that to you, I suppose.



She loves sushi, and used to work in a Japanese restaurant in Santa Cruz. Also, she LOVES cats, so I thought this would be a good marriage of the two.



I was able to give it to her when I went to visit SoCal a couple weeks ago, and she adored it. Oddly enough...shortly after giving it to her, both she and her boyfriend had some very good luck come their way in the form of raises and new jobs. I'm not taking any credit for their success, but y'know... a Lucky Cat is a Lucky Cat!




Saturday, April 25, 2009

Hand: What a long, strange stitch it's been



Soooo, this is a piece I've actually had completed since December of last year. There's a reason why I haven't been able to share it before now, which has been killing me, since I've been sooooo proud of it!

This was/is my Dad's Xmas gift, for Xmas '08. He's a huge Grateful Dead fan, but an even bigger fan of handmade gifts. This -- thanks to a suggestion from my brother -- was indeed the perfect gift for my Dad. A stitched version of Steal Your Face.



It took me about a month to complete. It's about 6 inches in diameter, and done completely with satin stitching and long-and-short stitching.



I wasn't done with it when Xmas came, but the way things worked out the husband and I were going to spend the holiday with his parents in Humboldt, and then go down to San Diego for New Years' with my folks. I planned to finish "Stealy" over the holiday, then give it to Dad in SoCal, all clean, stretched, and wrapped...

...then we got into the car crash.

When they towed the car away to the impound yard, they took all the luggage and gifts and such away. Though we had an Xbox and all our clothes in the shattered trunk, sitting in the Humboldt County rain, I kept thinking of poor "Stealy." I really thought he was gone.

Luckily, again, he survived perfectly (as well as all my embroidery stuff), and I was able to give him to my Dad on New Year's Eve. Though the piece was wrinkled, unframed, unwrapped, the look on his face was priceless.

Skip forward to two weeks ago, when I finally made it to SoCal to see the family. At last, I was able to wash, iron, and frame "Stealy" for Dad...and after five months, I can say he's complete. Really, it's been a long, strange trip with this piece, and much as I love it, I'm glad it's over. Now he can hang on a wall and be chill, as he was meant to be.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Hand: Of Xocolates and Sewing Machines

V-Day Treats

Despite all the crap that's been going on, I know I am a very lucky lady. Sometimes it takes something as silly as a greeting-card-industry-holiday to remind me that yep, things aren't always as bad as they seem.

My V-day was lovely this year, and for all the right reasons. Woke up to make Strawberry Empanadas and coffee, and wrap the husband's present (a copy of Rumors, my second attempt to give him that CD since the copy I gave him for Xmas was destroyed in the car crash). Had a relaxed breakfast together, and went out to run a couple errands and pick out some amazing chocolates from The Xocolate Bar on Solano Avenue. Came home, watched Across the Universe, then did some co-op gaming until pizza arrived. Mellow and sweet. That's the ticket for all my holidays in '09.

Xocolate Bar Treats

Mmmm...Dulce de Leche, White Chocolate with Passionfruit, and "Aztec Amor" (with cinnamon, orange zest, and chili).

I've actually been doing quite a bit of crafting lately, though not sharing it all since a lot of it has been gifts and stuff for swaps -- including a Joss Whedon swap I just dropped a package in the mail for.

I can share, however, my very first non-supervised machine sewing project:

Sewing Machine Cover

A sewing machine cover for my Singer Featherweight!

Featherweight Love

This machine was given to me by my mother-in-law about a year ago. It belonged to her mother, and hemmed clothes for six growing children for decades before it was passed on to her. I feel really honored she chose to trust this precious machine, this family heirloom, into my care. I was actually too afraid to touch it, until my own Mama talked me into taking it out of the box this past Thanksgiving.

My Mama has continued to fuel my enthusiasm for my this little machine with history books and pointers, plus lore about the Singer Featherweight she picks up at Quilting Shows and the like.

I felt this little machine deserved a special cover now that it's out of the box, and though the cover isn't perfect, it still looks a lot better than a dusty old case I was hiding it in. Besides, how can I not get excited about sewing when I see that on my desk?

I'm planning on making a similar one for my Kitchen Aid mixer (and I even have some adorable fabric all set). Who knows? This may be the start of a cozy craze in my apartment! Especially when I have a tutorial as easy as this one to work off of.

More things to post soon, once swaps have been swapped and gifts received. I can't wait to share!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Hand: Sublime Stitching Up a Storm

Black Apple Bunny

When I promise embroidery goodness, I deliver!

I've been a busy little stitching bee since my last crafty post, mainly due to that pesky Christmas thing, and then to that mandatory down time called "healing."

The bunny above is from Sublime Stitching's Black Apple pattern, which I fell in love with. I wanted to make a little something for myself amidst all the gift stitching, and this is what I came up with.


Black Apple Tea Towel
This is a tea towel I stitched for a good girlfriend of mine. I was going for a sort of Edward Gorey-esque look with the colors and stripes.

Black Apple Tea Towel (detail)
Close-up on the little bee and banner.

Nacho Libre Tea Towel
This is a "Nacho Libre" towel I stitched up for another good friend. She loves that movie like crazy, and I thought the Sublime Stitching lucha libre masks in the "Craft Pad" would make a great gift for her.

Nacho Libre Tea Towel (Detail)
Close up of Nacho. I tried to keep Nacho looking as true to the movie character as possible (even had to run out and buy the right shade of blue floss for the mask).

Nacho Libre Tea Towel (Back)
Aaaand, what "Nacho Libre" towel would be complete without toast! I designed this little bit myself, actually drew it freehand onto the towel with a pencil and stitched over it.

"Monkey Pants" Tea Towel
This, actually, is a towel I stitched about a year ago, a gift for a good friend. I forgot to take pics of it before I gave it, and she was nice enough to snap a few pictures of it for me recently.

The quote is from a "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" episode, and the monkeys are from (I think my favorite) Sublime Stitching pattern. I did add the monkey pants myself, though.

There's still a few more finished projects I have to post, one being one of the works I'm most proud of ever. But this is a good start.

In real-life news, tomorrow I go back to work. I'm a bit nervous...it's been about a month since I've been back in the city, and I'm still moving a little slowly. It should be okay though, once I get into the swing of things. Rejoining the world and all that stuff. Today, we're going to look at a new car. Wish us luck!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Hand: "Tea Time" Shadowbox



This is something I've actually been holding onto for a long time, since late July, to be exact.

It's a shadowbox I made for my Mama's birthday in August, but upon completing it I deemed it far too fragile to ship. So, I held onto it until I could give it to her in person...which wasn't until she and Dad came up to visit for Thanksgiving.

She truly loved it, which I'm so happy about!



I cut the little table out of craft felt, and detailed it with backstiches. The flowers are from a lace trim, which I carefully cut out, and sewed on with seed beads in the center.

The tea set is a trio of pewter buttons I found in a shop on Haight Street, and were the inspiration for the whole project.

The background is layered craft paper and vellum.



The mat was a lucky find, since it matches the buttons so well!

I've mentioned previously how much my Mama and I love going to tea, so this was my little way of always being able to give her a tea party, even when I'm far away (awwww...).