Sunday, January 25, 2015

Embroidery Sunday !

Today I learned that leftover take-out crunchy tacos make a pretty good lunch after they spend about 10 minutes or so in a 350° toaster oven, flipped once midway through. Even the lettuce wasn’t bad, although tomatoes and sour cream might have been, so I’m glad these had neither.

And when it took me over two hours to select the thread colors for today’s two-for-one embroidery project, I learned that having over 200 colors can be just as bad as having only eight. Skin tones seem to be a real issue – they’re either too pink or too pale, or just plain look wrong. Years ago, shortly after I got Brody (when we had money at the expense of Beloved Hubby’s health), I got Beloved to get me the Madeira Treasure Chest, a gorgeous three-drawer cabinet with 194 spools of glorious rayon colors, a few more of black and white, and some thinner bobbin thread, plus bonuses of a sample pack of various stabilizers, a CD-R of designs, and a branded thread clipper, with free shipping, on sale. I love it still, so much that the main reason I didn’t give up and sell it all when my interest waned and I didn’t touch any of it for nearly two years, was because I didn’t wanna give up the Treasure Chest, since the thread’s rather too thin to use for regular ole sewing. That, and knowing I’d never get back the low triple digits I spent on supplies and designs encouraged me to wait it out and see.

I’m glad I did. Because even with the color fun – while most designs come with color suggestions, it doesn’t help when the designer suggests color numbers from Sulky thread and you use Madeira, and the equivalents are colors you just don’t have – I had great fun stitching tonight. Even got to use my sparkly magic iridescent thread (actually, a thin plastic much like cassette tape) on Elsa's cloak ! And I’m rather determined to use as much as possible of what I have, especially when it comes to consumables. If that means I spend about $10. a month on new, inspiring designs, well, at least I’m using up some of what I’ve already got, right ? But it is embarrassing going through all the designs I’ve snagged for free or on sale, and know I couldn’t possibly live long enough to stitch them all if I did ten of ‘em a day – and I’m buying more ! Not many more, and only the ones I’ve wanted for weeks, but still…

This was tonight’s project. I think I did OK with my color choices, even if you can’t tell that I used different colors for their skin. Each one took about 10-15 minutes, they’re about two inches tall, and they’re two separate designs. Ordinarily, I’d have used a program to combine them into one design, but my ‘forever free to you, the user !’ program (coughStitchEraUniversalhack) quit being free in less than three years, and is now a subscription based, cut-service version. I just used Brody’s built in software to position them, and didn’t remove the hoop in between designs. It’ll probably become a doll skirt tomorrow. I think it’s Belle’s turn.

And just for fun, I can tell ya that the Elsa design was the one I was tearing up Etsy to find a few weeks back. I kept finding it as a finished hair clip or small pin, with no credit given to the designer, Lynnie Pinnie , anywhere. Sad. I always try to say where I get a pattern or idea, because Heaven knows if I can do it, anyone can. It’s getting easier for me as I find my confidence, but I still act like it’s a house of cards, and I often feel I’m one wrong breath or nanosecond's distraction away from catastrophe. This one went so fast, once I began, I didn’t have time to freak out and worry. You may be seeing a lot of small, quick stitching designs in the near future, ‘til I feel less clumsy about it all.

And, as January comes to a close, I feel pretty good. How about you ? 

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