Daisychain ABC sampler – finished!

01 Daisychain ABCs finished - coverTa-dah!  My finished Daisychain ABC sampler!!!  : )  Pattern by the lovely Posie: Rosy Little Things.

This was quite the project, let me tell you.  The entire two seasons of Downton Abbey and hours of 90s alternative on Pandora went into this baby.  Many finger pricks from sharp needles, endless tangled threads, and even a stray piece of thread that I’m pretty sure my cat ingested at some point (still waiting for it to come out).  I learned a bunch of new stitches and got a ton of practice getting things just right.  I cursed the pattern as “too tiny” and “too intricate” but persevered throughout my frustrations.  I dropped the project for a few months and came back to it with renewed enthusiasm.  It traveled to San Francisco and Montreal and endured airport layovers and cramped mid-flight stitching.  It is truly my embroidery masterpiece, and I couldn’t be happier with it.  : )

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Daisychain ABCs: the end is near

01 Daisychain ABCs - WXYZThis weekend I finished the stitching on my Daisychain ABC sampler.  Ahhhhh, so close to a finished project!  A frame has been purchased, and I just have to put all the pieces together and take this baby outside for a proper photo shoot.  Very excited about this.  : )

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Photography for handmade items: DIY lightbox and photo editing

Comparison of Daisychain ABC Ws

Welcome to the exciting world of craft photography for total noobs.  : )  In an attempt to improve the quality of photos on this blog without investing in any new or expensive equipment, I started playing around with a DIY lightbox and basic photo editing.  You can see some of my initial results above — the color is much more true to life after my adjustments.  Awesome.  I know I’ll never get truly great photos without upgrading my camera, but until my budget allows for such things, I’ll take whatever progress I can get.  In this post I present my experimental results as any good scientist would do: with full disclosure.  : )  Feel free to weigh in with thoughts and advice!

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New embroidery, old embroidery

My very first embroidery attempt

Oooh look what I found!  A recently-completed Daisychain ABC sampler over at One Sheepish Girl.  So pretty!  Go check it out, and say hi to Meredith while you’re over there.  : )  I just discovered her blog today while looking for photos of finished samplers, and it is such a sweet and gorgeous site.

As for my sampler, not a stitch of progress has been made since my last post!  I want to pick it up again tonight before bed, so keep your fingers crossed that I don’t fall asleep before I get to it.

In other crafty news, I was at the bookstore again today, and I stumbled across an interesting book: The Crafter’s Guide to Taking Great Photos.  Ah, the nemesis of all craft blogs – crappy photos!  I admit that I’m plagued by Crappy Photo Syndrome (CPS), which I usually blame on my cheapo camera and lack of free time during natural light hours.  However, this book got me thinking about making a light box to at least get a little bit of improvement.  Any thoughts/experience with this?  Or do I really just need a better camera?

Finally, since no blog post is complete without a photo, I present my very first attempt at embroidery – a little likeness of Maggie all curled up in blissful sleep.  (Haha, of course it would be a cat!  Did you have any doubt?)  I made this in January of this year – not bad for my first try.  I found the cat pattern online here – give it a shot to honor the sweet kitty in your life.

Have a great night and happy crafting!

Cranking this embroidery OUT

01 Daisychain ABCs - V outsideMore outdoor embroidery!  : )  The only thing missing from this situation is a cold margarita freshly made by my own personal cabana boy.  Ahem.  : )  One day, ladies!

This weekend I put a decent amount of time into cranking out this Daisychain ABC sampler.  The end is so close… I can taste it!  Just a few more measly letters to go!  I had grand plans to buy a frame for the soon-to-be-finished piece this weekend, but I forgot like 3 different times.  Haha, oh well.  Next weekend perhaps.  For now, I’ve got U and V under my belt, with W well along its way.

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Daisychain ABCs: R, S, and T

Daisychain ABCs - RMy Daisychain ABC sampler is moving right along!

Today I embroidered the R, S, and T, and although I am usually in love with each letter as I finish it, this time I’m not really feeling the love.  I’ve definitely been enjoying the process of stitching, but none of these 3 letters has really wowed me.  The R came out pretty wonky, in my opinion.  See how all the branches are different lengths and the French knots don’t line up with each other?  Even the curlicues on the bottom are a little crooked.  What was I thinking???  Haha, I guess this poor letter will never live up to its older brother, the glorious Q.

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A kick-ass “Q” and an embroidery-gasm

Daisychain ABCs - QI am in love with this Q.  I know the photo quality is a little crappy (one day when I have a real salary I’ll get a better one!), but trust me, it is a thing of beauty.  I stitched it last night and have been admiring and petting it ever since.  Yes, I pet my embroidery.  I understand this is normal behavior.  : )

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Outdoor embroidery in my urban oasis

01 Daisychain ABCs outsideI’ve been happily stitching away on my Daisychain ABC sampler, and this afternoon I took it outside for a little fresh air.  There was a time when I was too embarrassed to sew/knit/etc. in public, but I guess I don’t care anymore now that I’m older and wiser.  In fact, I would encourage crafting in public at any and all opportunities.  : )  Anyway, I found a little patch of grass at a neighboring building, and although it wasn’t exactly a park, it was big enough to spread out with my beach chair and far enough from the street that I wasn’t inhaling car exhaust the entire time.  I’d call that a success!

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Daisychain ABCs and my satin stitching method

01 Daisychain ABCs - A-KToday I picked up my Daisychain ABCs sampler for the first time in about 2 months, and I had forgotten how much I absolutely love this project!  The absolutely stunning pattern is by the fabulous Alicia Paulson, creator of many other equally stunning patterns.  Although it’s meant to be a crewelwork sampler worked in crewel wool, I opted to do it in regular old DMC embroidery floss (for the budget-conscious crafter).  The background fabric is Kona Cotton in “earth.”  I would highly recommend this sampler for both beginner and advanced embroiderers, as it’s a great way to learn/practice new stitches and also makes a gorgeous piece that anyone would be proud to display. Not to mention the fact that working on it always puts me in the most relaxed “zen” mood – a truly enjoyable experience.

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