introducing the embroidery sew-cial hour

It’s been a dream of mine for a while to put on some sort of stitchy “sewcial” hour and the time has finally come!

Introducing my first stitchy event coming in May!

 

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What is it?

Simply put, it’s a way for friends to gather around the table and either practice a craft they know, learn one that they don’t and just enjoy fellowship with one another. It’s a way to step back and take a break from all the demands of this plugged in world and enjoy some good food, good drinks and relish the joy of running a thread through fabric and seeing what amazing things come from that!

What if I’ve never held a needle and thread before?

This event is for you whether you’ve stitched amazing masterpieces or never even touched a needle before! Complete instructions will be provided by yours truly (and my assistant) along with illustrated cards (for those who learn better by reading). Bring your own materials or purchase a complete sewing kit at the event. Threads of all colors and an embroidery pattern ready to stitch will be provided for all attendants!

I’m in! Give me the details!

Registration is open here!  The event will be held at the awesome Fountain City Loft in Fountain City (just down from the famous Creamery, across from the historic Fountain City Park) from 6:00 – 9:00 on Thursday, May 7. Bring a drink (of any type you desire) and a snack to share with the group.

a little back history

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More than 7 years ago I opened an etsy store and had to come up with a name. I had started selling some embroidered items locally and etsy was new on the scene so I took a risk and opened a shop. I bought a clip art image that I loved and went from there.

Daisyeyes Logo

Fast forward and I actually started selling some things. I knew I needed a better logo design so I had a dear friend do some graphic design for me. My logo has gone through a million different changes since then and the growing a business learning curve has thrown me for so many loops.

 

Etsy Shop Banner

 

It’s truly only been in the last year or so that I’ve really stepped back, slowed down a little bit and given some good thought to the direction I wanted to go with daisyeyes. 2015 has been the first year that I’ve really been doing what I wanted to do all along – custom hand embroidery. It’s been a bit of a challenge and a change, but it’s been a welcome change.

The other thing that has been happening was my desire to start teaching sewing lessons and what I thought was a really strong desire to have a brick and mortar shop. I talked about nothing else for at least 2 years. Again, it was a steep learning curve and probably one of the greatest things that happened during that year was my relationship with our local parks and rec department. If you would have told me 2 years ago that I would love doing pop up/mobile sewing classes I would have laughed at you. But I love it.

crookedstitch logos

I realized about 3-4 months ago and that the dream of a brick and mortar shop was not something I wanted to delve into at this point in my life. I also realized that trying to build two separate businesses and brands at the same time was making me crazy. So after a lot of thought I’ve decided to “close up” the crooked stitch. In all honesty all it means is that I’m building my sewing lessons off of the brand that I need to focus on : daisyeyes handmade. I’m taking out the idea that my embroidery business needs to be totally separate from my sewing education business and combining the two. It seems like such a small thing, but it has released so much pressure off of me. It has given me space in my mind to work on being a better blogger, to start that newsletter that I’ve been wanting to start and to work on more tutorials and online lessons in this space that I’ve been wanting to do. It’s probably one of the best business decisions I’ve made in this whole journey.

custom birth announcements

The last few years I’ve stitched up quite a few of these original birth announcements mixed with embroidery, felt flowers and vintage buttons.

Birth announcement: flowers and vines

I had a customer approach me via etsy to ask if I could design a completely embroidered version of this spring flower version for one daughter with a matching winter themed one for her other daughter. Always ready for a challenge I eagerly accepted and I’ve spent the last month or so having so much fun stitching them up.

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Here’s a view of the set together. I ended up ordering some custom hand dyed threads from colour complements on etsy and they are amazing. I love them so much and I’m excited to have found another source for unique threads.

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For Willow’s spring themed embroidery, I stitched a mix of flowers and vines around the tops and sides.

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For Winter’s winter themed embroidery, I started with a pinecone and added a mix of evergreen and holly.

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Interested in a custom birth announcement of your own or for a gift? Contact me for more information!

a pocketful of thankfuls

This past Christmas I went to hear Ann Voskamp, Ellie Holcomb and Amena Brown during their Gift of Christmas tour. Amena Brown recited one of her poems and I was struck by the line “a pocketful of thankfuls.” So much so that I didn’t even hear the rest of what happened after that moment. I immediately went digging around for a pen and paper and starting sketched this image that just came into my head. I’ve been sitting with it since then and yesterday had the joy to actually bring that sketch to life.

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I grabbed a 9 inch wooden hoop and all along I wanted to create the look of a snippet of a shirt or coat with a pocket. Then out of that pocket came little hearts floating out. These hearts are a few that I needle felted myself and mixed with some wool felt.

In my mind, it was the idea of sticking your hand in your pocket and instead of finding chapstick or pocket fuzz or any other ordinary things you might find in a pocket, you would pull out a heart. And instead of seeing that chapstick, you would see a point of gratitude for all the little things you carry around.

Because we all have them. We all have little ordinary things that we can turn into pocket’s full of thankfuls.

the year in review {2014}

The end of 2014 brings me to the end of my third year of selling on etsy “full-time.” The close of every year has had me looking back and realizing the amazing amount that I learned when it comes to running a small business and the amount of amazing experiences I had. This year has been no different, but I do feel like this year has been one of major decisions. I learned (and accepted) what things I love to make, what things I loathe to make and how to balance making for a profit and making just out of the joy of making. I learned what sort of stitcher I am and want to be and I feel like I’m walking into 2015 with a better plan for where I want my talents and energy to be focused.

This year was the year my custom orders multiplied and while I feel like I did a fair amount of new designs, I didn’t do nearly the amount that I desire. I love custom orders more than anything and I stitched more words and designed more large typography embroideries than I could have ever imagined. I had a better plan for the holidays this year and I’m excited to walk into the next holiday season having a clearer picture of where I need my focus to be. I stitched lots of shoes and have fallen in love with it and I’m excited for that to continue in 2015. While I learned I am not a large lot stitcher (as in, I don’t desire to stitch the same design over and over and over again), I did stitch a few designs multiple times and my Coldplay hoop and Sara Williams hoop continue to be big sellers and hopefully they will become patterns and kits in the new year.

Thanks to all for making 2014 an amazing year. I’m grateful for those that requested custom embroideries. I’m grateful for my family and friends that continue to encourage me with this pursuit and I’m grateful just for the opportunity.

custom wedding vows

I finished out this year of custom requests designing and stitching this custom his/hers wedding vows.

Custom his/hers wedding vows 2014

The tree was a new design that was inspired by their fall wedding.

Custom his/hers wedding vows 2014

I satin stitched key phrases from their vows and backstitched some of the smallest text I’ve ever done.

Custom his/hers wedding vows 2014

Custom his/hers wedding vows 2014

I love how it turned out and hope it brings many years of great memories to the happy couple.

a random update

a random update

Life’s been crazy. The blog is totally on the back burner until 2015…but then I have big goals and aspirations. Here’s a few glimpses from the past little while and a few words.

My custom birth announcement design got a lovely shout out from Urban Threads for the use of their animal patterns. I love their patterns and will use them over and over again. They are hip, simple, sweet and honestly they are just a great company to support.

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I’m deep in the throws of a huge commissioned embroidery. This is a double wedding vows embroidery with a little applique in the middle. I’ve got big plans for that tree, but first I’ve got to finish all the text. Almost there.

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I’m wrapping up my last few embroidered shoe orders for the year. If you would have told me at the beginning of the year that I would end up stitching so many pairs of shoes AND loving every minute of it I would have called you a liar. Honestly, it’s this little venture that has really helped me shape the direction I hope to go in the new year.

Custom embroidered TOMS - wedding shoes

One thing I love most is the stories I get to be a part of. For example: this bride requested a sunshine on the side of their shoes because she and her groom met for the first time on a sunrise hike. What a fun way to remember that awesome memory!

Custom embroidered TOMS - wedding shoes

That’s about it for now. Like I said, I’ve got big plans for 2015. It’s been an amazing year for me – learning what I love to do, learning what I don’t love to do and learning how to say no and also how to stick my neck out in big ways. I’m excited for the future and so hopeful.

throwback thursday {irish blessing embroidery}

On Thursdays I “throwback” by pulling from my archives and remembering where I’ve come from and this journey I’m on. Today I share one of my first commissioned embroideries. This Irish Blessing embroidery was the request of a customer and has become one of my most popular patterns and kits over the years. It’s a great pattern for beginners, is customizable because of the applique and makes a super gift for a baptism, birth or just because. Here’s the original post back from September 2011.

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I was commissioned via etsy to embroider this Irish Blessing and I’m so happy I did it. It was a great experience designing where to put the applique and a great test of how much my hands can handle embroidering in one day too!

irish blessing: close up

I’m really pleased with how it turned out. So much so that I listed it on etsy!

tipsy-tuesday {transferring embroidery patterns}

When I started really getting into hand embroidery, probably one of the things I had the most frustration with was transferring patterns. There are lots of opinions and options out there to transfer patterns, some work better than others and some probably work better FOR others than others.

For me, the biggest halleluiah was my purchase of a light box.

Transferring patterns

There are a handful of lightboxes out there and most of them are about this size and range in price. I actually bought this one at Hobby Lobby and with a 40% off coupon it ended up being very affordable.
There are things I like about it and things I don’t and at some point I would love to upgrade to a higher end box that lays flat on the table and is a bit bigger. For now, this one works just fine.

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Basically you lay your pattern on the box and then your fabric on top of that and flip on the light. It couldn’t be easier than that. Obviously you can only use lighter fabrics, but this has worked well for me even with a light grey. It works well with linen or weaved fabrics too. Yes, you can hold your fabric up to a window (ouch! after a while) or I’ve seen people make these with clear lidded plastic storage boxes and christmas lights. It’s all the same idea and it’s a must if you are going to be transferring lots of patterns.

My second great investment was in the transfer papers that Sublime Stitching sells.

Transferring patterns
Now, DMC sells an “embroidery transfer paper” and honestly it’s crap. Don’t buy it. It’s like chalk and flies off the fabric as soon as you lightly blow on it. For a long, long time I had no good solution for stitching onto dark fabric. There are iron on pens, chalk pencils etc. None of these worked for me because they didn’t hang onto the fabric long enough. Enter Sublime Stitching.

Transferring patterns

Their carbon transfer sheets are nothing short of awesome. She has super fast shipping and the white transfer stays on (even for my super huge embroideries) and it doesn’t rub off very easily. Basically all you do is lay your fabric on the table, place your carbon sheet print side down, put your pattern on top of that and using a ball point pen trace your pattern. I like to gently life up the corners every now and then to make sure I’m getting a good transfer, but I’m telling you that these papers are miracles.

Those are my two favorite ways to transfer patterns. What’s yours?