wedding shoes

I’ve written before how much I love stitching up shoes, but I just have to say again “I love stitching up shoes!” I never would have thought that this would be the one thing that I enjoyed the most, but it really is. I don’t know what it is – but while I love doing larger, custom embroideries, there’s something about these little shoes that make me so happy.

Here’s a few of my favorites from the last couple of weeks.

For a wedding at the “happiest place on Earth” coming up:

Happily ever after wedding shoes

 

 

Part of the reason I love stitching up shoes are the stories I get to hear. This bride wanted a sunshine on her shoes as a remembrance of their first date and their engagement…both watching a sunset. Love it!

Custom embroidered TOMS - wedding shoes

 

 

 

And I love it when customers take a risk and ask if something different can be done. This bride had a pair of lacey Keds that she wanted stitched and asked if that would work. I’m so glad I said “yes” because I think they turned out fantastic!

Wedding shoes. Hand embroidered Keds

 

Interested in a pair of embroidered Converse, Keds or TOMS? Contact me and let’s design a pair together! And it doesn’t have to be for a wedding either! I stitched my pair up just for fun! Find more information in the shop or click the little envelope in the top right corner and send me an email.

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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!

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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.

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rambles…

It’s been a tricky start to this year. When my kids started back at school, I ended up heading there with them to sub for the art teacher for a few days. It was easy to get back into the groove of school teaching again – but I was super happy yesterday morning when I woke up and I just dropped them off and came back home to work!

I’m having a hard time finding a good book to read lately. I used to love Phillipa Gregory and picked up her latest book, The King’s Curse, at the library a few weeks ago and I just can’t seem to get into it. Three out of four of us are reading through the Harry Potter series and it’s been fun for my kids to be at the ages where we can all read the same thing and then talk and joke about it around the house. Last night I started The Ex-Pats by Chris Pavone and so far it is intriguing. I have to say it already reminds me of a mash between the old tv show Alias and the current show The Blacklist. The reviews on Goodreads are a fair mix of love and hate.

I’m also reading through Kari Chapin’s book Grow Your Handmade Business and so far it’s been great. I’m also ready Make it Mighty Ugly and I’ve enjoyed many of the exercises in it. What’s been most interesting is this project:

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I started this project waaaaay back last fall and honestly I’ve struggled with it since I started it. It’s one of those that I had this picture in my head and it’s not turning out anything like the picture in my head. I’m not afraid to stop a project that I’ve started…to a point. This one had gotten past that point where I could just let it go. So I would pick it up and put it down and finally forced myself to finish it this past weekend. I’m still not happy with how it turned out and it’s been interesting to be reading Kim Werker’s  Mighty Ugly book while struggling through it. She spends the first part of the book talking about creative demons and oh buddy, did I have some creative demons screaming at me while working on this project. But to be honest, when you do create art there are times that you make projects that are downright ugly and times that you create things that maybe end up being “ugly” to you merely because they aren’t matching that picture that you had, but they aren’t really ugly. I’m putting this in my shop with confidence that even though I’ve got voices screaming that it isn’t perfect and it’s a silly project etc that there isn’t truth in that and this hoop might actually grace someone’s home and encourage them.

Animals in a hot air balloon

I did finish a project that I do just love. I started this hot air balloon last fall too and finished it up a few days ago. It’s currently hanging in my dining room and makes me smile every time I walk past it. It’s up in the shop and ready to hang in your house to bring you a smile!

 

My husband and I watched the movie Begin Again with Kiera Knightly and Mark Ruffalo. I have to say we went into the movie not expecting much, but as it went on it’s probably one of the best movie’s we’ve watched in a while. I don’t know if it was just because it was so “counter-cultural” in so many ways that I didn’t expect or if it was the struggle to maintain who you are as a creative and not give into what others want you to be or what you think you should be just so you can make loads of money. It was just overall good.

A few other things I’m enjoying lately…

  • I saw this mug on instagram and golly it made me laugh. I totally need to get this and another one for one of my sweetest friends who needs that introverted reboot time too.
  • last year I tried to do the whole One Little Word thing with Ali James and honestly I flunked out about March. I didn’t even attempt to do anything like that this year, but I am recently intrigued with the idea purchasing a journaling Bible and spending some time weekly working on some creative expression that way. I’ve recently discovered Shanna Noel and the beauty that she is creating with God’s word in such a new and fresh way. She has an awesome instagram feed if you are interested.
  • If I ever thought that the last few years I’ve been pushed out of my comfort zone regarding selling at markets, teaching sewing classes etc – this month I was asked to be interviewed by Debbie at Work Your Art. Go check it out!
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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.

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