Friday, December 8, 2017

Friday Inspiration - Frost and Natalia Margulis

We've had a few magical mornings here this week - those days when you wake up to a sparkling, glittery fairy land of sun and heavy frost!  True, it does make things a bit slippery, but oh so beautiful.

I've been looking at Natalia Margulis' work since last summer and the more I look, the more I'm amazed.  While I like realistic fiber work and tromp l'oeil, her pieces take these genres to a new level!

Fine Ice

It's really easy to believe one's looking at a photograph, but everything is hand and machine embroidered with a variety of materials, including hand dyed ribbons and fabrics.

Patriotic Devotion

Her textures are amazing!

Laces at the Curb

Be sure to look at all her work (there's lots!) on her website here.  It's definitely worth a leisurely look with a cup of something hot!

Happy Creating!  Deborah


Friday, December 1, 2017

Friday Inspiration - Christmas Embroidery on Sweaters

Okay - it's now December and time to come to grips with reality.  The Christmas sweaters that in June I was sure I would be able to finish by now are .... not even started.  They're not going to happen!  But all is not lost - there is a really cool way to quickly (and securely) embroider on already knit sweaters.  Susan B. Anderson has a great YouTube video showing a chain/wrap stitch combo that can be used to make about any design.  And to get a thinner line of embroidery, use a smaller thickness yarn such as fingering or lace.  If the video below doesn't work for you, the video is here.

If your creative juices are flowing, this is probably all you'll need to take off on creating some fun designs.  And then if you're like the rest of us, still in a post-Thanksgiving fuzz, here are some places to find fun ideas.

The Spruce has 10 free Christmas embroidery patterns, several of which would work great on a sweater!  Find the links here.

Craftsy has several designs, some of which translate very well into the chain stitch technique and some that will require knowledge of a few more simple embroidery stitches.  Patterns are here.

And this Pinterest board has a lot of simple line Christmas embroidery patterns that would work great with a chain stitch!  See it here.

I have another Christmas embroidery project going that I'm hoping to show progress on next week!  Fingers crossed for some quiet, peaceful embroidery time!

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Monday, November 27, 2017

November Bead Challenge #3

This month, Sarajo Wentling's jewelry challenge was a photograph taken by her husband Eric of a stained glass window at the old Schlitz Brewery Building in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Eric Wentling

I love this window!  When I saw it, I immediately thought of the bubbles in beer and thinking about beer led me to hops.  We have beautiful hop vines on our front garden gate arch - in the summer they're full of bright green flowers/seed cones that turn more golden in the fall.

 Last summer I made sprig molds from some of the hops so I decided to make some jewelry components for this month's challenge.

For my jewelry piece I went with one of the spacer bars and made a bracelet with glass beads (representing beer bubbles!) attached.  It's great fun to wear, with the beads bouncing around!

You can see how others interpreted the challenge photo on Sarajo's blog here.

I've added the hops pieces that I didn't use to my on-line shop at

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Friday, November 24, 2017

Knitted Owl Hat

No Friday Inspiration this week - unless you are inspired by owls, which I do think are quite inspiring!  

I've been working on the first of three owl hats for awhile, caught up in what buttons to use for the eyes.  They really need a 1/4 inch button , but the only ones I could find were white, which sorta made them look like zombie owls to me.  Nothing wrong with zombie owls if that's what one is going for, but I wasn't!  Finally I realized, wait - I make buttons, I should make them.  So .... about 40 clay buttons later I got 18 that had holes big enough for a needle and that I didn't break while sanding!  It was worth it, though!

I have another hat ready for more eyes and a third planned in snowy owl colors - I'll either get good at these or go crazy!

About the pattern - it's an older one by Penny Straker and available here on Ravelry or her website here.  The pattern itself is pretty easy, but (and it might just be me) I had trouble on some parts understanding exactly what was being said.  And if you're making it and absolutely cannot find where the cabling instructions for the hat are (I spent WAY too much time looking for them!), they are at the bottom of page one under "Shape Armholes."  Also, I almost converted it to a knit in the round pattern and then read the comments of one knitter who said she did and regretted doing so because it was very hard to sew the buttons on a completed hat.  So I left it and am glad I did!  One has 18 of these tiny buttons to sew on and it would have been way too fiddly if the hat was not flat.

So, on to more buttons and the snowy owl!

Happy Creating!  Deborah