Tuesday, January 20, 2015

First Project Update of 2015

This year is getting off to a great start.  I have already finished two projects!

First I completed my Torah Stitch by Stitch verses.  It took me a while to get started, but I really got going when I made a goal of stitching a word a day.  Now that it is done, I will mail it back to the project organizers in Toronto so that it can join the other finished panels.  They currently have over 900 volunteers in 16 countries!

I also finished another project that was cool in a different way.  Studio MME is a pattern company by designer Megan Eckman.  Home Ec just started carrying her kits.  They use mostly running stitch, perfect for the beginning embroiderer who wants to create a beautiful picture out of basic stitches.  The pattern I just completed is her design of a scrub jay.  I've never heard of it either, but it is a bird from the West Coast.

The design is made with backstitch, split stitch, and the humble running stitch, but the bird looks so stark and lifelike.  If you look on her website, you won't find this pattern . . . yet.  That's because it is being included in her new e-book of patterns, and a picture of my little bird project is going to be in it!  I will be writing more about it in a few weeks, and there will even be a special surprise for all of you.

Other updates:
  • Frosted Pumpkin's yearly sampler for 2015 is Story Time Sampler.  It is going to be portraits of famous characters from classic literature.  It has a very delicate color palate--pastels against a light grey background.  I can't wait to see how it all looks together.
  • I'm finally getting started on doing a quote that I auctioned off for charity . . . an embarrassingly long time ago.  This is a fun one.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Stitching Goals for 2015

With a brand new year ahead, this is the time for me to decide what I want to accomplish and improve this year.

1.  Takin' care of business.
I've been embroidering for 2.5 years, and I've had this blog for about 18 months.  My blog has been steadily growing to the point where I now have readers beyond the circle of people who are legally obligated to love me.  My State Fair accomplishments and doing the Torah mantle on commission has been garnering me local attention.  When you get good at a craft, it inevitably leads to people asking to you to make things for them . . . or for their neighbor's sister's cat.  I do think about the idea of turning my embroidery into a business, but I can't lie to myself.  It is incredibly difficult to run a viable craft business, and there is probably a broken light on Broadway for every failed Etsy shop.  This year, I want to develop parameters for how I am willing to do paid work.  That includes the number and type of paid projects I am willing to do, how I will make expectations clear for me and my customer (for example, with a contract), what I should charge for my time, and how much I actually want to promote myself.  If I don't want to do a particular commission, it is acceptable for me to say "no."  I need to find a way to adequately reward--and protect--my time.
     I'd also like to promote my work in a wider variety of ways.  Last year I had a summertime gig as a guest blogger.  I'd like to explore what other opportunities are out there.  (One is already in the pipeline!)  This blog could also use a fresh new look at some point.

2.  Learn to frame.
I've figured out how to frame in a hoop, but for projects that don't fit in one I've been going to a framing store.  This gets very expensive.  I'd like to try framing at least one project on my own to give me more options.

3.  Get more items into the State Fair, place higher, and recruit more friends.
Faster, higher, stronger!  That applies to crafting, right?  I'd like to keep improving my State Fair showing.  I got two friends to join me this year, and I'm always looking for more.

4.  Learn blackwork . . . or something.
Ok, so this is a repeat of last year.  I am, however, giving myself more leeway.  I'd like to keep learning different styles of embroidery.  I have kits for blackwork and Hapsburg lace.  The library has new books on Hardanger embroidery and Swedish weaving (which is actually a type of embroidery that makes it look like the stitching is woven into the fabric).

Of course, finishing every project I can is a goal that will remain every year, and I've already succeeded in finishing one.
December 2014--Hansel & Gretel
Finished in less than a year.  Still counts as 2014

What are your stitching goals for the year?