Thursday, January 21, 2016

Petite Pups Premiere

Hand Embroidery Patterns Chihuahua and Yorkshire Terrier
It's that time of year again - the time when I get to focus on pattern designs and try out some ideas that have been floating around my head for months - sometimes even years! Something new that has come of all that focusing is a hand embroidery pattern collection called "Petite Pups"!
Hand Embroidery Pattern Chihuahua
This new pattern set features some favorite little dogs  - chihuahua, yorkshire terrier, dachshund and boston terrier. And yes, it was extremely difficult to choose which breeds to include. Narrowing it down to these little guys was tricky but they fit better in a hoop than a great dane would and they are also pretty irresistible if you ask me.
Yorkshire Terrier hand embroidery pattern
I was also inspired to take on this theme by customers who have asked if I have any other patterns of dogs. While I have a couple tucked into other pattern sets here and there I did not really have anything else to offer. So that became my 'square one.' Also, because people's pets are so personal to them I knew this collection was going to need some personal touches and that became my next creative challenge.
Dogs embroidery patterns boston terrier and dachshund
So, while it's perfectly fine to stitch these up on their own, I also included some accent patterns that can be added in to create a more personalized project. Adding a name or other text is easy with the floral banner or abstract dog house frame designs. There are some other goodies in the mix as well so it's possible to stitch these up in so many different variations.
dachshund embroidery pattern for hand embroidery
I hope people will find these designs to be a fun way to celebrate their favorite little pups but I also think they could be a fantastic starting point for some DIY gifts. I know some dog lovers who might just love some hand embroidered cuteness and I'll bet you do too. 
boston terrier embroidery pattern for hand embroidery
Thanks for taking a peek at this new pattern set. To give these designs a go stop by SeptemberHouse where you can find Petite Pups and more!

Friday, January 15, 2016

confessions from a crafty year

DIY Crafts SeptemberHouse

You can read about each of these on my blog: Papercutting, Beadweaving, Stamp CarvingSewingPolymer ClayHand LetteringConcrete CastingGuerilla ArtMicro MacrameNeedlepointPhoto Editing

As I close out my year of Craft Confessions I thought I would take a moment to look back those twelve months and also let you in on some craft confession secrets.

1. Why call this series "Craft Confessions"? 
From the beginning I thought I probably needed a catchy name for this project. In order to make time for these 'extra' projects I knew I was going to have to carve out some of my SeptemberHouse time. It would mean setting embroidery aside for a few hours each month and to me it felt like I was cheating on my partner somehow. Maybe it shouldn't feel that way but it did - it was something I had not allowed myself to do for a very long time. And I am trusting you not to tell embroidery about this - got it?

2. How were projects chosen for each month?
When the idea for this series first occurred to me I actually sat down and made a schedule for what crafts I would try each month. Plus I also made a list of alternatives in case I changed my mind about one when it came time to do it. Here is the truth though - I actually only ended up following my list TWO out of the twelve months! The other months I switched things around or picked new crafts altogether.

3. Which crafts did not make it into the series?
I am not saying that I don't want to try these projects - they just didn't quite make it in 2015 even though I hoped to get to them. They are: weaving, fabric dyeing, quilling, woodworking, homemade soaps/lotion/lip balm, cake decorating. I mean, those all sound like fun don't they? You can see how it can be difficult to decide and to make time for everything you want to try.

4. Which projects were your favorite and least favorite?
This is tough. I ended up using the stamps I carved a LOT so that one wins for most useful (and it was really fun). The one that makes me the happiest was the guerrilla art project (which is actually still going on). That was the one that is probably closest to my heart. One that I plan to revisit is the concrete casting from July - I still have tons of ideas for that one!
The two that make me cringe when I see them are the beadweaving from February - even though I really think I could get that one right if I tried it again - and also the hand lettering project. The hand lettering project was one of the more time consuming projects as well so it's frustrating that it is also one that I am least happy with. It's just really hard to get it right and that's all there is to it.

The crafting confession series was a great way for me to make connections here on So September and I hope to explore some new ways to do that in the coming year and I am looking forward to that. I thank you so very much for following along in 2015 and for joining me for all that comes in 2016!

Did you take on any new crafts in 2015? Leave a comment and share your 'confession'!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

craft confession December - photo editing

I realize we are nearly to the mid-way point of January so a post about my December craft confession is indeed late (and do we need to even mention the absence of a craft confession for November?) 
November was all about the ornaments and extra crafting became one of those things (like housework) that had to be sadly abandoned for a while. Once that whirlwind passed the idea of making something with my two tired hands just did not appeal. But hopping back on the computer suddenly sounded very appealing so that's what I did.

I decided that since I had paid for Adobe Lightroom almost a year ago, I should, oh I don't know... maybe actually download it, install it and open it up? Crazy idea, isn't it? I have used Adobe Photoshop for years and am still kind of a 'surface scratcher' with it. I know it's capable of so much more if I would just take the time to figure it out. And I definitely want to do that! I at least know enough about Photoshop to feel like Lightroom might be something I could navigate my way through.
I was curious about how Lightroom was different from Photoshop. You can make some of the same changes and adjustments in both but the format felt very different to me. What I did learn I learned by pouring myself some coffee and plunking down in front of a long list of tutorials on YouTube and it really was enough to get me started down the Lightroom path. The best way to make what you see on YouTube stick is to dive in and try it for yourself so that was what I did next.


So I loaded up some photos from the last year or so and started to play around with them and see what I could do. I would like to take a moment to re-emphasize the word "play" here. These are amateur efforts intended to help me figure out where all the buttons are and how they work. And it was really fun to see the changes you can make. Adam came over and watched for a minute or two and then scurried off to get his camera. Not five minutes later he was thrusting the camera in my hands and insisting/demanding that HE be able to edit his newly-taken photos. Even he could see the potential here. 

There are lots of different software applications for editing photos obviously so if it's something that you have always wanted to try, give it a go. It's a pretty forgiving hobby (just always keep your original files of course) and there is always that handy 'undo' option that I love, so you really can't go wrong with this. (Now if only every craft had an 'undo' button!)

Missing one month of my Craft Confession series is disappointing to me but on the other hand, I wasn't sure when I started, if I would make it to month three so I am going to try to not be too hard on myself.

My plan is to post a little mini-wrap up of my craft confession series in the coming week! Thanks for following along in this creative adventure!

Friday, December 18, 2015

2015 favorites flashback

It doesn't seem possible that the time has come to look back on another full year that has passed but here we are. I wanted to take a little time to share some favorite from the past twelve months and invite you to share some of your in the comments section too. It has been fun to do this each year and I hope you will enjoy it as well!

I usually start with favorite books so that's where I will begin this year. My favorite fiction read this year was by the same author who wrote my favorite fiction read last year - Anthony Marra. His newest book, The Tsar of Love and Techno wins that top spot again because it was such an extreme pleasure to read. He has a way of creating such compelling characters - giving them heart and humor and impossible situations. There is a lot of darkness and a lot of light in his books and you can bet I will be reading anything and everything Anthony Marra writes from here on out.

Other great reads of the year were Want Not by Johnathan Miles, Redeployment by Phil Klay and the Jaguar's Children by John Vaillant. I am suddenly feeling so very lucky to have had the chance to read so many great books in the past year! You can find what I am reading and share what you are reading with me over on Goodreads (love that place!)

On the big and the little screen I am at a bit of a loss. I am trying to remember what I saw in the theaters in 2015 and all I can come up with is the Spongebob Squarepants movie. *sigh* It's been easier to wait a few months and catch movies at home so I have been luckier that way. I just sat down and watched "Amy" and really enjoyed that. I am a big Amy Winehouse fan so it was facinating to me to see some 'behind the scenes' type footage. Even people who aren't fans of her music would probably still find her story intriguing.

In tv land my husband and I finally caught up with the rest of the world and watched "Breaking Bad." this Fall. Okay guys - I see what all the hype was about - that is a fantastic series! I was so sad when we reached the end. Even though we missed all the water cooler conversation way back when this series aired, there is some advantage to being able to watch it all at once and for free (thanks St. Paul Public Library!)

My favorite new place I visited in 2015 was Fraconia Sculpture Park. We actually happened upon it by accident and decided to take a closer look. Their website the park as this:
Located in the scenic St. Croix River Valley, Franconia Sculpture Park is a nonprofit arts organization operating a 43-acre outdoor sculpture park, active artist residency, and community arts programming.
We all enjoyed our time exploring there so much and it's an ideal way to experience sculpture. If I can expose my kids to art and watch them have a blast at the same time that is a win-win in my book.

What were your favorites from the last year? And what will you be seeking out in the coming year? Leave a comment and share your 2015 discoveries!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Craft Confession October

I warned you this was going to happen WAY back in early 2012 I checked out a book at my local library and did a bit of swooning and then returned it. And wouldn't you know it - I snatched that baby right back up again as soon as an opportunity presented itself. My Crafting Confession series gave me an excuse to try out a craft that caught my eye all those years ago- needlepoint.

As you can see it's not a gigantic leap from embroidery but there are a lot of differences. And I should probably add before I get much further - please don't judge needlepoint by what you see here. I really didn't get too far and there is such an amazing world beyond this - you should really check it out!

What I was able to do was to try out a few of the stitches. What you see here are all of my second or third attempts at a stitch. It seems I always had to screw it up before I could get it right. But that's okay, really. Once you get the swing of a stitch it is really relaxing and fun to see the textures and patterns come together. 

Are you wondering how I could mess up something that looks so basic? Don't worry, I am wondering that too! It was just a matter of having the counts right. I would complete a row and then when a second row didn't line up I would see I was off by one square or something silly like that. You have to watch that kind of thing closely with needlepoint. The good news is that it's easy to back track and fix things once you realize where you were "off."

I stuck with embroidery floss because I have millions of miles of it on hand but you can achieve a huge variety of looks using different fibers and canvases. I recommend needlepoint to anyone who is drawn to textures, interesting color combinations and geometric designs. It's a craft that lets you explore and make the most of all of those. I hope that, in spite of my humble trials here, you can see the potential. Would I do this craft again? Yes!

November is going to be a tough one folks. It's my busiest month in the shop and finding extra time for laundry can be tough, let alone crafting for fun. I have come this far though and I don't want to quit now. All I ask is that you keep your expectations, like, super low, okay? I am going to do my best. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

'hot' new items at SeptemberHouse

Hi everyone! I am stopping by today to share some exciting news. SeptemberHouse embroidery patterns are making their way on to the iron-on scene. Transferring patterns could not be easier with this format and it's ideal for people who dread that part of the process.

iron on transfer embroidery patterns septemberhouse

booksmart modern hand embroidery patterns iron on transfers

I am kicking off this new option with three of the most popular pattern sets from the shop. Booksmart, Scandistitches and Kaleidoscope are all available as iron-ons.

scandinavian embroidery patterns iron on transfers

scandinavian embroidery patterns iron on transfers

Each set comes with the iron-on sheet with all the patterns from the collection, a full color insert with instructions on the back, a stitch guide, and suggestions for projects and materials.

butterfly embroidery patterns iron on transfer

butterfly embroidery patterns iron on transfer

All you need to get started with these is some embroidery floss, fabric, an embroidery hoop, a needle and an iron. Then you are set to go for many projects as these transfers can be used several times before they lose their 'ink'.

how to transfer embroidery patterns

See how easy these are to use?

I am looking forward to adding some more pattern sets in iron-on format soon!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

you want it, you need it

I gotta tell ya,

I ♥ my DMC floss color card! Why did I not seek this out and make it mine years ago? Well, I guess because I had heard rumors and complaints that these were no longer available or that they were outrageously expensive and wouldn't you know it - both of those statements are wrong. 

I am so glad I looked into it further. When I began my search I was coming across a lot of the photographed/printed color guides which wasn't what I really wanted, I knew I was going to need something more accurate than that. And yes, I did contemplate making my own - boy am I glad I abandoned that idea! It would take me years to create something as organized and complete as this baby. 

I did just a bit of digging and there on the DMC website was this gem at a price that I found to be perfectly reasonable. Especially considering the use I was going to get out of it. These are actual floss samples of regular DMC floss plus the specialty flosses. Now I can shop for floss online knowing exactly what colors I want and need. I can also find color matches when I need to identify a color from a project and I lost my little paper band (happens all the time!). And I don't need to drag my project and myself to the fabric store to do it! It also comes in handy when choosing colors for a new project. I love it!