As we flip another page on the calendar, most of us can actually feel the anticipation of spring not too far off in the distance. It has been a long winter for many – especially following the year that we just had in 2020. I don’t think that many have come out of it without being impacted one way or another, and the last twelve months have taken their toll on so many both personally and professionally. It has certainly been a difficult time.
But as the seasons change, so does everything around us. It isn’t really as if the season brings changes other than the weather, but rather that they remind us that everything around us is going through continuing change whether we notice it or not. Sometimes when we are in the midst of things we forget that things will one day be different and we begin to lose hope. Especially when mother nature seems to add her fury to the mix by bringing cold, ice, and snow.
I have never been bothered too much by the winter. I actually like the cooler temperatures and much prefer it to the heat and humidity of summer. But as I get older and see how it impacts so many that I care for, I find myself looking forward to warmer days so that things would be a bit easier for those I love. Especially this year when people have been through so much. I think that warmer temperatures would help alleviate some of the frustration and anxiety people are feeling and give them one less thing to worry about.
We can see the signs of spring already here in Nova Scotia. In between the cold, winter days we have already experienced some warm and windy weather. While I am sure that there will probably be another winter storm or two passing over our area before the season is over, it seems that we are past the most severe part of the season and can look forward to better days ahead.
I felt like picking up my needle and thread last week and working on some embroidery. It has been far too long since I have done that and I thought it just was time. As usual, I have had many projects ‘living in my head’ that I want to create and share with others, but other things just seem to take precedence and I don’t get to them. But I have put off my desire to embroider long enough and I just had to tell myself that if I didn’t make time for it, it would never come to be. So I shut off the computer and put on a movie and made it happen.
A few years ago, I had created some simple bunny pins for some family members to welcome in the spring. They were kind of a last minute gift for them and they worked up quick and easy. I like rabbits and bunnies a lot, and I thought that they would be the perfect subject to make some cute little lapel pins.
They are created with a base of beautiful Valdani wool fabric (available at www.valdani.com). I had made the pins for my family out of Merino wool felt, but I thought I would try to do them in wool fabric for my kits. I liked the additional texture that it offered and it is slightly thinner than wool felt. I had purchased the wool fabric in both black and natural colors over a year ago and I have been wanting to use it for designing ever since. I love that it is woven in a way that it doesn’t fray on the edges and as a result, I was able to make these little pins without much fuss.
They each have a little bouquet of silk ribbon roses on their sides to make them look pretty and colorful. The centers of each flowers is a lovely, glass, pearl bead and to finish them off, they have a silk ribbon bow. I dye the silk myself by hand, and it gives it a soft and pretty look. I love using silk ribbon, as it is so thin and delicate that you are able to add nice little details without the bulk that satin ribbon tends to add. Finally, I used wool thread to make a fluffy little tail. I really love the result.
As usual, the pattern for the bunnies has several step-by-step photos not only applicable to the particular project, but also to the stitches I used in general. The kits that I am offering have all the materials to make all three colors of bunnies. You can see them in detail at my Etsy store – The Stitching Kitty – at www.thestitchingkitty.com.
When I was adding the listing for the kit and pattern I discovered something fun. It seems that Etsy is now allowing short, 10-15 second videos to be posted on product listings. I actually had been waiting for this feature for several years, as I think that videos would be very beneficial for showing the products I sell better. Seeing this feature got me excited and I must say somewhat sidetracked. Not only did I shoot and upload a short video for the little bunnies, but I went back and did so for several other products that I had listed there as well. So many of my embroidered pieces are embellished with glass beads and other ‘shiny’ things that even those 10 seconds or so made the listings so much nicer. We will see how we do with them.
I have decided that for a while, I will be creating some smaller, easier little ornaments and lapel pins and even hoop art for my Etsy shop. As my skills have improved, I find that perhaps I over-complicate things a bit and offer things that are a bit too overwhelming to those who would like to try them. I think it can even be overwhelming for myself, as creating a pattern and step-by-step instructions for complicated pieces is somewhat of a challenge. Especially since I haven’t been making patterns for this type of work for very long. Anyone who does any type of crafting realizes that it is different to do something for yourself or just to ‘do’ than if you are making something to teach or be recreated by someone else. It is an entirely different process and has to fall into a methodical format. Every step needs to be documented and the ability to add or detract something on a whim is pretty much eliminated. Creating for teaching is an entirely different mindset. This is true not only for embroidery and needlework, but applies to all kinds of things. We have to take baby steps before we can run.
But when I make something like this that is both simple and cute, I am very encouraged that I can have the best of both worlds and be able to share the process easily. I have very high hopes for this and projects like it and my head is spinning with ideas.
Speaking of new ideas . . .
I also got to do a little more work on my next piece for my North Star Village Christmas series of painting pieces – The Bakery.
It is coming along nicely, and I am going to be excited to fill the shelves with yummy goodies. 🙂
I had initially thought that I would have the name in French, as it is supposed to be a French bakery, but the name I had chosen (The Pink Macaroon) would have translated to “Le Macaron Rose” and after thinking about it, it sounded a bit awkward and didn’t roll off the tongue as easily as The Pink Macaroon. So English it was.
I can’t wait to work on this piece again. It is painted using beautiful DecoArt acrylic paints and mediums (available at www.decoart.com). I have several fun ideas for the overlays and embellishments that will make this piece as special as the previous two buildings. It looks a bit plain now, but it is a good start and once I fill the bakery up with some delightful treats, decorate the building, and add some snow, it will fit right in with the other buildings in the neighborhood. I am really excited.
So that is about it for this post. Today I will be getting some orders on the road and then back to painting on the bakery piece. It looks to be a ‘somber’ day outside today, but that is fine. I will make it a good and productive day no matter what.
Until next time . . .