Friday, March 29, 2013

A Very Happy Easter To You and Yours!

Hope You Have A Hippity-Hoppity Easter!

Yes, it's a bad pun, I know, but I just couldn't resist :) The two things I think most about when I hear "Easter" are flowered, beribboned Easter Bonnets and Easter Bunnies, which the vintage postcard above demonstrates nicely (with the addition of that perennial favourite, the Cute Easter Chicks). I don't know why I think of Easter Bonnets, as I have never once worn a Bonnet in my life, Easter or otherwise. 

It's probably the influence of the old Irving Berlin "Easter Parade" movie and its hit song,  which I confess I have only ever watched in the past to see the costumes. (By the way, did you know that the inspiration was the annual Easter Parade and Bonnet Festival in NYC which originated in the late 1880's?! Some 2012 photos here). 

But I like to believe it is because of my eternal fascination with hats of every kind, which is a most unfortunate obsession to have since I lack the certain something it takes to wear one successfully. There are People Who Can Wear Hats and there are People Who Cannot Wear Hats, and I am firmly in the latter category. My Grandma, now, there's a lady who can wear a hat! Somehow I didn't inherit that gene. *sigh*

But no matter, for there are Easter Bunnies! My very favourite sort, of course, are the chocolate type :) My family likes to snap off the ears and eat them first - very savage, aren't we? LOL. But I have a very handsome bunny of the inedible variety to show you this year. My Stitchy Guru Mother made him out of scraps (which is why he's mint green) after we had a debate about the essential nature of Bunnies. 

Mom: "What's the essence of a bunny? Ears?"

Me: "Ears, for sure. But also a fluffy tail."

Mom: "No, they don't need a tail."

Me: "Do too! They need a fluffy tail more than they need arms!!"

So meet Mr. Bunny (I have yet to name him but hope to do so soon):

He's just a trifle taller than my thumb! His body and ears are knitted and his cute little feet that let him stand up on his own are crocheted. "But it can't be a he - it has a pink bow!", you might say. To which my defense is that he's, um, fashion-forward? I don't know. But my new bunny friend seems very much a "he" to me, so a "he" he shall be, right? Right ;) You might think he's cute now. But just wait for it ----

FLOOF!!!! Just look at that tail! Cute explosion!!! Tell me the truth - you never noticed he didn't have any arms, did you?! Huh?! Did you?!!! I know I sure didn't.

Ergo, I win. Bunnies Must Have Fluffy, Floofy, Floomfy Tails. I rest my case :)

Any suggestions as to what I should name this little fellow? 

Friday, March 22, 2013

ES Featured on DMC Threads!!!

I'm SO EXCITED to share some absolutely awesome news: Emma Broidery at the wonderful DMC Threads blog has written a feature on my Floral Heart project!!! 

The post is called "The Creative Process" and is well worth reading! Emma contacted me a few days ago by e-mail and asked if she could share three pictures from my Floral Heart set on Flickr for an article. Naturally, I was thrilled, and said yes! She sent me a link when the post went live this morning, and I clicked to read it with delight and, yes, a little  apprehension - because I had no idea what she would say. 

I was floored, FLOORED, in the BEST WAY POSSIBLE when I read her marvelous, thoughtful, very kind words about yours truly and my stitching! I was curious as to why she had wanted to use my floss toss photo and the one of my two test pieces, rather than close-ups of Floral Heart, and the post provided an insightful answer.

When I started this blog in 2011, my aim was to share my stitching progress with other stitchy bloggers because I found that reading about the ups and downs of their projects was very inspiring. Over the last few years of reading and writing about stitchy things, I have found that blogging has provided helpful information about what does and does not work, which has made me a better stitcher! 

But until I read Emma's article, I had never thought about sharing my progress on my projects as being a "window" to how I work and how I think - what Emma calls "The Creative Process" - but it is so very true! It is astounding and humbling to imagine that sharing a photo of a simple floss toss might be relevant to someone else!

This is one of my favourite parts of the profile:
I love that she took the time to photograph the threads she used in her project – this is an extra step that can tell us so much when preparing for a new project, or pinpointing what works and doesn’t work in a piece. For example, she mentions that she didn’t end up using one of the threads pictured, and notes the ones she did use. I like that she took the time to test her threads first, to find the shades she really wanted…
The really amazing thing is the I almost didn't post that picture at all! I forgot to take a photo with the skein of white when it was unopened, and was embarrassed that it didn't line up with the others. And then when I was working the project, I decided not to use the dark green - but I couldn't take a new picture because all my skeins of pearl cotton were opened out and used! But I put it up anyway, and now I am so glad :)

What Emma's post has brought home to me is the importance for ALL STITCHERS to share our "Creative Processes"! Talking about and sharing photos of our Works In Progress (WIPs) is just as useful - if not more so! - than posting only about the Grand Finishes. This is easy to forget, especially as there is increasing pressure on bloggers to "stage" their photos  to look "perfect", which in reality is an impossible goal.

Stitching is not always smooth sailing. There can be tangled and fraying threads, knots and snags, messy stitches, broken needles...and the back will never, no matter how hard we might try, look as good as the front! But part of the JOY of stitching is finding a way around these things, of working through the many small obstacles, and making each work MEAN something to us that is far more than the sum of fabric and thread. With every work we do, we LEARN, and that is something to celebrate!!!

So take time to share your thoughts as you're stitching! It is so fun to follow a project from start to finish, to see how intentions manifest and change in the process :) I will be making it a point to take and post more WIP photos in future, and am working on a detailed account of how Floral Heart came to be - it was really a Happy Accident and those are the very best kind of Mistakes ;) - that I hope to post up soon :)

DMC Threads is currently writing an informal series of stitcher profile articles, of which mine is the latest. I hope you'll take time to scroll down through Emma's archives to read some of them. I particularly enjoyed the features on glow-in-the-dark thread, creative projects and colourful stitches!  And I'm very interested in hearing your thoughts on your own Creative Process! Feel free to write below :)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A New Finish and Exciting News!

Good gracious, I can't believe how much time has flown by! Isn't it incredible that today is the vernal equinox, the very first day of Spring?!

As you may have guessed by now, the second Annual Eglantine Stitchery Christmas Giveaway did not come to pass this year, despite my very best efforts to the contrary, and I apologize for any disappointment this may have caused. But the good news is that I hope to have the Giveaway up and running again next year!

I am hoping to get back to regular blogging as soon as possible. I'm afraid that my unexpected absence was due to illness again, but I am feeling much better currently and cannot wait to get back to reading my favourite bloggers! I've missed you all so much :) Thank you to my followers for staying with me; I appreciate your support!

Over the next few weeks, I am planning to update the ES site design and add some more information on my new stitchy addiction, hand embroidery! I've also been happily experimenting with fine (thread) crochet since the summer, and have some finishes and thoughts to share. And I am hoping to update and expand the Cross-Stitching Resource section and the Free Patterns section soon, so stay tuned :)

The exciting news is that I have discovered a whole new community of stitchers on Flickr, Yahoo!'s photo sharing site, and I feel like I've fallen down a magical rabbit-hole, just like Alice, and ended up in fantastical Wonderland of All Things Stitchy!!! It's a marvelous feeling! My profile is here, and my "photostream" is here. Both are linked from the new Flickr widget in my sidebar at right ;) It's supposed to randomly show one of my (very few at the moment!) photos each time you visit, so please let me know if it's not working for you, or if it slows your loading of this page!

What I find really fun about Flickr is that you can subscribe to groups - at the moment I have 16, about beading, crochet, cross-stitch, embroidery and thread! - and there are so many craft groups to join that it makes the head spin! And you can also follow individual "contacts", and get updates whenever new photos are added! And the beautiful, incredible textile work!!! It's astounding. A quick look at my favourites will give you a bit of an idea, but I've only just really started looking.

The second part of this news is that I won an embroidery contest on Flickr! You couldn't be more surprised than I was, which was A LOT, lol :) I still am! 

So it is with great pleasure that I present to you Floral Heart:

You can the see the whole set up on Flickr here (8 photos, from floss toss to finish!). The contest entry photo - Floral Heart "New Year, New Stitches" - has the materials and stitches used and the pattern source. The design is part of a FREE sheet found in the wonderful Hoop Love group (dedicated to sharing vintage patterns), and is from 1939! There are close-up shots of the roses, daisies and bow in the set as well. 

I'm intending to do a post here on ES soon with some WIP pictures and all the details. The "New Year, New Embroidery" contest was hosted by the New Embroidery with Vintage Patterns (NEwVP) group, and had three different categories whose winners were determined by popular vote. Some of my lovely prizes can be seen here

If you have a Flickr account, or get one in the near future!, feel free to come say hi :)

I'm really glad to be back, and I can't wait to catch up on all the stitchy news!