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My Etsy Site has Launched!!

Hi all!

I wanted to share with you all that I have launched my Etsy site! You can find it here.

Right now I only have a few things up there, including some complex wall pieces and jewelry. If you like my blog or my work take a look! I hope to add more embroidery pieces as well as some other fiber art stuff to the page, so check back often.

I’ll have a new DIY post later on how to make quick and dirty drawstring bags with stuff you probably have around the house already that are good for packaging jewelry or for storage around the house, so keep an eye out for that later.

Find your joy and pink today guys, and thanks for your support as always!

 

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Awkward Introductions

Well I’ve put this off long enough. I think it might be time to officially say hello to you all.

You may have noticed that this blog is more or less anonymous. This is intentional – I’ve never been comfortable attaching my name or face to anything, particularly anything online. I also struggle with anxiety, which can sometimes make conversation, conflict, and controversy very difficult – things that are very hard to avoid online. I keep my opinions to myself and keep my nose out of things, thank you very much. I don’t even use Facebook anymore, have never really figured out how Twitter works, and keep an Instagram almost entirely just to share stupid shit I see on the streets of Brooklyn and, as you’ll soon see, my hair, which is magnificent. No shame it really is. 

That being said – being anonymous has its problems too. Sure no-one can doxx you, but no-one is aware of you either, Your achievements and work float away into the ether without an owner, and any excitement that usually comes with success stays stuck in the confines of your screen. Im proud of what I make, but being anonymous always makes it seem less real or important and can even make me feel kind of ashamed of myself, which is stupid since making arm tables and cross-stitches is far from shameful.

It’s actually a real drag. 

And so, with immense fear and almost immediate regret, it’s time to introduce myself.

After the cut.

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Cross-stitch, DIY, Embroidery, Organization, Uncategorized, Wood

Building My Custom Embroidery Frame

Howdy folks!

Missed posting any Halloween stuff this year again, whoops. Funnily enough it’s probably my favorite holiday and time of year, which is I think why I never post anything.

I’m happy and busy for once in my life and I don’t need the internet for a few days. What a trip.

But alas my favorite month has passed and I settle now into cozy winter-time preparation. A big part of what I want to work on this winter is to finish up all the random cross-stitch projects I started but never completed. You can find a master post that includes a lot of these herebut I have even more unfinished things than that.

They say don’t start what you can’t finish. I say don’t start what you can’t hide in a drawer for 2 years and break out later in a fit of guilt.

The first big thing I wanted to finish was the Epic Pokemon Pattern Gen I. I sort of began to loathe lose respect for Pokemon after the whole Pokemon Go idiocy phenomena and so let this pattern simmer away for awhile, but the first generation of these little nuggets was a huge part of my childhood and the pattern is really fun to stitch up.

The problem, as anyone who has attempted this project can tell you, is that it is really big and has a butt-load of colors. As a result, I could never really get in the groove with it and hated working on it. A lot of this kind of work fatigue can be solved with organization and a really good frame. A good large-scale stitching set up should allow you to have everything at your fingertips and should put no stress on your neck, back, and shoulders.

I wanted to make a “My Neck, My Back” joke there so bad but this is a nice blog for nice people so I didn’t. 

I’ve tried loads of frames and, as in my previous post about thread holders, found none of them really did the job right. I have a lot of back problems and found none of them allowed me to work more than an hour or two without severe pain. When I saw this video by the incredibly strong and talented Dana Batho of Peacock & Fig  I knew immediately it was the solution to my problems. Because of a back injury sustained while in the Canadian Armed Service she requires a very comfortable set up with all her resources either on or directly near her frame. With loads of wood and parts left over from all the other frames I have, I figured I could Macgyver something like her frame that would work for me!

Raw Supplies.JPG

As you can see I started with a variety of lengths of wood, many luckily with perfect pre-drilled holes, and an absolutely beautiful scroll frame you can get on Amazon here. I had the help of my wonderful and wood-talented boyfriend as well who cut two dowels to use for cross supports and also drilled additional holes. For the record I CAN use power tools despite all evidence to the contrary, but I’m not super comfortable using them outside a shop. Obviously the Boy gives no shits in that regard, so I make him do it. What a good boog.

Together we designed the piece to allow for a variety of positions and easy disassembly since we live in a very small apartment with limited storage. The entire frame is assembled using nuts, bolts, and drill holes; the only part that was drilled in permanently were the round dowels into the uprights.

Marking.JPGDrilling.JPGIMG_2776.JPG

We made cross-bar legs for the front and back, with the front being about half the length of the back. This allows the frame to have a nice angle when resting on your thighs in a reclined position. So far it’s worked great on the couch, the bed, or our velvet chair. Plus, you can hang all your scissors and tools off the frame just like Dana from Peacock & Fig. I’m a happy nugget indeed.

Finished Frame.JPG

Excuse the bad lighting – by the time I stretched it all perfect and adjusted all the angles it was after sunfall. 

There you have it – a custom frame in one day! This wasn’t technically the cheapest project – the frame itself cost about $40 and it used parts from two other expensive stands I didn’t like – but you could easily make one of these to fit your frame for under $10 worth of hardware supplies. With a commercial lap frame this size running anywhere from $50 – $150 dollars I’m still pretty happy with the result. By moving which holes the legs are attached to I can easily change the angle of my stitching depending on how I’d like to sit – it can even work very well as a table stand in my kitchen.

And that’s it! I can draw up a detailed diagram of our design if it’s helpful, but it’s really self-explanatory. Sit with your frame and determine how you’d like it to angle towards you, then you can make your frame fit your body flawlessly and stitch the night away.

I’m not really the one to post all sorts of silly updates, especially on a project loads of people have done already, but I will post the finished product when this is done. Stay tuned for more DIY organization and tips and other updates on my artwork. I also did make an awesome costume this year, but I’m going to post that as part of a different launch that will happen sometime in the near future. Stay tuned for that, and remember –

Keep Conquering! 

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Quick Tip: Using Dye-Na-Flow to Color Canvas Shoes

Dyeing canvas shoes with no bath or mess!

Hello all!

It’s bright and sunny here in New York today – after almost a week straight of rain and mud – so I decided a fresh day needed a bright and colorful shoe! I’ve been looking for an easy way to dye my white Vans for awhile since they got disgusting and dirty pretty much as soon as I put them on my feet. White shoes in NYC? Not so much.

I also managed to get pale red dye spots on them after dyeing some old jackets, and those weren’t going to scrub off no matter what, so I decided to go with a hot pink to cover up all the stains. While originally I was going to dip dye the shoes like I do most things, I found a new (to me) product by Jacquard called Dye-Na-Flow that works AMAZING for this application! Read on to see how I used Dye-Na-Flow and what my tips are for dying canvas shoes with the product.

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My Work – Ongoing Embroidery

Stitches - Concraftidor

Hello all!

We’ve been crazy busy with the end of the semester at my job lately, keeping me from my writing and my art. Now that the summer is coming and things are winding down at the Institute I work at however, I’ve had more time to pick up my embroidery and other projects. Since work on my apartment is also reaching a brief stopping point I thought this would be a great time to share some of my work with you all.

Embroidery is particularly important for me not only as a creative outlet, but also as a calming mechanism; I struggle with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and use my creativity to get out all my worries and focus on something soothing and beautiful. Repetition and organization is really helpful for GAD, so cross-stitch does the trick beautifully. As a result, I usually have about 4 or 5 projects going at once so I always have something inspiring to work on. At the moment I only have one finished piece in my home since I give a lot of work away, but I have pictures of my WIP as well. Read past the jump for photos and commentary on my work!

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DIY: Couch Arm Tables

SONY DSC

Hello All! It’s been awhile since I posted as a result of a lovely new job. I’m so thrilled to be working full time and managing a pretty kick-ass lifestyle in NYC, but it has dramatically cut into my creative time. I finished a DIY for wooden couch arm tables at the dawn of man several weeks ago, but never got around to posting it. Ah well, better late than never!

I bough an Ikea Kivik couch as part of Operation: Apartment a while back for my new living room specifically because of the large armrests. Having a tiny living space, I needed something that would allow a table without needing side-tables. Having seen many wooden armrest covers all over the place, I figured I could save myself a few hundred bucks and make them myself. You can find other DIYs for the same thing here and here, but the first one requires a fancy saw I don’t have access to as well as brackets that I was afraid would hurt my couch, and the second only uses glue which seems like it might not last as long as I would like. This DIY will allow anyone with a hand saw, a drill, and some time to make an arm table that is sturdy, professional, and lovely.

Read past the jump for supplies and instructions!

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"Crafter" of the Week, DIY, Embroidery, Fine Art, Paper Craft, Uncategorized, Yarn and Fibers

“Crafter” of the Week: Nava Lubelski

Nava Lubelski - Yellow Cloth

Yellow Cloth, 2009, thread on stained tablecloth, 60″ x 50″

With this blog and with my work in general, I’ve continuously tried to show the connection between hand-craft and art. While the impetus and the ultimate goal of the creator can be different, the individual sense of expression and translation of emotion remains the same between the two disciplines. Ultimately it is this quality – the reflection of life’s circumstances into physical works – that leads to things I find appealing and filled with substance. As a result of this, when I find an artist who not only uses traditional craft methods in their work, but also uses their creations as a jumping board for individual exploration, I instantly fall in love with their work. Nava Lubelski is one such artist who has received an impressive amount of recognition, proving that I’m not the only one who values these qualities.

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