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.

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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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"Crafter" of the Week, Cross-stitch, Yarn and Fibers

“Crafter” of the Week: Kate Kretz

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Art can often be deceiving. Sometimes the most stoic looking art requires the most delicate of applications, while other times the most delicate pieces are actually the most irregular. Similarly, sometimes something so beautiful is actually extremely disturbing upon a second look.

This is one of those last times.

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"Crafter" of the Week, Fine Art, Paper Craft

“Crafter” of the Week: Bovey Lee

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I’ve got another paper artist for you guys this week, artist Bovey Lee from Pittsburgh. It’s not surprising that I’ve discussed two paper artists in a row; while many crafts have yet to receive respect as modern art, paper cutting and crafting has quickly become popular in the art world. Since paper and two dimensional surfaces have been the crux of art for thousands of years, this makes a lot of sense. Unlike last week’s artist, however, Bovey Lee works entirely in 2-dimensional cuts rooted in Chinese calligraphy and attention to detail. I’ve been interested in Chinese rice paper cuts for years (I have a vintage one on my wall right now!) and it’s fascinating to see Lee take it to the next level.

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Uncategorized

Bob Loblaw’s Law Blog (First Post Ya’ll)

I am not certain, but I believe this is my 5th attempt at blogging in less than 3 years. My longevity is obviously weak. I’ve been really busy.

But I realized something in this endeavor – to truly write a good blog, you need to write about what you love, not what you think others will love.

And what I love is making things.

Making things with string. Making things with yarn. With leather, with buttons, with spikes, with clay, with fabric, with wood, with anything I can get my hands on and cut up, cut out, paint, draw on, refashion, weave, whatever. I’m not a directed crafter, like some blogs which only post sewing or beading. And i’m not a “professional” crafter, like ‘art” craft blogs or self-promotional material. I hand-draft cross-stitch patterns at about the same rate as I buy them; I take just as much pleasure in silver-smithing jewelry and seed beading. I’m high brow taste with low brow giddiness. I like sewing little flower appliques on my jeans and decoupaging pictures of puppies on crappy cardboard boxes. As a result of these varied interests what you’ll see here will be as diverse as I’m feeling at the moment and may not always link up.

But I think that’s a good thing! Who wants to make one kind of thing forever, or not partake in the occasional A.C. Moore craft disaster? Why is imitating something you saw at a store less valid than inventing your own design when it’s only for yourself? The fact of the matter is, all forms of creation are valid, as long as you feel fulfilled and say “wow, I made that!” at the end of the day.

So here is what I propose to you new readers. I promise to write consistently, on all sorts of different ideas, show you amazing craft art while simultaneously showing you how to replicate that cute bracelet you saw selling for $150. I have a personal style that will show through I’m sure, but I promise to take your ideas, help you make whatever it is you desire, and communicate with you all as much as I can.

We will leave no medium un-touched, and will refuse to judge our own creations against what others think. We will conquer everything we can get our hands on, and blaze forward in whatever way we see fit. We will be . . . .

CONCRAFTIDORS!

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