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I just had to embroider this peacock. The colors are so beautiful. The peacock is 9" tall. Well, once again, I've embroidered a beautiful design and what should I do with it? The answer was another sham, 26" wide by 20" tall, which is the size of an American Standard pillow.
The older shams that I used to make did not include buttons on the back. Now that I've discovered that the embroidery machine can stitch beautiful buttonholes, well, why not? I used a couple of the beautiful colors from the peacock. Not to mention using part of the stash of buttons that I've collected over the years.
The side seams are french seams. They turned out well but I probably wouldn't use french seams on fabric thicker than this.
I think the sham turned out pretty nice. The old pillow that I put inside was smaller than the 26" by 20", but what the heck. The sham is gorgeous.
Ever since I was a young girl in Girl Scouts I've been interested, perhaps concerned is a better word, about the environment. With that in mind, Earth Day is April 22nd. One of my cousins posted a very moving video on FaceBook about how everyone should plant a tree on Earth Day. We are looking into getting a fig tree to plant and join the movement.
That video got me thinking about the environment and wondering if I'm doing all I can to help. There really are so many things individuals can do or not do to help the environment. We have a garden and a compost pile. I'm still driving my little 1995 Geo Metro. Insofar as Cajun Stitchery is concerned, I try to purchase 100% cotton, made in the USA fabric. Sometimes I can and sometimes I cannot but I sure do work hard searching and trying.
It dawned on me that rather than throwing away scraps of fabric, which is nearly impossible for me to do anyway, I should make stuff with it. I do that anyway. That's nothing new. As I pondered this, I decided to make stuff from our old clothes, specifically our jeans. At first I was making some cute dog bones that I saw on the internet. The dogs love them and they are made out of jeans. The shape is not perfect yet. One actually looks more like a wrench than a bone.
Now I'm making plastic bag holder/dispensers. Years ago I made a plastic bag holder/dispenser for our home out of the leg of a pair of jeans. It really has stood up to time, even when my husband pulls and tugs at it. It is behind the washer hanging on a hook and you really have to reach for it. In addition, you simply wash it like you would, well, jeans.
For Easter, I made these adorable fabric carrots from scraps of fabric and stuffed them with small pieces of scrap fabric.
There is a new category in our Etsy Store called "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle." The intent is to sell items reusing/recycling scrap fabric, clothes and whatever else seems applicable. Your positive comments are always welcome.
If you don't already know and would like to know how to make the plastic bag holder, here are the instructions:
I've found about 13" tall is a good size for us. Cut off a leg from a pair of jeans. Give yourself a good 15" or so because of the hems. Cut off the bottom hem on the jeans. It's just too bulky. Sometimes, if the legs flair, I'll simply make them straight by cutting the sides straight (finish the raw edges and seams each side).
Serge or otherwise finish the raw edges at the top and bottom. If the jean legs flair, simply make them straight by cutting the sides straight (finish the raw edges and seams each side).
If you are going to monogram or embroider anything, now is the time. Just make sure the embroidery is centered the way you want.
Turn the finished edges at top and bottom inside about an inch. Sew the hems leaving enough room to thread elastic through. Also, leave an opening to insert the elastic.
Next, insert the elastic. I thread the thin elastic through, tie it off, and then cut the elastic. Usually the bottom is pretty tight to allow only one plastic bag out at a time. The top needs to be tight but loose enough to stuff the plastic bags into it.
The final step is that I cut about a foot or two of that heavy felled seam that runs the side of the jeans. Just cut it and make a long strip. Double it up and tack it onto the side of the bag, or wherever you want the strap.
Voila - Finished
If you don't understand any of these instructions, please do not hesitate to contact/comment and I'll be glad to try to help you out.
Wow! This year has been crazy so far. I've been working on a project that actually began in mid-December. It was a beautiful bed cover. We took photographs of a gorgeous 17th or 18th century bed cover. Then I digitized some of the embroidery from the bed cover. We finished the new and improved bed cover last week. This week we are working on matching shams for this beautiful bed. I don't usually mention the projects that I create for this customer because she prefers that I not show our creations. That means I cannot post photographs. So, you don't get to see. No fun in that. So, I usually don't mention it. But I have been busy.
We have the studio that George remodeled and I decorated. It is so adorable and I love working on my embroidery projects over there. It came to my attention a few years ago that I really need to start entertaining in the studio. I don't really have a store front. I take orders mostly over the internet. But I love using our projects to decorate the studio. Insofar as a store front, Cajun Stitchery is more, shall we say, exclusive, by invitation only. These projects need to be seen for sales purposes, of course, but for art purposes as well. My girlfriends have been giving me platters and all sorts of fancy dishes and stuff to assist me in entertaining. This year the entertainment began in earnest.
To say that I'm not a great cook is an understatement. I'm not really interested in cooking and therefore, I don't cook well. I tend to agree with something my mother told me years ago. We can sew and wear or use the item for years and have that good feeling of accomplishing something beautiful for a very long time. When you cook, the dish may indeed be a work of art, but then, people come along and eat it and it is gone. Or, if no one eats it, it rots and it is gone. Nope. I prefer a longer lasting good feeling.
Anyway, I decided to cook chili one night this past winter and told George to come over for dinner at the studio. Well, I had the ground beef in the skillet and the beans in a pot and everything was cooking pretty much all day. That's when I noticed it. I looked at my hands and realized I had broken a nail and couldn't find it. Visions of the nail in the ground beef or beans was tormenting me. I searched through those 2 pots for hours thinking whether or not I should tell George. Maybe the nail wouldn't end up in his plate. If it did...that was just too disgusting to think. I searched and searched totally mortified. Distraught, I hung my head and walked to my embroidery machine. There on the floor was my nail. Whew! So, my entertaining attempt had some stress involved.
Later, I decided to invite my CPA and dear friend over for dinner, wine and taxes. It was a riveting evening. Absolutely nothing like wine while doing your taxes. LOL That evening we had boiled shrimp, potatoes and corn. Success! Both dinner and taxes went just fine.
Last November I invited several of our friends to the studio for shrimp gumbo. The gumbo was delicious but I noticed one of my friends did not eat it. I asked why and was informed that even though he lives on the waterfront, and has a big, beautiful fishing boat, he doesn't like seafood. I had no idea and was, of course, disturbed that a guest would go hungry at my party.
After Mardi Gras this year, I invited my friend, as well as others, to a Meat-Fest dinner. Everything was meat and no seafood was allowed. It was very interesting. I will tell you that chocolate covered bacon is fabulous and you simply cannot eat just one. The appetizer was a meat tray of luncheon meat that I rolled into little tubes with little pots of mustard and mayonnaise for dipping. The main course was pulled pork with barbeque sauce. Dessert was the chocolate covered bacon and ground beef brownies. The ground beef brownies were interesting because the recipe said that many people are allergic to nuts and the brownie recipe merely substituted two tablespoons of fried ground beef for the nuts. Otherwise, it was a normal brownie recipe. One guest brought hot wings and another brought bacon cupcakes. The bacon cupcakes were maple flavored cupcakes with bacon on top. Delicious. We had so much fun at the Meat-Fest party that some of the guests are planning Meat-Fest 2016.
A week later I had my Mardi Gras krewe over for our monthly meeting and dinner. Our krewe is an all female krewe. The girls always bring various dishes. This dinner theme was Mexican. I made tacos. We had a margarita station. I cannot really tell you what all was served because I spent most of the evening at the margarita station. We all agreed that we definitely need a repeat of this gathering.
After all of that entertaining, I was tired of cooking. Guess we'll give the entertaining a rest for now but I definitely am planning a 4th of July shindig.
Oh man, I am not keeping up with my blog as well as I should this year. Honest, I will try to be more consistent.
Between Mardi Gras activities and Cajun Stitchery work there doesn't seem to be much time to keep up with the blog or anything else.
I've been trying to clean up my computer and organize the monograms better. I now have one file of automatic fonts. You know how I keep saying I have over a thousands fonts. Uh, make that three thousand automatic fonts. Pre-digitized monograms, lettering, and fonts haven't been counted at this point but there are a lot and that doesn't even count the individual one's that I digitize. Our designs are over a million and I just keep digitizing.
Unfortunately, you never get to see all of the fonts and designs that we have. No, there is no one catalog. So, I remain on my never ending quest to figure out how to let you see these designs.
I cannot list them on Etsy because I did not make the vast majority of the designs and on Etsy it is either handmade, vintage, or supplies. What I can do is embroider them onto something that I sell. Just listing a million items would be too much, but I would have to embroider, too. And if I make the item, too. OMG!
All of that leads me back to the million dollar question of what do people want to buy. I can put designs on tee shirts and list them. I can put designs on towels, napkins, handkerchiefs, baby bibs, etc. What design, or font would someone want in what color thread on what color fabric is the unknown.
With that said, I've decided to do a bit of all of the above. We are going to increase our tee shirt inventory and start putting some of these designs on tee shirts for sale in our Etsy store. I'll probably put them on white tee shirts because designs show up so much better on white. We can get other colors and other styles. How do I get that across to potential buyers? As I said, it is a never ending quest.
This Mardi Gras season I've been fascinated with the Venetian Masks on Pinterest. Those masks are exquisite. I digitized one of them and have the design listed in our Etsy store. Also, I put the design on a tee shirt for me this season and love getting those complements. Maybe that will be one of the new tee shirts we sell on Etsy.
New designs in our Etsy store include not only the Venetian mask but also a jester hat and cute design of a pair of lips with the wording "All people smile in the same language."
Go ahead and browse the shop. I'm open to any ideas you may have.
I have fallen in love with 100% cotton and 100% linen. Our first shipment of Irish linen arrived yesterday. OMG! It is gorgeous. I was a bit hesitant about ordering because I have never ordered from this company before. It was a small order. You better believe I will be ordering more. Love, love, love this linen.
This is a baby envelope sham. It is obviously for a baby pillow. The flap part of the envelope goes on the back. The sham comes with the beautiful embroidery shown in the photograph. That is not just embroidery, that is hand embroidery. The front is plain white linen. We can embroider monograms or whatever on the front if desired. I only purchased 3 of these to check the quality. I am selling this baby sham for $10. The pillow insert is $15. And, of course, we ship within the USA and Canada.
Next we purchased these beautiful white, floral, guest towels featuring cutwork. Absolutely stunning. Again, 100% Irish linen and hand embroidery. We will sell this towel for $5.
Finally, we purchased these white guest towels with the little Swiss dots, hand embroidered on 100% Irish linen. These will sell for $5 each, also.
Tomorrow we are open for business and I haven't gotten everything that I needed to do done yet. I'm still working on orders and redecoratinng for Mardi Gras. Good news is that all of the Christmas decor has been taken down and put away, except for the front door. I have an idea for the front door Mardi Gras decor that I hope will be done and hung by the end of the week.
The front door wreath will be a fleur de lis. I drew half of a fleur de lis on paper then cut it out for a pattern. Then I took 2 pieces of foam board, one o top of the other for 2 layers of foam board, and pinned the 1/2 fleur de lis pattern on top. A razor was used to trace the pattern and cut through the foam board. Then the foam board was placed side by side with the straight edges matching and taped together. Voila! One complete fleur de lis identical on each side. Next came the mirror mylar. Regular white glue purchased at Dollar Tree was used on the foam board. A bead of the glue was run around the edges of the foam board and then the fleur de lis was placed, glue side down, on the mirror mylar and left to dry for awhile. Then the excess mylar was cut away with the razor leaving about 1/2 to 1 inch outside the foam board. Next came the scotch tape. The edges were taped and pulled to the back of the foam board. Yes, an entire roll of tape was used. The fleur de lis was finished. Next step is to decorate the fleur de lis.
I saw a beautiful picture of a metal sculpture of a Mardi Gras mask which I digitized into embroidery and stitched out. The design was then cut away from the excess fabric and glued to the enter of the fleur de lis. It is drying as I type this. The same white glue was used to adhere the embroidery to the mirror mylar. That may work but I won't know until it dries.
After the embroidery is attached to the fleur de lis, then I have to think of other decorations to make the door wreath outstanding. Certainly beads will be involved.
Yes, Mardi Gras season is upon us and our first public party is this coming Saturday at Paradise Bar & Grill on Pensacola Beach.
It has been a busy week between embroidery and holidays and friends popping in and out. 2015 is sure to be one fabulous year.