Slow Stitched

Fabric Scraps

Trying Something New

I’ve never been particularly great at hand sewing.  Truth be told, I actually despised it to the point of avoiding it as much as possible.  That all changed after taking a needle book class by Roxy Creations, which can be found here:

The books she created, completely by hand stitching, were gorgeous in their simplicity.  Another thing about this process that intrigued me was that they were portable.  This was something you could pack in a bag and work on while you were enduring your child’s weekly practices.  Her techniques could also be used to create journal covers as well. 

After watching her videos numerous times, I finally got out a fabric bundle I had purchased at Tuesday Morning and decided to take the plunge.  Auditioning fabric scraps for inclusion and placement is more difficult than I expected, but I managed to put something together.  

Now it’s time to thread the needle and get started.  

More to come!



Try, Try and Try Again

mixed media collage

There are times when a piece comes together almost effortlessly on the first try.  This was not one of them.

I originally planned on creating an abstract floral piece that consisted of a very detailed mixed media background, along with a vase and flowers.  I worked for hours on the background and the vase come out just the way I wanted it to.

Unfortunately, the flowers did not. They were a disaster.  The loose style I was trying to obtain never quite came together.  I tried to fix the flowers, but I only ended up making them look even worse than they already did. I was at the point of no return.

As much as it killed me to do, I had to cover up everything with gesso and start from scratch.  Hours and hours of work, now gone.

Next, I decided to go in a different direction and try some sketchy watercolor type florals.  I just didn’t feel confident enough to try the same technique I had just failed at.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t get this right either.  It was just not good. Although I was able to fix the flowers using stencils and acrylic paints, the leaves and stems were still awful.  I was thinking that I was going to have to start all over once again.

It was then that I remembered a vine stencil I had.  I pulled it out and decided to give it one last shot.  I’m glad I did because that stencil allowed me to save the piece.

I don’t think this will ever be one of my favorite creations, but I’m glad that I didn’t quit and that I was able to step back and take a moment and figure out a new direction.

Wouldn’t it be great if we were able to do this in our personal lives as well?  Sometimes, when things aren’t working out the way they should, whether it be a job, a relationship, a personal goal, etc., we tend to become emotional and just walk away.  We quit, we abandon, we sabotage.

I know I have done that so many times over the course of my life. I felt that it was easier to just walk away instead of digging in and doing the work that might have salvaged something and perhaps taken my life in a new direction.

I’m not saying that we should stay in toxic or abusive relationship.  That is never the case.  But I am saying that perhaps a friendship could be saved or deepened or a relationship with a child could be turned around if we just took a step back, took a deep breath and figured out what we need to do next instead of walking away.

So today, I’m going to choose to hang in there and do something difficult instead of giving up and walking away.  I know it won’t be easy, but I know it will be worth it in the end.


Faux Leather Travelers Journals With a Twist

I was fortunate enough to be gifted some very nice faux leather fabric samples a while back.  At first I wasn’t sure what to do with them, until I came across a journal in a craft store that give me an idea of how to put them to use.  This is one of the first ones I made.

faux leather travelers journal
Journal Cover

I recently decided that it was time to make a few more.  After sewing the covers together, I decided that I wanted to do something besides a plain cover, so I decided to create some vignettes on each one.

Here is how they turned out.

faux leather travelers journals
Faux Leather Travelers Journals
faux leather travelers journals
Faux Leather Travelers Journals Spines

To say I love them is indeed an understatement!

Altered Book Cover

This is the start of the cover art for my next hand painted travelers journal made from an upcycled book.

Image transfer, collaged background

I started with creating background layers created from magazine text and gel medium.  After that layer, I repeated the process with colored images.  Next came the paint and stenciled image.

altered book travelers journal
Cover in Progress
altered book travelers journal
Front Cover

Once the outside cover is complete, it’s time to add signatures, pockets and envelopes.

Faux Leather Travelers Journal

A while ago, I received several smaller faux leather upholstery fabric samples.  During one of my many trips to my local craft store, I came upon a small travelers journal they were selling for $10.  It was made of really cheap plastic that mimicked leather and had two notebooks made from kraft paper and one folder also made from kraft paper.  All of these were held inside by very thin, cheap elastic.  I purchased it, took it home and made a much better version of it.

I really love the size.  It’s more compact than the other travelers journals I make.  I have this fabric in lots of other great colors, so I will definitely be making more just like it.