Tuesday, February 24, 2015

crafting confession #2 february

This post almost didn't make it online because at just month #2 I already have doubts about this whole crafting confession series. I liked the idea of it when I envisioned beautiful completed projects that I could share here on my blog. I had not really thought through what I would do on those months when my end results fall short of my expectations. But - the point was to have fun and try new things and I promise I am continuing with that mission.

This month I took on some basic beadwork. I was so excited about this one. What ended up happening though, was that I would end the month in frustration and my seven year old would end the month with a new favorite thing to do. I had not intended this to be a mother-son venture but once he saw me working with the beads he wanted to give it a go as well. The projects on the left are his and the ones on the right are mine. He started with perler beads and embroidery floss which worked beautifully for someone his age. We set up an embroidery hoop 'loom' found here - which again, worked great for him.

I used a really simple bead loom which also worked fine for me as a beginner. Somehow though, I was not happy with anything I made. I actually had another completed project but when I tried to put some jewelry findings on it to turn it into a bracelet the whole thing ended up falling apart. (grumble grumble). So I am left with just some practice pieces that may never turn into anything. Adam doesn't know what to do with his either. He just liked the process but didn't care what became of them (maybe I should take a lesson from him).

Please know that I am not saying that there is anything wrong with beadweaving. Just do a quick search online to see what amazing things can be done with it. My main problem (I think) was that I bought the wrong materials. They worked but with better beads and beading thread my odds of making something I could be happy with would be much greater. First there was a lot of sifting through information online about what to use (do you know how many different sizes beads, thread and needles come in?? good grief!). Then I assumed I could just hop down to my local craft store and pick those things up and well, I couldn't. So I got the next best things in the interest of time and the results reflected that. I would definitely do this again but I would purchase the right tools for the job.

So, there's my crafting confession for this month. I am glad to be sweeping up the last of the beads for now at least and moving onto next month's adventure - one that I confess, I am very intimidated by.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

a happy hello with Hoop-La

hand embroidered journal tutorial by SeptemberHouse for Hoop-La magazine

Yesterday I found a treasure in my mailbox... the latest issue of Hoop-La! Magazine all the way from across the pond. It's a thrill for me to say that SeptemberHouse is nestled in the beautiful pages of this publication! Inside you will find a project tutorial I put together and also a mention of the sampler magnets from my shop.

hand embroidered notebook tutorial by SeptemberHouse for Hoop-La magazine

If you are a fan of hand embroidery you will LOVE Hoop-La! Not only is is gorgeous to look at, the information and articles are interesting, informative and inspiring. There are so many wonderful artists featured here, I was truly amazed by it. If you would like to take a peek for yourself (which I recommend!) You can find it available here. You can also follow Hoop-La! on Twitter and Facebook.

One more quick thing to add - how cool is it that the headline for my notebook tutorial evokes none other than the Ramones? Thanks Hoop-La! I think you just increased my cool factor!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

new diy embroidery kits premiere at septemberhouse

hand embroidery kit sampler magnets set from septemberhouse

There is something new at SeptemberHouse today - I love it when I get to say that! These DIY sampler magnet kits were a result of several requests from customers who are enthusiastic embroiderists. While these sampler magnets are a popular item in the shop, some wondered why I got to have all the fun - might they have a go at it too?

Modern embroidery sampler buttons hand embroidery kit from septemberhouse

It's funny because that is probably exactly what I would think if I saw these (and if I were not me). So, after several weeks of pencil chewing and figuring out to pull these together in the most effective way, here they are.
DIY sampler buttons hand embroidery kit from septemberhouse

At this point they are available in two color schemes. The Hopscotch and Treehouse collections are both on the shop shelves. I held back on a set for the Confection color scheme which will most likely be riding off into the sugary sunset) I will see how these go and perhaps add more color and design options in the future.

Each kit contains: a preprinted fabric panel with four designs so you can make a complete set of magnets, the metal button pieces and button setter tool, instructions, interfacing, and embroidery floss. The only things that are need but are not included are a needle, scissors, an iron and a small embroidery hoop if you like to use a hoop when you embroider (truth be told I usually do  not use a hoop when I embroider mine)

hand embroidery kit sampler magnets set from septemberhouse

And all those supplies are tucked neatly in a box so they travel nicely and they also are all set to give as a gift if you have crafty friends who might enjoy a little project like this one.

Modern embroidery sampler buttons hand embroidery kit from septemberhouse

For those less inclined to embroider I still have the completed sets available (I still want to have some fun with these too you know).

Modern embroidery sampler buttons hand embroidery kit from septemberhouse

I enjoyed putting these together and cannot wait to see what people think!

DIY sampler buttons hand embroidery kit from septemberhouse

Monday, January 26, 2015

crafting confession january : papercutting

Papercutting project septemberhouse floral bird paper cut
I am sharing secrets today everyone so hang on tight, here I go. In some sort of crazed New Year whirlwind I got it in my head that in 2015 I should make an effort to try out some techniques and materials I have never used before but have always been drawn to. You know, that stuff you see on Pinterest and think, "wow, I'd really like to try that." How often do we actually try it though?  For me, it's not often - or, let's be honest, never.

tools for papercutting

BUT! I am making an effort this year and gave myself a list of 12 crafts to try - one for each month. I've been keeping this wild idea pretty hush-hush so far but I think I am committed enough to it now to share it here.

My goal is to just take a baby step - a small project - and just for fun - no pressure. I didn't want to invest in a lot of materials and I didn't want to spend so much time on it that I could not get shop or family work done. I hope I can continue on with this year-long goal because it is actually super fun. My first craft was Papercutting!
This is one of those artforms I have been attracted to since I first laid eyes on it. It seems to be gaining popularity so the opportunities to see beautiful papercut designs are everywhere. 

PaperCutting Design Bird

Perhaps because it is new to me (and I didn't know what I was doing) I ended up spending WAY more time getting my design ready than I did actually cutting it out. You really have to think it through as you draw to make sure you won't be accidentally removing entire areas when you are cutting. They have to interconnect somehow without looking awkward. I don't know if I achieved that but I went through so many more revisions than I thought I would to get to the final design.

Bird Design papercutting

Still, I would probably continue tweaking if the month was not coming to a close. Plus, a new craft is calling my name so if I am going to stick with this program I have to listen to that and be able to let go of the last month's project.

I loved stretching my brain a little to think about the images I make in a new way. Most of my work relies so heavily on line and papercuts focus more on shape so this was a great way to pull me out of my comfort zone a little. I still am deciding on background colors for this but it's fun to play around with it and test out different combinations. 

I look forward to sharing a new crafting experience in February - stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

a few goodies for the shop shelves

embroidered pendant necklace in modern flower design

I thought I would kick off the new year with a few new things for the shop. It's always refreshing to move away from holiday ornaments and focus on something else for a little while. These little guys are just the ticket for me and I am so happy to be able to share them with you today.

hand embroidered necklace in modern floral design

This batch is full of flowers and I challenged myself to use as many different stitches as I could in each one.

hand embroidery oval pendant necklace

It was also lots of fun to play around with color combinations.

septemberhouse embroidery handmade pendant necklace

Though I admit that some of my favorites are the monochrome designs.

septemberhouse hand embroidery pendant necklace with flower pattern

There are 8 new designs in all and they can all be found on the Embroidered Jewelry shelf

modern hand embroidery pendant necklace with flower pattern

modern hand embroidery flower design

spring hand embroidery bright flower pattern necklace

contemporary hand embroidery floral pattern by septemberhouse
modern hand embroidery floral pattern by septemberhouse

contemporary hand embroidery floral pattern by septemberhouse

Thanks for taking a peek!

hand embroidered oval pendant necklace handmade in orange and navy
hand embroidered floral pendant necklace handmade on red linen
hand embroidered oval pendant necklace handmade in white and navy

kelly green embroidered necklace in modern flower pattern by septemberhouse

  ivory embroidered necklace in modern flower pattern by septemberhouse

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 favorites

Before the year draws to a close I thought I would share some favorites from 2014. It's something I have done for the past couple of years and now it is something I really look forward to.

Here are some highlights from my year in books, movies, tv, radio, and more (please share yours in the comment section too!)


At the top of my list is one I just finished days ago (way to close on a high note, right?). A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra was my favorite book I read this year and now, one of my favorite books I have ever read. The story takes place in Chechnya over the course of several years in the late 90s and early 2000s. This was a time and place I didn't know much about so I am grateful for the education. I am also grateful for the chance to fall in love with all the characters (how often does that happen?) and for the chance to read such beautiful passages and heartbreaking accounts of life in a war zone. Amazingly, this is Marra's first book (I still find that hard to believe) so the good news is that there just might be more to come from this author.

I also had the pleasure of perusing The Arrival by Shaun Tan which is an absolute masterpiece. It is packed with illustrations - so much so that there is no room left for words. And if you have seen Shaun Tan's illustrations before then you know what an incredible experience this book might be. Upon finishing it I was quite literally speechless. When I did find some words they were most likely expletives because I couldn't find anything else extreme enough to express my amazement. A beautiful story beautifully told. 

There wasn't as much non-fiction on my reading list this year as there has been in years past but I suppose that's okay. One that I enjoyed was Brian Jay Jones's Biography of Jim Henson. This was my first read of the year and also one that I read alongside my sister so we were able to compare notes along the way. What a fun way to start the year! Although it was a little longer than I thought it probably needed to be it was still extremely interesting to get a behind the scenes peek into Jim Henson's life. The world of tv and movies already seems dramatically different than it was just 30 - 40 years ago but there is still so much to learn from Jim Henson - a man who wasn't afraid of failure OR success. 

There is SO much I want to read in 2015 but I am going to try to just take it one book at a time. You can find me over on Goodreads. I would love to share good reads with you!

Movies and TV:

Once again, I didn't put a whole lot of effort in this department this year. I watched probably more than my share of tv - but maybe I should have been a little more selective. Highlights include the first half of Mad Men's last season. I watched every episode twice to be honest and may have to watch them again before the second half of the season kicks in. (if I sound like I am addicted it's because I am) I am okay with the show ending though (easy for me to say now!) I think it's time and I look forward to seeing what is next for everyone in front of and behind the camera. 

We also got hooked on a series called Orphan Black which was interesting and fun and just what we need at the time. Then there was a healthy dose of Parks and Recreation and Flight of the Conchords re-runs with a pinch of Portlandia thrown in for good measure. 

You can also count me among the throngs of people who got sucked into the Serial podcast. I didn't mean to -  I swear. But after the first couple of episodes you just had to see how it turns out. It was not until it was all over and done that I found out that tons of others fell into the Serial vortex too. 

What did you read/watch/listen to this year? Share your recommendations here and help us fill 2015 with inspiration and delight!

Friday, November 28, 2014

shop salute: 123 stitch

Hello from the workshop. It has been busy over here but I do try to not drop completely out of sight if it can be helped. So I thought it would be appropriate on this black friday - a day that celebrates all things shopping related - to share a little shop salute. 

What is a shop salute? It's a little chance for me to gush a bit about a great experience I have had with a store online or in real life. Sometimes I am so impressed with the customer service I receive that I cannot help but shout about it. And let's face it, great customer service is harder and harder to find these days so we all really need to encourage those who provide it to keep up the good work.

So, today's Shop Salute is for 123 stitch. I came across their site when searching for some hoops I could buy in large quantities online (yes they have them). I was delighted to find that they have a HUGE selection of flosses and threads as well. They can be ordered in any quantity too - that can be hard to find online - a lot of shops have minimum quantities. Because of this it is a great way to try out some new kinds of floss that might not be available in your local fabric store.

The shipping is FAST - my orders have all been shipped the very same day they were placed. The shipping cost is absolutely reasonable too which I appreciate.

Finally, they are just so friendly there. At the end of the checkout process there is a place to indicate whether or not there was anything you were looking for but could not find. On the one occasion I filled it out I swear I had a relpy within hours from a real person offering to special order the items I had mentioned. wow. That's impressive.

So, stop over to 123stitch.com - I think you will be impressed. I sure was!