St. Patrick’s Day has a very special meaning to me because not only is it just a happy-go-lucky holiday, it’s my birthday! Leprechauns and Faerie Folk have been huge influences in my life and I decided that in light of of this I would stitch-up this mischievous retro leprechaun that I shared with you all last year on St. Patrick’s Day. He’s a sketch I made from this great vintage graphic that a friend sent my way many a year ago now.
This is my drawing hanging out on my inspiration board this year.
As you can tell, I altered him up a bit just because I love to play around with photo-editing sometimes, plus I think he looks rather dashing all green. To the point, Here is my embroidered version…
This is him done with a back-stitch outline. I could’ve stopped here, but since I didn’t color-tint him like I did my narwhal, I decided to go ahead and fill him in with satin-stitch and then I added the word Sláinte (it’s Irish for Health) just because it felt oh, so right to.
Here’s the completed piece (which is about 7inches by 7inches measuring the whole piece of fabric)
Here’s a detail shot of his face (and slightly wonky hand, lol)
And here’s a fun, different angle shot to show some more of the stitching detail.
That was a ton of satin-stitch and I did most of it with an injured hand (which I blame time-change for, btw, since I have never once ever hit my hand on the bookshelf before Monday morning). Luckily it was my left, so the majority of the time it was my right hand doing the work, but still. I do think it will be awhile before I tackle that much satin-stitch for a single project. The letters of Sláinte were done with stem-stitch and that’s my free-style handwriting.
So there you have it – one very happy LaWhimsy Leprechaun who want’s to wish you and your’s good health and good cheer each and every day of the year!
Namaste ~ Ella
Posted by lawhimsy on March 14, 2013
It’s a wonderful Monday, the start of a fresh new week filled with all sorts of goodness just waiting to happen and I, after finally getting that proverbial monkey off my back by declaring my opting out of the stitch-a-long, felt a rush of inspiration and set my needle and thread straight to work…
Here we have the results of a semi free-hand face. I sketched a pencil version in my sketchbook and then went all artsy by just sort of winging it with my fine point Mark-B-Gone pen (not my favorite to actually get out of fabric, but it was all I had on hand) and going from there. Then I stitched him up, stuffed him and made a pom-pom mane…
Too cute, right?! The darling fits right in the palm of my hand and is charming. I think his name is Chesterfield, after crazy uncle, of course. Chesterfield is missing ears here and I knew just how to fix it…with some needle-felting!
Ta-da! I used the reverse side of the two pieces I needle-felted together so that the ears were fluffy and the I whip-stitched them on and fluffed the mane a bit. I absolutely adore the outcome and now I’m think that perhaps Chesterfield may want a body, though right now He’s content being a cute little head.
That’s quite a morning’s work and I’m feeling very accomplished and content too! Happy Monday!
Namaste ~ Ella
Posted by lawhimsy on February 25, 2013
So here I am, one full(ish) week under my belt and another new one started and yet I still feel, I dunno, a bit off and at loose ends. I want to feel accomplished at the end of the day, even if I didn’t actually finish something, I’d be nice to think I’d done something – anything. Sure, I manage to do my daily ‘normal’ and that’s something, but it’s not enough. I need more and to that end, I think I need to start making a few lists. I love lists and how they give an air of organization and order to scattered thoughts and bits of inspiration. If left to it’s own devices, my hyper-active brain would never get anything done since something new and shiny always appears. A list provides concrete goals and crossing things off just feels good. Sure, shiny-object syndrome still plays an active roll, but with a list I have something to answer to, to pull my attentions back to center. Anyone else love to make lists?
Creative List Making, No?
Once I have a good list made, I’ll be able to get to work and I think my days will feel a bit more productive in the best of ways. Also, once I can get my hands on something with Instagram capabilities, I’ll be able to start sharing my accomplishments a bit easier and one heck of a lot more often. It’s not that my digital camera and I don’t get along, it’s just all the steps it takes to take the picture, upload it, edit it, etc. – it can just be a bit much at times. Soon, though, hopefully soon.
Until then, I’m off to start making those lists!
Namaste ~ Ella
Posted by lawhimsy on January 15, 2013
A new year naturally means new projects and one of those projects for me is joining in the Illustration Stitch-A-Long (I’ve added the button to the side of my blog). I was a bit intimidated when the first illustrator was set as Edward Gorey. I adore his work and his rather dark, twisted sense of humor is awesome (hello, The Recently Deflowered Girl), but for embroidery purposes – eep!
I mean – that would be a ton of wee, little stitches to make and in black! My poor eyes and fingers just aren’t up to that task (seriously, with the cold weather and the slight nerve damage I have in my fingers it can be a bit difficult at times – not impossible, just hurty). The intimidation lasted for only a brief moment, however, because I remembered a favorite Gorey illustration of mine -
It’s one of his beloved ballerinas and it’s from a stamp (made by kidstamps until 2010, I believe). Gorey’s love of the ballet was well known and I think this particular ballerina is simply divine. I enhanced the image from above and darkened the lines to get it ready for transferring to fabric.
click to see the full size
I think this will be a really great project and the final piece is going to be presented in a frame as a gift to a terrific gal I know who not only loves dance but is a wonderful dancer herself (and yes, you do know who you are *wink*). Now to choose the right fabric…
Yeah, okay, maybe not plaid flannel (as if my fabric is that nicely stacked)…
What new projects do you have going on?
Namaste ~ Ella
Posted by lawhimsy on January 8, 2013
Visual approximation of how I spent my Winter break (at least in my head…)
It’s been quite the interesting holiday season and the subsequent Winter break that typically goes right along with it. I am actually ready for the new week to begin so that I can get my head back into my active creative space. I’m one of those unique souls who sorta needs that fresh start of a new week to get my schedule off to a decent start (seriously, Monday holidays are whack – give me a three-day weekend that starts with Friday instead, please – and several weeks of odd-ball scheduling, eek!). In this case, it’s not just a new week or even a new month – it’s a brand-spanking New Year! I have goals and a few resolution sort of things in mind (as previously mentioned in 2013 What To Do…) and those things go hand-in-hand with my creating and carving out my own sort of world as I wander my life’s path.
Of course, this world of my own making still exists in and with the world we all inhabit, it’s just that the way I see and process is a bit different then the norm (as has been pointed out many a time and not always kindly – though I feel a bit sorry for those who feel the need to be so rude or mean). I readily and gladly embrace my own ways and I am getting into a head space that feels even more confidant and comfortable in sharing this world with all those who care to know me. 2013, look out, ’cause here I come!
Namaste ~ Ella
Posted by lawhimsy on January 5, 2013
Oh, where will this path take me to now?
There is a brand new year laid out in front of me and I haven’t the faintest idea of where it may take me just yet. I do have some goals in mind – namely putting together a stronger portfolio of my work, taking more pictures, sharing more about myself here on the blog, making the blog an even more whimsical and enjoyable place to visit, etc.
Well, maybe not quite so dramatically whimsical…
Then there are the bit more daring (for me right now, at any rate) goals. Things like actually contacting fellow bloggers I admire, commenting more on other blogs, tackling the Illustration Stitch A Long (the first up is Edward Gorey and it’s quite intimidating), stretching my creative boundaries with new mediums and new ways to utilize old mediums – just to name a few.
Life is just so very much more livable and enjoyable that way.
With a fresh calendar at hand and so many possibilities ahead of me, I feel giddy, excited and just the slightest bit overwhelmed (that’s not a bad thing). Buckle-up and enjoy the adventure ~ Are you ready?
You’re darn skippy it will be ~ and a damn fine year too!
Namaste ~ Ella
Posted by lawhimsy on January 3, 2013
Make yourself comfy and have some tea
I had quite the full weekend and I feel as though I have been going-going-going since last Tuesday! After Halloween and all of it’s crazy hub-bub, I had a ton of errands to run on Thursday, Friday was Halloween decor take-down day, Saturday was spent tromping around the gorgeous look-out & mountainous woods (and taking a gazillion pics that I’ll be sharing later in the week) and Sunday was spent taking care of personal things and animals. Whew! Now, however, it’s the start of another new week, filled with all sorts of endless possibilities and outcomes and I thought I’d share a few of the small things that have been providing me with ample delight.
The dolls are a teaser glimpse of an utterly amazing thrift score, the drawing is a fun technique I’ve been playing around with and that wee nest up in the corner, well, that’s a magical find that somehow survived the worst of Sandy’s wind (I reside far enough in-land and nestled in enough mountains to have received only strong wind (with minor power-outages), rain and a few snow flurries from that monster storm – something I am thankful for. My thoughts are with all those who were much more devastatingly affected.).
It was resting, ever so gently, next to a massive pile of leaves and I was lucky to have spotted it when I went out to pick up the blow over garbage cans. It’s really the little things that can provide such peaceful, joyous comfort and pure wonderful happiness.
Here’s to a terrific week!
Namaste ~ Ella
Posted by lawhimsy on November 5, 2012
I have made many things over the past few years but I haven’t always shared them (mostly because I didn’t have a blog to share them on). I’ve been trying to get photos of everything as of late both to share here and for prosperity’s (and my design portfolio’s) sake. It’s also been nice to see how I’ve grown in my design abilities, my stitching skills and just in confidence and creativity. The two I’m going to share today are both bunnies (I have made more bunnies than almost anything else. Why, I dunno – they are just so cute!).
First up is this piece of embroidery. It’s taken off of two sketches of mine that I combined and then stitched up with a combination of split stitch, chain stitch, satin stitch, stem stitch and french knots. I haven’t yet decided what to do with the piece and so it’s currently sitting in an embroidery hoop I have propped up on the radiator next to my craft room desk. It makes me happy to see it.
Next up is this sweet little bunny. This guy was an early practice in french knots. I decided that I wanted to master that particular stitch and so I did just that by outlining my bunny pattern with only french knots. I then gave him a button eye and just this past Spring stitched him to a soft backing and added a handmade pompom tail. He’s been hanging on my inspiration board, though sometimes he’ll visit with his buddies (I made two fellow matching bunnies as gifts, only they are both stitched with a chain stitch and have no pompom tails – I hadn’t quite mastered the pompom yet and those suckers can be tricky…at least for me, lol).
So there’s a tiny peek into some past work. I think I need to do more of my own sketches and designs – not because others aren’t awesome – but because I really do enjoy the entire process.
Here’s to a creative day!
Namaste ~ Ella
Posted by lawhimsy on October 24, 2012
There I am, busy as can be creating away, maybe even humming a tune to myself as I work, when all of a sudden it hits. That feeling that starts as a little tickle in the back of my brain and quickly grows louder, more insistent – “Hurry up! Get this part done! The next part is going to be even better! Especially if you do this…or maybe this…or how about this?! Glitter! Sparkles! Happy Dancing Squirrels!!!”
Do you ever feel that way? Okay, maybe you don’t go into the glitter, sparkles, dancing squirrels part (you probably think cuddly foxes or dandy owls or something, right?), but it’s that really distracting, over-thinking part that I’m really talking about here. That feeling of wanting to be done with what you’re currently doing and doing the next part, or finishing up and starting a new project. It’s not that you don’t love or aren’t interested with what you’re doing, it’s juts that there is so much you want to do and be doing that you can get restless and overexcited about what’s coming next. It’s what I call Creative ADHD. Now, of course, ADHD is a real and true issue (one I actually have been naturally dealing with my whole life) but Creative ADHD can hit and affect us all at one time or another. Case in point, the current October stitch-a-long.
As you can see, I’m over half-way done with my embroidery. I am loving how it’s turning out and I really do adore the embroidery part (seriously, I often find embroidery to be soothing and almost meditative) but with this project I’m super eager to get the embroidery done and move onto the next part, which will complete the piece and let me display it. I keep finding myself rushing and instead of focusing on what’s in front of me I keep thinking ahead. It’s lead to several picked-out stitches and more than a little bit of frustration (and yeah, I’ve only been working on the embroidery part since Monday, in fits and starts, so it’s like “Girl, slow it down!”).
I do this with a lot of my projects and if I don’t stop and refocus myself, it can cause drama and make something I truly love into a nightmare. I have found that meditation helps a ton, as does tackling only one or two projects at a time (multitasking just causes more mind clutter). Of course, I can’t say that it’s truly a bad thing to have so much inspiration and desire to create, it just helps if I don’t go into hyper overdrive and crash. Does anyone else deal with this sort of thing when it comes to creating? Do you ever get restless, unfocused and maybe even a little sloppy at times? What do you do to turn what could be a negative into a positive and refocus your creative energy?
Here’s to conscious, engaging creativity and no frantic, sloppy mistakes!
Namaste ~ Ella
Posted by lawhimsy on October 11, 2012
What a Busy Kitty!
Here it is, already the middle of September and Autumn’s official start is but a few days away and I’ve been so busy that I can hardly believe it! September, for me, is not only the beginning of my Autumn schedule – It’s also the celebration of two major birthdays (one of which is the always wonderful Glory’s). That means I have surprises and gifts galore to think up, create, wrap and spring upon the birthday ‘victims’. There are also Festivals to attend, Flea Markets to dig through, the house to decorate for the season and, oh so much more. In light of this, today I’m going to share a few past projects that wanted to introduce themselves…
This sweet lamb is embroidered on both sides in a matching style and along the top of her tiny head. I think that the bright colors I choose add such a charming pop against her white felt body. She is about 4inches long and 2inches high and she was tucked into a stocking last Christmas (yeah, time flies, no?).
In this view of the top of the little lamb’s head you can see a bit of the matching embroidery detail on her sides as well as her sweet head details. I ever so carefully embroidered that teeny-tiny piece before blanket stitching it on. I also did each side before sewing the whole thing together so as to match the sides up as best as I could. They are really spot on and I would show better proof of this had the pics turned out better (shadows can be so cruel).
This little cutie owl is all of 3 inches tall and He has some charming seed stitch and french knot details. He was also tucked into a stocking as a surprise. The white felt is actually sewn on behind the brown to add some charming dimension and I once again added the embroidery details before blanket stitching him together.
Here they are chilling out together with the phone girl on my craft studio desk. I actually had to borrow them back for these pics, but their owners didn’t mind and Glory even got in on the action…
Great Shoes on the Lamb, no?
Yeah, we have our fun, lol! I hope you enjoyed these two cuties ’cause I have more to share and since one of the birthdays has passed, a few of the gifts I made can be shared without ruining the surprise (Glory, you, however, will have to wait until next week to see your surprises, bwahaha). I even think one of the gifts I made will become a freebie embroidery pattern, so keep an eye out!
Hope you’re all enjoying your day ~ anyone else been getting super creative this month?
Namaste ~ Ella
Posted by lawhimsy on September 19, 2012