Monday, August 31, 2015

My Minion

I saw this freebie crochet pattern somewhere on the Internet.  It was too good to pass by, so I stitched myself a minion for my phone. I used the cotton Sugar'n Cream cotton yarn from the craft store and a size 8 hook. Here's a picture:

Just before crocheting My Minion, I wanted to try the crocodile stitch, looked around the Internet for a pattern. I made it slightly larger and the straps slightly longer (it ended up looking like a market bag), and after all of my fun, I took this picture:
Crochet is as relaxing for me as beading - but Brazilian embroidery is as much fun, so that's what I'm working on now.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Canada's Rose

This is Canada's Rose:
I developed this flower (on a very tiny base/first round) back in 1994 when Virginia Chapman, Debbie Kelley and I were traveling back to Oregon from a Teachers' Technique B.E. Seminar in Vernon, British Columbia.  One of the things we did there was to learn an interesting way of making tassels (class taught by Maria Freitas of EdMar Co). During this really entertaining class Maria even cheerfully suggested that making tassels was a good way to use floss - she was definitely right!

To finish my tassel, I looked for a dimensional flower to add - or design. I stitched my first version of this flower and named it Canada's Rose.  Since that time, I've used it lots of places with lots of variations. You'll find it in my books, Take A Stitch and also in My LadyFlowers. It's also in my most recent book, A Book of Stitches.
It's basically three rounds with the first round of stitches through the fabric only --five running cast-on stitches for each round. I change the counts on a whim; this version has 15, 15 and 18, changing the color each time around. I added a 4mm Swarovski bicone crystal (the AB finish adds the extra sparkle; the color is named "Siam").

I hope some of you will try this and with different variations. I haven't ever done the outer row with green Boucle, but think it might just look like a calyx. Adding beads in the row (or instead of a row) is another idea that I just now had.

Brazilian embroidery is so creative and so much fun and there is no such thing as "can't", so each stitcher can discover something new.  Enjoy!

Before I go, we spoke earlier about tassels. After the inspiring class with Maria, I continued playing with tassels. At the time, Debbie Kelley and I presented a tassel class for our local B.E. chapter. Here are some pictures or the tassels I made:
Above is the tassel I made in Canada - we used wooden candle cups (from the craft store). And I used a LOT of floss. The prototype Canada's Rose fit on top of the tassel. Another view - purples, greens, blues, my fave.
My acrylic paints never go to waste. Below I just painted a candle cup and added some trim. (I had SO much Elmer's Glue on my fingers working with Nova on that tassel above).
Other fibers also make nice tassels -- and you can top a tassel with almost anything. This is a little wooden flowerpot (the rayon isn't hanging straight because this little item has been sleeping in a box on my closet shelf. I used silk flowers for the colorful parts of the tassel.
Some old rayon from my stash was used for the left and center tassels below. Somewhere I learned that if you dip them in food color (I think, or maybe it was ink, or maybe it was thinned-down paint -- can't remember, but Pinterest probably has that idea somewhere...), you can get interesting effects. The color wicks into the rayon nicely. It was probably food color or ink that I used.

That tassel on the right is made with six-strand cotton embroidery floss - lots of beads to embellish. Her head is made with detached buttonhole stitch and she has an embroidered face. (Sorry it's kind of small - but you'll get the idea)

About the same time I was on my tassel tour, I discovered Dorset Buttons - was that ever fun. Several years ago I did a related class that I called "Kaleidoscope" - also lots of fun. These are some of the little buttons I made:
Oh!  And I stitched a Canada's Rose with Nova in the center of one of the Kaleidoscope pieces, using the basic weaving techniques and starting with detached buttonhole stitch around a 2" ring. The leaves here are also detached buttonhole stitch.
Some of the petals are a little mashed, --or wilted?
While we are on the subject of adventure, here's a picture I took earlier today of my Emmy (the calico who is now 18 years old) and her big buddy Cuthbert (our Norwegian Forest Cat who just turned 12), who likes to give her smooches every time he saunters by - much to Emmy's chagrin; Emmy could care less.

We have SO much fun at our house . . .

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Cuthbert Takes Selfies. I Take Flowers

Cuthbert is my Norwegian Forest Cat and just celebrated his 12th birthday. Having nothing better to do, Cuthbert decides to take some selfies. 
"I am Cuthbert," says he, as he takes charge of the camera.
"I am fluffing myself up and putting on my cuteness as I get ready to shoot some selfies."

"I prepare the camera for my selfie":
"First must remove unwanted thumbs -- not mine!"
"Now must find my best side. This:"
"Or this:"
"Maybe this.  Yes, this:"
"Wait!  I have more.  And I have the camera...."
"Here are my glorious whiskers"

"....and my majestic chin:"

"My awesome eyeball:"
"--And my spectacular nose."
"Aaah, words fail me; I have run out of adjectives, so will just share:"
"I hope you have enjoyed these photos. I will return the camera now."
Exhaustion sets in for Cuthbert. He feels the need of a nap:
And since I (Rosalie) now have the camera, I'm going to share some flowers from my August Oregon garden, taken just this afternoon. The foliage was so pretty, I decided to take these pictures. Here is a fern:

These next two photos are from a filipendula (Common Name: Queen of the Prairie - lovely pink fluffs of color outside my kitchen window in late spring):
And a ginkgo that struggles to survive beneath a ravenous wisteria:
My favorite time is to wander around our garden with my camera and come upon lovely surprises like this blue hibiscus that I planted several years ago (I almost forgot it was there!):
This hardy fuchsia has also been coming up for the past several years - I have it as a treat for our little hummingbirds - it's also just outside my kitchen window and just recently loaded itself up with flowers:

Here is a carnation I planted just this spring:

Also new is this little portulaca that I liked because of the colors:

This verbena is a favorite of the swallowtail butterflies that float through our yard:
And this zinnia is a reminder that autumn is not too far away:
Well, that was fun. I think I'll draw some pictures now, so I can write about Brazilian embroidery again. I hope you have enjoyed this show. Cuthbert does, too.