Friday, January 31, 2014

Hot Iron Embroidery Transfers from Kate and Rose

Embroidery design from Bewitching Botanicals by Kate and Rose

We have been enjoying a wonderful, snowy "staycation" this week! Lots of snowy pix to share, but first - a bit of stitchery and…….drumroll please……a giveaway!!!

I did not spend the whole week outside playing in the snow, though that is where I spent most of it!  I also spent many blissful hours by the fire, listening to the audiobook Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power (which I highly recommend to any history buffs out there) and stitching up some beautiful folk art inspired patterns from Kate and Rose.

A few weeks ago I was delighted to receive an e-mail from Kati Lovasz, the creative mind at work behind Kate & Rose, asking me if I would be interested in trying out her latest line of hot iron embroidery transfers. Of course I said yes, please!!

I had been wanting to spruce up my favorite pair of jeans for a while and was delighted to find that the transfers worked brilliantly on denim.  I have never used hot iron transfers before, so I was a little nervous, but let me tell you - it's easy as pie! Kati has included excellent instructions on how to execute the transfer and has also kindly given suggestions for traditional stitches along with helpful stitch diagrams if the stitches are new to you. (that's a lot of stitches, isn't it?) any who…as you can see the pattern transferred like a dream onto the denim.  I did decide to use mostly traditional stitches, because I just adore the look of folk embroidery. This design (completed shown in the first photo) was stitched in two colors - red and navy, and I used only 3 stitches - open chain, fishbone, and satin stitch.  Oops, there was also a little bit of blanket stitch in there too.  But, all these stitches are easy, and when combined with one of Kati's fabulous designs, looks quite complicated.  I love things that look like they were really hard to achieve, but you know that it was actually quite easy. Says she with a smug little smile:)

design from Bewitching Botanicals by Kate and Rose

Encouraged by the success I had with the denim, I decided to be adventurous and try them out on felt, and was delighted again to see that it worked beautifully! I had some soft pink felt that I have been wanting to make a Valentine's Day ornament with, and I chose another floral pattern from Bewitching Botanicals to stitch onto it.

Embroidery design from Bewitching Botanicals by Kate and Rose
This time I kept it super simple and stitched up the whole design in chain stitch in a lovely ivory colored floss.  I love the simple, elegant look that resulted! Before I stitched up the little heart, I whipped up a little sachet of lavender and tucked it inside, so this is a lavender scented Valentine ornament.  Wouldn't it be lovely hanging inside a closet or on the knob of a dresser?

So, for the giveaway!!  If you would be interested in receiving one of the two pattern packs shown above and the little pink lavender sachet Valentine ornament, just leave me a comment indicating that you would like your name entered in the drawing and which pattern pack you would prefer.  On Monday, February 3, 2014, I will put all the names in a hat and draw a winner!  Please remember that if you are a "no-reply Blogger", I will have no way of contacting you to let you know you've won, so you'll have to check back here for the results of the drawing.

If you love folk embroidery and would like to give some of these beautiful designs a try, you will not be disappointed.  They are all beautiful, and the instructions included make it easy peasy to use. So, throw your name in the hat for a chance to win!! Or better yet, hop on over to Kate and Rose for more information, stitch suggestions, color suggestions, etc.  She has some beautiful sewing patterns too if you're interested in making a lovely folk-inspired addition to your wardrobe. Check it out!!

See you back here on Monday….have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

It's Snowing in Wonderland

I realize that for most of you, snow is not the least bit remarkable.  But for us, in central Alabama, it is just short of a miracle.  It has been snowing heavily for over 6 hours.  All of the roads are closed in our county.  It took my husband 2 hours to drive the 25 miles home from his work in town, but we are now all together safe and sound.  Snug and warm and giddy with joy.  We have been walking and sledding and snowball fighting all day and now we are resting and thawing and re-fueling to head back out for more fun in the snow.  For us, snow days are a miraculous, wondrous, astonishingly beautiful gift from above and we are not going to waste a second of it.

Thank you, Mary Ann for the snow! I've been asking you for months, and it finally made it!! xoxo

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Colors of My Winter

Hello everyone! Hope you are all keeping warm and enjoying these wonderful cold winter days.  We have had record cold here too, but I did manage to get out of the house for a walk a time or two this week.  It's just not all that much fun when arctic winds that make it feel like about 15 degrees Fahrenheit are tearing at you, making your eyes water and sting from the cold! But thankfully, we had a couple of days that warmed up enough for me to go out, and look what treasures I found!  Can you believe that gorgeous dusty pink mushroom? I have never ever seen a mushroom that color!  And no, I didn't take a bite out of it; someone else beat me to it. Although I must admit, I was tempted.  I was astonished to find a mushroom in the first place, after all the extreme cold we've had, and the color was an even nicer surprise.

I have been reading lots of wonderful blog posts from many of you about pieces you are working on that have a winter theme.  I noticed a common thread running through lots of these wintery projects and that is the idea of color - specifically the colors of winter, which for most of you are white, silver, and blue - icy colors.  Snowy colors.  So, as I went out for a walk the other day, I began to think about how my winter is so very different from yours.  I asked myself, what are the colors of my winter? I had never really thought about it before.
My winter landscape is a soft and subdued one.  Soft silvery gray tree bark and lichen covered stone. Silvery greens. Soft browns and pale golden grasses.  I captured a few of the colors in the photo above. A color palette of my winter.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Cathedral of the Forest

Woke up to a strange sky today.  Overcome by a restless, anxious feeling, I decided to go out for a walk.  That always helps.  I noticed how odd it was that the sky, the morning, the world seemed to reflect my mood back at me.  Or, perhaps it was saying to me, "I know.  I understand.  Come out for a walk and we'll talk things over."

I set out on my walk feeling a little lost.  I don't know why.  sometimes we just feel that way for no good reason.  I rambled and wandered and ended up here - in the pine forest on top of the hills that look down on our house.  It's so quiet here.  and then I noticed the soft sighing of the pines as their tops caught the wind and they swayed to and fro, whispering.  I stood there for the longest time, just listening and watching them sway.  And then I started to feel that awful tension I had been carrying start to drift away.  up and away with the wind in the treetops.  And I started to cry.  I stood there in the middle of that pine thicket and had myself a good old sobbing cry.  And when it was all over, I felt better.  I said a prayer of thanksgiving and I wondered if I could feel any closer to God in the great gothic cathedrals of France than I did standing there in that pine forest.

Don't worry.  I am really ok.  I know I've been a bit quiet here, but I have just been resting and recovering from the holidays.  I have been visiting all of you and enjoying your words.  I just haven't had any of my own to share for a while.  Hopefully that will change soon.

Thank you so much to my friends who have messaged me to say hello and to ask about me.  I am overwhelmed by your kindness and so touched by your concern.  Big, big hug to you all!

Blessings to you from the woods :)

"Be still and know that I am God……"  Psalm 46:10