Archive for the ‘News’ Category
Tuesday, February 9th, 2016
Deals & Steals
Head’s Up! These are all affiliate links. This means I might get a small commission if you make a purchase through these links.
In the US
To celebrate their 1,000th online class, Craftsy is offering 50% off the most commonly ‘wishlisted’ classes. That class you have had your eye on might just be on sale. Have a quick peek now, as this sale lasts only until Thursday.
The embroidery classes on sale include two bead embroidery classes, ribbon embroidery, and the texture and dimension class that Becca and I are taking.
I am a Craftsy fan. I love learning, experimenting, and playing. And I love classes: The structure propels me into action while introducing me to new materials and techniques.
Craftsy classes are professionally made videos, available any time of day or night, so that I may watch whenever it’s convenient, and as many times as I’d like. There are class forums for asking questions, sharing project photos, and interacting with the teacher and other students.
I am currently enrolled in five classes.
You’ll find a wide variety of craft magazines and books here, as well as digital media. These are the publishers of Piecework magazine and Cloth, Paper, Scissors—to name two of my favorites! You can find back issues and collections of magazines on cd. If you’re a knitter or crocheter, there’s tons here for you. Embroiderers, yes, there are patterns and books for you, too, but not as many.
Remember how we were talking about filet embroidery recently? It’s generally stitched on a handmade net. Want to try your hand at netting? Here are simple bookmarks that use the technique—and you know we’re still collecting bookmarks for Stitching for Literacy, right?
During February 2016, Save 10% at Keepsake NeedleArts with Offer Code NA10FEB
There are also new Jim Shore Projects available.
And, if you’re in the throes of dark winter, as I am—or if you are just plain smart and take care of your eyes year round (ahem)—you may be interested in the Lighting at Keepsake NeedleArts.
I’ve taken several classes here and have been pleased. If your schedule is super flexible, you can catch classes live and for free. If you aren’t free to watch while they’re running for free, or if you want the freedom of watching at your convenience or over and over, then buying the classes is the way to go.
The free option can be useful for checking out a class and deciding whether you’d like to own it or not.
Want to take better photographs of your embroidery? Check out the craft photography classes. Also of interest might be the craft & maker classes. See these and more offerings in the class catalog.
Annie’s offers patterns and supplies for crochet, knitting, plastic canvas, beading, card making, and more. They also offer online classes. If you’ve taken any, please let us know what you think.
Take $5 Off for every $25 you spend! Enter keycode EBAEV25 at checkout. Expires 3/31/2016
Leisure Arts has a Warehouse Clearance Sale with up to 75% off patterns, supplies, and kits.
For non-clearance items, seniors, teachers, and military folks can get 15% off with the following coupon codes:
In the UK
Sew and So
For our friends in Europe—though they’ll ship anywhere in the world, too.
Sew and So also has an exclusive DMC Cross Stitch Ideas Collector’s Box and cross stitch kits, among other things.
If you want to design your own patterns, save 10% on Cross Stitch Designer Software at Sew and So with Offer Code CSD10.
Or just see what’s new at Sew and So
Stitch, Craft, Create
Another source in Europe, primarily for sewing, knitting, and crocheting, but check out their daylight lamps and magnifiers.
Free Standard UK Delivery On Orders Over £30!
Free Worldwide Delivery On Orders Over £100!
Tuesday, December 29th, 2015
Not sure what you think about something? Make a claim on social media, and loads of people will
tell you how you’re wrong help you clarify your thoughts.
A blast from the past: Holiday lights during the caretaking years. You don’t work on this Christmas craft in July!
When I think of taking time off around the Christmas holiday, I think of filling that time with crafting, specifically crafting Christmas things: cards, ornaments, ice candles, wax candles, cookies, etc.
Yes, yes, crafting is a part of my life outside the holiday, but holiday crafting is different. (more…)
Wednesday, October 7th, 2015
Stitchy guilt: noun, a feeling of responsibility, remorse, or shame for the crime of embroidering something beautiful then relegating it to a closet or drawer where it cannot shine its light or sing its song, and where no one ever sees it.
Tsk, tsk, tsk.
Would you plant a seed and then put it in a sunless closet and not water it?
Well, would you?
Denim-covered mat for framing embroidery.
You’re Not Alone
Okay. Relax. You’re not alone. Believe me, this boat you’re in is ginormous but still in danger of sinking from too many passengers. And did I mention that I’m the captain?
Stitchy guilt can strike anytime, like when the baby turns six and still doesn’t have the sampler we started six-and-a-half years ago. Perhaps the guilt hits hardest when we want to buy materials for a new project. How can we justify more stash when the project, if it gets stitched, is not likely to get finished into the end product we have in mind? Holy-hemstitch, what if we have no end product in mind?!
Enough is enough! We know that the act of stitching is a joyful, healthy thing. It’s crazy to ruin that with shame because we are afraid to take the last step. It’s time to put an end to stitchy guilt. It’s time to finish our embroideries!
DIY Framing: Lacing embroidery to backing material.
Ending the Guilt
Sounds great, no?
“But how?” you ask. “Professional framing is expensive. My local shop doesn’t offer professional finishing, and I don’t know where to send it. Isn’t that expensive, too?”
What do you say we finish our embroideries ourselves?
“I don’t know how,” you say.
I will show you.
You’re speechless, but I sense hesitation, maybe doubt.
Hemstitching and mitered corners, two of my favorite things!
D-I-Y Embroidery Finishing Classes
Whether you want to frame your embroidery; piece it with other fabrics for a quilt, tote, or something else; make it up into a pillow; or hem the edges so it stands alone, I can show you how. I’ve done them all, numerous times. I love finishing! Really!
With your embroidery skills, basic sewing skills, and a little ingenuity, you can finish your embroidery yourself and get beautiful results. You can purchase special materials for a custom look, score finds at the thrift store, or upcycle gems from the basement: Any way you choose to go, you’ll infuse the entire project with your unique style. You’ll feel great sharing your embroidery when it’s beautifully finished and the stitchy guilt melts away.
“The hardest part was just deciding to do it.” ~ Ruth H.
If you want to do it, I assure you, you can. And I can show you how.
PillowPalooza: Diamond tuckable pillow in want of embroidery.
Goodbye, Stitchy Guilt
Last year, I decided to kick stitchy guilt to the curb. I dug out embroideries I’d stitched in the 1980s and 90s. I framed one, made a couple of pillows and a wall hanging. It was so much fun, that I’ve decided I should re-finish some of the early Funk & Weber models.
It’s not easy being a
super stitchy model. Ours have traveled thousands of miles in planes and cars, been packed and unpacked countless times. They’ve had glass put in the frame and taken out, over and over. They’ve been shipped through the mail, displayed in shops and shows, and packed away in a trunk. Some of the frames are looking tired. What if . . . !
It’s true: I had so much fun finishing ancient embroideries that I’m looking for more things to finish, re-finishing already finished pieces.
What do you say? Are you ready to kick your stitchy guilt to the curb?
Piecing multiple embroideries. No angles were measured in making this.
Join Me For a Finishing Adventure
Four finishing classes are now self-serve. Work through them whenever you want at any pace you want. Choose between the following:
- D-I-Y Framing
Or snag all four! Check out the Classes page for further info, and end stitchy guilt for good.
Sunday, September 27th, 2015
The first Stitch In Alaska Tour is on the books and under our belts, a less-than-two-month-old memory. Looking back, I have but one thing to say about it: Can we do it again?!
Because rafting is all about fashion and looking good . . .
After meeting in Anchorage and getting acquainted at Kenai Riverside Lodge in Cooper Landing, Day 2 began with a fashion show*. And rafting.
Bon voyage! Rafting the Kenai River.
It’s about fifteen miles down the glacier-green Kenai River and another five miles across Skilak Lake to Kenai Backcountry Lodge. Harriet’s keen eye (That’s how you pronounce “Kenai.” See what I did there?) spotted lots of bald eagles.
The Feral Stitchers on the porch of Kenai Backcountry Lodge. Stitch In Alaska, 2015. Becky, Cathy, Ruth, Harriet, Paula, Torstein, Jen
Kenai Backcountry Lodge is the smallest and most rustic and remote of the three lodges. A tiny stream provides hydroelectric power.
Skilak sunset. Sigh.
After a long day on the water and a good meal, we were treated to a gorgeous sunset—and a bear with two cubs on the beach. The bear pics aren’t great: It was getting dark.
Beach lunch at Skilak Lake.
On Day 3, we toured Skilak Lake, enjoying short walks, stitching on the boat, treasure hunting, and a picnic lunch on the beach.
Make jazz hands, everyone! But . . . wait . . . you didn’t make jazz hands. Skilak Glacier in the distance.
Day 4: We returned to Kenai Riverside Lodge where half of us relaxed and stitched (the top halves, you know, the parts with hands) while the other half hiked to Russian River Falls (the bottom halves, the parts with feet). (You know I’m joking, right? This is not a zombie tour.)
Go-go-go, little red salmon! Russian River Falls.
Red salmon congregate below the falls, rest, and then leap and swim up the falls to the lakes beyond where they spawn before dying. It’s like watching athletes: You really are pulling for them and cheering them on.
Humpback whale breaching
Day 5: We toured Kenai Fjords National Park as we cruised to Glacier Lodge. What a humpback whale show!
Strolling to the beach after a morning of stitching.
Day 6: Some of us enjoyed stitching by the lagoon and a walk to the outer beach.
Now, that’s a fat black bear!
Some of us canoed in a nearby lake where black bears feasted on spawning salmon.
Becky, after her kayak trip. Nice skirt!
And some of us went kayaking in Aialik Bay.
Mom and pup sea otter.
Sea otters can be spied in both the bay and the lagoon.
What a day, eh? Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge.
Day 7: It was such a gorgeous day, we decided to climb the ridge behind the lodge for a 360-degree view of the surrounding area: Aialik Bay, Aialik Glacier, Pedersen Lagoon, Pedersen Glacier, Addison Lake.
Honestly, it’s just a hike, folks. Right, Cathy?
The trail isn’t long and it doesn’t gain a ton of elevation, but it is a little tricky in spots. That’s what ropes and friends are for!
Now, what about the stitching? Isn’t this Stitch In Alaska? Why, yes, yes it is! Stay tuned. Because, really, isn’t this post long enough already?
Would you like to come on the next Stitch In Alaska tour? Drop me a line, and I’ll put you on the special mailing list. If that link doesn’t work for you, send a note to mail [AT] funkandweber [DOT] com.
Thursday, July 9th, 2015
P.S. (That stands for prescript instead of postscript in this case): There’s a contest with a prize at the end of this post.
Christmas In July Blog Hop
If you Hopped here, welcome! If you’re a regular, or if you got here by any other means, welcome to you, too!
Is your Inbox brimming with Christmas In July sales and events? Mine is.
If yours isn’t, maybe I can help: Creative Christmas Bundle is on sale again—ever so briefly—this weekend. You might remember it from last November.
As much as I prefer to shun trends and bandwagons like Christmas In July (“everybody’s doing it” is, for me, a strong reason to not do it), I can’t deny that now might be a good time to give a thought to the holiday that looms just five months away, especially if you hope to have a handmade holiday.
To help you get started, if you haven’t already, you should check out the July–December “Get It All Done” Holiday Checklist. I think it’s billiant—and I am in no way responsible for its existence. It includes a month-by-month checklist of things we can do to knock out the fun, crafty things we always want to do but rarely find the time to do once November and December roll around.
In addition to being a great reminder tool, the checklist has some great ideas, like picking up stocking stuffers during school-supply sales in August and September and making gifts from garden and farmer’s market goodies that are available now.
And then it’s time to get started stitching and crafting. Stitching, especially, because stitching is slow work.
If you’re new to stitching on dark fabrics, or if you’re new to stitching on linen or other evenweave fabrics, or if you’re a scrapper who’s new to embroidery altogether, don’t sweat it! I’ve put together some resources to get you going on the two cross stitch pieces included in the Bundle.
Christmas In July Stitching Resources
Brand new to cross stitching?
A great place to start is our How to Cross Stitch video.
If you aren’t sure how to read the pattern chart, check out How to Read a Cross Stitch Pattern.
Never stitched on linen or another evenweave?
Well, for starters, you can stitch these patterns on Aida or needlepoint canvas.
Or check out our tutorial on Stitching Over Two Threads.
If I lost you at “Aida,” or “canvas,” or “evenweave,” take a peek at Embroidery Fabrics 101 and Embroidery Fabrics 102.
Never stitched on dark fabric?
There are definitely some ways to make it easier. Take a look at How to Stitch on Dark Fabrics.
Never made a French Knot?
I happen to love them. Here’s how I make French knots.
Not sure how to handle isolated stitches?
Yeah, those can be tricky, but I can help; I’ve experimented with different solutions, including a fairly nutty one. Check out our Isolated Stitches tutorial, which is just after the French knot tutorial.
Now you frame the things or sew them into a tote or on a jacket. Very soon, we’ll have a DIY Framing class available.
And then you take a photo and scrap that photo of your gorgeous embroidery into your holiday card!
Psst, experienced stitchers! That is the part for you. Up there. That link. Click it. This bundle is full of paper crafting, digital scrapbooking, and non-needleworky things, but they can work well with embroidery, and it might be a fun way to expand your crafty horizons.
If you have any questions about the patterns or stitching them, I’m here to help. Give me a shout at mail AT funkandweber DOT com.
As before, Lisa, the ringmaster of this Christmas In July Bundle circus, is giving away a Bundle to a random Blog Hop commenter. Check out what’s in this Bundle, and then leave a comment here about what class or project you’re eager to dive into first.
Visit the other posts on the Hop and leave comments on them for more chances to win.
SB Bundles Blog – Blog Hop Time!
Melissa Shanhun – Your December Solution
Cara Vincens – Send those Christmas cards this year
Alison Day – Pocket Page December Daily
Lisa Harris – The Christmas in July Bundle Blog Hop
Beth Soler – Get those photos scrapped quickly and easily from your iPhone