Sep 052014

After months of living in a cigar box with my embroidery supplies, and with a little help from the mini iron I mentioned last time, this embroidered hedgehog is ready for a new life on display!


I finished stitching the hedgehog over a year ago, but the right frame eluded me. A trip to one of the frame vendors at Brooklyn Flea in Fort Greene earlier this summer turned out this teal frame, and I’m so pleased with how it coordinates with the fabric and stitching.

The hedgehog design is by Sublime Stitching from the Forest Friends pattern pack, and the plaid fabric is from one of Charles’ old shirts.

Framing process. I used the glass from the frame itself as a template to position the design. Then I traced around the hedgehog with tailor’s chalk, marked a 1″ border all the way around the square, and cut the fabric with a rotary cutter. To make the backing, I cut a piece of foamcore the same size as the glass using an X-Acto knife. I stretched the fabric around the foamcore, and pinned it into place with flat-head dressmakers pins. (These pins were unreasonably difficult to find locally – probably because I didn’t feel like making a special trip to the garment district with nothing else on my shopping list – and I ended up ordering them online.)

Then I folded the edges over the back neatly (channeling my gift-wrapping skills) and taped them down. I felt a little squeamish about using tape on the raw edges rather than something cleaner or more fancy, like lacing the edges together with thread. But honestly, getting the project DONE was way more important to me than making the back pretty this time around.

Thank you, crafting, for providing yet another opportunity to practice letting go of my perfectionist tendencies. So, releasing the last, tiniest sprinkle of my residual shame, here’s some tape!

It feels so satisfying to have this project framed and ready to go on the gallery wall!


Aug 312014

My craft desk the weekend after getting back from vacation

Earlier this summer I manned the embroidery table at Brooklyn Craft Company’s summer craft extravaganza. I enjoyed teaching folks how to embroider (many were learning it for the first time – so rewarding to introduce people to a new craft!) and seeing how creative people got with their pieces. Check out some of the photos on Instagram: little bunny poopoo, the embroidery table, a pair of heartbroken kitties (they live together but alas, don’t get along), and a hamburger.

At the end of the night, there was a drawing for several raffle prizes – and I won the grand prize! The package included tons of sewing goodies, like this mini iron. Aww, so cute.


Admittedly, at first I thought this would be a gadget I’d hold onto for a while but never use. Turns out it’s great for ironing all the little crevices of fabric in an embroidered design without pressing your stitches. Do you spot a little stitched face peeking out from behind the iron? More to come on this project soon.

Another gadget I’ve had collecting dust in our apartment is this spiralizer. I got it months ago (um, over the winter holidays? <blush>) so I could make zucchini noodles, and never got around to actually using it. Inspiration finally struck when I was organizing another picnic with friends at the Botanic Garden. I broke out the raw foods cookbooks for “live spaghetti” recipes. Spiralizing vegetables feels pleasantly ridiculous, and so satisfying!


I marinated the noodles in a sauce made with fresh tomatoes, sundried tomatoes, garlic, basil, oil, Bragg’s, and a little nutritional yeast blended in the food processor – delicious. I added sliced black olives and basil to the dish and let it marinate overnight. Apparently that was WAY too much sauce for the 4 zucchinis I spiralized, and so I made gazpacho out of the leftovers. It feels great to soak up the last of these summery foods before the evening chill we’ve had this past week starts seeping into daytime.

Do you have any weird crafty gadgets you’re not sure what to do with? Or that you finally got around to using?