she's a threadhead

FRESH IDEAS

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I’ve been exploring some new patterns in my sketchbook. They’ve started out as paintings, but I’m well aware that they will soon emerge as textile forms.

Hope you have a great weekend!


FIRST HALF FINISHED

A long time ago, before I moved into my new apartment, I was happy to finish the first half of this pillow for my friend Andrew. It’s been a work-in-progress for YEARS and I’m really glad that I now get to shove it back into the stashbin until I get around to starting the second half.

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I still do not feel super comfortable with the misogynistic overtones of this piece, but it was a requested quote and I no longer have to bring it out in public – so there ya go!


LAST LINKS OF SUMMER

Although douglust.com has been on haitus, I still managed to pull together a few threadhead delights for the end of summer.

I’m really glad to be out in the working world, but I’m still sort of pissed off that my guidance counsellors never told me that I could get a degree in stitchin’, so, I feel very lucky to have stumbled upon this insightful look into the Royal School of Needlework. It’s a little outdated, but nice for those of us on the wrong side of the pond.

While I was working in the working world this summer, I was very lucky to receive the opportunity to view the ¡Viva México! Clothing and Culture exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum. I took my kiddos there one rainy day, and it was the highlight of our trip. I personally appreciated the samples of beautiful 18th century embroidery and they were enthralled with the videos demonstrating the use of cochineal in dye processes. If you’re also on the wrong side of the pond, and close to Toronto before May 2016 – you should certainly make an effort to go and see it. The exhibition is included in the cost of visiting the Museum & on Tuesdays it’s free for Canadian post-secondary students.

Before I started working like crazy, I had a couple days to myself. I seized the opportunity to work on my commission, to hang out with a cute boy, and to visit the Textile Museum of Canada and see the exhibit Artist Textiles: Picasso to Warhol. It was pretty cool seeing some of Andy’s fabric prints in person, I enjoyed finding out about underappreciated female textile designers that fleshed out this historic time in the art world, such as the Folly Cove Designers and Zandra Rhodes. This exhibit is very inspiring, and I hope to go back with my sketchbook to capture some of the magic, as photography is forbidden. Although I’m not sure if that will happen as it closes the 4th of October!

If you’re not in London or Toronto, you can still avoid getting a cramps from winding all those bobbins by trying this new method of wrapping string around plastic cards. I would give it a shot, but… I don’t own a drill?

Have a great weekend!


FOR LUMYHNA

Thank you for all of the love & support over the past few months.
It is with great pleasure that I bring this stitchy site back to life.

Hurrah! 

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The greatest thing that has happened in my 20’s is the birth of my goddaughter Lumyhna. Her Mama, Bethany, is one of my oldest friends. Thanks to the summer shuffle, the three of us now share a home and before my world turned topsy-turvy, I finished this birth chart for Lulu.

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I designed the pattern myself, in MacStitch, and utilized vintage books that are legally shared online.

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Beth has an ethereal love of mystical creatures, which I am sure she will pass onto her daughter. So, I included blackwork-style pegai, fairies and dragons to break up the information.

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I’ve always had a thing for horoscopes as well as the rhymes and trinkets associated with one’s birthday. This way Lulu will have all of her information in one pretty place as she gets older.

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For this project I used 14 count Aida fabric and DMC floss from my stash. The colour of the thread varies slightly after Lumyhna’s name – I don’t know if you can tell in the pictures – this is because I am using up all my “unknown” threads before I buy more.

This piece is the first that I’ve finished as a scroll (or “bellpull”), and I truly love how it turned out! I followed this tutorial by reddit user /u/geekitty and fully recommend you do the same. I purchased the dowel at the hardware store for $.99, and painted it white to match the stitches. Protip: Hold onto the dowel using clothespins while painting, this keeps them from rolling away and allows the paint to dry evenly.

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If you’re interested in commissioning a birth chart for your own baby or a friend’s, shoot me an email and I’ll get back to you ASAP. My rate per birth chart is $75 CAD (plus shipping, but if you live in Toronto I’ll hand deliver it for free. Ha.) and they take 4 – 6 weeks to complete.

What do you think of this baby birth chart? Have you made a sampler for a little loved one?


HIATUS

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I’m sure dedicated followers of douglust have caught on that my offline life has become a bit chaotic. At the moment, I’m homeless, and working less hours than I expected. Don’t be alarmed, all of my stuff is safely in storage and I will be crashing with friends until I get into my new place later this month.

Due to the fact that my creative supplies are in boxes in my friend’s warehouse, I am unable to keep up-to-date with douglust.com. I promise to use this downtime to focus on my commission, and anyone who is seriously upset by this news can follow me on Instagram. Other than that, I’ll see you on the other side of this adventure, with plenty of stitchy stories to share!


STUFFIE

A few weeks ago I posted about the need to be spontaneous, while still being a productive crafter who accomplishes goals. Last week, I was able to squeeze in a small spontaneous project. I am so glad that I did!

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Since being a threadhead does not pay the bills, I spend my days with a variety of young children. My time is filled with afternoons in the sunshine, lots of jokes that don’t make sense and there’s a high volume of adorable drawings, which are always inspiring.

After seeing one of my kiddo’s pictures of a unicorn. I knew that I could make her the perfect birthday present in just a few days.

Here’s the original drawing:
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Clearly this creature’s “party hat” is it’s unicorn’s horn.

My original plan involved hand embroidering the entire creature, however that proved to be a large task and I wanted to complete this project quickly. So, I chose to use fabric markers from my local art supply store.

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I was slightly disappointed because the colouring did not reflect the child’s original drawing precisely. I wish that I had experimented more with this new medium before I started the project. But, I was hurrying to get it done, and I’m looking forward to exploring fabric markers more in the future.

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Not wanting to dismiss my love of hand-stitching completely, I embroidered the pattern from the horn on the little creature’s head.

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This little fellow was made on a recycled dress shirt, a scrap from the one that I used to back Sarah’s pillow last year. The stuffing that I used was also scraps. I cut up a remnant of a t-shirt used in my rag-rug and and filled it up.

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It’s a strange feeling seeing something you’ve made in someone else’s home. But, I’ll totally adjust. When the little lady opened her gift she said, “Why would you think I might not like it? I LOVE it.”


WINNER

I’m sorry folks, this is going to be a very hurried post. I’m on my way to catch a train, and I haven’t even packed. Well, I have packed my embroidery supplies but I doubt they’ll keep me dressed for three days.

Earlier this week I took a few moments to find a winner to my 300 followers giveaway, and the answer is -> lucky #11!
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Which means…

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That’s right. Congratulations to thecraftyflea! A lovely blogger from Portugal. Thanks to your beautiful memory of your cat, Pinóquio you can now craft kitties in many different ways!

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Thanks to everyone who entered! Your cat names were all purrrfect.

What did you think of this giveaway? Do you think I should do more giveaways? Is it bad form to use thrifted craft books as giveaway prizes? Would anyone want some vintage cross stitch books? I have several I need to get rid of… Should I stop rambling and get ready for the train already?

Have a great weekend!