Thursday, January 29, 2015

Embroidery Work in Progress

Stats :

Fabric : cotton poly ( this is a practice piece )
Thread : dmc cotton
Technique : crewel stem stitch and satin stitch.  Though I used a lot of Japanese silk embroidery patterns and rules.
Size : 2 in x 6 in

So it came out pretty well for my first attempt at this pattern.  I learned a lot and that's what really matters.  I have a few more details to put in, some stamens for the flowers and maybe a petal or two more but there isn't much room for more than that.  I used a lot of motifs from japanese embroidery and followed silk embroidery rules for the butterfly and cherry blossoms.  You can just BARELY see the grey lines that are my pattern.  Most of it rubbed off, and I have been informed that a friction pen, with ink that will iron out, is what I require for transferring patterns.  I will eventually cut this out and try to make a bookmark out of it as best i can.  Then I will order some vinyl sleeves and tassels. 
The next time I attempt this piece it will probably be on some brown linen.  Or maybe I will just dye what I have with some coffee grounds. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


So I am being kinda brave here.  I know I have a lot of mistakes in this piece, but I have been working this intermediary level, all satin stitch embroidery.  Mainly to practice stitching angles, different winding directions, and just plan flat and even satin stitch.  It took 2 months to finish the first two blossoms, and then I had to put it down for a while when orders and work got heavy for the shop.  Unfortunately this is only the first of 2 pillowcases, lol.

But I truly feel I have learned enough about satin stitch to start something more like silk shading.  I also picked up a few new books, (lol, yes, I have quite a library), that covers different stitch techniques for decorative borders and such. I think I am going to start experimenting with furoshiki, or just panels or calligraphy.

So as I run off on vacation this weekend I will still be bringing my embroidery with me, and a sketchbook.  One is for practice, one is for making plans for new product designs.  I might even manage a new ornament or two over the next few weeks.  But I am running low on the foam bases so I won't be as eager until I can sell a few more of those.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

New Listings!!

I took a lot of time this weekend to go through the backlog of pieces I had that needed to be photographed, a few I added that needed fixing, and a few more that just needed a few steps for completion.  None of the kanzashi I posted were actually made this year.  Also I had a backlog of 6 ornaments to be included in the shoot at well.  So it was a long shoot. 

Then I sat and watermarked each photograph and listed every piece all in the same night.  I managed to update deviantART today but only with ornaments.  Still working on the kanzashi side. 

I am almost finished transitioning my space down to just one craft.  I have been hand-stitching embroidery again, the same pillowcases I was working on for several months before I put it down to begin the Christmas season, last July.  But now that the kanzashi is cleaned up, I can finally make room for some different crafts.  I still have a few more foam balls left in supply, about 5 - 6, and then I will put the quits on that until I make some sales.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Ornaments and Updates

So the new name has begun, I have not changed all the URL's yet but it is coming.  I still need to change my business forms and taxes, so I probably won't change the URLs until then.

Honestly I hate the new color.  I have finally decided it needs fixing, but when I will get around to it is another question. 

I have several balls to post, the two on the bottom being complete, the two on the top picture I was playing with color and patterns.  Sometimes the best way to learn is to just do a new pattern.  I want to be ambitious and try a spiral pattern, but I have a ton of inventory to catch up with first. 

I am going to the Motchisuki celebration they are holding here in Dallas. I am pretty excited, I went once before, but it was several years ago and my children were still babies.  This should be an interesting experience for them.  I wish I could dress in kimono, but I honestly have to lose some weight first.  I have 2 kimono now, but I am so big around the middle I don't quite fit.  Not like obese, just bigger than a japanese woman, lol. 

As part of my medical treatment I have to exercise regularly.  As if chasing a sensory processing disorder autistic child around wasn't enough.  So I am sill keeping custom orders down, until I can lose some weight and hopefully get my health back in order. 

I am going to try and wrap up some of the kanzashi I have outstanding on my desk collecting dust.  Like wisteria. I also have a box of pieces that need fixing, and I might work on those too.  But I need a back up plan becasue I am going to run out of foam balls for ornaments soon.  And I am down to my last box of pins.

That did not stop me from going to the fabric store today and stocking up on a new brocade, and some gold highlight fabric. Coupons! Woohoo!! So after I finish the pink ball I am working, I will start the new green brocade I just picked up and already cut tonight.  Then I will spend some wrapping and doing a photoshoot for all 6 I will have at that point. 

Saturday, January 10, 2015

New new new

I have a new name. I have some new graphics. But I am still not satisfied yet. I still may make changes. I realize now that I need to still include kanzashi in my cover photo at the least.  It makes up over half my inventory.  And i don't like the new color as much.  It's progressing though.  Meh.

New ornaments are up. As I went through them I realized the font of the watermark was off on the fonts.  So either I need a new watermark or to redo alot of work.

I have posted 6 of the new balls I made including the pink lady, which didn't get posted to Facebook.  all in all, alot of new stuff!

Monday, January 5, 2015


Ok I have a name.  I have over a thousand photos that need to be re-watermarked and filed.  I had to build a new watermark.  I have to build a new brand name and banners and such.

DeviantART has been changed to LilyAshes-Emporium.  I am changing the shop name and URL of the shop to reflect the new store name.  And OH the loops and red tape I am jumping through to change the store name on my tax forms. 

I have until January 10.  Thats the big re-opening.  I will probably take down all the kanzashi for a while until I can get the pictures fixed. 


Saturday, January 3, 2015

Ornaments Galore

I have been going ornament crazy.  That's a total of 6 in 2 days, some of them are already trimmed and waiting to be photographed.  The rest I am off to the store to buy more trim, before I can finish wrapping them up to be photographed as well.  I even have another I have not finished yet.  She will just have to be a surprise. 

So that's 7 new ornaments in a week? Its tough to pump out this much inventory all at once, my fingers are a testament to that.  I have developed deep calluses on two of my fingers from setting in the pins.  But that really just means I can work longer periods without having to stop.

Hope everyone is having a great start to their new year!