Pillows…pillows….pillows! I do love a pillow and there are so many quirky, funny, comfy, beautiful, interesting, handmade, machine-made, vibrant, pillows out there. To me they are the jewelry of a personally selected conservative monochromatic sofa. I once purchased a floral sofa and fought it constantly for 18 months. It was difficult to accessorize an otherwise cooky couch with even cookier pillows. Strangely, my sofa resembled a sect of the public I often see in the aisles of select box stores that just put on clothes with no care or quick check in the mirror to see if there is any relationship to any of the patterns involved in their attire. My sofa for 18 months irritated me. It was eventually chalked up to a poor decorating choice. Note to self: never buy a floral sofa
I cannot change my sofa every month….yet, I can change my pillows. Then comes the monetary exchange of purchasing a pillow. Upon perusing a variety of great jewelry for my sofa, it sometimes appalls me the cost. I know fabric, workmanship, creativity and doo-dads add up quickly, but geek louise….the cost of a pillow can rival a strand of Mikimoto pearls. Who would have thunk it?
Now….fast forward. I have a new grey sectional and I want some jewelry for it. My search begins and it was quickly stifled by my budget. I clearly was shopping like a Tiffany’s regular, when really I was a box store customer. Plus, the stingy/somewhat egomaniacal side of my shopping style can easily gaze upon said $150 throw pillow and declare in a millisecond ….”I can make that! It’s a sewn square for heaven’s sake”…thus, the loop of couch jewelry torment begins.
On one of my quad-annual trips to Southeastern Salvadge, I saw the makings for some great jewelry. These simple graphic pillow covers were only $8 each. Love. They quickly made it into my basket. Now…to make them mine in a creative way.
You all know my affection for quilts. Found these little quilt circles on Ebay…only $19.99 for 20. All made from vintage feed sack fabric. They would have made a beautiful quilt….but, now they have found a home on my pillows. They are loved just the same.
Affordable jewelry for my sofa. Eat your heart out floral sofa.
Rogue Needlearts…..two of my favorite words. As a self-proclaimed artist, and having approached most everything with a “rogue” mentality, it seems only natural to celebrate this same choice other creatives may have when trotting down the path of threading the needle! It thrills my soul to sit, thread the needle, grab some fabric and start stitching. Many times we can all get caught up in what the end result will be without enjoying the process. Thus, I felt there needed to be a place to feature and celebrate the individuals who share the same spirit.
The only criteria to this venture is that the art involve a needle…..any kind of needle or textile. When I say “art” I basically mean the form, not literally a piece of art. Utilitarian creations from needle ventures are our schtick too. The diversities of the tool make the possibilities endless. (i.e. crochet, knitting, needle punch , sewing needle, sewing machine, embroidery, needlepoint, loom) We are here to feature anything and everything about free form needle artistry. No rules…no form…no expectations…no determined end.
In honor of this process, I decided to create an Instagram and Facebook presence for Rogue Needlearts. Simply follow us, enjoy the sites and share us with the masses. And, if you have some rogue creative genius going on, let me know at: rogueneedlearts@gmail and we will share it to all of our friends. Just making sure creative people get to visually experience thread at its finest.
I love needlearts! I want you to do the same.
Sometimes the urge to create your own thing is inevitable. And, I mean from the beginning of the creative process. One of my personal goals has always been to create patterns. All of this goes back to years ago, being unable to be controlled. Yep, I have always been somewhat of a maverick type personality. I never wanted to work for someone else, play follow the leader, walk in a straight line with others, or follow a recipe. Even simple things like walking into a store and buying a pattern to create something, somehow gets all discombobulated in my head as “controlling”. I’m sure some shrink could have a field day with this mental hurdle. But, with this being a part of my personality, the only answer is to make your own patterns. I’ve been a freestyler for quite a while. Now it is time to get the ideas in a format that others might have fun with too!
It all started with using the “magic pen”. A pen that you can draw on fabric…make a boo boo and iron it away. My good friend and store owner of Chattanooga Quilts introduced me to the “magic pen”. I now consider it a staple for so many moments of creativity on fabric. Just draw and erase….just like a pencil.
Then it is just a matter of some simple stitching. Keep in mind I am starting small. This is only a 4″ hoop. Looks big….is small.
I’ve always thought the back is important to me too. Many stitchers feel the back should be just as neat as the front…..not me! Being creative is about imperfection just as much as it is perfection. I often boo boo…and just keep going….note the thread nests built on the back of these little houses.
Today was all about a skinny, legged girl. I went into my studio with complete plans to work on my #100dayproject of #100daysofstitchy….I did, but quickly went for my daily dose of stitching and needed a creative diversion. My sewing machine has been gathering dust and I needed to fire it up and exercise my free motion skills.
I love to use linen. There is a lot of linen canvas available in a drop cloth for $9.99, plus, it sews so easily and smooth! Just cut the size you need, a little sheet of stabilizer behind it and get to sewing! Organic creativity is my favorite…..just put the fabric in the machine and begin to sketch an image. The needle is your paint brush.
Once the machine stitching is complete….go ahead and get the needle, because hand stitching is the only way to make it special.
I grew up loving paper dolls. This is kind of my modern-day version of a stitched, handmade, paper doll (but it is cloth). I think long, skinny legs with knobby knees and stringy hair is the essence of who I was growing up and now has begun the flagship makings of my dolls.
My goal is to have a series of these little stitchy people……let’s see what happens!
There is nothing more appealing to me than the “hair-do’s”! I can only imagine the skill needed to coiffe some of this architectural beauty. And the flip side….I can only imagine the unbridled pain sleeping in some form of cylindrical doo-dad necessary to achieve some of this architectural beauty. Think about the amount of saliva required to spin this many curls. Nevertheless, these young lasses are some of my faves. The 40’s brought us a lovely era of school pictures. (which does not happen often)These photos also make me smile…plus, it is all about the stitchy word! Just a wee bit of advice to all….if you see these type photos in a junk/antique/thrift/yard sale take moment and give them a look. So fun to see a glimpse into a wonderful time. Enjoy the simple….
Do you ever feel like your head is about to explode? and I’m not talking about a headache….I’m talking about the many creative things you want to attempt, create, experience and see? So many opportunities are awaiting my “Just Do It” sensibilities! I often get asked why did you choose the colors you use? Color is what inspires me!
My love of the needle arts is out the roof! I love to embroider and the array of embroidery floss is outstanding! I remember back in my early crafting days….the days when you had about 12 colors to pick for most projects, and you were actually thrilled. I can now walk into my local craft supplier…find the DMC floss display and begin sucking all the air out of the room. The color choices are so varied and delicious I can’t hardly stand myself. Plus, the price is still affordable! As I stand there debating what to purchase my mind goes into overdrive debating what to select. I eventually walk away with a few acres of multi colored cotton bundles and I imagine all the cool things to create. Choices…..who knew there could be so many?
Choices also create the juices of stitchy flowing! I don’t have enough time to tap into what my brain wants to do. It sometimes can make you feel a little crazy. It sometimes makes your head feel like it is about to explode. How is it a vast array of wonderful, can make you feel so tortured? Choices also create adventure. There is nothing more rejuvenating than testing what is assumed to be normal. An apple doesn’t have to be red…..it can now be fuchsia or lavender or aqua. Choices.
My point to all this mindless rambling is to embrace choice. Test new things…tip toe into new colors….support the creative companies that stretch our imaginations and experience having your mind blown!
My antique booth at Knitting Mill in Chattanooga is brimming with new goodies! My bestie and I are joining forces to merge our little world of junking goodness into a 10×10 square of visual stimulation that is unrivaled.
My theory on booth items and merchandising are very simple. What appeals to me! That is it. I love to shop a booth that is full of whacky, kitschy, colorful, crazily filled with eclectic things, I like. If I would not have it at some point in my home….it probably will not be in my booth. Better yet, if you have ever visited my home….you might have seen some of this junk/collectibles/whackiness in it.
Cool stuff…..go give it a look!
*the clown portrait is not mine….creepy!
Paper Dolls…..make me swoon. Peter Pan collars with cuffs and pleats…..perfect. Simplicity can sometimes be the absolute best. As I sit and watch the Grammy’s my love for the music is almost outweighed by my love for the choice of clothing. A precursor to good music is the intro of the outfit…..and let me just say, some of these fashion choices are in dire need of a citation. ‘Too’….can come in many forms….and there are so many forms of ‘too’ going on I feel like I’m a ringmaster of a circus. Style…no doubt creates thoughts long before you hear anything….. I think I’ll close my eyes.
I for some unknown reason have stepped off into a new form of motherhood. Yes, I have a 20 year old daughter and an 8 month old daughter. The latter consisting of four legs and full on black fur. After years of having three Boston Terriers, we adopted the sweetest and cutest French Bulldog. My family took about a year off from pet ownership between Daisy and Rose. I felt we needed some space, and was actually very resistant to a new addition. I thought my terrible “twos” were over. But, as all who know me, just one look at a puppy and I can’t wait to be a surrogate mother again. Thus, the month of April the stork brought me the most precious little bundle of pure crazy town, Rose.
Now at 8 months in she is soundly driving us all crazy. If I say her name once a day, I say it 142 times a day. She can destroy anything, yet make us all gooey in the same two minutes. But, since I am the main caretaker she is with me a lot. While writing this post, she has turned over her water bowl (large puddle of water is currently in the floor of my dining room) and is now throwing it up in the air. Everything is a toy. Ahhhhhhhhhh! If it is on the floor it is going in her mouth. Constant fear of blocking her air way with some kind of sewing notion looms in my head all the time.
My daughter has now coined her the “oops baby”. At 52, I have this unruly, defies all discipline, obstinate, time-consuming, willful, blossoming flower….and I love her desperately. The point of all this purging ultimately brings me back to stitching. With all the chaos this little being brings into our lives…..it also makes the opposite happen to my stitching. When she is in the room, I oddly can focus in short quips of full on concentration. No pattern, no guide lines…just me, thread and some fabric. Even my speed of stitching has accelerated three-fold.
All of this is to teach us the value and beauty of getting in the zone of “full on focus”. It is so important to find that little, teeny tiny window of tunnel vision….why?…..it makes it possible to do great things. Go find you some…..