18 April, 2012

Embroidery, &Stitches and more

2012-04-18T07:43:26-05:00Book Reports, Embroidery, Tutorials|1 Comment

The latest issue of &Stitches zine is available and I am a contributor! This issue is all about books: embroidery books themselves, book themed patterns, fun contributors (like Aimee Ray and Cate Anevski) and a couple of tutorials for some really neat stitches (Turkey stitch).  It’s a fantastic issue once again.

My project & article is all about teaching embroidery to kids.  I picked one of my favorite projects, “Poetry Pockets” that we have done with several groups of 1st and 2nd graders at the Textile Center and gave some tips for ways to teach embroidery to kids, like picking the right needle and thread.

Threading needles is always the biggest hurdle in teaching kids (or adults) to embroider, so I have a bonus tip for you, which I always show in my beginning embroidery classes: Making your Own Needle Threader.

You can get “needle threaders”, which look like a little bit of metal with a wire loop on the end.  You pass the loop through the eye of the needle, put the thread through the wire loop and them pull it back so the thread goes through the eye.  Great idea, but […]

20 February, 2012

Book Review: Write, Publish & Sell Your Crafty Ebook

2012-02-20T16:13:13-06:00Book Reports, Classes & Teaching, Everything Else|Comments Off on Book Review: Write, Publish & Sell Your Crafty Ebook

A while back, I took a class about writing crafty e-books from the lovely Diane Gilleland at craftypod.com.  She decided to take all of the information (and more) from the class and turn it into a book.  So, it’s literally an e-book about writing crafty e-books.

What’s an e-book, you say?  In this case it is a .pdf file that makes an 84 page book, with photos and links and more.  Since I had taken the class and chatted with Diane a few times about other geeky things, she asked if I would review the book.  Absolutely!


So, I really liked the e-book publishing class, but I think the book, Write, Publish & Sell Your Crafty E-Book, is even better. The book format appeals more to me because it is so self directed.  I can read, highlight and make notes on the .pdf and have Google open in another window to check things out. I can print it out if I want to.  I can skip ahead or back when I feel like it.  It was also great to see concepts in practice […]

10 February, 2012

Book Review & Give Away: Knit Your Own Cat

2012-02-15T22:33:03-06:00Book Reports, Knitting & Ravelry|10 Comments

The title just makes you smile, doesn’t it?  The lovely people at Black Dog & Leventhal publishers asked me if I would be interested in reviewing the brand new “Knit Your Own Cat” book.  Who can resist a request like that, when it makes you smile?

I have to say first that I love cats, but I wouldn’t consider myself a cat person.  These cats are pretty charming.  The book has 16 different cats – sleeping, sitting, prowling and standing.  There are complete instructions for each one, a small techniques section in the back of the book and several photos of each finished cat.

I decided that the best way to get to know the book was to knit a kitty myself.  I picked the “British Shorthair Curled Up” on page 53.  This was actually my Superbowl knitting project and the girls at the party agreed that the curled up sleepy kitties were the cutest ones.

I didn’t have exactly the yarn called for, but I did have a similar worsted (Patons Classic Wool) in a variegated grey.  I couldn’t find my size 2 needles so I used size 3’s instead.  Other than that […]

18 January, 2012

Review: &Stitches

2012-01-18T22:35:04-06:00Book Reports|Comments Off on Review: &Stitches

I just learned about a new e-zine all about embroidery that launched just in the last week or so.  It’s called &Stitches.  I am not really up on all of the embroidery blogs (I am not sure why not!), so I am glad I heard about this!

The blurb on the &Stitches website says:

This issue (the first one!) is all about colour! How to find colour inspiration for your stitchy projects, a bit of colour theory and of course we have patterns too. One pattern is by our guest contributor and first interview-ee, Corinne McHie of SeptemberHouse.

We also asked a few other stitchers where they find their colour inspiration and we also manged to fit in a couple of book reviews.

&Stitches is written by Carina Envoldsen-Harris (Polka & Bloom) and Nicole Vos van Avezathe (Follow the White Bunny), both avid stitchers and embroidery pattern designers.

I was intrigued and so I bought a copy.  (You download it as a .pdf.  Super handy. )

The verdict:  It is beautiful!  The color theory article is worth the price alone.  I know color theory pretty well, but trying to explain to other people is sometimes a […]

15 December, 2011

Fabric by Fabric Review – Part Two

2011-12-15T10:23:20-06:00Book Reports, Everything Else, Sewing & Design|1 Comment

I am participating in a blog tour of the book Fabric by Fabric One Yard Wonders. I talked about my projects a few days ago, now it is time to talk about some of my favorite projects in the book.

This book is divided by kind of fabric, so there is a section for flannel, wool, home dec etc. So I want to go through fabric by fabric.

Lightweight Cottons

Must make this Cap Sleeve Bolero (p 28, Rebecca Yaker). Saw it in person at the book launch party and it is adorable. I have a very lightweight piece of honey colored wool that I think would be gorgeous.

Quilting Weight Cottons


This one is actually my husband’s pick. He went with me to the book launch party, saw this and said “Wow, could you make me a garment bag for my tuxedo?” He is a musician, so he wears the tux a lot. Done. It is on my list. (page 78, Lisa Cox)

Home Dec Fabrics


I think the Fold Over Bag is pretty charming. I teach summer camps […]

22 November, 2011

Farewell Dragonlady.

2011-11-22T17:39:41-06:00Book Reports|4 Comments

My very favorite author, Anne McCaffrey, passed away yesterday.  I am so sad that I won’t have any more new books to look forward to.  I am sad for her family; she seemed like a pretty delightful lady and I am sure she will be missed.

I have probably read every one of Anne’s books at least 3 times and some of  them many more.  I am a pretty voracious reader and I usually have more than 1 book going at any given time.  I often read favorite books over and over. When you read that much, many of them blend together, but sometimes a moment with a book sticks with you.  I still know exactly where the Anne McCaffrey books were in the Rapid City Public Library (young adult section, second shelf from the bottom, right hand side).  I actually remember discovering one of them for the first time, a vivid mental snapshot of the cover; it was love at first sight.  I was ten?  I remember snuffling with a kleenex through the end of “Moreta” (several times).  I can’t describe why I love […]

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