Just like last year, I wanted to be sure I did a little stitching on my summer vacation.

First, I wanted to try to figure out how Hedebo embroidery might work.

Trying to figure out this Hedebo stuff.

I still don’t have my switching to a new thread technique down. I don’t think I’ll be doing a bunch of this type of embroidery, but every once in a while, I think it’d be fun.

More Hedebo practice. So much stitching this vacation. ??

I also did a few little unplanned pieces.

Vacation stitching number 1 finished.

Vacation stitching number 2

This first week back to regular schedule has been a little bit rough. I’m hoping to be able to get in some stitching time this weekend. (Or else I might go a little bit crazy!)

A little pop of blue. (PS I love working with these vintage threads) #wip #embroidery

While I haven’t had the time to dive into Hedebo just yet — I’m still adjusting to the kids’ new summer schedule, and work is particularly busy — I have made a little time to sit down with some paper and thread and play. I’m working on another improvised little patchwork piece. This one is four little squares, arranged with raw ends towards the middle. So far, I have just added a little fern stitch here and there to hold the pages together. This time trying to venture out of my usual one-color palette with a little pop of blue.

The ever lovely Bridgeen of Cherry and Cinnamon invited me to participate in the blog hop that’s been going around. See her post here. So here’s a look at what I am working on and a bit about how I work.

What am I working on?

Hedebo
Honestly, I’m working on figuring out what I want to work on next. I’ve been thinking about doing some simple Hedebo embroidery (pictured above) in combination with a moth wing. I’m still contemplating how exactly it will work.

Burlap side 2 progress
While I ponder away on that, I’ve picked up the burlap sack again and started on a snake and some apples. Plus, I’m stitching up some baby presents for a few friends. Keeping my hands busy while my brain works on another problem works well for me.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I like to think that my work has a certain something to it that makes it special. I’m always drawn to little things in a book that make it unique — typography, illustrations, water damage, embossed pages. I love a sense of story in a piece. Sometimes that comes from a photo that I’m working with, and sometimes it comes from the narrative that a book tells itself. I am certainly not the only person who uses embroidery and paper together, but I think my work has its own definite look about it.

Why do I create what I do?

I love the satisfaction of creating something out of an about to be discarded item. And I love the sound that thread makes going through paper. Embroidery also lets me slow things down. Having a job and two kids means sometimes things get a bit hectic.

How does my creating process work?

In large part, I start with a page and then figure out what to put on it. I keep lists of topics that interest me, and of possible images that might go together well, but I try to just let the embroidery take form as I go along.

in the weeds

I’ve been trying to keep things looser lately. The first burlap side came together casually, and my last few paper pieces have been more improvisational. I am starting to really enjoy working without a very specific plan. Over-thinking can be such a barrier for me.

For next week…

Keeley keeps a blog called Stitch and Color where she shares her embroidery and illustration creations (I’m particularly charmed by her watercolors). You can also find her on Flickr and Instagram.

And so many other awesome folks have already written a post for this “hop”, I encourage you to check them all out. The aforementioned Bridgeen, Sol, Rebecca, Julie, Carina…And in the non-embroidery world: Chiaki, Roybn, Katie, Kim, and Rachael (and so many others…).

pansy

I am now calling this piece finished.

pansy detail

I actually stitched a bit more and ended up not liking it at all. It is a hazard of working without a real plan and on paper (that is by nature not forgiving to mistakes). But after I took out the section directly above the flower, I didn’t even mind having the holes there. I don’t mind them. And they aren’t distracting. In fact, I wonder if you even noticed them in the photo without me pointing them out.

Pressed flower, paper and embroidery. Work in progress.

This Memorial Day weekend, we don’t have any big plans. We had some family to visit yesterday afternoon but, that’s it. No parties, no softball games, no running the kids around. Nothing but free time. It took me a little bit to work up the nerve — this flower was inside this Hungarian cookbook (and on this page, even). Once I stuck it down (I use these scrapbooking adhesive squares) I just sucked it up and went for it. It’s very much not close to done, but I’m happy with how it’s going so far, particularly the bits around and over the flower.

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