Project 011: A Little Angel

My coworker who commissioned the Sadie pup portrait had also asked me to create one for his niece's upcoming birthday. I didn't think anything could compete with Sadie's cuteness, but little Maddyn is right up there! I was thrilled to work on such a precious little cherub!

I'm still figuring out what my preferences are around number of thread strands and length of stitch. I could do this entire piece over again in a totally different way. But I think the two strands and short stitch work well for her chubby baby face. It almost gives her a cartoony look, which I'm okay with!

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Project 010: A Pair of Poodley Pups

Another friend of mine asked if I could work on a gift for her friend's birthday, and she sent me a photo of Kasey and Max. How chill do they look?? I knew the trick here would be working on a smaller scale. Instead of a full 5" circle, I had to work with a face the size of a half dollar, which limits the amount of detail I can use. But it was also a lot of fun to work on their relaxed poses!

I wasn't sure how I could replicate the curly hair of these pooches, but I decided to add a few french knots here and there, and I think it did the trick!

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Project 009: Little Sadie

When one of my coworkers approached me about doing a commission of his pup as a gift for his wife, I couldn't say no! Mainly because I met Sadie before and she is the CUTEST little thing I've ever seen! So the idea of staring at her adorable face for hours sounded good to me.

I was a little nervous about this one. All that choppy hair! It was quite different from the Cheeto portrait I did. I got off to a slow start. Then after a while, I realized that if I embroidered a base layer of thread and built the shading on top of that, it would be much easier than trying to map out all of the shading. 

I love this little face so much! It was almost hard to give up! 

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Project 008: Winston Churchill

My husband is an obsessive history nerd. He will hear one fact on Jeopardy and suddenly launch into a 27 book project. Right now, that project is WWII. And at a library sale, he ended up with the humongous 6 volume set of Winston Churchill's 6 volume series. So I wasn't surprised when he asked if I would tackle the Prime Minister as an embroidery project.

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I absolutely love this goldenrod fabric that I found at my local quilt shop. I felt like the grayscale threads would really pop. 

I got to the point where I was done with his face and I was so happy with it. The faces are always the best parts. Then I get to parts like the hat, which aren't quite as sexy, and I have to force myself to pick up the hoop and work on it. Sometimes I'm really excited to get home from work and pick up a needle. Other days (probably MOST days), I just want to sit on the couch and watch bad tv, and the idea of feeling motivated enough for a side project seems like a distant memory. 

When I'm done, I'm always happy that I took the time to work on something away from a computer or television or digital device. And my husband loved it so much that he hung it (okay, he asked me to hang it) in a prominent spot of our home! So I'd consider that a success!

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Project 007: Cuddle Puddle

I've been very reluctant to take commissions because I'm still so new to this craft. But a friend of mine asked if I would consider embroidering her sleeping fiancé with their two kitties, and it just seemed like a project I couldn't turn down! So I took my favorite reference photo and sketched it out.

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When I started, I really had no idea how I was going to approach it. Whether it would be more realistic or cartoony or minimal. I dove into the eyes of the cat and let it work itself out. 

Since it's only been two months, every project feels like entirely new territory. I get to try different things. Even overlapping the stitches in different ways feels like I'm learning a new process. 

I ended up spending 3.5 weeks on this piece because I was only able to complete little bits at a time. But I'm really proud of the way it turned out! When I look at it, it feels like a complete art project. Not just something I did to experiment. I can really see myself improving.

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I'm still a little wary of taking on commissions. Primarily because each piece is taking me anywhere from 7-14 hours, and I don't feel comfortable charging an adequate price for my actual time, but I also don't want to devalue the craft. But with some more practice and improved work, I figure it'll be no time before I'm the embroidery artist to the (very wealthy) stars! 😂

In the meantime, my (history nerd) husband asked me to embroider him a portrait of Winston Churchill, so that's next up. Stay tuned! 

Project 006: My Mother

I knew I wanted to try embroidering this photo of my mother. I believe it was her passport photo, taken before she came to America when she was 22 and pregnant with me. It's one of my favorites. Since it's a black and white photo, I wanted to try stitching it in different colors. Purple, her favorite. 

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Because I'm still new at this, I always start out pretty nervous. What if it looks nothing like her? What if I get bored half way through? And after a couple hours, the nerves didn't subside. I went over the eyes and mouth area so many times, overlaying different colors on top of others, trying to get it just right. 

But once I got through that, I was in a groove. The more I stitched, the more it looked like the vision I had in my head. 

And here's the finished piece! I love the blue highlights in her hair. And the random blue threads down the shadowed side of her face. I do wish I got a little more playful with the colors, but I can try that in my next project. 

Project 005: Self-Portrait II

I wanted to try out some shading techniques to see if I could blend skin tones. So I narcissistically used myself as a subject again. I'm really thrilled with how this one turned out! I always start a project and think to myself, "There is no way this is going to work." And lo and behold, about half way through, I'm like, "Huh, that does look like me!"

It's a little bit cartoony. I always make the eyes too big. But aside from that, I'm happy with it. And I think I want to continue down the path of doing portraits.

Before I jumped into this one, I started two different abstract pieces, but I got bored immediately and tossed the projects aside. I might as well stick with the projects that excite me!

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Project 004: Cheeto

Of course I had to embroider my dog, Cheeto. He's my muse, afterall. You can see the blue embroidery transfer pen outlining his head. I blocked out the different shapes of colors I thought I'd make, and then I got started on his nose and eyes first. From there I just worked my way outward.

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Here's the photo I used for reference, although really, his face always looks like that. 

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Project 003: Self-portrait

Took a crack at a self-portrait. It helps to have rainbow colored hair. I tried to use transfer paper and pencil for this one, but the transfer didn't show up so great, so I mainly freehanded it. I finished this one really quickly, which was nice because I have a short attention span. I tend to give up on larger projects if I can't see enough progress. 

Third embroidery project - self portrait. Had a lot of fun with this one! I bought some new fabrics to try next. ☺️•••#modernembroidery #embroidery #embroideryart #handembroidery #selfportrait #contemporaryembroidery.jpg

Project 002: Tiny Blue House

This little house was based on a doodle I did years ago. 

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I freehanded this because I was impatient and didn't feel like making a pattern. But that bush on the right of the house feels like a really tall pile of poop to me.

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