Wednesday, February 6, 2013

February News

A lot has happened since I last posted.  Due to the huge loss of the 50 movies and the printable lesson for the PE-Design NEXT/Palette 9 tutorial, the tutorial will not be produced.  I'm sorry to all of you whom have been waiting for it to be finalized.  This tutorial was started in January, 2012 and over 600 hours was put into it.  Everything was saved to an external hard drive, which failed miserably.  I also experienced quite a few problems with my laptop at the same time.  Because of the loss in time and data, I decided that I could not go back and start over from scratch.

The web site has been updated and all embroidery related pages have been removed.  I'll continue machine embroidery, but only to enhance personal clothing and home decor as well as gift items for family and friends.  I am no longer digitizing designs for sale because there is so much theft and sharing out there.  It's disheartening to spend hours, days and weeks perfecting collections of designs, only to have them shared in groups.  I'll still digitize designs to use for my own projects because I really enjoy the creative process.

After taking some needed time off following the mishap with the software tutorial, I have re-immersed myself into my gourd art.  I haven't carved on a couple of previously started gourds in several months and I really have missed that.  Hopefully I'll have some progress photos to share soon.

I also participated in an AGS Certified Judge's course hosted by the Florida Gourd Society recently.  Although I've been a judge at gourd events in the past (not promoted as AGS competitions),  I thought it was about time that I became certified.  As a member of both the Florida Gourd Society and American Gourd Society, I'm looking forward to getting involved with events and competitions, making new friends and helping to promote the incredibly satisfying world of gourd art.

I'm taking a class to increase my wood burning skills by learning how to create faux leather tooled designs on gourds.  This is something I've wanted to learn for a number of years, and now I have the chance.  I'll share some samples as soon as I have something I'm proud of showing!

Hopefully you're involved in learning either a new craft or technique to expand your artistic horizons!  Until my next post, I wish you well.


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

PE-DESIGN NEXT / Palette 9 Software Tutorial

The movies are coming along really well for the tutorial although I wish there were more quiet times for recording!  With summer in full gear, lawn mowers and other machinery are interrupting my recording sessions. 

In the meantime, a question came up in my Yahoo group yesterday about hole sewing.  Since there are so many new embroiderers out there using the PE-DESIGN NEXT or Palette 9 software, I decided to create a quick movie clip illustrating the processes for hole sewing and removing overlap.

I hope this movie clip will help you.
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Sunday, July 15, 2012

PE-Design NEXT/Palette 9 Tutorial

Greetings! I've been working every possible moment on the tutorial and am pleased to say things are moving along quite well. I'm currently working my way through recording (and editing) the movies for Layout & Editing. There are 53 movies just for this application alone. As soon as the movies are completed, there's just a matter of double checking that everything is together to put on the DVD's, create the DVD jacket sleeve and make the announcement! It was decided to divide the tutorial in half, so once the first part of the tutorial covering Layout & Editing, Programmable Stitch Creator and Font Creator is complete, I'll be starting on the printable lessons and movies for Design Center and Design Database. I'll keep you up to date on the progress and please know that I am really anxious to complete these as quickly as possible. Have a great week!

Friday, June 15, 2012

I'm back with new News!

Wow, how things change when you're not around! But, I've been busy, really :) I've been updating the web site and was really sad to realize I lost a lot of new pictures of baskets and gourds that were stored on an external hard drive. That will teach me not to back it up onto a DVD! In any event, there are some major changes that I thought I would share with you. First, I am no longer digitizing designs for sale to the embroidery community. There are so many designs out there, and lots of uninformed (or uncaring) people who are sharing designs wherever they can. I worked too hard (as many digitizers) on my designs to have them shared, so I've decided to stop selling my designs. I am hard at work on the PE-DESIGN NEXT / Palette 9 tutorial, which has taken longer than I originally anticipated. It's extremely comprehensive and thorough, which is more important than speed. So far, I've spent over 500 hours...and that's only the printable lessons. There will be dozens (and dozens) of audio-visual movies for each application, and digitizing lessons. I've also decided to limit the embroidered gifts and home decor items so that I can spend a lot more time on my gourd art and pine needle baskets and sculptures. I truly love this creative passion, that I've decided this is where I'll be putting all my efforts. I'm working on a new gourd, similar to one (but yet different) that was sold. It's one of the dozens of pictures that was lost. Below is the gourd in its early stages (along with me of course). I've also restarted a pine needle basket with a gorgeous agate center. Originally, I intended to coil something sculptural with this and an antler, but have decided to just let the basket take me where it wants to go. Hopefully, now that I've simplified my days (and weeks) with a leaner business, I can blog with you more often. Well, there's always hope :) Have a creative weekend!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Coffee Anyone?

Below is an image of the towels I made using 4 of the Funny Coffee Bean designs I've been working on. Notice the border fabric! I like making things that are different than what you can find in the stores or through other sources. I used a coffee themed fabric by Timeless Treasures in a really yummy shade of brown with darker brown coffee related terms printed all over it. It adds a punch to the really cute embroidery designs, don't you think?

The towels measure 26" long x 14" wide; the border measures the full width of the towel x 1-1/2" high. The towels are a wonderful, soft and thirsty cotton in an off-white.

These will be added to the web site tomorrow. If you are looking for something different for that coffee lover you know, why not give them something not only practical, but a gift that will provoke a smile!

Unfortunately, we are not able to accept any more orders for this holiday season. We're getting ready for the Christmas holidays ourselves. Our office will be closed officially on Wednesday, December 21, 2011 and will reopen on Tuesday, January 3, 2012.

As this will be our final blog for 2011, I'd like to extend our wishes to all of our customers and friends for a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah and a New Year filled with the very best of everything!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Christmas Placemats

Well, December has arrived and Christmas shopping is in full throttle! Happily, the Christmas placemats project was finalized and my customer is thrilled.

I had to make some changes to the original idea that I blogged about back in October. The designs I selected are wonderful, but for this project, they were too dense for the quilting fabric I used. No matter what tricks I tried, there was too much puckering and I didn't think that adding the stipple stitching would help. So, I came up with Plan B.

As you can see in the image below, I opted for appliques in three different Christmas themes, a star, tree and gingerbread. I had digitized the gingerbread design back in 2004, both as a filled embroidery design and an applique. I went back to edit it a bit more for this project, digitized the tree and star appliques and was able to finish the project in record time!

Unfortunately, you can't see the quilting stitches, but I stipple stitched around the appliques and went with a simple stitch in the ditch method for the quilt block area. Rather than competing with the bright fabric colors and matching (or close to it) threads, I opted for invisible thread and it worked out perfectly.

Now that this project has been completed, I'm working on several other projects. One, that I will post a picture later, is a set of Coffee Bean towels with a wonderful coffee themed border. I think that adding a lovely fabric border that matches the theme of the embroidery designs is a great way to finish off a set of towels. The other project is to finish up this lovely FSL Christmas bowl. I actually have several to do, so I'd better get my "thread" on!

Hope you are having a creative day.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

New Christmas Towel Set

Oh yes, the holidays are fast approaching! Decorated kitchen towels are a very popular gift item. Kitchens filled with the scent of baking cookies, pies, and breads are in need of a constant supply of clean towels. Decorated towels are perfect as they add to the festive activities.

Here's our newest set that will be added to the web site today. The set of 3 towels features North Pole "helpers" such as the Cookie Taster, Snowman Construction Worker and the Executive Elf. We have additional designs, but chose these three adorable designs to kick off our new towel set additions.

The towels are 100% cotton, measure 26 1/2" long by 18" wide, have a wonderful green check border on the bottom and feature a hanging tab on the upper corner of the backside (clever option for those who don't have a towel bar). We laundered the towels so that all the shrink has been removed, so you can launder them as you normally do for towels.

We think these are so cheerful and we're sure you will too. Not only will these help make your holiday kitchen festive, they would make the perfect gift for anyone you know who loves to spend time baking up a storm for the holidays!

Keep watching as I'll be adding more goodies to the web site in the coming days.