Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Lovely shops

Every year since I've started Ruby in the Dust (which is four years ago now!) Christmas has come and gone by in such a blur, I always feel guilty about neglecting my own family.  Every spare minute spent behind the sewing machine, getting ready for the next market; never enough time to enjoy the moment until the last market was finished. Last year, after the rush was over, I made a decision to change things and I'm pleased to report it's working. The tree is up, we've made some new Christmas decorations and I'm even considering baking another gingerbread house.

I have my lovely stockists to thank for that.  These shops have been very enthusiastic about my new embroidery kits and have them on their shelves, whether they are real or virtual. I will keep this list updated and linked to my side-bar, so do come here if you would like to see my products before you buy them, or just support some local businesses.





Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Sewing again

I reacquainted myself with my sewing machine over the weekend.  I had been too long, but I felt the need to make myself a new pouch about an hour before I was meeting some girlfriends for a Twilight dinner and movie-party... I killed two birds with one stone: trying a new pattern I got from Vanessa over at LBG Studio, plus using my own fabric.  My photo really doesn't do it justice; the pouch is tall and folds over in the middle, and it has lovely leather details on the corners.  It fits my phone and wallet, great for going out without lugging a handbag along.

Using my fabric also gave me the push to finally open my Spoonflower shop, where you will be able to purchase some of my designs on either fabric or wallpaper.   There are a few designs up already, including a new version of 'In the Neighbourhood', now available in colour. There are also some new designs from this year that I've just done and forgotten about while I had Embroidery Kit Fever. 

If you buy on Spoonflower, designers get a small percentage from each sale, and buyers get fabric directly without having to pay for shipping twice, both of which are good in my book. The other bonus of opening yet another shop is that I get to make another shop banner! Anybody want a blog banner before I open another shop?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A snowman ornament tutorial

I want to thank you so much for your enthusiastic response to my embroidery kits; they're doing quite well and I now have them in a few retail shops too.  That's a post for another day though.

Today I thought it would be fun to do a tutorial and since it's almost Christmas (ok, a few weeks to go) I'm showing you my snowman decoration. They're so easy and fun to make; the boys and I made some earlier in the year and both of them did the majority of the work all by themselves. Apologies for the terrible photos (taken at night as usual :).

You will need: white polar fleece, off-cuts of orange and black felt, some batting/extra white fleece/white felt (optional), black seed beads, red seed beads, buttons and ribbon/felt (scarf), white embroidery thread and needle, glue, hang tag made from narrow ribbon or floss.

Draw a template on a piece of paper: one circle on top of a bigger one, and cut it out.  Mine is about 12cm or 5" tall. Cut out 2 pieces for every snowman you want to make.

On one side only: Stitch on a couple of eyes with the black beads, and a mouth with the red beads. Sew some buttons to the tummy.  If your fleece is thin, you might like to stuff it slightly. Use a piece of felt or batting and cut it a bit smaller than your snowman. 

Put the two pieces together with batting inside and stitch it all together.  You can use a sewing machine, but I prefer blanket stitch or whip stitch.

Cut a piece of ribbon for the hang tag, fold in half and make a knot in the end.  Cut out a hat from two pieces of black felt, insert the hang tag in the top and sew around the hat to attach it securely to the head.

Cut a small triangle from the orange felt and stick it to the face as a nose.  Arrange the ribbon or felt around the neck and stick down with glue.

And that's it.  I hope you feel inspired to start making some of these guys; send me a photo if you do! (Please link to this post if you're sharing or pinning.)

Friday, November 2, 2012

The launch and a giveaway

And now I am proud to announce that everything is ready to go with the embroidery kits. I've been doing late nights this week to get my new online shop ready and it went live (late) last night.  As you can see in the banner above and in the side bar, it's at rubyinthedust.co.nz.

I'd love it if you can pop over there and tell me which is your favourite kit. I'll draw a name on Wednesday and then you might just win that one! Please pass it on; I'm too busy to do much more than this post this weekend :)

You can also see them at Craft 2.0 in Wellington this Saturday (upstairs in the St James, 10-4) and they will be available at The Embroiderer in Birkenhead from next week.

I'm off to do a million things before I fly tomorrow morning, so I hope you have a great weekend, friends!


Last, but not the least, is the garden.  Click on the photo to enlarge it and you will see many little stitches and beads that make this one a true sampler: there is a tiny bit each of chain stitch, running stitch, back stitch, fly stitch, fern stitch, lazy daisy and even a few French knots if you like to push the boat out. Of course you can choose to use more beads and do the lot in back stitch! 

I love drawing quirky little flowers and this was a natural design choice for me.  I wanted an understated garden to go with the lovely little house and used the flowers both here and in the 'Home' design.  

And that is the end of my story :) I'm so curious to see which design will be the most popular, as everybody I've shown them to has had a clear favourite and so far there's been no pattern! 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

A big adventure

On Sunday morning our young friend Nicholas Brockelbank (the cookbook author) will be on TV1 at 8.30.  Attitude pictures filmed him and his lovely family over the course of a year and judging by this clip, it's going to be an insightful look into life with muscular dystrophy.