Thursday, March 17, 2011

Sewing Project: The Random, the Abandon and the Lost

I've been busy (and sick) and have had little crafty blog time lately, but have managed to mangle a couple of projects for us to laugh at together...

#1 "The Peace Pillow":

This random project was supposed to be easy and useful.  My kids attend a Montessori pre-school in town that, like all Montessori schools, has a peace table where disputes and hurt feelings can be discussed and resolved between the kids without the teacher's overt intervention.  They take turns holding the "talking flower" and tell the other person why they are upset.  I'm pretty sure, "Why don't we talk about this at the peace table?" is a phrase the teachers use often. 

I've adopted the concept for home and when the kids fight I first tell them to work it out themselves and if the screaming/fighting/taunting continues I force them to "make peace" and have them hold whatever I have at hand to take turns talking.  I often have to intervene with the warning to "make peace or you both go to your rooms!"  I thought it would be nice to have a permanent object to use and so made this pillow. 

Yeah.  Not so cute.  The embroidery is okay, but I used my own handwriting instead of transferring a font so the result is less then perfect.   The symbol is straight up primitive. The piping is wonky.  Really wonky if you must know.  It needs more color and some sort of... something.  We've used it and honestly will probably continue to use it (until I can't take it anymore and remake it). 

#2  "Glorious Bounty Dishtowel"

The most random thing I have made to date:  this is a dishtowel.  It is embroidered with two of the guys from the brilliant comic "Glorious Bounty" created in part by a dear friend of mine, the unrepentant foreigner, reformed playboy, and all around gad about town, Luke Milton.  I made it for him in response to a half-joking call for fan art.  This turned out pretty well and the back is fairly neat.  I used a few different stitches so it has some texture.  That said, it is a dishtowel.  Embroidered with a killer robot and a drunken alien.  I air dry the kids bento boxes on it in the afternoons. 

#3 "Portrait of Seth Underwood, The Red House Garden's Public Defender" 

This project I have abandon until my skills improve vastly.  I don't even know how to explain this one.   I tell a story to my kids (with their constant input) about the animals who live in our garden.  That kind of storytelling is supposed to improve their ability to follow a sequence of events, to make logical connections and to use their imaginations. It is also free and forces them to be quiet for five minutes so I'm a big fan. 

The story (so far) revolves around this bird, Seth Underwood, who is a lawyer (like my sister- it's funny the things they pick up on) who lives in a tree he has to share with a noisy outcast squirrel named Nick Whirly.  Nick's friend, the vineyard jackrabbit (whose name is disputed at this juncture) has been accused by the garden animals of having stolen the winter food store.  Seth, the bird lawyer, needs to figure out what really happened... although my kids keep forgetting whether or not the jackrabbit really did do it which makes the rest of the story a little convoluted.  But there is an owl and pack of coyotes.

ANYWAY, I thought it would be fun to embroider up some of the animals and hoop frame them in the guest bathroom or something.  Very Etsy chic on unbleached muslin.  The suited bird here was supposed to be the first in a series.  Pretty clear why that plan has been abandon.  The biggest problem is that I can't draw which undermines the whole project.  There is way too much detail and way too much texture.  His pocket watch is overwhelmed by the vest, his beak is wrong, his face is wrong, and his scarf looks too much like the lapel of his jacket.  It all gets lost mixed up together in one piece.  The back is messy and the colors aren't right.  Instead of only outlining I filled in the jacket and the hat and almost immediately regretted it. 

Ugh.  Such a good idea wasted on me!

#4  "The Yellow Envelope Pillow:  MISSING"

I made a cover for one of the couch toss pillows in yellow linen to match the ottomans I slipcovered.  Very simple, no mistakes, I followed the directions in "The Sew Everything Workshop".  I placed it on the sofa and went to bed, came home from work the next day and it was gone.  There are no pictures for the blog or the reward poster.  Vanished. 

Alien abduction?  My husband's subtle way of telling me he hates yellow?  My housekeeper's confused attempt to redecorate for me? Perhaps, the dog stole it.  At any rate, it is lost.  If you see a stray pillow cover please call.  And pillow cover?  Wherever you are, know that I miss you and want you home.  Or I'll have to make another one.

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Upcoming Projects: Not Yet Blogged

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