Matches for: “embroidery” …

KimberlyAH in Embroidery

KimberlyAH logo embroidery by KarenI can’t believe I’ve never shared this here!

Karen made this embroidered logo for me two Christmases ago. Isn’t is fabulous? It sits on top of my metal drawers that hold all of my card inventory and supplies, but I think I need to hang it on the wall above my desk. I’ve collected some new things to add to my wall, and this will fit right in. I’ve managed to collect another hoard of art that needs to be hung, so that’s a project for me this week in between work, chapters for book club, governor debate watch parties, and cleaning the bedroom. I have a plan, but I’m sure my indecisiveness will take over and delay things more. I just can’t seem to hammer a hole in the wall without a lot of hand-wringing. Anyone else have this problem? (And if you don’t, want to come over and help me hang some stuff up?)

Tagged , , ,

Very Serious Crafts Podcast

serious crafts podcast live taping, harold washington libraryMollie is the first “internet friend” I ever met. I went to a little stitching meet-up for her Wild Olive blog readers back in 2011 and we’ve seen each other a few other times over the years and obviously have kept up over social media. She and two other professional crafters (Haley Pierson-Cox and Heidi Gustad) host the Very Serious Crafts Podcast. I’m an occasional listener, so when they announced a live taping at Chicago’s Harold Washington Library, I signed up to go.During the podcast, the hosts talked about vintage crafts and what books got them started in crafting. They each passed around vintage crafts and supplies, including this kooky hairy couple and weirdly sweet kitty. There was also a terrifying clown made out of fabric yo-yos (sorry Mollie!) and some vintage needle books.

At the end, we each made a coffee cup sleeve using various techniques. I embroidered for the first time in a long time and it was pretty fun, even though my stitches were uneven and imperfect. I think I need to find my embroidery supplies and start making again!

They tape the podcasts in advance so I’ll let you know when it is live in case you want to listen in! Do you have any podcasts you listen to regularly?


P.S. Speaking of podcasts…Naoto still hasn’t posted his…

Tagged , , , , ,

“Emerson on Indigo” for the Forest Park Library

Kimberly Adami-Hasegawa embroidery project, Ralph Waldo Emerson quote, Forest Park Library, 100 ArtistHere is my final project, “Emerson on Indigo,” that I made for the Forest Park Library’s 100 Artists Event. It’s a Ralph Waldo Emerson quote handwritten and hand stitched on hand dyed indigo fabric.

“I cannot remember the books I’ve read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me.” I know modern libraries are more about being community centers and hosting great programming and computer access, but for me, the “access” (the theme of the show) is in being able to get my hands on older books that are hard to find and that I don’t have the budget (or room on my shelves) to buy. I love how books become a part of you, that you can quote them when you don’t have the words to express your thoughts, and that when my book-loving friends and I get together, almost all of our conversations include the phrase, “It’s like that book we read…”

raw indigo fabric for embroidery project, Forest Park Library, 100 ArtistAt first I was really frustrated that my (normally neat) handwriting didn’t translate nicely in stitches but then I sort of ended up liking the wonky imperfections. I was also hesitant to cut into my indigo fabric. Part of the reason I haven’t done anything with my dyed fabric is that I’ve been too afraid to ruin them. (It’s silly, I know.) I think cutting this piece off was a sacrifice for the greater good. I was really excited that the segment I chose worked out like I had pictured. (You can see the whole fabric above, drying after I soaked off the stabilizer. It was a huge piece of thick cotton that I had done a circular tie-dye pattern.)

The project served as many firsts for me and I was sorely out of practice with embroidery. I had never stitched words before and trust me, smaller is not quicker and easier! I used Sticky Fabri-Solvy for the first time, too. (You can read more about it here.) Using the somewhat sticky stabilizer was tricky at first, but by the end I loved the results and how easily the stabilizer dissolved off of the fabric. It was like magic and I’m so excited to be able to transfer patterns easily to dark fabrics now. And it was my first time mounting an embroidery project. (I used this method.) Kimberly Adami-Hasegawa embroidery project, Ralph Waldo Emerson quote, Forest Park Library, 100 Artist, Bottle Rocket GalleryForest Park Library, 100 artists gallery show, Bottle Rocket Gallery Forest Park Library, 100 artists gallery show, Bottle Rocket GalleryThe art at the gallery show was really amazing. Everyone had a different interpretation of “access” and such different styles. Everything from pens and paper to fabric and wool and keys were used. Some pieces were very sparse, others were detailed and layered, and some were interactive. It was so fun to see each piece and meet some of the other artists. Jackie Lakely project, Forest Park Library, 100 artistsMy friend Jackie had a piece in the show as well, “Windows to the World.” Kimberly Adami-Hasegawa, Karen, Jackie LakelyJames and Kimberly, The Heritage in Forest ParkAfter the show, Karen, James, Naoto, and I went out to dinner at The Heritage in Forest Park. (That’s James and me, toasting above.) It was such a fun night with friends.

P.S. Sending out a special thanks to Mollie whose blog I visit frequently for stitching tips and inspiration. Thank you for walking me through the Sticky Fabri-Solvy stress and sharing so many other tips on Twitter 🙂 I couldn’t have finished it without you!!


Tagged , , , ,

Forest Park Library’s 100 Artists Event

Presley with indigo dyed embroidery projectA few months ago, in a random moment of Instagram scrolling, I signed up to participate in the Forest Park Library’s 100 Artists event. Forest Park Library is celebrating its 100th anniversary and put out an open call to get 100 artists to create a piece of work in the theme of “access” for a gallery show on Madison Street. As the deadline approached I was sort of panicking about not having an idea for my project. Since I’m not an artist, I was especially self-concious about my (lack of) skills and artistry.

Finally (three days before the project deadline!) I decided to embroider a quote about books (because they are still my favorite part of the library in spite of all the other amazing and modern things libraries offer these days!) I was going to just work on some linen and make it very neutral, but then I remembered that I have a nice stash of indigo fabric that I dyed two winters ago. It ended up being the perfect thing! I’ll share the final project, wonky stitches and all, next week.

All 100 projects will be showing this weekend at Bottle Rocket Gallery here in Forest Park. You can register here to attend. It’s free! If you’re in the area, come!

Tagged , , ,


Lily of the Valley embroidery pattern from Wild OliveToday I’m making the drive down to shop and have lunch with my parents. I haven’t seen them since they came up to visit with my grandma (and I didn’t have the Mother’s Day gift ready then) so I’m finally delivering the gifts for both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

I worked on this embroidery project over the 30 Days of Creativity in June. The pattern is from Mollie’s blog, Wild Olive, and can be found here. I really loved stitching it–it was a nice mix of back stitching and French knots (I love stitching those knots!) and I finished it in an evening. embroidery backingYesterday, I typed up a little message on blush paper and pasted it on the back of the embroidery hoop. I know there’s a nicer way to do this (where the fabric tucks around the larger hoop and the paper backing goes back into the smaller hoop), but sadly, I cut my fabric just a bit too short to make it all happen. So, I glued the fabric down to the back of the hoops and glued the paper backing on top. It looks fine, but the perfectionist in me is annoyed at the fact that it could be better. But, the important thing is, the front is lovely, the back is fine and the gift is (finally) going to be delivered this afternoon!Mother's Day gift wrapping

Here it is all wrapped up in a flat paper bag with some twine, a Martha Stewart flower sticker (from my huge sticker stash, collected over the years) and with a tiny piece of tape from Oh Hello Friend. Simple.

And, in case you’re curious, for Father’s Day we got my dad a Blackhawks cap and these fancy County Fair Field Notes (the Illinois ones, of course!)

Off to central Illinois for some thrifting and dining!

Tagged , , , , ,

#30DOC Week 4

Thirty Days of Creativity is all wrapped up and I’m happy to say I finished, thanks to a little bit of help from July 1st. Even though I was behind pretty often throughout the month, I am convinced that I would have finished on time if we hadn’t been traveling (And if I hadn’t been so unorganized about getting ready to travel. My original intention was to bring some embroidery supplies to work on during the flight and during down time. I didn’t get my supplies together in time, and as it turns out, there was no down time and flying makes me feel too gross to craft on the plane.) I didn’t achieve my original goals of finishing more art projects for our home and stretching myself artistically. I mainly stuck in my comfort zone (mail art, cocktails…) But, I had fun creating…creating for no reason other than the mere enjoyment of it. Here’s a look at my last projects (including a bonus one!)








IMG_25906/23 Vesper martinis, 6/24 letter set made with resist embossing & a tie-dye technique, 6/25 galaxy (for a future project), 6/26 artwork celebrating the end of DOMA (a joint project with Naoto who did the calligraphy), 6/27 patriotic mail art (completed on 7/1), 6/28 a perfectly packed bag (my packing skills deserve their own blog post) & a mini summer celebration in an envelope (completed on 7/1), 6/29 another patriotic mail art (completed on 7/1) and 6/30 a stack of Boston postcards!!

That’s everything, and one big thing crossed off of my Summer Manifesto. I’ll be back tomorrow to share more of a manifesto update before I talk about Boston.  It’s such a beautiful day out today and I’m anxious to see how our garden is growing!!

Tagged , , , , , , ,

#30DOC Week 1

I’ve been working through my 30 Days of Creativity Challenge all week. Like a champ. Of course, it’s only the first week–the real challenge will be keeping up the momentum all month. Here’s what I’ve been working on:








From the top: 6/1 plant markers, 6/2 handcrafted cocktails, 6/3 two handmade thank yous, 6/4 one handmade envelope and three more pieces of mail art, 6/5 this (free) pattern from Wild Olive (I loved making this! Thanks, Mollie!), 6/6 water colored stationery & envelope (I’m really enjoying playing around with water coloring things lately!) and 6/7 a kitty donut in honor of National Donut Day (from this Wild Olive Donut Shop pattern) I’m a little disappointed in my execution of the kitty pattern…I think I might need to re-do some of the stitches…I don’t feel like my interpretation is fulfilling kitty’s cuteness potential!

I’ve just been winging it each day, but the next two weeks are looking much busier, so I might have to plan out my creative projects to ensure I’m carving out the right amount of time for them. Also, I’m finding myself sticking in my comfort zone and not stretching myself…the whole purpose of this project (for me) is to get a jump start on a few artsy things on my Summer Manifesto…I must try harder!

Tagged , , , , ,

7th Anniversary Gifts: Copper & Desk Sets


When Naoto & I exchange anniversary gifts, we use the traditional and modern gift ideas as guidelines. I buy or make something for Naoto from the traditional list, and he buys me something from the modern list. (I wish I could tell you what we’ve gotten for each other in year’s past, but I don’t remember all of the gifts…we should have written them down.)

So since it was our 7th anniversary I got to work with wool or copper (ah, if I only knew how to knit!) and Naoto had desk sets for me…seriously…could he have HAD an easier gift for me?! (I even have a Pinterest Board dedicated to desk stuff!)

I really like to make things for Naoto. He never has a wishlist (I married the least materialistic person on the planet.) and I like to try out new things. My first embroidery project was an anniversary gift (year two is cotton). I’ve been wanting some more art for our home and have been looking online for different mobile type ideas. Through my search, I found this tutorial from Smile and Wave for a copper pipe himmeli. I was a little bit intimidated by the project at first. I don’t make a habit of poking around the plumbing section and I’ve never cut a pipe before. And parts of the tutorial didn’t make sense to me until I actually started working with the materials. But I have to say, Rachel’s tutorial ended up being perfect. Locating the materials was the hardest part (mostly because they didn’t have the right pipe size at Menards and then Lowes put my paid order back on the shelves) but once I got started, I really enjoyed this project–so much so that I plan to make a few more. I’d love to have a little cluster of them with a plant or two in the corner of the bedroom. I’m going to make that happen. (Because one looks lonely and ridiculous.)


I used a slightly different pipe than Rachel used. Because Lowe’s put my original order back on the shelves (I guess that was a happy accident), I had a chance to poke around the copper pipe section and I found a skinnier pipe–1/4″ Type OD. I have no idea what that means, but it’s skinnier than the 1/4″ Type L (even though they are both 1/4″…don’t ask me, I’m not a plumber). It worked like a charm. Also, it was very satisfying to cut the pipes with the little pipe cutter. It took some practice and some patience. (First I smooshed the end of the pipe because I was too impatient and tightened things too quickly. Then, I didn’t feel like I was getting anywhere as I turned the pipe cutter round and round, but then one last little twist and the pipe was cut–like magic.) I think the whole project took around an hour and the hardest part was threading the twine through and then getting it all lined up at the end. Mine is quite imperfect, but I hope to get better as I make a couple more. I think Naoto liked it. (Or is that his what-the-heck-is-this-well-she-made-it-so-I’d-better-smile face?)

IMG_2288And I know Presley finds it quite intriguing…

DSC_0051(Maybe hanging it at the side of the bed was a bad idea??)

DSC_0005For my gift, Naoto got this sweet wooden cat pencil holder and this planner from Paper & Type. I think I’m going to use the planner for scheduling blog posts because I don’t want to wait until 2014 to put it to use! My Letter Ledger is from Paper & Type and I just think her products are so unique and useful. Thanks for the lovely choices, Naoto!

Tagged , , , , ,

Monogram Tea Towel


I whipped up a quick tea towel for my parents last night. It was a last minute craft, one where I didn’t even iron all if the wrinkles out of the tea towel…

I keep a stash of plain white flour sack tea towels in my closet for craft emergencies. (Mine are from Target, but you get the idea.) They are the first things I learned to embroider (I made a sushi towel for Naoto) and the fabric is thin but not too thin for little stitches. My mom has several of these towels that she’s had for years, and like most things, the ones made today are much thinner than the old ones. (They don’t make things like they used to.)

Because I wanted to keep things simple with a monogram (A for Adami, in case you didn’t put that together…), I just practiced writing a few cursive A’s until I found one I liked, then I traced the A onto the fabric with a Pilot FriXion Pen. I use the FriXion pens in my calendar, I love they way they write and the eras-ability factor. So imagine my delight when I heard from Mollie and read a great tip here that the ink disappears when it’s heated, making the FriXion pen perfect for embroidery and quilting (and probably other crafts). I didn’t have to worry about heating up my A to remove the lines because my 6-strand split stitch covered the thin (0.5) line perfectly.

Sidenote: I do have first-hand experience with the disappearing ink. I left my FriXion pen on my balcony on a sunny summer day last year and when I went back to use it again, the ink flowed clear instead of black. Huge bummer for me, but thankfully I had about ten back-up pens…

I think my parents liked it–my mom told my dad he should use it when he bakes bread–and I think the red variegated floss (Anchor #1206) matches their kitchen just enough. All-in-all I think a quickie tea towel makes a nice little gift, don’t you?

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

March-ing On


Usually February drags on slowly for me. The brutal cold, the dirty snow that won’t melt away, holidays a distant memory, the fresh start of the new year wearing off…February might only be 28 days, but usually it feels like two months rolled into one.

Not this year. February flew! I think it had something to do with the Week of Indulgence, Naoto’s surgery and the fact that it hasn’t been overly cold or snowy this winter (so far!) The charm of the chill and the snow hasn’t worn off quite yet. (But take note, Spring…I’d love to see you soon!) Whatever the reason, I cannot believe March is already here!

In March, I’d like to…

…get back into our gym routine (We broke our habit while Naoto was recovering–I have no excuse–and now we need to work back into a good routine.)

…try out some new recipes (since every stand-by in our repertoire is off-limits until Naoto heals completely)

…finish an embroidery project (because it’s been too long)

…finish the bathroom & share it here on the blog (again, it’s been too long)

…finish clearing out the guest room (oh, how this project has dragged!)

…finish my framing & hanging projects (are you sensing a theme here?)

…plan a little birthday celebration (that includes something sparkly, like champagne!)

How about you…any plans for March?


Calendars: Rifle, Heather Lins Home and K is for Calligraphy

Tagged , , , ,