Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Instagram Flashback: May

Instagram has got to be my favorite social media to date. No words -just photos -and so easy! Click and post all in an instant! Take a peak @benziedesign, I tend to share more outside of the Benzie realm here. This is some of May's memories:
1. Updated business cards -they should go out soon!
2. Sugar scrubs leftover from Crafternoon -seriously easy: Sugar + Olive Oil + few drops of essential oil and you've got yourself a scrub!
3. Husband graduated and got himself an M.Div -and figuring out life. (Really -shouldn't we have that done by now?!)
4. Working on a little backstitch. I've definitely got that down -how about you?
5. Little gift from my sister-in-law and her brand new etsy shop!
6. Every six weeks it's my turn to go to the farm for our co-op. My children so look forward to this and I reflect on the rural, supposedly more simplistic life. Maybe it's just me trying to figure out life again?

See you on Instagram!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Embroidery Basics: Backstitch

The backstitch is one of the most basic stitches of embroidery and is most commonly used to outline. My favorite use for the backstitch is applique on linen or when stitching Benzie's felt together. Pretty and easy!

Here is a step by step photo tutorial:
1. Working from left to right -bring your needle to the front at point one and back down again at point two.
2. Now your needle is under your fabric -bring it back up at point three making sure of even and straight stitches.
3. Backstitch through point one.
4. There you go! Your first backstitch is complete!
5. A completed row.
6. And for the backside. 

And to make this super clear -a diagram below. The top of the line represent the front side of the fabric and the bottom represents the back of the fabric.
Up at 1, down at 2. Under to 3 and back to 4...
And again! See -pretty and easy!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Felt like a tutorial: Flowers!

Flowers are like fireworks, displaying their color and beauty for a short time and then fading away. We have to be alert to even notice some of them at all. Especially those that only bloom once in the Spring and then wait another year before putting on a show. Other flowers are more generous, giving us beauty for an entire season, seducing butterflies and hummingbirds.

Selecting my favorite felt flowers was a challenge since all of them capture a different element of assembly that makes them charming in their own right. Some are loosely folded together and hot glued, while others are meticulously sewn together petal by petal. They can be attached to hair clips, purses, brooches, or added to stems for a long lasting bouquet.

I chose the most interesting flower creations to inspire you to try something new with felt for this month of May flowers.

1.       No-Sew Felt Flower – from Marryl All Write
These petite flowers are added to barrettes and a stretchy headband.

2.   Large Felt Flower – from Tres French Hens 
Flower petals with seams down the middle to add depth.

3.       Flower Pin – from Jones Design Company
A little hot glue and a few shapes of felt create this pin.

4.       Gray Felt Flowers – from Craftaholics Anonymous
Strips of felt are twisted and stitched for this loose creation.

5.       Felt Tulips – from While She Naps
A bouquet of tulips to last you for years, these are very realistic.

6.       Felt Flower – from Food, Wine & Mod Podge
After this is all stitched up it's ready to be put wherever you want it!

7.       Felt Flower Hair Clip – from Ordinary Mommy Design
This simple, flat flower benefits from embroidered details.

8.       Felt Rose – from How Joyful
I confess... these are my favorite; the layers on the outside and the compact center are gorgeous.

9.       Felt Brooch – from Betz White
Lots of separate petals give this flower a fun, happy feel.

Jen Van Oosbree enjoys the versatility of Benzie felt, slow strolls through the garden and camping with her family. She brings monthly DIY selections to the world of Benzie Felt Fanfare.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Guest Curator: Aimee Ray from Little Dear

I cannot wait to introduce you to Benzie's newest curator -she is an author, illustrator and embroidery designer. In fact -she has even taught me how to embroider. Well -not in the "face-to-face, let's have some tea" sort of way -but I have gotten quite cozy with her book "Doodle Stitching" and owe all my french knots and chain stitches to her! Here she is: Aimee Ray of Little Dear.

Aren't her patterns just perfect! And everyone needs a gnome -right? You'll have to visit her shop for even more patterns (and gnomes!). Check out the matryoshka dolls pattern -it is my favorite!

And what good does a pattern have without it's coordinating felt pack? I love the colors that Aimee chose for her Benzie Color Collection: Blush, Strawberry, Cotton Candy, Butter, Fern, Pistachio, Swan, Icicle, Sky and Toast. Perfect candy land colors!

Check out more of Aimee Ray, Little Dear:

And get the Little Dear's Color Collection at Benzie. But there is more -Aimee has included a little gift for those who purchase her felt collection -but for a limited time. Oh how surprises make everything sweeter! Go quick & get crafting!
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