Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Ok, the African Folklore Embroidery ladies name is Leora Rankin!! I wrote about her in an earlier blog! I don't know why I forgot her name! Happy holidays to all, hope it is a good one and a safe one and you get to see all of your family (if you want to and if you don't want to, I am sorry.....because family is SO important).

Catching up

Well, I DID learn the new skill of African Folklore Embroidery, and I DID finish my first project, which turned out quite nice, especially for a first time project. I took that panel that came in my kit and stitched with all the new stitches I learned and all the really pretty and bright thread colors and then when it was done, I decided to make a pillow with it! A friend of mine had given a really pretty half yard or more of fabric that had really bright flowers on it and a black background. Well, geuss what? That fabric was PERFECT for the outline of the embroidery panel I did! So, the panel and fabric were introduced to each other and became one! I sent in to to be part of a display at the Long Beach Quilt Show (the original teacher of the African Folklore Embroidery had sent out a challenge for people to enter their projects and those that were sent in were displayed). When I got it back (I didn't win, but that's ok) I got some very nice comments from the instructor, her name just slips my mind right now....that is terrible... I think it is because it is late, but I will post it when I remember it! I would love to take advanced classes from her!! It would give me something to do while I am resting in my recliner and watching tv at night! And I LOVE learning new things. I think we can never stop learning. And that is one thing that no one can take from you (well except off course disease) but no person can ever take your education and learning from you and hopefully you can pass some of it on to others.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

African Folklore Embroidery

Wow, I really had a great time at the class for the African Folklore Embroidery. It seems that Africa has quite a lot of bright and vibrant colors in their art forms! I got to the class (not too many people, so it should go well, good learning that way, more intimate setting). Got my kit, pretty cool, so far so good. My kit has the hand died threads (are they called threads for embroidery? I will have to refresh my memory by looking back at the kit). Really cool colors come with the kit, and it includes the pre printed picture on pure black serged edge cotton fabric. The use of the black fabric is so the colors that you use will really POP in contrast to the black. My fabric art is one that has a couple of big sunflower type flowers on it and a couple of vines and leaves. Pretty simple compared to some of them. I had originally picked out a couple of others, but when the instructor ordered them, she was told those were no longer available, so I just picked at random over the phone. But, there is room on this piece to add other stuff if I want to. The whole object of this art is to learn about the African Nation and history while also creating an art piece that has bits and pieces of the culture. The fabrics have various pictures of the African animals and the native tribe cultures (or rather the art form of the cultural people and dress, but kind of simplified....if that makes sense). The rules are that there really aren't any rules, you mostly start out with chain stitch, and you can add some french knots and some running or outline stitches and after that, you just get creative and make it all your own. You don't have to follow any actual colors, such as the yellows of a lion, you can make them any color you want, in fact the more color you use the better it looks! You can add beads, fabrics, embellishments, whatever you want. I am having fun working on mine and have some great ideas of what I want to add to it and then when it is finished I will either sew it onto a jeans jacket that I have or make it into a purse. AND there is a Quilt show coming up in the next few months in Long Beach and the Lady that started this African Folklore Embroidery is having a contest for those that finish their project and want to enter it into the contest. She also displays the works of art so that other people can be encouraged to look into it at well. She donates some of the profits to a group in Africa that helps Aids kids and she also helps out some of the people in Africa by buying their products for her kits, she gets all of the hand died threads from a Company in Africa. Ok, I have retrieved my book on the topic so I can be more specific. The women who teaches this is Leora Raikin. She was born and raised in Africa and now lives and works in the United States after coming to live here when her husband was hired for a job in this Country. The organization she helps out is called "Kidspositive. The Kidspositive Family Fund is dedicated to improving the health of HIV-positive children in Southern Africa. To find out more about that org. check out the website: www.kidzpositive.org Also the people that hand die the threads that are in the kits are at this web site: www.aflembroidery.com and to check out the African Folklore Embroidery check out this web site: www.aflembroidery.com I will post a picture when I am done with this one (or maybe through the process of working on it....that's an idea!) Anyway, to late to take pics tonight, it is time for bed.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Crochet Hats

Just thought I would mention a really great group that I am blessed enough to be a part of. The Hat Ladies. This wonderful group was started by a couple of really wonderful women who saw a need and has expanded mainly by word of mouth. What this group is all about is making hats for Cancer patients. Men, Women, children.....even those who have not had cancer but another illness that causes them to have no hair and a need for some type of head covering. This group totally donates all their time, all hats are ALWAYS free. A few of the founding ladies deliver the hats to many different locations (see web site for the details) and the group gets some great yarn donations. We are always looking for more yarn and anyone who is interested in the group, for donating yarn, hats, for a need for hats or just to find out more, go to the web site and there is a link to email: www.thehatladies.org I recently was shown an awesome blog from a really talented crocheter (is that a word?) who makes some really cool things including an awesome Super Mario Bros. blanket for her husband (the lucky lucky guy!). Anyway, she had a picture posted of a really adorable watermelon hat and scarf. I had commented on how cute it was and if she ever posts a pattern of it, I would love to get the pattern (I was willing to buy it) but this awesome lady sent out an email recently to her post that now includes the pattern for the hat!! I think that the Lord will t0tally bless her....in fact, she is already really blessed with an awesome talent as an artist that can produce her own patterns. I have been crocheting for many many years and really have never been able to do that!! I usually have to follow patterns. Anyway, check out her blog, she is listed in the blogs I follow, or you can just look for gege-crochet! Thank you, Gege for the great pattern! I am sure the people who receive these hats are going to absolutely love them!

New learning

So for my first entry on here, I was thinking about learning new things. I am signed up for a class in the morning to learn how to do African Embroidery. I saw a great exhibit of this at "Road 2 California" (for those non-quilter crafters who may read this, this is one of the biggest quilt shows in the area of So-Cal). All of the pieces were hand embroidered on black fabric. I am not sure what is different in African Embroidery then in regular hand sewn embroidery, but that is one thing I hope to find out! What was really cool about this is that all the classes on learning this new art had already been filled up at "Road" and I was a bit disappointed. But I figured that it would be something I would look for in next years "Road" and try to sign up early. Well, as luck would have it, I didn't have to wait that long. One of the ladies in my Quilt Guild had taken the classes and had become a certified teacher of this new to me art! So of course, I signed up to take the class and it is being held in about 10 hours from now (I really should be in bed already.....after all, it isn't even Friday anymore, we are now into Sat.!) So, as I was contemplating learning this new craft I dug out my fliers and cards and such that I had collected at "Road" and found the one for this particular craft item and swiftly looked up the web site! I was pretty excited when I also found out they are having a contest of sorts and the winner can win some decent money! So, with that, I got a whole new excitement for learning this! The thought of winning at something that should be pretty fun to do is exciting all in it's own right, but another great thing that I like about entering into such contests is what you can learn from the comments from the judges and also from looking and studying the ones that DO win (supposing of course that my first time one wouldn't win, that is!) When I finish my piece I will be sure to post a picture of it! I am not sure what I will fashion it into yet, maybe a pillow. I have way to many other projects going on to take on something big like a quilt!! But a pillow is pretty easy to finish up. Or maybe a purse would be good. That would be something that not only I could enjoy, but I could show off this great art to all that see my purse! It is getting to be time to make a new one anyway! I have never been a big purse person, you know the kind, they have a purse that matches every outfit, a different kind for every style of clothes you wear, one for work, one for evening, one for casual, one for walking the dog.....whatever.....I usually have ONE purse. It is usually something that is easy to carry and has room for my stuff. I don't like changing all that stuff from one purse to another, and am always afraid that if I DO change that stuff, I will not put the RIGHT stuff into the new one. Besides, who wants to take up valuable storage space with purses when I can use that space for more fabric and yarn and books and sewing machines and doodads!!! But, lately I have found so many really cute purse patterns and some very creative outlets for using embroidery designs without having to take up a lot of extra time. I have made a bunch of purses that I brought to a craft fair to sell (of course it didn't do to well.....I think the people that came to the show already could make their own and so not much interest was shown at the show for these and if I try to sell them at a swap meet the people don't really want to pay more then a dollar or two for them!!) But anyway, if I try to do anything with them, I have to get someone to do the "sitting" for me as I cannot sit the whole day at a craft fair or farmers market or whatever......Anyway, I got away from the original topic.....African Embroidery. I am really excited, they use some really vibrant colors and I think I want to add some bling to it with beads and crystals and such! It should be fun and you can never stop learning!!