Tuesday, December 15, 2015

What A Year!


It has been an eventful year for Hands On Design. As I think about it, I realize that I get to stitch, work & play with some pretty amazing friends.

Part of our stitching group - we still gather when possible. We stitch, talk, listen & basically solve the world's problems. Sadly, we had to say goodbye to one of our group this year: a reminder to say & do the things you mean to say & do.
 
Stitching Group selfie! I have to say that without these women (we're missing a few in the pics) - I would not have been ready for Market this year!!
 
Without them, this would not have turned into...
 
 
this!
 
 
 
I'm fortunate enough to call these 2 designing women my friends. (Tracy, Ink Circles & Beth, Summer House Stitche Workes) We collaborated on a small project last year & had so much fun...you bet, we're doing it again! We manage to Skype: the hardest part is managing 3 different time zones!
 
I was thrilled to work with several shopowners this year. I designed this piece for Pat of Stitchin' Post in Nashville! Her shop celebrated a milestone birthday this year!

I also enjoyed teaching at several shops this past year (apparently I need a camera crew because I have NO pictures!!)
Stitches 'n Things in MI kicked of the year followed by Heart's Desire in KS. A quick stop into For the Love of Stitching in NE and ended the year at Cecilia's Samplers in MO & Salty Yarns in MD! All over the country, shopowners & stitchers were so welcoming!

 
I made a new friend this year! Priscilla (of the uber-beautiful priscillas2000.blogspot.com) took a chance & allowed me to interpret her wonderful chalk art into cross-stitch. This series has just kicked off in the Jan/Feb 2016 Just Cross Stitch issue. Priscilla & I have been working together since last March & we haven't even officially 'met'! I hope to solve that sometime in 2016! I'm so excited to see this series unfold (see the previous blogpost for more info about this project).
 
Speaking of designing with friends: it has been a treat getting to work with Cecile & Rachel of Just Another Button Company on our design collaboration [square.ology].

Bumble is probably my favorite design from [square.ology] mostly because I remember so clearly how he got designed: it was like a design dance one evening as we sat at the dining room table, passing around sketchbooks, computers & even babies!
 
 In the midst of it all, Rachel decided we needed cake! (which is never a bad thing!)

Working with these ladies is a lot of this:
 
 
this,
 

 & even this.
 
(Anna, Rachel's youngest, grew bored with the design process but found my thumbs, necklace & glasses fascinating!)
 
 
The #1 question I get asked: Will there be more chalk?
 
...and the answer is - Of Course! While I have the Chalk Art series already kicked off in JCS, there are more reveals to come very soon...
 
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to All!
 
Cathy
 
 


 
 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

When A Plan Comes Together



Where to start?

- I had this little idea for the "A Year in Chalk" series. 
- I do all kinds of research on chalk art: fonts, styles, borders, etc...
- I keep running across this blog with beautiful pictures of someone's home and all of her chalk art (seriously, this is a home worthy of HGTV!)... & she stitches!
- I 'turn off' all images before I start sketching my series, but her blog never really leaves my mind. 
- As 'A Year in Chalk' winds down, I think about what's next...

Enter Just Cross Stitch magazine with a request for a series. 

So, I pitch my idea and hear those magical words that any designer loves to hear..."we're happy with whatever you want to do".

Then, I had to not only introduce myself to Priscilla via FB, but pitch her the idea too. days later, we were busy chatting on the phone discussing colors and themes (& kids and families...go Aztecs! I have been watching her son on TV playing college football!)

What a fun friendship & project this is turning out to be! I know I'm learning a lot and I always like a project that pushes me creatively.

We send pictures back and forth as we each stitch our own models. I have committed to stitching the magazine models myself since I'm making a lot of changes as I go. 

Here's a few 'behind the scenes' photos that didn't make the magazine!

My first photo to Priscilla as I model stitch. 

Priscilla's first photo to me!


Me again!


Priscilla again! It was really cool to see how we both stitched in a different order!



Once my piece is complete, I ship it to Priscilla so she can photograph them together in her home. 



Finally! Just Cross Stitch Jan/Feb 2016. We started this project last March! I'm so excited to bring you a year full of Seasons in Chalk Art (7 in all). (FYI: each piece will be the same stitch count. The model is stitched on 32ct Slate from Hand Dyed Fabrics by Stephanie)

Visit and follow Priscilla's blog:
www.priscillas2000.blogspot.com

Enjoy the stitch, I sure have!
Cathy