Embroidery beginnings

I can happily say I spent the entire bank holiday weekend making and eating gazpacho, watching the entire season 5 of Mad Men (isn’t the season finale simply amazing?)

Looking after two adorable dogs (a French bulldog called Bruce Lee and Coco, the pug)

And beginning a very new creative project: embroidery! Obviously, as it’s always about ME, I thought the best image I could begin with was one of my own creations. All the fantastic supplies (including material and embroidery hoop) were purchased at The Workroom. Here’s a picture of the piece in progress. It took me countless hours to do JUST THAT, so I foresee this being the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

And the muse finally came to the rescue…

…on Friday night, by inspiring me to paint a still life. I’m not overly impressed by the final result, hence the filter on my camera and the distance: the picture looks a lot better if far away. HOWEVER, the fact that I started something like this, using casein, which I’m still trying to master, is a positive step forward. Also, when one has been away from brushes and pencils for some time, the first work produced is pretty rubbish.  Notice my new drawing table put to use? Back ache from sitting in an interrogation-mark posture be gone!

Any time that I go to the Workroom, an amazing gush of creativity blows me away. On Saturday I did the Sew a Man’s Tie course, which I cannot recommend enough. Plus, we all know how much it sucks to give presents to men at Christmas, and this has saved my sweet ass this holiday. Not even kidding. Ties are so versatile, they make an excellent “A”…

And look at the detail on the back, I’m so friggin proud of myself…

Best part is that it even looks great on!

I know for a fact that no man receiving any of the 3 ties I’ve almost finished looks at this blog. Even if I bribed with free vouchers to Home Depot/Hardware – or Leroy Merlin, the Spanish equivalent – to be downloaded from this site, they still wouldn’t even come close. So it’s safe to post these pics here just a mere couple of days before Christmas 😉

Speaking of the season to be jolly, I will be enjoying the holiday season with family and friends and away from my random blog world. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and all the very best for 2012!

Tunic

Cannot BELIEVE a whole 3 weeks have gone by since my last post – where has my time gone?! Truth is that there probably won’t be another post for yet another 3 weeks as this weekend my long-awaited holidays begin. More on the glorious 2 weeks I’ll be spending in paradise upon my return.

But today I briefly want to talk about the wonders of sewing and making one’s clothes. And I could not really talk about a sewing post without mentioning the Workroom. I signed up for one of their sewing classes et voila, yesterday I finished my first ever sewing machine made garment: a tunic. But this is no ordinary tunic, it is the Schoolhouse Tunic and I used no ordinary material, it’s Free Spirit’s amazing Prince Charming print. Both the pattern and material were purchased at the Workroom. There is another lesson – how to make your own skirt – which I will no doubt be signing up for in September.

But in the meantime, I’ll take my tunic with me on holiday  and wish that someone asks me “Oh what a pretty tunic, where did you buy it?” so I can answer with the smuggest of voices “I MADE IT”.

Pysanky

Until moving to Canada, I had no idea what pysanky were. But one day, as I was exploring the amazing neighbourhood where I live in Toronto, I came across The Workroom. A beautiful shop/studio on Queen West where anyone with an interest in sewing and other creative endeavors can spend hours by looking at the beautiful fabrics, pouring over their reference books for sale, using their sewing machines, mingling with similar-minded folk or taking a class or two from their monthly class calendar.

I signed up to 2 classes, Sewing Machine Essentials, which was excellent and given by the mastermind behind the Workroom herself, Karyn Valino, and Pysanky.

Our Ukrainian Easter egg class was absolutely delightful, not only were all the materials included but we also got to take them home with us and re-create these gorgeous eggs. Unfortunately, mine fell from the bookcase and died a death pretty instantly. Naturally I was heartbroken, but knowing that I can do these again I’m thinking they might make original and very cool Christmas decorations…