I am excited to announce my first pop-up with long-time collaborator and supporter, Asheville Raven and Crone. I will be there all weekend peddling my wares including kits, artwork and a few surprises. Come by, say hello, ask me all your embroidery or witchy questions and pick up some gifts.
For those of you new to my website, here's a video about the embroidery kits I make.
It's strange to me, this past year. From a small acorn of an idea, I now have a business that is slowly but surely growing. A year ago I don't think I had an intention of making kits, but here I am with kits, classes and plans for more.
I am stocked in two local stores and now you can get my kits wholesale through faire.com! Buy my kits for your business via this link https://faire.com/direct/opencoven
Going forward I will release a new design every month around the Esbat.
It's been a productive month! I did a farmer's market and formed a new partnership with a local store here in Asheville.
Whist on Haywood Road is one of my favorite stores. They have amazing gift ideas and a full collection of greetings cards for every occasion and taste. As of this month, they will be selling my Cultivate Community and Spring Tree kits.
Peace Gardens and Market
47 Bryant Street
April 29th 11am - 5pm
If you are in the Asheville area, I will be vending at the Spring Fling for the Peace Gardens and Market. It is the 20th Anniversary of the gardens that were created as a protest against the Iraq War. These gardens have been an important part of the community ever since. The space grows food that is given to elders in the neighborhood and the founders Safi and DeWayne have used the gardens to give local youth something to do that is productive.
I have volunteered for years at the gardens and the Spring Flings are one my favorite events of the year. This is the first year that I will be vending and I am using it as an opportunity to present my new embroidery kit designs.
I hope you will stop by and say hello!
I tend to think that being a witch is not always about what you do but what you notice. For me it’s a disposition, to see wonder wherever I can and observe the magic that is around and within us.
Take seeds, a seed is a truly remarkable thing. They are tiny spells, proving to us time and again that life and growth are possible.
I find solace in this at a time when the world seems so broken (has it ever not been?).
To honor seeds and the inimitable forces of Spring, I share with you some ideas about seed stitch. Seed stitch is an easy stitch to learn but its applications are varied. It is a collection of small random stitches that can be grouped together to form a mass of color and texture. Below is a video I made showing how to do seed stitch. It’s one that I use a lot in my own work.
A Seed Stitch Ritual
For this ritual you will need a small piece of cloth - any old scrap will do.
Am embroidery needle.
Some embroidery thread.
Additionally you might want a candle and some incense. Or you can sit outside somewhere and spend time in the natural world while you sew.
Think about something you want to begin - a project or maybe a quality in yourself.
Meditate on this intention and ask spirit to help you with your plan.
Begin sewing seed stitches across your piece of cloth and as you do, say the following “With each stitch, may my intention grow. Sew, grow.”
Add as many little seed stitches as you like. When you are done, either carry the cloth with you, put it on your altar or somewhere you’ll see it everyday.
If you want to be creative you can add little patches of cloth and seed stitch over them. But make sure you keep it simple to maintain the integrity of your intent.
If you are intrigued about doing embroidery, I recommend starting with a kit. This is how I picked up embroidery again after quite a long time. It's perfect because it is a minimal investment and you don't have to hunt around for supplies. When looking to buy a kit, make sure the list of contents includes:
- A printed panel
- A needle
- Embroidery thread
- Full instructions
I recommend starting with a small, simple design first to build your confidence. However you should also choose a design that you like!
Here are some kits that are reasonably priced designed with beginners in mind. These are affiliate links.
Whether you are experienced at hand sewing or just learning this is a nice project to do over a weekend.
The key to this piece is the variety of yarn widths and colors that create a lovely variety of abstract patterns. If you have lots of scraps of yarn then you are good to go. It’s also important to have a fabric that will be loosely woven enough to allow thicker yarn to pass through without to much pulling - think linens, muslin, even burlap (hessian)
Perhaps you scroll through sumptuous pictures of embroidery and other fiber art projects online but think “I could never do that.” If that is the case I am here to tell you that you are mistaken.
I want to address some of the myths about embroidery.
Embroidery is Complicated
At first glance embroidery can look intricate and while some designs are, there are many that don’t take long to complete. I have met many people who say that they like to do cross stitch but could never do embroidery. I have done plenty of cross stitch and think it is less rewarding than embroidery in some ways. First, although you only need to learn to do one stitch for cross stitch, following the pattern can be difficult and there is always the risk that should you make a mistake, the whole pattern could be thrown off. Secondly, I find referring to a chart interrupts the flow of my sewing. In embroidery this is less of an issue.
Some embroidery designs require you to learn a couple of stitches such as running stitch or satin stitch but the learning curve is shallow.
Stitches Need to Be Perfect
Nope. In fact I think the lack of perfection makes your work unique and fascinating. Even if you make a little mistake, chances are that by the time you finish your piece, you won’t even notice it.
You Have to Be Talented at Sewing
If I could ban the word talent, I would consider it. The idea that some people have talent and others don’t seems to be a kind of elitism as well as a way of creating a sense of rarity that adds inflated value to something for the purposes of commodifying it. I have been sewing for over thirty years which is why I am “good” at it, whatever that means. And I still make mistakes, really big ones. I learn from them and keep going.
Embroidery is Slow and Boring
If you choose a large piece to work on then the likelihood is that it will take you ages. So start small. The sense of accomplishment when you complete it is motivating. As for it being boring, I find the repetitive nature of sewing soothing and almost hypnotic.
Embroidery is for Women
Well I have no response to this other than - don’t be absurd.
What potential discouraging comments have you heard? Share them and I would love to discuss them.