Thursday, May 1, 2014

Consolidating Two Blogs

Over this past year, as you already know, it has been very difficult to focus on personal crafts/gifts, the Calico Craft Designs Etsy Shop, and posting on two different blogs.  I have made the decision to close down the Calico Craft Designs Blog and instead, combine this blog and my personal blog, "The Girl's Gone Crafty!" into one.  There is already some overlap between the two and it will be much easier for me to simply combine the two blogs.  The Etsy shop will remain in place with no changes.  I am just consolidating the two blogs.

Thank you for your support of handmade craft items and of this blog.  Be sure to check out and follow me on "The Girl's Gone Crafty!" by following this link or by typing in your web browser.  See you there!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Beautiful, Beautiful Threads!

I was out of town for the Easter holiday (Hope yours was great by the way!) and when I came back, I found a package from Colour Complements out of Canada.  I was super excited and quickly opened the envelope.  I was not disappointed.  Lorraine from the Colour Complements Etsy Shop does a fantastic job on her hand-dyed threads.  The colors are brilliant and consistent throughout the length of the thread.  I am very pleased and can't wait to get started so I can order more!  I'll definitely be using some of these in my upcoming Hardanger pieces.  Keep an eye out for more photos as I begin work on these projects for the Calico Craft Designs Etsy Shop!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Hardanger, Threads, and Upcoming Projects

"Hardanger?  What in the world is Hardanger?"  I get this question quite a bit whenever I mention it.

Per Wikipedia, "Hardanger embroidery is a form of embroidery traditionally worked with white thread on white even-weave cloth, using counted thread and drawn-thread work techniques.... The traditional style of Hardanger work is very geometrical in form and based on several basic shapes such as squares, rectangles, triangles, diamonds, hearts, zig-zags and crosses. The combination and placement of these elements allow an unlimited number of beautiful patterns of all sizes to be created."

Now, you may be thinking to yourself, "Well, that's fine and dandy Raquel, but what in the world does it look like based on that description?".  I thought you might ask something similar so I've included a few pictures of Hardanger work for you in this post.  Two are more traditional with white threads on white fabric and two are a more modern take on this fabulous embroidery type.  These photos were selected at random from a general Google search for Hardanger Embroidery and I do not own the rights to any of the images.  There are many, many more finished patterns out there for you to browse at your leisure.  You can literally spend hours looking at the array of beautiful pieces out there!

"Why I am bringing this up?", you may ask.  Over the past couple of weeks, I have been re-learning the various stitches involved with Hardanger.  I taught myself the basics of Hardanger several years ago and made a couple of small pieces using this technique.  I drifted away from it, moving more toward cross-stitch pieces and other crafts.  Recently, I decided to give it another try as a friend of mine is getting married in May.  I wanted to do something special to mark this joyous occasion and thought that Hardanger was just the thing.  I sorted through my books and found a simple but elegant pattern that I hope she will enjoy.  This piece will be framed and I'll add the names and wedding date on it as well.  I decided to use white fabric with white and variegated aqua blue threads as her bridesmaids' dresses will be in a similar shade of blue.  I hope she enjoys it!  I'll be sure to post a photo or two of it when it's completed.

This leads me to the purpose of my post. (Finally, right?)  I have found that while working on this small wedding design that I have really missed this craft.  I am pleased to announce that I will soon begin working on several small Hardanger pieces for the Calico Craft Designs Etsy Shop!  I have started the design phase of these upcoming projects and have begun gathering my materials.  I found a lovely lady from Canada who hand-dyes a variety of embroidery threads.  She sells through the Colour Complements Etsy Shop.  I have already ordered a couple of different threads and cannot wait until they arrive to start using them in my designs!  I'll definitely post a photo once I get them.

I hope that you will check back often to see the new designs as they unfold.  Happy crafting!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

A Rocky First Year

Calico Craft Designs celebrated our one-year anniversary of having a shop on back in December 2013.  The date came and went in a flurry of holiday activity and not much was said about it.  2013 was a very rocky first year for us with several personal and ongoing family medical issues.  It seems that the timing was a bit off for us to really focus on handmade craft goods.  As a result, the blog postings have been few and far between and the production and design of new items has almost stopped.  However, we are striving toward a better year in 2014 and hope to really focus on the Calico Craft Designs Etsy Shop as we move forward.  I look forward to releasing new items for purchase and welcome any custom requests.  I hope that you will join us for a wonderful second year!

As always, thank you for your support of handmade craft goods and for your business!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Celebrate Valentine's Day with a Beautiful Wreath

Be sure to check out the Calico Craft Designs Etsy Shop for a handmade fabric Valentine's Day wreath or celebrate a romantic evening with one of our lovely fabric candle-rings.  Order yours today before they are gone! 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!!!

Welcome to 2014!!!

I hope that you have a safe and wonderful start to the new year.  Thank you for your support of handmade crafts.  I hope that you continue to watch Calico Craft Designs for new and exciting products in 2014!  Happy New Year!!!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Celebrating the Things that Go Bump in the Night

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays and Autumn is definitely my favorite time of year.  The warm days and cool nights.  The beautiful and rich colors of fall leaves.  The rich aromas of cinnamon, mulberry, pumpkin, and baked apples.  And of course, the ghoulish and sometimes very sweet decorations and costumes.  I love it all!

To help you celebrate Autumn and Halloween this year, I have added three more rag wreaths to the Calico Craft Designs Etsy Shop but here's sneak peek for you below.  I hope you will stop by a take a look at what we have to offer and as always, suggestions and comments are very welcome and appreciated!

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