Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Inspiration Hoops

I know we wrote our lists of Crafty Resolutions here. However, for my life in general this year, I decided to follow inspiration rather than specific goals in guiding me through the next 12 months. After a bit of research, I settled on a couple of quotes that really spoke to my scattered mix of anxieties, obsessions, aspirations, desires, efforts and motivations. One of them is such a good daily reminder for me, as we've discussed:

Smile, breathe and go slowly.
~ Thich Nhat Hanh

I wanted to find an artful way to display these quotes in my home and work area -- more than just a piece of paper on my bulletin board. I had noticed and noted the embroidery-hoop-as-art trend on sites like SouleMama's blog and others. I also had some sweet fabrics in my stash that I knew I may never have the heart to part with -- perfect for displaying. Little by little, my inspiration project came together.

As you know, embroidery hoops can be found for the change in your pocket at your local craft store or, if you're lucky, at a nearby thrift store. I happened to have these 3 in my craft boxes. I framed the small design print in the smallest hoop, the busiest print in the largest hoop, and I kept the medium one for a coordinating light blue linen from my stash -- the canvas for my inspiration quote.

The last step in my project was to stamp my inspiration quote on the "canvas" linen hoop. I have a fun set of stamps I bought a few months ago. I love the rough typewriter typeface and the fact that they are easy to grasp when stamping. However, I don't quite yet know how to use them properly, including how to stamp in straight lines!

The result is a bit... less pristine and inspiring than I was hoping!! I am thinking this specific stamp alphabet may be a bit too large for the hoop. Fortunately, I have a lot of linen left in the stash and can easily redo this one with a different set of stamps, or something different. I'm not sure yet. But I'll take a deep breath and take my time before I toss it all back in the craft box. What do you think?

Update: I have gone back to scratch on the inspiration hoop. The stamping made me cringe. I could embroider the quote, since it is an embroidery hoop. But, my embroidery skills are not great. So I’m debating between that and trying out another stamp. If I had a working printer at the moment, I might also try designing and printing a nifty iron-on transfer. I’ll post again when I’ve figured it out!

Update 2: I think I'm going to embroider that sucker after all. I am thinking a nice, cursive font and a little birdie to tie it all together with that awesome Alexander Henry print in the the large hoop. Hit me up with some good birdie patterns if you have 'em!

Angel-mini-buttonI'd go for the embroidery! You have to learn sometime. And since this is a decorative piece you don't have the pressure of getting it done like if it was for a gift or something like that. You know Thich Nhat Hanh is one of my favorites, his writings have been influential in my life. I really love these! I find embroidery hoops from time to time when I am thrifting and always pick them up. It's really time to put them to use!

You might have some luck finding bird templates at Martha Stewart's website. She has a thousand templates on there, it is crazy how many pop up when you type in "bird template". I am looking for a few good templates too, so I can make a few framed pieces for the bathroom after it's painted and we get a new shower curtain. I'll let you know if I find any that are perfect!


  1. Jenny - so impressed with all of your craftiness! You're awesome. Love these projects - the burlap buckets are very cool.

  2. Thanks so much Caroline! My craftiness itself is a work in progress, hence the focus of this blog. We're all 3 learning, but inspired and motivated to muddle on through. I am so glad you visited and hope you will again!! Miss you, friend!


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