Pencil Case Prototype No.2

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Second pencil case experiment all finished! This is made out of some calico I dyed with redcurrants, & as soon as I saw the delicate colour I knew I wanted to do something floral. This design is actually inspired by the first piece of original embroidery I ever did (you can see that here), & it was a lot fun updating that (& adding sequins to it – but when are sequins not fun?!)

I have lots of ideas & plans for more of these, with the ultimate aim of getting the standard of my sewing & finish to a point where I would feel comfortable listing some original pieces in my Etsy shop. So keep an eye out for that!

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Prototype Pug Pencil Case & Shop News

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Before I talk about this project I have an exciting update about my Etsy shop. After months of hinting at it, the shop now finally exists and will be open in a matter of weeks. I can’t wait to share it with you! Until then if you fancy a bit of a look behind-the-scenes as I get everything ready why not follow The Goozeberry Jar on Instagram here? I’ve also given this blog a well-overdue spring clean so there are a few new things to have a look at here too.

OK, now onto the project in the picture…a prototype pug pencil case! Fully lined & with interfacing. I did all of the fun bit last summer – dyeing the fabric & stitching the pug – but was a bit scared of putting it all together until now. This was my first zip & I’ve never been so thankful for YouTube tutorials in my life

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All of the bits of embroidery I’ve done before have just been put away once I’ve finished them so I wanted to try and step it up & make something that could actually be used. I liked the crinkly look of the fabric after I’d dyed it so I didn’t iron it out – be proud of those wrinkles people

There will be more of these in future so hopefully I can improve on this one. The plan is to have a mixture of printed goodies and handmade items in my shop, so if you like the look of this one you might be able to get your hands on something similar!

The Goozeberry Jar is now in 3D!

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So I should have posted this a week or two ago, but here it is now…my first Goozeberry-style piece of 3D work. And it is of course a stuffed, hanging head – what else?As with the embroidery before I tried out my own designs, I had done a couple of stuffed textile projects out of books, but this is the first one following my own design (and rules, probably; I’m new at this).

These photos make her face look very flat and pancake-like, but hopefully it isn’t that bad in real life. Either way it was really satisfying to have something more physical at the end of it, and I got to use my new (also first ever) sewing machine to stitch it all together (her features are hand-embroidered) which was a lot of fun. More 3D stuff in the future!

New Embroidery!

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Finally finished – I’ve been working on this one on and off for a few months, picking it up whenever I felt like sewing rather than drawing or painting. It doesn’t have a title yet, although I’m very tempted to call it ‘The Beards and the Bees’…
After a bit of a doodle-drought when nothing seemed to be working I’ve recently finished a couple of new paintings, so they will be posted up on here soon. In the meantime, if you’d like to keep up to date with Goozeberry goings-on and see new pieces, you can pop over and say hello here. I have also updated this site a little bit by adding an embroidery gallery which you can have a look at here. Hopefully there will be more to fill it up soon!

Embroidery: Bumble

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Another embroidery design! I’ve been in a real sewing mood lately, juggling three projects in various states of completion. This is actually the third design I started (see the first one here) but I just happened to finish it before the second one. Most of this is simple chain stitch and back stitch, but I also tried satin stitch (on the wings) for the first time ever. I had some lovely silvery grey thread that has a nice sheen to it with this stitch. All that needs doing now is scouring the second-hand shops for a nice old frame to put it in…

Drawing in Stitch

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Close-ups below

So I heavily hinted in this post that I had been doing some embroidery. As promised, here are some pictures of my first original design! Looking at it in these photos I can see a lot wrong with it or things I would add or change, but I had so much fun doing it that doesn’t put me off and I am still quite pleased with it. I know the design is very simple, but I didn’t want to jump in at the deep end. The stitches I used were nice and simple too (deliberately!) – back stitch for the face and outlines, chain stitch to fill in the flower and leaves. Part of the purpose of this first one was to see if I could actually do it – create a project and see it through from start to finish. What my ultimate aim was though was to see if I could translate my drawing style into stitch. Up until now I had been doing sewing projects out of books so I wanted to see if what I do could be translated into stitch – I wasn’t sure. So I deliberately started out at the beginning just as I do when planning a mixed media/painting piece: with a pencil and a sketchbook, and although I made sure it was simple I drew as though I were going to paint it rather than sew it.

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I finished the stitching on this one – which I’m currently calling ‘Flower Head’ or ‘Flower Girl’ – in October last year, but have only just finished it off in the embroidery hoop with the ribbon. I’ve already started another piece though, and eventually I would like the designs to get more complicated, but for now I am very much still learning as I go and still in the process of working out what kind of thing will work as embroidery, and what needs to be painted – although I’m sure for a more experienced sewer anything can work! I’ve literally tied myself in knots along the way (as I said before, I am really not a patient person) but ultimately I had a lot of fun seeing something growing beneath my fingers in a way that is much more tactile than a drawing. But drawing and painting is comfortable for me, and I feel at the moment that although I am the one holding the needle, I am still a bit in thrall to the thread and always wondering what it will do next – whether the stitch will fall as I hope or whether some inexplicable problem (usually a mysterious knot) will arise and I will have to start again. If I finish the second design, I will post pictures of that too – but there’s a long way to go yet!

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