Circular Ceilings I: San Francisco


Quite awhile back a friend requested a series of embroidery representing five locations around the US. I hadn’t done much custom work, so it took me quite awhile to come up with a concept and execute it. For each of the locations requested I found architectural landmarks, specifically buildings with large round ornate ceilings.

Rather than trying to cram all the different images in one post, I will be breaking them into separate posts. The first is the Palace of Fine Arts, representing San Francisco. Most people probably overlook it, but under the dome of the main building is a pattern on the ceiling:

photo by Amy Snyder

photo by Amy Snyder

With some modifications I did my best to represent it in embroidery. This is the result:


Overall I tried to use bright and cheerful colors from a limited palate for the entire series of five. This way there would be more cohesiveness across the works. In addition, matching the colors to the actual ceilings would have been either ridiculously difficult or rather boring (eg the reddish brown of the Palace of Fine Arts).


Four more to come, stay tuned!

Baby’s First Christmas: Embroidered Snowflake Ornament


I’m afraid I’m a bit behind on this post since Christmas is over, but our tree is still up so I thought I would share anyway. I wanted to make a handmade ornament to commemorate the baby’s first Christmas.

On one side I embroidered a snowflake, using a pattern I found online here.

babyembroideredornament01On the other side I embroidered the baby’s name and the year using this font. I finished the ornament by sewing up the edges, adding a loop and stuffing the interior. In the stuffing I included a tiny lock of hair from his first haircut (more like trim) as a sentimental/old-fashioned/creepy tribute.

babyembroideredornament03It’s a great little ornament on our tree that we can look forward to hanging each year.


New Items in the Shop

The past couple of weeks have been insanely hot! The upside is that it makes it easy for me to justify staying indoors to work on getting new items up in the shop.



First up, new constellation cards! Most people don’t recognize the constellation of their zodiac sign, but Orion and the Big Dipper (Ursa Major) are two constellations that are among the easiest to identify. I had gotten a request at a market awhile back for Orion, so I thought I would add a couple more constellations to the constellation series of cards.

bike-sketchbook-embroidered-blue-yellow-coral-red-01 Flower-Sketchbook-Embroidered-Cover-Red-Coral-Poinsetta-01

I’ve also expanded the selection of notebooks to include these sketchpads. Due to the popularity of the bike mini-notebooks, I added bike sketchbooks. There are also flower sketchbooks and other designs.



I’ve also listed the black and white notebooks that I premiered at the Handmade Cavalcade. These include the small and large versions of the notebooks inspired by the earth houses of Burkina Faso and modified chevron design.

I’ve shot pictures on several more items, and I’m working away on other projects with a big impending deadline, so hopefully I’ll back soon with updates on those!

Monthly Planners


Two new items up in the shop! The first features a two-toned Moroccan design with an intricate interweaving of stars and geometric patterns.


The second features a looped petal star design, also Moroccan in origin. It’s available in solid yellow or two tone blue and green.


I picked planners that were blank monthly calendars so that procrastinators (like me) could start whenever it made sense. The other half of the notebook has blank pages with a dotted grid for notes.

New Items for the Holiday Season

I’ve finally finished photographing my last few items that I created for the holiday season and posted them in the shop.

Bike Mini Notebooks

I thought these would make a nice stocking stuffer for all the bike lovers out there. I also thought that since I’ll be selling in Brooklyn bikes had a good chance of selling well.

2013 Calendar

I thought calendars would be a great option for the shop, but it turned out to be a bigger project than I anticipated. I designed and printed out each of the months, and then went and hand embroidered each design on the top half of the card. However, what I didn’t think through was that each image is the time equivalent of a card (more actually) and so I won’t be able to make many of these. I have an initial version that didn’t work out color-wise that my sister has already laid claim to!

D.I.Y. Embroidery Kit

This is a product I’ve been working out the kinks on for awhile. I wanted to create a kit so that anyone could make their own embroidered project without the headache of lining up and punching out your design.

I settled on a design of two concentric circles and included instructions so that people would have some flexibility to be creative with the designs. I felt that some degree of customization was important since part of the fun of D.I.Y. is putting your own personal touch on the item.

So that is the very last of my new products for the holiday season. I have a couple of things that I don’t plan on listing on Etsy, that I’m holding back specially for the Holiday Handmade Cavalcade. We’ll see if I get a chance to photograph them!

Framed Embroidered Cards

We rode out the storm last night safe and sound, and since we’re on high ground we didn’t flood and have electricity (so I can post now while we wait for the city to get back on its feet).

I got a new camera a couple months ago and I have been working on improving my photography. Part of this is trying to improve how I display/style my items in product photos.

Even though they’re intended as cards, I thought one added benefit is that they can be re-used and displayed after they’re received. I framed and hung selections from the Moroccan series and constellations. I’ll probably pick out my favorites at some point and leave them up permanently.

Astrology constellation cards complete!

Basically the title says it all. For my etsy shop, I’ve been working on a series of embroidered cards featuring all of the constellations of astrology. I just finished posting the last of them online, I’m pretty happy with how they turned out.

The most time consuming part is getting the placement of the stars right. Each hole actually represents the location of a star as we see it. You can see the whole set (with many more pictures) right here.

Presenting Koto Designs!

Despite my long silence on this “projects” blog, I have been diligently at work. I am very happy to announce the launch of my Etsy Shop, Koto.

Right now the shop is filled with embroidered cards featuring a variety of designs.

This one is based on an Islamic geometric star design.


I also have several constellations – this one is Pisces. I hope to eventually finish off the whole zodiac and a few of the cooler constellations like Orion.

I have far more cards than I’m able to feature here, come check out the shop for more!

Hilbert Curve Embroidered Pillow

I saw this embroidery awhile back of a Hilbert curve done with multicolored thread. I wanted to make something for the house that reflected my husband’s tastes, and since he works in math, I thought this would be a good fit.

A Hilbert curve is a “continuous fractal space-filling curve.” It lends itself well to embroidery since it follows a single line, starting in one corner and ending in the other.

After embroidering the front with a simple back stitch, I used leftover fabric to add sides and a backing to turn it into a throw pillow cover.

Three buttons I picked up from Tender Buttons close the back. A nice math accessory for our house. Some time down the line I’d like to try making a dragon curve pillow to match.