Follow Me on Instagram!

Hi Guys!

It’s been a few months, and while I still don’t think coming back to this blog is right for me right now, I have started an Instagram account!

My handle is @helenanutshell. I think this link will take you there.

https://www.instagram.com/helenanutshell/?hl=en

For now, in order to continue following my work, please find me there.

Love,

Helena

Farewell For Now

Hi. I’m writing this specifically for those of you who are following me: all 46 of you. I am baffled and delighted by you guys, simply because for the 4+ years I’ve kept this blog I’ve never been writing for outside recognition. I started this blog because I was starting to get tired of shoving every single thing I made at my college roommate and shouting HERE LOOK WHAT I MADE. At the time I also thought I might give Etsy a go, simply because I was making more jewelry than I could get rid of without some kind of outlet like that. I have had some success selling in other venues in the past after all.

Etsy, unfortunately, requires a lot of time and a solid brand to be profitable, and as a college student I had neither of those. But I kept writing posts because I like hearing myself talk, and I like to be able to share my work. And slowly, people started following me (although my mom remains my biggest commenter by a wide margin [HI MOM!!!]). This has always blown my mind, because the blog is so personal, and so self-centered, and I’ve never really tried to market it in any way.

But I have done a lot of projects with wider appeal, fan projects for Doctor Who, Sassy Cross Stitches which are very en vogue right now, lots of Holiday stuff. I’ve dabbled in putting my prop work on the blog, especially when I did the Not Food Project which was such a big endeavor.

Since I’ve moved to NYC, and have been working consistently in props (and by consistently I mean that I’ve got a 40 hour work week), I’ve found my need for the creative outlet of this blog has dried up a bit. I’m making a lot of stuff every day, but almost none of it ends up here. And I’ve found that thinking about my blog makes me feel a little guilty, like I’m neglecting something which other people are relying on me to provide, which has never been the point of the blog in the first place.

So, I’m going to take an indefinite half-hiatus. I call it a half-hiatus because I’m both giving myself permission to ignore the blog for as long as I need to, and giving myself permission to come back and post sporadically, if I ever want to share my work again. It is possible that by the time the fall rolls around, and my employment situation shifts, I will find writing for this blog and sharing my work as fulfilling as I have in the past, and because it is my blog I am giving myself permission to do so. In the mean-time, please feel free to follow along with my ideas and inspiration boards on Pinterest (https://www.pinterest.com/whipstitchdear/). You can also follow my professional work at (http://helenamestenhauser.wix.com/propertiesartisan). And I’ll still get an email every time someone comments, so I promise not to ignore any new movement on the blog. Until next time, Happy Crafting everyone!

Lily Earrings Triumph

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There’s a 10 year long story behind these earrings, and it starts, as so many of my bead stories do, with Diane Fitzgerald. When I was 12 I saw her at the Upper Midwest Bead Society show, and she had her ginko leaf necklace with her. Every time I’ve met her, she’s been so nice and so sweet but this first meeting was special because she sold me not only my first set of Delicas but also her Beading with Brick Stitch book.

I’ve never been one to follow a pattern, but I used the book to learn the basics of brick stitch, and eventually had made this bouquet of beaded flowers (and hey look, the edging on the peach colored carnation and on the purple carnation were both from that original packet of Delicas she sold me)

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This was a big project for me, and I had planned to add other kinds of flowers, but I stalled on the lily. I had wanted to add some really large, lovely white calla-lillies but couldn’t work out the shaping in either peyote or brick stitch, so I set aside the project and moved on to other things.

Then, this summer, I saw this pin, a pattern by Linda Richmond.

I’d been working on this shape for about 8 years at this point, off and on. It was always in the back of my mind, so I bought the pattern. And promptly failed at figuring it out.

Then I moved around a bunch and didn’t have time to tackle it. Finally, over my Christmas time off, I managed to figure it out… sort of.

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They’re a lot smaller, and not really the same shape, and instead of doing the center stamens and the rest of the pattern I did something similar to these earrings and just used chain. (I told you I rarely follow the pattern). I’m a little bit in love with these ones though, they’re very elegant.

Next time I’ll mess with the counts and the increases a little more to get the larger flowers shaped correctly. The saga of the lily shape continues….

December Revamp: A Hat

This revamp marks probably the first New Year’s Resolution I’ve ever actually completed! I didn’t skip a single month, and I’m pretty proud of many of the projects and posts I’ve improved and re-done over the last year. Check out the full, year-long project here!

This month, I am proud both of the project I am revamping and the project I produced. I’ve made several of these floppy, flippable hats in the past and now I’m happy to add one more to that number.

My brother wore the last one down to rags, so I’m hoping that he’ll like the new one as much as the old.

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Also, I made a matching scarf. Merry Christmas Everyone!

Sassy Cross Stitch No. 2

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Happy Holidays!

It’s Christmas Card Season!

Last year I did a lot for Christmas. We threw a party and there were place cards and everything. This year I anticipate being fairly busy, and I doubt I’ll have time to do nearly as much, but I did have the evening free and I figured, first of December, I’m definitely meant to get my Christmas Cards for the year put together. And look, I even had the inspiration already.

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They’re fairly simple this year. All I needed was the blank cards themselves, thread in three colors (green, lighter green, and red) and a needle which could handle three threads through the eye.

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I grabbed my handy triangle and drew dots where I wanted there to be stitches, so that my stitches would be even.

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Then I anchored my thread with a knot, stitched back and anchored, stitched forth and anchored, stitched back and anchored, ect.

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Once I had a fully formed tree, the card was finished. Super cute!

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Transforming Art

Just a quick post today, I’ve got this great piece of art from a flea market.

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I looked at it and immediately it clicked: I knew I had to do something like this.

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The greyish flowers were so drab after all, and the painting needed something to bring it to life. A little bit of white and brown paint later, and I have a fresh piece of art for the living room.

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I especially love how well it works with the frame. No extra paint needed!