Welcome Back, Friends – I’m Starting the Next Chapter

November 25, 2014

Oh I am so happy to have you back here! Thanks for being patient while I worked on some back end sprucing and such. Let’s catch up a bit.

What a crazy crazy year it has been – mostly in good ways, but in some strange ways too.

I’ve made a few decisions about the future of Merriweather that I would like to share with you. To make it manageable, I’ll cover part now and part in another post.

Start the Next Chapter |The Merriweather Council Blog

First, I have decided to focus more effort here in the coming year and I want you to be informed about what to expect.

Over this past year, I’ve struggled a lot with my business  - and with myself. Almost like I was my own biggest obstacle. There was so much changing in our life – and I was forced to change a lot of things about the way I do business and the way I organize my time. With our move to Virginia and Husband’s new job as Ensign in the United States Navy, some of the most basic things about day to day life got switched up and I felt like I had to keep things in business as much the same as possible amidst the chaos. Mostly for sanity’s sake.

Once we got settled and I got into the groove of our new surroundings, I began to see that keeping things the same was actually making me tired. And a little bit bored, honestly. 

I’ve been doing this work for four and half years. I have never once put my shop on “vacation mode” – not even when we got married. I haven’t taken any time off really at all since I graduated college in May 2010. I took my work with my everywhere. I thought it was way cool at first – look at my portable job, look how great it is I can pack up and bring it with me. Now, I do not feel the need or want to ALWAYS have my work with me. In fact, I find that idea to be a bit … strange.

This has all been a long time coming. And because I was my own biggest obstacle, I put off changing things.

I realize now that keeping things the same, means losing ground – and inspiration. I guess that with everything else changing, it became glaringly obvious of all that I could be doing, but wasn’t.

So I’m changing it, FINALLY. I am capable of doing more than what I’m doing now – but not within the structure I’ve established. So in order to make room for the things I want to do more of, I have to do less of other things. More on this later though.

If you’ve followed me for a while, you know that I’ve shared some insights and tips and help along the way as it pertains to micro/ crafty business. And I have always really enjoyed doing that – and that’s what I’m going to get back to doing. Additionally, I have discovered that my real true interest is not necessarily embroidery – though I do love embroidery – on a grander scale, my vision ultimately revolves around the idea of living a creative life and encouraging others to do the same.

For me, a creative life means finding time to doodle, write, cook, and enjoy time with my friends and family – and making a job for myself. It means living life with an emphasis on trying new things, making messes, experimenting with materials and encouraging others to tap into their unique and invaluable creativity. For me, it’s creative life, happy life. I’m happiest when I feel creative and inspired. You might have your own interpretation of this, and I welcome that!

My creativity has always carried me through – I relied on it through school and I leveraged it in college – and then I used it to make money for the past four years. Projects and creative endeavors have motivated me and pulled me out of a number of emotional funks.

I want Merriweather Council to evolve into a place of inspiration – both for makers-in-business and creatives in general. My goal for 2015 is to share inspiration and instruction and discussion for bringing creativity into everyday life. I’ve learned SO much in the past four years both in and out of business and I owe it to myself to evolve from that. And I want to share my experiences with those of you who have similar ambitions.

For those of you selling your creative work online, there will be tips and resources to help you in that, and for those of you just wanting to bring some creativity into your every day, there will be projects and stories and inspiration for you as well. And for everyone else, maybe you’ll just like to watch and see what happens.

We’ll work on finding opportunities for creativity every day, making time to create, building up confidence in our work, getting ideas from head to paper to action and overcoming creativity blockers. We’ll celebrate the creative works of others and the creativity we encounter and we will work on getting your creations out into the world and selling it – if that’s something you want to do.

It boils down to blogging and making in pursuit and support of creative lifestyles – supporting yours, living mine, and writing about it. That’s the vision + mission.

I’m so excited to really kick this whole thing off in the new year! In the meantime, preview the categories I’ve organized all existing content into on the sidebar under “subjects”.

This whole “creative lifestyle” is a big topic and I have lots of ideas – and there is lots of time to explore them, but I would LOVE to hear from you too. If there is something you’d like to ask or would like to hear my insights about, please let me know. Additionally, I’d like to bring in some guest posts, so if you’d be interested in that give me a ring <err, email? DM? a tweet, perhaps?> and we can discuss bringing your unique point of view here. Seriously, don’t be shy.

To stay up to date on things, join my mailing list, subscribe to posts by email (see sidebar) or bookmark this page.  I’m so excited to share new things with you!

Have a wonderful thanksgiving and we’ll catch up again real soon!

Oh and if you are in the mood to do some shopping, swing by the shop on thursday night – and through the weekend – for some exclusive product releases and sale pricing throughout the store. Basically everything except made to order hoops will be on sale. YEAHHH. Hop on my mailing list to get an email with all the details.


Embroidery Hoop Cat Christmas Ornaments

September 15, 2014

I am the first to say that I am not truly a ‘cat person’ – I have never owned a cat and I don’t really spend a lot of time with felines. However! I do love cats in broader sense – the internet sensation that is cats, the memes, the LOLz… I just love a good cat moment. And this has warmed me up to the idea of maybe possibly owning a cat someday. But right now, I just adore cats as a pop culture icon.

There are a great number of people who love cats because they have them though, obviously, and I understand that because I have a dog and I love her to bits.

So for all you cat lovers – I have created some cat ornaments for this holiday season!

I have Kitty in Crown

Embroidered Christmas Ornament - Cat with Crown | The Merriweather Council Blog

and Santa Hat Cat

Embroidered Christmas Ornament - Cat with Crown | The Merriweather Council Blog

Come take a closer look at them in my shop!

I’m working on some other items that feature cats as well. Cats in hats is my new name, I think. Can you think of any other hats the cat could be wearing?


Thrift Store Needlework, Embroidery and Cross Stitch

September 8, 2014

I’ve been popping into the thrift stores a bunch this summer – i’ve always been bit of a frugalista, and I have recently experienced a resurgence of love for thrifting.

In my travels, I have spotted a number of discarded, corny, awesome, vintage, and gaudy pieces of stitched art.

Some of them are absolutely fabulous in their old crumbliness. Some are just traditional corny.

Here are some of my favorites:

thrift store embroidery + needlework finds | The Merriweather Council Blog



thrift store embroidery + needlework finds | The Merriweather Council Blog



thrift store embroidery + needlework finds | The Merriweather Council Blog


Oddly, the pineapple brings this piece into the present and could actually be considered trendy.

thrift store embroidery + needlework finds | The Merriweather Council Blog


Someone really loved their spider plant.

thrift store embroidery + needlework finds | The Merriweather Council Blog


Another pineapple?! Some people missed the memo these are trendy right now.

thrift store embroidery + needlework finds | The Merriweather Council Blog


Sad. Hopefully the sisters are still on good terms.

thrift store embroidery + needlework finds | The Merriweather Council Blog

I actually considered buying this one to add to my collage wall but I didn’t have 58 cents in cash and I thought it would be pretty stupid to debit that.

thrift store embroidery + needlework finds | The Merriweather Council Blog


A little weird, yup, definitely weird.

Of course I can’t help but notice the incredibly low prices – and yes, I realize these are thrift store finds. But still, it’s sort of sad to see something handmade end up for like, $2 at the thrift store… even if it is old, crumbly and otherwise out of style.

I always try to leave the needlework pieces prominently displayed before leaving… you know, to help with merchandising – unless the piece is creepy, then I just put it face down and back away.