How To: Transfer an Embroidery Design on Black Fabric

We have a new DIY kit available in the shop just in time for Valentine’s day!

finished hell of a universe

This quote (from an e.e. cummings poem) pretty much sums up what I think love and life are all about. Sure, there are chores to do, livings to make, kids to raise, but also: anything is possible, the universe is yours, and every day is a great day to explore, create, explode boundaries, and squeeze the ones you love.

Here’s a quick tutorial on how to transfer your design onto black fabric!

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1. Assemble your materials. You’ll need your transfer paper, the design you want to trace, your dark colored fabric, and a sharp thing, like a pen.

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2. Place your transfer paper color (in this case, yellow) side down onto your fabric where you want the design to go. Place your design on top of it (not shown).

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3. Push down hard and trace the outline of your design. This will transfer the lines you draw onto your fabric. The resulting lines with be light but visible, and should be completely covered by your embroidery, so you won’t need to wash it out at the end (but you can if you need to!)

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4. Stitch away! For this piece, I stitched each letter in a different color (but you can do it all in the same color, or change the color with each word, or go black on black because you’re a witch- whatever you want.)

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I made this tutorial video for those of you that need help getting started sewing.

 

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Pregnancy Myths, REVEALED! (An Illustrated Guide)

People say a lot of weird things about being pregnant, and it mostly comes from those who are a) not pregnant at that moment, b) are a man, and c) should shut up. People need to stop giving you advice because it’s starting to cut into the 15 hours per day you have allotted to not sleeping and fanatically googling.

Here are some things you might hear around town that are wrong.

  1. You’re glowing!

pregnant

Unless “glowing” now means “fucking exhausted” and “bigger than Donald Trump’s ego” and “more terrified of what’s about to happen than a cat of a cucumber” then no, you are not glowing. Maybe you were glowing, like right after you had sex 9 months ago, or in your second trimester when you finally stopped puking and ate something other than fries for the first time in 2 months. But now? The only thing glowing is your attitude if you run out of Haagen Dazs. (Do NOT run out of Haagen Dazs).

  1. Eating for two is a myth; you’re actually eating for one plus a few extra calories, like in a light yogurt!

eating 2

Okay, this one might technically be true, but shhhh. The only way to describe the unquantifiably enormous amount that you will love your babies to a pregnant lady is in saying, “Imagine a platter of cheeseburgers that goes on for infinite, and then add coffee, various cakes, and sleeping.” You will love your baby a lot. Also, light yogurt is not that delicious. Also, lettuce is a vegetable.

  1. Don’t pet cats!

cat lady pregnant

That is, if you even WANT to pet cats. (If you don’t, feel free to use pregnancy as an excuse to avoid them like the plague). But you can actually pet cats, you just can’t change their litter boxes, which you shouldn’t be doing anyway, because that is why you got married.

BONUS: It is also a myth that any pregnant woman alive who is not insane would wear a button-up shirt and just casually only button two buttons and then let her giant stomach hang over a blanket while she pet a cat. But I’m trying to illustrate a point here, which is that you can touch cats, if you want to and are pregnant.

  1. You have to take at least one picture of your giant stomach with your partner’s hands in a heart framing your cavernous belly button!

hands heart

Myth! Feel free to take this picture, or feel free to ask people to NOT take pictures of you while very pregnant, like when you’re stopping at Dunkin Donuts for the second time in one day and people are giving you sad, sympathetic looks, even when you chuckle nervously at the lady ringing you up and casually mention how much everybody at your office loves donuts. Instead of staging photos, you can also just lie around in bed in a sweatsuit and demand that nobody touch you. Ever again.

  1. Your lopsided bump is indicative of your baby’s gender!

girl or boy

Is your baby sitting a little to the left? Is your belly awkwardly misshapen? Did you do a special little dance during getting-pregnant sex? Did you google that weird “what sex is my baby” birthday chart that a million people swear works and IS REAL? Nope. Sorry! Your physical symptoms point to the condition of “being pregnant.” You’re going to have to wait to find out just like everybody else.

BONUS TIP: This one’s important: if anyone ever says to you, “wow, I can’t believe you’re still pregnant!” or “wow, you are HUGE” give them a black eye.

Now, go eat a pizza in a pair of sweats. Dribble a little tomato sauce down the front for me. If anyone dares enter your nest(flix), start screaming at them in Elvish and crying, alternately, until they fear for their lives.

An Earnest Celebration of the Mom Bod

It’s great that this “Dad Bod” thing has gone viral. My husband has a dad bod; he spends his free time with our daughter, not at the gym, and has the inner and outer core softness to prove it.

How amusing, though, that the most famous examples of this newly heralded physique, Leonardo DiCaprio and Jason Segel, are not actually dads? Their dad bods say, “the gym on this yacht doesn’t meet with my standards, so, more fancy burritos please.” They also both date notoriously tiny women.

In contrast to dad bod, the mom bod is not a celebrated viral phenomenon. Many celebrity mothers shy away from the spotlight postpartum (for many reasons, I’m sure- a spit-up drenched top probably doesn’t photograph well). They emerge back into the public sphere months after giving birth, perfectly svelte, all of their parts arranged back where they used to be, through a mix of gentle starvation and aggressive cardio.

Enough with this shit.

Where the dad bod says, “I’m 35 and still play a lot of video games,” the mom bod cries, “I gave birth to a human and haven’t slept in 6 months.” The mom bod is about praising what the female body can do.

A Brief History of My Body

I never quite fit into my body. I have a clunky, awkward spirit, one that never settled quite right into its soft but lanky musculature. I was bullied for years as a kid, mostly because of a wonky eye, high-water hand-me-down jeans, and two front teeth that stuck out at attention. The simplest survival tactic I found was to detach from my packaging.

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Since feelings mostly hurt, I tried not to feel at all. I ignored my body, and entertained my brain instead, usually by watching hours of TV. I wanted to exist in a world where Clarissa could explain it all directly to me, or I could morph into a silver puddle just like Alex Mack. It’d be a lot harder to pick on a puddle.

Some of my earliest experiences with men were psychically devastating. My first couple of boyfriends were loving and respectful, so I assumed other men would be, too. I learned the hard way, repeatedly, for more than a decade, that other people don’t always have your best interests in mind. The first time a man assaulted me I was drunk and sixteen. I learned that in addition to not liking my body, others were capable of abusing it, treating it like a trash can.

Unfortunately, my body came with my brain into my twenties, still feeling all wrong. I learned how to eat less, drink more, and smoke like a forest fire. I’d diet, get rail thin, and still not like myself. I’d wear strategic outfits, make my hair bigger to smooth out the proportions, have beer for dinner. I hated beauty standards, knew better than them, but couldn’t escape the easy path they offered as another way to despise my own skin. The way I saw it, my body was the source of my problems, and my brain was just along for the ride.

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Pregnancy changed me.

First it changed me in the way that I’d walk the dog around the neighborhood listening to Cat Power on repeat, sobbing hysterically at the thought of my poppyseed-sized baby, while pinching dog shit into a baggie. I knew I was pregnant before the tests even registered it, because I immediately went insane.

My first trimester I was nauseous and wobbly, commuting four hours a day, working ten, wanting nothing more than to lie down and be fed french fries. I felt relentlessly horrible.

The second trimester, however, was a revelation. A belly started to emerge, round and hard, and with purpose. I could imagine my girl in there, swimming like a tadpole, feeling for the warm landscape. By twenty weeks I could feel her fetal karate practice. I’d assign autonomy to her movements: a kick to the ribs meant “eat less curry,” and a quiet day meant she liked the book I was reading. I felt inexorably connected to her, a fat jellybean on a placental string, and by default was linked back to my own body. I was forced to cherish myself because I’m where she lived.

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Her birth was transformative because I survived it. I had no idea how strong my body or mind was until I endured fifty hours of labor followed by awake surgery. At the end of it, I had her on the outside. Seeing her for the first time rearranged every particle in the fabric of my being.

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My body became about her. I used it to feed her, hold her, sing her to sleep. My body birthed her, and then kept her alive.

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My body cooked this up: a mundane miracle (happening everywhere, endless species propagation, and rarely special until it’s your DNA). I have to be grateful for this.

Now, too, I have to think about which of these lessons to pass down. It haunts me to think of her enduring the nastiness of other 5th graders, the agendas of seedy men, or the difficulty of having her voice respected as another woman.

She deserves to be treated carefully: nurtured, listened to, respected, and loved deeply. It’s only possible if she learns to treat herself this way, first. I have to show her how to do that, by doing that, by loving myself, body and brain.

What Mom Bod Means to Me

It means I love my daughter with an unflinching fierceness, and my body is the soil she sprouted from. Every part of my body is useful now: for holding, soothing, feeding, teaching. Instead of a jutting, angular hipbone or clavicle, the result of calculated hours of abstaining from real food, she feels the softness of my stomach, a perfect pillow.

My softness is everything, indicative of my entire transformation. The battle scars of my younger years are fading into a gentle roundness, a more delicate way of moving in the world.

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I am part magician, now, a miracle worker. You should see her face when I pull a pack of crackers out of my bag.

The Sweatshirt

I created a sweatshirt for glam | camp in celebration of the most all-time powerful bod. My Mom Bod is nothing short of a fucking triumph, and I intend to let everybody know it.

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I encourage you to share your story, too. Let’s nudge the next viral phenomenon in the direction of honoring the sorcery and squishiness of mom power.