Friday, September 25, 2015

September Pinterest Inspired Craftiness

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know that cross stitch is not the only crafty pastime that I enjoy.  Lately, doing beadwork has become something I've been doing a lot more of.  I think it's because of all of the new types (for me) of beads on the market.  Superduos, Tilas, drop beads, and others have all caught my eye, making me wonder:  What can I make with this?  I've found that I particularly like to work with Superduos.  I found this Youtube video on Pinterest and knew that I had to make the bracelet.

I chose all bronze tones for the three types of beads used in this project.  Beads required were Superduos, 15/0 seed beads and just a few 8/0 seed beads.
Something I learned: when choosing colors for a bracelet (or for a necklace for that matter), figure out what kind of fastener looks best with it BEFORE starting your project.  I found that bronze closures are not easy to find.  Maybe there are multitudes of them, and I just was lax in my research.  Could happen.
I did find this magnetic fastener at my local bead store and I like it.  But it was the only one they had that would be suitable for this bracelet.  And this is a very well-stocked bead store!  So what do you think?  The video shows that you can make this really long to go around your wrist a couple of times, but I chose the single version.  The only teeny tiny change that I made was to add an extra 8/0 near the fastener.

This was a fun project to do and I would say that it's a good beginner to intermediate bracelet to make.  The instructions are excellent and it came together very quickly.  If you really wanted to, you could complete this in an afternoon.  Oh, and you can make this bracelet in wider widths by using more beads across.  That's explained in the video.

My visit to the bead store netted me two more tubes of Superduos in really cool colors, plus some beading necessities.  Don't be surprised if you see more of these bracelets on my blog!

One more thing.  My sister, Sheila, asked me if I wanted to take a painting class with her.  It was offered locally in conjunction with Colors of Fall Art Exhibition and Sale sponsored by the Sawnee Association of the Arts.  It was conveniently scheduled on my day off so I happily accepted.  So we went today not knowing what to expect.  Sheila is definitely the better artist/drawer/painter of the two of us, but I had a lot of fun.  Thanks to the instructor (who is obviously very talented and very patient), I successfully painted a pear and I also learned a lot.  OK OK, I got a little help, but I think everyone else in the class did too.  Don't laugh.
I had the distinction of being the messiest and most disorganized class member.  Go me!  I left the class with the most paint on my hands.  We will be taking another class in a couple of weeks called Color Theory.  I don't know exactly what that is, but I like colors so I'll probably like it.

So that's my craftiness for the week.  I hope you enjoyed seeing the fruits of my labors.  Ha ha, "fruits".  Get it?  I am such a jokester.  Thanks for visiting and come back soon.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Which Are Your Favorites?

September is a big month for many of us stitchers.  That's when the Just Cross Stitch Christmas Ornament issue comes out.  We snap it up at our local bookstore or LNS, or purchase one online and then settle in to decide what we'll be stitching for Christmas.  Or in my case, for next Christmas. 

I was lucky enough to buy this year's issue from a friend who already had one and it is certainly full of beautiful charts.  My fellow blogger, Vickie, from A Stitcher's Story, wrote a post about her top five favorite ornaments in the Christmas Ornament issue.  Such a fun idea, so I asked her if I could borrow it.  She said I could, which was no surprise because stitchers are awesome people.

So here are my top five in no particular order:
1.  Christmas Eve Delivery by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery
2.  Plenty by Hands On Design
3. Barn Star Christmas by Summer House Stitche Workes
4.  White Christmas by New York Dreamer
5.  Simple Hearts by Elizabeth's Needlework Designs
There are so many more pretty ornaments, but I'm limiting this post to my top five.  Now, which of the 75 projects in the magazine are your favorites? 

I finished my portion of the secret project I told you about.  It turned out well, and now it's winging its way to the next stitcher.  Or maybe it's rolling its way.  I don't know.  I'm pretty sure I'll be able to reveal the finish in a couple of months.

This past Saturday was our stitch group's Stitch Day so I was able to put a few more stitches into my current project, Kaleidoscope by Sheena Rogers. 
Wow, I thought I got a lot more done than that.  Hmm, I think I need to devote a little more time to stitching if I'm going to have any finishes this year!

Each month at Stitch Day we have a gift exchange.  It's become a cherished tradition and is just plain fun.  I thought you might like to see what September's gifts look like after they were opened. 
Looks good, right?  And there were only four of us present this month!  You can imagine what it's like when all of us are there!

Thanks for stopping by!  I appreciate that and all of the comments I get.  If you're not yet a follower, please consider becoming one.  Until next time!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Stitching And More Stitching

The last couple of weeks have been stitching weeks for me, and I'm happy to say that I made some progress on my pincushion project.  As promised, here is the photo on what I've done so far.
Notice I said "some progress" and not "tremendous progress".  I am seeing it take shape and that is a good thing.  The chart is "Kaleidoscope" by Sheena Rogers.  This is one I'm going to finish before I work on anything else.  I think.  You never know. 

I was contentedly stitching this one and then two more library books came in off of my reserve list.  Not one.  Oh nooooo.  Two.  And we only keep them out for two weeks.  And then, another stitching project arrived at my doorstep.  In one of my stitching groups on Facebook, we're stitching something for one of the members and it's a surprise.  This project has already visited the homes of 2 members, then it came to me.  It will go to more participants after me.  And that's pretty much all I can tell you because I'm not exactly sure who all reads my blog.  Here's a tiny view of it.
That's all I can show.  Weird photo too because the colors are completely off.  I think I had bad lighting when I snapped this.  Oh well, good disguise.  I can say that I'm stitching this one pretty quickly, which is unlike me. 

The other day on Facebook, someone posted a link to a freebie that caught my eye right away.  And you know how I am when it comes to freebies!  Jody at Satsuma Street designed this cute chart, Summer's Flight, and is generously offering it as a freebie.

 The colors in this pattern are, what can I say, just delightful!  Plus, she includes finishing instructions right there on her blog.  Please check out her blog.  Her designs are colorful and whimsical and I may have to do some shopping there. 

Thanks for visiting!  I will post photos of the secret project as soon as the recipient receives it. 
Until then, keep checking back for more crafty stuff. 

Friday, August 28, 2015

August Pinterest Project!

It was time for a little sewing when I chose my Pinterest project for August.  Ever since I pinned this tutorial, I knew that I wanted to create one of these cute tote bags. The tutorial is generously offered by The Inspired Wren and you can find the instructions here.  Here's a photo of the bag on The Inspired Wren's blog.
The bag pictured in the tutorial.  Not mine.

Selecting fabrics for the bag meant a visit to Joann.  Oh darn.  Ha ha.  I'm actually a frequent shopper at Joann, and never, ever consider going there a chore.  It's a veritable wonderland of crafty stuff.  The store that's nearest to me is a smaller Joann, but there's a giant one that's a little bit of a drive.  When you go there, the amount of fabrics can get your head spinning if you're not careful.

OK, back to the project.  So I selected my fabrics.  I liked the one for the main body of the bag so much, but found that other than black, it would be difficult to match or coordinate a third fabric.  The lining/trim and handles would all be the same black patterned fabric.
THIS one is my tote bag.
I also had to get some fusible interfacing.  I chose a heavier weight one when the pattern called for a medium weight.  The woman at the fabric told me that she had recently sewn a makeup bag and had used a heavy weight interfacing and wasn't happy with it.  She told me this story a couple of times as she cut the fabric and I didn't realize that she was trying to tell me to get a medium weight.  I wish that she had just come out and said that, but I think that she was trying not to be too bossy.  She was right, though and I'll know that for next time.

Above is another view of the tote bag.  This is the shape it actually is - very rectangular, about 9-1/2" wide and 12" tall, and 2" deep.  I can see how I can easily change the dimensions of the pattern pieces to make a larger bag.  This one, however, is the perfect size to carry a few books back to the library.

One thing I re-learned by sewing this bag is how to make a French seam.  I had to do a refresher course since the last time I sewed a French seam might have been back in high school sewing class.  Do they even have those anymore?  Anyway, that was long, long ago.  I went to trusty Youtube and found this tutorial (although there are quite a few of them).

One thing I added to the tote bag was a shaper/strengthener piece at the bottom of the bag.  I cut a piece of foam core board the same size of the bottom of the bag and then covered it with fabric.  I used the main fabric for contrast, but you can also use the lining fabric.
Use some double sided tape to adhere this piece to the bottom of the bag. 

I would highly recommend this project!  It can be done in a day, or probably an afternoon if you're a quick sewer, have all of your supplies organized and don't get distracted by stuff in your craft room or something going on out of the window.  Would I make another one of these?  Yes, definitely!  I'd say this project was a success!

Thank you for visiting today.  If you're not a follower of my blog, please consider becoming one.  Also, thanks for all of the nice comments!  Please visit often!

Monday, August 17, 2015

A Cure For A Stitching Slump

For me, stitching is usually an all-year-round pastime.  But for some reason, I could not get into cross-stitch this summer.  Who knows why.  (Maybe it had something to do with all of those books on my library request list coming in rapid-fire twos and threes.)  I happily attended my stitch group's Stitch Days in July and August, where I did a little stitching.  I finished an ornament.  And looking at new cross stitch patterns online was something I enjoyed, but none of these things inspired me to pick up needle and thread all summer.

Even though I love all of my works in progress, I felt that a new project was needed to kick me out of this slump!  What better thing than starting something new, right?

And I knew the exact one I had in mind:  Kaleidoscope by Sheena Rogers Designs.  It's part of her mini cushion collection and is just beautiful.  And most importantly, it was already in my stash!
Admittedly, I don't stitch at top speed.  In fact, I am a slow stitcher.  There.  I admitted it.  But just look!  You can already see the design forming.  I just love this design and the colors in it.  When I first started seeing Sheena Rogers' designs on Facebook, I thought they looked familiar.  Then I remembered why!  When we were in London in '09, we went to this gigantic bookstore and I bought a book of her designs!  So maybe I just need to get more of those done. 

So a tiny project was all I needed to get back into stitching.  Happy solution!

It's now time for Other Peoples' Creations!
At our August Stitch Day, fellow Sister in Stitches, Thea, brought some finishes she had completed.
We'd seen the finished stitching and now she presented the completions, all in a patriotic theme.
Just look at the creative ways that Thea finished all of her stitching!  Wall hangings, ornaments, pillows, and a door hanger with flowers!  And I'm pretty sure that Thea used fabrics, trims, etc. that were already in her stash to complete all of these.  Lots of ooh's and ahhh's for these!  Aren't they pretty?!
A closer look.
The door hanger has a handle to go over the doorknob.
And for something a little different, my sister, Sheila, has started to work with wire in her jewelry creations.
For the necklace, she used a purchased chain and added her bent wire and bead charms.  And the bracelet is made of her own wired sections with beads.  Try clicking on the photo for a closer look.

So there it is.  My return to stitching and being a better blogger!  Thank you for sticking with me and for all of your kind comments.  See you soon!  

Monday, July 27, 2015

July Pinterest Project

For my July Pinterest-inspired project, I chose to do some beading.  I currently have 217 beading projects pinned, which is the most pins I have on any of my boards.  So my choice was based on that bit of data, along with the fact that I needed to make a small ornament for a gift.

I found this cute little beaded star that I made in one afternoon.  It's called Starlight and it was designed by Deborah Roberti at  Once again, I found everything I needed in my bead stash and you know how happy that makes me.

All that this project needed were:  Superduo beads, 11/0 seed beads, some 3mm round beads, and some 4mm beads for the center.  I chose the combination of silver, crystal and seed beads in purple, blue and green.  All I had to do was add some silver ribbon for a hanger and I was done!

This is a good beginner/intermediate beading project.  Around The Beading Table has such good illustrated instructions that someone who has minimal beading experience could make this pretty star.  Check them out.  They have lots of different free tutorials for all kinds of things - bracelets, necklaces, earrings and more.  Have some fun looking through all they have to offer!

Imagine all of the different color combinations you could do!  I will definitely make more of these.  I declare this Pinterest-inspired project a success!

Monday, July 20, 2015

An Ornament Finish

I finished this cute little chart, "Be Merry" by Little House Needleworks, a few months ago.  And now it's a completely finished ornament!  Everything used in this finish was from my stash.  I really like when it works out like that.

For the front, I cut a piece of heavier cardboard to the correct size and centered the stitched piece on it.  The excess fabric was folded in the back making an effort to have as little bulkiness as possible.  Everything was taped up with double-sided tape. 

Taking a look through my fabric stash I found a good coordinating fabric.  I did the same folding and taping technique to the back and used a lighter weight cardboard.  I have some comic book backing boards that are perfect for this.  I found this idea somewhere on Facebook and was happy to find a good, inexpensive board that's easy to cut to size.  Who knew?
Then I took the back and front and applied some Alene's Tacky Glue.  Carefully aligning both pieces, I stuck them together and gave them a few hours to dry.  I put two heavy boxes on top of them during their drying time.  More rummaging through my ribbon and cord box proved successful when I found some red and gold twisted cord and some sheer ribbon for a little bow.  I used some more Alene's to apply the cording.  Yes, you can also stitch this on, but I've had lots of luck using glue without too much slopppiness.  A cute little bow on top and a teeny gold snowflake are the perfect finishing touch!

When I have a successful finish like this, it makes me want to make more ornaments!  It's so satisfying to complete a project in a relatively short time.  This little ornament will be a gift even though it is so tempting to make it mine!