Sunday, November 23, 2014

A Very Grumpy Christmas

I can finally post about a gift finish that I stitched.  Yes, it's Grumpy Cat, all ready for Christmas.  Just look at him.  Even the joyous Christmas season can't get a smile out of this guy.  He does look cute though.  I stitched him for a fellow stitcher who was having some surgery.  I'm happy to say that the surgery was a success and my stitcher friend was delighted with Grumpy!
The chart is a freebie from Brooke's Books.  Just go to the "Freebies" button on the left.  It's stitched on 28-count Jobelan, completely with DMC.  I used stiff felt for the backing.  This was such a fun design to stitch, I may even make another one!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Bead Show Marathon

One of the funniest things I said to my husband lately was, "We won't be there too long".  I was referring to Sheila and I attending the Intergalactic Bead Show at the nearby Gwinnett Center a couple of weeks ago.  We hadn't been to one in a while, but with my renewed interest in beading I felt the need to see what was up in the beading world.  The Intergalactic shows are an outstanding venue to do just that. 

They come to our area about four times a year and feature dozens of vendors displaying everything from beads made of glass and metal, natural stones, wire, findings, pearls, and stringing necessities.  We also met nice people and found some amazing bargains.
Assortment of glass pearls I got for an amazing price.
Nikki Thornburg-Lanigan from Thornburg Bead Studio was kind enough to give us an demonstration on how to bend wire in a creative way, and also gave us the finished wire!  The beads she creates are beautiful.
Check out Nikki's website to see her wonderful creations.
We enjoyed the bountiful selection of seed type beads from The Beadroom.  These were just what I was looking for in my quest for beads for bead weaving.
Some seed type beads from The Beadroom, along with some wire and thread I also purchased.

An assortment of toggles, findings and cute little snowflake charms rounded out my purchases for the day.  
Sheila also added to her bead stash quite nicely.  Now we both have enough supplies to fuel our need to bead.   And just how long did we stay at the bead show?  Not "too long"?  Nope.  If I remember correctly, we were there browsing the booths for approximately 4 hours.  If you like beads, then go to an Intergalactic Bead Show and you'll see what I mean. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

The Traveling Tote Bag Project

Facebook has turned out to be a wonderful source of cross stitch groups, where you can meet others who share your love of stitching.  I myself have joined several groups in which I can see what my fellow stitchers are working on, get recommendations for new products, and even get help with a stitching problem (or help someone else with their stitching issue).

Through one of the groups, the "Soul Stitchers", I've also become friends with ladies from other countries.  So interesting to see what they're working on and what kinds of stitchy supplies they have!  When one of our group members asked if we wanted to contribute to an interesting project, many of us enthusiastically signed up.  Tracey has a tote bag made up of many pieces of Aida.  She requested that we would stitch one of the squares (or rectangles), and then pass the bag to the next person.

I caught the bag just as it finished its European tour and marveled at the amazing stitching on it.  I chose a little purple and pink butterfly and stitched it at the bottom. 
I asked some of the stitchers who participated to share a few thoughts about this project.  Harriet from Sweden likes cranes, so that was her stitching contribution.  The crane is also a symbol for long life.  The little bee was stitched by Bianca from the UK.  It's her nickname!  Bianca also contributed the poppy. She enjoyed this project knowing that it would bring a smile to Tracey's face whenever she used the bag. Renate lives in Austria (but is originally from the Netherlands) and chose an owl to stitch.  She loved the bright color and hoped that Tracey would too!

Eva is originally from Latvia and now lives in the UK.  She stitched the All Our Yesterdays piece, which is the little girl by the sea.  She is a fan of these designs and thought that Tracey would especially like this one.  Eva also hopes that this completed bag will bring joy to Tracey each time she uses it.  Kirsten says that butterflies are special and beautiful to her, just like our friend Tracey is. Kirsten, from Denmark, is happy to be part of the group that contributed to the stitching on this bag.  She says it shows that we care and have Tracey in our hearts. 

This is a pretty awesome group of ladies, isn't it?  It makes me happy to be part of this group, with such caring and kind stitchers.  As I packed the tote bag to send it to Tracey, I thought about how many miles it had traveled to reach the talented hands of so many stitchers.  This indeed was a special project and I know that all of my fellow "Soul Stitchers" will agree with me when I say that I hope that Tracey happily uses the bag for many, many, many years. 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Cool Halloween Finish

Stitching for Halloween is just plain fun.  There is no seriousness involved and to me, that makes for enjoyable stitching.  When one of the Facebook stitch groups I'm in announced a Halloween exchange, I was in!  My little collection of Just Cross Stitch Halloween issues offered a huge selection of ornament ideas and it was difficult to pick just one.  But eventually I chose this cute little owl and pumpkin chart by Blue Ribbon Designs called "Perched On A Pumpkin". 
What could be cuter than a little owl and a happy jack-o-lantern?  Fun to stitch, this is one I would stitch again for me.  I will say that the recipient was delighted and commented that it would become an heirloom in his Halloween collection.  Stitchers love to hear stuff like that, don't they?

I took on the challenge of finishing this ornament the way they suggested in the instructions.  This involved hand sewing the back and front together with thread and beads.  One bead per stitch.  I already had some shiny metallic orange beads in my stash and thought that they would be perfect for this project.
Although I really like this effect, next time I would simply machine sew the two pieces together and find another way to attach some beads.  It was a long process and was difficult to keep the fabric even as I hand-sewed.  But I do like the finished product and am glad that I tried this method.
I'm so happy that I finally got to share this finish!  I'm currently stitching a Christmas ornament which will be a gift, so there will be no photos of that for a while.  Fortunately, I do have some other projects going on which I will happily share in upcoming posts!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Lots Of Stitching And No Excuses

Where have I been?  Oh, around.  Doing stuff.  Stitching.  Reading.  It's time to dust off the blog and get with the program!  No excuses!

I've been doing some stitching, but can't show it here because most of the stitching I've done is for gifts.  So until they're sent and received, they remain top secret.  My stitch group's stitch day was last Saturday and I miraculously remembered to TAKE my camera and actually TAKE some pictures. 

This is Peggy's masterpiece, "Alpine Seasons Crossings" by Chatelaine.  The details are amazing.  Here's a close-up photo of the center.
She's making remarkable progress on this.
Pat stitched and put together a sweet little sled ornament by Foxwood Crossings. 
"Goblins On Parade" by Blackberry Lane is being stitched by Thea.  What a cool and unique design!  And the fabric is perfect.
Laurie is making progress on her Beatrix Potter Quaker Sampler.  We all agree that she chose the perfect floss and fabric combination. 
This pretty finish belongs to Trish.  She found the chart in an old cross stitch magazine, but I'm not sure which one.  Love the button detail.
Trish is also working on "Love, Joy, Home" by Ursula Michael.  The chart was found in an old issue of Cross Stitcher. 
One more by Trish.  I don't have the info for this one, but isn't it pretty?

Thea also had a couple of Lizzie Kate finishes.  Congratulations to Thea for finishing these with supplies she already had at home -- fabric, trim, and hangers!
The title of this blog referred to "lots of stitching" but none of it is mine.  Did you notice how I got around that?  Not exactly cheating, right?  I just wanted to show you what the Sisters In Stitches are up to.  I know that I, for one, love to see what other people are creating because it does inspire me to get out the floss, needle and fabric.  Hopefully you enjoyed this display of my group's work.  I am working on a special project right now that I'll show you next time.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Stitch Day And Some Cool Beading

It was a happy day at the Sisters In Stitches stitch day last Saturday.  All eight of us were there!  I don't know when that happened last.  We had a wonderful time catching up and laughing at silly things.  Peggy brought a delicious dessert for us -- icebox key lime dessert.  Oh, and whipped cream which she made by hand.  With a whisk.  She is one talented baker.

You're probably noticing the lack of photos from stitch day.  I did not have my camera, but plan to take it next month.  Hopefully I can get Thea to bring her finish and completion again and also get photos of the Sisters' work.  I have a picture of mine.
I'm getting to the end of this one.  Part 3 is about halfway done.  I have some Christmas projects to start, but they're for gifts and you know what that means.  No posting until they're received.  And then there's a Halloween completion that I REALLY want to show you, but I haven't even sent that one out yet.  I just love that Halloween one so much.

On to the "cool" bead project that I did yesterday.
Ha ha, "cool", get it?  It's a snowflake!  I found this pattern online and was excited to use Super Duos for the first time.  Wow, what a quick and easy project!  You're supposed to make earrings out of them, but I probably wouldn't .  However, a pendant might be nice.  Or a really small ornament?  On the end of a scissor fob?  An interesting list of possibilities.  I will be making more of these.

And let's go to Other People's Creations, where I show you the talented craftiness of other creative people.  This week, it's a beaded lanyard made by Sheila.  She created this for a teacher at her daughters' school. 
How pretty is this?  No more boring lanyards for this teacher!  I have a funny feeling that Sheila may get some requests for these.

Thank you again for all of your comments.  I read blogs to get inspired and to get ideas for new projects and techniques.  I hope that you come here to get a little inspiration too.  Or to have a few laughs.  Either way, please come back and visit often!

Monday, September 8, 2014

A Week Of Beads AND Threads

Last week I happily split my creative time between my two favorite pastimes -- beading and cross stitch.  For my new bead project, I decided on a bracelet using gemstone beads, crystals and seed beads.

I made a few changes, as I often do, and switched the pearls that the bracelet pattern called for with some beautiful 4mm lapis beads.  Another change I made was using oval crystals in place of bicones.  Just look at the amazing blue color of the lapis beads.
I often forget how pretty the gemstone beads are and I think that the natural gemstones complement the glass beads very well.  The classic combination of blue and silver is one of my favorites.  I need to use gemstones more often in my jewelry-making!  I found these lapis beads online at Auntie's Beads.  And you can click here to see the full line of lovely gemstone beads that Auntie's Beads offers.
I also found the cool magnetic clasp at Auntie's Beads. Looks really good with the silver seed beads, right?

Lately my stitching time as been taken up with the completion of gifts, and I finished two of them in the past couple of weeks.  Because they haven't been given to the recipients yet, I can't post them yet.  But I will share them once they're sent and received.  I have unearthed my largest WIP,  LHN's Song of the Seasons.  But, you're saying, didn't you start that like a year ago?  Why, yes. Yes, I did.  This piece will be for me, so it always went to the bottom of the WIP pile when something else came up.  So now I'm making this one a priority.  It will be framed, and I already have a place in mind to hang it.
See?  I have the majority of it done, and am currently working on part 3 of it.  Remember, it's a mystery sampler.  Well, not so mysterious anymore.  Side story about this piece:  There was a Facebook group for stitching this that I joined.  One day I unintentionally mentioned the tree and was told to zip my lip.  In a nice way, of course.  Apparently, there were some people who hadn't seen part 2 yet.  Yeah, I guess they told me.  Heh heh.

Coming up later this week:  Stitch Day!  I can't wait to see my Sisters In Stitches.  And I intend to have a lot more of Song of the Seasons to show you soon.

Thank you for all of your comments and for following my blog.  Please continue to comment and visit often.  I appreciate it!