Thursday, December 11, 2014

A Pinterest (Not Too Bad) Fail

Pinterest is so much fun, isn't it?  You can find cool ideas and photos of anything you're interested in.  In my case it's cross stitch, crafts, beading, and food.  And who knows what kinds of boards I'll add in the near future.  One little crafty idea that caught my eye was a bowl of pine cones painted with a silvery finish.  How festive!  How Christmas-y! 
Look at how shiny they are.  Remember, this is the picture from Pinterest.
All you have to do is get a can of Krylon Looking Glass Mirror-Like paint!  Well, and some pine cones too.  Funny story about that:  The house I used to live in was surrounded by pine trees.  Before we moved, I picked up a bunch of pine cones and stuck them in a box.  I actually moved a box of pine cones from my old house to my new house.  My husband never said anything about that, but he probably shook his head a little. 

I found the Krylon paint very easily at a big-box store.  Then I got out my box of Rockbridge Drive pine cones and went to work.  And this is what I got.
OK, they're pretty enough, but they just don't have that "mirror-like" finish that the ones in the Pinterest photo have.  See the difference?  I have a funny feeling that I could have bought the much bigger, less expensive can of regular silver spray paint and got the same result.  And yes, I did follow the instructions on the can and shook that thing for 2 minutes. 

To be fair, I decided to try this paint on a glass object to see the real mirror like finish.  I chose a simple glass votive holder.  And the result:
The colors you see are just reflections of me and stuff in the room.
Again, I can't get super-excited about the finished product.  Maybe I could try another coat? 

So, all in all, I like my silvery pine cones even though they weren't exactly what I was expecting.  They're displayed in a bowl on my sofa table.  My Rockbridge Drive pine cones look pretty good and festive.

Thank you for all of your kind comments and for following my blog!  Please leave a comment if you like this post or if you can give me some additional tips for using this paint.  I'd appreciate it!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

And The Garden Grows

Even though summer is a distant memory, there have been some new flowers blooming here.  I continue to work on my Summer Garden Pincushion.  The ongoing tutorial is featured on the Fiberluscious blog.  Mums highlight the latest section.  I'm learning and re-learning many embroidery stitches by participating in this project.  For example, the fly stitch is new to me and is excellent for little leaves. 
I like the relaxed pace of this tutorial.  I don't feel pressured to get something done really quickly or to "keep up".  It's a project I can easily pick up and work on when a new section is posted, and then put away until the next part of the tutorial.  No hurrying is fine with me.

New product alert!  Well, new to me anyway.  I started using a Frixion pen for marking my stitching area.  The pen mark is a lot thinner than the disappearing ink marker (the blue lines) I was using.  This is especially handy when working in such a small space.  Best of all, the Frixion pen markings disappear with heat! 
My progress so far.
So far so good.  It will be fun to see the next installment's flower selection. 

On the stitching front, I finished an ornament that I'll be giving to someone for Christmas so it will remain a secret for the time being.  I used a finishing technique that I learned on the blog "Learn To Finish With The Twisted Stitcher" and I'm extremely happy with the result!  I'm also very close to finishing the stitching on the "Song of the Season" mystery sampler that I've been working on for quite a while.  I expect to be able to post pictures of that very soon!

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.