Friday, July 13, 2018

Stitching Update

It's time to refresh my blog. I've been on Flosstube for a year now, and I realize that I have been ignoring the blog a bit. But I've come to realize that I like blogging - the writing, photo posting, and arranging. My question is: Is blogging going away? I've noticed that a lot of the blogs that I follow haven't had new posts in a long time. Not all of them, but many.

So my intention is to post regularly to keep you updated on what's going on in my crafty and stitchy world. I also have a technical question, but we'll talk about that later.

Let's talk stitching! I am on a stitching project rotation that I'm really enjoying. I have 13 WIPs right now and I'm working on each of them for three days. Then I go to the next one. I need to start writing down the order because I'm finding that using my memory for this isn't the best plan. Ha ha.

I'll start with "Forest Snowfall" by Country Cottage Needleworks.
I'm stitching this on 28 count Winter Wishes by Fabrics by Stephanie. This was originally a SAL started in the winter months. Maybe I'm just dragging it out to finish it next winter. Yeah, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

I also worked on my Linen and Threads 2017 Mystery Sampler.
You're seeing this right - I'm still stitching the January portion. My excuse is that it's a big section compared to the others. And you know what I always say: I'm not in a race with anyone. I am enjoying stitching this. It's being stitched on 32 count antique white Jobelan.

"Frosty Forest" by Country Cottage Needleworks got a little attention.
It's the center square! All finished! Only eight to go! I'm stitching this on a light gray 28 count linen.

Formerly a UFO, "Angel of Divinity Stocking" by Dimensions is another one I worked on lately.













 I started stitching the blue area, and then went to her halo with blended threads, including metallics.

I also had two finishes recently! The first is a chart from the Lizzie Kate chart "Coffee Time".
I framed it in a coffeepot trivet! So cute, right? I used threads I already had in my stash and stitched it on 30 count Tin Roof linen.

Next is "July" from the Snowflower Diaries Joyful World monthly series.
I stitched this one over one on 25 count celadon green Jobelan using mainly the called-for colors. I think I switched out a green to show up better on the green fabric. It looks a little gray in this photo, but it's a pale green.

My rotation is working well, although I don't know when another finish will happen. I guess if I really had to get one of my projects done, I'd just work on that one and ditch the rotation for a while. But I am not in any hurry for a finish so it's all good.

OK, now for my technical question. I like to leave comments on blogs that I follow. So I get signed in to Google, and for a great majority of blogs, I have no problems leaving a comment. On these, it shows my name, my email address, and the fact that I'm signed in to Google. However, on some blogs, it says "leaving comment as" and then a dropdown box gives me the choice of Google, Name/URL, or Anonymous. Even though I'm signed in to Google, my comments never show up on these blogs. I've even tried using the Name/URL with no luck. Does anyone know why this is? It's sad because I can't leave a comment on some of my favorite blogs. Any help will be appreciated.

Thank you for visiting my blog today. I'll be back soon with more crafty updates! If you'd like to visit my Flosstube channel, go to CraftyCat Stitcher on Youtube.

See you soon!

Monday, May 28, 2018

May WIPocalypse - Mini Maynia

As many of you know, May is the month of Stitch Maynia. I have to admit that I hadn't heard of this event until very recently and when I did, my first thought was "WHAT?? Start 18 new projects??!!" But then I learned that stitchers decided for themselves how many projects were doable for them personally. I did hear that some were starting 31, one for each day in the month!

I came up with my own plan. I would start 5 new projects, because May is the fifth month. Made sense to me because it was something I was totally comfortable with. Here's how it went: I started a new project on the first of the month, then after that, I started one on each Monday of May.

My first of May project is Lizzie Kate's "Coffee Time". I'm stitching the "But First Coffee" design which I will put into my coffee pot trivet frame. I'm stitching it on 30 count Tin Roof linen. I know that once I get back to stitching this one, I'll finish it quickly.
Next, I started "No Bees No Honey" by Birds Of A Feather. I've had this one kitted up for some time. It's being stitched on 20 count Lugana in an off white color. I kitted it up with all DMC and decided to leave it that way. I did make a mistake by attempting to use two threads on the 20 count fabric. No. That doesn't work. So it's one over one and it's turning out nicely.
That little bee skep is so cute and the coverage is very good with one thread.

The next Monday was time to start the Little House Needleworks "Farmhouse Christmas" series. I'm stitching them individually on the recommended fabric.
I know that a lot of people are stitching these, and you've seen them a million times, but just look at this. So cute. And that Classic Colorworks "Cherry Cobbler" thread is my new favorite.

On Monday #3 I started "Quaker Diamonds" by Rosewood Manor. I'm stitching this on 32 count Flax linen and using overdyed threads. I received a silk-to-overdyed conversion from a fellow Flosstuber.
The color conversion seems to match the silks very well and the colors are amazing!

Today is the fourth and last Monday and I will be starting "Salute To Abigail" by Blackbird Designs from their book "Sweet Land Of Liberty". If you like patriotic stitching, please take a look at the patterns in this book! Each one is gorgeous. I will begin stitching it on 32 count R&R linen in Mink. I have converted the silks (called for) to overdyed floss.
These colors will work extremely well for this pattern and the bonus is that I had them all in my stash!

I really liked my version of Maynia. It was in my comfort zone and each new project was something I wanted to stitch. The biggest problem I had was stopping stitching on them to start something new! It was difficult to put each one down! Now my WIP collection is up to 15, which is something I never thought I'd do. But the more the merrier I say!

My plans for the next month are to work on (and maybe finish!?) some smaller projects like the Snowflower Diaries "Joyful World" July and the Lizzie Kate "Coffee Time". I'd love to have some finishes at some point soon!

Question of the Month: Where do you love to shop for stash? Sadly, there are no cross stitch shops near where I live. I would have to drive probably several hours to get to one and it would be in a different state! I really depend on online services for all of my supplies. My favorites are: 123Stitch!, Stitch And Frog, and Cross Stitch Felicity. I also like to shop on Etsy and have just found The Cottage Needle there. In addition, when we travel, I always look to see if there is an LNS wherever we will be. I was so lucky to visit Dyeing To Stitch in Virginia Beach, VA this month while on a trip. And yes, I did my share of shopping there!

Thanks to Melissa at Measi's Musings blog for organizing the WIPocalypse! If you'd like more info, just visit her blog.

Thanks for visiting! I love all comments. Please visit my Flosstube channel "CraftyCat Stitcher"!

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

WIPocalypse For April

During this month, I started doing a true rotation of my cross stitch projects. But first I zeroed in on finishing something - Christmas Sentiments.
There it is, all finished. Stitched, that is. I still have to decide on framing for this. I am happy to have an actual finish though.

So after I put the last stitch into Christmas Sentiments, I decided to start rotating my WIPs. I devoted two or three days to each one before moving on to the next. I stitch mostly in the evenings, so maybe get in a couple of hours of stitch time.

First up this month was Light Upon The Lawn by Blackbird Designs.
This is the one that I'm stitching on fabric that I tea and coffee dyed. The fabric must have gotten distorted in the process and a bit stretched out because when I started stitching two over two (it's 28 count), the stitches were gigantic. I then switched to one over one and I like the results! But you can see the distortion especially in what is supposed to be an oval. It's now a circle. I think it'll still turn out nicely.

Next was my Linen and Threads 2017 Mystery Sampler. I know, I know. Not much of a mystery anymore. At least I get to see everything I'll be stitching and know I'll like it.
Yes, I'm still working on January. Sigh. It's such a large section. I did make significant progress on it though!

My Joyful World by the Snowflower Diaries July piece is coming along nicely. I did work on this one a lot at my April stitch day with the Sisters In Stitches.
I know I'll have this one done in time to display in July. Don't you love the colors?

I did start working on my UFO, The Angel Of Divinity by Dimensions. It was difficult to orient myself as to where to begin continuing. Begin continuing? Wow, that sounded weird. But you know what I mean. I chose to work on some dark blue background. It was unbelievably slow-going.
I had to reacquaint myself with the colors. What's "dark blue", "medium blue", and "blue"? It's a kit, so......

Here's one that I haven't picked up in a long time. It's Tulip's Praise by Gracewood Stitches.
I even started a new section. I didn't want to put this one down when it was time to rotate to the next project!

Finally, I had a birthday start! I'm stitching Life Tree by Rovaris.
I'm stitching this one over one on 25 count Lugana. I tea dyed the fabric, the color of which was called "potato". I will be stitching the entire chart in DMC 815.

Question of the month: Talk to us about your longest-running WIP or UFO.  That would have to be the Angel Of Divinity (see above). I think I started stitching it about 15 years ago and stopped for some reason. Was I overwhelmed by all of the different colors, or the specialty stitches? I don't know. I found it in my craft closet and showed it on one of my Flosstube videos and was then urged to continue stitching it. So into the rotation it went. I do like it and know that it will be worth the time put into stitching it.

I will be keeping to my new rotation, and have a few more projects to work on that I didn't get to in April. I also plan to join Stitchmaynia, but in a very small way. I will be starting 5 projects, as a tribute to May being the fifth month (and also my favorite month). So look for me next month, and hopefully you'll see a lot of new stitching! Until then, have a great month. Happy stitching!

Saturday, March 31, 2018

March WIPocalypse!

I'll be honest and tell you right off that I ignored most of my WIPs for the last couple of months. I am so focused on finishing "Christmas Sentiments" by Stoney Creek. It's like I have tunnel vision when it comes to stitching. When I think about doing some cross stitch, that's pretty much the only pattern that comes to mind. Well, except for a new start.

But the good news is that I am so close to finishing! Yay! This is a big chart for me so it's a major accomplishment.
All I have left is the bottom border and the beading. That's it!
The beads go in the red parts of the tree and in the middle of the poinsettias, as well as in the border. I chose some gold glass beads and gold metallic beads that were already in my bead stash. No beads on it yet, but you'll see them soon.
My plan is to have it totally finished by the end of April. Think I can do it?

For some reason I thought I needed to start something new. I've been stitching the Joyful World charts by Snowflower Diaries very slowly. I decided to start "July". So "Christmas Sentiments" wasn't my only project lately.
Cute, right?
I'm stitching it one over one on 25 count Celadon green Jobelan. The top picture represents the color a little better. I really enjoy one over one stitching on 25 count. Those tiny stitches are so cute. I do think that the baby flamingo's eye needs to be a little bit smaller. I got carried away with my French knot. Ha ha.

So that sums it up for my WIP rotation this month. Not exactly stellar, but I am enjoying stitching what I stitch. And that's the important thing.

For more info about the WIPocalypse, please click HERE to go to Measi's Musings WIPocalypse info page.

Friday, February 16, 2018

A Variety Of Craftiness

For the past couple of months I haven't been too crafty. I do pick up my stitching on some evenings, but getting things done in the craft room has not happened. Working some extra hours, and working different times has thrown my routine off completely. I guess I'm one of those people who thrives on routine!

I did do some sewing for a gift at Christmas. I made this project bag for my group's December stitch day. As I mentioned in the past, we exchange gifts at each stitch day, and I thought that someone would really like this.
I used the Twisted Stitcher's project envelope instructions for this, and love the way it turned out. Because of a weird early snow, we had to postpone our special Christmas extravaganza stitch day until January. And that suited us just fine!
I opted for a magnetic snap for the closure for this one. You can get them very inexpensively at Amazon.
The snap shows on the outside of the project envelope so I needed something pretty to cover it. I looked around at Joann's and didn't find anything, but when I looked through my own jewelry making supplies, I found this! I think it's a connector of some sort, but it worked out perfectly because I could sew it right over the snap.
Don't you just love the lining fabric? You can't see it here, but it's sparkly!

Meanwhile, other people have been crafty! Here's another edition of Other People's Creations.
In case you're not familiar with this feature of my blog, I'll explain. Occasionally I like to show what other crafters are doing. They are mainly friends of mine and I do have some talented friends!

Let's start with some knitting. My daughter in law, Stephanie, always amazes me with her knitting skills. She was working on this sweater when she and Matt visited for Christmas, and recently sent me this photo of her completed project.
Wow, right? Not only is it something that can be worn, it's incredibly detailed. I haven't mastered knitting, so this to me is wonderful. As are these socks.
See, I told you she is amazing. I'd say she has a gift for knitting.

My sister, Sheila, crafted a beautiful gift for each of us at stitch day.
She made these rose ornaments out of polymer clay. Again, this photo doesn't show the real beauty of this flower. They're luminous and kind of iridescent, as well as very detailed. What a lovely gift to receive!

And all of us Sisters In Stitches were lucky to receive another wonderful handmade gift.
Thea presented us with these sweet pin cushions. She used deep red velvet fabric and a pretty button to crown the top.
This pin cushion is very solid as it's filled with a combination of emery and crushed walnut shells.

How lucky are we to receive handmade gifts? As crafters/sewers/stitchers, we all know what goes into handmade items, so it's pretty special to be gifted with something that someone made.

I hope you enjoyed seeing the craftiness of my friends and family, as well as my own! Please stop by again. I still need to find a good balance of work and working on my own creative projects. So hopefully, I'll get back to more regular posts. Watch for my Wipocalypse post coming at the end of the month for my stitching progress! Until then, have a great week!

Saturday, February 3, 2018

January WIPocalypse

It's a little late; so what else is new? I've got a good excuse though. I've been working extra hours and it's cutting into my stitching/blog posting/crafting time. But what are you gonna do?

This year I am once again participating in the WIPocalypse, a cross stitch project rotation SAL organized by Melissa at her blog, Measi's Musings. I found this SAL so helpful last year for staying on course with all of my cross stitch projects that I knew I wanted to join in the fun again.

I have managed to get some stitching in however, and have even done a bit of project rotation. A bit. You'll see.

Some stitches were placed into a new project, Country Cottage Needleworks' Forest Snowfall.
This is a very pretty chart, and I started it with all of the intentions of being in the Priscilla and Chelsea SAL, but I'm pretty sure that 98% of the stitchers participating are completely finished with theirs. That's fine. I'll get into why later. But I have to say that I LOVE this fabric. It's 28-count Jobelan in Winter Wishes by Fabrics by Stephanie. Stitching on this fabric is like stitching on butter. Seriously.

Next, I got started on the Frosty Forest series, also by Country Cottage Needleworks. So cute.
This one is being stitched on 32-count Belfast Linen in pearl gray. The color is nice, but linen is not my favorite thing to stitch on. It's stiff and scratchy. I keep thinking that I should put this in a Rolaframe instead of using a hoop. But that takes energy.

I made some progress on Christmas Sentiments by Stoney Creek.
Oh, now I see a place on the left tree that I missed. I am still enjoying stitching this chart. 

And finally, I started on my Linen and Thread Mystery Sampler (2017). 
That's a pretty good start, but that January section is big. I'm sticking with it though and am very pleased with myself for my color selection. 

The needle minders are new to my collection and are from SewMuch2Luv on Etsy. Aren't they adorable?

And that is all that I've accomplished this month. You know, I should be very happy with what I've done considering all of my complaining about my reduced stitching time!

Question of the month: What SALs are you participating in this year? And if you are participating in the Olympic stitching challenge (see Measi's Musings January Check-In for info.), what challenge are you accepting? What are your goals?  
The WIPocalypse is the only SAL I'll be participating in this year. I've decided that I'm not a traditional SAL kind of stitcher. I stitch very slowly and will never be able to keep up with anyone else. I do like to hear about SALs though because I have found some very cute things to put on my stitching wish list. But anything that has an ending date is not for me. I do like the idea of the Olympic challenge however, but haven't decided which I'd like to do. I will be watching the Olympics and I will be stitching, so I'll probably choose one of them (most likely the Rotation Relay) and see what happens.

As always, thank you for visiting my blog today. I hope to get more stitching in before I check in at the end of February and I even think I may have a new start before then! Do I need that? Ha ha ha! No, but I want to stitch all the things!

Monday, January 15, 2018

Winter Time Three Tier Tray

The three tier tray has been transformed for the winter season. Everything is looking especially snowy, icy, and silvery.
Making a return appearance are the sweet little deer, a few pine cones, and some evergreen trees that adorned the Christmas version of the tray.
I added some tiny winter-themed stitched pieces in frames. Don't you love the tiny doll-house size bunnies?
Each tray is lined with "Christmas tree snow". That's what the package said. To me, it looks like a cross between felt and batting. Underneath the "snow" is a great place to hide some battery operated lights.
The little light-up house was an after Christmas find at Joann's. A white ceramic flower pot holds silver jingle bells. The snowflakes on the outside of the trays are felt and were cut from a spool of them.
Crystal and silvery picks filled in spaces. The whole thing looks especially pretty lit up at night.
And there you have it! The three tier tray in all its winter glory! Inspiration came from Priscilla at Priscilla's Blog, as well as other tray decorators on Pinterest and Instagram. What will be next? I think probably an Easter-themed one. I do have a lot of little Easter things that will be perfect for this tray. I'll probably keep the winter theme going until about the end of January.

So what do you think? I haven't done much winter decorating in the past, but I think this is pretty cute. It brightens up a space in what can be some very dreary months.

Thanks for visiting today! Please come back again to see what I'm up to. I appreciate comments and please consider subscribing. Have a great week!