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!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Bitten By The Beading Bug

I don't know when it started.  Maybe it was when I did my epic cleaning and organizing of the bead cabinet.  Or when I bought a bead magazine recently and discovered beads I had never heard of.  But I've been bitten by the beading bug.  The cross stitch hasn't exactly been put away.  It's more like I've been dividing my time between stitching and beading.  Or looking at beads and bead creations online.  I even took a little trip to my local bead store.  It's not that far away.  Why don't I visit it more often?

So during my online searching I found the pattern for the "Tila Temptation Bracelet".  The weave of this bracelet just appealed to me - simple yet pretty. 
I'll probably make more of this pattern because I like it so much.  It requires only three types of beads, some Fireline and a clasp.  I'd call this an intermediate/beginner project.  It can be completed in an evening.  If you feel inspired to make one, you can find the tutorial for this bracelet here.  Even though we haven't had a hint of autumn here in Georgia, I'm starting to think "fall" when choosing colors.  Look for more of my beaded projects in the coming months.

Now let's move on to a little segment I like to call "Other People's Creations".  If you've been reading my blog for a while, then you've seen this feature before.  I like to show you what other people create because I am not the only crafty person I know. 

First, here is my sister Sheila's Peyote Stitch project. 
Look how pretty that is.  Sheila has a knack for choosing good color combinations and it really shows in this bracelet.  I may have to make one of these.

And for a dose of crochet cuteness, here is our friend Sherry's recent creation.
How adorable is this?  Makes you want to go out and crochet some owls, doesn't it?  Of course, I'd have to learn how first because if you recall, my crochet skills are limited to rectangles and squares.  And maybe an occasional heart.  My plan is to increase my crochet knowledge in the near future.

We'll just have to put the cross stitch on the back burner for a while.  Both of the projects I'm working on are gifts, so no showing them off yet.  Thanks for stopping by!  Keep leaving the comments.  I appreciate each one!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Summer Garden Pincushion - Join The Fun

I've been wanting to make one of those pincushions that are segmented into six parts with a button in the middle.  You know.  A pincushion!  I don't know what they call them except for that.  But anyway, I think they're cute and was looking around for instructions on how to make one out of pretty fabric.

Imagine my complete joy when I saw that Jill from the blog Fiberlicious was starting a tutorial on how to make one!  And it gets better!  She's going to teach us how to embroider the sweetest flowers on each section!  It's called the Summer Garden Pincushion and you can find her first post in the tutorial here.  Or just go up to the right sidebar on my blog and click the little button for the Summer Garden Pincushion Tutorial.  See?  I've made it easy and convenient for you.

I love how Jill has made this a true step-by-step process.  Part one of the tutorial lists all of the items you'll need to make this pincushion.  As a stitcher, I already had a lot of the items in the craftroom.  She also explains the process of tracing the pattern onto your fabric.  When I printed her pattern, it printed smaller than it was supposed to, so I took Jill's advice and drafted my own pattern.  I got all old-school and used a protractor and compass.  And guess what -- it was kind of fun!

In step 2, Jill showed us how to embroider our first flower, lavender.  She includes a downloadable pattern sheet for the flower and complete stitching instructions.  I didn't use this, depending instead on my considerable (ahem) "artistic" abilities to draw my own.  It wasn't bad, but I really need to get some different kinds of erasable pens/markers for this step.  My water-erasable one writes very thick lines and it made a difference.
The top part of the pincushion with dividing lines drawn on.
I spent part of yesterday afternoon happily embroidering my lavender flowers.  As someone who has been doing cross stitch for a long time, I'd forgotten how much fun it was to embroider.  It was like painting with floss and I enjoyed the free form flow of the stitches.  I might have gotten carried away because my flowers are huge, but I am still pretty pleased with the result.
If you'd like to join the fun of making this lovely pincushion,  go ahead and read about it on Fiberlicious.  We're only at part 2, so you have plenty of time to gather your supplies, get your fabric ready and stitch your first bunch of pretty flowers.  Just take a look at her completed pincushion and you'll want one for yourself!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Soggy Stitch Day And The Bead Weed

Yes, we need the rain.  But it came down in buckets on Saturday evening!  Saturday was the day of our monthly stitch day with the Sisters In Stitches.  Instead of our usual place (In the same building as the police department and fire department.  What does that say about us?), Thea hosted stitch day at her beautiful home.  It was sunny for most of the day as we stitched, but Sheila and I stopped for some dinner on the way home and that's when the deluge started.  The worst of it happened when we were on I-285, also known as Atlanta's perimeter, and that's a road that can be difficult to navigate on the most lovely of weather days.  Sheila's driving skills proved to be top-notch, and we made it home with no problem.

I did get quite a bit of stitching done at stitch day.  The project I was working on for most of the time is for a gift, so I can't post a photo today.  Here's the progress I made on the tulips.
It was a very nice day of stitching and talking, as always.  We enjoyed the delicious dessert that Thea prepared for us, as well as the use of her sunny dining room.  A couple of our members couldn't attend, but we are looking forward to seeing them soon.

I've made a decision to finish some projects before I start more.  One of them is the Song of the Seasons mystery sampler that I posted about before.  Much of it is completed, but I put it down to work on other things.  I'll make that one a priority.

As for the beads......

Let me just say that I have a lot of beads.  I used to sell beads, mostly vintage, on Ebay.  Then two things happened:  my vintage bead supplier disappeared into thin air, and about 10,000 other people started selling beads on Ebay.  You see, beading and jewelry making wasn't as big when I started my Ebay venture as it is now.  So I used my bead supply to make jewelry and scissor fobs.  One day I realized that I had way too many beads.  Waaaaaaay too many.  It was ridiculous.  So I finally did a bead weed.  This is everything I weeded out.
Do I NEED all of these?  No way. There are about 5 pounds of beads there, most of them glass, a few metal.  Now I just have to figure out what to do with them.  Sell them as a lot on Ebay?  Do a Facebook group page and sell them by the package?  Post them on our local yard sale site?  I'm still pondering this.  Any ideas? 

I do feel better now that I've removed all of the stuff that I don't need.  By doing my bead weed, I also took a nice inventory of what I did keep.  So no more doubling up of something or buying stuff I don't need when I want to do a certain project.  And this is how my bead organization should look.
No, this is not all that I've kept.  There are several (ok, more than several) more drawers like this.  Hey, I'm still a fan of beads and do intend to keep creating lovely things with them.  And I'm quite proud of my organization skills. 

So if you have any questions about my weeded beads, or if you know someone who might want to buy them, just let me know!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

A Makeover For An Auction Win

A visit several weeks ago to a quirky local auction house yielded a few funky finds.  My favorite of those was a little bench with a padded top.  When I saw it I knew that it would be a good project for me, and decided to bid on it.  So I put my top bid firmly in my head (not one to get carried away, I'm very good at stopping my bidding at my max. point), and was surprised when I got it for way less!
Yes, it is a little beat up, and that cushion has seen better days.  But that is exactly what makes this the most excellent makeover candidate.

I got out the can of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and gave it another go.  I did not have the easiest time using this paint when I was re-doing my little table, but I'm pretty sure that was because I was expecting a perfectly painted surface.  Now having learned my lesson, this project was easier. 

With that in mind, I started painting.  The paint went on pretty well, and as soon as I remembered that the little imperfections were part of the charm, all was well.  A few coats later along with the wax finish, I had a little painted bench.  I found some cute fabric at Joann's for the bargain price of $5.50 and it turned out to be a pretty complement for my painting project.
The result is a sweet little accent piece.
The most important thing is that it's Ozzy-approved.  That's what really counts.