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.

Friday, July 25, 2014

And The Giveaway Winner Is.....

.....Annie, who left the following comment on my blog post:

   "Happy blogoversary, and congrats on reaching 200 followers! This is such a nice giveaway, I would love to be entered. I really love the accessory bag you've made, and as a non-sewer am keeping my fingers crossed;)"

Congratulations, Annie!  I have already e-mailed you.

Thank you to everyone who entered the drawing!  And I want to thank each and every one of my followers.  Please come back and visit often.  I'll be having more giveaways in the future.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Last Call For Giveaway Entries!

Today is the last day to enter the drawing for my 200th Follower Giveaway!  So take a look at this post and leave a comment.  Please only leave a comment on the giveaway post (the linked post).  I'll be announcing the winner tomorrow morning and I'll also contact the winner by e-mail.  Thanks for stopping by!
Here's what the winner will receive!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Time For A Giveaway!

The big day has arrived!  My blog now has 200 followers and so it's finally time for the giveaway! Yay!  I know I've been hinting at this giveaway for a while.  Two hundred followers is a major event in a blogger's life, well, this blogger's anyway.  So feast your eyes on the prize.
The winner will receive a pack of DMC's newest floss colors AND a handmade zippered fabric bag that's perfect for your cross stitch accessories.  Or beading accessories, or sewing accessories.  Or it could be a makeup bag, or a coupon holder. Whatever you want. 

Here's all you have to do to enter:
**Be a follower of this blog.  
**Make a comment on THIS POST by Thursday, July 24th at 9:00 p.m. EST.
**I will draw one winner by random number generator on the morning of Friday, July 25th and will announce the winner in a post.  
**Please make sure that there is a way I can get ahold of you. 

That's all you have to do.  This is my way of thanking each and every one of my followers who I appreciate so much.  It's hard to believe that I started this little blog 5 years ago (it's also my 5th blogaversary).  I never expected to have so many followers and am so overwhelmed by the kind comments I've received and the overall friendliness of the blogging community.  So go on and enter the drawing!  Good luck!