Friday, September 16, 2011

Finally Framed!

Thanks to everyone who had great ideas for how I can get going on my scrapbook, both here and on Facebook.  Those were some wonderful suggestions that make total sense to me.  I'm going to set some time aside for working on it. 

This hasn't been the biggest stitching week for me.  I've been a little tired and instead of taking out my stitching in the evening to do while watching TV (pretty impressive multitasking, huh?), I've tended to veg out in front of the TV.  But I recently framed up three projects myself, which is quite an accomplishment.  Stitchers often have a dilemma of what to do with finished projects.  Let's see, you can have them framed, make a pillow, craft it into a bellpull or wall hanging, or sew a pin cushion.  I know that there are other extremely creative things that people do with their finished cross stitch.  The dilemma comes when we want to frame our finishes.  Framing can be very costly and the more you stitch, the more $$$ you will part with. 

A few years back, I decided to learn how to do my own framing.  With the help of online instructions on how to pin my finished project to foam core board, and the discovery of American Frame, I am now a pretty good framer.  American Frame is a good source for custom frames, mats and foam core.  Plus, they'll cut a piece of plexiglass for you if you want.  They include all of the finishing hardware too.  The good part is that you can get a good result for a fraction of what the framing places cost, all for a little time and do-it-yourself work!  Now, if I ever finish my giant UFO or do any other large project, it will go to the professionals.  But for small stuff like what you see here, framing it myself just makes perfect sense. 

From left to right:  Snow White by Little House Needleworks; Joyful Summer by Country Cottage Needleworks; and I don't know what the one on the right is.  I stitched this one in 1988, first time stitching on linen.  I thought it was about time it was framed.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Scrapper's Block

This is a plea to all of my scrapbooking friends out there.  How do I get my scrapping mojo back?  This is a scrapbook that I started two (hanging head in shame) years ago.  Let me just say that I think scrapbooking is cool.  Sheila loaned me a book that was full of examples and hints and it was so interesting to look at.  What great ideas!  I love all the stuff that goes with scrapping -- papers, punches, stamps, etc. etc.  I'm especially enamored with the adhesive selection, like the little sticky roller (awesome). Plus I have completed one scrapbook in the past, and I must say that it turned out very well.  And if you want to get really technical about it, I would put together an end-of-the-year book for each child during my preschool-teaching days.  So I know what to do, I think.  I have all of the stuff.  Except for the "get up and do it".

The book in question will be a remembrance of our trip of a lifetime to London in 2009.  While we were there, I knew that I wanted to do this, and reminded Mark and Matt to keep everything.  Tube maps, ticket stubs, tour books, all the good stuff.  And I took a lot of pictures.  So here I am, with a nice bunch of interesting and colorful items to place in my book.  When I took all of this stuff out over the weekend, I was pleased to see that I actually liked the three pages that I crafted!  All I have to do now is get rid of this "scrapper's block" and get going again.  But how?  Am I overthinking this?  Getting too far ahead of myself?  Should I just concentrate on one page at a time? Is there a good way to organize all of the stuff I want to put into the book?

OK, fellow scrappers, please help me here.  Any ideas, suggestions or criticisms you have will be appreciated, and I thank you in advance!  When it's finished, I'll photograph it and post it here.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Think I'll Get Tired Of Stitching Cats?

I am thoroughly enjoying stitching my current (one of them, anyway) project, Val's Stuff "Kitty Kalendar".  Each time I finish a cat month, it's like I get to begin a new project!  Like a little accomplishment.  It's lots of fun filling in each little square and finding out what each cat is going to look like.  Plus, it's nice to see how all of the Weeks Dye Works colors are going to look together.  It was coincidental that I stitched the "April" cat in the raincoat and hat on the day we had the most rain in weeks.  If you'll notice, the cats don't have their whiskers yet.  They're stitched in long stitch and I'm afraid that they'll catch on stuff as I stitch.  Those will go on last along with the cute buttons for each month.
My latest start is "Charmed Gobble" by Hinzeit.  The first time I saw this stitched up, I knew that this would be a great addition to my framed seasonal finishes.  I like to have something stitched that I can put in an easel stand and switch out for the seasons.  I've got Halloween and Christmas covered, so a little Thanksgiving project like this is just the ticket.  And that turkey is a cutie!

Next, I have to decide what else to start so I'll be all set for stitch camp at The Stitch Store later on this month!  My sister, Sheila, and I are going, along with friends we met at previous camps and a few new stitchers!  It will be a fun reunion and I plan to share pictures of this relaxing stitchy weekend.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Orts And A Happy Find

When we moved two years ago, only two things broke.  One was a wineglass which I think may have broken in transit.  No big deal, easily replaced.  The other was my thread bucket.  It slipped right out of my hand as I was unpacking it and shattered into many pieces.  This one WAS a big deal.  Let me explain.  My thread bucket is not a bucket at all, but a little crystal dish that was given to me by my mom.  It was always right at hand on an end table to put all of my orts, or thread ends into as I stitched.  Our son was pretty small at the time, and he was the one who gave this elegant little bowl the name "Thread Bucket".  The name stuck.  So you can see why Thread Bucket's demise hit me hard. 

Every once in a while, I'd go on Ebay and see if I could find a replica.  There were lots of pretty crystal dishes there, but not one that resembled my thread bucket.  Until a couple of weeks ago.  Yes, there it was!  Maybe not exactly the same, but pretty close!  So I bid and won it!  For ninety nine cents!!  It's slightly smaller and more rounded, but the same design.  And yes, I realize it's not the one that my mom gave me, but the story about this find is something that Mom would have loved:  Finding another one AND getting it for a bargain price!  It now sits at my right hand on the end table next to my stitching spot.  Mark has taken to calling it "Thread Bucket Junior".

One stitching term that I wasn't familiar with until a few years ago was "orts".  I'd been calling them "thread pieces" or "thread ends", so was surprised when I found out that there was an actual term for them!  The word "ort" is short for "old raggedy threads".  I also looked the word up in the dictionary and the definition was "a scrap or morsel of food left at a meal".  (Huh, food left over?)  But I found it funny that this definition also involved a scrap.  And when I realized that many stitchers saved their orts and displayed them in pretty containers, I decided to join the fun.  My jar is sure to be filled up with lots of colorful orts as I work on my Kitty Kalendar.  I'll post an update soon.
Ort Cat