Monday, November 28, 2011


Another finish for me, this time a stitching finish.  It's "Joy" by Little House Needleworks.  This caught my eye when it came out because of its simplicity and colors.  Even though I knew the finished size, for some reason I kept thinking it would be ornament size.  But it's a lot larger than the usual ornament.  So I will finish it as shown in its chart photo and make it a door hanger and I'll post another picture of it completely done.  But I just had to post this pretty and very seasonal finish!

Still in the Christmas stitching mode, I am working on "Holiest Of Nights" by Homespun Elegance and like the way it's turning out.  Don't worry about the Kitty Kalendar -- it's about halfway done and is just kind of in the back of the rotation.  It hasn't turned into a UFO!  I do want to start something else to keep my current number of stitching projects at three.  Why three?  It just seems like a good number to have going at once! 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Christmas Finishes Before Thanksgiving!

I'm happy to say that I have a couple of finishes this week, just when we're getting into the hectic part of the holidays when I often feel like I'm a step behind.  My first finish is my fabric wreath!  When I saw this project online, I thought it would be kind of cute, but it turned out very pretty.  It will definitely brighten up a wall in our home over the Christmas holidays.  You can find the directions to make one of these wreaths here.  A couple of things though.  The straw wreaths were a little hard to find.  I finally ended up buying the last two 10" wreaths at Hobby Lobby.  It also calls for the use of a pinking rotary cutter, and as you may have read in my previous post, that just didn't work at all.  Never did find out what the deal with that was.  So if you already have pinking shears, you can save yourself some money and use those.  Just take a break while cutting out the fabric squares or your hand will fall off.  I didn't do the ribbon hanger because I'm going to hang the wreath on an existing nail and I didn't want that to show.  So I threaded a piece of fishing line into a large needle and poked it through the wreath in the back, knotted it into a loop, and now have a no-show hanger.  Oh, and use a thicker Phillips-head screwdriver to push in your fabric squares.

My second finish is my bellpull.  I stitched all three Christmas Box Ornaments by Country Garden Stitchery on one piece of fabric and found a nice bellpull hanger and there you have it.  It needs a good ironing around the edges, I know.  I was glad to be done with the metallic floss portion of the stitching, but it did make the finished product oh-so-pretty!

I wanted to show you another finish that I can't take credit for because it's Sheila's!  I believe this is from the 2010 issue of the JCS Ornament Issue.  I should know this, I realize.  But seeing as how this is her first ornament finish, I think it's pretty impressive.  So now when I want to do an ornament finish with the ribbon and beads, I'll know who to consult.  Very pretty, Sheila!

Also this week, I signed up for Daffycat's TUSAL.  That's "Totally Useless Stitch-a-long".  It just looked like fun.  You can find out more about it at Daffycat's blog on her November 15 post.  People probably think we stitchers are a little nuts for saving our floss ends, or orts, in pretty jars, but that's fine.  And there are currently 152 of us signed up for the TUSAL, so who's nuts?!

My serger continues to vex me.  I worked on it a little more this week and got it to where I thought the threading was absolutely correct.  Not so much.  It's still not making the chain when I turn the wheel.  Hmmmm.  I think I'm going to have to do what I've been avoiding all along -- unthread the thing completely and then start from scratch.  Someone online thought it would be a good idea to take your serger to a sewing machine repair place to have them thread it for you, but that would probably cost more than I paid for it to begin with!  But, just to let you know, the serger has not defeated me!  I am determined!

I just want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.  What a great time to think about what we have and how thankful we are for it.  Until next time.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Crafty Guy Strikes Again

In my last post I talked about crafters receiving hand-made gifts from other creative people.  I didn't mention another hand-crafted gift I was given very recently.  As you  may know from a previous post (Crafty Guy), Mark does woodworking on a lathe.  He has made some beautiful items for me and for friends in the past and they have been much appreciated.  During the past few months, the subject of a lamp came up.  It sounded like a particularly ambitious project, but that didn't stop Crafty Guy.  Then recently, I was presented with a lovely lamp for my craft room!  It's certainly much nicer than the metal desk lamp I'd been using!  The base is made out of maple, and the spindle part is jobillo.  Not sure what that is or where it comes from, but it looks good.

Nice work, Mark!  Something I can really use, and it looks good in the crafting space.  I'm still a little iffy on the shade, but it was the best I could find so far.  If I happen to spot a better one someplace, you can be sure I'll be changing it.  But I am very happy with my new lamp and it will be put to good use!

I will be posting soon with a photo of my finished wreath, as promised.  So far no additional progress on my bellpull, but hope to take some time for that this week.  I have begun another project, but won't be able to post a photo of that until January!  Shhh, it's a secret. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

A Crafty Gift For A Crafter

It doesn't matter what kinds of crafts we do, we crafters like to receive hand crafted gifts too.  Last Saturday at stitch day at The Stitch Store, one of our Chinese exchange gifts was a handmade tea cozy and bun warmer set.  It was beautifully made and the gift that got the most oohs and aahs.  I wish I had my camera with me.  Next time.  And I will add that ALL of the gifts were lovely and greatly appreciated!

Today Sheila and I went to J. Christopher's and enjoyed catching up over breakfast and yummy cappuccinos.  We hadn't gotten together in a while, and I knew that she was crocheting a scarf for me.  So today was the day I got my present!  It's beautiful and the colors are perfect!  I just love when someone crafts something for me.  Is it because I know the work that goes into it?  Maybe.  But it's especially nice to know that someone was making something with me in mind.  This pretty scarf kind of makes me want some cold weather so I can wear it!

We had a couple of hours to work on our fabric wreaths.  So far we love the result!  Just look!  We're both very happy with the fabric selection that we chose.  At the time, we weren't sure about what fabrics to select because we basically didn't know what we were doing, but I think we were successful.  The secret is to use a fatter screwdriver.  Looks pretty good so far, right?  I'm positive that it will look even better when it's finished and fluffed out.  Of course, I'll post a picture!  You know I will. 

I mentioned our stitch day on Saturday.  As usual, it was a good group -- lots of different personalities who seem to get along extremely well.  I'm quickly getting into the Christmas spirit and decided to start a second Christmasy project.  I started "Joy" by Little House Needleworks at our stitch day and got a lot done!  It's turning out a lot larger than your average ornament, so I'll probably finish it as a door hanger.  Maybe.  The other Christmas stitching project I'm working on is "Holiest of Nights" by Homespun Elegance.  Will I get them done by Christmas?  Possibly next Christmas, and that's fine with me.  It's just nice to work on something like these during the Christmas season.

It's always good to have a helper when you're doing a project, whether it be a craft project or just writing your blog.  Here's my latest "helper".  It's Ozzy, and he's being very productive sitting in our printer stand between Purdue Pete and Georgia Tech's Buzz.  Nice to know I have an assistant.

Hey, I'm up to 45 followers!!  It makes me happy to know that people are actually reading my blog.  I hope that you're all at least a little bit informed and entertained.  I also appreciate and enjoy the comments I'm getting too.  So thank you!

My goals for the upcoming week are:  Finishing the Christmas bellpull and starting a project which is going to be a gift so it's all hush-hush right now!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Crafty Odds and Ends

The craft room has been a busy place lately.  Gobble has been framed and is already gracing the family room with his cuteness. This was a fun project and a pretty quick stitch.  I'd like to stitch seasonal pieces to frame and put in a little frame stand at the appropriate time of the year.  It'll be interesting to see what I come up with.

I also finished stitching Christmas Box Ornaments last night.  The boxes are very pretty decorated with metallic thread and beads.  I will admit that I didn't enjoy working with the metallic thread, even the end result is lovely.  I know I want to make this into a bellpull, but still have to figure out how I'm going to do that.  Should it have a different fabric backing, or should I just fold the fabric back to make a self-backing?  Should the bottom be straight or pointed?  Any suggestions are welcome.

Sheila and I have decided to do a wreath project that she found instructions for on the web.  The base is a straw wreath, and the decorative part is fabric.  So I spent part of Friday morning cutting out hundreds of squares of Christmas fabric.  It didn't take me that long to do once I had a method.  This week we will attempt to make the wreaths.  I'll let you know how it turns out and will post pictures.  I'll also post the link IF the project is successful.  I mean, I've never jammed squares of fabric into a straw wreath with a Phillips head screwdriver before, so who knows what will happen! I bought a new rotary cutter with a pinking blade to use for this project, but it won't cut through the fabric!  I've used rotary cutters before with no problem, so I don't know what the deal is here.  I watched a Youtube video of people cutting through fabric like it's butter.  Mine - not so much.  Has anyone else had this problem?  Or am I doing something wrong?  I haven't tried it with the straight cutter, just the pinking.  Luckily I had some pinking shears and they saved the day.

And just to prove that I was able to overcome my fear of the serger, I'm posting a picture of my "progress" in threading it.  I've actually succeeded in threading it, but there is one step that is wrong.  I know what it is, but can't figure out how to place the thread where it says to.  I might be able to if I had Barbie hands.  The cats might be able to fit their little paws in there, but then there is the problem of lack of thumbs.  But I am still determined to get this thing going. 

Thanks for reading my blog.  I'm always happy to read your comments and get new followers!  Welcome to my new followers.  Thanks for joining in the crafty fun!