Sunday, July 29, 2012

A Little Christmas In July

Remember those stitched-but-not-finished ornaments I found a while back?  I decided that this will be the last Christmas that they sit in a drawer, and began my finishing project this weekend.  Here's my first effort.  I can only assume that this came out of the 1997 Just Cross Stitch Ornament Issue because the other two with it were from that magazine.  I think.  I can't check because I no longer have that issue.  (GRRRRR, I really have to get over it).  ANYWAY, for the backing I used leftover fabric from the wreath project that Sheila and I did, and sparkly gold rick-rack and some beads and pins for the edges!  I'm pretty proud of myself.  

I also found a new product, Terrifically Tacky Tape, which I used to stick the fabric edges to the backer boards.  Love this stuff!  I will definitely be stocking up on different sizes of this tape for more ornament finishes and other crafting endeavors.  

As for the other two ornaments, I realize that I have to make a trip to one of my favorite craft stores to get some supplies for these finishes. Oh darn, a trip to Joann's.  Think I can get Sheila to join me?  I do think that this is a good start.  Very encouraging for someone who hasn't done a lot of ornament finishing.  

Thank you for all of your comments and encouragement in previous posts.   I read and enjoy each one of them.  Also notice that I now have 92 followers!  Only eight to go and then I'll post all about the giveaway drawing!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Fun Project For A Friday

At our last Stitch Day someone commented on the little emery strawberry that Terrie was using.  The discussion continued to how easy it would be to make these.  We were interested enough to look up emery powder on online to see if someone sold it.  Yes, as a matter of fact, they do sell it. 

These little strawberries have been around for a long time.  You've seen them -- they used to come attached to the famous tomato pincushion.  I think my mom had the combo in her sewing stuff.  Sticking a needle into one of these strawberries helps to sharpen your needle and keep it free from tarnish. 

I love a project and went online and ordered the emery powder from a seller on Etsy.  It's not cheap, but for this project I figured it would go a long way.  It's also very heavy.  When it came in the mail, Mark wondered if I had ordered a gold bar without telling him. 

Then I found a pattern and instructions courtesy of Martha Stewart.  Today I went up to the room of craftiness and put together my first cute little emery strawberry!
It's not the best photo in the world because my camera is not good at taking closeups.  That's ok, you get the idea.  My tips for those of you who would like to make one of these:  1.  Use a small, shallow jar to place the fabric cone in for filling and use a small spoon to fill it.  2.  Resist the urge to overfill it.  If you do, you won't have any room to pull the top together.  You will have to pour it back out and emery powder tends to get all over the place. 

This was a quick little project that didn't take many expensive materials (well, except the emery).  But I already had everything else in the house.  I'll probably be making more of these.  Let's see.  Who will be the lucky recipients?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Which Came First?

It's the age-old question:  Which came first, the chicken or the egg?  I have no enlightening answer to this, but instead would like to talk about how we choose our stitching projects.  Do you select a chart from your to-do list and go from there?  Or find a wonderful piece of fabric and then wonder what would look good stitched on it?  I've done both, but more often have the chart in mind and then go from there.  So it's kind of a kooky surprise that the idea of my newest project was hatched in my brain from a floss color!  Weird, huh.  Or is it?  Have any of you ever done that? 

I had been eyeing a Weeks Dye Works color, Independence, at my LNS for a while.  What could I use this with?  I believe it's been discontinued (don't quote me on this), and at a recent stitching event I decided to scoop up a few for when I got inspired.  Well lo and behold, that very day I found the perfect chart for it:  "La Fleur" by The Sweetheart Tree.  Then I chose a 28 count natural color linen that I had in my stash.  Here's my progress.

The chart came with tiny blue buttons which will go well with the colors in the floss.  It'll make a really cool pin cushion.  I'm liking the way this is turning out.  So there you go:  floss first, then chart, then fabric.  A little unconventional for me!

Last Saturday was our Saturday Stitch Day.  The members of this group have really bonded over the last year or so.  So much so that we've decided that we need a name.  Thea came up with what we thought is a good one:  Sisters In Stitches.  We are like sisters, we stitch, and we are often in stitches, as we find ourselves laughing a lot.  Stitch Day is something I think we all look forward to, when we can stitch and catch up on what's going on in our lives.  I am very happy to be a part of this group and look forward to many years of stitching with these ladies.

I am busily gathering all kinds of goodies for my giveaway drawing.  Here's how it's going to work:  When I get to 100 followers, I will post about the giveaway.  To enter the drawing, you will a) have to be a follower of this blog and b) make a comment on that post.  More details will follow.  Only 11 followers to go!

Friday, July 20, 2012


Ha ha.  Get it?  I'm so clever.  What we're celebrating is another TUSAL, and it's just a reminder of how fast this year is flying.  To find out more about Daffycat's TUSAL, click here.  Mr. Peanut doesn't have much more than he did last month, but that's because most of my latest orts are in the thread bucket.  And if Mr. Peanut looks like he's leaning, it was just me maneuvering to get his good side.  He is an awesome ort jar.

I am getting close to 100 followers.  When I do reach 100, I will post about my cool giveaway drawing!  You don't want to miss it!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Blog Hop Time - Stitching Rituals

Blog Hop #6 is about stitching rituals:

Some of us have a favorite chair that we sit in to stitch, others prefer to enjoy a steaming mug of tea while they stitch. Maybe you need to get comfortable and put on your pajamas before you pick up your needle or you simply must rearrange all the sofa pillows before you sit down. Sometimes the ritual is in the clean up when we’re done and everything must go in a certain place. What sort of stitching rituals do you have when you sit down to work on your projects? 
At home I do have a set stitching spot.  It's the right end of the couch with the end table at my right.  I can sit at the other end if I have to, but this is my comfy stitching spot.  My scissor holder and "thread bucket" are always on the table, ready for stitch time.  I like to have all of my supplies gathered before I settle in.  And it's always nice to have something to watch while I stitch.  It shouldn't be anything complicated or intense, which is why Lifetime movies are an excellent choice, along with episodes of Hoarders or Big Brother for example.  When I'm done stitching, everything has to get zipped up in my project bag.  If you'll remember, I have very curious and sometimes very bad cats.  So putting away is just as an important part of my ritual as setting up!
All ready to go.
Visit all the blogs in this round of the Stitching the Night Away Stitching Blogger Blog Hop:
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Stitching the Night Away Stitching Bloggers Blog Hop


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Should There Be War In Crafting?

So I haven't blogged much lately, or done a whole lot of anything else either.  I've been a little under the weather and seem to conserve all of my energy for work.  As a result, when I get home I'm pretty much useless.   But a tiny bit of stitching has been accomplished in Red White & Bloom. 

Reading is also something I can do that doesn't take much physical effort.  And as an added bonus, I can fall asleep while reading and nothing bad will happen, like stabbing myself with a needle or a cat stealing 16 feet of floss and swallowing it. 

I've also been able to catch up on tv, some good and some bad.  TLC's new show, Craft Wars, is one that I've been curious about, so with the magic of my cable company's on demand service, I watched the first three episodes pretty close together.  And let me tell you, a little Craft Wars goes a long way.  Host Tori Spelling is apparently an avid crafter and has her own line of craft supplies.  Huh.  Didn't know that.  Anyway, the show begins with three contestants who have to "war" in a pop craft, which is a clever name for a quick craft.  They get an hour and have to create a specified project in an hour, featuring theme items given to them.  I don't know about you, but it would take me a lot longer than an hour to put together a sport duffel bag or a toy box.  So there is a a bit of messiness in their hurried work.  At this point the three judges eliminate one of the contestants and the remaining two go on to produce a bigger crafty endeavor in just 5 hours.  This is where "craft wars" morphs into "building wars", in my opinion.  Constructing a play house, pet house or patio furniture requires skills that go way beyond crafting.  The contestants are supplied with helpers and the Michael's craft wall (which I would like to have in my craft room, please).  The winner gets $10,000.

I will say that this show is a little nerve-wracking.  Crafting is supposed to be a creative outlet, something that relaxes you and enables you to produce a little work of art.  But I guess when you have strict time limits, it results in frenzied and sometimes sloppy work.  There's a lot of yelling, running around, and stuff gets spilled.  Add to that Tori coming around asking questions and gently scolding the contestants about their technique.  Will I continue to watch?  Maybe.  The three judges seem to know what they're talking about and occasionally give out helpful tips.  So possibly I can learn something.  We'll see.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Hibernating In The Heat

The near record temperatures around here have sent me into the house, where I am endlessly thankful for good air conditioning.  I mean, when your thermometer looks like this, the indoors are where it's at.
You're not seeing things.  This photo was taken last Friday afternoon.  Scary, huh?  I have been making good use of my hermitting time by reading a lot and of course, stitching.  I started on Red, White and Bloom, but not enough for an interesting photo since I've done mostly the "white".  The colors used in this chart are very pretty though, which is one of my main requirements for fun stitching. 

It has really made my day to see that I now have 83 followers!  I'm still making plans for a giveaway when I get to 100.  This is going to be a GOOD giveaway!  More information will follow as I get closer to that magic number 100!

The good news is that our temperatures are supposed to fall in the next couple of days -- to the 80's.  Still hot, but after seeing my car temp at 102, I'll take it.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Stitching For The Holidays

Our current blog hop topic involves holiday and seasonal stitching.

Do you find yourself stitching seasonally or do you just stitch what moves you at the moment? What’s your favorite holiday or season to stitch for? 

Why, yes, I do like to do holiday and seasonal stitching.  Many of my more recent projects have involved holidays and seasons.  I've completed winter, Halloween, Christmas, and Thanksgiving projects and I believe that they have all been posted on previous posts on my blog.  Plus, the three projects I have going right now all fit in with this blog hop topic well!  Let's see, there's Prairie Schooler's Folk Eggs (which can be considered Easter), Holiest of Nights by Homespun Elegance and  Red, White, and Bloom by Country Cottage Needleworks. 

While I do enjoy stitching for the holidays, I also like non-holiday subjects.  And I don't have a favorite holiday to stitch for.  One thing I would like to do, though, is stitch more Christmas ornaments.  There are so many beautiful ornament charts out there and it's just something that's on my to-do list.  In the past I've been kind of puzzled as to how to finish them, but now have found so many great finishing ideas on the internet and on blogs.  So hopefully I'll be able to post some ornament finishes before long!

Stitching the Night Away Stitching Bloggers Blog Hop

Visit all the blogs in this round of the Stitching the Night Away Stitching Blogger Blog Hop:
Find the instructions on how to participate in this round by clicking here.