Monday, December 16, 2013

A Very Merry Stitch Day

What's better than our monthly Stitch Day?  That would be a Christmas celebration Stitch Day!  This took place last Saturday and was no ordinary gathering.  We had decided to bring food to share, which is a departure from what we usually do.  So no little sack lunches for us!  Instead, we feasted on a ham spread appetizer, meatballs, pulled pork sliders and salad.  Peggy, our resident baker extraordinaire, provided us with a selection of delicious desserts.
Peggy also made sure that our gift table was festive.
And for when we drew numbers for our gift exchange.
Now that's pretty creative.
We each received a festive Christmas cracker and a coffee mug gift package, courtesy of Peggy.  I missed the opportunity to take a photo of all of us wearing our paper crowns.  You would have loved that!  Some boy scouts were visiting the fire station (we meet at a community room adjacent to that) and laughed at us enough.  We appreciated all of the work that Peggy put into our gathering to make it extra special!
Peggy's gifts for all of us.
Oh yes!  We also stitched.  Here is a sampling of what we were working on.

Trish's project.

My "Cardinal Winter"
Autumn leaf by Sheila.
Renee was working on a pillow.
Peggy's work of art.
Pat's Christmas tree.
We did miss two of our group members, Laurie and Thea, who could not attend, and look forward to seeing them in January!

Pat presented each of us with a lovely handmade scarf.  What a nice gift, so beautifully crafted.  And then we got creative with our scarf display for this photo.

So you can see what a fun and special gathering this was for the Sisters In Stitches.  I'm pretty sure that this is something we will be doing again next year! 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

A Kooky Project And A Stitched Finish

I completely forgot to show you what I finished while I was on our group's stitch retreat!  This is one of the old (1997?) ornament projects that I found while doing some actual cleaning in the craft room.  Some of you may be familiar with that story as I've posted about it in the past.  The items I found are turning into some lovely ornament finishes, and here's another one.
I put the final stitches into it during the retreat only to figure out that I didn't have any beads.  You know how we stitchers like to finish things.  So Laurie came to the rescue with just enough tiny red beads that turned out to be perfect for this little project.  It's not a traditional cross stitch project, more of a long stitch done on what looks like needlepoint canvas.  Now it just has to be completed into an ornament. 

Another project I've been working on is a little different.  I saw this idea all over the internet last year and decided to make my own.  First I had to get a clear wine bottle.  So after drinking a bottle of mediocre wine (bought just for the clear bottle), I sprayed it with a frost finish.  Looked good and went on easier than I thought it would.  Then I painted on a trio of ghosts and some other spooky stuff, tied on some black ribbon and then stuffed some clear lights into it.  I'm pretty sure that the light cord is supposed to go through a hole that should be drilled through the bottle.  Gulp.  I'm not brave enough for that yet.  I have visions of glass shards flying everywhere.  And the bottle should have a cork to finish it.  But it's kind of a fun finish, isn't it?
Bottle Of Boos.  Get it?
Today I started a painting project that I will be sharing right here on the blog.  So far so good.  And I am photographing the process as I go.  So stay tuned.

Monday, November 18, 2013

I'm Back After My Blogger Blip

I'm not even going to make excuses for why I haven't contributed to my blog in so long, but I do apologize for my lengthy absence.  Let's just dive into what I HAVE been doing. 

My stitch group, the Sisters In Stitches, enjoyed our fall retreat at the beautiful James H. (Sloppy) Floyd State Park in Summerville, GA.  Yeah, it sounds funny, but it's a very pretty setting and we chose a good time of the year to go.  We stayed in two cabins, convening in one to stitch and eat.  The meals and desserts were delicious as usual.  We all agreed that our retreat was a success and a good time was had by all.
The Sisters In Stitches.  We asked a stranger to take this picture.  We're a friendly group.
The table of busy stitchers.
Each stitcher received a scissor fob/keychain.

For a retreat remembrance, Sheila and I made Ice Resin charms with the group's name and then I put together some fall-themed scissor fobs/keyrings for each stitcher.  I'm glad that everyone liked this little surprise.

I have been stitching!  You can see my progress on Song Of The Seasons in the lower left hand corner of the top (messy table) photo.  I've also been working on a freebie snowflake using Garibaldi rayon overdyed floss.  The color I'm using is a purply-pink color.
I have to say that I love using this floss!  It's great for one-color designs like this snowflake.  This is going to make a cute Christmas ornament.

Also in the works is "Cardinal Winter" by Little House Needleworks.  Such a cute little chart.
I've also been doing some miscellaneous crafting, which I'll talk about in future posts.  And I'm about to embark on a painting project that I'm very excited about. I'll be sure to post about that.  Unless it turns out really bad.  No, no.  Either way, you'll see the results coming up soon.  Thanks for sticking with me during my blogging lull!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Stitch Day Craftiness And Finish

The Sisters In Stitches held our Stitch Day for October on Saturday.  One of the things we do at each Stitch Day to add to the fun is a gift exchange.  This gift can be something stitch related, but it doesn't have to be.  This month I wanted to do something totally different and unique, so I came up with the idea of a box of frogs.  Not THOSE kinds of frogs.  You know, the ones that make our stitching a little less fun.  But I did tie in the frog idea and made a bunch of jumping frogs from dollar bills!
My son used to make these and occasionally would make one to use as part of our server's tip at a restaurant.  He wasn't available to teach me how to make dollar bill jumping frogs, so I went to the next best source -- Youtube. 
I made up a herd? swarm? gaggle? of these, found an unusual box, added some tissue paper and a funny note, and there was my one-of-a-kind gift.  And it was thoroughly enjoyed by the recipient!

My goal for this Stitch Day was to finish something.  I don't know how optimistic I was, but I did actually complete Bent Creek's "Quaker Star".  I like the use of different shades of red and blue in this chart and think it is a very nice finish.
Now my fellow Sisters In Stitches and I are getting ready for our Fall 2013 retreat which is just around the corner!  We share meal duty, and have all of our meals planned.  We're going to have a smaller (but just as fun) gift exchange.  And of course, we are all looking forward to a weekend of uninterrupted stitching.  I've got to decide what I'll take to work on!  I plan to take pictures to share right here.  So stay tuned. 

Thanks for visiting my blog!  I enjoy all of your comments and am happy to know that people are visiting here.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

A Halloween Finish In Just One Day

On a shopping trip to Michael's craft store one day, I found this little frame in their bargain bin area.  It just said "Halloween" to me.  The other day I decided it was time to put something into that frame, so I started to scour my Just Cross Stitch Halloween issues.  The tiny opening in the frame really limited what I could put in there, but I finally found this cute little cat chart in the 2012 issue.
I had to leave out the fence that the cat was sitting on, and I also repositioned the bats, but I think it turned out very well!  And all in one day!  I'm one of the slowest stitchers I know, so this is pretty amazing.  And really, this spooky little frame couldn't hold anything other than a Halloween something.  Looking through the Halloween issues of Just Cross Stitch, I found so many fun things to stitch. Maybe it's time to start something new.........

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

I Thought They Already Had All Of The Colors!

What are the three main things that we stitchers like the most?  That would be charts, fabric and thread, of course.  There are lots of other necessities that are always on our radar -- scissors, needles, needle minders, lights, cases to hold all of our stuff, and more.

I always like seeing new charts that have come out, and spending time ooh-ing and ahh-ing over new fabrics, but I think my favorite thing is floss.  I like all kinds of floss, but DMC is my preferred go-to brand for its consistency, softness and sheen.  So when I heard that DMC was introducing new colors, well, it made me pretty happy.  But then I wondered where they were going to get new colors.  I mean, don't they already make every shade of every color in the rainbow?  Apparently not.  Last week I received in the mail my little box of DMC's 16 new floss colors.
It contains 8 soft, natural shades and 8 bright, vibrant hues.  Ahhhhh, what a wonderful stash addition for a floss fan.  I just want to stitch something with them.  And just look at that orange.  Wouldn't it be perfect for a little Halloween something?  So if you feel a need to add to your floss collection, this is just the thing.  Happy stitching!

Monday, September 30, 2013

A New Finish For An Old Ornament

Last year, while going through some stitching stuff, I found some ornaments that I stitched back in 1997.
Remember these?
I hadn't completed the stitching on the top one, and it's not really cross stitch but stitching done on canvas.  No, I still haven't finished stitching it yet.  I figure it's been sitting around for 16 years, what's a few months years months more?  Put that one in the WIP file, or would it be a UFO?  I made the one in the lower right hand corner into an ornament and posted about that.  Well, I finally got around to ornamentizing another one.  Hah!  I made up a word.
I like to find different ways of making ornaments, and this idea came out of nowhere.  I stretched the fabric over a piece of medium weight cardboard and used my favorite tape - Terrifically Tacky Tape - to hold the edges down.  Then I used some heavy cardstock for the background.  I then positioned the ribbon hanger and glued the stitched part to the cardstock with tacky glue.  That's it.  How easy can it be?
Nineteen ninety seven was indeed a good year for stitching.  Now to think up a cute ornamentization for the Santa one. 

I also spent a little time in the craftroom working on a project that I can't show you right now.  That's the thing about gifts -- I'd LOVE to post about what I'm doing but can't until the gift has been given.  Pretty cool accomplishment in the craftroom today, don't you think?

Monday, September 23, 2013

Giveaway Winner!

It's time to announce the winner of my Come-Back Giveaway!  I drew the name from my magical crystal dish and it's:

Emma/Itzy from My Creative Corner
Congratulations, Emma/Itzy!!  I will be e-mailing you soon for your address, so I can put your goodies in the mail!

I'm just kidding.  That dish isn't magical.  Well, it once was - when someone gave it to me stuffed with candy.  THAT was pretty magical.

I put my LHN mystery sampler aside for a while.  As much as I love it, I just needed to work on something else for a change.  I chose my "Quaker Star" by Bent Creek.  I really like the colors in this, and for once this evenweave fan is stitching on linen.
I really do need to start some more projects.  Ha ha. 

Happy Fall to everyone!  I've started to make a few little fall changes around the house.  It's fun to see the decorating ideas on other blogs to get a little inspiration.  Unfortunately, I can't have a lot of accessible foliage because of certain furry beings who live here.

I'd like to welcome my new followers and give a big thanks to everyone who follows.  Your comments are so appreciated.  Come back and visit!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A Come-Back Giveaway!

Here's what happened:  I got busy.  I didn't do much stitching or any other crafting, for that matter.  And I have been absent from the blogging world for three weeks!  So to make it up to the people who read my blog, I'm having a giveaway! 

Included in the prize package is Little House Needlework's "All Dolled Up" chart, "Joy". I stitched this one up last year and finished it as a door hanger.  The winner will also get some fabric, a 12-1/2"x20" piece of Norden Pearl Linen, 25 count, in Natural AND a Christmas bead and charm pack. 
What do you think?  Want to try to win this one?  All you have to do is become a follower of my blog (if you aren't already), and comment on this post.  Make sure that there is some way I can contact you.  That's important!  I will draw one winner on Monday, September 23rd.  I'll e-mail the winner and also announce who won right here on the blog.

It feels like fall here today.  Low 70's and pretty windy.  I'm finally getting to air the house out and the cats are loving it!  Windowsills!  Fresh air!  When you think of it, Christmas is not that far away, so I thought Christmas would be a good theme for a giveaway.

I'm still stitching LHN's "Song Of The Seasons".  I made some pretty good progress on it during Stitch Day last Saturday. 
Stitch Day was a good time to discuss our next Stitch Retreat which takes place next month!  See how quickly time is passing?  It seems like I just made the reservations for our retreat, but I actually did that in
April!  And now it's almost here. 

Thanks for sticking with me even though I was absent for a while.  Fall seems like a good time to get crafting and stitching again, so I'll see you soon!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Eyes Still Have It

At our last Stitch Day, I showed everyone a little needlecase that I made a couple of years ago.  I used a little wooden needlecase and worked the beaded part in the tubular peyote stitch.  I've proclaimed this case as  mine and carry it with all of my other stitching stuff.
It got me to thinking that I should try this particular craft again now that my eyes have gotten a little older.  I honestly wondered if I could still do it or if the tiny Delica beads would do me in. 

During my craftroom cleanup, I found my pattern books for these beaded cases.  Jennie Might at Black Giraffe Designs is the author of the books and designer of all of the patterns in them.  I found a pattern with only three colors, which worked out well because it was pretty straightforward and an easy re-introduction to beading.  I also happened to have all three of these colors "in stock".  Yes, there are actually some beads that I don't have.  Then I got to work.  And here's the result.  It's the one with the American Flag design.
The other two were ones I made previously.  I think these will become special gifts eventually.  I intend to add to this little collection because the good news is that I CAN still do this, old eyes and all!  Hah!  It was a fun  project and I may be ordering some more beads soon.

Also, here's an update on my LHN mystery sampler, "Song Of The Seasons".  I'm not exactly getting through this at the speed of lightning, am I?  But it is turning out nicely, even though this is kind of a funky picture.
Thanks for stopping by, and thank you for commenting on my posts, few and far between they may be lately.  I'm happy to say that the craftroom organization/cleanup is done!  Look for a post about that in the near future.  It's such a good feeling to get everything put into place and have a nice environment to craft!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A Lot Of Love Went Into This Finish

I decided to use my day off to finish a finish.  That sounds pretty funny, doesn't it?  We talked about this exact thing at one of our Stitch Days -- what to call a completed cross stitch, and what to call it when you actually do something with that cross stitch piece.  We're talking about framing or making it into an ornament or a pillow or whatever.  Which one is the finish?  And what do we call the other one? Or are there already terms for both of these and I'm just out of the loop?  Fellow stitchers, I think we need to address this.  It's important.

So I pronounced today the day of accomplishing something crafty.  All thoughts of finishing the ongoing craftroom project were pushed out of my mind.  Hey, all I needed was a clear table for the sewing machine, right?  Yes, it is taking me a long time to organize one small room.  I know.  OK, I'll set a goal for organization completion:  Done by September 13th.  Sounds good to me.  Then I'll share photos of the organized lovliness. 

Back to my project.  I took my completed "Love" by New York Dreamer, some fabric, some rick-rack and a little fiberfill stuffing and turned it into this.
Something cute to display at Valentine's Day!  I'm happy with my little finish....or whatever we're calling it. 

Here's something else I just found.  I went to to find out the correct spelling of rick-rack (rick-rack OR ric-rac.  You choose the one you like.) and there was an ad!  Right there on the dictionary page for rick-rack!  This could lead to all kinds of trouble, especially when you find something like The Ribbon Retreat.  Look at all the ribbons and trims!  I love this kind of stuff!  I think I hyperventilated a little just looking through the ribbons!  See what I mean when I say trouble?  It's been bookmarked.

Thanks for looking at my blog today.  If you have a minute, drop a little comment about what you think about my finish.  And let me know if this is a finish or something else.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Brick Or Bark? What's The Difference?

Oh, let me tell you, the difference is a lot of frogging.  I received the second part of LHN's mystery sampler, Song of the Seasons, a couple of weeks ago.  Sorry to say that the stitching on this part is not going as quickly as on part 1.  First of all, there are a lot more stitches to do before we can call this section completed.  Also, I've been a bit of a slug in the stitchy/crafty department lately. 

It seems like every book I reserved at the library is coming in at once.  I'll be halfway through one and then another one comes in.  It's always like this with library books -- feast or famine.  So I've been devoting my time to reading and the (seemingly) never-ending craft room organization. 

I worked a lot on the book case yesterday and have organized my charts.  Most of them, anyway.  Wow, there is an abundance of charts.  How did this happen?  I watched an episode of Hoarders today and got a little worried about myself.  Mark said I'm not a hoarder, but he was trying to be nice.  The good news about the craft room is that I have only one more section to go through. 

So back to the Song of the Seasons.  Last night, I put my book down and picked up my stitching.  I decided to work on a house, starting with the roof.  The color key said the color to use is "Bark" (Weeks Dye Works).  I looked through my project bag and found the little Floss Away bag I thought I needed and saw a B....k and got to work.  I was pretty pleased with myself when I finished that little roof today and went to work on the house.  Oh, the color is "Brick".  Wait a minute.  Then there is that moment when you realize that something is very wrong.  I had stitched the whole roof in "Brick" instead of "Bark".  And a-frogging we will go.
That frog is laughing his head off.
Mark observed that it must be a lot more work to take the stitches out than to put them in.  Um, yee-ah.  And there you have it.  My frogging adventure for the weekend.  OK, not the end of the world.  I'll just spend some time with the frog and then go on my merry way!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Sisters Get Together

Last Saturday was our July Sisters In Stitches Stitch Day, and we had a full house as all 8 of us were there.  We have a few "honorary sisters" who live in different states and who we see only occasionally, but they're still sisters.  One of these is Marti, who has just moved to Arizona and we now found out that this move is permanent.  We wish Marti the best, but already miss her.

One of the fun things about Stitch Day is, of course, seeing what everyone is working on.  These ladies are not ones to shy away from large projects!  For example:
Thea's "Magnolia" by Mystic Stitch
This photo does not do it justice.  It's truly a work of art.
Thea's collection of patriotic smalls!

Laurie's "Beatrix Potter Quaker Sampler" by Needleprint
 I love the fabric and floss colors that Laurie has chosen for this.
Trish's "Faith Family and Friends" by Stoney Creek
Again you just can't see all of the beautiful detail in Trish's work.  There are blended metallic areas which sparkle so subtly!
Renee is working on a needlepoint, "Flowers In A Row" by Janlynn
What a great idea for a glasses case!  If we have to wear them, we might as well store them in something lovely that we made!
Peggy is almost finished with "Angel of Spring" by Lavender and Lace
I have to apologize for the sideways photo.  Blogger won't let me orient this the right way, but it IS the right way in my photos.  But you can still see the beautiful work that Peggy has done.
Pat's "America Sew Beautiful" by A Stitcher's Hands
Pat also brought in a framed finish!
 It's fun to see another item stitched on something different.  Pat is stitching her "America Sew Beautiful" on a tote bag.  And I just realized that I don't have the name of her framed Christmas piece, but what a great job of stitching and framing!

Sheila's patriotic hearts by Aury TM
These hearts will look good framed.  I love the tones of red and blue that Sheila used for these!

My new start:  "Quaker Star" by Bent Creek
And last but not least my newest project, "Quaker Star".  I started this while waiting for Part 2 of LHN's "Song of the Seasons".  I did finish Part 1!  I know that's a shock.
Part 2 arrived in my mailbox this week, courtesy of Marty at Stitch N Frog.  Stitch N Frog is quickly becoming one of my favorite places to order from.  I like their website a lot, they have periodic sales, and they're friendly to work with.  Since my favorite LNS closed, finding a good online place to order from is a necessity. 

I'm still having fun with this mystery sampler.  Part 2 looks like quite a few more stitches to complete, but I'm up for the task! 

It's always good to see my stitching friends at our Stitch Days.  What a wonderful way to catch up with each other while seeing our stitching progress and getting tips and hints.  The day goes so fast and I know that we all eagerly wait for the next Stitch Day!

Welcome, new followers and thank you to everyone who has left comments!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Liking This Mystery

One thing I'm finding while stitching the mystery sampler, Song Of The Seasons, is that I'm extra-motivated to stitch.  It must be because I know that another piece of the mystery is just around the corner.  The next one is released in July and then the last one in August.  It's coming along very nicely, if I may say so myself.
Or maybe I just want to "keep up" with the other stitchers who are working on this one.  I have joined a stitch along group on Facebook and it's fun seeing everyone's work in progress, or even their completed portion.  So what do you think?  Will I complete part one before part two comes out?

I really like posting the crafty work of other people who I know.  Just a couple of days ago, Sherry posted a picture of her completed cross stitch project on Facebook and I knew that I had to show it here!  Sherry is relatively new to the stitching world, but has accomplished an awesome project -- a Halloween themed Iphone cover!
How cool is this?  The chart is from the 2012 Just Cross Stitch Halloween issue.  And I learned something new:  this Iphone cover was found in the cross stitch department at Wal-Mart!  Who knew?  I'm a Wal-Mart fan, but I guess I haven't perused the cross stitch aisle in a while.  Anyway, I'd like to give Sherry a thumbs-up for a cool and creative project!

My craftiness has slowed down a bit (aside from the mystery sampler) because I'm plowing ahead with the cleaning/organizing of the craft room.  I have two more areas to work on:  the book case and the bottom of my storage cabinet.  Who knows what lurks down there?  I'm finding that a good organization effort can unearth stuff I forgot I had! 

As you saw from my last post, I joined Bloglovin.  I'm pretty sure that the whole idea of this is to put all of the blogs you read in one handy place.  Bloglovin sends you a daily feed so that you can keep up.  So Bloglovin fans, is that correct?  I have a blog, so all of the blogs I follow are listed on the right side of my blog.  But I can see how someone who doesn't blog would benefit from joining Bloglovin, especially if they follow a lot of blogs. 

I'd still like new followers to click the "Join This Site" button here on CraftyCat. I get a kick out of seeing my follower number increase, and I appreciate every one of my followers.  Thank you for all of the comments too!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Follow Me On Bloglovin

I joined Bloglovin to make it easier for my followers to follow my blog. Alrighty then.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Sunday, June 23, 2013

It's Never Too Early

So I had this dream last night where I was completing a lot of stitching projects.  I just kept finishing them, one after the other, and in the dream I was so happy with myself.  I woke up a little disappointed because my stitching has seemed to go nowhere lately.  Oh well, dreams are goofy anyway. 

I did have a little ornament project that I completed this week!  Peppermint Twist has finally been turned into a Christmas ornament.  We stitchers know that it's never too early to work on Christmas projects! 
There it is, ready to go onto the tree. 

I also got a happy package in the mail this week - my materials for LHN's Song of the Seasons Sampler.  I'll admit that I was a little apprehensive about starting this one because you have to start at the top and I'm a middle of the fabric starter.  You know why.  So I spent part of this afternoon meticulously measuring the fabric after calculating the dimensions.  Then I put a safety pin where I want to start.  I measured again.  Yes, I have this fear of getting most of it done and then realizing that I'm going to run out of fabric at the bottom.  Right now I'm sure that I have a good starting place and am ready to begin stitching this fun project!
Look at me, stepping out of my comfort zone.  Seriously, though, I've seen some finishes of this first part on various Facebook pages, and it looks very pretty.  The colors are gorgeous, and I'm sure I'm going to like this one.  Stay tuned for progress!