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!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Christmas In July

My stitch group, the Sisters In Stitches, needed a little pick-me-up, and so it was decided last month that our July stitching meet-up would be Christmas In July themed.  Never mind the 90 degree day, we were determined to be festive!
We exchange a gift at each stitch day, and this was no exception.  Everyone broke out the Christmas wrapping for the occasion. 
Peggy, who always takes good care of us by making delicious desserts, went above and beyond by bringing all of the decorations.  And did I mention desserts?  That was the most delicious red velvet cake I've ever tasted!
We each brought a dish to share.  Oh my, our lunch was wonderful.  You see, usually we bring our own sack lunches to stitch days.  Just one more way to make this a special day.

And we did stitch. I will post photos of our stitching, but I don't have the names of any of the charts being stitched.  That was a lapse on my part.  Maybe from too much "holiday" excitement?  I don't know.

It's interesting to see what we're all stitching each month.  And it's always so good to see my fellow stitchers.  Most of us started out as strangers with a common thread (oh, sorry about that pun) - cross stitch.  That was only a few years ago, and now look at us.  I would say that now we're good friends.  Isn't it great when cross stitch brings people together?

I had such a good time participating in the "Where Bloggers Create" party.  Visiting other bloggers' creative spaces is so much fun!  If you'd like to take a peek at the artsy and crafty rooms of bloggers, you can find them here.  All you have to do is go to the collection of thumbnails at the end of Karen's post and click away. 

The big news this week is that I have reached the 200 follower mark!!  I want to thank each and every one of you!  I will be announcing my giveaway very soon, so please stop by and visit often. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Where Bloggers Create Party!

As part of the Where Bloggers Create event hosted by Karen at My Desert Cottage, I'd like to welcome you to my craft room.  When I saw this event taking place last year, I knew that I wanted to participate in the next one! 

My craft room isn't the biggest or fanciest place, but it makes me immensely happy.  It gets bright morning sun, which lights up the creamy white walls (which I painted all by myself!).
Most of the furniture in my craft room is second-hand.  From the pine bookcase from my son's childhood room, to the armoire I found at a great price at a local used furniture store, they're all used to the fullest.
Wonderful storage piece!

My husband Mark added an extra shelf and a back.
Cross stitch, sewing and beading keep me busy, and all three of these require good organization or I'd never know where anything is.  You think I'm kidding.  I also like to do some miscellaneous crafts like cardmaking, jewelry making, and dimensional jewelry pieces (Ice Resin type).

Cross stitch charts and magazines are stored in magazine holders.
My favorite piece of furniture in my craft room is the craft table which was built by a local furniture maker.  I asked for a tabletop that was not perfect so that I wouldn't feel bad about scratches, etc.  Because scratches and gouges WOULD eventually happen!  So he made it with a rustic, "used-look" top.  He also added two large, but shallow drawers.
A peek inside a drawer.  A few bathroom organizers from Bed Bath & Beyond keep everything handy.
Mark made the closet a lot more functional by installing shelves straight across.  Works perfectly for me and provides tons of storage for all of my "necessities".
The closet in a relatively neat state.  

More storage.
Of course, aside from all of the practical issues of organization, I believe that we crafters need to be surrounded by things that we think are pretty, things that just make us happy, and our collections.
Comfy sitting area.  The storage unit on the left holds beads and supplies.
How fun is it to go around to various crafters' blogs and see what their craft rooms look like!  I've gotten some great ideas for decorating and organization of materials.  Just seeing what is on the walls and on the shelves of these spaces can be enough to inspire you to create!  Thank you for visiting my blog and craft room.  Please consider becoming a follower of my blog.  As soon as I reach 200 followers, I will be having a little drawing to celebrate!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Reminder: Where Bloggers Create - This Saturday

Last year I ran across a blogging event, Where Bloggers Create, as it was going on.  I thoroughly enjoyed visiting the participating blogs and taking mini tours of their creative spaces. Right then I decided that I wanted to take part in this event the next time it came around.  Where Bloggers Create is organized by Karen at My Desert Cottage, a lovely blog in itself.

So if you're interested in participating, just click here for all of the instructions.  You don't have to have a big or fancy crafting space.  The purpose of this event is to see where other people create and to get helpful ideas for your own room of creativity.  Even if you don't want to take part, I encourage you to pay a visit to some of these blogs.  It is so interesting to see what inspires others!
Where Bloggers Create

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Cross Stitch Questions Answered

I have quite a list of blogs that read regularly.  Not all of them involve cross stitch, but many of them are and most of the rest are craft-oriented.  One that I like is Rachel's blog,What Looks Like Crazy On An Ordinary Day.  Recently, she offered a list of questions specifically for the cross stitcher.  I had written a blog post similar to this during the past year and it was fun.  I like the fact that this set of questions is different, and so I will answer them because I know that you want to know.

Question 1: How did you start? Who introduced you to cross stitching?  I would have to say that my mom was an early influence.  She taught me how to embroider and do stamped cross stitch at a very early age and let me embellish pillowcases with rather vivid color combinations. 

Question 2: Favorite theme or designer?  I like a lot of different designers -- Little House Needleworks, Blue Ribbon Designs, Blackbird Designs, Allessandra Adelaide, Ink Circles only name a few.  Just judging from my collection of charts, too many.

Question 3: What brand of floss do you use?  DMC and overdyed floss of all kinds. 

Question 4: What is your fabric of choice?  28-count Lugana or Jobelan tops the list.  I like linen for smaller projects and the max I'll stitch on any fabric is 32-count.  My current, most active, project is being stitched over one on 18 count linen.

Question 5: Do you use a needle threader or are you a floss licker?  Once a floss licker, always a floss licker.  Nothing wrong with that if you're the only one using that particular piece of floss.

Question 6: What brand of stitching frame (or hoop or otherwise holder) do you use?  Hoops for me.  In hand for small projects.  I tried the q-snaps, but they were too heavy for my delicate wrists.  You didn't know that I'm a delicate flower?  So I traded my little collection of q-snaps with my friend Trish for her little collection of hoops. 

Question 7: How many projects have you finished?  I don't know the answer to that.  I've been stitching for a long time and haven't been organized enough to keep track.  Wouldn't it be nice to have a little photo album of all of the projects you've stitched?  Yeah.  I've given a lot of stitched pieces away, so I honestly have no idea.

Question 8: How many completed works are hanging in your house?  Easier question.  Nineteen.

Question 9: Do you stitch for gifts or keep for yourself?  Both.  It's probably about half and half.

Question 10: Favorite finished stitched piece?  An All-American Santa that I stitched for my sister, "Peppermint Twist" by Blue Ribbon Designs, and my Pledge of Allegiance Flag (sorry, I can't remember the designer at the moment).

Question 11: Worst experience while stitching?  When my husband and I were first married, I was stitching a gift for my mom, a sampler that I designed myself.  Mark accidentally spilled tea on it when I was about halfway through stitching.  Luckily the dry cleaner got the stain out, but didn't know what to write on the ticket describing the item, so he wrote "flag".  I also stitched a piece with floss that I hated and came to dislike the piece.  It's folded up and stuck in a box somewhere.

Question 12: What do you love and hate about cross stitch?  Cross stitch is relaxing; I love seeing the design developing right before my eyes;  I like the varied colors of floss and seeing how they go together; What a great feeling it is to complete a project!  I can't really say that I hate anything about cross stitch, but I am a very slow stitcher and it takes me a while to finish projects.

Question 13: Have you introduced anyone else to cross stitch  My mom!  Yes, she WAS the one who introduced me to needlework, but I showed her how to do counted cross stitch on Aida.  She became an avid stitcher!

Question 14: The first project, did you finish it?  Probably.  I don't remember even what it was.

Question 15: How do you store your floss?  DMC in bobbins in those little boxes and overdyed floss in Floss Away bags on rings.  OK, and some of it is stuffed in a box. 

And there you have it.  Everything you wanted to know.  Ha ha.  If you're a stitcher, maybe you'd like to answer these questions too.  Go right ahead!  I may have done it in a lighthearted way, but it does make me remember quite a few stitching memories.  No photos today.  It seems that transferring old photos to a new computer can be a process filled with glitches.  Not to worry.  I'll have them up and running soon!