Friday, January 22, 2016

New Projects For The New Year

I've been given some good advice about whether I should make 2016 crafting resolutions, and won't be making any formal resolutions this year.  Instead, I'll just work on what I feel like working on.  And there are some new projects on the horizon.

I really liked this chart that a Facebook stitching friend posted.  It's called Christmas Sentiments by Stoney Creek.
After seeing it stitched up so beautifully, I knew that I wanted to add this chart to my collection.  Not only add it, but to actually stitch it this year.  It's been ordered, but hasn't arrived at my door yet.  That's all right with me because I'm in the midst of planning some other new starts!  You can find this pattern HERE if you're interested in ordering it.

Another Facebook friend of mine, Kirsten, showed some stitching she was doing as part of a stitch along right there on Facebook.  The group is called "Joyful World" and features a chart representing each month.  Kirsten was kind enough to add me to the group and now I'm looking forward to stitching these sweet charts.  The icing on top of the cake is that the charts are free!  You can link to this group right here.  This is a not-very-good photo of the first two charts along with a little peek of the fabric I'll be using for January.  Believe me, the finished stitching is beautiful!
I've already decided to stitch these separately and then get a frame so that I can change them by month.  My only remaining decision is whether to use DMC or the suggested Gentle Arts threads.  Going through my floss, I discovered that I only have one of the Gentle Arts colors listed for January and February.  Grrrrrrr. 

One more new project is something that has to stay a secret for a while.  I can't show any of it because it will be a gift.  A really pretty gift.  Yeah, that's not any fun to read about on a blog with pictures, so sorry about that.  I promise to post pictures when I can.

Not a new project, but definitely one I like a lot is my Kaleidoscope WIP.  I've made more progress.
As for my other WIPs, they'll be waiting for me to work on.  I figure that adding some new stuff to the rotation will be a good remedy to keep my stitching mojo going. 

I've also found a good Pinterest project for February!  Yes, already!  Amazing, isn't it?  I'll be getting started on something this weekend, so all I have to do is figure out which one. 

More updates to come.  Thanks for all of your kind comments!

Monday, January 11, 2016

CraftyCat's January Pinterest Project

Hey, I did pretty well getting this month's Pinterest project completed!  I had bought a new front door Christmas wreath, but after Christmas I realized that I didn't have anything to put on my door for the winter season.  (In past years we would get a real pine wreath for Christmas and then I'd just take the red bow off and leave the greenery up until it didn't look good anymore).

In search of some kind of winter-ish door decoration, off I went to Pinterest.  I quickly found exactly what I was looking for. 

The first inspiration source was from diy  Below is the photo from her blog.
I also found another one I liked that was linked to Etsy.  Here's a picture of that one.
They're slightly different from each other, but the same idea. 

I knew that I had almost all of the materials for this project right there in my craft room.  Yes, I'm the one who moved a large box of pine cones from my old house to my present one, so no shortage of those!  Then I remembered a pine cone project that I did about a year ago. These silvery pine cones would be just the right thing for my door hanging. 

And this is what I came up with.
What I thought would be the most difficult part of creating this was putting the eye hooks into the top of the pine cone.  It was actually pretty easy because I have a sharp metal "pointy stick" that I use for making jewelry.  This stick makes a great starter hole into the pine cone, and then I just screwed in the hooks. You can also try to use a large needle for this step.  If you're using very small hooks, you can use a pair of jewelry pliers to twist them in.
What the top of the pine cones look like.  I used 11/16" eye hooks.  
You can decorate the pine cones or just leave them as is.  One of mine is glittered -- I brushed white glue on the tips of each pine cone segment (or whatever they're called) and sprinkled on fine silver glitter.  Then get some ribbon and loop it through each eye hook.  Make them different lengths. 

I had some straw snowflake look ornaments that I bought a long time ago, knowing that some day I would have a good use for them.  I painted them with white acrylic paint and then gave them a coat of Mod Podge Extreme Glitter.  After tying some narrower ribbon on these, I tied all of the pine cones and snowflakes to a one inch split ring (or a key ring).  A bow made a good finishing touch.

Some final thoughts about this project:  Pine cones can be sharp, so be careful when handling them.  Wear gloves if you have to.  If you have pine cones that you've just picked up, you may want to bake them to get rid of any critters hiding in them.  Instructions on how to do that can be found HERE.  I would also suggest cutting the ribbon pieces first.  This way you can see the different lengths before you attach them to the pine cones.  Allow some extra ribbon for tying to the pine cone and to the ring or whatever you're attaching them to.  Also, you can omit the extra decorations, like my snowflakes, and only use pine cones.  Or just add whatever you think would look with them - jewels, beads, whatever. 

So there you go!  An easy, inexpensive way to brighten up your front door for the dreary, cold winter season.  Any questions about this?  Just ask. 

Thank you for all of your kind comments on past posts.  Keep checking back to my blog for more crafty fun.  It's going to be a great year!  And if you're not yet a follower, please consider becoming one!

Monday, January 4, 2016

How Did I Do Resolution-Wise?

I've been dreading this post because I didn't think I did particularly well at keeping my 2015 crafting resolutions.  Don't get me wrong.  I normally like posting.  Owning up to my crafty shortcomings was what I didn't want to face.  However, looking at my 2015 resolutions post, I realized that I did a little better than I thought!

Let's see, first I wanted to finish some WIPs.  Does one count?  Jasmine Mix by Just Nan was my only WIP completion of the whole year.  It is one of my smaller WIPs, so I'll have to give myself a C.
Next up was stitching one Christmas ornament per month, which I quickly changed to one every other month.  I fell waaaaaaay short on this one.  I completed a total of 2.  Not a total fail, but I think I deserve a D for this. 

I also wanted to attempt some crafting ideas I'd been saving on Pinterest.  Guess what! This was a complete success.  What, you say?  You totally skipped December's Pinterest project!  Yes, I did not complete a December project, but what can I say?  It's DECEMBER.  I'm lucky if I get anything done in December.  Anyway, 11 out of 12 months of Pinterest projects is pretty darn good.  I'm giving myself a generous A!  By the way, my August project was my favorite Pinterest attempt.
My next resolution centered around crochet.  I was supposed to learn new stitches and attempt a crochet project.  Did it happen?  Nope.  I'll do better this year.  For Christmas, Stephanie gave me some beautiful yarn that she got when she was in Ireland.  This will be great inspiration to pick up the crochet hook.  Then I might feel better about the F that I earned for this.

As if I needed more resolutions, here's another one from 2015.  I intended to learn new Christmas cross stitch ornament finishing techniques.  Pretty much a "no" for this resolution.  I did finish one though, so can I have an F+?  It is cute and it has a charm on it.  Maybe a D-?  I think I just forgot about this one.
And last but certainly not least, there was the resolution to organize the craft room.  I did amazingly well with organizing and cleaning.  Here it is January, 2016 and I can still find stuff!  It makes me so happy to have really succeeded with this resolution.  Definitely an A+! 

So now what?  Do I make more resolutions?  I don't know.  I know that I do want to spend more time with the cross stitch this year.  And I still intend to pursue my Pinterest pin collection and attempt my one-per-month again.  In fact, I started one today.  It's far from done, but I think it has a lot of potential.  So stay tuned to see what my crafty self creates. 

I hope that you all have a very Happy New Year!