Monday, March 27, 2017

WIPocalypse For March

Someone tell me please, where did March go? It seems like I just posted my WIPocalypse update for February, and here we are again. But I am very happy to be taking part in this WIPocalypse group, which you can find on the Measi's Musings blog.

It didn't help that I spent the last week sick. It started two Sundays ago and today is the first day I feel almost normal. Except for that bone-tired thing that stays with me for a while. March was also made a crazy month by having two big updates done to our house. I was glad they were getting done, but at the same time, I just want everything back to normal. The house is kind of a mess.

I did get my camera out yesterday and snapped a photo of each of the three projects I worked on this month. Let's start with Tulip's Praise.
I worked on the left section of this one a bit during March. It's a pretty big piece, and this picture doesn't really reflect the size accurately. But I do love it and am glad that it's actively in my rotation.

Next is Kaleidoscope. Now this is one that I can see a lot of progress happening on.
And it keeps getting prettier and prettier as I stitch. It's supposed to be made into a cushion when completed, but I'm thinking of framing it.

What about this little cutie?
I should be stitching a lot faster on this piece if I'm supposed to finish it before June! I really like these Joyful World charts from The Snowflower Diaries. I'm using the Gentle Arts threads recommended for these designs.

What helped me this month is that my stitch group had a stitch day AND a stitch retreat happen on two consecutive weekends. I did get a lot of stitching done during these fun stitchy events. That is good because I got absolutely no stitching in during the past week. But just the act of taking pictures of these projects yesterday made me want to pick up the needle again!

Now for the question of the month: What stitchy blogs, groups, or flosstubes do you follow and why?  If you look to the right side of my blog, you'll see that I follow a lot of different stitchy blogs. These blogs are fun to visit because I see what's new in the stitchy world, get ideas for what to stitch next (and oh, there are so many of those!), and just get inspired to sit down and stitch on my WIPs. I would say that inspiration is the main reason I look at blogs. I do belong to a couple of stitchy groups on Facebook and like them for the same reason. As for flosstubes, I'm kind of new to that world. I didn't even know they existed until about 4 months ago! The one is follow the most is Vonna's flosstube, The Twisted Stitcher. It's always interesting to see what she has to say and her tutorials are the best.

I think that's it for this month. As soon as I get all of the displaced junk out of my craft room, I plan to start a new gigantic project. I made some progress on it by buying the fabric for it. And that fabric is currently somewhere in my current household mess. Time to get to work!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Finished Stitching Finishes

Several weeks ago I received an email from a blog follower who is interested in stitching Just Nan's "Jasmine Mix". She had seen my post about this particular chart and inquired about the colors used. Because I don't have the chart anymore, I had to open my "finished stitching" box and look at the finish itself. I think I answered her questions in a satisfactory way, but the process of looking through the finished stitching box got me thinking. And the main thing I thought was "Why don't I do something with these finishes?!".

So I started with "Jasmine Mix".
Turning it into a pin cushion was a fun process. I ironed some interfacing onto the back of the stitching, sewed on some backing fabric, and then filled it with crushed walnut shells.
After hand sewing the opening, I ruched some sheer ribbon and then sewed it on all of the edges. Here's how I ruche the ribbon: I hand sew a running stitch right in the middle of the ribbon and gather as I go, knotting the thread once in a while. I keep the ribbon on the spool as I go and keep measuring as I stitch. The ruched ribbon gets sewn on by hand with matching thread.
I'm happy with the result and am glad that a random email spurred me on to finish a completed stitching project.

The next project I tackled was FINALLY framing Val's Stitchin' Stuff "Kitty Kalendar". About time, right? I've had this done for, well I don't know how long. I've also had the frame for it and had designated it's place on the wall a long time ago.
The frame is from American Frame. They will custom make frames so that you can frame it yourself!
This little cutie now hangs in my craft room exactly where I've been picturing it hanging!

I am so glad that I received that email because it made me look at all of the finished stitching I have and inspired me to do something about it! There are more pieces in there and I plan to frame or finish them as well. Now my question to you is: Do you also have a collection of completed stitching pieces that you haven't done anything with? Or do you turn them into framed pieces (or pillows, ornaments, etc.) as you go?

Monday, March 6, 2017

The Beading Bug Is Back

A couple of interesting beading projects popped up online recently and I was once again bitten by the beading bug. The first one is cute and kind of whimsical, and gave me the opportunity to practice the brick stitch. I hadn't used this stitch in a while and was glad that Youtube videos exist so that I could re-learn it.

I found the link to this adorable "Maneki-Neko Charm" on a beading page on Facebook. I've always called this little cat motif "Success Cat" after hearing it referred to that way from somebody. I have several little Success Cats around my house, so I was instantly interested!
The pattern is a freebie from Miyuki Bead and Craft and can be found HERE, along with other beading patterns.
It was fun to make, and allowed me to learn new skills - increasing and decreasing in brick stitch - and also to practice my wire loops. There is also a pattern for one of these little cats in black, which is also adorable. I still may make one!

You all know my love of making bracelets, so you won't be surprised that I've made another one. This is a pattern that I found on Pinterest. I liked the look of it and thought that it appeared to be pretty easy to make. Click HERE to see the pattern.
What also made me happy about this project was that I already had all of the beads in my stash. I only had to buy a magnetic clasp.
Superduos are fun to work with. I like how they can create a mesh-like look depending how they're strung. The color I used is "Crystal Violet Rainbow". I also used 11/0 seed beads in bronze. The pattern shows how two colors can be used, but I had these beads and thought they'd look good in this bracelet so I opted for that. A couple of things about the pattern: Unless you read Dutch, you will have to rely on the illustrations to complete this bracelet. But the good news is that the illustrations are excellent! In addition, in step three, where you string on half of the clasp and then double back to strengthen it, make sure that you keep this section close to the rest of the work you've already done. It's easy to complete this part and notice a big gap between where you doubled back and the rest of the bracelet.

Don't pass by the chance to take a look around their web page. "Elfenatelier" appears to be a bead shop and also offers plenty of other free beading patterns. Also, look at how cute this shop is and it looks like they offer classes. I WANT TO GO THERE! Sigh. I guess I'll just have to settle for trying out some of their gorgeous patterns.

So that's what's happening in my little beady world. I hope you like these two ideas and are inspired to give them a try. I'll be back soon with some stitching news and other crafty stuff!