Sunday, February 26, 2017

Clovers, Snowmen, Calendar SAL


I don't usually do a St. Patrick's Day design, but  something about Bent Creek's "Clover of Clovers" attracted me and I couldn't fight the feeling.  It's stitched on 36 count "Peep's Lost Sheep" linen from Dames of the Needle.  The trimming is a 3 strand braid of DMC floss.  I bought this little gift box from the Paper Source (within walking distance of my home) and used the design as a box top.  Then I added a bit of ribbon around the edge.  I think I'll use it as candy box with mints and green-wrapped candy.  I'll gift it to someone, just don't know who.  Turns out to be a good way to make a quick little gift.


Missed doing any winter holiday cards in 2016, but for the few I send I had enough from previous years' stitching.   To replenish the stock, I stitched The Little Stitcher snowman design from the  JCS 2016 ornament issue.  Tried something different with the finish, and I'm not particularly happy with the outcome.  But it's all part of the process.


I'm ahead of the game for Joyful World calendar finishes (or 'pages' as Nima calls them). Two more done and fabric selected for the next two months waiting for the finishing mood to strike!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Valentine and Birthday Cards


Still doing very little crafting, but it's very satisfying when I manage to do it.  I'm picking tiny charts so I have a chance of finishing them in some reasonable amount of time.   I made this Valentine card from a Tra La La design.   Such a sweet little cup of love.  It's on 36 ct linen and I'm glad to know I can still do 18 stitches per inch!


I have been stitching a birthday card for my brother every year since as long as I can remember.  I usually look for a theme that would be of interest or relevant to him.  Kind of ran out of ideas this year, so I went with a generic birthday cake.  Everybody loves cake, right!
This was from a World of Cross Stitching freebie you can get here.  I think the fabric is 32-count.  I liked it because the white showed up so well.


Two more of the Snowflower Diaries Joyful World designs are now ready for display on the fridge.
I panicked when I accidentally cut the sides without enough seam allowance.  But sometimes recovery is where the fun is, and I managed to get it to work out with a little border fabric.

Took longer than I expected of course, but I still had the mojo to do March as well so I'm ahead of hte game.  I must say that the grommet pliers are really working well after all these years.


Thursday, January 5, 2017

Completion of Joyful World SAL


Happy New Year everyone.  I've been somewhat under the weather for a while and it's hard to keep up my good humor.  Haven't done much crafting or even novel reading for a while.   But I did manage to finish up the Snowflower Diaries Joyful World SAL.   I stitched December before November because I loved that design so much and thought I needed the motivation of a design I loved.  But when I went back and did November, I fell in love with that one too.

Changed enough colors in each month to make good contrast and conform more to the original stitched by Maja with hand-dyed threads.  And very happy that my eyes held up for the last 2 over-one months.  Part of my health problem affects the eyes and that's been an additional issue.





Over the course of the SAL I had many ideas about how to use the stitching.  In the end, I decided to do a relatively simple finish of each and I will only do one a month.  I had an ancient grommet tool that I bought a thousand years ago to make a shower curtain.  I never figured out how to use it and was about to give it away during year-end clean-out.  Then I decided to give it one more try since I understood eyelets and grommets better now after making floss tags and luggage tags.  Lo and behold, it worked!    So I added a coordinating fabric border and backing to January and then added the two grommets.  The piece is now hanging from two magnetic hooks on my fridge.  I needed the larger grommet holes so they would fit on the hooks.  I liked these hooks because they keep the piece flat against the fridge unlike the usual cup hooks.

Click here to see the hooks I'm using.  I couldn't get a good photo in the kitchen.



Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Burgundy Fetching Fingerless Gloves

Not much crafting going on in these parts.  Somehow there are too many other things to do and I'm exhausted by the time evening comes and my eyes don't want to do anymore close up work.  Hoping this is a temporary lull, but we'll see.  Maybe it's also due to the new Verizon Fios Triple-Play installation that has me playing with the TV more!

I did manage to knit a new pair of fingerless gloves from the "Fetching" pattern that I love.  I thought I had lost my favorite purple pair, but I found them again after I was half-way through knitting.  No problem... I can always use another pair.  These are made from Paton's Classic wool in burgundy.  A little snug, but they 'fit like a glove' as the saying goes.  I'm sure they will stretch some as well. 

The wristwatch does actually have a face and hands.  The camera just couldn't see them.



Sunday, October 23, 2016

Cupcake card and SAL update

I don't know if you have ever searched for cupcake cross stitch patterns, but if you have then you know how popular this subject is.  I had no idea how many designs were out there.  I wanted to stitch one for a birthday card and found so many charts I didn't know how to pick one.  The first one I tried just didn't work out.. way too much back-stitching to get the right effect and I gave up.  I finally settled on this French pastry-style cupcake by Veronique Enginger.  Some back-stitching, but just enough to enhance, not overwhelm. It came with two different suggested color palettes, and I used a combination of the two.  I liked them both, but I thought this version would be best for the birthday girl.   It's stitched over-two on Dames of the Needle 35-ct Peep's Lost Sheep linen.  I wanted a darker background to make the icing pop. 

There are just as many cupcake stickers for sale as cupcake x-stitch patterns, so I picked a few and found that cute cupcake ribbon as well.  I think it all  makes a pretty cool birthday card.





Here is my October installment in the Joyful World SAL.  No changes to the suggested colors.  Just a cute little hedgehog and his snail BFF.   I might delay doing the November piece since I have the urge to knit a pair of fingerless gloves now that the weather has turned cooler.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Hocus Pocus and Surprise Gifts

Taking a break from over-one stitching, I worked up a little piece for a Halloween card on 28-ct Cornflower Blue Jobelan over 2.   This design is from an old Shepherd's Bush freebie that is no longer free.  If you buy the 'Scary Sunflower' button that is meant to go in the upper left corner, then you get the pattern too.  I thought this pink button I had saved from an old sweater worked pretty well as a flower instead.  Not as scary as some Halloween designs, but I'm hoping it might work some magic for a couple of friends that are in need of a little cheer right now.

I'm almost done with the October Joyful World piece, but I decided not to wait for the finish, and instead do this post so I could show the lovely gifts I got from my longtime blogging buddy, Lee.   Lee had a giveaway for her recent blogaversary.  I didn't win that, but she decided to reward me anyway for being a long time commenter.   What a treasure trove of goodies she sent!

Lee has been working on woodland animal fobs this year and she sent me the most adorable owl.  Her work is always just exquisite and this fob is hanging from a cabinet nob now.  I just love it.

Next we have this assortment of charms and findings to use as embellishments.  Can you see the cute mouse among all these toys?  I actually thought it was a pig at first, but my eyes aren't what the used to be.

Still more... a lovely little notebook with a beautifully stitched floral cover, a vintage cookbook with designer recipes and charts, plus an owl-themed card.   I feel completely spoiled.  Thanks again, Lee.!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Secret Lair and SAL update

My eyes are just getting tired.  I can't seem to stitch very long at one sitting before they rebel.  Doesn't help that I'm at a computer screen for work all day and I've been very busy lately.  But I finally have couple of things to show and you know how good you feel when you have a finish finish.

I figured I better get a leg up on Halloween since I'm stitching so slowly.  I picked this Bent Creek "Secret Lair" design because that mad scientist is just so adorable, and the atom sign on the wall was so clever.  Love his tennis shoes.  I simplified some parts and made some color changes, but it's reasonably true to the original.   The fabric was a clearance piece of 35 ct linen from 123 stitch.  I had wanted to try Dames of the Needle linen, and this sale was a good opportunity.  It's a little stiff, but not bad after you stitch with it a while.  It definitely grew on me.  And I love the color, including the color name, "Peep's Lost Sheep".  I wasn't in the mood for getting very fancy with card making so the design will have to speak for itself.

And once again I got in under the wire to finish the September installment of the Joyful World SAL just before October gets released.  This was not one of my favorites, but now that I look at those two funky owls, I like it more than I realized at first.  I kept counting wrong and was in no mood for frogging either so there are a number of, shall we say, "adjustments" to the design.   Just hoping my eyes hold on for the last three installments to this SAL.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Flower Waltz Bag & SAL Updates

So finally I have left behind the world of the Blackberry.  My company has switched over to a different phone system and they are replacing the mobile devices of those of us who were still on the old system.  I got a nice surprise in the mail, a new Galaxy phone.  I think I finally have it set up how I like it, but I do miss the nice Blackberry keyboard.   Meanwhile, the phone is bigger than my Blackberry and it doesn't fit well inside my smallest sling bags, the ones I use on a long walk where I really carry nothing but phone, Id, credit card and tissue.  

I recently finished stitching "Flower Waltz" by Prairie Moon and had planned on using it for something that I no longer was interested in.  So I made a bag in the style of all my others, but a little smaller, yet large enough to hold the essentials comfortably with the larger phone.

I stitched it on 32 count MCG linen using my own DMC color choices.  That fabric is nice and sturdy so it makes a good bag.  I used heavy craft interfacing, but no batting or fleece.  Ready to go for my 5 mile Sunday walk.  My Sunday Jazzercise class lost their lease at the space they had so the walk is my substitute exercise on Sunday morning for now.


All caught up on the July and August designs for the Snowflower Diaries Joyful World SAL.  Just a few color changes for July, mostly to get a good pink for flamingos and little more contrast with brighter yellows.

For August, I made a few color changes as well, but the large changed involved the blue flowers that were charted as lazy daisies.  I found it way too difficult to do those on 28-ct Monaco in over-one stitching.  So I changed them to French knots. French knots are not always my forte either, but with 2-strands they at least didn't have that tendency to pull through to the back side.   Now the flowers remind me of hydrangeas.  When I was a kid, our next door neighbors had a black and white collie named "Lady" and they had two hydrangea bushes as well.  We used to call them snowball bushes. 


Sunday, June 26, 2016

Signs of Summer Tin and ABC Cubes

A couple of years ago I started stitching Bent Creek's "Signs of Summer" for an Altoid tin top and I just stopped in the middle.  My fabric was similar to the suggested one, but the colors just weren't showing up right.  I tried changing them, but I began to hate the whole thing.  Recently I discovered the half-finished piece while searching for something else, and although I didn't like it any better, I decided to try again on a piece of 28 ct cornflower blue Jobelan.   I'm much happier with the finish this time.   I glued a couple of buttons on the outer lid to hide my messy ribbon gluing job.






I actually had more fun finding applique crochet patterns to decorate the inside lid.  Thread crochet is so fiddly that I had some false starts.  But I finally settled on some patterns that worked.  I don't know if I'll keep the sea turtle in the tin, but he definitely looks cute.  The shell comes out kind of rounded by design, so one could add a little batting for a 3-d look.

If you are interested, these the are links to the free crochet patterns I used:

Tiny round fish
http://bunnymummy-jacquie.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/sail-away-crochet-pattern.html

Long fish
http://mymerrymessylife.com/2012/04/crochet-goldfish-applique-free-crochet-pattern.html

Spiral seashell
http://dascrochetconnection.blogspot.com/p/sea-shell-garland.html

Sea turtle
http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/sea-turtle-applique-2




And finally, Ele's ABC SAL is complete!  Here is the final block:

I'm very proud of myself for actually doing the finishing.  This is the kind of thing that can live in a drawer for a long time until the finishing mood strikes me!  I decided to arrange them with the ABC as the top of one block and the 123 as the top of the other. Then the sides are the rest of the alphabet.  The bottoms of each are the remaining number blocks.  I stuffed them lightly with poly-fill so they are scrunchy.   My eyes are really starting to rebel in the evenings so I think I made tons of mistakes in all those seams.  I was trying to stitch by feel and that's really not a good technique.  Not sure what I'll do with these.  I think a baby could rip them apart so they aren't really toys.  I'll just admire them for now.






Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Bird's Eye View Sling Bag

Last fall, I decided I needed a new cross-body sling bag and I stitched up Kathy Barrick's "Bird's Eye View".   This was really a fun stitch.. just the kind I like.  It's very colorful, no back-stitching, and no super-large areas of a single color.  All done in DMC on 36 count linen.  And then for some reason, the design just sat around and I never felt like making the bag.  Meanwhile, the bag I use everyday had gotten increasingly tattered, so finally I took out the time to sew this one up.  I don't know why I hesitated for so long.  It really doesn't take that long to do it.  And I'm very happy with it, even though those colors are not very spring/summer-like.




All caught up with Snowflower Calendar SAL just about in time for the next installment. This June bear just stole my heart.  I first thought the color was too dark and I tried something lighter.  It was too faint and I ripped it out.  So I went with the 839 on the pattern and I'm much happier.  I made the bee hive a little gold-ier,  the apricots a little orange-ier and the bees a little brighter yellow.  Just look at that sweet smile!

Also finished the 4-5-6 block for Ele's SAL.  Only one more block to go and I will have the dubious pleasure of sewing up the cubes.  I wonder how long it will take me to feel like doing that!