Sunday, July 9, 2017

Tea and Cake, Band Sampler & Condolence Card

So this is a catch-up post. Blogging has taken a real back-seat these days as it has with many others. Actually, I just like it to record my projects.

 Lakeside Needlecrafts recently sponsored a 6-week free SAL designed by Durene Jones.  It was hosted on their Facebook Group.  The theme was "Tea and Cake".   The fun part of these mystery SAL's is anticipating each installment and seeing everyone's interpretation with varying threads, fabric and design adaptations.   This is not a design I would have chosen to stitch otherwise, but the process was fun.   I kept up on time through part 4.   And then life interfered.  But I finally completed it and made it into a large coaster or small mat yesterday.

It is stitched on 28 ct Jobelan over-2.  The fabric color is  "Twilight Mist".  The threads are the DMC suggestions except for the border where I used Carrie's Mardi Gras cotton floss.

I changed the wording a little also.


A close colleague, friend and mentor passed away recently.  I made this little condolence card for the family using a motif from the "Dear Rine" sampler SAL.   This is another free SAL hosted on the Dear Rine FB group.  I'm not really doing that SAL, but some of these circular animal designs are quite charming and useful when you need a small generic design.

I also decided to so some of Pam Kellogg's Never-Ending Band Sampler SAL.   I don't think I ever stitched a band sampler, so I wanted to see what I had been missing.  This is another free SAL with a Facebook group, but the patterns are all on Pam's Blog.  I started with the second panel and did half of it.  Each panel is about 18" long on 28 count over-2 fabric.  I enjoyed doing this, but half a panel was about all I wanted to do before I wanted to move on.  This on a light beige Jobelan fabric.  I don't know if I will ever do anything with this piece, but I enjoyed it.  

The patterns are all black and white so everyone chooses their own colors.  Stitchers on the FB group have shown some lovely color choices.  I had no idea what I was doing, color-wise.  I just jumped in and decided colors as I went along.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Octagon, Ghost Carrots, and Joyful World SAL Finish!

Had a flurry of stitchy energy in the last few weeks.   My eyes are feeling better and I'm feeling better in general after some much needed meds finally kicked in and did their job.   I'm showing photos that have been on FB and IG, but I know not everyone sees those and besides, I like to have the chronological record that blogging provides.

First up is this adorable four seasons freebie design from Lori Brechlin of Notforgotten Farm.  She gave this to the members of the FB Primitive Stitchers Society.  The original had red and white striped candy canes for winter, but I substituted a teacup with steam rising from it.  That little motif is courtesy of one of the Little Stitcher's designs.  I decided to try and bind this in an octagon shape.  I almost ruined the piece in the process, but did manage to rescue it.  I had planned on a much wider border originally.  The backing is the same as the border fabric and there is a layer of quilt batting for the sandwich. This may be the last octagon I ever attempt. It's basically coaster size now and I rest my glasses on it when I take them off.  The fabric is 36 ct Edinburgh Dirty Linen.


I recently discovered an adorable Italian designer who goes by the name of Cassandra FairyWool and sells her designs on Etsy in the "FairyWool in the Wood" shop.  Her designs are primitive style that show-off her quirky, humorous side.   I fell in love with one of her recent designs called "Rabbit and Ghosts".  The rabbit looks very much like her real-live pet rabbit.  He's digging up carrots from the garden while ghost carrots are flying all around him.  I stitched it up and made a pouch for my newest wooden hoop.  It's stitched on 36 ct HDF linen.  That's a little wooden heart button in the bottom right corner, added for symmetry.


The finishing urge struck me and I completed the final five (count 'em, 5!) pages of the Joyful World Calendar SAL.  So all done now and nothing to do but wait for each month to 'turn the virtual pages'. Each used a different fabric, all from my stash.  Here are the final five:



 



And here are the ensemble photos:




Friday, March 31, 2017

Hare's Coaster and Calendar SAL

I had hoped to have at least one more finish before the end of March, but it was not meant to be.  I have two completed stitched pieces that are sitting with all their finishing materials waiting for me to take time to pay some attention to them.

So to have something to show, I decided to do a quick finish of this cute design by Gaynor of Stitcher's Anon fame.  This is a freebie design she offered to members of her Holmsey Hare's Heaven Facebook Group.   I was just so taken with that ring of hares, that I felt compelled to stitch it.  I had planned to make a pincushion, but the design fit so perfectly into one of these snap-in light weight coasters, that I couldn't resist such a quick finish.  I wish these coasters were still available in U.S. stores, but it seems that you can only get them in the U.K. now.    The original design used similar colors, but they weren't DMC so I just tried to match up DMC colors from the model. This is stitched on 36 count HDF linen.


Somewhere along the way, I managed to finish up two more of the Joyful World calendar pages.  So I've got seven of them done now.  This gives me hope that  I might actually get to all twelve.
My fabric trim for June really looks like an autumn fabric, but it seemed to go so well with the bear design that I used it early.


The sparkles in the border fabric for July kind of remind me of  July 4th fireworks.   I think the colors worked well for this one too.

I'm kind of amazed at how much fabric stash I have.  I think I won't need to buy even one fat quarter for finishing these.  And I'm excited that I can change out the March one on the fridge tomorrow to welcome in April!


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.