Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Squirrel Bookmark

Feeling kind of uninspired after finishing up an exchange piece that I'll show later, I started browsing through Donna Kooler's "Great Cross-Stitch Gifts" book. Not all of the charts in the book have a photo of a finished model and my eye never seems to linger on the ones that don't. This time I discovered a couple of bookmark designs that I never noticed before. I stitched up one for the Literacy Project and I think I'll do the other one as well. That squirrel looks like a cross between a squirrel, a kangaroo, and with those weird horn-like ears, maybe a reindeer, but we'll attribute that to artistic license.

squirrel bookmark

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Chicken potholder

Don't know why I had the urge to crochet a chicken potholder, but he just looked so cute in the photo I found on the web that I couldn't resist. This one is two layers thick so no worries about burning my fingers when I take the chocolate chip cookies out of the oven! The pattern is from the Ultimate Book of Potholders by Annie's Attic, but here is a link to one that is very similar.

I've been negligent in responding to the blogging awards I've received lately. Seems like it's the season for awards.

Thanks so much to Vinniey and Annette for this one:

And thanks to Belinda and Michelle for this one:

Here are a few random facts about me to go with the awards:
1) I've stepped foot in 23 of the United States plus DC and Puerto Rico ... I count changing planes in airports.
2) I've stepped foot in 8 countries.
3) I was voted most likely to have supernatural powers in my history of witchcraft class. I had long hair and kind of looked like a less cute version of Morticia Addams at the time so that was probably why.
4) I never wear high heels.
5) I once took a tap dance class with the late, great Gregory Hines and a jazz dance class with Ann Reinking. Those are my claims to fame.

Stitching bloggers make a such a nice community. There are just too many deserving bloggers and I don't want to limit my selection for passing these on. I follow a number of blogs, and they are all in my sidebar. Be sure to visit some you aren't familiar with.. you will find many treasures and inspiring posts among them.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Ezmeralda's House Happy Dance!

I'm calling this a happy dance because I completed the stitching on the Brightneedle design, Ezmeralda's House, last night. But it was like finishing a really good book. I was sorry to see it come to an end because I enjoyed the stitching so much. Looks like it will fit perfectly in a 12" X 16" frame. This is actually on 36 count fabric. I believe I said 32 count in an earlier post. I love when a standard size will work to cut down on the expense of custom framing.

How nice to finish a Halloween design just in time for St. Paddy's Day. ;-)

Here's a closer look at the bottom 2 floors and the 'garden'. I showed the top 2 floors earlier.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Stitcher II

Becky let me know that my gift for her arrived (and quickly too -- big thanks to the Post Office). I made Becky a zippered bag to use when you only want to carry a few things and want your hands to be free. I like to make a nice long strap so you can wear it diagonally across your body. I also like to place the zipper in the back so it lies against your body. Just seems safer that way. I found a new tutorial for these that leaves no exposed seams on the inside. The link is in my sidebar if you are interested. I'd been trying to invent a way to do that for a while and just never could figure it out. Topologically speaking (that's math talk from a math major) there had to be a way, but that didn't mean I could find it alone.

The design is a part of "The Stitcher II" by Homespun Elegance. I added the border around the top and sides from a piece of the Hands to Work sampler in the Feb 2009 issue of JCS. The crocheted edging is from a book of edgings I have and this one is especially nice to do because you don't have to stitch a foundation chain first.. you just keep adding the pattern repeat til it's long enough.

I also used fusible fleece to give it some body. The fabric is Light Coffee 32-ct linen from Vikki Clayton. The lining is the same fabric as the backing.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Gifts from Becky

I got the most wonderful package from Becky last week and finally got around to photographing my new gifts. My photos are nowhere near as nice as Becky's so I'll refer you to her blog post where you can see these items more clearly.

But for the record, here is what she sent. First, she made me one of her fabulous decorated hinged wooden boxes. I had asked her for hints on how to do the wood staining a while ago and she immediately volunteered to do more than just give me tips! This was just such a generous act on Becky's part. I adore this piece.

As if that wasn't enough, I was honored to find out that I was Becky's partner in her pin pillow exchange and, as such, I received this gem. The design on this as well as the one for the box are so to my current tastes.. tastes which are continually changing. This is such a cool way to do a finish.

My bear got hold of the pillow and now he says he's never giving it back. It's become his security pillow and I can't say I blame him.

Big hugs and thank you's to Becky. And a little something is going to be making its way to Becky's house this week!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Merry Month of May Pin Cushion

Just heard that my exchange partner, Nicky, for Becky's Pin Pillow Exchange received the little pin cushion I stitched for her. Nicky has a beautiful blog, well worth checking out. This was her first exchange so I'm glad the piece arrived safely. I love how excited first-timers are to participate. Exchanges are so much fun!

I stitched a San-Man design that was part of a SAL for Sandy's board members last spring to celebrate the merry month of May. I had my doubts while I was stitching it since it seemed like the colors weren't really popping from the fabric. But I was pretty happy with it when I completed it. The fabby is Vikki Clayton's 32-ct Peach Butter linen. I added a little bee charm in one corner to hide a spot where the lace trim kind of got lost in the seam. I think that's one of my favorite parts of making things... how to recover from mistakes!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Michael Powell Coaster

Some years ago I stitched up this Michael Powell freebie but I never knew exactly what to do with it. I was just fascinated by his style. I thought it would make a nice coaster, but it was too big for the acrylic ones. So instead, I first stitched the 'big' cross stitch border. Then I backed it with fusible fleece. And finally I used stitch witchery (fusible web) to back the whole thing with a piece of matching felt. I thought I had some Scotch Guard, but I guess that was used up long ago. So I'll get a new can and spray to protect it. It looks cute right now just sitting on the coffee table.

I'm so glad February is done. It may snow some more, but the days are getting longer and the snow probably won't hang around for too long (I hope). This little sun face was an old freebie from who knows where that I lifted from an acrylic coaster that was past its prime. Added a magnet sheet to the back and he's adorning my fridge, doing a pre-announcement of spring! I see he even has some metallic threads running through him, something I haven't used in quite some time.