Thursday, January 26, 2012

Valentine Stitching

I love Valentine's Day and I always like to do some 'heart' stitching for the season. My first item is a card I made after being sick for a week and not doing much of anything. I had some computer problems and now that I'm back up, I can't seem to find the freebie that I used to stitch this design. It was the final thing I printed on my old computer from a collection of tree designs in monochrome with no specified colors. Maybe someone else will recognize it. I used a variety of pinks in no particular order on a scrap of hand-dyed Aida from Sassy's. The sequins are all different colors, but I think they don't show up too well on the photo. I felt like a kid in grade school arts and crafts making this up on Sunday morning.

My friend Jane did a double enabling trick on me for the next pieces. First, she introduced me to Raspberry Rabbits and the free heart of the month stitchery patterns that were offered on this site in 2011. I had been asking fellow blogging embroiderers how they transfer designs to fabric, and Jane told me about an inexpensive mini-light table, only 6" x 9", mostly designed for card-makers to use for embossing. I found one on and took a chance that it would work out. Turns out to be perfect for smaller designs. I used each of my four favorite hearts as the centerpiece on a quilted coaster. Each of them has been received by a fellow stitcher at this point. It was good practice for me to make them.

One for Nia:

One for Annette:

One for Wendy:

One for Michelle:

I also sent Michelle a little manicure scissors to use for frogging a few stitches. The curved tips are perfect for this. I made a little pouch to hold it with a pretty crocheted motif as embellishment.

Finally, I was so charmed by the little triangular thread-catchers I had seen on so many blogs that I just had to try making one. Myra made tons of them as gifts so I figured maybe they were a quick project if she had time to make so many. I found the tute here. Easy to make, but hard to make perfect. I had to sew the sides by hand since my machine balked at going through 8 layers of fabric! Maybe there is a trick to this that I missed. Anyway, it's kind of cute sitting on the arm of my stitching chair and it continues my Valentine's theme.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Workbasket Tin & Gift Card Holder

The New Year is a nice time to send a surprise gift to someone. The holidays are over and everyone can use a little winter cheer-up. In that spirit, I made a decorated Altoid tin for Carol. The design is "Blue Flower" by the Workbasket stitched on white Monaco. I know Carol is a fan of blue. I googled around til I found Carol's middle initial so I could add all three initials to the top. And I tucked one of those cute little titanium scissors inside. They are sharp, nice large holes in the handle and very portable. This is the first time I tried using wrapping paper to line the inside top of the tin. Worked well. You have to be careful not to line the top with anything too thick or the box won't close right. It's happened to me before so I'm hyper-aware of the problem now when I make these.

As an extra surprise I included an Amazon gift card since I knew Carol has a Kindle. But it's all about the presentation so I crocheted this little gift card case to house it. Handy credit card holder too for later. The case is a modification of this pattern.

No photo, but some Godiva dark chocolate covered almonds made their way into the package as well.

Carol has let me know she received the package, and I think she enjoyed the surprise.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Completed Birthday Village

Not a lot to show today. I've been stitching and crafting, but mostly for gifts that haven't been sent out. Plus I've been experimenting with different ideas I see on the web just for fun that don't necessarily turn into finished items.

But at long last the San Man Birthday Village is all done. As I suspected, the December installment was Christmas-themed so I knew I would be changing it. Too bad since as charted it had a very cute Santa and reindeer flying over the roof. My modifications are ok, but not nearly as cute. In this village, you really have to dress in layers since the seasons seem to change as you walk along the street. Anyway, here is snowy December sans Santa and Christmas decorations. I changed the house to blue from red, removed a wreath from the front door, removed decorations from the tree, added a bird and re-positioned the snowflakes! Whose design is this anyway?

And the whole village laid out in a row that you can view if you have a magnifying glass I guess. It's clickable so you can see it a little bit larger. Also, you can use the Birthday Village SAL tag to find the previous posts with the close ups of each month if you are interested.