Sunday, November 26, 2006

Forging ahead on my stocking

I know several online stitchers started new projects over the holiday weekend but I am persevering on my forlorn Christmas stocking that I started over 2 years ago! My husband's has been done for 2 years now but mine kept dragging on. I am determined to finish it in time for Christmas this year. I am getting close to the top where the cuff starts but then of course there is all the backstitching and the finishing work. Wish me luck! This is from the old Cross Stitch & Country Crafts magazine and was originally published in the mid-80's I believe. I always planned on stitching it someday for myself as it really fits me. I also quilt and sew, have my grandmother's Singer Featherweight machine and all so I just had to stitch it. Here is my progress so far - you can click on the photo for a larger image:

I'm having a wonderful 5-day weekend. I had Friday off work and am taking Monday off to go visit a friend in Sedona who retired last year there. We worked together for 10 years and I'm driving up with another friend from work to see her new retirement home and spend the day. It should be fun - Sedona is a beautiful place to spend some time. I have Fridays off for the rest of the year using up my last days of vacation time and I'm really looking forward to those 3-day weekends!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Thanksgiving finish

I just finished this piece by Homespun Elegance on Tuesday night and temporarily put it in the frame tonite so I could display it for Thanksgiving tomorrow. I will do a better stretching/mounting after November but this is good enough for now. (click on photo to see a larger version)

This was a fun and quick stitch that only took me a week (for me that is really good!) I found this lovely frame at my LNS when I bought the pattern last week. This is called "Delivering Plenty" and the great thing is that there are 5 or 6 other "delivering" patterns that I can stitch and swap in and out of the frame for other seasons and holidays. I like being able to swap pieces out and it saves on the framing costs especially for small seasonal pieces. I have to make this short tonite as I still have some chores to do getting ready for tomorrow's guests. I like to have my table all set up the night before and that is the last thing I want to do tonite. I prepared most of the dishes this afternoon and just have to bake everything while DH cooks the turkey out on the grill. Hope all of you enjoy a lovely Thanksgiving shared with family or friends! I'm especially thankful for all the wonderful designers and products that make stitching so enjoyable, and the online community of stitchers to share with. :-)

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Secret Garden Box Finished!

Yeah! I finally got this done while DH was out of town this weekend. I had a bit of trouble with my box - I painted per the instructions (substituting blue for the red paint) but when I started to sand it down after the top coat of camel, it started turning green - the blue paint underneath with the yellow-ish camel on top made it green. I didn't like that too much so I decided to paint on another coat of blue and make my box a weathered blue look. I also changed the top a bit and mounted the needlework like a panel instead of stretching it over the lid of the box, then I added a cording around it. I had intended to make my cording out of the varigated Needle Necessities I used to stitch the piece, but Needle Necessities floss is pre-cut into lengths that prevent you making cording out of it. Luckily I had some perle cotton that worked out fine. Here are 3 views of the box - click on them to enlarge the photos.

Yesterday I visited my LNS to pick up the latest BBD Loose Feathers design. Of course I did some shopping while I was there, I couldn't help myself! My LNS had a trunk show from Homespun Elegance, one of my favorite designers. Lovely lovely things for sure. I did see a really cute Thanksgiving stitch and I bought it - it's called "Delivering Plenty". Thanksgiving is one holiday where there aren't all that many cross-stitch designs available. I really like this one and I'm going to stitch like crazy to see if I can get it done in time for the holiday. I picked up a gorgeous frame while shopping as well so I can stretch and frame it myself temporarily for the holiday. Here's a picture of the pattern:

My LNS also had a smaller trunk show for Erica Michaels Designs - they do a lot of punchneedle and miniature knotted patterns. Now up to this point, I have successfully avoided punchneedle and knotted designs - I can't really add any more hobbies to my life. But some of these pieces were out of this world! They had a little round autumn-themed 'rug' that was to die for. Then I saw this miniature knotted ornament and it was all over - I could scan the pattern but the picture on it just does not do the piece justice. It reminded me of petit point in the amount of detail that showed. The 4" round ornament has a sand castle, waves, and ocean with a turtle, mermaid, etc. I was smitten. It's called "Seaside Roundabout" by Erica Michaels. You can do the pattern either in punchneedle or the miniature knotted version which I want to do. I've never done this before so I may have to do some practicing. I know doing french knots was never my favorite so even though the pattern has you do colonial knots it's still going to be a challenge.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

My foray into paper arts

My friends and I had our card-making class tonite. It was a lot of fun - held at a "Recollections" store if you've ever been to one. It's a chain of stores and they sell scrapbooking and paper arts supplies. What a great place! My first time in the store and they have a huge classroom where you can take all sorts of classes. We paid $20 each and it was about a 2-hr class. You got all the supplies to make 5 autumnal cards. Very easy and a fun group outing. I felt like I was reliving my childhood again - cutting and pasting! I've always had the 'craft' bug ever since I can remember. As a child, I had a big bulletin board in my room that my dad had made with a nice wooden frame, and I decorated it every month in a seasonal or holiday theme. I made potholders, did woodburning, made puppets, sewed doll and troll clothes, learned to crochet from my mom and grandmother, knitted a little and embroidered dish towels, made popsicle houses, corn husk dolls and all sorts of odd little things. Does anyone remember making Christmas trees by folding Readers Digest magazines or making trees with toothpicks stuck into styrofoam balls? You stacked the balls all together in a tree shape and then used spray flocking and glitter to decorate. I remember using pink flocking spray to make pink Christmas trees. I'm showing my age but I can remember they used to do crafts on the Captain Kangeroo show and I was always asking my mom for some sort of supplies I needed to make something. So I guess it's not surprising I became addicted to stitching and quilting. :)Anyway, here's a picture of the cards I made tonite. I'll send them to some family members for Thanksgiving. Making cards is a lot of fun but the only trouble is most people keep them a few days and throw them away so I don't think I'd do it all the time.

I also picked up some scrapbook paper. I want to make a small scrapbook of all my quilting and stitching projects. I'd like the pages to have a coordinated look to them color-wise without too much 'frou frou'. Now just to find the time to do it!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Back again..........

Wow, can't believe it's November already. I haven't blogged in awhile. I had to spend some time out of town in October and things are just starting to get back to "normal". I am still working on the finishing for my Secret Garden box although the stitching part is done. Hope to post the completed box in a few days. Today while watching the Bears-Miami game I worked on finishing a Halloween paper banner I started a few weeks ago. I'm in a group of 9 quilters and we meet once a month. We don't always do quilting - some of the ladies are into paper arts so in October we all did Halloween banners. At least my banner came out good which I can't say for my Chicago Bears!! You can see on the mantle my Thanksgiving figures I bought this week on eBay - I think they're cute and plan to use them as part of my table decor for the holiday.

I only had a little to do finish mine up but now it is going into storage until next Halloween. It was fun - I got to play with all the tools etc but didn't have to buy them so that's always fun. This Tuesday we are meeting for November at a scrapbooking store. This could be dangerous! I have avoided scrapbooking because I can't handle another hobby! We are taking a class where you make cards so it should be fun. We like to do different things once in a while and since we all live in different areas of our metropolitan scene, we sometimes try to meet in the middle somewhere to cut down on all the driving.

I also made some quilted cards today. Somehow, I found a link to the Craft Apple blog on someone else's blog and that's how I found these. (if you want to see the instructions, view this wonderful blog and check the October archives - I can't remember now whose blog I first saw them on, but I sure enjoyed making them. Since I'm a quilter, I have no shortage of fabric to use! I used pieces from the charm pack of Moda's "Chocolat" by Three Sisters. I made about 10 cards that will be fun to use.

I recently picked up 3 quilts I had quilted. Now I am working on putting on the bindings and will be posting those as I complete them. I am forcing myself to get back to working on my unfinished Christmas stocking. I started it like 2 years ago but haven't finished it yet. It's from the old Cross Stitch & Country Crafts magazine. I really should get this done so I can hang it up for Christmas this year. I think I'm about 70% done with the stitching,but here's what it will look like: