Wednesday, December 24, 2008

2008 Holiday Ornament Swap

Hosted by Freshly Blended and Cake + Pie

Would I participate again? Absolutely!

Will I encourage my crafty friends to sign up? Absolutely!

This is the first swap I have ever done and I thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish. I'm even thinking about what to do next year. The talent that is out in the world is so amazing. It inspires me to be more creative. Here's a photo of everything I received. I even did side swaps (participants contact each other and swap on the side). I received 9 out of 10, but I'm hopeful that the 10th one is on the way.

There is also a flickr group that almost all the participants have uploaded photos to. Check it out - it's a great source of inspiration.

Kids Ornament Swap 2008 - Recap

Would I do this one again? Absolutely.

A big "Thank You" to The Crafty Crow for hosting this swap. As you can (hopefully) see by the photo, we received 7 very creative and charming ornaments. It was fun sending out our acorns, but it was more fun for my son to receive packages in the mail. If The Crafty Crow is willing to host a 2009 Kids Ornament Swap, I encourage everyone to participate.

There is also a flickr group set up to view everyone's ornaments. Check it out!

Merry Christmas

I hope everyone has a wonderful day tomorrow. After all the opening of presents and such, I'm hoping to get in a few hours of cross stitch. I'll let you know if I'm successful.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Umbrella Trees

These umbrella trees were in Martha's magazine last year. I always thought they were cute, so I came up with my version. I still need to figure out something to put around them. Martha used fake snow but with a cat in the house, I think it would be too tempting for her to play in. This little tablescape is sitting in my entry way.

I ran out of ribbon, so I need to buy more and finish the bow on the tree in front.

(FYI, the picture hanging on the wall is a watercolor of the church we were married in. It was done by my MIL.)

The umbrella trees at night. I have used battery-operated LED lights. It looks a bit pink in the picture because the threads that hold the umbrella together are all red. A very fortunate accident.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

2008 Kids Ornament Swap

I was also able to get the Kids Ornament Swap completed today as well. My son and I worked on glittered acorns to send out to my swap group.

My son stamped the envelopes containing the acorns with a branch stamp.
The acorns are all wrapped up.
I finished by getting them ready to mail and I was also able to mail them out today. I hope everyone enjoys their acorn!
If anyone is interested in a side swap, I have a few more that I could give away. Just let me know and I would be happy to swap with you.

2008 Ornament Swap - Mailed

Today I got everything packaged up and mailed off. I was so happy to have it done. I really hope that the people in my group like what they receive. If you've never participated in a swap, I highly recommend it. This is the first one I've ever done and it was great fun.

Monday, December 1, 2008

2008 Ornament Swap

Well, I've completed the stitching on the ornaments I'm sending for the swap. I think they turned out really well. I chose to cross stitch snowflakes and hang them using 3 inch hoops. I used Navy Blue Aida cloth and white DMC thread. A tremendous shout-out to The Floss Box because she has created wonderful cross stitch snowflake patterns and makes them available as freebies on her site. I used her snowflake patterns 8, 11, 25, 30 and 31 (I made two of each pattern). If you ever just want to look at some great embroidery or the freebies she offers, please check her out.

I'm hoping to package these up and ship them out tomorrow.
P.S. I've already received one ornament from each of the swaps I'm particpating in. They are really wonderful. Once I receive all of them, I'll post them.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Hedgehogs in Chocolate and other creatures...

I received the latest Plow & Hearth catalog today. Flipping through it tonight, the first page I landed on had chocolate hedgehogs. I thought these were adorable enough to share. While I do think they are incredibly cute, you get four of them for $9.95 - pretty pricey! I may have to try and make some myself. I could see using a truffle recipe. I'll let you know if I end up experimenting with it. Maybe I'll poke around the web and see if anyone has a hedgehog chocolate mold. If anyone finds one, please let me know.

They also had great brush animal ornaments. Every woodland creature you could want. They appear to be a good size (4" - 6" H), all 13 animals (this is just a few) would be approximately $120. I'll stick to admiring them in the catalog.

Ornament Swap

I've signed up to participate in this ornament swap. I've never done one before so I'm looking forward to seeing what I receive. I think I've come up with the ornament I'll be making but it's still too early to show anything. Once I finish them, I'll show them off before they get mailed out.

I haven't cross stitched for about two weeks but signing up for this exchange has fueled my creative energy.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I've done a little side project

I have put all my regular WIPs aside to work on some Christmas gifts. Here's the first one I finished. My wonderful friend who will be receiving this gift regularly checks my blog, so she's getting a sneak peak at one of her gifts - she just doesn't know how it's going to get finished up (and I already have her main gift so I don't mind sharing the little extras I include!). I'm planning on doing a few more. I think they are just beautiful and so elegant. I hope she likes it as much as I do!

Marie Claire Idees
Point de Croix
Abecedaire ancien
Stitched on 16 ct. Cream Aida
DMC Floss - purple (226)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

I Love Etsy!

I'm constantly making lists and I usually have a small notebook in my purse or tote. If given 5 minutes of quiet time (standing in a line, waiting for the light to change, etc.), I will usually pull it out (if I don't have a sudoku book on me) and start making lists. Things to do, projects to start/finish, groceries, etc. I'm sure you get the picture. Well, I love cruising around Etsy and looking at all the wonderful things to buy, when I came across this seller. She makes covers for the size of notebooks I usually tote around, so, I bought one. It arrived today and it's really cute. It even came with a new notebook. There's nothing so wonderful as a fresh pad of paper! I just had to show it off.

(The pictures are from her shop.)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

I've joined "Let's Stitch"

While I was reading Teejay's blog, The Passion of my Needle, I learned that BeckySC was starting a new blogging group called, "Let's Stitch". She kindly let me join. She formed the group to get stitchers together to encourage each other to finish their WIPs and UFOs. She's hosting a weekly SAL where everyone works on their pieces on a certain day and time and we are encouraged to post the piece we are working on and then again after we have stitched to show our progress. The world of blogging is brand new to me and I have been overwhelmed by the talent that's out there. So overwhelmed that I tend to be a lurker on most of these blogs. This seems like a very friendly way to start meeting other stitchers. There is only one downside to this whole thing. Once you see what others are working on, you want to run out and purchase the patterns so you can make it yourself, thereby increasing your already large stash pile!

Christmas Holly - FINISHED!

I haven't completed a project in so long that I commited myself to finish the Christmas Holly before working on any other piece. I think it really turned out nice.
Christmas Floral Trio - Holly
from The World of Cross Stitching magazine, Issue 130
done on 14 ct. Navy Blue Aida using DMC floss

And here's the back.

Time to do a happy dance!


How fun does this look!?

I'm in the process of updating my supply of mushrooms for the upcoming holiday season. I like to include one with any hostess gifts I need. I also like to throw one in when I'm giving a present to someone. I've even written on the bottom of them with "Love you" or "Thank you" and left them with a note for someone who I want to acknowledge. I sometimes like to leave it somewhere that I know the person will find later. It's just fun!

Here's a (blurry) picture of the underside. Sometimes I paint the stems white (as shown) and sometimes I leave the stem just in it's natural wood state. Once I finish all the dots, I then use Triple Glaze to give it a really glossy finish (and it only takes one coat).

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Christmas Holly update

For the past few evenings I've been trying to finish up Christmas Holly. I've completed the holly and now I'm working on the borders. I've never used metallic thread and now I can see's not that easy to use! I think it will be very elegant once it's finished, but it's going to be a tough stitch.

Here's the front.

Here's the back.

Here's a photo with the metallic thread. You can see I've started it up in the corner.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Red Thread update

I just finished the third square last night. Here's the latest pictures.

The front...

and the back...

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

This has nothing to do with cross stitching

I was just cruising around the internet and found this. I love cupcakes and think this is adorable. You can find it here. The only thing I can't justify is spending $60 on it. How cute would this be for someone on their birthday!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Great On-line Magazine

LMNOP is a free, downloadable magazine that features cool things for kids and parents. They just released their latest issue. Once you're there, you can see the past issues as well (and even sign up to receive future issues!). I've got quite a few new moms in my family and I think they might like this as much as I do. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Red Thread update

I've finished February's square and I've moved on to March. This is such an easy project and quite enjoyable. So, here's the front...

And the back.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Crew's Sampler - Framed

I just got Crew's birth sampler back from the framer's today. This is always the most nerve-racking part of the entire process. You just never know until you see it framed if you picked just the right matting and frame. I think it turned out really well. We will be seeing my great-nephew in October, so we'll take it with us. Hopefully Crew's parents will like it as much as I do. It's pretty large, 19 x 19 (including the frame).

I was hoping that the photos show the grey mat. It matches the elephant perfectly and has a mottled effect to it. I hope Crew's papa likes the fact that I included an airplane!

WIP Update - Christmas Holly

I got some of the berries done on the holly piece. This piece is really stunning. The greens and reds offset by the dark blue are really nice.

And the back.

WIP Update - The Red Thread

I was able to get some more stitching done on this piece. The first block is finished, only eleven more to go!
And the back.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

How many pieces can you finish before you die?

I think anyone with a craft obsession has a hard time not buying "more stuff" for that craft. The thrill of looking at new kits, the possibilities, the excitement when you finish a piece, all keep feeding that desire for more. I don't know if I'm there yet, but I sometimes wonder if all the kits and charts I've accumulated will exceed my life expectancy! With this in mind, here's a few new charts I just recently purchased.

I've added to my Charley Harper kits (notice I included my giraffe chart). I buy these when I find them since they are hard to come by.

I don't have any Halloween or fall pieces, so I found a couple that I liked. Neither one should take very long to make (it's just finding the time between all the other charts that are in progress).

And here are some Christmas charts. It's unbelieveable that I have never completed a Christmas piece either. I'm hoping to finish one of these by this Christmas.

Another start...The Red Thread

I've been seeing this piece in quite a few cross stitch blogs and I've found a Stitch-A-Long (SAL) group that's doing it as well. It's quite charming and so I thought I'd give it a go. It's stitch on linen (which is quite different from aida cloth) so it gives it a nicer feel and sharper look. It's a series of 12 pictures (one for every month) that are tied together by a red thread that weaves through all of them and the quote at the bottom says,

"An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet regardless of time, place or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but it will never break." - Chinese Proverb

The Red Thread series is a Bent Creek design.

And the back.

And here's a picture of the rest of the charts that make up this piece.

I'll keep looking, but I can't find a good picture of the entire piece (you can stitch them individually as shown, or as one continuous piece). If I find one, I'll post it.

UPDATE - I found a picture...yeah!