Sunday, December 13, 2009

So Easy, So Good - Cinnamon Nuts

There are not too many things I make during the holidays, but every year I make Cinnamon Nuts and give everyone at work and our neighbors a box full of these. The original recipe called for walnuts, but I prefer to use pecans. I've never tried it with almonds, so if someone feels daring, give it a go. This is THE EASIEST RECIPE EVER and you can make a batch in five minutes...I kid you not!

Cinnamon Nuts

1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp cinnamon
5 Tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups nuts (pecans or walnuts are really good)

Combine sugar, cinnamon and water in pan. Boil about three minutes, stirring constantly until it "spins a thread" (I really don't know what that means, but when it starts a full boil, I cook it for 3 minutes from that point and I've never had a problem). Remove from heat. Mix in vanilla and stir in nuts with a wooden spoon. Continue to stir until it "sugars." (You will know immediately when this happens, the liquid all of a sudden just get dry - kind of fun to watch it happen!) Spread on waxed paper to cool.

That's it! I made six batches today and it took about a half hour (I had to keep washing my pans). They taste really good just popping them in your mouth, over ice cream, and I've even got one friend that chops them up and adds them to her pancake batter. Enjoy!


I found these little treat containers at Target to put them in.

I also need to give credit to my mother-in-law for this great recipe - she's the best!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

I just finished!

The deadline is tomorrow to get our ornaments in the mail for the 2009 Ornament Swap hosted by freshlyblended. My guys were very cooperative and left me alone most of the day. I had 3 more snowmen to work on when I got up this morning (they take about 3 hours each)! This is my last swap commitment for the year. Now I can concentrate on our family's Christmas.



A pile of!

3 inch hoops, 18 ct. Christmas Red aida cloth, DMC white thread
Design from Made in France, cross stitch and embroidery in red, white and blue

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Handmade Ornament Swap

Go to swap-bot and sign up for this ornament swap. Setting up an account is free - no strings attached. I participated last year and received some beautiful ornaments. Hurry, sign ups end on Nov. 7!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I'm back...and I've been stitching

After back-to-school and hosting a family reunion, I'm finally getting back to my little blog. While I haven't picked up my ABCs in a couple of months, I have been doing some stitching. One of the swaps I'm participating in is called "Lucky Parcel." You list five things you are willing to do and then whoever your swap partner is gets to pick one of the five things for you to do for them. One of the things I listed was doing a cross stitch piece. My partner picked that. Since it's supposedly fall (we're in the high 80's!), I went through my charts and found a really cute pumpkin that can carry someone from Halloween through Thanksgiving. I really like how it turned out and I hope my swap partner likes it too.

And the back...

I'm now getting ready for freshly{blended}'s ornament swap. Signs up start Nov. 1 on Swap-bot. I participated last year and received some amazing ornaments. I encourage any fellow swappers to join.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Update on my ABCs and new Pendants

Here's the latest update on my ABCs. This is what I did just this past weekend. It's such an easy stitch and I'm hoping to be finished within the next two weeks.

and the back...

I haven't stitched on it this week because I've been running out of pendants and I needed to make more. So, every night when I get home, I get my guys fed, change into my pj's and I've been making these.

The photo does not do this one justice. It's just beautiful and I'm thinking about keeping it for myself! But, I'll probably just make another one to give away.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Star Ornament Swap

I'm taking a quick break from my ABCs. I signed up for a star ornament swap on swap-bot so I wanted to get them done as quickly as possible. We have to do two ornaments using a star theme. I did one in a vibrant red and the other in an icy blue. While it's the same design, doing them in different colors gives them each a unique look. I hope whoever gets them will like them. They were fun to make. I also like framing them just off-center to give them a "different" look.

A close up of the stars. I used beads for the center.

And, of course, here are the backs.

Friday, August 21, 2009

French Knots vs. Sead Beads

I've been working away on my ABCs and I'm really enjoying stitching this piece. This piece has quite a few French knots and somewhere along the way, I've lost my ability to make them. The trouble is keeping them all consistent. I like them nice and uniform and I'm having trouble with them. So, I cut them all out and I'm using seed beads instead. It's a nice change and it does give the piece a nice little sparkle.

I forgot to include a backside photo. I'll remember to do it on my next update!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Working on my ABCs

I started a project this weekend and I thought I'd show you what I've done so far. I'm still in my "use what you have" mood, and I've got several kits that have been just gathering dust. This one was given to me by a dear friend that lives in the U.K. We've never met (in person), but she's one of my closest and dearest friends. We worked for the same company until she left work to have a baby. We've been chatting on the phone, emailing and sending each other surprise packages for the last 4-5 years...and we've never met (I can't emphasize this enough). She's the one I tell my troubles to and the first one (after my hubby) that I tell all my happy news to as well. Our biggest fantasy is to one day actually meet, without husbands and kids, just because we know we will talk, craft and shop until we are blue in the face and we don't want to feel guilty about ignoring them. It will happen. Once I set a goal, I always achieve it. I'm very patient and methodical (it's a good methodical, not a "psycho" methodical!) when it comes to getting what I want (it's the whole affirmation attitude that I walk around with!). Okay, I could talk about her all day...onto what this post is all about!

And of course, the back.

It's really a great stitch and I'm amazed at how quickly I'm getting through it. I started this Saturday afternoon and after working on it last night, I then took these pictures.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Finally hanging up my pieces!

I don't have a large house, and luckily, most of the walls in my house have windows in them. So, I don't have much wall space to hang pictures. My MIL is an artist (I'll have to do a separate post on her work someday), so most of our walls are covered with her work. I've been wanting to hang my framed cross stitch pieces but there has never been a "good" place to hang them up. I decided to hang them in my entry way and just make that wall my "cross stitch wall." We have one of those houses where the front door hardly ever gets used (I know you're not friend or family if you go to the front door!). Everyone comes in the back door by the garage. This space is hardly used and no direct light (it's pretty much in darkness 24/7), so I can use this space and not worry about sun damage either. So, here's the start of my cross stitching wall.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Stitching Bloggers Birthday Club (SBBC)

I just received my birthday package from by SBBC partner. She did an amazing job and sent me some really great birthday treats.

The biscornu, pin keep and scissor fob were all made by her. Her stitching is really good! She sent me three patterns I have been wanting, and also sent the scissors (can you have too many pairs of pretty scissors??), needles and floss. She went way beyond my expectations and I can't thank her enough for her generosity.

A quick note to Edgar for being the host of this exchange. He keeps us all on track and is also able to turn out the most amazing cross stitch I've ever seen. I think he's robo-stitcher! In the time I complete one piece, he's done ten! He's now showing off by framing his own work! He's very inspiring and I always look forward to reading his daily posts.

Favorite Color Swap #3

For this swap, I chose pink and my swap partner did not disappoint me!

She sent me some origami paper in a pattern I don't have, as well as that gorgeous piece of fabric that everything is laying on! She also included an embroidery hoop, the likes of which I've never seen before. I've stitched so many initials for family and friends yet I've never stitched my own. I think this unique hoop is going to get a pretty, pink "H"! She also sent a small cross stitch pattern which will now be put in my travelling tote bag. It's the perfect size to take out and work on...anywhere. And last, but not least, what stitching gal has ever had too much floss? Thank you for sending such a great package.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Favorite Color Swap #3 - Round 2 swap

I'm really becoming addicted to swap-bot. If you love getting (snail) mail like I do, it's the ultimate pleasure. I just received a package and I chose purple as my color choice (trying to step away from the pink for a minute, still crave the pink, but I thought I would choose a different color). Here's all the wonderful things I received.

So much fun! I can't wait for my other swaps to arrive. I made the mistake of not taking photos of what I sent to my partners. I'm hoping they will post photos when they receive their goodies so I can steal some pictures.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

ATC Swap

Last night I finished my ATC (Artist Trading Card) for my swap partner. I really wanted to incorporate my love of cross stitch into my design and I used a quote that summed up my feelings about stitching. "All my scattering moments are taken up with my needle." (Ellen Wheaton, 1851) Isn't that statement so true? When you stitch, it gives you that moment to pause from your hectic life. I always feel calmer after I've done some stitching. I even stitched right on the paper (it turned out to be easier than I thought!).

Watercolor paper, using a wash of colors for the background

Orange DMC floss used on heart

Swap-bot: ATC's for Beginners & Newbies
Title of ATC: Why I Stitch, June 2009

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Cross Stitch Book - I'm in love...

Have you seen this book yet?
I subscribe to the U.K. magazine, Cross Stitcher, and in this month's issue, I noticed a small write-up about this book. I decided to take a chance and see if I could get a copy through Amazon (I didn't want to have to pay U.K. rates or international shipping costs). Well, Amazon itself didn't carry it, but the Amazon Marketplace did AND the sellers were located in the U.S. It was $20 (with shipping, the total was $24) and I've wasted 20 bucks on much less, so...I ordered it.

It arrived yesterday and I have been in heaven ever since!
There is plenty of cross stitch and embroidery patterns. Lots of small motifs (which I'm always looking for). Great ideas for upcoming exchanges and quick gift ideas. The book is divided into three sections (red, white and blue) and the themes cover holidays, seaside, country, hearts, flowers, children, sewing, fairies, animals, etc. The list goes on.
I've been thinking about Christmas ornaments for this year, and I've already picked out the pattern I will be using.
If you end up getting this book, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Happy sewing!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

A little bit of stitching

I haven't been in the stitching mood for the last month, but I decided that over the holiday weekend I would do one little project. Check that off my list. I'm not sure where I'm going to put it, maybe in the kitchen as a reminder to my guys that we are a team - one for all and all for one!
I'm still in my "use what I have" phase, and I'm trying to use up all my old fabric. Luckily I don't have too much and I do see that I'm making a dent in the stash.

Design from Donna Kooler's 555 Cross Stitch Sampler Motifs

22 count hardanger, 5 inch hoop

Friday, May 8, 2009

What I've been doing the last month

Not much! We went to visit family during my son's Spring Break and I've barely done anything since. I did do some crafting with my SIL during our visit and we made lots of pendants. This is just the ones I took home!

I'm now ready for any future gifting for the women in my life!

On a different topic, I'm a big believer in affirmations. When I was pregnant with my son, I used to rub my belly about 50 times a day and say this over and over, "I will have a happy, healthy baby, I will have a happy, healthy baby, etc. And I believe it worked. From the day he was born, we called him the 98% happy kid (slept through the night, never sick, always smiling) and we considered ourselves very lucky. I do believe that my daily mantra did have a hand in his great disposition.

So with all the economic woes that are surrounding us, I decided to cross stitch a couple of my daily affirmations - just to remind myself that at the end of the day,

and when I finally lay down to sleep at night, with my family tucked in and safe, that
Now I have to tell you that a blogging friend just recently went through some surgery. I decided I needed to send her a positive affirmation that "All is Well." I sent her the one above. I even had a clever idea with the ribbon that is's actually a bookmark! It's just a length of ribbon with a button attached on each end!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Blue Bunny will be hopping to...

Jennifer! My son picked your name, so the little blue bunny gets to go live at your house! Just send me an email (heidistitcheswhenshecan at gmail dot com) with your mailing address, and I'll get him posted.
Hopefully he'll be hopping your way before Easter. Thanks for playing along!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

You can't ignore the stitching bug

So, my cousin's daughter turned one today and we were invited to her birthday party which took place in the afternoon. After having breakfast with my guys, I got the stitching bug to do a little stitching for the birthday girl and her older sister. What could I do that was quick and easy, but would look really cute? I found it in one of my French cross stitch books.

And the back:
I also painted the outside hoop black, which really added punch to the white and pink.

And here's how I wrapped them up (cute, glittery chipboard letters).

We gave the birthday girl three of my son's favorite books. My Monster Momma Loves Me So, The Escape of Marvin the Ape and Dex: The Heart of a Hero. Even though she's just one, she will hopefully enjoy them as much as my son (still) does. The illustrator for all these books is Mark Buehner. He's got a great style and will hide images within the pictures. Everytime you read them, you find new things.

We also included a picture puzzle by one of my favorite artists, Charley Harper.

And then peeking out of the top, a little orange octopus I found on etsy!

Such a happy little girl.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Bunnies...and a Spring GIVEAWAY!

Aren't my bunnies just the cutest? My best friend sent me the DMC metallic threads that I used on these little guys. They just glitter in the light. These are 3 inch hoops and I used 11 count Aida. I've got such a large stash of Aida cloth, and the easiest way to use it up is to make these little hoop ornaments (win-win).

So, for the giveaway, I'm going to giveaway the blue bunny. If you would like to have him come live with you, just leave a comment on this post. I'll close the drawing at 5:00p (Pacific) on Saturday, April 4. This is a worldwide offer!
And, as always, here are the backs.

By the way, is it just me, or are metallics really hard to work with?!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Sometimes I wish I was magical but alas, I'm just a...

yep, just a muggle! (My husband would say "super nerd")

I'm a big Harry Potter fan and I've been wanting to do this for sometime. I should be working on my multiplication sampler, but I'm too busy having fun doing these little projects. I found a Harry Potter font on the web (sorry, I can't remember where I got it) and just printed out "muggle" in the size font I like. I then went through the tedious process of trying to chart it. (I don't do this very often.) I have created a pdf of the chart that I did if you want to have your own muggle sign. It's not a fancy chart and I'm not an expert, but it will get the job done! Since I can't figure out how to add it to my post, just shoot me an email and I'll send it to you.

And as always, here's the back:

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

SBBC Gift - Received

I just heard from my SBBC partner, Amy, that she just received her birthday package. I'm so pleased that she likes everything I sent. Unfortunately, I only have a picture of the main gift, Cherry Hill. I forgot to take pictures of all the other goodies I included. Happy Birthday, Amy! I hope you have a great day tomorrow.

Maybe Amy will have a better picture. The frame is a dark green and I used a piece of 28ct linen that was pale pink with the recommended Crescent Colors floss.