Tuesday, December 20, 2011

My Ornament Swap Tree

Here's my ornament swap tree. I've been swapping handmade Christmas ornaments since 2008. I'm always amazed at how creative people are. I also love that I get to exchange ornaments with people around the world. When you think about it, something I made is sitting in someone's home in Australia, UK, Germany, Iceland, Czech Republic, Spain, and the list goes on. Yes, I've been flaked on a couple of times but I've never let that dim my pure enjoyment of receiving these little packages in the mail every year. I look forward to it for years to come.

I've come to the conclusion that I'm going to need a bigger tree!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

This year's mantel


As I was going through all my Christmas decorations, I realized that I have a fondness for trees so I thought I would gather them all together and place them on the mantel this year. I love the way it looks! My dark secret...it's not all of them. I probably have twenty more that I just couldn't fit on the mantel. What does this mean?? I need a bigger mantel! (only joking)

So, here is this year's Christmas mantel. The stockings were all made by my husband's mother and I adore them.

Now, these pics show the mantel during the day. Scroll down to see what it looks like at night.

It's really beautiful and peaceful to look at when it's lit up.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Holiday stitching

I was stitching during the month of November so I would have some Christmas cross stitch. Except for the red Santa, all of them came from Just Cross Stitch Christmas Ornaments 2009, 2010 and 2011. Santa came from the British magazine, Cross Stitcher.

As always, here are the fronts...

and the backs...

Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Everybody's a Winner!

That's right! I had five comments and I can definitely fold five origami wreaths (which seem to be the most popular - I love them too). So, Chris, JoAnn (I have your address), gill, Wagapapa, and Jennifer @ Woodley Cottage, just shoot be an email with your name and address to heidistitcheswhenshecan@gmail.com and I'll send it right out to you. Patterns will vary, but all wlll be beautiful.

Thanks for visiting my blog and for leaving a comment. I really appreciate it.

Happy Holidays to Everyone!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Origami tree stills


I was trying to figure out how to add these pictures to one of my boards on Pinterest and all I could figure out was that they seemed to have to be on my blog to get them there. I don't spend enough time on the computer to figure this stuff out (I'd rather be crafting!).
Anyway...the giveaway is still going on. Leave a comment on my previous post about my tree or on this one. I'll pick two winners on December 1!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

My Origami Tree and a Giveaway

Here's a little video of my Origami Tree. I folded all these ornaments over a three month period. I love all the color! This is a real goose feather tree. I bought it over 15 years ago and I think it will be my "official origami tree" for every future Christmas.

Now the good part...if you would like to have your very own origami ornament for your tree, just leave a comment about which ornament you like. You can even tell me which colors you like best as well. On December 1, I'll pick TWO winners and send an ornament especially made for you! Don't you just love this time of year??!! The giveaway is open to everyone (that means international friends can play too).

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I really have been stitching...

but I'm finding out that I do much better with small motifs. These are all from Just CrossStitch Halloween Collection. Simple, simple, simple to stitch. Just the type of projects that fit into my life right now. I'm still using fabric that I have, so most of these are on aida cloth. It works well with framing them in the hoops. One day I'll take a photo of the wall that all of these are hung on. It's getting quite crowded.

And the backs...

I've already started on some Christmas cross stitch.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

...and another Handmade Ornament Swap

I love freshlyblended's annual ornament swap, but she is taking a break from blogging and a very courageous person picked up the gauntlet this year. I'm very excited to participate but the only drawback is that swap-bot is the host. The one problem with this is that the ornaments you send and receive are not from the same 10 people assigned to you. I'm willing to take the chance on this but others prefer to know that they are only in a certain group for giving and receiving. I get it, I understand.

A group of crafters would like to know who they are swapping with and have started a swap for this year. I've joined in and I hope you will too. Yes, it's quite a few ornaments to make and mail (if you participate in both), but I've found that what I receive is usually worth it in the end.

So, if you would like to participate, just go to this link on flickr. SIGN UPS END ON SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 6! Hurry, don't procrastinate, you will love it!

I love the ornaments I've made this year...wouldn't you like to receive one?

Friday, October 28, 2011

It's that time of year again...

This will be my 5th year particpating (and the first year I'm NOT stitching my ornaments)! I'm really excited about the ornaments I'm working on. They are very different from years past. It's lots of fun - come on and join!

Here's the link to swap-bot.

Sign up ends on November 7 - don't wait!

(P.S. I have been stitching some small pieces that I will be sharing soon.)

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Engagement Gift

My husband's niece recently got engaged and their engagement party was just a couple of weeks ago. We wanted to give them money to help with expenses but we HATE just sticking money in a card and calling it good. During the teen years, both she and her brother had to suffer from us being "creative" with money gifts. We've rolled it into straws, stuffed it in ugly pottery that had to be broken to get to it, put it between pages in a dollar store book, put it in gumball dispensers, etc. Fun to think up and even more fun to watch them try and get it.

Well, I wanted to do something more "grown up" and I came up with this vase full of origami boxes. Besides cross stitch, origami is one of my favorite things to do. To keep my folding skills up, I typically leave some piece of origami next to our tip when we eat out. Usually a crane since it only takes one sheet of paper. I've never stuck around to get a reaction from the wait staff, but I hope they enjoy the surprise (right before they throw it away!).

I decided to find some quotes about marriage (some funny, some snarky, some serious) and I printed them out and then rolled a $10 bill within each quote. My favorite quote was "No husband was ever shot while doing the dishes" - amen!

After rolling them up, I put a bow around each one.

Then each quote went into a box and the the last flaps were folded in place.

Ten boxes, each with a quote and $10 inside.

There is an easy tutorial for the boxes at Origami Mommy. You can just Google "quotes about marriage" for tons of ideas. Picking ten was kind of hard to do.

I ran out of time and didn't get a snap of the note that went with it explaining that the small (3" x 3") boxes were just "filler" while the 10 large (4" x 4") boxes were the ones they needed to open. To make sure no friends or other family members thought they could take one (not knowing there was money inside), I sealed the top with a circle of celophane and then added the ribbon to hide where I had taped it down.

They were very excited to see the vase and were curious about what was inside. It was fun to do and a great conversation piece at the party.

I'm back!

Update: The link to the flower tutorial is at Craft Snob.

So many things have happened since my last post in February. Since I try not to talk about personal things on this space, let's just say one door has closed and I'm enjoying the summer with my family. August will be the month that I start knocking on doors and hopefully one will open for me.

In April, I started making these felt flowers from a tutorial I found (which I now can't find but once I do I'll post the link...sorry). While the original tutorial just hot-glued the petals together, I decided to sew mine (just a simple needle and thread). They turned out great and I've been giving them away to friends and family ever since.

The image I pinned them to I found at The Graphics Fairy, a wonderful source for free images.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

I put a bird on it - Ode to Portlandia

Portlandia is on IFC. One of the funniest segments was "Put a Bird on it." At the same time, the latest issue of Martha Stewart came out and there were some quick and easy cross stitch patterns. One just happened to be the right type of bird. So, in the spirit of Portlandia, I put a bird on it!

She had another pattern that I thought was very cute, so I also "put a mouse on it."