Saturday, December 22, 2012

A few things to show before Christmas

Aren't internet friends the best? I've met a couple of people on-line and I've actually gotten to know them a bit. One of the best things is how generous they are. Look what Chris from Tot Hill Farm Stitches sent me.

She does great work! It's a great ornament and it's all one over stitching. I'm always impressed with that since I don't have as much patience with it, but it's a joy to behold! The funny thing is, I sent her this year's origami ornament and I swear these ornaments waved at each other at the post office - great minds think alike! Thanks so much, Chris!

Here is the haul from all my ornament exchanges this year. Every year, crafters impress me with their imagination and skills. This photo does not do them justice. Each one is amazing!

Last year, my origami tree was a 2 foot tall feather tree with miniature ornaments. Some of my origami ornaments this year are much bigger and looked rather silly on a 2 foot tall tree. I decided to "branch" out this year, and I'm really pleased with the results. I've even got some extra ornaments boxed up and ready to be given out to any unexpected friends that might drop by.

Here's a close up of the inside of the vase. It looks like cranes are falling and settling at the bottom. Love!

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday! I hope you are all surrounded by those you love and those that love you. When the daily news weighs heavy on my heart, I count the reasons why life is a celebration. Everyday is a gift.

Heidi (aka heidistitches)

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The last ornament exchange for 2012

Here's the last ornament exchange I did for 2012. This one was origami stars. I also included a surprise bonus ornament based on some ornaments I did a couple of years ago.

It's been a good year for these ornament exchanges. I'm still waiting on a few more to arrive. Once I have received them, I'll take photos and share my new treasures with you.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Pinterest...more than just wasting time!

I found this idea on Pinterest and used it for my annual gifts to neighbors and co-workers. Such a clever, simple (and very quick) idea. Inside are homemade Cinnamon Pecans. I posted the recipe here. They are so tasty and REALLY easy to make.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

More ornament exchanges

Here's an exchange ornament that will be winging it's way to New York on Monday. My partner for this exchange mention that she decorates her tree with mostly bird ornaments. I found this little robin in the October 2012 issue of CrossStitcher magazine. He just took a couple of evenings to whip up. I'm pleased with how he looks.

 All packaged up and ready to go.

This other ornament has already left for New Jersey. It's a takeoff on some ornaments I did last year. The silver, black and blue makes for quite the dramatic ornament!

Winter Wonderland

I've got one more exchange that I'm working on. This one will be origami and I'm also including a little bonus ornament for this group. It has to be mailed by Dec. 15. The closer I get to mailing them, I'll show you what I've done.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season. I felt like I was on top of my holiday to-do list and now I feel like time is running out...oh well!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Little Houses all dressed up as ornaments

So, here's my ornaments for this exchange, all packaged up. They flew the coop last week and should pretty much be arriving at all their new homes! I realized after I packaged them that I forgot to take a picture of them just in their hoops. Luckily, I had taken an "in progress" photo, so I cropped it down to show the 10 houses. I hope everyone that receives a little house enjoys hanging it on their tree this year.

(It's a REALLY BAD photo, but it's the only one I had with all 10 ornaments together!) 

The packaging.

The cardstock color matched the color of the house.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Little colorful boxes in a row

Here's a preview of the ornaments I'm doing for an ornament exchange this year. I just finished stitching all of them and couldn't wait to show them off (there's actually 10 but a photo of nine looked better!). It's part of a pattern from the 2009 Just Cross Stitch Christmas Ornaments issue. It's called "Winter Sampler" from Little House Needleworks. I only used a small portion of the sampler. Since I live in sunny Southern California, I never see snow (unless we drive to it), so I think I'm drawn to cozy winter scenes. Now that the stitching is done, it's time to finish them up. I'll shown them to you once they are complete.

...and the back!

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

I finally did some cross stitching con't...

Since I haven't posted anything in three months, I realized I forgot to show you a picture of the back of my stitching. Well, I didn't think about that until after I packaged it up (pre-mailing package, luckily!). I love exchanging handmade ornaments but I also love to figure out a cute way to send them off. Here's how this is going out. I'll throw in a couple of fun surprises in the mailing package, but here is the ornament all ready to go.

And the back...

Okay, I think I'm done talking now!

I finally did some cross stitching!

It's my favorite time of year when crafting blogs are hosting handmade ornament exchanges. I'm not seeing any out there that are quite as large as the one freshlyblended hosted (if you hear of any, please let me know!), but I'm finding a few that look interesting and I'm willing to take the chance. If you're interested in the ones I've signed up for, just send me a note and I'll let you know.

So, first up, I found this lovely design in the 2012 Just CrossStitch magazine and I knew it would be perfect for an exchange. It's going to make it's home in Kansas. I hope they like it as much as I do. (It's in a 3 inch hoop.)

I think my next ornament will be origami. It's going all the way to Australia so I'm very excited about that. Once I finish that one, I'll post it as well.

Special note: If any of you are looking for a private swap, I would LOVE to exchange a handmade ornament with you - any type, any style! If you would only like to exchange a cross stitched piece, I'm totally onboard with that too.

Let the merriment begin!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Birthdays and baby showers...

...all need handmade present toppers!

Birthday at work (photo doesn't show that the flower is all pinks like the ribbon)

Topper for my friend that's getting the elephant picture

Work in progress for niece's baby shower (she's having a girl)

Just checking in on a lazy Sunday evening.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

I think I need to re-title my blog.

I hope everyone is having a nice July 4th. Today was the perfect day to write something on my neglected blog. Too much work, too much reading and not enough time to do the crafting I love so much.

As you all know, besides cross stitching, I am completely obsessed with origami. I recently got to go to this exhibit in downtown Los Angeles at the Japanese American National Museum. It was amazing and made me realize what an amateur I am at origami, but inspiring none the less. So, practice, practice, practice is what I do to perfect my folding skills. There is always a piece of paper around so I can fold anywhere.

One of my girlfriends was born on December 24. I've always considered it kind of sucky that it falls right before Christmas so about a year after we met, I started celebrating her birthday on July 24 since I don't really ever get to see her on her real birthday. I call it her half-birthday celebration. One of the things she collects is elephants and the elephants' trunks have to be in the "up" position. She considers that to be good luck. I was going to fold an elephant for her as one of her gifts but I wasn't happy with any of the designs out there. Then inspiration struck.

Here is my pseudo-origami elephant gift for her this year...

I love it. I now think I need one for myself as well. I'm now looking at paper cutting projects since it was so simple to do (after about 3 failed attempts). She happened to be with me when I bought the paper and kept talking about how pretty the red paper was so that kind of sealed the deal on what paper to use.

I'm still cross stitching, just not very much or very often. I'm always in awe of what everyone else is working on out in blogland. While I don't comment often, I check on your sites at least once a week.

Happy 4th! Happy Cross Stitching! Happy Folding!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

One reason I hate backstitching...'s Reason #1. I'll show you Reason #2 when I finish it!

This is "Tatty Teddy Little Hearts." I started this little piece back in 2005. I finished it about an hour ago, March 3, 2012. It only took me SEVEN years to finish! I'm not even sure what I'll do with it now. Part of me just wants to roll it up and stick it in a drawer!

The reason why? All that backstitching! What makes Teddy so cute is all of his "tattiness." I can't tell you how many times I picked this up, put in a few stitches, and then threw it back in the WIP pile. My only resolution for this year is to try and finish as many old WIPs as I can.

When looking at something new to stitch, the first thing I do is see how much backstitching it has. It has to be pretty much "none" for me to even consider it these days.

So, here's Tatty Teddy upclose.

Here's the back. Another reason I'm not thrilled is how messy it is, and it's BECAUSE OF ALL THAT BACKSTITCHING!

Okay, I've vented, I feel better.

If you are a glutton for punishment OR if you actually don't mind backstitching, and you think you would like to stitch this (after my ringing endorsement), I'm giving the pattern away - including the extra thread which I think there is enough left to make him again. I figure I should at least try and give this pattern a new home rather than the trash can I was thinking about tossing it into.

Send me an email or leave a comment letting me know you would like to have it and I'll gladly run down to the post office and send it your way. First one to ask gets it!

Happy Stitching

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Spring has sprung

I worked on these butterflies at the beginning of January thinking that I wouldn't really post them until spring had arrived here in Southern California. Well, we really haven't had much of a winter this year (I know you're probably laughing about So. Cal. even having a winter), and for the last few days I've noticed that the butterflies are already out and flitting around our willow tree. So, if I'm seeing the real ones, I guess I can show you the cross stitched ones!

The patterns are from the March 2011 Cross Stitcher magazine (Issue 236)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

I hope you have a wonderful day!

(This is my Halloween tree and I figured I could use it for all the holidays this year! Now it's my Valentine's Day tree. I made the little heart ornaments by using some baker's twine and just gluing two sequin hearts together. So quick, so simple, so cute.)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Love Notes

Instead of buying Valentine's Day cards this year for my guys (my husband and son), I decided I'd whip up some "Love Notes" for them. They don't read my blog, so I can share this with you a day early. I always get up before them, so tomorrow I'm going to make them breakfast and they will each have their very own love notes to read. Hopefully it will start their day off on a "good note."

Cross stitch they don't really understand, however they do like the origami I make. So, in my quest to "use what I have," I came up with this simple idea.

Each one starts with "I love you because..."

Both of my guys got one that said this. Everyday they do something that makes me laugh!
I hope you have a great day and maybe, if you're lucky, you'll get a love note too!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The ultimate in cross stitching

I just finished reading this article and had to share it.

Here's the link to the story about this sampler.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

I just had to share this...

This was the view from my front door yesterday. There is a cement walkway leading up to the door (which you can't see).

This is the culprit. It's our Ash tree and it's between 40-50 feet tall! It finally realized that it was winter and that it needed to shake off all it's leaves.

Here it is all raked up. My son had fun riding his bike through it. If you look in the right hand corner, you can now see the walkway.

I am crafting and I will have things to show in the next few days. I never talk about my personal life but I had to share this. It happens every year and we have so much fun with it.