Friday, June 12, 2015

Cushion Fest

It has been raining a lot here in the past few days.  Not just drizzly rain either:  it's been full blown, torrential downpour; complete with thunder, lightening, and skies so dark you would swear it's 9pm all the time.  There's nothing to do when the weather is like this except go down to the basement and sew.

For once I am getting ahead of the game and making some cushion covers for upcoming seasons.  I found these lovely poppy window valances at the thrift store and thought they would look great on the couch come fall.


I still have a crush on those cozy, sweater pillows.  After making these ones last year, I knew I wanted to keep going.  I have been collecting sweaters with stand-out stitch patterns for the past few months, and this week I turned them into four more pillows.



I *almost* can't wait for fall so I can get them out.  I'll take a nice long summer first though!

This last cusion is for using now.   It has been in the works for so long, I don't have the heart to put it away for another few months!


The pattern is a cross stitch one from the March 2014 issue of Cross Stitcher magazine.  I wanted to work it in needlepoint with wool instead of cross stitch.  I was pleased at how quickly it worked up, but then I ran out of white and had to order more.  It didn't match up, so there was much unpicking and two more orders of DMC ecru to wait for.  I am happy with the end result, though I see my piping skills could use a bit of further education in the finishing department!

In between all the rain my peonies have been blooming.  There is so much silken petal goodness going on around here I am in flower heaven!  I'll leave you with a few photos.




Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

May Makes

Happy June!  Can you believe it?  May was so lovely I hated to see it end.  June is nice too, but I find it's a lot like December in that it just screeches by as we wind down the school year and get ready for summer vacation.

I have a few quick things to share that I completed in May.  First up are two letters from Brooke's Books Stitcher's Alphabet.  I stitched up the letters D and F.  D took some patience as there were many small patches of colour.  I just love the end result though: isn't her little face so sweet?


F was much quicker; it took about four hours and was super easy-going.


I am so far leaving any added embellishments off.  There are a few buttons to put on, and beads, but I'm not sure about the beads just yet.  I will decide at the end.

Here is what it looks like so far:


I also managed to complete another long suffering work in progress.  It has been years since I started these quilted hot pads.  Not quite sure what I was waiting for, but I am happy to have them out of the "Inbox"!


I am working on a few crochet projects:  one is a blanket with left over Lake Erie throw yarn.  We have been sucked into the black hole of watching "Game of Thrones" on DVD so I try to get at least one square per episode completed.  That makes me feel a bit better about watching for hours on end anyway!

Mr Crafty World and I got away for a few days to celebrate our twentieth wedding anniversary a few weeks ago.  We went to beautiful Niagara On The Lake and spent two days in a lovely little boutique hotel.  I would like to be able to show you lots of pictures of this charming place, but do you know I only took this one picture the whole time and didn't work on any of the crafts I took with me?!


This yellow magnolia was just stunning and now I use this picture as my screen saver to remind me of the lovely trip.

Thanks for visiting!   Enjoy June!


xoJenn

Monday, May 18, 2015

Lilac Time



I think this must be the most beautiful time of year, isn't it?  Just about everything that can bloom here is doing so:  the apple and cherry trees are frothy with blossoms and buzzing with bees, and the lilacs are showing off like I have never seen them do before.  I guess they are all grateful our extra cold winter is behind us too!

Last weekend was Mother's Day, and I thought it might be fun to have tea outside as the weather could not have been better.  I got out my pretty dishes and Murchies Earl Grey; Mr. Crafty World bought some lovely sweet cakes from the Italian bakery.


Every time I pull out my silver tea pot I keep thinking, "I really need a tea cozy for this one".  So promptly after tea was finished I set to work making one.  I used the 'Gather Lilacs' tea cozy pattern from Issue 51  of Bustle and Sew magazine.  I have to tell you it was quite the sensory delight to stitch lilacs outside while being able to smell the lilacs all around me!  That afternoon I got the embroidery finished and on Friday night I constructed the cozy.



It was a lot of fun choosing the fabric for the patchwork.  It's a good thing I don't have a huge selection of purple fabrics or I probably would have been paralyzed by indecision!


The lilac fabric was perfect for the backing.  I have been waiting for a chance to use it.


The inside is another piece of thrifted fabric.  I thought it had a nice, vintage look to it with its green background and purple roses.


Tea, anyone?

Thanks for visiting!

xoJenn

Saturday, May 9, 2015

M.I.A.

Well, that was certainly a much longer absence than I had anticipated!  All is well in my Crafty World, but sometimes Life has a way of diverting your attention from blogging, doesn't it?
In this time I have had a lovely vacation to visit my parents on the West Coast; my computer hard drive gave up and I lost everything on it; I celebrated a birthday(!); the weather has turned for the better and my attentions are now diverted to that great money pit otherwise known as the yard!

Not much crafty business has been going on here recently, but I do have a few things to show you that I finished off during my vacation.
Over Lent I only let myself work on older projects so I could tick off a few more boxes on my Work In Progress list.  First up was the Ricicles Shawl by Sandra from Cherry Heart. I started this last spring with a lovely duck egg blue Debbie Bliss yarn.


It has gotten so warm I have only been able to wear it once:  not that I'm complaining about the weather!

My favourite project to finish was my cross stitched Teacup Peony:


I just love how French designs use so much shading to define areas as opposed to back stitching.  Being pink this of course goes with nothing in my house, but I am bound and determined to make a space for it!

I finished off another letter from my Stitcher's Alphabet.  Sadly I am way behind on my goal of stitching two per month, but I can't get discouraged because guilt and stitching really shouldn't mix, should they?


I have completed A,B,C and E.  Next up will be D and F.  Both require lots of colour changes so it may take another three months!

I am almost finished two other older projects, but will wait until they are completely finished to photograph them.  This weekend we are to have beautiful weather, and I see a lot of stitching on the deck for me with something fruity and cool to drink.  Tomorrow is Mother's Day, so I wish all you lovely Mums an equally lovely day!

Thanks for visiting and your sweet comments!

xoJenn


Thursday, March 5, 2015

Sewing Table

Last year in a fit of purging I put a whole bunch of things on kijiji to sell.  One of those was my antique, Singer treadle sewing machine.


I didn't think it would sell so quickly, but it did!  I was a little sad to see it go, because it had been something I had wanted for a really long time.  After owning it for a while, I could see the limitations for me.  It was awkward having the presser food sit on top of the treadle (because there was no other place for it); and all that cast iron plus the machine made it really heavy.  I did miss the drawers for storage and the extended surface though.
For the past several months I have been on the hunt for a new sewing table that would give me enough surface for sewing and storage for my notions.  Before Christmas I found the perfect solution at Goodwill, and it was half price furniture day to boot!


Just for the record, it did not look like this when I bought it!  It was all dark, dark brown, and the added pieces were plain MDF.  She wasn't really very pretty!

At one time this had a sewing machine with it, but a previous owner had removed it and cut a piece to fit the hole the machine swung down into.  They also put another shelf underneath the knee well.  This was just fine for me, because all I wanted was a table.  Both added pieces are on hinges as well, so it's really convenient.


Of course I hemmed and hawed for a week or so deciding how I was going to give it a make-over.  I have always wanted to give chalk paint a try, and thought a nice pink or duck egg blue would be lovely.  In a magazine I saw a picture of an antique table, painted cream with a stained top.  *Ping!* I knew I had found my finish.  Also one that Mr. Crafty World wouldn't cringe at!

I have to say I am underwhelmed at the chalk paint finish.  I used Martha Stewart chalk paint in 'Linen', but I find it streaky and there are lots of brush strokes showing.  I have a feeling that if I ever bring this table upstairs and get to see it in lots of natural light I am going to hate it.
The original finish was a nightmare to sand off.  I only did the top parts of the fold out pieces and decided to paint the interior parts.  It was only after I stained one of the  top pieces I remembered I had originally decided not to stain, but to only wax the top.  Grr!

 I wanted to wax the entire thing after painting, and went completely domestic-geek and made my own wax!  Lavender scented too:) I have to say the whole table smells delicious, so that makes up for the previous gaffes.

On a recent trip to the thrift store I found a roll of this wrapping paper which I thought was so pretty.  I used it to line the drawers, and also to cover the MDF shelf under the top.  Since I will be storing my machine on that shelf when I'm not using it, I covered the wrapping paper with some clear vinyl to keep it from getting ripped.



Now I am puttering around and filling up the drawers with all my bits and pieces that have been stashed here and there.  I am very excited to use my new table!

Here's a funny little post script:  a while back I was driving down the main street of our next town.  I looked out the window and what did I see, but my old Singer treadle machine in the window of a dry cleaner/alteration shop!  So glad to know she didn't get disassembled for parts, and gets to be admired by lots of different people on their way by.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Between Coats

Hello, hello!  Did you have a good weekend?  I was supposed to have the weekend to myself as everyone else was scheduled to be somewhere Friday and Saturday night. I was looking forward to it because I wanted to get my kitchen painted with no interruptions, etc.  My Favourite Boy's plans got cancelled, but as he is pretty easy-going I was able to do it anyway.  He even cooked the hot dogs for our lunch on Saturday!  I have no dramatic before and after pictures of my kitchen to share:  I went from a lighter yellow to cream.  I'm hardly on trend or anything, but it looks good and I'm happy!  The biggest shock was that I actually lived with one colour for eight years!
During the time I wasn't painting, I worked at a few quick projects.  Michael's has cotton yarn on sale again this week so I picked some up on Friday night to make some Swiffer cloths.


 I use washable Swiffer cloths already, but they are starting to come apart.  I found this pattern on Mary Maxim and used it for my first cloth.  It is made up in three parts, and after getting it together I figured I could do better.  I changed the numbers a bit and just stitched one long piece; then I folded over and stitched up the sides.  Much better and way less ends to weave in!  Each one takes about an hour to make from start to finish.  What I like about these is that you can turn them inside out and use the same cloth twice before washing.  Oh, and they work really well too!
I used Bernat Handicrafter cotton in 'Love', 'Green Dream', and 'Poppy'.

A few months ago I discovered a set of crochet videos on You Tube. Donna has a website as well, where you can see all of her projects and they are linked up to her videos.
The infinity scarf project using ruffle yarn really caught my eye.  Instead of unravelling the yarn, you just treat it like a really bulky yarn and use a large crochet hook.  I bought an 'S' size hook on Friday night, and used it with this yarn I got on clearance for $2 at a local yarn shop.


I bought two skeins and used both of them up to get this:


I really like it!  It's not too bulky at the back of the neck and it isn't heavy either.  I have a lunch to go to on Wednesday and have the perfect jacket to wear with it.  Not bad for $4!

I also made some good progress on my sewing desk, but I will wait to show you that when it's all finished.  It has warmed up considerably here and it really feels like Spring will make her debut sometime in the near future.  Until then, thanks for visiting!

xo  Jenn

Thursday, February 26, 2015

WIP to RIP

I finished one work in project from The List.  I have to put that in italics because that's how I feel about it.  Funny how all those projects you are so eager to start lose their lustre once they have been sitting around for a while.  Like  a stale real estate listing:  you just want to get rid of it and move on.
So anyway, I put the finishing stitches into this scarf yesterday:


I used two skeins of Red Heart Boutique Unforgettable yarn in 'Winery'.
You can find the pattern on Ravelry, called 'Mindless Scarf'.  Is is great for stitching while watching Netflix.  You start at one end and the sides naturally make a pretty scallop.


I have a wool coat that is exactly one of these pinky-purple shades and the two look wonderful together.  I still have two skeins left, so a matching beanie hat may be in order.

Have a wonderful day!!

xo Jenn

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