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

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Winter Pursuits

Whew!  Only four more days until we see the end of February!  Are you as excited as I am?
When I visit my favourite English blogs I have been feeling a teensy bit envious to see their snowdrops, and crocus shoots, and tiny tree buds.  I know Spring will come here, eventually, and in the meantime I certainly have enough little things on the go to keep me busy.

I finished the 'C' block of my Stitcher's Alphabet:


I changed the colours just a bit:  I prefer the softer corals to the oranges the chart calls for.  Now I move down onto the next row of  D - H.  That should take me until mid or end of May if I can keep on track.

Before Christmas I purchased some Scrub It yarn from Mary Maxim.  It is a cotton yarn with a bit of fringe on it, meant to use for kitchen scrubbies.  I have been hooking away, trying out all sorts of scrubbies.  I made some roses:


I still need to add some leaves and a hanging loop to these.  I think I might try the larger ones in the shower instead of on my dishes.

I made a puff and several double sided and single sided circle scrubbers:


I think I like the single thickness circles best:  they are quicker to make and I think they will dry out faster than the double thickness ones.  I still have a lot of yarn left, so there should be many more scrubbies in my future!

I got a mad urge to make cotton dishcloths as well.  I'm not sure if it was just the desire to make up something quickly, or colourful, or my impending kitchen re-paint.  Thankfully Michaels had a sale on Bernat Handicrafter Cotton, so I was able to get my 'fix' in a few evenings.



That's it for today.  Stay warm if your climate is anything like mine at the moment, and thank you so much for visiting.  Your comments make my day!

xoJenn

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Who Needs Coffee...

...when you can come down to this every morning?


I think it may even be too bright for me!

Crocheted with (mostly) Bernat Handicrafter Cotton using this pattern.

Have a wonderful day:)

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