Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Stitch from Stash Update

I don't have a ton of stitching to show for May, but at least it's better than April when I did nothing!
This is a new start from my stash; I did not spend any money this month on cross stitching supplies.
I have been working away on 'Casting a Spell' and am about three quarters finished.



The linen is 32 count, but I swear the holes got smaller in the dyeing process and it feels more like a 40 count.  After five pm I have to put my magnifiers on!



Monday, May 19, 2014

Time Flies..

Spring has been so slow to arrive here it hasn't exactly put a spring in my step.  I have a long list of WIP's, but they aren't so exciting to write about or take pictures of.  Slowly, slowly I have been checking off some of those WIP's and getting the project list down a bit in size.



I have a number of lovely sheets picked up from various thrift stores over the years, and I finally decided they would be perfect for making into cottagey looking pillow slips.  The cotton is so thick and soft, and I was able to make them longer than ones I would buy in the store. Three straight seams is all they require, and often I was able to make use of the already-hemmed edges.  On two sets I ventured into crocheted edgings, and love how they finish them off.  The third sheet had such a lovely border I thought it was enough to use it as is.


Someone else thinks they're pretty too:


(Don't tell Mr. Crafty World but that's his side of the bed!)

After a month of not doing any cross stitching I decided to get back into it and start 'Casting a Spell' by Blackbird Designs.  I am anxious to stitch this: I even have the box for it.  


What was holding me back was the linen:  I had to dye my own, which is really quite fun, but for some reason I kept putting it off.  Finally I got the dye packages out and turned the linen a soft grey.  So far this is where I'm at:



The heat from the water shrunk the linen a bit, so it's a little slow going!
I used to have a very good rule when it came to cross stitching:  don't start anything else until the first project is finished.  For a couple of years I was very good about following this rule, but in the last few years I have made too many starts and not enough finishes.  So, I am determined to be more disciplined with my cross stitch, starting with this piece.  

This is a French design I want to stitch next:


I think it's so pretty and I'm dying to get going.  It's really good motivation to get 'Casting a Spell' finished!

This weekend seemed to bring a wave of  energy to finish off some other things on my 'to do' list.
I stitched up some new pillow covers for our family room.  French seams and zippers too no less!


I put a refresher coat of creamy yellow paint on the walls in my breakfast area and hung some thrifted curtains I bought in the winter time:


I have made all my family their own set of prayer beads and last night I finally made some new ones for myself.  I had bought the beads with birthday money last year, so this was a long time in the waiting stage!


It's a little difficult to see, but the freshwater pearls are a lovely lavender colour.  I would like to find a Celtic cross charm, but for now this one looks just fine.

It feels good to cross those projects off!  Of course there are many more waiting to be finished (and about a bajillion waiting to be started!), but at least things are moving up the list!

Thanks for visiting!

Jenn

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Getting Ready for Easter

Decorations have finally been put up:


These were the first Easter decorations I ever made for my own abode and they are still my favourite.

Eggs have been coloured:


So nice to open the carton everyday and be greeted by all the colours!

Sugar Bunnies have been made for tea:


Hot Cross Buns were made:


This was my second time making these and they turned out really well.  I just have to remember next time that if I want them as an after-school snack, 2 pm is much too late of a start!

I also finished a scarf that has been in the works since last Spring:


I should have blocked it but I was too impatient.  (Really?  After taking a whole year I was too impatient to wait another 24 hours?  Such is the landscape of my mind, my friends.)
I will call it my Easter scarf and perhaps wear it to church tomorrow or on Sunday.  Really it's called the 'Violet Points' scarf by Annette Petavy.  I found it on Ravelry and it is a free pattern available here.

What got me was the French name:  'Echarpe Pointes Violettes'.  I had just purchased the yarn - a lovely mohair-linen blend in a beautiful, smoky violet - and we were about to head off for France for three weeks. I thought it would make a lovely vacation project.  I think I completed half of it in France and then it got put away in the cupboard until two weeks ago.  I know this happens to just about every other crafter out there so I don't need to explain further.  Perhaps I should call it the 'Echarpe Pointes Violettes de Paques' (Violet Points Easter) scarf.

Here is a better picture of the colour:


It's a really lovely smoky gray-violet.  It will work well both in the Spring and Fall.  I made it longer than the pattern called for because I wanted to use up as much yarn as possible.  I bought two skeins and used one per side with minimal left overs.  The yarn is KidLin by Louet.  It is a lace weight and I believe it has been discontinued.

So I feel ready for Easter this year.  Yesterday I put together the Easter baskets and am happy with what's inside.  I will make a dessert on Sunday to have after Mr. Crafty World's fabulous dinner.
I am glad I feel so prepared:  this morning while doing the completely normal movement of sitting up in bed to see what time it was I pulled many muscles in my back and therefore am not good for much today.  I can sit to practice the piano, but I cannot lay down or I have a hard time getting up again.  I can bend down, but I cannot twist around. I have done my piano practice; updated my blog; made some lavender Earl Grey tea and now I think I will see how long I can sit and crochet while catching up on 'Mad Men'.  Don't feel too sorry for me:)

Happy Easter!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

March Update


My goodness, I can't believe it's time to do a Stitch from Stash update already!
Since my gung-ho St. Patrick's Day stitching I have laid my tapestry needles down and not returned!
I did not start any new charts this month, despite having every good intention to.  I did dust off Quaker Turtles but I think I am going to have to start from scratch on that one.


I did spend some of the $25 budget this month:  I bought an issue of Cross Stitcher because I just have to stitch this pillow or a portion of it!
(photo is taken from the March issue)


So my grand total for the month is $14, however I do have carry over from January and February when I didn't spend any money.

I have been working a bit on my stool cover:


I'm loving the bright colours because the weather is still the pits.  Unfortunately I have to rip out the last 6 rows because it's "wibbly" and I want it to lay flat. Fingers crossed I get it right next time.  Someone is waiting for me to get it finished, because it offers a better vantage point to bark at people across the street.


I stitched the little bird at the top using a pattern in the February issue of 'Bustle and Sew' magazine.  I used a thrifted cashmere sweater and it's so downy soft.  So, to the person who washed their Lord and Taylor, 100% cashmere sweater and put it in the dryer and shrunk it to baby size - one person's junk really is another person's treasure!

Have a wonderful week and thanks for visiting!

Jenn

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Retro Crafting



Last year I bought a bundle of 'The Workbasket' magazines on Ebay. Mine are from 1951-52.  I believe the first one was published in 1935, and the last one in 1996.  Wouldn't it be fun to have one of the earliest issues?!  I haven't used them for crafting so much as light bedtime reading.  It's fun to see what was in vogue in the craft world, and the suggestions for Craft Circles.  Gosh, I wish I were part of a Craft Circle!


I love the cross stitched title!

The advertisements are really fun to read as well.  A lot of them are offers for kits you could make up and sell for 'pin money'.  Everything seems so cheap!  This magazine originally cost fifteen cents, and there are offers in it to buy twelve lilac plants for one dollar! I would love to know the average annual salary back then, just to get some perspective.

It occurred to me the other day there might be something to make for my St. Patrick's Day collection of smalls.  I found this cute little pincushion and was able to stitch it up in an evening.


It reminds me of a Girl Guide badge almost, just with different colours.  For now it sits by my chair, holding my loose pins and needles.

Thanks for visiting!

Monday, March 10, 2014

March

I think I should have a busy week all the time:  I seem to get a lot accomplished!  Last week was really full for me, and I didn't think I would get anything fun done.  Turns out I made the most of my spare moments and stitched three smalls!  Now I have a nice little collection of St. Patrick's Day themed stitching for my mantle.

All of the stitched designs are freebies.  These first two are from Lynn B. at Happiness is Cross Stitching.  I'm not what you would call a 'cat person', but when I saw her little black kitty with the green bowler hat I had to stitch him.


This next one is from Paulette Stewart of  Plum Street Samplers.


Patti C. posted a picture of a pincushion she made on her blog last week or so.  Once I saw it I was gung-ho to make my own.  I went to Goodwill the same day to buy candleholders and stitched this up right away.


There is a free video tutorial on how to make these at The DIY Dish.com.  I thought it would make a nice necklace holder too.  How perfect that my new necklace just happens to match?


Thank you for your comments on my last post.  In my haste to get things sorted on my blog (it being Lent  I have to severely limit my time here) I hit the 'delete' box instead of the 'publish' so I lost all of your comments!  I really appreciate that you took the time to say something nice.  Next time I will be more careful!

Enjoy your week:)

Jenn

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Quiet

My Favourite Girl is away on a Girl Guide camping trip this weekend.  I'm sure she's having the best time ever in the snow, and sleeping on the bunk beds in the lodge.  I hope she's warm enough.

It feels like we operate on a lower wattage when she's away.  Everyone has commented on it - just how different it feels around here without her.  It's amazing how much energy just one person can bring/take away to a home.


We've had a quiet weekend here.  Mr Crafty World has to work all weekend, so it's just been My Favourite Boy and I for the most part.  Yesterday we went to the craft store together to look at building models.  It was decided that they are not something he wants to do, so we headed off the Chapters to buy a Lego set.  I was all set to buy a Mollie Makes magazine but I changed my mind.  There was a quilt pattern in there I really liked, but truthfully it wasn't worth paying twelve dollars for.


I took MFB and a friend to the pool and watched them/read old magazines/cross stitched for two hours. We went to the grocery store afterwards and bought a ton of candy!

I started a new crochet project with my new wool.  I love the colours, I just wish I had one or two more for variety.


 This morning I am saving all my pictures from the last 7 years onto an external hard drive.  I get spooked when I hear of people saying they always meant to back up their files before a computer crash but didn't.  It has been a lot of fun going through the photos and seeing how much our kids have changed. Their sweet little faces from the past are such a treat to see:  you really do forget what they looked like.  Sometimes I think Heaven must be where we get to go back and hold our babies again.


Speaking of babies, I finished my scrappy baby quilt on Friday.  This was the quilt I practised using my walking foot on, so it really isn't so great.  It looks a heck of a lot better after I washed it though, so perhaps it won't be defined as dog bedding after all!

I learned that I cannot make a perfect square with fabric.  A postage stamp quilt or any other quilt where I have to be meticulous in lining up my edges is not something I will ever master, or even want to try mastering.  Maybe I should try hand piecing a quilt some time and then my wonky seams will make sense.



I used one of my favourite vintage sheets for the backing on this.  I hope I have enough to make myself some pillow cases.  I did a scrappy binding (stitched on by hand!) which I like here, but I'm not so sure I would like to use it on a big quilt.  I found the differences in fabric weaves to be a bit hard to work with.

Soon I'll be off to pick up My Favourite Girl.  It's a good hour and a half drive each way so I need to make sure I have good music in the car!  I have a busy week coming up so I don't think I will get much crafty stuff done.  But hey - it's March already and there are only four more days of school left before pyjama March break starts!

Have a wonderful day!

Jenn

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