Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Tutti Fruitti Swap; Stitch From Stash and August

I took part in the Tutti Fruitti Swap organized by Ingrid at the beginning of the summer.  I was so excited as I have not been in a craft swap for almost 20 years!  I had so much fun putting everything together, and now I can show you what I received and what I sent.

Veronique from France had my name and sent me this lovely bag and some other goodies.  Those little fruit jellies did not last the day!  She mailed this to me on July 27 and I received it on July 31. How's that for good postal service!  Thank you so much Veronique!  I love everything!

I didn't have such great luck with my parcel to Italy.  I mailed it two weeks before the deadline and I have to tell you last night I was fretting.  I did a quick check this morning of my recipient's blog, and it had arrived on the deadline day!  Whew!  I didn't want to be named and shamed as a bad swap partner on my first swap in a long time!  This is what I sent Sonia:

Inside the needlebook I put some fimo pins I made of strawberries and strawberry blossoms:

I had so much fun putting everything together in a theme and I would love, love, love to do another swap sometime.  Perhaps a domestic one though, because postage to Europe was rather heart stopping!

Stitch from Stash:  I did pretty well last month; I just bought the JCS Halloween issue and some cute buttons from the dollar store so I am under the allotted budget.  It helped that I could buy stash for the swap - truthfully it helped tame the beast to buy something for someone else and not have it count in my totals.
I didn't do too much stitching either.  I am making good progress on my teacup peony picture, which I of course forgot to photograph; and I have the usual cards I stitch every year for the kids birthdays.

I did a bit of sewing too.  I thought we could use a new doorstop and made this little camper one.

I wanted to do something fun with some of my Liberty fabrics and try out some free motion embroidery as well.  I'm pretty happy with it, though it could be just a tad heavier on the bottom.

Miss Libby has not had a great August.  She suffers terrible allergies this month every year, and this year she had to wear the dreaded E Collar for a few days to let her skin heal up.

I don't know which she dislikes more:  the collar or the diaper shirt we have put on her in previous years.

Realizing we did not have much time left for summer we got a dog sitter and headed out for a quick, two day vacation.  We drove through some beautiful, rural countryside to get to one of our favourite destinations:  Port Burwell on Lake Erie.  We had a beautiful day there and got our fill of sun and sand for the next twelve months.

Today is the kids first day back at school.  They were very excited to go and see their friends again, but I think we all wished summer could have been just a little bit longer....and warmer!

Thanks for visiting:)

Sunday, July 27, 2014

July Stitch from Stash Update

Casting a Spell is finished!!  I am so glad.

 I didn't really enjoy stitching this one to be honest.  It had nothing to do with the motifs, they were nice and simple and could easily be done in two or three episodes of whatever we were binge watching at the time.  It's the colours.  They are more rusty-gold and brown as opposed to orange and black.  It didn't make me feel all festive for Halloween.  A couple of times I thought I would just stop and make small pillows out of the motifs I had already stitched and use the box for something else.  Then I remembered how long it took me to find the box after I  bought the pattern and was so excited to make it.  I have put it away now, and am hoping that come October when I pull it out I will be excited again.

I have been stitching a few other things as well, but they are for the Tutti Fruity swap I am participating in so I can't show them just yet.

So, for my tallies:  I finished one WIP; started and finished three small pieces in July.  I did go over my $25 budget for July due to some long awaited cross border shopping, but it was worth it!  In total I spent $55 on things like floss, linen, buttons, charms and finishing fabrics.  No charts though, which I consider a good thing!  I believe I have around $80 in carry-over from previous months so I'm doing well.

In other crafty news I finished a crochet pot holder.

This may show up better:

I used a cotton yarn as opposed to a thread so it's thicker than what an original version would have been.  I used about three different patterns, two of them vintage ones.  I am getting more tempted to try some of these out using a cotton thread; I just worry about the frustration/eye strain factor!

Thanks for visiting!

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!


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!


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!

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