Wednesday, June 29, 2016

June Happenings

Hello!  Did you have a lovely June?  I think I did:  it felt busy and yet at times it felt like it was dragging along.  I think the waiting around we have been doing before our house move accounted for the dragging bit.  It's a bit difficult for a big homebody like me to be unable to feather her nest.  I'm in my current home, but now all my thoughts are already in the next one.  Soon the transition will happen and Home will consume me for a while with all its unpacking and putting away and feathering and nesting.  I have tried to use this quiet time for crafty pursuits, because I know for the next couple of weeks I won't get much opportunity.  I had so many plans for this time, but when faced with all the choices I didn't know what to do.  I decided to just pick up my cross stitching as that seemed the easiest.  Suffice it to say my Stitcher's Alphabet is growing:  I worked on three letters this month.  'P' for Pins;' Q' for Quilt and 'R' for Redwork.  I probably could have completed another one but the background for 'R' was so boring I kept putting it down.


Here we are to date:


I also made some progress on 'Vintage Christmas' by Country Cottage Needleworks.  


I have to frog the birds because they are supposed to be white.  That makes much more sense than pink, and at first I thought they were supposed to be pastel coloured cardinals!  I think I just did too much cross stitch that day and couldn't read the pattern correctly.  I decided I would like to work on Christmas designs only in July when I have the time, so hopefully I can get this completed and get to work on another larger seasonal design.

This next little design was a freebie with Cross Stitch Crazy magazine and I loved the colours of course!  I switched out the aida for evenweave and I thought it would be a perfect stitch for my new home.  I believe the designer is Emma Congden on this one.


Another cute magazine freebie came with The World of Cross Stitching magazine this month too.  There was a little booklet of cross stitch alphabets with two free skeins of Madeira floss in pink and blue.  As soon as I saw this Union Jack alphabet I knew just what I wanted to make:


I keep my loose tea tins in this basket and thought a little label would be so cute.

I made a few little accessories for my stitching as well.  I have seen a lot of needle minders on various You Tube stitching videos and was intrigued.  I have a beautiful one from Kelmscott, but it never occurred to me I could make my own!  This is proving to be quite addicting I tell you....


Some pretty autumnal coloured beads at the dollar store inspired me to make a scissor keep for Fall:


I saw these charms at the craft store and I think I actually squealed with delight.  (According to My Favourite Girl I did and that's why she ran the other way)  How cute are these?!  


You had better believe I scouted out a coupon tout de suite in order to buy these.  I attached the little charms with jump rings to one of those necklace extenders, then hooked it on to a larger lobster clasp.  Now it's a cutie-pie zipper pull for one of my project bags.

My crochet hook saw some action in June as well.  I first saw this corner to corner baby blanket on Becky's blog.  I am always finding projects there I want to make, and since I had half of the required yarn already in my stash I could get started right away.  This is called the 'Spring into Summer' blanket and it is a free pattern you can find HERE.  


This was nice to work on in the hotel room and car while on our house hunting trip.  The first half seems to take a while, but I noticed the second half just zipped by.  My issue is now this:  if you look in the top left corner you will see I ran out of yarn just as I was about to finish the main section.  The pattern says it takes three balls of this yarn to make the blanket with a border.  My crocheting must have been pretty relaxed because what you see here took three balls.  I went to two stores to get another ball and both are out of stock.  Talk about frustrating!  Now I have to wait until we move to our new town and hope I can track one more ball down there.  It would have been nice to have it all completed before I move, but I suppose there are worse things to do than having to source craft shops in a new city aren't there?

Now, I'm sure you will have a hard time believing this (!!), but sometimes I need a creative project I can really sink my teeth into.  Well, this time it was a sander, but you know what I mean!
Our current kitchen table will be too big to fit into our new kitchen, so I ended up buying a smaller one from a friend.  I spent an enjoyable day getting dusty and making lots of noise by sanding down and refinishing the table top.  I left the bottom alone because I like the painted part.  If there was such a thing as a craft nerd, I think I would definitely make the cut.... Moving in three weeks?  How about re-doing a table? 

 Yes please!!!


Well my friends, I am finally at the end.  I have said a lot of goodbyes this past month, and in the next week there will be many more.  This is likely the last update I will post before moving, so next time you hear from me I will have a new base for my Crafty World.  Thank you so much for visiting, and I look forward to seeing what you are up to in the next few weeks.  Have a wonderful summer!!

xo Jenn





Tuesday, May 31, 2016

May??

Wow; that was a fast one!  I haven't had such a crazy month in a long time!  



First of all, thank you all so much for the quilt love.  After such a frustrating experience it was nice to get your positive and encouraging comments.  I was able to deliver the quilt in person and the recipient loved it, so that was a huge relief in the end.  

The last time I published a post was the first day our house went on the market.  I am happy to report that three days later it sold!  Pretty much what every seller hopes for.  Mr. Crafty World and I spent last week looking for a new home in our new town.  It was a little on the stressful side as most of what we wanted to see sold just a few days before we got there. We finally did find a lovely home in a smaller town that we are both pretty happy about.  We will be in our current location for another five weeks and then we're off to start our new adventure.  One thing I am super happy about:  I will have a room above grade for sewing and crafting! 

I did fit a bit of stitching in with all the craziness going on in May.  I completed two more blocks in my Stitcher's Alphabet:  'L' is for Lace  and 'M' is for Measure.  Don't you just love that cute little mouse?


I am now officially half way done!


One of my larger works in progress is 'VintageChristmas' by Country Cottage Needleworks.  I started it before Christmas last year, but with the holiday hoop-la I didn't finish.  Why I thought I could I have no idea!  I put in a few more stitches before we went away and I think I am almost half way done at this point:


The day after we sold our house I spent the entire day sewing up a new cushion cover.  This is a pattern from Bustle and Sew - I think 2012 sometime.  I still need to work on my free motion machine embroidery:  I think perhaps using a hoop might be helpful.  Any advice?


And there you have it, all the news from the magical month of May.  Thank you all so much for visiting and your kind words.  I am hoping to catch up on all my blog reading today.

Until next time,
Happy Days!

xo Jenn

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

April Happenings

Hello Again!

Isn't it funny how the longer you are away the less you feel you have to show and tell?!

Since my last update I made some good progress with my stitching using my new "Stitching Formula".  Basically I am dedicating one week of each month to four different project types.  One week is for Christmas ornaments; another for Stitcher's Alphabet; one for larger seasonal WIP's and the fourth for whatever strikes my fancy!
I was able to complete two blocks for the Stitcher's Alphabet: J - Japanese Embroidery;  and K - Knitting.


Here is where I am to date:


Sadly once these blocks were finished my whole schedule was thown out the window.  I traded my needle and floss for hammers and paintbrushes as we have been madly preparing for this:



I had forgotten how much work was involved in getting a home ready for sale!  Now that the house is on the market I can relax a little bit.  I can tell you I was very happy to chuck out my painting clothes after last month.

I did a quick little crochet project for Mother's Day which added a nice little bit of colour to my evenings.  I used some more of Mary Maxim 'Scrub It' yarn and bits of Bernat cotton to make some face scrubbers.  The pattern is Doni Spiegels Springtime Coasters on Ravelry.


Way back in October I agreed to make a small quilt for a friend, which had to be finished before the end of May.  I knew I wouldn't start until after Christmas, and despite it being a little complicated I knew that would give my lots of time.  Along came February, then March and I finally got started. Fabrics bought; tutorial found; fabrics cut and sewn together and.....it was all wrong and distorted!

I had to start all over.

Then we found out we were moving, and all those hours I was planning on working on the quilt went whoosh!  towards painting and decluttering and DIY work.  I think they should add making a Lonestar quilt on a deadline to the list of most stressful things in life, right along with moving, death and divorce.  At least it was for me anyway!

OK, enough of me being a drama queen!  I finished quilt the same day we put our house on the market, and it will be mailed out this week.  I am one happy girl I can tell you.


It's just about five feet square, and it was requested to have the same colours you would find on a blue jay.  When I'm not looking at it from six inches away I am a little impressed, but that's how it goes doesn't it?  I sure learned a lot:  mostly what not to do, but those tend to be the lessons that stick with you the longest!

There, now I'm all caught up with crafty business and I thank you so much for stopping by my little crafty space.  I will keep you posted on the house selling business.  Visualize a great crafting room for me in my new house please! LOL.

I just wanted to mention about blog comments.  Lately when I comment on most of the blogs I visit, my comment usually gets published but the email gets bounced back to me.  So, if you are thinking you have not heard from me in a while, or others for that matter,  I have been there, but you won't get notified by email.  I'm not sure why this is happening now, but there you have it.

Happy Days my friends!!
Jenn

Friday, April 1, 2016

Lenten Makes

I feel like I should have an intro song to this post. Adele's, "Hello.  It's Me." would be fitting!
Wow, you really wouldn't believe the amount of time you have when you don't spend it trolling on the internet!  We allocated ourselves one hour each week over Lent, and let me tell you, you don't get a lot 'done' in that time.  I tried to keep up with some of you, but given the time restrictions I certainly could not create any blog posts.  You have all done some lovely things over the last six weeks and I really enjoyed just being able to ogle for a bit.
My creative times over that period were mostly spent cross stitching.  It reminded me that it truly is my most favourite hobby.  I was able to complete a few holiday themed things, though I found the rush between St. Patrick's Day and Easter a little too quick!


'Love' by New York Dreamer and a sweet little Irish mouse by Lucie Heaton ( Issue 239 The World of Cross Stitching).   The Valentine piece is stitched on black aida:  I haven't stitched on aida in ages and it was so stiff it was hard to work on.  I still think it's great to work on when you are just getting started cross stitching, but I really prefer to work on linen or monaco cloth now.


This is from the bottom half of an Easter sampler designed by Tiny Modernist.  The pattern is from the March 2016 issue of Cross Stitch Crazy magazine.  I just love the colours:  so perfect for Easter and Spring!  I sent the photo to the magazine and they are going to print it in one of their upcoming editorial pages.  That was pretty exciting!

These next designs were all freebies from some English cross stitch magazines.
 The bird cage is so pretty:  it's supposed to be a key chain but I would never use it for that for fear of losing it or wrecking it.  The front side was in the magazine; the back side I had to join facebook to get the chart.  I was really hesitant because I have already done the whole facebook thing and didn't like it, but I really wanted the chart!  I should really get myself out of the techy dark ages I think, but it takes so much time!  (Issue 201-April 2015 Cross Stitch Crazy magazine)




Gift tags from another magazine:  I love the paper tags they came with, but I did not enjoy stitching on the stiff aida cloth again.  They will be cute on gifts though.  (Issue 239 The World of Cross Stitching magazine)





A little mouse to make me smile:  the pattern was found in the March issue of Bustle and Sew magazine.
The blue bird is from last April's Cross Stitch Crazy magazine.



I stitched these Faberge inspired eggs a few years ago and used to display them in a multi apertured,  framed matte at Easter time.  I have not done that for the past few years so decided they needed a new way to be seen.   Now they can go in the basket with the rest of my stitching and I don't have to rearrange my wall photos!

I did work on some current WIP's:  Letter 'I' from Brooke's Books Stitchers Alphabet:


This is where I am so far:


I am trying out a new stitching rotation, so hopefully my works-in-progress will see a little more progress!

And finally, a bit of crochet in the form of pretty scrubbers for my pots:


(Pattern)

...and a few Easter decorations with chalk paint,( this time inside the jar),


 ...and my new scroll saw:


Good for you if you made it this far!  I do have a few other things to show, but they are not finished- finished, so I will save that for another time.

Thank you so much for your kind words before I went MIA during Lent:  I really appreciate you taking the time to comment.  Being a newcomer to Instagram I know the convenience of the double tap to  'like' something, but a kind written word really does mean so much more.

Happy Days my friends:  I hope Spring has sprung where you are!

xo,
Jenn

Monday, February 15, 2016

February Things

Hello!!  I hope you all had a lovely Valentine's Day.  I am so grateful to every one of you who visit me here in my little space and say the loveliest things:  I wish you could have a Valentine card every day of the year!
I had hoped to be here yesterday to show some makes, but it is a long weekend here for us so we have been quite lazy and I am at least a day behind!
I am happy to say I have my first big finish of the year:  my Hudson's Bay Blanket is officially finished!


This was an absolute pleasure to work on from day one.  I used a linen stitch, so it is quite dense but it was very quick.  It is the perfect blankety weight:  not too heavy, but feels nice and comforting.  I finished it just in time for the cold snap we had last week and it has been in almost constant use!


I used a Red Heart yarn for the the cream bits; the colours are mostly Vanna's Choice and one ball of Herrshnerr's eight ounce yarn.  I have enough left for some Canadiana inspired pillows too I think.


Libby gave it her seal of approval as well.  #naughtydog

I recently acquired a bag of ribbon yarn from the thrift store I volunteer at.  I never knew what to do with this stuff because I never had enough of any one kind to make a garment.  A string bag is pretty obvious, but I think this ribbon yarn is a bit too posh for that.  I found a pattern on Ravelry called the Easiest Crochet Shawl Recipe by Raising Godzillas and it is perfect for it.  It goes very quickly:  I think it takes me two to three evenings to crochet one of these.



There was no label on the yarn so I have no idea where it's from or how much was on the roll.  When I finished I had just a few meters left, so I'm not quite sure how much I used.  The ribbon is a black chiffon type with a gold thread in it.  You can wear this as a shawl or wrap it around as a summer scarf.


The reason I started working on it right away is because I came home with something else that day from the thrift store:


Black is normally not my thing, but these two go perfectly together.  I almost can't wait for summer!

Now, back to the time at hand:  I did a little festive crochet for my kitchen in the form of new scrubbers:


This is the 'Scrubbie Dots' pattern by Doni Speigle.  I used some cotton scrubbie yarn from my stash.

Valentine's stitching for the year:


Each pattern was found via Pinterest. You can get the patterns HERE (XO); HERE (tic tac toe); and HERE (kittens). 

It seemed to be a Pinterest inspired celebration with treats:


 ...and more crochet, this time for a good friend with a Valentine's birthday.


Heart pattern can be found HERE.

Whew!  Finally caught up!

So now we are in the season of Lent, and as a family we typically give up the things that distract us the most during this time.  If you have younger children you no doubt know that computers and video games are the biggest culprits. It's amazing the changes that happen around here during these six weeks by severely limiting screen time.  Many books are read:  many beautiful drawings and Lego creations are completed.  Jigsaw puzzles are worked on together;  the few movies that are allowed are watched together as a family.  There are fewer squabbles and really it is just more peaceful around here.  It's amazing to see what is accomplished  when we use the gifts we were born with and not distracted by technology or comparing ourselves to stuff we see on it.

I use this time to work on, and hopefully finish, those projects that have been languishing in my craft cupboard.  I am easily distracted by new projects and often start new ones in a burst of excitement before finishing what I am working on.  I try to exercise some discipline in using what I have on hand as well, as opposed to going out and buying new materials for new projects.  I don't have too much of a problem with mindless TV watching, but things like Pinterest can really waste my time so I try to avoid that as well.  I get much more accomplished during this time, and it is actually a time of year I look forward to!  The kids - not so much...but it's only six weeks, and sometimes you need to give up a few things you think you can't live without to appreciate what you have.

OK, after that I am all finished.  Thank you so much for visiting and your sweet words.  I am only "allowed" a small bit of time on the internet so it will take me a bit longer to catch up on what you're doing.  I will be visiting you though!  Have a wonderful week my lovely friends:)

Happy Days!
Jenn



Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Thrift Store Crochet



Design from Bent Creek

Happy Groundhog Day!  Our Wiarton Willy predicted another six weeks of winter, but as we really haven't had much of winter weather to start with I think we are all OK with that.  My latest crochet project will come in handy just in case though...

You all know I love a good thrift store visit, and if I find yarn there then all the better.  A few weeks ago I found a bag of burgundy tweed Sirdar yarn:  six skeins; made in England, 100% wool, for five dollars.  I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it, but I knew it had to come home with me.  I mean five dollars?!  I would have been crazy not to!


I figured I would use it for some of the charity crochet I do around Christmas time, but then it turned out it had all the same colours as Mr. Crafty World's winter jacket.  Mr Crafty World is also in need of a new hat, so  this is how I spent my weekend:



I used two skeins for the hat: a simple beanie hat made long enough to turn up in double crochet.

With the leftovers I made the scarf, again in double crochet.  I knew I would not have enough of the tweed to make a long enough scarf, so I used a grey wool from Iceland I had previously found in the clearance bin of my local yarn shop for two dollars.

 Mr. Crafty World loves it:  he has been wearing the hat everyday. I loved hooking away the weekend and using up yarn from the stash.  We both love that the entire project cost seven dollars.  It was a win, win project: the best kind!


Thanks for visiting, and
Happy Days!
Jenn

Saturday, January 30, 2016

January Finishes

Hello again!  Happy End of January!

I wanted to check in before the month ended and show the rest of my January makes.  I'm so happy I made it in time!

This has been a good month for stitching:  light levels in the morning have been just right to indulge in some after- breakfast cross stitching.  I have to confess to quite a few pyjama clad mornings while I plied needle and thread.  But heck, it's January right?

One of my first finishes was this little design on the left by Lizzie Kate.


I realized I had no smalls for the month of January so this was a good way to start.  The 'Peace' design is from The Drawn Thread, and I actually stitched it before Christmas and forgot to show it.  It didn't really lend itself to being an ornament, so I finished it as a small to add to my new January collection.


Because it takes three to make a collection I stitched these little mittens to go along with the others.  They came out super small because the fabric is 40 count.  While I like how designs look on 40 count when finished, I have to confess I don't love stitching on it.  Too hard on the eyes!
I wanted to break out of my pillow finish 'comfort zone' so tried a little tag design instead.  I'm kind of on the fence about it, but I like it enough I will try again.  The design is an old one from Helga Mandl.


I also completed an ornament for the month.  Well, I'm probably cheating a bit because I didn't actually stitch it this month.  I stitched this Country Cottage Needleworks design at least five years ago and never got around to finishing it off.  I'm not sure whether I'm happier about having my first ornament for the year done, or the fact I finished off some stitching that has been sitting around since 2008!

Speaking of long term finishes, I brought 'Stitcher's Alphabet' back to the table and completed the 'H' block.  I realize that wanting to finish two letters per month is too ambitious if I want to work on other stitching as well.



All that finishing was contagious, so I completed another work in progress from last year.  I think I started this last Spring:


I broke away from the pillow finish again!  'Chut je brode' (Quiet I'm stitching) is mounted on cardboard and made into a wall hanging.  I tried a ruched ribbon trim for the first time to cover the seams: I think I'm on the fence about that as well...  Anyway, another one out of the 'In' box is always good!

Now, the last thing I promise!  I crocheted myself another Nordic Shawl, this time in wool.
 ( Last year I made this up in cotton, and if you want to see it go HERE.)



This pattern is by Annette of My Rose Valley, and I bought the pattern from her etsy shop.  It is a pure delight to stitch, and even a beginner could do it.  I just love it, and it's not often I will stitch something more than once.  I may even do it a third time...

I used a Norwegian wool called Smart that I found at my local yarn shop.  Because I didn't put myself at the mercy of the clearance bin I was able to hook up the shawl as written:  no having to skimp on border colours or edges.


It's like a nice, big hug when you wrap it around.



 And that, my friends, is what I will leave you with:  a nice warm hug to end January with and as thanks for visiting.

Happy Days!!
Jenn

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