Friday, March 24, 2017

March (February Too!)

Well Hello!
  I think I jinx myself everytime I say I am going to update my blog more often.  Gosh I was surprised to log in today and see it's been two months since I last updated.  I know I had been thinking of a blog post for a long time, so I suppose that brain of mine just assumed I had done it!



Has Spring come your way yet?  I suppose it has here, in that we are experiencing typical Canadian March weather.  Sunny skies for days; gloom and rain; below freezing temperatures, and today, snow.  Sadly these little daffodils are not gracing my yard, but are a memory of our recent trip.

My kids had their March break last week, so we chucked in the freezing temperatures for what we hoped would be a balmy break.  Sadly the weather at our destination was cold and mostly rainy, but at least there was NO snow and we did not have to wear full, outdoor winter kit!


We were able to have some nice walks in the forest;


...and on the beach looking for treasures.


We were commenting that we could be in Ireland...



Not Ireland, but our own beautiful British Columbia.  As I look at the snow coming down outside right now it seems like I have never even been away, and yet I was there only last week!  Shovelling snow will do that to your brain I guess.

So, crafting.  It has been a wooly winter here.  I have been having so much fun with the yarn stash reduction challenge.  I feel like I have been more creative with my yarn stash, and yet I have been able to hook up a lot of things without having to buy more yarn.  Here are some things I have finished since we last talked:


Another linen stitch scarf using Red Heart Boutique Unforgettable in 'Tidal' and what I think is 'Bistro'.  These are so addicting to make!


This cloche was made up with a chunky mystery yarn I got at the thrift store.  I had exactly enough for this project.


 Baby cardigan made with King Cole Splash.  Again, I had just enough of the yarn.  How cute are those little bunny buttons?


Not a huge stash buster, but it turned out awfully cute!


This was probably my favourite project:  I was about to de-stash this yarn, and when I had them in a pile together I thought they went together perfectly.  I couldn't just get rid of it then, I had to use it!  Now I have a new rug for the downstairs bath:



I held the ribbon yarn and the cotton together and hooked rows of single crochet.  It's very soft, and the other yarn is cotton so it will be washable.


Libby Approved!

You will be happy to know I finished that darn wrap!


I used the darker yarn for one of the edges.  I have since taken it out because the wrap was too long for me so I don't miss the length.  That part also sits underneath, so you would not notice that both edges are not the same.  One down, two to go!


This was another great stash-buster and a joy to work up.  I just love these colours and they have been sitting in my stash for way too long.


Much prettier than the original cover of stained cotton twill.


Another photo bomb by Libby:  I think she suspects I love yarn almost as much as I love her.


This next project was a work in progress for much too long.  It started off as the Blossoming Bag by Sandra from Cherry Heart.  I wanted to make my flowers to mimic cherry blossoms, and subsequently only felt inspired to work on it when the cherry blossoms were in bloom.  We all know how fleeting that time is, so four years later I was only at the half way point.  I realized as well that the finished size of the bag would not be practical for me at all, so I had to have another think about what to do.  A pillow it is, and ready for this year's cherry blossom time!


In another episode of stash serendipity, I had two balls of a cotton yarn that were an almost exact match for the purple in the blossoms, and just the right amount to make the pillow backing.

Not quite finished, but  I have been working away on my Moorland blanket, and am now just beyond the half way point.  This is nice to work on as I love the colours and the texture the stitch pattern makes.  I am not making so many mistakes so it is moving along much quicker than before.


So you can see the wintery weather has been good for my stash reduction challenge this year!  I have lost quite a bit of yarn weight and it has been lovely.  I did have to purchase a skein to finish off a project, but that has a purpose so I don't feel badly about it.  I also bought some yarn while on vacation, but it is also ear-marked for projects so I didn't just buy it only because I thought it was pretty!


In cross stitch news I don't have much to report:  I have been working away on some of my larger WIP's so there isn't anything to show. Here is a rather bad picture of one of them:


I am very close to a finish on one of them so next time there will be something to show.  I did pick up a few stitchy things while on vacation and that is helping to motivate me to get stitching!


A few charts, a magazine and some pretty fabrics for finishing.  The Violet Fancy chart is an early birthday gift.


Of course I had to sew some more bags for all my crochet projects.  These are also very addicting to make, and great for stash busting your fabric stash.


Lastly I will leave you with a picture of the wreath  I made for our front door.  I hung it up on the first day of Spring, and we promptly had minus 30 degree Celsius temperatures and five inches of snow a few days later.  Yes, Spring has definitely arrived in my corner of the world!


  Happy Days Friends!  Thanks for visiting!

xo, Jenn









Tuesday, January 24, 2017

January

Hello!  How is everyone?  De-Christmas-ed, de-cluttered, etc?  I have been working away the past few days getting my pictures and projects in order to load onto my blog.  I wanted to make sure I had some finished things to show, and not just a parade of works in progress that seem to be trailing all over the house!

I have been fortunate to be able to spend a lot of time with my crafts lately, and I have to tell you I love it.  My mind is consumed with what I am making or want to make, and it is a nice change from thinking about light fixtures, and hardware store sales, and scouting out all sorts of trades people.

My kids went to school right up until the 23rd of December, so pretty much all of their time off was after Christmas.  While it felt weird at first, it made the break seem extra long as none of the time was taken up with pre-holiday preparations.  We spent most of that time at home, mostly in our pyjamas I'm afraid, but we all felt really rested when it was all over.

I wanted to get some up-coming card occasions taken care of, so December 26 found me with needle and thread stitching away.  My friend moved to a new house on December 27 (can you imagine that?!) and I wanted to stitch a New Home card for her family.




I used a design from a French magazine and I loved the bright colours of the birds.  The original pattern only has two birds charted, but I added a third because they are a family of three.

This same friend celebrates a birthday in February, and I knew if I didn't stitch something now it was likely not going to get finished and mailed on time.  She loves to garden and I know she is spending this time dreaming of what she can do with her new yard.  I thought this little gnome motif from a previous issue of Cross Stitch Crazy was just perfect for her:


I happily started the New Year with a new cross stitch project:  Country Cottage Needleworks 'Winter Welcome'.  This has been on my wishlist for a long time and I am really happy how it turned out.  The frame is one I found at a thrift store, and given the amount of compliments I received on it in my Instagram feed, I think it was the right choice!


I took a bit of a break from cross stitch when I re-discovered a Cath Kidston book on needlework in my collection.  I stitched up this pretty little pin pillow with bits of thrifted tapestry wool I have.


I filled it with polyfil and a bit of dried lavender;  the backing is the fabric you see underneath.

While I could have spent all month stitching away on new things, I realized I have quite a bit of cross stitch on the go already, and it was time to finish some things off that have been languishing around in bins and baskets.


 These stars are not so old, but they were started before Christmas and I thought it would be better to get them finished before next Christmas!  I haven't glued them to the wooden stars underneath yet, because I am still deciding whether or not I want to put something gold between the fabric and the wood.  Once I decide, they will be attached to a garland to spell 'Peace' and decorate my craft room next Christmas.

This little heart only needed a few more stitches to be completed.  I wonder why I ever put it away when it was so close to being called a finish?


Same goes for these two:  I started the spool this summer and only finished it the other day.  The second design only took an evening or two to stitch up, so what was I waiting for?


Getting things off my plate has been applied to my other hobbies as well.  After many months of sitting around I finally finished off my crochet linen stitch scarf:


Becki of Field Lilies had shown some of these last year and I was so excited to make some.  If only I could be so excited to finish things!

In an effort to work down my yarn stash a little bit, I joined a Ravelry group called  'The Biggest Loser Stash Reduction Challenge'.   After each finish you weigh your project and record the grams lost.  You also have to record the grams gained through purchases.  It has been a motivator for sure, and I have had fun hooking up some quick, stash busting projects:



114 grams lost so far!

Finally, as if I didn't have enough crafty goodness to keep me happy, I have taken up knitting!  I had learned the stitches before, but never made anything.  I discovered a cross stitcher on Youtube, who is making knitting tutorials for beginners.  We start off with knitted cowls worked in the round, and move our way to ribbed cowls; house slippers; socks; a pull over sweater and finally a cardigan.
 So far I have to say I am not in love with knitting:  I find it slow and I haven't really seen any projects I am gung-ho to make that I couldn't replicate in crochet.  I keep going because I really want to make the socks:  if those turn out to be a bust then I will retire my needles!

  Here are the two cowls I have made so far:


(Charisma yarn in 'Mulberry Bush' colour way.)


(Charisma yarn in 'Chocolate Cupcake')

And with that, we have come to the end of another lengthy blog post!  I have hopes to update here in tandem with my podcasts, roughly every two to three weeks,  but I will just have to see how that will all work.  I am still finding the right balance between the social media outlets I use, but I know I definitely do not want to walk away from this space.

Thank you all so much for dropping in: I really appreciate the time you take to do so.
 I am anxious to get back to my projects so I will have lots to show you (again!) next time!

Happy Days!

xo, Jenn

Monday, December 19, 2016

Christmas Makes

Oh, it's been such a long time since I visited my little bloggy space:  I have actually missed it.  I have not even been around to read all of your lovely posts too; something that I love doing with a cup of tea and something sweet to eat.  I am going to try and catch up with all of you over the Christmas break.  I refuse to let Christmas be over on December 25th, and am planning on much slow-ness and craftiness and happy things over the days after.

So!  Can you believe it's almost here?!  I can't at all.  I am prepared for it all I think:  gifts are bought, the most important cards are sent; cookies have been made.  It will only be the four of us this year in our new house and I am really looking forward to a different feel to the celebrations.

Of course I have been crafting away for the past few months:  I hope you are prepared for a long-ish and picture heavy blog post!
I'm glad that last year I made so many gifts because this year I made none!  Too much upheaval and home improvement in the latter half of the year didn't really make me feel like putting pressure on myself to make gifts.  Or cards for that matter:  I only made two this year :


(The rest were from the store; I didn't actually only send two cards!)  These are stitched on paper with embroidery floss.  There are free patterns and downloads to buy at www.stitchingcards.com.  It was nice to do something different, though I wouldn't say you save a lot of time by doing these over cross stitch.

I got two more ornaments stitched up:


This is a Dimensions kit I ordered as my "payment" for painting the house!  It came with the hanger and jingle bells, though I substituted some evenweave from my stash for the very stiff aida fabric it came with.

Over the course of our house move my rolling pins have gone missing.  We don't understand how just these things can be gone when we don't seem to be missing any other kitchen stuff, yet there you have it.  Whenever we can't find anything we say, "It must be with the rolling pins!"  I am telling you this so you understand why I stitched this as our 2016 ornament!


Here is a little 'line-up' of all the ornaments I stitched/finished in 2016:




Not the twelve I was hoping for, but pretty good I think!

My last little cross stitch Christmas finish is just something fun to display some of the fimo pins I made a few years ago and to use the cute little wicker sleigh:


The floss is called "Peppermint" by Carrie's Creations.

On My Hooks:

Not a lot of crochet has been going on here lately.  I find it bothers my shoulder quite a bit so I can only do this in small doses.  I started on a peppermint stripe tea cosy last year, so this year I added some white Christmas roses and holly leaves to it.  My teapot isn't a typical design so pictures are always a little hard to take of it:


Sewing:

A fun afternoon was spent doing some free motion embroidery on this little picture for my craft room:


This is a combination of two different patterns from Bustle and Sew magazine,

Project bags!  Can I just say I found these pretty addicting to make, and I want to make more! Truthfully though I don't think one should have this many projects on the go...



Six more days until Christmas and I still have plans to make more ornaments and sew more things and I still feel like I can get it All Done; which of course I can't but it's so much fun to think so.

I want to say an enormous THANK-YOU!! to all of you who visit me here in my little crafty space and leave me such lovely messages here, and on Instagram and my little youtube channel.  It's so nice to be able to connect with other crafty minded folk, especially when you don't have any such souls in your immediate area.  I hope you all have a lovely holiday with good things to eat, and pleasant things to do; and snow (if you want it), and pretty lights, and laughter and all the good stuff there is to have.

Merry Christmas!

xo Jenn

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