Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The December Post

My goodness, it's been a while hasn't it?  I am always amazed at how quickly the time goes in December and this year is no exception.  I have been quite busy as usual in my own little Crafty World, crocheting and stitching up gifts, which I can't show you at this time.  What I can show is a few projects I have been sneaking time to work on just for me:

An embroidered banner from BHG 2009 Holiday Crafts magazine. (all pictures are clickable for a closer view).

I turned this cross stitch picture from last year into a pillow.   I think re-arranging my craft space inspired me to get the stitching out of the cupboard and onto something visible!

A small-ish Advent cross stitch project I hope to turn into a small hanging pillow or flat-fold.
This is a Linda Stolz design from the JCS 2006 ornament issue.  I changed the candle colors from purple and pink to these, as these are the colors our church uses.

In the last two weeks each of our family members has been afflicted with some kind of nasty bug or other, and I am the latest victim.  At this point I don't even want to think about sitting at my sewing machine or picking up any kind of crafty tool.  For the next while I am going to take it easy so I can feel better next week and finish off the remainder of my Christmas gifts.  I am also going to take a blogging break until after the holidays at least, just to recharge my batteries.  I'll still be reading my favorite blogs, just not posting here.

If you're into knitting at all you might want to check out my friend Michele's new blog:  www.tricothefrance.wordpress.com.  Michele and her family recently moved to southern France where she is starting her own yarn shop.

As always thanks for visiting and your kind comments.  I hope the upcoming weeks are filled with magic and wonder for you!


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

This Week...

I'm working on what I call  the Blueberry Muffin scarf:

Have just finished a merry little mermaid and jellyfish friend:

...am painting my coffee table and;

 (drumroll please)....have finished Christmas shopping for my Favorite Boy and Girl!  I still have a bunch of sewing to do, but at least I won't have to make anymore trips to the mall - halleluja!

Have a great week; thanks so much for stopping by!

Monday, November 1, 2010

A Few Finishes

I am happy to say I have gotten back into stitching at night and have knocked off a few WIPS.  I stared this one back in the spring.  It's a freebie from Erynne over at Red House - and a generous sized freebie at that.  I just checked out her site and I don't know if this chart is available anymore, or if she still has to transfer it over  from her old blog.  I changed the colors - the original is black and orange and very stunning, but would not "fit" in my house at all.  It was spring when I started stitching it and I was thinking of my own purple and pink clematis yet to bloom so I changed it to these colors.  I think I would like to frame this piece, so a trip to the craft store will be in order soon.  The design is square and I would like to find a square frame, but who knows how successful I'll be.
My next WIP has been sitting around for ages, and I am embarrassed to admit there was only about 20 minutes of stitching required to finish it off.  I used a hand dyed silk for this one, and it was such a pleasure to work with!

This one was a freebie as well, from My Aunt's Attic, and you can find the chart here.  All of the designs from My Aunt's Attic are categorized there as well, which makes it a bit easier to find them.

My kids had a great Halloween night, although it was awfully cold outside.  They trolled the neighborhood with nine other children and seven dads and came home with bags bursting with candy.  Mr. Crafty World bought the candy to hand out yesterday, and since he goes out with the kids he didn't realize how few trick or treaters we actually get. He bought 48 bags of chips; the largest bag of lollipops I have ever seen; a bag of Mario Brothers gummy candy and 192 mini chocolate bars.  We had 17 kids come to the door, including the little pack our own kids were in.   I was giving away fistfuls of candy and there is still a ton left!

Today My Favorite Boy is staying home to have a "well day".  He is not feeling sick so much as he has an extremely runny nose and is totally ripe for picking up a worse virus and also spreading his own.  We've been watching the movie 'Cars' and coloring and also looking at my new book, which arrived in my mailbox today:

He wasn't so enthused about it until he saw the baby giraffe and monster toy, so it looks like I have a few items to add to my Christmas sewing list!

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day :)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Halloween Decor

This has been a great year for Halloween crafts.  I like to have hand crafted decorations when I can, and this year I have been able to get quite a few new decorations done.  As well as making my feather wreaths, I made this paper Trick or Treat banner out of scrapbook paper.

It's a little hard to get an entire shot of it, but the idea is from The Crafting Chicks website:  it's  a neat place to visit but I recommend blocking off a bit of time to explore it all!

The Boo blocks are also something new this year.

I have seen variations in all sorts of blogs, and I believe the Crafting Chicks website has an example as well.  I used a scrap piece of two by four lumber for those; scrapbook paper and wooden letters from Michaels.

I even managed to finish up my quilted Halloween table runner:

 I started this one in February and it has been sitting around unfinished ever since.  Getting it done the week before Halloween is better than the week after though right?!

Yesterday was a family affair in the making of gingerbread cookies.  I love watching the kids decorate their cookies, and am especially pleased that all the spooky characters look so happy.

When we decorate cookies I make a couple of pots of runny icing (icing sugar and milk), and set them out with icing-only paintbrushes.  The kids have a bit more control over the icing application and there is a lot less mess than big gobs of icing dripping off knife points.  Supplemented with sprinkles and gel icing in tubes it makes for a fun time.

This last week I have also managed to complete an Hermione Granger and Super Mario costume. I tell you I'm on a roll!  I think I should buy a lottery ticket :)

I am attributing all this energy to the woodland walks I have been taking.

It's chilly outside, but those changing leaves can't be beat.

 This was my walking companion on Thursday: isn't he cute?  I mean, if you could see his little face?  I "borrowed" him from a friend.  He is a five month old Westie and very curious!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Thursday Things

After mis-placing yet another homework assignment due yesterday, I finally got it together today to make a pocket file to hold those bits and pieces needed for school.  I had planned on making this ages ago, but what was stopping me was fabric choice.  I couldn't decide if it should match my kitchen; if I should use fabric I liked, or if it should have a kid feel, since it would be used for kid stuff.  I did a bit of a compromise and chose a bright blue/green stripe paired with yellow gingham.  

Now we have a place to store those homework assignments that are not due the next day, but still need to be out so we can see them and be reminded that the due-date is coming up.  It will also hold all those little readers the kids come home with and their school library books.

I also started work on yet another scarf for a friend.  I started a pink scarf for her early in the year, and after unravelling it a number of times and finally completing it I decided it just wasn't right.  Scarf number two is made with a chunky kind of yarn, and I am trying one of those ruffle-y type ones.  I love how fast it's going, but after unravelling it twice and now almost being done, I think it's too long and has to be unravelled again!

It's a good think I love crochet.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Thrifty Halloween Feather Wreath 2

I couldn't resist making another feather wreath yesterday, after seeing the bright orange feather boas and flocked spiders at the dollar store.  This is made in the same way as the black one, only I did use a coat hanger for the base.  The bonus of that is, you have a built in hanger.

 Mr. Crafty World is a bit of an arachnophobe, so this particular wreath cannot be called his favorite.  I'm not quite sure where I'll display this one, but it does look good on the front door! (Just not very welcoming for him though...)

I bought a bigger skull for my black wreath, and think the proportions are much better:

Have a great day!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Thrifty Halloween Feather Wreath

I have seen feather wreaths around quite a bit lately, and after a trip to the dollar store was inspired to create my own.  All supplies - excluding the wreath form, because I already had it - cost five dollars! You could easily use a coat hanger here for the ring because you don't see it.

 It was super easy to make too:

 Secure the end of the feather boa to the metal wreath form with tape.  I used electrical tape because it matches the feathers.  Then just wrap the boa around the wreath form and secure the end with more tape.  I used two feather boas for this project; each one cost two dollars.  The wreath form is twelve inches in diameter.

That part took about two minutes, then I decorated.  At first I thought about putting my silver, glittery skulls all around the wreath:

...but then decided that I just wanted one to suspend from the center with invisible thread. 

 Here it is on the back of my door, but you can see the back of my rectangular autumn wreath:

...so here it is against a plain background:

I'm glad I didn't glue the skulls onto the feathers, because it will let me switch it up next year to a glittering pumpkin, bat or spider.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Grandma Called.....

...she wants her curtains back.  Oh I couldn't resist that one :)

Well I'm finished!  I started painting  Monday night and had my curtains sewn and hung by Thursday.  I would have to say this is the quickest 'make-over' I have ever done.  I love it, despite the protests of my aching, creaky body over the last week.  My "Before" pictures are not so great.  Our days have been gloomy, necessitating the use of the overhead light:

The walls were green before: it's a funny green (Castleton Mist by Benjamin Moore)- I really liked it.  Sometimes it was bright and fresh, other times it looked like the color of split pea soup.  Like I said, I liked it and so did Mr. Crafty World, but nobody else did.  Whenever they saw the color they said "huh!"  Now normally I wouldn't care, but Our Crafty World is not one that hangs around for too long in any given place, so sometimes we just have to decorate for potential buyers.  I figured I would rather do the re-painting now, when I was inspired to, than when we get a posting message.  ( I don't know when that is going to be by the way)  I also felt that nothing else in the room was working with this funny, changeable green.  It had its own vibe and things weren't keeping up.

 Now things are so much brighter with my Sherwin Williams 'Creme' paint (color matched by Home Hardware of course!):

I would like to get an all-cream quilt or duvet for the bed and use what's on it now as an accent quilt folded at the foot of the bed.  I think it will calm things down even more.

I got over my curtain fabric panic.  They are kind of old lady looking, but then again I like old lady stuff.  I hope to be one myself some day.  They kind of remind me of bark cloth.  They are also 100% cotton, so if I decide in a few years that I want them lightened up, I can always put them in a light bleach bath.

One of these days I plan on painting that bookshelf white.  That will be quite a while though as I have a ton of projects lined up.  The chair could also use a snuggly ivory throw or something.

So that's it: the Total Bedroom Makeover done and dusted.  I guess I can't call it totally done over, since really I just changed the wall color and curtains, but it feels totally different!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Blame it on the Harvest Moon

....or all this new free time on my hands, but there are going to be some ch-ch-ch-ch-changes around here!  Not like, big life changes or anything, but more like Total Bedroom Makeover changes.  I guess the Total Garage Reorganization Project spurred me on.  That, and the knowledge that with Mr. Crafty World gone for a week, I could actually get the room painted without a lot of upheaval.  He doesn't like upheaval.
So, all other projects are currently put aside for the time being, as I plan my attack for Monday.  Curtains have to be made; walls have to be painted; pictures to be hung.  It's going to be a flowery, creamy, vintage-y retreat.

I'm going to use Sherwin Williams 'Creme' paint on the walls.  Do you know how agonizing it is to pick the "right" shade of cream?

I think my new curtains made from this full-blown floral cotton fabric will look just right with it.  I broke into a cold sweat and had buyers remorse before I even bought the fabric!  I have never bought so much fabric at one time in my life!  They sold it to me on the bolt!  I have to say though, I have always envied those I see walking out of the fabric store with a bolt of fabric.  I don't know why, but I just do.  So that was a simple, if superficial pleasure for me yesterday, to do the same thing.  I do like the fabric, maybe there is not enough pink in it for me after all, but it is a done deal now and really, the drapes will go with just about anything should I decide to use them elsewhere in another house.

A trip to Goodwill, "just for fun" yielded these two framed embroideries, which I think will fit in just perfectly.
As will this picture, which we "inherited" last year and I didn't know where to stick it because I didn't really like it because it seems so dark:

Now I think it will look good against the creamy walls and fabulously flowered curtains.
Wish me luck:  I will hopefully post pics next week.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Feeling Fall-ish

It's been a couple of grey days here.  The kind where everything seems grey; heck, I'm even wearing grey today.    Since I am almost finished the Garage Total Reorganization Project, I decided to take yesterday off and go thrifting.  It wasn't a banner day for it, but I did come home with this painting:

Normally I wouldn't go for something with so much orange in it, but I just fell in love with it, right there in Goodwill. The frame was dark brown until this morning, when I painted it a light gray.  I like it better this way: it doesn't hem the picture in so much and takes away that 70's feel.  For now it's living in my family room over the fireplace, but I'm not sure where its permanent home will be.

Last night I was exploring some new blogs, mostly about decorating, when I came across this site - Thrifty Decor Chick, and was inspired by this post.  I made a quick trip to the dollar store this morning for some leaves and foam-core, and now I have this on my front door:

I used maple leaves only, and I wanted them to be bright, to counteract the grey skies we get.  I'm happy with it.  It took longer than I thought it would, and I have an awful lot of hot glue burns on my fingers!  I can see that the berries need to go though.  Either that or add more.  It's funny how photographing something shows you things you didn't see "in real life".  

Have a great day!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Apple Inspiration

Saturday was such a beautiful day; all blue skies and sunshine and perfect for...

We headed out to Pine Farms Apple Orchard, right in the middle of the rolling hills of the Greenbelt.

This day we were after the crunchy and juicy Royal Gala apples, but we did our best to try and eat one of every variety available!

There were lots of apples ready to be picked.  I just loved roaming up and down the rows taking pictures of all the lovely fruit.

After collecting enough for the day, we headed to the shop:

...which I just love with the displays of pumpkins and cider and candy apples.  They also have a bakery and coffee shop inside which we have yet to try.  The only reason I wanted to go inside this day was to get this:

...apple blossom and wildflower honey.  It's the best honey I have ever tasted.  It isn't as sweet as the commercial stuff you buy in the stores and it really does have a light floral taste to it.  I almost can't wait for winter just to have a hot lemon and honey drink.

Coming home with all those apples really inspired me to bake something.  A quick stop at the grocery store for some puff pastry and a short while later we were enjoying these, fresh from the oven:

I used a mixture of Gala and Russets for the filling.  They were gone in a hurry!

Apple inspiration made its way to my sewing room, where I decided it would be nice to have some new, seasonal potholders.  I finished these this morning:

Have your best day ever.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Super Size Me

These super sized bags are my first ever sewing commission.  When I say big, I mean big!  This one measures two feet by three feet:

And this one measures two and a half by three and a half feet:

Each one took over three metres of fabric and more than a few pulled brain stitches I have to say!
So, what could you possibly use such large bags for?  They will be used for transporting art to art shows.  Kind of like a portfolio bag, but for finished works.  If you want to see what kind of art will be transported in these bags, take a look here.

Friday, September 10, 2010

My First Souffle

I'm pretty excited about this one!  I have a always been a bit intimidated by the idea of souffle.  I think if I had planned it too far in advance, I would have chickened out in the end.  Yesterday, while perusing one of my new cookbooks I saw a recipe for a cheese and herb souffle and suddenly had the courage to do it.  It turned out beautifully:

The recipe is from Laura Calders new cookbook, French Taste: Elegant Everyday Eating. 

Something else to get me excited in the kitchen are these:

The squash display at the grocery store was so pretty I could hardly contain myself.  I can't wait to try them out.  Just having them sitting on my counter makes me happy.

Now that the kids are back in school I have been Busy.  I am currently working on the Total Garage Organization Project.  I have not been able to park my car in the garage since February and I want to be able to before winter comes.  The way the weather has been, winter feels like it may just come a little earlier than expected.  My ultimate goal is to get both cars parked in the garage at the same time.  Funny thought, using your garage to store your cars.  So very un-North American where we value our junk more than our cars....

Have a great day!

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