Friday, April 29, 2011

A Royal Souvenir

Giving up television during Lent allowed me to miss much of the hoopla surrounding the royal wedding.  I don't mind the wedding news so much; it's the endless speculation and commentary that goes with it I find tiresome.  So needless to say I didn't buy any of the magazines or commemorative dishes and what not.  I wasn't even planning on watching the wedding, but of course this morning at 7am what else could I do but turn on the tv?  I missed the ceremony but got to see the happy couple, the dress, the carriage and the balcony kiss. Suddenly I found myself wishing I had something to commemorate the occasion other than the memory of me sitting in my pyjamas drinking green tea.  I decided to stitch a "little something", and ended up with a new key fob or scissor keeper:

For some reason I seemed to think this would only take about an hour to stitch, when in fact it took four all together; and I also got the crazy idea to stitch it over one thread.  I guess I was feeling all confident now and figured that stitching over one on 28 count would be breeze.  After the first arm of the cross was done I had to break out the magnifying glass!

I stitched a little crown on the back.

See what I mean when I say a "little" something?

I have also been doing some sewing lately.  I made these sachets from the book  Sew Sunny Homestyle by Tone Finnanger.  They were fun to make and I have a few more in the works.

I put some lavender in them and they smell, well, heavenly!

I put  a rosette on one: I'm not sure if I should embellish them all or just keep them as is. Any thoughts?

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

French Brocante Pillow

On a previous trip to France I had the opportunity to go to a real French brocante.  I saw the signs posted on a few telephone poles, and even though I wasn't exactly sure if I was translating properly, I knew I wanted to go. One grey and rainy day my FIL drove me out to the country and we found it, and it was exactly what I was hoping for!  A French flea market in one of those villages seemingly in the middle of nowhere, with the brocante conveniently located at the foot of a ruined castle.

Despite the rain, most vendors still had their antique and vintage wares outside.  I guess if your merchandise has survived for over a hundred years in various greniers and moldy chateaux, it won't be ruined by a bit of rain!
Of course I was seriously limited in my ability to buy anything, being that: a) everything was very old and very expensive; and b) I didn't have a lot of room left in my suitcase.  At a textile stall I found a piece of needlepoint: it was an unusual shade of green and finished into a circle shape.  I don't know if it was always intended to be that shape or if the stitcher just got bored and left it as is.  Once I figured out the pricing (after many 'je ne comprend pas' on my part and much eye-rolling on the vendor's part)  I was in possession of my own bit of French brocante.

It took five years for me to get that tapestry out of my own sous-sol, but this weekend I finally finished it off into a pillow for my bedroom.  Voila!

What had hindered me for the longest time was finding a fabric to use around the sides.  By some sort of fluke I had a strip of green fabric I had bought as a sample for potential drapes that went perfectly with the green background in the needlepoint.  I backed the cushion with a piece of dark green velveteen that previously had a life as a bedroom curtain!  Now when I see it I am reminded of the Rauzan Brocante everyday :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Easter; Earth Day, and a looooonng finish!

I have been a busy craft bunny lately and loving it!

I stitched this cute Homespun Elegance design called "Delivering Easter".  I left the background stitching off and added some blades of grass at the bottom.  It was a quick, fun stitch.  I finished it off as a standing ornament as best I could.  My engineering skills could definitely use some work!

Next is something that has been in the works for 3 years!!  To tell you I did a happy dance last night when the last stitch was put in is an understatement!

I can only show you a portion of it because it is a gift.  I will show all of it once it has been gifted.  The reason it took so long to do, is that the designs are stitched on 40 count fabric over one thread.  I'm a 28 count girl through and through, and for "special" I'll do 32 count.  I rarely stitch over one thread so to do it on 40 count was really stretching it for me!  I had to buy a magnifying glass to stitch this, and it was really hard to get over stitching inertia when I had put it away for a while.  Hence: three years to complete!

My Favorite Girl is part of an environmental club at school, so I made her this t-shirt to wear for Earth Day:

Of course, I had to make one for My Favorite Boy as well:

Thanks for visiting:  have a great day!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Easter Finishes

I've been doing some stitching!
First up is another ornament for my little tree:

 This is a French design that came as a supplement with a past issue of the now defunct De fil en aiguille magazine.  I like French designs for their use of shading with threads and lack of a lot of backstitching!

Next up is a design from Homespun Elegance:

I got some birthday stash from 1-2-3 Stitch's last sale :)  I changed the colors up in order to use some of my specialty threads.  I purchased an 'oops' pack of Dinky Dyes threads a while ago and I thought that the variegated pastel colored thread would look just right here.

My Favorite Boy is home sick today with bronchitis and pink-eye!  I don't think he's contagious anymore, but I wanted him to have a rest from school for a day or two.  We are going to make hot cross buns together this afternoon:  I think he's just most excited about putting the icing on - and eating them of course!

Thanks for visiting; have a wonderful day :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Birthday Gifts

I had a birthday last week.  On the weekend we drove to three different craft stores so I could have a mooch around.  One of the stores was the Canadian needlework mecca, Mary Maxim, located outside gorgeous Paris, ON.  My joke for the week was that my husband took me to Paris for my birthday!

Of course there were gifts from my kids too.  Each one of them made me a beautiful flower arrangement:

From My Favorite boy.  I love the Easter theme.  He also drew colorful spring pictures all around the sides of the pot.

From My Favorite Girl.  She knows I love flowers.  My favorite part is the sparkly "Mom" written on the sides of the pot in glitter.

I also got this:

It's  a second-hand one  I found on Kijiji.  I am super excited about having it, as I have wanted one for a very long time!  I haven't played since I was about 11, so there is  a lot of re-learning to be done.  I know that knowledge is up in my brain somewhere, it's just getting it to come out!  I am waiting for a "Learn to play the Piano" DVD to come in the mail, but I may have to resort to a few lessons.  The piano does need to be re-finished, but that might be a while.  I think I will cover that extremely white vinyl seat in the meantime though!

Happy Spring!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Spring Check-in

One of the things I am loving about restricting our "screen-time" is the fact that we have things to show for our time.  The kids and I have been doing more crafts together, which is always nice, and the pile in my project in-box is starting to get a little smaller.

We had time to make some decorations for St. Patrick's Day:

We made some spring bouquets to brighten our house:

 Tissue Paper Cherry Blossoms
Handprint Lilies

I completed a Halloween project I have had in my mind for months now:

I finished a big WIP that I started last year!

I call it my "Butterfly Meadow" quilt.  It's not bed sized, but I made it to use while snuggling on the couch.  The colors were really a treat to work with as winter seems to be lingering on and on.

I took some previously finished cross stitch and turned one into a small pillow, and for the other I tried a cube finish.  I know there are no-sew cube finishes, but for some reason I felt I needed to stitch mine together.  Next time I will do the no-sew version!

I have always wanted some kind of "tree" to hang my cross stitch ornaments on.  Once the snow melted I raided the yard for broken branches and spray painted them white.  I finished off some more previously stitched egg designs into quickie ornaments by backing them with felt, and they are now hanging on my tree with two Ellen Maurer- Stroh spring ornaments I have stitched this month

And finally, back in February I went crazy making elephants from the book Last Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts.  If you grew up in the 70's you may recognize some of these fabrics!  I raided my stash of colorful pillowcases and sheets to make this passel of pachyderms:

Meet Happy, Rosie, Peanut, Star, Mel and Violet.

And that, my friends, is what we have accomplished so far!  I have to say, I am lovin' our Lenten decision!
Take care!

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