31 March 2015

Swirly Sheep

Here's a spring lamb I whipped up on Sunday. This is a freebie from Just Cross Stitch. I stitched my little lamb on 28 ct. mushroom evenweave with Caron's Wildflowers in Pistachio (FFE... Favorite Fiber Ever). I think I need a flock of these in different colors... as if I have time to stitch this over and over!

Okay, y'all... this is 14 posts in one month (my monthly goal is 8). There's pretty much no chance I can do that again in April, but we'll see. 

Is it really April already?


28 March 2015

Fox Tree Project: Ornament #2

This is one of those tiny $1 kits that you find in the dollar bins at craft stores (I think the brand is Plaid). I switched out the aida for opalescent linen, and added some beads and a star to the tree to make it a bit more festive. On the model, the whole design was backstitched in black, but I thought that looked harsh, so I just used some grey on Santa and the bunny, and some rust on the fox, to give it a softer look. Not bad, for $1.

23 March 2015

The Fox Tree Project

For years and years, I've been collecting fox Christmas ornaments, but my collection grew very slowly because they were so hard to find. In the last couple of years, foxes have become "trendy" and my collection has grown more in that time than in all the years I've been collecting them. After last Christmas, I decided I finally had enough fox ornaments for them to have their own tree, so I hit the after-Christmas clearance at Hobby Lobby and got a 6' tree for $25. 

I've also been slowly collecting ornament-sized fox cross stitch kits and freebies, and also a few free felt patterns. My project for this year (yes, another one) is to get all of these little fox ornaments made to add to my bought ornaments for my fox tree. I think a mix of store-bought and handmade foxes is going to look charming!

Here's my first ornament finish, a pretty loose interpretation of Country Cottage Needleworks' Snowy Foxes.

Mine is stitched on 32 ct. Wichelt linen, and I obviously whacked off half of the design! I wanted the focus to be on the foxes so I just made a skinny version! The trees are Caron Wildflowers Evergreen, and the foxes are Crescent Colors Colonial Copper (my favorite fox color). I left off a couple of stitches on the sides of the faces, and also left off the whiskers. I changed the color of the legs and tree trunks from DMC 869 to DMC 898. 

These are the kits I'll be working through, in addition to some felt and cross stitch freebies. I'm always on the look-out for more, as they're not exactly easy to find.

I'm looking forward to "Christmas-ing" these... just doing whatever I want with them to make them fun and Christmas-y. 

Happy Stitching!

21 March 2015

March Update: Snowfire Christmas

I survived that band of snowflakes... but just barely! Made a few changes. The small white band of satin stitches below the triple leviathans was supposed to be pulled satin stitches, but I'm not crazy about the look of pulled work, so I just did satin stitches. Also, the corners of the white snowflakes have extra stitches, and I've used four beads instead of three, and placed them differently. Glad to have a little break from this 'til next month!

Off to stitch something with no beads and no eyelets.

20 March 2015

First Day of Spring... Winter Laughs!

Today is the first day of spring, aaaaand...

...it snowed all morning. Tiger Lily has been on her window basket watching the birds and the falling snow.

And I have the March block in my Woodland Sampler finished. It's a tiny mushroom under glass. The mushroom is supposed to have a little face on it, but I left it off. I also changed the color of the letters to 912.

Trying to get a slightly tedious band of elaborate snowflakes finished on Snowfire Christmas. Update on that tomorrow... maybe...

18 March 2015

Visit from the Stash Fairy (a.k.a. the Mail Lady)

March has been a busy month for stash acquisition around here. I rarely buy a lot of stash at once, but I sorta fell off the wagon last week and did some damage at 123 Stitch. I keep a wish list there, and every now and then I get paranoid that something I want will go out of print and I won't be able to get it anymore, so I go on a spree. It's not exactly an unfounded fear. Unfortunately, you never know when the chart that's been on your wish list for six months will suddenly disappear. Did I just scare you into a shopping spree? Oops.

Anyway, here's my stuff. First, some fibers for upcoming projects:

Some fabric, from left to right: Weeks Tin Roof Gingham, Fabric Flair Whooligans, and Fabric Flair Berkshire Hive:

Some Just Nan reindeer:

Brooke's Books Mistletoe Angel and LHN's Hometown Holiday Fire Station:

And this wonderfully creepy design by Lena Lawson Needlearts called Trick or Treat:

Pretty good stuff. I've already got ideas for changes to the reindeer trio and a color conversion for the Mistletoe Angel... and I would really like to get to that scarecrow this year. We'll see... stay tuned!

Happy Stitching!

15 March 2015

How To Make Needle Packets

I've been playing again. This time I've been making paper needle packets. I hear you saying, "Okay... why?" Well, like most of you, I carry my needlework with me when I'm traveling or when I will have to wait for a while somewhere. When I carry along my needlework, I leave all of my favorite tools at home and instead take things I wouldn't be broken-hearted over if I lost. In the hustle and bustle of travel, or the sudden ups and downs of waiting at a hospital, little tools can easily be dropped, mislaid, left behind, drenched in coffee. When it came to needle storage, I needed something flat (to maximize space), and unbreakable (so much for my glass needle phial with the cute polymer clay cap). I don't have a fancy stitched needle book, but if I did, it would be the type of thing I'd leave at home. What to do?

I had been staring at a paper packet of Bohin needles and it occurred to me, "Why try to improve on what already works?" So I decided to make my own paper needle packets. I could just fill a Bohin packet with different sizes of needles and carry that, but... they're not cute. My needle packets need to be cute. Off I went...

Here's what you need:

a packet of needles
card stock
craft knife
craft glue
stickers (optional... but necessary for maximum cuteness)

I pulled some heavy, shimmery card stock out of my paper stash, and also some glittery white felt. Yes, glittery. Why not?

Take apart the needle packet. You'll use both the paper and the cloth as your templates.

Lay the unfolded packet on the wrong side of your paper and trace around it. Make sure to trace the line of the little crescent cut-out on the left that holds the flap on the right when it's folded over. Using a ruler and a pair of scissors, score the two vertical fold lines and the one horizontal tab fold line. (It's really not necessary to mark the fold lines, as they can be scored just using a ruler. I marked them so they would show up better in the photos.)

Using a craft knife, cut out the crescent on the left. Cut out around the template. 

Using the cloth as a template, cut out a small piece of felt and glue it below the tab. Place glue on the tab, fold it over the top of the felt, and secure with a paper clip until dry.


See, this is why the stickers are actually kinda necessary. There's no "TA-DA!" without super cute stickers to finish these little needle packets. As you can see, these are very easy to make, and would be neat tuck-ins for cards, or favors for stitching retreats.

And here's one of my traveling stitching cases. See how nicely the packet fits in there?

And that's why I had to make my own!

14 March 2015

Rainy Saturday Crafternoon

Well. I was supposed to spend all day today stitching on Snowfire Christmas. But I have this problem. My problem is that when I see something (or think of something) cute I want to make, the idea skitters around in my brain like a squirrel and I can't rest until I make the silly thing and get it out of my system. 

A couple of weeks ago, in my wanderings around the web, I came across simple pincushions made out of picture frames. I have cute pins that need displaying. I don't have a pincushion. I became obsessed.

These are ridiculously simple, and--in my opinion--ridiculously adorable. This project took me less than 10 minutes.

Choose your fabric and frame. I got this tiny 2 1/2" x 3" frame at Hobby Lobby for $3 (their picture frames are always 50% off).

Make a sandwich. Using the glass as a template, cut your fabric at least an inch larger than the glass on all sides. Lay the fabric in the frame aperture, add a fat ball of fiber fill or whatever you're using to make it puffy, add the glass. In the picture below, you can see the layers of your sammich.

Mash the back of the frame closed and fiddle with the stuffing to make it even, pulling gently on the excess fabric to make the front smooth and even. Secure the back and trim away the excess fabric. If you want to make it extra tidy, you can glue cute trim around the aperture on the back to hide the trimmed fabric. I didn't bother, but I would if I were giving one as a gift. Here's your adorable pincushion that took you less than 10 minutes:

So cute, right?! The thought has already crossed my mind that I might need a Christmas one. A Halloween one. Of course, a fox one. One for every season...

I also made bookmarks today. A while back, I showed off my tea box bookmarks. I read a lot, sometimes several books at once, and I need a lot of bookmarks. These are all free printables. Just click on the label to take you to the freebie.

Flowery foxes:

Woodland friends:

I used Xyron laminating sheets to make them super sturdy. Just as good as store bought, I would say, and Tiger Lily agrees.

These are very easy to make, and would be sweet, inexpensive little gifts to tuck into cards or use as package decorations.

So that's what I've been doing today instead of stitching on Snowfire Christmas. Update on that coming soon... I hope!

Happy Saturday, Happy Stitching, Happy Whatever-You're-Doing-Instead-Of-What-You're-Supposed-To-Be-Doing!

10 March 2015

Stash Report

New to the sewing room:

This gorgeous Dimensions kit called Sunlit Fox, which I got for nearly 60% off!

Happy polka dot fabric:

Limited Edition GAST thread, called Hot Tamale. I love this:

Classic Colorworks thread bundle for LHN's North Pole Express:

New Classic Colorworks colors from Market, for LHN's limited edition Welcome Spring:

Bonus pic: Tiger Lily dozing off

Happy Stitching!

08 March 2015

Kissing Cardinals

Just finished up a little Christmas ornament. This is Kissing Cardinals by Designs by Lisa, from the 2014 Just Cross Stitch Christmas Ornament issue.

I had chosen a grayish-blue fabric for this, but while I was getting ready to stitch it, I glanced at a pile of new stash and spotted (ha ha! get it?) this fabric and on a whim I decided to use it
instead. This is the first project I've stitched on polka dot fabric, and I have to say, I love this stuff. The model is stitched on a plain greenish-yellow fabric, and has snowflakes charted above the birds. I left off the snowflakes and just let the dots suggest falling snow. A little different look for a Christmas ornament, but I like it.

Happily, I have begun to hoard collect polka dot fabric, but more on that later.

07 March 2015

And a spring kid

The baby goat joins the party:

All three, from Victoria Sampler's Farmyard Babies:

The only change I made to these was to stitch them on grass instead of snow, and omit the snowflakes.

Spring's coming!

06 March 2015

A spring piglet

Yesterday's little lamb now has a friend!

One more farmyard baby to go!

05 March 2015

A spring lamb on a snowy day

My grandfather raised sheep, and my mom says that lambs were always born in the worst weather, so it seems appropriate to show off my little lamb on such a snowy day. This is from Victoria Sampler's Farmyard Babies.

She's supposed to be lying in the snow with snowflakes around her, but I wanted more of a spring look for this series, since my Woodland Babies and Woodland Birdies are all snowy. I just stitched the ground all in GAST Baby Spinach and omitted the snowflakes.

Notice anything odd about these two shots of a blue jay and a cardinal?

They're perched in exactly the same spot on the branch. Maybe the blue jay warmed up a spot for the cardinal!

A snowy day turned into a beautiful snowy evening...

...and Tiger Lily applied herself to the task of staying warm and cozy.

Happy Stitching!

02 March 2015

Sophie Squirrel

Still waiting for a fox...

Critters 1-6:

Critters 7-12:

The whole gang (so far):