25 September 2016

It's the Bride of Frankenstein, y'all.

Made a few more needle minders. This one just kills me. It's a teeny weeny Bride of Frankenstein. 

So adorable, right? And because I'm never not in need of a reminder to be joyful, here's a little cutie for my Keeping Christmas Project ornament stitching. Sparkly, of course.

And here's a winter one. She cracks me up. I can just imagine her mother saying, "Why didn't you think of that before I got you all bundled up?"

All of these are made from buttons from those small decorative button packs. I found them at various craft stores, but this is a good online source for a very wide selection. All the buttons I've shown in this post are available from this source. I have ordered from them and had good service. 

23 September 2016


BREAKING NEWS: There are still really, really nice people in the world.

With all the negative things happening around us, sometimes it's hard to remember that fact, but it's pretty essential for our mental health that we endeavor to do so. Yesterday's mail was my reminder for this week.

First, a surprise from fellow stitcher Kari in Wisconsin. She had very sweetly offered to send me a magazine she had that had a gorgeous fox design in it she would never stitch. It arrived yesterday. Beautiful, right? Just look at the happy little face on the baby in the background!

She also snuck this precious needle minder into the magazine! He has a sparkly tummy, y'all. I'm crazy about it. Thank you, Kari!

Second, fellow stitcher Lois in New York offered for sale an out-of-print Prairie Schooler design I've been looking for for some time. Of course, just as we were about to conduct our transaction, I got a fraud alert on the card I use for online purchases, and the card had to be cancelled. Lois very patiently waited a few days for me to get the issue resolved, and was very understanding in our email exchanges. Thank you, Lois, for being a bright spot in a frustrating week!

And finally, a WIP update. I have been really off my stitching game for quite a while so I haven't made nearly as much progress on the two projects I have going right now as I should have. Haunted House should have been done a couple of weeks ago, and I haven't touched my Christmas ornament in weeks--probably due to the fact that I'm facing over-one stitching, which I don't care for. So, here's half a tree.

The tree and the border are all that's left. One would think I could just sit down and whip them out, but no...

Anyway, don't forget: there are still really nice people in the world. Hang on to that and have a great weekend!

09 September 2016

Making (more!) Needle Minders

Needle minders are fun. They're not necessary, but as with most things that aren't necessary, that's part of what makes them fun--they're just special little extras that make life a little brighter. Cookies aren't necessary to survival (they sorta are at my house), but why would you want to live without them if you don't have to? Jewelry for your WIP... why not?!

Happily, they're super easy (and inexpensive) to make yourself, which I discussed here a while back. So you can have a whole bunch of them to fit every whim, every season, every holiday, every project. They're so simple to make they really don't require a tutorial. Basic instruction: Glue one of a pair of magnets to the back of something. Boom. Needle minder. That's it.

However, since I was making a few more today, I decided to snap a few pictures to share ideas for what items you can use to make them, how to make those items usable, and how to store them. Here are the ones I made today, in about 30 minutes (easy!).

You can use all kinds of things to make needle minders. Here we have a kitty charm (Jo-Ann's), a Christmas tree brooch (Hobby Lobby), and some buttons (Hobby Lobby & Jo-Ann's). 

A button shank remover is a great little tool to have on hand. The curved blades allow a close cut so the back of the button is flat.

Old jewelry from your jewelry box or inexpensive costume jewelry makes great needle minders. Pins can be easily twisted off with a pair of pliers (don't stick yourself!).

When using charms, sometimes you can get the charm loop off cleanly with pliers, but more often than not, trying to remove it will either damage the charm or leave little points of metal behind that are too small to be removed. My solution is to just cover the charm loop with a small crystal. These crystals (Hobby Lobby) came in a package that contains multiple sizes, which is great because you don't have to guess what size you need and only buy one size. I use strong craft glue to attach these, as I've found that the chemicals in super glue eat away the backing on the crystal and leave it dull-looking.

These are the super strong magnets I use (left, 6.3 mm from Michael's; right, 8 mm from Hobby Lobby). I prefer the smaller 6.3 mm size, but either will do. Use caution with these, they are very strong. You can use super glue to attach them, but hot glue usually works just as well for me.

I store my collection in a little metal pencil case. Very compact and tidy.

A combination of purchased and homemade, I've used old jewelry, charms, pendants... even a metal badge from a festival we went to. The little black one with the flowers painted on it is the first needle minder I ever got. I've had it for more than 20 years--way before needle minders became a "thing". 

And that's all there is to it. Very easy. Very inexpensive. And they make really cute little gifts for fellow stitchers (Christmas is coming!).

07 September 2016

WIP Wednesday: Halloween House (Purple Conversion)

I'm working on Judith Kirby's Victorian House #9, also known as Halloween House. I decided to do a purple conversion of the house.

The original house colors:

I'm stitching mine on 28 ct. Storm from Hand Dyed Fabrics by Stephanie. The purples are DMC 154 and 3834; the greys in the roof are DMC 646 and 844; the darkened windows are DMC 646. The green trees in the background are stitched with a 2-ply half stitch rather than a single-ply cross stitch. All the other half stitches are 2-ply as well. I will probably change the color of the cobweb and mess with the border as well, but we'll see when I get there. 

Happy Stitching!