31 July 2020

Summer of Halloween: Lantern Tags

Finished my other little lantern! These are Mill Hill kits Taboo Kitty and Moonstruck Manor finished using chalkboard tags from Michael's. 

Really happy with how these turned out. Quick, easy, fun little stitches and super easy finishing option. What could be better? 

One more month left in Summer of Halloween... what will I stitch next? 

27 July 2020

Fall Goodies

It's coming. I know it doesn't feel like it but the best season of the year is on the way. I went on a little craft crawl to a couple of my favorite local shops and picked up some Cosmo floss and a few fat quarters for fall finishing projects. 

It's been a long time since I got a new piece of pottery. We don't have as many local potters here as we did where we used to live, so our pottery collecting has slowed significantly. However! While looking for something else (isn't that always the way?) I stumbled across this gorgeous little bread baker from an Ohio potter. It makes a very small loaf, just right for two people. Since I'm always on the look-out for small bakeware to feed my tiny baking obsession, I snapped it up. I am absolutely delighted with it and can't wait to try it out when fall baking season rolls around. Happily, it comes with a dozen recipes! (If you're a pottery nut, click on the "pottery" label at the end of this post to see some of my collection.)

Tiger Lily did not miss out on goodies. She has a passion for tissue paper and whenever something arrives in the mail wrapped in it, the tissue paper goes to her.

Bonus mid-summer sunrise!

Happy Stitching, y'all!

20 July 2020

Summer of Halloween: Spooky Little Village

I pulled this little village from the much larger design Halloween Quaker from Lila's Studio. I just love the contrast of the bright window colors with the black and dark grey. It has a cheerfully spooky look! I used the recommended PTP Murky in 32 ct. linen, and the recommended threads, except for the CC Black Coffee. My skein of Black Coffee was almost entirely black and didn't provide enough contrast with the DMC black, so I used GAST Onyx instead.

There are a couple of other small motifs in this large design that I'd like to pull out and stitch. We'll see how many projects I can squeeze into my Summer of Halloween. Can you believe summer is half over? 

17 July 2020

Time for Tea Update

June and July blocks are finished!



Info on this design is in this post.

13 July 2020

Y'all, look how cute!

Look at my Bluebonnet stitchy tools, y'all! For those who don't know, the Bluebonnet is the state flower of Texas, and let me tell you, if you've never seen a field of Bluebonnets in the springtime, you've missed a treat. I found the scissors here a few weeks ago.

There's a lot of black in the Halloween design I'm currently stitching and I've been having to pick out a lot of Tiger Lily fuzz, so I decided I needed a pair of tweezers just for my needlework. Just any old tweezers wouldn't do, so I went hunting, and by happy accident, found matching Bluebonnet tweezers here! How adorable are these tools?

One of the best things about having a hobby is the toys that go with it. 

Happy Stitching!

09 July 2020

Summer of Halloween: Another Finish!

This is Happy Halloween by Silver Creek Samplers, stitched with the recommended threads on 28 ct. Wren from PTP. It's in the 2013 Just Cross Stitch Special Halloween Issue, and it's also available as a separate chart. ***If you stitch this, be on the safe side and get TWO skeins of GAST Wood Trail.

I only made a couple of minor changes. I didn't stitch the tips on the kitty's ears and I moved her eyes a bit further apart (three stitches between them instead of one).

I also altered the jack-o-lantern's face just a bit.

04 July 2020

Happy Birthday, Everybody!


Also, 'cause I know y'all will ask:

Halloween finish is Happy Halloween by Silver Creek Samplers (more on that later)

Fabric for Halloween WIP is 28 ct. Murky linen by PTP (more on that later, too) (yes, it's spooky and awesome)

Hope y'all have a safe and wonderful Independence Day!

19 June 2020

Finishing Hat Trick: Inexpensive, Easy, Adorable

Isn't it fun when you find the perfect fabric for a design? Or the perfect frame for a finish? Or the perfect trim for an ornament? It's even better when you don't even know what you're looking for, and then your eye falls upon it, and your stitching brain hollers, "That's it! That's what I was looking for!" 

So in my last post, where I showed this finish, I mentioned I hadn't yet put a backing on it because I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with it. I wanted to do... something. I was out running errands the other day and happened to be in Michael's and spotted this little chalkboard tag. I recognized the shape of the top of the tag as pretty much the identical shape I had just cut around on the top of my lantern ornament. And I thought, "There it is! There's my finish!" And for a whopping $1.99! I love it when that happens!

If you're wondering what a "Hat Trick" is, it's when a hockey player scores three goals in one game. Pretty hard to do. The fans celebrate by throwing their hats onto the ice. Not sure what I should be tossing for my finishing hat trick. Maybe skeins of floss?

This makes my heart happy! The best season is almost upon us! 

16 June 2020

News You Can Use

Another wee Halloween finish! This is a Mill Hill kit called Moonstruck Manor. There's a companion kit with a kitty that's also in the to-do pile for this summer. I haven't done one of these in years but I was reminded of how fun they are to do. Haven't finished the back yet as I'm not sure what I want to do with it. 

Next project is on the Q-snaps, all ready to go!

Couple bits of news. At long last, Brooke Nolan has made her monthly birthday cake freebies available on her website. These are gorgeous freebies from years and years ago that were originally available through her members-only Yahoo group, then moved to the now-defunct Craftsy site. I have seen some of these stitched up and embellished with beads and other goodies and they are really lovely. Check out her other freebie pages while you're there. She has some great stuff for free.

Also, designer Teresa Kogut has created a series of 15 designs with 100% of the profits to be donated to each of 15 different needlework shops around the country. They're available in her Etsy shop. To see which shop each design benefits, click on the design and then on "learn more about this item" to the right of the picture. Your favorite shop may have a benefit design, but even if it doesn't, whichever one you choose helps out a small business owner. I am partial to that gardening cow!

I want to thank y'all for all the well-wishes during our quarantine. We were set free on Sunday, a couple days earlier than we expected, and we're trying to get back to a normal routine. Hope all of y'all are well and enjoying summer as much as possible. 

Bonus Tiger Lily!

10 June 2020

Summer of Hallo-Quarantine

Welp. My Summer of Halloween hasn't gotten off to the start I had hoped for or expected. We're in quarantine. Real quarantine, not voluntary stay-at-home. *sigh* Mr. Wonderful had a sorta-kinda "exposure" to a person who he later was informed is positive for the virus (both were wearing masks, no physical contact, brief encounter). He had to be tested, and even though--thankfully!--he tested negative, both of us have to remain in quarantine for the full 14 days. Since this is a happy place, we'll skip the part where I share what I think about that, and just move on to Summer of Halloween cheer!

As you may imagine, things have been a bit weird here so I didn't get off to a great start on my Halloween stitching, but I have managed one little finish. Isn't this cute? It's available here and the only change I made was to stitch the two darker kitties in black instead of dark grey. I stitched it on PTP Dawn. I love the way the oranges glow on the dark fabric. 

I also treated myself to a new pair of scissors because why shouldn't our scissors match our projects? I can't think of a reason. This pair has a black oxide finish and snips nicely at the tips. Even Mr. Wonderful thinks these are cool.

While I was digging around and pulling supplies for Halloween projects, I took a quick picture of several of my darker fabrics for comparison. Thought I'd share in case you're going to be doing some spooky stitching of your own. Top to bottom (all Picture This Plus): Dawn (linen), Haunted (linen), Mirage (lugana). Different fabrics take dye differently, so keep that in mind if you're going shopping.

So that's the latest from our house. Quarantine (it's day 8, by the way) and Halloween stitching. And weirdness. What a year. And it's only June!