30 November 2018

The Joys of Perforated Paper

It's been forever since I stitched a Brooke Nolan angel, but I finally got one finished! Every time I stitch one of these beauties I think, "I should do more of these!" They are really fun to stitch and the finish is just eye-popping. This one is Spirit of Christmas Stitching and it's available in her Etsy shop as either a PDF download or a hard copy. Most of her "dollies" (as I like to call them) have wings, and sometimes I stitch them and sometimes I don't. This time I left them off, and I also didn't stitch a few of the items that are supposed to be gathered around her skirt. I think the patchwork is so pretty and I wanted an unobstructed view of it. Another change I almost always make is to change the eye color from light to dark.  

Now, let's talk about the joys of perforated paper. Perforated paper is, in a word, wonderful. There are several very good reasons for its wonderfulness.

1) It's very easy to stitch on. The holes are gigantic, so if your eyesight is not what it used to be, or if your eyes are just tired at the end of a long day, it's just the thing. Also, because the holes are gigantic, you get to use a fat needle and three strands of floss and there are no fractional stitches. It's the stitching equivalent of getting out your box of crayons and leisurely coloring a picture of a lady in a pretty dress. Like we all did when we were little. It's super relaxing.

2) It's sturdy. In every conversation about perforated paper I've been a part of, there is always at least one stitcher (and usually more than one) who expresses fear of tearing the paper. You will not tear the paper. It's not like printer paper. It's more like card stock. I've been stitching on it for years and years and have never torn it. Okay, I suppose if you're working out some anxiety and you're really yanking your thread, you might tear it, but if you're in that shape, you should probably be taking a walk or having a cookie or something. (Definitely cookies.)

3) It's easy to finish. The question of finishing always comes up, too. Several years ago I did a couple of posts on the subject. This one is how I do it, and this one shows an idea for using old Christmas cards to finish ornaments. My Stitching Dolly is finished with this pretty dark green card stock.

The thin, wired cord I used is (I think) from Michael's, but Jo Ann Fabrics also has it seasonally (red/white at Christmas, pink/white at Valentine's, pink/green at Easter, etc.). For other angels I've finished, I've used 1/8" ribbon, or you could use the Kreinik or the floss from the design.

If you haven't played with perforated paper and want to just dip in your toe, you could experiment with one of those small Mill Hill ornament kits and see how you like it before plunging in on one of these large pieces. Brooke also has a number of smaller dollies in her shop that are only about 5" high (the large ones like this Spirit of Christmas Stitching are about 7.5" high).

One of these days I'm going to get out all the Brooke Nolan dollies I've stitched and post pictures of them all together. 

And I'm going to stitch Mr. & Mrs. Claus.

And the Stitching (color conversion!), Knitting, Crocheting, and Quilting angels.

And the Woodland Santa series.

And Gretel. And Annie...

And Spirit of Mistletoe (another color conversion!)...

And Spirit of Cinderella's Fairy Godmother (yet another color conversion!)...

And, and...

...I'm going to need more time.

(Caution: More Enabling! I would be failing y'all if I didn't also point you to Brooke's collection of gorgeous freebies, in case you've overlooked them. I also need to stitch these. Really, what am I doing with my time?

Freebies on Craftsy Y'all, that seasonal house series. And the monthly birthday cakes.

Freebies on her website The Stitcher's Alphabet, y'all.

I ask again, "What am I doing with my time?!")

27 November 2018

Important News

I just discovered that one of my little pottery bowls is the Exact Perfect Size to hold an 11 oz. bag of Hershey's Kisses Exactly Perfectly and it made me so happy. 

Just thought I'd let y'all know.

Have a wonderful day!

19 November 2018

Update from Tiger Lily's House

We're still here! It's been a busy few weeks and I have been quiet on my blog, so I figured I'd better report in before some of y'all send the dogs out! We just got back from a trip to North Carolina, or as we call it, Pottery Disneyland. (Check out this post for an explanation.) We were supposed to go in September, but had to cancel our trip because of Hurricane Florence.  I haven't even unwrapped all of our treasures yet, and my living room looks like Santa crashed his sleigh. When I get it all unpacked, I'll photograph it (my pieces, at least) and share. If you like pottery, click on the "pottery" label in the right sidebar.

Let's see... new stuff at my house. First, two new designs from With Thy Needle & Thread. Brenda Gervais has sneakily become one of my favorite designers. The series of oval designs she's doing is just adorable. I've stitched a purple version of Here a Peep and have Jingle All the Way on my to-stitch list, so when I saw Candy Cane Wishes, I had to have it immediately. Her little mice series is also growing on me, so I picked up Plum Pudding, as well. 

Here's another of her designs I got recently.

Picked up some Rainbow Gallery Petite Treasure Braid for some Christmas stitching. I've never had a problem using Kreinik metallics, and always use them when the Brooke Nolan designs I stitch call for them, but I know a lot of stitchers seem to dislike using them. I find they work great on perforated paper, but for linen I prefer Petite Treasure Braid, simply because it has a more delicate feel to me. If you hate metallics, but have never tried PTB, give it a go. It's very easy to work with and is so pretty.

New dishes, y'all! Aren't these beautiful? Spotted these at Hobby Lobby a few weeks ago (on sale!) and couldn't resist. I got some plates...

...and a little bread and butter plate and mug just for me to enjoy my winter tea and snacks.

Had to throw this in here! This is some Stanley Cup swag I got last month celebrating my Washington Capitals winning the Cup back in June. This hockey playing calico kitty was a must-have! We are very partial to calicos around here.

And this beautiful patch, combining the Cup with two D.C. symbols: the flag (based on the coat of arms of George Washington's family) and some lovely pink cherry blossoms.

Tiger Lily got something new, too. I found this adorable fleece at Jo Ann Fabrics for 50% off and figured it was time for Tiger Lily to have a new blanket. It's an ultra-plush, anti-pill fleece and it is sooo soft.

Ready for whatever winter throws at us... I think. We've already had our first snow this year (15 November), which is really, really early.

So that's what's going on around here. Having to squeeze our trip to North Carolina in right before Thanksgiving has thrown me off of my holiday game a bit, but now that it's done, I can turn my attention back to more pressing matters... like my Christmas Open House! (No hints! No sneak peeks!) Since it will be my 5th annual Open House, I'm planning something sort of celebratory. As of right now, it will be the third week of December, unless I amaze myself and have a stunningly productive week next week and can do it a bit earlier.

Hope y'all are all healthy, cozy, and ready to bake all your Thanksgiving goodies! Have a great week!

01 November 2018

New Sparkly DMC--UPDATE

Just a quick update on the new sparkly DMC now that I've had a chance to stitch with it. If you missed my first post on this new thread, just scroll down a bit.

I'm happy to report it gets a thumbs up from me! The two issues I mentioned wondering about in my first post (shredding and texture) were not a problem. It has a light, almost wispy feel in hand, but it stitches just like regular DMC and has a very nice sparkle to it. Shredding wasn't a problem. The cut end that was repeatedly passing through the fabric separated just a bit, but that's to be expected with any thread like this. It did not come apart along the length of the thread as blending filament usually does. 

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised. I do wish they had used an iridescent filament in the Blanc, instead of silver (which gives the Blanc a greyish look), but it's still pretty. Just don't expect a true white if you're thinking of using it for snow. 

Hope this, along with my other post, is helpful. Happy Stitching!