22 February 2021

Northern Lights Conversion

Here's my latest little finish: a "Northern Lights conversion" of this charming winter scene from the February 2020 issue of Just Cross Stitch magazine. I knew I wanted an aurora effect, but I didn't know if there was a fabric available that would suit me, so I hunted around. I settled on PTP Monster Mash and happily, I got a piece that was usable for this project. Well, half of it was. The other half of the fabric had too much purple in it for the look I wanted. Hand-dyed fabric is a bit of a gamble at the best of times, and if you're wanting a specific effect in addition to color, good luck. My piece just happened to work. I know it's weird, but I love it.

As I often do, I not only changed colors to suit the fabric, I also did some editing. I left off the little bushes, and the birds, and the snowflakes. I wanted the fabric to do all the work so I just sort of streamlined the design. If you check out the "color conversions" tab at the top of the page, you'll notice that I am always "purple-izing" designs. (I know "empurple" is a word and "purple-ize" is not a word, but I like purple-ize better and now it's a word.) I think it's because blue is such a popular color--except with me--and it's easy to visualize blue-to-purple conversions. Anyway, here are my changes (all DMC):

B5200-->Blanc; 3822-->3821; 598-->28; 3810-->29; 164-->3364; 988-->3363;

987-->3362; 644-->3790; 642 & 640-->4145

Speaking of winter and winter stitching, it poured snow yesterday. It's been incredibly cold here lately (negative double-digit lows at night, negative daytime highs, 30-below wind chill), and when it's that cold, the snow is fine and dry like sand and sparkles like diamonds. But yesterday it was warm (30!) and the snow was chunky and fluffy and made everything look like it was coated in frosting. 

Last winter was underwhelming but this one is making up for it. We have had so much snow. The snow bank in our yard from clearing the driveway is so high Tiger Lily can't see the street from her window. In spite of what it looks like outside, I'm kicking off spring on March 1st! Who's with me?!


Aurora Webcam!  If the Northern Lights aren't visible when you check, try again later or on a different night. You'll eventually catch them. So enchanting.

18 February 2021

How to Remove Ghost Stitches

I have no idea what these little holes that remain after stitches are removed are called, but I call them ghost stitches and I find them annoying. Happily, they are easily removed. With your fingernail, gently scratch the fabric up and down, and side to side, to move the fibers back into place. You usually only have to do this on the bottom side of your fabric, but sometimes a few scratches on the top side might be needed. The up and down scratches move the horizontal fibers and the side to side scratches move the vertical fibers.



A very simple solution to a not-very-serious problem, but some readers may be new to stitching and you never know when sharing something you do as a matter of habit or instinct may be just what someone else needed. This is as true in life as it is in stitching, so always share your knowledge!

15 February 2021

Winter Treasures


I love this little design. It's called Winter Treasures and it's available in this Etsy shop. This pretty scattering of seed pods, pine boughs, berries, and pinecones looks like you've just returned from a winter nature walk and emptied out your pockets. 

I'm stitching up a few small winter designs to freshen up my winter sewing room display, much as I did last year during my Summer of Halloween. I had realized I hadn't stitched Halloween in quite some time so I spent the summer adding some new finishes. Once I put Christmas things away, I like to have plenty of pretty winter things to look at to get me through the months til spring, and I needed some new additions. This one will work from December right through til spring.

12 February 2021

Winter is Coming Mini Quaker


I've had this finished for a while and have had it propped up in my sewing room so I can observe it and decide how I feel about it. Oh my goodness, I had such a time trying to find a substitute for GAST Garden Gate. The skein used in the model is lovely and my (three!) skeins were... not. The color in the model (used for the vase, candlestick, bottom center motif, right border motif) is subtle shades of beige, blue, and olive. My skeins are the color of mud. I searched high and low for a substitute, tried several, and settled on GAST Fisherman's Wharf. It's darker than I wanted, but the other choices were too pale or too bright. They were prettier colors, but in the end, I went with the more subdued color as I thought it would blend better. 

I'm still not sure how I feel about this finish. I wanted to love it but that color not being quite right just bugs me. I may end up ripping it out and trying something else, but for now, I'm calling it a finish. 

This is the companion piece to Autumn is Coming Mini Quaker. Can Spring be far behind?

08 February 2021

New Monthly Series!


I spent last year stitching a teapot per month and I've just started another year-long project with this new coffee and tea calendar series by Punochka. How cute are these?

Here's January:

And here's February:

These are pretty, quick-to-stitch little projects that are perfect for those days when you want to be sorta productive but don't want to dive into that WIP you're laboring over. They're charted for DMC so you're sure to have supplies on hand. I'm stitching mine on 32 ct. Vintage Country Mocha. I have no idea how I'll finish them; right now I'm just enjoying stitching them. And I'm caught up... yay, me!

Happy Stitching!

04 February 2021

Freezing Fog


Ever seen freezing fog (rime ice)? I hadn't, until we moved to the frozen tundra. Pretty neat.

Stay cozy!

01 February 2021

2020 Blog Book is Here!


Accomplished my annual January tradition: getting the previous year's blog posts made into a book. This is my post-Christmas gift to myself every year.

This is the service I use. The process is very user-friendly and I've never had a problem with either the website or the product. Their Facebook page regularly has very good discount codes, so if there isn't a current one, just wait a bit.

Happy Stitching!