Monday, September 1, 2014

What's In My Hoop!

Here’s some progress shots on things I’ve been working lately.  I’ve actually been making tons of things but can’t show a lot of them because they are for a Halloween swap!  But here’s some stitchy things I can show. 

I finally jumped into Halloween Town by The Frosted pumpkin Stitchery.  This year’s design is so adorabe!  I can’t get over the cuteness!  I've finished the first two parts, only two more to go!

I’m also still stitching away on Gingerbread Lane by The Frosted Pumpking Stitchery.  I keep this one at work and work on it on my lunch breaks.  So it’s coming together thirty minutes at a time.  I’m pretty much finished with the second house so will only have one more house to do and the countdown numbers along the bottom. 

I’ve also went a little loony for Halloween stitch-a-longs buying “Whacky Witches” by Cloud Factory, “Early Witches” by The Primitive Hare and "Something Wicked" by Samsarah Designs Studio.  Is there a support group for stitch-a-longs!?  I don’t know when I’ll be able to start them, but I can’t wait!
What’s in your hoop?

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Bookworm Birthday Party

We threw a little party for my son’s second birthday back in June.  (ack still can’t believe he’s two!)  But I wanted to share a few things I made and other details about his party.  This year I did a bookworm theme because the little dude loves books!  He digs into his bookshelves and baskets and sits for hours looking at his books.  It’s so wonderful really. I first searched through Pinterest just to get some ideas and get the creative ideas flowing.  I decided on many things but in the end, I didn’t make as much as I planned because I just didn’t have the time.  But it all turned out OK and at the end of the day, we celebrated him which was the point. But here's what I did to celebrate our bookworm!

I made pinwheels out of Dr. Seuss’s “The Foot Book”.  We had a second copy that was previously loved and had some crayon scribbles in it so I just used the pages to make the pinwheels.  If it’s been a while since you’ve made pinwheels, I highly suggest it—it’s super fun!  I attached them to pencils that said "I Love Reading" that I ordered and they were part of the goodie bag that I passed out to the kids who came to the party.  I also included these fun book-themed stamps, these bookmarks, these super adorable bookworm erasers, some gummy worms, and a few of these stickers.  A fun little bag I thought.  

I also made a little banner out of another double-copy of “The Three Bears” we had.  It was super simple.  I just cut triangle shapes out of the pages and strung them together.  I didn’t add anything to the pages.  Easy Peasy. I don't seem to have gotten a picture of it and I didn't keep it.  oh well.
I made a birthday banner as well.  I’m going to try to make one each year for at least first five years or so if I can.  I can hang them in his room when his birthday is over. I don’t think I ever shared what I made for his first birthday!  Maybe I’ll post that sometime.  (sheesh, behind much?)   Each piece has a little bookworm theme to it and I added a few of the leftover pinwheels to it.    It’s simple and fun.

That’s all I had time for.  I had planned on making invitations that look like library cards…that didn’t happen.  I had planned making cupcakes myself with cute bookworm toppers…that didn’t happen. And it’s OK.  I’ve learned to go with the flow and do what I can.  It’s the spirit of the party and the smile on my kid’s face that counts. 

Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday Finish: Haunting Love

I have a finish to share with you! I discovered a group on facebook called Pumpkin Seed Stitchers and each month they will feature a free Halloween cross stitch pattern by a different designer. Pretty great. The first pattern was “Haunting Love’ by Teresa Smith of T.A. Smith Designs. It’s a really pretty pattern with cattails, spiders, rats, ghosts and a pumpkin.

I stitched it on 35 count linen called Grape Ice from Picture This Plus that I had in my stash. It’s a lovely light purple and I think this pattern was perfect for it. It looks a bit like dusk when the ghosties come out to play. I struggled on 35 count though. It’s so small for my eyes and I know why I prefer 28 count for linen…oof!

 I used DMC threads; dark gray and a variegated (#4010) for the ghosts. I wanted to make them look shadowy and a bit translucent. I’m very pleased with how it turned out.

 I can’t wait to see what’s up for September!  Don't you love a good surprise!  Come and join the fun with Pumpkin Seed Stitchers!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Thrifty Thursday: The Captain and His Sea Monsters

Hey folks!  I'm going to try something new here on the blog called Thrifty Thursday, where I can share some of the neato things I pick up at thrift stores. I don't know about you, but I love a good thrift find! Especially stitchy goodies!  So today I wanted to share a pretty fab cross stitch I found recently.

Check out this amazing piece!  It's quite large as well.  I know it took a long time to stitch this design. The frame is a bit dingy, but the stitching is perfect. 

The poem says, "The captain hangs great bells to keep whales and monsters from his ship".

I love the details of the rope and what I'm assuming is the captain hard at work. 

I don't know what it is about this piece but I just had to have it.  It's so different, definitely not anything I would stitch for myself, but I love the details and sea creatures.  It's just a wonderful piece.  If you have any information about this design, please share. I'd love to find out more about it. 

Have you scored anything at the thrifts lately?  Do share!

Monday, July 21, 2014

An artsy/craftsy Blog Hop!

I was tagged by the lovely Sophie from Threadhead to join in on a crafty blog hop.  I just have to answer a few questions about my crafty habits and tag three other bloggers to play along.  I love this kinda thing, it's such a great way to 'meet' other artsy/craftsy bloggers. So here goes!

1.      What am I working on? Right now I’m working on some swap pieces so I can’t really show photographs for fear my partner will see.  It’s a Halloween swap so there’s lots of spookiness going on.  I am still working away on the Quilty Stitches and Gingerbread Lane as well….a bit behind but still plugging away!

Gingerbread Lane by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery

Quilty Stitches by Little Miss Shabby
 2.      How does my work differ from others of its genre? Honestly, I’ve been feeling lately a bit ho-hum about what I’ve been doing.  I’m not sure what it is….a creative rut maybe?  I’ve been doing a lot of cross stitch lately and I enjoy it but I really miss making my own things.  Not that there is any ‘wrong’ with stitching patterns.  I enjoy that very much and frankly, it’s what been keeping my needle moving.    Not to get too blah, but I’ve been feeling down about not having enough time for myself. I miss painting.  My easel has been packed away since my son was born. My sketchbook hasn’t been opened either.  I keep telling myself that I’m going to just do some small-scale mixed media works.  It will keep my creative juices flowing but having difficulty finding inspiration.  So for now, I will keep doing my patterns and swaps.  The swaps especially at least keep me making things and challenge my brain to come up with things for my partner.  I’ve missed swapping and so glad I’ve gotten back into it. But I miss painting and expressing myself in that way.

3.      Why do I create what I do? I am a maker.  I studied fine art in college focusing on fiber arts, painting and photography.  I love using my hands to make things.  I feel better when I’m creating something—whether it’s a painting or a holiday wreath.  I enjoy it immensely, especially when trying a new technique or trying to make something I’ve never made before.  Plus, it’s fun! 

4.      How does your creating process work? For my mixed-media pieces, I usually start with a story or a memory.  My work is usually auto-biographical.  I like to throw on bright colors of paint and then white wash over them and then layer more bright colors and white wash over them again. I love the effect it creates. I normally layer fabric and embroidered pieces on the canvas to create the full story.  I truly enjoy it. 
"A Place to Be" 2011

So I'm going to tag the following folks and see if they would like to play along. 
1. The amazing Olisa over at cocoa eyes the stitcher. She's an amazing artist and stitcher who does fascinating mixed media pieces with explosive and graphic quality.
2. QuirkieCraft--she does Ah-ma-zing embroideries.  Please go check her out.  I'm fairly new to her blog so I'd love to know a bit more about her!
3. Let's see if Bascom will play along.  He stitches amazing redwork, paints and welds.  He's a regular jack-of-all trades. 
And please remember to check out Sophie at Threadhead at the top. She's an amazing embroidery artist.  Thanks for tagging me!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Halloween in June: Raven Cross Stitch

In a previous post, I shared what I received from my partner in the Halloween in June swap.  Well she finally received what I made for her so now I can share it here.  She had some great inspirations and I went back and forth on what to make.  I knew I wanted to stitch her a hoop, but of what???  I finally settled on this raven cross stitch pattern because ravens were one of the things my partner mentioned that she likes and this was gothic and spook, but not gory.  I absolutely love how it turned out. 

The pattern is from the 2013 Just Cross Stitch Halloween edition.  It’s always chock full of awesome things to stitch. I stitched it on linen and I’ve really grown to like stitching on linen.  I like the end result of stitching on linen.

I made a few tweaks to the pattern because I didn’t have some of the Kreinik threads it called for.  I substituted a metallic gray for the feathers which is subtle but I like the effect. There was also a mask to make for the raven, but I didn't really like it so I didn't make it.

The background has these gorgeous oranges and reds that create a nice plaid pattern. I finished it off in a hoop, adding some glittery ribbon along the side and little bow on the top.  It definitely took me a lot longer to stitch than I though. I always underestimate cross stitch, you'd think I know by now!

So now I'm moving on to my next swap.  I'm keeping the Halloween spirit going with Mini 13 Days of Halloween swap.  I've got a lot of crafting to do for this one!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Halloween in June

I love Halloween!  It’s second only to Christmas as my absolute favorite holiday to decorate for.  I’ve been trying to add to my Halloween decorations as well and what’s a more perfect way of doing that than with a good ‘ol swap.  I joined in on the Halloween in June swap on Craftster to get my Halloween crafty juices oozing.  Here’s what I received from my fab partner!

 A creepy cute doll and a set of hand painted nesting dolls.  How fab!

The doll is really creepy cool.  She has button eyes and a ribcage exposed on her front. 

 I love the back where she used a doily.  It really adds a nice touch to the doll.

The nesting dolls are very cool as well.  She painted them with Halloween themes-haunted house with a spooky graveyard, a witch, a black cat, a jack-o-lantern a wee ghost.  I adore this. Such a great idea to repurpose old nesting dolls that may be a bit worse for wear.  

This swap is definitely getting me in the spooky mood. I'm ready for crisp, cool weather and sweet treats.  Stayed tuned for what I made for my partner.  It's still on it's way to Canada so I don't want to spoil the surprise.