Sunday, February 26, 2012

Good enough to eat

As a continuation from this post, I finished the Hot Fudge Sundae pattern from this pattern set and man it looks good enough to eat! 

I had thought about going into more detail with these patterns, filling them with stitches, but I'm liking the simplicity of just having the outline for now. 

I don't know about you but I'm really craving a hot fudge sundae right now...I'm just going to blame it on pregnancy brain!

 I've also made some (slow) progress on this large cross stitch project.  It's definitely slow-going and I may not finish it before baby gets here but I'm just going to keep working on it because I just love this pattern.  I've also realized that the folks that designed this chart are from Alaska!  That makes me want to finish it even more because of the time hubby and I spent there (it's where we met!) and we will definitely take our boy there some day.  It's a truly magical place. I looked them up online and you can find this chart here!  I would also love to do this chart of Alaskan wild animals!

I hope you all have a wonderful week.  I'm just going to keep stitching away!  

Friday, February 24, 2012

Etsy faves: Onesies

I find myself scouring for super awesome Onesies now that I'm expecting  There is no shortage of awesomeness, that's for sure.  Here's just a few favorites I found in my search.

'whoo-black-bodysuit' by pigeoncameradesigns
"Baby Ruth" by feistybabies
"Han Solo- Who's Scruffy Looking?" by katyndzucchini
"Are you ready for the Zombie Apocalypse?" by feistybabies

"Victorian Strong Man" by ChiTownBoutique
"I find this Humerus" by Vicariousclothing
"Hand embroidered Mom tattoo: by sweetteasundries
"Van Damme" by aflow01 (hubby would love this one)
"Frida Kahlo" by CustomKingdom
I guess that's enough for now.  I've definitely been inspired to maybe make a few for my little man.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Miss Kitty's going to a party

This distinguished feline is Miss Kitty.  She's on her way to a fancy party. 

 This is another great Ryan Berkley pattern from Sublime Stitching.  You may remember her pal, Mr. Robin from this post.

 I wanted her to look like my Maggie so I stitched her up in gray.  This piece is mine all mine and now hanging beside my computer so I can look at it every day.

 I love her fancy flowers in her head and on her jacket.

 She's definitely ready for her close-up.

If you'd like to check out some of Ryan Berkley's illustrations, please go to the shop.  You can even find the original cat drawing that, I would assume to be the basis of the embroidery pattern.  It's really fun stuff.  (Also I'm pretty much in love with the Sea Otter print.  Other than cats, otters are my favorite animals!) 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

BOOK: Storied Stitches: Quilts and Coverlets of the Smokies

I bought this book on our trip to the mountains last year.  I found it in the Smoky Mountain NP Visitor Center.  It's a great little book detailing some wonderful history of handmade items that were produced in the area.  I thought I'd share a bit of it because it was quite fascinating to me. This is an excerpt from the introduction; "People in the Great Smoky Mountains certainly knew thin times.  But no matter how threadbare things might have gotten, they always thick bedcovers to keep them warm at night.  Quilts and coverlets made by hand wee part of almost every mountain home."

Quilted cushion and doll quilt.
The quilt examples in the book are quite stunning.  You can definitely see the work that was put into them.  It mentions several women, but the Walker sisters in particular are pretty interesting.  They fought hard to be able to stay on their land.  Most of the people in the area were kicked off so the national park could be established.  They, however, were granted a lifelong lease to remain on their land.  There were well-known quilters (and pretty tough broads). 

The Walker sister's treadle machine
A young girl at a loom-1930
 The old photographs are so fascinating to me.  Documenting the lives of these women and the hard work they did.  I can only imagine the work that went into their every day lives.

Master weaver Karen George showing the technique of finger weaving. I"d love to learn to do this!
The coverlets discussed in the book are also quite stunning.   It also discusses weaving that was done by the Native Americans of the area.   The intricate patterns and the amazing colors that can be created are so beautiful.  I've done some loom weaving in college and I know it's a lot of work!

A woman and her boys working the dye pot--1920s.
 Most of these women had to make everything they used.  So to make a piece of fabric for a coverlet you had to do a lot of work; gathering and preparing the fiber, spinning it into thread, dying the thread and then weaving it into a piece of fabric. Amazing really.
Fanny and Zillah Wilson piece fabric together for a quilt--1933
I'm so glad I picked up this book.  It's a great look into the past and has beautiful pictures and stories of these amazing women.  It's so important to preserve this history.  At the end of the book, you'll even find six traditional quilt patterns like Log Cabin and Tulip to try for yourself.  If you're interested in getting yourself a copy of this, you can find it here.  I would recommend it if you are interested in the history. You definitely gain some perspective on how hard people had to work.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Goals for the year

Yes I know it's already mid-February, but I really wanted to post my goals for the year.  I think it's important to write these sorts of things down so I can really take a hard look at them and be accountable for staying on target.  I really don't structure my life in such a regimented way, so most of these are more of a guideline--things I hope to achieve for my own well being. 

Creative Goals

*Produce more art work throughout the year--perhaps smaller scale works (I realized that last year I only produced one painting, so maybe working on a smaller scale will help me be more productive)
*Stitch a little everyday (so far so good on this--I've been stitching like crazy!)
*Try to work on at least 2 larger scale cross stitch projects.  (I think the one I'm starting for the baby will be a good start!)
*Make meaningful gifts for people-especially for holidays and birthdays---and start early! I never seem to give myself enough time when making things for other people and end us rushing at the last minute. 
*Use what I have---try not to buy any supplies unless absolutely necessary.  So far so good on this one also.  I recently reorganized all of my art/craft supplies (because baby will have to share the room with all my stuff).  I now know what I really have and where to look when I need something.  Everything I've made so far this year has been made using what I already have--patterns, fabric etc.(with the exception of the dessert of the month club patterns which I just couldn't resist)
*Make things for the baby.  I'm not talking about making all of his clothes or anything like that.  That will never happen.  But I want to make special things for him which will hopefully turn into a love for handmade and unique items.  I'm not so totally against mass produced items either, but I definitely want there to be a balance.  I'm off to a great start with the things I've made for the walls for his room!

Personal Goals

*Read at least 5 books that I already have. Do not buy a book until I have read those 5.  This goes along with using what I already have.  
*Read baby/parenting books.   I have rad several baby books already and have some parenting books that were given to me, so now I just need to make the time to read them.  This is important to me because I want to have a lot of information and then pick and choose what information I use with our child.
*Work on eating healthier, focusing on more organic foods.  We do OK with this but cold definitely do better.  It's become so important to me that the things I put in my body be good and good for me.  Organic foods (especially meats and dairy) often taste much better and I know they are good for me.  Being on a budget is hard, so buying organic foods that we eat a lot of is one way to get better at this. We also need to frequent the local farmer's markets more often.
*Thoroughly clean the apartment before the baby is born.  This also means organizing things so we know where stuff is. 
*Spend quality time with my hubby.  We often get trapped in our day-today so I want to make an effort to make some time for us.

Goals for baby boy

*Read to him often.  Start building a library for him to stimulate this. I want to him to be a voracious reader.  I read a lot when I was a kid, so starting him on books early will hopefully give him a thirst for it, too. (the above picture are some I've gotten so far from my mom!)
*Focus on good nutrition.  This echoes my personal goal but I wanted to write it out separately so I would stay on top of this. 
*Provide a happy atmosphere for him to live in.  Seems simple but I thought I'd write it down anyway, just in case things get tough around here. 
* Make time to spend outdoors with him.  This is VERY important to me.  I don't care if it's going to a local park or taking overnight camping trips.  I feel it's very important for a child to spend quality time outdoors. Plus we call can use the fresh air.
*Help him and Maggie bond.  I'm a little worried about how kitty will react to him, so I'm going to my best to help them become best buds.  I think it will be very important, and I'm sure I'll need reminding, to not let Maggie feel left out in anyway.

OK it's out there.  Looking over these lists, it seems like a lot but also doable.  These are things I can certainly do and maintain.  Do you make goals for yourself?  Do you write them down or just keep track of them in your head?  I will revisit this about mid-year to see if things are track. 
 'Til next time dear friends!

Monday, February 20, 2012

The start of something sweet

As part of my 'get stuff stitched that I've been wanting to stitch for a while--before the baby comes' are these patterns of sweet treats from Aunt Martha's--Death By Chocolate.  I want to do most of them and hang them in my kitchen. I've started with the cupcakes.  

My plan is to use fun, bright colors with the red being a color represented in all of the pieces.  

Don't they look good enough to eat?

Next I'm working on the hot fudge sundae---yummy.

I also want to start on this large cross stitch--you can see it's yet another thrift score for a whopping quarter.  I think this will go so well with all the other pieces I've made for the baby's room!  So all of this combined with working and getting the baby's nook ready I'm staying pretty busy.  

In other news:  My Mr. Robin piece was mentioned in a blog post from &Stitches!  How exciting!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Valentine Swap--what I made

I'm finally getting around to posting what I made for Floresita for our little Valentine's swap.  I stitched up a couple things that I think are super cute.  

 This little "Be Mine" cross stitch that I turned into a magnet.  The pattern is from one of my thrift store finds--a collection of small charts for holidays.

 This sweet little rabbit stitched up some blue striped fabric.  I really like the contract between the stripes and the bright red thread.

Simple shape but big impact--at least I think so.  The pattern came from the Super Colossal Iron-on Transfer Book that I've mentioned here.  Another one of my awesome thrift store finds. 

In other news: The baby is so active!  He has these periods of movements throughout the day and he is really flipping around in there!  It's is such an amazing feeling--like a little hello from him to let me know he's in there.  I am 22 weeks now--over the half-way mark!  
Kitty Maggie was really sick this past week with a bad tummy.  We took our first-ever trip to the emergency vet.  I sure hope it's our last--that was so stressful. But she's feeling better now and back to her old self.

I guess that's about it for now--'til next time!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

I thought I'd celebrate Valentine's Day by showing you all what I received in a stitchy Valentine Swap!  My partner was the wonderful Floresita!  Just check out the loot!

 A lovely embroidery and a load of candy--yummo. Oh and a super cute robot Valentine.

This is oxytocin--the molecule of love. How fitting huh?

I adore this piece.  I've said it before and I'll say it again--I love craft swaps!  Get to know Flor here and here.  She also does awesome posts on Feeling Stitchy.  She really is the Bee's Knees!

I hope you all have a wonderful day filled with love and chocolate!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Took long enough

I'm embarrassed to say that I started this piece over two years ago with the full intention of making for a wine-loving friend.  I just finished it.  It's not like it was that difficult of a pattern or anything--and I really just needed to finish the border.  But it's done now and all ready for my friend's birthday. 

It's a Dolly Mama's kit that I got on clearance at Michael's. I did find it online here if you're interested.

I liked the fun colors and it was a fairly east stitch! I can't believe I waited so long to finish it.  It just a needs a frame.

Do you find that you put projects away for whatever reason and then wonder why the heck you didn't just finish it in the first place?  I'm not sure what that's all about but I vow to always finish what I started.            Oh who am I kidding!  ; )

'Til next time!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

February: Dessert of the month

This adorable little bugger is the pattern for February's Dessert of the Month club from The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery.  Um--hello--are you seeing the cuteness??

It's a devilishly cute devils food cake.

 I added some red to his mouth because I thought it was getting a bit lost amongst the brown.

Here he is hanging out with the January truffle, just waiting to see what March brings!  I can't wait!  You can still join in the fun here!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Woodland stitches part 2

Well folks, I finally got around to getting the last of the woodland forest stitches in hoops and ready for the baby.  I just adore them.  I can't wait until we get his crib and his little part of the world ready for him.  So here they are!

 The sun and moon patterns are from here.  I thought this would be a nice touch to go with the forest theme.  

 Super sweet owl pattern from here. I wanted to make these super colorful and fun. 

 And just look at that cute. 

 I just had to do a frog and I just couldn't resist this pattern with the frog on the mushrooms from here.

 Last but not least, a raccoon and a little mouse.  I think I may add a little something else to this one in the bottom left corner--perhaps a little mushroom or something like that.

 The mouse pattern is here.  Look at him all dressed up in his bow tie!

This little critter is so cute.  I just had to include a raccoon--a woodland forest is not complete without a raccoon.  Pattern is here.

So that's all done.  Once we get everything set up I'll get a photo of how they all look hanging together.  I can't wait to see it come together!
'Til next time!