Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Cross Stitch Crazy Challenge 2015

So my pal Connie, said she was going to do some sort of cross stitch challenge and I was very intrigued, so after investigating further and joining the facebook group, I decided to join in!  Call me crazy!  In this challenge, you choose 15 different cross stitch designs and starting on January 1st, you start a new design each day through the 15th.  You then work on those 15 pieces throughout the year, hopefully finishing most of them.  You can include some WIPs, which I did, but most for me are new starts.  I am actually very excited about this challenge.  I like the idea of having a bunch of things started so that you’ve got many options to pull from throughout the year.  I actually decided on 18 projects because a couple of my WIPs are so close to being done.  So here’s my list!

WIPs: There are the works in progress I’m including
1.      “Christmas on Gingerbread Lane” by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery (gotta get this one done!)
2.      “12 Days of Christmas” by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery (this one is closed to being done!)
3.      “Early Witches” by The Primitive Hare (this is barely started)
4.      “Whacky Witches” by CloudsFactory
5.      “Quilty Stitches” by Little Miss Shabby

These will be my brand new starts.  It was hard to decide what to do!
6.      “Sleepy Hollow” by Glendon Place
7.      “Crypt Club” by Prairie Moon (sad to see them no longer making patterns--will snap a photo later)
8.      “Once Upon a Time” by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery
9.      “Autumn Sampler” by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery
10.   “Woodland Sampler” by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery
11.   “Adventure Time” by Wee Little Stitches
12.   “The Goonies” by Wee Little Stitches
13.   “The Doctors” by Wee Little Stitches
14.   “Gnome for the Holidays” from the December 2014 issue of Just Cross Stitch (the cover design)
15.   “Autumn Delights” from the November 2013 issue of Cross Stitch and Needlework (will snap a photo later)
16.   “Something Wicked” by Samsarah
17.   “Scared Silly” by Birds of a Feather
18.   “Liberty Sampler” by Lizzie Kate
Phew.  I’m a little overwhelmed looking at this list but I think this will be a lot of fun.  I’ve got a good selection of easier and quicker designs and more detailed designs.  So we’ll see how it goes. 
I’ve actually got a few more plans for next year as well.  I’ve signed up for “Wednesdays We Stitch Black” which is  yearly stitch-a-long by The Primitive Hare.  I really want to keep up with this and stitch the monthly patterns.  I also plan to stitch small pieces at work, most likely ornaments.  I worked on Gingerbread Lane pretty much all year during lunch and got so bored with it because having only 30 minutes at lunch to work at a time was not enough to see good progress.  So I’ve decided to work on small pieces during lunch and hopefully get a good amount of things completed.  I’ve got a few more monthly groups I’m in on facebook and I’m just going to try to my best to stitch those as they come.  I’m not going to beat myself up too much over those.  I hope to throw in a little embroidery and maybe a couple swaps too! 
Do you make crafty plans for the year?

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Halloween Countdown: Halloween Town and a Witch

Hiya friends!  I hope you've been enjoying the Halloween Craft countdown.  I haven’t been able to post daily, but hey—that’s OK. Today I’m sharing two more finished cross stitch pieces...just in time for Halloween!   First up...I have finished “Halloween Town” by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery

  This pattern was really fun to work on.  The little characters and bats and owls are just too cute and I loved the colors they chose and am so glad I chose to use the hand-dyed floss and fabric. The fabric is 28 count “Haunted” from Picture This Plus. 

I’m not sure how I want to finish this one off yet.  I’m not think I want to just frame it and thinking a pillow may be super cute.  So we’ll see.  It may not get put together until next Halloween.  ;)

Next up, is a witch ornament.

This was a quick stitch that I made for a my pal Tara.  It’s really nice to do small projects in between working on larger pieces.  It makes me feel like I actually finished something from time to time! 

 I worked on this for a couple of evenings including making it into an ornament, so not bad at all.  The pattern is by The Prairie Schooler and is in the 2013 Just Cross Stitch Halloween edition.  I changed the colors a bit to use what I had on hand.  It was fun to work on!  I really want to make more ornaments so I can get a larger Halloween tree going.  I've seen such pretty ones on Pinterest!  

Well friends!  Tomorrow is the big day!  

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Halloween Countdown: Gypsy Fortune Teller

Today I'm sharing the last piece I made for the 13 Days of Halloween swap.  I was very proud that I made 12 out of the 13 things I sent to my partner.  So last but not least, I embroidered this pillow of a lovely fortune teller.

You can find the pattern here, part of the Gypsy Magic pattern set from Colonial Patterns. It's a gorgeous pattern and was fun to stitch.  

I used a pretty variegated floss for her hair.  It has dark blues and purples.  

I used a multi-colored metallic for her bracelets.  It really sparkles!

I loved the little sun, moon and stars on the crystal ball pedestal.  A nice touch.

I'm so pleased with how she turned out.  The pattern has such wonderful details and it was fun to pick out different threads including variegated and metallics. She can tell my fortune any time!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Halloween Countdown: Witchy Tea Thyme

Hi all!  I'm back with another finished cross stitch piece!  I made this for my pal Lisa for a little Halloween swap! She's a tea lover and in looking through my patterns and magazines I came across this one and just knew it was perfect!

The pattern is 'Witchy Tea Thyme' by The Primitive Hare and you can find it in this year's Just Cross Stitch Halloween edition.   Look at those ladies drinking tea and eating cake!  How fun.  I love it and it was fun to stitch it.

They are having a grand 'ol time!

I used DMC 4126 instead of what the pattern called for.  It's a lovely variegated with yellow, orange and green that I think looks great and brightens up the black so well.

So another finish!  I'm feeling very good about the things I've completed lately, particularly the cross stitch pieces.  They take such a long time, I get a real sense of accomplishment when I finish a large piece. 

 I hope you're getting in the Halloween mood!  Just over a week to go to get your spook on!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Halloween Countdown: Vintage Cat Cross Stitch

Today I’m sharing a cross stitched ornament that I made for the OTT Ocotber Holidays swap. My fab partner had a lot of vintage black cats in her faves so I thought that would be the perfect thing to make for her.   I remembered that I had a cross stitch pattern in my stash with a black cat image so I dug through my stuff and found it and it was perfect!  It was a small pattern which fit the requirements of the OTT swap, OTT meaning One Tiny Thing.

The pattern is another thrift store score and is made by Stitches from the Heartland and I stitched it on some scrap linen I had. I decided to turn it into an ornament.  It was a fun, quick stitch and my partner seemed to really like it. 

I’m doing one more Halloween swap and then I hope to be able to finish the two WIPs I’ve been working on: Primitive Hare’s “Early Witches” and The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery’s “Halloween Town.”  I may not finish by Halloween but that’s ok.  There’s all year to work on Halloween stitching!   But I would like to finish Gingerbread lane in time for Christmas, so we’ll see!  

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Halloween Countdown: Frankenstein Cross Stitch

I have been wanting to share this cross stitch with you all for SOOOO long now!!  That’s how much I love it.  Once again, I made this for my partner in the Mini 13 Days of Halloween Swap on Craftster. She’s a big Frankenstein fan so I knew I wanted to stitch some sort of Frankenstein for her so I dug through my stash of cross stitch booklets and patterns and decided on this one.  

 It’s from Stoney Creek Collection’s “Witches Stitches” booklet # 284 and the pattern itself is titled “Hello Monsters”.  The pattern also had a haunted tree, a jack-o-lantern and the words Hello Monsters.  It’s a seriously huge pattern.  I only stitched the Frank part and he took so long that I can’t imagine stitching the whole pattern!  But he was worth the work because he turned out great! 

 This was definitely a tough stitch.  The way the colors change throughout the piece to create the shading got confusing many times and I got off count and would have to frog and re-stitch.  I began stitching small sections at a time which helped tremendously!  It may have only been four shades of green, but it was still tough.  

I think he looks great though.  He’s got a little smile on his face and I love his snarled fingers.  I’m so very pleased with this piece and glad I had the chance to stitch it---all thanks to my awesome partner!

Here he is all framed up!  I love this frame I found! (I always struggle photographing glass--ugh)

I'm totally in love with this piece.  It was a monstrous challenge!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Halloween Countdown: Spooky Glam Wreath

Today I’m sharing a Halloween wreath I made for my partner in the Mini 13 Days of Halloween Swap. I love making wreaths! It’s a great way to use bits and bobs from your craft stash. This one is a little bit spooky and a little bit glamorous.

I wrapped some lacy ribbon around a straw wreath form to cover it completely. Then I wrapped some black eyelash yarn around it which added some great texture. I then started layering on things to see what worked. I began with some fake spider webbing and stretched it across the top of the wreath. 

 I didn't want to overdo it, just wanted it to be a little bit spooky. I then made a little banner from some burlap ribbon I had and stitched the word “BOO” using some chunky yarn I had on hand.

 Then I added a some small metal flowers I had in my stash to anchor the webbing and banner. I added a large paper flower and a “P” for my partners last name which I coated in some lovely aqua flaked glitter.

I’m so pleased with the result.  I hope it helps to spook up my partner’s place for many years to come!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Halloween Countdown: Spooky Shadowbox

Today I’m sharing yet another piece I made for my partner in the Mini 13 days of Halloween Swap….this little shadowbox.

Now this is only the second shadowbox I’ve ever made and man was it fun and another great way to use up your bits, bobs and doodads you accumulate over the years!  I had the box in my stash for a while now.  It’s about 3”x3”x1” and was unfinished wood so the first thing I did was paint it black. Then I glued down some scrapbook paper in the back of the box as a base to build the piece.

Then I just gathered things I thought may look good in the box and started playing around. That’s the fun part. Some of the things I used I had in my stash but some things, like the little pumpkinhead figure, I bought in the sticker aisle.  Can you believe the stickers they come out with these days?  A far cry from the old scratch-n-sniff ones from when I was a kid.   I glued the pumpkinhead to a wooden spool so he would stand up better and added a little key in his hand.

Then I just picked other things to add that I thought would complete the scene. A jeweled moon with a black crow and a little star.

A robin’s egg perched on a thimble and some eyelash yarn along the bottom for some texture.  A fun, little moonlight scene.

I completed the outside by adding a large key to echo the small key inside the box and then added a little banner (also from the sticker aisle!) along the bottom, topped with  a little silver pipe cleaner.  I also added a little lace along the side of the box.  I attached a hanger on the back so it can be hung on the wall.

I’m totally in love with this little shadowbox.  I had a hard time parting with it.  I will certainly be making one for myself someday.