Saturday, February 28, 2009

real quick...


...I wanted to post my finished punchneedle piece called Family by Erica Michaels. I punched this years ago, but never finish-finished it, and now I have! I like how it turned out. I wanted to keep it simple because my idea is to place this in the center of a wall and then get a picture of every person in our family to surround it. I think it'll look neat. I was even thinking about making all the photos in black and white or sepia - what do you think?

I used a reproduction cotton sheen fabric and cut it an inch larger than the mat board. Once I had that set I used Mod Podge to stick the Family in center. I bought that frame at Michaels for $3.00 and I didn't want or need the glass. As we all know, photos never do a piece any kind of justice, so please use your imagination. The fabric is also very soft to the touch.

Well, that's it for me. I'm off to sit in bed and watch an old classic 80's movie: Peggy Sue Got Married. I love this movie! This was one of the first movies that Jim Carrey was in; when Kathleen Turner was gorgeous, and Nicolas Cage was scrawny and nasely. LOL The movie makes me cry every time. Family is all we have, you know. How fitting for my piece, ugh? I didn't plan this, honest. :D

Goodnight!

Friday, February 27, 2009

finishing fridays

I haven't put in one stitch into Friday's rotation project which is Hallow's Eve Pillow by Stacy Nash (the night is still young and I'm an owl - HOOHOO). However, my last post was very productive and today I've been a tad bit more productive. I have two complete finishes. I am more than happy about these pieces! I'll start off small.

This is Twisted Oaks Designs Needle Nanny stitched with Dinky Dyes stitched over one. I stitched this at least a year ago and never assembled it. So today I just had to get it out and finish the sweet little thing. Normally I don't stitch things like this, but the subject hits home and my purchase of the kit benefits breast cancer research so what better reason is there. My MIL, Barbara, died of breast cancer after a 9 year struggle and journey. She passed away June 1, 2006 and things have not been the same without her. Ever since her death numerous changes have occurred and they continue to change. I, for one, quit smoking shortly after her death and haven't smoked since; not a puff ~ Nada! I'm not sure what it was, but her passing changed something in me and today I still can't put my finger on it. Maybe it has to do with watching someone die...Anyway, I had to finish this up. Besides, I bought it because of Barb. Okay enough heart-touching stuff...onto one of my favorites!



Sarah's ABC Pincushion (Thank you, Sarah Tobias booklet) - Blackbird Designs

I took several different photos. Some with flash, some without. This little gem is probably one of my favorite works I've done thus far, other than my mom's birthday present I made for her last year. I could not be happier on the way this long pillow turned out. I worked real hard at finishing this with as much perfection as I could muster. The seams are perfect and my measurements are to my liking because the design didn't call for additional quilt-like piecing and that's what I did ~ I thought outside the box! I had soooooooooo much fun machine sewing and assembling. There were a couple of times I had to stop and think about my direction, and I made a mistake once and had to bring out the trusty seam ripper, but I prevailed and alas this was my result. I took a piece of lacey material that I cut from an old place mat I had and attached it using a couple of vintage buttons. That old key belonged to my grandmother and I'm lucky to have it. I filled the pillow pincushion with corn cob bedding I purchased at the pet store. It is a good filler too!

Anyway, I am far behind in my post about last Saturday. I took 144 photos of our trip to the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga. I will eventually post snippets of that trip. (Don't worry ~ I won't post all 144 photos LOL!)

I have made a list, a giant list, of projects I'd like to get to. And I will in due time, but baby steps to the finish line. I have some really cute things I'd like to attempt and I'll post about those later on too. I'm leaving you now. Jose wants to watch a scary movie.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

i love being productive

Finishing
Cutting
Baking fabric
Coffee staining
Distressing
Ironing
Piecing
Gluing
Mod Podging
Measuring
Fabric sorting

"these are a few of my favorite things..." (this is my effort to sing like Julie Andrews -ahem!)

I have been pretty busy lately and I haven't posted in a couple days because of that. I wanted to have something worth posting so here it goes. I have been in a storm of craft supplies.

I finished 2 projects, yes 2 projects in one week. How's that for having a rotation and sticking to it?!?! I'm very pleased with myself. I even had time to do "extra" projects and I still have more to tackle. Yay!!!


I finished Sarah's ABC Pincushion Tuesday night. I changed Sarah Tobias to my own name (duh!) and stitched '09 at the end. I used a different silk than what was called for ~ I used Kelp by Waterlilies. It turned out really really pretty. The fabric behind the piece is what I am going to use to finish the pillow pincushion.

I finished Pig and Chicken by Hooked on Rugs. I may just frame these two but their fate hasn't been sealed just yet. This was punched on weaver's cloth using WDW and GAST.

Now that I have finished two projects this week, Tuesday and Wednesday are open for something new or something old to fill those days. I think I'll take one project from my WIP's basket and move it to rotation, and I'll start a new project for the remaining open day, even though I shouldn't. :o)

Other than that, I have been crafting up a storm in the last couple days, let me tell you! For the first time ever I took a stab at covering a paper box with fabric and then adorned the top with a punchneedle piece. The punchneedle piece was actually a mini rug design for a dollhouse, but I had other ideas. I even took my fabric-covered box even further and made a little stitchery word ("LOVE") using a piece of white felt and blanket stitching around the edge. I coffee stained the felt, sprayed distressing solution in the bowl, baked it for 5 minutes, pressed it with the iron for a few seconds, and applied it to the side of my box.


I am happy with the results overall. I used Mod Podge to apply the fabric and I used this tutorial to make it all happen. I think I'm going to add twisted cord around the rug edge to soften that up a bit. I used the same piece of fabric that came from the quilt I made my MIL, so the fabric has meaning. I have to give Beth credit for inspiring me to even attempt this project or else I would have never done so. Thanks, Beth!

This is the progress I'm making on the January Primitive Floss Tag by Annemiek (aka The Needle's Content). I dyed the fabric myself with walnut crystals. It's a cute little tag. I'm also waiting patiently for February's tag, but I know that Annemiek is very busy keeping shop and doing her thing. :o)

This is what came in the mail today.


From the Notforgotten Farm, obviously. This little charm is so teeny-tiny and sweet. I can't wait to wear it. I like it so much that I ordered the red saltbox house from Lori this evening.

I've done so much since Saturday. I ironed and planned out my Be Still piece ~ I'm thinkin' I'll lace it onto board instead of using tape. I finally decided the fate of my punchneedle piece Family, and I also went through all my fabric and have chosen a coordinating fabric for it to be mounted on and then framed. It is prim so I like it a lot. I've steamed and pressed all my pieces and are now awaiting Finishing Fridays. :D

I'm still working on re-organizing my crafting area and still there are shelves that need to come down in order for newer and bigger ones to go up. I'm in the process of revising my current rotation too. The rotation is still working, but I'd like to have more than one project per day, but not everyday; just a couple of days a week. Also, my mother and I are in a round robin together and we've chosen to work on Carriage House Samplings' Shores. She is almost done with the first block and I cannot wait to get my hands on this piece. I'll take photos once I receive it from my mom. And here is what I picked up from Market on Sunday.

It's late and I must head off to bed. G-night! Will post Saturday's adventure soon.

Monday, February 23, 2009

quick post!

Yesterday afternoon was my LNS's display from market. Me and mom went together and got some cool things, but that's not what this post is about ~ that'll come later. I have a MRI scheduled this morning for my neck and spine, but I had to show you some treasures I found at a local antique mall that we went to after market.

First up is this little framed painting. I think it speaks for itself. I am going to hang it in my bedroom. I just thought it was adorable.

Now for the really good stuff... I'm so excited to show everyone these next pieces. I'm giddy!

This was roughly the first thing I saw when I walked into the mall. It was a vintage Little Red Riding Hood doll....right? Oh no, she had a surprise up her dress (ahem...).

I flipped the red dress over her head and out came Grandma!!! Me and my mother's mouths dropped open in a split second. We were stunned and probably way too excited about this. We couldn't believe it. I immediately said "they are mine!" with conviction. I looked at the price and this treasure was only $20.00. Okay, I notice the reproduction fabric that is her, I'm sorry their dress, and was looking for a tag to help identify this doll further. I was so intrigued. All of a sudden, Grandma had something behind her. I lifted up her bonnet and turned her around and looked what popped out and almost bit me....

THE BIG BAD WOLF! At this point I think my heart skipped a beat and for sure this doll was MINE, ALL MINE!!!! I could not believe this. This doll and at only $20.00. SOLD! I am going to have to research this doll.

Next up, around the corner I went, down the aisle I traveled and what did my eyes appear, but a little dark grunge girl waiting for me. :D


My FIRST grungy doll. I scooped her up in a heart beat as well. There was no deciding on this - she was mine too. She is also dressed in Civil War reproduction fabric and she actually has writing on her apron that reads "never lose your little girl heart". Ahhh, to sweet! When I got home I thoroughly checked her out and found another label that reads 'Samantha's apron'. Not sure what this means, but I think I'll name her Samantha. She was $20.00 too.

Next up was this little gem of a dolly. This doll was only $10.00 and when I saw her I knew I had to have her as well. This doll is really precious because I can customize her. She has beautiful lacing around the collar and hem. She's even wearing bloomers underneath that can also be customized. There is so much I can do with her. I just hope I'm creative enough to give her a little more shine. I could cross stitch something on her or even embroider. I may attach buttons for eyes. We'll see.

Here are her bloomers. I haven't given her a name yet. I'll wait until she has more of an identity. Right now, she's my blank canvas.


This was another treasure that we saw right before seeing Little Red Riding Hood. It was $25.00 and it's aged, wooden and really darling. I had to have this too (what else is new - LOL). There are so many little things I could display on this shelf.

I also found some vintage lace strips, an embroidered wooden box top, quilted and crochet dollhouse accessories, even though I'm not into dollhouse, I thought I could implement these into some sort of project. Me and my mom found a couple things for Cameron and Jose. We got a wooden tic-tac-toe set for Jose. He loves Tic-Tac-Toe and will beat anyone. He knows the strategy in this game in order to win ~ thanks to dear mom! I found that old Fisher-Price record player that plays little records with children's music. I couldn't believe I saw this. It's missing 1 record but each record plays 2 songs so I wasn't disappointed considering how old this toy is. There are 3 records right now with it. He played and played with it when we got home.

Saturday me and ALL the boys had a family outing, but I'll post that and pictures later on. I have to get ready so I can meet my appointment, but I had to post these photos of my visit to the antique mall. Have a great morning!

Friday, February 20, 2009

finishing fridays

I have another finish for 2009! Thursday night I finished Be Still…a freebie by The Sampler Girl. I’ll probably frame it myself or get it framed by my LNS. I added my own personal touches. With one strand over one I back stitched the verse from the Bible under the word “God” and I put my initials and the year in the bottom left hand corner ~ both in matching DMC colors of the word and design. More than likely I am going to hang it by my side of the bed for that much needed “wake-up call" from God each morning. Thanks, Tanya, for thinking of me during this creation! I’ll never forget it.

28 ct Jobelan Sand Castle using called for DMC

This wall space will be Be Still's new home once I frame it ~ right under my Antique Wedding Sampler.

As of this morning I ordered the cutest pendant from Lori over at Farmhouse Notforgotten. It’s called Bluebird Love with Roses. It is so precious! I cannot wait to wear this proudly around my neck, or I could say, “Mr. Bluebird on my shoulder” but it isn’t a broach…or could it be!?! Lori is great to do business with and her artwork is just that; a-r-t-w-o-r-k. Go check out her Etsy shop. She has really lovely handmade items for sale. I AM going to get one of those dolls one of these days. Thank you, Lori, for such an easy and relaxing purchase!

Now that I have finished a cross stitch piece I need something to take Thursday’s rotation place. Now…let’s see….what shall that be? I know! Two years ago me and mom signed up for an ornament club through Mimi’s Attic. We chose any of the ornaments we’d like to stitch, pay a little bit of mullah, submit the order to Mimi’s Attic, and she kits those ornaments and sends them your way. You don’t need the chart because more than likely you have the JCS Ornament issue for that year.

With that being said, I ordered 2007 ornaments awhile back (well obviously – it’s 2009 now – ah!) and wanted 5 from that issue. I need to stitch up an ornament and what better time than to add it to my current rotation now. Sounds only fair, right! LOL I’m going to stitch Winter Love by SamSarah. It’s really sweet ~ one snowman and one snowwoman hugging. Very cute! I’ll start on this next week.

I have decided to name all Fridays “finishing fridays.” I don’t intend to finish-finish every project or even one project; even though that would be nice. No, I’m going to at least make Friday a day that I begin a project to get it finished. I think this will be fun and encouraging. I have many of the supplies on-hand to begin and today is the day. I punched a design by Erica Michaels called Family years ago. It was one of the first punchneedle designs I attempted. I’ve had it punched all this time but never knowing how to finish it it’s been stuck in my “Needs Finishing” container. After looking at my punchneedle books (I own 3 and need more) I finally stumbled onto something. Here’s what my “Family” looks like all punched up but no place to call home yet.



I also have another punchneedle piece all punched and ready to be finished. I already had the finishing idea, supplies and fabric to use. I had every intention of covering a paper/cardboard circular box I bought from Michael’s some years ago and had a sweet little fabric to cover it with and then apply the punchneedle on the lid, but I haven’t gotten around to it. I just recently bought Mod Podge so now I can get started. Whew! What has been wrong with me?!?!

I’m just relieved that thoughts are flooding in with respect to finishing. I have a lot of YOU to thank ~ you are all so inspiring! YOU really uncover buried creativity. Thanks YOU!!!

I have the sweetest baby, I think! He’s very affectionate and loving at such a young young age. Here’s a small video of a special ‘Cameron and Mama moment’. Click 'play' to begin…

video

I had this post all ready to send when I had to leave to pick up Jose from chess club. On my way home I stopped at my LNS to get a few things. I decided to try another punchneedle and purchased the Cameo needle. I have heard quite the rave on this needle. I've been using the Igolochkoy Russian punchneedle for years now. In fact, this is the needle I learned to punch with. I checked the mail this afternoon and boom! There was a pleasant surprise from my very thoughtful Aunt Pam. As a 'just because' gift she bought me a subscription to the Love of Quilt magazine. I am completely surprised and extremely excited to get this magazine. This is my first subscription to a quilt magazine and I cannot wait to get more. I'll think of my Aunt every time I receive one and it'll make me smile. Thank you, Aunt Pam! I love you!

Contents of the photo are the magazine my aunt bought me, and the items I picked up from my LNS were the Cameo punchneedle, green and purple weaver's cloth, linen banding, 32 ct black Belfast, vintage buttons, and the golden frame was only a $1.00. I'm going to mess the frame up a bit and use it for Be Still.

My rotation piece for today was Hallow's Eve by Stacy Nash, but I haven't even picked up a needle yet today and it's almost 9:30 p.m. Have a good night everyone! Hope to post something tomorrow.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

got fabric!?

The last couple days have been all about fabric, fabric, and more fabric which is quite the change for me. Normally I would putter around for cross stitching, but this time has been spent at two fabric/quilting shops. We've also had some really wacky weather. Tuesday it was wet and cold and yesterday it was bright and sunny with the high of 75 degrees. A really nice day to be fabric shopping, in my humble opinion. :o) But today it's freezing outside. We had some stupid cold blast come through last night. I am ready for spring!

Tuesday I visited a never-seen-before (for me) quilt shop with my mom and Cameron. The Quilter’s Attic was truly a quilt shop and it was nice being there (it would have been better without Cameron in tow). Everything was organized and stashed so beautifully. They had a nice, but rather narrow supply of Civil War reproduction fabrics available, but I still came out with some. I especially found a piece of finishing fabric that’ll work wonderfully for Sarah Tobias Pincushion (aka my pincushion) by Blackbird Designs. I am just about done stitching this up and I cannot wait to introduce the fabric to the piece.

The fabric at the top left is the fabric I'm using to finish the pincushion.

I love this sampler style fabric in the beige. I must have been on a blue fabric kick. Not intentionally though.

Here is that beige sampler style fabric unfolded. So, so adorable.

Such a neat little verse. This is actually called The Water's Edge by Blackbird Designs.

My other adventure was yesterday afternoon. First I had lunch with a high school buddy of mine and afterwards went by the Stitcher’s Garden (no website) which is a fabric shop and they have a ton of bolts of fabric. Twelve-thousand (12,000) to be exact! They just recently relocated to a much bigger and much needed space. I walked in and was in heaven! Ahhhhhhhh… They are still organizing so things are still strewn all over, but they are making excellent progress. Once the shelves are completely put up the bolts will be off the floor. Most are displayed, but all the Civil War reproductions were basically on the floor and they were difficult to examine thoroughly. However, I DID come out with some pretty pieces of fabric from that collection and two ¼ yards of the 1930’s reproductions which are really cute.

I absolutely love all this Civil War fabric ~ so lovely!

The green scissor fabric and baby blue circus fabric are 1930's reproduction. Not sure what I'll use the scissor fabric for, but I have the circus fabric in mind for something...I'm still brainstorming.

Everyone knows by now that I have a good relationship with my Aunt Pam and of course I had to call her while I was shopping around the reproduction fabrics. Okay, I did make her a little jealous and that wasn’t my intent, but I had to tell her where I was. She lives in Ohio and hasn’t been to Stitcher’s Garden in quite a few years. I gave her play-by-play of the layout. She was "oooohhhhhhhing" and "ahhhhhhhing" over my comments and descriptions. Hopefully she’ll get to make that trip down here. I would love to sit among the bolts of fabric with dear Aunt Pam.

It has been a week and a half and I’m still crackin’ away on my current rotation. I have actually stayed true to my list. I love it! I anticipate each day and that leaves me feeling fulfilled with ALL my projects. I’m getting soooo close to finishing at least 2 in the next week and I’m content over that mere thought. Wednesday I punched away on my Pig and Chicken by Hooked on Rugs. I'm just about done with them. I’m getting so close that I can almost smell the pork and taste the poultry. Yum!

I'm a mouse! I love cheese ~ munch munch!

We're not sure why he does this, but for some odd reason he likes to eat slices of cheese "in" the fridge.

Cameron getting into my jewelry and make up drawers.

Where's Cameron? -------------------- Here I am!!!

Aside from stitching and crafting until my heart's content, I have so much to do. I have to catch up on the housework. I need to dust something terrible and mop the floors. Glass needs Windex as well. Maybe I'll set up a current rotation for my cleaning duties. Heyyyyyyyyyyyy....that is a good idea! However, I'll leave one day of rest just for me! I'll have a very clean and organized home and all the stitching time I'd ever want. Sounds like I might be getting things in order around here very shortly. Whew!!!!

Back to my coffee, and oh yeah, today is Thursday which means I'll be working on Be Still...by The Sampler Girl. Have a beautiful day everyone!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

the day after

It's Sunday night and I've worked on my designated-day rotation project off and on, along with last minute laundry; and since I cannot show off my Sunday piece because it is a gift for an admiring pair of eyes, I can only give you a ~*hint hint*~ peek.

Waterlilies silk ~ floss used in "secret" project

Piece intentionally blurred

Today was a lazy and quiet day. DH went out to a gun show and was nice enough to go Krogering on his way home (he is a fine fine husband, isn't he?). He picked up quite the young bird for us to eat this chilly and cloudy evening. We had rice and buttered bread with our little chicken.

Before

2 hours later ~ yum yum

The boys have been busy playing independently as well as a team. As most 11 year old boys do, Jose had been in his room most of the day playing video games, with a periodic peek into the rest of the house to see what we were up to. He did manage one chore which was to clean up the dogs' business from the yard and afterwards he fed our beasts (dogs). Here were the boys earlier today playing together.

Cameron really isn't playing...but he thinks he is! LOL

Cameron always has a watchful eye on his big brother. Cameron wants to mimic and copy every single step and move Jose makes. He's watching Jose push the buttons and shift the knobs on the controller. What's funny is that when Jose is at school I have to keep his door closed bc Cameron will surely get into trouble in big brother's room. However, there are times I have to get in there for laundry and pick up and Cameron will immediately grab a remote, turn the TV on, and power on the Xbox 360, Wii, Xbox, Playstation II; you name it Cameron turns it on and starts pushing buttons and shifting knobs...just like big brother! He stands way too close to the TV though.

Monday I have a doctor's appointment with a new neck and spine surgeon. To make a really looooooong story short, I've had chronic back pain for 8 years. I've had all medical makeup work I can possibly have and I've undergone all types of procedures and tests. I've had plenty of diagnosis, but nothing anyone can do about it. I've had to learn pain management and adjust my life accordingly. The only thing my body hasn't gone through with respect to neck and spine is surgery. Lately I have been experiencing the same symptoms as in previous years, but also new ones. Maybe THIS doctor will have the cure once and for all. I'm just hoping that maybe one day in my lifetime there will be something that'll help me.

Tuesday is going to be a much better day - hooray!!! Me and my mother, with Cameron in tow, are going to a quilt store that we've never been to called The Quilter's Attic. I am looking soooo forward to this outing. It's going to be so nice to visit a new store. I've lived here since 1993 and never have I been to this place. Sad, yes, I know ~ you can make fun. I won't hate you! LOL

Here is some tub time with Cameron. He loves loves loves taking baths!


Hey...who's down there?!?!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

thur and fri

Thursday:

I received that beautiful appliquéd quilt from my Aunt Pam. Thank you, everyone, for the thoughtful comments on my aunt’s quilt. I so appreciate them and I know she does as well.

I threaded the bobbin on my sewing machine. I made quite the mess with that. I don’t use my sewing machine as much as some and I needed a refresher course so I turned to my handy Viking sewing machine instruction manual for assistance – it worked! Now I’m all ready to go.


In the evening, I worked on primitivebettys Hallow’s Eve design. All I have left before finishing it is whip stitch the back to the front. I stitched this right around Halloween, but never got around to finish-finishing it (if that makes sense). Finally, I started piecing together the three different swatches of fabric. I’m still not sure what it’ll become. I know it isn’t getting framed. So far, I spent 2 hours working on it and I had lots of fun, and had lots of needle pokes too. Ouch! I also noticed that I have a stitching mistake, but it’s too late to repair – those pesky frogs aren’t going to bother me with this one. I’ve learned to just accept such mistakes.

video

Here’s a video (above) of Jose and Cameron being oh sooooooo silly Thursday evening before bed. Cameron thought it quite funny to yell and scream after Jose said, “Get up!”. At times Cameron acted like a fish out of water. Silly boys!!

At night, I stitched on Be Still by The Sampler Girl. I watched Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I had not seen it before. Really really good! Those kids are maturing and growing up fast, aren’t they? The character of Ron is simply adorable. He’s my favorite…"bloody hell!" - LOL

Friday:

Here’s a photo of Cameron right before we left for his Nana’s house. He is pretending to be daddy. He had the laptop, daddy’s cell phone, a calculator (daddy doesn’t use that) and the remote control for our DVD player. Mr. Cameron thought he was pretty cool.

Me and Cameron went to my mom’s and got there extra early. She lives 45 minutes away from my home so it’s best to get there at the crack of dawn (not really that early, but might as well have been). My mom surprised me with a little something. Well, not really little; BIG actually! Check out my new scissors. Heehee I can't wait to hang these in my craft area!



Cameron is playing with the spice drawer. He loves organizing things…ah, a man after my own heart! He had a grand time playing with all this stuff.

Friday’s stitching was on Hallow’s Eve Pillow by Stacy Nash. This is more than half way stitched so hopefully I’ll get it stitched up by next Friday. Here’s to hoping!!! Here's the progress on this one.

Today is Saturday which means my biggest rotation project of all; Ages of Man by Long Dog Sampler. Here (scroll down quite a bit to see photo of LDS) is where I am currently with this design.

DH and I are going out for Valentine’s Day this evening. Mom is watching the boys and we’re going to eat a sushi bar for dinner. It’ll be nice being alone together.

Have a wonderful day everyone!