Sunday, December 20, 2009


Snowflake Ornament

I gave this snowflake ornament to my mother last year. She especially liked the shine of the beads and the metallics.

Small Octagon Snowflake by xstitchhappy
32 ct white linen (over 2)
DMC rayon, cotton, metallic floss

Since she liked it so much I decided to stitch a companion piece and she LOVED it! (Yes, I gave it to her a couple of weeks ago.)

Let It Snow by Olenka’s Stitches Designs
14ct light blue Aida
DMC cotton and metallic floss

I prefer working on linen but since I needed to get this stitched and delivered in a hurry, I had to work with fabric that I had. In this case, it was Aida 14 – the only blue fabric in my stash. I’m not crazy about Aida and I had to adapt stitches for this fabric. I also added beads & metallics (Mom loves glitz). HMMM – is that where I get that from?? Anyhow, I stitched seed beads across the top, dangled seed bead ‘icicles’ across the bottom, and knotted larger beads randomly in the fringe. I was going for an ‘icy’ look. Metallic snowflakes are scattered in the background.

I finished this as a hanging ornament. You can find this and other beautiful designs on Olenka’s blog. There you will see her beautiful “Let It Snow” stitched on linen and completed as a pinkeep.

And for my knitting friend . . .

2007 Santa by Prairie Schooler
14ct natural Aida
DMC cotton floss

I'll be away for awhile - back after the holidays.
Hope yours are WONDERFUL, meRrY and BriGHt!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

I don’t seem to be a very good blogger. Of all of life’s 'things to do', blogging is the first thing to get relegated to the back seat to be done ‘whenever’ I can get around to it. I do apologize.

Thanksgiving was a wonderful time but with a note of sadness. My father passed away 3 years ago on Thanksgiving Day. He is in my thoughts constantly this time of year. (He loved my turkey sandwiches and I loved making them for him.)

On an up note - it was all you can eat at my house - and they did!

All You Can Eat by The Prairie Schooler (Book No. 97)
36ct Irish Linen Tea (over 2)
DMC cotton floss

Before I forget, the crockpot dressing turned out pretty tasty. I did, however, transfer it to a casserole dish and stick it in the oven to brown the top toward the end. Not sure if I’ll prepare it that way again. I missed piling all that stuffing into the turkey.

The leaves are just starting to turn here (go figure, it's winter now). Some gorgeous fall colors are rolled up into this little humbug .

Who's lookin' at ya'????

Hootzi Humbug by Just Nan
28ct golden sand cashel linen by Zweigart
Gentle Art Sampler Threads & DMC cotton floss

I’ve been busy stitching gifts.

Thanks for your wonderful comments!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Another Pumpkin

The photo doesn't do this justice

Pumpkin Keeper by The Drawn Thread
36ct linen
DMC cotton floss, seed & leaf beads

I have this hanging as an ornament reminding me that I better start thinking TURKEY. This year I’m going to try something new and different. Dressing in a crockpot!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Autumn Inspiration

Fall colors and specialty stitches

Cutwork borders and shiny beads

Beautiful shading

A masterpiece in miniature (about 6 ½" by 4 ½")

Miniature Autumn Sampler by TW Designworks (Teresa Wentzler)
28ct ivory Jobelin by Zweigart
DMC cotton floss, Gloriana Silk
Mill Hill Beads

It took me a year to finally sit down and stitch this and I’m not disappointed. But I’ve delayed the finishing because I want to do it justice and am just not sure what to do -frame it or hemstitch the borders. Maybe I’ll stitch the Miniature Winter Sampler and then decide. Hmmmmm, I’m thinkin’ . . .

Monday, November 16, 2009

Pumpkin Envy

Well, I guess we know who owns this pumpkin!

Love this design! It's a free chart generously provided by With Thy Needle and Thread and found on Brenda's website here.

An alternative to a wooden frame is a fabric one. Here's how I do it - backing fabric, batting, and finished stitched design . . .

Batting was sandwiched between the orange fabric and the cross stitched design. The backing fabric was then pulled around to the front and stitched down to frame the piece. (Make certain the backing is cut larger than the stitched design so you can fold the edges over. I cut this one inch larger on all 4 sides.)

Indian Summer by With They Needle and Thread
18ct ivory evenweave
DMC cotton floss
Seed beads

The batting was used to create puffiness when quilting the three layers together - just like making a quilt. To create that puffiness I quilted around the bird and the pumpkin and inside the zigzag border to add depth. I also quilted inside the fabric border to help stabilize it.

Here’s a closer picture of the pumpkin . . .

It’s been a while since I’ve done any quilting. As you can see, the stitches on the back are not as neat as I would like but, hey, who’s going to see the back, right?? Right??

And I just couldn’t leave well enough alone so I had to add some beads to the ‘frame’ - not too glitzy, not too bright. In fact, they can’t even be seen from a distance. Hmmm, maybe I should take them off and replace them with buttons. I even thought about embroidering a green vine crawling up the orange border. Is more better? There’s only so much you can do to one piece!!! The hanger is cord I found in the scrapbook section of the craft store.

I can't wait to do Brenda's May Day Sampler and am already thinking of ways to finish it.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Who said bigger is better?

Lately, it seems I’ve been working on little - no - tiny projects.

Halloween Bits by Erica Michaels
40ct silk gauze
DMC cotton floss, CC, WDW, GAST

Like the acorn fob (Needle Nut) this was stitched on silk gauze. I used that same mat to mount the gauze for stitching. And I was lucky enough to find an inexpensive shiny black frame to put the finished piece in.

From tiny to "can you believe how little this is"????

Another miniature project but stitched on 40ct linen instead of 40ct silk gauze.
Even though the thread count is the same, I found it easier stitching on the silk because the holes were larger for the needle and thread to slip through. The fabric linen fibers are thicker and I had to “hunt” for the holes. (I really do need to get stronger glasses!)

From this . . .

to this . . .

Almost 40 colors worked into this space. Beautiful shading. Do you see the face in the moon?

OOOO fierce looking cat!

(about 1 ½” x 1”)

Boo Pendant by Blackberry Lane Designs, LLC designed by Marie Driskill
40ct light sand linen (Zweigart)
DMC cotton floss

One more -

Just Nan
Spooky Witch Hat
Over The Top! 2009 Series

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Finally Framed!

Took a long time, but they’re finally framed:

Houses of Hawk Run Hollow by Carriage House Samplings

The framer & I had a lengthy discussion about this frame. I liked the orangey color but thought the frame was too narrow for this large piece and I wasn’t too crazy about the black beading.
I’m so glad I went with her suggestion because the black beading accents the piece perfectly!

Here's a close up -

With My Needle by The Goode Huswife

And a close-up -

This is a real splurge for me because I usually try to find ready made frames and do the labor myself. Houses was such a large piece I didn't think I could do it properly.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Squirrels' Favorite Nut

Fall has fallen and so have a gazillion acorns in my yard.

Needle Nut by Erica Michaels Needleart Designs
30ct silk gauze
Simply Wool thread from The Gentle Art
Acorn charm

When asked what my favorite season is I always have a hard time answering because I love each of them for different reasons. I have noticed, however, that I seem to have more items in the browns, oranges, and golds of autumn.

I also love acorns and pine cones so I jumped at the chance to stitch this little acorn using the suggested wool threads and loved the warm feel of this slightly fuzzy fiber in my hand. The silk gauze (and acorn charm) was included with the chart along with complete mounting instructions on fabric allowing for the use of a hoop. I chose a mounting method I was more familiar with.

I purchased a ready made framing mat (you know, the kind you buy to put inside a frame to border a picture - cost about $1.50) to hold the gauze. I then taped the outer edges of the gauze to the mat making certain the gauze was square and taut.

This shows the stitched design on gauze mounted to the mat.

Here I’ve removed the tape from the mat (looks like I can use the mat again).

I then cut out around the stitched design, sewed the front & back together and added the charm and hanger.

Now I can use this as a tiny pincushion or scissor fob



Monday, November 9, 2009

More Mini Samplers

May, June, and July Mini Samplers. I know, I know. I’m w-a-a-a-a-y behind! Some things just can’t be helped since life does have a way of making demands. I’m frantically playing catch-up now that things have quieted somewhat.

We’re into Fall but here’s a glimpse of summer past.

MAY - yummy red ripe strawberries . . .

May Flowers by Periwinkle Promises
28ct antique white Glasgow linen
Soie d’Alger silk floss

JUNE - flying kites and ice cream cones . . .

Kites & Cones by Periwinkle Promises
28ct raw Cashel linen
Soie d’Alger silk floss
JULY . . . get ready for a picnic. Burgers, baskets, & watermelons and, yes, those are ants running around the border!
Picnic Feast by Periwinkle Promises
28ct antique white Glasgow linen
Soie d’Alger slk floss

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Exchange Fun!!!

As a member of Tiny Treasures Exchange I’ve had the delight of making and, especially, receiving small needle accessories. The talent and creativity of the exchange partners is amazing.

Floss Tag Received

Our latest exchange was a Floss Tag. Here is the tag that I received from Rochelle @ Blue Cornflower Stitches.

She chose designs from Cross Stitch Happy .

Rochelle stitched an absolutely beautiful dragonfly in blues and greens embellished with beads (oh, how I love beads!) The beads make the dragonfly sparkle just like a real one!

On the reverse is -
You wouldn’t believe this was her first attempt at a floss tag AND an octagonal shape. She did a marvelous job! She cleverly chose ribbon instead of an eyelet to attach the ring.

I'm so lucky to have such a wonderful "stitchin' friend" and am anxious to put the gold needles and pearl cotton that she sent to use in the near future.

Floss Tag Sent

Here is the floss tag that I sent to Pokua @ Crossed Yarns .

This was my first floss tag attempt and hope to do better with the eyelet attachment next time.

Take a look at Pakua's web site - her pictures are much better than mine.

I chose Flower Sampler 2008 from Rosewood Manor’s "Something Old Something New 10th Anniversary Book of Celebration" using 28 ct linen, stitched 1 over 1 with DMC cotton floss. I personalized the tag with the year, our initials, and TTE.

This shape and the addition of the eyelet was a challenge! I love trying new and different things, don't you?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Another Fish Story

Life has been very demanding this month and my stitching time has been very limited so in keeping with the last entry here's another 'fish story' to share . . .

KOI POND from Cross StitchHappy. A free design available here.

I fell in love with this design the minute I saw it and knew I had to stitch it. I also had the perfect piece of fabric in my stash which had been haunting me for many years. When I began I had no idea that it was going to evolve into a stitcher's wallet but I wanted to use as much of the fabric as possible so the project g-r-e-w and g-r-e-w.

More about this particular piece of fabric. It was originally purchased with a specific design in mind but I didn't enjoy stitching on it so I ripped out what little I had started and put it aside. The fabric is not even (translation - uneven) which I didn't realize until all stitching was completed. The graphed design is square, however, the stitched design is not! Surprise!! It is longer than it is wide! (Lesson learned - beware of older fabrics at bottom of fabric stash that are unmarked and unlabeled.) I believe it is 22 count but for Koi Pond I stitched over 2 threads for 11 count. The DMC colors suggested were used with Kreinik metallics added for shimmer.

The wallet has a front and back cover with one inside page and is closed with a ribbon tie.

A scissor pocket is on the inside back cover, thread rings are on the inside front cover, felt needle pages are on the inside, and a separate scissor fob is included.

Here’s a picture of the page inside. I knew I wanted this extra page but had no idea how to attach it so I enclosed its edge within the front and back pages. (I tapered the bound edges of the inside page to reduce some bulk. ) Then I had the dilemma of what to do with this bulky edge so I added initials and the year. See what I mean by "evolved"?

The scissor pocket shows a repeat of the koi.

An extra piece of ribbon was added to gather thread dangling from the thread rings (hard to see in the photo).

Sizes are approximate: Closed: 3 ½” x 5”. This includes includes ½” on the edge for initials & year. Open: 9” x 3 ½”.

A lily pad was repeated on on the back and the water swirl was a perfect design for the scissor fob.

Here’s a closeup of the beads on the spine. I was thinking 'fish scales' when I added the beads.

I've had requests for a tutorial for this since it appeared on Cross Stitch Happy's site. I've tried to create one (after-the-fact is very difficult) but my attempts are very amateurish and unsuccessful, at least for publication. I did use the backstitch/whipstitch biscornu method for finishing. If I were to do this today I would stitch the front and back patterns, initials and year on one long piece of fabric. Since I really didn't know what I was doing everything is on a separate piece of fabric which made for a lot of extra and unnecessary work in sewing everything together.

If you decide to create something like this, please learn from my mistakes and it's a lot easier if you have a definite plan in mind before starting.

But sometimes the most fun is in the discovery.

Saturday, May 2, 2009


While visiting my sister recently, I took a picture of this little hanging that I made and gave to her about 6 years ago. She has a koi pond and I thought this would be a cute, if not unusual, gift for her. And, besides, she seems to really like my 'homemade' gifts. At least, that what she tells me to my face. (Maybe she just doesn't want to hurt my feelings.) Well, here goes. This was an experiment with wire, beads, yarn, and a non-frame finish.

"Goldfish" from Cats of the World in Cross Stitch by Jayne Netley Mayhew & Nicki Wheeler
18 count cream Aida (I think), DMC cotton floss, Kreinik blending filament

Here’s a closeup of the goldfish. I added Kreinik blending filament to the stitching for a bit of shine, some fuzzy 'seaweed' yarn, and various beads at the sides for even more shine and texture. And I didn't stop there. I quilted around the fish and dangled beads and shells from the bottom for even more texture and interest.

If you look closely you can see the quilted outline of the fish on the backing fabric (which is an entirely different story). This was my first attempt at embellishing with beads other than cross stitching them in. If I were to do this today, I would add lots more beads. Oh, yeah!! LOTS more! It was also my first (and last) attempt at twisting wire into different shapes. Not too smooth but I tried and, of course, I had to add the little charm to the hanging.

Because I love my sister!