2/27/12

fabric wrapped embroidery hoop

I have really been into cross stitch lately, more so than embroidery. I think it is the structure of the process. You make an x. That's it, over and over. You don't have to worry about stitch length or anything like that. Just needle and thread, in and out. It's what my jumbled, stressed brain needs these days. 


My latest project comes from the book A Rainbow of Stitches. I really love this book. It is a go-to for simple cross stitch and embroidery patterns. If you have been reading my blog for long, you know that simple and sweet is right up my alley.

As I was working on this, I realized that it was actually looking a little too simple with only two colors and the wood hoop. I thought about going two different ways - stick with the minimalist look and paint the hoop white so it blended with the cloth, or do something to make the hoop really stand out. Obviously, you can see I went with the latter. I am keeping the white on white thing in mind though. 

Wrapping an embroidery hoop is such a great way to add color and texture to a project. It took me maybe 15 minutes start to finish, and I am so pleased with how it looks. 


1. Cut a couple of strips of fabric. 2. Hot glue the end of your fabric onto the very edge of the inside of your hoop. 3. Wrap your hoop, hot gluing every 4 or 5 wraps. Make sure you hot glue on the inside of your hoop so the outside stays smooth. Go all the way around to the other side, hot glue, and trim off the excess.


It's a cheap, easy way to add life to an otherwise plain project. I'm kind of crazy about the traditional cameo in coral and mustard along with the busy floral fabric. It just works, and I'm glad I tried something new for this piece. 


happy stitching!

2/26/12

family pic saturday (on a sunday)

I know this family pic is a day late, almost two, but let me explain. We have had a rough weekend. I mean rough. This kid:


whew... 

As cute as he is, this weekend he sure has tested every last bit of patience and self-control we have. He is teething - all four molars at once, I think. That means almost constant whining, fussing, crying, fits, breakdowns, and tears. I feel for the little guy, and I wish I could make the pain stop. So, this picture is to remember the good times, just four short days ago, before all this started. Before my baby lost his mind and decided to try to make us lose ours. So, I'm chanting in my head: It's just one of those phases. This has happened before. We will get through it. Breathe. 

Despite Mr. Birth Control up there, I did manage to get a project completed this weekend during nap time. Blessed nap time. Watch for that this week. Hope you all had a less tear filled weekend, and I hope you have a great week!

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2/24/12

five things friday: pretty fonts

Happy Friday! I am so happy to see another work week down. I think I say that a lot, but I feel like every Friday is a small victory. 

I am such a weirdo, but I have to tell you this despite the major dork alert. Every Friday, as I walk out of the office in the afternoon, and I feel that first breath of fresh air hit me as I open the doors to face two whole days off, I feel like I should be in a sitcom opening theme. Bouncy, triumphant, full of hope and ready to take on the world. I basically see myself as Mary Tyler Moore in the opening credits - HA! (If you aren't familiar with the Mary Tyler Moore opening credit theme, watch it and picture me throwing my hat up at the end. That's what I feel like. Because when you throw your hat up in the air in the middle of the street you are ALIVE.)

Onto less weird things...


I am thinking about a blog redesign, so I am checking out some new colors, fonts, and design elements. I am really loving girly script fonts right now. (All of these were found on dafont.com.) 

I'm off to enjoy my Friday night, cross stitching of course. Livin it up. Hope you all have a great weekend!

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2/23/12

pinned it, did it 7: matchbook needle cases




I made a few of these cute needle cases after seeing them on Pinterest. These were easy and quick to make and the tutorial at Make it Do was simple and clear.

I thought they would be perfect for keeping a couple of embroidery needles stashed here and there. I am a traveling stitcher, so it will be handy to have one of these tucked in my bedside table or in the junk drawer. Just in case you were wondering (and I know you are), my current favorite room of choice to stitch in is our kitchen dining area. It is my favorite peaceful moment of the day when I get home from work, turn on Mad Men on the iPad, and stitch away at our sunny kitchen table while Sawyer naps.


Can you think of any other uses for these? I thought it might be handy to keep a few safety pins on in my wallet. Maybe make a little sewing kit for travel?  

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2/22/12

what i've been up to

Thank you all for your sweet comments yesterday on my one year blogging post. You all have made me feel so loved and appreciated. 

I have not been posting much the past week. No real reason... just taking a break and enjoying some time for me. So, of course I got sick again. My third illness of the winter. I have had a stomach bug, a cold, and now I have some wonderful combo of cough/head congestion/runny nose. Oh my.


We are loaded up on sick stuff - tissues, medicine, vitamins, and cough drops. I hate the way all that stuff looks cluttering up the counter, so I threw the cough drops in a couple of jelly jars. They look much cuter this way, don't you think? And can you tell which kind of cough drop I prefer? The candy-like Luden's have been about all I can stomach the past few days. I fell asleep with a Hall's in my mouth Friday night and it was not pleasant to wake up to. After having Hall's goop plastered on the inside of my cheeks and teeth, I just can't stand the taste any more. How's that for a random, why-did-she-even-tell-me-that story? 

Onto (hopefully) more interesting things. 


I've been reading The Night Circus. It is a really imaginative, interesting book, but I am finding it a little slow moving in parts. So far, I like it? I'm not sure yet... You can check out the synopsis on Amazon, since I am not really sure how to explain the storyline. It is making me think and  stretch my imagination, which I am enjoying.


I went fabric shopping with a friend last week. She introduced me to a  fabric shop I had not been to before. As far as quilting fabrics go, it beats JoAnn's by a long shot. I am going to have to try to avoid the place for the sake of my wallet. They have so. much. fabric. It was hard to only pick out a few fat quarters and one other fabric I just had to have


It's the new Amy Butler fabric I have been eying. I don't know what I am going to make yet, but I just had to get it to have it in my possession. It makes me wish for spring.

In mail related news, I got a new phone case I ordered a couple weeks ago from Society 6. I do love the feathers and the white background with my white phone. It's such a pretty little thing to look at all day long.

So, that's about it around here. Coughing, reading, fabric, and a phone case. I also started another cross stitch project and have a couple of craft things I am working on. Nothing too exciting, but it has been a nice week "away". I feel refreshed and ready to get creating. Once I can breath through my nose again I will be unstoppable.

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2/21/12

it's been one year...

About a year ago, I started this blog. The best things I have done in life have been the most challenging ones, and I can say that this blog has been one of the best things I have done for me. I have grown so much in one short year and done things I never would have done before.

I revamped my craft room.


I learned how to embroider


I rekindled my love for cross stitch


And of course I created way too many bookmarks


There have been so many great things to come from this blog. I have met so many creative, inspiring people. I've learned how to take better pictures. I've started and finished more crafts than any other year of my life. I have learned things about appreciating my own style and that of others. There have been deeper things I have learned too, but I am not sure how to articulate them in writing for all the world to see. It's something I have been thinking about and am going to try to share in the future, but for now I just want to acknowledge this milestone as it is - a whole year of creating and sharing. This little blog has just been such a positive thing, and I am so happy that I hit the publish button a year ago. 

I owe a great big thanks to every one of you reading. You inspire me to keep going and make me feel accepted. Maybe that is a weird or lame admission, but it is good to know that I have crafty kindred spirits out there. Thanks for reading, commenting, and sharing. It has been a great year.

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2/16/12

the post where i compare life to embroidery thread

So, no pinned it, did it project today. I could blame it on the fact that it has been gloomy, therefore bad lighting, therefore no pictures... but that would be a bad excuse considering I haven't even made a project to photograph.

I tried to get myself motivated to make something by organizing some of my supplies - namely, my ever growing stash of embroidery floss.

I didn't get very far, other than piling everything up. Anderson's drill was dead so I couldn't use my self-declared genius method of winding all my thread. I just quit and went back upstairs to curl up in bed and watch tv while I waited for Sawyer to wake up from his nap. 


I like this picture. It's kind of how I feel like my life is right now. Half of it is organized and lined up, half needs a lot of work, but beautiful regardless of the messiness.

This post is weird, isn't it? I'm just lacking a bit of motivation to do much of anything, I think. I'll get it together sometime. Until then, I think I will enjoy reading a book or two and slowing down. 

I believe when you start seeing the meaning of life in embroidery thread it is time to slow down.

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2/14/12

stitched hand print keepsake


I am guest posting over at 30 Handmade Days today, sharing a little tutorial on how to make this hand print keepsake embroidery. I would love if you would go check it out!

Happy Valentine's Day!

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2/13/12

valentine's day project

I said last week that I would share some of my Valentine's Day advent I was doing for Anderson. Yes, I realize it is the day before Valentine's so there isn't much of a possibility of you recreating this. Maybe next year? I didn't work on this project with the blog in mind, but I wanted to share it anyway, if for no other reason than to show you some of the ridiculous stuff I got for Anderson. 




 Every day (Feb.1 - Feb. 14) he gets a new envelope attached to this nifty frame I made for our fridge. I clip the card of the day up before I leave for work, and he has a nice surprise when he wakes up. Things like this:


Yes, we play video games together - children's video games. I win like 1,000 cool points.


Yes, I bought him Twilight cards. He LOVED them. (yeah right.) I thought it was funny anyway. 

I made a very sophisticated card. (I also made these cards that I posted about last week.)

There have been better, more romantic things in this 14 day line up, I promise. But as a firm believer in not making people gag due to overzealous hubzy-wubzy talk, I will just keep the mushy stuff to myself.

We don't actually have plans for Valentine's Day, but I am ok with that since one of his surprises last week was me arranging for babysitting and a breakfast/morning movie date. We saw the oh-so-romantic movie Man on a Ledge. We're just awesome like that. 500 more cool points.

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2/11/12

family pic saturday: build-a-bear

My sister and I took Sawyer to the mall on Friday afternoon with a trip to Build-a-Bear in mind. In the past, he has shown little interest in it and doesn't care too much for stuffed animals. I do this thing where I want him to like stuff that I feel like I am too old for (i.e. making a stuffed animal and dressing it up.) We talked it up the whole way there in the hopes that he would participate...

Good news: he was mostly indifferent to the whole experience but didn't hate it. 




We picked a cat and took him to the girl to get stuffed and get the heart added and all that fun stuff. Sawyer really got into stepping on the pedal which evolved into stomping repeatedly. While she was sewing up the back of the cat, Sawyer introduced the new cat to Thomas, of course. After all, if this toy was coming home with us, it had to know it would always have #2 ranking at best.



Onto "bathing" his new friend and getting a blurry picture with me. Thomas makes an appearance again in the picture. Remember, cat, you will always be second place. 


Last thing on the extraordinarily long list of things to try to get a 2 year old to participate in - naming. I asked Sawyer "What do you want to name kitty?" "Thomas!" Of. Course. So, Thomas it is. I have been referring to him as Tomcat, which makes me feel more clever than I actually am. 


I overpaid for the thing, Sawyer practiced his duck-face (you know the one all the teenage girls do on facebook), and that was that. Our first Build-a-Bear experience.

In other weekend news, we have taken care of some financial paperwork (yuck), I made a trip to the tailor to have some jeans hemmed, I photographed and finished a guest post for this week, we watched Lady and the Tramp, ate dinner out, and spent the evening with my sister and brother in law. It was such a busy day, but the very best kind of busy.

Hope you are having a great weekend!

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2/10/12

five things friday: floral fabrics

I am in a flowery kind of mood these days. I have never been one to resist a feminine floral fabric, and I have several on my wish list right now. 


 Starting at the top left and moving clockwise:


Next week I am going to go to a new-to-me local fabric store with a friend and I look forward to picking up a couple new fabrics. My wallet, however, is dreading it. The one I am really hoping for? That Charisma fabric by Amy Butler. I kind of want to make pillowcases with it and I am hoping Anderson doesn't care. Considering that we have mermaid embroidery hanging in our bathroom, cross stitch work and doilies on the walls of our living room, and an entire room in our basement packed with craft supplies, I think he'll go for it. He is the best. Even better than Handmade Ryan.

Have you picked up any new fabric lately? Leave a comment/link. I would love to see what fabrics you are working with!

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2/9/12

pinned it, did it 6: printed valentines

This is a two-birds-with-one-stone kind of pinned it, did it post.


 scrabble gram: pin here / source here: oh happy day 

I needed an easy week - I just printed, cut, and I had a couple Valentines ready to use in my 14 days of Valentines project I am doing for Anderson. (I will be sharing some of my Valentine's advent this weekend.)




I love the graphic deer and bee and the blocked colors (found at the crafts dept). If you are looking for a modern, unfussy Valentine, this is it. Cut, fold, and stick in a tiny envelope and you are done. The envelopes are 3x3" ones that I picked up at Archiver's.


Another print, cut, and done "card". This one is from oh happy day.

Now I could try to impress Anderson and tell him I worked so hard and designed these, but he wouldn't buy it. He knows Photoshop makes me weep in agony so I am pretty sure he would call me out. 

On the whole Photoshop weeping note, how about the news that Picnik is closing? I know this is weeks old news, but I am just now able to talk about it. I am not mad or upset - I am nervous for the sake of my pictures. I have to learn Photoshop now... ugh. If you pay attention to details, you may have noticed that I stopped rounding my corners and I also have started watermarking my photos. While I am still doing color/exposure editing in Picnik, I am slowly weaning myself off of it and learning PS. Learning new photo editing is hard! whine, whine. I believe this is what the cool kids on twitter would call a #firstworldproblem.

What about you? Learning Photoshop? Or have you found other online software that is similar to Picnik? Do share!

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