December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas! I hope everyone had a great day! I managed to finish all the presents, except for the ones that need to be mailed. For one I need Mom to do some machine embroidery, 3 are crocheted, and one is sewn. I'm almost done with the first crocheted gift. The rest should go quickly, since they're all the same pattern. The sewing project is in four parts, and I have 2 nearly finished, one cut out, and one ready to cut out.
Over the weekend I will be helping my sister and her fiance do some painting, and after the painting is done, I'll get back to finishing up these gifts!

Did you get all your gifts done in time for Christmas?

Every Christmas day, before we check out stockings or open presents my Dad reads the Christmas story. It is a great reminder that Christmas is not about the presents we receive or give each other. Christmas is about the gift God gave us when He sent His son to take human form and live on the earth. As you write notes thanking others for their gifts, take a moment to thank God for His gift.
Merry Christmas!

December 13, 2009

Sewing Projects

No, I haven't fallen off the blogosphere! I've been working on the gifts that I should have started two months ago. Two months ago I had no idea what to make for people. Now I have three crochet projects, 2 sewing, one quilling, and whatever else I'm forgetting. Here are a couple things that I sewed before I started the mad scramble to finish Christmas presents.
A pillow:

An iron pad:

November 27, 2009

Just Keep Sewing, Sewing...

First off, Happy (belated) Thanksgiving! I hope everyone had a wonderful day!

For some odd reason, I seem to only blog when I've finished a project. The other day I was thinking "I should really blog about something. But what? I haven't fnished anything lately." Then it dawned on me, like a lightbulb going on over my head: I could blog about my unfinished projects! Brilliant! Ok, enough with the sarcasm. I've been doing some sewing lately, and finished three projects last night. I also started working on the gift I was going to give my cousin last year for Christmas. It was going well until I realized that one sleeve had been put in upside down. I'm not sure who reads this blog, so no pictures 'til after Christmas. In the meantime, here's a picture of my sewing area.

When I sew, I move the machine over. Otherwise I use the space for pinning, scrapping and reading patterns that don't make sense. The bag next to the iron contains mending and projects that I really should finish. The pillow needs to be taken apart and given a new backing. Behind the sewing machine is a two drawer storage unit that has all my ribbon, lace, trim and bias tape. I store my serger on top when it's not in use. You can't see it in the picture because it has a bag of Almost Finished Projects leaning against it. On top of the serger is a bag of fabric that needs to be cut out. The cabinets above store most of my notions, and my two fabric stash boxes are below the counter. (My Grandpa custom-made the counter for us!) to the left is my Mom's sewing space, and our stamping/scrapping space.

November 10, 2009

Clothespin Angel

I finished this last week. Someone gave me the kit, and I thought "oh, this will be fun! I've never embroidered on Aida before." I will never embroider on Aida again. Between miscounting, trying to keep the lazy daisies from popping through to the wrong side and ripping out a several flowers, this was not a fun project. I was working on it while the kids I babysit were napping. The little girl found it one day, and absolutely adores the angel, so it will probably be her Christmas present. I haven't decided about drawing her face - I'm not very good at drawing faces, especially on clothespins.

November 5, 2009

Placemat Set

One of my first sewing projects. These were made by cutting strips of fabric, sewing them together, cutting them apart, sewing them together...It was a little traumatic for me, since I'd worked really hard to sew straight lines, and then having to cut it apart. Thanks to the fabric store's crooked cutting of fabric, I was only able to make 5 placemats. There are 6 napkins though, so I'm contemplating making another set to mix and match with. The hot mitt was another first project. Not stellar, but it keeps your hand from getting burned.

November 3, 2009

Baby Clothes

Some more things from my hope chest. Several of my sewing projects for school were these baby clothes. The patterns are Quick and Easy Playwear and Quick and Easy Layette by Sew Little Pattern Company. (I couldn't find a link for these - if you have a link for them, please leave a comment and I'll add it to this post.) The peter pan collars on the dresses drove me bonkers, but other than that the patterns are quick and easy to make. Please excuse all the wrinkles - I didn't see much point to ironing them and then putting them back in my hope chest to get more wrinkles.

November 1, 2009

Embroidered Pillowcases

My hope chest was taking up too much space in the basement, so I unpacked it, moved it up to my room (with help from my sister's fiance) and repacked it. Among other things, I unearthed my embroidered pillowcases. These were a school project, and took too many years to finish.

October 31, 2009

Spoilt Rotten

Here's another project that I never blogged about: a dog sweater for my sister's dog. It's from the booklet "Dog Gone Cute" published by Leisure Arts. It was not hard to knit, but hard to size. Kelly is a chow-lab mix, and rather fluffy. I'm not sure if she lost weight between the time I started and finished, or if her fluff gave me an incorrect measurement. It was too big around the chest, so I had to take it in about in inch. Also, the back didn't stay very well, so I sewed on a button and loop to keep it in place. One other note about the pattern, work the first and last stitches of the back shaping rows loosely so that it will be easier to pick up the stitches for the body ribbing. The yarn is Lion Brand's Wool-Ease "Blue Mist" The contrast is Bernat Soft Boucle "Softest Straw".

October 17, 2009

Beaded Bracelet

Now that I've been dragged into the world of scrapping, I've discovered a few projects that never got posted here. First up is a beaded bracelet that I made as a Christmas gift for my sister in 2007. Shortly after I gave it to her, the charms fell off. My Mom helped me reattach the one charm that she still had, but she couldn't find the second one. I ordered a new one, and finally fixed it.

The black beads with floral designs are Tensha beads; the two long black beads are wooden; the large rectangular ones may also be wooden, but I'm not entirely certain about that. The charms are pewter, and the 'Sister' message bead is sterling silver. The Chinese character on the clasp is "joy"; the charm on the left is "love", and the one on the right is for friendship. I don't think the design is entirely accurate, though.  I designed the bracelet using Fire Mountain Gem's virtual bead board. It no longer seems to be working, though, which is a big disappointment. If anyone knows of another (free) virtual bead board, I'd love to hear about it.

October 1, 2009

What I've Been Up To

Making Ink! Ok, so that was just today. My ink had turned into sludge, so I made some more, and got my hands stained in the process.

Here's a project from a while back. I couldn't share it because my Sister's Boyfriend was taking his sweet time to propose to her. He finally proposed on September 25. This is a Bride's Altered Notebook. I considered making some for my Etsy shop, but this was a lot of work.

This is a composition Notebook that I covered with scrapping paper. I divided the pages into four tabbed sections. Below - Front and Inside back cover.

The front of each dividing page has a space for notes and the back has an envelope for clippings, receipts and such.

I used a lot of Spellbinders Nestabilities dies.

I knew I had to put monkeys in somewhere - Grace collects monkeys.

I was running out of steam by the time I got to this divider. It has a lot of stickers, and not much else.

Hope you enjoyed the pictures. My busy life is experiencing a temporary lull, so I hope to get more posts written soon!

September 7, 2009

Crocheted Food

My sister's very special friend Anthony had a Birthday last month. He has trouble making PB&J sandwiches. For some reason, even though I don't enjoy crocheting, I was flipping through this book at AC Moore. When I saw the PB&J sandwich, I knew I had to buy the book. So, without further ado, the perfect PB&(grape)J sandwich!

August 1, 2009

Too Many WIP's

Last night I was debating what WIP to work on, and became overwhelmed by all the options. I ended up cleaning my room, instead. This morning I was looking at the WIP list to the right, and realized that updating the list would at the least double it. I decided to write a blog post, rather than update the list.
Knitting: Although I have vowed not to have more than one knitting project at a time, this is an exception. A few weeks ago I was in between (knitting) projects, and finally decided to start a stash-busting afghan. I'm not sure how successful the stash-busting will be, but it should use up some yarn. The afghan is 'Beside the Seaside' from Debbie Abrams 100 Afghan Squares to Knit. As you can see, I've made marvelous progress! (not)

The reason for starting a second knitting project is that the little boy I babysit will be moving to Italy, and I finally came up with a going away present for him! I'm knitting another backpack in John Deere Tractor colours, and the pocket will look (hopefully) like the John Deere logo. The colours aren't quite perfect, but when it comes to specific shades of yarn, you have to go for the closest shade available. I wandered the yarn isles looking for colour, instead of brand. Progress on this project is much more promising. However, when I bought the yarn, I forgot that I will need fabric to line it with, so now I have to go back to the fabric store.

I seem to have a thing for afghans going. Besides the knitted one, I'm working on a crocheted afghan, have plans for another knitted one, and have started a cross stitch afghan. I finally finished the backstitching on the first (and only) motif. The motif is from Tiny Little Teapots, a booklet published by Cross My Heart, Inc. My plans for the afghan have gone through multiple changes; the current plan is to use all the motifs from the booklet, and fill in the empty spaces with quotes about tea.
Other cross stitch items: a stamped baby blanket, a stamped family tree, and Lady of the Thread. I couldn't get a decent photo of the baby blanket, and there really isn't very much completed. I talked myself into starting the family tree because 1) It's stamped, so it's not technically cross stitch; 2) It'll be quick - it's mostly borders, a few flowers and branches. 3) I always wanted to do a family tree.
Once again, I was quickly reminded of how much and why I despise stamped cross stitches. I figure it's old enough that the stamped colors won't wash out, so I have to make sure they are covered, and I want it to look like real cross stitch as much as possible, so I try to make adjoining stitches go through the same holes. Not fun.

My current embroidery project is a set of pillow cases. I am expecting them to take at least as long as the first set of pillowcases I embroidered. (Several years, in case you were wondering.) I can't seem to find a photo of them, but next time I feel like rummaging around in my hope chest I'll photograph them. Here's a picture of the current pillowcase. I've discovered that I don't enjoy satin stitch, and that's the stitch for most of the flowers.

Over the weekend I picked up a new hobby. What's that? Oh. Yes, I know I really don't need any more hobbies, but there was a sale...I got two patterns at 50% off! I'd seen Punch Needle Embroidery at the LNS, and was interested, but I never saw any patterns I liked. They were having a sidewalk sale, and I found two patterns I liked - a rose and a heart. I haven't made a lot of progress- it's a little harder than I thought. I also couldn't find any suggestions on a setting for the punch needle. I am using #3 for the border/outline and #4 for the fill-in colours. I think for the rose I will try settings #1 and #2.

Last, but not least, my current tatting project is a Flying Minor Norwegian Dragon. After several tries I have finally gotten my thread to stop breaking (thanks to whoever suggested thread conditioner!) and mastered the SSSR. (Single Shuttle Split Ring) It is my 'go anywhere' project, so I'm still working on the tail and back section.

So with all these WIP's you can see why I didn't know what to work on. (I didn't even mention or photograph my quilling and sewing projects). I think my first priority will be finishing the backpack. I have no idea what I will work on after that.

July 25, 2009

Etsy Shop Updated

So much for updating my Etsy shop last weekend. I just finished updating it, so take a peek!

July 15, 2009

Various Projects

I've been writing this post in my head for several days, and figured it was about time to blog it.Warning: this is a picture-heavy post!

For starters, I'm planning on an Etsy update sometime this weekend. All my listings have expired, and I have some new items to list. These fan pulls will be among the new items.

My latest knitting project was this reuseable Swiffer cover. It's made with The Original Sugar & Cream yarn, the colorway was 'Potpourri'. The pattern is from Ravelry.

A couple of weeks ago in this post, I set a goal to finish the yellow rose and fabric in Lady of the Thread. I was able to finish the rose, and got the two bits of fabric connected, but not finished. In other cross stitch news, I finally took Ruth 1:16 to Hobby Lobby to be framed.

A while back I joined the Rochester, NY Crochet Group on Ravelry. I've been going to the bi-monthly meetings, and have progressed slightly on my Never Ending Granny Square Afghan. The afghan consists of 70 squares, and I'm doing one color at a time. There are 7 rounds to each square, and the white makes up the third and fourth rounds. After all the squares get sewn together, there are four border rows.
I  got the pattern from and it appears to be copied from Crochet World Magazine Vol. 19, page 40.

I made two of these bookmarks for the Summer Missionaries that came to minister at our Church for the month of June. The pattern is one of my favorites for quick gifts. It's the Ribbon and Lace Bookmark from the Big Book of Tatting, page 14. My current tatting project(s) are the Facebook July TAL motif (the theme is Christmas in July), and finishing my second cross bookmark. The reason I have two is that I broke the thread on the first one and couldn't figure out how to fix it, so I started over. By the time I finished making the second one, I had figured out how to fix the first one.

I think that's everything I've been working on while I haven't been blogging. Hope you enjoyed the crafting gallery!

June 28, 2009

Mystery Knitting (Cup Cozy)

You may have noticed some 'mystery knitting' in my WIP list. I can now reveal the project. A sock monkey mug/cup cozy. I found the pattern on Ravelry, and since my sister loves monkeys, and since today was her birthday, I made it for her. A couple of notes on the pattern - knit loosely! I had some trouble with the knitting curling up on me, since I was knitting tightly. Also, make sure the ears are facing the right way when you sew them on. Somehow I ended up sewing one ear on backwards.

June 23, 2009

June TAL

I recently joined a tatting group on Facebook, and we're doing a project a month TAL. The project for the month of June was a bookmark. I chose Julie Patterson's Hearts and Flower Cross Bookmark. Part of the reason I chose it was so that I could learn to make split rings. I also got a good deal of practice hiding thread ends, since my thread broke several times. Using a thread conditioner helped keep the thread from breaking so often. The thread is size 50 Omega. The pattern was easy to follow, and I will probably try it again.

June 22, 2009

Lady of the Thread - Photo Update

My current progress on Lady of the Thread. I'm planning to get the fabric she's sewing on and the yellow rose done by Thursday, July 2.

June 17, 2009

Special Friend Award

As I was trying to catch up on email today (it seems like I'm always behind) I discovered this award that my Mom passed on to me. Here is the description of the award:

These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbon's of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these kind writers. When you pass the award along please include these guidelines. I am to choose eight friends to share this with.

I'd like to pass this along to my good friend, Sarah, my special Sister, Grace, TattingChic, Maidens of Worth, and Jen. (Sorry I never seem to have just the right number of friends to share these with.)