November 5, 2011

My Memories Giveaway

A few weeks ago I was contacted by My Memories, and asked if I would like to host a giveaway of their software. Ironically my Mom had just been telling me about them the week before. I said yes, and have been playing around with it. My Memories is a digital scrapbooking software but don't let the name fool you - you can do a lot more than scrapbooking with this software! So far my favorite project has been this calendar page:
I challenged myself to see what I could make without using any photos - I'm delighted with the results. The picture does look a little grainy - all of the pictures that I have exported as JPEGS are not as sharp as the originals. All of my projects (so far) have begun as scrapbook pages. Some stayed that way, and others have evolved into something different. The next picture would make the perfect Christmas card.The picture is from one of our annual visits to a local Christmas Tree Farm.
The following link will take you to a slideshow of the six pages I've created. 

Now for the Giveaway! There are two ways to enter:
  1. Go to the My Memories website and find a paper pack, theme, or kit that you like, and leave me a comment about how you see yourself using it. Be sure that I can contact you through your comment.
  2. For an extra entry, go to the My Memories Facebook page, and "like" it. Leave a second comment telling me you've liked their page, or if you already like their page, mention it in a second comment.
The drawing will be open for two weeks from Saturday, November 5, thru Saturday, November 19. Look for the winner to be posted on Monday the 21'st.
If you don't win the giveaway, or can't wait to try the software, My Memories has given me a discount code to share. This code is only valid for purchases of My Memories Suite v.2.
The code is: STMMMS47620  When you are checking out, simply copy and paste the code into the "coupon/promo code" box.

November 4, 2011

Granny Square Afghan

The Granny Square Afghan is finally done! Actually, it's been done since April. According to the pattern, the finished size is 46x66 inches. Mine ended up 54x34 inches. It is a nice size, though, and I don't think I would like to have it bigger.
I made it with Caron Simply Soft Yarns. The only change I remember making was to make the shell border in a rose color. It makes it a little less Christmas-y (I want to display it all year!) The pattern is from Crochet World's December 1996 issue. The pattern can be downloaded for free from

October 11, 2011

October Goals

Blogging seems to always be at the end of my priorities list. Yesterday I realized that since my priority list is ongoing, I will never get to the end of it, hence my lack of blogging. So, here I am with a cup of coffee finishing a post I started two weeks ago. It as been a long time since I've posted any goals. Earlier this year, I was fairly productive with projects and goals, and I think part of that was due to setting goals every month. Here are my October goals.

  1. Complete my 'sewing challenge'. A friend of mine asked me to turn a set of headphones that no longer work into earmuffs. I have spent a lot of time thinking about how to do it, and writing down ideas. Now I just need to sit down and work on it!
  2. Christmas gifts! This is something of a perpetual goal. Every New Year, I set the goal to finish Christmas gifts by June or July. Every year I end up scrambling Christmas Eve, and sometimes Christmas Morning finishing gifts. So far this year have not been any different. I have decided on the ornaments I'm doing for everybody, so, again, I just need to sit down and do it! I have yet to decide if I will make gifts for close family and friends, or purchase them.
  3. Update Ravelry projects and stash. I have always liked the stash feature on Ravelry, but have never kept up with it. Most of my projects are up to date, they just need photos. 
  4. Finish updating my blog - I have been keeping a running list since January of all the projects that need to be blogged about.
  5. Celebrate I Love Yarn Day (October 14) with some knitting! (And blog about it!)
*Clip Art from Classroom Clipart

October 2, 2011

Scrappin' Saturday XVII

Welcome to Scrappin' Saturday - take a peek into the pages of my scrapbooks, and learn how I made them. This page is a sort of collage of sewing projects. I know that the phrase 'a stitch in time saves nine' applies more to mending, but I couldn't think of anything else to put in the blank space.

Background Paper: The white paper that came preloaded in the scrapbook. In the lower left corner, is a piece from the DCWV 8x8" Luxury Stack. It worked nicely to separate the hangers from the other projects.
Letters: The letters are from the Cuttlebug Die Set Olivia.
Photos: For the hangers, I simply cropped them by hand. The doll dress in the upper left corner was closely cropped, then I rounded the corners. The picture in the upper right corner was cropped using Nestabilities Spellbinders Labels One.
Die Cuts: The upper right photo was double matted with Nestabilities Spellbinders Labels One. The upper left photo was matted using Nestabilities Spellbinders Labels Two. For the journaling I used Nestabilities Classic Ovals Small, Nestabilities Classic Scalloped Ovals Large, and Nestabilities Classic Scalloped Paisley.
Projects Pictured: Padded Hangers, "Dronkles", and Doll Dress.

September 29, 2011

February Tatting Challenge

In February I participated in a tatting challenge with one of my Facebook tatting groups. The challenge was to make at least two pieces of jewelry. I made a pair of earrings, and a ring. The ring pattern is from YarnPlayer's blog, and is available here. Apparently my method for hiding ends is not very good, because both ends pulled out. This picture was taken before the ends pulled out.
The earrings are from the booklet Beaded Tatted Earrings Set 2. I purchased the booklet from Handy Hands. I did have a little trouble with the last motif or ring. (It's been a while so I can't remember exactly) Other than that, I don't recall any trouble with the pattern.

September 27, 2011

Punch Needle Rose

In February, I completed my punch needle project. It took me a while to figure out what to do with the finished piece. My Mom suggested a pinkeep, a method she frequently uses for her cross stitch projects. I don't have many comments about the pattern - I had no trouble with the pattern, and no improvements or complaints to mention. The pattern is by Jeri Kelly. I purchased it at my LNS, but it is available here.

September 17, 2011

I'm Still Here....

I can't believe that my last post was in April! Life has been so crazy, with my job, my families health issues, and my own health issues. Things have calmed down slightly, so maybe I will be able to catch up with my blog.

Here is a list of upcoming post topics:
  1. 17 finished projects (possibly more)
  2. Pictures of the projects that are in my UFO list
  3. Monthly goals (and maybe weekly goals)
  4. Scrappin' Saturday posts
  5. Some tutorials that I've been working on for a while
I am also contemplating starting a weekly Stitches in Life feature. I try to keep this blog about my crafts, but sometimes I want to write about what's going on in my life. Lately life has gotten in the way of my crafting. I've barely touched any of my projects in the last few months, other than on craft nights. My Etsy shop listings expired and I didn't even realize it. This weekend I plan to get my Etsy shop back up, and start on some long overdue blog posts.
*Clip Art by Fiber Images

April 14, 2011

The Circular Solution

My Grandparents gave me The Circular Solution for my birthday! I had prior to this been storing my circular needles in the original packages so they wouldn't tangle. However, they were always kinky, and somewhat frustrating to work with. Here are before and after pictures.

The kinks are working themselves out, and I can quickly and easily find the needles needed for my projects.

I also received circular needle ID tags. Now my circulars are doubly labeled. Once in the Circular Solution, and second with the ID tags.

April 12, 2011

Belated Christmas Gifts (CA)

I won't tell you how belated these were, just that they were very belated. I have three cousins in California, and I try to make the same thing for all of them. The difficulty is finding something they would all enjoy. This is what I came up with:
Lunch bags! Inside, lunch! (No, not my little helper. Just the napkin, apple and sandwich.)
The crocheted food is from the Tasty Crochet book. I used the lunch bag instructions from Tumbling Blocks Blog with a few changes, listed below.
  1. The exterior is cotton (not oilcloth) and the interior is clear vinyl, with a layer of batting in between.
  2. In step 3, instead of sewing the velcro vertically, I placed it horizontally, 4" from the top, as pictured below. 
  3. In step 4, the "wrong sides facing" instruction confused me. I think what was meant was to sew with the wrong sides together. Because I was working with cotton fabrics, and had raw edges, I sewed right sides together, and turned the bag right side out after step 6.
  4. The long pieces (7x31) were more like 7x45 - I simply cut 7 inches of fabric and didn't alter the width at all. Most fabrics are 45" wide. In step 7, I trimmed three sides to the same length, but for the longer section, I think I trimmed it even with the vinyl layer. I may have just left it - I can't remember. I sewed bias tape around the entire upper edge to cover the raw edges. I then folded the end with the excess fabric down so there was just enough space to sew the velcro on and have the bottom of the velcro even with the top of the other three sides. I then applied the velcro to the folded down flap. (Again, see picture below)
I hope this all makes sense! If it doesn't, leave a comment with your question.
The napkins were made using leftover fabric. I simply cut a piece of fabric and a piece of muslin to the same size, pinned, right sides together, and sewed around, leaving a space to turn right side out. After turning right side out I ironed the edges and topstiched around, folding in the edges of the opening and being sure to topstitch over them.

April 11, 2011

Updated Goals (April)

You may have noticed that I fell off the blogosphere. I'm trying to climb back on, but I'm having difficulty finding time for anything computer related. Back in February, I finally got a job. It's a full time job, caring for my friends' 1 1/2 year old daughter while they are at work. I have had a lot more crafting time, thanks to daily naps, but by the time I get home in the evening, I have almost no interest in anything computer related. Not necessarily a bad thing - most people need to spend less time on the computer, and I'm no exception. I got an unexpected day off today, so I will start by updating you all on my craft goals, and try to write a few more posts to publish later this week.

Searching back through my blog, it appears that I never posted my February goals, although I did write them out on paper. Here is what I have accomplished since my January post:
  1. Completed and mailed belated Christmas gifts to CA relatives
  2. Finished my punch needle project
  3. Finished my never-ending granny square afghan
  4. Finished the quillow that's been in a drawer for more than 7 years
  5. Knitted a hat and booties for a baby
  6. Sewed a fleece shawl
  7. Made some beaded jewelry
  8. Created cat toys out of gauge swatches
  9. Made a list of all the projects that I need to blog about (I love making lists - they make me feel so much more organized.)
  10. Participated in a tatting challenge
  11. Framed two of my completed cross stitch projects
  12. Re-evaluated my knit afghan project(s)

Here are my goals for the month of April:
  1. Finish and mail gifts for NC relatives
  2. Finish Father's Day Gift
  3. Figure out what to give my parents and sister and brother-in-law for their anniversaries
  4. Catch up on blogging
  5. Update Ravelry Stash
  6. Finish at least half of Family Tree cross stitch (my take-it-to-work-project)
Clip Art from The Sewing Box

February 9, 2011

Tatted Heart

A dear friend of mine had her birthday in early January. I wanted to do make something special for her, so I pulled out my tatting shuttle and my favorite "I need a gift in a hurry" pattern.
I also found a nice pen and notepad in my gift stash. The heart pattern is from a free project sheet by Lizbeth Thread, and available at Handy Hands Tatting.  I didn't have time to starch the piece, so it's not quite as heart shaped as usual. The thread is Lizbeth, size 20, in Caribbean (122) and Purple Dk. (633). The inner rings and outer chains were done in Caribbean, and the outer rings were done in Purple. I've made this heart several times, but it never looks like the picture - at least not without some serious starching. Can anyone tell me what I'm doing that makes it not-so-heart-shaped?

February 7, 2011

Polymer Clay Notebook Cover

Among the gifts I received at Christmas were some polymer clay tools, and the book, pictured to the left. I had borrowed the book from the library, and was able to think of many applications for the techniques, not just the applications pictured in the projects. For example, this notebook cover. It is rather different in the book, but using the technique, I made my own version. This was my first time trying the Skinner blend, and for my first try, it's not too bad.

Change #1: I made a cover for both sides of the notebook, not just the front
Change #2: I didn't have a spiral bound notebook, as in the book, so I sewed the two pieces together, resulting in a sort of folder. I then carefully hot glued a piece of ribbon along the spine to bind it together.
Change #3: The book has you doing some fancy decorative things on the cover; I wanted to use some texture makers that I had also received at Christmas, but my pieces were too thin. The reason they were too thin is that I didn't use enough clay in my blend. The neat thing is that the covers are very flexible, and almost transparent.

Clay used: Fimo Effect in #052, Glitter White, and #209, Glitter Lilac.

February 4, 2011

Tulips Sweater

A year or two ago, a lot of bloggers were raving about the baby sweater "Tulips" by Dream in Color. I thought it was a cute sweater, but couldn't quite see what all the fuss was about. My quilting friends went on a shop hop, and got the pattern as a freebie. Since neither of them knits, they gave the pattern to me. The pattern sat in my knitting notebook for several months, because I didn't have any pregnant friends at the time.

Last year I finally got the opportunity to knit Tulips. Now I understand what all the fuss is about. This was my second baby sweater, (I still haven't worked up the nerve to try an adult sized sweater) and compared to the first one, this was a piece of cake! It is knit from the top down, so there are no side seams to sew; the sleeves are made by picking up stitches from the armhole section, and knitting in the round. There were a few parts where I had to really stop and think about the directions for a few hours (or days) but overall, this is the easiest knitting for a baby that I've ever done.

Yarn: I chose to use Vanna's Choice yarn, partly because it's acrylic and can be machine washed, and partly because I already had all but one skein in my stash.
Pattern Variation: If you are familiar with Tulips, you probably noticed that I did not use seven different colors of yarn. Again, this was partly because I was trying to stash bust, and also because I thought it would be too busy. I also did the knit-on I-Cord edging in purple, instead of pink, to make the sweater 'pop' a little more.
Advice: One thing that really puzzled me in the pattern was at the end of row 8, it says "for first three sizes, work color change row" then after row 10, it says "for largest two sizes, work color change row". What confused me was where to put in the row, since I already had directions for those rows. I finally realized that if there was a color change, to work the color change instead of the 8'th row (or 10'th, depending on the size made.)
The only other advice I have to offer is to work the applied I-Cord and seed stitch along the edges loosely! I had to rip out the second side and do it over because it was a good inch shorter than the other side.

February 3, 2011

Quiet Book

This is one of those projects that sits around for years, because you're too lazy to finish the last step that would really only take 10 minutes to half a day. I started this quiet book way back in high school, (I think). It was a kit from Nancy's Notions. I remember struggling with understanding the directions. It has been 'done' for several years, it just needed the X's and O's for tic tac toe cut out, and the flowers for the button page cut out. One day I finally sat down and cut out all the pieces. I used suede cloth, so I didn't have to finish the edges.
From left to right: A large zippered pocket, an embroidered inscription, and the front page, a moon with stars that can be pulled out of a clear vinyl pocket.

From left to right: the 'button page' with suede flowers, tic tac toe, and the final page is made with chalkboard fabric. It also doubles as a pocket to hold some chalk, and a sponge to wipe it clean.

January 31, 2011

Lingerie Cases

This post got buried in my drafts folder. I'm trying to catch up on the list of things I should have blogged about last year, but never got around to.

My sister had a small bachelorette party - just the bride and bridesmaids. I'm not too keen on buying (or making) lingerie for others, so I made something for her to keep lingerie in. The outside is made with a satin-like fabric (it's washable, though.) I wanted my gift to reflect my Sister's love of monkeys, so I got a fun monkey print for the inner lining. The lining is cotton.
A lingerie case is a somewhat old fashioned concept. I tried to do some research on them, but apparently they were not enough of a novelty to be widely written about. I remember one from the movie Rebecca - Mrs. Danvers shows Mrs. De Winter around Rebecca's old room, and one of the things that Mrs. Danvers shows her is a lingerie case.

I don't know if you can see it in the picture, but I divided the inside. I have made a second case for a friend, and am working on writing out directions for this project.

January 29, 2011

Scrappin' Saturday XVI

Welcome to Scrappin' Saturday - take a peek into the pages of my scrapbooks, and learn how I made them.
I'm showing two pages this week, since there's hardly anything on them. As I get more photos for these pages, I will write a separate blog post for the second page.

Background Paper: Solid yellow, from one of the pastel packs.
Border: The border was punched using Fiskars Embossing Border Punch Dandy Doodles
Letters: The first letter came from a chipboard assortment. The rest of the letters were made using the Cuttlebug Red Tag Sale Alphabet Die Set
Photos: The photos were cropped to the size I wanted, then I rounded the corners.
Projects Pictured: Sophie Doll & Nightie, Sophie's Homestead Dress
All the empty space is for pictures of outfits that haven't been made yet!

January 28, 2011

Friends In Stitches

My second finished project of the year! This was my "take it to work" project, and I haven't really worked on it since I lost my jobs. I pulled it out the other day, realized how little there was left to do, and finished it. It still needs to be mounted. I want to mount it to the cover of a wooden, unfinished box. The box itself will be decoupaged, inside and out, and will have some sewing accessories inside.

The kit is put out by The Victoria Sampler, and is part of their Beyond Cross Stitch Learning Collection. This particular one is Level One - Montenegrin Stitch.

January 25, 2011

Polymer Clay Creations

Polymer Clay is my newest hobby. My interest in clay was sparked when the children I was babysitting asked me to help them make things with clay. I had a lot of fun, and decided to try it on my own. These little guys were my sister's Christmas present; she loves monkeys, so I decided to make a trio of Hear No Evil, See no Evil, Speak no Evil monkeys that could sit on the edge of a shelf.

I've made a lot of flowers - a few of which are in my Etsy shop. This little bouquet went to a friend who was recovering from shoulder surgery.

This was my Mom's Christmas present. She loved the flowers I'd made, and when I spotted the little watering can in a store, I knew it would be the perfect bouquet holder. I did have some trouble getting the flowers to stay where I wanted them. I made the stems short, and figured I would poke them into some styrofoam. That didn't work very well, so I tried some cotton batting. The batting didn't work either, so I put some tissue paper in the bottom, and wrapped the bouquet in tissue paper. I also put in several pieces of Limonium to look like Baby's Breath or Statice. I wanted to give Mom the option of arranging the flowers, or even putting them in another container, if she wanted, otherwise I would have glued them down permanently.

Cupcakes! My sister wanted to send a care package to a college friend. Her friend likes cupcakes, and she found some cute cupcake earrings on Etsy. The problem was that the seller lived in Poland, so she asked me to try making some.
This is what I came up with. My sister chose the lighter pair to send to her friend. The other pair will probably end up in my Etsy shop.

January 17, 2011

Project Resolutions

Every year I rummage around for the previous year's resolutions, realize I didn't really accomplish any of them, and make a few new resolutions. I leave the list out for a month or two, then file it until next January. However, when it comes to projects, I do a little better. Maybe it's because I keep my list in my craft notebook. Whatever the reason, I usually manage to meet a few goals throughout the year. I also reevaluate once in a while and set a few new goals. This year my crafting goals are simple, and a little more open-ended than usual.
  1. Finish at least 1/2 of the projects on my current WIP list.
  2. Take pictures of completed projects.
  3. Start Christmas gifts ASAP, and finish them by the end of August.
  4. Empty &/or downsize sewing basket.
  5. Frame completed cross stitch projects.
  6. Update Etsy shop on a regular basis.
 The WIP's I would like to finish this year are the crocheted afghan, one embroidered pillowcase, cross stitched family tree, Lady of the Thread, knit stockings, knit socks, and the punch needle design. I will be trying to post regular updates of these projects.
Speaking of projects, I have removed the drop down menu of my completed projects. It was getting too long, and I didn't enjoy messing with all that HTML. My completed projects are now listed on this page. You can also find the link underneath my blog header, next to the Scrappin' Saturday page.

For the month of January, my goals are:
  1. Finish and mail belated Christmas gifts.
  2. Finish granny squares for crocheted afghan.
  3. Start participating in Tatting Tea Tuesday.

January 15, 2011

Scrappin' Saturday XV

Welcome to Scrappin' Saturday - take a peek into the pages of my scrapbooks, and learn how I made them.

Background Paper: A sheet of pink paper, probably from a pastel 'stack'.
Border: Spellbinders Borderabilities Classic Lace Border
Photos: Some I simply cropped, others I cropped and rounded the corners. The center photo was cut and layered using Creative Memories Cutting System Oval Patterns
Die Cuts: Spellbinders Nestabilities Scalloped Paisley and Spellbinders Nestabilities Labels One On the die cuts I listed the pattern, and a few notes about it.
Project Pictured: My first heirloom sewing project. The pictures and a few details are in the slideshow at the bottom of the post.

January 8, 2011

Scrappin' Saturday XIV

Welcome to Scrappin' Saturday - take a peek into the pages of my scrapbooks, and learn how I made them.

This is part of a two page spread of things I've made for my 18" doll.
Background Paper: A solid colored sheet of paper.
Border:I used Spellbinders Borderablilities Classic Lace Border.
Letters: The letters spell out my doll's name, Katrina. The first letter is a chipboard letter, and the rest are from different colors of paper using the Red Tag Sale Alphabet set by Cuttlebug.
Photos: The photos were cropped to the size I wanted, then I used Fiskars 4-in-1 Corner Punch, Glory on the corners. The punch embosses as well as cuts the corners. The embossing doesn't really show up, but I mostly wanted it to shape the corners.
Die Cuts: For my journals, I used Spellbinders Nestabilities Labels Two. I cut the same shape out of two separate papers, then glued them down with one on it's side, and one right side up.
Projects Pictured: Doll Clothes (Some of the pictures are in the Flickr Slideshow at the end of the post.) Also, the outfit Mom made for Katrina.