Tuesday, February 28, 2017
At the same time, the daylight is lasting longer.
Some of the bulbs in the Garden of Hope are beginning to sprout.
There are fewer stormy days.
As a testament of the coming Spring, I hung my new spinner on the front porch.
It looks quite pretty in the Golden Hour with the slanting light bouncing off the surface.
Another promise of Spring.
Monday, February 27, 2017
This one landed on the brim of my hat this morning.
The temperature was nearly too warm for snowflake photos today. Most of the flakes landed in clumps rather than as individual flakes. Those that did land by themselves were missing a leg or two, and melted very quickly.
Soon after I took this photo, the flakes dropped on my hat and coat like broken skeletons, cracked bones littering the landscape. I had to give up for the day.
Tonight it's all slush and ice. I nearly fell on my keister trying to walk on the concrete driveway.
Sunday, February 26, 2017
Today I attached all the beads and sequins. Those petite beads gave me a bit of trouble. Even with my smallest tapestry (blunt point) needle, some of the holes in the beads were too small. I had to resort to a pointed beading needle, which did the job just fine, once I could thread the tiny eye.
You better believe I was using a magnifier today!
Next I need to figure out what kind of finishing treatment I want to give it. I have some ideas, but think I'll put this on hold for another day.
Tomorrow I hope to straighten up my Studio, put some new supplies away, and set up the next projects for St. Patrick's Day. I'll also likely embroider another quilt square or two for my granddaughter's quilt.
Saturday, February 25, 2017
Some 4-leaf clovers for St. Patrick's Day. Seem early? It's just 20 days away!
My happy leprechaun looks outstanding in his field.
I learned to make the shamrock from this YouTube video:
Inspired by Yolanda Soto Lopez
Friday, February 24, 2017
Thursday, February 23, 2017
I keep buying picture frames. I bought these today. I also have a big storage box (or two) downstairs.
Thankfully, most are pre-owned frames from thrift stores.
Only two of the six I bought today are new. The big one is for a limited edition Love poster I bought through DFTBA, the proceeds of which go to an organization that works with refugees.
One of the black square frames is for a finished piece of stitchery which I unearthed today ... in a frame, tucked behind another piece of stitchery. And it's a heart! Might as well put that baby on the wall. It's called [I give you] Olive My Heart! It's a heart ... decorated with green olives. I stitched it years and years ago!
The small white frame needs a little refinishing help. Then I'll use it to frame my embroidery on paper. Of all the pieces I stitched last December, this is the only one that I kept for myself.
The other frames? For stitcheries yet unfinished.
:: blush ::
A girl can dream.
Wednesday, February 22, 2017
That was my day today. Dale was back at work. I did a big Home Blessing. That means 4 or 5 loads of laundry, water the plants, thoroughly clean the bathroom, put clean sheets on the beds, scrub down the counters, sweep and clean the wood floors, vacuum, sweep the porch, dust, all that stuff.
AND I cleaned the oven. So shiny!
AND I walked more than 11,000 steps! My current daily goal is 7,600. Whoo-hoo!
So I'm pooped and a little sore, but very satisfied.
Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Annual business? We met with our financial advisor to add funds to my IRA and talk about our eventual retirement.
Decluttering? Dale help Jeanne move his mom's former dining set to Jeanne's apartment. I released unneeded clothes, lots of vases, a few dishes, party supplies, cross-stitch patterns, take-home menus, old electronics, holiday decor, shoe polish and more. We're simple and eclectic and our belongings reveal that.
Cozy things? I finished crocheting the hat and scarf set on Saturday. Today started with breakfast at iHop, and moved on to watching the 3-D version of Upside Down. We shared some popcorn and peanuts during the movie. Later, we warmed up with potato soup.
Plus, there's this:
After several years of searching, we traded out our 10+ year old comforter for a new one, complete with complimentary pillows. I really like the subtle stripes on top with the flocked floral skirt. A very nice combination of Dale's style mixed with Margaret's. It makes for a comfy #CornerOfOurHome
A simple, loving weekend is sure to culminate in a good night of sleep, which, in turn, will lead to a very short work week.
Tonight, I'm content inside. I really do live a charmed life.
Monday, February 20, 2017
Still I was determined to make handcrafted valentines this year, so I picked one idea and set to work. I found this idea on Pinterest, of course.
I was pleased to find card blanks at the Dollar Tree this year. So I picked up a pack that had red fronts, white interiors, and pink envelopes.
I used brown craft paper, also from Dollar Tree, and cut out the shape of the paper bags. The "bling" is a string of gem stickers, also from Dollar Tree.
I raided my stash and used some scraps of patterned papers to punch out a variety of heart shapes in two sizes. The foil red heart is from my stash. Some of those hearts are actually cut from designs on Christmas cards!
On the inside, I taped a small valentine lapel pin, added the sentiment, and a flower sticker. One of my goals this year is to learn some fancy hand lettering techniques so my cards will look more polished.
Best? I got the cards in the mail on time, and they arrived at the homes of family and friends by Valentine's Day.
I don't know the name of the designer who inspired me.
Here's what the original design looked like.
Sunday, February 19, 2017
All the components for this wreath were purchased from the Dollar Tree. The wreath form looks much like this photo, though a bit more curved -- and much less expensive. The roses came with about six flowers on each stem and looked a bit like this. The flowers were three sizes. I bought six stems of roses. (Unfortunately, at the time of this writing, these items are no longer listed on the Dollar Tree website).
To create the wreath, we cut the flowers off the stem, leaving about a one inch stub. We used hot glue to adhere the leaves and bottom petals of the flowers to the heart frame. We alternated flower sizes so that the frame was filled out nicely. It took a bit of finesse to place the roses in such a way that they accentuated the shape of the heart frame. Place a few flowers incorrectly, and the heart turns into a blob.
I also bought some glittery berry sprays at the Dollar Tree that look a bit like this. We tried placing groups of berries throughout the wreath, but they didn't look right. So we cut the berries off the stems, and placed a single berry in the center a few choice flowers scattered throughout the wreath. The berries become a happy surprise tucked into the center of the fullest blooms.
Finally we tied a loop of red ribbon (from my stash) at the top of the heart so it could hang. The total cost of the wreath was only eight dollars. I'm so pleased with the result!
Saturday, February 18, 2017
Friday, February 17, 2017
Thursday, February 16, 2017
I was off my game on this drizzly, low-barometric pressure day. I chose to do something quiet and rhythmic today.
My daughter helped procure a commissioned hat and scarf set for me. The yarn arrived yesterday, so I decided to start the project today.
I knit the hat on a loom. I'm about 1/3 of the way done crocheting the scarf. It was a good way to spend the day.
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
All the stitching is complete. Now it's time to add the embellishments - the beads and paillettes. I had to take time to dig out a size 28 tapestry needle so I can attach those teeny tiny petite seed beads.
It took a bit of finesse to work around the "off by one thread" problem. It's barely noticeable, thank goodness.
I've also decided on how I want to finish this piece. I'll make a handmade fabric frame to finish this piece like I did Just Nan's Rose Lady.
Tuesday, February 14, 2017
What we did together ...
Handcrafted Valentine card
Monday, February 13, 2017
Sunday, February 12, 2017
A flock of flamingos had gathered in my neighbor's yard! What's a girl to do but grab her camera, put on the long lens, and take photos from the safety of the bedroom?
They do look content!
February 13 update:
The flocking is part of a fundraiser by our local Kiwani's Club. It goes on all over town.
Saturday, February 11, 2017
Friday, February 10, 2017
A former neighbor who I keep in touch with via Facebook was kind enough to invite me to a party where we learned to make pallet art. Vinyl stencils are adhered to 11" x 17" painted wood pallets, then painted with whatever colors we wanted.
I chose two Valentine designs. Here's the first.
I'll show you the next one tomorrow.
Thursday, February 9, 2017
I fixed my mistake at the bottom of the piece. I had one set of queen stitches off by two threads (you can see it on yesterday's photo). So I pulled those stitches out and re-stitched them in the right place.
Then I finished up the strawberries by stitching the next queen stitches in two shades of pink.
I should mention that this image is larger than actual size. The stitching is only 2.75 inches square.
Tomorrow I plan to make some Valentines, so I'll set this aside for a day. It will be quite nice to spend an entire day under the bright lights in my Studio.
Wednesday, February 8, 2017
That's an earring that I pin at the top to keep my stitchery going in the right direction. On a piece like this it doesn't matter a whole lot since it's symmetrical. But the blue lines match the lines match the dark lines on the chart, so the earring helps keep me straight.
It's a bit of a challenge stitching 18 stitches per inch, but my magnifier is helping.
Tuesday, February 7, 2017
It will be fun to do a design with "specialty stitches" which include the four-sided stitch (around the edge) and the queen stitch (the strawberries). Besides the bead embellishment, there are also some Paillettes (sequins).
I must have really liked this pattern. When I opened the package, I see that I have three complete sets of patterns and embellishments.
Though this is called Strawberry Quilt Block, I won't be using it as a quilt block. But I'm not sure how I'll be finishing it. Perhaps as an easel or flat fold.
Monday, February 6, 2017
Sunday, February 5, 2017
The colors look a little funky for a couple reasons. First, this is a scanned image rather than a photograph. The brown looks red, the light green looks yellow, and the medium green looks blue.
Second, the iron-on transfer my mom used when she started these quilt squares is very pink, very thick, and quite dark. So the colors of floss I chose don't show true. I do hope the pink will wash out later on.
If not, my grandchild will have a fun and funky colored quilt, made with love by her grandma and great-grandma. That's worth the price of admission.
Saturday, February 4, 2017
I found a 6" brown wood frame in my stash. I used two coats of acrylic paint to change it to red. I used acid-free foam core as the base for the stitchery. I covered the foam core a light layer of quilt batting. Since I don't consider this a "heritage" piece, I didn't bother lacing the stitchery to the foam core. Instead, I pinned it with silk pins around the edges, then taped the excess fabric to the back of the foam core.
I used glazier points to hold the stitchery to the frame. Then stapled brown package wrap to the back to act as a dust cover.
|Middle Row with Button|
This was a fun piece to stitch because it
[a] is small! The finished stitching is 4" by 4"
[b] only uses three colors of floss
[c] each heart has a different pattern
[d] has that center polymer clay button that adds a sweet little pop of embellishment
I've set it on the fireplace mantle for the month. It was awfully nice to finish a piece of cross-stitch. I hope to do more this year.
Here are the details:
Design name: DH 5 Hearts
Designer: Hob-Nobb Designs, Inc.
* Gentle Art Sampler Thread - Hibiscus (overdyed)
* DMC 498
* DMC 3802
Fabric: I think this is a cream colored 28 ct.Lugana stitched over two.
(I kitted this up so long ago that I'm not sure).
Embellishment: Polymer clay button came with the pattern
Cost of Chart: $3.00
Friday, February 3, 2017
I finished stitching all the hearts. It's getting a little soak to clean off any oils from my hands.
Now to figure out how I want to finish it. Frame it? Turn it into a pillow? A small banner? We'll have to see what I come up with.