Monday, October 16, 2017

Stitching Update

I've been happily stitching away lately, and I'm here to show you my progress. The amazing thing for me is that I have a finish and two starts since I last posted.

First of all, the finish. It's Joyful World November by The Snowflower Diaries.
I'm very happy with this finish because: a) I actually finished something, and b) It's stitched in time for the appropriate month! Yay! I continue to enjoy stitching these, but I think that I need to use some different color fabrics for some of these. I was determined to use the 25 count linen that I have a ton of, but the white stitches are extremely difficult to do on it. I can see the white flower outlines and snowflakes in this photo, but in real life they barely show up. So which one do I, as a slow stitcher, do next? March? April?

Scaredy Cats by Mill Hill is coming along nicely.
This picture was taken at stitch day for my group, The Sisters In Stitches. I worked on Scaredy Cats exclusively last Saturday, and got a lot done.

So for the starts. I started "Christmas Sentiments" by Stoney Creek last week.
I'm stitching it on 28 count lugana in the color lambswool. This is the fabric color that it calls for. Now for this one, I'm really happy with the way the white is showing up on the fabric. Plus, the white thread is #8 pearl cotton. Love it. You can see I've barely started, but I know I'm going to like stitching this one.

My next start is "Snow Much Fun At The North Pole" by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery. The chart can be found in the 2017 JCS ornament issue. I'm stitching it as part of a SAL in the Facebook group Candy Cane Stitchers.
I just started this one last night. The fabric is 28 count pale blue linen that I had in my fabric stash. I think it was in one of those ornament fabric packs that you can buy so I don't know the exact fabric name or color name. 

So I've been making some pretty good stitching progress. Yes, I do have some projects that I haven't touched for a few weeks, but I'll be picking those up again soon.

Also, Victorian Motto Sampler Shop blog is having an awesome giveaway! You can find out the details HERE!

Thanks for visiting! I can also be found on Youtube, where my channel is CraftyCat Stitcher. On Instagram, I'm craftycat_stitcher. Check back soon. I hope to have a Pinterest attempt post up in the next week. 

Monday, October 2, 2017

September WIPocalypse!

I'm here! I'm here! September proved to be a weird month in many ways, and thankfully it's over. I did get a bit of stitching done and moved through my stitching rotation pretty well!

This is the September installment my WIPocalypse progress. WIPocalypse is a blogging community group which encourages rotating our WIPs in an efficient and enjoyable way. You can find out more about it on the Measi's Musings blog.

I did a little more stitching on Rainbow Row. I think the thing that amazes me most is the ease with which I'm stitching on 32 count fabric! It's two over two, but I always thought that 32 count was too small for my eyes. Nope. I like it a lot and will use 32 more in the future.
It's starting to take shape, with the perspective of the tree in front of the building. I've made the decision to stitch one page at a time, and that includes all of the backstitching. That will give me a sense of completion as I work on this big project.

My little Halloween/fall project, Mill Hill's Scaredy Cats, had some stitches added to it.
Awww, aren't they cute? Working on this one slowly but surely. The beads will be last, and I am looking forward to adding those! I like having this project in the rotation because it's such a change from anything else I'm working on.

A few more stitches went into "The Light Upon The Lawn" by Blackbird Designs.
I'm stitching this on the fabric that I dyed with tea and coffee, and baked and basted. When I originally started it, I was stitching 2 over 2. But I quickly figured out that the stitches looked weird, kind of big and just strange. So I converted to 1 over 1 and like it a lot better! I love the colors in this.

My November Joyful World (Snowflower Diaries) is coming along nicely. I really want to complete this by November! Do you think I can?
I am pretty sure that it will be done in time to display in November. I like these monthly designs, and am happy with my method of stitching these - not in month order. This will be my "priority stitch" in October.

Goals for October: Definitely make "November" a priority, with the rest of my WIPs taking their turn. I plan to add at least one new project. I've joined a SAL on Facebook in which we choose an ornament from the JCS 2017 ornament issue. The FB group where more info can be found is Candy Cane Stitchers. What a great SAL for a slow stitcher like me! I also may start another Christmas project, but we'll have to see if that happens.

Question of the month: Which floss (or color of floss) do you adore and want to stash constantly? I am a big fan of DMC. I have most of the colors and just enjoy stitching with them. Another favorite is Gentle Art Sampler Threads. I have a pretty good collection of them, but definitely not all. They're wonderful to stitch with, and the colors are gorgeous.

I may be late posting to this group each month, but I am truly enjoying being here. It's very motivational and encourages me not to get "stuck" on a particular project. Plus I like seeing what everyone else is stitching!

Thanks for visiting today! 

Monday, September 4, 2017

August WIPocalypse - I Know, I Know

Soooooo, I was just going about my business last Friday. It was actually both a fun and productive day. At some point in the evening I looked at my watch and saw the number "1" in the little date box. I am not kidding. This is when I realized that it was September. And on top of that, it hit me that I forgot the August WIPocalypse last week!

Better late than never, right? For those of you who aren't familiar with the WIPocalypse, please go to the Measi's Musings blog to find out about it. Today I'll update you on my stitching progress during the month of August.

I'll tell you right off that I didn't work on Rainbow Row or Joyful World November calendar piece at all. I won't even post photos of those this month. I plan to bring both of those to the front of the stitching line during September.

I continued to work on Tulip's Praise, and bought a new gadget to make stitching this one easier.
Yes, I bought a Rolaframe after hearing how wonderful they are. I had resisted because I'd tried roller frames in the past and ended up with my stitching loosening little by little. I was also not a fan because they tended to be awkward and a little heavy which wasn't good for my oh-so-delicate wrists. However, I am really liking the Rolaframe!! I purchased the 7" side bars and 20" roller bars. It was easy to load the fabric, especially after I watched The Twisted Stitcher's video showing the how-to's of loading fabric onto the Rolaframe. To find out more about Rolaframe, visit their page on Facebook.

I started a new project last month as well.
I had attempted to start this Mill Hill kit a couple of years ago at a stitch retreat. But then I took one look at those two bags of mixed-up beads and was immediately intimidated. So the project, Scaredy Cats, was put away until a few weeks ago. One of my Sisters In Stitches, Thea, gave our group a great idea about separating the beads to make it easier to stitch these projects.
I think I showed you this idea in a previous post, but it is worth repeating! First you have to take the time to sort the beads. I did this while watching a movie, and used my beading tray and mat. Then you group the sorted beads onto your Tacky Bob and put the symbols by each corresponding bead. I just drew mine and cut them out. Cool idea, right? I will do all of the stitching first, and then do the beading.

Another start for me was "The Light Upon The Lawn" by Blackbird Designs.
As you can see, very little has been stitched so far. I'm stitching it on the fabric that I dyed using coffee and tea. 

And here's big finish for me! I completed "But First Tea" by Zindagi Designs on Etsy.
The frame is an old trivet. It had a ceramic tile with a weird 1970's design in it, but Mark easily got rid of that. The stitched piece has to be inserted into the "frame" from the front, so it was kind of tricky. I used the thin Terrifically Tacky Tape to keep it in there. Will this fall out at some point? I don't know, but it was worth a try. I love this finish and will find it a place of honor in my kitchen.

Question of the month: How do you get yourself out of a stitching drought?
This is easy. I watch Flosstube videos, go to the stitching pages I joined on Facebook, and read stitching blogs! Without fail, I always get inspired by doing these things. Warning! These inspiring places can also be enabling!

By the way, both the "I love cross stitch" and the Munsters needle minders are from the SandbarMermadeShop on Etsy. Take a look! Besides needle minders, Sarah makes scissor fobs and earrings.

Well, that's about it for this month. Looking back, I really have made some good stitching progress! Please consider visiting me on Flosstube where my channel is CraftyCat Stitcher. I have also caved and joined Instagram. You can find me there at craftycat_stitcher.

Thanks for visiting today. I welcome and enjoy comments. Also, welcome to my new subscribers!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Pinterest Adventures Are Back!

You probably noticed that I took a bit of a break from my Pinterest attempts. I decided to start them back up this month, but I may not be doing them on a monthly basis. It'll most likely be a random thing. But still fun!

My latest Pinterest-inspired project is "Make Your Own Basket Out Of A Box". Yep, sounds crazy, but it did look cute in the photo. The instructions seemed fairly simple, so I gave it a go. You can find the original instructions HERE.

All you need for this project is: a cardboard box (whatever size you want), some fabric, some twine or rope, and hot glue. The most difficult thing to find was the rope. I finally found some at Wal-Mart, and it looks pretty much like the rope that is used in the instructions.
This twine-like rope was pretty stiff, and gluing it on turned out to be a pretty time-consuming task. It was easy going along the sides of the box, but turning the corners took a bit of work. Each time I turned a corner, I had to hold the rope on both sides of the corner until I was sure that it was firmly stuck on.
I just ran a line of glue where I wanted the rope to stick. I started at the bottom and worked my way up to a point where I thought the fabric should cover it. Plus, a LOT of hot glue was used. I only burned myself once. But I was happy with the final result of this first step.

Next I cut the box flaps off. You can do this before you start gluing the rope, but I was too lazy.

Now it's time to cut the fabric. Here is where I deviated from the instructions. I'm not a fan of hot gluing fabric because I've never been able to do it where it looks good. So I thought that just folding the fabric over the sides of the box would be good enough. I cut the fabric as follows: the height of the box + the measurement of the outside fold-over that you want + 1" + about 3" to go on the bottom of the box. The one inch is to fold under so that you have a clean edge on the edge of the fabric. That's for the height of the fabric. For the length (that will wrap around the box), simply measure around the outside of the box and add 1-1/4".

I sewed a seam on the short side with right sides together (1/2" seam) and then I ironed a 1" fold-over on one of the long edges. It was time to put the fabric on the box! See how I folded the fabric over the rope edge? That 1" fold is on the bottom. I didn't take a picture of the inside of the box at this time, and I should have. If I did though, you would see the extra 3" laying on the bottom of the box. Messy looking, you say? Nope.
 
I cut a piece of cardboard the dimensions of the inside of the box. Test it out to make sure it fits before you cover with fabric. I fastened the fabric to the wrong side of the cardboard with double stick tape. You won't see this side.
Then I inserted the cardboard piece into the bottom of the box. Presto! You don't see those messy looking fabric edges laying on the bottom of the box!
I didn't glue the covered cardboard piece to the bottom of the box, but if you want to do that, go ahead. The original instructions don't do this step at all, but I wanted a nice, finished look inside the box.
So there it is. Useful for so many things.

Would I do this project again? Yes, but I think I would look for a rope-type material that is more flexible, resulting in easier-to-turn corners. Maybe something like cotton clothesline would work and look good too? I guess I need to look in more places for something like this. But the result is cute and useful at the same time. Plus it's inexpensive to make. Depending on the size of the box, not much fabric is needed. It's a great time to use those remnants!

Hot glue is, well, hot. Take the Martha Stewart advice and keep a bowl of ice water at hand and stick your finger in there if you burn yourself. 

I hope you liked this demonstration. Check out the original instructions from Living Well Mom by clicking the link HERE and decide on the steps you'd like to use to make a fun and functional basket!

Thanks for visiting today! Any comments are welcome, and please consider becoming a follower of my blog. Welcome to my new followers! Also, remember that I'm on Flosstube on Youtube. My channel's name is CraftyCat Stitcher. Go over there and take a look! See you soon!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

WIPocalypse For July

I'm kind of proud of myself this month because I did an actual rotation with my stitching projects. The problem for me is that I tend to really get into stitching on one thing and am having fun, so I don't want to put it away and stitch something else. So getting into a real rotation is a big thing for me.

I made some progress on Rainbow Row.
This is the main one that I just wanted to keep stitching! Nice that I can see the building taking shape in back of the tree.

My Tulip's Praise had some stitches added to it.
The whole center section with the tulips is done and I started on some detail below that. This is a big project and I know it will be quite a while before I'm done. But coming along nicely and it's fun to stitch.

I started another Joyful World monthly chart - this one is November. I'll probably have it done before November! Giving myself plenty of time!
The way I'm stitching and the way the thread was dyed (Gentle Arts Green Pasture) gives the peacock's tail a striped look. At first I didn't know if I liked it, but no way was I going to rip it all out. I have since decided that it looks good the way it is and I'm leaving it. Note: It's really difficult to rip out stitches on 25 count fabric when you're stitching over one.

If you didn't see it in my last post, I finally finished Kaleidoscope!
I figured I'd post it one more time. It's a big finish for me as it was so detailed with a lot of colors. I'm pretty sure I'm going to frame it.

There's a new project on the horizon!
It's called But First Tea by Zindagi Designs (on Etsy). I have a special finishing method planned for this, so I had to make it fit a certain size. Therefore, I had to choose my fabric accordingly. Once again, I'll be stitching over one on 25 count Pearl Norden. Yes, more teeny-tiny stitches. I actually do like stitching these small stitches, so it should be a fun project. Very colorful too!

Question Of The Month: What is your oldest and your newest WIP?
I'm pretty sure my oldest WIP is Tulip's Praise. I think I've been working on it for about two years. I'm happy to be putting more stitches into it because it's going to be a beautiful finish. My newest WIP is But First Tea. That counts, right? Even though I haven't put a stitch into it, it's kitted up and ready to go. That first stitch will probably happen this week!

My August Goals: 1. Keep up my rotation success! 2. Possibly add a new project. But which one?

Thank you to Measi's Musings for hosting WIPocalypse. I truly believe that being in this group is responsible for keeping my stitching going and for avoiding stitching slumps!

Thank you for visiting my CraftyCat blog. Please feel free to comment and even become a follower! Check back often for more updates!

Monday, July 24, 2017

A Big Finish

I hope you didn't expect some kind of giant cross stitch project when you read "A Big Finish". This one is relatively small in size, but was a lot of work. It took me quite a while to finish it up as well.
It's Kaleidoscope, and it's all done! To be honest, I don't know how long I've been working on this, but let's just say that it's been years rather than months. But as you know, I have been working on other projects at the same time. So there's my excuse.

It's meant to be finished up into a cushion, but I'm leaning toward framing it. What do you think?

I also talked about this on my Flosstube channel, CraftyCat Stitcher. I made a second video! I think my Flosstube experience is going pretty well so far. Being a slow stitcher, I won't be making videos every week with amazing finishes. I'll probably be posting there every couple of weeks.

Now I want to find another Sheena Rogers design to stitch! I really love these stitch-filled squares!

I'll be posting here on Sunday (I can't believe that it will be the last Sunday in July!) with my WIPocalypse progress. At that time you'll see another start, maybe two!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

I Took The Plunge

Yes, I finally did it. I became an official Flosstuber. In case you're not familiar with Flosstube, it's a community of stitchers who do videos on Youtube. If you told me a year ago that I'd be doing this, I would have laughed and said "yeah, right". But here I am, CraftyCat Stitcher. As I say in my video, I didn't know what Flosstube was until about eight months ago. I started watching and was pretty surprised at how many stitchers create little videos and post them on Youtube. I've only done one so far. If you want to see it, just go to Youtube and search "CraftyCat Stitcher".

In my last post I mentioned my stitch group's stitch day a couple of weeks ago. This was our annual birthday celebration and I made each stitcher a bracelet. I had fun making each one unique, with different combinations of beads. Memory wire bracelets are easy to make. You basically only need wire and beads, and sometimes a charm if you want. But the important thing is to have the proper cutters for memory wire! That stuff is pretty tough!
I also wanted to wrap them differently than I usually do. I found some cards in the clearance section at Hobby Lobby and devised my own way to attach the bracelets.
Here they are all packaged up.
Thea also got crafty and made us all these cute key wristlets.
As you can see I've already attached my keys and have been using this wristlet every day! I always keep my house keys separate from my car keys (for some reason), and this makes it easy to find my keys in my purse. It's especially handy when I have a bunch of stuff to carry into the house from the car, like when I get home from work. I have a purse, a lunch bag, and sometimes books and grocery bags. I just pop this on my wrist and no more fumbling around for my house keys! Cute and functional!

As far as stitching goes, I haven't done much in the past week for a couple of reasons. I've had some good books to read, and I've also been out of town visiting our son and daughter in law. It was a whirlwind trip, so no time for stitching. But I did get a little more done on Kaleidoscope before I left.
My goal is to complete this one soon. It's been in the rotation for a long time, so it's about time to get it done! I'll be making it a priority.

That's about it for now. I will be continuing my blog, even though I have discovered the world of Flosstube. I like the process of writing and posting photos. So keep coming back for visits. I also plan to get back into my Pinterest attempts at some point. See you soon!