Friday, September 16, 2016

Playing Catch-up

Well H-e-l-l-o!  Gosh it's been a while hasn't it?  I hope you all had a lovely summer!

Mine was good, all things considered.  As I mentioned we moved house in the first week of July.  I had forgotten how much work and time that all takes up.  I also realized just how much stuff we had tucked away in all those nooks and crannies of our last house.  It sure is something to see everything you own, out in the open, all at once!  All our previous moves generally went off without a hitch;  this time there were a few glitches, including the fairly major contract snafu nobody noticed until our things were being packed up.  For a few weeks we ended up owning two houses, which was really rather stressful at the time.   With the help of some good friends and former neighbours  we were able to leave the old house in safe hands until the new possession day.  Thankfully that is all over now and we are able to enjoy our new home and explore our new surroundings.

 (One of the many works in progress I have going on!)

Craft wise I have been starting a lot of things, which has been fun, but I need to focus on finishing some more things.  I had a bunch of works in progress and finishes I wanted to show you, but it was taking me so long to get everything organized for a blog post I decided to just sit down and put in what I could think of right now.   I can see now that I have forgotten to photograph some things, but that will just have to wait for another time.

I'll start with the cross stitching:  I have some finishes to show you!  Vintage Christmas by Country Cottage Needleworks is all done and I will be able to frame it up for this Christmas.


I love this design, but truthfully I'm feeling a little "meh" about the finish.  I think it might be the fabric colour that is putting me off.  I said I would frame it up, but I guess I'm not so sure yet.  I think I just need a little distance from it and maybe when I take it out in December I will love it all over again.

I wanted to dedicate July to Christmas stitching, so in addition to Vintage Christmas I stitched a few ornaments as well.  I only did two:  the seagull and snowmen trio, but with the house move in there and also the bigger design I am happy with what I accomplished.  Both of these designs are also by Country Cottage Needleworks.
 The mistletoe ornament is a recent finish, and it's a Lesley Teare design from Cross Stitch Collection, November 2015.


My Stitcher's Alphabet has not seen the light of day since we moved, but I did complete two more letters after my last post here and before we pulled up stakes.  'O' for Overdyed thread and 'N' for Needle:


This was my favourite row to work on so far.  I loved the colours and all the motifs.  After this there are only two and a half more rows to go, so I really should just knuckle down and get it finished.


This next design is from the September 2012 edition of Cross Stitch and Needlework, by Ursula Michael.  I took a photo of the finished stitch using a fall napkin as a back drop.   I liked the effect so much I  stitched the two together and turned it into a pillow cover!  Now I'm down to three napkins but I'll think of something to do with those.



On My Hooks...

 It was such a hot summer I didn't do too much crocheting.  Thankfully I was able to track down one more skein of the yarn I needed to finish my corner to corner blanket:


 I was hoping to gift this to my niece for her new baby this month:  wouldn't you know she had a sweet boy instead?  Off to the cupboard it goes, waiting for the next little girl to arrive in the family someday.

I made some new dishcloths for the new house:


 I am trying to reduce the yarn stash a little bit and these are always great stash busters.  I am finding though, that with the ever-shrinking skein sizes, pretty soon one skein will not be enough for a dishcloth.  I suppose if I learned to knit them instead I could stretch the skein out a bit more.  If you are a dish cloth knitter, do you find you have a decent amount of yarn left over?  These are all made with Bernat Handicrafter cotton, and in most cases I only have a few inches of yarn left over.  I have already had to reduce the foundation row count, and the border size.

I made a companion apple pot holder to the red one I made in 2014:


 This is a free pattern, available here.  The pattern makes one apple:  I crochet a second one in the skin colour so I can stitch them together and have a double thickness.

One nice discovery here was a lovely yarn shop where I have added significantly to their coffers!  On one trip I found this hand painted yarn by Briggs and Little called "Eggplant".  If you follow me on Instagram you will have seen the other colour way I couldn't leave behind called "Flamingo".  I am making the One Button Wrap out of the eggplant and am getting close to finishing.


 I have since pulled out the four inches on the right side:  you can see how the colour changes in that skein are much darker than the rest.  I didn't think it would be so noticable but once I took the photograph I could really see it.  I have another skein that should work better, and I can use the darker one in the border.

OK, that's all for today!  Thank you for sticking around and visiting me here in my little crafty space.  I see I am pretty far behind in my blog reading too, so I hope to visit you soon if you have a blog.  If you're on Instagram let me know!  I don't post a lot there but I love my daily dose of crafty goodness and pretty pictures.  My moniker there is Jenn's Crafty World as well.

Take care my friends, and,

 Happy Days!

Jenn

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

June Happenings

Hello!  Did you have a lovely June?  I think I did:  it felt busy and yet at times it felt like it was dragging along.  I think the waiting around we have been doing before our house move accounted for the dragging bit.  It's a bit difficult for a big homebody like me to be unable to feather her nest.  I'm in my current home, but now all my thoughts are already in the next one.  Soon the transition will happen and Home will consume me for a while with all its unpacking and putting away and feathering and nesting.  I have tried to use this quiet time for crafty pursuits, because I know for the next couple of weeks I won't get much opportunity.  I had so many plans for this time, but when faced with all the choices I didn't know what to do.  I decided to just pick up my cross stitching as that seemed the easiest.  Suffice it to say my Stitcher's Alphabet is growing:  I worked on three letters this month.  'P' for Pins;' Q' for Quilt and 'R' for Redwork.  I probably could have completed another one but the background for 'R' was so boring I kept putting it down.


Here we are to date:


I also made some progress on 'Vintage Christmas' by Country Cottage Needleworks.  


I have to frog the birds because they are supposed to be white.  That makes much more sense than pink, and at first I thought they were supposed to be pastel coloured cardinals!  I think I just did too much cross stitch that day and couldn't read the pattern correctly.  I decided I would like to work on Christmas designs only in July when I have the time, so hopefully I can get this completed and get to work on another larger seasonal design.

This next little design was a freebie with Cross Stitch Crazy magazine and I loved the colours of course!  I switched out the aida for evenweave and I thought it would be a perfect stitch for my new home.  I believe the designer is Emma Congden on this one.


Another cute magazine freebie came with The World of Cross Stitching magazine this month too.  There was a little booklet of cross stitch alphabets with two free skeins of Madeira floss in pink and blue.  As soon as I saw this Union Jack alphabet I knew just what I wanted to make:


I keep my loose tea tins in this basket and thought a little label would be so cute.

I made a few little accessories for my stitching as well.  I have seen a lot of needle minders on various You Tube stitching videos and was intrigued.  I have a beautiful one from Kelmscott, but it never occurred to me I could make my own!  This is proving to be quite addicting I tell you....


Some pretty autumnal coloured beads at the dollar store inspired me to make a scissor keep for Fall:


I saw these charms at the craft store and I think I actually squealed with delight.  (According to My Favourite Girl I did and that's why she ran the other way)  How cute are these?!  


You had better believe I scouted out a coupon tout de suite in order to buy these.  I attached the little charms with jump rings to one of those necklace extenders, then hooked it on to a larger lobster clasp.  Now it's a cutie-pie zipper pull for one of my project bags.

My crochet hook saw some action in June as well.  I first saw this corner to corner baby blanket on Becky's blog.  I am always finding projects there I want to make, and since I had half of the required yarn already in my stash I could get started right away.  This is called the 'Spring into Summer' blanket and it is a free pattern you can find HERE.  


This was nice to work on in the hotel room and car while on our house hunting trip.  The first half seems to take a while, but I noticed the second half just zipped by.  My issue is now this:  if you look in the top left corner you will see I ran out of yarn just as I was about to finish the main section.  The pattern says it takes three balls of this yarn to make the blanket with a border.  My crocheting must have been pretty relaxed because what you see here took three balls.  I went to two stores to get another ball and both are out of stock.  Talk about frustrating!  Now I have to wait until we move to our new town and hope I can track one more ball down there.  It would have been nice to have it all completed before I move, but I suppose there are worse things to do than having to source craft shops in a new city aren't there?

Now, I'm sure you will have a hard time believing this (!!), but sometimes I need a creative project I can really sink my teeth into.  Well, this time it was a sander, but you know what I mean!
Our current kitchen table will be too big to fit into our new kitchen, so I ended up buying a smaller one from a friend.  I spent an enjoyable day getting dusty and making lots of noise by sanding down and refinishing the table top.  I left the bottom alone because I like the painted part.  If there was such a thing as a craft nerd, I think I would definitely make the cut.... Moving in three weeks?  How about re-doing a table? 

 Yes please!!!


Well my friends, I am finally at the end.  I have said a lot of goodbyes this past month, and in the next week there will be many more.  This is likely the last update I will post before moving, so next time you hear from me I will have a new base for my Crafty World.  Thank you so much for visiting, and I look forward to seeing what you are up to in the next few weeks.  Have a wonderful summer!!

xo Jenn





Tuesday, May 31, 2016

May??

Wow; that was a fast one!  I haven't had such a crazy month in a long time!  



First of all, thank you all so much for the quilt love.  After such a frustrating experience it was nice to get your positive and encouraging comments.  I was able to deliver the quilt in person and the recipient loved it, so that was a huge relief in the end.  

The last time I published a post was the first day our house went on the market.  I am happy to report that three days later it sold!  Pretty much what every seller hopes for.  Mr. Crafty World and I spent last week looking for a new home in our new town.  It was a little on the stressful side as most of what we wanted to see sold just a few days before we got there. We finally did find a lovely home in a smaller town that we are both pretty happy about.  We will be in our current location for another five weeks and then we're off to start our new adventure.  One thing I am super happy about:  I will have a room above grade for sewing and crafting! 

I did fit a bit of stitching in with all the craziness going on in May.  I completed two more blocks in my Stitcher's Alphabet:  'L' is for Lace  and 'M' is for Measure.  Don't you just love that cute little mouse?


I am now officially half way done!


One of my larger works in progress is 'VintageChristmas' by Country Cottage Needleworks.  I started it before Christmas last year, but with the holiday hoop-la I didn't finish.  Why I thought I could I have no idea!  I put in a few more stitches before we went away and I think I am almost half way done at this point:


The day after we sold our house I spent the entire day sewing up a new cushion cover.  This is a pattern from Bustle and Sew - I think 2012 sometime.  I still need to work on my free motion machine embroidery:  I think perhaps using a hoop might be helpful.  Any advice?


And there you have it, all the news from the magical month of May.  Thank you all so much for visiting and your kind words.  I am hoping to catch up on all my blog reading today.

Until next time,
Happy Days!

xo Jenn

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

April Happenings

Hello Again!

Isn't it funny how the longer you are away the less you feel you have to show and tell?!

Since my last update I made some good progress with my stitching using my new "Stitching Formula".  Basically I am dedicating one week of each month to four different project types.  One week is for Christmas ornaments; another for Stitcher's Alphabet; one for larger seasonal WIP's and the fourth for whatever strikes my fancy!
I was able to complete two blocks for the Stitcher's Alphabet: J - Japanese Embroidery;  and K - Knitting.


Here is where I am to date:


Sadly once these blocks were finished my whole schedule was thown out the window.  I traded my needle and floss for hammers and paintbrushes as we have been madly preparing for this:



I had forgotten how much work was involved in getting a home ready for sale!  Now that the house is on the market I can relax a little bit.  I can tell you I was very happy to chuck out my painting clothes after last month.

I did a quick little crochet project for Mother's Day which added a nice little bit of colour to my evenings.  I used some more of Mary Maxim 'Scrub It' yarn and bits of Bernat cotton to make some face scrubbers.  The pattern is Doni Spiegels Springtime Coasters on Ravelry.


Way back in October I agreed to make a small quilt for a friend, which had to be finished before the end of May.  I knew I wouldn't start until after Christmas, and despite it being a little complicated I knew that would give my lots of time.  Along came February, then March and I finally got started. Fabrics bought; tutorial found; fabrics cut and sewn together and.....it was all wrong and distorted!

I had to start all over.

Then we found out we were moving, and all those hours I was planning on working on the quilt went whoosh!  towards painting and decluttering and DIY work.  I think they should add making a Lonestar quilt on a deadline to the list of most stressful things in life, right along with moving, death and divorce.  At least it was for me anyway!

OK, enough of me being a drama queen!  I finished quilt the same day we put our house on the market, and it will be mailed out this week.  I am one happy girl I can tell you.


It's just about five feet square, and it was requested to have the same colours you would find on a blue jay.  When I'm not looking at it from six inches away I am a little impressed, but that's how it goes doesn't it?  I sure learned a lot:  mostly what not to do, but those tend to be the lessons that stick with you the longest!

There, now I'm all caught up with crafty business and I thank you so much for stopping by my little crafty space.  I will keep you posted on the house selling business.  Visualize a great crafting room for me in my new house please! LOL.

I just wanted to mention about blog comments.  Lately when I comment on most of the blogs I visit, my comment usually gets published but the email gets bounced back to me.  So, if you are thinking you have not heard from me in a while, or others for that matter,  I have been there, but you won't get notified by email.  I'm not sure why this is happening now, but there you have it.

Happy Days my friends!!
Jenn

Friday, April 1, 2016

Lenten Makes

I feel like I should have an intro song to this post. Adele's, "Hello.  It's Me." would be fitting!
Wow, you really wouldn't believe the amount of time you have when you don't spend it trolling on the internet!  We allocated ourselves one hour each week over Lent, and let me tell you, you don't get a lot 'done' in that time.  I tried to keep up with some of you, but given the time restrictions I certainly could not create any blog posts.  You have all done some lovely things over the last six weeks and I really enjoyed just being able to ogle for a bit.
My creative times over that period were mostly spent cross stitching.  It reminded me that it truly is my most favourite hobby.  I was able to complete a few holiday themed things, though I found the rush between St. Patrick's Day and Easter a little too quick!


'Love' by New York Dreamer and a sweet little Irish mouse by Lucie Heaton ( Issue 239 The World of Cross Stitching).   The Valentine piece is stitched on black aida:  I haven't stitched on aida in ages and it was so stiff it was hard to work on.  I still think it's great to work on when you are just getting started cross stitching, but I really prefer to work on linen or monaco cloth now.


This is from the bottom half of an Easter sampler designed by Tiny Modernist.  The pattern is from the March 2016 issue of Cross Stitch Crazy magazine.  I just love the colours:  so perfect for Easter and Spring!  I sent the photo to the magazine and they are going to print it in one of their upcoming editorial pages.  That was pretty exciting!

These next designs were all freebies from some English cross stitch magazines.
 The bird cage is so pretty:  it's supposed to be a key chain but I would never use it for that for fear of losing it or wrecking it.  The front side was in the magazine; the back side I had to join facebook to get the chart.  I was really hesitant because I have already done the whole facebook thing and didn't like it, but I really wanted the chart!  I should really get myself out of the techy dark ages I think, but it takes so much time!  (Issue 201-April 2015 Cross Stitch Crazy magazine)




Gift tags from another magazine:  I love the paper tags they came with, but I did not enjoy stitching on the stiff aida cloth again.  They will be cute on gifts though.  (Issue 239 The World of Cross Stitching magazine)





A little mouse to make me smile:  the pattern was found in the March issue of Bustle and Sew magazine.
The blue bird is from last April's Cross Stitch Crazy magazine.



I stitched these Faberge inspired eggs a few years ago and used to display them in a multi apertured,  framed matte at Easter time.  I have not done that for the past few years so decided they needed a new way to be seen.   Now they can go in the basket with the rest of my stitching and I don't have to rearrange my wall photos!

I did work on some current WIP's:  Letter 'I' from Brooke's Books Stitchers Alphabet:


This is where I am so far:


I am trying out a new stitching rotation, so hopefully my works-in-progress will see a little more progress!

And finally, a bit of crochet in the form of pretty scrubbers for my pots:


(Pattern)

...and a few Easter decorations with chalk paint,( this time inside the jar),


 ...and my new scroll saw:


Good for you if you made it this far!  I do have a few other things to show, but they are not finished- finished, so I will save that for another time.

Thank you so much for your kind words before I went MIA during Lent:  I really appreciate you taking the time to comment.  Being a newcomer to Instagram I know the convenience of the double tap to  'like' something, but a kind written word really does mean so much more.

Happy Days my friends:  I hope Spring has sprung where you are!

xo,
Jenn

Monday, February 15, 2016

February Things

Hello!!  I hope you all had a lovely Valentine's Day.  I am so grateful to every one of you who visit me here in my little space and say the loveliest things:  I wish you could have a Valentine card every day of the year!
I had hoped to be here yesterday to show some makes, but it is a long weekend here for us so we have been quite lazy and I am at least a day behind!
I am happy to say I have my first big finish of the year:  my Hudson's Bay Blanket is officially finished!


This was an absolute pleasure to work on from day one.  I used a linen stitch, so it is quite dense but it was very quick.  It is the perfect blankety weight:  not too heavy, but feels nice and comforting.  I finished it just in time for the cold snap we had last week and it has been in almost constant use!


I used a Red Heart yarn for the the cream bits; the colours are mostly Vanna's Choice and one ball of Herrshnerr's eight ounce yarn.  I have enough left for some Canadiana inspired pillows too I think.


Libby gave it her seal of approval as well.  #naughtydog

I recently acquired a bag of ribbon yarn from the thrift store I volunteer at.  I never knew what to do with this stuff because I never had enough of any one kind to make a garment.  A string bag is pretty obvious, but I think this ribbon yarn is a bit too posh for that.  I found a pattern on Ravelry called the Easiest Crochet Shawl Recipe by Raising Godzillas and it is perfect for it.  It goes very quickly:  I think it takes me two to three evenings to crochet one of these.



There was no label on the yarn so I have no idea where it's from or how much was on the roll.  When I finished I had just a few meters left, so I'm not quite sure how much I used.  The ribbon is a black chiffon type with a gold thread in it.  You can wear this as a shawl or wrap it around as a summer scarf.


The reason I started working on it right away is because I came home with something else that day from the thrift store:


Black is normally not my thing, but these two go perfectly together.  I almost can't wait for summer!

Now, back to the time at hand:  I did a little festive crochet for my kitchen in the form of new scrubbers:


This is the 'Scrubbie Dots' pattern by Doni Speigle.  I used some cotton scrubbie yarn from my stash.

Valentine's stitching for the year:


Each pattern was found via Pinterest. You can get the patterns HERE (XO); HERE (tic tac toe); and HERE (kittens). 

It seemed to be a Pinterest inspired celebration with treats:


 ...and more crochet, this time for a good friend with a Valentine's birthday.


Heart pattern can be found HERE.

Whew!  Finally caught up!

So now we are in the season of Lent, and as a family we typically give up the things that distract us the most during this time.  If you have younger children you no doubt know that computers and video games are the biggest culprits. It's amazing the changes that happen around here during these six weeks by severely limiting screen time.  Many books are read:  many beautiful drawings and Lego creations are completed.  Jigsaw puzzles are worked on together;  the few movies that are allowed are watched together as a family.  There are fewer squabbles and really it is just more peaceful around here.  It's amazing to see what is accomplished  when we use the gifts we were born with and not distracted by technology or comparing ourselves to stuff we see on it.

I use this time to work on, and hopefully finish, those projects that have been languishing in my craft cupboard.  I am easily distracted by new projects and often start new ones in a burst of excitement before finishing what I am working on.  I try to exercise some discipline in using what I have on hand as well, as opposed to going out and buying new materials for new projects.  I don't have too much of a problem with mindless TV watching, but things like Pinterest can really waste my time so I try to avoid that as well.  I get much more accomplished during this time, and it is actually a time of year I look forward to!  The kids - not so much...but it's only six weeks, and sometimes you need to give up a few things you think you can't live without to appreciate what you have.

OK, after that I am all finished.  Thank you so much for visiting and your sweet words.  I am only "allowed" a small bit of time on the internet so it will take me a bit longer to catch up on what you're doing.  I will be visiting you though!  Have a wonderful week my lovely friends:)

Happy Days!
Jenn



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