Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Hammers and Hooks

Lots going on here on the DIY front and adventures in yarn!  I mentioned last time my family room was getting a make-over; well I'm knee deep in it now and there is no turning back!
For a couple of years now I have wanted to add board and batten panelling to the bottom of the walls.  Of course it couldn't just involve putting it up: painting had to be done (a different colour on top and bottom); slats needed to be found and cut and primed and painted.  In hindsight I now know why I was so hesitant to start this snowball!  I have been cashing in credit card reward points for gift cards to the hardware store and making a bit of progress.  I'm not finished yet, but I do have one small wall all done:

The top of the wall has been repainted from a tan to a light aqua called "Calm Thoughts" (Beautitone paint).  I love the paint colour, but I loved the old one too.  I think the old one went better with the furniture, but the new one brightens up the room which is much needed.  The old colour wasn't dark by any means, but it really didn't reflect the light.  It can be so gloomy and dark here in the winter that any extra light we can get is very much desired.
This week I am hoping to get the rest of the battens cut for the other walls, and then I will happily put my saw away for the winter!
I knew that when I painted this room I would use the left over paint for the laundry room.  So, rather than wait for a more convenient time I spent my nights painting the laundry room walls.  And the ceiling, because it needed to be done and I didn't want to take the ladder out twice!  When there are not huge piles of washing I will take a picture of that room too.  The colour looks really pretty in there though.

After an intense week of home improvement you can imagine that I was itching to get something crafty done.  I pulled out my hooks and yarn and crocheted three projects!  I have some beautiful yarn sitting in my craft cupboard that I was hoarding for the perfect project (when I found it).  First up was to use some beautiful Noro yarn I bought last year in Victoria.  The colourway has pinks, greens and tan in it.  It has always reminded me of those late summer hydrangeas that change from white to pink to green.  I used the pattern for the Bellflower Infinity Scarf, which was really quick and easy to stitch.

The next yarn to use up was another Noro, this time in beautiful blues and purples.  I wanted a project that I would use, and that would use up all of the yarn.  Happily the Calm Cowl from Ravelry fit the bill perfectly.  This was so quick to work up and I think all the single crochet really enhances the colours in the yarn.  Best part is, I used up all but about eighteen inches!

My last project is actually for someone else.  I found some chunky, Red Heart Light and Lofty yarn at the thrift store this summer, and it happens it was just enough to make a cozy shawl.  I stitched this up over the weekend and now it just needs the ends darned in.  The colour is Cape Cod Multi and I used the pattern for the Arrow Lake Shawl from Lion Brand.

I love making this shawl and I loved watching the colours change as I stitched.  This one is a snuggler for sure!
All that hooking used up eleven skeins of yarn from my stash which is great.  Now I don't feel so guilty asking for more for Christmas:)

Who knows what inspiration will grip me this week:  housekeeping would be a good one; perhaps some make ahead meals?  Both of which have been sadly neglected while I arm myself with hammers, paintbrushes and crochet hooks...

Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Finishing Fest

I'm so happy to share this post today!  Be warned:  there are lots of pictures.

I only stitched one Halloween ornament for myself this year, and I didn't even finish the last stitch until November 1.  I was about to put it away with all of my other stitched, but not finished off, pieces when I realized just how many I had.  Since it was a cold and snowy day outside and I had nowhere to be, I couldn't think of anything better to do than to turn all my fall and Halloween pieces into smalls.  I had piles of ribbons and fabrics; buttons and stuffing everywhere!  After one long night and a few evenings I am proud to show you these:

Designs from Prairie Schooler and various issues of JCS Halloween. The purple witch hat on the 'Potions' ornament is just too sweet!

The square that says 'Fraidy Cat' is the back of the cat ornament in the previous photo.
You can tell how old some of these have been sitting around:  I stitched the costume bears for my kids when they were little beans and I was just starting out cross stitching.  Funny how aida fabric looks so rough to me now.

This was a freebie design from somewhere.  A thread company maybe?  Doesn't the fabric work perfectly with it?!

My French skeleton.  I hunted everywhere on the internet for this pattern!  You can find it here along with some other great stitchy stuff.

A Brittercup Kitty from a past JCS Halloween issue.  I wish I had stitched this over one, but that was before I ever did that. I was so happy I found the perfect spider button in my stash.  I also thought the 1930's reproduction print worked really well, even though it's not Halloween themed.

I used a lot of my own over-dyed threads on this one.  I tried a twisted trim for the first time using some garden twine.  I think I will definitely try that again.

Here I was getting dried up for new and novel finishing ideas, so I reverted back to the small pillow for the last two.  This is another design I wish I had stitched over one so it would have been smaller.
This one is a freebie from Plum Street Samplers.

And finally, the last one.  This year I was determined to stitch this after printing out the design several times.  I even got it all kitted up and was planning on stitching it over one with my own threads.  Well what did I find in last year's stitching?  This design; stitched with my own threads only over two!  Freebie by Nouveau Encore Designs.

I don't think I have to tell you what a feeling of accomplishment I have now that all this stitching is completely finished and ready to display.  It will be so great next year to pull these out and display them with all my other finished pieces.

Oh, but that's not all! 

 No siree!  In addition to stitching and stuffing and embellishing, I have been cutting and nailing and painting.
I have slowly been giving my family room a makeover, and last weekend brought a gust of energy to step up the process.  Over the summer I installed two Ikea bookcases, with plans to add trim to give them a built in look.


Next was to remove the gross old trim from the window and add something a bit nicer.  I love how it makes the window look bigger too.

A proper window ledge!  My Favourite Boy said I could display things on there:  he knows what it's all about:)
(Lets just ignore that sloppy paint job:  the walls are getting re-painted soon so I wasn't too careful.)

Et voila!  Lots of good things finished off this week.  Let's hope the momentum continues a bit longer:  I have two gallons of paint waiting for me and some new power tools to try out:)

Thanks for visiting!

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