Friday, December 18, 2015

December News

Well.  That was a much longer absence than I planned on!  I have been a very busy elf around here as you can imagine.  I can't believe the big day is almost here and I still have presents to make!!  Will it ever be any different?  I highly doubt it!

Without further delay, lets get started on what I've been up to since the big blankety ta-da.
My crochet hooks were kept busy with a few more gifts:  I made a snuggly scarf for My Favourite Boy in nice chunky yarn:

Next I stitched up some fingerless gloves for My Favourite Girl:

I am hoping to make a matching hat so I see some furious hooking in my future!

I also crocheted a few kitchen things for my piano teacher.  She is very patient with me so I wanted to do something a bit more involved than a coffee card:

I managed to cross stitch two ornaments and finish off a third I had stitched last year:

This is stitched over two on 40 count linen.  It is a free design that can be found HERE.  Lots of lovely freebies to see there.

I made five or six of these because they were so fast.  I just stitched a face onto evenweave and used the fabric covered button tools to attach the fabric to a shank button.  Afterwards I glued the button to one of those plastic snowflakes from the dollar store.  Nice and easy and I used a few as package embellishments.

Last year I had an idea for a quick stitched ornament for the times you want to give something stitched, but don't want to take two weeks to do it.  I used metallic thread for the letters on my own dyed fabric.  It was quick to stitch, but I can hardly call it a quick finish when I take a year to make it into an ornament now can I?

Of course I pulled out all my decorations and had a grand old time doling out the Christmas cheer.  I have some new crafty additions this year:  first up are more sweater pillows, this time in festive red.

I used more sweater remnants for little hearts to decorate the mantle this year:

I also have some new hoop art courtesy of Bustle and Sew magazine.  I believe these are from last year's issues:

This is part of a larger design but I didn't want to do all the hand stitching for the lettering, so this is my abbreviated version  !    

This was originally designed to be a tea cozy, but I wanted something festive to hang in my kitchen.  There was much singing of the Christmas carol as this was being stitched!

So now the cards and parcels have been mailed; gifts have been bought and wrapped and the kids are off school.  We still have baking to look forward to, and a few church choir performances before we can all relax and tuck in to a nice turkey dinner cooked by Mr. Crafty World.  It has been a hectic season thus far, and I am looking forward to a break of tea sipping and cross stitching in my chair watching holiday movies and planning for next year.

I know this is already a really long post, but I wanted to talk about these next gifts as I think it's worth mentioning.  I read in our local paper about an initiative to adopt a senior citizen in long term care for Christmas.  As it happens there are quite a few seniors living there who have no family members to visit them over the holidays, or give them gifts on Christmas day.  This just about broke my heart, because I think getting bypassed for gifts at Christmas would be just as disappointing at 95 as it is at 5.  There are always gift drives for young children at this time of year, and I think that is important too, but these are people who have contributed to our society and are now being forgotten about just because they are old and out of sight.  When I called to inquire about what was involved I felt so sad again, because requests were for things like a tube of red lipstick, or a pretty hairband.  We ended up adopting four senior ladies, and hopefully these little gifts will brighten their day on what can be a very difficult time of year.

Two of our ladies requested costume jewelry; one a hair brush; and the last wanted a stuffed animal to hug and had a fondness for British sweets.  I also added a few chocolates and some lip balm, just to make it more of a surprise.

I wrapped these up as pretty as I could, because sometimes opening a nicely wrapped gift is more fun than seeing what's inside.  I am also aware that this may be the last Christmas for some of these folks in the residence and I think it should be a nice one.
So, if you are considering where to put some of your charitable Christmas contributions, think about putting them here, with a local seniors residence.  The dollar outlay was minimal, yet these were the gifts I enjoyed buying the most.

Thank you so much for reading this far!  Now go and enjoy something festive and have a wonderful Christmas!

Happy Days,

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Blankety Ta Da and a New Craft

I hope you are enjoying the same delicious weather we are!  Oh my it's been nice.  Libby dog and I have been to the woods every day to pick up sticks and greenery and all sorts of good things.
However, this is the biggest and best news of the week:  my blue granny square blanket is finished!

When I decided to use up all my left overs I wasn't totally convinced these colours would work together, but they really did!  I did have to purchase some additional yarn, but I am happy to say I used up most of it.  I was able to use up quite a bit in the border:

 (I did not block this so that's why everything is so wonky looking)

One of the reasons I am so pleased with it is the fact I finished it so quickly:  ten weeks!  I wish all of my blankets could grow so quickly.  It's quite heavy, so definitely great for snuggling under.  Once the cold weather settles in we will be all set.

Granny squares can be a little tedious when you have to make so many, so I did a bit of 'in between' crocheting to have a break.  These cheery new dish cloths and scrubbers were quick and much appreciated little diversions.

I mentioned about a new craft, and I also mentioned about getting things from the woods.  I have been foraging for downed branches that I can cut up and make into ornaments.  I bought myself a wood burning tool and today tried out something new:

I think I'm hooked!  I have learned a few things about wood burning on different kinds of wood, and now I am able to tell the fakes from the authentic ones on Pinterest.  This weekend I will cut out the rest of my wood and have lots more canvases to play on.

Thank you for visiting and your lovely emails.  I really appreciate the time you take to visit me.
Next time I hope to have some finished Christmas gifts to show and a bit of cross stitch too.

Happy Days!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Make Overs

This weekend I traded my hooks and needles in for some paint, glue and paper.  Didn't I have fun!

I have had few pieces from the thrift stores around for a while that I wanted to 'do-over' for some time now.  I found this sewing box on my birthday and fell in love with its shape.  I just didn't like all that brown!

I tried chalk paint again; this time in the softest pink:

I lined it with some minty scrapbook paper:

I am thinking this might make a good home for my sewing charms or overdyed threads.

Another brown wooden box in the form of a tea box.  More chalk paint in ivory, with some vintage looking scrapbook paper and she's a much better fit for my kitchen.  (Sorry for the blurry photo!)

I didn't paint the inside because I never seem to be able to  get good coverage in the corners .  Unless you spray, which I didn't want to do because I will be storing tea bags in here.  This would be cute for storing so many things really, like cake decorating stuff, or sewing supplies...  I might just have to go look for another box!

A few years ago I was gifted some tea, but once I finished it I couldn't bring myself to put the tins in the recycling bin.  They were such a nice size and the lids fit really well; it seemed a shame to get rid of them.  After I found this scrapbook paper and chalk labels two weeks ago, I knew exactly what they were going to become:

I do wish my Mod Podge wasn't so glossy, but all in all it's probably for the better as these will be stored in the kitchen.  Now I just need to make a loose tea order from my favourite tea company and I will be all set!

I know I said I put down my hooks on the weekend, but since I just finished these potholders I thought I would put them in.  I thought some pastel winter decorations might be nice for my kitchen this year:  they work so well with my new tea cannisters!

I used Bernat cotton yarn in robin's egg; and a pink, nubbly baby cotton that I can't remember the brand.  The white cotton is also from Bernat, and is one of their holiday yarns with a thin strand of silver woven in.  The pattern can be found HERE.  It's very easy and in two evenings you can have it all done.

Thanks for visiting!


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

October Catch Up

If it's true that time flies when you're having fun, then October was truly fun filled for me.  Holy cow! Did it whip by for you too?!
Where September saw my needle and thread out for most of it, October was mostly about crochet.
  I know I say it every year, but the leaves were simply spectacular this fall and I was inspired by all the beautiful colours like these:

Doesn't it just want to make you go home and crochet a tea cozy?

I think it needs a few more acorns, but other than that I am so happy with it.  I actually had to rip the base out twice, and then make a completely different one on the third try.  Thank goodness I love crochet!

I also made a fall inspired mandala for it to sit on:

I thought it was rather 70's looking with all the browns, but at this time of year it all looks good together I think.  It got Mr. Crafty World's praise so that's worth something!
For the mandala I used part of a pattern from Nata's Nest.  On the sidebar you will see lovely links to free tutorials.  I have my eye on another one of her mandalas, and the crochet snails are just so sweet I think.

While in the craft store I found the prettiest yarn from Red Heart.  It's called Boutique Treasure, and the colourway I fell in love with is called Horizon.  As soon as I saw it I wanted to stitch up a cozy fall infinity scarf.  The colours are very fall like I think, without being all about browns, oranges and reds.

It actually reminded me of days like this:

I have worn it a lot already and still love it so much.  The pattern I used for the scarf can be found HERE.  I made mine a bit less wide because the yarn was a bit chunkier.

I mentioned in my last post about a few other projects I had started:  the scarves are growing bit by bit:

Both are made with Red Heart Boutique Unforgettable , using the linen stitch.

My 'Canadian' blanket is growing too:

This is also stitched with linen stitch and is working up very quickly.  I have to put it away now until after Christmas, but I have completed a third of it so far.

I also started another blanket!

These are left over colours from my Lake Erie blanket, and over the summer I started making up a few squares here and there.  I just decided to go for it and start using up all the left overs to get this out of the yarn cupboard.  I have a goal of about ten squares a week:  I need eighty squares all together and then I am going to attach them together with grey and use any left over blues in the border.

I did finally manage to pin down My Favourite Girl and craft our leafy luminaries:

I love how they turned out and I burn candles in them every night.  The look just gorgeous all lit up in the evening.
We used leaves from the dollar store which had to be individually ironed before we could glue them on, but despite the extra work I think these fabric leaves look much more realistic than the ones we saw in the craft store.

By the middle of the month I knew I wasn't going to get any new cross stitch completed.  I finished off this apple that I had started in September.  I was about half way done when I ran out of floss.  The craft store does not sell individual skeins of DMC 115, so mail order was my only option.  I finished the back with the red and white toile in the photo.  I tried to finish it off into an apple shape, but it's a a little hard to see here.

This little black bird is a project I started last summer and put away.  Every once in a while I get it in my head to stitch over one and it always takes me forever!  This is a design from Danybrod in France.  I finished it with some dyed wool; vintage lace, and a small charm.  The pillow itself is quite tiny, maybe two by three inches all together.

And that brings us to the end of the month!  I have started working on some Christmas gifts so I plan to be a busy bee in November.  Thank you all so much for visiting and your kind remarks on my September projects.  I'll leave you with a few Halloween photos.  Until next time,
Happy Days!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

September Show and Tell

Can you believe this is the last day of September?  I accomplished a ton of things this month, both around the house and crafty-wise, so I do know where the time went; but it sure went quickly!
I could almost call this month "Stitch-tember", I did so much cross stitching and sewing.  I'm certainly not complaining!

Let's start:  first up is Country Cottage  Needleworks September cottage.  I was still in an apple frame of mind when I picked this one.  I miscounted while cutting my linen and almost ran out of space.  Luckily I had enough threads to spare to sew a backing on for a pillow finish.  I had this cute blackboard ribbon in my stash and thought the little bell looked like an old fashioned school bell.

My next finishes are all by Prairie Schooler.  I had a great time using my own hand dyed threads with  two designs from the October Sampler:

I used the suggested DMC threads for these two pheasants.  I think this is my favourite stitch of the month as pheasants remind me of the farm where I grew up.

All of my September finishes together:

Near the end of the month I got the urge to crochet something.  The first thing up were APPLE coasters!  Are you suprised?!

These were quick and fun to stitch up in an evening.  The pattern is from a crochet calendar I got a few years ago at Costco.  They are perfect little coasters for hot, fall drinks like Maple Cream coffee.  I drink that when I get tired of paying for Pumpkin Spice Lattes.  To make one you put 1-2 tablespoons of real maple syrup and an equal amount of heavy cream in mug with a pinch of powdered ginger and pinch of cloves.  Fill with hot coffee and stir.  Whipped cream and a dusting of cinnamon are optional but highly recommended:)

I also started a blanket!  This one has been on my mind for a very long time now, and I finally just had to get started.  It's going to mimic a Canadian classic.  Do you think you can guess what it is?

I also have two scarves and an Autumn themed tea cozy on my hooks, so I will be crocheting for much of next month as well!

While buying yarn for the blanket I couldn't resist these scrumptious fall colours:

I have been looking up every single fall themed crochet item I can find to use it.  I found this beautiful maple leaf pattern on Ravelry and stitched up these leaves.  I thought they would look nice on a pillow, and I found the perfect upholstery fabric last week.  I stitched them on with the sewing machine, but if I ever do something like this again I will definitely hand sew the crochet item on.

The pattern was written by Michelle over at The Painted Hinge and it's very simple.  I stitched these all up in an enjoyable afternoon in the sunshine.  I used Vanna's Choice yarn in Rust, Brick,  Mustard, Honey, and Chocolate.

For once the family is not being neglected due to my crafty ventures, thanks in part to a new purchase at the thrift store.  I think I have been baking a loaf of something tasty about every three days in my new Corning Ware pan.

  When I was little I received a whole set of plastic Corning Ware play dishes one Christmas.  I thought it was so lovely:  everything was so real looking; complete with clear plastic lids on the casserole dishes and a removable rack in the roasting pan.  Until that point my play dishes looked like play dishes with their bright colours and little faces on the sides of the cups and tops of plates.  This new set took playing house to a whole new level.  So you can see why I had a very pleasant trip down memory lane when I saw this loaf pan and promptly put it in my cart.  The fact that it was brand new, and made in Canada didn't hurt also - oh, and the four dollar price tag!

So that's my month my friends and it was a good one.  Canadian Thanksgiving is in two weeks  so hopefully I can persuade My Favourite Girl to do a little fall crafting with me before the push for Halloween starts.  (No, I still have not gotten her to 'play' with me yet!)

Thank you for your kind comments and visiting my little crafty space.
Happy Days!

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