Archive for February, 2015

Framed Again

February 14, 2015

Quite a few years back, Daughter C. learned to cross-stitch. One of her first projects was a picture of a cat that she made for me as a gift. It was a BIG picture and took her a long time, I’m sure, to finish it. I treasure hand-made gifts more than anything store-bought. For someone to give a gift of their time and talent is the ultimate gift, IMHO.

She knew I liked and decorated my space, (sewing room), with cats and mice. She even framed it for me so all I had to do was hang it. Which I did. And I’ve been enjoying it all these years. The picture of the cat is square, however, and I’ve often wondered what it would look like in a square frame.

Hubby and I like to visit thrift stores on occasion and one day I spied a square frame that was the exact size I would need to reframe my cat picture. I’d been on the lookout for a square frame for some time now and it’s been difficult to find one especially a large one for a reasonable price.

At first I thought I would paint the green frame to match the pink and blue colors in my sewing room. But after looking at it and thinking about the color of a mat to use, I decided to use it as is. The frame already had a “distressed” look, which I love; and if I got a green color mat the same shade as the rocking chair that the cat is sitting in, I was thinking that it would look pretty good.

And it does! Hobby Lobby cut a frame for me, I took the picture apart and reframed it with the green mat and green square frame. Looks pretty good!

Here’s the before pic,


and after it’s hung back on the wall with my other pretties.


Now I love it even more!

BTW, I have to comment on Daughter C’s handiwork. For not having done very much in the way of cross-stitch, she did an awesome job on this project! When I was taking it out of the first frame and putting in into the square frame, I was able to see the work she did at a closer level and also see the back of the work. My mother always told me that the back of your work should look as good as the front of it to be considered a good piece of work. And my Mom was a perfectionist. Well, Daughter C’s work is good enough that my mother would have been pleased with it. And that’s saying a lot. Good job, Sweetie!



“House” Crafts

February 11, 2015

In my last entry I mentioned the “house” crafts but didn’t elaborate. So today I’ll catch up with them. The “house crafts” are the needle art items I work on in my sewing room.

The sampler afghan is coming along slower now than in the beginning. But so far, I’m still working on them. Some of the squares are a little tedious and boring but, thank goodness, they work up quickly. I just finished block #8 last night. The first five blocks have been blocked and they look soooo much nicer. Here’s an example. This one is right off the needles,


and after blocking.


People who don’t block their items made from acrylic yarn don’t know what they’re missing. These people actually think that it doesn’t make any difference — that just washing the item after it’s finished will make it all better. NOT TRUE! I could write a complete blog entry just on this subject. (Oh wait, I’ve already done that.) And even after all that’s been written and talked about on this subject the last several years, some people still think that it’s a waste of time and have never even tried it. You’d think after they spend hours, days, weeks, or longer knitting something beautiful that they would take a few minutes longer to block it and make it look as beautiful as it can.

But I digress again. This is a bit of a pet peeve with me. Can you tell?

My sweater from the beautiful yarn is still waiting for me to sew it together. I did get it blocked at the same time I was blocking the sampler afghan blocks, however,  so at least that’s done. Now to just sit down and sew it up!

And the little blanket bunnies are still waiting to be put together. I’m going to have to have a “sewing-up” day soon and get these projects finished! (Along with some others that are waaaay older than these.)

One day last week, I got side-tracked looking for something stashed away in the garage and decided to clean off a shelf unit that’s had stuff on it that’s been there quite some time. It’s amazing what goodies I can find that I’ve forgotten I had when I do things like this!

One item was a bag full of insulated plastic cups. These cups come with a piece of cross-stitch vinyl layered between the outer cup and inner cup. In the bag with the cups were several booklets on designs that could be used for decorating the vinyl with cross-stitch. I don’t even remember how long I’ve had these cups! I know it’s been awhile.

Ok, the ol’ thinking cap went on and I began to imagine all these cups worked up with the cross-stitch, filled with goodies, wrapped in cellophane, and put in my sale this Fall, or given as gifts to friends and relatives.

The first one is finished.


The design wraps around the mug–here’s the other side,


There were 12 mugs, one plant holder, and one bottle cooler in this bag. I’ll be working on these a while.

More Crafting

February 5, 2015

Well, I’m getting a little behind in my job here. I was hoping to post at least once a week this year to help myself keep track off all the crafts that I’m planning on making in addition to letting all of you see all the goodness that comes from my fingers. 🙂 Yeah, I know. Big plans, right?

Actually it does surprise me when I go back and see what all I’ve done in the last year. AND if I would finish all the projects I start, it would amaze me even more!

But I’m digressing as usual.

Since the weather has taken a warmer path these last couple of weeks, (well except for the few days of really cold that creeps in from time to time), I’ve been tracking out to my little shop out back to do some painting. The only heat I have out there is a little free-standing oil heater. It keeps me pretty warm, but has to run constantly. So when it’s really cold, I stay in the house.

I love, love, love to paint! (I wish I was better at it, but I’m satisfied with just being able to make what I paint recognizable.) In fact, if I had to give up all the different crafts I do and only keep one, it would be my painting. Well, and knitting. And crocheting of course. Then there’s my cross-stitching when I get in the mood for it. Oh, and sewing. (I want to make quilts for all my grandsons one of these days. 🙂 ) And plastic canvas is fun once in a while. And tatting. Wait. I hope I’m never given the choice to just do one craft. I don’t think I could make that choice!

But I’m still digressing. I need another cup of tea.

Of course with all my UFO’s, I’m bound to have some in the little shop out back as well. Which I do. (And the “wanna-bes” fill my table that is supposed to be the “drying” table.) Whew! So many projects, so little time.

The first project I finished was this one,


The wooden flower is like a pin wheel. After painting it, I thought it would be cute to paint a bottle with sunflowers and bees to stick the wooden flower in.

Next I picked up a journal that I’d already base-coated and painted it like one that I’d given my #1 daughter a few years ago.


In addition to this journal, I base-coated and painted the front of an album for photos. I liked it so much, I’ve already base-coated two more of the albums to paint something else on. (I love going through my pattern books to find just the right picture to use. However, I have favorites that I’ve used several times.)

For my craft show that I’ll be in again this Fall, I’m trying to make some smallish items to sell. Gingerbread boys seem to be popular, so I found some more spice tins and wooden spoons and got them base-coated. Using some patterns that I’ve used before, I painted gingerbread boys on them.


The spoons were just finished last night, and I still need to attach a hanger on them and tie some kind of homespun-like fabric around their little heads.

In addition to all of these projects, I’ve been base-coating a lot of other items so they’ll be ready to paint. Sometimes when I go out to the little shop out back, I’m so over-whelmed with what to make, that I’ll just sit there and not do anything. But if I pick up some items, clean them off, and start base-coating, it “breaks the ice” so to speak. Then I’m off and running and have spent several hours out there. When my stomach starts rumbling, I realize it’s time for a break.

Update on “house” crafts: I’ve been working on my sampler afghan and have a few more squares done. There’s a couple other projects as well, but I think I’ll leave them for another post. This one is getting a little long………