Tuesday, February 24, 2015

February's Post

I told myself if I was going to start blogging again, I HAD to finish at least one new project a month. I also decided I HAD to follow through with the Totally Useless Stitch-A-Long (aka TUSAL) and post a pic of my orts jar every time there was a full moon.  So here's a photo of my orts jar.

Want more info on the 2015 TUSAL? Click here and Sharon will explain it.  By the way, the date for the TUSAL was February 18 so I'm late but at least I did it this month!

On to the project I finished this month.  Since this is February, I wanted to make something for Valentine's Day. I thought I had a small stash of vintage Valentine cards in a box under my bed so I decided I'd make a heart-shaped holder for them. Something I could hang from a door knob.  And, I wanted it large enough for this big card.

By the way, those are the only two cards I found in the box under my bed.  I really thought I had a few more.

The heart-shaped card holder I wanted to make is here at Plum Pudding.  It was posted on that blog SEVEN years ago  and I linked to it on this blog SIX years ago.  Wow, how time flies!

So here is my card holder.  It's made out of craft felt and a few odd buttons I had in my jar.  Oh and a piece of some pretty red ribbon.  I knew hoarding ribbon would make sense some day.

The funny thing is I made it large enough so the big Valentine card would fit but when I put the card in the heart, it kept flopping over. I still like my card holder though. Except the purple flower bugged me, which is why it's kind of hidden behind the other ones.  And, not clear in the photo.

The scalloped edge on the pocket is crooked -- I think I subconsciously have something against straight lines because I can never cut them -- and FYI, I have the dullest scissors in the world.

One more shot of my card holder in action:

So, we have a TUSAL pic and a project I started and finished in the same week. Pigs must be flying.

Edited to add:  I did have three vintage Valentine's card at one time.  I posted about them here.  The
big one is from 1946.

Friday, January 23, 2015

2015 TUSAL

Yay!  The 2015 Totally Useless Stitch-A-Long is once again underway thanks to Sharon at It's Daffy Cat.  

What is the Totally Useless Stitch-A-Long aka TUSAL, you ask.

Basically, you'll save your orts (that piece of floss you're left with when you're done stitching that's too short to do anything with) in a jar, and every time there is full moon, you'll post a photo of the jar on your blog.  More info here.  Thank you, Sharon,for hosting the TUSAL once again!

The first full moon was January 20 so here is my orts jar (I'm never on time) along with a Valentine bag I started making the other night:

(More on the heart in my next post.  Hopefully, I'll blog again before the year is over.)  (And, I know there is no cross stitching involved but I used embroidery floss to sew the hearts together so in the orts jar it goes.)  (And, yes, I know the red heart is not centered on the pink heart.)

I believe there was only ONE year where I actually posted a picture of my jar every time there was a full moon.  In 2014, I posted pics of my orts jar three times. I'm shooting for four times in 2015.  Go, me!  Really, I'm hoping the TUSAL will get me to not only blog more often but also make more stuff this year.

This was my jar at the end of 2014.  Those are threads from the past few years.  

I'm starting with a new jar for 2015.  

Edited to add:  I have no idea why some of this post is highlighted in white.  I did not do that. Also, I can't get the font to change.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

First Post Of 2015, Woo Hoo!

On Halloween night last year, I was bored and looking online for something to make and found a tutorial for making a felt sugar skull sachet at Adventures in Making.  So I made one but without the sachet part.  [Link via Craft Gossip]

I was happy with it until I stitched the teeth.  I tried to do them freehand at first and that did not turn out well so I traced the pattern on to some tissue paper and stitched right over the paper on the felt. This is the second time I've tried that method and once again I was disappointed in the final result. Maybe it's me but when I remove the little bits of tissue paper that get stuck under my stitching, I end up pulling on threads and then it looks like crap.  I'm also not thrilled with the blue whatever-they-are below the eyes.  The tutorial sample had three lines and I did four and I think it's too many.  But hey, at least I finished something.  Alert the media!

The other time I used the tissue paper trick, I made this strawberry scissors keep from Red Brolly last year.  This was another night where I just had this strong urge to make something. Red Brolly's scissors keep is made from fabric but I made mine with felt.  I used floss to make the strawberry's seeds, instead of pearl beads, and did not add a bow at the top because I forgot.  The green is regular felt but the red is super thick felt so the pointy end of my scissors does not poke through.  By the way, while I was making the sugar skull on Halloween, I realized I have the dullest scissors in the world.

I used tissue paper to stitch the embroidery design on the stem and then loosened the threads when I yanked out removed all the little bits of tissue paper.  I think I did a crappy job of removing the tissue paper and it messed up my stitches.  I hate this method.

My scissors keep in action:

After looking at the original, I think it needs that bow on top.  And speaking of cases for keeping your scissors, I love this one from Feeling Stitchy.  Maybe I will make that one the next time I need to make something.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

I Keep Finding Cute Stuff To Make

Over at Imanufatti, there's a tutorial for a really cute Autumn wreath made of felt [link via Craft Gossip's Felting blog].  And, Manu also has a page with a list of all her tutorials.  I especially love the bunny brooch.

I have a cute sweater (it has a shaggy reindeer on it) that no longer fits that I really want to make into a pillow.  I've been thinking about doing it for years now and I think I found the tutorial from My So Called Crafty Life to get me motivated.  It's for turning your ugly Christmas sweater into a pillow and will work just fine for my reindeer sweater.  

I also love this wall art made of vintage Xmas fabric, embroidery hoops and cute ribbons. Hmm...I don't have any vintage Christmas fabric but I do have some cute holiday dog stuff (that I never wanted to cut up because I'm a dork) but I'm thinking I could put that in some small embroidery hoops.

Here's a huge list of DIY projects from My So Called Crafty Life.

I must make this Pretty Posy Pincushion at some point in my life.  And, I love this Felt Pear Pincushion.  Lots of pretty stuff at Molly and Mama Makes.

So many projects . . .

Friday, November 14, 2014

Cute Xmas X-stitch Freebies

Here's a set of three cute cross stitch freebies Christmas cards from Cross Stitcher magazine.  I really like the bunny with the jingle bell.

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Give Thanks And Stitch

Here's a super cute So Very Thankful embroidery pattern that I must make this month.  [Link via Craft Gossip]

Edited to add another embroidery pattern from Creative Kismet.  This one says Give Thanks Every Day!  I really like them both.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Six Page Views

So Blogger tells me I had six page views today.  Woo hoo!

I think the reason I'm thinking more about crafting these days is because Halloween is coming up.  I love cute-and-not-so-scary Halloween stuff.  Before I start any new projects, I think I will go through my UFOs and see if any spooky & cute ones are worth finishing. In the meantime, I would really like to stitch up this cute Happy Candy Corn embroidery [via Craft Gossip's Needlework blog].

Speaking of Halloween stuff to make, in September 2011, Feeling Stitchy had an embroidery stitch-a-long with a super cute pattern.  (Go look at the cuteness!)  I actually embroidered it back then but I just did it on a piece of fabric, which wasn't the smartest decision because then I didn't know what to do with it after it was finished.  I don't machine sew or make quilts or aprons or pillows or outfits for my kids.  I've decided to hand sew it on to a kitchen towel and maybe add some trim or rick rack, and just hang the towel up somewhere in the house for Halloween. Right now I am at "the dyeing the towel black" stage.  I dyed it once already and it was too light and looked more purplish than gray but I think I got the right shade today.  Once it's dry, I can start attaching of the embroidery design to the towel. Which will be fun since I don't really have a plan worked yet.  (Tip of the Day:  If you ever get Rit black dye on your bathroom counter and in your sink, Clorox Clean Up Cleaner + Bleach will take care of it and make everything look as good as new again.)  (Tip of the Day #2:  wear rubber gloves when dyeing and bleaching.)

Since I'm volunteering at my local animal shelter now, I have to share at least one dog that's up for adoption.  This is TRUDY.  I saw her with a volunteer on Friday in the play yard, having a blast.  She would run around on the grass and then she would jump up on to the bench and give the volunteer lots of kisses.  Trudy also kept trying to get the dog I had on my lap to play with her, even though a fence separated them.  She really is a happy and friendly little dog.  If you know anyone in the Orange County, California area who is looking for a small dog to adopt, please let them know about Trudy.

Female, 4 yrs old
Wire-haired Fox Terrier mix
OC Animal. Care
561 The City Drive South
Orange CA

Monday, October 6, 2014

Have We Met?

Hey, blog.  Remember me?

I spend lots of time on Facebook these days, posting photos of shelter dogs that need homes.  A few months ago, I started volunteering at my county animal shelter.  I still don't have a job (or even a car) but this dog thing has really made me feel like I'm doing something with my life.  It's often sad (dogs end up on the euth list and don't always get saved) and frustrating (adopters return dogs to the shelter for lame reasons), but I've met some great like-minded people and many of the dogs and cats and rabbits and guinea pigs and snakes do get adopted or rescued.  And, as meaningful as it is to me, I know I need something more.  


Every so often, I end up on Pinterest -- not pinning anything but just looking -- and it really makes me want to, not only make something, but also blog about it.  I have made a few two things recently. And, by recently, I mean last December and this past April.  Let's see if I can find some photos.

I embroidered the kitties on a kitchen towel for a friend.  The design came from the Sublime Stitching book.  I was happy with my embroidery, but boy, does my photography and ironing need some work.

Pardon me while I laugh my ass off.  I just discovered I already posted that photo in February.  I do not care.  At least I am blogging again.

The other thing I did was embroider an Easter egg on a kitchen towel.  Now I need to track down a photo.  Until I find it, enjoy this one:

Be back soon!

Friday, April 4, 2014

March 30 TUSAL Update

March 30 was the New Moon and as usual, I forgot to post a photo of my orts jar for the Totally Useless Stitch-A-Long aka TUSAL so here it is now.  For info on the TUSAL, go here

The cat is Katie Kitty from Brooke Nolan's Advent Animals SAL.  She isn't finished in that picture but she is now.  I've forbidden myself from starting any new projects but as soon as I saw this on Facebook (thanks, Sarah H!), I knew I had to do it.  Besides, Katie Kitty was quick to stitch -- it only took three nights to do and that was because I did part of her jacket twice.  The charts for the SAL will be free, with one released per month, and it will last until October 2015.

You can get the chart for Katie Kitty at the bottom of this page at Brooke's Books Publishing. You can see pics of the first three animals here on Liz's Tales of a Thread Spinner blog. They are so cute!  You can use Liz's Dragonflylotus Designs Handspun Threads for the SAL and the chart also has the DMC colors listed.  I used DMC.  I didn't have any blue fabric so I stuck a small piece of white Aida in a Tupperwear full of Rit dye and some water and ended up with what you see above.  Except in real life, it is REALLY BRIGHT BLUE.  

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Wordy Wednesday

I'm sorry but I can't be wordless today.  I have some links to share.

Mini bunny from Gingermelon Dolls  

Bunny with a baby from Going Home to Roost

Runaways: The Dish & The Spoon from Happy Together

All three tutorials via Felting Crafts blog on Craft Gossip (you should check that blog everyday!)

Cute cute cute Baa Baa Black Sheep softie and Tooth Dairy Doll from Sew Mama Sew

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

March TUSAL Update

The New Moon was on March 1st and I totally forgot to post a picture of my orts jar for the Totally Useless Stitch-a-long, aka TUSAL, but here's my jar as of 3/9/14.  (Usually, I collect orts in a small jar all year long but I didn't do much crafting in 2013 so those are from last year too.  It looks like a lot but I know the majority of them are from threads I ripped out because I changed my mind about the color or the stitching looked horrible or I screwed up the count on a cross stitch.    

For more info on the TUSAL, please check this post at It's Daffycat.

My orts jar is sitting on a dish towel I'm embroidering with an Easter egg.  I saw this Easter Egg SAL from Needle Knowledge linked on Craft Gossip and decided to stitch the egg on a dish towel, but there's a tutorial to make your egg into a puffy ornament here.  (I'll have to try that some day.)

There's a second New Moon this month on March 30th.  I'm hoping to post a photo of my orts jar by April 15th.  :P

Friday, February 28, 2014

You Can't Get Rid Of Me That Fast

So I posted four times in four days and then kind of forgot to come back.  Oops.  But I'm back now and I'm totally going to cheat by posting a link to a tutorial from 2009 and a pic of my version but it's for St Patrick's day and cute so it works.

Jenny made a felt shamrock pin a few years ago and shared how to make it on her blog Stitcher Scribbler.  Here's my shamrock pin with a felt guinea pig I made in 2009.

Nice blanket stitches!  Mine totally suck now.  I need more practice.

March 1 is a new moon so I'll be back soon with a TUSAL update.  (Details on the TUSAL are here.)

Monday, February 17, 2014

The TUSAL Update

Since I'm back to blogging, I decided I would join the Totally Useless Stitch-A-Long (or TUSAL) again.  The TUSAL is a fun way to show off your orts.  What are orts?  Here's an explanation I just stole from Sharon at It's Daffycat:

What is an ORT? ORT or ort ~ Capitalized, it stands for Old Ratty Threads. These are the cast-off thread ends a needleworker cuts away. These ends are often saved in clear jars as a decorative object. The word, "ort" does appear in the dictionary, meaning: a bit of something left over; usually concerning food. 
Sharon hosts the TUSAL and you can read all about it here (and also sign up in the comments) but pretty much all you have to do is collect your orts in a container and share a photo of the container whenever there's a new moon.  Since there is no new moon in February this year, there will be no TUSAL update this month but here's a picture of my orts jar from yesterday 2/16/14.  Since I didn't do the TUSAL in 2013, these are probably all my orts from last year.

The next new moon is March 1 and then on March 30 is another one so there will be two TUSAL updates next month.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Three Posts In Three Days

If you look to the left below the cow, you'll see something called 2012 WIPOCALYPSE LIST, which shows the unfinished projects I was going to complete before the end of the world on 12/21/12. Remember that?  Let's just say I started off with good intentions but didn't finish anything on the list.  Maybe I knew the world wasn't really going to end then and I would have more time to work on everything. And maybe that's why none of the items of the list are done now.  Numbers 2, 4 and 5 have been cross stitched but need to be turned into ornaments or little pillows or needle books or whatever else I like to do with cross stitched designs. And, number 5 just needs a little more blanket stitching around the outside of the cover and then stuffed to make a pillow.  I really don't know why that one isn't done yet.  I loved the cushion cover when I saw the pattern on Bustle & Sew and had great time using Heat 'n Bond on my applique Scotties.  Here's a pic of one of them: 

The pattern for the cushion cover is no longer available as a freebie on the Bustle & Sew blog and I can't find it for sale in her store but you can see Helen's original version on Facebook and that might inspire you to come up with something similar.  (I'd love to do one with hedgehogs.)  Maybe this post will inspire me to finish my own Scottie cushion cover.

Number 1 on the WIPOCALYPSE list is a cross stitch that I started in September 2011.  I'll work on it for a few days in a row and then out it away for months.  It's called Ready for the Morning Ride and was created from a painting by John Emms.  It features a donkey and a dog, and my goal now is to complete the donkey.  Here are a few pics of my progress:

November 2011 -- two months in

January 2012 -- donkey's hiney (left) and the wall

August 2012 -- there's the saddle on the donkey

September 2013

And here's one I took yesterday:

That orange in the middle really stands out and at first I thought it was the donkey's eye and he was possessed but apparently it's a flower on his bridle.

You can get the chart for Ready for the Morning Ride from Artecy Cross Stitch.  I have a feeling this will be the only x-stitch I ever do with this many stitches!

By the way, the WIPOCALYPSE at Measi's Mussings is still going on.  Check out this post to find out more about it.  You can join in at any time and share your progress on your UFOs and WIPs.


So that's three posts in three days.  I'm not sure if there will be a fourth one tomorrow but I promise not to stay away for another nine months.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Two Recent Finishes

Before I get to my finishes, let me say if I had been blogging back in December, I would have posted a link to Rudolph the Felt and Sequin Reindeer  [via Craft Gossip's Felting blog] and encouraged everyone to make one. This totally reminds me of Xmas ornaments my mom bought in the 60's and 70's.  It was a sequin kind of world back then.

And, if you like the Rudolph ornament and/or you heart sequins, check out the other tutorials from Thrift Store Crafter (love the name of that blog).  Some day I will make the trees and little bird ornaments.  (Stop laughing.)

File this under This Always Happens:  I went looking for the link to the Rudolph ornament on Craft Gossip and found these super cute Peekaboo Reindeer Stockings from Handmade Charlotte.  Oh wow, I want to make them RIGHT NOW.

I recently did make something.  Two somethings.  Both were for my friend Mary. Once upon a time, I had a plan to make things for the friends I had made through blogging. Mary was my first victim.  I had asked for her address in December 2012, and a year later, I took a padded envelope with her name on it to the post office.  I swear it didn't take twelve months for me to embroider a dish towel and cross stitch a little pillow. My problem seems to be in getting started.  I also realized that I truly HATE transferring embroidery patterns.

Here's a bad picture of the dish towel I embroidered for Mary.  The kitty pattern is from Sublime Stitching (the book).  Nice ironing job, Patty. 

I also made this little cross stitched pillow for her.  You can find the free pattern here at The Primitive Hare.  I wish I had made it look old like the Primitive Hare did.  I believe I used all the suggested floss colors and I stitched on that 18 ct fabric I always use that I now can't think of the name of.

So, that's two posts in two days.  Color me impressed.

Memo to self:  Helvetica