Saturday, June 30, 2007

Freebies, tutorials, and coffee

I was searching for more free Biscornu patterns the other night (and the one I used to make mine -- I had printed out the Google translated version and the URL got cut off) and found some free charts here. I'm not sure what Berlin Work is but these flower patterns are pretty. (Ok, I looked it up: Berlin wool work)

This free chart is what I used for my biscornu. I used the chart called Popular Red Biscornu that's the very first link on the freebie list (right below the directions) here.

And, check out My Half of the Brain, a blog chock-full of tutorial goodness. (That's what I'm having for a snack: nuts!) [link via Domestic Chicky]

P.S. Chock full o' Nuts coffee is still around. I just learned from their website that during the Depression, the founder turned his 18 nut shops into coffee shops and that's how the brand got its name.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Maggie Turns 14 Today

Happy Birthday, Maggie!!

(yeah, Maggie is a dog who likes to sleep in boxes ...)

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I couldn't think of a name

Hey, look what I found as a draft post. I don't know why I didn't finish it. Oh yes, I do. See the title.

There are some finished biscornu here (yeah. I'm a tad obsessed with the suckers). I like this one that came from a free pattern that can be found here at Debbie Draper Designs.

After reading the latest Stitch School post and clicking all the links, I really want to go monogram something ... a hankie, a towel, the drapes, the dog ...

There's a gallery here of some great vintage apron patterns (click the pics to see them larger).

I remember having a yo-yo clown when I was a kid. Most likely, it came from my grandmother. I know that I was fascinated by the yo-yos and would try to separate them, in an effort to figure out how the thing was made. I didn't hold on to it though probably because I am not a huge fan of clowns. I wish I still had it because I could take it apart and use the yo-yos. You can make your own yo-yo friend thanks to this tutorial.

Monday, June 25, 2007


I forget why I'm here ... oh yeah, to say that Elwood won the World's Ugliest Dog contest at the Sonoma-Marin Fair this past weekend. Congratulations, Elwood!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

My New Biscornu

The top of the Biscornu
Originally uploaded by PipStitch
This is the top of the biscornu I just made this week. I stitched it on (I think) 14 ct Fiddler's Lite (I decided not to use linen for my first biscornu) and I used leftover floss from my stash. The button came from Michelle (it was one of many extras she sent for the needlebook swap). I like the little dog's tongue hanging out. (He's an ornament I found in a shop at the mall a few years back.)

And, that would be the bottom of the biscornu. My seams are a mess (notice you can't really see them and that was done on purpose) but I'm happy with it and now would like to do one with red floss. I need to find the link to the place I found the free patterns I used.

Bottom of the Biscornu
Originally uploaded by PipStitch

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Always Read the Directions FIRST

Finishing School has directions for making a biscornu. I've been working on one for the past few days and I just found out that I need to backstitch the border. I had cross stitched mine and was quite happy to be finished with both the biscornu's top & bottom. Guess I'll be ripping out stitches later on. Why didn't I check the directions before doing the border? The border wasn't part of the printed out design but I could see one in the pictures. That should have made me think twice about adding an x-stitched one. Oh well.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Animal Painters

You may have seen this since it was linked on Cute Overload but here are some pictures done by animal painters. Their work reminds me of artwork that 2 yr olds in my class did. :) I love "Pigcasso."

Dang, I wish I had some Velveeta

I think we all read the same blogs but in case we don't, I wanted to mention that the Pioneer Woman now has a cooking blog that you really need to go look at. You might want to bring a napkin with you because you will most likely be drooling after seeing the pictures.

Why I wish I had some Velveeta

If you go to the Cross Stitch For Life blog, you'll a list of links on the right side to some free charts, including the Winter House (I have to do that one).

Speaking of houses, Maryse has put up the free chart of her Summer Cottage. I did the Winter one but hadn't gotten to Spring yet. That's my version of the Winter Cottage down below. I turned it into a small pillow. And that's another one of my pigs.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Bad Sue!

I love this quilt. It's called The Sun Sets on Sunbonnet Sue. The blocks show all the ways Sunbonnet Sue met her death. I like the block of her tied to the railroad tracks. [link via Ever Embellished]

That quilt reminded me of the Bad Sue Quilts website. Here's Sue as Lizzie Borden and poor Sue being eaten by a gator. Here she is stealing candy from a baby. I can't stop giggling at that one. Actually, they all crack me up. (The Sun Sets on Sunbonnet Sue quilt is here too.)

Kim Bunchuck, who is behind the Bad Sue site, also has Sunbonnet Sue, where you can find free patterns to make your own Sue block, including ones from some old Sue quilts.

If I was going to make a Bad Sue, I would show her not paying her taxes, or driving with a suspended license, or hanging out with Lindsay Lohan at a club.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Sunday Morning

I went with my sister to Borders last night and saw The Cute Book which has patterns for a bunch of super adorable felt characters. I think I just found my inspiration to really focus on getting a job this week. Seriously. Well, that and the fact that I really need some new underwear.

Celebrating Wildflowers has over 300 line drawings of wildflowers that you could use for embroidery patterns. [link via Outline Stitch Embroidery and History]

Calling all stitchers who own dogs! Please join Sarah's Flickr group and show us your doggy!


Here's my peony from the other day (my mom got rid of hers but mine is still looking good) And here's the new one

And, now look at this freaking adorable pig collage [link via Vintage Transfer Finds]

A Biscornu Fest

I'm not sure what disturbs me more: Mia Doll's short dress and lack of underwear or Crissy Doll's flared pink, blue and yellow striped pants.

I think I need a "I Heart the 70's" label.

I'm fascinated by biscornu (a small pincushion or eight-sided pillow depending on who you ask) every time I see one somewhere on the internet. Last night I just happened to find instructions on how to make one while looking for/at something else, but forgot to save a link to the site. I was just on Swap-bot and saw there's a swap for biscornu, and that a helpful Swap-botter shared a link to Own Two Hands where you can find biscornu making directions, plus links to free patterns.

The swap is for biscornu beginners so I'm considering doing it but still on the fence about it for now. I do have some nice green linen that I could use though. The thing is I don't cross stitch on linen because my eyes are so bad and I can't see if I'm going over one thread or two or sixteen and my X's look all distorted. If only I could win the lottery so I could buy a giant freestanding super strong magnifying glass.

Doesn't biscornu sound like something you make for dinner? "Last night we had beef biscornu with mashed potatoes and peas."

I saw a snowman biscornu on Freebie Gallery last night. The free chart can be found here on Helga Mandl Designs where you can also buy biscornu charts -- there's a link on the home page. There are also links to finishing directions for your biscornu. And, click on the Freebies link on the home page for more cross stitch charts.

Edited To Add: I think I was so upset about Mia not wearing any undies that I forgot to include this link to a bunch of free biscornu patterns.

Clogs were all the rage back then.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Why I Stay Up So Late

Have you played with this interactive cross stitch thingy? I first read about here but its also linked at Craftzine where it's described as "an interactive flash cross stitch game to get people aware and involved in the environmental cause" (the cause would be the preservation of the Atlantic and Amazon forests in Brazil). All I know is it's addictive. The final result is always the same yet I can sit there for an hour, moving my mouse and watching the x's fill in.

FYI: My other favorite online time waster is Farm Hustle.

I don't think I've linked to Redwork Info before. They have some free patterns there including a santa, a snowman and some cute kids.

Freebie Gallery is a blog for photos of completed cross stitched freebies. Some entries have links to where the charts can be found too. I really like seeing what people do with their finished pieces. Look at what six different women came up with from one hedgehog freebie. (The hedgehog chart is here.)

My Puppy Apron

Here's an apron I got on eBay last year. I couldn't resist the puppies. I also couldn't find a place to hang it up so I could take a picture. The oven came in handy. I took these at 2 am (actually it was 2:41) last night. If it hadn't been so late, I might have remembered to use something called a hanger.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Homes Needed for Three Lhasa Apsos

This is Myrtle, an older Lhasa Apso, who would like to find a home for herself and her two Lhasa friends.

I know I've mentioned this before but these dogs really need to go to foster homes or be adopted ASAP. Lone Star Shih Tzu and Lhasa Apso Rescue down in Texas has two senior Lhasas, Myrtle and Claude, who they'd like to keep together, and a younger Lhasa boy, Hiram, who all desperately need foster/forever homes. Myrtle is deaf and blind, and Claude doesn't see much (but he can hear), so it will take someone really special to adopt these two. These dogs were pulled from a Galveston shelter and are safe now but they really need a place to go. You can see pictures and get more information on Lone Star's blog.

P.S. You know, if you're a pissed off Sopranos fan, adopting a fluffy little dog or two would make you feel much better. Really. It would.

P.P.S. You can still apply to foster or adopt if you don't live in Texas.
UPDATE: Unfortunately, Myrtle passed away on July 18th. :(

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Here's Another Pig

I really need to hire someone to remember things for me. I'm only 43 (I know I write like a 12 yr old most of the time) but there is so much I forget. Like, I had planned to post pictures of my pig collection every week. I was just reminded of that after seeing the 4th photo down in this post on PAMKITTYMORNING.

That piggy bank came from an antique store in Dana Point years ago.
So, there's another pig and now I can go to bed.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Free Redwork Patterns

Pat at Quilter's Muse has added a couple of free redwork patterns to her site, a dog and a bird. I just found her redwork pigs freebie in my stash which led me back to her site.

There's a lot of great information at Quilter's Muse. I love looking at the virtual museum of antique designs, especially the Adorable Puppies Minature Quilt.

While looking for something else, I found some free charts on the Kooler Design Studio site. They also sell bibs with an Aida pocket to stitch something on. And I like their felt embroidery kits.

For more links to redwork patterns, check the REDWORK label in the left sidebar.

Friday, June 8, 2007

I Am No Longer Peony Challenged

Peony 1
Originally uploaded by PipStitch

There is a peony bush in my backyard that is full of lush green leaves but there won't be any flowers this year. I've been seeing pictures of peonies on different blogs and I was getting jealous but I finally got a peony of my own today. My mom bought five of them at a local market and I claimed one.

I think I forgot to link to a tutorial for making embroidered buttons the other day. I really need to give this a try. This how-to is by Amy of Ibby Bee Quilts. I was just looking at her embroidery posts. I love the flowers she put on her daughter's shirt. Amy shared some information and some tips for embroidering clothes on Feeling Stitchy. I tend to buy white shirts, mainly because if I wore them to work and a child got paint or marker on me, I could bleach the stain to remove it. I should add some embroidery to one of my shirts and see how it goes.

Janet of Primrose Design recently asked on her blog for help with answers to questions she had gotten about embroidering on t-shirts. There are some good suggestions in the comments including one from elizabethdee to use Sulky Solvy Stabilizer. You can put your embroidery transfer right on it plus it dissolves in water when you're all finished. I also like the idea of embroidering the design on to fabric and then blanket stitching it on to the shirt.

Somewhere I have a clip art graphic of a peony. Maybe I could use that for my pattern...

Apronpalooza is Nearly Over

All but one Apronpalooza giveaway is ending tonight at 11:59 Pacific Time so go enter while there's about five hours left. All the contest posts are here. The very last contest ends on Tuesday June 12th so if you're reading this over the weekend, you can still enter that one.

I am drooling over this Red and Blue Apron from Made By Tess. And, the Rosy Half-Apron from Nana Company. And, the Funny Doggies apron by Dustpan Alley.

Close up of Rainbow Sampler

Close up of Rainbow Sampler
Originally uploaded by PipStitch
I've been adding some pictures to Flickr of my finished cross stitching. This was a stamped design that had both crewel and x-stitch which I did over 20 years ago. I learned how to do some of the embroidery stitches from the instructions and I had no idea if I was doing them correctly.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Yay, Anaheim Ducks!

I haven't paid much attention to hockey since the US team won the gold medal at the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics but I did see the last few minutes of the Ducks/Senators game last night. Congratulations to the Anaheim Ducks for winning the 2007 Stanley Cup! It's been awhile since we had a winning team in Southern California, and I sure don't remember one with so many beards.

Foster Homes Needed in Texas

Every animal rescue group out there is always in desperate need of foster homes, and if you've ever considered being a foster, please stop thinking about it and just go do it. And, if you're a small dog person in the Dallas area and you'd like to be a help, please contact Lone Star Shih Tzu and Lhasa Rescue and fill out an application. They've just been asked to take five dogs from a "breeder" and will need foster homes for these dogs and funds for medical care. They're also looking for forever foster homes to place three senior Lhasa Apsos.

I do get good news from Lone Star too and the latest was about all of their recent adoptions, including Bok Choy who I thought was the cutest thing. I'm so glad a couple from Lousiana decided to give her a home.

Another rescue group I know of, New Beginnings Shih Tzu Rescue, is holding a quilt raffle to raise funds for their rescue efforts. Hmmm. I wonder if anybody reading this would like to donate a quilt for a fundraiser for a Shih Tzu rescue organization.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Hokie Healing Project

I went back to the Mosaic Yarn Shop blog for an update on their Hokie Healing Project and saw they've collected 4512 knitted or crochet squares to make into blankets for the families of the Virginia Tech victims. Check out the pictures from when they had 2017 squares. Their goal was 2000.

Don't Forget to Enter Apronpalooza

One of today's Apronpalooza giveaways is for an apron from Apron Memories which is EllynAnne Geisel's website. She wrote The Apron Book. If you don't have it yet, go get it.

And, if you don't want to enter the contest because you aren't into aprons (what is up with that?), you can always give me your prize if you win. :)

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Apron Plans

This is interesting. I saw this apron while entering the Apronpalooza contest tonight and thought it was really cute. The more I looked at it, the more I realized I was planning to make something very similar. I have a set of placemats that are made from some cute fabric with cherries on it and it's already trimmed with rickrack. I thought I could add a couple of embroidered pockets to one of the placemats and some ties, and I'd have an apron. I finished the embroidery on one pocket the other night and was about to start on the second one.

The doggy design is from a child's pinafore apron pattern where they show the puppy with ears made of yarn. They also included ears in the pattern so I cut two ears out of some white felt and sewed them the puppy's head.

I'm sure I'll stitch up the other pocket. I have another puppy transfer to use for that. But since I haven't touched a sewing machine in about 30 years, I may never get to actually finishing the apron. I guess I could always buy the Sprinkle one.

My Other New Needlebook

And, here is my other new needlebook. This one is just perfect. It's made of wool, it's got a cute bee button on it and a cute watermelon, and blanket stitching all around. These are a few of my favorite things. I love it. This was made by the lovely and talented Michelle, and you can see a better picture of it on her blog, Tangled Threads. I am jealous of Michelle because she has two donkeys, Mutt and Shaggy.

I have a picture of the inside of the needlebook but that one is too blurry so I'll have to take another one. I was stuck in my bedroom this afternoon with a small dog while the Maytag repairman fixed the freezer (actually, it's a GE fridge), and while she was barking her head off, I was taking pictures of past cross stitch projects and my new needlebooks.


Life is Like a Lunchbox is having an apron giveaway. The rules are here. You bet I'm entering this one.

There are already seven contests going. You have until Friday to enter each one. All the apron posts are here.

One of My New Needlebooks

I don't know what is up with posting pictures here. I just took these and they look great on my computer screen. You can see the beads and it's very clear. Then I look at them on Blogger and they don't look all that great. And, try clicking the pictures to see them larger and they look all weird.

So, the photos don't do it justice but that is one of the lovely needlebooks I received through a swap at Swap-bot. I love the fabric (you can't really see it but the inside fabric is pretty) and I like the beads in the middle of some of the flowers. Maybe if you put your nose right up to the screen, you can see them. I like that this one has several pages inside. I have some needles that are still in their original packaging, and I was thinking I could organize them by size on each page and get rid of the cardboard & plastic thingy they came in.
I had second thoughts about doing this swap only because I wasn't sure I could make a needlebook that someone else would be happy to get, but I am really glad I joined because I ended up with two great ones.

Monday, June 4, 2007

X Stitch Freebies

Here's a free chart of a dog who says voff instead of woof. And, some more freebies from the same site.

Six Strand Sweets has a bunch of free designs that use their hand-dyed floss. I was just reading over the list of the colors and now I am really hungry. Such pretty colors and yummy names.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Maybe I Should Just Make a Really Small Yo-Yo Pillow

I found a list of links for free patterns in an email that I sent myself. I have no idea how I first got to the list but it's here if you want to look. From there, I ended up at Sew & Sew's Patterns. They have some free patterns there, including a Poodle (you can buy the entire set of dog patterns too) and some cups, teapots & pitchers that you can use for redwork or applique.

UPDATE: The site owner is no longer sharing free charts at that website. I haven't been to this French site for quite awhile. Many of their free charts are cows but not all. You can access the freebies by clicking on the archives at the bottom of the page. The galleries are worth looking at to see what other people made from the free stuff.

And, if you haven't been before, go see all the cool stuff at I think I found that through a Google search because of the embroidery patterns. I especially like this one. Or it might have been due to the needlecase.

Sarah of also has a blog, Mostly Knitting. And, look: she is making 1600 yo-yos for a coverlet. Wow!

Friday, June 1, 2007

Nice Bangs

I never cut Mia's hair. Never ever. I swear.

Ok, maybe I did a little.

Here's a 12 second video of my Look Around Crissy doll in action.

Friday's With Crissy Doll

My memory is not what it used to be but I knew that at some point in my life, I had made a red & white checked apron for my Mia doll. So a month or so ago, I went through the box of clothes for Mia, Crissy, and their black haired friend in the god-awful satin blue dress that I had kept for over 30 years, and sure enough, I found the apron. I guess I was maybe 10 or so when I made that.

Crissy was 18" tall and her cousin Velvet was 15" tall so they were bigger than Barbie dolls. (I thought Velvet was the sister but a little internet research has her as Crissy's cousin.) I remember a friend getting a Velvet doll for her birthday when I was about 6 or 7 yrs old and after that I wanted a Crissy doll very badly. Crissy dolls had hair that "grew" by pushing their belly button. A knob in their back could be turned to make the hair shorter. Eventually, I got Mia, (that's her in the middle wearing the apron) and my sister got Kerry, who was tall and blonde and not in that photo below. Wikipedia says Mia was Velvet's friend and Kerry was Crissy's friend.

By the way, the one on the left in the picture with the black hair and god-awful blue satin dress is Tressy. And, I don't just have Tressy, I have Posin' Tressy. From Wikipedia: "In 1971 "Posin' Tressy" also a Sears catalog exclusive was issued." That doesn't surprise me. Back then, we came up with our Xmas lists by going through the Sears catalog.

One year my mom took my sister and me to the toy store at Fashion Island because we both had some Christmas money to spend (most likely from my grandmother) and we both bought a Crissy doll in the orange-y red dress. Wikipedia: "In 1973 Ideal released 'Beautiful Crissy with the Swirla-Curler.' This doll came packaged with a hair curling attachment designed to be inserted into the head’s opening. This Crissy model came wearing a one piece dress that was fashioned to look like a white and orange plaid jumper with a red-orange blouse underneath." I don't remember my Crissy having a Swirla-Curler but mine does move when you pull a string.

According to Wikipedia (what would I do without them?), what I had was the "Look Around Crissy" model. "This version was released in 1972. This doll . . . was different from previous Crissy models as it employed a mechanical apparatus, set in motion by pulling a pull-string . . . the doll’s head and waist were geared to turn and give the impression of "looking around" when the doll’s string was pulled." My sister's Swirla-Curler Crissy did not have a string to make her move, so at the time, we just thought I got a moving Crissy in the wrong dress and wrong box. But, on Crissy and Beth, it says that leftover inventory of Look Around Crissy was used for Swirla-Curler Crissy, so that explains why mine could move.

My mom and I both made clothes for these dolls. My mom did a much better job (she used a machine, I hand stitched everything) but mine are scary. I'm going to designate Friday as the day to post pictures of Crissy, Tressy and Mia in their groovy 70's outfits. Except for the apron, my dolls are wearing their original clothes and shoes in the picture (Tressy is missing a shoe). Crissy and Tressy both have their underpants on, but the 1972 elastic in poor Crissy's is all stretched out. I was hoping they'd fall down when I pulled her string and got her to "look around."

Stay tuned for a short video of my Look Around Crissy in action. I have to figure out how to upload it here.