Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Another Giveaway And A Contest

Stitch Pink is giving away a pink ribbon tuck pillow. What's a tuck pillow? It's a little stuffed pillow with an opening to display a finished cross stitch, like a frame. I had seen them before but wasn't quite sure what they were until now.

Sublime Stitching is having a Handmade Gift Contest. Using Sublime Stitching patterns is encouraged but not required.

What's Your Guinea Pig Going To Be For Halloween

I have issues with people putting clothes on their dogs. Except for Halloween. Then I think it's friggin' adorable. But I have discovered something even better:


This little dinosaur pig was posted on Cute Overload and then someone in the comments linked to Cuddly Cavies where you can buy more costumes and clothes (look at the plaid coat!). Now I want to get a whole herd of guinea pigs so I can dress them up!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Apronista Apron Giveaway

Apronista is having a giveaway to win an apron from Heavenly Hostess. This contest ends on Friday at midnight (not sure in which time zone) and you can enter twice so get over to Apronista and read all about it. Good luck!

I love the graphic of the lady wearing the apron on the Heavenly Hostess main page. Why can't I be built like that?

She Said Hairy Balls

"If you watch my television show, you know that I always keep a bowl of coarse salt on hand for easy seasoning. At home in Bedford, I don't have one bowl next to my range -- I have 14."

Guess who has a blog now?

"It was rather chilly outside, but Pierre, my chef, made us all a fabulous warm meal that you will most certainly enjoy viewing."

Yep, Martha Stewart has a blog. The pictures are great (lots of the dogs).

"This most unusual perennial, Gomphocarpus physocarpus, is called the balloon plant. I like to call it hairy balls." [insert Beavis laugh here]

I really do love her.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Halloween Witch Finish

Halloween Witch
Originally uploaded by PipStitch

I finally got some black ribbon so I could turn Emily's Halloween Witch into a doorknob hanger. (And, yes I know I did not punch the holes evenly.) I was inspired by Brooke's finish for her Haunted Tea Party freebie. I wasn't sure how she did the loop border but I gave it a shot. I like how it looks but next time I will make my loops a little bigger.

I cheated on the French knot eyes. The first one I made came out well but the second, third and fourth attempts were not good so I gave up. Instead, I made a half stitch and then one down the side and along the bottom to make a triangle (if that even makes sense).

You can find the free chart for the Halloween Witch at The Floss Box. I love her green skin! By the way, Emily has also put out a Winter Witch. I'm sure I'll be doing that one too.

Halloween Cats Finish

Halloween Cats
Originally uploaded by PipStitch

This chart is a freebie from Kreinik. You're supposed to use their silk threads on a Tokens & Trifles sewing card, but I used DMC floss in Fall colors from my stash , and 14 ct Aida for the larger one and 18 ct Fiddler's Cloth for the smaller one. I put felt on the back since I didn't have any Halloween fabric. I was going to give the little one to my sister but I liked it and wanted to keep it. That's why she's getting the bigger one.

You can find the free chart for Halloween Cats here. It's a pretty quick project to do.

Friday, October 26, 2007

The EZ Craft Show

Be sure to check out the EZ Craft Show. It's an online gift and craft show. Niki of Niki's Ventures has a booth there. There are over 300 booths in the show. You can find the directory here. I just went and looked at some of the items for sale and found a few quilts and patterns I'd love to have. The show will run through November 7th.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


I linked to Stitch Pink a week ago and I think I mentioned there were links there to free breast cancer awareness charts. But I forgot to mention the one I started to do a few nights ago. It's from Painted Giraffe Stitchery and I like it because of the pink ribbon and heart charm on it. You'll have to email Bonnie and ask her to send you a PDF of the pattern. She's a very nice lady and emailed me a chart right away. More info is here.

I need to make something, like a pie or cupcakes or marshmallows. Other than sticking a batch of Pillsbury Ready To Bake cookies in the oven and mixing up one meatloaf, I haven't done any real cooking for two months now and I really miss it.

I got my second set of stitches out on Monday. The nurse covered the wound with temporary bandages. I peeled one off at the top and one off at the bottom today just to see what was under them, and it's just scabby and dry, which I believe is what we want. I just want it to thoroughly heal without any more problems or infections this time. Only another month to go and I can start using my leg again.

It was nice last night to take a break from all the news coverage about the fires and watch "Damages." If you didn't get into this show, and I know not many people did, you really missed out on some terrific television. I was happy with the way it ended so if it doesn't get renewed, it will be alright, but I do hope Fox decides to give it another chance. I want to see Ellen take down Patty Hewes.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Southern California Fires

Between watching local news, listening to the radio, and looking on the internet, I feel like I've been on fire watch for the past couple of days. We're about 20 miles south of one of the fires (the Santiago/Portola/Irvine fire) so we're not in any danger now but I'd be naive to think we're totally safe. There are some open spaces to the east and south of where I live that would easily burn if a fire started there.

I feel so bad for those who have lost their homes. I believe about 500,000 people (!!!) have been evacuated so far. They said on the news tonight that the winds have died down considerably so hopefully that will give the firefighters a chance to get some of these fires contained tomorrow.

Please keep Southern Calif in your thoughts and prayers.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Needlework Show

Be sure to visit The Needlework Show this week. It's only for wholesale orders so you can't order anything from it but anyone can go look at the vendors' needlework designs and supplies. Click the General Viewing link for a list of vendors. Each vendor has their own page. It will take you awhile to go through them all but it's an easy way to see new stuff. If you see something you like, you can ask your local needle shop to order it for you or you can track it down on your favorite online store's website. Some of the vendors are giving out door prizes, including Dinky Dyes. You can enter to win a set of their silk threads. More information can be found on their vendor page.

I've already found a few things I really like and I'm not even halfway through the vendor list yet. I'm fascinated by the designs for boxes. (Maybe this is why I like biscornu so much and turn my finishes into pillows instead of framing them.) Look at this Christmas box from Cherished Stitches. And Luna Solstice from Dames of the Needle. This pyramid from Twisted Oaks Designs is cool. So is the chicken pincushion below it on the same page. I remember Cindy Valentine's The Merry Otter from last year's show. I would love to make that box. Look at it opened up. How neat is that?

I could use a good thread picker, like this one from My Big Toe Designs. I didn't even know they made such a thing.

The Needlework Show runs through October 22.

Monday, October 15, 2007

A Couple of X-Stitch Finishes

Here are two more cross stitches I've done while sitting around the house. I started and finished the cats yesterday. You can find that free chart at Kreinik. It's supposed to be done on a Tokens & Trifles sewing card with silk threads, but since I had neither, I just used what I had on hand and chose Autumn colors. The cats were originally going to be turned into something for my sister but I like how they came out so I'm keeping it for myself. I'll make her one later this week. It's not like I don't have the time. Hah! (I can do hers on the 14 ct Aida I don't like. Mine's on 18 ct Fiddler's Lite.) You can find the witch chart here.

There's a third finish below these two -- I didn't want to cut the fabric because then it would be too small for my hoop so I thought I'd stitch as many designs on there as I could -- and it's the autumn heart from Kissy-Cross. I wasn't sure what to do with the heart. I really like this needlebook that someone named Annie made from both heart charts.

I went to the orthopdedic sugeon this afternoon and he thinks my incision looks better this time around. I agree. It actually looks like it's healing, instead of being all scabby and red. He said he'd leave the stitches in for one more week. And, it looks like next week I can start putting some weight on my leg. I'll still need to stay off it for another four weeks though. I wonder how many more cross stitches I can do during that time.

Oh and when I am finally done with the walker, I will be setting fire to it in the backyard.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Very Cute Crochet Pom and Meerkat

I must learn to crochet. Why? Because I need to make one of these. Since I get a lot of visitors here who are looking for stuff, let me throw in these keywords:

free pattern
so cute, my blood sugar just shot up to 300

More cuteness: make a meerkat! [link via Craftster via Craft Chat on Swap-bot] Look at him dressed up for Christmas.

I've wanted to link to this quilt for awhile but keep forgetting about it. I love it!

Brooke's Books has a new Halloween freebie out: The Haunted Tea Party door knob hanger. (You'll have to scroll down a little and then click the picture to get the chart.) It's cute and I love the way it's finished.

Wondering About Embroidery On A Stuffed Something (could this title be any longer)

I've always wondered how to embroider a face on a stuffed something. Look at this picture. I don't get where the knotted end of the thread is. If I were going to make this little guy, I would embroider the face before I sewed the two sides together, but it seems like all the instructions I see always have you do the face after it's stuffed.

That photo is part of a tutorial on making a felt monster. I saw that link on Craft Tutorials -- there's a bunch of great stuff there (check out the sidebar).

The October/November challenge for The Purse Project is to make a container bag, like a cozy for an iPod, a bag for a camera or a lunch bag. I showed this pig iPod cozy to my mom and she said I should make one like it for her cell phone. Hmm. That might be an opportunity to talk her into buying me some wool felt.

The Purse Project theme last time around was to make an amulet bag. I love CarolJean's angel.

The most recent site to make me drool: Frills, Frocks and Fancies! [link via Apronista] In the very near future, Malphi will be selling "ready to sew" dressmaking kits. You'll get everything to make a dress or apron in the kit and won't have to deal with a pattern or cutting fabric. Sounds like a great idea to me. I love, love, love this apron. And, yes, I want the bloomers too.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Stitch Pink

A few days ago, I somehow ended up at Stitch Pink, a blog for sharing cross stitched projects to promote breast cancer awareness. Anyone can join and post photos of their finishes. There's also a lot of good information there with links to all kinds of things, such as a Yahoo group whose members stitch squares for quilts to raise money for breast cancer research. On the right sidebar, is a list of links to free charts. Be sure to check them out.

I love Blue Ribbon Designs' With All Your Heart. This kit is available at needle shops all over but if you buy it from Elegant Stitch, you can be certain 100% of the proceeds will go to breast cancer education and awareness programs.

Hmm. That "eight-cornered pin pillow" looks like a biscornu to me.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Little Happy Halloween Pillow

Happy Halloween
Originally uploaded by PipStitch

This picture has been waiting for three days to get posted so here it is: my "Happy Halloween" finish. I stitched it on 14 ct Aida, which I have really grown to dislike, but I have a good-sized piece of it and wanted to start using it up. (I really like 18 ct much, much better.) I used all the suggested floss colors except for under the trees and in one other place that I now forget for the roof (I just used similar colors from my floss stash). There's black felt on the back because I don't have any Halloween fabric, and the loop is crooked but oh well. I like how it turned out. Except for that spot in the middle where the row of pumpkins is indented. Maybe I should have put more stuffing in. (Happy Halloween chart is here.)

I finished stitching Emily's cute Halloween witch earlier tonight and will most likely add some felt to the back and stuff it, because you can never have too many little pillows, can you? (I need to try something new!)

Speaking of Emily over at The Floss Box, she has posted a bunch of free mini biscornu charts on her blog.

That's right. Mini biscornu. So little and so cute, your head might explode.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Foster Homes in Texas Needed

I need to interrupt the cross stitch party and beg for foster homes again.

The Humane Society of North Texas just removed over 90 Shih Tzus from a woman who could no longer care for all of them. (An article about it is here.) If the HSNT gets custody of the dogs, they will put the healthy ones up for adoption. One of my favorite Shih Tzu rescues, Lone Star, will most likely be fostering some of the ones who aren't quite ready to be adopted. It may take 6-9 months to get them ready to go to homes.


Find out how on Lone Star's blog.

Reading about this makes me so pissed off. The woman who had the Shih Tzus apparently has a husband with Alzheimer's and it was her kids who notified authorities about the dogs. I have no idea what was going on with this family. Maybe the kids didn't visit that often or have much contact with their parents. I sincerely hope that was the case. Because I would like to believe that, if the kids were stopping by regularly, at some point, like when Mom & Dad were up to five or seven or eleven or thirty dogs, one of the kids would have told their parents it was time to spay & neuter every single one of the fluffballs. Honestly, I do not know how rescue and shelter volunteers deal with this day and in day out. It's neverending, it's heartbreaking and it's just really sad. If it were me, I'd be shooting people left and right.

Lone Star is also looking for a foster home for this "pitiful anemic Shih Tzu girl." How sad is that story? A huge Thank You goes to the nice lady who got her out of the shelter. Now the poor thing just needs a place to go. Anyone out there wanna help her?

UPDATE: Speaking of dog rescue, one blog I really enjoy is Penny Sanford Porcelains. I don't remember how I got there but I'm sure it had to do with a link to her tutorial for heart shaped yo-yos. (And, if you're keeping score at home, I still have yet to make a single yo-yo. I am such the crafter.) Anyway, Penny and her husband just fostered eight (that's EIGHT) rescued Westies!! Read all about it. This totally cheered me up after reading about the Shih Tzus in Texas. Thank you, Penny and Gordon, for all you do for rescue!

UPDATE #2: Lone Star ended up with eight of these Shih Tzus. Go here for more information.

Another Hospital Visit

Well, I just spent another five days in the hospital. A couple of days after my stitches were taken out, my incision got infected. Taking antibiotics for nearly two weeks didn't clear up the infection so the orthopedic guy decided to admit me so he could open up my knee (again) and clean it all out, plus put me on IV antibiotics.

After we left his office, I had my mom take me home first so I could grab a few things to keep me busy, including the chart for Emily's Halloween witch. I didn't have the green floss for her face with me but I got a good start on it. (And, yes, I know it's not the best picture.) (I somehow deleted the photo by accident and couldn't find it saved on my computer.>

So, I once again have a line of stitches going down my leg. And, I'm on oral meds. One really good thing is this past Friday marked six weeks since my first surgery so I'm FINALLY at the halfway point to being able to put my full weight on my leg and stop using the walker. I'd be doing a happy dance right now if I could.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Halloween Challenge

(I just found this draft of a post from earlier in the week that I never finished. Enjoy it now.)

Feeling Stitchy is having a Halloween Challenge.

(Well, that's all she wrote. I don't know what else to say. Click the link to read the rules. Oh, and it's for any kind of needlework: cross stitch, embroidery know, the other kinds out there.)

Free Screensavers

How I find out what my screen size is? I was just at Debbie Mumm's site. I knew she had quilt patterns there but this was the first time I noticed there were screensavers you could download. I found several I like for Fall but not sure which size to pick.

Hot dang! I googled "how do I find my screen size" which took me here. So now I know. :)