Monday, March 31, 2008

For All You Googlers

Most of the visitors to this blog find me through Google or Yahoo while searching for certain things, like free cross stitch chart or cross stitch freebie. One popular search term is free Poodle cross stitch. My blog comes up as a result because I've linked to this page with a free Poodle chart before. The link has changed so I wanted to post it again.

Sunday, March 30, 2008


I don't know how many "social networks" I've joined over the years, without ever becoming an active member. Friendster was lame and Facebook wanted to how I knew Amy and offered "we hooked up" as an option. (If only I could have checked "we hooked up" for all 732 of my Friendsters, I would have been quite popular.) I'm still on MySpace now but only so I can read my friends' blogs and be MySpace pals with Tommy Stinson.

So, I was really excited to join The Apronista (the network, not the blog, although the blog rocks too) since aprons are one of my favorite things. I've started taking pictures of my very small collection to post over there and here too.

My grandmother made this apron for my mom when my mother was a little girl. We think it must be about 60 years old. It was recently set free from a cedar chest and is in my hands now. (And, once again I am happy to have a sister who is not the least bit interested in this kind of treasure.) I just wish it fit me so I could wear it.

My mom's apron
Originally uploaded by PipStitch

I call this my cow apron even though there's more than just a cow in the pattern. Somebody gave this one to me when I was a kid. It could have been my grandmother or an aunt or even my mom (she doesn't remember either). It's still in great shape, even though it's probably 30 years old by now. The tag says "Rolf" but that's it.

Update: I asked my sister if she had an apron like this and she replied "No, I only had the one from Mom that came from Germany." So, I think the mystery of where this apron came from has been solved. It came from Germany sometime in the 1980's.

Cow apron
Originally uploaded by PipStitch

By the way, if you want to join The Apronista Network, read this post.


Yay! Three Foot Fall was the online winner of Pasco's Original Battle of the Bands! A huge thank you to all of you who clicked the link and voted for them without even hearing what they sound like!

House Ornament

House ornament
Originally uploaded by PipStitch

Every time I stitch up a small house, my mom asks why there isn't smoke coming out if the chimney. I decided to make this for her to shut her up. The chart is a freebie from the lovely and talented Emily at The Floss Box. It was done on 18 ct Fiddler's Cloth with floss from my stash.

I used a print out of the chart from this post but there's a pdf with a color key on this page.

Friday, March 28, 2008

That Pink Donkey Up Top

Notice the new header? I was bored last night and that's what I came up with.

The Donkey design is from a set of stamps that were posted on Green Kitchen -- there's a pdf linked in the post or you can get the image on Flickr.

And, the alphabet I used came from an embroidery pattern from Vintage Transfer Finds. I just cross stitched them instead.

The unraveling Aida is a nice touch, huh?

Woo hoo!

Ohhhh, another giveaway!

Rebekah at Sweet Bee's Vintage Finds has also joined in the week of embroidery at Meet Me At Mikes so go see the cute turtle, elephant, birds and Poodle patterns she is sharing and find out how to win some Workbasket patterns.

Craft Pad Giveaway

Chronicle Books is giving away two copies of Sublime Stitching Craft Pad and Creatures & Critters Origami Craft Pad [link via Average Jane Crafter]. Go enter by leaving some comments on their blog.

And, if you win and don't want the books, you can always send them to me. :)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

16 Days By Whiskeytown

I really should have called this blog Old Tin Cups and Little Paper Dolls.

Mark Your Calendars

May 12 is National Wear Your Apron Day!!

And, here's a close-up of my Mia doll wearing an apron I made for her, circa 1973.

I'm sure your Crissy dolls are so jealous now.

It Should Just Die

Embroidery is not my friend. Embroidery is evil and I want it to die.

I am not going to type out all the gory the details here but let me just say getting a pattern on to dark fabric is a bitch, the wax paper method sucks, and an iron-scrorched pillowcase makes your bedroom smell like burnt popcorn.

I was thisclose to giving away all my embroidery transfers when I heard Dave Grohl singing in my ear: "I swear I'll never give in. I refuse."

I told Dave to go fuck himself.

Then I remembered a thing called dressmaker's carbon and wandered over to the Sublime Stitching website to see if they carried it. And, I discovered Jenny now has Lisa Petrucci patterns.

The first time I ever went to Reprodepot Fabrics, I ordered some of Lisa Petrucci's Kick Ass Kuties stationery. (You can now get it directly from Lisa's website.) I really liked her artwork -- something about cute little people with big heads always gets me -- so I tracked down her website and read how she collected Liddle Kiddle dolls. And, Dawn dolls too. And, that she counts Josie and the Pussycats and Kimba the White Lion as early influences.

That reminds me of something that no one but me will really care about: according to IMDB, Will Ferrell was born in 1967 in Irvine, California. Well, unless his mom delivered him at home, that's impossible. I moved to Irvine in 1971 and there was no hospital there at the time. We didn't even have a McDonald's or a movie theatre either. We did, however, have Channel 13 where we watched Kimba the White Lion and Speed Racer. But I digress.

So, the carbon transfer paper (scroll down) and Lisa Petrucci patterns are now winging their way to my house and I am not giving up on embroidery just yet.

Website of the day: Liddle Kiddle paper dolls!!!!!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Monday's Post

I am already planning how to stay busy during my three month long recovery period, even though it won't actually begin until I get a cast put on my foot, which won't happen until I see a specialist, who I won't get a referral to until the 28th. I've come up with a few projects that I want to get done by the time the cast comes off. (At the rate I'm going, I should be up and walking again by next January!) My sister and I went to a couple of craft stores today so I could stock up on floss and also get some Aida for the Hungarian Sampler Stitch-A-Long. The first two parts of the chart have already been posted so I have some catching up to do.

I also wanted to get a tote bag to embroider for my sister. I had stitched a Pillsbury Doughboy on one last year for her birthday, and when I started doing another Doughboy on the reverse side, I stupidly did not keep track of the colors of floss I was using, so there's a finished Doughboy on one side and a half-embroidered Doughboy on the other. Michael's did not have a blue tote bag in a medium size so we went to Tall Mouse, and not only did we find exactly what we were looking for, but I also found tea towels on sale, five for $10. I am not a huge fan of flour sack towels because I'd rather have a smaller kitchen towel and these are a perfect size. They had them in solid colors (and patterns too) so I got two in white, and one in red, green and blue. Let the embroidering begin!

It seems the majority of my recent cross stitch finishes have been done with floss and fabric scrounged from my stash, so it was really fun to go and get new supplies. Then I came home and excitedly wound all my new floss on those little plastic bobbins. And, then my head exploded because I was so dang happy.

Doe-c-doe is having giveaways all this week. To enter, leave some comments on each post (more information is here.) It looks like she will be sharing an embroidery pattern every day as well. Monday's is a cute squirrel.

And, don't forget the quilting book giveaway at Studio-259.

Of course, I forgot to add this earlier: Over at a blog called Meet Me at Mikes, Floresita is posting a week's worth of embroidery patterns. I don't know if these are ones that she has posted elsewhere or not. There's also a blogroll of other people participating so check those links too, like the freaking adorable pattern at The Lark with an owl, squirrel and hedgehog.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Gladness?

And, here is the other greeting card image I found. I confess I don't see the gladness. Is the dog happy because he's going to eat the poor chick? What a lovely picture. It's so Easter-y!

Anyway, I hope you have a Happy Easter!!

Easter Greetings From Lassie And Her BF

I went through some saved images that were originally from a bunch of dog greeting cards and found a couple of Easter ones. I'm not sure what two Collies have to do with Easter and your husband but here is that one. (That tree makes me think of cotton candy.)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Be Glad And More

There's a set of five free cross stitch charts at Swappons for something called Be Glad, which stands for Broder Ensembre un Gratuit Long A Découvrir. According the English translation of the blog (click the British flag to get it), it means "Stitching along a long free to be discovered. Hmm, sounds like a mystery sampler to me. And, looks like we missed it but you can still use the charts. Also on the same blog is a tutorial for making a cube of birth, (English translation), and one for making a cover for your tape measure, (in English). Oh, and take a look at these old embroidery booklets -- lots of alphabet charts there.

Michelle Verbeeck at Studio 259 is having a giveaway for a book called Uncommon Quilter by Jeanne Williamson. Details on entering are on the post. You have until March 28th. I think I found the Studio 259 blog when someone linked to this cute ladybug needlecase. That led me to the heart needlecase, which is still on my to-do list.

Earlier tonight, I made a little pillow out of a cross stitch finish for the Christmas Ornament SAL. After stuffing it, I sewed the opening closed and it looked like crap. So I did it a second time and it was still puckered and uneven. If this ornament was going to be for someone else, I would have attempted it a third time, and, if still didn't turn out halfway decent, I would have put down the garbage disposal. So, imagine how delighted I was to come across Emily's tutorial on "building a better pillow" a little while ago. If only I had read her blog a few hours ago! I am definitely going to use her instructions the next time I make a mini pillow. Emily rules!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Maybe I Can BeDazzle My Orthopedic Shoes

Well, I missed mentioning another holiday on this blog. I was going to post a picture of my St. Patrick's Day troll too. I hope you all had a nice St. Paddy's Day!

Every so often, usually when I'm eating bacon, I will think about Laura and Mary Ingalls playing with a pig bladder. And, I'm not even on medication. So, I really enjoyed this article.

I forget how I found it but check out the blog for the Hungarian Sampler SAL. If I can find a large enough piece of material before they post any more of the chart, I'd like to join this one.

Some of my freebie links have disappeared from my list on AOL so I was happy to come across a link to Cherished Time (or Kiyo's Cross Stitch Page) again. There's a huge list of free charts there [link via Taking one stitch at a time]. I don't think it's been updated since April 2006 but I'm sure many of the links still work.

I also wanted to mention the x-stitch freebies at LUMIERE403. One night I was trying to find a pattern with sheep for the Christmas Ornament SAL and I ended up there (I think it was linked on LaGattaC).

There's a new free chart called Acorns and Owls at Blue Ribbon Designs. And, click the link to read the March newsletter to see how you can win a chart.

Barbara over at Oodles and oodles has posted the pattern that's on her ready to be embroidered aprons. The same ones she was giving away that I did not win. Not that I'm bitter. Ok, I am but I'll get over it as soon as the next apron giveaway comes along. (Please let me know if you hear about any so I can get happy sooner. Thanks!) (And, thank you for sharing the pattern, Barbara.)

Speaking of getting happy, I had a little bit of bad news last week. I got an official diagnosis on my swollen-since-November-and-now-deformed-foot (I am not exaggerating): I have something called Charcot Foot, yet another fun side effect of diabetes. Apparently, the nerve damage in my feet is so severe, I can no longer feel any pain and didn't know I had fractured several bones. And yes, I was shocked to hear that. Fortunately, this can be treated but that involves wearing a cast and staying off my foot for three months, and then having surgery. (Then I'll probably have to wear special shoes, which you know will be ugly. Can I Bedazzle leather?) I can deal with that -- I went through the same thing last Fall with my broken knee and became a whiz at using a walker -- but it's going to be awhile since I can go back to work and that depresses the hell out of me. So, I'm trying to be positive and look at my recovery as lots and lots and lots of time to cross stitch or embroider or finally try some other projects that I've always wanted to do but didn't because I was too busy reading craft blogs into the wee hours of the night, she typed at 2:53 AM.

As seen on Google: "The BeDazzler is back again and it’s the fashion craze of the season." Har!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Another Apron Giveaway

Calling all apron lovers who love to embroider and embroiderers who love aprons! There's a giveaway over at Oodles and oodles, for a bunch of "vintage ready-to-embroider" clothespin aprons! [link via tie one on]

Oodles and oodles is a fabulous blog. It's my new favorite. Look at these freaking adorable bunny bags. And, the dresser makeover. And, an interesting fact about rick rack.

Dang. Just go read all of it.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

What Dog Breed Are You

Look. I'm a Poodle. Me and Posh Spice. Yay.

What dog breed are you? I'm a Poodle! Find out at

Monday, March 10, 2008

I Forgot This Link

I forgot all about linking to the latest embroidery patterns from TipNut. It's a DOW set with puppies doing the chores. TipNut also has a post full of links to printable recipe cards and one with links to patterns for clothespin bags, including this nifty one for an apron you can use for clothespins or wear as a bonnet. (That totally appeals to my inner Laura Ingalls.)

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Apron Giveaways

There are a couple of apron giveaways this week. Over at Confessions of an Apron Queen, the prize is a vintage red & white gingham apron with some really pretty chicken scratch. Details are here. You have until Monday night to enter. Edited to Add: There are examples of several chicken scratch stitches there too.

And, Not Quite June Cleaver (another blog name that rocks), is giving away an apron made by not quite June herself (Susan).

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Lovebird Freebie

I first saw a finished version of this chart on the Freebie Gallery and loved the design. I knew making a hornbook was beyond me (I didn't even know what one was until I Googled it five seconds ago) so I decided to turn it into an ornament for the Bride's Tree Stitch-A-Long. The February theme for the SAL was "true love"and if I had one, I'd make this for him.

Lovebird Freebie
Originally uploaded by PipStitch

Who am I kidding? Even if I had a true love, I'd keep this little stuffed pillow for myself. I love the colors and now I have a thing for blue birds. I used the suggested DMC floss and stitched it on 18ct Fiddler's Cloth.

The chart for the Lovebird freebie can be found on Midsummer Night Musings, which is the blog for Deborah Thorpe of Midsummer Night Designs. She has designed some really lovely charts.

Love House

I made this ornament for the Christmas Ornament Stitch-A-Long. The chart is a freebie from The Floss Box. I thought Emily's cute little house design nicely fit the February theme of love. It was stitched on 18 ct Fiddler's cloth and I used floss from my stash. (I wish I had done the hearts and "LOVE" in a shade that was more red.) The puckering at the bottom is from how I sewed the opening closed. I need to work on getting it flat.

Love House
Originally uploaded by PipStitch

The Ort Jar

All I can say is Look at Jenn's ort jar! (last photo in the post) I am totally stealing this idea.

Why I'm Always Up Until 3 AM

I know a lot of people read Primrose Design but in case you missed it, Janet has posted a cross stitch chart of some pretty strawberries that she created from a design on some tea towels. The link to the pdf is in this post. And, check out the neat stitching on the raspberries on another towel.

Apron porn alert! As of two minutes ago, Confessions of an Apron Queen is my new favorite blog. As soon as I read the first line "If you love vintage aprons..." I was hooked. It's loaded with fantastic apron photos (and all kinds of other great stuff). There are a zillion things there that I will have to go back and read when I have more time tonight. And, the Girl Scout Cookie poll reminds me I can have Thin Mints for lunch today. (This was written earlier today and yes, I did eat a couple of Thin Mints at lunch, not for lunch.)

The Apronista is having yet another apron giveaway. This one is from marie-madeline studio, makers of some really pretty aprons. Go leave some comments on the post to enter.

And, speaking of aprons, today, my mom gave me two that she has had since she was a kid. She's pretty sure my grandmother made one of them, which gives it even more sentimental value. (It hit me again today that I'm really fortunate to have sister who has no interest in old aprons or old jewelry or old hankies because that means I can claim all that good stuff without having to fight with a relative for them.) I'm going to iron the aprons and then I'll take some pictures.

Check out RedWork Stitcher's photos of embroidery and redwork patterns on Webshots [link via Mrs. Stitchy Britches].

On Echevette, there are several free Easter cross stitch charts: Joyeuses Paques (bunny with basket), Petit lapin de Paques (rabbit on an egg), and Easter sampler (rabbit, eggs, flowers in pink & green).

I just read on my calendar that March is Adopt A Rescued Guinea Pig month. If you're considering doing that, check out Petfinder. (The widget below shows all the small & furry animals, not just guinea pigs, listed on Petfinder at the time. You can go the site and do a search for adoptable animals in your area.)

Monday, March 3, 2008

My Boring Apple Roses

I wanted to make an apple cobbler but I found Martha Stewart's Rosy Apple Tart while going through my saved recipes and decided to give it a try. I had torn it out of her magazine a couple of years ago because I was fascinated by the pretty apple "roses." (Go see them on her website. The recipe is there too.)

There are about 72 steps to make this. You have to put the crust together (easy enough because it's just puff pastry) and the filling and the apples -- and it seemed like everything had to set up or cool for 30-40 minutes or both, plus you have to make the apple roses, so it takes awhile, but I was happy with the end result, even though my roses look nothing like Martha's magazine photo. Mine kind of look like potatoes. I wish I had just used all Gala apples because I like how their red skin gives some color to the beige apples. (You also use green apples and Martha said to peel them so I did.) The cream was good and had that buttermilk tang to it, and you can't go wrong with puff pastry, although I used the Pepperidge Farm kind and ignored Martha's advice to use a higher quality brand. I will make this again but I'll skip the apple roses next time. I think it would be really good with blackberries, strawberries or cherries on top.

Sentimental Stitches will be posting an embroidery pattern every day during March. Be sure to save or print them when you see them because they'll only be up for a day. (Edited to add: Click the caption below the pattern to get a pdf. If it's no longer clickable, the pattern is no longer available. (I wish I had known that from the beginning.) There are some free redwork designs there too, including an adorable one with Kewpies. (How did I miss these before??) I love the kitty (Block 115) too.

Need a cross stitch alphabet? These are pretty neat [link via Bordando Freebies] There are other free charts also. I really like the ones with hearts (cute house!). Lots of teddy bears there too.

Starting on March 7th, Lisa Vollrath will be once again offering free images to download for your St. Patrick's Day and Easter paper crafting needs [link via Stitchy and Crafty -- great name for a blog! You'll find links to free patterns (knitting, crochet, cross stitch) there too].

Barb aka Woof Nanny has also has The Purse Project blog where you make a purse based on a theme. For the March/April theme you have to refashion a ready-made bag. I love this kind of thing. To see what people make, not to join in. If I ever made a purse, hell would freeze over.

I had more links to post but there's a Shih Tzu barking in the kitchen (she wants a vitamin) so I gotta go.

Saturday, March 1, 2008're it!!

Over a week ago, Jenn of Sweet Pea Stitches tagged me to post seven weird or random things about myself. I don't know how many times I've added and deleted stuff to this list. I either sound like a nutjob or really boring. Here are my final answers. (And, thanks for tagging me, Jenn! Sorry it took me so long to post this.)

1. I'm not into coin collecting but I have been saving one of each of the state quarters. Except I have several California ones because that's where I live and I have a few Wisconsin quarters because there's a cow and cheese on it and I like cows and I like cheese.

2. I peel mushrooms. Not all kinds but always the white or button variety. I don't know why. I just do it.

3. Whenever I get my plastic bobbin of DMC 666 embroidery floss out of the box, I can always hear Gregory Peck yelling "Damien!" in my head. (Hmm. I hear voices and I peel mushrooms. Hello, freak girl.)

4. I collect postcards. I buy them when I go places and I save the ones that people send to me. They're kept in a cardboard box and bundled by category: "Phila 1972" or "From Susan" or "Bought at flea market 2006." I wish the rest of my life was as organized as my postcards and my floss box.

5. I couldn't live without iced tea. It has to be unsweetened and cannot be herbal. My current favorite is Tazo, which is what they serve at Starbucks, but I buy tea bags from and make it by the pitcher at home.

6. I'm more about reading craft blogs and saving patterns and instructions than to actually making anything. My mom recently gave me a plain pink pillowcase that she didn't want anymore and I thought I'd embroider it. Do you think I could decide what to stitch on it? There are so many free patterns out there, plus I have some that I bought, that I was having a lot of trouble trying to choose one. That's insane. (Memo to self: if you embroidered more often instead of just collecting patterns, you wouldn't be having a mental breakdown over trying to choose a design to stitch.)

7. I used to be lucky at winning stuff from radio stations. Once, I won seven pairs of tickets. Another time, I won $106.70 (the station was at 106.7 on the dial). And another time, I won 100 cds from them. I had to go to the radio station, look through books of album titles, and pick the ones I wanted. I later sold many of them when I was strapped for cash. How sad is that?

And, now here are the rules for this thing:

1. Once you are tagged, link back to the person who tagged you.

2. Post THE RULES on your blog.

3. Post 7 weird or random facts about yourself on your blog.

4. Tag 7 people and link to them

5. Comment on their blog to let them know they have been tagged.

I am tagging Michelle, Kim, Tess, Amy, Nicole, Kellie, and Emily.

Edited to add: This is post #333 and you know what that is: half of 666. Damien!