27 June 2011

These days are just flying by.

It's almost not fair how fast these days are going.  Last week is a complete blur.  I didn't do anything out of the ordinary -- I just feel like time is flying entirely too fast recently.

Hence my reason for not posting a goshdarn thing for an entire week.  Again.

There are some exciting things brewing in my craft room, and I hope to be able to share them with you before the week is up.  Until then, enjoy the beautiful summer weather we're going to have this week, and get those creative juices flowing!

21 June 2011

Finally, some finishes.

Ohmigosh.  I can't believe it's been a week already since I last posted about my adventures with my sewing machine.  This month is FLYING by.  Next Friday is 1 July, and I can't believe it.  I just can't.

Anyways.  Now that I have a sewing machine, I decided it was high time I did some finishing work on projects that have been lying around the house.

First up was one of the baby gifts I did for Katie, which I gave you a preview of way back when.  Well, this weekend, I finally did the finish work on it.  Since I'm having Katie and the baby over tomorrow night for a lil' visit, I figured I should mayyyybeeee have at least one of the two things I stitched for the baby ready for her when they come over. (The other one is awaiting a frame.  Stay tuned...)

Ok so here is the "Sleep Tight" Mill Hill Sticks project all done up into a pretty pillow:

Sorry if it's a little dark - I was trying to eliminate glare off of my super shiny freshly semi-glossed bookcase :-)  Didn't it turn out great!?  I love how the small amount of green fabric that I put around the edges just brings out all the colors of the stitched piece.  It really makes the green stitching pop!

Here's the back fabric:

A starry night, perfect for a little one sleeping :-)

Up next is one of the Cricket Collection seasons, each of which I've been showing you my progress in this bliggity blog.  This one is "Summer", which I stitched on 32 count somethingorother.  I can't remember what the name of the color is, since it wasn't labeled on the package when I bought it.

Anyhooter...here is the finished piece:

Sa-weet, right?!  It is a smidggggggggge larger than I anticipated, but I still love the way it turned out.  I used a plain yellow for the border right up against the stitched piece, which was a remnant from Joann's.  The outer border is from a Moda jelly roll that I got from Cloth & Bobbin in Narberth.  I think both complement the stitched piece rather well, if I do say so myself :-)

For the back, I didn't have a piece of fabric quite big enough to cover the entire surface area, so I made panels to cover it.  Voila! -

I thought all three pieces that were in my stash were very summery, and therefore perfect for this project!

For those of you working on the Cricket seasons pieces, the finished stitch size of mine is 17"w x 4.5"h - I stitched all of them on 32 count linen.  Adding the border fabrics to this piece made it closer to 24" long, so it's a daggone good thing I have big bookcases to display these!!

I'm currently working on the final Cricket season - "Spring", and attempted to take pictures of it, but the fabric just isn't picture friendly.  I'm stitching this one on 32 count Silkweaver Buttercream linen, which is a-ma-zing, but again, not very photogenic.  Hopefully as I progress, the stitching fibers will be a little darker and conducive to photographs so I can share it with you all.

That's all I have for now!  Do something creative today :-)

13 June 2011

I put down my needle and thread, and picked up...needle and thread...

No, I haven't been drinking.  That was at the work picnic on Thursday...and Saturday night at the bar.

This weekend, I put down that cross stitch needle of mine, and picked up (ok, figuratively picked up) my sewing machine needle.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I finally procured a sewing machine.  I got it a few weeks ago, right before I got really sick, and haven't had the chance to do anything with it.  Well, this weekend I decided to get to it.  I had to break it in sometime, and there's no time like the present.  I figured I'd do a little project I'd been dying to try before finishing Katie's baby gift into a pillow.  Kinda warm up the sewing machine, if you will.

Moda fabrics has some fibbity faboo patterns in their Bake Shop, and that's where I found this little ditty.  It's called the "Bookkeeper", and is a cover for your B&N nook or your Amazon Kindle.  It could also fit a journal or a paperback book for those trips to the beach, or anywhere for that matter!

I already have a leather cover for my nook, but it's boring black.  Bleh.  When I saw this "recipe", I knew I had to try it!

Here's the finished product --

It looks like a lil' clutch, doesn't it??  Now, if any of you are quilters, I am profusely sorry that I cannot, at this time, do proper binding.  This project was VERY easy, especially for someone like me, who is not nearly as proficient with a sewing machine as I am with a cross stitch needle.  The only thing that was difficult for me was the binding.  If any of you are quilters, and have some pointers for me as to how to do that part of this quicker and EASIER, I'm all ears.  I wanted to stab someone with my straight pins by the end of the night.

There are some things that I know I'll do different the next time around, if it's another one for me, or if I do it as a gift, but I think it turned out pretty darn good for a first time pattern-follower!  If I do say so myself!  Ha!

Here's a peek inside --

You can kinda see the leather of my nook cover peeking out overtop the pouch.

Here's my nook outside the "bookkeeper" so you can see it in perspective --

I'm not sure if the iPad would fit in here -- but this pattern is definitely easy enough to alter it to make it wider if need be for a tablet.

The fun thing about this project (besides the fact that I was doing something new!) is that I got to try out the decorative stitches on my machine.  Here's a close-up of the top stitches on the cover --

Fun, huh?!?!  Again -- quilters, turn a blind eye to that binding.  Hooo boy does it need  a helping hand.....

Anyways, that was my creative fun this weekend!  Hope you all were able to get your creative juices flowing, too!!

06 June 2011

Monday, Monday

Can't trust that day...

Well, here we are at Monday already.  This weekend went whizzing by without even stopping to have a leisurely cup of coffee!!

I made some bold promises on Friday, which I was unable to keep.  I did not remember to take a picture of "Pumpkins Three".  I almost finished "A Stitch in Thyme", but won't post a pic until it's completely done.  I will do my best to get a pic of "Pumpkins Three" up before the end of the week.  I know there were a few of you interested in seeing that one finished.  It turned out great :-)

Saturday I spent most of the day in my living room painting the trim.  I did the crown molding, the door frame (from the foyer to the living room), and the window frames.  I didn't have enough time to get to the chair rail or baseboarding, so that's a project for after work this week. The previous owners didn't paint correctly (as I'm sure you'll all remember from my previous rantings about the hideous green paint, etc.), so instead of just one coat of semi-gloss on the crown molding, I have to go back and do a third.  I'll do that tonight, and then hopefully be able to get at least one coat on the chair rail.  I would love to be able to get two coats on the chair rail tonight so I can do the base boarding tomorrow night, but we'll see how quickly I move tonight.

One final quick note -- Blogger has been a pain.  I was having a heck of a time posting comments to other people's blogs this past week -- every time I would try to post a comment, it would try to post it as "Anonymous".  That's a bunch of hooey, so I just cancelled my post.  Then, I found out from one of my friends that she couldn't post a comment to my blog, and suggested I change the format for how the comments show up.  I did, and apparently it's working again, so hopefully your comments will post!  I love hearing from you all!  Thanks for the tip, Catherine!! :-)

I'm off -- have a fabulous Monday, everyone!  It's supposed to be hotter than the center of the Earth by the end of the week (yahoo!!!), so enjoy these cool breezes while they're here -- we probably won't have them again until September!!

03 June 2011

So...long time, no post...

I think it's only been a week...but it feels like so much longer than that!

I hope you all had a wonderful, relaxing holiday weekend.  We here in Philly had our first heat wave of the season, and it's not officially summer yet.  It was 96 degrees yesterday.  I hate to say it folks, but I think we're in for another scorcher of a summer.  I am totally ok with this, since I will take the heat over snow and ice and cold ANY DAY of the week.  (Although....the unexpected snow day from work still makes me giddy like a school girl...haha!)  Today was MUCH cooler -- topping off at 76 degrees and breezy.  It was absolutely beautiful out!!

Enough of this boring, old lady talk about the weather.

In the spirit of Memorial Day, Paulette of Plum Street Samplers posted a lovely little freebie in remembrance of those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.  Visit her post to get your copy!  She always has such lovely graphs :-)

In my week-long absence, I've been working on a few things.  First, I finished the piece that I designed for my friend at work - she had her baby on Friday, and I can't wait to give her the announcement!  I'll post pictures at a later date -- I want her to see it first before I start spreading it all around :-)  I did post a little teeny tiny preview of it way back when -- it's the Irish blessing.  It turned out absolutely amazing, and I can't wait to share it.  I hope you can withstand the anticipation :-)

I showed you last week my finish of "Garden Fresh" by Little House Needleworks.  Well, I couldn't stop there, so I continued right on with the companion piece that comes with the kit -- "A Stitch in Thyme".

I plan on finishing this as a needlebook, just as Diane has the model finished, but mine will be a smidge smaller.  The model was stitched on 32 count linen; I chose 40 count.  My fabric is an overdye from Silkweaver which I absolutely LOVE.  Unfortunately, I cannot give the name of the color, since it was not labeled when I bought it.  I searched the Silkweaver website, but couldn't really find something that resembled it.  I may have missed it.  If any of you can match it, let me know!  It's a really great neutral color, with splotches all over the piece.  (I forgot just how big a fat half is...and of 40 count to boot.  I'll be stitching on this for a looonnnnggggg time.  Be prepared to see this fabric often in my work.  haha!)

I also finished "Pumpkins Three"...but totally forgot to take a picture of it.  It turned out fabulous, and I promise to post a picture of it before the weekend is over.

Just as I was leaving my craft room tonight, I stumbled upon this cute little summer ditty that I did last year --

This one is from Lizzie Kate, and is stitched on 32 count blue overdyed fabric.  Alas, as it's been a year since I finished it, I'm totally cluefree as to what the color name of this fabric is or who makes it.  I believe it's very similar to what I stitched Cricket Collection "Summer" on, but I can't be 100% positive.  I'll be putting some cording around the outer edge and attaching a magnet so I can hang it on my file cabinet at work.  (Yes, I know.  I keep saying I'm going to hang things at my desk at work.  You have NO idea how B-O-R-I-N-G my cube walls are...I have to spice it up with floods of color...and, at the moment, I do that with a myriad of Post-its.  Makes me look like a crazy stationery hoarder.  Wait...)

That's all I have for you today, ladies and gentlemen.  I hope to post again over the weekend -- I'm forcing myself to totally finish the other baby announcement I'm doing, along with maybe some scrapbooking.  Hopefully it'll stay cool enough so I can spend a longer period of time in my craft room than I could when the heat index was that of the surface of the sun.  Fingers crossed.

Do something creative today!