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Good Intentions | Cross Stitch

Kathy Barrick came out of retirement last year and hasn't disappointed since.  I have a few of her newer graphs in my "you're next, I swear" pile, including "Heaven and Nature Sing".

I had my eye on this one for a while, finally picked it up recently at my LNS and just finished it.

Good Intentions by Kathy Barrick #crossstitch #goodintentions

If any of you have seen this piece, you'll note that I changed one of the colors and eliminated the dog.  I didn't like the orange with all these other colors, so I switched it out for the mauve you see.  And, instead of the rando dog chillin on top of the spool on the left, I just made a mirror image of the top spool on the right with a different color.  

Easy peasy.

Good Intentions by Kathy Barrick #crossstitch #goodintentions

I stitched this on 40 count Antique Almond from Silkweaver.  One of my favorite fabrics ever.  I also used the DMC equivalents for this piece - the model was stitched in all Needlepoint Silks.  No thanks.  Since this is all solid colors, it wasn't worth it.  Still looks awesome, especially on this fabric.

Good Intentions by Kathy Barrick #crossstitch #goodintentions

Now I really want to start working on one of the Hawk Run series that I have....or maybe just fix my major f-up in Shores of Hawk Run so I can actually finish it.........

  

Sig


Be Happy, Humble, & Kind

Being snowed in always sounds so wonderful.  Let's watch movies! Let's binge watch tv series we haven't gotten to yet!!  Let's sit and stitch for hours and hours because we can't get out!  Let's read tons of books from our book stack!!!

I'm here to tell you that I'm about ready to lose my mind.  I've been trapped inside since Friday thanks to one of the worst snowstorms DC has seen. I've finished one book, and I'm now bored with reading.  Stitching has almost lost its appeal.

Almost.

Thank God I had the foresight to stop at Starbucks on Friday morning before the sky dumped 30+ inches on us and got more ground coffee, because I wouldn't've survived.  Forget milk, bread, and eggs.  Coffee is the elixir of life.  

Last week, I sent a gift to one of my good friends from high school, who is now a real estate agent, as a thank you for helping me rent out my house when I moved here last year.  It wasn't a great time to sell, so she helped me find renters while I had already moved my life for a job in DC.  She was incredible.  There is absolutely no way I could have done that without her help.  None.  So, I had to make her something to show my gratitude and appreciation for all the work she did to help me while I was three states away.

Knowing her and her decorating style,  I picked a With Thy Needle and Thread piece that I knew would fit perfectly no matter where in her house she decided to hang it.

With Thy Needle and Thread | Be Happy, Humble & Kind #crossstitch #needlework

I love the blues and greys that make up the color theme of this piece.  

With Thy Needle and Thread | Be Happy, Humble & Kind #crossstitch #needlework

Her little shoes!!  I die.

With Thy Needle and Thread | Be Happy, Humble & Kind #crosstitch #needleworkThe bees! I can't.

With Thy Needle and Thread | Be Happy, Humble & Kind #crossstitch #needlework

I stitched this on 36 ct. Confederate Grey from WDW.  You all know how I feel about WDW fabric, but I love Confederate Grey, so I muscled through.  It's such a great color, and wonderful for primitive pieces such as this.  It's a really great neutral.  Now, if we could just get them to use a tighter weave fabric for dying......

Happy Wednesday!

Sig


January.

How. the hell. did we arrive at 17 January already?

No, seriously.  I feel like it was twelve seconds ago I was posting about doing a December Daily (which, HAHAHAHAHA....ahhhhhhh......i had such high hopes for everything i wanted to make this christmas season......), and then, poof! It's mid-January.

How was your Christmas? Your New Year's?  Mine were good.  NYE was spent curled up on the couch in leggings and legwarmers (seriously, you guys, you know you're jealous of my legwarmers. AND my mom got me new ones for Christmas. SCORE.), hot water with lemon in hand, watching Kathy Griffin make Anderson Cooper unbelievably uncomfortable all night. 

A while back, I posted some snips of a secret stitching project I was doing; it was a Christmas gift for my mom.  Since it's no to secret anymore, I can show the pics of the finished piece.

This is "Count Your Blessings" by Heartstring Samplery.  White Christmas is hands-down my favorite Christmas movie.  You can have your It's a Wonderful Life, Holiday Inn, Christmas in Connecticut, Christmas Vacation (although that one does come in a close second...." 'Why is the floor all wet, TODD??' 'I don't know, MARGO.' "), and A Christmas Story.  I'll take White Christmas any day of the week.  The Old Crooner, Rosie, Vera Ellen dancing her ass off, Danny Kaye being ridiculous, I love it all. And Edith Head's costuming! To die.  

Moving on.

Us girls in the fam used to watch White Christmas together after mass on Christmas Eve, and then head to bed.  This piece uses the lyrics from one of the songs in the movie, "Count Your Blessings", to create this lovely sampler.

Count Your Blessings by Heartstring Samplery #crossstitch #needlework

 If you've been following me for a while, you know I'm not a huge fan of traditional samplers.  Not sure why, I'm just not.  Quaker samplers are a different story.  They're A LOT of work, but I love stitching the different motifs and the work is totally worth it in the end.  I have, however, developed an appreciation for reproduction samplers, and when stitched, they're stunning.  To think that girls as young as 7 years old made those samplers with no pattern to follow is incredible.  This small sampler captures the feel of those traditional samplers, complete with a flower and vine border, without being too overwhelming, if that makes any sense at all. 

I'm slightly partial to those scissors....

Count Your Blessings by Heartstring Samplery #crossstitch #needlework

And the tiered cake...

Count Your Blessings by Heartstring Samplery #crossstitch #needlework

I've been working on so many different things lately, I almost can't keep up with myself.  I have a few secret projects I'm working on, plus a couple things for myself (believe it or not), so this winter hibernation period will hopefully be very productive.  Hopefully.  I plan on being better this year about sharing my WIPs and other stuff I'm doing, so here's hoping I can remember to carve out the time to do just that.

What are you guys working on?  Have you started any new projects with the new year?  

Happy Sunday, friends!  Here's to a wonderful long weekend!

Sig


Irish Blessing | Cross Stitch

I normally don't do this, but it's been so long since I've done a stitch post (or really any post for that matter....where does the time go??) that I wanted to share this with you.

In the past, when I've stitched a gift, I wait until it's framed and given to the recipient to show pics of it so that it remains a surprise.  This time, though, I'm sharing the final stitched piece, but it's not totally done - it still needs to be framed.

A couple years ago, one of my friends had her first baby, and I offered to stitch her something to mark the occasion.  I offered to stitch a graph I already had, unless there was something specific she wanted me to do.  She sent me an Irish blessing that she loved, and asked if I could stitch that for her. I searched high and low for a pattern with this blessing, but to no avail.  So, I had to graph it myself and then stitch it.  I found a Celtic alphabet and went to work.

Fast forward to this past year when my sister was going to have her first baby.  Of course, I offered to stitch her something for the baby, and asked her if there was something specific she wanted.  She came to me one day at work (we used to work together before I moved) and asked if I could stitch the same Irish blessing that I did for Erin.  The only difference is that she didn't want the baby's name on it (I had personalized the one for Erin's daughter), but just wanted the blessing so she could hang it in the nursery all the time. 

Irish Blessing #crossstitch #stitch

This weekend I'll be taking it to the framer, so I'll do a future post of it completed.

I hope you love this as much as I do :-)

Sig
 


Baby Shower Goodies

My baby sister is having a baby! 

Naturally, I had to outdo myself, and make everything for the shower.  

Ok, not literally everything...but close.

First up:  the invites.  Why buy them when you can make them, amiright??  Especially when you don't know the gender of the baby - much easier to make non-gendered things than try and buy them.

I went to my local Paper Source, and picked up some mint green flat cards and envelopes, plus fine papers to line the envelopes.  (If you haven't tried lining envelopes, you totally should)  I also used a cutie stork stamp I got from there to put a simple flourish on the bottom.

#babyshower #invitation #PaperSource

How cool is that Color Box stamp pad!!  It matches almost perfectly to the paper I chose.  Awesome.

#babyshower #invitation @Paper_Source

That liner paper!! GAH.  I can't get enough.  

The invites were super simple and easy to make - since I was using Paper Source paper, I went online and found their templates for printing inviations at home (You could use their templates with other paper, you'd just have to scale it to what size paper you're using, if the dimensions aren't exactly the same.). You can buy blank invitations from them and print at home, so they have Word templates to account for paper size and margins, depending on what design you got.  I used this one, since it was closest to how I would be stamping the image on the bottom of the invite.  I typed in all the info, hit print, and viola.  Then, I stamped the image on the bottom, and embossed it with clear embossing powder to give it a little something extra.

#babyshower #invitation @Paper_Source #kellypurkey

I stamped each one on the back with my Kelly Purkey stamp, and signed and dated them all.   

Perfect.

Next up: the favors.

In my mind, favors must be useful.  Or, they should be food.  Chocolate is usually a winner, but in this case, since it's fall and I have serious problems when it comes to great ideas and underestimating how long things take to make...I decided making apple butter and apple cranberry jam was the way to go.

I know, right.  Delicious.

So, I got 4 oz Ball canning jars, made the recipes, then hot bath canned them.  That way, people don't have to feel pressured to eat them right away.  Using scraps from cutting the white paper for the invites, I made little "thank you" tags for each jar.

#babyshower #favors #jam #applebutter #BallCanning

Super simple little tags stamped with this expression stamp, hole punched, an eyelet smashed on, tied it with some twine, and boom.  Favors. 

Delicious favors.

They all went into baskets at the shower for guests to grab on their way out the door when the festivities were over.  

Each basket had a tag, so you knew which one you were grabbing.

#babyshower #tag #favor #label @Paper_Source

 Um. So. Do you see that sideways "L"???  Yeah.  That's what happens when you pick up the letter stamp, and swear it's going the right direction, but it's not.  Then, your almost uncontrollable OCD freaks the f out, and you begin a panicked search for more blank tags.  Unable to find any, you decide if anyone even notices, you'll say you did it on purpose - it is a baby shower, after all, and it's cute to make stuff look baby/kid-ish.  If that makes sense.  You know, like when I used to write my "J's" sideways when first learning how to write my name.  Now I just stamp letters sideways for effect.  And to drive myself insane.  Literally.

So, there was a sideways "L" on the tag at the shower.  And now you know the story behind it.   Just in case anyone asks.

Ahem.

Lastly:  the dessert table.

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Hello, sugar coma.

Cookies.  Pumpkin cake.  Pumpkin bread.  Luscious cake balls that my lovely friend, Angela, volunteered to bake.  Scones.  Maple cakelettes.  

Homemade baked goodies overload.  I think I'm done baking for the entire year.  My mom and I baked everything on that table, with the exception of Angela's cake balls.  

I made the cards to label the goodies, too.  Glitter pumpkins are all the rage.

#placecards #babyshower #pumpkins @Paper_Source

 Glue stamp pads make using glitter SO much easier for stuff like this.  You use the stamp on the glue pad like you would a regular ink pad, stamp the image, then pour glitter over it, and tap off the excess.  Let dry.  Glitter pumpkins abound.

That's it for the shower goodies I made.  I have a few tricks up my sleeve for when the baby arrives, but until then, the projects are super-secret-on-the-down-low.  

Have any of you done any handmade things for showers or parties?  What did you make?? 

Sig


Refinishing Part II

So...I don't know how many of you remember...but way back in October, I started refinishing my grandmother's secretary.  It's a really cool piece, but I just didn't see any use for it anymore, so I actually tried to sell it at my mom's yard sale last year.  No bites.  So, I dragged it back home, and it sat in my garage for three months before I decided to refinish/repurpose it.  My friend, Sue R., does this all the time, and she definitely inspired me to give new life to this piece of furniture.

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My previous post about this project shows more pics of the process.

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Cool, huh?!  This is the front of the desk, waxed and ready.  I wasn't sure how I felt about the black wax, but it grew on me.  It definitely brings out the grains in the wood, and gives it a very different look.

I gave myself three days to complete this project.  Three.  However, that turned out to be a very ambitious goal for this girl.  I got the entire thing done........except for the drawers.

I was so close!!  The entire piece was painted.....the biggest pieces waxed......but the drawers....they weren't done until this past weekend.

Yep.

Eight months after I'd started this project.

Hey, at least I finished it!  Do you know how many unfinished cross stitch pieces I have laying around this house?!  I lost count, quite frankly.

I apologize these pics are so dark, but there's not much natural light in the room I put it in, so it was tough to get some good shots.

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 Already stuffed to the brim with fabric!  It's got a new lease on life!  My fabric stash hides out here now, instead of piled in bins on the floor.  That's the best part about choosing to use this secretary to hold my fabric stash up top - I can see all my fabric now!

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Love how the black wax really picks up the wood grain on the front of these drawers and on the sides of the base.  So cool.

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Seriously.  Cool.

Again, I apologize these pics are dark, but the back of my house doesn't get much light, and the walls are a real dark grey, so that makes it tough to get some brighter shots.  The flash on my camera didn't help - it just looked all shiny and stuff, since the flash ended up gleaming off the wax finish.

Have you guys ever tried repurposing a piece of furniture?  What did you refinish/repurpose? 

Much Love ~~~~

Sig


Christmas Recovery

After all that  hype, Christmas is gone.  It always goes by way too fast.  I feel like I didn't even have time to enjoy all the decorations, the lights, the snowflakes that fell here and there during December.

My mom, sis and I ventured into Philly early in December to see the light show at Wanamakers...and it also happened to snow quite a bit that day.  More than any weatherman predicted.  I shoulda worn boots.

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We were able to escape for a bit in the Irish Pub for some delicious eats...

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And we did a little window shopping....

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And saw the giant tree in Liberty Two...

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So much to do, and only 25 measly days to do it. 

Handmade cards to send out...

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Decorating contests at work (our division's theme was Pirate Christmas...)....

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And shopping to finish...

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 I do keep my decorations up until the Ephiphany (fun fact - the Twelve Days of Christmas are actually the twelve days after Christmas leading up to the Ephiphany...so...Christmas isn't technally really over yet....), so I can enjoy them for a little bit longer...

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I hope you all  had a wonderful Christmas :-)  Time to make some tea, relax, watch a movie, and have a little stitch therapy to recover....

Sig


Refinishing Part I

I need another hobby like I need a hole in the head.  Most of you know I cross stitch, scrap, and sew.  However...I've recently become intrigued with this whole furniture refinishing idea.  Enter my grandmother's secretary, which I'd originally planned on selling, but then decided, "Hey!  I can just refinish it and use it!"

Now, in my head, this was going to be simple.  Paint, wax, done.  Easy peasy.

It was easy, I just wasn't prepared for just how long it takes to do a piece of furniture which I'd grossly underestimated in size.

This is a before picture ---

IMG_4626
It's a cool piece, right?  I just wasn't sure what to do with it.  I had the bottom piece in my living room, and it didn't fit right.  Then I moved it to the dining room, and it just doesn't belong there.  So, I was in a limbo state with this piece of furniture.  Which just sounds weird, but now I'm picturing doing the limbo on a beach somewhere tropical with a fruity drink in half of a coconut.  

God I need a vacation.  

Anyhooter.  One day, when I was at my friend Sue R's house for a stitch fest, I asked her about refinishing furniture, since she's a pro at it these days.  Sounded easy enough - paint, wax, sand, wax, done.

So, after talking with Sue, I went and got these --

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They sat on my dining room table for a solid two weeks before I was able to find more than 30 seconds to string together and get to work.

Again, for those of you who are thinking of doing this, it's not hard - just time consuming depending on how big the piece is that you're finishing.  Plus, I was really taking my time, making sure everything was right before moving on.  Considering it's, you know, my first time attempting this type of thing, and what better to do it on than a giant secretary.  Go big or go home, right?!  

Ahem.

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The above pic is of the top and bottom pieces, drying in the sun.  Good ol' frog tape kept the paint off the glass on the doors.

Then, the next day, it was time for the wax ---

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I apologize for the shadow, but you can at least see the dark wax, and how it brings out the variations in the paint strokes and the wood.  I sanded some of the edges and corners after the clear wax and before the dark wax, to kinda give it a rustic look.  As much as a secretary can be rustic.  Ya know.

This is a close up of the front of the bottom piece, which flips out to become the desk ---

IMG_5721
So cool.

I just have to finish waxing the drawers and the insert for the desk, and I'll be able to move the entire piece back inside. 

Then, you'll get to see what I intend to use this piece for, since it's not going into my home office.

Stay tuned for Part II!!

Much love ~~~

Sig


Halloween Smalls | Cross Stitch

Well, it's officially August, which means any day now, we'll have Halloween candy shoved in our faces when we walk into the grocery stores.  My mom actually told me the other day that she saw it in the Giant already.

Totally inappropriate.  

I do love fall and Halloween, though.  Mostly I like the fall fashions - I get to wear my skinny jeans and riding boots again after a hot summer - but if I could, I'd move south in a heartbeat.  The winters just make my entire body hurt straight through to the bone, and quite frankly, I'm over it.

But that's neither here nor there.

What is here, is a new Prairie Schooler Halloween graph that's TOTALLY cool.  It's a chart of smalls, and each one is cuter than the next.  It's called Boo Moon.  And I love it.  

Being the former owner of a small black panther a black cat, naturally, this had to be the first one I stitched.

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The best part about these smalls is you only use two colors - the dark brown (3371) and the orange (937).  Only one uses a third color, which is a yellow (729).  I decided to stitch these on 32 count Ale by Picture This Plus, instead of the cream/white that's called for in the graph, which helps add to the creepy feel of each small.

Because no black cat is seen on Halloween without a witch close at hand, this one clearly had to be next ~

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So great.  Love her cape blowing in the wind as she scares the crap out of the moon.

Have any of you picked up a fall/Halloween piece to stitch??  The season will be here before you know it!!!

Much love ~

Sig