Wednesday, October 31, 2012

I'm on a roll...

And now I finished sewing up Adèle's stocking.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A stocking that wasn't cross stitched

Since I have finished my stockings for all of my normal household members (Kenny, Emily, Zoé, Adèle), my husband thought I should make one for my stepson who will be staying with us at Christmas.  I didn't want to deal with a kit so I made this one out of fabric.

The original plan was to use classic car fabric but we couldn't find any so we got the next best "manly" thing which was Dallas Cowboy fabric (hard for me to work with since I'm a Packer fan...).  The fabric was too flimsy so I picked up some heavy duty fusible interfacing at SCRAP for $.25.  I didn't really have a pattern except for one that I cut out of butcher paper.  It was a really quick sew, just sewed down about 1" at the top and then around the sides.  Easy peasy.

For the detail, I used some ribbon that I got at SCRAP for $.25.  I glued it down with some of my Ultimate Craft glue (love that stuff) before I sewed the sides of the stocking.  I designed the lettering and stitched it on waste canvas using some nice silver beads that I picked up at SCRAP and it was outlined with silver Krenik.  I had never used waste canvas before but I think that my attempt turned out nicely.  I hope he likes it.

I also knitted these as part of the loom along group on Ravelry.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Some finishes today

Today was finish up a bunch of projects day.

First up was 'To Have and To Hold" that I finished last fall but didn't frame.  I had mounted it on mounting board with pins and lacing but it was all crooked.  I was going to re-mount it on sticky board seeing how the frogs turned out but I got the brilliant idea today to cut the horizontal lacing and then readjust the cross stitch and put the pins back in and now it's much straighter.  Just needs some wire in the back to hang on the wall.

Next was "Mary's Little Lamb Sampler.  It was also mounted but a bit crooked.  I was able to tease it to being a bit straighter by adjusting some pins so it too is waiting for some wire on the back to hang on the wall.

Then was my loom knit Christmas tree.  I started this like 2 years ago but didn't finish it.  It's based on a pattern for a patriotic decoration that I found on Provocraft's website  but I didn't have the dowel or wood to finish it and then I lost it and now it's all done.  I painted the base and the dowel and made a star from plastic canvas on the top.

Original design:

And what I made:

And last but not least, I finally framed "Night Sky".  After a disastrous run in with sticky board, I got a 8x10 piece of mounting board at Michael's yesterday (free because they cut it from a scrap) and today I mounted it.  It definitely turned out straighter.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Some Finishes

I had a knitting finish a few days back.  It's a Christmas present for my brother-in-law's life partner who found her hands were getting too cold while she was typing.  It's out of the Loom Knitting Primer and I think they will work perfectly.  I loved working with this yarn.

I also finished up the quilt I'm making for my mother-in-law today.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Review: Killing Kennedy

Killing Kennedy: The End of CamelotKilling Kennedy: The End of Camelot by Bill O'Reilly
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I didn't like this book as much as Killing Lincoln but I still enjoyed it.  It reads more like a biography more than the first book which read like a thriller.  However, it does give an interesting glimpse into the private lives of the Kennedy family.

O'Reilly doesn't delve into all the conspiracy theories which is refreshing.  He mentions them in passing only.

If you're not an O'Reilly fan (which I know a lot of people aren't), don't let it put you off reading this book.  It's excellent and is completely different from any of his political stuff.

View all my reviews

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Frogs were Framed!

Tonight, I decided to work on completely finishing a few items.  I did a plastic canvas star for the top of my loom knit Christmas tree which should be completed tomorrow when my husband cuts its dowel.  Then I proceeded to frame the frogs.

I was originally going to use this frame for the wedding sampler but there's no way to hang this on the wall because it's a solid plastic frame with just the kickstand for tables.  And it's rather thin.  So I cheated a bit and used the acid free sticky board but I'm very pleased with the results.  I also laced the back.  They are so cute sitting on my bookshelf.

The frame was $1 at SCRAP.  Score!

Hope to have a pic of the Christmas tree up tomorrow or so.

Also, I am doing a talk about loom knitting at Sanger Public Library on November 8 at 7 pm.

Review: The Casual Vacancy

The Casual VacancyThe Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I picked up this book fully aware that it would not be Harry Potter.  And Harry Potter it definitely is not.  There is an immense amount of cussing in the book and other adult subject matter so if your kid is bugging you about reading this book, don't give in.  Fair warning.  They'd probably be bored anyway.  It's not written for them.

I've seen from a lot of the other reviews that people find this book dull and boring.  I've also heard that it's nothing special for its genre.  And also that they don't like the characters.

About the dull and boring part, it is set in the "real" world and it is about mostly every day life.  I normally give a book about 2 chapters before I put it down if I find it too boring.  The opening of the book starts with a death and made it interesting enough for me to continue.  Even though she's writing for adults, I find that she writes with the same level of detail as Harry Potter and that has kept the book interesting for me even if the subject matter isn't terribly fascinating.

In reference to the genre, I normally don't read books like this so I can't comment.

My only complaint about the characters is that she really bombards you with characters in the first few chapters.  I wasn't sure I could keep track of them but after the initial bombardment, she started to flesh each family out in more detail and now I have no trouble with all of them (be warned, there are a LOT of characters).  They are decently fleshed out, well, as much fleshing out as you can with this many characters.  It's not Harry Potter where Harry was oober fleshed out and Hermione and Ron were very well fleshed out and even the minor characters had a decent amount of depth.

After finishing the book, I will say that it was fairly interesting.  The writing is good but I didn't like the ending and it's not interesting enough for me to read it a second time. Hence the two stars I'm giving it.

View all my reviews

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Quilt Progress

I've worked fairly steadily on the quilt and I have about one quarter left to stitch (sorry, I know it's hard to see it because of the q snap but I took a quick snap before bedtime.

I also officially finished my fingerless gloves today but I won't post a picture yet as it's a Christmas present.

And I might be doing a presentation at my local library about loom knitting.  Squee!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Review: Killing Lincoln

Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America ForeverKilling Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever by Bill O'Reilly
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wow.  I normally don't read these kind of books or even really watch Bill O'Reilly but I was watching him for some election coverage and he mentioned the book so I had to read it.

The book reads like a thriller even though it's a book about past events.  I was never bored at all.  I know he may have taken some liberties with the writing but he throws in so many details that you can tell the book was thoroughly researched.

After reading this book, I feel like I knew so little about the assassination.  I definitely recommend it.  It is a little gory in some places so I would recommend it for older H.S. students - adults.

View all my reviews

Next up....A Casual Vacancy.  I know it won't be Harry Potter but I'll give it a chance.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Stitching a little on the quilt

The quilt I've been working on intermittently is about half done.  It's kinda monotonous with the same pattern so I work a bit on it and then move on to something else.  Here's what it looks like right now.

Night Sky Finished

I finally finished up the Night Sky today.  I think it turned out rather nice.  Just need to go get backing board to mount and finish it (I designed it with a frame in mind that I already have).  Not sure what I'm going to work on next. Hmmmmm....

Monday, October 8, 2012

A little more stitched

I got a little more stitched on the Night Sky.  Started a bit on the border so I'll work my way up and around and finish the top part with the mosaic stitches and the satin stitches and Algerian eyelets.

I'm quickly running out of 798 so I'll have to pick up a skein next time I'm in town.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Night Sky Sampler

I've made decent progress on the sampler I designed.  Here's what it looks like.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

I Feel the Need to Expand on my Last Post

I consider myself to be a minimalist stitcher.

Let me explain that.

Perhaps it's because I'm younger and I don't have much of a budget for stitching to begin with but I don't have a ton of accessories for stitching.  Perhaps it's because I'm now trying to stitch with a 2 1/2 year old and a 20 month old running around.

Most of the stitching stuff that I have is fabric and fibers and kits and patterns.  I use DMC almost exclusively which I keep on bobbins.  The past few years, I've dabbled with Krenik and Light Effects and I had one piece that I did that called for silk.  Most recently, I've been dabbling with mill hill beads.  Most of the fabric I own is stuff I inherited from my cousin who doesn't stitch anymore or stuff I picked up at SCRAP.  I have a bunch of patterns and mags but the majority of it came from the same cousin.

I only use two things consistently: scissors and Q snaps.

A quick note on the scissors, I had a really cheap pair I bought at Wal-Mart 10 years ago and I finally purchased a decent pair about 6 months ago.  To be honest, I normally used the everyday scissors.

Back to the Q Snaps

When I was in college, I stitched smalls.  Most of it was those cheap little kits on aida.  The ornaments and stuff.  I also loved perforated paper and plastic.  Easy to finish.  Then, I discovered there was an actual LNS in New Ulm and then I discovered Q snaps.  I had tried to use a hoop but I didn't like how it bunched at the top and the marks it left on the fabric.

I am quite pleased with my Q snaps.  They work well for me and keep my fabric nicely taught.  If they aren't holding the fabric well, some batting or felt strips normally helps.  And I found a stand that works with them very well.  I know several stitchers who can't stand them but they work well for me.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Blog Hop! Stitching Aides

What are your must-have stitching tools and aides? Other than your trusty scissors, of course. Is there a problem you have had when stitching that you created your own solution for, or have you purchased a tool that helped?

I must have my Q snaps.  Unless I'm stitching on perforated paper or vinyl weave or a tiny piece of Aida, it's on the Q snaps.  And sometimes my Ks Creation stand but I don't use it as often as I used to due to children.
My 8x8 probably need to have the clamps replaced but I have extended their life by putting strips of batting between them and the cross stitch fabric.  I was channeling MacGyver.

Visit all the blogs in this round of the Stitching the Night Away Stitching Blogger Blog Hop:
Find the instructions on how to participate in this round by clicking here.

Monday, October 1, 2012

I Decided to just stitch it...

And here's what it looks like.  It's been a quick stitch so far.  Sure it will slow down when I get to the Satin Stitches and the border I'm sure.