Saturday, March 28, 2015

Here's A Neat Idea

Have you ever opened up a kit that contained so many different kinds of beads that it overwhelmed you a little?  It has happened to me.  I was at one of our stitch retreats and I thought it would be fun to start a Mill Hill Halloween kit.  You know - the really cute ones on perforated paper.  As I removed all of the contents of the kit from its packaging, I saw those little bags of beads.  Hundreds of beads, all different colors, and two different sizes.  All mixed up.  And I wondered how I was going to organize them.  Well at that point I decided to stick to stitching and leave the bead organizing for another time. 

One of the Sisters In Stitches came up with an idea for organizing those beads that I think is perfect.  It's one of those "why didn't I think of that?!" ideas that I'm glad she shared with us!

It involves Tacky Bob, which I think is an amazing invention in itself.  In case you've never heard of Tacky Bob, it's a CD case-looking thing with a very sticky interior.  It keeps those beads secure and allows you to pick each one up individually with your needle.
But Thea took it one step further.  She bought some little number beads at a craft store and used them to identify the beads.  The chart she was using for this one had number symbols.
At our last Stitch Day, Thea was working on a Mill Hill Easter Egg chart which had different kinds of symbols.  She drew each symbol with a pen or marker and then used a paper punch to cut them out.  Into the Tacky Bob they went denoting each type of bead in the kit.  Genius!

OK, you still have to separate all of the colors and sizes, but just think about it.  If you complete this little separating chore ahead of time, then you'll just get to experience the fun of stitching as you complete your project.  You won't have to stop and search out each kind of bead in that crazy mixed-up bead soup. 

The next time I'm watching a movie or something, I'll find that Mill Hill kit and do my bead separating then.  So when I'm ready for stitching they'll be all organized and ready to go!  Thank you, Thea, for this idea!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Meet & Greet Giveaway Winner!

I'm happy to announce that the winner of my Meet & Greet Giveaway is:

Lynn from Random Acts of Stitching Kindness

Lynn has won the little sewing companion and golden embroidery scissors.  I have also e-mailed her with the good news.  Congratulations Lynn!

Thank you, everyone, for your kind comments and welcome, new followers!  I'm so happy that you will be visiting my blog.  Please keep the comments coming so that I know how I'm doing. 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Meet & Greet

Welcome to my blog!  Today is the Meet & Greet which is organized by Madame Samm at the Sew We Stitch blog. I'm looking forward to this event because I like seeing what other stitchers, seamstresses and crafters are doing.

I've been doing cross stitch since about 1981.  Patterns, fabrics, floss and accessories have sure come a long way since then!  One of my favorite pieces that I stitched is a pattern called "Square Dance", which I made into a pillow.  I stitched this in the 1990's when I found this chart in a magazine. 
Another one of my favorites is "Peppermint Twist" by Blue Ribbon Designs.  I love the colors and all of the little motifs in this one.
I even framed it myself!

Sewing is something I've been interested in since I was 8 years old.  I used to make tiny dresses for my Barbie dolls out of tiny patterns.  And I sewed them by hand.  Then I graduated to making clothes for myself.  Nowadays, I like sewing things like tote bags and other small accessories.
I made these little bags for the ladies in my stitch group.
My latest project is an embroidery project called the Summer Garden Pin Cushion.  I had done some embroidery in the past, but really needed a refresher course.  This project was perfect for re-learning some things, and also for teaching myself some new stitches.
You can find the first part of the tutorial here.  Then just follow the rest of the tutorial posts for the complete instructions.

I hope that you enjoyed your visit to my blog today.  Please consider becoming a follower.  Other than the hobbies mentioned above, I also like to make beaded jewelry, crochet (A little.  I'm working on that.), and other miscellaneous crafty things.  And I enjoy blogging about all of them.

As part of this Meet & Greet, I am having a giveaway!  One winner will receive this little sewing companion that I stitched up just for this event!  Inside you'll find a pair of the cutest golden embroidery scissors.
All you have to do to have a chance at winning is comment on THIS POST by Friday, March 27th at 11:00 a.m.EST.  Also, please make sure that there is a way that I can contact you.  There is nothing sadder than not being able to reach a contest winner.  I will draw one name on that day and announce it right here on my blog.  I will also e-mail the winner.

Thank you for taking the time to check out my blog today.  Stop by again sometime!  You never know what you'll find here!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Summer Garden Pin Cushion Finish!

When I started the Summer Garden Pin Cushion project, I had a "let's see what happens" attitude.  I hadn't embroidered in a long time, and I certainly didn't know how to do all of the suggested stitches.  But I had been wanting to learn how to make one of these sectioned pin cushions and this was my opportunity. 

And just look:  It has been completed.  I am very amazed and maybe a little proud of myself.
I took my pin cushion to Stitch Day last Saturday.  As it was being passed around by my fellow stitchers, I commented that it was like my baby.  I mean, I'd worked on it since when?  Last summer?  I carefully chose colors and attempted to master new-to-me embroidery stitches.  And when my friend Thea said that I probably don't even want to stick a pin in it, I had to agree!  But I will.
Don't laugh at me when I tell you that making that button scared me a little. 
I liked this project a lot.  There was no pressure to get things done by a certain date.  The instructions were very clear and there were detailed illustrations to guide you along the way.  Colors were suggested, but we could change them to what we liked.  If I couldn't master a stitch (bullion stitch, you still elude me!), I simply substituted another one with good results. 
Also, now I have the skills to make a sectioned pin cushion out of other fabric if I want. 
The materials I used for this are:  linen cross stitch fabric, embroidery thread, an ugly button (yes, that's what's inside the cute button), perle cotton, and crushed walnut shells for the inside.  A sewing machine is also needed to sew the two circles of fabric together.
If you want to try your hand at this, just go to the Summer Garden Pin Cushion Tutorial at the Fiberluscious blog.  When you see the photos and instructions, you might be inspired!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Spring Ahead Giveaway Winner!

And the winner of my Spring Ahead Giveaway is:

Bette (from the blog, Reflections of a Desert Rat)

Congratulations, Bette!  I have already e-mailed you.  
Thank you, everyone, who entered this giveaway.  And to my new followers:  Welcome!  Please stay tuned.  At the end of the week, I'll be participating in the Meet and Greet hosted by the Sew We Stitch blog.  I'll be having another giveaway as part of this event.  You don't have to participate in the Meet and Greet to enter this giveaway.  Check back on Friday for details!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Some Reminders & A Finish

In keeping with my crafting resolutions, I have my first Christmas ornament finish. 
This is "Snow In Love" by Little House Needleworks.  Just a cute, quick, fun stitch.  Now I will move on to the ornament-making part, which is still in the decision phase.  I also get to choose my next ornament. 

The first reminder:  You have until tomorrow at noon EST to enter your name for my Spring Ahead Giveaway.  I'll be picking a name and announcing a winner sometime during the afternoon (that's Friday, March 13th) and will post it right here on the blog.  So click here for the details. 

Reminder 2:  There is still time to sign up for The Meet And Greet at the Sew We Stitch blog.  Mdm Samm would like to hear from everyone by March 14th.  I am going to participate because I enjoy seeing new blogs and seeing what everyone is up to in the stitching and sewing world.  Just click here for the details about this event.  I hope to see you there!

Short post today.  This weird changing weather system is wreaking havoc with my sinuses and giving me a headache.  There will probably be no stitching tonight.  Instead I'll attempt to read, and if that doesn't work out, I'm sure that there will be some mindless TV on. 

Check back tomorrow for the contest winner!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Spring Ahead Giveaway!

One of the happiest days of the year for me is Spring Ahead day, when we move our clocks ahead one hour for Daylight Savings Time.  I know that a lot of people hate springing ahead, but I love extra daylight at the end of the day.  I feel like I have more energy and get more things done.  And it means that spring is right around the corner!  This weekend we will be setting our clocks ahead one hour, and I've decided to do a little giveaway to celebrate.  Here's what one lucky winner will get:
It's a mini Ott Lite!  And look!  It has pretty spring flowers and birds on it!  Here's a little extra light to go with the extra light we will be having!  My husband says that I should do this giveaway in the fall, when we "fall back" and lose an hour.  His reasoning is that a light is what someone will need with less light in the evening.  Makes sense, but I couldn't wait to do this giveaway!  And besides, this light has springy BIRDS and FLOWERS on it!
If you would like to enter this giveaway, please leave a comment on this post.  You have to be a follower of my blog to enter.  It's easy to follow - just click the "Join This Site" button on the right (underneath where it says "People Who Follow CraftyCat").  Make sure there is a way that I can contact you.  I will draw the name of one winner on Friday, March 13th at noon EST and will announce that winner right here in my blog.  I'll also e-mail the winner.  Good luck!

 I thought I'd also mention the Meet and Greet that is taking place on March 20th at the Sew We Stitch blog.  It's for bloggers who do applique, embroidery or cross stitch and will give us the opportunity to share our favorite projects with bloggers from around the world.  It's a great way to get your blog seen and to highlight your favorite needlework pastimes.  So just go visit Sew We Stitch and find out how to join.  And even if you're not a blogger or just don't feel like participating, you can still go to Sew We Stitch that day to see the different blogs taking part.  Check it out and have fun!