a Christmas frog and then some

I designed this little froggy greeting as a Christmas gift for my Facebook fans. Last night I stitched it up on perforated paper and finished it (if adding a floss braid = finishing) as an ornament. I had some of those plastic snowflake buttons lying around, so I cut off their shanks and glued them onto the paper. And hubby doubted I’d be able to finish another handmade ornament this year- ha!

To follow up on Jesus Christ Superstar, it was really very good! Ted Neeley still sounds great; in a few places he spoke rather than sang the lyrics but it was a nice effect. And the garden scene… man, he was beyond words spectacular. Overall a very moving production… if it’s coming anywhere near you, I think you should go see it.

I love this cheap, plastic wreath. It’s very glittery and just makes me smile to see it… I hung it up behind the stove and it sparkles in the glow of the kitchen nightlight. I’m easily impressed.

We finally got the tree decorated and just put the nativity up this morning. We didn’t even put up a third of what we usually do because it got so late, but the simplicity is kind of a nice change.

One of the things that my husband put on his Christmas list was golf tees… how boring is that? My daughter and I took the liberty of sprucing them up a bit; now it’s a much cheerier gift!

I have a few finished stitched gifts, but some things I can’t show you because they haven’t been received yet, and the rest I wrapped without taking pictures. Ugh. I’ll have to post those after Christmas this year. One thing I did manage to snap a pic of is this bookmark:

I like how it turned out; wish I had more of that fabric. sigh. In other news, the basement has sprung a leak that rivals the one in the Dutch boy’s dam… and it keeps on raining! We have to wait until the rain is gone and the wall dries up so we can paint some waterproofing junk on it.


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“will stitch for food” t-shirt tutorial

I’m guessing I’m not the only one who would wear a shirt like this so I’ll share how I made it:

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I created a lettering template (here’s one for you- foodshirt pdf), grabbed my t-shirt, and headed for my window. (a regular light box would work fine, but around here I rely on Nature’s Lightbox for all of my tracing needs) Because a t-shirt is floppy and I only have two arms, I had to improvise… I used my curtain and binder clips to hold the shirt so I could center the text and pin it in place.

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After I was sure the paper wasn’t going anywhere I took the shirt off of my curtain, held it against the glass, and used a white Galaxy marker to trace the letters. Pencils don’t work as well on fabric that’s wiggly so I like to use light-colored markers for projects like this.

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I stitched the lettering with white DMC, using a wrapped backstitch. A wrapped backstitch is just what it sounds like; first you stitch the letters in backstitch then you go back and run the needle through each stitch, making sure to stay on top of the fabric. I find it easier to do than a stem stitch and it looks about the same when it’s done.

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I also wanted an extra bit of stitching on the sleeve, so I put a row of Xs along the hemline. If you use the hem stitches as a guideline, it’s easy to make a row of evenly spaced stitches:

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That’s all there is to it! BTW, I’ve had several emails recently from stitchers looking for certain charts of mine, so I’ve decided to make a selection of My Mark designs available in my Etsy shop… easier for you that way, eh?

Thanks so much for all the support and sweet comments; I love hearing from you!

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clay day

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My daughter wanted to make some clay stuff today, so I experimented with her. This little piece won’t win any awards, but it was fun to try some new (to me) techniques. I started with an empty square drawn onto waxed paper and fooled around with ways to fill it.

I liked the way the unbaked squares looked… I might try this again and leave them plain white. Here’s what the squares looked like after painting and gluing the bits back on:

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I wanted to paint the edges silver, but it just reflected the pink of the background (see the one on the right?) so I went with black paint instead:

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I put eyelets in the corner holes and baked them in place. Tomorrow I’ll drill through the canvas board where the eyelets are so I can put the hanger on:

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I glued all the squares onto a canvas board painted solid pink with black edges:

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Goodness but this looks a bit 80’s doesn’t it?! I think the closer I get to 40, the more I subconsciously regress back into my teenage self… if I start spraying my bangs to stand straight up I’m having myself committed.

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And here are the ornaments Elizabeth made; her colors are much better!

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the f word

Croc-a-doodle-doo-dads Flowers for Crocs
All dressed up....Daisy Mae in Turquoise....felt puffy heart pendant
Glub glub goldfish pincushion... made to order
Fiona
Pink Pansies Pin
Spunky Robot Oogabooga Plush Toy
a little bird and flowers (blue)
Cute Little Owl - Baby Blue Hoo
Ladybugs mini art dolls pair - mother and daughter

It’s funny how out of sorts a redecorating project can make you feel. Because of the floor installation, the furniture (including my stitching nest) is out in the garage, the TV is in my studio (not hooked up), and I don’t know where the cd player has gotten to. I read for a while last night but I couldn’t focus well with my little world out of order. So I turned to the f word… FELT.

I have had a list of ideas for felt projects I want to try for a long time now. I have tons of wool felt squares, boxes of wool roving, needlefelting tools, etc. I have been preparing for my foray into the world of felty goodness for well over a year now and have never started a single felt thing! Why is that?! WHY don’t I make more time for fun things I’d like to try?!

After philosophizing for a bit, I decided to get started on a needlefelting project. But the needlefelting stuff is in my studio, which is where my computer is, and I thought I’d just check my Etsy convos first, which I did… but then I went off on a little tangent and found some really cute things made of felt. Just when I was inspired to begin, the fireworks started.

Every year the neighbors behind us put on a fireworks display that rivals those put on by major cities. Really. Although I was able to get a better picture than last year, the clearest of the bunch is still not very good. I’d need a better camera and photography skills to ever get a good one.

After the neighbors finished up, I walked into the living room to admire the flooring. I started thinking about what kind of area rug I’d like, and imagining what pictures I’d like to have on the walls, and noticing how bland the kitchen floor looks now, and so on. By the time I redecorated almost the entire house in my head, I was tired and went to bed.

Another evening spent not felting.

TGIF. No, really.

dscn0503_opt.jpgWoohooo! Today was a banner day for mail… not only did I get Mary Katherine’s most gorgeous pin pillow, I received my Spring Exchange as well. I haven’t a clue who put together the spring bag (it was a central exchange– I’ll have to ask the hostess) but I couldn’t have gotten a better one. I love that bright sparkly yellow fabric and I’ve been wanting to try the DMC Variations threads, so yay! And MK’s pillow is so pretty in person… her attention to detail is incredible… she even put a little ribbon-tag with her name on it on the backside. Thanks much to Mary Katherine and whoever-you-are!

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I have (finally!) been able to make some more threadholders, too… the first batch is now listed in my Etsy shop. I’ve been seeing these around on the blogs and I’m so happy you all like them so much! Thank you :)

All of your fabric-related comments on yesterday’s post were great. I was able to get my mind off things for a bit, although the down side is that I really, really want to go fabric shopping now!

I decided to just give up on What Was She Thinking [notes on a scandal] by Zoe Heller. I wasn’t enjoying reading it at all, and life is really too short for things like that. I may see the movie one of these days, although I’m not particularly motivated to. This evening I plan to start The Handmaid’s Tale, one I’ve seen recommended on several blogs.

***I have a question for you Christmas Quaker stitchers… how many skeins of the main color would I really need? I’d like to stitch it using 2 strands on 28ct. I’ve heard that 22 of the 5yd skeins is required, but that sure sounds like a lot to me. ***

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P.S. Guess what’s next on my learn to do list… picked up the last of my soldering supplies today on the way to the doctor. Can I have a 25-hour day, please?

Thank you, Lord, for this beautiful day… and for the energy to enjoy it.

Edited: just found out the Spring exchange bag was from Debbie Draper :)