Apr 26, 2018

DIY at The Homestead

With warmer weather comes DIY.  First up this year is some much needed maintenance on The Homestead.  Last year, the northern neighbors' home went into foreclosure. The new owner hired a contractor to do a lot of work on the inside and outside.  With that came a huge dumpster parked in the next door driveway.  I took "advantage" of the situation and asked the contractor if he'd clean out behind of my garage.  You see, when I moved there the previous owner(s) used the two foot wide area as a dumpster for tree branches and brush.  For $100, the guy had a kid clean it up for me.  The contractor informed me that the plywood covering the garage windows was badly rotten and asked if I wanted him to remove it... at no extra cost.  Of course!  Who wouldn't?

I replaced the plywood last Fall, but the weather turned cold before I could get it painted.  My first project this year was to primer/paint the windows.  A primer/paint combo is the best thing ever!!

Next, I put new mulch on one the flower beds.  This one will be full of hostas before long.

The above photo is what it looked like before.  And now, it's all pretty again with cypress mulch.  (Side Note:  It's been over six months since I had the roof replaced and I'm still admiring how good it looks, LoL -- Yeah, I'm strange like that!) Still need to trim up that bush.

Lastly, I've been tackling the window trim.  The basement windows and garage windows are wood clad.  They really needed a scraping and new paint.

I used a round brass brush that attaches to a drill to scrape the old peeling paint.  I worked great!  Who'da thunk it?  It sure beat using a scraper.

I really should have removed all the dried caulk from around the grilles on the garage window, but I figure I'll go back later and do it when the weather is a bit warmer.  

Plus the grilles will need another coat of paint.  I can kill two birds with one stone.  For now, it looks much, much better.

I'm still trying to figure out why there is a 1" eye hook screwed into the bottom frame of the window.  I tried to take it out, but it's in there pretty good!

Until Next Time...

Apr 23, 2018

Another Finish and WIP Update

First up is my third finish of 2018.  This time I stitched up an inexpensive Stitch-N-Hang kit called "Santa's Sleigh" (#3609).  

I made the FFO into a round ornament with Ho-Ho-Ho ruched ribbon and a handmade bow with a snowflake button.  The photo doesn't do it justice, but I added some Kreinik on the stars for a bit a sparkle.

Design: Santa's Sleigh
Designer:  Needlemagic Inc, Kit 3609
Fabric: 28ct White Evenweave
Fibers: Cotton Floss, Kreinik Blending Filament
Embellishments: Ruched Ribbon, Snowflake Button, Handmade Bow
Linked up:
Super Mom Stitchery Party #139

I've put in over eight hours on Swallows since the last time I showed the WIP I'm finishing up for a stitching buddy.  This is what it looked like back in January:

Here's what it looks like now:

The entire right side is finished.  I'll be starting on the left side when I pick it up again.

Until Next Time...

Mar 21, 2018

Second Finish of 2018

I actually finished stitching this project at the end of 2017, but recently created the FFO (fully finished object).


'Let It Snow' kit #021-1058 Janlynn Designs for the Needle.  I swapped the 18ct aida for 28ct White Linen and stitched away.

Then I added This...

When I went to visit my second mama at Christmas last year, we went shopping at AC Moore.  These sleds were on clearance so we both scooped up a bunch.  Factory Direct Craft also sells these same ones, if anyone is interested.

A little this and a little that, equals this:

Design:  Let It Snow
Designer: Janlynn Designs for the Needle
Kit:  021-1058
Fabric:  28ct White Linen
Fibers:  Cotton Threads from Kit
Embellishments:  Handmade Cording, Snowflake Buttons

Stitching Lotus Smalls SAL
Super Mom Stitchery Link Party #138 

Until next time....

Stitchers Day Exchange 2018

One of my favorite exchanges is the Stitchers Day Exchange coordinated on one of the Yahoo Groups.  I've participated for the last five years and each year I eagerly await to see what my partner creates to reflect the theme celebrating stitchers.  It's also a time for me to put my creative juices to work in coming up with a project I think my partner will like.  So much fun!

This year, I had a chart in mind that I have had in my stash FOREVER and have always wanted to stitch it.

"Do Not Disturb" by Linda Orme at Forever in My Heart c2003. 
I recently learned that she passed away a few years ago,
so this chart is OOP.
Here's my chance, right?!  With my partner's color preference in mind, I set to work choosing a fabric and floss.... and started stitching.

I had planned on making a flatfold, but finding the perfect finishing fabric proved to be a challenge.  I did find it though!  Here's what the FFO (fully finished object) looks like:

Stitched on 28ct Silkweaver Solo Jubilee fabric with DMC threads.
Embellished with cream/gold ric-rac and tiny pair of scissors.
Sent to DJ at Tickled Pink in Stitches

If anyone is interested in making a flatfold like this, I used a combination of two tutorials listed in my left side bar.  I used techniques from the flatfold and dimensional flat ornament finishing.  I just love those little scissors!

Incidentally, this was my first finish of 2018 -- Woo Hoo!

Now... onto what my partner sent me...

All the way from France came these lovelies!

My partner, Mary from Le Coeur Celtic, sent me a beautifully stitched scissor fob and matchbook needlebook.  The scissor fob is called 'The Stitchers Favorite Fob' by The Sweetheart Tree.  I've had this chart in my stash-to-do pile for a long time and love that I now have it all stitched up.  The needlebook cover has beautifully stitched Hardanger on it in a very pretty variegated yellow/orange.

And look!  She stitched my intials and year on it. 

The opposite side has specialty stitches.  Aren't those tiny spools of thread adorable?

Thank you very much, Mary.  I love it!

Until next time...

Jan 10, 2018

Dimensional Flat Ornament and Cording Tutorials

Look what I found!  While searching through my blog posts, I found this post I created in December 2012 which I never published.  How did that happen?

Dimensional Flat Ornament Tutorial

•  Stitched piece
•  Coordinating fabric
•  Thin, sturdy cardboard
•  Flat batting
•  Tacky glue
•  Ruler
•  Scissors
•  Pencil
• Binder clips, or something similar.

Decide what size you would like your stitched piece to be and cut one piece of cardboard to that size.  For ornaments, I like to have about 1/4" border around the edge of the stitching.  So, if my stitched piece is 2 x 3 inches, I will cut the cardboard to 2½ x 3½".

Determine what size you'd like your back piece to be and cut two from the cardboard.  Your stitched piece will be mounted onto the backing piece.  For ornaments, I like to have a perimenter of ¼ to ½" around the stitched piece.  For the 2 x 3" ornament, the two backing pieces would be 3 x 4".  You may want to label the pieces.

Glue a piece of batting to the cardboard you'll be using for your stitched piece. 

After the glue is dried, trim off the excess batting.

This step involves attaching the stitching to the batting-covered cardboard.  Wash and iron your stitched piece if you wish to do so.  I like to lace my stitched piece onto the cardboard because it's easier and more forgiving to adjust placement on the cardboard if it's not placed correctly.   You can glue it on if you wish (See Step Five for the How-To).  If you glue the stitching on crooked, it's not as easy to adjust without taking it apart.

Look!  I stitched this in 2008.

Cut two pieces of your coordinating fabric about ¼" larger than your two remaining  cardboard pieces.  No need to be exact on measurements.

If your fabric has wrinkles, you may want to iron them out!

Grab your craft glue and a wet (not soaking) rag. I always store my glue upside down in a jar and put the wet cloth on a plastic lid or a plate.

Now comes the "fun" part!

Keeping the fabric and cardboard on a flat surface, place a small dab of glue in the corners. Using your finger, spread the glue into a thin layer.  Wipe your finger on the wet rag. Fold the corner of the fabric over the corner of the cardboard.

Place a bead of glue along one side. Using your finger, spread the glue. Wipe your fingers. Starting at one corner, fold the fabric over the edge tightly -- this is important in order to get tight pointed corners. Do the same with the opposite corner. Remember to wipe your fingers after EACH time you touch the glue, otherwise you'll end up with glue on the fabric! Flatten the fabric in between by pushing down and toward the center of the cardboard in a sweeping motion. Repeat for remaining edges.

Repeat entire process for second backing piece.

On the back of the stitched piece, place a small line of glue along the perimeter... approximately 3/8" from the edge. Squiggle some glue around in the center. Place in the center on the right side of one of the fabric-covered backing pieces.

Use binder clips to hold the pieces together tightly while the glue is drying.  Take the clips off after about 30 minutes.  You may have some indentations, but they're easily removed with a steam iron.  I use binder clips a lot and have never had permanent indentations.  Now, you if leave them on for days I can't guarantee you won't!

While the glue is drying, create your cording.

Put a small amount of glue on a scrap piece of cardboard.  Using a toothpick as a "glue brush", dab glue into the crack between the stitched piece and the fabric-covered piece.  Gently press the cording into place.  I always start the cording at the bottom so that it's not as noticeable.

Note: Dabbing a bit of glue on the ends of the cording will keep it from unraveling.

Cut a piece of cording for the hanger. Place it on the back.  Place a line of glue around the perimeter and squiggle some in the center.

Press on the other fabric-covered piece of cardboard, wrong sides together.  Place binder clips around the edges until the glue dries.

Repeate Step Seven to put cording around the outside edge.  Let dry and you have a finished ornament!

Sing Noel
Stitched: 12/14/08 Time: 3Hrs
Designer: Primrose Needleworks
Fabric: 18ct Seafoam Green Aida
Fibers: GAST, DMC Color Variations, The Dye Shop
Embellishments: Handmade cording w/DMC 321 & 815


Ever go to shopping for cording and not been able to find that "perfect" color?  Make your own!  It's not difficult at all.

Here's what you'll need:

•  Cording Drill or a Pencil
•  D-clip (for weight)
•  Suction Cup Hook
•  DMC 6-strand Floss or Pearle Thread

Determine how much cording you'll need.  Measure the perimeter of the ornament you'll be adding the cording to.  Multiply the measurement by 4 and cut two pieces of floss.  If you want to make two-colored cording, cut one piece of each length.  This is should give you plenty of cording.

For single-colored cording, tie both pieces together by putting a knot at each end.  For double-colored cording, fold each color floss in half and loop them together in the center. The knot each end.

Take the suction cup hook and attach it to a smooth vertical surface... wall, window, refrigerator, mirror, etc.  Make sure it's at least 4 feet (or higher) off the floor.  Place one knotted end of the cording over the hook.  Place the D-clip onto the floss and back away from the hook so that the floss is loosely stretched out.

Place the other end onto the hook of the cording drill, or onto a pencil.  Turn the crank of the cording drill, or twist the pencil.  Keep going.  Keep going.  Keep going... and going, and going, and going.  Keep twisting until the floss is wound tightly.  You'll be done when you step forward and the floss twists into cording.  The D-clip will put a little weight so that it winds quickly.

If you're really brave, you could go the "More Power!" approach and use this:

Variable speed cordless drill and cup hook!

Use low speed and wind away.  Works much better and faster than a pencil, that's for sure!

Until next time...