Monday, December 10, 2018

"Stained Glass" Ornaments Kit by Design Works Crafts


When I first looked at the "Stained Glass" ornaments kit by Design Works Crafts I thought how pretty and how wonderful they would look on my pencil Christmas tree. They looked pretty simple and easy to me.  Turns out looks can be deceptive.   It took me much longer than I first thought to finish the six ornaments in this kit.


What I didn't know before I bought the kit was that there was a lot of black floss highlighting for each ornament that transformed them from a pretty ornament to a beautiful ornament.  The highlighting really makes them stand-out and is well worth the extra time it takes to finish each ornament.  It's quite amazing to see them in person.  What added to the length of time was the black highlighting is done one stitch at a time.

The "Stained Glass" ornament kit contained the color cotton floss, #14 plastic canvas, needle and instructions.  The pattern uses full counted cross-stitch and outline stitching for emphasis and depth.

Friday, December 07, 2018

My "The Stockings Were Hung..." Cross-Stitch Picture



I don't think I've ever found a cross-stitch kit that I haven't loved - especially those regarding the Christmas holiday season.  I was drawn to the colorful fireplace stocking display picture in the Dimensions Gold Collection "The Stockings Were Hung...." the minute I saw it.  So, I decided to buy the kit and add it to my other Christmas cross-stitch decorations on my fireplace mantle.

Like the other Dimensions Gold Collection Petites kits I had bought the kit included the pattern, pre-sorted cotton thread, 18 count white cotton Aida, needle and instructions.

The "The Stockings Were Hung..."" pattern uses full counted cross-stitch, french knots and outline stitching for emphasis and depth and this detailing really makes the picture stand out. It also varies the number of threads used with the various stitches to add to the depth emphasis. The design of this cross-stitch gives the finished picture a 3 dimensional aspect with the cross stitch, french knots and outlining being used for artistic effect.


The pattern came with starting and working order instructions as well as samples of the various stitches required and instructions for creating them, color coded keys (with code #'s, lengths, color names, and cross-stitch symbols) and a chart with color coded symbols. The colors and symbols on the keys and chart were easy to read and follow.

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

A Little "Joy" Outside My House This Year


I know I've mentioned a billion times how much I love finding decorations during the holiday season that say "Joy."  It was my mother's name and every time I look at a "Joy" decoration I can't help but think about my beloved and beautiful mother.  She was a beautiful person inside and out and always brought such "joy" to everyone she met.

Well, during a recent shopping trip with hubby at a local home decor store we stumbled upon the "Joy" sign shown in the picture above.  It was gold and made of some kind of hard plastic with a Victorian type pattern cut onto it.  Gold, Victorian and "Joy" - seems like a perfect fit for me.

Unfortunately, it was large and I didn't have any place inside the house to hang it.  So, I walked away.

Well, to my surprise, hubby said, "Are you sure? It's really quite nice." He knows me too well and knows I might be thinking about it on the way home and decide I did have a place for it after all - which, of course, would require us to go back to the store.

So, I took a second look and "voila!" it dawned on me it would be perfect as an outside decoration for our farmer's porch.  It was quite festive and large enough to be seen from the street and would be a good compliment to my large artificial outdoor Christmas floral decoration, which is placed on the farmer's porch every holiday season.  I wrote about this on my Linda's blog in a post entitled, "I Can Do Better - My Xmas Evergreen Arrangement Decoration." Instructions for making one of your own are here.

Sunday, December 02, 2018

What To Do With All Those Beautiful Christmas Pins?



Over the years I've written many posts about my family's Christmas traditions and handmade Christmas decorations. One of my family's wonderful and sentimental traditions was started by my Dad a long time ago.

My Dad wanted to give "his girls" meaning my Mother, myself, and my sister something special for Christmas. Back then the term "his girls" did not imply the possessive, chauvinistic implications that it does today. To my Dad it was nothing more then a term of endearment. One that separated us from "his boys," my brothers.

So my Dad decided to buy each of "his girls" a special Christmas pin to wear during the holidays. For my first pin he bought me the reindeer pin shown in the picture to the left.  I loved it.  He bought us pins the first year, and then the second, and so on and so on and so on.

My wonderful husband decided to carry my Dad's tradition on after he passed away. So, every year, for awhile, he gave me Christmas pins. Sometimes he couldn't decide which one he liked best so he'd give me two special Christmas pins. That was okay with me as I cherished each and every one of them.

Not only did my loving husband give me Christmas pins but he gave my mother some as well.  Needless to say, over time, both I and my mother accumulated a lot of Christmas pins.

When my mother passed away I inherited some of her Christmas pins.

Every year I take them all out and look at them. What always amazes me is how little they have changed in design from the first pin I received. And, believe it or not, I don't have any duplicates.

Also (and I know this will be hard to believe), I don't have any "dollies." So, a heartfelt thanks to you Dad for starting this tradition and a heartfelt and sentimental thanks to my husband for continuing his pin tradition.

Several weeks ago I was thinking about all my Christmas pins and thought it was a shame not to see all of them as they really are so pretty to look at - especially as a group.  I wanted to find some way of displaying them for the holiday season and wasn't sure how to accomplish this.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

My Spoonflower Design Challenges Entries


I just love designing custom fabric designs.  Over the past few years I decided to enter some of my fabric designs into the Spoonflower Design Challenges and have entered 30 into their contests so far.  I didn't win any but I definitely had fun designing them.

I hope you like all of my designs.



Monday, November 19, 2018

Almost Time To Put The Fall Decorations Away - Make Way For Xmas!


I always think I never have enough decorations - especially when it comes to the Fall, Halloween and Thanksgiving decorating season.  Well, I have to admit, after crafting for fifty years you start to accumulate a LOT of decorations.

Hubby's been telling me for years that I have enough.  I, like any crafter I know, just shirks that off.

Well, I have to admit, he's right.  I do have enough.  So much so that I have to rotate them from year to year.   This year I decided to focus on my cross-stitch pictures.

If you've been following my blog for awhile you know that the Fall, by far, is my favorite season for crafting.  The reasons have to do with scarecrows, pumpkins, witches, ghosts, goblins, Frankensteins, pilgrims, etc. that can all be created for the September through November home decorating season.

What would the Fall season be for crafters without pumpkins and scarecrows?  They're an integral part of everything Fall.  Just as integral  as blowing leaves, hay bales, and crows. Given how versatile they are they're a favorite design for crafters.

I love designing pumpkin and scarecrow dolls, crafts, custom fabric, ornaments, Fall mixed media collages, and so much more. And, I love to cross-stitch.  So, of course, I've bought a lot of cross-stitch kits over the years to create little pictures.

I thought you'd like to see how I rotated my decorations this year.  Here's the rundown:


The "W" pumpkin above is a new decoration added by hubby a couple of years ago.  The two pumpkins on the right are ceramic pumpkins my Mother and I found while shopping one year.  

Friday, November 09, 2018

My "Hanging Around" Mill Hill #MH14-1306 Cross-Stitch Picture



As you know I love to cross-stitch and I love cross-stitching kits with the word "Joy" in them due to the fact it was my beloved mother's name.    So, when I saw the "Hanging Around" kit I knew I would buy it and make it.

The Hanging Around #MH14-1306  pattern uses full cross-stitch and straight stitch highlighting as well as beads of various sizes for emphasis and depth. The Mill Hill patterns usually call for certain areas of the perforated paper to be left untouched like the background or border. In this case they were leaving sections of the brown perforated paper border untouched.

In embroidering the cross-stitch I decided to once again utilize the rectangular wood frame jig that my darling husband built for me that I could tape the edges of my perforated paper to. The wood frame jig is a rectangular embroidery hoop of sorts, but without bending the perforated  paper. He had made it out of 1/2" x 1" pine wood strips with an adjustable center strip that I used for this 5.25 x 5.25 square design.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

My "Book Seller" Mill Hill #MH14-2305 Winter Cross-Stitch Kit



Of all the cross-stitch pictures I have done I don't have a lot of winter seasonal pictures.  I wanted to change that for my winter season decorations on my fireplace mantels.  So, when I saw the Book Seller Mill Hill #MH14-2305 cross-stitch I knew I would buy it.  Not only does it suit my winter home decorating needs but it's about books and a bookstore, which I also love.

The Book Seller Mill Hill #MH14-2305 pattern uses full cross-stitch and straight stitch highlighting as well as beads of various sizes for emphasis and depth. The Mill Hill patterns usually call for certain areas of the perforated paper to be left untouched like the background or border. In this case they were leaving sections of the brown perforated paper border untouched.

In embroidering the cross-stitch I decided to once again utilize the rectangular wood frame jig that my darling husband built for me that I could tape the edges of my perforated paper to. The wood frame jig is a rectangular embroidery hoop of sorts, but without bending the perforated  paper. He had made it out of 1/2" x 1" pine wood strips with an adjustable center strip that I used for this 5.25 x 5.25 square design.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

My Snow Days - Mill Hill Cross-stitch Kit


Given that I hate snow you might be wondering why I'm cross-stitching a snow picture.  Well, the simple answer is I needed to for my winter decorations that I display on my fireplace mantels over the various seasons.  I have a ton of  Christmas and now Spring & Summer cross-stitch  pictures, but not a lot of winter ones.  So, when I saw the little "doggie" button that was included in this kit I knew I would buy it and make it.

The Snow Day #MH14-9302 pattern uses full cross-stitch and straight stitch highlighting as well as beads of various sizes for emphasis and depth. The Mill Hill patterns usually call for certain areas of the perforated paper to be left untouched like the background or border. In this case they were leaving sections of the brown perforated paper border untouched.

In embroidering the cross-stitch I decided to once again utilize the rectangular wood frame jig that my darling husband built for me that I could tape the edges of my perforated paper to. The wood frame jig is a rectangular embroidery hoop of sorts, but without bending the perforated  paper. He had made it out of 1/2" x 1" pine wood strips with an adjustable center strip that I used for this 5.25 x 5.25 square design.

Sunday, October 07, 2018

Is Fall Your Creative Season, Too!


When it comes to the Fall Season I definitely get a feeling.  It's a feeling that comes upon me like clockwork. Like some internal drive. Some innate driving force. For sure, it's something!

By now I'm sure you must be wondering what I'm talking about.

Well, I'm talking about my "creativity drive" and the Fall season. There's just something about this season that drives my creativity?  And, it drives me not just a little, but a whole lot.

Every year around the end of August I can start to feel it. This urge to create that starts to show itself.

It starts slowly and builds gradually until it reaches a full-blown crescendo in November. But, I can feel it starting and I know that I won't have any control over it, once again.  You can't fight it, so why not enjoy it.

Every year it just takes over my body. And, then I just have to either sew, create floral arrangements or craft something.  Due to all the different types of crafts I've learned over the years the media could be anything: from mixed media, to paper-clay sculpting, painting, sewing, paper crafts, stamping, etc. You just never know.


Or, I have to design patterns and sew some more dolls. Like I need any more dolls! But, that's a subject for another article!

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

My "Christmas Wishes" Dimensions Gold Collection Cross-Stitch Picture



Like a lot of cross-stitch kits I see I fell in love with the "Christmas Wishes" Dimensions cross-stitch picture the minute I saw it.  It was just too cute to resist.  I keep telling myself that.  In reality I don't think I've ever found a cross-stitch kit that I haven't loved.....haha  "Christmas Wishes"  was just delightful so I knew I'd buy it and add it to my other winter season cross-stitch decorations on my fireplace mantle.

Like the other Dimensions Gold Collection Petites kits I had bought the kit included the pattern, pre-sorted cotton thread, 18 count white cotton Aida, needle and instructions.

The "Christmas Wishes" pattern uses full counted cross-stitch, half cross-stitch, french knots and outline stitching for emphasis and depth and this detailing really makes the picture stand out. It also varies the number of threads used with the various stitches to add to the depth emphasis. The design of this cross-stitch gives the finished picture a 3 dimensional aspect with the half cross stitch, french knots and outlining being used for artistic effect.


The pattern came with starting and working order instructions as well as samples of the various stitches required, color coded keys (with code #'s, lengths, color names, and cross-stitch symbols) and a chart with color coded symbols. The colors and symbols on the keys and chart were easy to read and follow. The pattern did not include instructions for finishing the piece.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

For The Love Of Mixed Media Witches


If you've been following me all these years you know that I absolutely LOVE Halloween and all the wonderful creatures that can be made like witches, ghosts, goblins, Dracula, Frankenstein, jack-o-lanterns, bats, spiders and spider webs, skeletons, mummies, and so much more. There's so much for crafters to work with surrounding Halloween - what's not to love.

You can make all sorts of Halloween creatures out of cloth, wood, cloth and wood, paper, clay, needle-craft, etc. I love them all but have a fondness for witches.

Several years ago, when I was doing a little cleaning of my craft area, I found some 3/4" wood shelf sitter shapes that my husband had cut out for me a years before.  I had intended to make a painted figure of some sort out of them.

Well, in looking at the wood I thought they might make perfect mixed media shelf sitter witches with paper-clay faces and collage outfits.   So, I decided to make two of them, which are shown below.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

My Mixed Media Shelf Sitter Scarecrow Dolls - Meet Harold and Hank


For me I just LOVE the fall decorating season.  One of my reasons is because I just love scarecrows and have made many, many over the years.  So, when I got a chance to make some paper-clay and wood mixed media shelf sitter scarecrows I jumped right in and made two.

Harold, pictured on the left, and Hank, pictured on the right are a pair of scarecrows that are a little apprehensive as to what they are supposed to do in the field.  They know they're there to scare the crows, but are unsure as to how to do it.  After all they don't want to be mean.

Both Harold and Hank are 4" x 5 1/2" x 3/4" mixed media Victorian scarecrow wood dolls with paper-clay painted faces with brushed brown cheeks.  Their sides and back are sponge painted and their outfits are a multi-layer embellished paper collage with paper center band and black raised dots.  Paper patches add charm to their collage outfits.  Their wild raffia hair is barely controlled under their straw hat.    An orange bow is tied under their necks.

Harold is sitting on my family room fireplace mantle.  He's seems so pleased with himself there.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

My Sunday Night Mill Hill Winter Holiday Cross-Stitch Ornament



It's the beginning of the Fall and my thoughts always turn to the upcoming holiday season and crafts I'd like to make to add to my already overflowing seasonal and holiday home decorations collection.  I like to think you can never have enough decorations, but that might be wishful thinking.  In reality you definitely can have to many and I am slowly approaching that.   I'll just have to swap them out from year to year.....haha

I tend to be drawn to cross-stitch kits that feature the word "Joy", which was my mother's name, or churches, especially those that remind me of the one my mother attended for so many years.  My mother loved to sing and sang in the church choir for several decades. So, when I saw the "Sunday Night" Mill Hill #MH18-1834 kit, which looks exactly like the church my mother attended,  I knew I would buy it.

The "Sunday  Night" ornament kit contained the presorted thread, 14 count perforated paper, needles (stitching and beading), beads and instructions.  It also included a magnet and instructions for adhering the magnet to the back of the ornament.  The pattern uses full counted cross-stitch, beads and outline stitching for emphasis and depth.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Gotta Love The Fall, Scarecrows and Pumpkins


I just LOVE the Fall season.  If you've been following my blog for awhile you know that the Fall, by far, is my favorite season for crafting.  The reasons have to do with scarecrows, pumpkins, witches, ghosts, goblins, Frankensteins, pilgrims, etc. that can all be created for the September through November home decorating season.  If you'd like to see the products available for my scarecrow creations, including their e-patterns and fabric designs, just click on the dolls name or craft below: