Monday, December 07, 2009

My Victorian Houses - I Had To Keep Them!

During the last few months I have been happily creating some of the items from punch-needle, cross-stitch, and needle felting kits I had purchased during the spring. All of the kits were purchased with the thought of giving the finished projects as Christmas gifts this year or next.

Of course, like everything I create I tend to fall in love with the finished products. Some more so than others. Some so much so that I selfishly decide to keep them for myself and my home decor.

Well, I have to tell you that I absolutely fell in love with my Victorian cross-stitch village. Now I know that wasn't the intent, but I couldn't help myself with my Victorian houses. If it's Victorian it's right up my alley. Ya think!!!! LOL LOL

My Victorian house village was created based upon a Dimensions cross-stitch Gold Collection kit called "Christmas Village Ornaments." It was supposed to be a series of Victorian house ornaments with a cross-stitch front and felt cloth back outlined with a braided gold band.

However, I didn't make my Victorian village as cloth ornaments. Instead, I enlisted the help of my younger brother to create wood shadowboxes that I painted with a blue/white/green sponge affect.

My Victorian village includes the following:

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Reflections On Age

I think I'm mellowing with age. Either that or I've become much more philosophical in my old age. Now, I'm not really old by any "senior" standards - especially my Mother's and her friends, some of which are 90 and older. But, I officially became a "senior citizen" when I turned 55 this this year.

There was a time when I thought that was really "old!" YIKES!! That was during my youth when I was invincible - nothing could touch me and I had all the time in the world.

Now, time flies by faster than I would ever like it to. In fact, I was thinking about this the other day when I was watching a documentary on the Kennedy assassination, the Martin Luther King assassination, the Bobby Kennedy assassination, and the turbulence of the late 60's and early 70's.

It suddenly dawned on me that I had graduated back in 1971 which is 38 years ago. I'm amazed that it has been that long. Where did the time go? Looking back I know that I was involved with living my life during those 38 years, but what exactly had I done during those last 38 years? Sure, there are lots and lots of things to be proud of, things I accomplished, skills I'd learned, countries I'd visited, jobs I'd had, etc. There were also a lot of people who have come into and out of my life during that time. Some I loved deeply and cherished who are no longer with me - but, whom I'd love to just have one more minute with.

But, I'd be hard pressed to sit down and relay everything to you. I just can't remember everything. I'd like to remember without referencing anything. Fortunately, I'm a pack hound! LOL LOL I keep or have kept everything.

To remember everything that happened during those 38 years or since I was a little girl I'd have to turn to the memory books that I've been keeping since I was 10 or so. I'd have to look back on some of the old family pictures. I'd have to look back to all the old greeting cards I've been keeping since I was about 6 or so.

I'd have to re-read some of my old correspondence and look at all the Christmas cards I'd received over the years. I'd even have to re-read some of my old school papers, theme papers, projects, reports and test answers to see what I may or may not have been thinking at some point in time. Yes - I actually did keep all of them since the 6TH or 7Th grade.

I kept everything and, when I have time - which is almost NEVER I like to flip through some of the boxes. Sometimes such wonderful memories are brought back to me when I do. Something I may have forgotten. Someone I may have forgotten.

Part of me would love to have 55 years again and part of me just LOVES being a "senior" citizen. I'm proud of myself and my accomplishments. I'm in the happiest period of my life and, truthfully, would not like to be a teenager or twenty-something individual again. I know who I am, what I've accomplished, and where I'm going.

I'm a product of the baby boomer generation and women's movement and proud of all that we have accomplished. I cherish it all as I know all to well how hard it was back then and how far we have come. I have plenty of stories to tell - some of which I'll write about some day - some of which I won't.

However, I have a long time yet to go by "senior" standards and would LOVE to live to be 100 years old. I hope I do. I've still got a LOT of challenges ahead of me. So many things yet to do - yet, so little time!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Last Year's Punchneedle Kits and Shadowboxes

Like everything I do I never do anything in moderation. Instead of just creating a couple of punchneedle and cross-stitch kits to give as Christmas presents I created 30 or more. As a result I had more than I needed to give as presents. Was this intentional? Maybe!

Then again, maybe not! Maybe I'm so highly organized that I knew I would need some in the future. Anticipating the future? Maybe! Then again, maybe not!

In any event I ended up with more shadowboxes than I needed. The punch needle pine tree shown above was created based upon a "Pine Tree" pattern kit by Rachael T. Pellam of Rachael's of Greenfield that I added a dark green, burgundy and white sponge painted wood shadowbox frame to. This pattern included detailed instructions and tips for punchneedle as well as an iron-on transfer sheet that you had to iron on to the foundation cloth which was included in the kit.  It also included a piece of paper with the DMC floss numbers printed on it and each of the floss strands grouped by color tied to a punched out square next to it's respective DMC floss number.  It did not include a diagram with the detailed numbers on it but included a listing on the back of the pattern indicating which DMC floss numbers were to be used and where.

I also found a wonderful punch needle pattern by Linda Coleman of Jeremiah Junction called "Folksy Sheep" that I liked.  As with my other punchneedle projects I decided to add a sponged painted wood shadowbox frame.  I wanted the frame to appear like the sky so I sponge painted it royal blue, light blue, and white.

The pattern and instructions were easy to follow and the diagram was well laid out and easy to read. The pattern included the pre-printed weavers cloth.

What I also really liked about the Jeremiah Junction pattern was that it not only included a diagram with the colored DMC floss numbers but included a picture colored with the DMC floss colors and a table that included a small square of the DMC floss color and it's respective DMC, ANC, or JPC floss number.    The kit included reverse pre-printed fabric, DMC floss, and pattern with instructions.  The design was printed on the reverse side of the fabric and you work on the reverse side when punching to create the image on the front side.