Friday, September 30, 2011

Queen Anne House Cross-stitch Kit From Mill Hill Buttons and Beads


When trying to decide on which small cross-stitch kits I wanted to try this year I knew I wanted to cover several holidays and seasons. To cover the Christmas holiday season and the winter season I choose the counted cross-stitch & bead design from Mill Hill - Queen Anne House - Cross Stitch Kit. I, of course, just love Victorian Houses so this was a simple choice for me!

Like the other Mill Hill  - Buttons & Beads Series patterns I had bought the Queen Anne House - Cross Stitch Kit included the pattern, embroidery thread, perforated paper, beads, 2 needles and instructions.

The Queen Anne House - Cross Stitch Kit pattern uses full counted cross-stitch and outline stitching as well as beads for emphasis and depth. The pattern also calls for certain areas of the perforated paper to be left untouched as the background.

Given the experience I had with my "Spirit of Quilting Angel Counted Cross Stitch Project" and the fragile nature of perforated paper I decided to add wide masking tape to the back of my perforated paper before I started cross-stitching. I also decided to 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 was a rectangular embroidery hoop of sorts, but without bending the paper. He made it out of 1/2" x 1" pine wood strips. It also had an adjustable center strip that I used for this 5 x 5 square design.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Haunted Hotel Cross Stitch Kit From Mill Hill - Buttons & Beads



When trying to decide on which small cross-stitch kits I wanted to try this year I knew I wanted to cover several holidays and seasons. For one of my favorite holidays  - Halloween I choose the counted cross-stitch & bead design from Mill Hill - Haunted Hotel - Cross Stitch Kit.

Like the other Mill Hill  - Buttons & Beads Series patterns I had bought the Haunted Hotel - Cross Stitch Kit included the pattern, embroidery thread, perforated paper, beads, 2 needles and instructions.

The Haunted Hotel pattern uses full counted cross-stitch and outline stitching as well as beads for emphasis and depth. The pattern also calls for certain areas of the perforated paper to be left untouched as the background.

Given the experience I had with my "Spirit of Quilting Angel Counted Cross Stitch Project" and the fragile nature of perforated paper I decided to add wide masking tape to the back of my perforated paper before I started cross-stitching. I also decided to 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 was a rectangular embroidery hoop of sorts, but without bending the paper. He made it out of 1/2" x 1" pine wood strips. It also had an adjustable center strip that I used for this 5 x 5 square design.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Flower Shoppe Cross Stitch Kit from Mill Hill - Buttons & Beads


When trying to decide on which small cross-stitch kits I wanted to try this year I knew I wanted to cover several holidays and seasons. For the Spring season the counted cross-stitch & bead design from Mill Hill - Flower Shoppe (beaded kit) seemed to fit the bill.

Like the other Mill Hill  - Buttons & Beads Series patterns I had bought the Flower Shoppe included the pattern, embroidery thread, perforated paper, beads, 2 needles and instructions.

The Flower Shoppe pattern uses full counted cross-stitch and outline stitching as well as beads for emphasis and depth. The pattern also calls for certain areas of the perforated paper to be left untouched as the background.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Gather Together Cross Stitch Kit From Mill Hill - Button & Beads




One of the cross-stitch kits I decided to try this Fall was a counted cross-stitch & bead design from Mill Hill - Gather Together - Cross Stitch Kit.

The Gather Together - Cross Stitch Kit included the pattern, embroidery thread, perforated paper, beads, 2 needles and instructions.

The Gather Together - Cross Stitch Kit pattern uses full counted cross-stitch and outline stitching as well as beads for emphasis and depth. The pattern also calls for certain areas of the perforated paper to be left untouched as the background.

Friday, September 09, 2011

My Spirit of Quilting Angel Counted Cross Stitch Project


In pondering what kind of cross-stitch kits I wanted to try this year I decided to focus on smaller projects of a less mammoth nature. If you've been following my Linda's Blog and Book & Crafts Review Corner blog you know that I completed two massive counted cross-stitch pictures in the past year.

The first I posted about last December in a post on my Linda's Blog entitled "You Spent How Many Hours On That Cross-Stitch?"

The 2nd one I wrote about last June in a Linda's Blog post entitled "315 Hours On Another Cross-Stitch Picture - WOW!"

Both of the above took hundreds of hours to complete and I didn't want to spend as much time on my cross-stitch kits this year. So, I looked for projects that were smaller in nature and which could fit in a small shadow box or picture frame. I didn't really want anything bigger than an 8 x 10 size picture.

As usual, I found several kits I liked. So, I bought a few.  Actually, given my nature I bought quite a few. You know me - I can never do anything in moderation.

This time I bought a few counted cross-stitch kits and patterns that utilized perforated paper. I had never used perforated paper before and was curious as to how well it would stand up with detailed cross-stitching. I soon found out.

The 1st counted cross-stitch pattern that I tried was a  Spirit of Quilting Angel Ornament from Brooke's Books Publishing. It was an angel counted cross-stitch ornament design by Brooke Nolan. She had many to choose from and I picked 3 that I liked: Spirit of Quilting Angel Ornament, Spirit Of Christmas Stitching Ornament, and Spirit Of Holiday Baking Ornament.

The pattern called for DMC floss, brown and gold 9x12 14 count perforated paper, and beads. I utilized some of the DMC floss I already had and substituted for some of the colors in the pattern and utilized some of the beads I already had. Since I was buying 9x12 perforated paper sheets I decided to just buy Perforated paper - Antique Brown and use that for the wings instead of buying the gold.

The pattern also suggested that if desired you could finish the back of the ornament pieces with acid free decorative paper. I opted not to go with that as well as I was going to put my angel in a shadow box.

The pattern came with two cross-stitch charts. The chart for the brown perforated paper contained the angel, sewing basket, and scissors. The chart for the gold perforated paper contained the wings, pincushion, and kitten. In this pattern the kitten was supposed to sit at the lower left hand corner of the angel and the sewing basket, scissors, and pincushion would be suspended from DMC floss hanging between the angels two hands.

In purchasing the perforated paper I hadn't really given any thought as to how I was going to actually work on this project. I quickly realized it wasn't something you could put into an embroidery hoop or square frame. The paper was stiff but, in my opinion, not stiff enough to be working on and holding at the same time.

Well, my darling husband, came up with a wonderful solution and built me a rectangular wood frame jig that I could tape the edges of my perforated paper to. It was a rectangular embroidery hoop of sorts, but without bending the paper.   He made it out of 1/2" x 1" pine wood strips. It also has an adjustable center strip that I could use for the smaller counted cross-strip projects I would be doing using perforated paper.

The charts in the pattern were printed in black and white on shiny gloss paper. I had no problem reading and following the different black and white symbols but found the glossy paper a bit annoying as my needlework lamp would reflect off the paper.

At first the perforated paper seemed like it could handle the cross-stitch but I quickly learned that it can tear so you have to be careful with it. Especially when threading the ends of the thread or in the size of the needle you are using. Unfortunately, I learned the hard way as a section of my angel ripped. I repaired it with masking tape on the back side and decided to cover the ripped area with the kitten cross-stitch when it was complete.

The original pattern looked like the following:



My completed angel came out as follows:


It took me 37 hours (excluding the framing) to complete the angel, sewing basket, kitten, scissors, and pincushion.  That was a far cry from 250+ hours and 315+ hours of my previous two massive cross-stitch projects.

While this project was easier and took less time dealing with the perforated paper was a little tricky. After my section ripped I decided to add wide masking tape to the entire back of the angel and other items to secure the threads and strengthen the perforated paper. In fact, for my future perforated paper counted cross-stitch projects I decided to add wide masking tape to the back of the perforated paper before starting the projects. For my future projects this would prove to be a lesson well learned.

I had decided early on that I wanted to mount my angel inside a wood stained glass covered and hinged shadowbox so she looked like she was suspended and flying. As a result there was no need to finish the back with decorative paper. After adding the masking tape to the back of the angel and other pieces I cut the angel and other pieces out and then glued the back of the angel to a foam board. I then glued the back of the foam board to the fabric back of the shadowbox so my angel was suspended about 3/4" from the back of the shadowbox. My finished piece came out as follows and she is leaning against the fireplace mantle in my dining room as pictured below and in the picture at the beginning of this article.


I was pleased with the way my angel came out and pleased with having learned a few things along the way with regards to dealing with perforated paper.  It seems like it's very versatile for so many different types of projects but needs to be handled delicately if utilized for some very detailed counted cross-stitch works.



Thursday, September 08, 2011

For The LOVE of Counted Cross-Stitch!


I know that I've told you many, many times that I LOVE cross-stitch. Maybe I should say I've told you many, many, many, many times. Let's face it - I've told you so many times it might as well be ad infinitum.

I've also told you that I've been working on a MASSIVE project to revise all of my patterns to replace my hand drawn diagrams and pattern piece pages with computer assisted diagrams and pattern piece pages. Like cross -stitch that work is quite tedious and after nine months of working on it I can actually see light at the end of the tunnel. I will be done with all my patterns this Fall and I couldn't be happier.

In order to relax during the last nine months of tedious computer work I've been doing some counted cross-stitching. Counted cross-stitching can be quite tedious, but isn't quite the same as the stress and strain you can get from working on the computer with drawing computer assisted diagrams. At least I don't think it is.

In any event if you've been following my "The Book Review Corner Blog" you know that I've been reviewing all the cross-stitch kits I have completed and have written quite a few posts on the craft kits that I've bought over the years.  If you'd like to read any of them just click on the cross-stitch review below that interests you.

In any event, during the last nine months I've managed to complete several cross-stitch kits.  The largest one was a Victorian Lady that I wrote about in June in a post on my Linda's Blog entitled "315 Hours On Another Cross-Stitch Picture - WOW!" and in a post on my The Book Review Corner Blog in a post entitled "Linda's Review of In Her Garden - Dimensions Gold Collection Cross-Stitch Kit."

During this period I've also managed to complete six smaller cross-stitch kits and I'm happy to show you how they turned out and review them for you in several posts to follow.

I hope you enjoy seeing how my counted cross-stitch kits turned out and reading my reviews.

Have I mentioned I just LOVE counted cross-stitching?

I didn't think so!!!!

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Oh, Joyous FALL!


Pumpkin Patch Penny Rug From Lakeview Primitives

I just LOVE this penny rug from Lakeview Primitives and love bringing it out each year when I'm decorating for the Fall.  It's just so cheery.  Wouldn't you agree?

Monday, September 05, 2011

Shadows On The Wall


As we were unloading the groceries from the car I noticed a strange shadow moving across the dining room wall.

Hmmm.....

Should I be afraid?

Was it a burglar?

Were we being robbed?

In the middle of the day?

So, of course, I asked hubby to check it out.

Well, he came back and reported that he hadn't seen anything.

I, of course, thought that was strange.

I knew I had seen a shadow moving across the wall.

And, then, there it was AGAIN!

Slowly moving across the dining room wall.

What the.........???

There was something there.

Just look at those shadows.

Claw like, bat like.... MONSTER LIKE! And, getting bigger!

Definitely  kind of eerie if not downright FRIGHTENING!

So, of course, I ran behind hubby and said, "There is something there.  Go look!"

As to be expected he came back and said, "There's NOTHING there!"

Now I know I'm not bats, even if the shadows look like bats or claws or even MONSTERS!

I knew I wasn't losing my mind!

So, I begged hubby to take a look AGAIN.

And, then something very, very strange happened.

Hubby, started humming .....ta da da dum,  .....ta da da dum

and, started tip toeing into the dining room in a very CREEPY manner.

If I was losing my mind seeing shadows on the wall, well - he had definitely lost his......ta da da dum,.....ta da da dum

Then I heard it.
The music was the same as "The Addams Family" but, the words were a little different. 

Yet, I couldn't quite make them out from where I was standing. 

I had to get closer. 

So, I started towards the dining room. 

Then, all of a sudden I found myself tip toeing into the dining room, too. 

.....ta da da dum, .....ta da da dum 

And, then I saw the shadows, quickly followed by a shape. 

It was greenish...... ICK!!!! 

Yet, it was a familiar shape. 

I knew I had seen it before. 

It was dark in the dining room so the images were kind of blurry at first, but I knew I had seen them before. 

Then it hit me .....ta da da dum, .....ta da da dum 

.....ta da da dum, .....ta da da dum 

I should have know it. This was September 1st after all and the start of the "dollies" favorite season - Fall, Halloween, and Thanksgiving. 

When the room brightened enough so that I could see I was surrounded by witches, scarecrows, ghosts, goblins, Frankensteins and mummies all CREEPING and tip toeing around. 

Everywhere I looked there was a "dollie." 

They were having a really, really good time.  Singing......... 

.....ta da da dum, .....ta da da dum 


They're creepy and they're kooky, Mysterious and spooky,


They're all together ooky, The DOLLIE Family.


Their house is a museum Where people come to see 'em

(Neat)

(Sweet)

(Petite)


They really are a scream--The DOLLIE Family.


So get a witches shawl on

A broomstick you can crawl on


We're gonna pay a call on The DOLLIE Family.

.....ta da da dum, .....ta da da dum