Monday, December 31, 2018

For The Love Of Needle Felted Pictures Free Tutorials, E-Books and How-To's


Four years ago my love of crafts expanded even more when my sister and her husband became alpaca farmers and started Rock Garden Alpacas. At the time neither they nor I had no idea what a big impact that would have on my art doll making and craft designs.  

With the alpacas came Rock Garden Alpacas Fiber for selling all their alpaca fiber products, including roving, raw fiber, carded batts, handspun yarn, hand dyed roving, doll hair fibers, knit scarves, and handmade nuno felted scarves. With this came my desire to create needle felted art dolls and other crafts using their products.

My sister and I were looking for ways to show her customers how to use her products when the idea for needle felted dolls and other crafts came into being. Hmmm... Lets do needle felted art dolls. Hmmm... Let's do some floral pictures... Hmmm... Now why would I think of both of those? Hmmm....


My sister gave me several large (make that HUGE) bags of roving and several carded batts (which I loved) from her alpacas Sunflower, Ivy, Cosmo, Zinnia and Masquerade which I used to make my needle felted art dolls and flower pictures, like those shown in the two picture collages above.   I loved working with the natural alpaca roving and carded batts - especially Masquerade's gray fiber batts. It was fabulous for crafting everything.

I fell in love with needle felting four years ago and decided to create free e-patterns, tutorials, e-books and how-to's for my needle felted floral pictures so you could try needle felting too.  I hope you fall in love with it as much as I did.

Just click on the links below for the needle felted craft pictures below that you'd like to try:

Sunday, December 30, 2018

For the Love of Free Picture Crafts Tutorials, E-Books, and How-To's



If there is any type of craft I have made more of over the years in all different media it has to be pictures.  I've made a  large yarn picture, needle felted pictures, silk floral and ribbon pictures, pressed flower pictures, wool felt pictures, needle craft pictures, punch needle embroidery pictures, stenciled shadow box pictures, and quilted pictures.

Most of the pictures I've made have been gifts for my family that I enclosed in sponge painted frames that I painted and made.  If there is a choice between regular painting and sponge painting I always opt for the sponge painted.  Some of these gifts are shown in the picture collage below. 

For The Love of Wreath Crafts Free E-Patterns, Tutorials, and How-To's


As far as home decorations are concerned you can never have enough wreaths. They're just so much fun to work with and so versatile.

Holiday wreaths, seasonal wreaths, wreaths for special occasions, wreaths of every media - glass, real floral, silk floral, natural greens, wood, painted, paper, metal, ceramic, clay, needle felted, yarn, wool, fabric - even popsicle sticks or lego's. The list is endless.

Wreaths can be shabby chic, romantic, Victorian, primitive, rustic, recycled, contemporary, country, folksy - the list is endless.

For The Love Of Wedding, Bridal, and Bridal Shower Crafts Free E-Patterns and Tutorials



Who doesn't love weddings and beautiful brides? I know I do. So much so that I've designed and made several bridal dolls.



 Some are "faceless" and some have embroidered faces.  I've even made bendable grooms like the doll pictured below:

Here's An Idea - Terracotta Painted and Stenciled Pot Decorations


As you probably know I LOVE to create and decorate with just about anything I find for the various seasons and holidays.  So it should come as no surprise that I'd be looking for different ways to decorate over the years and back in 1999 fell in love with the idea of using painted and stenciled terra-cotta pots.

Whether it's decorating with dolls, floral arrangements, or wood crafts I just love decorating - especially when it comes to decorating my sun-room for the different seasons and holidays.

The reason this is so much fun for me is because I've now limited the seasonal decorations in my home to a couple places in the house.  I used to try and decorate every room for every season and holiday, but that was getting to be a  OF WORK.  And, I just didn't have the time for it.  So, I've been limiting the decorations to a few areas - which I'm very happy with.


Well, several years ago I was looking for something different to decorate my sun-room and thought that maybe I should paint some of the terracotta pots I had bought on one of my many shopping trips. And, I had bought a few - well, make that A LOT!

I don't know why I'm always drawn to the terracotta aisle of the craft store, but I am.  I just love all the different sizes of the terracotta and love experimenting with different ways to use them.  And use them I have.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Merry Christmas To All!



Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
(Alecia Elliott)

Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
Let your heart be light
From now on,
our troubles will be out of sight

Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
Make the Yule-tide gay,
From now on,
our troubles will be miles away.

Here we are as in olden days,
Happy golden days of yore.
Faithful friends who are dear to us
Gather near to us once more.

Through the years
We all will be together,
If the Fates allow
Hang a shining star upon the highest bough.
And have yourself A merry little Christmas now.


Saturday, December 22, 2018

My Pinterest Boards Are Getting 1.1 Million Monthly Viewers - WOW!



I don't know about the rest of you, but I fell in LOVE with Pinterest.com back in 2011 and have been in love with it ever since.  It is by far the most wonderful way to organize everything and anything about "you."

What moves you, what you like, what you're keeping tabs on, things you saw online that you want to remember, things you want to try in the future, places you've been, what you consider "beautiful", your creations, your interests, foods you like, websites you like, blogs you like, your dreams, future plans for a wedding, dream home, your decorating style, must haves, things you'd like to make, inspirations, DIY projects to try, tips for everything and anything, tutorials to try, your bucket list, beautiful pictures, beautiful colors, things for your kids, nature at its finest, beautiful animals, decorations for the holidays, and your favorites - whether they are artists, crafters, movies, pictures, collections, music, recipes, favorite hobbies, etc.  The list goes on and on.  Your boards and your page give your followers and the world a pictorial glimpse into the essence of "you."

Back in 2011 I created different boards for all sorts of crafts I liked, such as: some of my handmade Victorian dolls (of course), my cross-stitch projects that I'm very proud of, some of my e-patterns, creative embroidery I'd love to try (if I had a few spare moments), my favorite art doll artists, my favorite mixed media artists, my favorite doll pattern designers, my favorite teddy bear artists, my favorite needle & wool felt designers, doll and craft classes I'd love to take, my favorite "softies" designers, Victorian fashions and Godey's fashion plates I love, my favorite prim and folk-art designers, doll houses and miniatures, crazy quilt designers I love, beautiful art quilts, amazing art, cross-stitch and punch needle designers I love, quilt things I'd like to make, craft books worth reading, felt things I love and would like to create, fun paper crafts, mixed media, items I wish I could paint, sewing ideas and notions, etc.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Mr. Jolly Left Me A Note!


When I came downstairs this morning to have breakfast I found a note on my chair.  It was marked "confidential and for Linda's eyes only!" Hmmmmm...... Who could this be from?

The "dollies" have been leaving me notes from time to time over the years so I thought it was from one of them.  They think they're human and can be very temperamental from time to time - especially at the holiday season.  So, I opened the note figuring I would recognize one of the "dollies" handwriting.

To my surprise the handwriting was beautifully written in cursive which the "dollies" don't know how to do and, therefore, a mystery to me as to who wrote it.  So, I read the note.

It said:

To my dearest Linda, 

I want you to be aware of a situation that I don't think you are aware of and which is causing someone much consternation.

Hmmmm...... I thought, who talks like that.  None of the "dollies" that I was aware of. Hmmm....

So, I continued reading.

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:

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

My Haunted Mansion - Mill Hill Cross-stitch # MH14-1204


Halloween is one of my favorite holidays for crafting and decorating.  I love decorating my home with all sorts of Halloween creatures and pictures.  I don't have a lot of Halloween cross-stitch pictures so when I saw the Haunted Mansion Mill Hill #MH14-1204 cross-stitch kit I wasn't surprised that I was drawn to.  Haunted mansion, ghosts, Frankenstein, cross-stitch - what's not to love!

The Haunted Mansion Mill Hill #MH14-1204 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 light blue 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.

Monday, September 10, 2018

My Moonlit Treaters Mill Hill Cross-Stitch Picture



As you know I love the Fall, Halloween, and Thanksgiving season.   So, when I saw the Moonlit Treaters Mill Hill #MH14-1724 cross-stitch kit I wasn't surprised that I was drawn to.  Halloween, ghosts,witches, and Dracula - what's not to love!

The  Moonlit Treaters Mill Hill 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 dark blue perforated paper border untouched.

Personally, I don't like the dark blue perforated paper as I find it hard to count the holes and follow along as to where you are on your cross-stitch.    Since I always finish the background of all my cross-stitch pictures I decided to stitch my picture on the lighter brown colored side of the perforated paper. 

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, August 28, 2018

Recent Designs I Entered In Spoonflower Design Challenges




I just love designing custom fabric designs.  Over the last few months I decided to enter some of my fabric designs into the Spoonflower Design Challenges and entered 10 into their contests.  I didn't win any but I definitely had fun designing them.

I hope you like my designs.


Friday, August 17, 2018

A Kiss For A Snowman - Dimensions Cross-Stitch Kit



I fell in love with the "A Kiss For A Snowman" Dimensions cross-stitch picture the minute I saw it.  Totally adorable and so very cheery.  It  created such a wonderful happy aspect to it that 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 "A Kiss For A Snowman" 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 kit came with instructions for finishing the back of the picture.


Saturday, August 11, 2018

Let It Snow - Mill Hill Sticks Cross-Stitch Ornament



As you know from my previous post it's the middle of the summer and sweltering here.  More heat and humidity than I would like.  Yet, I'm making Christmas ornaments.  Maybe the coldness of my craft project will have an effect on Mother Nature.  I doubt it, but one can be hopeful.

This time the ornaments that I'm working on  are a pair of 3" by 3" Christmas stocking ornaments by Mill Hill - Sticks line.

The "Let It Snow" ornament kit contained the presorted thread, 14 count perforated paper, needles (stitching and beading), beads and instructions. The pattern uses full counted cross-stitch and outline stitching for emphasis and depth.


Friday, August 10, 2018

Joy - Mill Hill Sticks Cross-Stitch Ornament



It's the middle of the summer and sweltering here.  More heat and humidity than I would like.  So, you're probably wondering why I'm showing you two Christmas cross-stitch ornaments I just finished.  Well, when I'm making ornaments for the Christmas holiday season I like to start early. They are a pair of 3" by 3" stocking ornaments by Mill Hill - Sticks line.

I just love to cross-stitch small ornaments with the word "joy" in them because my mother's name was Joy and when I look at them I think of her.

The "Joy" ornament kit contained the presorted thread, 14 count perforated paper, needles (stitching and beading), beads and instructions.  The pattern uses full counted cross-stitch and outline stitching for emphasis and depth.


Sunday, August 05, 2018

Gazebo - Mill Hill Cross-Stitch Kit


As you know from my previous Linda's Blog post, it's getting to be one of my favorite seasons of the year - Fall.   For the last few weeks I've been  happily cross-stitching more shadowbox pictures to decorate one of my fireplace mantles.  If you're a reader of my blog you know I'm drawn to the beautiful bright colors of the Fall.  When I saw the Mill Fill "Gazebo" cross-stitch kit I knew I would buy it not only for the fall colors, but for the little doggie as well.  I'm a sucker for "doggie" pictures.

The Gazebo Mill Hill #MH14-1825 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.

I had learned from previous mistakes that I needed to draw diagonal lines to locate the exact center of the perforated paper as in previous perforated paper cross-stitch picture I have done the picture was slightly off center by a few holes which caused a problem with inserting the needles in the holes along one of the edges of my frame. So, I lightly drew a diagonal line across each corner with a pencil to get the center point of the perforated paper.

A lot of the cross-stitch 5.25" by 5.25" pictures I have made were finished in small 6 1/2" by 6 1/2" shadowbox frames with 5" by 5" openings that I had gotten at Michaels when they went on sale one year.  I used up all the shadowbox frames I had gotten that year and have been looking for them ever since and haven't found them again.

So, I decided to buy some 8" by 8" hand painted wood frames that Mill Hill created for their cross-stitch pictures.  This frame is bare bones.  There's no glass or plastic cover and there's nothing on the back to hold the picture into the frame.  They do, however, provide a thin 6" by 6" cardboard back and wood dowel for inserting in the holes in the back to allow for the frame to stand on it's own.  Of course, if you're going to hang this on the wall you'd just add a picture hanger to the back.

The directions did not include any instruction for finishing the back.  I decided to finish mine with 1/4" thick self sticking art needle-craft mounting foam.  I used an 8" by 10" by Pres-On sheet that I cut 6" by 6"with an X-acto knife to fit my picture.  Since the depth of the back of the frame for inserting the picture is 1/4" deep the 1/4" foam was a perfect fit for inserting it as well as the cardboard backing that came with the frame.

The pattern called for a blue colored wooden frame. I  opted to use a rust colored wooden Mill Hill frame as I though it complimented the gazebo picture much better than the blue colored frame.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Autumn Basket - Mill Hill Cross-Stitch Kit


It's getting to be one of my favorite seasons of the year, the Fall, and I'm happily cross-stitching more shadowbox pictures to decorate one of my fireplace mantles.  If you're a reader of my Linda's Blog you know I'm drawn to the beautiful bright colors of the Fall.  When I saw the Mill Fill "Autumn Basket" cross-stitch kit I knew I would buy it.

The Autumn Basket #MH14-3203 pattern uses full cross-stitch 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 for emphasis and depth as well.

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 square design.

I had learned from previous mistakes that I needed to draw diagonal lines to locate the exact center of the perforated paper as in previous perforated paper cross-stitch picture I have done the picture was slightly off center by a few holes which caused a problem with inserting the needles in the holes along one of the edges of my frame. So, I lightly drew a diagonal line across each corner with a pencil to get the center point of the perforated paper.

If you look at the suggested picture below and my finished picture above you'll notice that I have one extra line under the basket in my finished picture.  I decided to stitch around the border before stitching the basket and flowers.  As I was stitching the rust colored section of the square border and was coming around to meet the left hand side I discovered  I had accidentally added an extra stitch to the right hand side of the border.  My sides weren't matching.  I had an extra stitch - YIKES!  There was no way I was going to rip out all the stitching I had done so I opted instead to add a line at the bottom of the basket.  As it turns out the extra line actually makes the basket stand out a little better.  At least I think so.  Phew!

A lot of the cross-stitch 5.25" by 5.25" pictures I have made were finished in small 6 1/2" by 6 1/2" shadowbox frames with 5" by 5" openings that I had gotten at Michaels when they went on sale one year.  I used up all the shadowbox frames I had gotten that year and have been looking for them ever since and haven't found them again.

So, I decided to buy some 8" by 8" hand painted wood frames that Mill Hill created for their cross-stitch pictures.  This frame is bare bones.  There's no glass or plastic cover and there's nothing on the back to hold the picture into the frame.  They do, however, provide a thin 6" by 6" cardboard back and wood dowel for inserting in the holes in the back to allow for the frame to stand on it's own.  Of course, if you're going to hang this on the wall you'd just add a picture hanger to the back.

The directions did not include any instruction for finishing the back.  I decided to finish mine with 1/4" thick self sticking art needle-craft mounting foam.  I used an 8" by 10" by Pres-On sheet that I cut 6" by 6"with an X-acto knife to fit my picture.  Since the depth of the back of the frame for inserting the picture is 1/4" deep the 1/4" foam was a perfect fit for inserting it as well as the cardboard backing that came with the frame.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

My Snow Globe Cross-stitch KIt



I love snow-globes and have several of my own that I take out and display during the Christmas holiday season.  So, when I saw the Snow Globe Mill Hill #MH14-1734 cross-stitch kit I wasn't surprised that I was drawn to.  Snow globe, cross-stitch - what's not to love!

The Snow Globe Mill Hill #MH14-1734 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 light blue 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.

I had learned from previous mistakes that I needed to draw diagonal lines to locate the exact center of the perforated paper as in previous perforated paper cross-stitch picture I have done the picture was slightly off center by a few holes which caused a problem with inserting the needles in the holes along one of the edges of my frame. So, I lightly drew a diagonal line across each corner with a pencil to get the center point of the perforated paper.

A lot of the cross-stitch 5.25" by 5.25" pictures I have made were finished in small 6 1/2" by 6 1/2" shadowbox frames with 5" by 5" openings that I had gotten at Michaels when they went on sale one year.  I used up all the shadowbox frames I had gotten previously and have been looking for them ever since and hadn't been able to find that size again.

I did, however, find some 7" x 7" by 1 1/2" shadow  box frames with a 5 1/2" x 5 1/2" opening at Michaels last year and bought a few white ones and black ones when they were on sale.  I was hoping to use one of the white ones with this project.

The directions did not include any instruction for finishing the back.  I decided to finish mine with thin adhesive press-board paper.  I used an 8" by 10" Pres-On sheet that I cut 6" by 6"with kitchen scissors to fit my picture.  The shadow box came with a padded velvet sheet glued to the rigid back of the shadow box frame which was about 1/8" thick.  My cross-stitch picture glued to the thin adhesive press-board paper was about 1/8" thick so I knew this would be a good fit.

After adhering my cross-stitch picture to the 6" by 6" thin adhesive press-board paper I inserted it into the back of the frame and then inserted the 6" by 6" rigid back that came with the frame over it. The shadow box frame came with 8 metal clips to hold the rigid back inside the frame which I secured.  The press-board fit perfectly and was the right depth for the shadow box frame.

The pattern called for a blue colored wooden frame and for the border of the perforated paper to be left untouched like the picture shown below: