Saturday, January 22, 2011

Potter Time Again!

Greetings Witches, Wizards and Muggles alike!
I'm really excited to share something with you guys today, this was something I made my niece, Alex for Christmas, and I'm really pleased with the final result. I think it's magical (harr harr)!

I should probably first state that while cross stitch isn't my forte, I do like it, and have some other things in mind, I don't think it's my strong point, but practice makes perfect, so I'll keep at it. I've definitely made some mistakes with this piece, but I'm not going to point them out, heehee.

I LOVED this pattern that I found in Kristy Kizee's Etsy shop, Bombastitch, and decided this is what I was going to make for Alex.

Ok, so this is about where we left off...

And here we are, finished!!

Oh, but I wasn't done there, I had plans to frame this piece, which ended up being a wee bit of a challenge because of the long narrow shape, but! Where there's a will there's a way. I had to cut my own picture matting, and I think it turned out great!
Dark Mark!

I frayed the long edges a bit, then sewed the stitched piece to a black patterned fabric. It's not the fabric I'd originally purchased for this project, it was left over from another project, and I like it so much better. And it's fitting too, because that project I made for Ana, Alex's sister... I love a happy coincidence.
Before framing I layered the piece with batting, adding some dimension so as to not look so flat under the glass.

And did I tell you? I stitched this Dark Mark with Glow In The Dark Floss by DMC, and I'm really happy to say, this sucker glows really well. Unfortch, it's not that easy to photograph, but you can kind of see it here.


I sent this piece (carefully packed in bubble wrap) to Alex with a couple of other great Etsy finds too, and with permission of the shop owners, I get to share these with you guys as well!

You should know something about Alex, she's not a froo-froo girl. She's a tomboy, and a straight up nerd. And despite my deep love of delicate tea things and a passion for embroidery, so am I. It's easy to shop for her, because I get to pick things I like and I know she will too.

First I found this shirt by S&S Ink. I still get the giggles when I see it.
She loved it, naturally.

Super mega bonus here, people!! The gals at S&S Ink have offered a special for my readers (this is so cool, I've never done this kind of thing before!!) if you go to their shop and purchase anything, make sure to use the promo code: BLOG20 for a 20% discount!!!

I also found these amazing, custom made key chains on Etsy in Tesoro Jewelry's shop.

The front...

And an added surprise on the back...

I absolutely adore these key chains, I think they're so terrific, I ordered two!

I'm pleased to say that Alex freaked out when she opened her box, she told me that she couldn't wait to get back to the barracks, so she opened it in the parking lot at the post office. She said she actually squealed (loud enough to garner the attention of passersby) when she unwrapped the stitched piece, and if you knew Alex, you'd know... that's pretty major. She loved the key chain & t-shirt too. Yay!

I'll be honest, I was feeling pretty pleased with myself when she told me about her uncontrolled squealing. That's one of the things I love so much about handmade. It's always nice when you give someone a gift that they really like, but when it's something you made yourself, there's a deep satisfaction which is almost like a gift to yourself. You guys know what I mean, right?

I have a bunch more stitching to get to this weekend, but as I write these words, the sun has come out from hiding and I have the day off, which only means one thing... it's time to get my Vespa out of the garage and go for a ride! Seems like it's been forever since the last time, and I got some new winter riding gloves this week that I'm dying to try out! No more frozen fingers for me!

Hope you are all having a great weekend!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Doodle Stitch Along

Howdy Y'all!

Remember a lil bit ago when I mentioned that I received Doodle Stitching, The Motif Collection for Christmas and how much I loved it? Well, imagine my delight when the author Aimee Ray (who's blog, Little Dear Tracks, I love!) was going to host a Stitch Along using some of the designs from The Motif Collection!

Yes indeedy! And she's using on of my favorite set of motifs from the book, the Woodland Fairy Tale set, yay!! I love this one, it's full of mushrooms, gnomes, unicorns and even a cute little cottage. Adorable, really. The stitch along is every Friday for four weeks and started last week, you can see the Week #1 post here.

This is my stitch up for Week #1, Gnome & Mushroom
I love the colors Aimee has chosen for her doodles, so I've decided to use the same colors (saves me the trouble of choosing colors myself too, heehee!)

I used the stem stitch a lot on this little piece and I'm really happy with how it came out, sometimes I struggle getting the stem stitch to look right.

Aimee has set up a Flickr group where everyone who's participating can add their photos and share their stitchy goodness, it's really neat to see how everyone uses the same pattern and gets a really unique result. You can see the Flickr group here.

Yesterday was Week #2, here's the stitch up we'll be doing this week. I'll be working on this cute duo tomorrow, because tonight, it's BUNCO time!!

There are two more weeks after this one in the Doodle Stitch Along.  At the end of the 4 weeks we're going to stitch these little beauties together into a mini quilt! I'm excited about that, it's the blend of two things that I love, embroidery and a new (still burgeoning) love for quilting! I hope you'll check out the links and maybe stitch along yourself!

Hope you're having a great weekend, lovies!

Monday, January 10, 2011

I Want My Two Dala$

Bwahahaha! Oh, I just crack me up...

Are you thinking I've lost my mind? Well... you might be right, but still. Ok, I don't know why, but this just struck me as so dang funny that I had to stitch it out. It's a play on words of course, from one of my favorite movies. I love those corny 80's movies, especially anything with John Cusack (hello... Say Anything!).

Here are a few of my favorite scenes which capture some of the obsurdity of this movie...

Somehow I tied "dollars" and "Dalas" together and viola, silliness ensues!

Anywhoo... I've got a few more of these floating around my head so you may see some more madcap stitching in the future, hope you don't mind. I've warned you... I'm a goofball.

Coming soon... Christmas gifts revealed!

p.s. Thank you friends for your kind words about my brothers dog, Sage. I can't tell you how much I appreciated them.

p.p.s. I know traditional Dala Horses don't have tails... now that's silly. So I added them. Artistic expression and all. Toodles!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Dogs, dogs, dogs...

Greetings friends, today I wanna chat about our four legged K-9 friends. All week things keep happening to remind me how incredibly special these critters are and how much they mean to each of us. I'm sure you're the same way, what's not to love, right? Right!

I had a great visit over the weekend with Jill & Haggie, they came down for lunch on Sunday and our "kids" got to meet for the first time. It was fun to watch them romp around the house. Lola & Haggie are going to have a great time running together at the dog park when the weather gets better. Butch... well, Butch is Butch. He's small and thinks he's people. He prefers sitting on the couch to playing with other dogs.  Unless it's tug-o-war. He loves tug-o-war, having a low center of gravity and all... here he is protecting his precious.

Such a good boy.
Later this week we did manage to get a walk in at the lake, complete with a massive multi-squirrel chase. I did remember the camera that day. Here are a few highlights of my gorgeous babies.
 She's happiest when she can zoom around, fast-fast!
 Silly, happy girl.
My Lola...
Then she heard a funny quacking sound coming from the reeds...
What's going on over there?
"Hey Butchie, come over and have a look with me!"

"What do you think is in there??"
"Oh... ducks... phooey."
We love going to the lake, it's one of our favorite things.

With a heavy heart I acknowledge another great dog tonight as well, one who went over the Rainbow Bridge this week, my brothers sweet, sweet "fat dog" Sage. Sage was 9 years old and a wonderful girl. She was best friend to my nephew, companion to my brother, protector to my sister-in-luv and climbing apparatus to my niece.
Sage will be missed immensely.
My heart breaks for Greg's family... I can't really bring myself to think about a time when my dogs won't be here. I'm getting that lump in my throat again...
I loved you too, sweet Sage. Be a good girl.

Oh gosh {big, shaky breath} moving on...

I have a cousin, her name is Liz (she's going to be very famous one day).
Liz loves her dog too.
A Pug named Mochi.
Hopping around the Internet like I do, I happened across a free pattern this week at Sublime Stitching. I decided right then and there that Liz *must* have it stitched up for her immediately. It's been that kind of week. Like I told Liz, sometimes when inspiration takes you, it's best to just put your other plans aside and go with it.

Here's what Liz will be getting in the mail tomorrow.
I love the eyes, so expressive.

Love on Liz & Mochi.

Dogs aren't our whole lives, but they make our lives whole. ~Roger Caras

And with that I simply ask that you give your pal a noogie, an extra treat and a smootch on the nose.
They'll love it and you'll feel better too.


Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! I hope that you all rang in the new year the way that you wanted to. For me it was chillin' on the couch with Ana & Sean watching a movie. So mellow we were almost comatose... seriously.

I'm excited to get to finally share with you guys the results of the Fabulous Mystery Giveaway! I wanted to make sure all the winners received their gifts before I posted about them. I'm no spoiler, I love a surprise!

My winners, just like snowflakes are each beautiful and unique! Taking my cue from mother nature I stitched up a trio of goodies for them (hopefully also beautiful & unique, teehee!). I used the new Snowflake pattern by Carina, I purchased it from her Etsy shop, Polka & Bloom. Carina is one of my favorite embroideresses, I love all the bright, vivid colors she chooses for her embroideries. I've been a big fan of hers since seeing her work in the Flickr Embroidery Pool.

I sent these snowflakes far and wide into the world. From the bright lights of Hollywood, California to the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina, to the distant hills and valleys of Zoran, Israel. It tickles me pink that little bits of me are now with my friends, new and old so very far from my little northern California town.

Here is the trio all together...

For Kamisha in North Carolina...

The grand prize... a new mug, some StoryTime Cocoa and some sweet sticks.

For Keren, in Israel...

For Melissa, my dear friend in Hollywoooood...

 Sweet Sticks for these sweeties, too!

What's a Sweet Stick?
Those little yummies over there, from Trader Joes. I'm addicted.

Thanks again for playing along everyone, and welcome to my new friends, too!! I see you followin' over there, and I've already stalked visited your blogs too!

I loved having this little giveaway, I'll have to think of some new reasons to have another one in this new year!

Cheers everyone!