Friday, July 29, 2011

Some Old and Some New

I know what you are thinking. Mary, we know you were off on Wednesday but we didn't hear from you. You better have been working on some good stuff to show us. LOL. Well, yes and no. I had some orders for my star pillows I showed you in my last post. So, first thing in the morning I got up mixed up some coffee stain and stained up some fabric to get moving on the orders. THEN, I made my own coffee to actually drink. Then I got busy on some other fun things.

I have been thinking about doing some felt look alike of wool penny type mats. I can't afford wool, and don't seem to find much at the thrift store, and since I have a ton of felt I figured I'd try one. I showed you my blanket stitch tutorial so I was armed and ready to try. I actually only got them cut out. You will be happy to hear I actually used one of the many books that I have bought at the thrift store to make these. So if I sell at least one of my mats my book is paid for :) See how I justify my purchases? LOL. Anyway, I took them to work with me yesterday and only finished one.

This one is just a practice. I needed to figure out how to do the corners and stuff. But still not bad to put under a candle.

Here's the other one waiting to be stitched...

I think I'd like to do a brown and red or orange for fall too.

I also did what I said I would do. I sat down and reread my directions to finish my hooked rug mat. The directions I had stunk royally. It did not explain how to go around a corner so I improvised. Let me just say this is best left to the professionals. LOL. And I am not one of them. LOL. My corners don't match, but I guess not bad for my first one. You all know me I'll try most things once. I really do like the hooking part just not so much the finishing. BUT it's done. One more thing crossed off my list of UFOs.

My sister has gotten the thrift store bug. She goes a lot more often than I do now. LOL. The good thing is she knows my style. Whenever she sees something good she'll snap a picture and send it to my phone and ask if I want it. Well, she found a really awesome thing not to long ago.

It is on photograph type paper. I need to see if I can get another sleeve thing for it because my sister had a candle next to it in the bag and the candle melted a bit. Guess how much she paid. Are you sitting down???? $.49. Seriously!!!! It is so cool.

I think I have some other things I've gotten that I haven't shown you so I'll walk around today and take some pictures to show you next week. I am off until Monday. Woohoo!!!! Steve wants to go to the Hartville Flea Market tomorrow, but my sciatica decided to kick into high gear yesterday while I was at work. I am having trouble walking and sitting. But I may muster up the strength to go. My son wants to go to the Kidron Flea Market tomorrow too. LOL. He says you can get lots of cheap stuff there and you can "juke" people down on their price. LOL. Another funny story before I go. There is a person who is moving a couple duplexes down from us. When my son's Dad brought him home today his Dad spied a rocking chair in the trash. After he dropped off my son he stopped and picked it up and took it home. My son proceeds to tell me it was my fault because I pick stuff out of the trash and now his Dad does. LOL. SERIOUSLY... my son blamed me. He was laughing the whole time he told me the story.

Alright so I need to get something done today other than sitting around. My 24 hour shift turned into 26 hours today. I'm burning day light hours. LOL. Plus if I don't I won't have anything to show you next week. :)

OHHHHHHH... and thank you to all my Facebook friends who take the time to send me messages. I just LOVE to get them. It is very interesting finding out where some of you live. Some of you live very close to me which is very awesome! It is so much fun interacting with you like we are carrying on a personal conversation. I may be planning a shopping trip to Berlin in August to celebrate the kids going back to school. I'll keep you posted... It's looking like it may be the week of the 22nd if any of you would like to meet up with me.
Pin It

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

What I'm Working On

Even though I've been working a lot I have managed to get some things done. You all know I've been stitching, but I've also done some sewing. I am hoping to do some more sewing here within the next few weeks as I start to make some fall items. I know I'm behind a season because that should have already been out. But that's the beauty of my own booth. Lol. I can be lazy and make things at my pace. I have a vacation coming up so I'd like to get a lot done even though we are going to make a few day trips here and there. We will see how that plays out. LOL.

Anyway, I have now completed another stitchery that I hope to chart this week like I said. This one is very near and dear to me. This one was done with my Grandmother in mind. I remember this lady always having some kind of sewing project going on. She was my Barbie's personal clothing maker. She would make all kinds of silky blue gowns, shirts, pants, you name it she made it. She also made me two tie quilts. I don't believe I've ever posted them so I will do that here in a few days. Anyway, both of them are Dresden plate with hand stitched pieces then appliqued to the background. Her pattern for the pieces was made from a piece of newspaper. My Mom still has the patterns. I also have a few braided rugs made by her. She would have this huge cardboard barrel sitting next to her chair with fabric scraps in it ready to be added to the already long braided piece. She even let me try my hand at it, but I think she probably took out the braided part I did. LOL. She also had the metal things that actually folded the fabric into thirds for her as she went. I haven't been able to find these little things anywhere. She also would babysit my sister and me every now and again. She would take us to the parking lot behind her house to pick "Queen's Anne's lace" flowers. We would then bring them inside and use food coloring in the water and like magic the flowers would change colors. I LOVED when we used blue. We would also witness my Grandmother using her spray bottle of water out the door when animals would come to the back door and she would yell "git." LOL. I also remember her favorite bird to be the cardinal. My Mom also likes the cardinal too so whenever I see something with the cardinal on it I buy it. This part has nothing to do with my stitchery, but I remember going to church with my Grandmother and her having "Chicklet" gum in her purse. And looking through her Bible that had a few pages that had some kind of coating on them that would stick and make a sound when you pulled them apart. So when I got bored I would go through and unstick the pages during church. LOL. Sadly, my Grandmother got brain cancer and passed away almost 16 years ago. She got to see my daughter and hold her after she was born and then passed away a few months later. Looking back I wished I would have realized how much I LOVED to work with my hands and have her teach me the things she knew. But I always wonder if my ability to craft came from her.

So here it is my Letha's Sampler. My Grandmother was actually born in 1911. Had she been born a hundred years earlier she would have been 11 in 1822. Obviously this pattern could be altered with another name instead of hers. The frame is at the glass shop getting glass as we speak. I will be charting maybe tomorrow or over the weekend.

Next, I bought some duck type cloth at the thrift store recently. Normally, I just bring the fabric home and add it to my already huge overflowing piles. Instead I actually used it. I coffee stained it and cut out some pillows. I then used paint to make the designs. These are for sale at $12 a piece plus shipping. The star one is sawdust filled and the other two are poly filled. I think they turned out great. The star and Primitive Keepings one are SOLD, but I am willing to take orders on them. Just email me which ones you would like and if you'd like sawdust or poly fil stuffing.

I also bought these cutter quilt pieces at the antique store awhile back. Well, they have been sitting around so I figured it was time to do something with them. I thought about framing them, but figured pillows would be better. So I used some of my vintage fabric fat quarters and backed them and stuffed them all. They will be so cute in a basket. I have a feeling these will be up for sale soon. I just don't have enough room for everything. I know this picture stinks but I took it at 5am this morning before I came to work.

So now I have nothing to work on. Ughhh... I know I need to finish up my wool hooked rug. The directions said something about zig zagging around the outside to keep the wool from coming out then folding and stitching again... blah blah blah... I just need to sit down and reread it and digest it. I'd like to get this finished up this week. I need to do something that will keep my hands busy. Otherwise, I pick and bite at my nails and cuticles when I sit down. Nervous Nilly I suppose. I am off tomorrow so I need to write down my list of things to accomplish and go from there. We'll just see what I get done. LOL.
Pin It

Monday, July 25, 2011

Happy Birthday and a Winner

Well, today we have a special day for two people here at the Homestead. The first, my son, turns 12 today. OK well not technically until tonight at 11:57pm. But since I'm a nice Mom I let him celebrate all day. LOL. He of course is my baby. He is officially a tween. He was my difficult baby. He decided he was going to have colic. uuuggghhh... We ended up having to feed him some really expensive formula at $25 a lbs. since his belly couldn't digest the cheap stuff. Then as he got older he wanted me or his Dad to lay with him while he fell asleep. Funny how we would always fall asleep first, but wake to the feeling of our eyelids being pried apart with two little fingers asking us if we were sleeping. LOL. Of course we had a hospitalization because of a darn rotovirus he caught. Yep that was fun cleaning up puke for an entire week before the doctor would do anything. He has tested my patience for years now LOL. But he is still my cuddler and always tells me he loves me still. AND he tells me I'm the best Mom in the whole wide world. OK I'm taking that as a compliment since I'm his only Mom and he has no one to compare it too. So don't rain on my parade. LOL. He came home the other day from the pool and told me about a girl who wanted to talk to him the whole time and swim with him while he was there. Then how she would push him in the pool while he was trying to get out. I asked him if he liked her and all I get was a shoulder shrug and a grin. (sigh) It's starting all ready. He will be in 7th grade this year. Wow!!!! His Dad also bought him a shot gun to hunt with for his birthday. That I'm terrified of but I have to let him grow up sometime. right? (This pic was taken at this Dad's house not mine LOL) Anyway, Happy Birthday Bailey!!!!

Next, my Giveaway closed yesterday. I had a lot more entries this time around. I assigned each of you a number in the order of your comments. I threw them in a bowl and had the birthday boy pick again.

Congratulations Annie of Scrappilachia!!!! Please email me your address so that I can send out your goodies. And thank you all for entering my Giveaway. The pattern is available for purchase on my left sidebar. Just email me and I can invoice you through Paypal. It is available as a PDF file so you can get quickly or I can mail you a copy which ever you prefer. I am close to having 400 followers and once I reach that I will have another giveaway.

I finished stitching my newest sampler and will be back tomorrow to show you. This one will also be charted and for sale hopefully by the weekend. This one is near and dear to my heart, but I will give the story tomorrow when I show you the finish. I'll also show you some other things I've been working on too. Last week was yet another busy work week. BUT I am almost to the point of being able to breathe in my budget. I am less than $3,000 away from being debt free from creditors. However, I still need to repay my parents when they bailed me out during the divorce. BUT at least they won't report me to the credit bureau. LOL.

Have a great day my friends!!!
Pin It

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Another Giveaway Chance

I had my first Giveaway drawing last week and Kriss from Kountry*Porch*Primitives won. However, Kriss is so awesome that she asked if I would redraw a winner since she was helping me with the cross stitch tutorial. How selfless is that? So, what I will do is give you another chance to win. If you enter my Giveaway of my first cross stitch pattern you will receive not only the pattern for free, but the cloth, and floss needed to complete the project. So.... in order to enter again please just leave a comment on this post only. You will have until July 24th to enter and the winner will be drawn on July 25th.

Oh and don't worry about Kriss she will be well taken care of by me :) I have other plans for her since she technically won a Giveaway! The best thing about all this is I actually got to talk to Kriss on the phone. She is so down to earth and extremely kind and generous too. It was my pleasure to talk with you Kriss.

Pin It

Monday, July 18, 2011

Left Handed Cross Stitch Tutorial

Hello everyone!!! Are you ready to hopefully learn to cross stitch? Now before I start I just want to say I am not a professional stitcher and what I may do is not the only way of cross stitching. The way I do it is what I've picked up along the way. My first experience with cross stitch was in 7th grade home ec. Too bad they don't do this anymore. I got a B on my project because I didn't follow directions and used different colors. Isn't that what life is about marching to the beat of a different drum? LOL. Anyway... if you are ready let's get started. If you click on any of the pictures they will enlarge so you can get a better view.

Alright my friends if you are right handed this may or may not work for you. If you'd prefer my friend Kriss of Kountry*Porch*Primitives is doing a right handed version of cross stitching please check her out.

I am posting a free pattern on the right side of my blog for you to stitch along with me. So go over click on it. It will take you to my Picturetrail. Once there right click the picture save it on your computer and then print. Or you can click here. Right click to save and then print. The supply list is here. I tried to get the legend to print on my pattern but no luck. The pattern is in color so you will be able to figure out what colors to use.

This is what our finished project will look like. Just a cute peg rack pillow hanger.

Alright do you have your pattern? Let's take a look at the pattern. At the bottom you would normally see the color legend of what each symbol corresponds with what color. With this pattern the you see color and a symbol. Now in most patterns each small square is one stitch or X. You may also see that there are a little darker lines running vertically and horizontally. Inside of each of these squares is ten small squares for ease of counting. This comes in handy when counting off borders.

For this project I am using 14 count aida cloth in beige. I didn't want to coffee stain it in the end so I choose I darker background. Remember this an 8 inch by 8 inch piece.

There are two ways to get started with any pattern. Sometimes the pattern will tell you to start in a certain place like in the upper left hand corner of the project so many inches from the top of the fabric. I personally always cross stitch from left to right. Lefties you may find this easier because you can see exactly where your stitch needs to go.

OR it won't tell you and you can start wherever you want. Depending on the pattern I will start in the middle on the stitchery for the most part. That way your stitchery is centered in the fabric.

If you are going to start in the middle take your fabric and fold it lengthwise.

Then fold it crosswise...

My pin is in the middle of the fabric or at least close enough. From there you work outward. Don't worry I will be revisiting this step a little later.

For this particular pattern I started with the border. The reason being I wanted to make sure I had told you the right amount of fabric. So I measured 1 inch down from the top and 1 inch from the side and that is where I started. In the end you will have a little fabric to cut off.

Ok in this pattern you will only use 2 strands of thread when you are cross stitching. To start on the border cut off about 18 inches of black floss. Pull two strands away from the six. Some people take one strand at a time then put the two back together to thread the needle. This will make your stitches lay flatter and better. Thread your needle...

Whenever you start you will bring your needle to the front from the back. Leave about a half inch "tail" on the back of the fabric. We do NOT tie knots in the floss. You will just stitch over them to secure the tail.

Now back to the front. This pattern was to little for me to use a hoop so I am just holding it with my hands. Anyway, Your needle was on the front. Being left handed like I say I work lower left to upper right for my first stitch.

On the back... this next stitch from back to front will tack down your tail. The next stitch you take will go in the next hole directly beside to the right where the tail is. Take you needle and push it through to the front.

Your back should now look like this. One stitch over the tail.

This is what the front will look like... the needle came up directly beside the first stitch.

The next step is up to you how you want to proceed. You can either...

A. complete the X and complete each X as you go...

So on and so forth... I find that my X's don't look good when I stitch this way. They aren't even.


B. just keep going until you come to the end of the line. There is no right or wrong way to do it. I prefer to keep going with the same stitch.

So I bet you are wondering how are we going to know how many stitches we've done without recounting them all? Well, every ten stitches I put a pin to keep my place. Remember when I told you that there are ten squares in between the heavier dark lines? Yep this is where they come in handy. And when you have 70 some stitches across I sure as heck don't want to keep recounting. LOL.

Alright my lefties.... since I can't use a hoop I have to hold it in my hand. For me this is the best way to keep the cloth a little taut and hold it at the same time with my right hand.

The top row is done stitching it from left to right. Now turn around and cross the Xs from bottom right to upper left all the way back.

If you are following me this is what the back should look like.

Darn it I'm at the end of my floss. To end it just take your needle back through you stitches to tie it off. Remember no knots!

Wait a minute did I say knot?!? Sheesh I got a knot in my thread. This does happen if every so often you don't let your threaded needle dangle to unwind. Obviously I didn't. These knots for the most part come out pretty easy.

Carefully grab the knot between your thumb and index finger and lightly pull on the knot. Most times they will pull right out. If not you may have to use your needle to get it out or sometimes tie off your thread and cut it off. YEP I've done that a few times. LOL.

I know before I told you when I go across I stitch all the way across. That is true. But when I have stitches that go straight down like a border I will make the complete X then go on to the next one. I still mark every ten stitches with my pins.

I finished all my border. See what I mean you will have a little extra to cut off in the end.

OK now what? The next step is up to you. If you want to count to get your middle or if you want refold (I choose this method) to find the middle of your borders. Fold vertically matching the borders then fold horizontally matching the borders. Mark it with a pin. Now go to your pattern. I printed mine without the center line markings, but yours has it. I use a pencil and draw a line straight down the middle and a straight line across to find my center square.

You all ready to start counting? This can get confusing, but let's try it. I decided I would start with the blue. So looking at your pattern find the blue symbol at the bottom of the pattern. Now if you look up to the figure there is a blue symbol close to our center mark. I always start at the top left of the beginning of a color. So in this case counting from the center going up is two squares. Then counting across to the symbol is two empty squares and on the third square start your stitch. I always count twice and use my needle to mark the square that I need to stitch in by putting the needle in the hole and moving it around a little to make the hole bigger. Again, you can count however you want just be consistent. Ok the first blue circle is done.

Now count either from that circle or the center point until you finish all the circles. I try to base my next circle on the previous circle when I count. Since I already had the blue out I also did the wing.

After the blue I figured the brown should be next. Not much counting around the feathers until you get to the straight parts. And then the head can be counted off the first feather.

Are you still with me???

GREAT!!!! Let's move on to the numbers. I always try to find the shortest way to count. That way I have less of a chance of counting wrong. So, I started at the bottom most feather above the 1 and started there. Once you have the first number count your next stitch from the 1 to the 8 so on and so forth until you finish.

We are almost there... The alphabet is a little more difficult to count. You could either count from the border or count from the bird. I started at the top most plume of the bird head and did the D first. Then I based everything off of that.

Woohoo you made it!!!!

You can finish it however you like. I chose not to coffee stain mine but you certainly could. I cut mine down so that there was 3/4 of an inch all the way around first. Then I cut a piece of blue fabric stitched it together stuffed it with sawdust and made a hanging pillow tuck.

I hope you had fun and maybe learned a little today. If you get stuck please email either me or Kriss and we can talk you through it. :-)
Pin It

Friday, July 15, 2011

Giveaway Winner and an Update

As all of you remember I was having a Giveaway for the release of my first cross stitch pattern. Yesterday was the last day to enter. So as of this morning I had 18 entries. Thank you to all who entered! Each of you who entered was assigned a number 1-18 according to your comment number. So....

Here you all are in my lucky bowl with my son picking the winner...

And the winner is.... Kriss from Kountry Porch Primitives...

Kriss will win not only the pattern, but the supplies needed to make my sampler. Congratulations Kriss!!!


I was going to post my cross stitch tutorial today, but I am not quite ready. I just finished stitching it today. I still need to put the tutorial together. I will have it post Monday morning 8am sharp. Kriss needed a little extra time also for you right handed friends. But I will tell you what you will need to be ready for the tutorial come Monday.


an 8 inch by 8 inch piece of 14 count aida cloth. (I am using beige for the example)

DMC cotton thread (These are the ones I am using but you are welcome to use whatever you have on hand.)

Red #3777
Brown #838
Black #310
Blue #413


Needle regular or tapestry

This one is a bit small for a hoop, but if you have one that might fit then feel free to use it.

Thanks again everyone and have a great weekend. I will "talk " to you on Monday.
Pin It