Friday, February 25, 2011

List Twenty Four: Winter Essentials

Have you seen the winter issue of 3191 Quarterly?  If you haven't I encourage you to get yourself a copy, a whole year's subscription if you can swing it they are all wonderful!  Stephanie and MAV share a list of their winter essentials and it inspired me to think of my own.

  1. Yarn, thread, fabric.  Must have something working in my hands to keep them warm.
  2. Tea.  A warm cup of tea to warm my insides.  I love also just sitting the cup against my chest and breathing in the steam and aromas of the tea.
  3. Learning a new skill.  I realize each winter for the past three years I've taken a class of one sort or another.  First, international ethics for my bachelor's degree, beginning quilting, and this year the art of knitting!
  4. Netflix.  Ahh netflix, what would we do without you?
  5. Reading materials.  A book, a magazine, and a warm blanket to cuddle up with in the mornings on the couch or in bed during the dark evenings.
  6. Pink Fuzzy Socks.  They keep my toes warm and toasty.  Hopefully next year I'll have a pair of homemade knit ones!
What are your winter essentials?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My Creative Space: Yarn and Classical Music

My wonderful husband helped me ball this yarn last night.  We sat on the living room couch taking turns balling or holding the yarn.  Classical music filled with quite evening as we wound and wound and wound the yarn. 

We made it this far when there was a little snag in the yarn.  Both of us were too tired to try and figure it out so it's sitting on the dining room table waiting to be wound some more!

  • Beautiful laceweight silk/yak yarn from here.  Super speedy delivery by the way!
  • There is another beautiful skein waiting to be balled and then I'll begin making this shawl.  Wish me luck, this is first thing I've tried making using laceweight yarn and following such a pattern.
  • Check out other creative spaces here!
(Please ignore the graininess of the photos, bad lighting and iPhone, you understand. Also don't mind that water stain on the dining room table either.  Note to self next time put a tablecloth down!)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Get out your wasted canvas ladies! --- EC Sew Along Month Three

The month of March is all about wasted canvas and those beautiful X's for the Embroidery Companion Sew Along.  Again you have a choice of a few different projects with various levels of extra finishing sewing required.  I certainly hope you'll join us.

First Option:  Blossom Napkins - minimal extra sewing required.  Quick, simple, beautiful!  I might make a couple more of these to add to my collection.  This time I might change up the colors of the blossom!

Second Option:  Meadowflower Tote - a medium amount of finishing sewing.  This is the one I'm going to be doing for sure.  It's begging to become a "project" tote for my latest crochet, knitting, or embroidery project.  Hopefully I can find a lovely calico like Alicia used here.  My favorite parts are the lace paired with the leather.  A fun little combo I think.  And make sure to read the intro into this project it just makes me giggle.

Third Option:  Monogram Album - a high amount of finishing sewing just to make sure the cover is snug around that album.  If you didn't want to do the album this little monogram would look lovely on a number of different items.  A hand towel perhaps?


For February's Giveaway:

I'll be giving away a copy of The Embroiderer's Handbook to one randomly chosen winner.  Leave a comment on the month two announcement posting with a link to your completed pillowcases.  If you completed both sets of pillowcases this month then you may have one entry per set equalling two entries into this month's giveaway.  A winner will be determined on Saturday March 5th.

Happy Stitching!

Tuesday's Treasures: Honey Pot

A new honey pot that reminds me of Winnie the Pooh, filled with local fireweed honey.

Add your link below if you're playing along this week!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

That Darn Padded Satin Stitch

That darn padded satin stitch kept taunting me saying,  "You can't make me look nearly as pretty as Alicia Paulson's beauties from the book.  You don't even know how to make a padded stitch.  You're going to ruin the pillowcases.  The iron on transfer is not going to come off now so what do you think you're going to do?"

After consulting the illustration and instructions in the back of Embroidery Companion three or four times along with the fabulous The Embroiderer's Handbook a few more.  I finally worked up the courage to...
 put pencil to paper.  Yes I first carefully drew the stitches onto the enlarged copy of template.  Practicing where I would carefully place each stitch.  Then I looked back at both books again and finally said, "Screw it!  I've never made a padded satin stitch before.  How can I expect it to look perfect?  This is just for fun and it looks like I have to do a LOT of padded satin stitches on this design so I'll be a pro by the end of it."  Carefully threaded the needle and took the first stitch.   

Please tell me I'm not the only one who hears stitches talking to me!

A copy of The Embroiderer's Handbook will be February's giveaway for being brave, staring down those darn padded satin stitches and completing those beautiful pillowcases.  Same rules as last time.  I'll fill you in on the deadline for entering the giveaway as we get closer to it.  I'll be back again this week to let you know March's project.

Also pop in to kootoyoo to check out other Creative Spaces!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tuesday's Treasures: Wedding Embroidered Pillowcases

I was rummaging through a box full of things from our wedding this weekend. The box is full of the old centerpieces, leftover napkins, my BIG three ring binder where I kept all the vendor information for our wedding, and other odds and ends. That stuff that I can't seem to quite let go of because it's from such a special day in my life. I was searching for a voice recorder that Patrick and given me I didn't find it in there but I did come across these beautiful embroidered pillowcases. They were a wedding gift from Beverly, a close friend of my extended family. 
The joke with Beverly is that she was considered the forgotten sister/daughter that lived under the stairs at my grandma's house.  She would always pop in for family gatherings and liven up the party!  I have to admit when I received these I thought they were pretty but selfishly thought they didn't go with any of my bedroom linens.  So I stuffed them back in the gift bag and into the wedding box and forgot about them.  I did not appreciate the amount of love and attention that must have gone into these lovely pillowcases.  Now that I've taken my own hand to making some embroidered pieces I realize the effort these must have taken.  Thank you Beverly!  They've been put on my bedroom pillows and you know what they look splendid!    

Not only did she embroider the pillowcases but the wedding card as well!  Isn't it one of the most beautiful wedding cards you've ever seen?

Feel free to pop in and add you link to your treasure!

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend and a sweetheart filled Valentines!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Crocheted Dishcloths

Sherry asked if I would share the pattern for the crocheted dishcloth I made for the giveaway.  Of course I'm happy to share!  But it got me to thinking about another dishcloth I made for my sister-in-law for Christmas.  My husband's family had agreed not to exchange gifts for Christmas last year but this little blue guy above was already on my hook for her.  She and my mother-in-law were the ones to show my how to crochet last Christmas!  I felt a little silly just handing over a dishcloth and nothing else so I gave her the little dishcloth pattern book as well. 

Dishcloths by the Dozen was picked up on a whim while walking through Jo Ann one afternoon.  On thinking of making something for the sew along giveaway I immediately thought of this pattern first.  It had been so fun and easy to hook.  Sadly when I returned to Jo Ann to find a second copy none could be found.  
But I spotted this wonderful book instead, Big Book of Dishcloths, Pot Holders, & Scrubbies.  It was a bit more expensive then Dishcloths by the Dozen but had three times as many patterns including pot holders and scrubbies!  The granny square dishcloth was designed by Katherine Eng and was really very easy to follow.  I haven't tried any other patterns in this book yet but would like to try a few others.  Oh my project list just gets longer and longer!!!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tuesday's Teasures: Angel Wings

These angel wings were given to me as a gift from my dearest friend Liz some years back.  She painted them herself!  I feel so blessed to have a few of her works in my home.  The angel wings are one of my favorites, although it's hard to have a favorite. 

In each place I've lived the angel wings have been one of the first pieces of art to adorn the walls.  I stock out the place to find just the right spot for them.  The angel wings are not out in the public spaces for everyone to see.  They rest instead on a small space of wall between our two closets in our master bedroom. 

Put your link below if you're joining in this week!                                           

Monday, February 7, 2011

Embroidery Companion Sew Along Month One Winner!

Hello Lovelies,

We have internet connection back here finally.  Sorry I wasn't able to get into this space to announce the giveaway winner for the Sew Along.  But as only one person entered it shouldn't be too much of a surprise as to who won! 
Andrea, prairieknitter01, is the winner for the January Days of the Week Dishtowel challenge.  I love how Andrea set the designs in the corner of the dishtowels.  This helps them to hang so lovely.  Another beautiful touch is how she used different colored thread for each day, giving a rainbow effect to the week!  Beautiful work Andrea!  Thank you for participating this month. 

Andrea be contacting you shortly via email so I can send you your prize, a little crocheted dishcloth.  I know a few of you got started and weren't able to finish up the dishtowels before the month was up. No worries, things have to happen in there own natural time. Join us when you can. And please don't hesitate to tell me if you feel like we need to take more time on a project. I'm happy to accommodate!

Daisy kept sitting in front of the stove as I was taking this photo just begging to have her picture taken.  Isn't she cute!  As you can see my dishtowels are getting used already.  Hope yours are too!

How are the pillowcases coming?  Truth be told the sewing goddess has not come out yet.  No work has been done toward the pillowcases nor the Men's Shirt Sew Along.  The Men's Shirt Sew Along might have to wait until another month because I have a few too many other projects up my sleeve as well.

Be back tomorrow with a Tuesday's Treasure.