Done!

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I’m so excited to finally have this sugar skull finished. Things had gotten so busy that I was unable to work on it for quite a while. And then one day the internet went out and I couldn’t work, so I decided to sit down and stitch for a while. The next morning the internet was still out, so I was able to finish this guy. And then I even got right into a free cover kit that had come with the latest issue of World of Cross Stitching. It was sitting on the coffee table and was so cute, I couldn’t resist jumping in. That little hedgehog card should be finished up in one more stitching session.

For the sugar skull, I think I will try to find a wooden frame that I can paint in a bright, bold color that matches one of the colors in the design. I think I would want to do it lime green, actually!

This was a fun and quick design (when I actually had time to sit down and stitch!) and can be found in the 2016 Halloween special issue of Just Cross Stitch magazine. It was actually charted to be solid black, but I used colors of DMC Color Variations that I hand picked. You can purchase the magazine here: crossstitchers.com

XXX
Carrie



Just Cross Stitch Halloween 2017

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I just received an email from my sales rep at Annie’s, letting me know the 2017 issue of Just Cross Stitch Halloween will be out soon. So far only the cover photo has been released:

2017halloween

As soon as I receive more photos I will post them here. Hearing this news, I decided to get out my copy of the 2016 issue and take a look at it again. When it came out, I had other things going on so I didn’t do much more than glance at it. Now, looking through it again, I found a project I really MUST stitch! It is a sugar skull and was designed by Breanne Jackson.

sugarskull

As soon as I saw this design, I knew exactly what fabric I wanted to use. I have had a piece of Aida in my stash for a few years, not knowing what it should be used for. It is a gorgeous lime green, and it needed just the right project. Now I just needed to find the prefect floss for it. The pattern calls for all black, but that’s not my style. I love colors! I got out my bin of silk floss and found something perfect. It’s called Ada’s Rainbow and it is from Gloriana. I have only used silk one other time, and never on Aida, so this should be interesting.

greenaida

I think the bright colors will really pop on this fabric, and I think they would make a wonderful sugar skull. I can’t wait to get started, but I am feeling guilty about all of the projects I have lined up. There’s the red haired mermaid, the bright butterflies, the primitive pincushions, and of course at least a dozen Egyptian designs. It’s already been a month since I received the magazine that had the mermaid in it, and I have made very little progress on my pyramids. Oh, why can’t there be more hours in the day?

XXX
Carrie


A Nice Find

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frames2Today our church was having a yard sale and I found what I have been looking for for months: square picture frames. There was a set of 4 wooden frames, painted brown, all with some pretty old needlework pieces inside. The yarn in hues of oranges, yellows, and greens make me think they were circa 1960. The needlepoint was actually coming undone from the frames, because they had been attached with masking tape, which had long since lost its stick.

The ugly stitched pieces
The ugly stitched pieces

I will be throwing away the stitched pieces (sorry, whomever stitched these!) and repainting the frames. I got out my box of finished pieces and found 6 items that all needed a square frame of this exact same size. So I picked out 4 of them and can’t wait to get painting and framing! 3 of the pieces are Halloween themed, and the other is a pink heart. I think I might paint the Halloween frames all the same, even though the patterns are all from different designers and the fabrics are different colors. I better get going on that, since September is just around the corner!

XXX
Carrie



Halloween Hedgehog – Finished!

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hedgehog4The whole family has been sick lately, and my daughter was home sick from school today. I wasn’t feeling well either, so I managed to get this hedgehog done while on the couch with her, watching episode after episode of  The Magic Schoolbus and Curious George.

The backstitch on the web and hedgehog were hard to follow, because they didn’t follow any kind of path. But I’m happy with the finished result. Happy Halloween!

*Cough*Sneeze*
Carrie


Halloween Hedgehog

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I started this hedgehog Halloween project several weeks ago but lost interest. After finishing my punch needle project, I decided to work on it again and it is finally starting to take shape. The design is by Rhona Norrie and was in issue 207 of The World of Cross Stitch magazine.

hedgehog2

I absolutely adore hedgehogs. I will probably never get to see one in real life, so cross stitching them will have to do!

XXX
Carrie


Just Cross Stitch 2013 Special Christmas Issue

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2013ornamentsThe 2013 special issue of Just Cross Stitch Christmas Ornaments is out! I know, it’s only September. But I am excited to get some Christmas stitching done. I would like to stitch an ornament for each of my son’s 4th grade teachers this year (he has two; one for reading and writing and one for math and science). I love the Be Jolly Santa from Angel Stitchin and the Snowman from Needle Bling Designs. Both are featured on the cover. They look like fun and quick projects.

I don’t have this issue in stock yet but it should arrive next week. The price is $9.99 and it features 76 projects, on 115 pages. But for now I have my subscription copy and can get stitching. Well, after the two Halloween projects I have on my to-do list, that is! Tonight the kids will spend the night at grandma’s house which is a treat for them but for me as well. I can go to bed whenever I want, which means I get some STITCHING TIME! I know exactly what I am going to work on – a hedgehog Halloween design by Margaret Sherry. I just can’t get enough of her cute little hedgehogs. The design is from the current issue of World of Cross Stitch.

XXX
Carrie



Trick or Treat

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My newest project is coming along nicely. I love working on small projects! I should have been doing this for the last few years instead of trying to tackle larger ones. It is so easy to pick up a project like this even if you only have two or three minutes to stitch at a time, which is often the case for me.

XXX
Carrie


Second Halloween Project

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The next project I am stitching from the JCS Halloween Special is called Trick Or Treat, by Barb Cooley of Plum Pudding NeedleArt. This is a small design which is stitched using only DMC floss, so it should be quick and easy. I really like when designers stick with basic supplies for their projects. So many designers nowadays are using overdyed threads which, while creating an interesting effect, can be costly. Many of the designs in JCS magazine in the last couple of years use Weeks Dye Works, Crescent Colors, Gloriana Silks, Gentle Art Sampler Threads, and The Thread Gatherer Silks, along with custom dyed fabric from Polstitches. Being a shop owner, I know that many stitchers cannot afford these items, and some simply don’t want to try using them. So I am glad to see some designers sticking with the basics, like in this design.

Another thing that bothers me about the designers who use primarily overdyed floss is that if you look at the charts themselves, they are extremely simply. Designers who use only DMC floss need to be able to create charts that are full of shadowing and movement. When using overdyed or variegated floss, the design can be very simple because the floss does the work for the designer. A snowman no longer has to have different colors of white in him to create depth. Flowers are the same way – one color of pink overdyed floss gives enough shading to eliminate the work of figuring out what DMC colors to use and where the shadows need to go. I am amazed at some of the designs that the magazines publish; they look like a 5 year old created them. This seems to be strictly an American thing; the British magazines generally use DMC or Anchor floss and either Aida or linen (sometimes dyed, but often not). The stitcher is not required to drop an entire paycheck to pay for threads, and the designers are actual artists who know how to create heirloom charts. I will stitch what I can out of this Halloween issue and the Christmas one that will soon arrive. But I am hoping that in the future the designs get back to “normal”.

XXX
Carrie


First Halloween Finish

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Here is the first project I have completed from the new Just Cross Stitch Halloween special. It is still wrinkled… I will have to iron and finish it when I have the time.

I like the color variation in the Weeks Dye Works floss but I will not use pearl cotton on linen again. The cotton was just too thick for this fine of a fabric. If only I had the entire line of WDW embroidery floss… Oh well, a girl can dream, can’t she?

XXX
Carrie



Halloween WIP

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Here is my progress on Lizzie*Kate’s chart from the new Halloween special issue of Just Cross Stitch.

The pattern calls for Weeks Dye Works floss, which I don’t have. I do, however, have a huge assortment of WDW pearl cotton #5. I can’t recall where it came from, and I have never used it before. I had the colors needed so I decided to give it a try. Not a good idea. At least, not with the fabric I picked out, which I believe is 30 count. This type of cotton is just too thick to be used on such a small count of linen, even over two. I am going to keep with it, but it is hard to stitch with. It almost looks like I have created all of the stitches using french knots.

XXX
Carrie


Halloween Stitching

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The new Just Cross Stitch Halloween 2013 Special Collector’s Issue is out! This magazine is jam packed full of fun and spooky charts.

Normally I don’t decorate much for Halloween, nor do I do much Halloween stitching. It’s not that I don’t like Halloween, I just don’t have time. Hopefully once the kids get a bit older I will have time to go all out. I do have loads of autumn decorations packed away. I found have several things I really want to stitch from this magazine. I think shipping orders lately has gotten me in the mood for this time of year. Lately I have had to ship a lot of floss orders, and I can kind of guess what projects people have planned based on what they buy. Lately it has been lots of greys, browns, and oranges.

Flipping through this issue, I think it is about time to start a new project that will be really fast to stitch. I never did get to start on my Egyptian project; we were away for 6 weeks this summer and I did not do ANY stitching! Shocking, I know! But the lighting wasn’t the greatest and I didn’t have my stitching “spot” like I do at home. So I did lots of reading instead. I still have the Egyptian project ready to go, but I think for now I will do a few quickies. First up will be Double Double by Lizzie*Kate. I have never stitched a Lizzie*Kate design before (I know, another shocker! Who hasn’t stitched anything Lizzie*Kate before?!) I could actually finish it this weekend if the kids give me some time to myself. There’s also a great Edgar Allen Poe chart that features the verse “Once upon a midnight dreary” and a pictuer of a cemetery complete with Lenore’s grave and, of course, a raven. But it is a huge project so will have to be moved to my “some day” list. I also like Silver Creek Samplers’ Happy Halloween design and a great project from Ink Circles (a mandala design, of course!)  Another quickie would be the Goody Trask 1692 design which is sort of a primitve sampler, but pretty simple and fast to stitch. I’ve read The Crucible many times and love anything to do with the Salem Witch Trials. Elizabeth Talledo has a one-color design in the magazine, and I would love to stitch it, as all of her designs are so interesting. And lastly, there is a really neat design that utilizes an Altoids tin to make a little keepsake box. The stitching covers not only the outside but the inside as well. I better get stitching!

XXX
Carrie



October’s Harvest

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This project was so much fun to stitch, and worked up quite quickly. The design is from Blackbird Designs and I chose to stitch it on 28 count Apple Brown Bindy.  Only one color of floss is used, DMC color variations 4126. The colors are so much better in real life than in the photo. The original design called for a fabric and floss that I didn’t have on hand, so I improvised. My initials (CP) are in the lower right corner and the year (2012) in the lower left. The chart was dated 2001, and no other numbers were given, but luckily I was able to change it easily. I am glad I didn’t attempt this one in 2013, as that would have required charting the number 3 myself! Unfortunately this didn’t get framed in time for display this year.

Carrie