About Me

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I love anything creative...I am a busy mom of three (+4 dogs, 1 bird, 1 bunny, and 1 sweet husband) who sometimes wishes I had more time/energy/talent to devote to just being creative!

Monday, October 9, 2017

I have sooooo much to show you!

While I haven't been a busy blogger, I have been a very busy stitcher! So I have lots to share. Our Fall season has been super-busy but super fun! We have been doing lots of weekend trips out of town to enjoy the cooler weather and fall colors up north. But lets get to the stitching first. Above is "Spirits & Spells" a With Thy Needle and Thread pattern. I hand-dyed this linen, and I used little gold beads for the buttons on her collar, and did french knots for the owl's eyes. This is such a cute design. I did change the color of the leaves to CC "Pea Pod" it had a lot more variegation than I expected, but I love the pea-soup color. 
 And I have continued stitching on the word-play series by Country Stitches. I have now finished July/August, and half of September. Here is October mostly finished. I don't like the blank spot to the right of the witch and am thinking of stitching another crow to fill it in. I do love the tiny little witch though. Calvin (my toddler) has taken to calling witches "shadows" this year. I don't know where he got that from, but I kind of like it.

Another tiny finish. A Lizzie Kate pattern out of a JCS Halloween issue. I changed the colors of the lettering, and like how I did alternating colors in the top letters.

And here is some of my Halloween decor at home. The bat is a LK pattern "Velcome", an oldie but a goodie. The bat himself is literally made out of felt and pipe cleaners (my crafting skills have gotten better I swear!) but I still love him. The basket on the table is new this year, a little spiderweb bowl from Kohls for holding all my little ornaments. 

 And this is our fall/Halloween table. I found the candle tray at Hobby Lobby. I was going to fill the bottom with little skulls or eyeballs but kind of like the little rat peaking out from under the leaves.
 And my kitchen seasonal wall. In the middle is my Mirabilia "Trick or Treat Fairy", on the right is a Barbara Ana "Halloween Stack", and then lots of little stitched ornaments. I'll have to do a close up tour during the day when I can get some better pictures.
 Here is my bedroom dresser with all of my Jim Shore witches up safe and out of reach. The little goat on the right hand side is new this year, and he is so cute and primitive. His little beard is real wool. I have to laugh though about my toddler, he begged to hold the goat and I told him no knowing he would rip the wool right off his chin. So as I am leaving the bedroom I hear sweet little toddler turn to dad and ask him to get his stuffed animal (the goat) down off the dresser- hoping dad would assume it was just another toy and give it to him. Can't beat kids and their sneakiness sometimes.

And i'll finish with some cute photos of said toddler. This was a weekend trip up towards Flagstaff. We went to the Grand Canyon Deer Farm. They let the deer roam free, and they will eat right out of your hand. Below is him trying on Halloween costumes in Target, if you can't tell he is doing a chicken dance while wearing a flamingo hat!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Back from summer vacation

Yikes, I haven't posted since June! Summer has been busy this year, and I am looking forward to the routine of the school year.  We spent summer at the beach and Disneyland and in our pool. Of course our air conditioning had to give out for three days in the middle of July which was no fun to suffer through but we survived. Obviously from my stitching choices I am also looking forward to Autumn, and fall decorating. Above is a Bent Creek WIP, Autumn Snapperland. When I started this I only had the squares and the barn done, so I have made some good progress already. Still trying to whittle away at my WIP basket. 

Kathleen sent me this project bag as a thank you for sending her some charts from my stash unload. It is so cute, it has pink gingham fabric on the inside, and then the little pink fairies on the outside. I am already using it to take my stitching back and forth to work with me. I may have to watch some of the tutorials to figure out how to make more of these for myself. Until now I have just been using gallon Ziploc bags. 

More of my Wordplay Charts. I started on September (photo below) but of course was itching to start on October. So I have been working on them both at the same time. You can see which one has gotten more attention, ha! I love the little witch and pumpkins and crows. 

What I've been reading this month: Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan. I cannot say enough how good this book was. It is about WWII in Italy, I did not know much about this part of history when I started the book. The narrator is a driver for a Nazi general stationed in Italy. The general started his career as an engineer, and is in charge of supply and ammunition. His character was interesting in that he did not support most of the atrocities of the Nazi party  and he had the mindset that if they were going to win the war the countries they conquered shouldn't be left hating them. Some of the book is of course very sad, but it was a very good story with great characters and is based off of a true story. Highly recommend it.

What I've been watching this month: The Girl With All the Gifts. This is a British zombie movie that just came out last year. I don't remember seeing it in theaters here, but it may have been (we don't get out to the actual movies too often with a toddler at home). I like zombie movies, but don't like overly gory/bloody movies (I know that's a contradiction in itself). Scary=ok, Gross= no thank you. This one had a really interesting premise/twist to it, and was not overly gross. The end of the movie made me really pause and think. I just love taking a chance on a movie I haven't heard of before, and having it turn out this good.

Monday, June 19, 2017

My summer has been set to random mode

Here's my latest new start, Lizzie Kate "A Little Boo". I love love love the colors on this one, Halloween is kind of my thing! I hand-dyed my own fabric for this one, using RIT Pearl Gray. It doesn't show as well in my picture, but the fabric turned out nicely variegated/mottled.

 I also did some finishing this week. These two were a Hands on Design, from Just Cross Stitch (the 2016 Ornament issue, and the November? regular issue). I loved the two different fabrics sewn together, but wish I had sewn the wording further up on the bottom. I'll just keep reminding myself it's supposed to look primitive.

And another finish this week, Lizzie Kate "Liberty". These were her seasonal designs for this year. I already stitched the St. Patrick's day piece, and the Halloween one should be in my mailbox sometime this week I hope. The little button on this one was supposed to be stitched in white, but yet again my white was not showing up as well on the fabric. I liked the button, and used it on my other LK finish this week "Let Freedom Ring" also (in the bottom left of the photo below). So i'm going to do that one as a smaller matching pillow. 

 Here is what Friday night at my dining room table looked like. I pulled out all of these recent (and some not so recent) finishes, and got out my sewing machine so I could finally display them. I am stingy with my fabric sometimes, and will stitch multiple smalls on the same piece, so I have to wait to finish them until I have them all stitched. I also don't like stitching on small scraps which is why I don't cut them apart first. Below is the bottom of the ornaments I just finished, stitched in between a few of the Year in Chalk series from Hands on Design. I didn't finish any of the Year in Chalk designs yet, but really should since they should be so easy to do as a flat fold.
So that is all my random stitching for this summer. I did manage to move one more WIP off of my list. As the small WIP's get done, the list of large WIP's has started looming bigger. I think once I have made it through all of my smaller ones, I may start doing a rotation of working on one big WIP a month. Or I may just continue stitching like a hyper-active spider monkey-who knows!

Monday, June 12, 2017

A little of this and a little of that

 My mom was kind enough to finish my July wordplay pillow for me. I actually made the pillow, but I rely on her for all of my zippers and trim. I am more of a "creative" sewer (read I can't sew a straight line to save my life), while she is more of a practical sewer and actually has some skills with a sewing machine. I love how this one turned out. I originally had in mind the crab fabric on the right in the photo below, to match the little crab down in the corner of the design. But I am so glad I went with the more primitive look of the stripes. I used the red stripe on the front, and the blue stripe on the back of my pillow,
I also ordered fabric for my August pillow, but am not loving it, so am on the hunt for something with a smaller bee themed print on it. I may still use this one for the back of my pillow, but didn't want the pattern to overwhelm the cross stitching. I am still torn on it, but hoping I can find something I like a little better. 
 And here is my other stitching this week, the bonus chart from Lizzie Kate's Mystery Sampler (from 2013 I think). I want to stitch all three of these, but did not plan for the odd shape of my fabric very well. I probably have room to do all three charts vertically if I wanted to. This was a piece I hand dyed from stash, and you can see I had already cut pieces off of it for other ornaments. The color was a RIT dye "Hibiscus" that came out a very dark violet, so I wound up bleaching to this kind of dusty medium purple. Sorry for the wrinkly fabric, I haven't had a chance to iron it out yet.

 And just a close up of the first design. I used WDW "Kohl" and like it better than "Onyx" for an all black chart.
Not reading much this week, but I do have a movie recommendation. We watched "Passengers" this weekend, which just came out last year I believe. It has Jennifer Lawrence (Hunger Games), Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy) and Lawrence Fishburne (Matrix) as pretty much the only characters. But it was really good, not a total action movie but not slow either. I really liked the characters (though the bartender reminded me a lot of the Stephen King movie "The Shining"- I wonder if that was intentional). I also took my girls to see the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie, which was ok- about what you would expect for a movie franchise that has lasted this long. We went on a Thursday afternoon, and had the whole theater to ourselves which was kind of fun in itself.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Tuesday happy dancing!

Guess what I finished? Yep, after five years "Thine is the Trick and the Treat" is DONE!
I liked stitching this one with just the one color, but sometimes it got tedious and I wound up using this as a filler project between my other more colorful WIP's. I am so glad to move this one out of my stitching basket, and I still love the design as much as when I started it. I was lucky to buy this chart when it first came out, as now I don't think I'd be able to afford it. 

Here is what else I have been working on this week. Our "Health" board at work had sat unloved for a while since the last person in charge of it went to another department. So I took over the project, and plan to try and update it each month. This hangs in our break-room, and I tried to include not just weight loss articles, but also clippings about stress and sleep and exercise. Hopefully it will at least motivate me to be a little healthier. 

Here's what I am reading this week, and actually just finished. "Gwendy's Button Box" by Stephen King and Richard Chizmar. It was almost more of a short story, but I really liked this one. You couldn't really tell where one author's sections began and the other one ended. I love Stephen King books, so will be looking for some of Richard Chizmar's books now to see how they stack up. This one was not a typical horror story, no real monsters, but SK seems to have moved away from those lately in all of his stories. 

Here's my deal of the week. I found a few Wichelt Jobelan evenweaves at Hobby Lobby for half off, and 3 rolls of the Charles Craft evenweave for only $2 each. I am not super picky about what I stitch on, but do prefer evenweave over linen or Aida, so I was super happy to add these to my fabric stash.

And my girls wanted to dye their hair again for the summer. Their school requires uniforms and "neat" hair during the school year, so last summer we went wild and did bright pink on the ends of their hair. This year my youngest chose "mermaid" hair instead, and I think the turquoise turned out really pretty. My oldest wanted pink again, and I even did a small streak in my hair!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Happy June!

 "August" Word-play is done. I changed the colors of her dress to a slighter brighter blue, and stitched the accents in blue instead of white. Since this linen was lighter the white was not showing up at all on it. I am going to add two bee charms, instead of stitching them as called for. I know I already have some little gold bees that will work perfectly on this, I just need to find them in my craft room. Who knows how long that will take. Actually I am in the process of looking for 2 other charts I know I purchased, but didn't get filed away correctly so this weekend I may take some time to spring clean my crafting stash.
I also started and finished this one on our Memorial weekend road trip North. It is of course a Lizzie Kate, "Liberty". I think I used only one of the called for colors from the chart, and the rest I used whatever looked close from my thread stash. I am also sure I have a flag button somewhere in my button jar, so plan to use that instead of stitching the called for heart. 

I've made some good progress on "Thine is the Trick and the Treat" this week, and am optimistically hopeful this will be done for Halloween. I made a goal chart of each of the quaker designs, and have been checking them off as I get them done. My goal was four a week. This helped me power through, cause the random stitching bits here and there was not getting me anywhere. 

Some cute puppies came to visit our home this week. They were brought into my work as strays and were going to be picked up by the pound. Instead they got to visit with us until they could be reunited with their owner (which was only a few short hours). My girls were so excited to have cute little puppies in the house I think they thoroughly wore these dogs out.

And here is part of our weekend trip up North. We went to Bearzona, a local wildlife park. Mr. Wolf  what sharp teeth you have! He's actually yawning in this photo. You could drive through each enclosure of the park, and the wolves walked right alongside our vehicle as we drove through. They did warn us though that the bears had been being naughty and taking off people's bumpers and mirrors so we shouldn't stop in their enclosure. It was very fun getting to see them up close, and well worth the trip. 

As I mentioned before, I am trying to organize my craft room a bit more. And I have come to the conclusion that even after 25 years of stitching, I may never stitch all of the charts I have. Especially if I keep buying more! But the benefit of this, is I am now sorting through my stash and hoping to share it with all my stitching friends. I created a separate page at the top called Stash Unload, and so far have only gotten through one of my binders but found 37 charts that I have either stitched already, or are no longer my cup of tea. Mind you I still have 4 more binders to go through, I organize my charts by season and have a binder for each plus a separate binder just for Halloween. If you are interested in any of the charts email me your address (bluestarstitcher@gmail.com) and I will happily send them on their way. I will try and post on my main page when I add new items, and will try and delete the photos of charts that have been claimed.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Mish-Mash May

Mish Mash: noun- a confused mixture or jumble. 

I feel like that perfectly describes the end of the school year at our house, and my crafting this month.

I finished July Word-Play, and love it! I plan on making it into a pillow for one of my stitching chairs, and am on the hunt for some anchor fabric to back it with. I changed some of the colors on this one, but tried to stay close to the photo on the chart.

 I have already jumped right into the next chart for August, and have made some good progress. All of the words are done on it, and the gardener's dress. I have all of the little areas now to finish. I plan to also do this as a pillow, and am picturing some sort of bee themed fabric for it.
 I also managed a finish this week putting my total number of WIP's at 29. Yay, I am officially under 30 WIP's. My goal for the next 3 months is to finish 5 more. By the end of 2017 I would like to have less than 20 WIP's, so I am inching my way towards that lofty goal. This one is Birds of a Feather "Schoolhouse Sampler". I loved the lettering on this one, but have no idea how I am going to finish it.
 Here is how I spent last weekend. In addition to reducing my total number of WIP's I am also trying to be a little more organized in my crafting. I have been gifted several peoples stash over the years, and wound up with a ton of DMC floss, some of which is probably as old as I am. Well I started taking it to work with me and winding bobbins while at my desk. I filled a 5 gallon ziploc bag with bobbins. So I spent Saturday night sorting them, and putting them in my thread cases. I now have 11 thread cases in numerical order, and should NEVER have to go buy thread again.
Here is my May wall. I decided it was time to take down all the cute spring, but wasn't quite ready to move on to patriotic summer stitches yet. So my theme this month is flowers. Several of these stitches are ones I did when I first started stitching years ago.

This one is a more recent finish. Cricket Collection "Violets"
An older one, that was out of a kit. No idea what the name of it was, and I think it may be older than my oldest child. 

This one was not stitched by me, it was an Ebay purchase. Sorry I couldn't manage a better photo without all the glare. I love the navy fabric this was stitched on. 

 Another kit I did many many years ago. It's funny that when I first started stitching I had no idea there was anything other than Aida fabric and kits from Michael's or Jo-Ann's. Now there are so many patterns online, and so many beautiful hand-dyed fabrics to stitch them on.
 Another kit from long ago. I love the ombre blue background on this one. All of these frames are Goodwill finds, that I framed myself at home. This one was from Ikea, and was already painted blue when I bought it. I think it suits this piece perfectly.

And my last kit is a Dimensions one, called "Watering Can Geraniums". I at least ventured away from  plain white Aida on this one, as the kit came with a very pretty light green Aida. 

And here are my menfolk helping with the framing. Anytime my husband is working on something, my little boy runs to get his toolbox to help. I have to share a funny about my husband. He went with me to Attic Needlework last weekend for more threads, and has been vicariously watching floss tube with me. So as we are in the store, he points to a Hawk Run Hollow piece on the wall, and says "that's the one the lady changed so the cemetery wasn't next to the school". I actually heard another  woman in the store hold back a giggle at his needlepoint knowledge. I was impressed he recognized the design, as most of the time he doesn't watch floss-tube with me, but listens while he is doing his own thing.