Christmas notes and ornament too

Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and that you were so good Santa left gifts in abundance. I was a good girl, received my usual Christmas books, but it would not be Christmas without books. Added a couple Jiminy Crickets, and of course a needlepoint…more about these later.

Every year our family does an ornament exchange; only rule is the ornament has to be homemade. This year I decided to do needle felting. I had seen instructions for a snowman on another website (http://craftsncoffee.com/2013/12/05/how-to-make-adorable-needle-felted-snowman-ornaments/) and thought he was cute. I have all the needle felting needles and stuff so I decided this was for me.

After downloading and reading the instructions I began to gather stuff together…and wouldn’t you know it that’s when I found out I didn’t have a styrofoam ball. Not to be deterred by a small basic necessity I decided to make a ball (temari OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAball making has come in handy). So I started with a basic ball made by wrapping yarn to desired size and adding a layer of cotton crochet thread over the top…presto magic a ball. Nice part about this was I didn’t have to make sure it was as round as possible; it wasn’t going to be a temari ball. As I was rolling this ball I decided that this might be a better choice

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for me since I was not sure what I was doing  and I probably would make a mess of a styrofoam ball…There was also the fact that I had waited until the day before I needed the ornament to begin.

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I tried the roving for a background but soon realized that this was not going well and was going to take forever. Another ah-ha moment…cut a piece of felt to fit ball and try adhering it to the base. What was the worst that could happen? (I had a needlepoint

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ornament in the wings, if needed) So I cut a piece of felt, trimmed the ends, roughed up the felt and began to adhere the felt to the ball. I think dumb luck sometimes guides me…I decided to begin in the middle and work toward the ends…that way I could cut and adjust the felt as I went. I needle punched

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAaround the center portion, ruffed up the felt at the cut lines and then did the same to the ends. As you can see from the pictures there was no pattern just a rough cut …next time will be more precise.

13-12-27 I patternsAfter I got the background on the ball I cut a white oval from felt, roughed up the backside and adhered it to the base. At this point I decided hit and miss was not going to do it…I needed a plan so off to my trusty computer to make some patterns. Made a pattern divided it up, printed it off and cut it up and OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAmade adjustments to computer pattern…had been to large first try. Second try was better and so I used these patterns to finish the parts of the snowman. First I used roving to make the cheeks, then I rolled roving to make a cone nose and the rest was cut felt (all were roughed up on their backsides to adhere better. After all the felt was in place, I used #8 perle OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAcotton to make Colonial Knot eyes and French Knot mouth with a chenille needle.

Then I decided ornament needed something on the back side…back to the computer and one holly pattern later was ready to finish the ornament. I OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAtried to write my initials and the date on red felt berries but pen and felt don’t mix well so I used red roving to cover my mistakes. .One hanger later and my ornament was completed.

There are several things I would have done differently and I plan to make more, keep better OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAnotes and write the instructions clearly.

But for now I am off to read, sip tea, stitch NEEDLEPOINT and watch the New Year arrive in a few days.

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have time to stitch today and everyday the rest of this year! ttfn…sue

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Hope Everyone had a great holiday…

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas, Chanukah, or whatever holiday you choose to celebrate.
Our family was all together (minus one, but he was in our hearts and we talked to him.) My second son did his magic in the kitchen and we all gorged ourselves Christmas Eve. We do not exchange Christmas gifts but rather make ornaments

but a few of our ornaments...reindeer were big this year.

but a few of our ornaments…reindeer were big this year.

and have game of who gets the ornament. My ornament (see last post was a success and stolen twice (the limit); there were great ornaments this year, think we’ll do the same next year.
Grandma & Grandpa get to give presents…we are allowed to spoil the Grandchildren…and anyway an ornament isn’t much fun when your little.
12-26-12 tri santa

This is the needlepoint Santa for this year. It is a Deborah Forney Class (http://www.deborahforney.com/Resume.htm), Ho Ho Ho Santa. Great class I recommend it to anyone and Deborah is a great teacher.

This year’s Poinsettia. 2012 poinsettia

Thought I posted about this but could not find so I will briefly fill you in. Every year, I purchase a poinsettia from a friend whose PEO group sells them as their fundraiser. AND every year I manage to kill it. Last year the poinsettia somehow managed to survive until spring and by early summer my oldest son had taken over garden management and kept the plant alive and thriving. This fall we brought it in and did the dark light thing you are supposed to do to make them turn red again. Someone told us it takes two years to turn it red and so we just left it in the house and thought we’d try again next year. BUT Christmas morning we had our own miracle…
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Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have time to stitch today and the rest of the holidays!
ttfn…sue

Quick point

Does anyone do Quick Point anymore? I do, only when my niece asked me to stitch a stocking for her new daughter-in-law. (Keep in mind, I seldom do quick-point and even less often do I do Christmas stockings. But this was a tradition stared by her mother-in –law and I do do traditions…plus I’m a pushover when a niece asks for something…remember me, only child Mother of three sons and six grandsons…I live in a male world. Okay, I have three lovely daughter-in-laws and three granddaughters but we are still a minority! I digress…)

My niece and I decided that all the in-laws would have the same sex appropriate stocking with their names…boy or girl snow people. We had a boy, left over from 12-6-12 balletthe 1st set…I just could not bring myself to stitch a snowman for my niece and so I had a ballerina with red hair painted for her. But of course we needed a girl snowperson, and as my luck would have it, none had been painted, but it was a good idea and one could be done. Great! So late last spring our new girl arrived… only now Paternayan yarns were out of production and it was unknown if they would ever produce again. Even the tapestry yarn was limited and I tried to stitch with other threads but did not like the look. I finally decided to bite the bullet and head for a yarn shop, but that did not seem to work either. The thick yarns seemed to fray easily or they did not have the bright colors to blend with the other stockings. Dismayed I fretted through the summer and had about decided a trip to Lawrence Kansas and the Yarn Barn (www.yarnbarnks.com/) was in order…maybe they could $pin and dye the color$ I needed. I figured I would have to get enough to do at least the background color for all five possible future stockings. Before I headed to Lawrence I happen to stop by JoAnn’s Fabric and craft and came across a couple yarns I thought might work if they would hold up and not fray. Their Chenille (http://www.lionbrand.com/yarns/newchenille.html) would have been great for the snow people but it did not stitch well, frayed. Hometown USA

yarn

yarn

(http://www.lionbrand.com/yarns/hometownUSA.html?categoryKey=1694622&start=0&pageLength=15) seemed the best choice for my needs. The colors were mostly clear and crisp, it did not fray or pill while stitching. The white stitched well but would the dark blue do as well without painting? Quick try of the dark blue and I was off to buy yarns.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI wanted to do some decorative stitches and so I experimented in the margins. I always like to have extra space around the canvas to play…a doodle place of sorts. I tried plying the strand; there are 4 ply to each strand. I stitched with 2 ply successfully and used this method on the apron and hat.  The top of the hat is stitched using 2 ply light blue in a reversing continental, the bottom is 1 strand light blue in an

Hat and eyes

Hat and eyes

Encroaching Gobelin. The area is separated with 2 ply green stitched in an outline stitch.

The eyes are 2 ply black Rice Stitches and the mouth is 2 ply French knots

The Apron is three colors of yarn: light blue, green and bright blue. The edgings are

Apron

Apron

overlapping cross stitches and the plaid at the bottem is filled with cross stitches in green and light blue . All used a full strand except cross stitches, they were 2 ply.

The arms are wrapped fly stitches using a full strand of yarn and pulled snugly.  The candy cane is a full strand of yarn stitched over a padding thread used to raise the candy cane to appear as high as the arms. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The wreath was going to be 2 stands of green French Knots filled with a strand of the yellow French Knots but it looked skimpy so I redid using a full strand of the green yarn. The bow was tied on after all French knots are in place and I anchored the knot wit two over stitches and also anchored the ends with French knots.

wreath

wreath

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Snow girls is embellished with a store bought button for the hat and twisted DMC Memory Thread for her nose.

Finished and hanging by Christmas is not going to happen but it is stitched. I safety pined it to a bag so it can hang and have a present added…after Christmas will send to finisher. I have a friend who stitches pieces and gives to someone for one occasion and then has it finished for another occasion…pretty smart idea considering the cost of some needlepoint…maybe she could stretch it to three occasion gift by giving canvas and threads first, then stitched, then finished…Humm, I wonder if I could try that?

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This is the end of my Christmas stitching for this year with one exception, I’ll show you that Christmas day. It’s a surprise! I hope this little project helps anyone with a quick point piece in their stash to find the yarn to stitch their piece. My biggest hope is that the company that has purchased the Paternayan rights will also produce Quick point yarn too. I can dream, but if not I hope Lion brand does not discontinue their bulky line.

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have time to stitch today!
ttfn…sue

Beaded edging

or how I really spent Thanksgiving week-end. Did minimal shopping but had a relaxing time just beading.

11-29-12 bead aA friend gave me this beading mat last summer and I have not had a chance to try it until now. I don’t know where you can get it but I bet a local needlework or bead store could help you but here are a couple references I found:

http://www.amazon.com/Beadsmith-BMS1-Sticky-Bead-Mat/dp/B003SRGE5M

http://www.widgetsupply.com/product/BDH10.html?gclid=CNOv7eiZ8rMCFQVgMgod7G0Arg

Even found this Double sized mat, but I thought the smaller one was just right for needlepoint:

http://www.etsy.com/listing/95260015/sticky-bead-mat-xl-double-sided?utm_source=googleproduct&utm_medium=syndication&utm_campaign=GPS&gclid=CMjE5YmZ8rMCFc5cMgod7i8AIQ

shows how few beads fell off ...but I did not shake it just turned on side.

shows how few beads fell off …but I did not shake it just turned on side.

I love this thing, kept the beads in place and allowed me to have the beads close as I stitched around the piece. I had seen this finishing technique at an EGA meeting last spring and filled a mental picture away for later use.

After stitching the needlepoint I finished two separate pieces over archival safe illustration board (or whatever you use. It has to have some weight

5 beads was the width of my ornament ...yours ma be different

5 beads was the width of my ornament …yours ma be different

to it to support the beads and needlepoint, but I thought foam core would be too bulky) I used a piece of extra fluffy batting to give some padding to both sides.  I also did not glue the pieces on but laced them to each illustration board, then I stitched the two sided together. My beading was 5 beads to cover (depending on the size of you bead and your backing board yours may be different.) Each time I put another row of beads on I went through a

be sure to bring needle out in correct spot or your beading will be uneven.

be sure to bring needle out in correct spot or your beading will be uneven.

previous row of beads and when I began or ended a thread I went through several rows of beads and the buried the thread in the center. When I completed the beading around I made a beaded loop for the hanger.

That’s how I spent last week-end and now my niece has an ornament for her philanthropic group Christmas ornament exchange.

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have time to stitch today!
ttfn…sue

11-29-12 bead f11-29-12 bead h11-29-12 bead g

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Looking back and Happy New Year

I always look forward to the time between Christmas and New Year’s…it is MY time or so I like to think. I usually spend time organizing my calendar for the following year (birthdays and such), reading my Christmas books (always make sure Santa leaves a couple of these) and generally just reflecting on the past year.

My mother was the epitome of organization for her day. In my basement are notebooks of old photo of the generations gone by; sorted by person. This year, DH and I bought a scanner as a present to ourselves…we have promised ourselves to organize all the slides and pictures we have accumulated in 45+ years (we did come to the marriage with some of our own pictures.) So this week we have been scanning boxes of slides into our computer. This has been a true trip down memory lane…now we are deciding how to get these pictures to all those people who are featured in our archive of memories.

I also have been a very good girl about taking pictures of whatever creations I have made.

I went through a wood cut out period when country decorating was big. This was one of my favotires…tulips

I also did cross stitch and made them into aprons for everyone I knew.

I made vestments for a local Catholic high school…these were reversible green and purple or gold and red.

And this led to making banners for Mary for a local church.

But my real love has always been needlepoint and I even painted a few canvases.

 

Hope everyone has time to reflection 2011 and the hope of 2012. My wish for everyone is much happiness, peace and lots of stitching time…Happy 2012!

Until next year…I hope everyone has time to stitch!  ttfn…sue