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Showing posts from May, 2010

Hardanger the Easy Way

With the right supplies Hardanger is easy.  Although the elapsed time since I started was longer than I wanted, the actual stitching didn't take too long.
Hardanger the wrong way involves the wrong supplies.  In my case it was 28 count linen with pearl cotton 5 and 8 from a kit.  With my own 28 count linen and pearl cotton 8 and 12 it went smoother.
The results:  I am not frustrated and the only thing in my trash can is snippets of thread and the cut-away linen.

5 Stitch Challenge

The following challenge was posted on the Embroiderers' Guild of America Facebook Page recently.  It came from Philly chapter.

Nametag Challenge: 5 + 5 = 2010 Use 5 fibers and 5 stitches to make a new nametag in 2010.

Isn't this a great challenge?  I'm going to have to do this just for fun.
 Deciding on 5 stitches was relatively easy.  I have 5 letters in my name so I'll use one stitch for each letter.
E = Eylet Stitch R = Rice Stitch I = Interlaced Running Stitch C = Chain Stitch A = Arrowhead Stitch
Some of the stitches were easy to come up with (eyelet, rice and chain).  I had to search to find stitches which start with "I" and "A".  Algerian Eye would work but it was too similar to an eyelet for me.  The Arrowhead stitch looked like something fun to try.  I'll admit using the Interlaced Running Stitch for the "I" is pushing it, but it was the only "I" stitch I found.  And, I think it will look great.

Finding 5 different fibers tha…

Pasqueflowers Fading Away

At the beginning of April the pasqueflowers started blooming and now they are almost finished with their annual showing.
The crocus-like blooms announce the beginning of spring.  The end of spring is heralded by their fuzzy seedheads.
At the start of spirng, the flowers a few inches tall.  By now they are about 12 inches tall and going to seed. What a transformation!  They seem to be a different species now.

I would be sad, but in the last week or so other flowers have started blooming - bluebells, goldenpea, kinnikinnik, desert parsley and assorted weeds.
In the next month the penstemon, cranesbill and dogsbane will appear - a summer full of flowers to look out for.

Buffalo Bill's Grave - Butterflies and Beads

I was at the far west side of Denver today and on the way back stopped at Buffalo Bill's Grave.  It was a beautiful day and I had never stopped there before.
Right near the grave there was a Swallowtail Butterfly sunning himself and I had to snap a few photos.  Isn't he beautiful?
The site is on the top of Lookout Mountain which has great views in all directions.  Some have changed since the burial in 1917 - I don't think there were nearly as many radio towers back then.

 Others are probably unchanged - except for the trees.  Pictures from 1917 showed no trees nearby.

Inside the museum was the history of Buffalo Bill and artifacts from his life and shows.  The best part was the Indian Beadwork.  Pouches, gloves, necklaces and shirts all covered with beads.  There was even a "design your own beadwork" display.

It was a table of blocks, each side of the blocks a different color.  You could rotate the blocks to form your own design.  70% of the design was how I found it,…

No Glue Box Top

I like to finish small cross-stitched items as box tops.
Paper Mache boxes are inexpensive and come in various sizes.  I like that I can paint them any color to go with my stitching.
Usually I glue my piece around cardboard and quilt batting.  Then I glue it to the box top and glue on a trimming.  It is quick and easy.  But it can't be undone.
I wasn't ready to do this to the Striped Mountain so I decided to try a no glue method.
I laced the work around the cardboard backing instead of glueing.  Next, I cut holes in the box top.  The plan was to sew the item in place.

Unless you have curved needles or infinite patience that will not work.  There's not enough room to manuever the needle around.  Instead, I marked the location of the holes with a maker (yes, I know, that can't be undone, but I made small marks).  Then I attached a length of thread at each hole.  I was able to thread the thread through the holes and tie them off tightly.  It wasn't easy.  I needed a few ex…

Hardanger the Hard Way

Subtitle - Why is that crazy lady out on her porch taking pictures of a wastebasket?
Yes, that is Hardanger in the trash.  I have given up!
It is a cute little tree that I thought I could finish rather quickly in my spare time.  I had the kit about a month and when the time was right I started stitching.  I thought I'd have a tree a few days later.
Wrong!  It went slower than usual.  I was making more mistakes and having to undo them.  I was halfway done with the klosters (for the 2nd time) when I realized the problem:  28 count linen and pearl cotton 5 and 8.  The thread is way to big for the linen.  It pushes the holes together and it makes it harder to count. 
I figured that I'd made a good start and if I was careful I wouldn't make any more mistakes.  Wrong!  While the klosters where difficult the buttonhole was nearly impossible.  Still I struggled on.  I got frustrated.  I got headaches.
The next time I picked it up (after ignoring it for weeks) I looked closely.  It just…

I'm being watched!

Everywhere I turn something is looking at me.

It's sort of creepy.

Leave me alone!

Recycled Potholder Loops

Last Christmas I got myself a Potholder Loom and quickly used the loops that came with it.
Instead of buying more loops I found a way of recycling T-shirts into loops.
The potholder in the above picture was made from clearance rack tank tops.  They are nice and stretchy and make great potholders.
My worn T-shirts don't always do as well.  Some don't stretch as well anymore and I have to cut them longer than the tutorial suggests so they don't break.  Some don't roll as well as the new ones and I don't cut them as wide as the tutorial suggests so they are not as bulky.

This one was made with 1 inch strips. 
A few weeks ago I pulled on a pair of socks and noticed a big hole in the heel.  I was about to drop them in the trash and wondered if they would be stretchy enough for my loom.  They are!  At least from the heel up.  Between the heel and toe they are too short.  I cut them in to 5/8 inch stips.  Since the socks were striped it was easy to use the stripes as a cuttin…

Wild Roses and Chives

Wild Roses and Chives - now that's a strange combination.  But, it's my fault for not taking care of the problem earler.
This is my herb garden but the only herb in it right now is chives.  I've kept this plant alive for over 10 years now.  Every spring they come back without fail.  The light green you see in the planter is lots of baby chives coming up.  All spring and summer I'll be snipping off the chives for seasoning.  Anything else I plant makes it for a year or so and doesn't come back.  There's a lavender and thyme in there right now that may or may not be dead.  I'll give them a few more weeks to make their appearance.
Every year there are some baby pine trees coming up that I pull out.  They are coming up everywhere and I know that this planter is NOT a good place for them to start.
A few years ago the birds planted a wild rose.  I chose not to pull it up.  Every year it grows bigger.  Due to the soil conditions and frequent waterings it is now the l…

More Wildflowers of America

Since I have framed the stitched Bleeding Heart from Curtis Boehringer's Wildflowers of America I decided to track down the other 3 wildflowers that had I stiched earlier.  I chose these flowers because they reminded me of the forests of Ohio where I grew up - Jack-in-the-Pulpit, Wake Robin and Bloodroot.
The Jack-in-the-Pulpit and Wake Robin where both finished with fabric frames.  This was a favorite finishing technique of mine for a long time.  On the back they are dated 1999 - that was a while ago. 
I remember the quilt store where I purchased the fabric, but not its name.  It's gone now but it was in an old Victorian house in Old Colorado City.  The turrets where lined with bolts of fabric and hey had a great selection of plaids.

I had never heard name Wake Robin before and it means nothing to me, but the flower is definitely a Trillium.  Back then, I dutifully followed the pattern.  Now I would have used the name Trillium or omitted the letters altogether.
I do miss seeing …

Bleeding Hearts Framed

I've gotten another piece framed.  I'm afraid that this stitched piece has been sitting in a drawer for over 10 years so it's about time.
The frame came from gift box of frames and is a simple 5 x 7 frame.  Several of these where in the box - 2 of them unfinished wood.  This one was painted unevenly - like the phone rang and interrupted the painting and it was never finished.  On the bottom and left sides there is a lot of gold and almost none on the top and right sides.
 If I were painting it myself I would be more even.  But, I didn't paint it and I decided I'm happy with the way it looks.  Finished IS better than perfect.  I think there is a lesson there.
I don't have the pattern anymore and I had to do some searching to find the designer of the pattern.  It is by Curtis Boehringer from the Wildflowers of America series and was published in the late 90's.  His website is his name and I discovered that I still like his patterns.
When I started cross-stitching…