Tuesday, June 29, 2010

This Ain't Your Grandma's Tissue Box Cover

While I was browsing through the library the other day I came across a section containing plastic canvas patterns. I was transported back to my younger years when it seemed like all things crafty involved plastic canvas. I can remember my mom making tissue box covers for all of her sisters one year for Christmas. They were made using an alternating scotch stitch in brown variegated yarn. I am not sure why I remember this after 30 years but I can remember wanting to help her make the covers.

I'm not sure what possessed me to look through the plastic canvas pattern books. I was pleasantly surprised at the projects I found and couldn't resist checking out a book that had some great summer patterns. After leaving the library I immediately went to the store and bought plastic canvas and yarn. I went home and obsessively started to stitch the tissue box cover. I was surprised at how quickly it stitched.
My tissue box cover is now in my guest bath, perfectly coordinating with my bathroom decor.

I'm not sure if or when I will start a new plastic canvas project but it was fun to try something new. I definitely have a new found appreciation for a craft from my childhood memories.
That makes me wonder what crafts from your childhood you have revisited as an adult. Is it something you crafted or saw others craft.

The tissue box cover is from the book Porch & Patio Plastic Canvas by The Needlecraft Shop 2006.

Keep on stitchin' on,

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Christmas Ornaments in July?

I'm reminded of the commercials that retailers air about how their prices are so low it's like Christmas in July. It seems like an unlikely time of year to think about Christmas but I love to stitch Christmas ornaments year round. I am always on the look out for new patterns and bought several a few weeks ago when I visited a needlework shop.

The Santa is a pattern from a Leisure Arts Christmas Ornaments book copyrighted 2003. It was stitched on white perforated paper using the listed DMC threads. The finish was completed by using white and green stiff felt and medium rick rack for the hanger.

The Noel ornament was stitched on 14 ct. white aida using Treasure Braid. The finish is a flat ornament finish trimmed in gold.

I started out my summer nursing my 9 year old miniature schnauzer back to health. He had surgery and I've stayed home with him for about two weeks. It gave me lots of time to stitch and create a huge mess in the office and living room.

One positive that came of my "down time" was finding new ways to access cross stitch patterns. I was on the public library's site one day looking for books and had the idea to type in cross stitch. I was amazed at the amount of books I had access to. Our library is a member of a statewide inter library loan program so I am able to borrow any book from across the state. Before I knew it I had about 15 books on hold. I picked several of them up today (ignoring the strange looks from the librarian) and have already put post-its on about 10 ornaments I want to stitch.

I am so excited to have found this new resource. I have been obsessed with cross stitch for 20 years and it never occurred to me to check the library. Please comment on where you've found unexpected access to cross stitch patterns. You never know, sometimes the obvious to you is news to others. I'm reminded of another saying, if it was a snake it would have bit ya.

Keep on stitchin' on,

Friday, June 25, 2010

4th of July Needlebox

I learned again yesterday how easily I am distracted. I was standing in the checkout line at CVS and looked down and saw Altoids mints. While lurking on different blog sites I had remembered seeing some cute finishes using Altoids tins. So I decided to buy one thinking I would try it this summer. Well..............as it turns out all the way home I was searching the volumes of cross stitch patterns I have stored in my head trying to think of the perfect pattern I could stitch for the top. I ended up buying the mini tin with the intention of making it into a needle box. The pattern would have to be very small to fit and I couldn't think of anything I wanted to stitch for it. I spent the entire afternoon and evening looking through my magazines, patterns and websites for the perfect pattern to stitch and here is what I came up with.
And just so you know...........it is possible to eat a mini tin of Altoids in two bites. :-)
If you are interested in using Altoids tins to finish your cross stitch projects here is a link to a great tutorial from Vonna at The Twisted Stitcher.
Now to refocus my efforts on the Mill Hill kits I had planned for my refrigerator. Any bets on how long until I'm distracted again?
Keep on stitchin' on,

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Stand Up Sam

I am particularly proud of my Stand Up Sam. He is a Mosey 'n Me design that was very quick to stitch. I've never tried a stand up finish before and I am happy with the way he turned out. I am not much of a seamstress so the sewing leaves a little to be desired. I am pretty sure that I am my own worst critic.

My sister gave me a sewing machine for Christmas a few years ago (thanks Debbie) and I have enjoyed learning to sew. I can sew a mean straight line, but throw a curve or corner in there and the seam ripper gets to stretch it's legs. I think I only had to rip seams and start over about 6 times. Perseverance at it's best.

If you are interested in learning how to finish a stand up figurine follow the link below.
Thanks to Cheryl Fall for the great tutorial.

Now that I've completed my 4th of July project it is time to start pondering my next project. I've got a few Mill Hill pin kits that I think I'll start on. I think I will finish them as refrigerator magnets. They are a "Summery" theme and my refrigerator needs some bling. I'll post pics when I get them finished.

Keep on stitchin' on,

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Welcome to Nan's Needlework Notions!

I have finally entered the world of blogging. I've thought of creating a blog for a while now and have finally taken the leap. I have found so many helpful ideas by browsing blogs that I am now inspired to share my love of needlework with others. I hope that you enjoy viewing my creations and please contact me anytime for information or questions if I can help in any way.

My needlework of choice has always been cross stitch. I can remember finishing my first piece when I was in jr. high. It was a bear with hearts all around it. I'm not sure what happened to that piece but would love to still have it in my possession today. Although I love cross stitch, I do occassionally dabble in punchneedle, plastic canvas, and needlepoint.

I have recently entered the work of alternative finishes. Up until a few years ago I always finished a piece with a traditional mat and frame. I hope that through my posts you will find new ways to finish your needlework.

There will be more to come in the near future. This is a new venture for me so please let me know of any helpful suggestions you "experienced" bloggers might have.

Keep on stitchin' on,