Friday, November 16, 2018

Free Friday: Cheery Snowman Stitch-along #1



Happy Friday, everyone!  And can you believe that it's the Friday before Thanksgiving!?  That's totally bonkers!  It feels too soon to be turkey time!  But the calendar doesn't lie, so I got my turkey out to thaw and I've started getting my to-do list made up.  Phew.  I don't host Thanksgiving (thank goodness!), but I do a lot of cooking.  What do all of you fellow Americans have planned?

Enough chit chat, lets get to the pattern!  In case you missed it, I announced last week that we would be doing a Christmasy plastic canvas stitch along!  It will be a pattern given out in four parts, one a week for four weeks.  All of the required materials for the entire project are posted on that announcement page I linked to, so if you want to join us, click on that to see what you'll need to finish the entire project.  If you can't get started right away, I'll post the pattern in its entirety at the end of the stitch-along so that you can do it at your leisure!

Cheery Snowman Wall Hanging: Week #1


Skill Level:

Beginner

Materials:

  • One sheet 7-count plastic canvas
  • Red Heart yarn in color White #311
  • Plastic canvas needle 

Instructions:

  1. Cut plastic canvas according to graph below.  
  2. Stitch according to graph, using white yarn for the blue stitches.
  3. Overcast raw edges with white yarn.

Snowman body (cut 1), 35x76 holes

Click the image above to see it larger.   

You may share this pattern however you please as long as you don't alter it or claim it as your own.  Please link back if you share this pattern.  You may sell items made from this pattern.  However, you may not sell this pattern.

Now we have the snowman body made!  Next week we'll work on his hat!  So make sure to tune back in the next few weeks to get the rest of this adorable wall hanging so that you can have it made in time for Christmas! 

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

What's Up Wednesday

Happy Wednesday, everyone!  Are you all having a good week?  Wednesdays are always a little irritating for me because it's my laundry day.  I just don't like doing laundry!  I know intellectually that I should be grateful that I a) have nice clothes that need washed and that b) I have a nice washing machine and dryer to make doing laundry easier, but I still get grumpy about the interruption to my day.  Oh well, I guess I have to make the best of it!

So I may as well take this time between loads to tell you about my week and what I've been up to.  I feel like I haven't been doing that much, but I'm sure there's more doing on than I remember!  The little details of life tend to fall through the cracks in my brain.  Better check the pictures on my phone.



Oh yeah!  My hubby and I decided to do a COOKIE BAKE OFF this past weekend.  He said he wanted to add gingersnaps to our list of Christmas cookies, and I told him that we already had a recipe for old fashioned pepparkakors in the rotation.  So we decided to get a recipe for American gingersnaps and compare it to (what I found out that weekend is actually) Swedish gingersnaps.  My hubby is 1/4 Swedish, his grandpa came off the boat as a young man and spoke Swedish, so I'm more emotionally partial to the pepparkakors, but we had to know for sure which tasted better.

As it turns out, the pepparkakors were so much better!  I'm sorry I don't have a better picture of them (they're on the left in the photo above).  I usually pipe some white frosting on top to highlight the cookie design.  They're very spicy and just the right amount of sweet.  The American gingersnaps ended up being far too sweet.  When I get around to icing them, I'll take a better picture and post the recipe!



We also bottled our strawberry wine this weekend.  It's hard to capture the lovely pink color in a picture.  Oh My Goodness.  Have you ever had strawberry wine?  Because it's the most heavenly liquid on this earth.  We left it dry because it's just so heady with fruity goodness, adding sugar seemed like a crime.  It needs to mellow another month or so, but it's so amazing.  Wine making is a long term hobby, but it's worth it!  (Plus it's super frugal.  A bottle of wine costs us less than $1 to make.)


I've been very slowly working on a hexie quilt, too.  It will eventually be a sewing machine cover for one of my millions of sewing machines (actually, I sold one so now I'm down to six!  Hubby is happy about that).  It's slow going, though.  This is my first time doing English paper piecing, and although I like it a lot, goodness it takes a lot of time!  I'm so tempted to rev up one of my zigzag machines and just zigzag them together.  But, I'll be patient.  I have just 8 more flowers to go, then I need to put them together with white pieces.  Ugh.  How on earth do people do entire bed sized quilts?  I clearly need more time and/or patience.


I have once again been digging into my Taste of Home magazines.  There's something about cooler weather that makes the cook in me squeal with joy.  I actually got so excited this year that I went onto Ebay and bought a few lots of magazines so that I could fill out my collection.  Yep.  Now I have every since issue published between 1993 and 2000.  I have about half of them from 2001-2006, and maybe someday I'll fill that in too.  That's all I want though.  In 2007, they sold their souls to an evil corporation that took all the heart and warmth out of the magazine.  I wish someone would come out with a magazine like TOH was back in the 90s and early 2000s.  If anyone knows of one, let me know! 


And of course, I've been working on this guy!  That's a sneak peek for you!  (He's sitting on my Wacom tablet, in case you're curious.)  Remember that I'll be posting the first installment of instructions this Friday!

Well, that's my week.  How has your week looked?  I'd love to hear about anything interesting you've been up to!

Friday, November 9, 2018

Free Friday: Join Our Stitch-Along!

Hi there, everyone!  Are you having a good autumn so far?  I feel like it's zipping by so quickly, like I hardly have time to appreciate its magnificent beauty before it's gone.  I love autumn!  It's definitely my favorite season of all.

That's not to say that I don't love winter, which I do!  The majestic beauty of a snowy landscape is a sight to behold, and of course who doesn't love the Christmas season?  Time spent with family, baking cookies, wrapping presents, drinking hot cocoa, and of course building snowmen!

I thought we should do something to help us get into the wintry Christmas season, and since I'm a plastic canvas designer, what else would I think of but to make a plastic canvas design!  And not just a design, but a stitch-along design!

So my plan in so release a section of the pattern every week, lasting for four weeks, so that we can stitch this lovely pattern together.  Once the stitch-along is over, I'll post the pattern in its entirety in case you missed the event!

Cheery Snowman Stitch-Along

When will it be: 

November 16 - December 7, every Friday morning

What are we making:

A snowman wall hanging made from Plastic Canvas

Skill level neede:

Beginner

What size will it be:

14 x 8 3/4 inches

What supplies will we need:

  • One sheet of 7-count plastic canvas
  • Plastic canvas needle
  • Hot glue
  • 18 Gauge black craft wire
  • Wire cutters
  • Two sets of needle nose pliers 
  • Six 7mm red pompoms
  • Eleven 8mm black beads
  • Black sewing thread
  • Sewing needle 
  • Black craft cord
  • Red Heart yarn in following colors:
  1. White #311
  2. Black #312
  3. Burgundy #376
  4. Carrot #256
  5. Hunter Green #389
  6. Paddy Green #368

 If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment!  We'll start next week so make sure to come back and join us!

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Snowman Baskets

Happy Thursday, everyone!  I hope you're all doing well.  I'm finally getting back into the swing of my creative life and have a new pattern to show for it!

Snowman baskets, plastic canvas pattern, $4 on Etsy
These cute little baskets are just the right size for gift giving this Christmas.  The little one would even make a lovely little ornament!

I hope you're all having a good week so far! 

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

What's up Wednesday: Catching up with life

Happy November!  Can you believe it's November already?  I really can't.  And not only that, it's like a week into November even.  I need to buy a turkey this weekend!  Holy smokes!  Where on earth is the time going?  I guess that's life though, always moving faster than it looks.  That's why you need to enjoy every day while you have it, because once it's gone it's gone.

Well, now that my life has calmed down some and I'm beginning to settle into the slower pace of indoor life, I thought maybe I should post a life update so you all don't start worrying that I died.  I almost did!  I managed so survive though and now I can tell you the tale.

First, I'll start with garden news.  It was a truly abundant garden year.  I don't know if the surplus production was because of a new fertilizer I used, or the amazing weather, or more likely a mixture of both, but I got so much produce from my garden this summer that I was freezing and canning something almost every single day.  Let me put it this way: I canned well over 300 jars of produce and filled my 7 cf chest freezer (plus my refrigerator freezer) all the way to the very top.  I also have a five gallon bucket of rutabagas hanging out in my attic where it's nice and cold.




The amazing part about my huge haul of garden veggies is that I didn't even get to pick all of them.  Gallons of tomatoes fell and rotted on the ground, probably close to a gallon of raspberries rotted, and who knows how many ground cherries.  I missed all of that because September was the month from hell for me this year.  Usually September is my very favorite month, but this year will go down as one of the worst. 

One of my two kitty babies, Spices, got sick in late August/early September.  She had trouble eating and was clearly in a lot of pain.  We had to cancel all of our plans to be out because she needed to eat very soft food in small frequent doses (because my other kitty Sunshine is a pig and would have eaten it if we just left her a plate of food out).  We got her into the vet and the doctor gave her an antibiotic and told us to bring her back in a week to see if she had improved.  Well, she didn't improve.  He had told us that if she improved, it was likely a rotten tooth and that they would fix her up.  But if she didn't improve, she probably had cancer.  It was so hard to watch her that week eat less and less, and she was clearly in a lot of pain.  So on the following Monday, we called the vet and got her an early appointment because we knew.  She wasn't going to make it.  We did the kindest thing we could do for her and had her put to sleep.  She was around 14 years old and she was well loved.


Well, I was a total wreck after we lost her.  She was my hubby's cat through and through.  She loved him to death, would follow him around everywhere, sleep with him every night.  But when he wasn't around, she'd hang out with me and we were buddies.  I miss her. 

Have you ever heard that when you're stressed or really sad, your immune system shuts down?  Well I found out how true that is.  A week after losing my kitty, I got salmonella poisoning.  Now I used to think that Salmonella wasn't that bad, just a stomach bug that made you sick for a couple of days.  It turns out that it can be pretty bad.  I was just kind of sick for the first couple of days, but then on the third day, I felt like I was going to die.  I hurt so badly that I didn't want to do anything but lay in bed.  I didn't even get up to brush my teeth at the end of the day.  I couldn't eat anything.  Actually, at that point, I was thinking that death might actually be better than what I was going through. 

It took me nearly an entire month to get back to some kind of normal, and I'm still having some tummy issues today.  The culprit turned out to  be... raw milk.  I'm a big proponent of everyone's right to drink raw milk if they want to.  Many states in America make it very hard to get raw milk.  It's actually legal in NY state where I live, but nearly impossible to find.  However, we're right on the border of PA which is much more relaxed about it, so we would go down and get a half gallon once a week.  However, like with all wild and unprocessed foods, there's a risk, and unfortunately I was in a very weak state at the exact time when there was an outbreak of salmonella at the farm.  Will I drink raw milk again?  Maybe.  Have you ever gotten drunk and gotten hung over the next day?  I haven't, but my dear (stupid) husband has, and he tells me that when you're that sick, you never want to touch anything you associate with the sickness again.  He wouldn't drink apple juice for years afterwards, which is what he drank between throwing up, he hasn't touched the brand of beer that he was drinking the night before ever again, and he said he didn't even want to wear the t-shirt he wore that day.  That's kind of how I feel about raw milk right now.  Also raw eggs and raw chicken and spinach and... well I guess salmonella is in everything these days.  Did you hear it was in cake mixes recently?  Yikes.

I did get well enough to enjoy a lovely stay-cation I took with Chad in early October.  We were hoing to be able to enjoy the fall leaves, but it's been an odd year.  The leaves didn't really change color until late last week and they're already off of the trees today.  Anyway, we enjoyed our stay-cation.  We got to see lots of amazing local attractions and got to do a lot of hiking and drives through the country.









After our stay-cation, we spent a frantic two weeks getting all of the fall to-do list items done, like bringing in the outdoor furniture, winterizing the lawn mower and getting the snowblower ready, and putting the garden to bed.  I've been just mellowing out since then, trying to get myself back into some kind of normal.  I finally feel like I have the time and energy to finally get back to work on my designs!  I'm very excited about that.  It's easy to forget how much joy creative pursuits can bring you because they're the very easiest to cut out when life gets too busy.  Well, it's definitely craft season now!  It's actually predicted to snow several inches next week!  I guess I won't be outside digging in the garden anytime soon. 

Well, I guess I technically was digging in it yesterday, planting next year's garlic.


I guess we're all caught up now.  I'm trying to spend a little more time on my designs everyday, and I actually got a new design put up onto my Etsy shop!  I'll post about it tomorrow, I'm sure you'll love it as much as I do.  With the extra free time, I'll probably start posting free Friday patterns again.  As usual, I'm open no requests for ideas! 

Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone! 

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Cardinal Wallhanging

Happy Fall everyone!  Boy, it's been a long time since I last posted here.  I have a lot going on in my life lately, but I'll spare the story and get right onto the new pattern!

I made a lovely new wall hanging that I just LOVE and I hope you'll love it too!  And I even posted it in time for you to make it for this Christmas season!

Cardinal Wall Hanging pattern, $4 on Etsy

I hope you're all having a lovely fall so far!  Are you out there enjoying the lovely scenery and crisp fall air? 

Friday, August 24, 2018

Free Friday: Maple Leaf Coaster

Happy  Friday, everyone!  I hope you're all having an amazing summer.  I love this time of year.  For me, it means the season is slowing down, the air starts feeling a little cooler, and the crickets are singing.  Autumn is right around the corner, and although I love and will miss summer, I adore fall and can't wait for it to be here.

So because I'm feeling so excited about autumn, I decided to make an autumn pattern to share with you all!  I hope this is a good sign that I'll be able to get back into my designs again now that summer is slowing down!

Maple Leaf Coaster


Skill Level:

 Beginner

Materials:

  • 7-count plastic canvas
  • Three colors yarn: White, a leaf color, and a a color slightly darker than leaf color
  • Craft Felt
  • Hot glue
  • #16 plastic canvas needle

Instructions:

  1. Cut and stitch plastic canvas according to graphs.
  2. Overcast edge of coasters with yarn that is the same color but slightly darker than the leaf color.
  3. Cut out one piece of felt for each coaster, using coasters as a guide. Trim 1/8 of an inch around all sides. Use hot glue to attach to back of coasters.



Click the image above to see it larger.  You may share this pattern however you please as long as you don't alter it or claim it as your own.  Please link back if you share this pattern.  You may sell items made from this pattern.  However, you may not sell this pattern.

Hope you all have a great weekend!