Stitch Therapy

Discovering me … one stitch at a time

Tag: crafty (Page 1 of 2)

Shopping Adventures!

Hi Blog!

What?! Monday again?!

On Friday, Tom and I went to dinner and a comedy show with some friends. We saw those guys from that old improv TV show “Whose Line is it Anyway?” It was hilarious.

Stephanie and I went shopping on Saturday and I bought this old blanket chest. I love it.

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I guess I never finished telling you about our cross stitching adventures in Paris. I looked up some stitching shops to visit before the trip, but we didn’t manage to go to any of them!

One day though, we were out strolling near the hotel and spotted what looked like a fabric store. We stopped in and, lo and behold, it turned out to be a fabric, knitting, and CROSS STITCH store!!! Quelle surprise! They had a whole floor dedicated to cross stitch stuff! In a terrible moment of irony, my phone battery chose that exact time to die. Luckily, Tom was there to snap some photos.

I almost couldn’t focus. There was so much to see!

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Evenweave and linen in every color…

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They had a ton of pre-finished items just ready to be embellished with some cross stitching. Cute pouches of every shape and size!

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And pretty kitchen towels!

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There were soft stitchable bath towels in lovely colors…

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And a whole wall full of embroidery books!

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I had never seen the Rico design books in the US before and promptly fell in love. It was reaaaaallly heard to pick just a few items to buy.

I ended up getting two books, filled with the most gorgeous designs.

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So tasteful…

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And modern…

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Le sigh…

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I also bought a pre-finished runner and a tablecloth that was made specifically for stitching some of the designs from the books. I love the pretty texture on the tan one and … swooooon… white swiss dots! Who doesn’t love swiss dots?!!

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Can you tell how excited I was to find this store?

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The rest of the trip, I carried my stitching stuff around Paris in hopes of working on it during any down time. There ended up not being any until our final day at the Luxembourg Gardens.

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There were a lot of people milling about reading and sketching and relaxing. Can you imagine a dreamier place to stitch?

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I worked on last year’s 12 Days of Christmas stitch-a-long because it is small and portable and not too confusing, especially amidst so many distractions.

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Oh… is someone selling baguettes? Oh… do I smell crepes? Oh… should we walk over there for a quick Cafe au Lait? You know, distractions.

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I also stitched on the flight home and managed to complete Days 1-6. Quick aside, can I say what a treat it is to sit on your butt for 7 hours while watching movies (of your choice) and cross stitching while people bring you booze and food? Other people think that flying is a pain, but this tired working mama says “Bring it on!”

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I think I’m calling this project done for now and try to do a little finish work so that they are ready for Christmas. It only took two years to complete 6 days. I guess I’m not so good at stitch-a-longs.

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Anyhoo, that wraps up the Paris recaps. You’re probably tired of reading about the trip by now, so this week I’ll move onto more exciting things like Soccer practice and Chili making. Haha. Until then!

Junior Chef

Hi Blog!

Here we are at Friday again and I never got to tell you about LAST weekend!

Biggest has been obsessed with cooking shows so we decided to plan a menu, shop, and cook an entire meal together. It was so much fun!

Tom helped Biggest type up the menu.

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He worked hard on his knife skills.

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And took great pride in presentation.

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He made the Avocado sauce on his own. It was delicious!

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We were really proud of him.

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There was chocolate fondue for dessert. We don’t have a fondue pot so made one out of an oil diffuser and a bowl.

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Our resident food critic says “Keep it!”

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It was such a fun activity to do together and we are already planning our next menu!

I spent Sunday in the kitchen too… Making yogurt for the first time. I felt very scientific with my thermometer.

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10 hours later, we had cute little cups of yogurt!!!

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It was really good!!! I can’t wait to experiment with other recipes.

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Lest you think that all we did was eat last weekend, we also drank the best Sangria. (Sangria = Summer)

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I got this book from the library and was excited to show Tom. It turned out he had already read it! We are a perfect match. By the way… I am now obsessed with George and Martha Washington, think that John Adams is a total nerd, and greatly admire Thomas Jefferson.

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We went bike riding.

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There was a neighborhood yard sale. One lady was selling 5(!) spinning wheels! I was incredulous that someone living so close to me owned 5 spinning wheels and that we weren’t best friends. I don’t think I need to tell you how hard it was to walk away without bringing one home.

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I did bring this home though. Isn’t it cute?

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Speaking of cute, this is how I found him “working.”

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And him “not working.” (He sleeps in the weirdest positions.)

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What’s new in your world? Have a great weekend!

CrossStitcher! Yay!

Have you all received your Summer 2016 issue of CrossStitcher magazine yet?

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Did you happen to flip to page 36 and 37?

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Say what?!! That’s me!!! A CrossStitcher Correspondent!

Can you even believe it??? Can you tell that I’m nerding out as I’ve always secretly wanted to be a magazine writer? And seriously, a cross stitch magazine? It’s like all of my dreams mushed into one!

This is especially exciting because I loooove CrossStitcher magazine. If you’re into modern patterns and lots of color, you will love it too. It is published in the UK but I get it here in the US at Barnes & Noble.

And finally… some more progress on this.

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This wacky guy just cracks me up.

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What are you stitching? What’s new in your world? Happy Monday, Friends!

Around here

Hi Blog.

This weekend was action packed!

Biggest took the train into the city with his friends to visit the natural history museum.

Littlest learned to whittle a branch and carve a bar of soap.

I somehow got suckered into playing in a parents vs. kids soccer game.

Tom somehow got suckered into disassembling bunk beds and redecorating kids’ rooms.

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We entered a chili cook off at the fire station and lost, but ate a lot of chili and got to ride in a fire truck.

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Littlest talked me into making bath bombs with him after he watched a YouTube video and carefully wrote down the recipe. They worked really well!!!

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My blog got mentioned in the March issue of Bustle & Sew magazine!!!

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I still get really excited that people actually read my blog.

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And I continued to be the slowest stitcher of all times. Her peachy skin is finally finished!

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But there is still so much left to do.

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What were you up to this weekend?

Almost there…

Hi Blog,

I feel terribly run down and tired today. All I wish for is bed but, alas, there are social commitments this evening and bed is still a long way away.

The weather is warming up and we remarked this morning that the sun was up much earlier than usual. Spring is right around the corner!

I’ve been participating in a 30 day cross stitch photo challenge over on Instagram. It has really pushed me to post each day, which is actually really hard to do! Are you on Instagram? Come say hello!

I am really itching to make things these days… more soap and concoctions, and maybe a weaving, and practicing my drawing and, of course, cross stitching. There just aren’t enough hours in the day.

Happy Friday, Friends! Enjoy the weekend.

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Monday!

Work has been turning me into a grump, so I decided that an attitude shift was in order. Last week, I tried really hard not to COMPLAIN and, you know what, it worked! I felt much more positive by week’s end.

It may also have helped that I got a lot of stitching time. On Friday, I brought my cross stitching to work and spent my lunch time stitching in the park. A stitch break was just what I needed.

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Friday night, I sewed my first pair of pajama pants (for Biggest)! It was pretty exciting.

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Stephanie and I hung out on Saturday. Lunch (Yum!), followed by a trip to the fabric store (Yay!), followed by afternoon cocktails (YUMMM!), followed by a quiet evening at home with TV and stitching (Perfection!). I am making good progress on this.

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Sunday was sooooooooooper productive. I spent almost all day in the kitchen (Fun!). I made:

  • chocolate zucchini bread
  • regular bread
  • spaghetti sauce (for this week)
  • more pickles (New recipe… this one is a keeper!)
  • meatloaf, potatoes, and green beans (for dinner)

I love productive days! I also did laundry, went grocery shopping, cleaned up the house, and made another pair of these…

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Oh, and look at my cute sewing buddy!

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Happy Monday!

Down by the river.

My office is next to a river. I found that if I squeeze through a gap in the overgrown bushes in just the right spot, there is a tiny beach.

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It’s not much to look at and is, unfortunately, strewn with trash, but I like to go there at lunch time. It’s a good place to take a breath and decompress. I suppose people know it’s there, but I like to think of it as my secret beach. I like to hear the waves crashing or just watch them ripple softly, depending on the day. I like listening to the leaves rustle overhead and the birds chirping. I like feeling the wind on my face. It even smells beachy. If I close my eyes, I can pretend that I’m at the ocean instead of just standing behind the bushes outside of an office building.

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Sometimes I go for a little walk. Lately, I’ve been trying to notice how the plants and trees are changing through the seasons and work on identifying them. For instance, this week I noticed that all of the Honeysuckle is gone and has been replaced by bunches and bunches of Queen Anne’s Lace. I guess it’s technically a weed, but I’ve always been a fan.

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Did you know that Queen Anne’s Lace is also called a wild carrot? I pulled one up to look at the root and it did indeed resemble a white carrot and it smelled like one too.

Did you also know that there are a few tiny purple blossoms on each flower? They almost look like a squished bug in this picture.

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Those purple blossoms are one way to tell the difference between Queen Anne’s Lace and Hemlock (which is poisonous!). The other is that Queen Anne’s Lace has hairy stems. See the things you can learn by taking a lunchtime walk?

Last night, I went to my first ever stitching group meeting! The ladies were so welcoming and I really enjoyed it.

We learned some specialty stitches and worked on Christmas ornaments. Here’s where I got with mine.

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I tried to use nontraditional Christmas colors. We are supposed to complete stitching by the next meeting so that we can work on finishing techniques. So fun! I think I will enjoy being a part of this group.

Sew in love.

Yesterday was a really exciting day.

I came home to find this…

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Which led to this…

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Which led to this…

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Which led to this…

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Lest you think that I’ve forsaken my one true love, I haven’t…

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Can’t write anymore. Must. Go. Sew.

Summer!

The last week of school is finally here. The boys (and I) are excited for Summer to start. I always seem to think that things will slow down over the Summer, but really they go just as fast.

On Saturday, I got it into my head that we needed a new couch for the living room. I was hemming and hawing about it, but then we came up with the brilliant idea to move the furniture from the family room to the living room and get new family room furniture instead. I don’t know what I was thinking when we got light colored furniture for the family room last year. Boys + expensive light colored couch = very bad idea. So, I picked out a new couch and it wasn’t custom order and it was in stock and, lo and behold, it was delivered on Monday and we are already busy breaking it in. How easy was that?

You can’t really see the couch in this picture, but Littlest and I are cuddling on it here. It’s huge! And comfy!

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We still need to find a chair though. Decisions.

So since I was on a redecorating rampage, I also got it into my head that I wanted to paint the desk black. It was previously a kooky chinoiserie number. Here it is in progress.

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I love it!

And in other news, Tom spotted the first tomato this morning.

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And, here I am stitching on the train again.

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Can I tell you how ANNOYED I am? I went to re-buy the threads that had blown away in the wind and the store was OUT of Hickory Sticks by Crescent Colours. UGH! Now I have to order online and pay to ship just one skein of floss. I suppose I could substitute the color, but the perfectionist in me is having a hard time coming to terms with this. I know. Someone (me) needs to take a chill pill.

Frameaholic.

So, I have this problem where I keep buying old frames at yard sales and thrift stores. I love the ones that are really beaten up and chunky and held together with big ancient looking nails and wrangly knotty wires in the back.

Then it occurred to me that I also have this problem of finishing my cross stitch projects and then not doing anything with them.

Can you see where I’m going here?

This morning, I had some extra time so I pulled out my finishes (and almost finishes) and frames and played a little game of match up!

Voila!

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First up, Raven Bewitched!

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Isn’t she bewitching? I got this lovely for $2 at the neighborhood yard sale last weekend. It is chunky and solid. The old man I got it from said that it used to hold a picture of his Grandfather, who was “quite a famous man.”  I started to ask him who he was, but got distracted (probably by another treasure). You can see the spot on the bottom where there was probably a placard with this famous man’s name. Now I’m wondering who he was.

Next up, my cute marriage sampler. Remember this one? I love her.

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This frame is understated and has a pretty antique patina. There is a price tag on the side for $7, so that must be what I paid. For once, I left enough fabric around the edges so that it won’t be a nightmare to frame.

And, finally, good old Quaker JOY.

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I got this frame at a really cool architectural salvage place in Philadelphia. I don’t remember what I paid for it, but it was more than I’d typically spend. I couldn’t resist because the wood was so pretty and the design so simple. This will need some kind of mat board to hide the stingy fabric edge.

Ta-da!

Frame hoarding pays off!

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