Monday, December 28, 2015

Happy New Year!

I'm taking a holiday break from the blog this week. Thank so much for following my stitching and crafting adventures in 2015! Come back on January 4th when I kick off 2016 more ideas and inspiration!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Hearts, Arrows and More in the Winter Issue of "Craft Ideas"

My cross-stitched Heart Arrow Pendants are featured in the Winter issue of Craft Ideas magazine! It's filled with snow- and Valentine-themed projects to satisfy your post-holiday crafting cravings. Look for it on newsstands now . . . Enjoy!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Sew-Inspired Ornaments

Christmas is just days away, so I'm entering the "If it's not done now, it's not going to get done" phase of holiday preparation. I do have one more quick Christmas craft to share. It's really not a craft at all--just a pretty way to transform odds and ends from your sewing room into holiday ornaments.

The project begins with those beautiful, versatile clear glass ornaments you can find at craft stores. They come in different sizes. The ones I used are about 3 inches in diameter. I've seen these ornaments filled with everything from sand and seashells to photographs. 

Today, I'm filling them with sewing supplies left over from my Christmas crafting binge. I filled mine with mini pompoms, buttons, beads, sequins, ribbon, and rick-rack. Use your imagination and see what crafty fillers you can come up with.

To finish, pop the tops on the ornaments and add hanging ribbons. If you're hesitant to part with your treasured supplies to make ornaments, don't worry. When Christmas is over, you can retrieve most of the fillers from the ornaments and put them back into circulation in your craft room. However, I think those snowflake sequins are in there for good. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Winter Issue of Cross-Stitch & Needlework Magazine Has Arrived

The Winter issue of Cross-Stitch & Needlework magazine is out, and my poinsettia cross-stitch design is inside! Look for it on your newsstand. It's filled with beautiful wintry stitching projects.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Snowflake Sequin Garland

I love sequins of all sizes, shapes, and colors. When I found these pretty snowflake spangles at the craft store, I just couldn't resist. There are a lot of sequins in those little packages, so I wanted to come up with a project that would let me use a bunch of them. A garland seemed like a great idea. And an even better idea was to use white baby rick-rack instead of ribbon or cord. I hope you agree!

This is another easy project--and it's a good thing, because Christmas is really getting close! I just used white embroidery floss, which has a nice sheen, to sew the snowflake sequins to the rick-rack, spacing them a few inches apart. I used tiny pearls on my garland to hold the snowflakes in place, but you could use seed beads or small buttons. Just keep stitching on snowflakes until your garland reaches the length you like. 

The finished garland is lightweight and delicate--just like a flurry of snowflakes. You can use it decorate your Christmas tree, a window, a mantel, or even a holiday table.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Knitted Snowdrift Scarf

If you're a crafter, you're probably not in in "last-minute gifts" territory yet. Christmas is still a few weeks away, so you have plenty of time to put the finishing touches on the handmade presents you've been working on. Maybe you'd even like to start something new. This knitted scarf is easy to make and requires absolutely no concentration. It's worked entirely in garter stitch, so once you cast on, you can just knit back and forth without counting. That's why it's a perfect project to keep your hands busy while you're watching Christmas movies and sipping hot cocoa. 

The secret to the scarf's fluffy look and feel is the yarn--Pipsqueak from Bernat. It's like knitting a cloud. I will give you one bit of advice about working with this yarn: be careful you don't drop any stitches while you're working. The yarn has a loopy texture that makes it hard to see individual stitches after you move them off your needles.

With that said, I'll share the directions for this super-simple scarf. Ready?

Cast on 30 stitches (or desired number). Work in garter stitch (knit every row) until the scarf reaches the length you like. Cast off all stitches.

That's it! No need to block; the garter stitch pattern keeps the edges from curling up. As soon as it comes off your needles--and you've woven in the beginning and ending strands of yarn--your snow scarf is ready for wearing or gift-giving.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Poinsettia Cross-Stitch

My Poinsettia Cross-Stitch picture was one of the Christmas projects featured in the 2014 Holiday issue of Craft Ideas magazine. This year, I'll be using the picture as part of my Christmas decor. If you'd like to make one of your own, click here for the link to the instructions and chart on the Craft Ideas website. You better start stitching soon--Christmas is just 23 days away!