Friday, December 30, 2011

My Stitching Review

Do you ever get to the end of the year and wonder what you achieved in that year? I have this fear of wasting time......everyone else seems to be doing so many things - not so much great things, but just doing things. So as this year comes to a close, I've decided to go through all the stitching that I did this year to prove to myself, that I did something!

So here's some pictures of this year's stitching. Most of them you will have seen before. I do have some other stitching that I have done, but can't show just yet! Never mind, all will be revealed in the New Year, so not long to wait.


My biggest and most complicated finish for 2011...

Some smaller finishes.....








 Never again will I stitch the same design multiple times!!!


 And you know how I love my penguins!


My cute little egg cosy penguin who now sits at my desk as his cheeky little face makes me smile!


I'm still working on Dieter's Prayer and will show you an update in my next post.

I've got some great things to go on my website in the new year and am busy trying to get everything prepared for that. I'll have some new designs and stitching to show soon. I also want to add some new pages to my blog so I'm going to be a busy little beaver over the next few days and weeks.

I'd like to thank everyone who became followers of my blog. I never thought I would make such wonderful friends when I started blogging almost a year ago......perhaps a giveaway is in order to mark this milestone?!!! Watch this space!! lol

So as the new year approaches I'd like to wish you all health and happiness for 2012.

Until next year...happy stitching.

Rhona

Monday, December 26, 2011

Stitchers are amazing people!

Well that's it all over for another year! Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. I had a fantastic time with both my son and daughter being home from uni for their winter break. It was nice being together as a family once again! We were also  able to Skype our family back in the UK - so much better than a phone call, but we do miss them all terribly!

Anyway, on to some stitchy news. I had the most wonderful Christmas gift from someone I don't even know! I joined the Secret Santa on a cross stitch forum  and just had to share with you the amazing gift my secret Santa sent me....


Look at all those goodies!

This is the first time I have ever had anything cross stitched by someone! I can't believe how lucky I am, isn't the stitching beautiful! Not only did she stitch something for me but she did dragonflies....my favourite! You can't see the top of the dragonfly hanging as it's draped over so that I could take the picture. And as for that 'I love Scotland' coaster....could I ask for anything better? Being a tea drinking Scottish lass, it's perfect. There's also some dragonfly stickers for card making, a dragonfly hanger and magnetic needle holder with, you've guessed it, dragonflies! And for when I need a burst of energy for those late night stitching sessions, the only chocolate I like -  white chocolate! (And lots of it! lol) There was also a beautiful hand made dragonfly card which I forgot to put in the picture as it is sitting at my desk - it's stunning!
Wow, what an amazing gift!

I don't think my secret Santa reads this blog but I was so touched by her generosity that I wanted to share it with you. Stitchers truly are amazing people!

Hope your Christmas was as wonderful as mine!

Until next time...happy stitching!

Rhona

Saturday, December 24, 2011

TUSAL

Ah, the last TUSAL for the year! I have to say that I have really enjoyed doing this - I never realized how much ort's I collected every month and especially over the year - this was a real eye opener! A big thank you has to go to Daffycat for organizing this. If you haven't heard, the TUSAL will be running again next year so get those ort jars at the ready and start collecting, photographing and posting!

So here's this month's collection....


All those lovely colours from the Dieter's Prayer. And here's the jar with my year's collection....


 Looking forward to doing it all over again in 2012 - thanks Daffycat!

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas.

Until next time...happy stitching!

Rhona

Thursday, December 22, 2011

When will I learn?

Just a quick post as I'm sure everyone is trying to get all those last minute things done for Christmas! I've finally got the tree decorated (thanks Eirinn!) and can now feel like it's Christmas! I've just got to get those presents wrapped while everyone is out of the house!

Not much progress on the stitching of the Dieter's Prayers. This is how you saw it last time....


And this is how it looks today...


I had hope to get a fair bit of it stitched yesterday while my daughter had the last surgery on her jaw, but in true Rhona style, I took everything except  my glasses. This may sound familiar to some readers as this happened before.....same doctor, same surgery! You can laugh about it  read about it here. When will I learn? I'll not tell you how long it took me to backstitch the lettering without the old specs! lol For some strange reason, I've decided to do the backstitching as I go along rather than leaving it to the end. Anyone else do their backstitching this way?

Anyway, I'm sure I will have it completed by the time all the Christmas and New Year munchies are finished ....perfect timing!

I'm off to wrap those presents!

Until next time...happy stitching!

Rhona


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Feeling Festive!

It's beginning to look a bit like Christmas in my house! I finally put the tree up, but I have to add, that there's only lights on it - nothing else! I'm waiting till both kiddos are back from uni so we can decorate together. It just doesn't seem right to do it myself.....guess I'm getting old and sentimental! What would Christmas be without the two of them fighting over the candy canes! With DS being 6'1" he can hide his at the top of the tree where his 5'1" sister can't reach them! Ah, the joys of Christmas!

I have been trying to catch up with all my blog reading and dutifully leaving a comment! Hope you didn't feel that after my last post you had to comment! 

Stitching wise, I haven't really done very much! I think like most people, I have been running around trying to get organized for Christmas day - still got lots of shopping to do! Yikes, wish me luck!

This is what I have been working on....


You know how I love my penguins! lol

I made him into a little egg cosy, but he could be used for a card or an ornament etc. I was thinking it would be nice to have a set of them made for Christmas....but I know there's no way that I could do it for this Christmas! So I'm going to say that I have already made a start on my Christmas 2012 stitching! lol That makes me feel good!

I've put the chart on my website so if you want to join me in starting your 2012 Christmas stitching, we can stitch this together!

Until next time...happy stitching!

Rhona

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Why you should always leave a comment!

Who loves to get comments on their blog? As I scan over blogland I see that everyone has their hand up, so I would say that without a doubt, it's a resounding yes - we all love to get comments. For me, it makes me realize that I'm not just talking to myself (although I do that too!) When I first started blogging I wasn't always sure what to write when commenting about a post....'that's nice' didn't seem adequate! But the more I read, and the more comments that were left on my blog, I began to realize that even a 'that's nice' can make someone's day. So other than making the blogger feel very happy that someone is reading their blog and taking time to leave a comment, you just never know what that comment will lead to! It could lead to this...

A lovely surprise I found waiting at my front door! And inside was this...



It's a beautiful cross stitch kit from www.yiotas-xstitch.com .  And all because I left a comment on someone's blog! The blogger had been stitching one of Yiota's kits and I had commented saying that I liked the design. Yiota emailed me and asked if I would like to review one of her kits. Of course, it took me all of half a second to say yes! It took me soooo much longer to decide which kit to review! If you go to her site, be prepared to spend a long time there as she has the most amazing selection of cross stitch kits. So let me tell you about the kit -  I chose A lady Dancing by Mucha (one of my favourite artists).



 The kit comes with a colour picture on the front showing the design and inside there is a black and white chart which is printed over two sheets of quality A3 sized paper. The key lists Madeira threads but also has DMC conversion which is very handy if you plan to stitch this design more than once. The threads are all wound on bobbins and are labelled with the thread numbers which makes life so much easier, as we all know how difficult it is to try to figure out which colour is which! 14 count aida and a needle are also included in the kit.
Just look at all those wonderful thread colours!




Thanks Yiota, I can't wait to get started stitching this.

So, always remember to make someone's day by leaving a comment, you never know what it might lead to!

Until next time...happy stitching!

Rhona

Monday, December 12, 2011

Santa - I was good! Honestly!

And I have a photograph to prove it!

Remember in my last post I had finished the last skein of thread and had to go to JoAnn's to get some more? Well, how many of you believed that I would actually buy just the one thread and nothing else? I know I didn't!! Well, this is what I came home with...


Yes, surprisingly, just the one thread! I put the receipt in the picture to prove that I only bought the one item. I don't think I have ever spent so little cash in a store...especially a craft store!

I think from that action alone I should be on Santa's 'Good' list - don't you?

Until next time...happy stitching!

Rhona

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Tis the seaon....

....to be stressed out! Anyone else feel like that? I've been looking at all these wonderful websites and blogs about how to make you house festive for the season and boy...do they push the boat out! I really wonder how many people actually have houses like those pictured in the magazines or if there are more like mine with the fairy perched precariously on the top of the tree, the kids fighting over the candy canes, the parcels wrapped without co-ordinating paper, fancy bows and elaborate tags and the chocolates all eaten from the advent calendar way before Christmas eve! lol

So, as I said I have been checking out all these wonderful Christmas ideas online to see if I can get any inspiration for making gifts from my cross stitch. Sadly there really isn't much around. If you do know of any good sites please let me know! I have to share with you one of the worst home made Christmas gift ideas that I found (I'm sure there's plenty more but this one was todays' winner!)
http://www.marthastewart.com/275134/handmade-gifts-for-her/@center/307035/santas-workshop#/167285  oh Martha! What were you thinking?! Were you thinking?!

And since this is a cross stitch blog, I had better show you some stitching! Not much progress I'm afraid. I have been working on a piece for one of the magazines and, of course, can't let you see it just yet! But here's where the Dieters Prayer is at...

I was really enjoying stitching this one. It's one of those designs that you can stitch while watching TV or listening to a book on cd as there's plenty of bits that don't need too much counting or concentration. I'm really looking forward to getting back to this one!

Anyway, I have to go to the craft store as I have run out of thread for the design I'm stitching just now. So the question of the day is...will I come back with only the required thread or will some other goodies have jumped into the shopping basket?!!! I'll let you know!

Until next time...happy stitching!

Rhona

Monday, December 5, 2011

Dieter's Prayer update

Not much progress to show you on the Dieter's Prayer!

We had a wonderful weekend  and had some friends over for dinner, so most of my time was spent getting the house tidied up and, of course, preparing the food. So, very little stitching got done this weekend, but having a break like that does make me want to get stitching again.
Here's how my stitching is looking just now....


...along with the obligatory tangle of threads and part of a recipe I had written out hiding under the stitching!
Hopefully there will be more to show you next time!

Until next time...happy stitching!

Rhona

Thursday, December 1, 2011

December already?

Yikes! Where has the time gone? Guess it's time for me to make those long Christmas 'to-do' lists!

Anyway, here's a picture of my current stitching.


It's the Dieter's Prayer from my web site. I'm stitching it for myself to hang in the kitchen as a reminder to be 'good'...but of course I deliberately  sadly won't get it finished until after all the Christmas and New Year festivities, so I can indulge (guilt free) in all the wonderfully decadent goodies that the season has to offer!

I'm off to start making those lists!

Until next time...happy stitching!

Rhona

Monday, November 28, 2011

A Quick and Easy Gift For Christmas

I love to stitch gifts for people - I get to indulge in my hobby and I can also give someone a unique gift. But.....don't you find that some people are just so hard to find gifts for? Well, fear not! Whether it’s for the family relative that has everything, a teacher’s Christmas gift or for that last minute hostess gift, this little project covers them all – and you know that no-one else will be bringing the same gift.

Here's how to go from this....

To this......


Another quick and easy project that I hope you will enjoy!
Here’s how to make this unique gift that looks time consuming and expensive but isn’t!
All you need are  some little candles in glass jars– the type you can pick up cheaply from the Dollar Store/Poundland etc., some wide ribbon (approx. 2.2 cm wide), some contrasting narrower ribbon, your stitched letters from the Christmas Word Decorations chart, (back each letter with iron-on interfacing and cut out each letter one square from the edge of the stitching) and some glue.

The candles I used were just over 6cm tall and cost me about $1 each! Yeah...this project won't break the bank! These ones are round but the project would also work with square holders as long as they were approximately 4cm wide or larger. Just make sure that the edges do not taper too much, otherwise it will be hard to attach the ribbon on!

Step 1
Secure the wider ribbon round the middle of the candle jar.



Step 2
Position contrasting ribbon in the center of the main ribbon and glue in place.



Step 3
Glue the first letter centrally on the candle.



I tied some thread round mine to hold the stitching in place until the glue had dried.

Step 4
Repeat the process with the remaining letters, ensuring that the ribbons and stitching are level.


Once the glue has dried you can remove threads holding stitching in place and your gift is finished, it's that easy!!



Any of the ten words that are on the Christmas Word Decorations charts (available at my website www.tangledthreadsonline.com under the Cristmas section) are suitable for making this gift. You could even use the same words for multiple gifts but make each gift different by changing the colours of the stitching or by changing the colours of the ribbons – simple!

Think how festive would it look to have the lit candles on the mantle piece with the words 'dream' or 'noel' glowing  for all to see!

Now I just have to find some time to get the Christmas decorations up!

Until next time...happy stitching!

Rhona




Thursday, November 24, 2011

TUSAL

Well it's 'that time' again! Time to show my little ort collection, and here it is....


I forgot to take a picture of the larger ort jar - it's nearly full! I can't believe how many bits of thread you can collect over the course of a year!

Now you may remember the little Santa's bags of coal that I had stitched earlier, (click here if you missed the post) well I found the most perfect chocolates to put in these little bags!


How perfect is that?!! So, of course, I had a to take a picture of the bag and the chocolate together!


Until next time...happy stitching!

Rhona

Sunday, November 20, 2011

More Joy!

As if there wasn't enough joy in my last post, I bring even more this time!


I'm still using the same chart as I've had so much fun with this little design - it's quick to stitch and you can easily change the colours to suit whatever you have in your stash. This is what I made with the same lettering as last time.




Quite a different look, don't you think? I paired this with the holly motif that I had used for the gift card in an earlier post. While I was stitching it, I wasn't sure how the white border would look round the stitching and I was wondering if I should have stitched it on black aida. When I put the finished stitching on the card I really liked the effect, the white makes the whole thing crisp and focused -  I love the white!

The picture doesn't show the detail on the edge of the card which looks like this...


It's made using a pattern tracing tool which looks like this...


You can tell that since I got my sewing machine I have been wandering, (albeit rather aimlessly) through the sewing department of JoAnns! Anyway, this nifty little tool creates that mock stitched look in one easy move! All you need is a metal ruler then you just roll the blade against the edge of the ruler, pressing in to the card and it creates that pattern without you having to do any hard work at all! And since it only cost a couple of dollars, it doesn't break the bank either!

The charts for this design are available form www.tangledthreadsonline.com.

I have had some wonderful pictures from people who have stitched up my designs and will be adding them to the customers gallery on the web site later on today. I just want to give a shout out to Caitlin, one of my first customers, who has been stitching up a storm! Please check out her blog where you can see all the cute TangledThreads penguins she has stitched and made into little ornaments! She post frequently so you may have to scroll down to see all the penguins, believe me there are lots of penguins, she's been very busy!

Until next time (will there be more joy?!!)...happy stitching!

Rhona

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sniffling and Stitching


Sniffling and stitching really don’t go together! Not only is it hard to concentrate when you have a cold, but stopping to blow your nose every two seconds really does eat into your stitching time! So not much stitching done this week, but I do have a couple of stitchy things to show you.
I have been working on getting my Christmas cards stitched up as Christmas is coming in fast… just in case you didn’t realize!!!!

 I used the Christmas Word Decoration charts from (of course!)www.TangledThreadsOnline.com . I used the word JOY as I think that it’s a lovely sentiment for Christmas. I stitched the letters then backed them with iron-on interfacing (so that the colour of the card doesn’t shine through.) I carefully cut round the stitching leaving me with three squares to, quite literally, play with. This is where the fun comes in, as there is so much you can do, so many different layouts etc. Here’s the first card….



I made a predominantly blue card so that the red squares would really pop, and used red accents to tie it all together. The patterned paper just stops the card from being too plain but doesn’t take your eye away from the stitching.



Here you can see all the layers to make the card.



This was relatively quick to make as there is no fancy cutting, it’s all squares and straight lines!

The next card is all straight lines too, but a little bit more tricky to make. But never fear, all you need is a metal ruler and your trusty craft knife!



Once I had stitched and backed the letters, I attached them onto a thin piece of red ribbon. My one piece of advice if you are going to make this card, is to make sure the pieces are glued well and are dry before you start to attach them to the card (yes, I learned the hard way!!!) Then all you need to do now is to take your trusty craft knife and make the card with the aperture – or alternatively, buy one! I attached the ribbon to the inside of the card and topped the front with a ready-made ribbon bow.


This was from a pack of ten that I picked up from JoAnns for a couple of dollars.
Now you could stop here, as the card looks great like this…or if you are like me and like to keep playing with paper and ribbons etc, then you can keep playing! I added some patterned paper to the back so that it showed through the aperture. I kept the pattern quite subtle so that it didn’t detract from the stitching.



This next picture is taken from a strange angle, but it shows the effect of the letters being suspended from the card.

I want to use this ribbon layout to make some Christmas tree ornaments using some of the other words that are on the chart, but that will have to wait till I've stopped sniffling quite so much - maybe  next post!

So there you are, some more quick and easy (and very effective) Christmas cards. Now if only I knew someone called Joy!!!

Until next time...happy stitching!

Rhona