Monday, June 18, 2012

The 'O' word....

....dare I say it? Shhh, don't tell anyone, but I really have to take the plunge and .....(yikes!) organize! Yes, things are getting so bad here that it's seriously getting in the way of stash acquisition - and we can't have that, can we?!!  For all the other areas in my life, I'm reasonably organized, neat and tidy - but when it comes to crafty stuff...well I'm a completely different person. I keep telling myself that I work better when there's clutter on my desk, but when you can't see the actual desk, then you know you're in trouble. So, this week I'm doing the 'O'........I'll let you know how successful I am!!

Thank you for all the lovely comments about last week's Summer Bucket List. I have the bucket sitting on my kitchen counter so that it's in sight and that we actually do some of the activities. I had some lovely comments about having a Stitcher's Bucket list (which was just a last minute idea when I was writing the post last week) so for all those who would like to make themselves a Stitcher's Bucket List here's a design just for you!

I know that I could never find a bucket big enough for all the stitching I'd like to do! lol

I haven't given any colours on the chart - just use whatever you feel like, or use up those little odds and ends of threads that we all hang on to!

Please feel free to post the chart on your blog or send other stitcher's here so they can stitch it too. The more the merrier!

So, in my totally disorganized crafting/stitching life, I have it in my head that tomorrow is the new moon which means it's TUSAL time. If I'm wrong, I apologize for no doubt panicking many of my fellow TUSALers. Things can only get better after I'm O'd.

Not surprisingly, there's a lack of threads in the jar this month. Hopefully I'll be more productive for next months picture!

Wish me luck for my massive 'O' undertaking!

Until next time...happy stitching!


Monday, June 11, 2012

Summer fun and a free chart!

This is such a cute idea that’s floating around on the internet just now and I just had to add a little cross stitch twist to it.

A summer bucket list!

Quite literally, a bucket with a list of all the activities you and your family would like to do over the summer.

I don’t know about you, but at the start of summer I always seem to have so many plans and goals, but in the blink of an eye, summer’s gone and I’ve usually managed to accomplish very little! But not this year!!! This bucket list is going to keep me on track!

It was fun thinking of the things we’d like to do during the summer, and of course, we can always add things if we want to. We wrote our activities on some jumbo craft sticks, but you could write them on clothes pegs and clip them to the bucket (cute!) or you could write them on paper strips and pop them into the bucket…anything works!

We have some rainy day activities as well as some messy activities to do. Some things are really simple like ‘Go for Ice Cream’ and others involve a bit of planning ‘Go Camping’. If you need some inspiration for things to add to your bucket list, just Google summer bucket list activities – or better still, involve the family in planning what they’d like to do this summer.

Here’s one that I managed to sneak in and will certainly be doing…


Here’s the chart that I used - you can print it off and make your own Summer Bucket List.

Mix and match the motifs and play around with the thread colours. Use whatever threads you have in your stash!
I couldn't resist this little bucket that I found at the local JoAnn’s store, but if you can’t find a bucket, you can always use a container such as an old jar or coffee can etc.
Here’s the same thing done using a jar instead of the bucket…

Mix and match the chart motifs to suit your own container!

I love the fact that you can use this activity for your family whether you have little kids, tweenies, teenagers, or even if your kids have flown the nest. No more complaints about summer having flown by and nothing being accomplished!

And one final idea - what about a stitcher’s bucket list? Each of your UFO’s on a stick and whatever one you pull out you have to work on. Or a list of all those charts you’d like to stitch (I’d need a huge bucket!!), or even things like organize threads, finish off a UFO, make stitching into a cushion etc.  Mmmm, I think I know what my next project is going to be!!!

Until next time…happy stitching!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Teacher's gift idea

Yayyyyy...I finished the stitching from Monday and have and have made a little gift giving package using it. Since it's almost the end of the school year for most pupils (I know some have already finished their school year, but you can always keep this idea for next year!!!) I thought this would be a quick and easy (and practical) gift to give to the teachers who spend so much time with our little ones.

Teachers do an amazingly hard job – everybody thinks teachers have an easy time, great hours, fantastic holidays etc. but believe me, it’s a far more difficult job than most people imagine! Standing up in front of a class of twenty or thirty kids is no easy task – believe me, been there, done that!

Anyway, finding an end of year gift can be quite tricky and expensive, especially if you have more than one teacher to give to. If you want something that will be appreciated, useful and will stand out from all the other class gifts gifts then keep on reading!

 Here’s Tangled Threads gift idea for the month of June….

The hardest part about making this gift, is making sure you don’t sample too many of the chocolates!
As a mum, I know how difficult it is both financially and also time wise, to get great gifts for teachers -  especially if you have more than one child at school. Not only are there the teachers to give to, but more often than not there are teacher’s aides, nursery nurses and a host of other people involved in looking after your children. This may mean quite a number of gifts to make. On the other side, having worked in several schools, I’m also well aware of the rules that schools have in place in regards to gifts for teachers, everything from the price of the gift to things like no home baked goods. I’m certain that this gift will be one you’ll enjoy making and one that the recipients will enjoy (and use) too!

So here’s what’s in the gift… a gift card for a local coffee house packaged in one of the store’s to-go cups, along with some chocolate and a cross stitched coaster. Of course, no gift is complete without the matching card and tag, which co-ordinates perfectly!

Most of you will know that I hate having to stitch the same design more than once, and so with that in mind, I have designed this set using the same motifs but there are six different card designs and six coaster designs, each with different sayings, so that each of the teachers or aides that you stitch for will be getting basically the same gift, but also one that’s slightly different. You get the enjoyment of not having to stitch the same design over and over! Also included in the set is an alphabet (and some extra graph paper!) so you personalize the designs with the teacher’s name.
Here are some pictures of the different parts of the gift…
One of the coaster designs…

One of six designs with various teacher sayings such as “The best teachers have the biggest hearts”, “Teachers change the world one child at a time”
Matching card….

There are also six different card designs, with various sayings such as “No 1 Teacher” and “Best Teacher”.

Here’s a close up of the little star buttons I used as embellishments…

And the detail inside the card…..

And now for the gift itself…

When you go to buy the coffee store gift card, ask for one of their to-go cups and also one of the paper sleeves. I turned the sleeve inside out to hide the name, but you can either leave it so it shows or cover it with one of the little motifs that also comes with the teachers pack.
Fill the cup with some chocolates…perhaps testing one or two just to make sure they are suitable ;)

Tuck in the gift card so that it’s wedged between the chocolates and can be seen. I made a small gift tag and stuck it to the inside of the cup. I also added the apple motif to brighten up the paper cup.

If you feel that some of the chocolates might get lost (or eaten!) before you can get the gift to the teacher, you can of course just add the chocolates and the card into a cellophane gift bag and tie with a ribbon then place into the to-go cup.

By placing the cup on top of the coaster, you can then tie the whole gift together with a ribbon…how cute is that?!!! Great for little hands to carry in to their teacher.

So here’s how everything looks together…

If you are running out of time, or simply don’t want to do the cup and gift card idea, you can simply make the card and the coaster for a cute and practical gift….

One last little idea for this gift is to back the coaster stitching with card, and have your child sign and date it before placing it into the acrylic holder.

What a wonderful combination – stitching, coffee, and chocolates – who could ask for more?
 Charts can be found at

Disclaimer: No chocolates were harmed in the making of this gift (although the same can’t be said about waistlines!!!)

Until next time...happy stitching!


Monday, June 4, 2012

Another week has flown by!

Where has the time gone? And what on earth did I do with it? Not much time spent stitching, but I do have some projects to share with you. They are only half done....but I'm determined to get then finished this week!

So, for the Grain of Salt designs, I'm working on the card design now....

Don't the half finished limes look like big smiley faces? Teehee!

This shouldn't take too long to finish - I just need to be able to get a few hours of undisturbed time to myself! (I'm not asking for much, am I?!!!)

And the June release for Tangled Threads is an end of the school year, teachers thank you gift. I've got various bits stitched and I'm in the process of finishing everything off and assembling the teacher's gift idea, which will be the project of the month on my website.

Here's a little peek of what I'm working on...

This is another project I aim to have finished this week....I'm certainly going to be busy!

And now it's time for a confession! Over the weekend, my hubby decided to clear out and organize the basement...seemed a good idea at the time, until he discovered several boxes of my 'stuff'. And by stuff, I don't just mean cross stitching supplies (which, I must add,  I rather skillfully managed to move  around without hubby actually looking into said boxes - phew!). But the confession is that I think I'm a bit of a hoarder....I'm not bad enough to warrant TLC to come and do a programme on me, but I do tend to hold onto things/stuff for crafts, with the excuse of  'it might come in handy one day'.  Anyone else have this 'problem'? And if you do...can you tell me your secret for organizing it so that you do actually use it!!!

Until next time (when I will have a completed project to show you)...happy stitching!