Friday, March 03, 2017

My finishing pile is dwindling!

Recently, I took out a few things that have been in my "to be finished" stack for literally years and finally finished them off.

First up is one of my very first pieces of hardanger. To finish it, I backed the hardanger with a piece of teal cotton that perfectly matched little flowers in the floral print that I used to cover a paper mache box.  I'm quite pleased with how it turned out and use the little box to store some bits and bobs.


Next are a couple of cross stitch pieces that I made into cute zipper pouches with bright red zippers.  I finished them off with metal zipper tags with the Canadian maple leaf. These pouches are being used as project bags.



So my finishing pile is down by three! Maybe not a lot but it's still something.  :)

Now, onto my sewing projects.... 

Since I really needed a new purse because mine was looking quite shabby I decided to make my own.  I found the Hippo Hobo pattern by Emkie Designs and made two - one for winter and one for summer. They're a little on the large side, but they're perfect for carrying my things to work and since they're quite light I don't mind using it as an every day bag either. 



I thought I'd practice making some wallets with cork and whipped up these two Slimline wallets.  The pattern is by Carla's Creations and can be found on Craftsy.  I especially love the Tula Pink fabric.  That fox is simply the cutest thing ever.




I've been on the lookout for a small wallet pattern for awhile and came across the Limelight wallet designed by RLR creations.  I love the ID window in this one, but managed to flub it up when I was ironing it towards the end.  If you look closely you can see the melted plastic. Aside from that, I consider it a success.  It's an adorable little wallet pattern.



That's all I have for now.  I've been working on some passport wallets and a pouch with RFID protection, which I'll talk about in another post. 

Saturday, February 25, 2017

My love affair with cork leather

If you follow me on Instagram, you will already know of my new found love for everything cork (also known as cork leather, vegan leather, or cork fabric).  So, I thought I'd explain why I'm so enamoured with this stuff.

Some of you may be asking what is she talking about so here are some pictures of cork leather to help you out:



Some facts about cork:
  • Sustainable product.  Cork is harvested from a cork tree once every 9 years.  This process does no damage to the tree. There are cork tree forests in Portugal that are over 2000 years old!  Although, from the information that I have, I believe most trees are harvested for up to 300 years.  That's still one heck of a long time though. 
  • It is 100% natural product. I'm always looking for alternatives to synthetics.
  • It is strong. Cork leather is as strong as its leather counterparts.  There have been some discussions on pre-mature wear in the corners, but I believe this has to do with heat (iron) being applied to the cork and other mitigating factors (quality of the cork leather - I buy only the best). Leather and vinyl both show wear in the same fashion.
  • It is water resistent. Bags and wallets made from cork are protected.  As much as I love fabric bags, water protection is nice to have.
  • Natural anti-mildew and anti-bacterial properties.  Synthetics such as vinyl definitely can't boast of this feature. Again, this is a benefit from an all natural product.
  • It can be wiped clean. I hate it when my leather wallets starts looking dingy due to every day handling or my bag starts looking like it's older than the stars because it's gotten dirty. Cork has a smooth, surface that can usually be wiped clean with plain water.  I read one story where dark jean dye rubbed off on a white cork handbag and the dye washed off completely with a damp cloth.  Most bags would be ruined.  That's a definite bonus in my books!
  • Cork leather is PETA CERTIFIED.  Cork is an ecofriendly vegan alternative to leather or vinyl. Remember that bit about trees being harvested for approximately 300 years?  
  • Cork is STITCHABLE.  Cork leather is quite pliable and has a different type of density. So, being stitching obsessed, I had to test it for myself to see if it could be used in hand-stitching. 
The hardest part for me was figuring out how to transfer the design.  You can't exactly see through cork, so Prick and Pounce is pretty much the only way to transfer the design unless your good with free-handing it.  

There is enough stiffness in the cork to hold it in your hand and stitch. 


  

I finished it off as an open-mouthed cork bag. I decided to list this for sale on Instagram and couldn't believe how quickly it sold. 😊



I'll end this post with some pictures below of a couple of things that I've made with the cork.




This is the Slimline wallet designed by Carla's Creations. Pattern can be found on Craftsy.com.

So, that's it my friends.  What's not to love about this stuff, eh?  😊

Wishing all of you a happy weekend!

Karen

Friday, February 24, 2017

A little bit of this and a little bit of that...

I could start with the "I'm so sorry for not blogging" speech, but I think we've all heard it before. So, I won't bother you with that.  Let's just get right to the good stuff. 😊

I've been busy!  There have been some family health issues that have been dealt with, but are still ongoing.  Then there was the regular Christmas business that happens every year.  This year was a bit more busy for me because I worked Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year's Eve, and New Year's Day.  Some would say who hates me so much at work lol.  But that's not the case at my place of work.  Since I work a shift work rotation, it is just the way it worked out.  My rotation just so happened to land on all of those days.  Go figure!?!  Nobody complains when it's their turn to work it because we all know it's inevitable.

Now, that takes me up to January.  In January, the family health stuff was number one on my plate and pretty well takes me right into February.  February has been busy too.  I'm not sure if any of you follow the East Coast weather forecasts, but we had some brutal weather!  Ice storms and flash freezes....  and then so much snow I swear we were buried alive.  Oddly, here we are at the end of February with absolutely beautiful spring-like weather.  Our massive amounts of snow and ice are melting.  The temperatures were in the low double digits today.  Just absolutely fantastic to see.  

Amidst all of this insanity, I have managed to sew and stitch a few things.  It's time to bombard you with pictures. 😏

I'll begin with an update on my stitching:

First up is Birdhouse from Just Cross Stitch Ornament Preview Issue October 2007. An unwritten goal (I guess it's written now though lol) is that I'd like to stitch more from my magazine collection in 2017.  I have accumulated goodness knows how many magazines and rarely stitch anything from them. So, this pretty little design is the first to be stitched for that challenge.


Now, those that follow me have seen this one before.  I started Santa's Secret, a Dimensions kit, just before Christmas.  I made quite a bit of progress, but bored of it as the Christmas season came to an end.  It is one that I will definitely finish for next Chrsitmas. 


The next picture is of a pair of hearts that I embroidered onto a handmade pillowcase as a Valentine's Day stitching project.  The transfer design is one that I had printed off ages ago and don't remember the source.

I guess this is a little out of order, because this is what I picked up when I set Santa's Secret aside.  This Easter Egg was a Drawn Thread kit aptly called The Easter Egg Sampler.  Some may say it's a bit too early for Easter stitching, but it called to me... and the rest is history.


Now, for my next magazine challenge. Here is Bloom Pincushion from Just Cross Stitch March/April 2011 issue.  It is Volume 29 Issue 2 for anyone that would like to know.  As you can see there are still a few stitches left in this one, but it will be done soon.


Now, Seville is one that I've been working on for awhile.  I haven't quite finished page 2, but I'm getting close.  I'm stitching this on 36 count linen and I find I have to set it aside after a bit of stitching.  I guess my eyes aren't as good as they used to be 😡.  For those that would like to know, Seville is from a Just Cross Stitch magazine as well.  It is in the June issue of 2015.  Also, I'm using DMC 744 as my thread of choice for this pattern.


I think this will be the last pic I'll share with you tonight.  It looks pretty plain and boring, I'm sure.  But this little stack of white cotton is actually five pillowcases I made last night.  I really wanted a pair of Valentine's pillowcases, but only had the one pillowcase made up.  So, last night I busied myself by making five more. Five blank slates all set for embroidery.  😊


 I'll leave you with that cause I know it's a lot to sift through.  Tomorrow, I'll be back with an update on a few other things I've been working on.

Wishing you a wondeful weekend!

Karen

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Sewing update

Aside from stitching, I've been busy making bags and wallets and I absolutely love it!  This first pic is a bag designed by Chris W. Designs and the wallets on the right are her designs as well.  The purple and teal wallet is by Emmaline Bags and the one with the buttons is by Karla's Creations.


The second picture is a totebag designed by myself.  It is fully lined with a recessed zipper closure and zip pockets inside and out.  The wallet is the Pick-a-Pocket wallet by Chris W. Designs as well.  Love this design! It's a slim functional wallet that holds a cell phone.  I made this set back in the summer, with the intentions of giving it as a Christmas gift.


Next, are the insides of a couple of the wallets.


The next two pictures are of some of the accordian wallets that I've made. I love making these little wallets and as you can see they are perfect for putting a little cross stitch design on the front flap.  I've made quite a few of these as Christmas gifts for this year, 



 Finally, another Necessary Clutch Wallet designed by Emmaline Bag.  The main boddy of this is made from cork leather which is really fun to work with.  My domestic machine had no problem at all sewing through it. I'm not sure if you can see the pretty silver flecks in the cork, but it is quite shiney and looks awesome with the hot pink bandana material.


And below are the insides.


I have more pics on Instagram @karens_colourful_creations.  I tend to take pics right away on my phone, but for whatever reason, they won't upload to my PC anymore.  So, there are lots more pics over there.

And that's what I've been up to this year. Between stitching and sewing, I think I got a fair amount done.

Since this will probably be my last post for this year I'll wish you all a Merry Christmasd and a very Happy New Year!  All the best in 2017!!

Karen

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Long overdue

The very first thing I want to tell you is that my domain name has changed.  GoDaddy wanted too much money for the renewal of my old domains, so I went in search of a new one and settled on www.stitching.ca.  Welcome to my new domain! :)

Now lets get down to business with what's going on in my stitchy life.  There is soooooo much to share, since my poor ol' blog has taken such a back-seat this year.  I'll try not to overwhelm you with almost a whole year of stitchy goodness and I will try to break it down into a few posts. 

Next up - PICTURES!  Today I'll show you my cross stitch updates.

Around the World in 80 Stitches - Papillion Creations

Dimensions Kit - Santa's Secret

Seville - JCS magazine and Pumpkins on Parade by Carousel

Miss Peepers - LHN
BlueBird - Just Nan
Underwater Lottery - Designs by Lisa
Bunny and Basket of Flowers card - freebies from magazine
Blubird pillowcase - embroidery design found online


Red House in Winter - Little House Needleworks
Peppermint - Little House Needleworks
Tweet - Little House Needleworks

Final Finsishing of Pumpkins on Parade, and a couple of ornaments that were sitting in my "To Be Finished" Pile

From an old magazine - can't remember name of design or which magazine
I'm sure there are more cross stitch updates to share, but these were all I could think of when I was taking some pictures today. 

There haven't been very many cross stitch stash acquisitions this year.  I ordered a few things from Traditional Stitches during their annual sale (see below pics).


 
And a second order from Traditional Stitches for a couple of charts that are being given to me as Christmas presents this year.  These two charts have been on my wishlist for a very long time.  I was so glad to finally be able to get them.
 
 
And finally, last but not least, an order from Herrschners for some $1.35 magazines and a few other sale items.


 
That's all I have for cross stitch updates for now.  My next post will show a whole lot of sewing goodness!  Hope you come back to check out my sewing updates tomorrow.  :)
 
 
Thanks for visiting,
 
Karen
 

Friday, March 25, 2016

Stitchy Mojo struck again

Since my last post, I've been a very busy stitcher.  So busy in fact that I didn't stop to take time to post. When the stitchy mojo strikes I think I just have to go with it! ;)

I've been mostly working on The Seville Pillow from the Just Cross Stitch June 2015.  I'm very happy with my progress, although a little bit tired of yellow. Here are the before and after pics:



My after picture shows almost the full first page of the pattern completed. This 6 page pattern is definitely a larger cross stitch pattern than I normally take on, but I've been enjoying every stitch.

I found a nice big piece of 36 count cream linen in my stash that worked perfectly for this project.  The thread I chose is DMC 744.  It's a nice soft yellow, but I dare say that I was getting a bit yellowed out after my last big stitching session.  

I've also had a few smaller things on the go including a little bit of finishing.  

First is Little Miss Muffet's Tuffet designed by Twisted Oak Designs and I managed to stitch and finish it in its entirety.  Now, the stitchy gods were definitely on my side for this one.  Can you believe I managed to find the perfect size paper mache box at the local Dollar store!?!  

I didn't have any fabric in my stash that matched, so I went shopping with my Mom at the local fabric store (who just so happened to have a special sale on cottons that day).  In the piles and piles of cottons that were on sale she eyed this cute blue cotton that matched perfectly!  

I had an extra skein of the dark pink DMC floss in my stash that was used to make the cording and the little piece of lace came from a big bag of odds and ends of lace that I picked up at a garage sale a few years ago.  So this was a super handy little box was a steal of a deal to final finish.


Next, is The Sweetheart Tree's Tiny Violet Sampler.  I had the silver cable on order and was so happy when it arrived and I was able to stitch the final border.  It is a beautiful design and I absolutely love it.  It's just so sparkly!! :)


Finally, I did a little bit of Easter stitching.  The pink and green bunnies are from a little pattern called Bunny by The Sweetheart Tree and the middle design is Hop by Lizzie Kate.  I decided to try my hand with grommets/eyelets, and I'm afraid I'm not overly happy with how they turned out.  I really wish I had added a angled edge at the top to make them more tag-like, but I forgot to and I already had them mounted when I realized my mistake.


That's what I've got to show for all of my stitchy enthusiasm in the last month.  Now, it's time for me to cross go and cross a a few more Xs while the mood is still with me.  

Wishing all of you all of the best this Easter weekend!

Happy Easter!

Karen