Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Stitchery Giftery

Spoiler alert! If you are on my Christmas card list and you don't want to see what's coming in the mail. Turn away now. (That means you, Jordan!) 

This time of year, I do everything possible to avoid shopping at the malls. So, that usually means I break out the needle and thread and spend time at the sewing machine to make cards and gifts.

This year, it seems hand embroidery has been my sewing craft of choice. And with some great patterns and idea starters, how can you go wrong!

Blueberry Backroads has a pattern series to make small ornaments for the holidays and for year-round. Once I stitched several variations and repeats of the center stitching, I went back to the sewing machine to make the mini-block. I backed it and turned it envelope-style and added a little quilting and a hanger. A little mini quilt ready for the tree!

Next, the cards were made on my printer with some help from PC Crafter clipart, a little glue, glitter, and some spongy space-makers used to create a pocket for the fabric ornament.

Moving on to gift-making. To create whimsical bags big enough to hold a small portable computer or eReader (below), I started with a small embroidery/ applique pattern from Crab Apple Hill.

Then on to the sewing machine. The resulting bag is an original pattern variation from one of the patterns in my soon-to-be-released book, Cut the Scraps. The embroidery patch really could be any machine or hand embroidered motif.

I'm sure I'll have to head to the mall at some point, but not yet, I still have some sewing to do!

Happy Stitching!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Let it Snow! Then Let it Stop. . . please!

I live in Syracuse, New York. Just south and a little east of Lake Ontario. This time of year, the big lake isn't frozen yet. Without getting too scientific, if the wind blows just right, Syracuse can get walloped with bad weather as winter sets in.

Just so happened, the 'right' combination of wind, and cold, and snow happened this week over Syracuse - and my house. It started this past weekend. It's Wednesday and it hasn't stopped snowing yet.

There is a little landing just outside the back door that leads down three or four steps to the back yard. Small railing. In the summer, it's the easiest access to the patio. In the winter, this landing becomes a wind magnet, often creating interesting shapes with falling and drifting snow.

For some reason, on Monday evening, I thought the amount of snow accumulated on the railing was rather 'amusing.' So I opened the door and snapped a pic. Little did I know what might come next.

The next morning, the wind made some interesting shapes that seemed to defy gravity. Kinda reminded me of that famous painting by Michelangelo on the ceiling - will the two 'fingers' meet or not? More snow.

This was last night. Yup. The two snow blobs are now one big blob. Snow's not done yet.

This morning. No more railing visible. I find the little red hummingbird feeder/holder a bit comical in this picture. That's about eye level for me. Much to my surprise (and dismay), not a hummingbird anywhere in sight!

Another 6-8" of snow is expected today and another 8-10" tonight.

At least I have fabric, thread and a working sewing machine. And heat.

Is it Spring yet?