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Official WIP Finish and Purin Update, Plus a Finished Sundress

  • Posted on July 7, 2012 at 11:17 pm

I have completed the stitching for part 2 of PIF gift #3 and finished the item into its final form. Since it is currently winging its way to the recipient, I cannot show the pictures or reveal any other information, but it is done.

PIF gift #4 just made it to its final destination on Friday, so I can now do the official reveal. The recipient is Belinda, the designer behind Tor Rhuann Designs and whose designs I love, so choosing and executing something for her was a little intimidating. In accordance with the colors that she said she favors, I chose the design Florin by Ink Circles. In order to fit the design in the 1.5 inch frame, I had to slightly modify the outer section of the design to shrink it and then stitched it over 1 on antique white 36 ct. linen.

Here is the stitched piece:

And finished into a pendant:

I have started PIF gift #5, which is the last one (#2 has been finished for months, but the package is waiting for me to do something else before I send it off).

In WIPocalypse news, as I remembered at the end of my update, I actually did some work on Purin the other week (maybe 2 weeks ago?). When we last saw this cuddly little creature, it looked like this:

And now it looks like this:

Beware, there is a whole lot of yellow coming. Other than the outline and the eyes, it’s ALL yellow. I’ll definitely have to rotate in and out of this one!

And finally, I have a sewing finish to show. The first sundress is finished! I ended up having to alter it on the fly quite a bit. According to the pattern envelope and my measurements, I cut a size 8. Surprise, surprise, it was WAY too big. I’ve now cut all of the pattern sizes down to 4 for the next run. I changed the bodice because I didn’t like how high it was. I changed the length of the skirt from hitting below my knees to ending several inches above my knees. It also seemed really boring, so I went out and found some sheer, dark chocolate colored ribbon and added it to the bottom and the empire waist line. I think it looks a bit better now. It’s not perfect, but I might actually wear it. 🙂

That’s it for me for now. I will be starting another big stitching project soon, as I have signed up for Passione Ricamo’s year-long Fairy Mystery SAL which started on July 1st. I have nearly all of the materials, except some beads and Petite Treasure Braid which is on order and will hopefully be here in another week or so.

Weekend Goals – Results

  • Posted on June 25, 2012 at 11:18 am


  • Finish sundress #1 – close enough
  • Finish one hot pink F bomb
  • Pack up PIFs #2 and #3 for shipping
  • Finish PIF #4
  • Email order for PR Fairy Mystery SAL threads and beads
  • Read
  • Eat
  • Sleep
  • Relax


  • Respond to messages
  • Start sundress #2
  • Finish one hot pink F bomb
  • Finish one red F bomb
  • Pack up PIF #4 for shipping
  • Start stitching PIF #5
  • Do some floss tosses on different fabrics for PR Fairy Mystery SAL

Weekend Goals

  • Posted on June 23, 2012 at 7:28 pm


  • Finish sundress #1
  • Finish one hot pink F bomb
  • Pack up PIFs #2 and #3 for shipping
  • Finish PIF #4
  • Email order for PR Fairy Mystery SAL threads and beads
  • Read
  • Eat
  • Sleep
  • Relax


  • Respond to messages
  • Start sundress #2
  • Finish one hot pink F bomb
  • Finish one red F bomb
  • Pack up PIF #4 for shipping
  • Start stitching PIF #5
  • Do some floss tosses on different fabrics for PR Fairy Mystery SAL

PIF #3 Complete!

  • Posted on June 21, 2012 at 10:35 am

Yes, I did manage some crafting this weekend. I spent a good bit of my time on the couch, sleeping or reading or whatever. The weather was gorgeous but hot and I had no burning desire to leave the house. As a result, I was able to complete the stitching on PIF piece #3 and then do the finishing work on it, as well. I also nearly completed the first sundress, but chickened out when I got to the zipper. It pretty much just needs that and I have to make a final decision on the length and sew the bottom hem.

I gave in on Monday and went to the doctor after feeling extremely tired for several days and experiencing bouts of nausea, one of which had me wanting to curl up into a ball during a meeting. She gave me orders for a bunch of labwork and I had the blood drawn yesterday, but I don’t expect any significant results. I’ve been through this before and there was no underlying cause to be found, so I don’t think that this time will be any different. However, it never hurts to look, right? In the meantime, she gave me a tablet for the nausea and another medication which is an old, old, incredibly old school (Futurama reference, sorry) antihistamine that basically failed as an antihistamine, but has the wonderful side effect of stimulating appetite. I take 1/2 a tablet at night (it also has the side effect of tending to make people drowsy) and, so far, it seems to actually be working. The only time I’m skipping meals now is when I sleep through them.

As a result of feeling exhausted, I had to pass on what would have been my first belly dancing class on Monday. I was still wiped out on Tuesday, but I forced myself to go to my first voice lesson anyway. I was so nervous about singing in front of the woman that my voice shook through the entire song and I nearly burst into tears afterwards. My hands continued to shake for the rest of the lesson. Fortunately, she was very kind. She tested my range and was surprised that I already have a range of 2 octaves. She said that most people start with a range of 1 and hope to work their way up to 2, so at least I have a head start there. 😉

So, now my Tuesday nights are filled with voice lessons. My Monday nights will be filled if I take to the belly dancing classes like I think I will. I have to leave Wednesday nights open for therapy sessions every couple of weeks and Friday nights I’m too tired from my volunteer time at the hospital to schedule anything. That leaves Thursday nights. I was thinking of taking a hip hop dance class. Too much? Probably. Maybe I’ll wait and see how this new, busier schedule suits me first.

In the meantime, I wait. Wait for the blood work results to come back, which I probably won’t hear about until Monday. Wait for Lizzy’s body work to be finished, which may not happen until Friday, in which case I’ll have to wait until Monday to pick her up. I prefer action to waiting, but I also need to learn some patience. I can’t do everything at once. 🙂

A Finish-Finish and Other Craftiness

  • Posted on June 9, 2012 at 11:50 pm

It turns out I’ve actually put a few stitches in recently, though most of them have been more sewing-related in the past two days. A week or more ago, I started a new piece (I know, like I really needed another WIP) from The (now defunct) Gift of Stitching Magazine. This design is a blackwork design from Nancy Pederson named Grapevine Sampler:

That is the only actual stitching that I’ve done in the past month or more, I think. Yesterday, I didn’t feel well and had to skip my volunteer duties at the children’s hospital (which bums me out more than you know), so when I started to feel better in the afternoon/evening, I decided for some reason to setup the sewing machine and work on F bombs. Yeah, remember those things? From 6 months or so ago? I’ve had the parts cut out and queued up for a while now, since I bought additional supplies, just waiting for me to run up the main body on the machine. At that remains now, of course, is all of the tedious hand sewing work, plus the making of all of the cording for the fuses. One step at a time, as I still have a lot of felt circles to cut out for the tops, bottoms and chimneys, as well.

Tonight, as we were sitting watching a movie, I decided to finish putting together a bookmark from Tor Rhuann Designs’ Assisi Winter design. I’ve had the sides of the stitching sewn to interfacing and backing for a long while now, but had put off the hand sewing of the ends and the making and attachment of a tassel for the longest time. What made me do it now, who knows? But it’s done! I didn’t get good color reproduction on the scan, so I might attempt a photo in daylight sometime soon.

Now that the summer weather is upon us, I have a couple (at least 3) sundresses for which I have the fabric and thread (just need trims for all but the first one) and just need to cut out the pattern and start sewing. Maybe tomorrow? Of course, those really tall weeds at the front of the house are also taunting me. We’ll see who wins out. Or maybe I’ll clean the house up a bit?

I hope all of you have a great rest of the weekend (or at least what little of it is left for my down-under friends)!

Recent Jewelry Creations

  • Posted on April 13, 2011 at 3:30 pm

I’ve done some more jewelry work recently, although most of it was just stringing pre-made pendants onto pre-made chains, or cutting chain to length, fitting it with clasps and then stringing on pre-made pendants. 😆

First up is a tiny silver fairy pendant that my friend Richard bought for me while on holiday in Rome a couple of months ago. I strung it onto a pre-made silver box chain:

Next is a pendant that I found at Michaels and just couldn’t walk away from. It has a design done in silver overlaid onto a very thin slice of green shell. I know that I will snap it into pieces at some point, but I’m trying to be very careful with it. I strung this one onto a pre-made silver serpentine (I think?) chain:

And then, there is the last of the pre-made items. And this one is partially pre-made. I strung my Clover cutter pendant onto a chain so that I could wear it as jewelry and see if it would pass through airport security on my way to San Francisco last month. This one I actually had to cut the chain to length, attach a lobster clasp and add a jump ring to serve as a bail for the cutter to attach to the chain:

And now for the pièce de résistance. May I have a drumroll, please?

This set I made completely from scratch to wear in San Francisco. I am pretty sure I finished it the night before and I remember that my fingertips were so sore from manipulating all of the jump rings that I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to stitch the next day. I got the idea from a project on the Fire Mountain Gems and Beads website.

I think that I found the charms first and then saw that project and decided to pair them with Swarovski crystals in a series of drops:

I’m pretty pleased with how everything turned out. I actually put three different attachment points on the end of the necklace (you can see one jump ring standing up just on the edge of the middle of the shoulder of the form) and then added a couple of crystal drops at the very end of the necklace for some pizzazz at the back that can be seen when my hair is pulled up. You can’t really see some of the little details that I added, but if you look closely at the earring on the left, you will see that the longest length of chain actually has a star head pin at the end of the purple drop. I did the same thing on the other earring and the necklace, but I obviously didn’t spend enough time fiddling with how they were laying before I took the photo. If you look closely at the moon charm on the necklace, you will see that it has a Swarovski crystal embedded near the bottom tip. I used yellow, blue and purple Swarovski bicones for the drops and the components are a mix of base metal and silver plated metal, I believe. This set was a proof-of-concept of sorts, as I want to see how the pieces hold up before I do a more expensive version. There are things that I would do better and/or differently if I do this sort of design again, but overall I like the look.

Thank You Nicki!!!

  • Posted on March 30, 2011 at 4:36 pm

Dear, sweet Nicki has been knitting up some wonderful things lately (check out her blog) and was kind enough to knit something for me, as well. Unfortunately, this blog post is way overdue, as a package from her was waiting for me when I returned from San Francisco a couple of weeks ago. I had almost forgotten that we had discussed fingerless mitts a while back, so it was such a nice surprise after that stressful little trip to come home to squishy, present mail!

Nicki really outdid herself, too. Not only did she include some Golden Promise linen from Silkweaver for me to try out for a design I’m working on, which I was expecting, and a pair of gorgeous fingerless mitts, which I was half-expecting, but she also knit a beautiful cowl for me to go with the mitts. Little did she know (and I think that I’ve even neglected to tell her before now) that I get sore throats and other issues where I just love having something wrapped around my neck and throat area. Seriously! I have had a sore throat all day and am wearing it right now. Ahhhh, heavenly.

Per usual, the colors aren’t spot on, but are close enough to give you an idea. Look at the patterns she used! Lacy, cabled and just wonderful!

The overdyed yarn that she used is mottled with such lovely colors; it is simply scrumptious! And the stitches are so tiny, I can’t even begin to tell you how delicate her knitting is. I have no idea how small the needles she used are, but they have to be teeny. Nicki and I had already discovered before that our hands are similarly sized, so hopefully it made it easier for her to stitch the mitts. They are just the right size!

Nicki said that this is her first pair of fingerless mitts that she has knit, but you truly couldn’t tell from looking at them. Her knitting is perfection.

Nicki, you are amazing! Thank you so much for your kindness! I only hope that I will be able to return the favor sometime in the future.

Latest Crafting Attempts

  • Posted on March 2, 2011 at 11:19 pm

Yes, I have to say “attempts” because I’m not terribly happy with some of the results.

I’ll start with the latest finish first. This is a card for Anna‘s grandmother’s birthday. I rattled thoughts around in my head for a while without even the slightest hint of cohesion occurring and never did come up with an idea, except to use my new Sizzix Big Shot, which I bought recently from and I happen to see is still on sale for $59.99. Anyway, I texted Anna and asked what Maggie’s favorite color was, to which she promptly replied “leopard.” And then, a more helpful response suggesting bright colors and no pastels. Yes, Maggie is not your ordinary grandma, for sure. But then, Anna isn’t your typical woman, either. 😉 Anyway, with the suggestion of bright colors pinging from one side of my cranium to the other, I just started pulling colors that would go with the Sizzlit dies that I wanted to use. Of course, I chose cherry blossoms and those don’t exactly lend themselves to bright colors now, do they?

The example on the front of the package of dies showed two-toned red blossoms with dark brown or black branch and yellow accents inside. Now we’re cooking – a little bit. Let’s not get carried away. But at least I had three colors picked out now, red black and yellow. What other dies are in the set? Branches with leaves. Okay, so throw in some green. That’s the palette. Now what?

Anyway, the entire process of creating this card was painful, to say the least. And after giving myself a headache from the fumes coming off of the gold metallic paint pen that I used to write in the greeting by hand, the thing is done. It’s ugly, but it’s done. I even threw in some pop dots to lift the cherry blossoms off of the page and give it a little dimension. So at least it’s one step above something a first grader could do. *sigh* So here it is, in all of its dull and decidedly un-birthday-like glory:




The inside of the card looks like someone vomited Mardi Gras remnants onto it and I’m pretty sure that my signature sugary swirls of writing on the envelope will give Maggie diabetes, but hey, it’s the thought that counts, right? 😕

Let’s move on to crafts at which I actually excel, shall we?

This first stitching finish is from mid-February. The design is The Flower Juggler’s Bookmark from Janie Hubble Designs (formerly The Cat’s Whiskers Design Studio). I stitched it using DMC floss on linen that I hand dyed some time ago. Unfortunately, I settled on the pink and yellow before trying to find a green that went with them and the best I could find was a little too close to the color of the fabric.



I apologize for the shadows in the pictures, but I tried a few different times to take pictures and couldn’t manage to eliminate the shadows. Granted, Terry has special lights and a light box to eliminate that problem but, let’s face it, I’m lazy and it wouldn’t be worth all of that effort for this little project. That said, if I ever want to send pictures to Janie, I guess I’ll have to do them right. I made it for myself, though, and it has my initial on it, so it’s not like it’s going anywhere right now.

And the other stitching finish, which I just completed on Monday, is a bookmark for my mother’s birthday and the pièce de résistance of this blog post. The design is a freebie from Passione Ricamo that Laura designed for Mother’s Day 2009. I stitched it using Caron Waterlilies silk in the color Frangipani on 32 count overdyed linen from Silkweaver in the color Rosebud, which I don’t think they make anymore. 🙁 Yes, the silk really has pale pink and yellow in it, but as I’m gradually learning (and you would think that I would have learned from my epic Swirlygigs failure), color changes in pale threads do not show up well against dark backgrounds. Which really goes against everything my brain thinks is right and true and explains why I continue to make this mistake.

I fused interfacing to the back and sewed it up. It’s not a perfect sewing job, but that seems to be the story of my life this week.

So, there you have it. My latest crafty adventures. Woo. Hoo. Can you tell I’m feeling annoyed tonight? I’m telling you, it’s those darned paint pen fumes!

Happy (early) Birthday Maggie!

Crafting in Sickness and in Health

  • Posted on December 12, 2010 at 7:42 am

Okay, I have to admit that most of the crafting that I’m about to show has actually been done in sickness, but hey, I liked the title. Shoot me. Please.

First up is the one project that has been worked on both in sickness and in health lately. This is the second stitched bookmark for Nan and I’m hoping that it will be done by the end of the weekend. I just have to complete the flower heads and then all of the backstitching. Lots… of… backstitching.

These last three I will blame on Jenn. She sent me a link on Facebook to a brief tutorial on beaded elastic bookmarks. You basically take an eyepin, add some beads to it, cut and curl the end into another eye and then connect about 14″ of elastic jewelry cord to the eyes. Easy peasy. Mostly. I did manage to figure out at least two ways to not attach the cording to the eyes. Crimping is the best way, in my opinion, but you have to be careful. The newly decorated elastic cord can now slip around your book, securing your spot quite effectively. The tutorial said to use a foot of elastic and that the bookmark would then fit over a paperback book and stretch to accommodate a hardback book. Not so, in my experience. It fit a paperback book well, but the elastic snapped when I tried to stretch it over a hardback book. My advice, if you want to use one for both, is to make it long enough to just fit a paperback book without sagging. Then you can probably use it for both. In my case, I actually ended up with a shorter one for paperbacks and a longer one for hardbacks. It wasn’t intentional, but it works.

Anyway, here they are:

I originally made the purple one for myself, but ended up keeping the white floral one because I love the focal bead so much. For some reason, I couldn’t get a good closeup photo of it, as even when I didn’t use a flash it seemed to wash out. There are delicate little pink flowers on the surface, outlined in gold, with pale green leaves. It’s really quite beautiful and I couldn’t resist.

The amber and purple ones will go to Nan and make the 9th and 10th bookmarks in her present pile. Only 1 of those 10 are not handmade. The finished March bookmark will make number 11 and will round out the lot.

The great thing about these elastic cord bookmarks is that they are quite elegant, simple to make and surprisingly effective for their simplicity. You can shake the book and probably even throw it across the room (I did not test this one) and the bookmark will stay put, provided you pull it in close to the spine.

Okay, it’s time for me to drag myself back into bed. I’ve been working since 9 PM, with only a couple of hours of sleep tossed in a little while ago. I finally got the call to be able to finish my portion and now it’s time to get some more sleep. I’m living on Jello and pudding right now, with a little bit of Stove Top stuffing mixed in when I’m feeling really adventurous. And Tylenol Severe Cold and Flu liquid. The warming formulation. Honey and Lemon flavor? Not so much. It tastes AWFUL. Don’t buy it.

If this severe sore throat isn’t gone by the time I wake up on Monday, I guess I’ll be calling the doctor. I don’t have a fever, so I’m assuming it’s not strep throat. Thank goodness for small favors.

With that, I bid you adieu.

Latest Michaels Framing Work

  • Posted on December 4, 2010 at 1:12 pm

We went out last night after work and picked up my latest two custom framing jobs from Michaels.

One is my last Tinker Bell artwork to be framed (for now). This is the last of my purchases from when we were in Walt Disney World back in September. It is a set of four laser cels, in a limited edition, pre-matted configuration. I knew going in that I wanted a basic frame with a white-washed look. There wasn’t much that would work with all of those colors anyway. It was only when I got it home and started taking close-up pictures that I realized that the color of the frame matches the color of the mat core. Bonus!

Full shot:

Spring –

Summer –

Autumn –

Winter –

The second is the reframing of my Frost Fairy. This was my first real project that I believe I started in high school and finished at the end of my college days, after quite a hiatus. The frame and mat combination are perfect for the piece, I think. They had to stretch the piece a bit and I asked for them to try to straighten it up when they pinned it. They didn’t do the best job, but if you don’t look at it really closely, you don’t notice. I will allow them some leeway on this piece because, once we opened it up, we discovered that the fabric had been way too short to frame well and my mother had sewn plain cotton fabric to the sides to compensate, so it would have been difficult to get it really straight when pinning, I believe. If I find that I can’t get past it, I’ll simply pull it out of the frame and adjust it.

I dropped two more pieces off with them while I was there, one stitched on linen and the other a hardanger piece on evenweave. I’m not particularly attached to either piece, which is why I chose these two to further test their mounting skills. If I’m not happy with the results, I may ask if there is a stitcher who works in the framing department.

Anyway, here is Frost Fairy in her original frame:

And here she is in her new-found glory:

The lighting for this picture isn’t the best, so I may try again. You can’t see that the innermost mat is actually a silver color that matches the frame, which is brushed metal, and brings out the silver metallic in the frost (which you also can’t see in this picture). Looks good, doesn’t she? The best part is that she looks great on the mantel, against the grey stonework around our fireplace. Awesome.

My Stick Family from