Sunday, January 25, 2015

Crazy week and a resolution

What a week! I promised to report on my stitching staycation, but boy did I pay for taking a five day weekend. Work this week was so crazy that haven't had time to compose my thoughts. As a result I'm just going to show you some baby blankets that I made over the weekend for a church baby shower. One of my resolutions for this year will be to make more things for charity. I hope to make at least 12 blankets for the Gabriel House. I have also volunteered to make rosaries for the church and embroider baptismal bibs. My rosaries need practice, but I can't wait to get my hands on some bibs. I'm told that the patterns are printed on them, but besides making any water motifs blue, we have free reign on embroidery techniques. It sounds so exciting! Unfortunately, due to the fact that I go back to Rhode Island next weekend, I won't be able to start until March. Something, at least to look forward to when I am back in Colorado!



Sunday, January 18, 2015

Late Christmas

Sunday I wrote about Christmas presents that weren't. Today, I'll write about Christmas presents that were late, although the truth is, we did GREAT on Christmas shopping this year. We were actually done early, and last year's resolution to start my presents in January worked really well. Almost everyone got a handmade Christmas or birthday present this year. But a few things just didn't happen on time.

First, due to no fault of his own, my husband's present for me came in the mail a few days after Christmas. Had we been in the UK they likely would have arrived on time, but I don't really care. I am just thrilled to own this beautiful, handcrafted pair of bent scissors from Ernest Wright & Son Ltd., complete with a certificate from the Lord Mayor of Sheffield. I am a Anglophile and the certificate was really a bit of icing for me.

These scissors are gorgeous! They were featured on Mary Corbet's blog Needle 'N Thread on September 12, along with an amazing video featuring the craftsmen who make the scissors. Of course, anything featured on Needle 'N Thread immediately has a huge surge in popularity, so they were running a bit behind filling orders. Even so after I shared the video with my husband he remembered and ordered me a pair. What a wonderful man!

A second late gift was all my fault. I just wasn't prepared to get home to Denver and have a gift ready for my roommate. BAD! But I wasn't too much of a slacker. I have always wanted to embroider a tiny landscape, and when I saw one featured in Inspirations, I decided to embroider it over the Christmas holidays. What I failed to do, was to frame it. So, when I got back to Denver, I found a frame, had a mat cut, and finished it up for the weekend after my return. The full quote from Isaiah is "The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever." I thought it was appropriate given that the picture is of grass and field flowers.

I LOVED working on this little project. You can bet you will see similar pieces as I try to find my own landscapes to interpret.

The final late gift I actually gave to my husband half done. I hadn't quite finished the handwork before I left Denver and once I had finished it, I didn't have a sewing machine to do the finishing work. As a result, I finished this calendar when I returned to Denver and mailed it back to my husband. I will likely make a new one each year. The panel came from SeptemberHouse, an Etsy shop. The 2015 panels are still available. 2016 panels will come out sometime between March and June.

Finally, an FYI. I am currently on my second annual stitching staycation. Next week I'll let you know how it went and what my goals are for the new stitching year!







Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Christmas present that wasn't

The weekend before Thanksgiving I was sewing away like crazy trying to finish a few last minute gifts. One of these gifts was an iPad case for my husband. I got the pattern off of Craftsy and was excited to be able to sew the case without calculating my own measurements. Roger previously had a case--one of those super duper full enclosure cases that keep your electronics safe from spills and drops. Recently though, the case he had began turning the sound up and down by itself and preventing him from using the touch screen. So the case came off, and my anxiety went up. He likes to carry it on road trips and stuffing it in the car caddy without a cover sounded like a recipe for disaster to me.

I bought some nice soft suiting and went to work. Despite working from a pattern, the pieces didn't fit perfectly and the lining wrinkled. Plus I didn't trim the seams nearly enough, so when I got back to Rhode Island and fit the iPad into the case for the first time, I was dismayed to see that the flap didn't close all the way. I decided it wasn't Christmas gift worthy after all and would need to treat this one as a mock up.

Sine we were leaving for western New York for the Thanksgiving holiday the next day, I left the iPad in the case and put it out for him to find as we packed. I didn't want it to get all scratched up during the road trip after all.

But, it turned out that my husband LOVED it and was disappointed I hadn't waited until Christmas to give it to him. Plus, after some use, the lining is sitting better and the fabric has stretched and molds better around the iPad. I'm still not pleased with it, but it does its job and I am grateful for that. At least I know the iPad is safe until I make another case. Roger has already told me what improvements he would like to see in the new case, so I'll be working on that this month!





Sunday, January 4, 2015

The accidental vacation

Hello! I accidentally took over a month off from blogging. It wasn't due to lack of things to discuss, but between travel and family commitments I had no time to compose a thought, let alone a blog post.

I got back to Denver yesterday afternoon and am feeling lonely already, so I'll get back to blogging on a regular basis. I want to show you one thing. The photo below was taken just before we left for the airport yesterday. See the beautiful scarf my husband is wearing? My mom knit it for him for Christmas. I got two balls of yarn and some knitting needles. But, as you can see, I have a new scarf now too. Good thing because it is cold and snowy here in Denver!

Happy New Year! May it be a good stitching year.