Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Crafty Superpowers?

I love being able to craft most things.  Being able to see something and say - Yeah, I can make that!  That is so cool!  It is like having a secret superpower!  I work in an office and am surprised that so few people know how to make anything with their own hands.  What do the uncrafty do with their free time?

But sometimes there is a downside to being crafty and creative.  Like when the rest of the Girl Scouts see your  expertly sewn patches and now you are the seamstress for the entire troop. I am sure you all have found yourself in that same predicament.  Please say you have? Here is the a photo of my 6th grade history project.  The assignment was to make a hat that represented a government.   I whipped up a Russian military hat from looking at a few pictures online.  Thank you crafty superpowers.  BTW - I got an A on my assignment

 So I somehow volunteered myself to make new hairbows for my daughters lacrosse team.  I thought to my crafty self "How hard can it be to tie a few ribbons to a hair elastic?"  I had two weeks before the tournament and there were only 20 girls, seemed easy enough to get done in a few hours.  Oh how wrong I was.  My first clue should have been the number of videos that came up on YouTube when I looked for Hairbows.   After two hours of watching other crafting wonders work their magic I had found a style that I thought the very sporty girls would tolerate, especially since the team colors are hot pink and navy.

Let me just say this took a lot longer than I expected and severely cut into my stitching time over the last few weeks.  Each bow had 5 different types of ribbons and a total of 19 pieces that needed to be measured, cut , trimmed and then each cut end needed to be heat sealed.  I had no idea you needed to do this to prevent the ends from fraying. 

I finally had my little ribbon assembly line going (after 2 more trips to Hobby Lobby and a few bent needles).  Here is a photo of my pile of bows and my daughter modeling them.  I am pretty proud of how they turned out once I used the full force of my crafty superpowers!
I just hope they last the whole season because they really taxed my crafty superpowers.  I am so glad she is not a cheerleader!

YaY me!  See y'all soon!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Finished For Real

Wow I can't believe my last post was from August.  Time has just been flying by and another year is almost gone again.  I have finished a few things recently and thought I would share some of them.  I don't seem to be able to capture great images yet, but I am working on it.  Let's add that to the never ending list of things I need to get to.

Here is one that I finished earlier in the year .  This is my first attempt at framing something myself and I think it came out ok
Sue Hillis Designs
"Beatings Will Continue"
Using recommended thread. Fabric unknown
Framed with Hobby Lobby ready made frame

Here is my next attempt at framing.  It is really hard to get it centered and even.  I didn't really enjoy the process and think I will rely on a professional from now on.  The results are fine, especially for these two small projects, but I can't imaging tackling a larger sampler.

Folk Art Flowers - left
Folk Art Tree of Life - right
Stitched and framed with same materials as model

This is from the recent Just Cross Stitch Halloween book(not the magazine issue).  It is from a new designer The Primitive Hare and is what prompted me to purchase the book.  I enjoyed this stitch immensely.  I changed to fabric to 32 count Cammo Fudge and used Single Strand Premium Floss in Basic Black from Vikki Clayton's Hand Dyed Fibers.  This was a dream to stitch with and provided such excellent coverage on the 32 count fabric.
Wicked Night by Primitive Hare
Published in JCS Halloween book
32 ct Cammo Fudge
HDF ssp Basic Black

I had this scrap left over from a larger design I have in my To Do pile - Quaker Halloween by Primitive Needle.  I will definitely use the HDF for this one as well.

I also took a class at my LNS Creative Stitchery in Richmond, TX.  It was this cool wool pumpkin with surface embroidery.  I chose to do something a little different and used black and white instead of the expected orange.  The seams are done in a fly stich and embellished with onyx beads.  There is even a little spider charm that I had in my stash tucked away on the stem.  I think it turned out great and will keep it out all year in my sewing room.
Well, that is probably enough from me right now.  I have two pieces to pick up from Michaels and will show them off.  I am also almost done with Jenny Bean Halloween.  I made a major error in judgement and ran out of thread.  A fellow stitcher, Maureen, heard my cry for help on the HDF forum and  is coming to my rescue with a skein from the same dye lot, so I hope to finish up the border in the next few days.   I am amazed at the generosity and kindness of stitchers. They are just amazing people.

Well, that's about it from my corner of the world.  My husband bought his own PC and now, maybe I will be able to post more often.  But don't hold your breath on that one.

Go grab a cup of joe and I will see you back here in a few!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Coffee Talk

Hello - my name is Kerri and I have been a coffee addict for 30 years.  It is the last vice I have left and I don't see any reason to change my ways.  I have switched to iced coffee lately because of the  never ending triple digits here lately but that is just my afternoon fix.

My dear husband is off on a trip to India but was thoughtful enough to send me the pic below that I wanted to share with you.  Especially nice since he took my camera with him and I can't update my stitching progress until this weekend. 

There is a Starbucks in the Dubai airport!  I doubt I will get a mug or a trinket from this exotic place, but at least now I know if I ever have the burning desire to go to United Arab Emirates at least I can get a cup of joe.

Thanks for stopping by!  I am off to finish my morning Venti before it gets cold.


Monday, August 15, 2011

A juicy read!

I  just finished reading "Girl with a dragon tattoo" by Steig Larsson.  It took me forever to get through and I guess that type of mystery just isn't my thing.  It was a good book and I totally didn't expect the twist at the end, but it didn't inspire me.  I wasn't anxious to get to the end and I have the next book in the series but don't know if I want to start it.

Now I am definitely not a book snob.  Give me a trashy romance novel any day!  The trouble is by the time you get involved with the characters and the plot, the book is over.  I like my books big and juicy.  If you like them that way, then I would recommend the one I just finished.  "A Discovery of Witches" by Deborah Harkness. 

It had some threads in common with both the Twilight series, although on a more adult level and one of my all time favorite series "Outlander" by Diana Galbadon.  I curled up in my favorite stitching chair and spent a whole evening enjoying this book.  I couldn't put it down and thoroughly enjoyed it.  The writing was intelligent without being stuffy and the character development was excellent.  The best part is that the next book in the series will be coming out sometime in 2012. 

If you are interested, you can read an excerpt here:

If you are interested in the Outlander series, you can find the details here:

Reading enriches my mind and my life.  If you have read something that you thoroughly enjoyed, let me know.  I am always on the lookout for a good book.

Make yourself a cup of coffee and stay up late with a good read!
Until next time!


Friday, July 29, 2011

Back to Reality


I had a great escape for a few days and was able to see my brother and SIL in northern PA.  It was so nice to be in the cool, lush mountains .  It has been like living on the sun here this summer!  It has been a few years since we wer able to spend time at the lake and I truly miss the trees .  The kids had a great time swimming and just being outside.

DH had to work for a few days so we let the kids do things that Mr. OSHA wouldn't normally allow.  Like drive the tractor

And build a huge bonfire.  My brother was even forced to endure his first S'more.  The horror of it all!  We also made several trips to the nearest town to the best ice cream stand.  It had locally made ice cream in my favorite flavor - Almond Joy.  Heavenly coconut ice cream with chunks of chocolate and almonds in it.  I wish I could have brought some home.  I did get dear hubby to smuggle 4 boxes of Funny Bones across the state lines for me.  I have tried to share but it has been really hard.  If you aren't from the North Eastern US, then you probably don't know what a Funny Bone is and you are really missing out.  It is like  a chocolate Twinkie - but chocolate cake with peanut butter filling and coated in chocolate shell stuff.  With a cup of coffee it is just the best!  I have two packages buried in the depth of the freezer.  Just waiting to rescue me from a bad day.

The best part of vacation was being pretty much unplugged from our daily lives.  No cell service, no computers, no traffic on our little dirt road, no salesmen calling and no street lights.  We played outside,  did jigsaw puzzles, and just sat around and talked.  I am always surprised at how many stars there are when you get away from the city lights.  I wish this was everyday life.  Maybe our parents and grand parents knew that slower is better.  Plus it was so nice and cool!  Even the Bella put on a sweatshirt one day.

On the stitching front, I did get stuck at Chicago O'Hare for a few hours and got a good start on the Hinzeit .  I managed to finish one of the two designs and will hopefully get the other one finished shortly.  Here is a snap of my progress on them.  The piece in the back is my progress/start on the second matching piece.  They need to be framed before I can attach the glass tile that belongs in the center.  I am going to try Aaron Brothers this weekend to see if they might have something that would fit.

I switched off a bit and started on an old pattern from Prairie Schooler - Autumn Sampler.  I have converted the DMC to HDF silk colors.  It's not much of  a start - but I will show you anyway.

I have one problem with this - DMC 3011.  It is the main green/olive color and I have not found a suitable silk conversion.  So the little voice in my head is saying - use the DMC and move forward, but the other crazy voice says - keep hunting for a silk color because the texture difference will be noticible.  What do you think?  Maybe I am Cybil and another voice will shout out the answer?

I do have a lot more changes, but that's it for now.  Will write some more at the end of the weekend and share my big news.

Well - I am going to get some more coffee!  Until next time


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Vacation projects?

I was in my lns this past weekend to purchase some fabric for vacation projects.  The girls in the shop looked at me strange  when I said vacation projects.  Doesn't everyone kit up projects just to take on vacation?

Well - maybe I am the weird one!  I look forward to some having a new project and some extended stitching time almost as much as vacation.  I am going to see my brother in Pennsylvania  at the end of the month and want something fun to work on while traveling.  I am flying alone and can't wait for 3 hours of mostly uninterrupted stitching!!!    I know I am odd but, I thought everyone did this?  I have different types of projects depending on where I will be doing them - like I usually only stitch on ornaments or smalls during sports season because I can do them in hand.  I have a sampler with the fill in to do that I take to stitch-ins because I don't have to pay attention to it and can talk while still getting some stitching done. 

My vacation projects are usually larger count fabric  with not a lot of color changes and not too huge.  Here is what I am taking this year.

I may not be able to wait until next Friday the colors are so great.  I converted the called for colors to Vikki Clayton Hand Dyed silk.

I hope this photo comes out since I took it with my phone.  I am researching a small camera to buy since it appears I am the only member of the family without a camera.  I would borrow my dh or dd or ds's camera but then I have to learn how to use it and connect it to the pc, blah, blah, blah.  I am looking for one of these cool new ones that upload directly to the web.  Will keep you posted on what I decide.  If you have one you like, please leave me a comment about the model.  I would love to hear what anyone else uses.

I am going to get some coffee - see y'all soon!

Friday, June 10, 2011

The WHY of it all

What am I doing here?  Not  in the philosophical, meaning of life sort of question.  I mean what am I doing starting to blog about attempts to amuse myself with needle and thread. Aren't there enough blogs about samplers and cross stitching already?

 My life is pretty full with 2 active kids, 2 big dogs - one with a ball obsession, a full time stressful job and a house to keep clean.  I am not even some type of advanced stitcher with oodles of tips to share or a turbo stitcher with loads of finishes to show off.  I love to stitch and really want to share what I am working on with someone.  When I talk threads or samplers with my family they look at me like I am speaking Swedish to them. But just maybe, someone will stumble  upon my little piece of the internet and get a smile or a laugh from what goes on here.

Here are simple thoughts what I hope to accomplish here and how you my friends can play along.
  • I have read so many wonderful stitching blogs and that I feel kind of guilty for not giving back in some way for all the enjoyment I get from hearing your adventures and seeing all the beautiful finishes.  I am definitely an enabler!
  • With a busy life, I don't get much done on the stitching front - hence the "meager stitches" name.  But I hope that by posting photos of what I am working on you can keep me motivated to finish some and not just start them all.
  • I could use some stitching buddies.  Since moving to TX I haven't found a group of local stitchers to hang out with.  So guess what - I am hoping you will say Hi once in a while and keep me company. 

If you come back, I will regale you with my recent attack by a bag of goldfish crackers and some photos of my WIP.

I am going to get some coffee - see y'all soon!

Thursday, June 2, 2011


My friend Sylvia , has been encouraging me to start blogging.  Apparently she thinks I have something interesting to say and my family looks at me like I am the teacher talking on the Peanuts cartoon, so here goes.