Monday, August 17, 2009

Completed sampler ornaments

Here, at long last, are the completed cross-stitch sampler ornaments. I have covered up the family names so the recipients won't see their gifts ahead of time! As you can see, two of the ornaments are a bit larger than the middle one.

This middle one is made with Basic Cloth in the cornmeal color. The pattern didn't call for this, it was just evenweave I had on hand and I liked the look of it. But it was hard to stitch on. I am not sure of the thread count; it's probably 18.

And the other two are made with Fiddler's Cloth, 14-count.

They were much easier to do. Even though I prefer the look of the Basic Cloth, I preferred the ease of working on this. I had some difficulty finding twigs of the right diameter and in fitting them around the stitchery, but in general I am pleased with the way these ornaments came out. I was aiming for a rustic effect and achieved it.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The third little angel

Here is the third and final felt angel. As I mentioned before, I made the first of five angels from this kit over 20 years ago -- 1988 to be exact! I evidently made some changes in those first two and of course, all these years later, I wouldn't have remembered what I did. The parts and pieces that were left in the kit for this last angel were quite an assortment! This particular angel was supposed to have yarn hair (sewed to a felt backing) and be holding a lamb. The backing for the hair, I inadvertently messed up while making the fourth angel, so I had to do something different with this one. There were also hearts to make into a garland which were supposed to go with one of the other angels. (I have no idea why they hadn't gotten used before.) I decided I wanted this last angel to hold a garland of hearts rather than a lamb. This meant I had to redesign the top part of her dress (which wouldn't have showed if she was holding the lamb) and do her hands differently. All of that worked out fairly well. In the end I decided to stitch up the little lamb too, just because it is so cute.

And this next photo shows all three of the finished angels and the lamb. I just need to add a gold thread for hanging to each one of them. I am glad to have these UFOs out of my stash and ready to be used.

Now, on to finishing the cross-stitch sampler ornaments...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Another little angel

Here is the second little felt angel (out of three). I started the third one last night. Because I made the first two angels in the kit many years ago, I can't remember what I did, but I evidently changed some things around on those two. The leftover components that I have to work with for this fifth and last angel are going to mean some changes in her appearance... but she will still be cute and festive!

Friday, August 07, 2009

One little angel

Last night, I finished the first of three felt angels. This one is holding a duck. I'm not sure how I like the abundance of green ribbon on the angel's braids and around the duck's neck, but that's what the directions specified and the ribbon was included in the kit, so I went for it.

Two more angels to go...

Another gift idea

Today I was glancing through a Gooseberry Patch Christmas in July booklet. I came across a quote which a friend of mine would absolutely love. Two ideas merged into one as I thought about the little journal I mentioned yesterday.

Wouldn't it be a lovely idea to fill a journal with inspiring quotes and verses, to share with a dear friend or someone who needs encouragement? One could use fancy lettering, one's best handwriting or printing, or even calligraphy, to write the quotes, and then embellish the pages with simple drawings or leafy, vine-y stickers. I am definitely going back to the dollar store and buy several more of these!

Here are a couple of quotes to get you started in your thinking. These came from a calendar and no author was given for them.

"Though no one can go back and make a brand-new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand-new ending."

"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I will try again tomorrow."

Once you get started on this project, I guarantee you will see wonderful quotes everywhere you look. There are whole books of quotes available. You will find quotes in the things you read. You may have special quotes from people in your family. Bible verses are good to include, too.

Hope someone else has as much fun with this idea as I'm already having!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Found at the dollar store!

Last week I found some neat things in the dollar store (Dollar Tree) that would make wonderful additions to a gift basket.

Soaps are always a fun item to add to a "pampering basket" or to include with a crocheted washcloth or pretty hand towels. Our local Dollar Tree had many, many of these nice Yardley soaps (which can sell for much higher prices elsewhere!). I picked up two of the English Lavender ones and one Oatmeal and Almond. There was a third variety at the store -- think it was Lemon Verbena with shea butter.

I also found this sweet little journal labeled "Thoughts" which would be a wonderful addition to many different types of gift baskets. This dear little book is about five inches square.

As you can see, it has pretty endpapers.

And even the pages are faintly printed with roses. A nice little find for $1.

I want to go back and get more of these. It's fun to think of different ways I might use them in gift baskets. No one would ever guess they were found at a dollar store!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

A find in my needlework stash

The other evening I noticed this partially finished ornament in with my needlework stuff.

I had purchased this kit years ago and evidently had made up two of the five ornaments. I know I gave one as a gift, so probably did that with the second one as well. The third one was left in progress, as you see above. And the last two are not even cut out.

Here is what the completed ornaments are intended to look like. I've taken the kit out of storage with the intent of finishing the ornaments this summer. They really are cute and will make a lightweight, portable project. They might make nice package tie-ons for my granddaughters' gifts... except that I have 4 granddaughters and only 3 ornaments. We will see!

Maybe this will inspire someone else to glance through their needlework stash. What do you have already started (no matter how long ago you may have started it) that you could work on right now with an eye to Christmas?