Saturday, April 11, 2015

Old cross stitches (part 1)

 This cross stitch is from a kit and I stitched it up about eight years ago for my Dad for Christmas.  It's hard to see but outlining the Chinese character is gold metallic decorative thread.  And the word "joy" is done out of red metallic decorative thread.  Take my advice and never, ever, ever work with this thread if you aren't more advanced and know what you are doing.  This was my very first large cross stitch project (if you could see the back, it's atrocious), and I was bad, I knotted thread (I KNOW), I didn't finish it off properly and I carried thread from one side of the project to the other...bad, bad, bad.  And then I worked with a metallic decorative thread (I'm not sure what kind of thread it actually is since it was in a kit and they didn't specify), I've never been more frustrated in my entire life, if you pulled too hard the thread broke but you had to have some tension or it sagged, also if you didn't let it unwind periodically and it got tangled you were screwed, and the more you pulled in and out of the Aida cloth the more the ends of it frayed, ugh.  Moral of the story: if you are just starting out on cross stitching don't use specialty threads, just don't do it kids.

 The other thing I did wrong, 'cause I was a newbie, I didn't wash OR press the finished project before I framed it and gave it to my Dad.  So a while ago I asked my Dad to bring it home so I could fix it.  I finally got it washed and pressed; although you can tell that it's been sitting un-pressed in a frame for a while since I couldn't get all the lines out.  Furthermore I added the backstitching on the flowers and (not pictured) my "signature."  And now it's finally, all the way, complete and back with Dad.  So pretty!

I started this kit about a month after completing the "joy" picture for my Dad.  I used to take it to school with me and work on it between classes.  And then I moved, and packed everything up and this thing has been in storage for about eight years and turning into a UFO a.k.a. un-finished object in cross stitch lingo.

I finally fished it out about a week ago and realized it was about two hours of work away from being done, so I sat down and finished it.  Again, I started this before I knew what I was doing and coming back to it now that I know what I'm doing was a little rough.  I wanted to fix it but there was really no way to do it without taking it all apart.  So I gritted my teeth and just finished it up.  It's supposed to have the metallic decorative thread outlining the characters and making up the word "success" but I decided I didn't want to do that again without the proper supplies (i.e. some wax to run the thread over).  So I just used black and I think it looks pretty!

Side-note, this is still sitting unframed in my apartment...oh well.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Dragon cross stitch WIP

Hooray!  You can finally see one whole wing and the beginning of his very long tail.  I am so excited to see this thing complete!


The beginning of page two!

Dragon cross stitch WIP

Aah!  He is so cute!  You can really start to see him taking shape, there's one wing almost finished and the beginning of his tail.

Here he is from a little farther away.

As you can see I'm almost done with the first page.  So exciting!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Dragon cross stitch WIP

This is another couple of days progress.  You can start to see his legs and the rest of his body.

If you compare it to the other picture of the pattern, you can see that I've completed another row and a half.

This is a little later the same day, I've now completed another 10x10 square of stitching.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Dragon cross stitch WIP

This is after another whole row was done, it took me roughly three or four days.  You can start to see his wing taking shape.  So exciting!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Dragon cross stitch WIP (work-in-progress)

This is an HAED (Heaven and Earth Designs) cross-stitch design, they are a fantastic place to get cross-stitch charts and I have several of them but it took me a while to get the courage up to attempt one.  Not because they are overly complicated, pretty much all of them use whole stitches, no half-stitches, no backstitches, nothing like that; but they do use a lot of floss.

And you have to work them in a grid pattern rather than starting in the middle and concentrating on one symbol.  I've also begun what is for me a new technique called "parking;" this involves halting your stitching and leaving the floss intact in the corner of the next stitch the floss is required for; as you can see below.

This is (I believe) about two months of progress.  It was originally designed to be a bookmark and is supposed to be an inch wide by seven inches long and done on linen.  I tried doing it that way but I didn't like the way it looked so I'm doing it on Aida and it's going to be considerably larger.  I started this little guy sometime last year and then life happened and I haven't been able to get back to him.  But my goal this year is to finish it and eventually the little guy up top here will look like the little guy down below.

 This is only the first page of the pattern.  All of the shaded parts are the parts I've already finished.  Yikes!  Two pages after this.

 And this is all of the threads that are called for in this pattern. Whew, lots of reds, pinks and purples.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Valentine's Day Card

I made this mini card for my bro and sis-in-law for Valentine's Day this year just 'cause I could.

The words were cut out from my mom's Cricut machine and I took a pink wink of Stella pen and went over them to add some shimmer.

The little hearts were from Bo Bunny's Star-Crossed ephemera pack and the papers are from Bo Bunny's Star-Crossed collection and Kaiser Craft's Tigerlily collection.

These are just little circles I cut out and stamped with the sentiment.

The little envelope is from Kaiser Craft's Tigerlily collection.

And there you have it!  Super cute and fun little card.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Broncos Shadowbox

So the story behind this shadowbox starts with a family friend who has season tickets to the Broncos games.  Well for the last two years now my dad and I have gone to at least one game with him.  It is so freaking awesome and fun!  I partially blame this family friend and his season tickets for my (new) obsession with football because there is nothing like going to a game at the stadium.  It is just mind-blowing, with all the people and the announcer and before the game they have parachuters that drop down from above the stadium and there's just nothing like it.  I plan on having season tickets myself one day!

Anyway, so last year we went to a game, we chose this game before the season started because we thought seeing the Broncos play against the 49ers would be fun.  Little did we know!  So, the whole thing as we got closer to this game was that Manning was about to break the NFL all-time record for Touchdown passes and the thought was that it would either be in this game or the next that he would break that record.  We got lucky and it was this game; a little way into the second quarter he did it, he threw his 509th TD pass!!  And we were there!  Oh yeah, and they won!

So, for Christmas I was at a loss for what to do for my dad until one night I was struck with inspiration: do something for him with the pictures from the game!!  And thus the shadowbox was born!

All the pictures I used are the ones I took at the game, the selfie is from our family friend (hello!) and I included the game ticket and the light rail ticket.  I'm really proud of this because I picked out the papers myself along with the pictures and essentially designed the layout myself (a first for me).  The paper and most of the embellishments are from Graphic 45's Good Ol' Sport collection.  The Broncos horse-head I actually cut out from the program we got at the game and used my mom's Xyron thing to make it into a sticker (how cool is that!).  The "I saw Peyton throw 509" little text box I found online and printed out.

He loved it and it hangs in his office now.  :)

I was lucky I got this picture; this is the setup right before Peyton threw 509.

And 509!  I don't think I've ever heard such an explosion of sound!  It was so cool!

P.S. Go Broncos!  :)

Christmas shadowbox

I made this this year for my sis-in-law's fam.  It was from a class that my mom and I took; she made hers into a Christmas present for her mom (my grandmother) and, after a while, I realized that I could make mine for my sis-in-law's fam with pics from my niece's first Christmas.  I had so much fun decorating it; there's a little bottle full of glitter and a cool ribbon that looks like real Christmas lights and it just came out so pretty!  And they really liked it, so yaa!!

Also it got me hooked on shadowboxes because it was so fun and turned out so cute!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

2013 Christmas present for my mom

I'm really, really proud of this present so it gets a post all it's own.

This is an Iphone cross-stitched case!  Cool, right?

 The case is made from silicone and I ordered it online, it came with a couple little skeins of floss and some patterns (none of which I used).

I'm super-duper proud of this because I designed this pattern myself!!

The top part is Wonder Woman's crown and the bottom is the WW logo.

I spent hours upon hours looking at Lynda Carter in her Wonder Woman outfit as well as Wonder Woman comics to try and figure out the colors of her crown and the placement of the star and the size of the star and...everything!

(it doesn't get much better than Lynda Carter, man)

And then there was the logo...


Why?  Why are there so many different Wonder Woman logos?!?

I narrowed it down to a certain look that I thought I could translate into a pattern for the red silicone Iphone case (the yellow one with a black outline and red between the W's).

And there I was, with an idea of what I wanted to do and how I wanted it to look, now I had to actually make it.  So, I got some graph paper, used the patterns that came with the Iphone case as templates and on an hour-and-a-half flight to San Diego to spend Thanksgiving with my bro, sis-in-law and niece I worked on the pattern.  By the time I landed I had most of it figured out, the size and structure of the crown (sans the star) and the look of the WW and their placement in relation to each other and on the case.  But I couldn't figure out the freaking star.  Grr!!

So while I was in San Diego I worked on it; I looked up cross-stitch stars and various patterns that I thought I could adjust to my design and I got something that sort-of worked.  It would have looked awful and then my brother (God bless my brother!) took a look at it and took the graph paper from me and sketched a star to fit in with the crown but still look like a star.  It was beautiful!  And, within a few hours, I had stitched the Iphone case with Wonder Woman's crown and logo.

My mom loved it!  Of course, it did come with the entire Lynda Carter Wonder Woman series on DVD (she's a fan) so that may have had something to do with it, LOL!!  

She used the case until she got a new Iphone (different series) and the case no longer fit, so I know she loved it.  This picture was taken after she'd been using it for a couple months so it's got some wear and tear; the threads around the crown are a little squished and it's a little bit dirty, but it still looks really cool and it held up really well.

Miscellaneous cross stitch presents

These were Christmas and b-day presents from previous years for my dad, mom and bro.

This one does have my signature in the corner, I just added it after I had already framed it so it's not in the picture.

This was for my mom for her b-day.  The dark green of the grass is actually cotton perle thread, super duper cool looking, but a little hard to work with.  I like it because it adds a nice dimensional effect.

This was for my dad and it is a specially designed mug with the Aida cloth sitting between the two pieces of plastic that make up the mug.  It was a lot of fun to make, the design is my own design, influenced by a cross stitch I saw on Etsy and the TV show Firefly.

The two key chains were for my dad; the first one is supposed to be Broncos colors (Go Broncos! yaa?) and is from a kit I bought on Etsy and the second one is from a kit I bought on Ebay simply because it is called "wee hieland coo" and I couldn't resist!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Crush book (pages 11 and 12)

This two-page spread was a lot of fun because I got to look at a bunch of quotes and decide which ones I felt belonged in a book about me.  Also, I wrote a lot of the quotes myself with this beautiful fountain pen my brother bought me a few years ago and I so love how it writes, it's so smooth and pretty.

Anyway, it's a bunch of my favorite quotes about life, love and other humorous things jazzed up with some washi tape.

Closeup of the first page.

Closeup of the second page.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Crush book (pages 9 and 10)

I desecrated a book doing this two-page spread!  I tore a page out of one of my old English anthology textbooks.  This was actually the very first page I did in the Crush book that's part of why it's a little sparse, I hadn't really figured out any techniques yet and did not have any confidence in what I was doing.  I really liked how it came out though and it is now one of my favorite pages.

It is centered around my favorite poem, a Langston Hughes poem about dreams.

I was trying for a steampunk sort-of look with the dirigible and the gear stamps.  I also had my mom help me distress the poem (after I cut it out of a book!  I cut up a book!  The horror!  Seriously, I'm still not over it, and I'm the one who did it!). 

I used a real bottle cap from a bottle of root beer and some wood embellishments and stickers and fabric flowers to jazz it up with the little cardboard sticker saying.