Sunny Sunday

August 10, 2008 at 12:06 pm | Posted in cross stitch | 6 Comments

Sorry that I haven’t blogged all week, but as mentioned in my last post, I knew I was going to have a very busy week.  Not as busy as intended however, because my brother cancelled this weekend and instead is coming next weekend.  That didn’t stop me from taking Thursday and Friday off, lol, so I got a bunch of reading and stitching done.  I spent a lot of time on the deck as the weather is just beautiful and cool enough to leave off the AC.  My kind of weather!  I finished Sacrifice by SJ Bolton and might start the Historian next.  Wanted to keep that for next week for my post op reading, but the dang thing is 600+ pages so I think I’ll have more than enough to keep me occupied through then. 

I finished block 4 on Sweet Treats and even pressed it for your viewing pleasure!  Pie is the next block, then Cake which should come this week from Mary Kathryn.  Still undecided on how I’m going to frame – with or without mats.  I think pink/green mats would look wonderful as would green/tan. 

 

I also started and finished Be A Witch by Shepherd’s Bush.  Ever since I saw Vonna’s finished pillow, I’ve been obsessed with this piece as I love Halloween decorating.  I’m normally a one-project-at-a-time gal, but this one broke my resolve.  It was a quick stitch too, took me less than two days.  I only used two of the Crescent Colors and substituted DMC for the rest.   It’s pictured with the fabric I purchased to make the pillow and I still need to get some black organdy ribbon and fiberfill.

Only seven more work days before my surgery!  Can’t wait to be off for two months, though I don’t think it’s going to be nice and quiet around here.  The contractor is pouring concrete hopefully tomorrow so by next week they’ll be in the thick of things, hammering and banging away.  Don’t think I’ll be sleeping in till 10:00 AM every day!  It will be nice, though, to sit on the deck and watch the progress.  I’ll have to take pics.

Damn TV cable is screwed up – has been for four days cause they were booked and can’t come till today.  I don’t get anything beyond channel 99 except for their freaking One Moment Please message box.  Excuse me – how about Four Days and Counting Please?  For $200.00 a month which is what I’m paying for internet, cable, and phone, I’m pretty pissed.  And nobody has mentioned a credit yet either which will be discussed with them tomorrow.  Supposed to be here between 12 PM and 4 PM and it’s 1 PM and no phone call that they’re coming yet.  Can you tell I’m impatient!

Framing Tutorial – Pin Method

July 14, 2008 at 5:29 pm | Posted in cross stitch | 12 Comments

As promised, I framed my Gingerbread Cottage today and took pictures of the process to perhaps aid those interested in doing their own framing.   This method utilizes the pinning method as opposed to the lacing method.

Doing your own framing is not difficult, nor very expensive.  The most expensive tool required is a Point Driver which runs about $75.00 and is pictured below on the far right.  Mine is made by Fletcher and is called the Fleximaster.  You will require acid free foamcore which comes in two thicknesses – single and double.  The double thickness is about 3/16″ thick.  Single thickness is 1/8″ in thickness. Foamcore board is as the name implies – a thin core of foam sided with thin matboard like material.  The thickness of the foamcore that you use is dependent on the width of the rabbet on your selected frame.  The rabbet is the depth of the frame that you plop everything into – your glass, mats, pinned needlework on foamcore, and scrap matboard backing. 

Occasionally I use “spacers” which are hollow plastic squared tubes that are placed at the edge of the rabbet in between the frame and your needlework.  It’s purpose is to prevent the glass from setting directly on your needlework either because you have might have materials that stick up, like JABCO buttons, or you aren’t using mats and your needlework needs to “breathe”.  I have elected not to use spacers on this piece because I’m using a double mat which provides enough breathing room. And I’m using single foamcore because the depth of my rabbet isn’t all that accomodating. I have bought foamcore from the online store listed at the bottom of the tutorial and just purchased 2 large thin pieces from my LNS at a cost of $7.50/ea. My LNS charges me just slightly more than their cost which is awfully nice of them. I purchased the glass, mats and frame from them and my bill was under $50.00, so with some time and a few materials I can have a framed piece that would cost over $100.00 for someone else to do. BTW, I just recently saw acid free foamcore at Michael’s in the art section by the poster board. The sheets are 32″ X 40″ and would be a good deal with a 40% off coupon!!

Pictured below are some of the tools needed for this framing job.  Your frame, glass, mats, cleaned and pressed needlework, cutting mat, pins, ruler, pencil, scissors, assorted job cutting Xacto knives, hammer, pins, double sided tape, artist’s tape, and a point driver.  Pins used in this application are NOT straight pins.  Well, they are straight pins, lol, but they don’t have a head on them like regular straight pins which are kind of knobby and convex.  The head on the pins we use is flat and they aren’t quite as long as a regular straight pin.  They also need to be nickel plated because of the rust issue. They are available in any craft or fabric store.

 

Start with a clean protected workspace, using towels or something soft and cushiony to protect your frame from scratches and to capture wayward pins. Measure the length and width of the inside of your frame and cut your foamcore approximately 1/8″ less than measured to allow for the material and pins on the edge.  The foamcore is cut on my cutting mat using the gray tool marked Xacto in the tools picture above.  It is made specifically for cutting foamcore and like materials.  There is a small knob on the underside that loosens the blade and will allow you to move it up and down as needed for the depth of what you’re going to cut.

Foamcore cut with space left for needlework/pinning

Foamcore cut and placed in the rabbet showing spacing left for needlework/pinning

I really don’t have a precise scientific method for centering my needlework on my foamcore board.  I kind of eyeball it and start pinning, adjusting as necessary.  This is the most critical and time consuming part of the whole process.  I pin, unpin, place it in the frame with the mats, measure, pin, unpin.  You get the idea.  You need to have the same amount of threads showing all around and your vertical and horizontal thread lines need to run parallel to the edges of your mats. Stretch as you pin, making sure that you stretch straight outwards and not to either side or you will end up with it stretching sidewickered.  I place my pins about 1/4 inch apart.

Starting to pin

Starting to pin

More pinning

More pinning

When you’re completely happy with your centering and pinning, it’s time to turn it over and use acid free Artist’s Tape (available at any craft store) to secure your excess material to the back of the foamcore.  I made a big faux pas here.  I didn’t intend to use mats on my piece initially.  However, while at the frame shop, I decided to go with mats.  As a result I didn’t have quite enough material at the top and bottom of my needlework to bring to the back and to miter my corners correctly.  What I should have done was sewn material to that top and bottom piece, however, I am not patient and often quite lazy and therefore decided to do it Carol’s way which was to squeeze whatever I could over the edge and tape it.  Artist’s tape is quite the wonder.  It is acid free and doesn’t leave a residue when peeled away.  Anyhoo, if you use the proper amount of material on the edges of your piece, you will miter the corners and use the artist tape all around to secure.
Securing excess material on the back with artist's tape

Securing excess material on the back with artist's tape

Cut a piece of acid free scrap matboard using the same cutter that was used to cut the foamcore.  Assemble your framed piece by placing your glass in your frame, then the mats, pinned needlework, and finally the matboard.  Turn everything over and make sure that your piece is perfect – no lint, wayward threads, etc.  Using your point driver, drive framing points into the frame to secure all of it.  As you can see in the picture below, it all sandwiched together quite neatly and comes flush to the back of my frame as intended.
Using Fletcher Point Driver

Using Fletcher Point Driver

Back finished with framing points

Back finished with framing points

Now it’s time to apply the dust cover.  I purchased my roll at Michael’s, a local craft shop.  Apply double sided tape all around the edge of your frame, one edge at a time,  leaving about 1/8″ at the very edge exposed.   BTW, remove the white paper backing from each edge before proceeding to the next edge. Voice of experince here, lol.
Double sided tape

Double sided tape

 
Remove paper backing from double sided tape

Remove paper backing from double sided tape

Cut your dust cover just slightly bigger than your frame.  Starting at the top, lightly press the dust cover down over the double sided tape, smoothing as you go.  Be careful, because you can’t lift it off if you make a mistake or get a wrinkle without messing it up and having to start over.  Use the blue dust cover trimming tool to remove the excess paper edge.  This tool is so neat.  See the little space between the blade and the blue head?  Makes this trimming so neat!
Dust Cover Trimming Tool

Dust Cover Trimming Tool

Finished Dust Cover Backing

Finished Dust Cover Backing

 

All that’s left to do is attach your hanger and optional rubber bumper pads to the four corners to protect the walls.

 

Voila!  Framing Complete

Voila! Framing Complete

 

Corner shot to show truer colors

Corner shot to show truer colors

 

Hope you enjoyed my tutorial!!  I had fun making it. 

BTW, I use www.framingsupplies.com if I can’t buy locally.  Not affiliated, just a satisfied customer.

Stitchy Pics

July 5, 2008 at 6:25 pm | Posted in cross stitch | 3 Comments

As promised, I have some pics for you today. First up is The Chocolate Shoppe by Country Cottage Needleworks. I picked up the frame for it today and will probably undertake the framing tomorrow.  I’ll post a pic when completed.

Next is Gingerbread Cottage by CCN. This was done on 28 ct. Lambswool linen. Excuse the wrinkles!  I chose mats (pink and green) and a frame for this today when I picked the other frame up. The picture with the chart shows it framed in a white frame with no mats.  Somehow I just thought the mats added to it and made the colors pop.  I’ll post a pic when it’s done being framed also.  BTW, I am finding the framing supplies at this new LNS soooo much cheaper.  The frame, mats and glass for this piece only ran me $48.00.  I wonder how much would be added if I had them frame it??  I’m saving on the acid free foamcore, the pinning/lacing, dust cover, etc., all of which I have myself, along with spacers which I add to all my pieces as I think needlework needs to “breathe”.

Next is Shepherd’s Bush Oh Say which had been a UFO for forever. I put about 5 minutes into it to finish. This is awaiting the Jill Rensel mats from the Silver Needle. I might stitch this one again and make a floss ring out of it as it’s just too cute. I’m sure I can get a JABCO button like the one that it came kitted with. If not, I’m sure I’ll have no trouble finding a suitable substitute.

I picked up two punchneedle projects at the LNS today also and started one as soon as I got home, hehe. I’ll post a pic tomorrow.

Have a great weekend!

Carol

Here We Go Again!

July 4, 2008 at 11:09 pm | Posted in cross stitch | Leave a comment

Over a year.  I’ve been a bad blogger, huh?  Life just got the best of me or I just got too lazy, lol.  I haven’t cross stitched for quite a while, however I had knee surgery in May and felt a compulsion to start back up again.  I’ve got it bad for CCN and LHN designs and have spent the past month buying some and stitching some.  I also got motivated to open the cedar chest which contains all of my cross stitch goodies to re-discover what lurks there.  Haven’t looked in there for over a year either and it was like Christmas, I tell ya. 

Since May, I’ve stitched The Chocolate Shoppe by CCN, Gingerbread Cottage by CCN and am currently working on Bless Our Home by CCN.  I also made a floss ring using one of my little Hobb Nobb Designs. 

I’m missing my LNS – Teatime Stitchery.  Sometime this spring she had to vacate her premises and as far as I know she hasn’t relocated yet.  It leaves me in a quandry because she was somewhat close and stocked everything that I like.  I found a new shop, just as close, but her prices are higher.  I figure that I’ll use them for my framing supplies and the odd thing here and there, and just do my shopping online.  I will miss being able to see things in person, however I get just as excited having a package containing stitching goodies arriving via mail.  I stopped into this new shop last week and ordered a frame for Chocolate Shoppe which is now in so I’ll be stopping there tomorrow to pick it up.  She also has punchneedle and rug hooking supplies and I couldn’t resist Waxing Moons Bittersweet Pumpkin which I’ll also be picking up.  She stocks needles and hoops for punchneedle, but I found good deals on ebay and a youtube video showing how to punchneedle so I guess I’m set.  I remember doing Pretty Punch years and years ago so I’m hoping not to have a problem reteaching myself.

It’s good to be back.  I’ll take some pics of my new finishes and post those tomorrow.

 

BTW, this will be primarily a cross stitch blog.   Maybe some critter tales and my disaster of a life, but mostly cross stitch since it was and continues to be my first love.   I sold my spinning wheel recently cause I can’t treadle with these knees of mine and surprisingly I don’t miss it.

Carol

Stitchin and Soapin

February 3, 2007 at 2:48 pm | Posted in cross stitch | 2 Comments

Made a batch of Moonlight Path soap today. Swirled with gold mica and ultramarine blue.  This is one of my favorite scents.  This soap really set up quickly, even before I stirred up the bits for the swirls.  Hmmm, what to do, what to do?  I wanted my swirls!  So I took the pot, set it on the burner to heat slightly, popped the two bowls with color in the microwave for a minute and a half and voila – soap thin enough to swirl with!  Ran back down to the basement with the soap, did my swirls with time to spare, and popped that puppy out on the porch where it now rests till threat of gel stage is over.  Whew!  I put some titanium dioxide in the main batch so here’s hoping it stays nice and white to provide a contrast with the swirls.  This is a closeup of one bar in the mold:

Moonlight Path swirled soap

Does this look great or what?  Now to wait six week for it to cure!

 I promised pics of my new stash so here it is:

Queen of the Needle

Just Nan’s Queen of the Needle, a bunch of Hobb Nobb Doodles, and a Kelmscott thread winder.  I’m doing the design on SMF’s 28 count Diva.  The directions state to use DMC perle 8 for the scrolly white bits, but I hated it.  Pulled out some white Silk Mori instead and am much happier.  I also got some Whimzi’s by Just Nan, not pictured.  Snow Faces and Snow Bonnets with snowflake frames.  Too cute!

I called Donna at Teatime Stitchery and asked her to pick me up a couple of things at the Nashville Market.  I’d like to get the Alyssum Scissor Pocket by The Cat’s Whiskers and the limited edition piece by Little House Needleworks, Crescent Threads, and Kelmscott Designs.  She’s having market day on Tuesday, Feb 13 starting at 10:00 AM.  I won’t get there till Wednesday night because of work, so I’m hoping the new stuff is not picked over too much.

I worked on Stoney Creek’s “Believe” last night and should be done with it some time this week.  Here’s hoping that the frame comes soon  this week and I can count this as a FO.

 Friggin’ cold here for the next couple of days.  Supposed to get to near 0 for the next couple of nights, so I think I’m gonna hunker down with some chicken soup, some stitching, and some reading.  Stay warm wherever you are!

Reading, reading, and more reading!

February 1, 2007 at 6:25 pm | Posted in cross stitch | Leave a comment

I haven’t stitched but a bit this week.  I bought Just Nan’s Queen of the Needle and started it, even though I haven’t finished Believe and Mermaids of the Deep Blue.  Bad Carol, lol!  I’ve been in the mood to read.  More so than usual.  Must be the gloomy, snowy, cold weather.  In fact, I made my favorite comfort food today -homemade chicken soup!  Just finished “The Thirteenth Tale” and am now reading “Summer of Night” by Dan Simmons.  I read this book back in the early ’90’s when it was first published.  Just found out that Dan wrote a sequel called “A Winter Haunting” so I logged both out of the library to read.  For those of you who love early Stephen King, you’ll love these two books by Dan.  I got some new stash that I’ll take pics of early tomorrow when the light’s better.  Now off to actually do some stitching, reading, and slurping of the soup.  I’m off work tomorrow and looking forward to a nice long cozy weekend.

Back to Blogging!

January 14, 2007 at 6:10 pm | Posted in cross stitch | 1 Comment

Heirloom Homecoming

Well, after a somewhat brief yearlong respite, I’m back to blogging!  I used to have a blog through Blogger called A Stitchinaddiction but I got into some new crafts that consumed more time than I had to keep it all together.  I tried rug hooking with wool strips (and spent another small fortune), and spinning on a spinning wheel (small fortune #85).  I had loads of fun learning those new crafts, but became more than overwhelmed trying to learn new things, maintain old things, plus work a full time job.  I gave up the hooking and the spinning, though I did decide to keep knitting and went back to cross stitch, my first love.  Right now I’m working on Mermaids of the Deep Blue.  They’ve been hiding in the stash calling me back for over a year now and are quite pleased to be back in the lineup.  I’m also working on “Believe” which was in Feb 06 Stoney Creek magazine.  Pics to come soon as soon as I figure out how WordPress works!  Going to try to upload a pic of my Heirloom Homecoming.  And just a note that the image in my header is of two bears that I designed and made a few years ago.

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