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51  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Re: Potluck Picnic Ideas Please! on: July 26, 2010 09:04:21 AM
mac and cheese
garlic bread with mozzarella and/or rosted peppers
guacamole , humus, or onion dip and buy pitas and cut up
fruit salad

I'm going to a potluck this weekend at my local archery club. Hotdogs/Brats are provided, but everyone is to bring something. It's an outdoor event, mostly men...you know outdoorsy types. I'm going to bring some cookies, but I wanted to bring along something else as well. Any ideas?
52  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Discussion and Questions / Re: Children's Literature Themed Nursery Help on: July 26, 2010 08:51:09 AM
Use cardboard and draw some images or trace using carbon paper. Cut out the stencil. Then with pencil gently outline the stencil onto the felt.  Cutout the felt shapes, arrange and frame.  None of this requires sewing. Have family and kids- kids love crafts, to help out, 'bribe them ' with a pizza party.  Also you can use felt as frame mat or border also.

Many coloring books and story books are great ideas to photocopy from

If you have more time, use the stencils that were made and sponge to paint on the walls, such as a trimming or border.
53  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Discussion and Questions / Re: Decorating with great-grandma's towels? on: July 26, 2010 08:38:30 AM
make a patchwork art from pieces and frame (this will last better then pillow or throw), this blog list a nice idea:
see the image http://jowynn.files.wordpress.com/2009/01/patchwork.jpg?w=500&h=406
54  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Discussion and Questions / Re: Designing your own sampler. on: July 26, 2010 08:05:05 AM
Buy a reference book, which is great to have for your library:
Invest in a 'collection' book, for example  I have '2001 cross stitch designs' by better homes and gardens. This book in particular has all the items scaled at the same count . Meaning if you photocopy or scan the items then place them on paper to move around to get a rough idea of what it would look like.

Create your own:
Another idea is to use a picture from  magazine,  story book or coloring book , carbon paper and graph paper. Place the carbon under the picture and graph paper under that, then use a pointy pen or  sharp pencil and outline. Then color with markers or pencils on the graph paper. DMC has the pics of all their threads. If you want to protect the original pic, use a photocopy for tracing.

stitch an outline:
Use material that can be pulled away. Some use 'waste canvas'  while others use wax paper or fabric softer sheets. Draw on one of these with marker, then pin to fabric, stitch following the outline in one color. Then remove the material when done. Now fill in with the color threads as needed. This is great because there is no need to worry about ink/pen on fabric and bleeding during washing.

There are many programs that will convert pictures and images. Some free ones are: xstitch by Bergstrom and 'kg-chart LE lite' by Ikuta, try those  as a test before investing in commercial software.
However, take the time to 'prepare your image'. 1) decrease/simplify color, this will require less threads and easier to match with floss ids  2)clean up speckles/dots 3) remove what's really not needed, eg  for a picture of rose maybe exclude the leaves, and focus more on the petals themselves. 4) find an interesting 'spot' in the picture to do, therefore may not need the entire original photo/image.

use a ruler and graph paper to place 'squares' of which items to go where, this will help with spacing.

do consider a border, that's a nice touch when framing.

55  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Discussion and Questions / Help: Ideas for project on: July 25, 2010 11:44:37 PM
does anyone have suggestions as to finsh this project, other than pillow.
what type of color or stitch? thx
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