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1  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / A Mother's Day Mushroom House on: May 11, 2010 01:47:43 PM
I made a little mushroom house stuffie/decoration as a Mother's Day gift for my mom.  It was my first embroidery project.

The finished product.

Detail shots.

I used the Mushroom House pattern from the little house by the sea.  Here are some progress shots (click the thumbnail to embiggen the image).

Stitches and techniques I used include French knots, bullion knots, stem stitch, detached chain stitch/lazy daisy, split stitch, running stitch, and seed stitch.  I am pretty pleased with how the project turned out, and most importantly, my mom adores it.  My cousin (who is about my mom's age and close to her like a sister) was also so taken with the little house that she commissioned me to make one for her.  She offered to pay me, but I said I'd do it for free.  However, she noticed that I was admiring an antique tweed train case at a shop we were visiting and purchased it for me as a form of payment for the mushroom I'll soon be making her.  Hooray!
2  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects / A New Vegetable & Flower Cutting Garden for Spring/Summer (Blooming with Photos) on: April 11, 2010 03:43:03 PM
For the first time last year, my dad and I decided to do a bit more with a raised garden bed located in the alley behind our house.  We grew tomatoes and cutting flowers for vase arrangements.  It was a tremendous success; though I didn't plant the tomato seeds and flower plants until July, we had tomatoes to eat and flowers to decorate the house until late September. 

This year, we are more ambitious.  We decided to buy vegetables as plants rather than seeds this year, but there is more variety: four kinds of tomatoes ("Better Boy," "Early Girl," "Big Beefsteak," and "Roma"), three kinds of sweet bell peppers (yellow, red, and green), jalapeo peppers, and broccoli.  The flowers we got include snapdragons, zinnias, African daisies, celosia, Gerbera daisies, and an unidentified plant that had a tag that simply read "annual" (helpful!).  We are also growing strawberries for the first time and have added to our usual herb collection, though this is in the backyard (where the main garden is located).

Dad and I spent the whole of today preparing and planting our vegetable and cutting flower garden.  I've added some photos to show our progress.  You may click each photo to view a larger size at the image hosting site.

Before turning the soil and adding compost or arranging the placement of the plants

Arranging the plants before planting

After planting everything

Another view of everything, from the vegetable end

A Gerbera daisy that appears to be undergoing mitosis!

A close-up of the pretty flowers

Strawberries! (We didn't bother to buy a special strawberry pot, opting instead to use some old clay pots that were living by the garden shed.)

I hope you enjoy looking at our little garden bed as much as my family and I do!  We're eager to have flower arrangements to pretty up our home within the next few days, and all spring and summer long.
3  NEWS AND DISCUSSION ABOUT CRAFTSTER / Introduce Yourself / Ahoy-hoy! on: April 03, 2010 07:51:01 PM
Hello, Craftster.  Recently I have been seized by the urge to learn embroidery, and as a life-long lover of crafting and year-long admirer of this here community, I thought I'd join the ranks.

My non-craft passions include science (I am a geneticist-in-training), all things Russian, being eco-friendly, gardening, amateur digital photography, and politics.  My craftiness is currently limited to pretty basic and long-neglected knitting, accumulating upcycled materials that never turn into anything, doodling with Sharpies and colored pencils, and aspirations that greatly exceed my abilities.

I suppose that's all for now.  I look forward to expanding my crafty skill set with this lovely community!
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