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1  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Lions & Monkeys & Crabs, OH MY! on: March 04, 2011 06:57:26 AM
One of my Facebook friends saw my beach houses and suggested that she would like to buy a lion/monkey themed wall hanging for her son's room if I would make one.  She did the lion theme because he was supposed to be a Leo, but was born early and turned out to be a Cancer, so it was my idea to add the crab.  I guess she didn't like it though, because I never heard from her after posting it!  So I guess I now have more inventory for that craft show I may do someday.  At any rate, it was a lot of fun to make; I never thought it would actually turn out the way I imagined it in my head but it's pretty close!

Everything was loosely held together with light fusible web and then hand-stitched; mostly simple straight stitches because the design is so busy I thought fancy stitches would get lost!  The monkey & lion are felt (monkey shape is from a cookie cutter but the lion was freehand), and the crab is crushed velvet so nice & bright with black beads for eyes.  The grass, tree trunks, and river are pieces of old t-shirts, with a little acrylic paint on the river.  The leaves on the trees are from silk flowers, and the background is just a fabric remnant.  I backed it with green fleece and there's a piece of cardboard inside so it won't lose shape when hanging on the wall.  It's about 13" x 9" completed.

2  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / The Beach House series (the first 9) on: February 05, 2011 04:29:08 PM
I have an extreme obsession with cute houses on tropical islands, the cheery colors of the buildings against the lovely clear skies, soft white sands, and brightly colored foliage.  Key West enchants me to no end, I love the architecture and landscape almost as much as the bars full of characters!  So, to create some colorful sunshiny energy during this harsh winter, I decided to challenge myself to make a series of 27 Beach Houses.

The rules: 1) Each one must be unique, 2) Each must include a variety of materials, 3) ALL materials must be from my current stash - no shopping, and 4) Each should be the same approximate size (around 7" x 9").

I thought this would be a good way to force myself to be a little bit creative in thinking up multiple ways to present the same theme, especially trying to come up with ways to make each unique without going outside my current supply of fabric/thread/yarn/paint/etc.  I'm one-third of the way to my goal, so here are the first 9!

Beach House #1 has a pink house with a flannel penguin roof, set against sky & sand made from old t-shirts (don't worry, they were clean!).  Most of the stitches are just straight stitches, with lazy daisies on the roof and some of the grass, X-es around the edge are hard to see in the photo.  Everything was attached with light fusible web before stitching to keep it flat!  The sun is a glittery bit of yarn and the cloud is a light bit of polyfill.  There's a light layer of quilt batting in-between the design and a fleece backing, and it can be hung by the attached ribbon.

Beach House #2 depicts a stormier day with a darker sky, and an active ocean with waves made of yarn.  The ground is a t-shirt, the house is flannel with paper doors & windows and a button doorknob.  The sun (lurking behind the polyfill cloud) is a bit of crumpled tissue paper.  Again most of the stitches are straight, but this time the roof has a chain stitch.

#3 is a bit sunnier!  Sand, sky, and tree trunk are all t-shirts, the roof and sun are flannel, and the palm leaves are taken off some fake flowers.  Straight stitches around the sun, roof, and tree base; x-stitches around the house, and chain-stitch attaches the design to the fleece backing.

#4 looks a lot better in person!  The house is shiny satin, so it kept reflecting the camera flash and washed out all the photos.  The sun is glitter yarn surrounded by straight stitches; the house is straight-stitched and the roof is lazy-daisies.  Around the edge (hard to see in the photo), the stitches form a wave pattern.  The shells are attached with embroidery thread - it took me hours to get the right combo to get them to stay put, but now they're not going anywhere!

#5 is a bit of a departure from the sand/sky background; it's a bit of blue remnant fabric that seemed boring so I painted waves on it (acrylic). The island (also embellished with paint) and tree trunk are t-shirts, and the house, roof, and palm leaves are old upholstery samples.  Straight stitches on just about everything here.

#6 is an entire beach condo!  The condo is an upholstery sample with a paper roof; the sand and tree trunk are t-shirts, the towel is shiny satin, and the palm leaves are from fake flowers with buttons for coconuts.  The grass and sunshine are painted; the sun is stitched too.  All straight stitches on this one too.

#7 has upholstery for the beach, and crinkled tissue paper for the house with cardstock door and windows.  The sun and the doorknob are small beads.  Chain stitches on the roof, x-stitches to attach the design to the fleece backing, and straight stitches everywhere else.

#8 is mounted on burlap and fleece, the house is cut out from a newspaper ad, the sun is glitter yarn, t-shirt tree trunk, and fake flower leaves for the tree leaves. X-stitches around the edge but otherwise straight stitches.

#9's house is also from a newspaper ad, the same ad as #8 in fact!  The roof is crocheted and attached with floss.  Glitter yarn sun, upholstery sand, and t-shirt tree trunk with fake flower leaves.  I can't believe I actually found seashells in my stash that matched the purple newspaper ad, but there they are!  Lazy-daisy stitches around the house, straight stitches everywhere else.

PHEW, that's the first 9!  Thank you for taking the time to look, they were fun to make!
3  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Vampire e-reader cover/sleeve on: February 05, 2011 03:29:42 PM
I made this one for when I'm feeling like a little Sookie Stackhouse or an old Anne Rice.  The shell is a heavy-duty felt and the lining is crushed velvet.  On the front I used some fusible web to attach red velvet lips, reinforced with some simple stitching, and the teeth and blood droplet are just stitched-on embroidery thread.  It fits my Nook Color really well!  Kinda gives away what I'm reading though!

4  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Velvet Panda e-reader cover/sleeve on: February 05, 2011 03:22:10 PM
The liner for this one is the same blanket fleece as my giraffe sleeve, but this one has a red crushed velvet exterior.  I thought it looked nice with the black & white panda bear and toucan (blanket-stitched to the front and back) and would be fun for when I'm feeling exotic and Asian in my reading tastes!  It's actually a little roomy on my Nook Color - I'm terrible at following patterns so all my sleeves are kind of approximately sized.  Roll Eyes

5  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Giraffe Sleeve for Nook or Kindle on: February 05, 2011 02:58:42 PM
I got a Nook Color for Christmas, and I love it so much that I had to make it some new outfits!  This is one of them...the exterior is blanket fleece with a giraffe blanket-stitched to the front and a pair of lovebirds stitched to the back, and the lining is a coordinating blanket fleece with a jungle theme (that remnant is also where I got the giraffe and lovebirds).  It has a little velcro closure at the top.

6  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 55 ENTRIES / Crafting Mama's Crafting Journal! on: October 01, 2010 07:33:00 AM
I looooovvve Cooking Mama and can't wait to play this game!  In the meantime here's a journal to store lots of crafting ideas.

Mama's portrait is made from cross-stitched "pixels" (my first attempt at freehand cross-stitch with no pattern) as is her name...I used sparkly floss for the name to try and match the logo on the game box!  The background was made from watercolor pencils that I shaded, then cut out into pixels and rearranged to look more quilt-like.  Mama's knitting project is actually crocheted embroidery floss, because I don't know how to knit!

Hope you like it!

7  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Portable Stuffed Aquarium! on: September 28, 2010 04:50:59 AM
I made this for my nephew for Christmas, he is 2-1/2 yrs old.  The back of the aquarium is a fabric collage made from a remnant, a bunch of froufrou yarns, and some velcro "waves" for the fish to stick to, covered in tulle.  The little fish are made from upholstery samples with velcro fins.  The hook portion of the velcro is on the backing and the fins have the soft loop velcro in case my nephew decides to chew them or something.  It's all housed inside a sturdy MacBook box with a handle, which I'll be covering with an ocean scene but I don't have that part done yet :-)

8  NEEDLEWORK / Sublime Stitching Embroidery / Cupcake Apron! a little Sublime, a little extra on: September 27, 2010 02:49:05 PM
I made this for my sister-in-law for her upcoming birthday, she LOVES to bake and decorate cakes!  The cherries and embroidered cakes are Sublime Stitching patterns, as is part of the sparkly red fireworks border.  The Sublime border didn't curve so I did the rest freehand.  The cupcakes are my own freehand design made out of fabric remnants appliqued onto the apron.  The waistband is a very heavy black ribbon embellished with some froufrou yarn (I tried washing them on their own and they turned out fine, so I'm hoping they'll stay on the apron when she washes it).  Hope you like it!  Sure wish I had finished it in time for the mash-up contest!

9  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / A bee-yooo-tee-full Butterfly Tote! (4 images) on: September 27, 2010 02:40:35 PM
I bought this pre-made tote at Joann Fabrics, then appliqued the butterflies from a fabric remnant and embroidered the little butterfly trails.  The fluffy yarn at the top was machine-sewn on because it is very wily and I couldn't do it by hand!  This is a Christmas gift for my mom, who loves purple and butterflies.

10  NEEDLEWORK / Sublime Stitching Embroidery / Embellishing with ribbon? on: September 12, 2010 05:18:53 PM
I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this question, but most of my project involves Sublime Stitching so I thought I'd try....

I am decorating one of the white aprons from the SS site with a bunch of SS cupcake & cake designs, along with some applique'd cupcakes from my fabric stash (attached w/ Heat & Bond Lite & reinforced/decorated with floss along the edges).  I really want to attach a ribbon to the waistband using mainly just decorative stitches, but my concern is that it might not wash well and aprons really need to go in the wash a lot.  It's a fairly heavy duty black ribbon with a satin finish, I don't know any of the material content because it was in a remnant bag.

Has anybody tried this?  I do have an extra little chunk of ribbon that I was going to toss in my next load of laundry anyway, but I'm still concerned about it shape-shifting in the wash after it's attached to the apron.  Thanks in advance for your advice, and I can't wait to post pics when it's all done!
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