Thursday, May 20, 2021

Craft Sale!

So my mother and I set up our little table at the craft fair this past weekend.  And we didn't do terribly!  I sold $125 worth of needlecrafts, and Mom got about $89 from her little plant starts.

The center of our space.  I sold the mermaid box, the little "Cozy" plaque (next to the red box), and all the tooth fairy pillows.

This seemed to be the prime selling spot - the large box, the little jade plant, and 2 of the jars (the butterfly and the one with the blue flowers) all sold.

Mom's plants (we ended up with another table here, making the plant space wider).

Here, the long box with the Ink Circles vine sold (it is actually the same box as the mermaid one, but it was priced $5 less - I based most of my prices on size, but the mermaid was more because as my artist friend said, "don't forget to charge a little for emotional investment - get more for the ones you really love").  And it is hard to see, but there is a little chipboard box up next to my sign in the back - that sold, too.

There were 17 vendors there, and it was in the middle of a field at a rural nature center, so it wasn't incredibly busy.  There was a live band for a few hours, and a couple food trucks for snacks.  I spent a little money myself - because who doesn't need some homemade goat's milk body lotion with the name "Monkey Farts"? - and we had a good time.  Many thanks to my dad for helping us set up our tables and awning, so we weren't baking in the sun!

Now I can't stop making little boxes, in hopes of trying this again...

Friday, May 07, 2021

An Appropriate Sampler


I've been pretty busy this past month trying to do some mother wants to set up a table at a local craft show to sell some of her plant cuttings in little tea cups she has collected, and she mentioned that I could sell some of my finished needlework.  So I've put more pieces into jewelry boxes from thrift store trips, and finished a few other small things.  Pricing them is difficult - I want to be fair to myself, but I also know that "profit" on handcrafts is next to impossible.  And I don't want to bring all the stuff back home!  I don't need 14 little jewelry boxes...  The sale is next weekend.  Crossing my fingers that I sell even a few things.

The finish above is a piece from Lauren Sauer, of Forget-Me-Nots In Stitches.  It is titled "Antique Alphabet in the Time of Covid," and was a round robin piece from last year's virtual Celebration of Needlework.  I stitched it with Carrie's Creations' Aubergine variegated floss, and made a few changes to personalize it (namely, I flip-flipped the V and W, and changed the dimensions of a few letters...also made the motif after the Z more balanced).  I framed it myself in a frame I found at an antique shop.  I made a few small repairs to the frame, and sprayed it with a coat of polyurethane - but I left the "distressed" look, chipped paint and all.  I have no idea if the frame is really that old or rare, but I thought it suited the sampler.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021


 After 6 years....

...she's DONE!  This is "Family Treasure III" by Marilyn Leavitt-Imblum/Told in a Garden.  I started it in 2015, and finished it this past Sunday (3/28).  I made a few changes (as always):
- I added white seed beads in the outer border, and I replaced some of the "flowers" with beads as well (pink, purple, blue, and gold).
- There were many hearts in this pattern.  I don't love hearts, especially not the very 1980s-styled ones here.  So I replaced many of them... 
...with lazy daisies...

...and with Rhodes hearts and eyelets.

The more I look at this, the more I see that I scattered beads all over the place.  There were just so many places that were perfect for a little bit of sparkle and bling.
Mill Hill petites for "bees," and a little glass flower bead that just fit perfectly below.

I've already dropped the piece off at the frame shop, because at over 2 feet long, I just don't have a good place to store this!  And after 6 years on a scroll frame, it deserves to be on display ASAP.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

The Piece That Never Ends

Do you have one of these in your WIP pile?  A piece that you started with the best of intentions, but just can't seem to focus on and finish...yet you aren't ready to discard it completely?

For me, it is "Family Treasure III" by Told in a Garden/Marilyn Leavitt-Imblum.   I started it in February of 2015, and have worked on it, bit by bit, ever since.  On 28-ct fabric, it is about 5" wide by 30" long, and you'd think working bands that are only 5 inches wide would be quick work...but no.  Not at all.  Tons of color changes, and space between stitches that means stopping and starting threads...ugh.  Lots of times I'd pull it out, put in one length of thread, and then put it aside again for weeks.  I modified a few bands, added some beads here and there, and kept trying to make it more fun, because I really DO like the look of the finished design.

And today I realized that I've almost reached the bottom portion, with the design I've been looking forward to for...well...years...  SQUEEEEEE!

That bit of stitching at the bottom is the top of the "bower" that arches over the lady at the bottom of the picture (the picture from the pattern is terrible - dark and tiny - blame the 1980s).  If you enlarge the picture, you can see some of my changes in this section - the white beads in the border, the pink beads in the flower bouquets, and the gold beads in the centers of the yellow flowers.  And the Rhodes heart - because I just couldn't stitch the 1980s-style heart there.  In a section farther up I changed hearts to lazy daisies, and in the bit below the lady's skirts I'm planning to do Algerian eyelets.  Hearts in sampler bands aren't my thing, obviously.  But the lady is my favorite bit, and then the lovely scrollwork at the bottom.  Hooray!

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Teeny Tiny Quilt-Thing


My contribution to the Fully Finished SAL this month...

So I've been doing a lot of sewing/quilting lately (I actually finished another quilt top for another niece - no pics yet!), and I got an idea for my little flag finish.

I cut 1-inch strips of white, red, star stripes, and the navy with scattered stars fabric, and sewed them all together.  I basically got lucky with the alignment, because I didn't measure very carefully before starting!  I used larger patches of the navy for the corners (obviously).  Then I laced it to matboard and fit it into this little shadowbox frame that I picked up at originally had a clip attached to the back and was designed to hold a photo/thing that was approximately 3" x 5".  I've removed the clip so the stitched piece could sit all the way into the back.  It isn't piecing is a little wobbly in spots...but I think it is adorable.  I'll just call it "primitive."  LOL

I also enjoy the fact that it is sitting next to "Equal Rites," one of my favorite Discworld titles.  So appropriate!

Wednesday, February 03, 2021

Reclaiming the Flag SAL finish

I don't often talk about current events or politics on this blog, and I recognize that is definitely a privilege I have.  My life is largely unaffected by the divisive issues in the media, although I DO have opinions and feelings related to them!  But all of the ugliness surrounding American exceptionalism (that culminated in the absolutely gross and scary events of January 6) has left me...well...less than proud of the country that I really DO love.  In the area where I live, American flags fly much too close to Trump yard signs, and are too often tied to positions I find cruel and uninformed.  

So.  When a Facebook group proposed a "Reclaiming the Flag" stitch-along, I wasn't sure I wanted to join.  I don't typically stitch patriotic pieces, and lately I just haven't FELT patriotic... Then I had an idea.  I started with the Primitive Hare's "In God We Trust" design from a back issue of Punch Needle & Primitive Stitcher magazine, and made changes that made me smile.

First of all, I left off the "In God We Trust" text on the top.  It just isn't my style.  Then I made the colonial lady a bit more reminiscent of our new vice-president, and charted a line from Amanda Gorman's gorgeous poem for the bottom (it is designed with 2 flags and the date "1776" in the center).  The poet's name and date are stitched in sewing thread - since I was working on 40-ct. linen, my single strand of floss kept getting too fuzzy to be legible!
My other changes, documented mostly for my own records: red = GAST "Cranberry"; blue = Romy's Creations "Stacy's Primitive Blue"; black = Romy's Creations "Black Tulip"; colonial lady skintone = DMC 167; colonial lady's hair: DMC 3371.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Maybe It Will Be A Year of Smalls?

Apparently small projects are my groove this year.  In addition to the little pot topper from my last post and the first tooth fairy pillow from my New Year's update, I've finished another tooth fairy pillow (for potential craft fair inventory), a Blue Ribbon Designs ornament I started last year and abandoned, and then this little piece that was in the back of my desk drawer.
The little ship-in-a-bottle design was a kit from Hobby Lobby, purchased before I realized that I had issues with the company's position on....lots of things.  (I no longer shop at Hobby Lobby.)  And the kit wasn't great, either - it came with a teeny square of cheap aida which I quickly replaced with a scrap of unknown count/color linen from my stash.  The flosses were not DMC, or any other quality brand I've worked with, and I ran out of 2 colors (one was white, which was easy enough to replace, and the other was the dark brown used for backstitching).  So basically, I finished it because I am stubborn, and couldn't just throw it away.

The little box is one of those cheap basswood/plywood items from the "unfinished wood" section in any chain craft store.  I think I grabbed this one at A.C. Moore last year before they went out of business.  It is designed with a slot for 3"x5" photo, so I laced my finished stitching and attached it to the photo backing board.  Then I made a padded liner for the bottom inside of the box, and made a matching fabric-covered piece of matboard (actually comic book board - my husband gave me a whole bulk package of them that he didn't need!) to cover the back of the lid.  Then I made some twisted twine cord, attached a compass rose charm, and voila, fini!

Now I don't know what to DO with it....probably more craft show inventory...

Craft Sale!

So my mother and I set up our little table at the craft fair this past weekend.  And we didn't do terribly!  I sold $125 worth of needle...