Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Granny sampler afghan stitch along, week 2

Just finished up week two of wisecraft's afghan stitch along.  I made about 14 of these little tonal squares, and like the results. 

I am busting some serious stash!  If you'd like to join in the fun, follow the link.  :)

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Leda and the Swan

Leda and the Swan

This is an embroidery I was playing around with a few months ago.  It's technically finished I guess, but there is something about it I am not quite happy with.  I think I'll rework another one with 2 strands of floss so the lines are a bit more delicate. 

I might refine the pattern and offer it for sale.

I like the couched swan feathers.  It was hard to decide how to work the feathers. Swans always look so smooth, but I didn't want him to be satin stitched.. 

Leda and the Swan,
detail, unfinished

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Micro Cleaning

Kitchen Cabinets,
Lined with scrapbook paper

I've had a bit of free time on my hands this week, so I have been doing a lot of 'microcleaning'.
This cleaning (scrubbing base boards, descaling the faucet heads, scraping inside the oven) isn't the type that gets noticed by family and friends.  You won't hear this when someone walks in the door- "Wow!  you've cleaned up!".  In fact, most people won't even be able to tell that you've alphabetized all of your recipe cards.

But, we don't always clean for the praise (though it is nice).  And while doing the dishes gives an immediate and appreciated result, there's something very satisfying about mopping under your couch.

Happy cleaning :)

Kitchen cabinet before,
Misc glassware

Kitchen cabinet after,
Vintage Pyrex collection,
Lined shelves

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

My paintings: Portrait of Lady with Willow Branches

Lady with Willow Branches

I will be, over the next few weeks, displaying some of my paintings here at hellohorizon.

You can read about my love of painting here. 

This painting is pretty big, probably 2' by 6'.  I like to paint on big canvases!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Granny Sampler Afghan Stitch Along/ Weaving in crochet ends

So I made this cute pillow last week for my Stitch-Love-Project blog.  I always visit the blog/website of the designer of my latest project, and have found some wonderful blogs this way.  WiseCraft is no exception!

-and I'm just in time to join an afghan sampler stitch along!  I can't wait to finish it!

Above are the first three blocks done- ends woven in and all!  When doing grannies, it's good practice to weave in the ends after each block is finished, otherwise it gets really overwhelming at the end of the project.

My tips for weaving in ends: 
1. When you've finished off a round, leave a tail of about 5-6 inches long.
2. On the next round, crochet over the knot and the tail of the round before.  **Don't carry the tail along the space between the stitches, as it will be seen.  Just stitch over the tail with about 3-4 stitches.  This hides the knot.

3. When the square is completed, thread a tail with a yarn needle, and weave it into the stitches nearby of the same color as the tail

4. Weave carefully thru the yarn ply, in a zigzag pattern, thoroughly (this will help hold the tail secure) ending in the middle of a cluster of stitches (so tail won't show thru a space if it loosens)

5. After all the tails are woven, gently pull the square both ways to loosen the tails.

**As the afghan is used and folded and washed, it will stretch.  This step of gently pulling the block before cutting the tails ensures that they have enough slack to limit their coming unwoven later on as the afghan stretches

6. Clip the tails, leaving about 1/2 inch

After all the blocks are stitched together, tails can be clipped all the way.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Blooming Back Yard

All the plants in my back yard are blooming.  I know things are flowering all over the country, but I have serious respect for any plant that can live in this desert.  It is brutal here! 

Somehow, you give these guys a few drizzles of water a day and they thrive.

Low bush with tiny white flowers all over

This mini palm tree has a bouquet of hanging cream flowers

Baja Fairy Duster; I can't make this stuff up

Hummingbirds like these

Red Yucca
These flowering stalks are about 6 feet tall! 

Embroidered Needle Book

I few weeks ago, I embroidered a letter "C" for submission to &Stitches "Stitch a letter for our header" project.  It turned out nice.

My Mom's name starts with the letter "C", and I thought this little letter would make a perfect needle book cover for her!  I used this this tutorial from nanacompany.  Her cute pattern is beautifully photgraphed and easy to follow. 

Patchwork back

First page
Vintage trim, button, blue wool

Second Page
Vintage trim, eyelet trim

Third page
Buttons, Trim

Fourth Page
Wool Squares

Aww!  Almost gag reflex cute :)

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Las Vegas View; nothing new

There is an amazing view of the valley up the road from my house.  You reach the crest of the road and it just suddenly opens up.  Of course, a photo doesn't do it justice. (you can't see it twinkling!) 

Posting has been a little sporadic at hellohorizon the past couple weeks.  Probably because I've been sticking close to home and watching way too many low budget costume dramas on netflix.  Riveting stuff..

I'm multitasking a few things, but nothing ready to share yet.  At the top of the list is finishing up my second Tudor historical embroidery series.  But this involves a lot of computer scanning and editing- which is a little tedious so I kind of procrastinate it.

I bought a new app a few days ago, Stop Motion Studio Pro, and spent all morning making a stop motion movie.  It involves wool embroidery and Belle and Sebastian-  I've watched it about 25 times!

I'm thinking of tackling french macarons for the third time.  The previous results have been spectacular (and delicious) failures.  Why can't I get a decent foot?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Wool Embroidery Wall Hanging

I just finished up this embroidered wall hanging.  It really pops in it's white frame I think! 

The pattern is from Katherine Shaughnessy's book, The New Crewel.  I love her quirky designs, but having no crewel thread I had to improvise.  I have a large supply of one-ply wool yarn, so I went with that.  The effect is not quite the same but it works!

It's a large piece, about 12" by 14".  My walls are pretty full, so I'm not sure where I'll hang it yet.  It's worked on lovely brown linen.