Thursday, August 10, 2017

Linda's Review of Be Thankful - Mill Hill Cross-stitch Picture #MH14-7202



Since Fall is one of my favorite seasons for decorating I am naturally drawn to Fall cross-stitch kits. Such is the case with the Be Thankful cross-stitch kit by Mill Hill - MH14-7202.

The Be Thankful Beaded Counted Cross Stitch Kit Mill Hill Buttons & Beads Autumn Series MH14-7202 pattern uses full and half counted cross-stitch and straight stitch highlighting as well as beads of various sizes for emphasis and depth. The Mill Hill patterns usually call for certain areas of the perforated paper to be left untouched like the background the border. In this case they were leaving sections of the brown perforated paper background and border untouched.

In embroidering the cross-stitch I decided to once again utilize the rectangular wood frame jig that my darling husband built for me that I could tape the edges of my perforated paper to. The wood frame jig is a rectangular embroidery hoop of sorts, but without bending the perforated  paper. He had made it out of 1/2" x 1" pine wood strips with an adjustable center strip that I used for this 5.25 x 5.25 square design.

I had learned from previous mistakes that I needed to draw diagonal lines to locate the exact center of the perforated paper as in previous perforated paper cross-stitch picture I have done the picture was slightly off center by a few holes which caused a problem with inserting the needles in the holes along one of the edges of my frame. So, I lightly drew a diagonal line across each corner with a pencil to get the center point of the perforated paper.

A lot of the cross-stitch 5.25" by 5.25" pictures I have made were finished in small 6 1/2" by 6 1/2" shadowbox frames with 5" by 5" openings that I had gotten at Michaels when they went on sale one year.  I used up all the shadowbox frames I had gotten that year and have been looking for them ever since and haven't found them again.

So, I decided to buy some 8" by 8" hand painted wood frames that Mill Hill created for their cross-stitch pictures.  This frame is bare bones.  There's no glass or plastic cover and there's nothing on the back to hold the picture into the frame.  They do, however, provide a thin 6" by 6" cardboard back and wood dowel for inserting in the holes in the back to allow for the frame to stand on it's own.  Of course, if you're going to hang this on the wall you'd just add a picture hanger to the back.

The directions did not include any instruction for finishing the back.  I decided to finish mine with 1/4" thick self sticking art needle-craft mounting foam.  I used an 8" by 10" by Pres-On sheet that I cut 6" by 6"with an X-acto knife to fit my picture.  Since the depth of the back of the frame for inserting the picture is 1/4" deep the 1/4" foam was a perfect fit for inserting it as well as the cardboard backing that came with the frame.

After adhering my cross-stitch picture to the 6" by 6" adhesive foam board that I bought I inserted it into the back of the frame and then inserted the 6" by 6" cardboard that came with the frame over it.  I taped the back of the cardboard with masking tape to hold it.

The antique white wood frame is 8" by 8" so to totally finish the back I cut a piece of thick decorative paper 8" by 8" to entirely cover the back.  I rubbed purple color disappearing glue stick all over the back and then pasted my 8" by 8" decorative paper sheet on the back.  I signed by name and dated it and was done with finishing the back.  I used a pencil to stab the decorative paper I had glued to the back so I could insert the dowel into it so the picture would stand on it's own.

The pattern called for a antique white colored wooden frame and for the border and certain sections of the background of the perforated paper to be left untouched like the picture shown below:

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Linda's Review of Country Quilts - Mill Hill Cross-stitch Picture #MH14-1621




Since Fall is one of my favorite seasons for decorating I am naturally drawn to Fall cross-stitch kits. Such is the case with the Country Quilts cross-stitch kit by Mill Hill - MH14-1621.

The Country Quilts Beaded Counted Cross Stitch Kit Mill Hill Buttons & Beads Autumn Series MH14-1621 pattern uses full and half counted cross-stitch and straight stitch highlighting as well as beads of various sizes for emphasis and depth. The Mill Hill patterns usually call for certain areas of the perforated paper to be left untouched like the background the border. In this case they were leaving sections of the brown perforated paper border untouched.

In embroidering the cross-stitch I decided to once again utilize the rectangular wood frame jig that my darling husband built for me that I could tape the edges of my perforated paper to. The wood frame jig is a rectangular embroidery hoop of sorts, but without bending the perforated  paper. He had made it out of 1/2" x 1" pine wood strips with an adjustable center strip that I used for this 5.25 x 5.25 square design.

I had learned from previous mistakes that I needed to draw diagonal lines to locate the exact center of the perforated paper as in previous perforated paper cross-stitch picture I have done the picture was slightly off center by a few holes which caused a problem with inserting the needles in the holes along one of the edges of my frame. So, I lightly drew a diagonal line across each corner with a pencil to get the center point of the perforated paper.

A lot of the cross-stitch 5.25" by 5.25" pictures I have made were finished in small 6 1/2" by 6 1/2" shadowbox frames with 5" by 5" openings that I had gotten at Michaels when they went on sale one year.  I used up all the shadowbox frames I had gotten that year and have been looking for them ever since and haven't found them again.

So, I decided to buy some 8" by 8" hand painted wood frames that Mill Hill created for their cross-stitch pictures.  This frame is bare bones.  There's no glass or plastic cover and there's nothing on the back to hold the picture into the frame.  They do, however, provide a thin 6" by 6" cardboard back and wood dowel for inserting in the holes in the back to allow for the frame to stand on it's own.  Of course, if you're going to hang this on the wall you'd just add a picture hanger to the back.

The directions did not include any instruction for finishing the back.  I decided to finish mine with 1/4" thick self sticking art needle-craft mounting foam.  I used an 8" by 10" by Pres-On sheet that I cut 6" by 6"with an X-acto knife to fit my picture.  Since the depth of the back of the frame for inserting the picture is 1/4" deep the 1/4" foam was a perfect fit for inserting it as well as the cardboard backing that came with the frame.

After adhering my cross-stitch picture to the 6" by 6" adhesive foam board that I bought I inserted it into the back of the frame and then inserted the 6" by 6" cardboard that came with the frame over it.  I taped the back of the cardboard with masking tape to hold it.

The green wood frame I chose to use is 8" by 8" so to totally finish the back I cut a piece of thick decorative paper 8" by 8" to entirely cover the back.  I rubbed purple color disappearing glue stick all over the back and then pasted my 8" by 8" decorative paper sheet on the back.  I signed by name and dated it and was done with finishing the back.  I used a pencil to stab the decorative paper I had glued to the back so I could insert the dowel into it so the picture would stand on it's own.

The pattern called for a rust colored wooden frame and for the border of the perforated paper to be left untouched like the picture shown below:

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Linda's Review of Tassels & Tiaras: A Winged Wonders Doll Projects Artful Gathering Class By Hally Levesque



As you all know I love taking online arts & crafts classes. I literally could spend 24/7 just doing that.


I have been taking online classes at Artful Gathering since 2012 and have loved every one of the eleven classes I've taken.  Each year the selection gets better and better making it almost impossible to decide which class to take. So far I've taken crazy quilting, mixed media art dolls, needle felting, cloth art dolls and paper-clay art doll making classes.

I have to admit I'm a little partial to any classes being offered for doll making and have taken several of those.  Four have them have been taught by Hally Levesque who is an exceptional art doll artist and instructor who has a passion for historic, primitive, and mixed media art dolls.

Hally's classes are always filled with historical tidbits, multiple projects, and very detailed instructions on the making of each of the class projects.

The class I took in Session One this year was the 11th class I've taken at Artful Gathering and, once again, it didn't disappoint.  It was another of Hally's art doll classes and was for making 3 different kinds of 1900 - 1920 art deco or art nouveau tassel half art dolls.

Hally's classes are always filled with historical tidbits and this class was dedicated to some of the more famous women of the 1900's like Mata Hari, Lillian, Gish and Theda Vamp.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Linda's Review of Country Welcome Beaded Counted Cross Stitch Kit Mill Hill Buttons & Beads Autumn Series MH14-7206




When I look at different cross-stitch or needlework kits I might like to do I'm always drawn to pictures or ornaments that have the word "joy" in them or have "doggies" in them.  The ones with "joy" always remind me of my beloved mother as that was her name and the "doggies" remind me of my beloved cairn terrier.

So, when I saw the Country Welcome - Button & Beads Mill Hill Cross-stitch Kit with the little "doggie" in it I knew I wanted to make it.  The dog button doesn't look anything like a cairn terrier but it's a "doggie" nonetheless.

The Country Welcome Beaded Counted Cross Stitch Kit Mill Hill Buttons & Beads Autumn Series MH14-7206 pattern uses full counted cross-stitch and straight stitch highlighting as well as beads of various sizes for emphasis and depth. The pattern also calls for certain areas of the perforated paper to be left untouched as the background. In this case they were leaving sections of the brown perforated paper background untouched.

A lot of the cross-stitch 5" by 5" pictures I have made were finished in small 6 1/2" by 6 1/2" shadowbox frames with 5" by 5" openings that I had gotten at Michaels when they went on sale on year.  I used up all the shadowbox frames I had gotten that year and have been looking for them ever since and haven't found them again.

So, when I saw that Michaels had small 6' by 6" shadowbox frames on sale again I bought a few figuring they'd work okay.  I thought they would be like the previous frames I had bought by they actually were bigger.  They were 7 1/2" by 7 1/2" shadowbox frames with a 5 1/2" opening. I didn't realize when I had bought these that a lot more of the cross-stitch picture would be showing.

I also decided to once again utilize the rectangular wood frame jig that my darling husband built for me that I could tape the edges of my perforated paper to. The wood frame jig is a rectangular embroidery hoop of sorts, but without bending the perforated  paper. He had made it out of 1/2" x 1" pine wood strips with an adjustable center strip that I used for this 5 x 5 square design.

I had learned from previous mistakes that I needed to draw diagonal lines to locate the exact center of the perforated paper as in the last perforated paper cross-stitch picture I had done was slightly off center by a few holes which caused a problem with inserting the needles in the holes along one of the edges of my frame. So, I lightly drew a diagonal line across each corner with a pencil to get the center point of the perforated paper.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Linda's Review of "A Season For Everything" Dimensions Cross-stitch Picture and Kit


On the wall in my kitchen I've been displaying different holiday and seasonal wreaths that hubby and I have made over the years.  They're a combination grapevine wreath, silk floral, and painted woodcrafts that I've made from other designers patterns that I've bought over the years.

While I was perusing the web I saw an intriguing cross-stitch picture that was a seasonal wreath.  I fell in love with it and decided I should buy this cross-stitch kit as it would make a beautiful picture for my kitchen wall.  Best of all, I wouldn't have to change it out with the seasonals or holidays.

All of the cross-stitch pictures I've bought and made were counted cross-stitch kits. Truth be told there are a lot of them, which I've posted about here and reviewed on my The Book and Crafts Review Corner blog.  This time I would be working on a stamped cross-stitch picture.

Like the other Dimensions kits I had bought the kit included the pattern, pre-sorted cotton thread, printed white cotton fabric, needle and instructions.

The "A Season For Everything" pattern uses full stamped cross-stitch, satin stitching, french knots and backstitch outline stitching for emphasis and depth and this detailing really makes the picture stand out. The design of this cross-stitch gives the finished picture a 3 dimensional aspect with the satin stitching, french knots and outlining being used for artistic effect.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Linda's Review of "Beacon At Rocky Point" Dimensions Gold Collection Cross-stitch Picture and Kit



I like to showcase my little (i.e. 5" by 5" or 5" by 7") cross-stitch pictures in shadow boxes or frames on my family room fireplace mantel.  I arrange them by season or holiday.  For the most part I have plenty of Christmas cross-stitch pictures.  I have several Halloween and Fall pictures.  Only a few for the Winter season and until finishing my 2 recent beach scenes I only had one for the Spring and Summer seasons. So, I decided to complete another Summer seasonal cross-stitch picture kit that I had previously purchased.

The cross-stitch kit I just finished was a counted cross-stitch kit from Dimensions Gold Collection Petites entitled "Beacon At Rocky Point."

Like the other Dimensions Gold Collection Petites kits I had bought the kit included the pattern, pre-sorted cotton thread, 18 count white cotton Aida, needle and instructions.

The "Beacon At Rocky Point" pattern uses full counted cross-stitch, half cross-stitch, french knots and outline stitching for emphasis and depth and this detailing really makes the picture stand out. It also varies the number of threads used with the various stitches to add to the depth emphasis. The design of this cross-stitch gives the finished picture a 3 dimensional aspect with the half cross stitch, french knots and outlining being used for artistic effect.

The pattern came with starting and working order instructions as well as samples of the various stitches required, color coded keys (with code #'s, lengths, color names, and cross-stitch symbols) and a chart with color coded symbols.  The kit came with instructions for finishing the back of the picture.

While I was very pleased with the end results of this design there are some things in the kit and in the instructions that can be improved upon.

Unlike the problem I had with the "Cliffside Beacon" cross-stitch color chart that was way too small and difficult to read this color chart was large enough and easy to follow.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Linda's Review of Dimensions Cliffside Beacon Counted Cross Stitch Picture Kit



January and February afforded me plenty of time for cross-stitching due to some health issues I was experiencing.  So, I decided to complete some Spring and Summer seasonal cross-stitch picture kits that I had previously purchased.  Most of the cross-stitch pictures I have completed have been for the Fall, Halloween, Christmas and Winter seasons so I decided to buy some flower and beach themed kits.

The cross-stitch kit I just finished was a counted cross-stitch kit from Dimensions Gold Collection Petites entitled Cliffside Beacon.

Like the other Dimensions Gold Collection Petites kits I had bought the kit included the pattern, pre-sorted cotton thread, 18 count ivory cotton Aida, needle and instructions.

The Cliffside Beacon pattern uses full counted cross-stitch, half cross-stitch, french knots and outline stitching for emphasis and depth and this detailing really makes the picture stand out. It also varies the number of threads used with the various stitches to add to the depth emphasis. The design of this cross-stitch gives the finished picture a 3 dimensional aspect with the half cross stitch, french knots and outlining being used for artistic effect.

The pattern came with starting and working order instructions as well as samples of the various stitches required, color coded keys (with code #'s, lengths, color names, and cross-stitch symbols) and a chart with color coded symbols.  The kit came with instructions for finishing the back of the picture.

While I was very pleased with the end results of this design there are some things in the kit and in the instructions that can be improved upon.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Linda's Review of Dimensions Bayside Cottage Counted Cross Stitch Picture Kit



January and February afforded me plenty of time for cross-stitching due to some health issues I was experiencing.  So, I decided to complete some Spring and Summer seasonal cross-stitch picture kits that I had previously purchased.  Most of the cross-stitch pictures I have completed have been for the Fall, Halloween, Christmas and Winter seasons so I decided to buy some flower and beach themed kits.

The cross-stitch kit I just finished was a counted cross-stitch kit from Dimensions Gold Collection Petites entitled Cottage Bayside.

Like the other Dimensions Gold Collection Petites kits I had bought the kit included the pattern, pre-sorted cotton thread, 18 count ivory cotton Aida, needle and instructions.

The Cottage Bayside pattern uses full counted cross-stitch, half cross-stitch, french knots and outline stitching for emphasis and depth and this detailing really makes the picture stand out. It also varies the number of threads used with the various stitches to add to the depth emphasis. The design of this cross-stitch gives the finished picture a 3 dimensional aspect with the half cross stitch, french knots and outlining being used for artistic effect.

The pattern came with starting and working order instructions as well as samples of the various stitches required, color coded keys (with code #'s, lengths, color names, and cross-stitch symbols) and a chart with color coded symbols. The colors and symbols on the keys and chart were easy to read and follow. The kit came with instructions for finishing the back of the picture.

While I was very pleased with the end results of this design there are some things in the kit and in the instructions that can be improved upon.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Linda's Review of Joy Snow Globe Ornament Cross-Stitch Kit From Dimensions



I just love to cross-stitch small ornaments because they don't take a lot of time to complete.  I also love Christmas decorations that have the word "Joy" in them because every time I look at them I think of my  mother whose name was "Joy."  So, when I saw the  "Joy Snow Globe Ornament Cross-Stitch Kit" from Dimensions I knew I was going to make it.

The "Joy" globe Santa ornament kit contained the presorted thread, 14 count plastic canvas, needle, and instructions.  The  pattern uses full counted cross-stitch and outline stitching for emphasis and depth.

The pattern came with starting, stitching, finishing and even cleaning instructions as well as samples of the various stitches required, and color coded keys (with code #'s, color names, and cross-stitch symbols) and a chart with color coded symbols. The colors and symbols on the keys and chart were easy to read and follow. 

I had no problem cross-stitching the globe ornament and then cutting the plastic canvas close to the sides of the globe. I was pleased with the way the globe ornament came out but was disappointed that the finishing instructions only contained instructions for making the cord and nothing for finishing the back of the ornament. It's was such a cute ornament to leave the back unfinished with the cross-stitch threads showing didn't seem to me to be the right way to finish this ornament.


So, I decided to finish the back of my ornament with blue felt. First I cut a piece of .25m DMC embroidery floss for the hanger and taped this to the back top of the ornament using double sided tape. Then I cut a square of blue felt to fit the back of the ornament and taped it to the back of the ornament using double sided tape. Once I was satisfied that everything was holding I cut the blue felt along the globe ornament edges.




It took me 15 hours to complete this ornament.  I was very happy with the way my Dimensions Counted Cross Stitch, Tree Ornament turned out and hope you like it too.