Thursday, December 31, 2009

Last Year's Punchneedle Kits and Subsequent Gifts

I just love trying all sorts of different crafts and decided that I wanted to try punchneedle last year. So, when I was shopping at a colonial store in Sturbridge I decided to buy a few punchneedle kits.

If you don't know what punchneedle is it is basically the weaving of DMC embroidery floss onto a reverse pre-printed even-weave type fabric to create a specific picture. You are basically punching the reverse pre-printed side of the fabric to follow the design and are creating the punch-needle effect on the wrong side of the fabric (i.e. the non pre-printed side).

At first punchneedle seems a little intimidating, but once you understand how to thread the needle, how to position the needle tip, how to set the depth to set the needle, and how to continuously punch in a straight line using very tiny spacing it's easy to do.  Plus, if you don't like how the stitching turns out you can just rip it out and start again.  What tends to be more irritating and annoying is separating the long floss threads and trying to keep the long floss threads from knotting. 

Well, I have to tell you that I absolutely love punchneedle. You can complete most of the punchneedle kits in a day or so and I was easily able to take my kit and embroidery hoop with me where ever I went so I could work on it in my spare time. Like I have any of that! LOL

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

My Victorian Village Created From The Dimensions The Gold Collection Kit #8785 Christmas Village Ornaments Kit

During the last few months I have been happily creating some of the items from punch-needle, cross-stitch, and needle felting kits I had purchased during the spring. All of the kits were purchased with the thought of giving the finished projects as Christmas gifts this year or next.

Of course, like everything I create I tend to fall in love with the finished products. Some more so than others. Some so much so that I selfishly decide to keep them for myself and my home decor.

Well, I have to tell you that I absolutely fell in love with my Dimensions Needlecrafts Counted Cross Stitch, Christmas Village Ornaments. Now I know that wasn't the intent, but I couldn't help myself with my Victorian houses. If it's Victorian it's right up my alley. Ya think!!!! LOL LOL

My Victorian house village was created based upon a Dimensions Needlecrafts Counted Cross Stitch, Christmas Village Ornaments kit. It was supposed to be a series of Victorian house ornaments with a cross-stitch front and felt cloth back outlined with a braided gold band.

However, I didn't make my Victorian village as cloth ornaments. Instead, I enlisted the help of my younger brother to create wood shadowboxes that I painted with a blue/white/green sponge affect.

My Victorian village includes the following:

A fabulous blue house....

A traditional Victorian pink lady......

Friday, March 20, 2009

Cross Stitch Gold Collection Cubes For Christmas 2009

If you're a reader of my Linda's Blog you know that I love to craft and my interests are not just limited to one type of craft. Or two types of crafts. Even three types of craft. Oh, no! Not me.

I have to be interested in just about every kind of craft there is. That's thousands of different crafts. Never anything in moderation as far as I'm concerned. Oh, no! Not me!

Have I mentioned I'm little obsessive! Ya think?

Well, while creating some of the punch-needle shadowbox kits this spring and summer I found some cross-stitch kits that I wanted to try. I hadn't done any cross-stitching in the last 20 years or so and thought I might enjoy it once again. If I remembered correctly (which these days might not be the case given that menopause plays tricks with your memory - or so I keep telling myself) I thought I had really enjoyed doing cross-stitch years ago. So, I decided to buy a few kits.

Well, one of the kits that I bought which was going to be a present for my sister turned out to be the cross-stitch kit from hell! I had a difficult time following the instructions and trying to convert them to my blank cross stitch fabric. I finally managed to get the knack of it after practically going blind and my piece actually turned out rather well - at least I thought so. It was the largest cross-stitch kit I had bought and in retrospect I should have started with something a little smaller like the cross-stitch kits which created the shadowboxes above and below.

The cross-stitch patterns below were from a "Dimensions Gold Collection - Kit #8704 - Beaded Elegance Ornaments" pattern and were supposed to be stuffed ornaments finished with a felt backing. I made them into sponge finished wood shadowboxes that can be displayed various ways.

The "Dimensions Gold Collection - Kit #8704 - Beaded Elegance Ornaments" pattern  was easy to understand for the most part.  I loved the three dimensional aspect of the designs where thread was layered on top of the cross stitch to outline and emphasize and the inclusion of gold beads.

The only negative to the kit was that they should have included more of the fabric as I found when the fabric was cut into six squares that there wasn't enough slack for it to easily fit into my small embroidery hoop.  The original design called for the leaves to be on the outside of the gold frame.  I did not make the ornaments according to their original design because their wasn't enough fabric to do so.   

I also decided to sponge paint the shadowboxes all the same cream color with a splash of gold, silver, and white. Here's the results starting with a pretty wreath with gold beads:

An evergreen basket with yellow french knotted berries.

A snowman with presents.

A teddy bear with green plaid scarf.

A heart which I altered to have the top bows included within the square.

And, two birds in Christmas stockings. 

I used self stick hard press board to attach the cross stitch designs to. I thought I had been very careful when it came to doing this and getting them straight. Unfortunately, the squaring of the shadowboxes proved that not all my press boards were evenly square. As a result I had to do some fudging by adding lace trim here or there.

I guess I was in a bit of the rush this holiday season. Next time I'll spend more time and make sure all the press boards are square.