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.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

I've Already Started Buying Books For 2009!

It might be hard to believe but I've already started buying doll making and craft books already.

Now you might wonder why on earth would I do that since I have a TON of doll and craft books that I still haven't reviewed. The answer is simple - I just LOVE doll making and craft books.

And, there are so many wonderful, wonderful books out there that inspire me. My creative juices seem to have a way with ruling my world and determining what I'm going to do. In fact, they probably have control over me.

When I add a new book to one of my bookstores I find myself saying, "WOW! That's a great book! or I'd LOVE to try that!" My problem is that I just can't make everything I would like to. I simply do not have the time.

I might know that, but try telling that to my creative juices. They think I have plenty of time and as a result they decided I should buy the following books:

500 Handmade Dolls: Modern Explorations of the Human Form (500 Series)

500 Handmade Dolls: Modern Explorations of the Human Form (500 Series)

Art Faces in Clay: Dolls, Altered Art and More!

Art Faces in Clay: Dolls, Altered Art and More! (Design Originals)

Art Doll Adventures: Exploring Projects and Processes through Cultural Traditions

Art Doll Adventures

Cloth Doll Artistry: Design and Costuming Techniques for Flat and Fully Sculpted Figures

Cloth Doll Artistry: Design and Costuming Techniques for Flat and Fully Sculpted Figures

The Artful Storybook: Mixed-Media Artists Create Handmade Tales

The Artful Storybook: Mixed-Media Artists Create Handmade Tales

I bought more books! Don't blame me! Blame my creative juices!