11/5/14

Craft-Along Hoops...2 out of 3


Two down....one more to go!  
I can't leave anything alone, either - I needed snow for my snowman and Cute Verlynne suggested jingle bells and I {gasped} because, YES, these needed jingle bells.  Naturally.  I love putting 3-dimensional elements onto stitchery, so this is exciting for me.

Below is an illustration of the stitches I used.  Everything is mostly done in a backstitch, using 3 strands of DMC floss in a dark charcoal gray.  (#3799)

If you need a stitch guide, I made one a while back with the birth of my beloved advent tree!
Um...so that snowdrift...looks like a blind, drunk person did that in the dark, but the reality is that it WAS done in the dark, though I'm not very blind and I don't drink.  :/   However, I kind of like that it looks imperfect, so I'm going to leave it alone.  Sometimes imperfection is perfect!  :)

I also don't LOVE my snowman nose...I got a little artsy with turning it into a carrot and it doesn't look like I want it to...but I'm leaving it alone, as well.  

11/3/14

Christmas Craft-Along - Hoops



Okay, so since we're all crafting along together, here is what you have to do to start the hoops:

1.)  Measure your linen fabric & cut it to size, giving yourself plenty of space around the hoop.  My hoops are 8" around and I did the whole eyeball measure, snip, and tear technique.

If you're going to make a set of these, you might as well make two sets and give one away!  :)



2.)  Gather bits, pieces, and scraps of fabrics that you want to use.  I found all of mine at Wal-Mart, so my options were limited, but I ended up with colors that will work.



3.)  Iron-on Heat & Bond - DOUBLE SIDED.  You're going to want a paper lining on one side so you can iron one part onto your colored fabric and be able to iron the pieces onto your linen to secure them before stitching.



 4.)  Making my pattern pieces.  (Links to downloadable PDFs below)
If you don't like my pattern pieces, feel free to freehand your own - it's super easy.  Trace your hoop to get your dimensions and draw away, leaving yourself 2-3 inches on the edges to secure underneath the hoop when you're done.


 Now I'm going to trace my pieces onto the paper side of my Heat & Bond, cut them out, and iron them onto my linen.  Then I'll be ready to stitch them down and they'll be pretty much done!  

Make sure to print these on cardstock so they're easy to cut out and trace with.  

Hoops Pattern Page 1
Hoops Pattern Page 2


Make sure to trace your patterns IN REVERSE (right sides together).  If not, no worries, your images will just be mirrored to what mine are, which is totally fine.

When you're done tracing and cutting, make sure to remove the paper backing before you place them onto the linen.


So this is how I configured my pieces onto the fabric.  I set the ring down in the center and built inside of it, ensuring I have enough on the outer edges like I need.


Once I got the pieces exactly where I needed them to be, I moved the hoop and pressed everything down.  


Here is how the cutout images should be positioned: {sorry--didn't have time to edit these pics}
Notice that there is enough extra applique fabric beyond the borders of the hoop.






Have a Happy Day!!  And Happy Crafting! 
Let me know if you have any problems with the PDF patterns!!

-Abby


10/31/14

Not Ready Yet!!

Sorry!!  For the Craft-Along, I just won't be ready until Monday or Tuesday.  My Love Nugget had the week off and we've been out and about, getting things done, and playing out in the desert with some good friends.  We found a NEW friend, though.  {yikes}  Can you see it?!

 He's beautiful/frightening/creepy!!!  {Not sure if it's a he or she...didn't get close enough to check. Something about "poison" and "lock-jaw" kept me at a safe distance!}



 Happy Halloween!!!
--Abby

10/27/14

New Stitching Love

I think I found a new addiction!!  {GASP!}  

My cute, beautiful, talented friend Verlynne has opened up a whole new world for me and I'm SO in love!!!  {Thanks,Verlynne!}

So TWO things:  
 2.) hand-dyed "crystal" fabric from Picture This Plus

The cute patterns come from The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery and they have so many great patterns that I would actually enjoy putting up in my home.  It is a rare thing for me to find a cross stitch pattern that I would want to spend the time/hours to make - but these are SO much fun!!!  

I just bought this Christmas sampler - it's a stitch-along-club thing where they send you a piece of the sampler once per month.  This one starts November 1st, so if you're a cross-stitcher and you want to join along, go to their website for purchase and information.

My favorite part?!  The *sparkly* fabric from Picture This Plus.  My girl, Verlynne, showed me her projects and I got to look at, touch, and fall in love with this beautiful stuff.  It's GORGEOUS. You can see in these pictures how they weave crystal threads into the fabric and they all have a little sparkle magic in them.  WHO DOESN'T LOVE SPARKLES?!  

{The fabric is a little pricey, but totally worth it because you'll be spending hours of time and love on these cute projects that will become a treasure.}



My daughter loves to cross stitch, so I got this pattern and some fabric for us to do this one together.  {squeal!}


And these below are Cute Verlynne's projects - I can't believe how much I love them!!!  She has done some amazing work.


 Fairy Tale Sampler - SO flippin' adorable.

 SO in love with this cute Halloween one!! 


If I could surround myself {tactfully} around glitter, I would.  So when I find something that can incorporate stitching AND glitter, I'm going to be all over that.  

Happy Crafting!!  
--Abby

10/22/14

Craft-Along Gathering Process




Okay!!!  We have some interest, so let's make some cute stuff together!!  For now, I think that the hoops, trees, and Photo Challenge will be plenty of work!  : )  You can pick one, two, or all three - and we will have a  new Flickr page to share our work together!!

START DATE:  November 1st
This will allow everybody to gather the needed supplies.  

I'm moving a little slow this week…it's crazy busy and I've got some nasty cold virus that has knocked me down, but so far I've been able to gather a few supplies:


I have:  six 8-inch wooden hoops

cream-colored fabric - from Wal-Mart.  It was only about $3.00/yard and each is a little different.  The lighter color is super sturdy, canvas-like, and would hold up well.  The speckly fabric is a lightweight linen-type fabric, which is probably what I'll use for my project.  

I ordered a multi-pack, as well as 5 Moss, and 5 Grassy Meadows.  I love this felt - it's good quality wool felt and will stitch up beautifully!!  For my trees, I want to try a two-tone look, so I will experiment with both of these green colors.


The rest should be pretty easy.  Some cute quilting cotton fabric for the figures on the hoops, some wood for our trees, foam cones for trees, and embroidery thread for both projects.  


Also, I just ordered some wood slices from Placecard Holder Shop
I submitted a "custom request" for three disks, 1.5 inches tall by 3 inches around
I have no idea what this will cost, but I will let you know when I hear back from them.  Shouldn't be too pricey.  If  you have a way of cutting your own, feel free to do that.  


Go ahead and gather supplies, I will keep working on organizing this fun Craft-Along, and we will all get started!! 
Have a happy day!!  
--Abby


10/15/14

Pumpkin Spice Waffles

Seriously.


I happened to have some sauce left over from Bread Pudding….so anyone could see that I had no choice, really, but to make pumpkin waffles.  It only made sense.  

**These would be good with an Apple Cider Syrup, as well, so below is a recipe for both & you can decide!  Heck - throw in some maple syrup with any of these, as well. You just can't go wrong here!**


PUMPKIN SPICE WAFFLES

WAFFLES:
2 c. buttermilk
1 c. pumpkin puree
1 egg
3 T. brown sugar
¼ c. oil
2 T. vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)

1 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. all purpose flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. allspice
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. ground ginger
½ tsp. salt

In a bowl, mix together the wet ingredients:  milk, pumpkin, eggs, oil, and vinegar.
In another bowl, combine all dry ingredients: flours, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt.
Stir to combine all ingredients, thinning the batter with milk if it's too thick.  Try not to over-stir - just get it to the right consistency you like.

PRALINE SAUCE:  (makes about 4 cups)
1 c. butter, cut into pieces
¾ c. chopped nuts
3 ¼ c. brown sugar
¾ c. heavy cream
½ t. cinnamon
1 ¼ c. sour cream (and don't get the light stuff…you're going all-out here)
1 t. vanilla

In a large saucepan, heat ½ c. of the butter until melted.  Add pecans and mix well.  Bring to a boil and cook for a couple of minutes, until pecans begin to brown slightly and become fragrant.  Remove from heat and add remaining ½ c. butter and mix well.  Add brown sugar, heavy cream, and cinnamon to the pan; mix well.  Cook over medium-high heat until blended, stirring constantly.  When mixture starts to boil vigorously, turn the heat down a little and boil rapidly for 2 minutes - keep stirring.  Remove from heat and add sour cream and vanilla.  **{Seriously…the sour cream MAKES this sauce!!}**

APPLE CIDER SYRUP:
1 c. packed brown sugar
2 T. cornstarch
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. allspice
¼ tsp. ground ginger
⅛ tsp. ground cloves
1 pinch salt
2 c. fresh apple cider (after a good shaking)
1 ½ T. apple cider vinegar
¼ c. butter, diced

In a medium saucepan, whisk together brown sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, cloves and salt until cornstarch is evenly mixed.  Stir in apple cider and apple cider vinegar and turn the heat up to medium-high heat.  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.  Allow to boil for about 1 ½ minutes while continuously stirring.  Remove from heat, stir in butter and allow to cool a little.



10/14/14

Christmas Craft-Along?!

I miss doing things together…..remember the Apron Swap?  The Fitness Challenge?  Good times. 
 Let's do something together again!  Anybody with me?!  

Sometimes I need a little nudge….sometimes a push...and mostly a SHOVE.  

Let's make something adorable to add to our homemade collection for our future generations to enjoy.  That's one of my favorite things about the things we make - our future generations will treasure it…usually.  

I wish I had something beautiful made by my grandmother, but I don't because she had, like, a bazillion grandkids.  I do have a beautiful crochet dress made by a great-grandmother and it's a TREASURE!

So…with that in mind…let's make some Christmas decor!  I will jump ahead and walk you through it step-by-step and it will be something that ANYBODY can do.  We can all post our pictures on a Flickr page that I'll set up later.  

Here's what has inspired me lately…thinking about doing a craft-along with one or two of these:

Embroidery Hoop Christmas Applique from Coutrykitty.  These are adorable and would be cute up on the wall all together.  I'll make up some templates and post it for everybody to use.  This one looks fun!! 


 
Felt trees from Pottery Barn Kids.  To buy a set of these, you're looking at $136 before tax & shipping. We can make these for MUCH less!! (and probably a little more detailed, too)  Sometimes it's just easier to just spend the money on something really beautiful, but this time, I am thinking that this is a project I want to undertake.  


(Photo came from Pinterest, via Flickr.)
I LOVE this idea of creating a little felt tree for little ones to decorate.  I've got a LOT of little people in my life that would love this!  Trying to decide if it's something I want to undertake or not, but if I did, I'd probably do a bunch - which could get a little crazy!  Not sure if I want to get TOTALLY crazy or not….but being that it comes naturally for me, I'm seriously contemplating it.  …..???  


And…finally….best for last….DEFINITELY a Photo Challenge!  
You don't have to own a fancy camera - you just have to join the fun and get creative!  I'll come up with a Holiday Photo Challenge list and we can all share together.  


So get ready, get out your glue guns, embroidery needles, your cameras, and get ready to MAKE SOME MAGIC with me!! {scream!}  Sorry…screaming is sometimes unnecessary.

Have a Happy Day!!
-Abby






10/13/14

Football, Outings & Photoshop

What's happening?!  
Busy life is happening for us, and it's a beautiful thing.  

There are SO many things to love with the oncoming of each new season!  I guess I just love it all!!!  Just when I think spring is my favorite, I then decide summer is my favorite.  But then back-to-school is my TOTAL favorite, and then October comes and I can't believe how much October is my FAVORITE.  Then the weather starts to cool and I remember that Thanksgiving and Christmas are my ultimate favorite.  I think I have a problem…

October marks the beginning of my favorites, though - General Conference, Halloween (only because my baby girl LOVES to dress up and my little guy is on the cusp of getting "too old" for Halloween…whatever that means…), Christmas crafting {squeal!}, and getting ready for the Thanksgiving & Christmas season.  

Way to go, October - you rock.  The fun just SNOWBALLS from here!!  (might I add that snow is one thing I seriously don't miss…like, AT ALL.)

My {adorable} mom & daughter at the General Women's Meeting.
What an amazing time to feel united, uplifted, and strengthened!!!  And with two of my favorite girls!!!
If you ever need a lift, regardless of your religious beliefs, go check out the articles/videos of this meeting!  


Football Carpool!  This little girl can rarely stay awake when we have to haul kids all over town after school.  She plays SO HARD all day long!!!  She can't even finish her snack.

Took the kids to their first ever Arizona Wildcats football game!  Talk about FUN!!!
Sad, sad loss, though - the Cat's undefeated streak was broken….we might have cried a little.

This sold-out stadium is starting to fill up - we are about 45 minutes before start-time.  There was SO much excitement, energy, and noise!  It was a good time!!  

We still love our Cats!

My baby girl continues to be the driving force in our family - she NEVER slows down!  She's either making art, making me laugh, making me crazy, making messes, and always wearing something crazy. I love it.  We just want to hold on to her and make the most of every second since she's the last one.  


 And…what would we do without cell phone cameras?  We wouldn't be able to snap that random picture of a cactus blossom.    Isn't it gorgeous?!

…or that brief sunset…monsoon majesty right here.  And that's our Gila Valley temple - isn't she grand?!


Coming along…slowly…piecing this beauty together.  This was going to be for my daughter's birthday a long time ago, and now that it has taken me so long, I'm wondering if I just want to keep it on the couch!!  Not sure…but I'm sad to discover that I don't love all of the colors anymore.  At first I did, and then it's worn off…so much work for something I'm not madly in love with.  Oh well.  Must finish it!!  


 Another outing…can you believe that this is all in our backyard?!  We just take a little drive and we're in different terrain.  It's wonderful!

These beauties were NOT excited to have visitors.  They wouldn't let me get too close.  Simmer down, ladies.  I just want a picture.



Sun setting below the hilltops.  I LOVE this time of day when everything is drenched in that warm, golden light!  



And…it's senior picture time! For family, I'll do picture freebies and I had SO much fun with these two.  I've got one more girl to do.  Photoshop has been my BFF lately.  This takes up HOURS of my time, but it's SO worth it.  I love creating beautiful pictures and showing these girls how gorgeous they are.  It's a very fulfilling hobby - one that I love to share.  :)






Have a Happy Day!!!!  
--Abby