Tuesday, November 30, 2010

gear up for 2011

Just dropping by quickly to say hey, guess what - large calendar panels are on sale in the shop right now.OR if you are feeling lucky take a chance at winning a double dates calendar panel set (that's one large and one small) right here. Go for it!

Friday, November 26, 2010

visual feasts

You guys are all drained from the holiday yesterday, right? Why not sit back and relax today because I happen to have some suggested viewing for you. First and foremost - have you all seen this...

I had the GREAT pleasure of feasting my eyes on this little wonder yesterday and guess what? I'll be doing the same today. This is a stunning movie. I actually audibly gasped at some of the scenes - so gorgeous. I only wish I would have caught this in the theater but I might have fainted if I had. I also liked the story quite a bit so this is going on the favorite movies list for sure. Oh, and did I mention, I liked this movie?

And speaking of totally inspiring animation, Walt Disney's Fantasia is back again. I remember being completely enthralled with this film as a kid and it still casts the same magical spell today. There is really nothing else like this movie and I cannot wait to watch it again!

Last but not least, did you catch Etsy's little holiday video? I know I am completely biased as I seem to be a member of the church of Etsy BUT I think this video is pretty brilliant.

Thanks to everyone who took a stab at the ornament guessing game. I was surprised that the third list seemed to be the unanimous choice. Stitching up a hot air balloon would be so much fun but...sorry folks, that wasn't it! It's actually the last list. Wish me luck on that french horn guys - I'm good but I'm not sure if I'm THAT good, ya know?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

i think i found it

A place to take photos here! I have been trying out different rooms at different times of the day and in different angles but was mostly just taking a lot of awful photos. I was lucky in Omaha where we had a huge covered porch. It was a perfect for taking pictures (even if it meant battling cold and wind while you did it). I think I'm going to have to go with the basement egress window here. The only downside is that I have to carefully move all the lego scuptures that are usually displayed there - then carefully put them back so that a certain boy who might be in school at the time will never know the difference when he returns home.

I'm a pretty boring blogger lately as I am working my way through a custom ornament list that is... not short. I love these little challenges though - especially when something really unusual comes up on the request list. There have been some good ones this year and I thought I would share the fun with you all. I'll give you four lists of three things. One list has items that I have sketched or stitched for ornaments so far this year, the other three lists are fakes. See if you can guess the real deal. I'll reveal the answer in my next post.

bicycle, wedding dress, cactus

raccoon, cowboy boots, piano

snowmobile, hot air balloon, teapot

superhero, french horn, seashell

good luck!

Friday, November 12, 2010


I swear I just have a sixth sense about these things. Do you know what this is? It's a jinxed Christmas ornament. Jinxed I tell ya. It's weird and you all might think I'm crazy but sometimes I just get a sense when starting something that it's going to go wrong. This was one of those projects.

1. I ironed my interfacing to my press cloth instead of my fabric
2. I stitched more than half the letters before I realized I was stitching them in the wrong color
3. As I am stitching along I keep thinking "hmmm...this stabilizer seems so brittle and weird. Maybe I ironed it for too long or maybe it's too old or something. Still I continue to stitch and then it hits me.
That's not stabilizer, that's "wonder under". crap. They look pretty similar sitting there next to each other and I obviously grabbed the wrong one, traced my pattern onto it, ironed it onto my fabric and started stitching. I can't believe how long it took for it to dawn on me. ugh.

I clicked a photo before it went in the trash so I could give you all a good laugh today. Weird how I'm pychic though, eh?

Better get back to my 'do-over'. Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

a mini border how-to brought to you by...

naptime! Which hardly ever happens anymore. Luckily I can still count on Adam crashing (usually in a puddle of fits and tears) at least once a week and today was my lucky day. As promised I'm going to share how I made this petite little border for a custom piece.
I love the way it turned out and it was super easy too. Did I invent this stitch? - I'm sure I did not. Who did invent it? I'm sure I don't know - probably an 8 year old girl working on her first sampler in a farmhouse in Kansas 200 years ago. That's just my best guess. It's probably in a book or online somewhere but I know I felt like I was so clever when I did it because I had never seen it before. Still, I don't take credit for it.
You just start out with a blanket stitch. You need to make them tall and short alternately. These are quarter inch and half inch. I penciled in my lines because I'm an embroidery nerd.
Next just weave a different colored floss through your stitches. Over under over under style.
Then do it again with a different color but alternate the cross threads (where you went over with the first color go under with the second and so on).
It works best if your last woven line of floss tucks under the short stitches instead of laying on top of them - it just keeps everything tidy that way.
Finally, add a french knot over each short stitch and that's it!
What I love about this border is that is looks just as good along curves as it does in a straight line. I think this will be turning up again soon. I am sorry to say that I have a photo of another version I did in monochrome colors with thinner floss but for some reason blogger keeps wanting to turn it sideways when I upload it. Why? I don't know. Blogger can be fussy like that don't you think? I'll try to tuck it in in edits another day when perhaps blogger is feeling more cooperative. Until then - try this stitch - you'll love it!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

i approve

So, here's some newsEven if the flakes haven't flown yet (even up in Minnesota) they have been at SeptemberHouse since July. I was somehow lucky enough to be asked by Etsy to participate in a DIY feature for Good Housekeeping Magazine! It is finally on newsstands today so I can share a bit about the experience. I've been keeping it under wraps for 4 months now and that wasn't easy, lemme tell ya.

The idea for the feature is actually very cool. Good Housekeeping is celebrating their 125th year so they went back through the years and chose some craft projects from the past. That's when Etsy came into the picture. Good Housekeeping wanted some updated versions of these older projects so they partnered with Etsy to make it happen. I was asked to update an embroidered blanket project
from 1939. What a fun challenge it was. There were lots of revisions along the way and a few other bumps along the way (including but not limited to: getting a house ready to sell and moving at the same time) but in the end I think it turned out to be a really nice article full of beautiful projects and I am so glad to be a part of it. My project can be found on the Good Housekeeping website. The patterns for the snowflakes are there so hey, free pattern folks. Or, if you are feeling more ambitious you can make the whole blanket.
And now back to the weather...
I had to break out the Old Timey Christmas station on Pandora this morning to try to get into the Christmas spirit. People are wearing shorts here - in November - it's just nutty! So, even though it doesn't feel like the holiday season at all I'm trying to get my jingle on anyway. Anyone have snow yet??

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

it's that time of year

Three inch hoops - everywhere! Yes, it's ornament time again - yay! I'm already having so much fun stitching up new designs this year. Here are a few requests that have come through the SeptemberHouse doors lately They are sort of tiny little versions of some previously stitched friends. I wasn't sure I could pull it off in such small dimensions but in the end I think they worked out just fine.

And here is a sneek peek at a custom order I'm working on and LOVING. Not sure how I will let this leave my house. It might have to be ripped from my hands. I do plan to post a mini tutorial for that border which was so easy and and turned out so very pretty, if I do say so myself. Can't wait to share photos when this is all done!
Oh, and I have some exciting news next week that I have been waiting months to share!

Monday, November 1, 2010


Check out the spooks! For so long Peter wanted to be Harry Potter for Halloween and I thought that was a great idea - very easy and, hey, he could pull it off with his shaggy brown hair and charm. But no, he traded that idea in for something much creepier. Oh well, what can you do? He loved freaking people out and had so much fun.
The teeny tiny bat really stole the show last night and I actually DID make that costume...4 years ago. So at least one person got to wear a handmade costume this year. I have been itching to sew lately so maybe I should just go ahead and get started on costumes for next year and they might just be done in time.