November.

Did anyone else have the same reaction as I did when I turned my planner page this month?

"Wait.  What?!"  

That's what I said last Monday.  Aloud.  At my desk.  At work.  People stopped and stared.  As if Mondays aren't bad enough.

I mean, clearly, 1 November comes after 31 October, but this year for some reason, I thought my planner was playing silly planner games.  Like, no way was it already November.

No.freaking.way.

BUT.  You DO know what that means, right?  CHRISTMAS IS ALMOST HERE!

I cannot even contain my excitement about Christmas.  Literally.cannot.even.  I listened to Christmas music today at work while writing a memo.  I did a chair dance when Mariah's "Oh, Santa!" came on shuffle.

Don't you get all judgy on me.  You know you do the same thing, every time.  Yup.  Every time.

In other news, I actually have a finish!  Score!  AND, it's Halloween-themed!  I was on a Halloween roll there for a while.  I'm over it now, though, because....Christmas.

Anyways.  Halloween!  Witches!  Snakes!  Pumpkins!  Bats!  They're all in this fun piece from Prairie Schooler -

Double, Double | Prairie Schooler #crossstitch #halloween

Ooooo....spooky.....

Double, Double | Prairie Schooler #crossstitch #halloween

 

Those skulls, tho!

Double, Double | Prairie Schooler #crossstitch #halloween

Double, Double | Prairie Schooler #crossstich #halloween

 

BOO!!


The Master and The Macabre | Cross Stitch

Well, friends, it's officially fall, which means it's almost hibernation season.  It was downright windy and chilly last night, and I'm not happy about it.  The only thing good about fall is the clothes.  Well, and pumpkin spice bread.  And boots.  I wore my black boots on Friday for the first time since probably March, and it felt awesome.  

It's also time to start living in leggings and big, warm sweatshirts on weekends with a mug of mulled cider (which reminds me...I need to get more mulling spices.....).  I got a pair of leg warmers to help layer and keep me warm (don't you judge me - you know you want a pair...or five...), and oh my god do they work.  As someone who suffers from some degree of joint and muscle pain daily, these things are amazing at keeping my legs warm and from cramping.  They also may or may not make me sing, "FAME! I'M GONNA LIVE FOREVER!" to myself while I'm wearing them.

That may or may not happen.

More importantly, fall means I stitch fall things, and this one in particular was incredibly fun to stitch.

The Master and The Macabre.

The Master and The Macabre | Cricket Collection #crossstitch #needle #thread

HOW COOL IS THIS?????

OMG.  The fabric....just....I can't.

The Master and The Macabre | Cricket Collection #crossstitch #halloween #needle #thread

THAT INKWELL.  I want it.  I also want that raven - I'm pretty sure Poe borrowed him from Maleficent, and I love all things Maleficent (she's the best Disney villain, in my opinion), so, ergo, vis-a-vis, I love that raven and need him.

The Master and The Macabre | Cricket Collection #crossstitch #halloween #needle #thread

THIS HOUSE.  I want to stitch everything in the variegated silk that's in the roof.  I also want a door that looks like this one.  a) it's purple; 2) it has gold around the doorknob; and d) it's purple. 

The Master and The Macabre | Cricket Collection #crossstitch #halloween #needle #thread

And then, there's the moon, peering over the haunted house.  Just creepin' up there in the corner....lookin' at all his poems come to life....

The Master and The Macabre | Cricket Collection #crossstitch #halloween #needle #thread

GAH. 

Ok.  So, I've been promising to publish my color changes, and I make good on my promises.

I will say this - I had planned on making A LOT more changes, but as I started stitching, most of them didn't end up working out.  I think because the fabric I chose to stitch this piece on is so drastically different from the model in the picture on the graph, that the changes I wanted to make would have looked great on the suggested fabric, but not so much on this one.  

Changes are as follows:

Fabric used:  32 count Dusk by Picture This Plus

Fiber changes:
DMC 926 is changed to WDW Pewter for the lettering
DMC 3811 is changed to WDW Aqua
DMC 646 is changed to WDW Galvanized for the woman's hair (she's hanging out the window, all strung out) and in the inkwell
DMC 310/black is changed to WDW Mascara for the black in the raven, the inkwell, and the line under the house (special note about the raven: I originally planned on using CC Black Crow for the raven, because, duh, but it actually has too much blue in it.  Because this fabric is such a dark dyed blue, the Black Crow didn't show up as I stitched, so I made the switch to WDW Mascara, which has just enough of a variation to make it look like the sheen of a raven's feathers.)

Note that for all but one of my changes, I only made the change in certain areas, not every place that color is used.  

Again, the biggest reason I didn't make more drastic changes to the fibers is because the fabric I chose made most of the original colors punch you right in the face as you stitched.  No need for dramatic fibers when the fabric is stealing the show.  

It is also important to note that I used all of the Silk'n Colors called for in the graph.  If you decide that might not use the silks, I think that you could get away with the DMC alternative for all of them except two:  Desert Moss and Acorn Woods.  These are the variegated colors in the roof and in the shingles on the side of the house.  They're not variations of a solid color, they actually move between a few different colors (which you should be able to see in the pics above) as you stitch.  If you want the same effect in your roof and house, then I highly suggest you get these two silks, even if you decide not to get the others.

These color changes will be published on my Fabric and Floss page for easy reference, should you want to make the same changes in this piece as I did, and need a quick reference.  If you do, please link back or tag me in your Instagram shots (if you're on IG) so that I can see your progress!  I love seeing everything everyone does.  

Sig


Boozy Water Ice.

I think most of the world calls this Italian ice, not water ice, but really, it's wooder ice.  I'm from Philly, and that's how you pronounce it, otherwise no one knows that you're talking about.  In fact, since I've moved from the Philly area, it's the one word I say that gives me away to anyone I meet.  

Now let's talk about limoncello.  That marvelous liqueur that cleanses your palate after a meal, and everyone's favorite wedding/party favor as of late.

Or that liqueur that you use to make boozy sorbet, which is legit like Rita's lemon and totally reminds me of walking to the evening band camp session with my friend, Lauren.  We'd leave a little early, and eat our wooder ice whilst walking to the high school for more marching band shenanigans.  

Ah, memories.

Whatever you decide to call it, it's delicious.  I highly recommend making some of your very own, whether you're just looking for something different for dessert, or if you're looking to hide the fact that you're getting sloshed on a regular run-of-the-mill Tuesday night.  

I won't tell.  Mainly because I'm doing the same thing.

We'll be each other's Secret Keepers.  Secret Keepers of the Limoncello.  That totally sounds like an underground secret society of Italians who distill limoncello with a secret recipe from 1497 AD in a super secret underground place near the Vatican, funded by the pope.  I'm all about it.

And, yes, I bought the ice cream maker attachment for my KitchenAid mixer in order to make this boozy wooder ice.   Don't tell my mom.  Kitchen accoutrements were deemed off-limits when she helped me pack to move last winter.  At least I purged 429 plastic containers I was no longer using and hoarding for unknown reasons in order to have room for said ice cream attachment.  Because, homemade ice cream.  Duh.

In other news, I treated myself to a new planner.  A purple one, to be exact, made out of buffalo leather.

Planner cover #filofax #malden

If you have never experienced buffalo leather, well then, you must.  My checkbook cover is made from buffalo leather (yes, I still write checks, and am probably the only person left on the planet who does), and it's the softest thing.  Ever.  It's also withstood a solid beating every.single.day in my purse, and it still looks like new.  

Anyways, have you guys seen all the fun things they have for planners out there these days????  I mean, OMG.  It's a planner nerd's dream.  

Actually, it gives me another place to use up all my scrapbooking supplies.  Last week, I had a migraine that kicked my ass...HARD...and when I could finally see straight without blinding pain, I moseyed into the den and decorated December with stamps and shiny ephemera.  I mean, what better to cheer you right up than Christmas!  Seriously.    

#Christmas #planner pages #filofax

There are only 93 days left, people.  Under 100 days.  I hope you're ready. 

Sig


Welcome September! | Cross Stitch

You guys!  September is upon us!  It's Africa hot out there....and I just choked on a cubic foot of humidity.  

But fear not - the stores are filled to the brim with pumpkins and witches and black cats and skulls, so cooler weather is on the horizon.  Well, hopefully.  At the very least, all this means that Halloween will be here before you know it.  

And then....CHRISTMAS.  Which, as you all know, is the season I live for every.single.year.

First though, let's have Halloween.  Because I do love pumpkin bread.  And pumpkin pancakes.  And pumpkin spiced anything.  And my Autumn Wreath Yankee candle....which I may or may not have been burning since 1 September....

ahem.

Let's also talk about my progress on The Master and The Macabre.

It's not exactly a Halloween piece...but it's E.A. Poe, so it's haunted and horrifying....so it fits....

IMG_3826

I mean, how tormented is she?!  Her hair is a hot mess, and she's reaching for someone who's not there...

IMG_3825

And, hello!  Spooky, faded, torn curtains.  Loveloveloving these silks.  I have a greater appreciation these days for silks - yeah, they're more expensive, but look at that variation!  The rotting roof!  The curtains!  I can't.  Totally worth the extra pennies.  Or dollars.  Or my left arm.  Whatever gets me that silk thread.  

IMG_3822

I mean, that fabric though.  I literally can't even right now.

 

Sig


And one week bleeds into another...

Here we are, at the end of August.  Next week is 1 September.  I could cry, if it weren't for the fact that I love fall clothes (but not the cooler temps), and that flare jeans are coming back in style.

Thank Jesus. 

I love me some flares (Gap Long and Leans were my FAVVVV when I worked there all through college and grad school....oh, how I miss them so....), and I'm looking forward to some flares and sweet sweet boot cut to come back to my jeans wardrobe for the fall and winter, taking the place of some of my skinny jeans.  As a former college athlete, my legs and ass are just not built for the skin-tight super-skinny jeans on the market these days.  My sister introduced me to leggings a couple years ago, and I want to wear them all.the.time.  If it were socially acceptable, I'd wear them to work.

I don't think the general would appreciate me attending a meeting wearing those.  Or maybe he would.... 

Still.

Unacceptable for everyday in the office.  Unless it's snowing, then all bets are off.   

Aaaaaanyhooter.

The past couple weeks have been totes cray.  I'll sum it up for you:  a mind-numbing week-long meeting in California, delayed return flights, an unexpected overnight stay at O'Hare airport without my luggage (for the record.....I HATE O'HARE AIRPORT.  thank you for listening.), end-of-year work insanity, and a really, really bad Lyme flare-up.

The good thing is there is therapy in the form of great books and needle and thread.  

And a Starbucks barista who spells your name correctly without even asking how it's spelled.  #winning

IMG_3314

I just finished reading one of Tana French's books, The Secret Place.  Her books are seriously so good.  If you like detective novels, def check her out.  I have holds at the library on the remaining two of her books that I have yet to read, so hopefully soon one of those will be available for download. (if you missed my amazing revelation to you all back over the winter, most local libraries have an ebook collection now, so you can download books from your library to your e-reader and get reading!)

Next up is the Halloween project I started - Cricket Collection "The Master and the Macabre."  I've been working too much with Shores of Hawk Run, apparently, because I found an f-up, and I can't figure out where it originated, so it's in time-out.  My OCD tendencies won't allow me to just keep going and hope no one but me notices the mistake.  So....indefinite time-out until I'm ready to find it.

The Master and the Macabre Cricket Collection #crossstitch #halloween #eapoe

THAT FABRIC THOUGH.

OBSESSED.

The Master and the Macabre | Cricket Collection #crossstitch #halloween #eapoe

I want to stitch everything in that silk that's in the roof of the house.  Like, everything.

Those of you who've been following me for a while know that my most favorite thing to do is take some of these pieces that have been stitched on totally lame and drab fabric and shake that shit up.  Skeleton Crew is the best example - if you're stitching this (or plan to) and you want to make the same changes I did, head on over to my Fabric & Fibers page to see the list of color changes.  

Once this piece is done, I will post all color changes - I have most of them mapped out, but I've changed one so far as I go along from what I'd originally planned.

Fear not, friends.  You will be rewarded for waiting to see the final piece.  That is, of course, if you wish to make the same fabric and fiber choices I did for this spectacularly spooky Cricket Collection piece. 

;-)

Sig

 

 

If you don't have an LNS and you want the supplies to make my changes for Skeleton Crew, call up the gals at The Strawberry Sampler and tell them you want my colors - they will know exactly what you mean.  You could also order online from them - they actually have my changes as an option.  (disclaimer - i get nothing for suggesting you order through TSS - they were my LNS until this year when i moved to the DC area, and they're an amazing bunch of women running a small business, and i'm all about supporting small businesses, especially stitch shops.) 

 


Custom Made. | Papercraft.

How how how how HOW is it August???  HOW.

I saw this in Michaels on Friday and wept.

IMG_3111

I mean, I get it.  We crafters have to stay a season ahead, and I tend to stitch Christmas things year-round which is ironically ok in my brain, but for some reason, when the Halloween decorations and crafts start hitting the stores mid-summer, I lose my shit.  Next week, I'll be seeing Christmas ribbon when it's still 105 degrees outside, and I'll end up crying & rocking in a corner of the store.

Anyhooter.

Know what's fun to do when you're still crying inside after leaving Michaels and all the Halloween paraphernalia, and because you know the Christmas nonsense will be hitting stores sooner than you care to admit ("ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS YOUUUUUUUU!!!!!"  You're welcome.), and then the dead of winter latches on and makes you want to just hibernate with boozy hot chocolate (or, let's be honest, just booze...like hot toddies on tap...) until it's July?  Make custom crafts for your friends that are not holiday themed.

One of my friends saw a banner on etsy that she was going to get for a bridal shower for which she's one of the planners, and asked me if I could make it for her instead.

Um, of course I can do that.  It gives me a reason to take my Cricut out for a spin, and also do a little distressing, which is my newest favorite thing to do.  My other newest favorite thing to do is prettify my planner, but that's a story for another day.  

So, I asked Erin to send me a pic of what she wanted, and asked what the bride's colors were, and got to work.  

Well, first I got the plague...so I got to work once that ran its course.

Ahem.

Banners are quite possibly the simplest things to put together, yet they really can make a huge difference in your party decor.  It's always the simplest things that are best, isn't it??

With my trusty kraft paper and purple and orange to work with, I had a blasty blast putting this banner together.  Because, purple wins.  Always.

Bridal shower banner #banner #papercraft #bridalshower

How cute is that lil' saying?!  

Ok, so, first I distressed the edges of the square backings - 

distressed edges using Tim Holtz tea dye ink #distress

Then, I used my Cricut to cut out the letters and hearts and just glued 'em on the kraft squares - 

distressed banner #banner #bridalshower #distress

I sanded the surface once they were dry to give it a little bit of a rustic look.

distressed bridal shower banner #distress #bridalshower #banner

For some reason, the one thing I could never figure out with all the banners I've made previously, was how to keep the pieces of the banner attached to the twine, and used all kinds of methods to keep them attached.  Then, the other day, it hit me:  HOT GLUE.

DUDE.  DUH.   

I cannot even explain to you how much that revelation changed my life.

distressed bridal shower banner #banner #bridalshower #distress

Stupid cute, amiright?! 

Happy Tuesday, friends.  Make it a good one, and keep the fresh coffee brewing.

Sig


Monday Catch Up.

Did you ever get so behind in reading your blog roll that you just went through each one and cleared the feed without reading any of the articles?

No?  Just me?  Ok.  Well....I just did that.  Last week, I fought what I call The Trifecta: ear infection, sinus infection, and bronchitis.  All of that at the same time.  I'll let you know when that's fun.  When I was able to sit upright for longer than 35 seconds, I made chocolate chia pudding, because, priorities.   And chocolate heals all ailments. 

Since I'd been out of commission for so long, I had wayyyy too many posts in my feed.  So, I just deleted them.  It was liberating.  Now I can start the week fresh with new blog posts I'll (hopefully) have time to read!

I wasn't able to do much last week, being laid up on the couch and all, but I was able to make some serious progress on two of my pieces.

First up, Shores of Hawk Run:

Shores of Hawk Run Hollow by Carriage House Samplings

That house was killer to build, and the stone cliff made me want to drink heavily after I was done, just so I could see straight again.  It doesn't look like much...but 40 count is a beast when you're filling in all those squares.  

I also finished The Night Before Christmas from Prairie Schooler:

The Night Before Christmas by Prairie Schooler #crossstitch #christmas

I stitched this on 32 count Smokey White, which is actually a painted linen vice overdyed - the smokey effect is only present on the side it's painted on, rather than variegated through the entire fabric.

btdubs - I'm sure most of you have heard by now, but after this year, the ladies at Prairie Schooler will be retiring, and they will not be reprinting those designs already in print.  So, make sure you get your hands on whatever graphs you want, because once they're gone, they're gone.  This, friends, is precisely why I hoard cross stitch graphs - you never know when one of your favorite designers will retire and you won't be able to get their graphs ever again.  And because, well, some of them I just can't pass up and need to have.  

Ahem.  Moving on.

I don't know about you guys, but have you been watching True Detective?  Are you as completely and utterly confused as I am with this season??  Please tell me I'm not alone.  I finished watching last night's episode just exhausted from trying to piece everything together.  There are only two episodes left and literally no answers.  It's like I'm watching LOST again - every week there are 42 new questions and no friggin answers.  GAH.

Anyhooter.  I'm off to go grab my 5th mug of coffee (yes, 5th) and hopefully make it through this Monday in one piece as I come down the home stretch of recovery from The Trifecta. 

May your Monday be full of sunshine and an endless pot of coffee!! Sig

 


Irish Blessing | Cross Stitch

I normally don't do this, but it's been so long since I've done a stitch post (or really any post for that matter....where does the time go??) that I wanted to share this with you.

In the past, when I've stitched a gift, I wait until it's framed and given to the recipient to show pics of it so that it remains a surprise.  This time, though, I'm sharing the final stitched piece, but it's not totally done - it still needs to be framed.

A couple years ago, one of my friends had her first baby, and I offered to stitch her something to mark the occasion.  I offered to stitch a graph I already had, unless there was something specific she wanted me to do.  She sent me an Irish blessing that she loved, and asked if I could stitch that for her. I searched high and low for a pattern with this blessing, but to no avail.  So, I had to graph it myself and then stitch it.  I found a Celtic alphabet and went to work.

Fast forward to this past year when my sister was going to have her first baby.  Of course, I offered to stitch her something for the baby, and asked her if there was something specific she wanted.  She came to me one day at work (we used to work together before I moved) and asked if I could stitch the same Irish blessing that I did for Erin.  The only difference is that she didn't want the baby's name on it (I had personalized the one for Erin's daughter), but just wanted the blessing so she could hang it in the nursery all the time. 

Irish Blessing #crossstitch #stitch

This weekend I'll be taking it to the framer, so I'll do a future post of it completed.

I hope you love this as much as I do :-)

Sig
 


Planner Obsessed.

Back in college and grad school, I was obsessed with my planner.  There was a Franklin Planner store in the King of Prussia mall (oh, KoP, how i miss you so...), and I would go every summer to get my refills, and then get out all my colored pens and marking up my planner for the upcoming school year.  You better believe everything was color coded.  Certain recurring things had its particular color, and any overlaps I just randomly chose what color to use.  

In case it wasn't already obvious....my OCD tendencies love paper planners.  Love them.

Then, I graduated from grad school, and didn't really feel the need for a paper planner anymore, so I slowly stopped using one. 

Last year, however, while wandering through Paper Source after Christmas, I decided to pick one up half off.  I did not realize how much I miss using a paper planner!!!  So, again this year, I picked up a planner, and have been stamping and planning to my heart's content.   I carry it everywhere with me, and am so glad I got back on this train. 

Coffee, reading, planning.  #planner #coffee #planneraddict
Three of my favorite things: my planner, my nook, and coffee. Always coffee.

For next year, I will be going back to the binder style like my old Franklin Covey planner (vice the spiral bound, like my current planner), and have already been checking out the latest and greatest on the block, gearing up for my purchase for the new year.  I'm also debating on when to start my new planner - July or January.  I kinda love the July start, since it semi-coincides with the work fiscal year, so I might do that...but I'm still up in the air about it.  Something about starting a new planner before the actual new calendar year gives me something to look forward to twice a year - new fun paper in the summer, and a brand new year five months later.

Are you planner obsessed like me?  What is your favorite brand?  Do you stamp and embellish your planner to make it fun and pretty, or do you keep it simple?  Leave a comment and tell me all about your planner style!