16 January 2015

Tudor Birthday Bag

Well, I'm done. Kind of. I was about to write this blog post about the awesomeness of this bag, but how I would fix things for next time, when I realized....I completely misunderstood a step. So, it's about two inches longer than it should be. So, when I become less depressed about that fact, I'll go back and fix it. Maybe. Yes. I should.

But, anywho, here it is in all it's way too big glory.


I chose just the crossbody strap option, and left off the handles. I don't like carrying things, but would rather wear them. Also, as you can see, I did choose the front zippered pocket. You can't go wrong with zippered pockets.





I also chose the top zippered close option instead of the magnetic clasp. I didn't want stuff falling out, or to lose things.


This was my own personal edit. You're supposed to sew kind of off kilter on the inside pockets to create a small pocket and a large pocket. I decided I didn't like that. So, on one side, I made three pockets. And on the other?


Just two large pockets. Nothing extravagant. So, five pockets on the inside, and one zippered pocket on the outside.

But, for now, this thing is huge. It goes from my hip to my knee.

See?

Yeah.

I'll fix it....later. *sigh*

13 January 2015

Happy Birthday to Me!

My birthday was last week. It's the only time of the year I actually WANT attention. It was great. We went to go see Back to the Future in THEATRES. It was awesome. (I love our tiny theatre.) Then, that weekend, we went to the fanciest restaurant in Manhattan, Harry's. Simply delicious! (I like simple birthdays.)

Anywho, my birthday present to myself this year is a new bag. I haven't made myself anything since...the summer? So, I'm making myself Sew Sweetness' Tudor Bag, in Joel Dewberry's Notting Hill. (You know, what my Aeroplane Bag is made out of.)

Aww yiss, cell phone picture time! See also: GIANT MESS.

I'm using byAnnie's Soft and Stable for the first time, and I'm rather excited.

Tonight, after searching for the fabric for like 30 minutes, then discovering it was actually on the fabric shelf, I started cutting.


Got everything cut out. 53 individual pieces. Could have been more, but I'm only doing the shoulder strap, and not the handles.


And now everything that needed to be interfaced, has been. They're drying overnight (I used a bit too much water) and tomorrow, I sew!

Only took 2½ hours to cut and interface. I have to measure 32 times, cut once. Sewing starts tomorrow!

07 January 2015

Sewing Goals for 2015

If you look back on my 2015 Goals and psudo-resolutions post, you'll notice I didn't really elaborate on #8. It sits there, kind of unfinished. Like a passing thought, that died before it could reach the end.

I did that on purpose. I felt my sewing/crafty goals deserved a WHOLE post to themselves. Because they are never ending. Endless. ETERNAL.

I do not expect to accomplish this list. I have 98347298742 different ideas everyday, and maybe one or two a month actually are put into motion.

Maybe I should call this my "Sewing Dreams" list, instead of "Sewing Goals." Yeah. I like that better.

Thanks, internet.

 My 2015 Dreams are:

- Finish all of my kits. I think I have like 30? Ranging from Super Large Quilts to mini quilts. I have a whole container of them, just waiting to happen. FINISH THEM.

- Finally make my friends their 2013 Christmas presents. Every. Year. "I'm gonna make my friends awesome things!" Doesn't happen. But THIS YEAR, I know what I'm going to make them. I have the fabric, I have the pattern, and they're going to like it, damnit.

-Use my clothing patterns and actually my myself stuff, not wait until I'm skinny again. Things can be altered. And if I liked it, I have the pattern to *gasp* make it again!

- Actually complete the block of the month kits I've signed up for. I think I signed up for two. I know the Feed Sack embroidery block from Sweetwater (or whatever that new awesome line is called). I think I signed up for the Simple Whatnots II Club, but I actually have to go to the store to get it. It's been a bit too snowy and cold for me to drive faster than 45mph right now. (I wasn't raised with snow. I don't know what to do with it.)

- Finish all four of my seasonal cross stitch pieces from The Frosted Pumpkin. Go on. Laugh. I am.

- Use up HALF my fabric. Yes. Half. More would be better, but my dreams aren't that big.

And I think that's it. I don't know what 2015 will throw at me, but these are my DREAMS. Don't crush them, people.





06 January 2015

Sewin' with Mom.

As a kid, I learned most my craftiness from my mom (Grandmas helped, too). And so, now I'm returning the favor. Over Christmas, I taught her the very basics of quilting. She had bought a quilt kit for one of her teachers to make from Sunday Best Quiltworks, on one of our many shop hops we did. Very simple basic quilt. I looked at the pattern. "Oh this is EASY." I exclaimed. "HELP." cried Mom. So I did.

As I read over the instructions, you were to cut out three different borders and attach them to a panel. One, had to be fussy cut. So, I explained them to her, and well, next thing you know, I'm cutting borders. We had to rearrange the borders, because the kit didn't have enough fabric to do it one way, and frankly, I like the way this one turned out to the original. But anywho, Mom put this quilt together well. I explained it to her, and helped her make sure she was piecing and ironing it right and BAM. We got that sucker sewn together in a night. 

Hi, Mom!
Isn't that cute? What I'm most proud of is the fact that the lines in the panel? They're straight. STRAIGHT, PEOPLE. That's one of the hardest things for me to accomplish, and the fact that Mom did it on her FIRST QUILT is very impressive. Be impressed.

Mom was disappointed to find out that the kit didn't come with backing (does any kit?) so it was my task to run out and find some fabric for that.
Mom: "How much do you think I'll need?"
Me: "Four yards."
Mom: "FOUR YARDS ARE YOU KIDDING."
Me: "Nope."

While I honestly think I could have gotten away with purchasing three yards, I suck at math, and it was 50% off, so four yards it was! I purchased this flannel from Joann's, after hmming over multiple fabrics, with my loving, patient, wonderful, amazing husband in tow.

It surprisingly matched quite well, and worked the best out of ALL the fabrics that were there. When we returned, Mom was skeptical, but very pleased at the thought of flannel. The thought of that didn't even enter into her mind. So, I told her to wash it, and we'd hop to it the next day. (Note: This flannel is surprisingly awesome. It washed really well, and was even softer and nicer the next day. Recommended.)

The next evening, was the sandwiching of the quilt. I showed her that you cut the four yards in half, and sew them together, and it makes the backing wide enough to stick it on. And then I showed her the beauty of 505 Spray. I. Do. Not. Pin. Baste. I am too lazy for that. And, it also severely hurts my back to do that. 505 Spray is quicker, and it doesn't make my back hate me for days. While pricey, it. is. worth. it. I trimmed the excess off, and now told her to go forth and quilt. I don't think she liked this part. She just did a basic, straight line in the brown for "hidden" quilting. I mean, you couldn't even tell, unless you looked hard for it. AND THEN THE BINDING. I showed her how to make it, and put the strips together to make one long strip. And then showed her how to attach it. I don't think she really liked that part either. BUT IT WAS ON. And we rested. And then I had to go home, but not before I told her how to finish the binding.

She sends me a picture a few days ago and said "I'm done!"

Hi, Dad!

For her first quilt, and taking three evenings to make it, I'm pretty impressed, aren't you?

BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE.

Also, while I was there, I taught her how to make very basic potholders.


Simple and easy, right? You need six squares of fabric the same size, a square of Insul-Brite and a square of batting and BAM. Pot holder. On the day I went to go get the above backing fabric, she had made two more. And then a few more. And now she's out of control. You get a potholder! YOU get a potholder! EVERYBODY GETS A POTHOLDER. (Love you, Mom. :P )

04 January 2015

2015 Goals and....not really resoultions.

I secretly like resolutions. I know I might not keep them (things change, shit happens), but I'm a thinker, and a dreamer, and I love sitting here thinking about things and ideas I have for my future.
Ideally, I'd like to review these every month, but I know that won't happen, because I forget.

But as of today, these are my goals and semi-resolutions.

1. Read 52 Books.
This will be my third year with this goal. I barely made it in 2013, succeed excellently in 2014, but what will 2015 hold?

2. Do well in school. 
Have I mentioned that I will be starting at K-State this semester? No? Well, I am! I'm finally excited to start back with school. About three years ago, I stopped going to college because I had enough. I was miserable, depressed, hated my major, hated my school, and felt like I was just wasting money. Awful. Terrible. Horrendus. But now that we're here (ironically 10 years after I was a freshman in college for my first degree) and I'm thrilled. Wish me luck!

3. Revamp Last Yesterday Designs
Like, really get it going. I'm working with some programs trying to figure out legal stuffs, and turn it into an LLC. I'd like to start with an Etsy shop, with aspirations of just having my own shop online. I tried Etsy last year, and it wasn't that bad. I just wasn't sure how to drum up business. So, hopefully, I'll learn that in school, too.

4. Stop buying stuff.
I have an excess of stuff, and I don't know where to put it. Mostly, because I love shopping. (Which is weird for being an INTP apparently) but mostly just for craft supplies and clothes. And some times other things.

5. Declutter and Sell, Sell, Sell!
This kind of goes hand in hand with #4. I don't have hordes of things (not a hoarder) but my "collection" of stuff is out of control. Do I really need 15 half empty bottles of lotion? No. What about all that fabric that I have no plans for? Make plans or sell. If I can't use it, can't wear it, don't need it or just have too much of it. It's gotta go. Whether selling on ebay, craigslist, local FB groups, Etsy, yard sale, or just donating it, the excess has to go.

6. Get Off Your Ass. 
I got lazy. Real lazy. I gained back all the flab and weight I did so well with in Alabama. So, now, it's game over, and I'm tired of this. I saw my thighs. I know I should love my body and I'm awesome the way I am and blah blah blah. But no. I do not feel awesome. I feel sluggish and tired and no energy. (I'm already hypothyroid and it's running as "normal" as possible) and I'm sick of it. So, I'm just going to get off my ass and just move. Walking, cleaning, standing, yoga, belly dancing, chasing the cats around. Whatever. I just need to get off my ass.

7. Eat better.
Every time we PCS our eating habits go to pot. (it's where I gained my weight back from) And it pisses me off. So, I'm cutting out the soy again (except for soy sauce), determined to eat more veggies, and eat less sweets. That last one will be the hardest. I <3 sugar. 

8. Finish things. 
I signed up for Sweetwater's Feed Company Block of the month, so that's my big project for the year. I'd like to also try for the Moda Building Blocks quilt. I really like it, and think it would be a fun way to "get rid of" fabric. 

9. Be happy. 
It's the little things in life, and if I can accomplish any of the above, I'll be super happy. But, even if I don't, I'll still be pleased with what I do accomplish with the year. Who knows what I actually can? I don't know my school schedule yet.

03 January 2015

2014: A Year in Review

HAPPY 2015...two days late. To be fair, all yesterday I was stuck in a truck with my husband and two cats, and on the 1st I was busy packing and pigging out on delicious traditional black eyed peas, turnip greens, and cornbread.

While I should have done this the last week in December, I was on vacation, and I didn't want to think. So meh. :p
But, looking back, I was still in El Paso this time last year. How weird. I was in a tizzy trying to organize my house for the movers, and ignoring the fact that I'd have to say goodbye to some really awesome friends. I also just opened my business, and was quite optimistic and having dreams of grandeur about it. I also had some goals and resolutions that I said. Some, I failed spectacularly at, others, I excelled. Let's take a look back. (Original Post)

1. Out with the Old, In with the NewThis was about cleaning out the house before we moved and having a yard sale. I did a spectacular job at this. I got rid of a lot of stuff and organized quite a bit of the house. I even had a yard sale! I said goodbye to our table (from my childhood) and went almost all of 2014 without a table to eat at. I didn't get everything I wanted out or everything organized, but two houses later, I feel I did well.

2. 12 Quilts 
LOLOLOL. This didn't happen. 1. I sewed through my finger. 2. I moved. 3. I moved again. 4. No.
I finished two quilts from 2013 and then I made four NEW quilts. So, considering, I don't think I did so bad.


3. 52 Books 
This I EXCELLED at. I think I read 60+ books. I'm pleased.

4. Open an Etsy Business
This, I'm not sure how I did. I opened it, sold a few things, then closed it before I moved. (The second time) I haven't reopened it, because it's just sitting there. Taking up space.

5. Back to School 
This is another laughable one. I got accepted into an online college, then I couldn't take classes because I wouldn't have a house until the second week of class, and then that college never contacted me again. Enjoy your $30.

6. Exercise
While living in Alabama, I did pretty darn good at this. I joined one of the Fitocracy coach classes, lost 10lbs, ate better, felt better, then I moved. Crashed and burned.

7. Spend Less
Just gonna leave that there, and hang my head in shame.

8. Breathe
I think I did okay on this. Not fantastic, but not horrible.

Though, overall I enjoyed 2014 despite living in four different states. Here's to not moving anytime soon.
Coming Soon:
-2015 Goals/Resolutions
-Christmas gifts
-Other random crap  

22 December 2014

Butterfly Sling Bag

Earlier in the year, I signed up for the Bag of the Month club, where you get six patterns from six different designers for six months. It was awesome. I think I signed up in like month four, because I wanted to see what it was about, first. By the time I remembered it existed, it was month four, and I was like "oh why not?" No regrets, friends. No regrets. They're doing it again this year, and I totally signed up.

But moving along, I haven't had the opportunity to make any of the bags for now. I made Emmaline Bag's Butterfly Sling Bag. Lemme tell you, if you've NEVER made a bag before, unless you're super freakin' confident, do NOT start with this one. While the instructions were well written, this bag made me question my sanity at some points. But, now that it's done? Totally pleased.

I mean, look at it:

Please also admire my insulation.

Okay, that's a terrible picture, but I was in a hurry to get it in the mail. But you get the point. It's a pretty awesome little crossbody that holds a secret.


BAM. This sucker opens up and has ALL sorts of space. You're looking at a zippered pocket, an ID holder, a quick pocket, all squished together by metal snaps.


When you snap them together, it creates the purse look. What's that? you noticed two MORE zippers?


SURPRISE INSIDE. On each side, there's another pocket, and six card slots! I'm pretty impressed with the functionality of this purse. It's almost like it's one of those wallet-purses.


Because I battled the stomach flu all last week and still look horrible, The Blue Maroon is doing a wonderful job modeling it for you.

Over all, I'd give this bag a 7 out of 10. I'm not fond of how the straps are attached, but I don't know how to improve them. I'd probably also make them about a half inch wider, too. Also, I bent a needle sewing over the zippers. Instead of using a 12" zipper and trimming it, I'd use a 10" and just adjust as needed from there. I'd also cut the fusible fleece to actual size, not smaller. If you've made bags before, I highly recommend it.

For my own "performance" I'd give myself a five. I screwed up in a lot of places, including slicing a hole somewhere not fixable. (Well, I put some Fray Stop on it, but eh.) I could have done a lot better with the zipper, it stressed me out. The inside zipper was fine, but the double zippers made me want to cry. Also, my fusible fleece did NOT want to fuse, which made things a bit worse. Though, I would make it again, just with a few adjustments.

I only got two projects out of the five? six? I was supposed to? It would have been three, but I embroidered something wrong, and thankfully that client is the most wonderful, patient person EVER, so I will be redoing it, soon. Could have gotten a WHOLE lot more done, if someone didn't pass on to me the stomach flu. PSA: If you or your family is sick, please quarantine yourself. Don't spread the joy.

03 December 2014

What's black and white and red all over?

Why, my newspaper bag, of course!

Artsy.
 I had the pleasure of being a pattern tester for Sara at Sew Sweetness with her new bag coming out, the Holland Road Bag. Originally, I was going to use other fabric to make it as a Christmas gift, but after an hour of sorting through my fabric collection, I seem not to have that fabric, for some strange reason. It's a mystery to me, too.

Anywho, I started this bag yesterday afternoon, and finished this evening. I'd say it took me about six hours to make total, not including all my distractions (cats) and the fact that I have to eat and sleep. I also cut and sew slow, because that's just how I roll.


To be honest, it took me probably two hours to pick out the fabric. As mentioned, I couldn't find the original fabric I wanted to use, but couldn't find it. Cue fabric strewn everywhere and mental breakdown. So I decided to go in another direction, an hour later, I had it down to two choices: Newspaper or colorful Babushka doll print. Then, the riddle "What's black and white and read all over?" popped in my head. Bam. Bad joke wins. 

Got all the fabric and interfacings cut out, then started to iron them together. 

Pro Tip: When your sinuses are clogged, stand over the steam and inhale to help alleviate them.
I also have a hard time learning that if you soak your fabric, it takes quite a bit to dry. So, while eating supper, I waited for them to dry.



After supper was over, I cranked the music (and the space heater) up and sewed my little heart out.


I got the pockets stitched to the lining, and the straps stitched to the front. I also got them stitched together, but at that point, it was Sons of Anarchy time, and pictures were not important. 

Fast forward to today. I got back down there and finished up, remembering, how much I really don't like sewing small curves. No, really.  I like large ones, but small ones? Nope. Nope. Nope. After much struggling and cussing, I finally got them to the shape that they were supposed to be. Mostly. 

Then, I made a button. I've never made a fabric covered button before. It was suprisingly easy. Makes me want to make a whole slew of buttons. YOU get a button, and YOU get a button! EVERYBODY GETS A BUTTON. 

Anywho, it's finished. 


 BAM. There's the front. Check out that weather forecast. 

And here's the back. Who likes crosswords? Sudoku? SPORTS?!


And here's the inside. Four nice large pockets (and really wrinkly) that probably would hold a large amount. No, really. I can fit my 7" Kindle in one of them. 
 
And here's one of the Blue Maroon modeling it for you. She does it so much better than I can.

Overall, I think this bag can be done by a beginner, but not a super fresh beginner. Someone who knows how to sew, for sure. Six [guesstamated] hours from start to finish. Well written, clear photos, recommended...if you can sew curves. ;)

I used:
- Timeless Treasures' newsprint fabric
- One of the grey Kona cottons
- Mystery red fabric, probably from 2007.
- Dritz button maker
- 4 D rings from MeiMei Supplies on Etsy.




01 December 2014

Happy Thanksgiving....oh CRAP it's December!!

Here it is December, and it's when I start into panic mode, because I haven't finished everyone's gifts yet. But, enough of the worry, how was y'alls Thanksgiving? Mine was FANTASTIC. All I had to do was make a sweet potato pie, shower, and show up. I'd almost declare it the best Thanksgiving ever. 
But the pie. Let me tell you about this pie. It all started out innocent enough. Brian's coworker invited us to Thanksgiving. I asked what we could bring. I got "nothing." as a reply. Whatever, that's not how Thanksgiving works. So, I asked if I could make a pie? And offered the suggestions of Pumpkin, Sweet Potato, Pecan, Apple...SWEET POTATO OH MAKE A SWEET POTATO. Apparently, it was this guy's greatest wish. Or something.
I set out on the task of finding a recipe. I decided to use this one (Sweet Potato Pie I) from Allrecipes.com and Pioneer Woman's Pie Crust. Being that I have never made the pie recipe before, I decided to make a test pie. Good thing I did.


Why? Because this is what happens when you have Dyscalculia and you think that "boil sweet potatoes for 50 minutes" actually says "boil sweet potatoes for 30 minutes."

RIP Beater.

After I figured out what happened, I threw everything in the KitchenAid mixer (like I should have in the first place) and it proceeded to fix what I had broken.

While it was beating the living tar out of the sweet potatoes, I set forth to make the crust. Having no pasty cutter, I started out using two forks. Then, one fork. Then, fuck it, I'm using my hands. Got the pie crust all nice and crumbly like it should be, rolled it into two balls and stuck 'em both in the freezer.
Cleaned up a little bit, and checked on the sweet potatoes. Smooth, like butter. So, I threw the ingredients in, and let them mix some more.
I got one pie crust out of the freezer, and attempted to roll it. Attempted. Cussed at it, beat it, smashed it, then rolled it some more. 15 minutes later, I finally got it round enough to be able to fit into the pie dish and have some excess. Got it all squished in, settled, and poured the sweet potato mixture in.


I don't know how to do fancy pie crusts, so I just rounded it out and hoped for the best. Stuck it in the oven and waited. And waited and waited. And it was done! No, wait, it's still soupy. Waited some more. Nope, STILL soupy. Gah. Wait wait wait wait waitwaitwaitwaitwaitwait okay, now it's done.


Mmmm....pie. It's not burnt, like it looks. It's browned. (Yes, there's a difference) This pie, was almost heaven. Except...that it was too sweet. Yes. I just said that. But, weirdly, the husband loved it. (He normally says everything's too sweet) So, I took notes, and adjusted and made the NEXT pie, perfect.

Adjusting from the original recipe, I did instead of 1 cup sugar, I did 3/4 c brown sugar, and 1/4 c white sugar. I also separated the eggs, and beat the whites until stiff. Baked for an hour and 15 minutes. This one? Perfect.

We returned home with an empty pie plate.

With that, hope everyone enjoyed Thanksgiving.

(These are my honest opinions, I wasn't paid by anyone to do this review. I just like writing about my online finds.)

26 November 2014

Technology!

My hatred for Google Reader has exploded. I'm done with it. So, now, I've decided to join Blog Lovin' and I LOVE it. I will actually read blogs now! So, now I'm like all the cool kids. I have an update or two planned...whenever I can find my SD card. So, until then, you can Follow my blog with Bloglovin! (Just click that link)

09 November 2014

Around the World Blog Hop!

One of my oldest internet friends, Rosey, invited me to do this. Go click on Rosey's blog. She's one of the most amazing cross-stitchers ever, and she's learning how to crochet! GO CHEER HER ON. I'll wait....

Done? Okay. Here it is, later than ever.

1. What am I working on?
What am I not working on? Mostly my house at the moment. It's mostly put together, except for The Craft Dungeon™. That, I will be tackling tomorrow. But, crafty wise? I've got a couple of projects going on. IN ORDER OF IMPORTANCE:

1. A baby quilt for a very special upcoming baby (for a client). I just have to find an embroiderer.
2. Another client project: A Sunburst quilt, which I need to start over from the beginning. Ugh.
3. A Christmas present, which will be a purse.
4. A clutch, which I'm STILL WAITING FOR FABRIC FOR. *taps foot*
5. My Frosted Pumpkin Autumn Samper:


6. And my other forgotten cross-stitch project:


2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Er, does it? I'm not sure. I suppose it differs because it's by ME. I DID IT. ALL BY MYSELF. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. I'm really not sure how to answer this question. I screw up a lot, so I know how to hide my mistakes, and incorporate them into my projects, making it unnoticeable. Is that satisfactory?

3. Why do I write/create what I do?
 Because it is my OTP. Amber + Creativity = True Love. If I can't be creative, then my whole world goes into shambles. It is what I do. I don't know how to function without it. 

4. How does my writing/creating process work?

  Boredom usually is involved. I'm bored a lot. I always have "future projects" in my head. I have such fantastic ideas constantly floating around in my head. Normally 1 out of 50 is actually put into production. Here is an accurate description:


And BAM. That is my exciting craft, short spoken life. I'm supposed to tag people, but I don't like tagging people and forcing them to do things, so if you'd like to do it, please feel free and say I tagged you. :D

27 October 2014

Glory be, hallelujah!

I am currently writing to you from OUR NEW HOUSE. Oh yes. It is amazing and almost everything I've ever dreamed of. (No secret passages or in the middle of 50 acres of land) We're still unpacking, and trying to find a new place for everything. It's exciting and frustrating all at once. But, I have my fingers crossed that this is one of our longer PCS moves, cause, so far, I love Kansas. I haven't survived all four seasons yet, but so far, Fall is pretty awesome.

Hopefully, I will be sewing again soon. My craft room, sadly, always get last priority. But...this craft room is going to be the best yet. Why? Because it's a whole FLOOR of the house! A FLOOR. Lookit.



These pictures are taken from opposite corners, but it's HUGE. When we get a moment (and money) to finish it, there will be a smallish office/non-conforming bedroom, and then one big ass room. Thankfully, there's already a finished bathroom down here. But how exciting is this? Looking forward to the future. But for now, just looking forward to finding all my stuff again.

20 October 2014

Cross Stitch, the Sanity Saver.

The very first craft that I learned (besides gluing things together and mutilating paper with my mother's good scissors) was cross-stitch. I don't know if my mother said, "You shall learn this like your foremothers!" or I went "what are you doing, let me do it. I want to do it. Let me do it. I NEED TO DO IT." But, what I do remember is "helping" her cross stitch. She'd point to where I needed to poke the needle through, on top, and then she'd poke the needle back through the bottom. Repeat. I was delighted. Soon there after, Mom found some 10ct Aida (or something else ridiculously large) and she told me I was going to learn how to cross stitch with the same pattern she learned to cross stitch with. A simple little owl, sitting on a branch. Like, this one:

This is not mine. I found it here.
Oh! Exciting times for me. I like birds. I liked doing what Mom was doing, LET'S DO THIS. So, with Mom's help, I cross stitched my first owl. I don't remember how long it took, or how many times I did it wrong, but my incredibly patient mother helped me get it done. I remember doing the pine needles. I was fascinated. Cross-Stitch: The Gateway Drug to Crafting. I'm sure Mom still has my little owl somewhere at home.

Fast Forward to today.  I recently discovered The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery and all their kawaii patterns. No, seriously. Go look at them. While I was drooling over their patterns, I was drooling over the fabric they stitched them on. Where do people find fabric like this? Walmart/Joann's/Hobby Lobby doesn't have stuff like this. THEN, Facebook alerted me to the fact that they have a FB group (how thoughtful.) So of course, I joined. THEN LO AND BEHOLD in their links was a place to get "the most wonderful fabric ever." Curious, I clicked on it: Picture This Plus. As I was drooling over the fabric, I looked at the address to see how long it might take me to get some fabric. I blinked. I blinked again. Then I shouted at my husband, "WE'RE GOING TO ABILENE [KS]!!!" This place was less than an hour from us! I wanted to hop in the car and go right then and there, but then I realized that it was 7pm and they were most definitely closed. So, I had to wait until the next day.

AND IT WAS GLORIOUS. Picture This Plus is an adorable little shop underneath a bookstore. EVERYONE was friendly, helpful, and let me fondle the Aida. The fabric is beautiful, wonderful and soft and oh my all the threads! Being that I am not an expert cross-stitcher, I bought some non-fancy thread, from Sullivan's. It was only 9¢ more than DMC and had the DMC color on it, so I figured why not? I needed some. And then I spent like two days picking out fabric. But, I finally went with Fresco.


Everything went so well together, that it was like it was meant to be. Except for that last color on the right. You see it? Well, it almost blends in with the fabric, so I'm trying to decide what color I can replace it with. But, until then, I'm just gonna skip that color and keep on stitching. 

As for the pattern I chose, it's the Autumn Sampler pattern. Look at how adorable it is. And as of last Friday, this is my slow, but steady, progress!

Can you see the coloration of the fabric, where it looks like it has blue splotches? Yes? Yes, it's that amazing. I'm having fun with it, and hope to have it done before winter. (Ha!) I'd like to do all four seasons like this, but one step at a time. One tiny, tiny step.