Thursday, February 28, 2013

Practicing Long and Short Stitching

I really enjoy Trish Burr's books including this one that my darling husband bought me for Christmas.
Crewel & Surface Embroidery: Inspirational Floral Designs (Milner Craft Series)
Trish Burr can do some amazing things with a needle and thread!! But I don't think I'm quite ready for the beautiful projects inside this book yet, so I'm using a small pansy design that I found online for practice.
Here is the link to the pretty little Pansy Instructions (the PDF file is at the bottom of the link). The design and step-by-step directions are guessed it...Trish Burr! She's so cool to share this project with us online, for free!
This little pansy seemed like the perfect project to try as my first, serious, attempt at long and short stitch.  I chose a linen hanky from a local craft store, probably not the best quality of linen, but good enough for me to practice on and within my budget.  Linen can be very expensive!  As I get better at these smaller projects I will look into purchasing some high quality linen, but for now the linen I find at my local craft store will have to do.
Hmmm, as you can see, I definitely need more practice.  My leaf doesn't look as smooth as the one in the printout.  But it is a fun project to do, the directions are easy to follow and the whole project is travel-friendly.  I just pack up a scissors, floss (kept in a Gerber food container) my hoop with hanky and needle, and the instructions, into a plastic baggie and I can take it anywhere I know I'm going to have to do some waiting.  I'll keep you all posted on my progress.
Until next time, have a happy, stitching day!!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Puppy Dog Embroidery

This will be a short post today, but I just have to show you all this cute fabric I found in the fat quarter bin at Hobby Lobby!   
The fabric has little springer spaniel puppies on it along with his little ducky friend.  (At least I think they are Springer Spaniels).
Now, I'm not a dog person, but I thought this little snippet of fabric was pretty cute.  And I knew that with the help of one of my Aunt Martha, iron-on, dog patterns, I could come up with a tea towel.

After I had already colored him with crayons, I discovered that some embroiderers are using special art pencils on their embroidery.  Within the next few weeks here, I will have to do some testing with my Prismacolors to see how they take to cloth and to multiple washings in the laundry.  Crayons tend to wash out of fabric easily and don't have the look of smoothness that pencils give.
Until then, Have a happy, stitching day!

Monday, February 18, 2013

1937 Ladies' Home Journal with a Hasselriis Cover

What struck me most about this Ladies' Home Journal issue was the cover with its beautiful colors and design.  I was intrigued by it and wondered who created such a beautiful work of art.  Luckily, right there on the title page was a write up about the man who illustrated it, Malte Hasselriis.  He was inspired by a page of illuminated manuscript that someone had brought from London.  Mr. Hasselriis, being an amateur collector of illuminated vellums himself, designed this cover for Ladies' Home Journal.  He called it a labor of love.  I can see why.  It is beautifully done.
When I researched Mr. Hasselriis on the Internet, I found very little about him (not even on Wikipedia!), except that he might be from Denmark.
The only photo I have of him is the one from the magazine.
And here are some fun advertisements from this 1937 issue!
Ritz Crackers

Campbell's Soups

Apparently Santa prefers Camels (insert raised eyebrow here).
Ivory Flakes.  Good for dishes and for fine laundry.
This issue was packed with nifty advertisements!
Until tomorrow,
Have a Happy Vintage Day!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Let's All Go to the Fleeeeeeea!

February Flea Market Finds!
Say that 10 times fast.
Another People's Book Club book entitled, In My Father's House to go along with the other People's Book Club book, This is the Life , that I'd just picked up at the antique store. 
Three Magazines including a beautiful Ladies' Home Journal from January 1937. 
And, a Woman's Home Companion from December 1947.  I'd never heard of Woman's Home Companion, so am excited to go through this one.
I also picked up a Ladies' Home Journal from December 1946 but sadly, it doesn't have a cover.

The flour sack in the background is a Holly Sugar sack that I just had to have because my mom's name is Holly.   The Fire King bird cup is just like the ones my Grandma and Grandpa used to have.  And finally, the little Sears Roebuck Sales Catalog is from 1957!  There are some beautiful dresses in that one!!

Where shall we start tomorrow?  How about the Ladies' Home Journal from January of 1937.
Until Tomorrow,
Have a Happy, Vintage Day!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Bluebird Tote

One cold, dreary, January afternoon Shannan called to tell me that he'd ordered me a little something that would be arriving via UPS that afternoon.  It was a "just because" gift and a "cheer you up on a dreary day" gift.  Some women like jewelry, some like flowers....I like crafts, and my husband knows this.
He'd bought me a Martha Stewart Bluebird Tote bag to embroider!  It matches my little, bluebird purse that I had embroidered in the car on vacation last year and I love it!  The kit comes with everything you need to embroider the front including a needle, directions and a good amount of thread.  I kept my left over thread and might use it for other projects down the road.
I worked on it the first week in February and finished it in time for the first flea market of the new year.  It will also make a great library bag.

Tomorrow, I will show you all of the treasures this little bag held as I perused last weekend's flea market.
Until tomorrow, Have a Happy Day!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Visit to Dakota Antiques in Minot

I was going through a bit of "flea market withdrawal" in early February (it had been November since I had been to a flea).  So, to cure this withdrawal, I popped into my favorite antique store in town, Dakota Antiques.  The couple who run the store are so friendly and always have good music playing in the background.  They also happen to run the flea market here in town.
Like a kid in a candy store, I browsed for a good 45 minutes to an hour, spending most of my time looking through their stacks and stacks of vintage magazines, something I could do for hours.  It was hard to choose only two, but I managed.
I left with these four treasures.
A Life Magazine from January 27th 1947 (which had basically just turned 66 years old), a Saturday Evening Post from March 22, 1952, a very old can of Bon Ami and a book entitled, This is the Life.  I've looked through the magazines and can't wait to share the contents with you.  I've looked at the book but have yet to start it.  The cover art is what drew me in with it's pleasant main street scene.  I'm hoping the stories inside will be just as pleasant.

And here is the can of Bon Ami which has been on my antiquing wish list for a long time (yes, I have an antiquing wish list).
I'm not sure how old it is, but it has some pretty dated illustrations on its sides.  I know it's NOT from the 50s, and the illustrations were updated to a more modern "housewife lady" in the 1940's---so my guess would be early 40's down to the mid 20's.  Mine is most likely from the 1930s and only has one of the top holes punctured at the top.  Maybe the person bought it in the 30s when money was tight and only punched one hole in the top so as not to waste any more powder than what was needed.  Oh, if only this little can could talk!
Until tomorrow,
Have a Happy Vintage-loving Day!


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

January Stitching

It's been so long since I've blogged!!  January turned out to be quite a busy month for us.  But I was able to get some stitching done and even completed a few projects.

The lilac dish towel above was a gift to my mother's friend, who, on occasion, gave us lilacs from her beautiful yard. Unfortunately, I didn't take a photo of the finished project!  
For the lilacs I used DMC 208, 209, 210 and 211.  A mixture of DMC 704 and 702 was used for the leaves.

While working on the lilacs, I had to have a "back-up" project.  I can never do just ONE project at a time...there have to have a few different projects going at once.  Any more than two days working on a single project and I get antsy for something new.  I think it's a form of crafter's ADD.   So I stamped this little bird wearing a raincoat and stitched him along with the lilacs.  I used my metallic threads for the first time (on the puddle and rain drops) and while struggling this beautiful thread, I learned some very important lessons.   (By the way...I'm not sure this metallic thread is even made for hand embroidery.  It's most likely made for machines.  However, it should surprise no one that I didn't let that little factoid stop me from trying it on hand embroidery.) 
Lesson #1 
It is best to work with this thread in a room absent of little ears.  No matter how calm and even-tempered you may be, this stuff will make you curse like a sailor.  Okay, maybe it's not quite THAT bad, but it IS a pain in the #$%^&*.
Lesson #2
In an effort to preserve my sanity I will never again try to use the metallic thread by itself.  I found it difficult to work with when used alone (especially if trying to use two strands).
After much trial and error, I find that it is best to use one strand of DMC cotton floss and one strand of the metallic thread.  The combination works like a charm...although still a bit more difficult than just DMC floss would be.
Lesson #3
In the words of Yoda, "Challenged you will be.  Patience, you must have".  Much patience is needed when working with this type of metallic thread.  But it is worth it!  The results are really cool and you'll receive oooos and aaahhs of envy from your stitching friends.....  
Skeptical Kitteh says, "Really?  I don't think so."
....Okay, maybe not.  But the results ARE pretty cool.

The little birdie towel isn't quite done in the picture above, but I do plan on finishing him.

Until Tomorrow,
Have a happy stitchy day!!