Recent Craftiness – Gifts Galore

I’ve been cross stitching up a storm lately.  Lots and lots of my friends have been getting married and having babies, and I love giving cross stitch presents to commemorate such happy life events.  Here’s some of my recent work:

Embroidered flowers and cross stitch.

The biggest project I’ve done lately is the flowery design I made for my co-worker Marisa and her husband Nolan.  I had to teach myself how to do embroidery, which turns out to be a lot of fun and really pretty perfect for something to do while traveling.  I took this with me on my trip to India with Teddy, and unlike counted cross stitch, it doesn’t require constant reference to a pattern, making it much easier for working on while traveling.

Unfortunately, this project also ended up being an example of what annoys Teddy sometimes when I do these projects.  The gift, as far as I can tell, wasn’t particularly appreciated.  It drives Teddy nuts when I make something for someone and they don’t appreciate haha.  It didn’t both me as much, except for the fact I had less time for other projects for people and I did feel I wasted my effort a bit.  But, I still think it’s beautiful and I’m pretty proud of it.

One other thing – this is the only project I’ve ever had professionally framed.  I have to say, I thought professional framing was kind of a waste of money.  Everything else here I framed myself with ready-made frames (mostly from Michaels), and I think they’re all great. I doubt I’ll ever pay to have something framed again!

Two of my most favorite people bought a house, and it’s in PA yay!  (I love when my Jersey peeps move over to PA and closer to Teddy and I haha!)

This was my first attempt at designing a sampler out of different little designs in a book.  It wasn’t really a fully coherent design – again, it was my first time – but adding the “ribbon” around the bottom section really tied it together.  It was a last-minute addition, but I’m glad I added it.  Funny problem – I didn’t have a pattern for the ribbon on the right side or the curve from the bottom to the right.  I ended up taking a picture with the camera on my phone and using my photo-manipulation software on the camera to flip it.  I then had to zoom in on the image (because my phone screen is pretty small) so I could actually see the pattern.  Lots of work and kinda hard on my eyes, but it was totally worth it.

Brooke & Ryan

Back to framing – Teddy was SO PROUD of himself for this one.  We founds this frame at Michaels and it perfectly matches Brooke and Ryan’s living room furniture.  I was a little nervous – was it presumptuous of me to frame it to match their living room, pretty much requiring them to hang it there?  But Teddy convinced me it was the right choice, and I have to say it looks really great in the room!  Good job husband 🙂

Baby Jeremy

Last up on recent presents – my friends recently had a beautiful baby boy, and I made this birth announcement sampler for them.  This one is an example of how a mistake can end up being a blessing in disguise.  The pattern I picked out for this was *very* busy – much bigger than what you see here.
Unfortunately, math is not my strongest point.  (I have a funny story of an almond cake I made recently.  It wasn’t so much almond cake as baked marzipan, and I was pretty sure a blade broke off my food processor (it didn’t!).  It all came down to my inability to convert tablespoons to cups and also my failure to properly read labels.)  Anywho, I cut the Aida this one a little under half the size it needed to be, because I confused myself when I decided to use 24 count cloth but work over 2 threads instead of 1.  Long story short (too late?), I was about 3 hours in when I realized there was no way the pattern I was working was going to fit.  So I cut out lots of stuff, moved things around, and judiciously edited the number of scattered baby things in the background and ended up with this very sweet sampler.

Turns out Teddy hated the original pattern, so he was happy, too!  And most important, mommy and daddy like it.

I’ve got some other gifts that should get done in the next few weeks, but this is it for now!  I love being able to give someone something handmade and filled with love, and I’m glad these projects came out so well.


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