Monday, May 3, 2010

What's New? - Part I

I haven't had a whole lot of crafting time (or blogging time for that matter), so now that the fabulous family festivities are over, I feel like I have a ton of catching up to do and that new projects are practically exploding out of my head!  So here's what's new!

Mom, JT, and I started our embroidery class at Bear Paws and Hollyhocks last week and had a great time with instructor, Shirley, aka the "Knot-Y Embroidery Lady."  The first class meeting just went over the basics - thread choice, the spit-free-way to thread your needle, knots, and the running and back stitches - but I think it's safe to say that I'm HOOKED!!!

While Shirley gave us a posie and a piece with our birth month to practice on, I could resist starting a new project -- I know ... big shocker!  I'd come across some cute, summery fat quarters during my last trip to JoAnns (for the $0.99 needle threader, mind you), and they were just perfect for to tablerunner with some embroidered daisies.  A quick google search for free embroidery patterns led me to the Needle 'n Thread blog and this great daisy pattern:

I printed three copies of the pattern, put two end-to-end, and cut the large daisy out from the third to use to join the two "ends" together as follows:

Another trip to Michaels for some matching thread and a number of episodes of "Bones" from Netflix streaming on the Wii, and this is the final result:

I'm so excited with the way it turned out, although, I can't decide whether I like it better as a table runner or a wall hanging.  What do you think?

I do have to say that one of the most important points that Shirley brought up in our class was the importance of a great light source.  She had us cracking up with her miner-like light-headband, and this great light that hung around your neck like a necklace, but they were all great ideas for portable light sources.

I found that in my house, I can see well enough to embroider downstairs until about twilight.  Not wanting to spend a great deal of money on yet another "new hobby," I improvised by placing my end-table lamp (an ancient one that I had in my bedroom as a kid) on a stack of cookbooks on the endtable next to the couch.  Unfortunately, the end of the couch is a rocker chair and the lamp had a rather large shade, so every time I went to stand up, the back of the chair would hit the lamp shade if I didn't remember to move it out of the -- which was most of the time.  After knocking it over three times (shattering the lightbulb the third time) and knocking the wiring a little loose, Rob generously decided it was time to invest in a new lamp ... and off to Ikea we went!

I came home with this little gem and let me tell you: for $25, it's well worth the money.  The neck is totally adjustable, so I can sit in whatever chair I want, and still have the light over my shoulder.  And the best part?  The base is SUPER heavy, and the lamp actually swivels, so if I forget to move it out of the way when I stand up, it just swings out of the way when the chair hits it, rather than falling over and scaring Lily and Luigi.

PS - the new bookshelf we came home with was just a bonus!!!!

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