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I often forget how slow going most embroidery projects are but I also need reminding how much I enjoy it. At least until I’m on the fifth or sixth pillowcase.

I chose motifs from this book that I bought at Kinokuniya in Portland with Robyn last year.  Robyn received one set with this design and Erin and Braden got a set with the same motif.

The pair with satin stitch leaves went to my aunt and uncle.  It almost went in the garbage when I botched transferring the design but Chris convinced me that it would look fine stitched up and he was right.

 

I have an extra set of pillowcases that I might monogram for Chris and myself and I bought this adorable set that I think would be cute framed in Kate’s room some day.

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  • First off, thank so much to people who sent e-mails because they saw the floods here on the news.  It’s so, so kind of you.  We’re doing absolutely fine and I think the water is actually receding.
  • I even made it to a party Saturday for Julie’s birthday.  She’s moving away (tear) so I made her a housewarming / birthday gift.
  • Happy little bird

    Happy little bird

  • I spoke to my grandma this weekend and she managed to find a chair bootie pattern online so her new floors have been saved.  Thanks to all who pitched in.
  • The great excitement around here is the sprouting of our cucumber and zucchini seeds!
    Defying all that greyness out there.

    Defying all that greyness out there.

    We’re off to a composting info session so that we can turn these little cuties into monster cukes!

Today is a big birthday for my dearest Erin.  Last year I embarrased us both with a photo from way back when but this year I thought I would just honour her with some handmade gifts.

I embroidered her a tea towel.

Tra la la

Tra la la

and I made her some squirrelly mittens.

Nutty!

Nutty!

The pattern is from The Knitter’s Handy Book of Basic Patterns and the yarn is Manos del Uruguay 100% wool, colour 114.

Happy Birthday Erin!!!  Next year when you guys move to Winnipeg we can celebrate together.

This is going to look a little familiar.

It’s another embroidered binder cover.

But it’s for my knitting patterns!

It’s about time I liberated them from the plastic folders they were living in because I rediscovered a lot of forgotten gems.

Once again I followed instructions from Stitched in Time and used embroidery designs from Cute Embroidery Designs Volume Two.

I had a mini meltdown at the end of last week but I’m feeling much better so, in celebration, some random things that make me happy:

The call that I wanted Stitched in Time for Christmas was heard loud and clear.  I received a copy from Chris and another from Erin.  No worries because Amazon has a generous return policy.

I’ve been wanting to make a recipe book for our favourite recipes like the one I made my mom and when I saw the instructions in the book for a recipe book cover  I knew it would be much neater than my winged version.

Designs traced by taping fabric and print to window

This took me the weekend and the sewing was nothing compared to the embroidery time.  I finally took the time to learn to backstitch properly and I’m so proud of the outcome.

Ive since fixed the slouchy top

I've since fixed the slouchy top

The outside is muslin.  The embroidery patterns are from this cute Japanese embroidery book.  Lace is from my stash, I think originally from Fabricland.

The lining

The lining

The blue fabric is a fat quarter Erin mailed me from Japan when she was still there.  The red fabric is some lovely stuff I bought in Japan almost three years ago today.  I kind of regret using it because you can’t see it at all once you put the binder in.

Cover

Cover

After all that effort I spent much of Sunday afternoon going through my three recipe binders and tossing recipes I had never tried and adding extra special ones to this extra special book.  One that will definitely make the cut is this one for fabulous Roast Potatoes.

Unimpressive Leftovers Shot.  You have to trust me.

Unimpressive Leftovers Shot. You have to trust me.

Roast Potatoes

This is a vegetarianized hybrid of a Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson recipe.

1 potato per person plus a couple extra for good measure

A few tablespoons Semolina

3/4 cup butter

Fresh Rosemary

1 bulb garlic

Salt

Pepper


Heat over to 450 degrees.  Put roasting pan in hot oven to preheat.  Meanwhile, slice potatoes into thirds by cutting the ends away at an angle and leaving a triangular centre piece (this is a Nigella trick to mazimize surface area).  Parboil potatoes until the ouside is just soft.    Drain potatoes and dredge with Semolina. Remove roasting pan from oven and add butter.  Return to oven just until butter is melted. Add potatoes, a few sprigs of rosemary with stalks removed and all cloves of garlic, whole.  Roast for approximately one hour or until cripsy and brown, shaking from time to time.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve with roasted garlic to squeeze onto hot potatoes.

When Chris and I first moved in together our childhood stockings (or “socks” as my mom calls them) stayed at home. So, we went to Zellers and the dollar store to buy felt, rhinestones, glitter glue, sparkly ric rac and any other cheesy craft supply we could get our hands on and happily made our own.  I decided to go over the top and kitschy.  For the first few years the stocking was fun.  Sure a few rhinestones would be dangling off and the glitter glue was at the bottom of the Christmas box but who cares?  But then Chris got his hands on the stocking is Nana (hi Mary-El!) knit him as a kid.

Intarsia no less!

Intarsia no less!

Mine started to look decidedly lame.

Ugly Stocking 2000-2008

Ugly Stocking 2000-2008

Last year I almost refused to take it out.  I started looking for stocking knitting patterns and I fell ass over teakettle for Judy’s Colors.  Particularly this one:

Courtesy Judys Colors

Courtesy Judy's Colors

But at this time of year I can never justify spending $80 USD plus shipping, not to mention the knitting time, on myself.

So, this year, I thought up a temporary solution.  I would buy a sweater at a thrift store, felt it and embroider it.  I picked up a grey cashmere sweater at The Salvation Army Thriftstore for around seven bucks.  I made a stocking outline from a ceral box using a French curve and I traced it on to freezer paper.  Then I drew out a design culling inspiration from some Ravelry projects and particularly from an Ikea pillow Erin gave me a few year ago, which I still adore.  Then, using a great tip from EvaL8 on Ravelry, I used a pin and poked in the pencil lines over the drawing, then used some craft paint to sponge the design onto the stockings (scroll down in  her pictures to see her doing it).  Unfortunately it didn’t work at all and I also could no longer see my design because it was covered in paint.  So, I freehanded it.

I am, of course, super critical of my embroidery job.  I don’t have a ton of practice at it.  But at the same time I know that if Bowie ever chewed this or if it got lost in a move or whathaveyou I would be devastated.

I redid this section at least three times.

Oh, and did I mention it’s cashmere?

Judy may not be getting my business after all.  Sorry Judy!