Friday, December 31, 2010

A New Year's Wish

The wintry moon is on the wane
A spicy fragrance fills the night
Good luck and good cheer to you my friend
With the New Year and it's dawning light

Happy New Year

Thursday, December 30, 2010

January Freebie -- Cross Stitch Pattern

Christmas is over but for me the spirit of the season keeps on for a little while longer. Each season brings its' own joys but Winter is for me special. There's something about the cold, harsh weather outside that is so uninviting and yet so nice to look at out a window. This time of year keeps everyone inside on the sofa by the fire. It just invites warm blankets and comfy pajamas; soul warming foods and heart warming snuggling. After eleven months of the year spent running here and running there, summer vacations, soccer games, dance recitals, school performances . . . After the stress of Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas all piled up one on top of the other with barely time to breath in between . . . After all that, January offers me a chance to slow down before birthday season in our home begins. Those long, dark evenings with no errands to run or trips to the playground find me sitting on the sofa with one of my children; we talk we laugh we play and I feel that I'm getting a chance to know them again without all the hustle and bustle that so often crowds out moments like that. Occasionally even my husband takes that spot on the sofa if he can squeeze in between one of the children.

In honor of those moments here is my January freebie. It could defintely be a Christmas design but it makes me think of those Winter months I adore so much. Where I grew up the deer would be out in the woods behind our house well into March hiding in and about the snow covered trees. I used Gentle Arts Oatmeal, Picnic Basket and a Christmas Limited Edition color called Christmas Tree (though Gentle Art Blue Spruce would work well too). The design is 41 squares wide and 66 squares long and is about 2 by 3 inches stitched on 40ct as I've done. If you would like to print out the pattern click on the link in my sidebar. I hope you enjoy stitching it during your quiet winter moments.

Jennie Lynn

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Meg's Flower -- Wool Applique

Before cutting into my new wool I decided to finish stitching an applique I started months ago. It's been sitting in a tin in my dining room all that time. Every once and awhile I would look at it, occassionally I would take it out and lay it on the table, sometimes I would carefully place all the pieces, there were even times I threaded the needle. Then I hastily put it all back and hid the tin behind something so as to not have it mock me. Like I said I'm new to wool applique (this is only my second project) and my confidence is a little low. Though I have to say I'm very happy with how this came out and and now have renewed confidence to tackle my other projects.

I used Gentle Arts Simply Wool for the stitching; I like the fuzzy look. As you can see I'm still not confident enough to applique something as thin as a flower stem so I decided to embroider the stem instead. The little lazy daisy flowers in the circles were my husband's idea or at least they were how I interpreted the little doodle he did. I'm still not sure how to "finish" it. Do I back it with wool, felt, quilting cotton? Do I stitch on the little "tabs" I see on penny rugs? Do I get another larger piece of wool to back it and cut little scallops around the edge? More circles within the tabs or scallops, maybe a few more daisies? Any ideas? For now I think it will simply lay on my hanging rack for me to draw inspiration from if my confidence wanes while working on my other projects.

Jennie Lynn

What did you get from Santa?

I hope everyone got what they wanted for Christmas. I did because I ordered it myself.

During the first year or so of marriage I became painfully aware that my husband did not excel in the area of gift giving. Now he isn't as inept as Fred Flintstone giving Wilma a bowling ball . . . but he's pretty close. So my husband and I soon decided that on special occassions he would simply present me with cash. I do the book-keeping in our household so to be presented with money that I didn't have to hunt and peck through our budget for myself is quite the treat. Also having money that I must spend on myself rather than the children (as I think most mothers are inclined to do) or stash into the savings account is rather exhilarating. So I bought wool. Now I'm a newcomer to the area of wool applique and rug hooking but I've found that I quite enjoy it. I have a few patterns tumbling around in my head right now and I can't wait to share them with you.

Also look in the next couple of days for the January Freebie Pattern. I posted the last one on November 30th so I'm thinking this one will go up on Decemeber 30th. It's sitting in my sewing box right now all stitched up just waiting to have a photo taken of it. I hope you stop by to see it and let me know what you think.


Jennie Lynn

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas

Wishing you all kisses under the

mistletoe and a joyous Holiday!!!

Jennie Lynn

Monday, December 13, 2010

Just a few stitches . . .

I know it isn't much. I didn't get nearly as much done this weekend as I had planned. We finally got our tree up but only half decorated, there were three soccer games (if my husband weren't the coach we would have skipped that second one on Sunday) and my youngest must be teething again because she has been out of sorts for days and hardly sleeping. I did get all the colors stitched onto the linen which was my revised goal and for once I was actually pleased with all my first choices. I have no idea why I agonize so much over just four colors. The design is on the larger side but not too involved so hopefully there will be more sneak peaks soon.

Jennie Lynn

Saturday, December 11, 2010

It's the little touches . . .

I just finished these little envelopes to hold my thread. The link for the template is at the bottom of the post if you'd like to give it a try. I typically use little plastic envelopes to hold my thread for storage and while I'm stitching but I never manage to put the thread back in the bag so it's always just lying about whatever table I was working at last. With four kids in the house this can often times lead to disaster. My youngest son is quite fond of tying things into knots. Enough said. Besides these are so cute!!!

Jennie Lynn

My Flowers of Lebanon

This is my completed Flowers of Lebanon by the Goode Huswife. I stitched this two years ago and haven't touched black linen since. It was a challenge to say the least and I've been reluctant to do it again. However I think the time has come.

I designed a pattern a couple of months ago that simply begs to be done in a vivid colors on a black linen. I've chosen to stitch it on 40 ct R & R Ink Spot Black like I did Flowers of Lebanon. I haven't chosen the exact colors yet, but it will be a green, gold, red and yellow (at least I think so).

I hope to get some stitched tonight and post a picture at some point tomorrow. For the time being I'll hang this one my rack for inspiration.

Jennie Lynn

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Pointsettia Tutorial from A Hole in the Basket Primitives

There's this wonderful tutorial by Ann from A Hole in The Basket Primitives. The link is at the bottom of the page; be sure to check it out. I tried it last night while cooking dinner. I saw it and just had to give it a try. I'm not sure what I was thinking cooking dinner and attemptin a new craft project. It was incredibly simple though and well worth it. The most time consuming part was cutting out the petals and even that only took about 20 mins in between stirring rice. I didn't have any red wool so I used muslin instead. I tea stained it and then baked it in the toaster oven (my conventional oven was otherwise occupied) and the petals turned out a little stiff but I think it helped to hold the flowers shape. I also used upholstery thread since the fabric was a little stiff I thought that cotton thread might break as I was pulling the running stitch to gather the petals. I'm very pleased with the way it turned out, thanks Ann!!!

Ann's original project was an ornament but I think it looks as nice just laying on the table behind my sofa. I'm considering making a few more; maybe in white. There are just so many other things on my to do list, least of all picking up our tree today. We'll be setting it up tonight and hopefully I'll have some pictures of it to post tomorrow. I also have a few shots of an older finished piece I wanted to share as well as a new project I started last night after the kids were asleep.

Such a busy time of year and so much to share. It's all such a joy and I can't wait. Back to moving furniture around in our livingroom to make space for the tree and then maybe even some stitching time if my daugther agrees to take her afternoon nap.

Happy Holidays . . .

Jennie Lynn

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Simply Prim Christmas

I've just started putting out the holiday decorations last night. It's a process that can take days and it seems as though every year I've just finished putting out the last decoration and it's already Christmas Eve. So far all I've done is put up a few strings of a lights and set out the small tabletop tree on the cabinet in the diningroom.

Each year I do something a little different with it and this year I tried my hand at drying lemon slices in the oven and hanging them on the tree with twine. I'm thrilled with the way they came out, and they look espescially lovely with the lights shining behind them. They're so simple and yet so beautiful, but then again isn't that what "prim" is all about?

Next to the tree is my hanging rack. Now that's up year round, though it does look rather festive right now. I hang finished projects on it, projects in various stages of completion, and even just some goodies for future projects. The wools, threads, fabrics and linens are so beautiful in their own right. Even before they are crafted into little treasures they are treasures all on their own and I love just having them around me. Not only do they make me smile but they are a wonderful muse and help to keep me creative.

Good luck to all in their own holiday decorating and if you're so inclined share some pictures with me to spread the holiday spirit and some prim decorating ideas.

Jennie Lynn

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas Fraktur Sketch

Here's a little sketch I came across this morning. I had intended it to be a punchneedle but sometimes my mind gets ahead of my hands. I've tried punchneedle three times now, with months long gaps in between attempts. I just can't seem to get it right and I always end up feeling so down on myself. I have no idea if I'm doing it correctly, no one I know (in the real world that is) does puncheedle and my only LNS doesn't even sell the supplies let alone have someone on staff who could give me some pointers.

I seem to have one abiding problem that I'm not even sure is a problem. When I drag the needle along the backside of the cloth (the side you punch on) I can never get the tread to lie flat. There's always a little loop (ok sometimes not so little) on the side where I don't think there should be a loop, which leaves all the loops on the right side of the cloth uneven. Am I doing something wrong? Is it unrealistic to think the threads will lie flat or that all the loops will be even? My husband says I'm just too much of a perfectionist but I've just never been happy with the results. Perhaps I'll try again after another few months go by.

I always start with simple designs but as soon as I begin my mind starts racing with all the possibilites offered by punchneedle. So many patterns in my mind that don't translate well to cross stitch seem ideal for punchneedle. This was one of those designs. I'd orginally envisioned it in greens, golds and reds which is why I called it a Christmas Fraktur. At this rate it seems as though I'll never be able to see this or any other of my punchneedle designs come to life. Which is why I'm sharing it with all of you. Perhaps one of you will be able to interpret this design as a punchneedle, or hooked rug, or applique so that it can have a life outside of my sketch pad. Let me know what you're able to do with it and maybe your finishes will spurn me on to try my hand at punchneedle (again).

If you would like the sketch to print just click on the Free Patterns link to the right.


Jennie Lynn

Monday, December 6, 2010

This is love and worth commending . . .

Today is my and my husband's 7th Anniversary, though we've known one another for over a decade now. We're fifteen years apart in age, were born an ocean apart, grew up in different countries and each loved someone else first. Yet, we still found one another.

We didn't meet in the most convential way, our relationship is anything but typical, our children are a splendid mix of "his,hers, and ours", and every day can either be a blessing or a trial of strength, of course I wouldn't have it any other way.

So to my lover, best friend, worst enemy, and the other half of my soul . . . Happy Anniversary.


Jennie Lynn

Friday, December 3, 2010

Thanks to all of you . . .

I am so thankful to Betty for giving me such a sweet shout out on her blog. I felt kind of silly writing posts when there was no one to read them :) Now I am certainly motivated to keep this up. I have so many ideas (well that's nothing new) but now I have a venue for them and friends to share them with!!! Thanks to everyone who chose to follow my blog. I promise to try and make it worth it.

My plan is to put one new free pattern on my blog at least once a month; of course you have to promise to share your finishes with me. I have quite a few "quick stitches" that I can't wait to share with you. I don't tend towards seasonal designs but I'll try to keep them relevant to the time of year. Rather than specific patterns I find myself at certain times of the year gravitating towards certain color schemes. I choose designs that lend themselves towards vibrant colors in the summer, more subdued in the fall, richer colors in the winter and those wonderful subtle shades in the spring . . . you get the idea. I must have at least two dozen patterns just waiting to be stitched, and so many already completed. I have an affinty toward floral designs, birds and of course peacocks so you can expect quite a few more of them. I actually have a peacock design in color schemes for each time of the year so stay tuned for the next one.

I'm not as prolific in these areas but I also have some puncheedle, rug hooking, and wool applique patterns to share. I'm still very much a beginner in these crafts so hopefully I can get some "tips and tricks" along the way from those of you whose talents I'm sure far exceed mine.

Regardless of the direction this blog chooses to take I plan on having fun with it, and hopefully you'll enjoy it too!!!


Jennie Lynn

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Free Peacock Cross Stitch Pattern

I've been doing cross stitch for about fifteen years now (yikes). I left it to the wayside for a few years in the middle there (mostly during college) and then picked it up again when I became a stay at home mom. For the last six years I have ventured into sewing, wool applique, rug hooking, punchneedle . . . whatever drew my fancy. Of course cross stitch is my first and one true love. It seems only fitting then that my first post would be a free cross stitch pattern. I call it Wintyr Peacock but a different color scheme can certainly change the theme. Here's a picture of what I stitched using the pattern. Maybe I'll make it into a pincushion backed with the fabric shown. I haven't decided. I stitched it on 40 count with some scrap linen sitting in a basket in my bedroom so it came out pretty small. I do like those tiny little designs though; so easy to stitch and such instant gratification. If you would like the pattern just click on the Free Pattern link in the sidebar and print in out. Let me know how it turns out, I'd love to see others' work.
Jennie Lynn