Thursday, January 5, 2017

How About a Tudor SAL?


For those of you who have followed me for awhile, you're familiar with my obsession interest in the Tudors. I think my first exposure to the Tudors was in 1969 when I watched the movie Anne of a Thousand Days with Richard Burton and Genevieve Bujold. Little did I realize how much of an impact Anne's story would have on my life - it opened the door to decades of reading and learning about the Tudor Era.

Scroll on a few years (decades - lol!) and I met Kaye of Kitten Stitching through this wonderful blogging world of ours and we discovered we had many things in common - especially the love of stitching and the Tudors. Yes - we are Tudorphiles. Hence, Tudor Tuesdays SAL blog was launched in August of 2015.

Then, just the other day, a grand idea occurred to me: to chart the badges of each of Henry's wives and share the charts and stitching adventures in a SAL. So, I fired up Photostitch and charted Catherine of Aragon's badge - the pomegranate. I bounced my idea off  Kaye and she suggested including each queen's motto and name, as well. Great idea, Kaye! (She says, "You're welcome, everyone!")

SO, if you'd like to enjoy some Tudor history, come along and join us in the first (and maybe only <g>) Tudor Tuesdays SAL. The patterns for each badge will be released every other month on the Tudor Tuesdays blog but you will be able to find the links to the SAL on the sidebar of this blog, Wisdom with Needle and Thread, or on Kaye's blog, Kitten Stitching. Look for this badge to link to the patterns:


You will have your choice of stitching each badge separately, with or without the associated motto, and/or with our without the name of each queen. All three will be included and all are offered for free. Badges are 88W x 117H (stitches).  If you stitch the mottos and names, additional stitches would need to be added when you calculate the size of the material you choose.

The first badge, Catherine of Aragon, is available here.  I look forward to seeing your progress and creative versions. Please feel free to become a follower of Tudor Tuesdays SAL - but you don't have to be a follower to download and enjoy the patterns.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact me. Enjoy!




Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The Lost is Found and Santa Saga

I was able to connect with Home School Mom - YIPPEE! So the lost has been found.

Now........on to the Santa Saga. WARNING: Pull up a chair and grab a cuppa, ladies. This is a long story.

Santa is my first soup to nuts polymer clay doll. He was done completely on my own - and not without a WHOLE LOT of learning and more than a little bit of angst and frustration. But I've found when I struggle with something and I figure it out, it stays with me and my skills increase ten fold. With Santa, that mark is in the hundreds - HA!

I shared his face in a previous post. I used Prosculpt polymer clay from Artdolls.com. It's absolutely awesome to work with. Santa started as a lump of clay, ended up with a face that measured approximately 3 inches from the top of his head to his chin. I wigged (and  bearded) him using Tibetan Lamb hair.

I then moved on to his hands. The longest finger measures 1 inch long. Some other factors came into play.....and I ended up sculpting a second set of hands because I wasn't happy with the first.


Than came his boots - these were sculpted and then painted with acrylic paints. Can you see the faux stitching and the strap and buckle? All sculpted with clay.


THEN - the COSTUMING was next. As they say, "Let the games begin!"

Let me make this clear right up front - I cannot sew. I'm convinced my sewing machine came with a curse and it does everything within its power to make my (sewing) life miserable.

If you would want to enter a competition,  all doll clothes should be removeable. I figured I might as well try the removable bit - who knows what the future will bring....so I'd better use this opportunity to get my feet wet.

Because he's hand made and each and every doll has different dimensions,  there was no pattern whatsoever for me to follow to make his costume. None. Nadda. I watched a costuming DVD that was very straightforward. Easy peasy, right? Not for me. (Did I mention I can't sew)?

Santa's pants were the first adventure. ummmmmm......it's a really, really good thing I have a LOT of cotton fabric in my stash so I could experiment without actually cutting in to the red velveteen (also in my stash) I wanted to use for his suit. Several attempts making something that (a) fit and (b) didn't look like I'd used cardboard, here's Santa's pants - Hawaiian style:


I won't dare tell you how long to took me to get this far....
And here he is in his red velveteen pants:


Next was to come up with a coat or tunic or SOMETHING. Man, oh man.......I spent DAYS measuring, drawing patterns, sewing, ripping out, sewing some more....I was so afraid to cut in to the red velveteen because I just KNEW I'd mess it up and I only had a limited amount to work with. I ended up making a cotton tunic....after several attempts with scrap cotton, I stitched one that fit - sleeves and all. Mission accomplished. Or was it?

Now the dilemma was how to fasten it closed. I had five adorable tiny black buttons I sewed onto the tunic.....but I knew trying to make button holes was 'way out of my skill level and comfort zone (I was already pushing the envelope on that one). I had an "Ah-Ha!" moment and settled on velcro. None in the house....the weather was awful, so ordered some self-stick velcro dots from Amazon. While waiting for those to arrive, I decided he was going to be a Woodland Santa and he needed a red velvet cape.

I wanted to line it. After (finally) making the cape pattern, attempting to line it turned into another nightmare. Scratch the lining. Eventually I hit the motherland, put my Big Girl Panties on and got out the last remaining red velveteen. Stitched up the cape and was ready to attach the faux fur around the bottom (to match his pants).

The nightmare continues: I had purchased a spool that contained 6 feet of faux fur and had only used what you see for his pants. There was a reason the spool had been on sale.... only 11.5 inches was left on the spool. COME ON, PEOPLE! 11.5 inches?!?!?!? Are you kidding me?!?!? At this point, I was looking for the hidden camera expecting "Funniest Home Videos" to pop out and say "Surprise!"

OK....backup plan. I had some faux fur fluff of something I'd picked up awhile ago at Joann's. PERFECT!.......not so much.....I cut what I needed and the darned stuff was so fluffy and unwieldy I have fluff and fur flying all over the place - in my mouth, in my eyes, on my clothes, in the air.....it looked like a snow storm had been through the house.  I finally gave up and threw the material out. Then I cleaned my studio. Took a lint brush to all exposed flat surfaces, ran the vacuum and changed my clothes to get rid of all the fluff.

Ended up ordering more material on line because I couldn't find what I needed in town.  In the meantime, the velcro dots arrived. EUREKA!....not so much.....

The darned dots not only wouldn't stick to the fabric, they would't stick together to close the tunic. Dad nabbit! (I was running out of backup plans). Snaps. I'd use snaps. SIGH. Another run into town loomed in my future - until I rummaged through my mother's sewing basket. Low and behold, she had exactly five tiny snaps PERFECT for the tunic! (Mom, I love you!). Problem solved.



Next was his belt - I had some faux leather and an old watch band. Used the buckle from the watch band as his buckle and made a belt that can be buckled and unbuckled. That was easy peasy.


Another dilemma presented itself - how to close the cape. I made cording out of DMC floss and glued silver toned beads to the ends to cover the knots. PERFECT!

The backup fabric arrived for the trim for the cape - it was exactly what was needed - and actually looked better than the faux fur would have. YIPPEE!!




Next - a hat. Woodland Santa = woodsy head covering. Stash comes through once again - braided baby boxwood garland.....PERFECT!!

A VERY long story........but here's my Woodland Santa - he's sitting on a twiggy/mossy bench (which you can't see) and holding a Nutcracker in his hand. Talk about a labor of love....




Thank you for sticking with me and reading this entire post.......now on to my next sculpt!



Thursday, December 29, 2016

Need Help.....and More to Share

Greetings! Ah, so good to be back at my blog again - missed you gals!

HELP - I had the nicest comment by Home School Mom......and I'd love to get in contact with her, but there's no option to send an email. Homeschoolmom......if you read this (or if anyone out there reading this knows how to reach her), please email me privately so we can connect. I'd love to share Tudor Tuesdays and other stitching adventures with you!

OK - now on to more to share -

I received several lovely, lovely gifts in the mail these past weeks and want to thank my friends for thinking of me.

Montse (no blog) sent me a lovely card and a hand stitched Christmas ornament. THANK YOU! It's so sweet! I've never seen such a tiny gingerbread man cookie cutter. It graced our home this Christmas.


Pilar, such a wonderful friend from Spain, sent me these GLORIOUS scissors! Thank you! They've already been put to use.


And last, but certainly not least, Charlene of Paraclete Designs sent me a calendar called "A Needlework Enthusiast's 2017 Book of Days" and a kit from Just Nan called "Glorious Wings".
I've never ever seen the calendar before. It's a vehicle to record my thoughts, musings and needlework projects. I'm excited to start and hope, someday, my daughter will find it and treasure my needlework journeys. Thank you, Charlene!


For those of you who have been reading my blog for awhile....you know I get off on different toots (aka, projects/challenges) and I've been experimenting with sculpting in polymer clay. Well, meet "Snowboy".
The little star is also made out of polymer clay. He was a labor of love.


5 inch Polymer Clay ornament

Speaking of "Labor of Love".......here's Santa - more about Santa's Saga later - most likely next week, as I'm finishing his costume....



Wishing you a lovely weekend and a New Year that sparkles.



Wednesday, December 28, 2016

It's Been Awhile....

I can't believe how the time has flown these past weeks. I just checked my posts and see it's been 20 days since my last post. I'm still behind trying to keep up with everyone's blogs and happenings....hope to get back to that soon. Anyway, here's what I've been up to:

RAK #61 delivered safe and sound to Dzintra:


Pillow from a freebie design I printed off years ago....
Sorry I can't find the designer to share with you all....



Some extra goodies...

Here's what DH made for our sweet 2 year old GD:


Hummingbird Cradle - 20"L x 10"W

I made ornaments for step-grandchildren:


Hattie Hedge Hog and Scotty Squirrel (I changed Sophie to "Scotty" since it's for a boy ;0))
Freebies from Brookes Books

I participated in Cheryll's Santa Sack Swap and received this fabulous treasure trove of goodies from Sarah from Sarah Did It!.


A tin of Earl Grey tea (my FAVE), gorgeous, gorgeous tatted lace and a tatted Christmas stocking...a magnet with a view of Sarah's backyard, a sweet zippered bag, mug rug for my teacup. and a fabric box. The box held lots of chocolates.....ummmmmm.....they seem to have disappeared..... <G>

Thank you, Sarah! Everything is purr-fectly perfect (Sarah kind of likes cats).....Love, LOVE the tatting - that's something I cannot do, though I've tried many times. I'm certain I will make a doll that needs the tatted lace to embellish her clothes.

Part of the fun of the Santa Sack Swap is reading your partner's blog to discover what they like - I forgot to take pictures of what I sent to Sarah, so these are from her blog. 


Can you tell Sarah is fond of cats??


Oh dear - the time has gotten away from me - I need to run into town to get a few things before it turns unbelievably windy and cold. I've got more to share.....tomorrow!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Advent Calendar Blog Hop 2016

Greetings and good morning! I have the pleasure of taking part in Jo "who can't think of a clever nickname's" Advent Calendar Blog Hop - check out the entire Advent Calendar at Jo's Serendipitous Stitching to see what other stitchers have shared.

OK - Jo gave me the following question:

"Decorations - do you have a favourite decoration you must have on display every year, maybe an heirloom, one the children made or something with a special story behind it?"

I guess my answer would have to be our Christmas stockings. Christmas just isn't Christmas without "hanging the stockings on the chimney with care." 

There are a lot of memories wrapped up in each and every one of them. I used to travel - a LOT - for work. Whenever I'd travel, I'd search out needlepoint shops and purchase something unusual or that spoke to my heart. These stockings have been all over the USA.

 The ones on the left are mine and my DH.....the ones on the right are DD's and the puppies. (Can't forget those puppies)!

My stocking was purchased in a sweet little shop outside of Dallas. DH was attending a conference, so I took some vacation time and tagged along. He patiently drove me to several NPSs - it was in one of those I fell in love with the angel stocking. 

DH is an outdoorsman and he can identify just about any bird and its song. We love seeing the cardinals feeding at our bird feeders in the winter time - so when I saw the cardinal stocking (Atlanta), I knew I had to stitch it for him.



The stocking with the star was spotted in my own neighborhood. It seemed to reach out to me and was perfect for my little girl (who is now 33......this one's been around for a long time <G>).

And - of course - the puppies - we've almost always had dogs. When their time came to cross over Rainbow's Bridge, it was heartbreaking for me to put their stockings away that had their names on them. So, when I spotted this paw print canvas in Phoenix, it was the answer - one for all.

I'm looking forward to seeing all the stitchers and their posts - sharing their Christmas memories. Thank you, Jo, for hosting this wonderful Blog Hop.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

More to Share

RAK Number 60 arrived at Sarah's doorstep:


Needlepoint and leather box

The needlepoint design is my logo - the Claddagh....I thought it fitting to send something depicting my logo and mantra as the magic number SIXTY. Little did I realize, I sent an extra.....#61 is yet to be delivered.....but it has a long way to go from Iowa, USA. I accidentally deleted the picture of the extra goodies I sent to Sarah, but pop over to her blog here and take a peek.

I wanted to mention - I forgot to post RAK #50. It went to Jaimie at Cricket-bug Corner:


 Porcelain Napkin Rings - Painted in European Style 


Extras.....

I must admit, I've been on a sabbatical of sorts from stitching. I will be finishing three Christmas ornaments for the DGS, DStepGS, and DStepGD in the next week or so. Seems my Stitching Mojo needs a break. I've still been busy creating, I'll share the results soon. Until then.....Happy Stitching!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Regarding RAKs.....Not Only Can I Not.....

......keep proper track of my 60 RAK extravaganza, I can't count.

More RAKs have arrived.

#56 went to Maria of Dottys Daughter:


Limoges box painted by me (24 Kt gold embellishments)


Extras

#57 was delivered to Lynda-Ruth of Purple Pixie Dust:


Hand painted porcelain tea caddy in Satsuma style - 24Kt gold embellishments 


Extras

#58 was sent to Jo of ButterZ (again)......see #45.....


"Love" pillow


Extras

#59 sent and delivered to Justine of Justine's Cross Stitch:


LHN Proverbs ornament


Extras

Did I mention I can't count? There are two more RAKs yet to be delivered. SHRUG. Guess I was a bit over exuberant.....or  maybe obsessed would be a better word. 

About Jo's second RAK.....it must have been meant to be. Here's what I'd sent her before (yes, #45 will be forever burned into my mind).....they match! - HA! - Must have been meant to be....


RAK #45

Stay tuned for the final TWO......swirling over the oceans blue.....