Monday, December 20, 2010

Those Fish Have Teeth!

I did some good work on All You Can Eat this week. All that's left is the border then on to framing. My plan is to put this in the galley of the teardrop permanently. I'd like to shrink wrap it before I frame it. You know, like a piece of meat? Nice and tight. I think that might be better than contact paper. I think the glue in the contact paper might eat the piece over time.

Any ideas?

Also, I just wanted to give an update on the magnet menu that I posted two weeks ago. In the time we've been using the menu to plan out our weekly dinners, we've saved about $40-50 a week on groceries!! I can't believe how much overspending we were doing before. You just buy what you plan to eat. No impulse spending, no wasted food at the end of the week! Tough Economic Times, I think I just kicked your butt :)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Monthly Calendar

Ooooo, look what I made! It's a nifty calendar for the month of December. I used Big Huge Labs mosaic maker. I wanted to have a header row with the days of the week but the maximum number of photos you can use is 36 - I needed 42. So I decided to go with just the numbers, in a 7x5 grid. I used "white" images for the blanks. Most of the images just came from Flickr searches like "letter M" or "number 8".

You can find my calendar here.

How-To: Magnetic Menu

Jeremy and I have been talking about planning out weekly menus for a few weeks now. Taking pencil to paper just never seemed to work out - either we'd forget to make the list before the grocery store or we'd sit at the kitchen table thinking about what we knew how to make over and over every week. I decided it was time to simplify and here you have it, Ladies and Gentlemen - the Magnetic Menu!

Materials: printer, contact paper, scissors, and magnetic tape.

First, pick a font for your menu items. DaFont is a great place to go for free ones. I chose Stinky Kitty and Lullaby. Type a list of all of the meals you make - fancy, basic, for special occasions, whatever! Don't forget to also type out the days of the week.

Next, cut out all of the meals.

Cut a piece of contact paper large enough to fit all of your items. Peel the backing off the contact paper, lay it sticky side up on the table, and stick your menu to it, either face up or down. I arranged the items in rows so they are easy to cut out.

Next, cut another piece of contact paper the same size as the first, pull off the backing, and stick it - sticky side down - to the first piece so that the menu is now between the two sheets of contact paper.

After running your finger over and around all items to make sure that the contact paper is good and stuck, cut everything out.

Lastly, cut strips of magnetic tape wide enough to cover the back of each item but not wide enough to be seen around the edges. For longer items I used two magnets, for shorter ones I cut the strips in half. Remove the tape from the magnet and stick it to the back side of each item.

Now you have a magnetic menu that helps you plan out your meals for the week! Don't buy excess at the grocery store - don't get in a food rut - eat healthier - save time - save money. What's not to love??

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

O, Christmas Tree

Our tree is a little different this year. We used to have a beach theme, living in Myrtle Beach. Most of our decorations were ocean or tropical looking. Jeremy used to hang seashells all over instead of Christmas balls. We've tamed it down this year and really LOVE how the tree looks.

Jeremy even got crafty this Christmas and made us a new garland. He took a big, circular hole punch and punched a boatload of circles. He took the circles and put two back to back (white side to white side) and fed them through the sewing machine, pair after pair. It only took him an evening to make and it looks great on the tree. It's so low-cost that if you don't like it when next Christmas rolls around you can ditch it and start again!

Here are a few close-ups. I love my sock monkey and clip-on birds!

A snowboarding dog and Scuba Santa!

Did you know he can also do the hula?

Stay tuned for more Christmas fun!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Taking the needles out for a spin...

Here is what I've been working on. She's bound off and everything. It's a bit messy but it's just my "test strip" :)

Here are a few up-close shots - a knit, a purl, and rib.

I think I'm making pretty good progress. I even bought some yarn and hope to get started on a scarf. Oooo, my first knitted creation. I can hardly wait!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Fishing and Knitting

I worked on All You Can Eat a little bit more this weekend.

For some reason my camera isn't taking the greatest pictures lately. Maybe I should ask Santa for a new one :)

I also learned some knitting basics this weekend - my aunt and cousin taught me. Right now I'm just fooling around a little. I'm figuring out how to purl. Cyberseams on YouTube has helped me get through some problems. When most instructions are geared towards right-handed people its hard to be left-handed and follow along. Cyberseams has a ton of tutorials for lefties.

Learn to knit with me!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Night of Awesome x3

First, here is the progress on "All You Can Eat". Whoop whoop! A fish and a half to go :)
Second, I'm going to make a door mat for the teardrop. Possibly out of climbing rope, possibly awesome. I searched the internet for rope rugs and found this plait knot rug on

I found a big piece of "shoelace" rope leftover from some drawstring bags I made. I followed the how-to on and came up with this mini-rug. I didn't have enough rope to do another run around the rug so I left it like this (I still think its pretty darn awesome) :

Yeah, it has some gaps in it but after looking at the same rug on Martha Stewart I have an idea of how to set up the "bones" of the rug so the shape works out better in the end. (*Hint: make the loops at each end large.)

And may I present the third wonderful of the evening...

Homemade Reese's Pieces sundaes!!!

We had the vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce, and whipped cream, the store across the street had the Reese's Pieces, and I found an awesome recipe for Friendly's peanut butter sauce on Drool....

I am thoroughly satisfied. I also apologize for my excessive use of the word "awesome".

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Eat More Fish

I worked on All You Can Eat a bit this weekend. This is my progress as of Sunday night. We almost have a fish, ladies and gentlemen!

Monday, October 18, 2010


Triple chocolate cupcakes...

Now, I'm not the hugest chocolate cake fan but when I saw these Itsy Bitsy Spiderweb Cupcakes online I had to attempt making them. Plus, I needed something to take to book club - we were reading ghost stories... spooooky.

I got the recipe on and did one of the modifications mentioned in the recipe. Instead of using the 1/2 cup oil, as called for, I used 1/2 cup pumpkin pie filling. OH MY GOODNESS - so good (I figured the maple syrup would be overkill).

When I tried to make the spider web cake toppers there was a major disaster, not to mention a major mess :) I put the melted chocolate in a zip-loc and cut a tiny little tip off to make a pastry bag... yeah, not so much. I couldn't get a consistent rope of chocolate to come out so I squeezed harder. Eventually chocolate just began oozing out all over the bag. I gave up on the spider webs and just squirted strings of chocolate all over my parchment paper. I put that in the fridge to harden up and when the cupcakes we done just crumbled up the crunchies all over the top. I couldn't let all that beautiful white chocolate go to waste.

So, in the end it worked out. Maybe next time I'll invest in a frosting bag - yikes!

I also got some more stitching done on All You Can Eat - it's not just a phantom mouth anymore :) It's been a long time since I've worked on Aida so it's a nice change not having to count 2 every time I lay down a stitch.

Well, I hope you all had a great weekend. Talk soon!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Nom nom nom nom...


Here is the weekend's progress on Prairie Schooler's All You Can Eat
I'm already getting tired of of stitching long interrupted lines of color :) After the big fish is finished the rest should move smoothly.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Progress on the Cigar Box

See, I told you I was working on it!

This has just been the never ending project (2 years and counting). I keep getting distracted by other new and shiny projects. But I sat down this weekend and got a good bit done - the Habana label and the crest above it. It really is slow going with all of those 1/4 stiches. Phew!

We'll see how much more I get done because I've already got the next project layed out... it was only a matter of time :) And I can validate doing it because we need it for the teardrop. I'm going to stitch the Prairie Schooler's All You Can Eat for the galley. Which means I need to get cracking so we actually have a place for it to go. We're getting to the stage where we need to start working on the design and space is limited. I'm thinking right above the roll top bread box :)

Have a great week!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Gift Giving

I know I haven't posted in a while but I've been working my butt off on a special project. A secret special project.

... but now I'm finished so I'll show off!

Last weekend we went camping with our teardrop club and, since we're not finished with our trailer yet, our fellow Tear Jerkers, Ken an Susan, lent us their extra trailer for the weekend. I wanted to do something nice for them to show how appreciative we were so I made them a tiny, cross stitched replica of their Scotty Highlander.

Here is their trailer (hi, Ken!):

And here is their mini!

They loved it and hung it outside of their trailer for all to see.

The process of making this little door hanger was fairly easy but VERY time consuming. It was also my first time using metallic thread so that was an adventure in and of itself.

First, I looked at pictures of their trailer. Then I created a cross stitch chart - well actually two. One of the left side and one of the right side. After I stitched both sides of the trailer, I back-stitched around each. To attach the two sides I simply stitched the back stitching together - similar to biscornu construction. Before completely sealing the piece, I stuffed in a little poly-fill and some dried lavender flowers from the garden. Then I stitched the piece closed.

Now that that project is finished I think I'll go back to the cigar box. Stay tuned for more stitching updates!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Our Roaming Home finished! Not to mention it's the first thing I have made for the teardrop :)

Now I know that an RV is not a tear but it's travel related - and close enough for me! The lighting in this photo isn't the greatest because I took the picture last night under a ceiling light. I'll get a better one up soon... if these clouds ever go away.

Well, I hope everyone is having a great day. I'll be day dreaming my afternoon away - campfires and chilly nights.........

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

B is for Backstitch

Last night I finished all of the back stitching on Our Roaming Home. Whoop whoop! I love how back stitching just snaps everything into focus. All that's left to do is stitch the saying over there on the left. Then it's ready to go up in the teardrop... whenever that gets finished :)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Let the Journey Begin!

I got sidetracked again. Instead of going back to my cigar box WIP I decided to start on a whole new something.

Since the end of June I've had a one track mind - and for once it's hasn't been cross stitch! I have discovered the wonderful world of vintage travel trailers - tiny travel trailers to be exact. This includes the old canned-ham-type trailers from the 50s and 60s as well as the older teardrop trailers that are just large enough to sleep two people comfortably. I love them so much that my boyfriend, Jeremy, and I have decided to build one! We've started a blog dedicated to documenting the construction from start to finish as well as all the fun decorating bits in between. Once the thing is built, we'll also use the blog as a travel log for all those fun tiny trailer gatherings and cross-country trips! So come on over to Tracks of my Tear and read all about it!

I'll be posting the progress of a lot of the things I'm making for the trailer here - curtains, pillows, bedspreads. All that good stuff. I started something already, even though we're only in the planning stages of our build. Back when I first started cross stitching I found a Jiffy kit of an RV driving off into the sunset. I held on to it for a long time not really knowing when or if I even wanted to stitch it anymore. The disign is really simple and not completely my aesthetic anymore. But this last time, looking through my stash, I decided it would be perfect for inside the Tear. This is what I've stitched so far. I have a lot of backstitching left to do. And there is a saying that I still need to write in - "Home is wherever you roam". But I'm rolling right along.

I'm going to keep working on it this week and maybe have it finished up by the weekend. We shall see. Until then don't forget to stop over at Tracks of my Tear and tell me what you think of the project so far!

Happy trails!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

I Wanna Go Back to my Little Grass Shack

Woohoo! I finished Jeremy's Sailor Jerry hula girl bookmark this afternoon! Ain't she grand? I backed her with a black and white geometric fabric. When you hold her up to the light she looks like she's playing ukulele at a swingin', mod Hawaiian luau. Her current residence is "South of Broad" by Pat Conroy.

Now I'm going to head back over to Cuba and work some more on my cigar box top. Stay tuned!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Making up for Lost Time

Since I've been a negligent mother to this blog for so long I thought it might be time to shower it with affection! Here is a quick wrap-up of what I've been working on - and finished! - over the past year. Yeah, year... Crazy.

I had started working on Mary Wigham many moons ago but it's been hiding in a drawer for almost a year now. Here's the progress...

I made these bookmarks as little going away presents for my parents...

My Dad has been in New Zealand now for over a year. My Mom left this past March.

I stitched these tiny quilts as a gift for my Aunt...

Then they were incorporated into this! Oooooh. Ahhhhh.

I sent this little piece to my Dad in NZ for his birthday last year. It sits on his desk at work :)

Towards the end of the Summer last year there was a "chain" post being sent around Facebook - make 5 things for 5 people and those 5, in turn, would make 5 things for 5 more people and they would make 5 things, and they would make 5 things, and so on into infinity. A GREAT idea in theory however too easy to back out on. I never got my "thing" in the mail but I did make 5 things for 5 people :)
I made this King Kamehameha cross stitch for George, who was born in Hawaii and goes back every year for his birthday...

This was for Rebekah, a friend from high school...

This was sent to Dave, a Halloween-a-holic...

I made this photo holder for baby William...

This was for Maggie, Jeremy's cousin...

And this went to cooking enthusiasts - and newlyweds - John and Melissa. So that technically makes 6 things. So sue me! :)

This saucy bookmark I gave to my brother for Christmas. He uses it to mark his place in school books. Hehe...

I tried my hand at making oilcloth tote bags this Spring. It was definitely a first attempt. I wasn't super thrilled with how they turned out - so "not-thrilled" that apparently I didn't take any pictures of them. I guess I'll have to do that now. Buuuuut, I did use the bags as an opportunity to make K+IC fabric tags!! Just fold them in half and sew them into a seam. I love them.

And, in 2010, I am proud to say I finally put some more stitches into my Cigar Box Art WIP. There's even been more progress since I took the picture below...

I did take a break from that to make a wedding card for my childhood friend, Val. She and her husband met in Baltimore. Awwwww...

And last but not least - drum roll please - I present to you my CURRENT WIP... a sweet little Sailor Jerry hula girl bookmark for my BFF, Jeremy. Don't mind her tiny arm, it's much larger now. She even has the makings of a head. I am stitching it over one on black 32 count. I know I'm crazy. But it's almost finished. There's no turning back now.

So I hope you've enjoyed my sprint through the past year and don't feel too abandoned. I am alive and well and hope to take much better care of my blog from now on...

... fingers crossed.