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Friday, October 28, 2011

El dia de los muertos

A monsterbubbles design, from Just Cross Stitch's 2010 Halloween issue:
I made a few changes, however. For one, it was to be stitched on metal mesh, but that process is so slow and painful I switched it to linen. I also made a thread color change, since I misplaced the original color, and while I was at it, I slightly re-designed the swirls on the chin. Once the cross stitching was done I appliqued it onto wool felt, and used a running stitch to attach it to a second piece of felt for stability.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Beadboy2's Party

Because Beadboy2 was born a week before Halloween, we have a ready-made theme for him every year. Our parties are pretty simple; we invite a bunch of local families and serve pizza (the really good kind), sort of healthy/sort of sophisticated snacks, juice for the kids and wine and beer for the adults, and cupcakes. I plan an activity for the kids (last year it was painting pumpkins, this year a ring toss game involving a witch's hat), but mostly they entertain themselves by running amok through the house while the adults hang out and are just as noisy as the kids. Poor Beadboy1, not a fan of big noisy parties, often retreats to his room, venturing out only for food and a little quiet play with one of the more reticent children.

For the cupcakes this year I got the idea of topping them with ghosts from a Halloween magazine put out by Gooseberry Patch (I knew the name from cookbooks but otherwise I am unfamiliar with the company). My plan was to top chocolate cupcakes with large marshmallows, cover them with white frosting, and add mini chocolate chips as eyes, but apparently, marshmallows are a summer food and my local markets no longer carry them. Instead I had to use lots and lots of "whipped" frosting, which resulted in rather squat ghosts:
Mr. Beadgirl says they remind him of wampas.

The favors came from the same magazine -- "Trash Mix with Worms," a bowl of dried fruit, pretzels, candy, and popcorn with gummy worms. I put some into little muslin bags to hand out:

Finally, I managed to finish just in time a growth chart from the kids. I got the pattern from a 2010 issue of Stitch Magazine, with the intention of starting a new tradition where we measure the kids and mark their heights each birthday. With almost a year to plan, of course I did not start cutting fabric until the middle of October and I finished the sewing Sunday morning (the day after his birthday, oops), but that's pretty good for me.
The fabric is linen, plus scraps with a gear/robot motif I originally used for a bag for myself.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Monday, October 17, 2011

Cross Stitch Pumpkin

I got the idea from Elsie Marley, who stitched a neat-o skull on a white plastic pumpkin. I had a black one, and orange yarn, so I opted for a reverse jack o' lantern:
I did lightly trace the design first, but it is nonetheless lopsided. Were I a more patient crafter, I would have used a ruler to make the grid of holes precise. The uneven stitching gives it that, homey, retro look . . . yeah, that's the ticket.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Pumpkin Paisley Part Deux

I surrounded the cross stitch pumpkin with crazy patchwork in autumnal colors, to make a square roughly twelve inches across:
(I'm having colors problems with my camera, again, some more, so the actual piece is not as blue).

Now comes the fun part -- embellishing the square with embroidery, beading, lace, ribbons, buttons, charms, and other assorted doohickeys.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Douglaston Arts Festival

The Douglaston Arts Festival was last Sunday, which meant I spent the previous weeks in a flurry of jewelry making. Most of what I had for sale falls into three groups.

Button and fiber jewelry:

Halloween/Day of the Dead jewelry:
(New this year are smaller calaveritas with just one flower on each skull, and the marigold flowers made out of wool felt.)

Bottle cap earrings:
(Much less involved [and less expensive] than my previous bottle cap earrings.)

I did pretty well again this year given the size of my "business," which makes me happy. Most of what is left I've put up in my etsy store (except the bottle cap earrings, I forgot about those). I sold all of spiderweb earrings I made, but I still have two spider charms left so I can make another pair upon request.

Now back to crafting for me and the Beadboys.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Paisley Pumpkin

The second I saw this gorgeous Mill Hill beading and cross stitch kit I had to make it:
I made some changes, however. I was not crazy about the plaid border, so I eliminated it, saving me lots of boring stitching time. And instead of stitching it onto the navy perforated paper, I found a bit of navy linen in my stash that was perfect.

The stitching result:
I plan to center this in a small crazy quilt square, and embellish the piece with the threads and beads remaining from the kit. Rooting through my stash of fabric scraps for the right colors will be fun.