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Thursday, July 28, 2011

They're not late for last Halloween . . .

They're early for this one!

A Prairie Schooler design, from the 2008 Just Cross Stitch Halloween issue:

A monsterbubbles design, from the same issue:

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Thread Hunting

I bought Posy Gets Cozy's DaisyChain ABCs pattern a while back -- just the pattern, partly because I wanted to change some of the colors and partly to use up the fabric and wool I already have, saving money. And then I promptly forgot about it, until Lisa reminded me by stitching hers.

So I decided this week to pick out the threads. I have a big jar of wool yarn for needlepoint, with all the colors I wanted for the pattern:
Unfortunately, the pattern calls for crewel wool, which is just a little thinner than standard tapestry wool. I have lots of crewel wool, too, but with a few exceptions the colors are much more muted and old-timey:
I did a little sampler embroidery of the Q from the pattern, to see if I could get away with using the tapestry wool, but it really did make a difference. As you can see, the daisy flowers at the top are significantly larger, even though the threads look almost the same width:
So I spent my lunch hour on Thursday calling all the needlepoint stores in Manhattan (oddly, clustered on the Upper East Side). After work I trudged uptown in the heat wave on the dreaded 6 line to the one store claiming to carry crewel wool, bringing some of the brighter shades of wool I had (I was determined to use at least some of my colors too). Unfortunately, their wool (a brand I had never heard of) was thinner than standard crewel wool -- so thin I'd need two strands to do the embroidery. Which was not a problem, except that mixing in the wool I had would ruin the uniformity. Given that the skeins were pretty cheap, I gave up and bought all seven colors I needed.
The colors are pretty. The pattern calls for nine colors, but two of them are gray and peach, which I don't like at all, and they are only used for the M, so I've omitted them. I'm using the two cherry colors instead of pinks, the green shades are closer together, and the turquoise replaces the light blue, another color I am not crazy about.

The next step is picking the fabric, and dammit, it's coming from my stash.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Earrings for Sale

Yesterday I listed a bunch of new earrings in my Etsy shop.

Silk cocoon earrings:
Beaded wool earrings in indigo:
And pink:
Button earrings in purple (large):
Purple (small):
And pink and yellow:

Sunday, July 17, 2011


This necklace is from a pattern dating back to the Spring 2005 issue of Stringing; I kept waiting for a time when I could justify buying all those Swarovski crystals. Instead of teardrops, which are obscenely expensive, I used rondelles, which are only very expensive. And I substituted in three larger ones I had left over from another project, rather than buying another package of the smaller ones with more than I needed. Generally I change colors a lot when I follow a beading pattern, but in this case I loved the toasty colors with the silver.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Recipe of the Day

My colleague found a recipe for "Bible Cake" folded up in The Improved Housewife, from 1845. I wasn't able to copy down the whole recipe, but it was made from ingredients mentioned in various Bible verses, such as honey, flour, figs, raisins, and nuts -- a cute idea. No fatted lamb, though.

A google search shows many modern variations, if you want to make one yourself.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Well That Was Unexpected

I'm used to Beadoy1 spending the weekend in the hospital, not Mr. Beadgirl. Thank God he's ok now, but my crafting plans for the weekend went out the window (I think I left them in the ER of Bellevue, along with all the patients from Riker's).

I do have some crafting news to report. New York City Folk Art Museum recently hosted a gorgeous exhibit of red and white quilts (which to my huge disappointment I was unable to see). The quilts all came from the collection of Joanna S. Rose. Her niece, the "Threadmistress," is in my Dear Jane class, and she decided to make a red and white Jane quilt for her aunt, with the help of anyone who wanted to donate a square or two. It sounded fun, so I quickly made two squares, C-3 and D-3. I did forgot to photograph them, but you can see them at Threadmistress's blog right here.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Strawberry Harvest

Strawberry balsamic jam from Well Preserved:

Strawberry gelatins from Everyday Food:

Strawberry rhubarb pie, a modification of this recipe: