Thursday, February 21, 2013

I blame Downton

I blame Downton Abbey for my recent addiction to cross stitch. While I was sick and watching that show I felt inspired to use my hands, but I did not feel well enough to be in the studio, so I began stitching. It feels old, the technique is the same as it was 100 years ago, somehow it fit with the old world feel of the show and it kept me company, while I sat around feeling awful. I did finally get better, but somehow the addiction did not go away, oh well, I see it as an excuse to get some patterns made that I have been admiring for some time now. 
This pattern is by Alicia Paulson, from the Posie gets Cozy blog, when she first made it I fell in love with the whole look of it. I have stayed mostly true to the pattern, I do not think that I will include the alphabet portion of the sampler though. I picked my own colors, but definitely used hers as a reference. This sampler has taught me to appreciate variegated threads, I have never really loved them, but they work really nicely with a project like this, to add dimension. The weeks dye works are my favorite and the Cosmo, from Japan goes really nicely too. The black background just helps all of the colors and stitches really pop, I love the look of it! 

I really have been on a mission with the little cross stitches! I finished this VA map for an anniversary gift. It has all the places that we have been in Virginia along with the place where we met, and live now, complete with the date of the anniversary. I love maps, and loved making this one, I am thinking about making a couple more from this line of patterns. 

I am off to Italy this weekend and will not be back until March, I am so excited!!! I was there when I was 16 but I can't wait to see it through my eyes now, and experience it as an adult. The art, the food, the fashion, and everything about the culture was mesmerizing to me when I went last time. I even wanted to move to Tuscany... I hope it holds the same magic now that it did then. 

small fortunes

Mollie Makes and Quilty magazine have become two of my new favorites. I read about nine different magazines a month, some are craft, textile and making oriented and others are home, decor or style related, and yep, I actually read the whole magazine. However these are my new favorites because of the layout, simple, clean, easy to get through and if you want to make something from one, it is explained so well that it is simple to follow. 

I do not follow patterns very often, but lately I seem to be enjoying it. It all began with the cross stitching, and then it was off to felt. I made these little fortune cookies for Valentine's Day based on the pattern inside the Mollie Makes magazine. It was very simple to follow and I had a fun time making a couple for my love, family, and friends. Valentine's day is a bittersweet day for me, but that doesn't mean I can't remind people that I love them. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


I have been wanting to watch this show for some time now, it took being sick last month to really begin watching Downton Abbey. It is such a beautifully made show with imagery, history and a great story line. After watching the first season I moved right into the second, and just this week broke down got the third season and have seen that too. It can be a bit addictive, the nice thing is there are only about 9 episodes each season with a couple special long ones.   

One of my favorite things to visually grasp in the show, is the clothing. It happens to be one of my favorite eras, clothes wise, and they have done a wonderful job making sure the costumes are perfect!

I have noticed they do use Liberty of London fabrics for some of the blouses and it is not only historically correct, it makes me want to pull mine out and start making more stuff with them, as well as buy some hats and dress up for dinner! 
With all of this Downton I have been watching, I have been inspired to begin stitching by hand, something that I have not done in a while. It has reminded me that stitching used to be "women's work"especially embroidery. I have been working on some cross stitch samplers, I really haven't made one of these in a long time,  and finished one already. It reminds me of how much I love all the colors in embroidery floss. I consider it half the fun in embroidery, all the choices!

I must admit I have also been looking at Liberty of London fabrics, even more than normal, due to seeing it on the show. I have an itch to stock up and make something with all Liberty... Trying to make myself use the ones I have before I do that though.... we will see how long that lasts! 
I must admit, it is nice to see a show that is so lovely visually, and the way it is written.