Sunday, September 30, 2012

Awesome Pumpkins

Tomorrow will be the First of October, which means Halloween is right around the corner.  

I have many childhood memories of Halloween parties at school (yeah, they've banned those now as to not "offend" anyone), dressing up for trick-or-treat and of course pumpkin carving.  Each year I used to think I was going to create a masterpiece.  Alas that never happened.  My pumpkins usually looked sad with simple triangle cut outs for the eyes & nose and boxy looking teeth.

Several years ago on the Food Network they had one of their challenge shows with giant pumpkin carvers.  I was completely amazed at what they could do with them.  It got to where I looked forward to the new challenge show each October.  

Sadly I'll miss it this year (but love the savings on my cable TV bill!).  Instead I went searching for some other awesome pumpkins on the web that I could share with y'all.  All the photos below are from  Hope you enjoy them and why not try something different with your pumpkin carving this year.  :)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Pattern of the Week - September 29, 2012

One of my online stitching friends completed a piece this week called "Royal Thistle Celebration".  I had never seen the pattern before and thought it was gorgeous.  And since I'm always looking for new things I just had to go in search of it and who the designer is.

I found the website of Periwinkle Promises and was having so much fun browsing through all the beautiful kits that were new to me.  I ended up choosing this one as my pattern of the week.  It's called "Spool of Thread Celebration".

It looks as if the charts/kits are only available through local needlework shops, so if you click here, it will take you to a link that lists shops by state where you can find them.  Looks like the closest shop to me is about 45 minutes away.  I just might have to get some of my local stitching friends together for a road trip.  :)

Friday, September 28, 2012

Freebie Friday - September 28, 2012

Here it is, Friday again.  That means the weekend is almost here AND it's time for another free pattern.  Since I've been doing the downloadable patterns I've been getting requests for more of them on a weekly basis, so I'll do my best to accommodate everyone.

Today's is a pattern I designed about 3 years ago as an ornament.  I know it's not quite winter, but it's never too early to start stitching those Christmas gifts and decorations.

You know what to do, just click the picture and download the pattern.  Enjoy!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Woot! Woot! I'm a Winner!

It may not seem like much, but I'm totally psyched that I won the July/August EtsyNEAT Creative Challenge.  If you remember from a past post I used my Electric Owl as my submission.  There's no big check as a prize or anything, but still totally cool that my peers picked my piece to win.

So, what do I get as the winner?  I get to pick the theme of the September/October challenge, which I decided will be "Thanksgiving".  I already have my piece all picked out, but you'll have to wait until October 24th for the big reveal. 

Thanks for all your support and cheering me on during these challenges.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tips & Techniques - What Size Fabric Should I Get?

With so many stitchers buying patterns only, and not complete kits like was the norm of the past, I'm often asked for help in figuring out what size fabric they should get to go with their next project, so today I thought I'd try to tackle that question.

First, the count of the fabric is all a personal preference.  If you're purchasing Aida you can get 11, 14, 16, 18 or 22 count.  If you're going with a type of Evenweave or Linen you can go anywhere from a 20 to 40 count.  The count fabric you choose will depend on the size (dimensions) of the fabric you need to get.

And yes, I know there are many "fabric calculators" online that you can use, but what do you do if you're in a bind at the store and you're like me without a smart phone?  You have do to things the "old fashioned" way.

So here goes...

Basically you divide the number of stitches by the count of the fabric.  So for example, if you have a pattern that is 98w x 144h and you want to use an 18 count fabric instead of the 14 count the pattern suggests, you would divide like this:
98 / 18 = 5.4 inches
144 / 18 = 8 inches

Now you need to remember, the dimensions above would only be for the stitched area, and don't include any border that would be needed for finishing the piece.  You typically want to add 2-3 inches PER SIDE.  So your 5.5" x 8" fabric now becomes a minimum size of 9.5" x 12", with a 2 inch border.  If you want a bigger border you will need a bigger sized piece of fabric.

If you're using an evenweave or linen and stitching over 1 thread, you would use the same type calculation.  However, if you're stitching over 2 threads, you need to remember to "change" the count size.  Here's and example using a 32 count linen:
32 count fabric stitched over 1 thread
98 / 32 = 3.0 inches
144 / 32 = 4.5 inches

32 count fabric stitched over 2 threads
98 / 16 = 6.13 inches
144 / 16 =9 inches

I'm sure you can see it will make a big difference in choosing the right sized piece of fabric.

Hopefully you're not reading this post thinking it's "clear as mud" and it has helped at least one person that may have this question.

Happy fabric shopping!

P.S.  Our 50% off hand-dyed fabric sale is still going through September 30th.  Click here to see what is still available.

Monday, September 24, 2012

It's a WIP Fiesta!

Ok, so really not a fiesta, but I thought it sounded like a good title.  :)

Very rarely do I take pics of all my WIPs on one day and show them all off at the same time.  It's been quite a while since I've shared anything here (I usually keep them updated in my Facebook album) so I figured it was about time for a show & tell.

I'm going to post these in the order I'd like to get them finished, provided my stitching ADD doesn't kick in again.  And for all those serious stitchers out there, you know exactly what I'm talking already have multiple pieces on the go, but you see one more that you just have to start, and then another, and another, and ooooh it's a viscous cycle!

First up is a piece called "Let the Stress Begin".  This will be a wall hanging that will be for sale at The Good Goat Gallery in Lakewood, OH sometime after October 27th.  I'm stitching it on a 18-count Ultra Very Light Dusty Rose aida I hand-dyed myself.

Next up is a round robin piece that is looooong overdue.  It is a Margaret Sherry design and I'm stitching it on a 22-count light blue aida that was hand-dyed guessed it, me!  Oh, and this one is being tent stitched using 2 strands of floss.

The third piece I'm going to show you is my "Crane Silhouette" and this will eventually be a pattern that is released in my shop.  It's not finished yet, but you can get a basic idea of what it's going to look like.  Still more colors to add to it, but not too many as I didn't want to take away from the simplicity of a silhouette.  It's being stitched on 14-count plastic canvas.

Next up is a piece that doesn't get a lot of attention right now, because I only work on it a few minutes at a time, a few days a week.  It's the piece I've been carrying too & from work for my lunch hours.  It's called "Swirled Heart" and is being stitched on 14-count vinyl aida.  The finished piece will be an insert into a mousepad and this is also the model for my own pattern.

This fifth piece is an exclusive I've been working on with Karen Tomlinson from Purple Cats Corner.  It's titled "Black Manx Fairy" and is from one of her paintings.  I'm stitching it on a 16-count hand-dyed lemon yellow aida.  It will eventually be a pattern available in my shop.

And here's another piece that is an exclusive artist collaboration with Jonathan Labbe from What About Photos.  It's titled "Nature's Love" and is from one of his photos.  I haven't worked on this piece in way too long and it's definitely calling at me.  Oh, and for those that are wondering what the other fabric stuff is, it's the grippy liner you can put on shelves & in drawers and it works great to keep your fabric from moving around in your q-snap frames.  It's being stitched on a 28-count Wedgewood evenweave fabric, 2 over 2.  And yes, it will also be a future pattern in my shop.

And you guys won't believe this one...this piece will actually be for ME!!!  This was a piece that I did in a round robin.  I need to finish it off and have it framed to hang in my living room.   Top left is my son Zach, top right is my dog Max (you might recognize him from my avatar picture here on my blog), bottom left is my much missed dog Lobo and bottom right will be my picture.  All of my boys (human & furbabies alike) are the most important thing in my life and it will be awesome to see them all together in an original piece.

The eighth piece is one that will also be a future pattern for my shop (shocking, huh?) and is one that gets attention a couple of times a year.  So sad I don't work on it more.  It's being stitched on a 14-count Polar Blue DMC Fabric (I think that's what it's called).

And finally, last but not least (and I hope you're not all bored yet), is probably the most adventurous piece I've ever decided to stitch.  My first HAED piece Chakra Fae.  It has like 205,000 stitches in it and I think I have like 1,200 done or some pathetic number.  I've put this last because it will take me years & years & years to stitch it.  It's something I'm stitching just for myself, which of course always goes to the bottom of the priority list behind items for my Etsy shop and now items for The Good Goat Gallery.

I hope you've enjoyed seeing pics of what I'm working on, and I'll try to be better about posting updates here and not just on my Facebook page.

Happy Stitching!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Such Tiny Art

I will be the first to admit, all my posts are not entirely original ideas.  When I see something fantastic on the internet sometimes I just have to share it.  That's the case in today's post.

Yesterday Etsy posted a picture of a penny with a link on their Facebook page.  It was such a beautiful penny I had to click the link to find out more.

It turns out there is an artist named Jacqueline Lou Skaggs that paints these tiny, beautiful pictures on pennies she finds.  They are absolutely amazing!  I can't paint anything, let alone get a beautiful scene or portrait on a penny!

I mean can you imagine getting such detail like this on a penny?

She has a total of 12 paintings in her penny series names the Tondi Observations.  I would highly suggest clicking any of the links in the post so you can see all 12 of them.  :)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Pattern of the Week - September 22, 2012

I was searching the other day for a Thanksgiving related cross stitch pattern and came across this fun one.  Not what I was looking for, but I was LOLing and just had to add it to my wishlist.  And of course it just *had* to be the pattern of the week for today!!!

"Dry Turkey" by Raise the Roof Designs, available through

You know the drill, just click the picture and it will take you to the listing where you can purchase the pattern.  And pay close attention to where you can get the little olive button too!  :)

Friday, September 21, 2012

Freebie Friday - September 21, 2012

Last week's downloadable patterns seemed to be a HUGE hit, so I figured I would try to make more of them available to you.

This week I've selected a candy corn pattern of my own creation, which is perfect for the upcoming Halloween season.  It's a really quick stitch with maybe 2 hours of stitching time.  You can stitch it on plastic canvas or perforated paper to make into an ornament or magnet.  

Just click the picture and it will take you to the link to download the pattern. 

And while you're checking out patterns, feel free to stop by my Etsy shop and take a look at the original designs I have available there.  

Happy Stitching!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

2012 New Releases

My goal for 2012 was to release a minimum of 1 new pattern per month.  So far I haven't made that goal, but HAVE released more than 2011, so I guess that's a win.  I currently have 6 pattern models finished with the pattern released, and a few others I'm in the middle of stitching, so there will be more before the end of the year.  :)

If you're not entirely familiar with how I "operate", I personally refuse to release a pattern until I've stitched the model myself to make sure when it's finished it looks good, which causes a delay in the release of patterns (darn full-time day job that gets in the way of stitching!).  Anyone can import a piece of artwork or a photograph into a computer program and call it a pattern, but it doesn't always stitch up well, and I have first-hand knowledge of that.

Today I thought I'd share with you pics of the ones I have been able to complete & release.  If you're interested in any of the patterns, just click the photo and it will take you to the listing in my Etsy shop.

11013 - The Sophisticated Lady
I love silhouettes because you can easily change the fabric & floss color to your liking

11019 - Live, Laugh, Love
This piece was inspired by my 1948 Scrabble board game you can see in the photo

11017 - Heroes
I think everyone knows I'm a proud Army mom, even though my son has been honorably discharged with a permanent medical disability.  50% of the purchase price of this pattern gets donated to the Wounded Warrior Program

12003 - Continental Kisses
3 patterns for the price of 1 with this fun & quick stitch!  All the models were also stitched on different counts & colors of fabric to give you and idea of the versatility you can have with your pieces

12011 - Electric Owl
This took me years of stitching off & on, but I'm so glad I finally got it finished as I think it's probably one of my all-time favorites!

12004 - Billy Goat Silhouette
Another simple & fun silhouette (and yes, I actually stitched it in black!) for those that like farm animals

If you want to see what else I'm working on that could be possible patterns in the future, you can always check out my WIP album I try to keep updated on Facebook.  I always put information with each photo, so you'll know what it is.

Thanks so much for taking the time to learn a little more about this years patterns and I'm exicted to get more of them done & released prior to December 31st!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Monday, September 17, 2012

Money Monday - September 17, 2012

You just gotta love a good Coupon Commotion!

Yes, it's time for JoAnn Fabric & Crafts to have another one.
This one runs September 16 - September 22

If you go to their website you can download up to 6 different 50% off coupons.  Plus, you can use these in conjunction with the ones you would have received in the mail if you're on their mailing list.

Now for me to get busy and see what I need to add to my stash and plan my shopping trip for next weekend!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Saturdays in the Fall

I thought I'd give everyone an inside look at what Saturdays are like in the Stitchnmomma household in the fall....

Lots & lots of College Football, with the Ohio State Buckeyes being the team of choice.  Yesterday was followed by the Navy v. Penn State game, then Florida v. Tennessee and finally Texas (hook 'em horns!) v. Ole Miss.  Man, that's a tiring day, lol!

With homemade pizza and typically plenty of other unhealthy food.

Sometimes stitching happens, and sometimes it doesn't, as was the case yesterday.  The Bucks game was just way too exciting with tons of action!!  I don't know how much stitching will be done today either since the girls are coming over for our monthly stitch-in.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Pattern of the Week - September 15, 2012

I've been trying to figure out all week what lovely needlework item I'd be featuring as pattern of the week.  I've been really indecisive as there are so many that I like.  There hasn't been any one thing that has jumped out at me.  I've been looking at fall themes, christmas, silhouettes, animals and so on.  And across all types of stitching; cross stitch, blackwork, needlepoint, etc.

Well last night I was catching up on my blog reading for the week and came across this fun piece...

Christmas on the Beach by Dimensions

It's bright & cheery and is someplace I'd rather be than chilly N.E. Ohio (yeah, after the record high temps of this summer the 60's are now feeling chilly).  And of course you know I've found it at my favorite online shop, well 2nd favorite to Stitchnmomma, lol...123Stitch!  The entire 5x7 kit is now only $9.94!!  Just click the picture and you'll be taken right to the listing where you can buy it, or add it to you ever-growing wish list like I have.

Happy shopping...and stitching!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Freebie Friday - September 14, 2012

Today's freebies, yes there is more than one, come from my designs / private collection.  I used to stitch these cute smileys and sell them in my shop.  I haven't done that in more than a year, and after stitching 100+ of them in a 2 year time period, I don't think I ever want to stitch another, lol!  So I figured it was time to share the patterns with everyone else.

And thanks to my friend Jen at SewJenaissance I now know how to share a PDF file via my blog...woohoo!!! Simply click the photo that you want the pattern for and you'll be taken directly to the PDF file of it.  :)

Happy Stitching!

 Dead Smiley

 Drunk Smiley

 Happy Smiley

P.S.  I almost forgot.  The smileys are 2" x 2" when stitched on 14 count fabric.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Sin City

Today I thought I'd share some of the pics I took in my recent weekend trip for my birthday (thanks to some awesome friends) to Las Vegas.  And you know how the saying goes...What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, so you can't see all of them, lol!

The Blue Man Group on Steroids, lol!

La Reve (Cirque du Soleil) at The Wynn

 Italy & Chocolate - 2 of my favorite things in life

 The Parasol Bar at The Wynn

This isn't really my style of bike, but I was in awe of the artistic talent it took to do this amazing metalwork!

Yeah, you can see we were big winners...NOT!

My last fabulous meal before leaving Sin City.  Damn it was good! 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

And the Team MetalFoot Giveaway Winner Is....

First, I'd like to say a huge thank you to each and everyone of you that supported us through donations (because that was the whole point), facebook page likes & shares and cheering us on through the HUNDREDS of miles that we (me & Zach) walked & biked over the last 60 days. We both really appreciate it!!

Now for what you've all been waiting for.

I've taken the list of everyone that has donated, removed the last name, and removed the anonymous & immediate family donations from eligibility in the giveaway.   Each name has been assigned the number seen below:

Then I used a random number generator to pick the winner.  Oh, and the yellow square means nothing.  That just happened to be where the cursor on my computer was when I took the screen shot.

Let's give a big congratulations to Rebecca W.!!! 
Rebecca, I have your mailing information from the donation report provided by the fundraiser so I'll get your 2 items in the mail to you in the next day or two.  Can't wait for you to receive them and hope you like them both!

And I thought we were going to have 2 winners today, as I had a post on Friday to win a free pattern from my shop, but there were no qualifying entries.  I did have one person leave me a comment wishing me a Happy Birthday, which I appreciate, but it wasn't an original funny song or poem, so it didn't quite qualify.  Keep reading my blog and there will be more ways to get free goodies in the future.

Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Tips & Techniques - Needlework & Airport Security

Just this past weekend I took a girls trip that required airplane travel.  Unfortunately my friends banned me from bringing my cross stitch with me (and if you guessed they're NOT stitchers then you would be correct), but it made me think about what you can and cannot take through airport security when it comes to your needlework.

This picture is a screen shot of the TSA regulations as of 9/5/12 which shows you CAN take your needlework with you.  

The last time I flew was in Feb. 2010 and I took my cross stitch with me to do on the 4-hour flight.  I took a small pair of embroidery scissors with me, but chose my least expensive pair just in case they were confiscated at the security checkpoint.  I also printed the TSA regulations that morning and had in my purse w/the date showing in case I had a TSA agent that wasn't familiar with my items being allowed.

If you're worried about taking scissors with you, there are other options available. You can easily take nail clippers through security and there are a range of thread cutters that are approved for travel.  This is an example of just one of them:

And as I'm typing this I've realized it's scheduled to post on September 11th.  A day that brought upon us most of the airport security measures currently in place.   Being the proud Army mom that I am, I'd like to take a moment to thank all of the brave men & women that defend us on a daily basis as well as remembering the innocents that lost their lives on that terrible day.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Money Monday - September 10, 2012

Lots of fabrics have sold, but there's still plenty left (and they probably won't last long) and I need the room for storage of other stitching supplies, so I've now increased the discount on all items in my fabric section.

Prices have already been adjusted and there's no need for a coupon code.  :)

And don't forget our Customer Loyalty 10 get 1 FREE!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Pattern of the Week - September 8, 2012

I've seen numerous blog posts, facebook posts, etc. in the past 2 weeks calling on everyone in the stitching world to support one specific cross stitch company (which I will NOT name, but I'm sure most of my readers will know exactly who I'm talking about - and yes, I have purchased from there myself).  I'm happy to see stitchers rallying together, but I think it's important to remember there are MANY independent designers and companies out there that are trying to survive in a world where so many think it's OK to violate copyright laws, etc.

So instead of picking just one pattern of the week for you to look at, I'm going to post a bunch of links to some of my favorite designers and websites where they can be purchased and I challenge each & every one of you to take a moment to look at some of the others that don't air their dirty laundry all over the internet to gain sympathy and sales, and see what beautiful works they have that can be stitched.


I could keep going with a list that goes on & on, but I think you get my point.  Don't be afraid, look around.  You just might be pleasantly surprised and what you find that you never knew existed.

Happy Stitching!


Friday, September 7, 2012

Freebie Friday - September 7, 2012

We're going to have a little fun with today's Freebie Friday.

Today is my birthday...yay!  And to celebrate I'll be giving away a free pattern from my shop to one of my readers.  But here's the catch.  To be eligible to win you need to leave a comment on this post (comments left on my Facebook page won't count) that includes an original birthday song, poem or would would be a fantastic greeting card. 

The winner will be the one that makes me laugh the hardest and will be announced on Weds. 9/12/12 the same time as I announce the winner of the Team MetalFoot Giveaway items.  Now put on those thinking caps and let's have a little fun as life is just too short not to laugh on a regular basis!!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Happy Feet

I'm thrilled with how Alexander McQueen, Dolce & Gabbana, Tory Burch and others are embracing needlework in their fashion lines.  Here's some of the fantastic ones I've found while surfing the web.

Who says cross stitch is just for women?  If I saw a man wearing these he just might steal my heart, lol!

A little on the wicked side for me with the lace socks, but I like them!

Here they are a little more my style (without the lace socks).  And at only $995, they're quite the bargain (right!).

But I think the ultimate pair I have found, and I would definitely wear, are these Doc Marten boots.  Awesome!!!!

So, who's ready to go do some shoe shopping?