Monday, December 18, 2006

My Christmas Things

Not much to talk about right now, so I thought I would share some pictures of a few Christmas things I made a couple of years ago.

This is my Christmas box I made from a wood cigar box. I painted it red and decoupaged some ephemera items on it and gave it a coat of polyurethane. The window with Santa is actually an ornament I found at a local store. Sorry about the glare.

On the inside I glued a sheet of parchment paper and recycled an old Christmas card. I spelled out the word Santa with some tiles that I had. The three little cards are another item I found at the local store.

Here is a close up of the altered mint tin with Santa’s picture. I painted it red and white and glued a piece of the same parchment paper on the top, then stamped some images on the background. The Santa image is one that I had and printed out and glued on. Again, sorry for the glare that is on the bottle top 3 D piece. It says HO, HO, HO on it.

This is the inside. On the left is a piece of gold foil, with a Santa image that I printed and glued in. The right hand side is actually a little booklet I made with several Santa images.

These are machine embroidered items that I made into refrigerator magnets.

The next three pictures are the popular bowls everyone has made using Christmas fabrics. These were gifts.

I made this snowman several years ago from a pattern in one of the quilting magazines. He measures 7 1/2 inches by 20 ½ inches, which is about half the size of the original pattern.

And lastly is a gift box I made using one of those paper mache’ boxes and covered it with polymer clay tiles. I used black clay and colored them with Pearl Ex powders before baking. After baking, I covered it with a couple of coats of polyurethane.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

New Embroidered Piece

I can't believe it. I have gone for weeks without posting and now I have posted 3 times in as many days. Don't get used to it though, this has to be a fluke or something. LOL!

I think the problems I was having the past couple of days with the embroidery designs is solved. I finally discovered the best stabilizer to use for these lacey designs is Sulky’s Ultra Solvy. I usually use a size 90/14 embroidery needle, but found that a size 75/11 worked better.

I tried to stitch this one yesterday twice with horrible results including stitching the design to the throat plate! What a mess. I wish I had taken a picture of that. LOL! Anyway here it is still in the hoop after it stitched out with only one problem; the bobbin thread ran out as it was getting near the end of the design. No big deal. A new bobbin and the stitching was completed.

I hate to think of all the time wasted before figuring this out, not to mention all of the thread and the different stabilizers. Oh well, how else would I figure out what works and what does not.

Here it is after rinsing away the Ultra Solvy. This one measures about 3 inches across. The color is actually closer to what you see with it in the hoop.

I do not wish to mislead anyone about these pieces. They are not my original designs. These are commercial designs that I purchased. I have the software and hardware to resize, re-color and change to my particular machine format, but I do not have any digitizing software to create my own designs.

That said, isn’t this another lovely ornament?

Monday, December 11, 2006

Continuing from the Previous Post

These are what you didn't get to see in the last post and what I spent all that time Saturday working on. Aren't they beautiful? They each measure about 2 ½ inches across. It's hard to see but I stitched them using sparkle organza.

I have about a dozen or so other designs that I want to do, but if they are going to take the time that these 3 did I’m not so sure. LOL!

As I mentioned in the previous post I was having problems uploading more than one picture with blogger, soooo...I made the switch to Beta Blogger. Everything seems to be okay and I didn't have any problems uploading this pic. I may make some changes to how my blog looks later on, but for now I am leaving as is. The only thing different is my being able to add labels now to each post.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

She's Done!

I finally finished the second postcard late last night.

I didn’t get too elaborate on either one of these. I mentioned in the other post that the images I printed on silk didn’t come out as brilliant as I had hoped and you can really tell that with this one. I guess I am going to have to figure out how to do that with this newer printer.

Yes, I hand stitched the edge on this one also, even though I complained about doing it on the first one. I used cardstock on the back of this one also. Even though I fused it I didn’t want to machine stitch through it and have all of those perforations.

I had the biggest part of yesterday to myself and finally got to work on some machine embroidered items that I had wanted to do a couple of weeks ago. It has been quite some time since I had embroidered anything and I can not believe how long it took to do them. Part of the time was spent gathering the designs I wanted to use and then resizing them in the software and then downloading to the memory card and printing templates (which turned out I didn’t really need for these). I then had to decide what stabilizer to use and wind some bobbins with thread.

Once I got started stitching on the first one, I thought I would only be a couple of hours more. WRONG! During the stitching of the first design which I stabilized with a piece of organza and solvy, the thread broke 3 different times which really is not that big of a deal.

When I got ready to stitch the second one, I decided to try using a double layer of solvy and no organza. The machine stitched for a bit and then the thread broke. I fixed it; continued stitching for a minute or two and the thread broke again. I fixed it again and continued stitching for a minute and….you guessed it, it broke again. This went on for about ten more minutes and after I decided it wasn’t the thread or the needle or the tension I just needed to start over and use the organza. So I changed stabilizers and the second piece stitched with only a few thread breakage problems. The third piece stitched out with only a few breakages as well.

It was approximately 9:30 a.m. when I started gathering the designs, etc. and it was approximately 9:30 p.m. when I finished! Without problems of any kind, each design would have taken anywhere from 40 minutes to 1 hour to stitch out. That should have been 4 hours top. What happened during the other 8 hours? I know that one and a half to two hours was spent having lunch and dinner, but that still leaves approximately 6 hours. I can’t even begin to count how many times I stopped the machine to go do something else for a few minutes here and there, but apparently it adds up to 6 hours!

I guess you are wondering by now what it was that I spent so much time on yesterday. Well you are going to have to wait. Blogger is not letting me upload anything else and I have tried several times. Arrrgh!