Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sunday happenings

I haven't been punching much this week. Between running kids around, I just lost some energy to craft. But, I worked a little more on this piece. I changed some of the green colors from the original pattern, and am changing the background from ecru to black. The black really makes the other colors stand out. Now that I'm done finishing the parts with all the color changes, the background should go quickly. Maybe I'll work on this while I'm watching the ice skating on tv this afternoon.

Sorry, the photo was taken through my deck screen. The snow has moved by the shed. That only means one thing - - - they're back! No, not the aliens ~ the foxes. I'm really hoping to see more pups this spring. That is if spring ever gets here. We're expecting a winter storm Tues/Wednesday. We'll see if the storm materializes or not. But, if it's snowing, Woodstock Willie (our resident groundhog) won't see his shadow, so it will mean an early spring. Woodstock is where the film Groundhog Day was filmed. They now have some Groundhog Day events in the town square. Too bad Feb 2 is a school day, or I would drive out there to see Willie.

Big new this weekend ~ James won the pinewood derby for the Webelos II den! He's never won before, so he was thrilled to win during his last Cub Scout pinewood derby.

~*~ Laura ~*~

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Spring Time Finish

I finished this cute little cupboard hanger ~ just ready for spring. We here in the Chicago area got a little snow and a lot of cold this week, so spring sure sounds good! I just put this punch needle piece on my selling blog. (I really need to try to keep some new items on that, and still keep some items on Ebay) Just click on the snowman box on the left side of my blog, and it will take to you the listing.

I have a pile of wool that's ready to be washed and felted. I'm not sure what all of it will be, but when the price is right, I snatched it up. I really like getting basic black, as it always goes nicely with punch needle backings.

Here's an interesting shot that I took of the frost on my kitchen window. It's pretty, but cold!

I've only done a little more on my first rug. (ok, I didn't want to complete it all in the first week, so I switched to another project)

I started another punch project. It's the same heart Valentine, but I'm going to make it with a black background for something different. I started it today during the Bears game. I usually don't watch football, but since it was Bears vs. Packers, it was more the the Super Bowl atmosphere.

Have a great week!
~*~ Laura ~*~

Saturday, January 15, 2011

I'm now a rug hooker!!

Thanks to all the encouragement from you guys! I signed up for a primitive rug hooking class, and today was the first session. There's a second session in February (for finishing techniques) ~ enough time to finish this small project. The wool was already cut, so all we had to do is learn how to hook. I chose some brown/tan colors. For this project it's not about the colors, but learning how to get the loops even.

Here's the back of the rug. It's done a a burlap, something inexpensive to start with.

I still need to finish this punch needle project that I started this week. It's a applique/quilt pattern from All Through the Night. I used the pattern for punch needle instead. Kinda cute for spring with the eggs and chicks! I'm using 3 strand for this one, as the flowers and chicks have small detailing that wouldn't show up if I used 6 strand.

I received my penny rug pattern from Cathy. I can't wait to start this one! I thought that I had some tan wool, but realized that I didn't. So, I went on a trip to the local thrift store on Friday. I found this wool skirt for $2.99. I still need to wash/felt it, but I think it has just enough wool for the project. If it doesn't I saw a beautiful oatmeal color wool at the quilt store this afternoon. It's more a a grey/tan, but it would be really pretty for this pattern. But, I can't beat the price of thrift store wool. :-)

I'm looking forward to having Monday home for the MLK holiday. A few more hours to hook and punch. (oh, and drive kids around)

~*~ Laura ~*~

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Valentine Snow Angel

Just one quick photo today. I put the cording on the edges of this piece, tacked it to a vintage grater, and just listed it on Ebay. The snow angel is adapted from a graphic from Twigs N Sprigs. I changed the buttons to hearts, and changed the sign to something more Valentines like. Definitely NOT your lacey, feminine Valentines decoration. I'm sure if I changed the colors to something pinker/redder, it would change the look of it entirely. hmmmmm....Something to think about!

I've already started another punch needle project, but it's for spring. We have several inches of snow on the ground, but I'm thinking about spring already. Maybe because my 3 older teens just signed up for summer school this week. They will be taking driver's ed. Yep, 3 learning how to drive all at the same time. Doesn't that sound like tons of fun???

~*~ Laura ~*~

Sunday, January 9, 2011

3 strand vs. 6 strand

I put the finishing touches on the Valentine punch needle. I put a piece of spot dyed cranberry wool on the back, and added some homespun strips for hangers. I really like the way this one turned out. This one was done with 3 strands of floss, and I normally use 6 strands. What's the difference?

Here's a side by side comparison of the 2. The one on the left is 6 strands, and the one on the right is 3 stands. DMC floss comes in a skein with 6 strands that can be separated. Punch needle takes this floss, and creates small loops to create the design. Using 6 strands gives it a more primitive, rougher, larger look. Using 3 strands give is a finer look. It's easier to get detailing in using 3 strands.

I punch using a Cameo needle. For 6 strands, I use a number 2 setting and a medium needle. For 3 strands, I use a number 1 setting and a small needle. I found the using 3 strands I used less floss, as the pile (height of the loops)is lower. The weight of the 6 strand is more, as more floss is used.

I haven't experimented with 1 strand, or using a thicker yarn. It's still on my "to do" list.

I'm still in the job search mode. Something part time, but yet flexible. Yep, I'm asking for the impossible. After a position I interviewed for was filled (I think they are hiring back someone that was let go due to budget cuts, so I never had a chance), I have to keep searching. I have a lead that I"m hoping turns into something.This lead was a company that contacted me, a couple years after I sent in a resume. That's always promising!

~*~ Laura ~*~

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Valentine Angel

I finished the Valentine angel this morning! I decided to make a little pillow/pinkeep out of it. The front is a piece of plaid homespun fabric, and the backing is a piece of spot dyed cranberry wool. It's whip stitched together with some cranberry pearl cotton. I just love the muted colors in this one.

I also got some photos of the baby afghan. Now to edit, upload and create some Ebay listings tonight. It might be late tonight, as I have a planning meeting for the Cub Scout Blue & Gold dinner. I also need to finish the other punch piece, but am still debating on how to finish it. I thought I would also put some quilt shop fabric behind it, but it just didn't seem to do the piece justice. I still have plenty of barn red/cranberry wool, so that's a possibility, too. Maybe I'll start another project, and then get inspired on the finishing touch.

Yesterday I ran to the quilt shop to pick up the backing fabric, and I did sign up for a rug hooking class. I can't wait to learn something new! :-)

~*~ Laura ~*~

Monday, January 3, 2011

A few finishes

This is the latest that I've been working on. The angel is a freebie design from Twigs N Sprigs. I added some borders (that still need to be punched). I'm hoping to get this one and the other one that I finished punching on Ebay later this week.

I also finished a baby afghan last week. I hadn't crocheted in a few months, so it was good to get back to something mindless. Yes, I've done this pattern so many times, that it's mindless. I just need to to check which row I'm on, and sporadically check the pattern. Now to get this listed to Ebay tonight.

I also finished an order for a kitty and pumpkins. The buyer didn't want faces on the pumpkins, so they could be more neutral and be used through Thanksgiving.

Using a plain cinnamon stick for the stem just seemed a little too boring. So, I put it aside for about a week, and thought about what I could do to dress it up a bit. Well, pumpkins have leaves, and the curly q's coming from the vine. So, I decided to add a wool leaf and wire curly q to each pumpkin. Now to box them up and get them to their new owner!

It's back to work today for me, and back to school for the kids. My husband has the day off, but goes back tomorrow. I'm hoping to get some more punching done today, so that I can work on the finishing parts of the 2 punch pieces.

Have a good week!
~*~ Laura ~*~