Tuesday, June 30, 2009

My Designer Profile

I am so excited!! I was recently interviewed by Connie G. Barwick, the About.com guide to cross stitching. Connie does profiles on various cross stitch designers and her latest one is about me! Yeah!

Here are a few of the things that Connie covered in her interview:
  • How I got started,
  • Where I find inspiration,
  • What my favourite design is, and
  • The photo conversion service that I offer.
You can read the full interview here.

I always love reading Connie's profiles on cross stitch designers because it gives me a chance to learn a little bit more about them than I might learn otherwise. Plus, it has introduced me to so many different designers and some very unique patterns. It's so great to see all the imagination and creativity that is out there.

Who are some of your favourite cross stitch designers and why?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Knitting Tips For Everyone

Experienced knitters make knitting look so easy ... but it takes a lot of practice and skill to reach that point. So, whether you're just starting out or if you've been knitting for a while, here are some tips that will help you out.

1. To sew buttons on a knitted garment, use elastic thread. It'll keep your button in place, plus it won't cut or fray the yarn around it – keeping your garment looking beautiful for a long, long time.

2. When knitting a sweater, don't bind off the shoulder stitches. Instead, leave the stitches on the needles or on stitch holders. Then, when all the pieces of the sweater have been knitted – front, back and sleeves – you can simply knit the pieces together. Once that's done, then you can bind off the stitches. The result – a smooth, flat seam that looks great!

3. To make sure that the pattern size of the sweater you're knitting will actually fit, compare it to the best fitting sweater in your closet. Measure the dimensions of the sweater, specifically the width and length of the sweater, along with the size of the armholes and the length of the sleeves. Compare these measurements to the dimensions listed on the knitting pattern and pick the size that matches up the best.

4. Finally, have fun knitting! It's the best way to ensure that you'll keep knitting and the more you knit, the better you'll get!

I hope that you have found these tips useful. Please visit my website Beautiful Creations for more helpful Tips & Info on Knitting.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Drawstring Bag Cross Stitch Project

A really easy cross stitch project to create is a drawstring bag. Not only is it beautiful, but it's practical. There are so many uses for a drawstring bag. You could fill it with potpourri, you could hang it on the wall, or you could use it to hold keepsakes or jewelry.

Here's how you can make your own drawstring bag:

1) First, determine the size that you want the drawstring bag to be. Then, pick a cross stitch pattern to stitch on the bag. Look for smaller patterns - they can go on the front of the bag or wrap around both sides.

2) Select the fabric to cross stitch on and cut to size. You will be stitching on one piece that will be folded in half, so it is important that you determine whether the pattern will go on the front only or wrap around to both the front and back. Once you have determined that, you can figure out how much fabric you will need. This is a great way to use up leftover scraps of aida fabric.

3) Once the aida cloth has been cut, go ahead and cross stitch the pattern as normal.

4) Prepare a drawstring for the top of the bag. You can buy one that is already made or you can create your own. To create your own, choose 3 colours of DMC floss - either colours that you used in the pattern or ones that compliment those colours. Braid the DMC floss together. Remember to use all 6 strands of DMC floss for each colour. The length of the floss should be twice as long as the fabric at the top of the drawstring bag, where the drawstring will be placed.

5) Now you are ready to attach the drawstring to the bag. Place the drawstring near the top of the bag on the wrong side. Turn the top of the bag over the braid and temporarily hold it in place with safety pins. Stitch the folded aida cloth in place by stitching little "x's" every few squares. If you like, try creating a pattern with your stitches.

6) The last step is to sew the drawstring bag together. First, fold the drawstring bag in half, with the wrong side showing out. The two sides should match up and the drawstring should be at the top. Starting from the top, backstitch the two sides together and continue until the bottom half is sew together. Be careful to leave about four to five squares on the outside of the stitch, so that the stitches won’t come loose and fall out. Once all the sides have been sewn together, except for the top of course, simply turn the bag inside out and you are done. It’s as simple as that!

If you liked this project, you can find more FREE Project Ideas on my website. Try them out and leave a comment on my blog - I'd love to hear from you!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Book Review of "Fast & Easy Scrapbook Pages"

Today's blog is a book review of "The Kodak Book of Fast & Easy Scrapbook Pages" by Kerry Arquette and Andrea Zocchi. This book presents 125 different layouts - grouped by layouts using one photo, layouts using two photos and layouts using three or more photos.

The book starts off with an introduction to scrapbooking, what you need to get started, design pointers and tips to keep all your supplies organized. This four page introduction is brief and to the point so that you can get what you came for - creating your scrapbook!

The next 85 pages of the book concentrate on showing you many, many different layouts. No two are alike and each one describes the key elements needed to make that layout work. There's tips a plenty - you'll learn how to create balance on a page; how to use headlines and journaling effectively; how to use colour to create a mood or theme on a page; and how to add embellishments without making the page cluttered. The book also shows you how to do different scrapbooking techniques like stamping, embossing, distressing, chalking and lacing.

In summary, this book is a great source of inspiration for scrapbook pages. Plus, for each layout that the book presents, it tells you what elements make that page work, so that you can make it work for you too!

Visit Beautiful Creations for great scrapbooking supplies that will inspire you when you start to work on your next scrapbook! If you're still looking for more inspiration, don't forget to check out our FREE scrapbook layouts. Happy scrapping!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Creating a Cross Stitch Journal

A cross stitch journal is an excellent way to keep track of all the great projects you have finished in the past. If you like, you can also keep track of the patterns you have bought, the projects that are a WIP (Work In Progress), your supplies and more. It's your journal – so you get to decide what you want to record and the level of detail you include.

There are two things that you have to decide on. First, decide how you will record the information. Do you want to use a binder, a blog, an online photo gallery, or record it digitally on a computer? Once you have decided on that, you will then have to figure out what you want to include in your journal.

Here are some things that you could include:
  • Keep track of all your finished cross stitch projects. Include a picture, when you finished it, who it was made for, and any other details that you want to include.
  • Your WIP projects. Take pictures of your each project as you work on it. Sometimes its nice to look back and see pictures of the progress you really are making. Plus, it's a great way to stay motivated and working on large projects.
  • Write down all the supplies you have on hand. This will help you to avoid buying duplicates of supplies you already have.
  • Finally, keep a page just for notes. You might want to record what cross stitch supplies you really liked working with or modifications you made to different patterns.
Ready to get started on your very own cross stitch journal? Here are some FREE templates that you can use. Choose from 8 different templates – use them all or just some! It's your journal, so you're the boss!