Thursday, October 22, 2009

My Favourite Cross Stitch Tips

Cross stitching is a very relaxing hobby. It's wonderful to see a pattern come to life as you complete each stitch and to show off your work when you are done. But while it may be easy to learn, there are some tricks and tips that can help you to make your cross stitching look the best it can! Here's some of my favourite tips:
  1. Use magnets. They are a great way to keep track of your needles and ensure that you don't loose them in between thread changes. Plus, if you do drop your needle, just sweep the magnet over the area and it'll find your magnet for you!
  2. Keep thread lengths short. It's easy for thread to become tangled, but if you use shorter lengths they won't tangle as often. Another added benefit is that the thread will look neater. That's because each time you pull the thread through the fabric, it starts to wear out. The less number of times that you pull it through the fabric, the less it'll wear out and the better it will look.
  3. Use hoops or roll your fabric. The best way to remove creases from your fabric is by preventing them to begin with. The key is to not fold the fabric. You can use a hoop when stitching or roll the side up so that the fabric doesn't get any creases in it. Just make sure to remove the hoop when you have finished stitching for the day, otherwise the hoop will crease the fabric.
  4. Use cold water. If your needlework does become dirty while you are working on it, simply pour some cold water and Ivory dishwashing liquid in a flat pan. Soak your needlework until the dirt comes off and then gently rinse it under cold water. Never scrub or wrinkle your needlework, otherwise you could damage it. Finally, lay the needlework out flat to allow it to dry.
I hope that you have found these tips useful. Please visit Beautiful Creations for more Cross Stitch Tips and Tricks. But before you go, leave a comment below to let me know what some of your favourite cross stitch tips and tricks are.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Book review of "The Encyclopedia of Greeting Card Tools & Techniques"

Today's blog is a book review of "The Encyclopedia of Greeting Card Tools & Techniques" by Susan Pickering Rothamel. This book starts off with the history of greeting cards, followed by a demonstration of many different techniques in alphabetical order. It ends with several tables, followed by a few pages of quotations and popular sentiments that can be used for different holidays and occasions.

This book is truly an encyclopedia because it has over 250 pages of techniques, with colourful pictures on every page. It fully explains the technique, how to do it and gives tips on working with the various materials described.

As for the tables, each one contains useful knowledge. One table lists the different holidays around the world. Another table shows the different greetings that are used at Christmas by countries around the world. Finally, there is even a metric conversion chart table.

For me, the best part of the book is all the pictures. Not only can you see what the finished project looks like, but also you can see how easy it is to do. Hmm, now I am feeling very inspired, so I think I will go and create some greeting cards that I can send out for birthdays and other occasions that are coming up soon.

I hope this book will inspire you just as much as it has inspired me. If you would like to see some of the cards that I have created, please visit my website Beautiful Creations. Here you will find a picture of each card and a brief story of how I created each one.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Halloween Treat Bag

Wow, I can't believe that it is October already! Where has this year gone? Of course, since it is October, that means it will soon be Halloween.

Halloween is so much fun. Whether you take the kids out to go trick or treating or you stay home to hand out the candy, it's a blast to see them all dressed up! Last year my husband insisted on playing some scary music and the really little kids were so scared. And knowing him, he'll probably insist on playing it again.

Either way, the kids need something to hold all their candy. I've just the thing – a Halloween treat bag! Plus, it's quick and easy to make. Here's how. We'll be making the bag from a single piece of fabric, which we'll fold in half at the bottom of the bag and then sew the sides together.

To get started, cut your material to the desired size. Place it on your sewing table with the wrong side facing up. Lay your cord along one of the edges that will form the top of the bag and fold the fabric over the cord. Sew the cord in place, using a honeycomb stitch. Next, loop the cord around to the other edge that will also form the top of the bag and sew it in place.

Now that the cord is in place, fold the fabric in half with the right side facing in. Next, sew the sides together. Finally, turn the Halloween treat bag inside out and you're finished! Your kids will now have a one of a kind treat bag for when they go trick or treating. Happy Halloween!

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!