Thursday, January 1, 2009

Look What I Did!

In and effort to help me fight the winter time blues I’ve been trying to think of as many ways as I can to bring my love for gardening indoors. I’ve tried to do house plants, and we do have some, but for some reason I can NEVER remember to water them. If it weren’t for the vigilant efforts of Jamie they would all surely perish. You would think that seeing them every day I would have no problem remembering to give them a drink. I do good to remember to (I started to say water the fish, the coffee hasn’t kicked in yet) feed the fish. At any rate, I’ve been searching and thinking of things to do.

Well, Christmas came along. I’m sure you have all experienced the same dilemma, there never seems to be enough money to buy everyone a gift that you would like to buy for. If you buy for your sister Suzie, you have to buy for your sisters Elsie, Paulette and Daisy Mae, and what about their husbands? If you come from a broken family, you may have eight sets of grandparents if your parentals have remarried. It’s the same with work; it’s a never ending cycle of if I get this one I have to get that one. So I started thinking if I had a craft I could make gifts for them all through the year and it would be much better than a store bought one anyway. So I set out to decide what to learn.

I thought, well if I’m going to do this it will have to be something that involves bright colors and I should be able to incorporate my love for our garden in with it. The first thing that popped into my mind was the tattered old flour sack pillow cases that my mother has tucked away in a drawer somewhere. The older ones of you that are reading this probably know what I’m talking about. A large portion of my mother’s dresses were made from flour sacks when she was a little girl. Somewhere in the house are two of the prettiest bags you have ever seen. One has a yellow rose border on it and the other has red roses on it. We used them as pillow cases when I was a child. So I decided, that’s what I can do, I can embroider pillow cases, towels and what have you as gifts for Christmas. Who wouldn’t love that? I use to be amazed at the hand stitched designs on those old pillow cases. No one does that anymore.

Well, I don’t have a clue how to embroider or cross stitch. I’ve never done anything like that in my life. Off to Wal-mart I go to find me a book, thread and stuff. It turns out they have little kits there to teach you how to do those and other things. AND, they have looottttttssss of garden themed stuff! Perfect! Well here is my first little project.


Last night, right after the stroke of midnight I completed my first cross stitched garden scene. I’m so excited. I know it’s a simple thing to do, but I’ve never done it before so I am very, very proud of myself. The next one I do will be a very difficult one that is 16 by 14 inches. I will probably be working on it forever, but I really enjoy the bright colors and bringing the garden to my lap. Before I start that big cross stitch project, I’m going to do a little embroidery kit that I bought the same night. For the remainder of the winter and on those summer months it will be too hot outside, I will be working on next year’s Christmas gifts!


The only thing I don’t like about the little project above is the humming birds have X’s for eyes like little cartoon characters that have been knocked unconscious. Jamie says we are going to frame it since it is my first one. :-) Okay, I have to go prepare a New Years Day lunch for a few guests. I’ll post the embroidery project when I start on it, if that is something you all would like to see. I hope everyone has a wonderful day.


Frances said...

Hi Randy, what a good idea and more power to you to do that. I have a beautiful stash of my grandmother's pillowcases with fancy crocheted edges. I used to be able to do embroidery and enjoyed it very much, but my eyesight is not up to the task now, not to mention arthritic fingers, man I sound old! Anyway, I look forward to your crafts and would like to recommend for the bird's eye french knots, very simple to do and better than the x's! Happy new year my friend!

Phillip said...

Good job Randy. I think handmade gifts are the best. I totally know what you mean about buying gifts. It is the same with party invitations or doing things for co-workers. I call it the trickle down effect. If you buy for this person, you have to buy for this one and it just goes on and on.

Chandramouli S said...

Hey Randy, that's so perfect for a beginner! I like the design especially. Handmade gifts are very special and priceless! Great thought. About the eye, you can make it into a square by adding four stitches across - that'd make the eyes more prominent. I look forward to your future craft endeavors! Good luck with them all.

Anonymous said...

You did a great job Randy! I did the same thing for gifts one year when money was tight. They were mailboxes with the family's name on it & a flowering vine the creeped up the post. ;) Then I framed them all & they were quite pleased with my handmade gifts! :)

Gail said...


I love when folks teach themselves crafts... you've done a great job and I see more fun projects in your future. If I were to hazard a guess..they will be as lovely and detailed as your beautiful gardens! gail

Jamie and Randy said...

I started an embroidery project last night and I think I’m going to like it even better than the cross stitch. But, I don't understand why it doesn't ravel out since you just tuck the loose threads under what you've already stitched. Seems to me it would eventually ravel out.

Thank you Phillip, no more trickle down effect for us. :-)

Chandramouli S,
I'm glad you enjoyed the project, over the years I thinned out gifts I've received from people, but any hand made gift that was ever given I hold on to tightly.

I bet your gifts were beautiful! These days money is tight for everyone, plus we all live lives of excess and we need to simplify things.

Thank you, I think I am going to start doing more craft projects. I'm really enjoying myself.

Cosmo said...

Randy, what a great job! I'm all thumbs (fortunately one of them is green)--can't do anything crafty. I don't think your hummingbirds look knocked-out at all, but what a funny observation. Anyway, what lucky friends you have!

Jamie and Randy said...

Thank you Cosmo! I started on my embroidery project last night. I think I'm going to like it better than cross stitch.

Wayne said...

I used to do macrame, and is that dating me or what? And I did wall hangings and hanging plant holders. Was so much fun! But this looks like fun! Craig does need a hobby.

Jamie and Randy said...

Wayne, I use to macrame too! It is a lot of fun, but I think I'm going to enjoy embroidery more. BUT, they do have this copy of a Thomas Kinkaid in cross stitch that I'm itching to try. If I do it, I will probably be working on it the rest of my life. LOL

Thanks For 2 Day said...

It's a pretty pattern;) How you manage to do that, and blog, along with everything else, boggles my mind. I have cross stitched once in my life, and it actually turned out nicely--but I never tried it again. Perhaps when I get some 'free time' (yeah, right:)), I'll look into that again ;-) Happy New Year! Jan

Jamie and Randy said...

Happy New Year, Jan! Well, I'm one of those people that have to busy all the time, it distracts my mind and keeps me at peace. I'm actually trying to teach myself to slow down some and rest more. Even though I'm still busy, this forces me to sit still. :-)--Randy

Paula said...

You know you could do a French Knot for their eye's. Momma can tell you how to do it or I could show you.

Love ya

Jamie and Randy said...

Someone else mentioned the same thing. :-) We are coming home to see Momma and Daddy this weekend.--love you too!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I think this is an excellent project for winter. I think you have to have the patience of a saint to do needle work. One nice thing about it is that you can take it everywhere with you to work on it. Like if you have to commute on a bus or train, sitting at the dr office etc..

I paint with watercolors more during winter. That is how I release my creative juices. I am a novice at painting. So I hope to improve. I can't easily take it with me though. So I bring along a sketch book and try to sharpen those skills.

I must say I love those embroidered tea towels. They are gorgeous and make you feel so special to put them out when you have company. I think you should definitely try some embroidery. You did a good job on your first crossstitch I am sure you can master the needle of embroidery.