Saturday, February 18, 2012

Mario Cross Stitch

After much fussing about the frame, my Mario cross stitch is finished! I think it turned out quite well. I was thinking of putting a black matte around it over the fabric, but the fabric is a little stretched so it didn't quite work. Instead I just folded under the white canvas, taped it to the black paper that is now behind it and put the whole ensemble in an 8x10 frame.

You can still tell that it's not quite square, but it looks much better than having a square matte around it. That only drew attention to its little lopsidedness since you could see some of the white canvas in some spaces.

I had originally purchased a floating frame for the project, but I'm glad I went with just a basic 8x10 instead. The space around the cross stitch isn't all the same, but it's even on the sides and on the bottom. So, I'm happy with it. If you'd like the pattern, please just ask. I think I posted a picture of it in my sneak peek, but it's much easier to see from the original excel document. Anyway, happy crafting! :)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Sneak Peek!

Apparently all of my crafting time is getting eaten up by Mario themed things! I'm making a cross stitch patern for some friends of ours that just had their first baby. They've decorated their room in a Super Mario theme, so I put my quilt pattern and character patterns to good use. This is the design I came up with:

I have a bunch of other characters I could use on something like this. My husband now wants one of these for himself as well as the quilt I'm still working on. I told him I'd be finishing up this one first, then finishing up his quilt and then start working on his Mario cross stitch. I think he'll survive, and this way he'll have plenty of time to design which characters he wants where and what he wants the back ground colors to be.

This is how the project looks part-way through...

Once I have it all put together I'll put up a new picture of the whole project. All finished it will be a square project, probably about 5"x5" or 6"x6". I think finding a picture frame to fit the project will be the hardest part. Happy crafting!! :)

Monday, February 6, 2012

Super Mario Quilt #5

I know, I know, I've been slacking on posts for this quilt. Well, that's because I hadn't made much progress on it until the last few days. I now have 9 character squares put together out of 24, so just barely over 1/3 of the way done with those. I'd say that is a very big accomplishment since each square takes between 5-6 hours to complete, so that's between 45-54 hours spent on making this quilt already!

I thought I would give a little step-by-step on how I put everything together for a character square and then show you all of the ones that I have complete. So, here goes!

1) Lay out the squares into the character pattern and then gather them into a stack for each row to sew.

2) Sew each row together, one square at a time.

3) Iron out the rows. I press the seams in an alternating pattern, so the first strip I'll press the seams down to the right and for the second I'll press the seams down the to left, then the next down to the right, then down to the left, so on and so forth until all the seams are pressed. I also trim off all of the thread tails at this point so they aren't poking through
                                                          all over the place.

4) Sew the rows together. I pin each seam together so that all the corners line up nicely. This is when that alternating ironing pattern pays off because the seams go together so much easier!

5) Iron out the entire square and you're done!

Now, as promised, here's the picture of all of the squares I have completed so far (fyi, the bed in the picture is a queen-size bed):

Happy Crafting! :)

Super Bowl Chili

We didn't really care who won or lost the Super Bowl this year, but we still got together with a couple friends to watch the game. I'm sure we paid much closer attention to the commercials (some good, some definitely bad) and really didn't see too many plays of the game.

Something I make a lot when friends come over is a big pot of chili. It's too hard to make chili for two people, so gatherings is really the only time we get to have it. Here's my recipe for a "super" bowl of chili.

2 1/2 - 3 lbs of ground beef, browned
2 cans red kidney beans, drained
2 cans chili-ready tomatoes
2 small jars chili sauce
2 medium cans tomato sauce
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
1/2 to 3/4 cup water

Seasoning for mild chili:
2 tablespoons smoked tobasco sauce
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 tablespoon Lawry's seasoning salt
1/2 tablespoon garlic pepper

Seasoning for hot chili:
1/2 to 3/4 bottle of smoked tobasco sauce
1 tablespoon of chili powder
1/2 tablespoon Lawry's seasoning salt
1/2 tablespoon garlic pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Shredded cheese of your choice
Sour cream
Green onions, sliced
Oyster crackers

1)Combine all ingredients in a large crock pot.
2) Choose seasoning level and add spices to crock pot mixture.
3) Cook on high for 3 hours or on low for 5-6, stirring occasionally.
4)When ready, serve in bowls and add toppings as desired.

I hope you all give this recipe a try. It is a crowd pleaser! You can definitely make this the night before, store it in the fridge and plug it in in the morning - just increase the time in the crock pot since it will have to heat up more. You can also freeze any left overs that you have - if you have any. :) Happy cooking!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Valentine's Yarn Wreath

Today I thought I would try my hand at a yarn wreath. I've always liked how these look and my sister is having a housewarming party, so I'm going to give her the first one as a housewarming present. I think it turned out quite well, but my husband doesn't think it has enough "stuff" on it. He thinks the whole wreath needs to be covered in flowers for it to look like a wreath. I showed him other examples of it online and his response was, "oh" - so I guess that means he's OK with it. Oh well, because I plan to make one for our door too!

So, I started off with a Styrofoam wreath form and wrapped it tightly in red, gray and white yarn. This took about 90 minutes to do since I started and stopped with different colors of yarn. I also didn't wrap the wreath form with anything underneath the yarn, so I had to make sure I was wrapping tightly enough so that none of the Styrofoam would show through.

Then I cut out circles in red, light pink, white and black felt to make the felt roses. I made a few larger ones and mostly small ones for an accent.  I found that if you roll them like I show in the picture - on the top of the felt toward the center instead of underneath - they open up more like roses and the petals look a little more natural. Then you can glue the very center of the spiral to the bottom to make it all stick together well. Once I had them all rolled and put together I glued on the feathers for the background behind the roses. Then I arranged the roses and glued them on.

The last piece was adding a bit of ribbon to hang it on the door. I think for the one I make for our door I'll have the ribbon be a bit longer. I don't know that I like seeing our apartment number through the middle of the wreath. I'll have to play around with it.

I think for the wreath that I keep, I might wrap the entire wreath form in red yarn and then crisscross the white and gray yarn over the red. Maybe it will look a little bit like argyle then. :) I'll probably do the same thing for the roses and feathers since I like it. Anyway, I've seen many of these wreaths around and there's probably a million tutorials for it so I have no idea who to credit for this design. I've seen it too much, so I don't remember where I saw it first. I hope you try it out, because it was a lot of fun to make! Happy crafting!
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