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#1 Debp

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Posted 19 December 2006 - 09:03 PM

Does anyone do any crafts for Christmas? I usually make some beaded ornaments. Our little tree is covered with them. I started making them many years ago when I saw some in a craft store in Phoenix, AZ. It's something that is relaxing for me. I like cross stitch ornaments (made three), but it's too hard on my eyes.

I also made a wreath a few years ago. Bought one of those twig wreaths and covered it here and there with decorations and ribbons. It's on our apartment door.

We have two great craft stores in Glendale (near L.A.). I enjoy looking there now and then.

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#2 Guest_GrandmaDee_*

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Posted 20 December 2006 - 10:40 AM

The only really Christmas crafts that I make are cross stitched stockings. It takes me a long time to do the cross stitch so I usually start soon after Christmas if I am going to make one that year. Since Laurie's family all have them now and I have one for everyone here, and have made them for both of my neice's children and my Mom and Bonnie, I may be taking a break from that now though. I won't make them for anyone that I think may not keep them because they take such a long time to make so I'm running out of people to make them for. I also have to consider that if I make one for one of my sisters, for instance, then I need to make them for each family member and they are so time consuming that I can't do that.

Some years I cross stitch ornaments. I'll probably do that next year for my neices who are expecting this year.

I do do crafts with the grandkids but it just depends on what I find to do that year so it varies. This year we made those smores snowmen angels and a Santa out of craft sticks since I found the kits at a thrift store for next to nothing - probably not what I would have bought at regular price but the price was good and they are cute and the kids liked them. I also have stained glass suncatchers that they can paint but I'm not sure if we'll do that this year or save it for next.

My sister does an ornament for everyone in the family, her friends and co workers each year. Many times they are beaded ornaments but not always. So my tree has lots of her ornaments as well as many different kinds that I have made over the years.

Last year I made lots of cross stitched ornaments and some pointsettias out of ribbon. I thought I'd sell them but then didn't so gave them to whoever of my sisters and Mom who wanted them.
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#3 Debp

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 04:06 PM

Several years ago I cross stitched a few ornaments....the kind that come in a kit and fit into a small frame. The other night I tried to cross stitch a new one (a Christmas tree) but it is just too hard on my eyes. Do craft stores carry any magnifying things that you can use when cross stitching?
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#4 Guest_GrandmaDee_*

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 08:32 PM

Yes, they do but I've never used one to magnify the fabric. I do use a magnifier for the patterns though. It is easier to keep track of where I am that way because the stockings I do are really involved.

Maybe they would have a magnifier on the internet that you could look at (maybe Jo Anns) if you are really wanting one.
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#5 Debp

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Posted 13 December 2007 - 05:19 PM

Yes, they do but I've never used one to magnify the fabric. I do use a magnifier for the patterns though. It is easier to keep track of where I am that way because the stockings I do are really involved.

Maybe they would have a magnifier on the internet that you could look at (maybe Jo Anns) if you are really wanting one.


That's a good idea to see what they are like and the prices.

The cross stitch kit I opened the other day seems like the squares are even more tiny than the ones I did before....
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#6 Guest_GrandmaDee_*

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Posted 13 December 2007 - 10:12 PM

well, there are different sizes of squares in the different fabrics. In Aida cloth which is used in a lot of those kits, the bigger the number, the smaller the squares. So for example 22 count Aida cloth is really tiny, almost like normal fabric, while 14 count is larger, 11 even larger. So you may have a kit with a higher thread count.

I used to do a lot of ornaments in 22 count as it looks more like the picture is actually sewn into the fabric. But my eyes can't do that anymore. I use mostly 18 or 14 count now for my stockings and also for ornaments. I also like to use perforated paper for ornaments. There is no finishing. You just sew them and then cut carefully around the design.
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#7 Debp

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Posted 14 December 2007 - 05:25 PM

well, there are different sizes of squares in the different fabrics. In Aida cloth which is used in a lot of those kits, the bigger the number, the smaller the squares. So for example 22 count Aida cloth is really tiny, almost like normal fabric, while 14 count is larger, 11 even larger. So you may have a kit with a higher thread count.

I used to do a lot of ornaments in 22 count as it looks more like the picture is actually sewn into the fabric. But my eyes can't do that anymore. I use mostly 18 or 14 count now for my stockings and also for ornaments. I also like to use perforated paper for ornaments. There is no finishing. You just sew them and then cut carefully around the design.


Oh, thanks for explaining the "counts" to me. I'll check that kit and see what it says.

What are perforated paper ornaments like? Do you use colored paper and does alot of the paper show? I take it the sewing part is just a small part of them?
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#8 Guest_GrandmaDee_*

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Posted 14 December 2007 - 07:33 PM

Perforated paper is a paper made specifically for counted cross stitch. It is a somewhat heavy paper with holes in it. The holes correspond to the holes that would be in cross stitch fabric so you just sew the x's in them like you would on fabric.

You can find it in stores that carry cross stitch products. Usually it is white or an ivory color. But I've been to a store that had only cross stitch supplies which had other colors.

You can use it to make many things like book marks, magnets and ornaments. You can just stitch the design and cut around it being careful to keep one 'thread' of paper on the outer edge of your design so that the stitching does not unravel. If you want that is all the finishing that is required. Or you can add a backing if you want. For mine the stitching is the entire ornament.

I usually just leave the back as it is. I like these because they look finished without a lot of fuss. They are also lightweight and can even be a bit translucent.

I have a fireplace made by stitching the pattern on two pieces, then placing the hearth (front) part a bit out from the inside of the fireplace. In the hearth logs are stitched with a fire burning. If I position it right, with a tree light behind it, it looks like the fire is burning.

I also have a Santa made so that his legs and arms move when you pull a cord which I made from perforated paper.
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#9 Debp

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Posted 15 December 2007 - 10:50 PM

Perforated paper is a paper made specifically for counted cross stitch. It is a somewhat heavy paper with holes in it. The holes correspond to the holes that would be in cross stitch fabric so you just sew the x's in them like you would on fabric.

You can find it in stores that carry cross stitch products. Usually it is white or an ivory color. But I've been to a store that had only cross stitch supplies which had other colors.

You can use it to make many things like book marks, magnets and ornaments. You can just stitch the design and cut around it being careful to keep one 'thread' of paper on the outer edge of your design so that the stitching does not unravel. If you want that is all the finishing that is required. Or you can add a backing if you want. For mine the stitching is the entire ornament.

I usually just leave the back as it is. I like these because they look finished without a lot of fuss. They are also lightweight and can even be a bit translucent.

I have a fireplace made by stitching the pattern on two pieces, then placing the hearth (front) part a bit out from the inside of the fireplace. In the hearth logs are stitched with a fire burning. If I position it right, with a tree light behind it, it looks like the fire is burning.

I also have a Santa made so that his legs and arms move when you pull a cord which I made from perforated paper.


That sounds very interesting, GrandmaDee. Especially the fireplace.

Once I get back to JoAnn's or Michael's I'll have to mosey around and see what they have.

A few years ago at Michael's, I bought three, small, wooden churches that are ornaments. They were unfinished wood with metal roofs....I think I painted two of them so far. Also, bought a couple of wood birdhouse ornaments and painted them. They had small signs on them....I painted "Joy" and "Peace" on the signs.
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#10 dreamsofdolphin

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 04:41 PM

I love doing crafts, too.
Grandma Dee, May I ask how you made the poinsettas out of ribbon? I think I've seen a project like that before, it sounds like fun.
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#11 Guest_GrandmaDee_*

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Posted 22 June 2008 - 10:57 PM

Hi,

Just wanted you to know that I am not ignoring you. I am not home and Mom's computer is really slow, plus she doesn't like anyone to use it before 9 pm.

It's been a few years since I made the pointsettia ornaments. I think I remember how but will see if I can find the pattern on the internet (where I found it origionally) when I get home at the beginning of July.
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Posted 01 July 2008 - 04:03 PM

I've looked some on the internet and can't find that same ornament, DOD. There is another more complicated one that looks really nice in the picture if you do a search.

If I remember right what I did was take a length (sorry I can't remember how long) of memory wire ribbon and fold it accordion style. I used a sheer red ribbon. I think the folds were about 1 1/2 inches or so. The folds form the petals. I can't remember if I stitched the loose ends together or not but I used thread to sew tiny gold beads at the center of the circle made when you join the loose ends so that they looked like the middle of a flower and hold the flower together. Then I just used my fingers to form the folds to look like petals, pinching the top a bit and puffing out the bottom of each petal. Then just add thread or something for a hanger.

I'm sorry I can't explain it better or find the directions. I don't even have one since I gave them all away but one was hanging on my 93 yr. old aunt's living room light when we went to visit her a couple weeks ago.

Deb, I also remembered that the thread count in counted cross stitch is actually how many cross stitches (x's) per inch will result if you stitch it solidly.
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#13 Debp

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 04:39 PM

I've looked some on the internet and can't find that same ornament, DOD. There is another more complicated one that looks really nice in the picture if you do a search.

If I remember right what I did was take a length (sorry I can't remember how long) of memory wire ribbon and fold it accordion style. I used a sheer red ribbon. I think the folds were about 1 1/2 inches or so. The folds form the petals. I can't remember if I stitched the loose ends together or not but I used thread to sew tiny gold beads at the center of the circle made when you join the loose ends so that they looked like the middle of a flower and hold the flower together. Then I just used my fingers to form the folds to look like petals, pinching the top a bit and puffing out the bottom of each petal. Then just add thread or something for a hanger.

I'm sorry I can't explain it better or find the directions. I don't even have one since I gave them all away but one was hanging on my 93 yr. old aunt's living room light when we went to visit her a couple weeks ago.

Deb, I also remembered that the thread count in counted cross stitch is actually how many cross stitches (x's) per inch will result if you stitch it solidly.


Thanks, GrandmaDee, for telling me this. I haven't gotten to the craft stores for ages....the nearest ones are in Glendale, and it's about a 45-50 minute bus ride. I enjoy going there but have been too busy with errands and don't like to leave my mom alone for too long.

I did open a cross stitch ornament around Christmas, but didn't do much on it since it hurts my eyes. I totally forgot about it until you mention this!
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