When my mom embroidered pillowcases as a gift for my wedding, they were perfect. I love them more each time I use them, and they have a look. Not a decorator magazine look, more a neat, cozy look that says "someone loved lives here." And because I feel truly great when someone makes something for me, I wanted to stretch myself this holiday to aim for the same warm fuzzies for my friends and family. Even a small embellishment on something communicates time and effort.
I just finished a Christmas present, a small cross stitched and embroidered bookmark, and I'm so excited about my freestyle initialing that I had to share.
I'm fully aware that this may give away the surprise for the recipient of the bookmark - so make it worth it! Challenge yourself to make something beautiful, maybe not for the holidays coming up, but think of Mother's Day, Father's Day, any birthdays coming up. If I can do it, you can!
I found my simple sampler initials at Cross Stitch XYZ. As noted in my final graph, the letters are six squares high and three wide.
The letters seemed small and sequestered near the top of the piece once finished, so I perused borders online. I decided to make a diamond shape out of full cross stitches in the same color, but it would look very pretty with a coordinating color or two. Taking a step back from the piece, it still needed more, so I connected the squares with stem-stitched embroidery.
I linked a good tutorial for the stitch here back in May:
And I had my finished product! Not showing it all, still aiming for a bit of a reveal. The graph below illustrates my border with the space needed for the monogram in orange, and also suggests that the border might look really good as straight cross stitch instead of embroidery.
I found the bookmark on Amazon here:
An applique could complete the piece.
Or you could doodle with fabric paint. It really isn't too late to get your craft on for this season. And if it keeps you out of holiday traffic for an afternoon, even better!
What they say about second children is true - they often miss out on the fancy things that the first one got. Son One got rainbow rice in his play bin, dyed with vinegar Easter-egg style like this tutorial from Happy Hooligans:
My youngest, however, just gets three pounds plain in a foil. He made the best of it, and he had someone to show him how it was done.
It's easier to pretend that it's snow when it's not dyed, too, so I'm not being lazy, I'm being seasonal. Snow angel!
I did have to sweep, but this kept Son Two busy while this rest of us finished a Super Mario game begun during his nap. I'm sure this won't be the only time I'll raid the pantry this winter.