Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Works in Progress

Here are a few of the pieces I've stitched up over the last week.  Now I'm trying to decide how to finish them.  I would love any input you would like to give.

  I was thinking maybe an ornament for this rooster piece.  It measures about 4 3/4 inches square.

 For the purple martin/birdhouse piece maybe a mini pillow for putting on a shelf or an ornament.

Friday, March 19, 2010

A Piece of the Past

I live in a small rural town in mid-Missouri and have lived here since I was 9.  I'm 46 now.  When we first moved to town 37 years ago the population was about 1,200.  We had 3 restaurants in town; 2 fast food (A & W and Dairy Queen) and 1 sit down restaurant.  As a teenager most of us in town worked at Dairy Queen.  My two sisters and I all worked there.  In fact my oldest sister and I worked there for about 10 years.  They paid really well, worked with our schedules and let us quit to try a career change, have babies, or whatever we were doing.  The owner always welcomed us back when we needed a job.

Yesterday they tore down Dairy Queen and now a piece of the past is gone for many of us.  I've been on Facebook with my friends and it's funny how everyone is reacting.  It was after all just a restaurant but to us it was a huge part of our lives.

Makes you remember the good old days.

Monday, March 8, 2010

How long do you stick it out before making a change?

How long do you stick it out with your existing Etsy shop before deciding it's time for a change?  I've had my shop open for almost 2 years and I do admit to having worked on it harder over the last 6 months than in previous months.  Still I haven't had any sales and I'm beginning to wonder when it's time to jump ship and change to something different.  But what?

It's time to do some research and think about expanding what is available for sale in my shop.  I love to cross stitch and finish my pictures into keepsakes and home decor items but maybe it's time to branch out.  Do I stick with what I like or try to figure out what will sell?  I'm more inclined to be true to my style and just branch out into non-cross stitched items also.  Hmmmmm!

Just some food for thought!

Happy crafting everyone!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Making your stitched piece look nicer

I just wanted to share a couple of tips that I use when cross stitching.  I always cut a length of floss to about 36 inches, separate out one strand and fold it in half.  Put the two loose ends through the eye of the needle and begin.  Come up through the back at your starting point, return through the front and as you pull your floss tight, slip the tip of the needle through the floss loop on the back.  This secures down your first stitch without having to stitch over loose ends.  You get a neater back on your stitched piece when you have fewer threads running under stitches.

The second thing I do is railroad my stitches.  When completing the individual X's,  I split the doubled floss with the tip of my needle on all my stitches as I go down through the fabric.  This makes each stitch lie flat against the fabric which covers the fabric better and you end up with a smoother looking piece.  This does take some practice and patience; and yes,  it is more time consuming than the regular jab method but I like the end result.

Happy crafting!