Embroidery…we may have found a winner!!

Back in the end of June, we were getting ready to head up to the family lake home in Northern Minnesota for a week.  This vacation is always very low key- we sleep, read, fish and eat…not much more than that!  A few days before we hit the road I was shopping at Aldi (bless you Aldi, you rule!) and you know how they have that 1 aisle that just had the most random selection of non-food stuff? Like blankets and socks and toys and it’s different every time you go? Well, let me tell you, that is where, for $8, I found a embroidery for beginners kit!  It had instructions, embroidery floss, iron on patterns, cloth and 2 hoops..for $8!! Perfect for vacay! I made sure to iron on the patterns before we left, and then threw everything into my sewing box and stashed it in the back seat.

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One overcast afternoon I pulled everything out and starting reading instructions. It seemed fairly simple, with the book giving written directions, and color picture diagrams for each type of stitch. So I was off, I choose an H monogram, with roses, following the instructions fairly closely. Not too shabby actually! And I finished it about a day and a half, maybe putting in 4 hours total

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Next up was this cute bird! This pattern was also included in the kit, but it didn’t have play-by-play instructions to go with it, the idea being that you take what you learned from the other patterns and apply it to this one. So I had a lot more creative freedom, ya know..to make mistakes! but I think its cute!

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A few days went by and I decided that I LOVED doing this, and wouldn’t you know it, there was a friends birthday coming up and I had the most perfect idea for a gift! Both of these patterns were pieced together using  the Doodle Stitching Transfer Pack by Aimee Ray, on Amazon

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Spoiler Alert: She LOVED it!!

Honestly, I was hooked from the start! It takes some concentration, but not so much that you can’t join in on conversations. Its takes almost no space, just wherever you are sitting. And the creative possibilities are endless. I still don’t know what to actually DO with the finished pieces, I guess I could attach them to a pillow or tote bag or something. I have plans for some placemats eventually.  I just really like that after a few hours (or days depending on how complicated the design is) I have a completed piece of art, something to be proud of and that I can call mine. We are up at the lake house again now, take a peek at this work in progress:

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Paper flowers

so it has been awhile since my last post…work has a way of ramping up at unexpected times, so while I actually played around with paper flowers several weeks ago, this is the first opportunity I have had to actually write about it.  Making paper flowers was actually pretty fun, and I  had something pretty to show for it too!  I used cardstock from Michael’s and a hot glue gun to hold stuff in place.

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The first method of paper flowers I used was the spiral method. It is the EASIEST way to make flowers ever!! You draw a spiral on the paper, then cut out following the lines, then roll from the outside in and bam! you have a flower! The more spirals the tighter the flower. I cut several differently sized spirals to make the above bouquet. Then I cut out some leaf shapes to complete the look and glued everybody to a piece of paper (I’ve also seen them attached to straws to make stemmed flowers, or strung on a string to make a garland).

 

I used this blog for instructions for the spiral flowers, but there are a ton more on Pinterest, so have a search if you want.

 

For the second batch of paper flowers, I went with paper gardenias.  These are a bit more complicated than the spiral flowers, and technically you need a printer for them, but I don’t have a printer, but I DO have cookie/cake deco cutters and that actually worked for this flower.  I traced my cutters onto the paper and cut them out (had I printer, I would have printed from a template, then cut them out).  It was essentially 4 sets of petals, curled and shaped for dimension, stacked on top of each other so each layer of petals can be seen,then a center core…you can find way better instructions here

20170820_102010pssst…..these flowers are a different color than the spiral ones, I swear!

 

My 3rd attempt at paper flowers didn’t go over so great unfortunately… I wanted to make a giant flower, using this cool metallic 12×12 paper I had kicking around, but, once again you needed a printer. I thought I could free hand it, but I was wrong

here it is…

 

 

are you sure you want to see this…?

 

ok here goes…

 

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just…no.

 

So in the end, I really enjoyed making both the spiral flowers and gardenias…they would make great decorations for parties or holidays, but I definitely need to get a printer if I want to do anything more complicated than that.

I tried Geo-Caching and all I found was poison ivy…

I had never heard of Geo-Caching until a few weeks ago. It sounds like something to do with rocks, but in fact it is, according to wiki an :

‘ outdoor recreational activity, in which participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver or mobile device and other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers, called “geocaches” or “caches”, at specific locations marked by coordinates all over the world.’

So its like a treasure hunt, you sign up  pull up an app (there are many, this is the one I used) and it tells you what caches are nearby, providing GPS coordinates, and you can use google maps to get directions to get there. Once you are at the GPS location you have a search around.

 Allegedly there will be a small waterproof container containing a log book and sometimes a trinket.  I say allegedly because I tried ‘caching’ 6 different times and found bupkus! nada! not a thing!!! It made me feel slightly better that the user previous to me also couldn’t find anything in all the same spots, so maybe they are gone? I’m not sure who maintains the caches, making sure they are in good shape, clearly all six of the ones I tried near my house need help.  The whole point is that they are hidden, they aren’t supposed to be found easily, they should be hidden well enough to add a bit of challenge, and also you don’t want the cache to be mistaken for trash and thrown away.  All that means is that all 6 caches took me off the walking paths in my neighborhood and into the fields and woods…you know, where poison ivy is! Which I unknowingly found. A few days after my adventure walking, as my husband likes to call it, I found a few bug bites (so I thought) on my lower legs. After a week of non stop, making me crazy, I want to chop my legs off itchiness, I finally went to the doctor because I thought a few of the bites had gotten infected…nope, not infected and also not bug bites but POISON IVY! YAY! I’ve never had poison ivy, and now I feel bad for everyone in the world who has gone through this….it sucks man, sorry! Calamine lotion is my new best friend (and epsom salt baths)!!

 

Anyhoo… geo-caching was a bit of a bust, but I think I may give it another shot, ya’ know, once the poison ivy clears up, maybe try a more urban area where the only dangers are cars, broken glass and hoodrats.