I’m In Heaven!

Or should I say Heaven and Earth?  That’s the name of the design company from which I bought my most recent cross stitch chart and spoke so passionately about in episode #71.  Talk about instantaneous gratification too!  I paid for the chart with my PayPal account, then downloaded the PDF file to my GoodReader app on my iPad.  Because this chart is an all-over design, it’s presented in “pages”.  As I stitch each ten-stitch by ten-stitch grid on the page, I have the ability to highlight each stitch completed in a chosen color, and with another color, I can highlight where I’ve “parked” my thread in the next ten-stitch by ten-stitch grid.  My favorite part is the ability to pinch my iPad screen and enlarge as much of the chart as I want.  SCORE!

Here’s an example of both the grids and how the threads are parked:


The photo below shows my first completed grid! I chose to use a mechanical pencil to lightly mark my grid, instead of stitching it with fine fishing line.  Most of the marks will be covered up by stitching.  The remaining lines will be carefully erased, and the rest will surely disappear with a gentle washing after the stitching is completed.

This type of cross stitching blew me away.  The designs are stunning, intense and so gratifying to stitch up.  But….I had to let go of some of my died-in-the-wool cross stitching rules.  I’ve always stitched as though the back was just as important as the front.  I wanted it to look neat.  Stitching by grid and parking my threads, meant that a neat back was impossible.  In the linked video below, Carolyn Mazzeo gives an excellent tutorial on how she parks her threads.  When she mentions that she doesn’t carry her threads more that twenty-five stitches on the back of her work, my eyes bugged outta my head lol!  I was uncomfortable carrying my thread more than THREE stitches!  I’ve actually been freed….whether I complete each stitch individually or stitch multiple stitches in a row of a particular color (cross country stitching), it all works!

Here is Carolyn Mazzeo’s video on her parking technique from her YouTube channel.  Thanks to her excellent tutorials and inspiring works of art, here’s the design I bought and am stitching now.   She’s a mini chart-225 stitches by 337 stitches, called Mini Andromeda.


Mini Andromeda

I’d loooove to hear what you think.  Would you like to give an all-over crossed stitch design a try?  I’ll keep you apprised of my progress.  Wish me luck!

Hugs and happy stitching,


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A Week of Pinterest: Pass or Fail!

This week was our Spring Break from school and work and we decided to stay home instead of travel. While I would have all this time at home, I realized it would be a great time to get creative!

So I scanned my Pinterest boards and found  few things I wanted to try and share the process with all of you! Below are my five days of testing our Pinterest projects, from makeup to DIY art.


I’m a huge fan of makeup because I love playing with colors and creating new looks. It’s amazing what you can do with a little eyeshadow and some brushes. To me it’s similar to painting a canvas, except that it’s your face. I attempted a smokey eye look and shared my thoughts.


The next day I chose a DIY art project that I’ve seen float through my pins from day one on Pinterest. Melted crayon art looks so cool and yet could go so horribly wrong so I wanted to take a stab at it and see if I could create something beautiful.


One of the biggest boards I have on Pinterest is my cooking board. There I pin all the yummy recipes I want to make and some of them I do attempt. But I hadn’t yet made a fried recipe so I pulled one of the most repinned chicken dishes on my board.


With three passes under our belt, my son and I attempted another DIY art project that I had seen many times on Pinterest. Around Christmas time we had actually thought to try these as gifts. BOY am I glad we didn’t do that. These were not quite a pass or fail but they definitely didn’t come out as we had hoped.


On our final day I really wanted to make some cool bath bombs so that we could relax in the bath with some soothing peppermint scented fizziness. Sadly I think I messed these up so I may attempt them again when summer comes and I have some more free time on my hands.

Our five days are up and I’m thrilled to say we had three passes and only two fails. And the two fails are something I’m interested in going back and trying again. It was also a great bonding experience for Jake and myself. We had fun making the videos and also discussing what worked and what didn’t. I think we’d be up for trying more Pinterests projects this summer!

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Weekend Update: Artsy Fartsy Time!

Once again it is Tuesday and I’m a day behind on my update for this past weekend.

It was a great weekend full of friends, fun and a whole new experience for both Jacob and me.

Saturday was pretty low key. Jake got to spend much of the day playing with friends, swimming and running around in his pajamas. I interviewed a new sitter, sat around being lazy and did a killer workout before I headed out that night for a birthday shindig.

Then on Sunday we braved the LA traffic and got ourselves signed up with the LACMA and their great children’s program, Nexgen. We spent our WHOLE day walking around the galleries checking out beautiful artwork from classic artists all the way to the newer more modern stuff.

Henri Matisse and Jake

I tend to lean towards the Impressionist so I found myself lagging behind Jake’s quick steps as we made our way past Picassos and this beautiful Matisse.

I must say, the exhibit The Mourners was surprisingly simple yet wonderful. We enjoyed checking out each little figurine and the video shown that explains the tools of statue carving.


A Mammoth and Jake!

My poor little man was not as in love with the art gallery as his artsy fartsy mama but lucky for him  the La Brea Tar Pits museum was open. He’s currently decided to be a paleontologist so bones and excavating and dirt and digging is all he likes to read about.

The great thing about it was the free Family Sunday at LACMA we got to participate in. This past month was Furniture: Build it! Around the museum they set up booths where kids can come and make art work based on the theme. Jake made a stool and some miniature furniture, all of which are still in my car.

So great was our experience that after our trip to LA, we made a stop at the local kids library yesterday and picked up two books on Matisse and Van Gogh. Now I’m hungry for art and reading about it and studying it. It had been years since my regular visits to The Legion of Honor in San Francisco. I had completely forgotten how it felt to view artwork, study it, soak it in and then leave with the taste of it on your tongue. That creative vibe flowing through your veins.

I’m hoping a little of my enthusiasm wore off on my son. I can only hope to have a little artist friend to share my love of fine art with.