A Year In Review Episode #98

2018 is on its way out and we’re about to ring in 2019. Can you believe the year is over? It’s been a long and bumpy road but a crafty one, too! In this episode we review 2018 by our Instagram posts and share the big moments of each month.

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We hope you enjoy this fun reflection podcast and if you can, check out our Instagram feed to follow along with the memories posted there. Have a great new year and see you all in 2019!!

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DIY All Up In Here Episode #96

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Does autumn make you wanna get crafty? It sure does for us! In this episode we’ll give you some updates on what’s happening and then share a few of our current DIY projects that we’re loving.

Mentioned in this episode:

Maymay Made It

Stephanie Socha Designs Make and Decorate Podcast

Lisa Robertson

The Witchy Stitcher (Meg)

Real Housewives of Stitching 

Bendy Stitchy (Michelle)

Check out our Flosstube video #5! We have our first giveaway! If you’d like to be entered to win a goody bag full of stitchy goodness (yes it’s cross stitch!) leave a comment and tell us about your retreat experience or if you’d like to go on a retreat!

I’ve also got a DIY Needle Minder tutorial available on our YouTube channel. If you want hints or tips on making your own needle minders, then click here!

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Traveling Episode #94

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We’re home from our travels and we want to share some of our adventures with you! Check out this newest episode! Don’t forget to subscribe and leave a review for us on iTunes!

We are now affiliates with Amazon so if you see a * next to a link, that will take you to Amazon. If a purchase is made, a small portion of the sale will go towards Hobbies Up To Here. Every little bit helps and it is all so appreciated! xoxo

Check out our good friend Stephanie Socha’s new podcast, Make and Decorate!

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When To Ditch A Project

It’s never easy to admit when a craft is no longer working for you.

What? You say that’s NEVER happened to you? Lies!

Every crafter has had that moment when a project or a style or a craft no longer brings you joy and you need to make a decision about what to do. Should you power through and finish? Well, most of us would because that’s what we do! We finish!

(or we quietly stuff it away in a cupboard and forget about it until years later when we decide to declutter and find the abandoned project buried deep within the recesses of a dark drawer….but that’s a whole other blog post…)

But there is another path we can choose…

This week I had to make the decision about my newest cross stitch project. It was a kit passed on to me from my mom. She received it from a friend that didn’t stitch and wanted to find a good, crafty home for it to go to. So my mom adopted it but soon realized it wasn’t her style so she kindly passed it on to me so that I could sink my teeth into cross stitching with a simple project.

But not long after starting did the real struggle begin. My stitches looked clumpy and I couldn’t clearly see where my next stitch was supposed to go. The fabric I was stitching onto was separating funny and my thread snapped when I had to remove a few stitches.

Now I’ve stitched in the past so I’m not completely newbie at this so I was starting to get frustrated. My memory of stitching was not this daunting! I’d never had my floss snap! And my stitches had never started out fine and then begin to turn straight. I had to undo stitch after stitch to try to figure out what I was doing wrong.

Then I saw my mom and explain my situation. And she just looked and me as say “Then don’t do it.”

WHAT?! Stop a project and not push through!?! INSANE!

But she’s right. Crafting shouldn’t be a chore. It should be fun and satisfying with a little side of challenging. And not SO challenging that you want to pull your hair out!

I did I what she suggested. I pulled my project out of the hoop (because let’s be real, I can always use a good hoop) and ditched this cross stitch project. I’m going to move on to bigger and better things that bring me joy!

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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:

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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.

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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,

Dori

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Dori’s In Stitches! Episode #71

Stitching, floss, and needles, OH MY!
Dori has been dying to share with us her newly rediscovered hobby, counted cross stitching. It’s been a love of her’s for years but it’s recently come back around to the forefront of her mind.

I shared with Dori a hack for storing all her DMC floss. This was shared in the Twilters group on Facebook. It’s from a post on Mary Corbet on how to use comb binding to hang your DMC floss in a file box.

Photo Courtesy of Needle ‘n Thread.

Dori has been playing with cross stitching monthly boxes. Her first box was from the Fat Quarter Shop called Hello There! Each month she gets a new piece of linen, buttons, and a needle minder all to make these adorable stitched projects.

She also gave StitchyBox a try and loved what she received from them! Originally she was on a waiting list but a spot opened up and she received a box full of stitching yummies.

All of these goodies has really fueled her passion for stitching to reignite and burn brightly. She wrote about her newest projects like band samplers and patterns by Heaven and Earth Designs.

She’s also discovered a new app that is really turning out to be a useful tool to read her patterns. 

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