I originally wrote about the Sketchbook Project almost a year ago. Since then, I finished my own sketchbook, sent it off, and have enjoyed the e-mail updates I get every time it, along with 4,500 other sketchbooks, reaches a new city. (And the text messages every time someone checks it out!) On Tuesday, I finally had my chance to see the collection in person at the Watkins College of Art & Design in Nashville.
In 2012, I spent approximately two weeks worth of hours stitching a family tree for my grandmother’s ninetieth birthday. I started in April and didn’t finish until the morning of her party on September 14th. I alluded to this project several times on my blog throughout 2012, but I never quite felt up to posting about it.
It was, hands down, the biggest thing I accomplished last year. (And only my third cross-stich project!) There were many ripped stitches, many tears, and many times that Ian got up for work at five in the morning to discover me still sitting at the dining room table, needle in hand with crazy eyes. I spent months of my life worrying about spills, the oil on my hands, and not being able to finish it in time.
Presenting it to my grandmother on my birthday was a freeing experience. The second she saw it at the restaurant, I let out a huge sigh of relief that I’d been holding in for months. Honestly, had someone spilled a glass of red wine on it after dessert, I would have been okay. Presumably it’s hanging up in her house now. I’m just glad I’m not responsible for it anymore!
As crazy as the whole project made me, I’d do it all again. Not only did my grandmother have a fit over it, but I’m sure it will become a family heirloom. Here are some photos that I took while I was stitching to mark my progress:
I made Ian a set of sake cups for Christmas. Margaret and I went to All Fired Up in Atlanta, one of those paint your own pottery places, and we painted for a good two hours. We got to have a laid-back friend date, and we both ended up with Christmas gifts for our husbands. It was a lot of fun. (She had the brilliant idea to look at Pinterest for some inspiration. I got the polka-dot confetti idea from the Anthropologie copycat tumblers over at Radical Possibility.)
Why sake cups? Well, Ian and I usually go out for sushi for my birthday, so they seemed festive and like something he’d enjoy. Also, I could make a cup for each of us for $20 total. Not bad! Once they were fired, Margaret shipped them to me, carefully taped with bubble wrap, and I gift wrapped them with a good bottle of sake and put them under the tree. I think it was Ian’s favorite gift this year, and it’s definitely my favorite (well, second favorite) craft project of 2012.
From All Fired Up in Atlanta…
I’ve been seeing the year of dates gift all over Pinterest lately and I decided I wanted to give it a try. Most of the ones I’ve seen are pretty sparse, presentation-wise. Cute printables exist if you look hard enough, like this one from the Dating Divas. There’s even a girl that will create a custom set of printables for you! But I like to do things the hard way, so I spent the last week wandering around several different stores until I found something perfect.
Here’s what I came up with: Continue reading
Ian came home from work recently to find me at the kitchen table with a wreath form. “Oh no, not again!” Yeah. Some wives want diamonds. I just want to go to the craft store for supplies to make seasonal wreaths. (Hard to believe it was just over a year ago that I made my first wreath.)
I didn’t have a specific example to work from this time. I knew I wanted something with fall colors, and I knew I wanted something that looked cozy. At the craft store, they only had flat wreath forms, and after I grabbed one, I ended up in the yarn aisle where they were having a sale. I found the perfect color palate in one ball of yarn and headed home. Continue reading