Monday, December 31, 2012

December and 2013 Crafty goals

So below were my goals for December...I didn't do so well hence my earlier post of biting off more than I could chew but I did make some progress.

1. Finish family Christmas Stockings.  Nope but I got fairly close...the good news is I still have almost a whole year left to finish them!
2. Finish and send out Christmas CardsThey have been finished...unfortunately still not sent out due to a picture insert stuck in the mail issue :(
3. Make something for Christmas exchange party?  Done!  I feel pretty good about completing this one!  I made two paper garlands and a few paper ornaments.
4. Finish Painting Grandparents Christmas gifts and send out. Nope not even close to finishing but I think my parents and in laws will understand.

5. Work on Christ at Heart's Door. Nope!  The more I look at this and try to work on it the more frustrated I get...I think I will put it away for awhile.

6. I finished 6 new stockings for the Marines in my community!  This wasn't something I had to do but I enjoyed it and am proud that I finished them :D

Crafty goals for 2013
1.  Finish at least 3 WIPs.
2.  Finish top piece of Congo Rainbow Quilt.
3.  Finish Family Christmas Stockings.
4.  Stitch at least 2 pieces for World of Charity Stitching.
5.  Finish Norway Map Cross stitch so I can purchase the Norwegian Bunad design.
6.  Participate in a SAL (stitch a-long).
7.  Make at least 4 small ornaments to give to others.
8.  Complete another page of Girl with a Pearl.
9.  Start a HAED project.
10.  Start Valentines quilt.
11.  Make and send out Valentines Day Cards.
12.  Start retirement gift for my Dad.
13.  Complete 2 Wedding samplers as gifts.

Ok hopefully those are realistic goals but we shall see!  Good luck to all of you on completing your crafting goals for 2013! 

And Happy New Years Eve to you!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas Crafty Gifts!

I forgot to mention and show some of the beautiful hand knitted items I received from my mom for Christmas and some fun stitching stash!

Here is a beautiful Owl sweater my mom made for me and a yellow "sunshine" cardigan for my little girl, as well as a rainbow hat and socks for her.

You can see the pattern a bit better if you look at the button eyes of the owl.

My mom also made me this beautiful owl knitted ornament.  Unfortunately it was wrapped up in the sweater and when I held it up to me this fell out, but luckily it bounced and did not break!
And here is the Stitching stash I got from one of my Mother In Laws! 
What stash did you all receive?

Progress? No... but Happy Holidays!

Hello to all of you in blog world!  I hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas and other Holidays around this time!!

I forgot to post last week well because I didn't have much progress.  I did have my friends come over and we finally finished my Dining Chair Upholstery Project.  So having all of my chairs look like new and beautiful made me very happy.

But for everything else craftwise...well let's just say I got a little overwhelmed and bit off WAY more than I could chew.  Unfortunately I didn't finish the stockings for my family this year which I was bummed about but I have a whole year left to finish them up for next year.  Also I am way behind on making the Grandparents Christmas presents and sending out any presents and even our Christmas cards.  The cards really aren't my fault I have been waiting for over a month for the pics I ordered to put in the cards to arrive by mail...and they STILL aren't here :(.

I guess you can say that I was a bit burned out on the Holidays this year and being a mom of a little girl who rarely sleeps more than a few hours without waking up.  But something changed on Christmas Eve and I finally saw how lucky I am this Christmas to have a wonderful family and be living in a Winter Wonderland (aka Norway!)

Here is the beautiful snowstorm we were treated to the day after the birth of God's only son in Oslo!

I swear the snow was coming down by the can see it a bit better here...

Well on Christmas I finally pulled out an old WIP to work on again and that seems like it has been the only Cross stitching I have done all month!  Here is where I was after not working on it in over 5 years...

I bought this in Copenhagen at a local Hobby Shop while I was a student there.  Upon closer inspection of the price tag and it turns out that it was Panduro the same shops we have here in Oslo!  Anyways I thought that it had the look of a Carl Larsson painting and recently my little girl had pulled off a book of his off my shelf.  So it turns out it is one of his works "Letter writing" see below.

I went a little backwards on working on it because I had made what I thought were tons of errors but it turned out not to be too bad.  But I did and still have to rip out a few stitches but here is my "progress."

I hope this piece goes quickly since it is so small (less than a page size of Girl with a Pearl) but we shall see... 

Anyways Happy Stitching to you all and thank you to all of my wonderful followers!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Market at Norwegian Folk Museum 2011

Every year for the first two weekends in December there is a Christmas Market held at the Norwegian Folk Museum.  This year it was a bit too cold (-14 degrees C) for me to take my little one out in but here are some beautiful photos I took last year :)

The whole outdoor part of the museum is lined with hand made vendors selling their merchandise.

Here are some beautiful ornaments offered for sale.

There were sleigh rides available...

And a show where little ones wore traditional Norwegian Costume and danced traditional folk dances.

This was a lonely pony who is here year round.

Walking the icy path between all of the examples of Norwegian buildings from the past.

Here is an impromptu ice rink where the dogs even get in on the action!

More beautiful items for sale.

A gingerbread display inside the museum.

Traditional Sami dwellings...

And the beautiful dress of a Sami couple from Finland :)  I had to steal a pic because my ancestors are Sami from Finland.

As I was leaving a choir marched through the square.

Norwegians are VERY safe when it comes to wearing bright reflective clothing in the wintertime.

And here is the Evergreen archway at the Entrance/Exit to the museum.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

12/15 Progress Photos Christmas Gift Exchange

Happy Saturday to everyone out there!  I am a bit late updating this week.  This morning I woke up on my own without my little one's cries (she slept so well last night finally :)) to beautiful snow on the ground and falling from the sky here in Oslo!  We just returned from a wonderful Christmas party where my little girl got to meet Santa for the very first time.

This week I have been very busy crafting away for Christmas.  First I am still assembling my 40 + home made Christmas cards whew!  Unfortunately they haven't been sent out yet because I am waiting on a family pic to send out with them.

I have also been working on some items in a ladies Christmas gift exchange party on Sunday.  Here is what I made!

This is a garland that spells out Merry Christmas in Norwegian!

A closer look and you can see the glittery red card stock I used for the letters.  This was made using my Cricut machine.  For the letters I used the cartridge Plantin School Book set to Rollypolly, and for the background shape I used the Stand and Salute cartridge.  I think it turned out well and I hope someone will be happy to receive it!

I also used the Trim the Tree cartridge to make some ornaments with the glitter card stock.

A stocking made with red foil paper.

More red foil paper for this candy cane.

White sparkles for this ice skate.

And white sparkles for the background of Santa's beard.

I am still far behind on my Christmas crafting so I need to get back to work...but I wanted to share some of my achievements this week.  Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Progress Photos 12/10 Christmas Cards and Stockings...

Hello everyone out there and Happy Monday!  This post is a bit late but I hope you can see the progress I have made since last week...

First of all I started a reupholstering project that I think turned out very well last Tuesday.  I am hoping to have the rest of the chairs finished by this week fingers crossed!

Also I have been busy making some Christmas stockings for the Marines in my community.

That was a fun project and I enjoyed pulling out my sewing machine and making them.  They definitely aren't perfect but I hope the men and women enjoy the goodies inside while they are away from their families and friends this Christmas.

I also have been busily crafting away on my Christmas cards I am sending out this year.  I have been busy stamping, using my Cricut machine to do paper piecing, and also painting...

 The original pattern from the a Formal Affair cartridge had teeny tiny white pieces to make the trees snow capped but I didn't have the patience to glue those together so I decided to use white acrylic paint instead and that way I could add some snow on the ground to make the scene look more realistic.

 God Jul means Merry Christmas in Norwegian!

I used the Heritage Cricut cartridge to get the piece for the back of the card.

A big welcome to my new followers and thank you to all of my followers.  I really didn't think anyone outside of my family would be interested in the things I make but I appreciate your support and encouraging comments :).  Also thanks for bearing with me as I learn more about the technical side of blogging.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Putting my degree to work!

Yesterday I had some wonderful friends come over to help me with a reupholstering project I have wanted to start for over a year.  When we moved to Oslo we bought an 90s style oak dining table from someone here and from first sight I have wanted to change the seat fabric.  Many months ago I found a great fabric that I ordered though JoAnn Fabrics and has been sitting on its giant roll in the dining room adding to the ambiance.

I really lucked out that the colors on the monitor screen were true to what actually arrived!

Here is a before image of one of the chairs...

And here is the wonderful after!

I think that side by side you can see what an amazing difference changing the fabric makes!

Old Fabric very dated and dingy looking...

And the new fabric looks fresh and matches the warm tones of the oak wood.

Oh yes I forgot to explain the title of this post well way back in college I got my BFA in Interior Design so I got to put my Interior Designer's eye to work selecting a fabric that was bright, fresh, and will hide any future stains well :)  I really haven't been able to use my skills since we moved overseas so this made me feel really good!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

When the cat's away...

The mice will play!  My hubby went out of town for a little bit and here is my crafty mess that was once the kitchen table...

You can see my new working Cricut, and pieces for my Christmas cards this year and a stocking project.

I have gotten a little bit further on our family stocking project too.  Here are the fabrics with their lining fabrics that all celebrate DRC's 50th Independence Day from 2010, I plan to use.

This one is my hubby's in blue...

My baby girl's stocking...

And last but least mine...

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

November & December NEW crafty goals...

So I still can't believe that it is already the second day of December!  I guess time does fly when you are having fun :)

Last month I set some goals craft-wise for myself...and here is how I did on completing them.

1. Finish our family Christmas stockings. They have been started I just need to crank them out now before Christmas.

2. Finish Santa Ornament.  Done!

3. Send Thanksgiving Day cards to immediate family members.  Done!

4. Start Christmas Cards. Done!

5. Start community Stockings. I don't think this project is going to happen unfortunately...

6. Start Page 8 on Girl with a Pearl Earring.  I didn't make it back to this project but there is no hurry.

All in all I am happy that I was able to make most of my goals happen.  Starting and finishing the WOCS teacups square kind of threw a wrench in my stitching goals but oh well it was a really fun project to work on.  But let me try to set some new goals for December...

December Crafty Goals:

1.  Finish family Christmas Stockings.
2.  Finish and send out Christmas Cards.
3.  Make something for Christmas exchange party?
4.  Finish Painting Grandparents Christmas gifts and send out.
5.  Work on Christ at Heart's Door.

I hope writing this down helps motivate me to work towards finishing these goals :)

I received the Liebster Award!

I am so honored and excited to have received the Liebster Award!!

Today Faith at Faithfully Stitching picked me among some other great blogs to receive this award!  Thank you so much Faith I am so happy to receive this.

Please click the above link to check out Faith's blog and her beautiful stitching.

Here are the rules of this award...

The recipient will:

1.  Pass along this award to five other bloggers who have less than 200 followers.
2.  Inform those bloggers individually, and they will inform you that they received it.
3.  Once received the blogger shall place the Liebster award on their blog in a post along with the bloggers they will pass it on to.

So I am passing this award along to:

Please check them out there is some beautiful stitching on each and you may find a new blog to follow!

Happy Blog Surfing :)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Cricut and Hobby Lobby have Amazing Customer Service!

Well the title is true!

My Cricut machine made by Provo Craft had arrived to me with what I thought was a small problem that turned out to be quite a big one.  Last year after going back and forth a lot my husband encouraged me to finally buy the Cricut Expression machine as a late Christmas present.  I ordered it but it arrived in late January just after I had returned to the US to get ready to have my little girl.  When it came Hubby got it out of the box and uh-oh the cutting arm was off the track, but he fixed it and checked it out to make sure it worked.  It was cool he even showed me how it was working over Skype!  Well after the life changing event of giving birth to my little girl and then finally returning to Norway in May I decided to try to play with my new creative machine in June sometime.  It was great but I noticed that the size dial had no response meaning I could only cut things at 2" in size or if I played around a little bit I cut cut them large fit to a 12" x 12" page.  I tried to make due but then I bought some cartridges where they are real dial size and I couldn't even use them without being able to change the cut size.  I was a little bummed and thought I was just out of luck...

But then a few months later I checked out my paperwork and found out that that my machine was still under warranty!  It took me a few more months sadly just before Halloween before I could call them to see what they could do for me but I was so glad I did!  The customer service rep Janel Curtis was extremely helpful.  At one point I got a little scared because she told me that I might have voided the warranty bringing my Cricut machine outside of the US ( my heart stopped a little at that point), but she took the time to check and because my machine was shipped to US address they were able to send me a free replacement machine!  It just arrived on Tuesday of this week and it is AMAZING!  Now being able to change the size of items has opened up a new world of opportunities for paper crafting and I used it to make a smaller piece for our handmade Christmas cards this year.


Also I want to share a positive experience I had with Hobby Lobby online.  I LOVE buying craft products from them over JoAnn online because they ship their items in a very timely matter...usually same day in fact!  Well this week my order arrived with some large 16" x 20" frames with glass that got broken in shipping resulting in broken glass all over the boxes and my home as I opened them up.  It took me awhile to get everything cleaned up and taken out to the dumpster, but then I called customer service.  They were also very helpful and offered to reship the items or give me a credit and I opted for the credit which has already arrived in my bank account.

I know that sometimes we all have some bad experiences with customer service but I wanted to take a minute to share some VERY POSITIVE experiences I had this week! 

Happy Crafting!