Let me preface this by telling you an am not an artist! Nothing revolutionary–I just picked up some paints and had fun. The idea for this had been floating around in my head for over six months. When my [extremely talented] sister Victoria visited me over the Christmas holidays, I bombarded her with questions. The last time I’d tried to paint anything was likely with my fingers in a classroom. I bought a set of about 20 paints and went to work! Besides the bright blue, all of the colors are mixed (is that the correct way to phrase this? I told you I know nothing about painting). Proof that it was actually painted by myself ;) Now I’ve got a few more things to get started on!

When I first took up embroidery a few months ago, my good friend Genevieve commented that she would love a stitching of a Boston Terrier. Since I can’t draw, I one-upped her and made a portrait of her beautiful Bostons Clementine and Hogwarts.

The embroidery is based on this photo. I’ve never met Genevieve, her boyfriend Michael, or their dogs, but I love them all! I hope I was able to capture them correctly. Af for the areas around their mouths and the gray in the crowns, I colored the areas with crayons, put a piece of white paper over them, and then ironed until the wax melted a bit.

More original drawing. I loved the way Clementine looked but couldn’t figure out what was off with Hogwarts (he looks a bit like a pig int he picture, right?) Somehow, the thread changed Hogwart’s face so that it actually looks like him!

Frames can get a bit old in a house, so I decided to mount this one and thoughts others might benefit from a mounting tutorial as little help came up when I Googled.

Prepare the fabric by ironing out the wrinkles. This is also when I cut the threads short in the back and sometimes tape them so the tied-off ends don’t show through the fabric. Then cut the fabric, making sure to leave at least half an inch around the board on each side.

Center the fabric around the canvas (you can use a variety of things here–cardboard, particle board, foam board–anything sturdy) and fold the edges under. I actually ironed the folds to keep them in place.

Using a thick thread, make a knot and begin stitching! I used a tapestry needle.

Joseph has had some too-long jeans sitting around for about a year. As I don’t own a sewing machine and don’t know of any tailors in the area, we’ve just had to leave them in the closet. Then suddenly it came to me–of course I can hem them by hand! Note: I can not sew anything besides buttons. So if you can’t sew, don’t worry. I just used a simple backstitch. This is one of the easiest stitches, and you can watch a quick video on YouTube to pick it up. The stitch isn’t visible at all, so you don’t have to be perfect. Of course, if you have a sewing machine you can always use that! You’ll still keep the professionally finished hem and wont’ have to make any cuts. This method is extremely simple to pick up, easy on the hands, and looks seamless. You won’t have to…

With winter coming to a close I decided to put to use some of the thick Berroco Ultra Alpaca yarn I had sitting around. I tend to name my knit goods after characters/places in books I’m reading at the time, and this one made me think of Elinor Dashwood. This pattern is really interesting in that you just slip one end through the cable at the other end to to keep it secured around your neck. This Twisted Vine Neckwarmer pattern is a quick and easy knit with beautiful results. I’d love to make it again in a lighter color that will allow the pattern to really pop. I’m definitely keeping it in mind for gifts–I hope my family doesn’t get upset if they all receive one for Christmas next year! My Ravelry link

I’ve been interested in improving some of my clothes for a while but am scared of ruining them. I noticed this little cotton J. Crew cardigan hanging lifelessly in my closet. I’ve probably worn it three times; I ordered it on sale and expected it to be more like a cardigan sweater. I’ve always loved the little crowns on the buttons so decided to embroider one onto the chest!  The bright gold really compliments the drab grey and navy.  I think this jacket will have a much bigger rotation in my wardrobe now! I’m very, very happy with how it came out! I’m not sure why it looks so wrinkled here–bad lighting, I suppose–the fabric is actually pretty wrinkle-free. I have a brown cardigan I want to liven up a bit, and now I almost have the courage to work on it next. I made a few sketches before I…