Rocky Mountain High

It’s my sister’s birthday today. While really looking at the walls at my parent’s house I have noticed just how many cross stitches there are adorning the walls. Some of them my sister made. I know one for sure was for me.

Now it’s my turn many years later to make one for her. Mine is by far simpler as it is only one color and only a few inches high and wide, but it’s the thought that counts right?

the beginning

My sister loves the mountains. For a time she was going to move to Colorado however that hasn’t happened. She’s in Texas now, which is a bit different climate and view wise. I thought this simple image of mountains would be nice for her. She also did oil painting for a few years and many of those were of mountains. Again mine is not really comparable with its simplicity.

I finished the stitching in just a few days and started on the next one. It was coming up with how to mount this to a card that stumped me for the longest time. I couldn’t decide if I wanted to create a frame or put the raw fabric on black paper, maybe grey.

side view

The first step to deciding was to browse my wallpaper collection. I wanted something with texture which just doesn’t happen with standard cardstock. Even wallpaper can be disappointing at times, there were some marble looking patterns that were on the smoothest paper you can find.

The paper I finally settled on was the first one I pulled out. It reminds me of rock and looks like a close up of a real mountain (at least to me). I think it really helps the stitching to stand out, yet adds another level of texture to the card overall.

front view

I used my handy Cricut to cut out the wallpaper frame. Amazingly I measured correctly and didn’t cut off any stitching. Once I had it cut I was so glad I had enough cloth left at the top to run the bottom row of stitching along the bottom border of the frame.

This card is simple yet stands out to me. It’s quite striking now that it’s complete.

Stitching

Started: February 25th
Finished: February 28th

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close up front

Cells are Blue

I’ll spoil it for you, this stitching was finished in 1 afternoon/evening! So below is not a typo. While the card was not created on the same day (finished stitching pretty late), the stitching was.

getting started

The card was a whole other story. I wasn’t sure what to do for it. The cell was something I created for a MadLibs type letter for my cousin while he was finishing up his doctorate in chemical engineering. I was taking an advanced Illustrator class at the time and thought it would be fun to create my own graphics for the letters. Below is the cards original inspiration.

blue "cell"

Coming up with his card cross stitch was the easy part. Now it was the hard part of assembly. Since this is a cell I wanted to put it in a circle (Petri dish) that’s about as far as the planning went.

I spent a couple of days after the stitching was done thinking over how to tackle the next part. I decided to start with the paper, what color I wanted to use. I found a blue that looked kind of watery I guess, it felt like it could work.

 

 

Next I went to my embossing folders to see what would work for this project. I was originally going to do dots, then found overlapping circles and felt that worked better.

 

top side view of card

Once I had the paper out I got out my handy Cricut for cutting the circle. My husband found a compass for me to try and get the size correct. The last circle I did was way too small. I had the opposite problem with this one and cut two frames with the second being slightly smaller. After the one I was going to use was cut out I ran it through the embossing machine.

As another inside joke of sorts I turned the scrap pieces including the inner circle that was cut out (twice) into confetti. I have a round punch thing that makes sort of big circles, so it’s not annoying confetti, but still something in the card. This is something my cousins’ now wife loved to do to him while dating. I even heard she sent an envelope with just glitter or confetti. I also included a little print out of the original cell as an additional keepsake.

Stitching

Started: February 21st
Finished: February 21st

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the full card

Stormtrooper Line Up

My nephew Ben is going to start amassing quite the collection of Star Wars cards from me. I made one for his birthday last year and another for May 4th. Now he will have a more intricate card with Stormtroopers cross stitched on it.

This card is part of my 2019 project to finish one cross stitch card for every member of my mom’s side of the family who is over the age of 5 (had to draw the line somewhere). I am now in February and getting them done about a week before they need to arrive.

the pieces

This pattern came from an official Star Wars cross stitch book. While it is available in Whole Foods, I went with Amazon (same difference right?) since it was slightly cheaper. I recreated the pattern in WinStitch so I could mark the stitches off as I went. The book doesn’t stay open the best either, so this was the easiest way to work.

It took a few days to complete the whole thing. Dark fabric 18 count is hard to work on! You need so much light to really see what the heck you’re doing. The black was even harder to see. Luckily a few days before I started my husband needed extra light and borrowed my knock-off ice light. After much frustration I remembered the light was in the next room and grabbed it for my purposes. Boy did it make a difference!

the 'troopers

I was able to see what I was doing and finish stitching with much more ease. After I finished that part I pulled out the handy Cricut to cut my frame and text.

For the frame I wanted to have the cutout closer to the top of the card and give a little breathing room around the heads.

The text I did in Star Jedi font (pretty sure it’s on dafont.com) and added the lines at the top and bottom. I decided to do one long line of text and probably should have split it up. I think it still looks ok the way it is. Not sure that I got it straight though, I tried a few times laying it down before going with it.

inside

On the inside of the card I used a couple of pages from an old daily calendar. I’ve been using these for my Star Wars cards and felt it was another good use of them just to add some color to the inside.

Stitching

Started: January 30th
Finished: February 3rd

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front of card

Color the Rainbow

I may have gotten a little over confident on this one. I thought it would be extremely simple to finish in just a couple of days. Instead it took me around 2 weeks.

Most of the delay was my fault. I was studying for an exam and had to put cross stitching to the side for a couple weeks. The exam was out of town so while I was away I also wasn’t working on this.

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Once I got back I realized just how close to deadline I was. I’ve been working frantically through my last weekend before it needed to be sent trying to finish. I even worked on it while walking on the treadmill (didn’t go the greatest, but got me just a little closer).

I did finish late Sunday night getting everything assembled, photographed, and in the mail. This card is staying in town and actually not going all that far. I’m sure it will have a journey around town to get to its final destination though.

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This card is for a cousin of mine. When I saw this pattern it made me think of her. She is a teacher, but I think it was more the bright colors that drew me in.

I wanted those colors to really stand out so I chose a grey paper as my frame. I’m still not great at getting the work stretched correctly while mounting (you’ll notice it looks a little bubbled) though I did make many more attempts with this one.

I used my Cricut to cut the frame and write Happy Birthday! along the bottom. Overall I think this card turned out quite nice.

Pattern from dailycrossstitch.com.

Stitching

Started: January 13th
Finished: January 27th

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Curious Cat

The curious cat. Aren’t they all so curious and frustrating at times? I happen to have 2 of them and know all too well their mischievous ways. Little did I know that a second cousin of mine also has an affinity for these adorable creatures.

It was just finding a pattern that would be fun for a birthday card. I was able to find one in an old pattern book for afghans (blankets, not the people). I’m not sure if this was supposed to be stitched on much larger cloth, but I went with 14 count Aida for this one. This pattern is only 39 stitches high by 42 wide! So small, yet so many stitches in there.

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For the longest time the body of this cat looked like a fish to me. My niece guessed what it was very quickly on Snapchat. The flowers added a nice pop of color to this piece.

I went with all scrap thread for this one since it was so small. I figured I would be safe. I was able to match leftovers from a kit to one of my bobbins of thread I already had. They are close enough I combined them. Can you tell? It’s the one with way more thread than the rest in the picture above.

Once I got to the “framing” of this piece I went for wallpaper. I wanted something brick or at least brick-like and found this goldish heavily textured paper.

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The parts that stand out aren’t wrinkles, they are meant to be there. I wanted to try and align the top line with the rope from the basket, but it wasn’t meant to be. The Cricut isn’t the most reliable thing in the world for matching what you see on the screen to where it might cut your paper. I took a gamble and lost this one, but it still turned out ok. I did like the extra space at the bottom to put a little birthday sign.

I employed the Cricut for some drawing. The letters are drawn with a pen by the Cricut and then it cut out the square. That is mounted with foam tape to be more 3D. I really enjoy foam tape. I was lazy and didn’t find a stamp to try and fit the 3.25″ width I was cutting (to match the frame) so I used the writing feature of the Cricut instead.

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I mounted everything to white cardstock with double sided tape. The wallpaper is struggling to stick though. The backing of this wallpaper is a strange fabric weave type thing.

Stitching

 

Started: January 8th
Finished: January 13th

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Young Chef

When looking for patterns for this project of cross stitch cards for my mom’s family I found most at dailycrossstitch.com. The patterns are pretty simple and small which works perfectly for cards. I don’t even think the patterns have backstitching or odd stitch sizes.

This is going to be a huge help with getting around 40 cards (might be over that?) done this year. January and June are the busiest months for birthdays so in between I need to keep cranking these cards out.

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This card is for a second cousin of mine. His mom already has her card. Her son, while an avid football player, also enjoys cooking and baking. If I recall correctly he now has a Kitchen Aid mixer to aid in his baking endeavors.

So for his hobby of being in the kitchen I chose a chef pattern. I am trying very hard not to have a repeat pattern. Having many avid football fans in the family makes that a little more challenging and requires a little sleuthing to find additional interests.

I have many papers, but it was hard to find one that said “food” or “chef”. I ended up with a brown checkered pattern which mimics a traditional picnic blanket or pizza restaurant table cloth. This is actually wallpaper. I can’t imagine having something so dark on a wall, but I guess that’s why it’s now discontinued. It works well and doesn’t detract too much from the actual cross stitch.

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To cut the paper I used my handy Cricut. It’s not perfect, but it gets the job done and I’m able to place the pattern neatly in the newly created frame. I mounted all of this with double sided tape onto my standard white cardstock.

Stitching

Started: December 31st
Finished: January 6th

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For the Love of Football

I’m not sure where to begin with this one. I put it off for as long as I could. My time is being split more and more between photography and my “day job”, leaving less time for cross stitching. The impending holidays also brought on a new low for me mentally making it hard to want to start up another cross stitch.

beginning

One night I managed to just get this started. I had everything ready, but never started. Eventually mid December I finally managed to get this one going. It’s so basic it really should have been quick, but there are so many stitches!

This card is for a new member of the family. He married in a few years back to a cousin of mine. I don’t know him all that well. I do know he loves football. He’s always full of energy and extremely nice to everyone he meets. Since he loves football I found this pattern from DailyCrossStitch.com to be the perfect fit.

finished card standing

I picked out 3 different colors for this card. My first choice was brown to not detract from the cross stitched piece. I selected two more in case the Cricut didn’t cut the card correctly. I’m still trying to figure out the best way to line things up on the screen to match what happens in real life.

Even though the outside is a “drab” brown the inside is a party! I found a bright balloon paper to finish the back of the cross stitch. I wasn’t able to find anything I liked and I didn’t want to use white, so this is what happened instead. It is a birthday card after all.

backing

Another card down and delivered and a lot more to come.

Stitching

Started: December 13th
Finished: December 30th

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close up of card