Purple Morpho

Today’s my cousin Rhonda’s birthday! Her nonprofit logo is a purple butterfly, so I took the pattern of a Blue Morpho and turned it into a Purple Morpho.blue morpho with opened wings

About the card

cloth, thread, pattern

After working on so many cross stitches that take weeks if not months (and a few a while back pretty sure years…) these last couple of cards have been a wonderful “break”. The base design I used for this butterfly was from Donna Kooler’s Cross Stitch Designs book. I recreated it in WinStitch so I could mark off what I finished, and change the butterfly from blue to purple.

While I was at Joann’s a few weeks ago I found thread that looked to be sparkly thread. Once I cut it and definitely once I started using it, I’m pretty sure it’s filament. Of course that didn’t stop me from using it like thread the way I wanted to and add some sparkle to my butterfly.

close up of stitching

Like the Care Bear I thought I was finished and I got so excited I almost forgot to finish the back stitching on this one! I finished all the wing details and completely spaced the outside. I woke up the next morning and it hit me that I wasn’t actually done.

Once I finished the back stitching for real I began collecting all the pieces to put together the card. While I was working on the cross stitch I decided I wanted to used one of my new birthday embossing folders. I pulled out my paper drawer and thought I was going for one foil embossed paper I have and instead ran across the butterfly paper (still foil embossed).

detail shot of the embossing

Although the colors match nothing in the cross stitch I loved the butterfly theme. I used that as the background and embossed it using the happy birthday folder I have. It’s fairly hard to see and photograph, but you can feel it.

To help the cross stitch stand out more I chose a neutral color to mount using foam tape to the card. The cross stitch is attached with some double sided tape in the middle and E-6000 on the edges. That stuff is powerful and the butterfly won’t be going anywhere.

side view of card

So there you have it! That’s how this card came together in just a few days.



Started: October 22nd
Finished: October 25th

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Born to Sparkle

This card became a last-minute add on to the 2018 family card project. I didn’t realize my niece’s birthday was at the beginning November and not the end. I wanted to make a card and decided to go for it and create her cross stitch card a year early.

I also felt that I needed to redeem myself from the card I made for her last year. It was my first attempt at doing something custom using different elements after being inspired by an Art Journeling class on CreativeLive. It was around that time that I discovered the Cricut and that has changed my crafting completely.

last year's card

Last year’s card

After the last few mishaps with the back stitching, this one has NONE! Once the stitching is done this is ready to put onto a card.

In my rush to get started I did not take a “before” image to share. I don’t even think the beginnings made it on Snapchat. I put on my CreativeLive lighting class and got down to business.

front view of card

I’m not sure why I thought that if a pattern was up to 80 stitches wide I could fit it on a smallish card. On 14 count that’s almost 6 inches. This project is on a very small piece of 22 count to make it closer to the 3-4 inch mark. Having barely finish a 22 count a few weeks ago I think my eyes were still able to look at itty-bitty holes. I pulled out the size 28 needle again and got started.

close up of stitching

This one was run so close to the edges of my fabric I wasn’t even able tape up the edges. I just had to be very careful not to fray anything, which didn’t work. I found myself pulling on the fabric a lot. Luckily I didn’t fray it to the point of taking out stitches.

top view of card

To keep with the purple sparkle theme I used my purple shimmery paper as a mount. The crazy design cutout was drawn in Illustrator using one of the built in brush patterns. Without a machine I wouldn’t have been able to cut all those curves.


Started: October 27th
Finished: November 1st

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side view close up of card

Customized Thermos

I’ve been seeing more and more customized products, mugs, tumblers, wine glasses, etc. Before the end of last year I thought people were just magical being able to create such items.

The backstory: I wanted to create my own stencils so I wouldn’t have to rely on other people’s designs and size constraints. I started looking into flexible plastic (still haven’t gotten any) and how to cut it with more precision than an exacto knife and hand drawn lines. That’s when I stumbled on a product called the Cricut.

Upon this discovery my husband set out on a journey to find which machine and starter kit would work best for my beginner needs. I ended up with the Explore Air 2 which had just come out and a huge variety of items to try out.

thermos_0718_01My favorite item so far has been the adhesive foil. I have a variety pack of metallic adhesive foil that I have used on a variety of cards and paper projects. This is the first project where I am using the foil on a much used item.

I’ve had this thermos for many years, as you might be able to see it’s a little beat up, the paint is chipped…it’s seen better days.

I wanted to get a purple one, but can’t find it in stock. So I am still using this one and wanted to make the leap to making something that’s popular. Luckily I have a graphic design background and understand Illustrator, making the Cricut less of a learning curve than it seems to be for many new users. I drew the camera in Illustrator and exported my SVG file to cut out my pattern.

I know the foil isn’t considered “permanent” but we don’t use the dishwasher so I think with hand washing it should stick for a while. So far it’s made it 3 days.




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Class of 2018

This was a fairly fast project. 2 colors and my first design out of WinStitch. I’m still figuring out the program, it seems a bit on the clunky side. I could just be spoiled by using Adobe for so many years and having many customization options at my fingertips.


In progress

The framing took a while. I had to attempt to re-cut the matte, that didn’t end well. Then trying to get the tiny letters cut out with the Cricut to stick semi-straight onto the matte board was a frustrating mess. But hey now it’s done and it can be wrapped and packed.

cross stitch_0618_01


Started: May 15th
Finished: June 3rd


Started: June 4th
Finished: June 6th

Feel Better! – A Bandaid card

This card was inspired by a Pin I saw for Get Well Soon. Now mine is not near as cute, but for a first attempt and being in a rush, I’d say it’s ok.

I also discovered that Sharpies don’t retain their ink forever if you don’t use them. Mine crapped out part way through making this look a little odd.

I also chose to hand letter this card instead of printing and tracing using my lightboard or having the Cricut do the writing for me. The paper was really thin, so putting it on a mat for the Cricut wouldn’t have been the best choice to get writing on it that way.


The balloons I drew myself in the design space for Cricut and cut out of wallpaper I have on hand. (Seriously huge drawer full of wallpaper samples!)

The googly eyes on the BandAid are glued on with some E6000, again something I have on hand from a previous project.

I made this card initially for my line manager who had a double knee replacement at the temp job I’ve been working, but I’m not sure if she’ll end up getting it, or if it will end up for sale. Who knows! This card is just a floater for the moment.


This post uses affiliate links. This just means that if you go to the site and end up buying something I’ll get a small percent, this doesn’t increase the cost to you at all. 🙂

A handmade Christmas

cross stitch ornament

I wanted last year to be another year of handmade gifts. It was just coming up with those gifts that’s always the hard part.

Last year was a very big cross stitching year. I finished two large projects for a niece and nephew. Then I went on to create a much smaller cross stitch for the most memorable nurse aide at my dad’s hospice house. At that point I was just on a needle-working hot streak. I had never completed so many projects in one year, so why not a couple more.

My godparents are my two of my mom’s siblings. As you might guess from the photos my godmother got the Favorite Aunt ornament. This came about as a derivative work of the Thank You cross stitch ornament. I didn’t want to do wood burning for this project, so I raided my mom’s ribbon collection to find something that would match well with the design and make the ornament more complete.

cross stitch ornament

My husband helped me again with the cutting of a circle, this time a bit more careful to make it more circular as I did a much better job on my end this time. After losing my dad last year adding a wood element to both of the gifts for my godparents was something I hoped would be seen as extra special. They both liked my dad and have items made by him in their homes already.

This project is only about 3 inches wide or so, while my uncle’s ended up being more like 7 inches. Of course by time I finished it, Christmas was long over. As soon as I got the wood burning done and assembled everything on his it was wrapped up. So I don’t have photos of what I made for him. I will say that he does like it and has found a place for it.

And as with everything coming from my home, there are cat furs all over it.

cross stitch ornament

Baby Girl Princess Cross Stitch

cross stitch_1117_13

UPDATE 11/24/17. Project is finished and framed!

UPDATE 10/21/17. Went to goal day meeting, met previous goal of finishing all stitching. Just the back stitching left now.

UPDATE 10/3/17. My dad passed this morning. Progress on this project has been put on hold for now.

UPDATE 9/23/17. Due to my dad being in hospice since mid-August I am now making loads of progress. I work on this every day while I’m up there. There are days when he sleeps a lot and others when we have time to visit. He has enjoyed seeing the progress made and how “full” it has gotten.

I finished the cross stitch for Brett yesterday and took it in for framing. I was told 2 weeks (sad) because they order frames on Wednesdays only. So me being slow didn’t finish until a Thursday.

Now it’s time to start birth sampler No. 3. As of yet there hasn’t been an announcement for baby 4. But I’m not ruling anything out at this point. Baby No. 3 was born at the end of January this year! So maybe she’ll have hers in a more timely manner.

I started this the evening of 5/11/17. (Yay documentation!) Usually I don’t start posting until I’m months in (and have no idea when I started), but I have vowed to be better about keeping up this blog, and with the Side Projects Club meetup I have motivation to work on these projects and *gasp* finish them. So if you want to follow the progress of this cross stitch from start to finish, just bookmark this blog, or maybe RSS it? I have no idea, but be sure to check back. It will be updated every 4 weeks (Goal Days at SPC).

Let the stitching begin!