Welcome to "The Girl's Gone Crafty!" blog about all things, well, crafty, of course! My name is Raquel, owner of Calico Craft Designs, and lover of all things Craft. I hope that you too will join me on my journey to finishing one more UFO (unfinished object), stitching for charity, and just learning more about the wonderful crafts available out there.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Rockin' the Lime Green!

So...I've been eye-balling this lime green (officially named "Grasshopper") Aida fabric in the stores now for well over a year.  I always wanted to stitch something on it but could never think of anything that would fit with this super bright fabric.  So, I'd pick it up, think it over, put it back on the store shelf, and later wish that I had purchased it.  I did this numerous times - What's the definition of "insanity" again? - until last weekend.  I finally sucked it up and bought it.
Charles Craft 14-ct Aida in Grasshopper Green
Along with my prize, I bought a copy of "Cross Stitch Gold" Magazine, the June 2013 issue.  It just so happens that this is their 100th anniversary issue.  Inside, what did I find you ask?  Only the perfect design to go on my new bright green fabric!  Six designs to be exact.  It's a series of six card designs by Durene Jones, all featuring quirky and very bright birds.  I thought they would make perfect cross-stitch cards using my new fabric.

A card design by Durene Jones
I am going to start with one of the designs to see how I like it on the new cloth.  I have chosen to modify one of the designs' colors to better match the Aida.  I'm also not going to work the entire design as I want to leave space for a greeting.  I'm so excited about getting started!  I don't even know who this card is going to go to when it's finished!  LOL!

I'll post a couple of pics once I actually get started on it.  Has anyone else used this fabric color before?  If so, please share what you made with it.  I'd love to see your ideas! 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

TUSAL 2013 Challenge

Hosted by "It's Daffycat" blog
Ok.  So I'm a little late to the game.  But at least I'm playing now.  Ha!

TUSAL stands for Totally Useless Stitch-A-Long.  It's a simple challenge where you put all of your ORTs, or Old Ratty Threads, into a clear decorative container or jar so that you can keep track of how much you are cross-stitching each month.  (And it makes a pretty art project.)  The official definition of ORTs as mentioned by Sharon on her "It's Daffycat" blog is, "These are the cast-off thread ends a needleworker cuts away".  Hence, Old Ratty Threads!

My Threads
The next official post for this challenge is not due until May 10th; however, I had a little pile going already and thought I'd share a photo.  These threads were mainly from the "Brush Stroke Butterfly" I just finished earlier this week.  I haven't selected a more permanent container just yet and just simply used a small glass, snapping a quick pic from my camera phone.  I'll try to do much better with the official photo for May!  Maybe make it a bit prettier.

If you too would like to join this challenge, please check out Sharon's blog, "It's Daffycat", by clicking here or visiting the websites and blogs listed on "The Girl's Gone Crafty!" main page.  Happy Stitching!!!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Stitching for Charity

Several weeks ago, I was sitting around at home trying to decide what I should cross-stitch next.  I have several WIPs (work in progress) but didn't really feel like working on any of them.  Hence, why they are still WIPs.  ;-)  I get the distinct impression that my family is getting a little tired of receiving cross-stitch items from me every year for Christmas so I needed an outlet for my craft.  I did a little searching on the wide, wide web and found a Yahoo! group that makes quilts, tote bags, bookmarks, and cards out of small cross-stitch pieces.  These are usually made for seniors at a care facility or for sick or disabled kids.  I decided, after very little thought, that I would sign up!

World of Charity Stitching!  The group welcomed me with open arms.  Everyone has been so friendly and helpful in getting me started on my first project.  I signed up to stitch the "Brush Stroke Butterfly", a pattern designed by the ladies at StitchingtheNightAway.com.  The pattern was to be stitched on white aida cloth or evenweave and I could choose any color combination that I liked.  My favorite color is blue, of any tone or variety, so of course, my butterfly had to be blue.  I complimented the blues with orange and brown, adding a bit of green for the foliage.  I think it came out pretty cool.  The pattern is easy with only whole stitches and no backstitching at all.  It was a great pattern and I'm thinking of stitching another one in pinks and purples for a friend's 4-year old daughter.

Needless to say, I have finished the butterfly and have moved on to the next pattern.  I signed up yesterday for a wild animal theme that will be for a child's quilt.  I found a cute porcupine pattern that I started working on.  I'll post a photo of it later once I get a little more work completed.

If you decide that you too would like to join a charity cross-stitching group, I recommend that you check out the World of Charity Stitching Blog at http://www.worldofcharitystitching.blogspot.com/ or search for their page on Facebook.  I'd love to see you in the group!

Monday, April 15, 2013

The Weekend is Just Too Short!

This past weekend went by way too fast.  I mean, I blinked and it was practically gone.  Sometimes I really would like to go back in time and make the typical work week four days instead of five.  Three-day weekends every week would be so wonderful.  I could get so much more accomplished.  Or I could just be a bit lazier.  Either way works for me!
I spent this past Saturday at home, working on fabric wreaths for the Calico Craft Designs’ Etsy Shop.  I finished one for spring/summer that was already in progress and I started a second one that is more of a prototype.  I’m trying to combine another type of fabric into the typical “rag” wreath and it’s proving to be an interesting task.  If the prototype works out the way that I hope it will, I’ll post more about it.  If not, well…we’ll see.  I may post something anyway.  I could definitely use the feedback.
Oh, and I’ve got at least two new items for the Etsy Shop but for the first time in a very long time, I am without a camera at the moment.  I have the one that is built-in to my mobile phone but the quality is just not the same.  [sigh]  I may have to break down and borrow a friend’s camera for a few days so I can get these listed for sale.
I spent Sunday afternoon visiting with friends who have a 2-month old baby boy.  He is sooooo cute and is such a good baby.  It was a joy to spend some time with them.  I didn’t actually work on any crafts, believe it or not, but I did try to jot down a few ideas for future projects.  Maybe I’ll have to find something to do for the beautiful little boy’s room.
Yes, this weekend went by way too fast.  How did you spend your weekend?  Did you get to work on any UFOs (unfinished objects) or start something new?

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Coping with Addiction

My name is Raquel and I'm a craftoholic.

They say the first step on the road to recovery is to admit you have a problem.  Well, I guess mine is crafts!  Although...I'm not so sure I'm ready to admit that I have a mild obsession with crafting.  Ok.  Maybe more than mild.  A little more anyway.

I've been crafting since I was a young child but I'm not going to tell you how long ago that was!  Let's just say...it's been a few years.  My mom is a very creative person and she passed along her love for cross-stitching, drawing, and general crafts to me.  I just wish I could draw.  LOL.  I began cross-stitching at age 4 and finished my first sizable piece in the 1st grade as a class show-and-tell project.  It was a small puppy and I still think I have that piece somewhere in the house.  Hmmm...may have to look for it.

As I got older, I still cross-stitched, but I started looking for other projects to work on.  I began working with photography, taking photos of everything.  I became our family's unofficial photographer because I always had a camera in my hand during special occasions, vacations, and events.  Now that I think about it...I still do that even today.  LOL!

In high school, I started making my own scrapbooks using those old photo albums with the "sticky" pages and plastic film that held the photos and items in place.  As the art of scrapbooking caught on to the public and became much, much wider spread, I developed a love for all of the wonderful new products and began capturing all of life's moments into album after album.  My bookshelves are full.

During my college years and into the adult working life of my early 20s, I fell away from cross-stitching and crafting in general.  I did, however, continue to work with my photography.  I fell in love, married a wonderful man, and settled into a routine.  It was at this time that I started exploring crafting once more.

Over the years, I taught myself to crochet, at least the basic scarf, and to complete beautiful embroidery work called Hardanger.  I am by no means an expert in either craft but I enjoy keeping up with basic stitches.  I've taken classes in quilting and I've finished a few pieces in stained glasswork.  I even created fused glass necklaces for Christmas gifts a couple of years ago.  My latest projects have been working with fabric and deco mesh to create beautiful holiday and seasonal wreaths.

Today, I am the owner and designer of Calico Craft Designs, a small Etsy-based storefront that currently focuses on fabric "rag" wreaths and candle-rings.  I am also exploring the possibility of adding deco mesh wreaths to the shop as well as many other small craft items.

So, I am Raquel and I am a craftoholic.  And, I'm truly ok with that and wouldn't have it any other way!