Repurposing Scraps

This year I learned there was a name for leftover bits of stitching floss. They are called “orts”. I had coined the word “flivers” by joining the words “floss” and “slivers” and used that term until I was enlightened. My husband, when he finds threads on the floor or his clothes, or in his soda, calls them “sniblets”. (Unlike mine, his word doesn’t make sense.) There is even a needlework store in Florida called Needle Orts.

I loved my ort colors from my recent chart, Stay Cool My Friend, so I kept them and made paper. Here’s how.

1. I cut my orts into small pieces.
2. I tore scrap paper into shreds.
3. I let in soak in water for an hour or so.
4. My husband, suspecting what I was up to, hid the blender because he remembers when I fried the blender with paper pulp. In the days when a floppy disk was a frisbee grandma made of polyester and a memory stick was a prop used in New Age group therapy, I had to print out copies of my thesis every time I changed it. I both wanted to avoid wasting the piles of paper and use the recycled paper to make Thank You cards to my professors who endured the paper Avalanche I foisted on them (and because they let me cross stitch during class). So this time I used a mortar and pestle.
5. Grind paper to pulp, mix in orts. Some people add a little white glue. If you want your paper to be less porous add a little cornstarch.
6. Spread onto a screen and flatten with a sponge or hand.
7. Let water seep out and let dry.
8. Pop out of screen and admire.
9. Use to make cards and tags and stay cool my friend and repurpose your orts.

Using Charts to Bead

I was showing my cousin Karen, Greek goddess of cheerfulness, appreciating good humor and beading, my beaded version of two of the fall designs. She suggested that I frame them. So I sewed them onto white silk, painted some raw pine frames black and framed them. Conversion from DMC to Delica beads is on the website, fronyritterdesigns.com.

Easter Egg Stitching

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Here is the evolution of the latest design from Frony Ritter Designs.

1. I was wandering the earth seeking chocolate.  I found this metal egg filled with a chocolate in a candy store a few years ago. I was so enchanted by the design on the outside I bought it and even forgot about the chocolate in it for several years.  When I opened it there was a powdery, white ball inside that was once delicious chocolate.

2. In the meantime I daydreamed about the egg and it morphed into a totally different design in my head.  During a boring lecture I sketched it. I realize it looks nothing like the original.  This is what imagination can do to memory. It is also the phenomenon behind “fish stories.”

3. I then stitched it using lots of pinks and blues.

4. I liked it enough to put it on the computer and changed it several times.

5. Since for many Easter is about the resurrection of Christ, I stretched out the flower so it could also be seen as a cross.  What you see is all in how you want to look at it.  (True of life too.)

6. Snack break.

7. I had been seeing a lot of cool sunsets lately, and wanted to steal some of those colors for this design. So I used Riviera coral Aida from Wichelt and peaches and corals for floss.

8. I also wanted to stitch it on perforated paper. I used the same colors but the background made it look totally different.

9. I used the last two stitched pieces for the chart, one version totally stitched and one using stitching and beads.

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So here is the new egg with last year’s eggs, ready to decorate a springtime tree.

Repurposing bottles

On a recent plane flight I noticed the attendants were giving out cool bottles. I immediately thought of decorating them and filling them with candy for Christmas table favors. So I took a couple, and convinced those around me to take a couple and we emptied the contents for the sake of using them for a craft project. In all honesty, drinking the alcohol within also helped us to cope with the rabid weasels, disguised as children, who were (never) seated on the plane in front of us.

I used paper, baker’s twine and die cuts from Lifestyle Crafts to repurpose these bottles.

Cross Stitch for Christmas

I needed some place to put my beloved bunny slippers. So I created a woodland habitat for them. I decided to put my cross stitch designs to work and made them do what they were created to do, which is just hang around. I made a tree for the blue, purple and green ones, and a tree for my red and green ones since the two sets of colors didn’t seem to get along very well together.

Of all the famous sayings about bunny slippers my favorite is this one by Dean Koontz: “Bunny slippers remind me of who I am. You can’t get a swelled head if you wear bunny slippers. You can’t lose your sense of perspective and start acting like a star or a rich lady if you keep on wearing bunny slippers. Besides, bunny slippers give me confidence because they are so jaunty. They make a statement; they say, ‘Nothing the world does to me can ever get me so far down that I can’t be silly and frivolous.’ ”

However, you do not need bunny slippers to have an excuse to decorate a tree with cross stitched ornaments. You can put cats, dogs, fish bowls, teddy bears, ferrets or weasels under your tree–or for the less adventurous, just presents.