Valentine Ornaments

Here is my version of conversation hearts, cross stitched on perforated paper with Mill Hill beads added. These patterns are available in the February 2017 issue of Just Cross Stitch.

I realized I dated myself with the sayings on the hearts. So I devised a scheme to find out what decade a person was born in by giving them a drawing of a heart and have them write in sayings to make them conversation hearts. Here is the answer key:

2010–BFF, Tweet Me
2000–Chill Out, Text Me
1990s–Cool Dude, Fax Me
1960s–Far Out, Groovy
1950s–Hep Cat, Heart Throb
1900–Be Mine, Kiss Me

And, of course conversation hearts were much more serious in the past. You are unlikely to have anyone provide these answers but they are still part of the answer key.

Russian Revolution–Luv Lenin
French Revolution–Let them eat candy hearts
Shakespearean Times–Get thee to a nunnery
Viking Times–Pillage?
Ancient Greece–Be my Adonis
Ancient Egypt– ;-,,’
Early Man—Ooooog

Wire Mesh Jewelry

This week I got my hands on a new product from DMC, stitchable wire mesh. One side is gold and the other is silver. I used one strand of DMC floss and stitched over only one mesh so I could make bracelets. When I make larger jewelry my family accuses me of making Mr. T starter kits, so I kept it small so as not to weigh them down too much. The bezels and bracelets I found at Fire Mountain Gems.

Baby’s First Christmas Ornament

This design can be found in the 2016 Christmas Ornament Issue of Just Cross Stitch. I added Mill Hill beads to the piece to sparkle it up. I also added an easy recipe for peppermint chocolate cupcakes with buttercream frosting, marshmallow filling and an infusion of Peppermint Bark Liqueur from Eastside Distilling in Portland, guaranteed to provide you with lots of pleasure and unwanted pounds.

Autumn Patterns

These two counted cross stitch designs are featured in the September/October issue of Just Cross Stitch this year. I was trying to figure out how ghosts show affection in the afterlife. Since I was heavily influenced by Casper the Friendly Ghost who had a tail, I decided that ghosts must hold tails.

The nutty pattern was inspired by a tiny friend. We were poking around underneath an oak tree and I found an acorn and showed it to this curious four year old. She asked, “Where is the squirrel that goes with it?” I immediately began visualizing each squirrel in the world being issued a nut or two, and the squirrel and nut must travel in pairs at all times. This is the design that came out of these musings. I mounted this cross stitch on a repurposed tin that I painted brown.

Twenty Minis Fall and Winter

Here is Frony Ritter Designs’ contribution to the Tiny House movement. We have released the Fall and Winter Twenty Minis design chart booklet. I use my leftover fabric and perforated paper to make ornaments, wine charms, jewelry, cards and framed pieces. I even repurposed a mint tin to fill with candies so I can give it to someone who likes to have fun (which means to eat candy).

The many benefits of stitching small things are 1. Getting to use scraps, 2. You can finish a piece quickly, 3. They will fit in a tiny house, apartment, dorm room.

Witchy Stitch

Just Cross Stitch has released their Special Collector’s Edition in time to stitch Halloween projects. Included are two Frony Ritter Designs. One is an ornament depicting the cool accessories a witch gets to put on. I think they would be fun, minus the broom which reminds me of housework, but would be okay if it I only had to use it as a mode of tranportation. The second pattern is what the accessorized witch does on weekends. She is casting spells that make pretty colors and scary birds appear.

This is the time of year I use the color orange, which I pretty much ignore the rest of the year, except when I go to San Francisco Giants baseball games, wherein a fan is slightly scoffed and sneered at if they do not wear orange or black. This is why my Giants hat is pink.

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.