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.

Stitchin’ in the kitchen

If you can’t get cross stitch out of your mind, just go with it. I did. And I turned molasses crinkles into stitched cookies. I rolled them and cut them out, then used 7 mesh plastic canvas and put it over the cookie. Then I sifted powdered sugar over the cookie to make the grid. Last while thinking of stitches I decorated them with vanilla frosting.

New Christmas chart

Here is an ornament you can stitch with a knot within a knot. Also tucked within the knot is the word Noel. You could also personalize it if the name you want to write has four letters and they are not massive, like “w” and “m”. My friend Leon pointed out you don’t even have to change the letters to stitch his name. I already knew that since every year my children change around my NOEL stocking holders which hold four cross stitched stockings. Eventually they ran out of word combinations like LONE, LEON, and not yet invented words like OLEN and ENOL. So they cut out and taped on their own letters that looked so similar I did not realized they made their own words until after many guests had probably seen and politely avoided asking why my stocking holders said “FINK”.

Speaking of inventing new things, due to a bead spilling accident I discovered the very best surface for stringing beads–a piece of plastic canvas. The beads fall perfectly to skewer them and they don’t run away from the needle when they see it coming.

Repurposing Snack Boxes

I went to a San Francisco 49ers football game and struck gold. I was given a snack box (or three) to take to my seat. The snacks were great, and the box was even better. While others were discarding their used boxes, I tucked mine under my sweater so I didn’t overtly look like a bag lady. I gazed around furtively, in case anyone were to try to separate me from my treasure.

I used Martha Stewart paper, ribbon, EK Success punches on card stock and the corrugated sleeve of a cup of Starbucks coffee to make a Halloween treat box. Oh yeah, the game was good too.

Free Cross Stitch Charts

While wistfully looking at my mitten boxes and waiting to wear these as they are my favorite article of clothing, I decided to make some charts for you, and for Wichelt, who carries my favorite beads and perforated paper. I used leftover pieces of perforated paper, Mill Hill beads and DMC floss.

You can get your free chart to stitch these by going on to www.wichelt.com and while you are at it, check out all the beads they carry.

Christmas Conversion

Since I am thinking about cool Christmas weather to quell my sadness about the drought and many fires burning up the west coast of the United States, I decided to restitch some of my Celtic designs in traditional colors. Conversions to these colors are on the website www.fronyritterdesigns.com under the “charts” category.

Halloween designs

If you are looking for some cool autumn cross stitch designs, check out the Fall issue and the Halloween issue of the magazine Just Cross stitch. Frony Ritter Designs has a piece in each issue, both shown below. The sampler was inspired by the spiders who appear in my garden in the late summer doing acrobatics on their home made high wires. And the Spell check was inspired by my musings about what happens when witches make “spelling” errors. To get your copy of these magazines, go to your nearest store that sells cool cross stitch stuff or look on JustCrossStitch.com.

This week I spent time in the cross stitch deprivation chamber, otherwise known as the kitchen, making 100 cupcakes for the Grand Poobah of the Royal Order of the Water Buffalo (Flintstones reference) otherwise known as my dear husband who is engaged in one of his many endeavors to “leave the world better than I found it.” Why the coke bottle? These cupcakes are Jack and Coke.

Repurposing for cross stitch

Yesterday I bought some new candles and as I was removing the burlap packaging it began to strangely take on the look of cross stitch material. (You know how everything looks like food to the starving man? This was something like that.) So I frayed the edges, used six DMC strands and stitched the first word that came to me. I stitched a witch accessory on the side, wrapped the burlap around the candle, wrapped orange baker’s twine around the burlap and put a bat button on the bow. The entire process took about forty five minutes (minus five for a snack break).

Improve Wine with Cross Stitch

As I was staring at the cup of crimson wonder, I asked myself what would improve it. The answer came immediately–add some cross stitch. That would perfect the wine experience. So I decided to make wine tags that are cross stitched.

Here they are, in kits and ready to stitch. I have assembled them, and the sad truth is that my boss (myself) will not even pay me sweatshop wages. I will work for snacks though. Below are the big, beautiful spools of DMC, and myself punching holes in the floss holders.

I also made the charms into ornaments by adding beads and wire hangers. Finally, friends Wendy and Kevin, owners of Terra Bella, one my very favorite wineries, located on the Russian river in Sonoma county, pair the wine charm charts and their wine to see how they get along. I can happily report they are a great combination.