Halloween stitching and Painting

I stitched the grouchy ghost for The 2018 Just Cross Stitch Special Halloween Issue. When I was still thinking of unhappy spirits I drank a special bottle of wine from Oso Libre winery which was black. So when it was empty I took off the label and painted this same fellow on the bottle and made it into a vase.

Repurposed Altoid Tins

When I finish snacking on my Altoids I repurpose the tins by spraying them with white. I then cross stitched on perforated paper and used acid free tacky glue to affix them. I used green hemp to wrap around the base. These designs that I made to celebrate my love of all things Irish (yes that includes a wee nip of Jamison and Middleton from time to time) are in the April 2018 issue of Just Cross Stitch.

Keep your snacks close, but keep your cross stitch closer!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).