Monday, November 25, 2013

Staying Home Instead Of Joining The Shopping Frenzy?


http://cathspenniesdesigns.com/item_19/Festive-Snowmen-Pattern.php
 Festive Snowmen Pattern as well as all of my other patterns will be on sale this weekend. Sale starts at midnight Friday (eastern standard time)

I personally believe that the whole Black Friday craziness has gotten out of control.  It used to be one day of fun.  We didn't know what would be on sale until Thanksgiving Day, when we opened the newspaper full of store ads.
Now, I don't even bother to look at the ads ... I just don't want to be part of the crazy shopping frenzy.
I remember in my teen years, our local Kmart, which was long before Walmart or Target even existed, had a midnight madness sale on the Friday after Thanksgiving.  That was long before that day was called "Black Friday" too.
So, my mom and sister would go to the Kmart and just hang out, waiting for the flashing Blue Light Specials.  A big crowd of mostly females would stand around, anxiously waiting for the Blue Light on the pole with wheels to light up and give us an amazing bargain. 
This went on, late into the night...probably until midnight. It was so much fun.  I still use a pretty Christmas tablecloth with napkins that I bought way back then during one of the Blue Light Specials. 
Kmart should bring that Blue Light Special idea back. 
So, if you're like me and prefer to stay home on Black Friday, why not join me on my website and do a little bargain shopping!
This will be my 3rd annual Black Friday/Weekend sale.   I won't tell you what the sales will be until Thanksgiving day.  I want this to be a surprise.  I will give some hints though.
Pattern sale.
And I'm going to try something new to see how sales go.
I will offer some designs that I'm calling "Sew Easy, Sew Quick, Sew Pretty".  The offerings will be already cut and ready to stitch.  I'll give more info and some sneak peak pictures in my newsletter, which hopefully will go out later this afternoon.
So come back on Thanksgiving day to find out what my Black Friday and Weekend sales will be!
The sale will start at 12 am (eastern standard time) Friday.  My website: http://www.cathspenniesdesigns.com 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

A Quick Note!

If you haven't already signed up for the newsletter, please do!  I will have my annual Black Friday/Weekend sale and the newsletter subscribers will be the first to find out about it when I send it out on Thanksgiving Day.

After signing up, please be sure to check your email for the confirmation.  Sometimes it goes into the junk mail box and it's missed.  If you're not sure if you're signed up or not, just sign up again. 

To sign up, just click over there on the left sidebar on the newsletter button.

I'll be back tomorrow with more info!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

New Pattern! --->Snow Ladies!

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My newest design pattern is called "Snow Ladies".
I was inspired by hats after seeing this picture of Victoria Beckham:
See the green hat on the snow lady?  That is my own version of Victoria Beckham's hat.  :)  Silly, I know but it does go to show how odd things can give me ideas for my designs.
I've never been a hat person myself but I love looking at hats and I do wish that I could be a "hat person"  I remember going to church on Easter Sunday when I was little.  Easter bonnets were popular back then.  Every female, young and old had an Easter bonnet.  I wish we could go back to those times.  Corsages and Easter bonnets on Easter Sunday.

So "Snow Ladies" is something that reminds me of those special Sunday church services where all the ladies dressed up with their beautiful hats and bobbled necklaces.

The finished size is 14 1/2" across.  
The picture shows it made with 100% wool but wool felt can easily substituted for any or all of the wool requirements.  
Shipping is free for those of us in the US or in Canada.  
I have the wool kit available for this too.  That can be found on my website by clicking HERE
The pattern purchase may be made by either clicking the button by the picture over there on the left sidebar of the page, or visit my website, http://www.cathspenniesdesigns.com .

If you wish to pay by check, just email me cathspennies@gmail.com and I'll send you my mailing address.

Thanks ladies!
Oh, and I'm going to have my 3rd annual Black Friday special  this year so be sure to check back for the sale details  or subscribe to my newsletter to have the info delivered right to your inbox!
To subscribe, click on the Newsletter button on the top left sidebar of the page.

Happy Day!

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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

"Apple Pie" New Table Runner Pattern!

A few posts ago, I gave a sneak peak of a new design for Christmas.  Well, that design has been set aside for now because of my craving for Apple Pie.
This is the time of year that I always make fresh apple pie.  There are apple festivals in the towns and churches all around us.  There are apple orchards all around us with such a wide array of apple choices, each with their own distinctive flavors, I want to buy them all.  I love apples and I love apple pie even more!  However, hubby & I are on diets and apple pie is a big no-NO!
So, because I'm craving it but yet won't allow myself to have it...I'm resigned to stitching it.  :)
I present to you, my "Apple Pie" table runner design...
"Apple Pie" 
Wool Applique Penny Rug Table Runner Pattern
The finished size is 12" x 25".  
 The pattern is available on my website or you may purchase it by clicking the Paypal "Buy" button over there on the left sidebar of this page.
I have the wool kit available for this too.  It includes all of the wool needed to complete the entire table runner.  If you need the cotton backing for it, that's an option too.
If you just need the pretty red & black checked wool to make this, that's available too!
 This red & black checked wool is in limited supply so once it's gone, I'll have to hand-dye the wool so the price will have to go up because of it.  If you need it, get it now! 
If you wish to pay by check instead of Paypal, just email me cathspennies@gmail.com and I'll send you my mailing address.


  I have to be honest and admit it now.  Stitching this did not help my apple pie craving at all.  I have the apples in my fridge right now to make the apple pie that I so desire.  I will have to break our diet for a day so that I can get my apple pie fix.  Gotta get the good vanilla ice cream to go with it .....

Happy Day!
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Monday, September 30, 2013

Snowman In The Pine Tree?!


I discovered the oddest thing in our pine tree outside.  Here's what I see when I look out the window while I'm working at the computer.  Do you see anything odd in the tree?
No?  Well, admittedly, I don't see it that well either, but while I work on the computer, since I'm near-sighted, I don't have my glasses on.  Looking out the window, without my glasses, I saw a snowman in the pine tree.

Look closer ... do you see the snowman in the area of the red box?  No? Yeah, it's not real clear to me either.
But, without my glasses .. I see a perfect, detailed snowman.
 This picture shows where the snowman is in the tree. The camera is not able to capture the blurred image that I see, so only the snowman outline is apparent.
 Without my glasses on, I see the details of the face and the long green scarf around his neck.  I even see buttons going down the center of the snowman. I also see a wide belt around his waist.
What you see in this picture is just a mere outline compared to what I see without my glasses.
It's amazing to me and as I'm typing this, without my glasses on, I can look out at that tree and smile, because I see that very large, detailed snowman smiling back at me.
If only it were an image of Jesus  ....  never mind.  :)

This kind of thing happens to me frequently and it's not like I'm staring at a cloud trying to figure out what shape it might be.  I just see it, without studying or staring.  The image just appears.
I even mentioned in my one blog posting how the eraser marks formed the image a standing mouse which showed me exactly how to draw it. Imagine...it was eraser marks from a dirty eraser that created this standing mouse for my "Popcorn Treats" design.
I always marvel at the things that I see, and always try to go back to the same spot to see if I see the same thing again...and sure enough, every single time, I still see the image that has formed just for my eyes to see.
There's this spot on our bathroom floor tile upstairs ... a lady with a pretty hat...gosh, maybe it's a sign of senility...
I know I could never be a radiologist because looking at any x-rays, I can see things like balloons or flowers, etc.  I'd have to tell my patients .."the reason you have headaches is because you have dancing clowns in your head" and then I'd draw the outline to reassure my patient that everything will be ok once we figure out how to get the clowns to stop dancing.

Ok, I'm going back to work now.  Since the snowman in the tree keeps distracting me, I thought I'd take a little break to share him with all of you.
I'm trying to finish up the instructions for my newest design. I think I'm going to call this new one "White Christmas".  I should have it ready to sell soon so check back later in the week!

Happy Day Everyone!

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Fall Is Here & I Love It!

I always welcome fall.  I love this season. 
The Marigolds that I always plant along the sidewalk to our front door are flourishing, as they always do this time of year.  The flowers have grown right over the sidewalk, leaving a small pathway to the front door.
 
I have a blog question and hope that someone can help me with it. I want to be able to start another blog that I can keep private so that just those people who I have approved can read it.  Is that possible?
I really REALLY enjoy writing and the last few years...you can tell by how my writing in here has virtually stopped...I've stopped writing in here other than business related things.  I've stopped writing for a reason and that reason can't be posted in here for the whole world to see.
Basically, it's my rule to follow that I "don't mess with crazy".  So I want to hide from crazy so that crazy doesn't become even more crazy!
And...actually, once I'm hiding from crazy, I can tell the story of crazy with no fear.
 
It's not that I have anything all that important to write about.  It's not that I expect a huge audience to read and shower me with praise and accolades for my amazing writing skills.  I don't want that at all.
Just as I have this desire to stitch, I just have a great desire to write and if all of you want to read my mush and are entertained by my mush, all the better.
I have to say that in 8th grade I won first place in a writing contest.  I won over the entire 7 & 8th grade class.  It was a short story and it had a really sad ending.  I think I made people cry with the ending.  The bad thing about it though was that all my classmates who didn't know me thought it was a true story.  They all felt sorry for me because of how much I suffered though such bad circumstances.  I wish now that I would've made the school principal announce to everyone that it wasn't a true story.
Anyway, if someone could help me figure out how to make a blog that I can make private/not public to the whole world, I'd appreciate it. Email me with the help please .. cathspennies@gmail.com
 
In other news... this weather has made me crave Stuffed Cabbage or "Pigs in the Blanket" as we call them here in Western Pa.  "Pigs" are popular in my family so I made a full roaster of them this morning.
I had a really good crop of tomatoes in my garden this year so I was able to use fresh tomato sauce too.   I love pigs!  It's starting to smell really nice here in the house.
 
Stitching news....I've been so busy doing so many other things around the house that I'm behind on getting the new design out.  Here's a little sneak peak ...it's a work in progress so there will be some slight changes in the finished design.
It has a lot of embroidered detail.  I've tried to stay away from putting too much embroidered details in the designs that I sell, because most of you don't really appreciate all the tedious stitching.
This is what I enjoy doing though .. and I know that some of you, like me, enjoy stitching embroidery details so this design will be just for us tedious stitchers! 
 
That's all I have for now!  Don't be jealous of my Pigs, ladies.  You're all invited over for dinner tonight...homemade mashed potatoes AND ... homemade bread too!  Be here for 5pm eastern standard time.  :)
Happy Day!
 
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Monday, September 9, 2013

New Pattern "Popcorn Treats"

 My newest pattern is ready!
I'm calling it "Popcorn Treats"  The cute little mice aren't so cute when they're eating the popcorn from the Christmas tree.
The pattern has instructions for the table runner, the wall-hanging and the popcorn garland.
The table runner measures 10" x 23"
The wall-hanging measures 10" x 12"
The wool popcorn on the garland looks real!
I have wool kits available for both the table runner & the wall-hanging.  The kits include all of the 100% wool needed to complete the table runner and the wall hanging.  If interested in the wool kits, just CLICK HERE to visit my website .
To purchase the pattern, either click over there on the left sidebar or visit my website.
http://www.cathspenniesdesigns.com
Shipping is free for US & Canada customers.  All other international customers will just need to pay whatever the extra shipping will cost.  Email for a shipping quote.
cathspennies@gmail.com
If you wish to pay by check, just email for my mailing info

The free step-by-step tutorial for the popcorn garland is given in the post below.  I hope everyone gives it a try!  It's easy to make and it looks so real!

Happy Day!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Wool Popcorn Garland Free Pattern Instructions!

Gosh, how time flies when you're busy!  I've been busy with summertime remodeling in the house and just haven't had the time to finish up the instructions for my new pattern "Popcorn Treats".  Since the pattern is still not ready, I decided to go ahead and give the instructions for making the popcorn garland.  Here's what the finished garland looks like on my small tabletop tree....
Every year for our Christmas tree, I've made a fresh popcorn & cranberry garland for our Christmas tree.  If anyone has ever made a popcorn garland, you will know how long it actually takes to make it.  I've tried saving the garland to use for the next year, but popcorn does not save well.

This wool popcorn garland is the perfect because once it's made, it can be used year after year after year.  And it looks so real that your visitors will have to look very closely to see that it's actually made of wool and not real popped corn.
I also discovered that while making it, the pile of wool popcorn in my bowl looked so real that I wanted to eat it!
The other good thing about this wool popcorn is that it can be made inexpensively using wool scraps. In fact, I finally found a use for the 1/2" salvage edges that I usually tear off and throw out.
So, here are the step-by-step instructions to show you exactly how to make this wool popcorn & cranberry garland...

Wool Popcorn and Cranberry Garland Free Pattern and Instructions

EDIT 11/23/2013:  I  shouldn't have to type this but unfortunately, it looks like I have to
This tutorial is free for anyone that wants to use it but please, be respectful and don't sell this pattern with instructions as your own.  Also, I don't mind at all if you make and sell something made from one of my designs.  I just ask that if you do sell something made from any of my patterns, that you give Cath's Pennies Designs the proper credit for the design.  I put a lot of work into creating, drawing, preparing the pattern, writing the instructions etc etc to have someone so thoughtlessly steal it from me.
Be respectful. Don't steal.    It's sad how inconsiderate some people are.

For more step-by-step tutorials and tips for working with wool, visit my "tips and tutorials" page on my website by CLICKING HERE

One 18" strand has approx 24 popcorn pieces 5-6 cranberries.

Here is what you'll need:
*  ½” -¾" wide  x 2 ¾” - 3" long strips of white/natural wool
*  Dark red wool for the cranberries
*  Thread ...strong cotton quilting thread for the popcorn and red thread for the cranberries
*  Poly fiber-fill or wool roving for stuffing the cranberries
*  Needles
Download & print the PDF for the exact size circle for the cranberries CLICK HERE  . To print, just click on the little printer icon or do a Ctrl + p

The Quick Instructions for the Popcorn & Cranberries:
Stitch a zig-zagged gathering stitch up a ½” -¾" wide  x 2 ¾” - 3" strip of wool. (Refer to the above stitching diagram)  Gather tightly and knot securely. Bury the threads into the popcorn piece.
For the cranberries, cut a 1 1/8" circle from red wool or print the PDF for the exact size circle. The link is above.  With strong red thread that matches your wool, stitch a gathering stitch around the outside edge of the circle. (refer to the above stitching diagram). Gather slightly and insert a small pebble size amount of fiber-fil. Gather tightly and knot securely. Bury the threads into the cranberry. Scroll down for the popcorn stringing instructions.

Step-by-Step instructions for the Popcorn & Cranberries:
The Popcorn:
For a 18" strand, you'll need 24 strips of white/natural wool
The wool strips for each popcorn piece can vary in size or they can all be the same size.  Mine were varied from ½ to ¾" wide and about 2½" - 3" long.
Refer to the stitching diagram above to see the zig-zagged gathering stitch on the popcorn strip.
This gathering stitch doesn't have to be precise or anywhere near perfect.  As long as it's zig-zagged up the strip, it will gather nicely.
 Start at the bottom corner
 Take long zig-zagged stitches up to the opposite top corner
 The stitching doesn't have to be perfect. As long as it's zig-zagged it will gather nicely.
 Clip the thread from the needle. Pull the two threads to gather tightly.
 Knot the threads
Bury the thread ends by threading them into a needle and push the tails into the popcorn piece. Clip the threads ends.  One popcorn piece is finished!
The Cranberries:
 Cut a 1 1/8" - 1 1/2" circle from the red wool. (size isn't that important, but my size was between the size of a quarter and a half-dollar.) For a 18" garland strand, you'll need 5-6 cranberries or more, depending on how many you wish to string between the popcorn.
For the exact circle shape, click this link to download and print the PDF.
 I used white thread here so that the stitches are visible for the picture.  Using a matching red thread assures invisible stitches. Stitch a quick running stitch around the outside edge of the circle.
 Pull the threads to gather slightly.  Push a pebble size piece of roving or fiber-fill into the center.
 Pull the gathering threads tightly and knot securely.  The wool edges may be tucked down into the cranberry if you wish. 
  Thread the needle and push the tail ends through the cranberry to hide the tails after knotting.
 Clip the ends close to the cranberry.

Stringing the Popcorn & Cranberries:
For the garland, I repeated with 1 cranberry & 4 pieces of popcorn. It's up to you how you wish your garland to look.  More 2,3 or 4 cranberries together between the popcorn would look nice too.
 Start with a long string of strong quilting thread. Don't knot the end.   Push the needle through one cranberry and pull the cranberry down to within 1 inch or so of the bottom of the thread.  Knot the thread into the cranberry to secure the cranberry on the end. The opened/gathered end of the cranberry should face the next piece of popcorn that's to be added.
 String one piece of popcorn.  String the next 3 pieces of popcorn the same way and then add another cranberrry.  Don't push the popcorn too close together.  Giving them some space allows the garland to hang nicely and also makes the garland longer.

That's it!  This does takes some time to make it long enough for a Christmas tree but figuring in how much time it takes to make a garland from fresh popcorn each year, it's well worth the effort.

I've found that making short 18" or so strands is easier to handle than making one long strand.  Just remember to always start with a cranberry and end with the popcorn so that the strands will match up when joined together.
This garland isn't just for the Christmas tree.  It can be used in many other decorating ways.
Although I don't really have my Christmas decorations out in the middle of August, I can show you that the popcorn garland looks really sweet on a fireplace mantel. 

I absolutely love this popcorn garland and hope you can use these instructions to make this for your home too!
For my pattern, "Popcorn Treats" Table Runner and Wall Hanging, 
visit my website by CLICKING HERE

"Popocorn Treats" Table Runner
"Popcorn Treats" Wall Hanging
"Popcorn Treats" Wall Hanging

For more step-by-step tutorials and tips for working with wool, visit my "tips and tutorials" page on my website by CLICKING HERE


Happy Day and Happy Stitching!