Sunday, November 28, 2010


Be sure to visit my Etsy shop tomorrow. Type BLOG10 during checkout for 10% off.

There are lots of cute stuff, totally handmade and unique. They would make a great gift this holiday season!

Thank you for supporting handmade!

Be sure to stop by this week. I will be posting a series of holiday decorating tips.



Saturday, November 27, 2010

I am on Twitter everyone! Follow me!!!

Woo-hoo! Follow me on Twitter for the latest updates, specials and sale!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Tutorial: learning the basics of cross stitching

As promised, here is a step-by-step guide to cross-stitching. Enjoy! 

In case you missed the free pattern the other day, click here.

Material list:
  • Embroidery floss: DMC and Anchor are the most popular brands. This is your project, so you get to pick the color you want to use. I would recommend a deep red or fuchsia. Floss has 6 strands, but we will only use 2 in this particular project.  
  • Fabric: there are different materials in different colors available. We will use a small piece of 14-count Aida fabric and we should choose a color that works well with the colors chosen for the design. I think white or ivory would be best.
  • Needle: 1 tapestry needle, size 24
  • Scissors

1. Print the pattern I shared earlier this week. This particular graph has colors. Some graphs have symbols. Each symbol represents a color. 

2. Count the little squares. The pattern above is 9 squares wide by 9 squares long. Find the perfect place for your pattern on the fabric you are using. In the photo below, I chose to leave 3 squares on the right side and 2 squares at the bottom. You may choose to mark the area you will stitch with needles (like I did), floss, taylor's chalk or a marking pen. 

3. Thread the needle with 2 strands of floss. Do not pull both ends so that they are even with each other; instead leave a small tail at the end, close to the eye of the needles. Also, do not tie the ends into a knot. The idea is to make the back of the design look as professional as the front. 

4. As shown in the pictures below, place your needle behind the fabric and insert the needle into a hole. Hold the longer tail behind your fabric and stitch over this tail while you make the next several stitches.

5. Cross stitching is a combination of // and \\. Always stitch in the same direction. For instance, we will stitch from left to right. So, according to the pattern, we will go /// skip one ///. Then, we will go back doing the same thing, but from right to left: \\\ skip one \\\. The important thing is to always make sure the stitches face the same direction, which in our case is /// then \\\.

6. Consistent tension is key. You don't want loose stitches, but you don't want tight stitches either. They should be flat against the fabric. 

7. Finishing your work: once again, remember: we don't use knots. Once you have finished stitching, weave your needle through the existing stitches and use a pair of scissors to cut the ends. 

And VOILA! Our beautiful heart is ready! This particular one will become a hand towel, and it will be a Christmas gift to my husband's grandma!

If you have any questions, please post a comment and let me know. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have. 

BTW: how was your Thanksgiving? Mine was wonderful, full of family, good friends and delicious food.  

Speaking of wonderful, I have just finished some wonderful dish towels. I will be posting them in my Etsy shop tonight. Be sure to check them out and tell me what you think.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving Folks!

May you have a blessed Thanksgiving, full of love, family and friends! 

Be sure to come back tomorrow for a step-by-step guide on how to cross-stitch. It looks SO good, I can barely contain myself (giggles...)!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Be good this Holiday Season

                            Source: MS Office Clip Art collection
Good day readers! Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I am so excited! It has been a tradition since I got married to have Thanksgiving dinner at our place. Not to worry! I have a **WONDERFUL** mother-in-law who not only emanates light and happiness but who also helps me so much. She in fact prepares everything, so all I have to do is organize our place and prepare some finger food. I am thinking about making some clam dip and pesto bruschetta. If you would like to see those recipes posted here or emailed to you, let me know and I will be happy to oblige :)

Now on to more important things. This morning I woke up thinking about my art, how to improve my photographs, new products for my Etsy shop, etc. And I admit that I was also thinking about my favorite drink in the whole wide world - a Grande, non-fat, no whipped cream, 6-pump white chocolate mocha. I am picky like that ;) As I parked my jelly bean of a car (my prius) I saw the familiar face of a nice man who is always sitting in front of my neighborhood Starbucks. The jelly bean said it was 33 degrees outside. As I walked in, I greeted him as I usually do and I added "It is so chilly outside!" The poor man responded: "Try sleeping outside, that's chilly!" I was so disconcerted I did not know what to say. I had seen and greeted that man on a regular basis and it had never occurred to me that he was homeless. 

But all the signs were there, if just I had stopped worrying about my life and what I needed to do that day and paid more attention to people around me... So readers, my advice today is: pay more attention to things, places and people around you. Chances are you have been missing out on a lot of things. 

And be kind to others. Although our first instinct might be to think that the reason someone is in a precarious situation is because they did it to themselves, try not to be judgmental, and do know that regardless of the reasons someone is where he/she is today, he/she may not deserve to be there. 

While I was waiting for my drink, I was thinking of the things I could do to help the poor man. After all, no one deserves to be cold. So I went home, packed a blanket, a comforter, some old clothes and a pair of gloves and drove back to the coffee shop. Needless to say, my friend, the homeless guy, was so grateful and happy. Be good this holiday season and remember: if you give the world the best you have, the best will come back to you. 

I have done some research and compiled a list of charity organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area that are accepting donations this holiday season:

1. Society of St. Vincent de Paul in SF. They accept cash donations as well as donations to their thrift shops:

2. San Francisco Food Bank: 

3. Bay Area Kids Charity:

I will be back over the long weekend to post that tutorial, I promise.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Free cross stitch pattern

I taught myself how to cross stitch when I was about 8 or 9 years old.I find it so relaxing and good for the soul. Not to mention that it is a lost art. You don't see it very often anymore and when you do, more often than not, the design is very vintage looking. I enjoy working with designs that have some nostalgia to them but that also have a modern touch. This way I can incorporate most of my designs in my everyday life and proudly display my collection at home. 

I have created this simple and yet charming heart pattern and I wanted to share it with you. I am still new at this, so if you want to receive the pattern in PDF, please leave a comment with your email address and I will be happy to email it to you. 

What else would you like to see on this blog? Your comments are definitely appreciated!

Please come back. I will be posting a tutorial to teach you how to cross stitch soon. 

Be sure to visit my Etsy shop at