Tuesday, May 29, 2012

D.I.Y. Tutorials // Giant Cross Stitch

I have not been this excited about a project in quite a while! It all began when I saw this from JD Decker:
Giant Cross Stitch Art! Must do this!
This whole concept blows my mind and if I am being honest, I am a little disappointed that I didn't think of this idea on my own. Cross stitching with yarn onto fabric on a ginormous scale. Love it.

My wheels have been turning ever since.

I have this huge ocean print on canvas that I got second hand for a steal. My husband hates it. I could love it if I could afford to surround it with the perfect environment. It just looks like junk on our walls as they are right now. So it has been living behind (yes, behind) our couch for months.

My mother used to own an antique cross stitch. It hung beneath the fireplace mantle. I loved it. Those antique crossed stitches go for about $200.00, so I found a replicating pattern years ago and I was going to make my own, but then I realized maybe it was a little too out dated for what I want in my home.

Fast forward to now. Giant canvas + burlap + traditional cross stitch pattern + modern colored yarn + large scale = traditional art with a modern twist and a hint of sentimental value.

Here is a step by step of what I did. Warning: the pattern I chose is pretty involved. If you are new at cross stitching pick something simple or make your own pattern on graph paper. That is the beauty of this project: simple patterns are stunning made large. I chose burlap because it already has little holes and because my pattern is pretty time consuming as it is. Burlap is an easier fabric to work with and it does come in different colors too. You can choose any fabric (I really thought a floral would be amazing!). Here is a great tutorial if you are not going to use burlap.


  • canvas 
  • burlap (add 5" to length and height of canvas and this is how big your burlap needs to be)
  • cross stitch pattern (you can make your own on graph paper too!)
  • yarn (I like the thought of modern colors to bring a traditional craft to the modern age)
  • large needle
  • staple gun
  • a calculator (most likely)
ONE // Before you buy a canvas, first you want to do the math. Please do not let this part scare you. I have tried to make it easy for those who are math challenged. Once you get past this part it is so much fun! Promise? Ok. Decide how large you want each cross stitch to be. One by one inch is great. Here is a formula to guide you in choosing a good canvas size:

Size of cross stitch  x  number of stitches high on pattern (count the x's from the lowest to the highest)  =  canvas height

Size of cross stitch  x  number of stitches across on pattern (count the x's from the furthest left to the furthest right)  =  canvas length

Now you have your minimum dimensions for your canvas. Keep in mind that if you want a lot of empty fabric space to border the actual pattern add some inches to your canvas size.

If you already have a canvas and a pattern (like me) and you need to know how large to make your stitches to ensure it will fit then use this formula:

Canvas height  /  number of stitches high on pattern  =  size of cross stitch ( keep in mind that this is your maximum---if your number comes out to 2.5" you can definitely take it down to 1" and the pattern will fit on your canvas. This number tells you the largest your stitch can be while making sure the pattern fits on the canvas).

Canvas length  /  number of stitches across on pattern  =  size of cross stitch

You will most likely get two different numbers for your size of cross stitch. A cross stitch need to be square so you will need to settle on a number that works for both height and length. Just make sure you settle on a number that is not larger than the smaller number of the two (example: you came out with .5 and 1--your stitches will need to be .5" because .5 was your height maximum).

THE MATH IS DONE (mostly)!! (can you tell I am a slight math nerd? yeah. Remember when you were in school and were like, "when am I ever going to need this?". Answer: when you decide to make a giant cross stitch). Now onto the fun stuff!

TWO // Cut your burlap to the right size. Take the dimensions of your canvas and add 5" to each side (as in 4 sides) and that is the size your burlap should be.

THREE // Map out your pattern. Find the center of the burlap and the center of the pattern and start there. Work one way and then the other. Try to follow the grain in the burlap as best as you can but there may be areas where you will need to go with your eye to keep those x's straight. Make sure you measure your stitches for consistency. Here is a basic cross stitching guide to help if you are a beginner. And don't forget to tie knots whenever you begin or end a strand of yarn (on the back!) to prevent your work from undoing itself.

FOUR // Once your pattern is complete, center it on the canvas, turn it all over and staple the excess fabric to the back. Make sure your corners are nice a neat!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Garden Seeds // Watson Garden Update

It's been a little while since I've shared the progress of our little garden (actually it's quite large now that I think about it) so here's a little peek into our lush and fruitful patch of dirt. 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Treasure Hunting // Etsy Finds, Mid Century Mod

We're changing it up this week on Treasure Hunting, and featuring more of our favorite Etsy finds for the home- all with a fun Mid Century Mod theme. Here's some handmade goodness for your weekend:

Source: etsy.com via Rosemary on Pinterest

Source: etsy.com via Rosemary on Pinterest

Source: etsy.com via Rosemary on Pinterest

Source: etsy.com via Rosemary on Pinterest

Source: etsy.com via Rosemary on Pinterest

Source: etsy.com via Rosemary on Pinterest

Source: etsy.com via Rosemary on Pinterest

Source: etsy.com via Rosemary on Pinterest

Source: etsy.com via Rosemary on Pinterest

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Organize Your Life // June Large Format Calendar

Did you print out your May calendar? I forgot : / so I'm getting a head start on June's!

June 2012 Large Format Calendar

Print out your oversized wall calendar at alphagraphics or Office Max and get your summer schedule organized!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Kitchen Revival // It's Peach Picking Time!

It's that time of year again, friends! When you can drive out to the enchanting Schnepf Farms and pick the plumpest, sweetest, juiciest peaches in the state. I've taken my kids for the past 3 years, and I swear they are from heaven. It is so fun to watch your kids hunt down the perfect peach and bite into them with juice dripping down their faces.

from the first year we went to Schnepf- my kids are so teeny!

Spend this weekend picking peaches, then go home and make my most favorite Peachy Keen Tarts:

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

DIY Tutorials // Painting with Chalk Paint

I've painted and waxed my second piece of furniture with Annie Sloan's chalk paint, and let me tell you- I'm completely smitten with it. It went on so smooth, and the wax was simple as pie to apply. My little accent cabinet looks fantastic in the Graphite with the clear wax and those fabulous "glass" knobs from Hobby Lobby.

I followed Miss Mustard's Seed's tutorial on how to apply the wax, she does a great job explaining the different types of waxes and what they do.

She has done a ton of lovely projects with the chalk paint, I really want to try out the two toned paint look and the dark wax next!

If you are local to AZ, you can purchase Annie Sloan's Chalk Paint at Green Table Gifts, or order online from 'Round the Coop!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Garden Seeds // Beware #2: Grape Vine Skeletonizer

Well, two weeks in a row of a bug blog.  This week my garden was visited by the Western Grape Leaf Skeletonizer.  My grape vines looked like they had been stripped or sucked on by an insect.  Upon further inspection, I discovered about fifty (50) of these small caterpillars.

Grape leaf skeletonizers are very destructive pests. At the first sign of caterpillars, treat with Bt (bacillus thuringiensis). The caterpillars must ingest the spray; shortly after eating it, they stop feeding and die. Basically, the Bt disrupts the insects' disgestive system and they starve.  This is a biological control and is not harmful to birds or beneficial insects.   Bt is available at most garden centers and is environmentally safe. Crops can be harvested the day after any Bt variety is applied.   Source:  Biocontrol Network, www.biconet.com.

I was lucky and saved my vine due to an early detection.  I initially plucked off the caterpillars and then applied the Bt later that day.  However, these pests can destroy an entire vine in just a few days.  I have a friend who, upon discovering her infestation, had thousands of skeletonizers and it was too late.  Her vine was completely destroyed.

It is important to check your garden daily.  Just a cursory glance over each plant will allow you to notice subtle changes.  I do this each morning with a cup of coffee and it only takes minutes.   In just two weeks, I have saved my pepper plants and now, my grapes.

Happy Hunting!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Color Your Fancy // Goldenrod

Such a fun happy color to introduce summer! I especially love the upholstered headboard- it'd look great in a grey room!

yellow, yellow, yellow!
via material girls
yellow yellow yellow
via sherlonkahkai
via peachbee
via nicety
via etsy
via the newlywed diaries
love mustard yellow
via the berry
mustard yellow fivefootky
Add caption
Mustard yellow piano
via the inspired room
mustard yellow love
via house beautiful

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Kitchen Revival // It's Zucchini Time!

Today was Gardening Day, and it's happened! We've found Zuchinni Treasures! I swear, out of nowhere these things popped up and are HUGE! I know they can get obscenely big, but man these are bigger than what you generally buy at the market, and there's lots more babies popping up all over the Zucchini Bed!

I had all my helpers out there wrangling the veggies, and of course when I told them we would be eating them, this is the face Landen made. That's his "disgusting" face if you were wondering.Little did they know that I would puree those suckers down and throw them into their most favorite food in the whole wide world- MUFFINS! I adapted Jaimee Rose's Zucchinni Bread Recipe into muffins (no nuts, my kids would freak) and they've literally been munching on them all day long. I can tell this is going to be a summer staple to both have a readily available meal, and to use up all those freaking zucchinnis we have exploding everywhere.

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