Merry Christmas, everyone!  One last seasonal make to show everyone…

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I spied this in the 2014 Just Cross Stitch Christmas ornament special.  The magazine’s version was stitched on this crazy Shrek-green evenweave that immediately reminded me of my next door neighbours’ living room walls, and I knew I had to stitch this up for them.  I didn’t have a colour like that in my stash, but I did find some 28-count pewter evenweave, which I thought nicely evocative of a grey winter sky.  (Even though it doesn’t co-ordinate with their walls nearly as well, the cardinals sure pop.)  My local stitchery shop had a small oval hoop which framed it perfectly.

A better shot of the piece itself:

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Wishing everyone happy holidays.  I hope Santa/the Hanukkah Armadillo brings you everything you want!

(Typical Millennial: “Jerry who?”  Just Youtube “jerry lewis typewriter”, kids.)

It all started like this: my friend Jeanette is a writer by trade – and yes, I am terribly jealous – and has a writerly affinity for typewriters.  As the weather turned cooler and one could utter the word “Christmas” without being pelted by tomatoes, I started searching about for a suitable gift.  I had two criteria: it shouldn’t be too grand, so as to not embarrass the recipient or strain my budget; and it should be easily and inexpensively shipped internationally.

My first thought had been a Christmas ornament of some sort, but a quick search revealed that most available were either overpriced or underwhelming, or both.  Also, while a hard clay ornament might have been okay to ship internationally had an appropriate one been found, the thought of a blown glass one made me nervous.  I did see a cute necklace online, but that seemed just a little personal.  Could I make something instead?

Thank heavens for Urban Threads.  I found a simple hand embroidery pattern on their site, and a charcoal-gray tea towel in my stash.  And all households need at least one hand-embroidered kitchen linen, right?

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The picture makes the towel look lighter than it really is.  I chose the colours I did to really pop against the gray, with just a hint of silver metallic on what I believe are called the typebars, plus the little doohickey on the right hand side.  It came out looking really great, but my stars, the 39 little keys just about killed me!  Also, for any embroiderers or aspiring embroiderers out there: watch the surface you choose.  This particular towel has ribbing (or cabling?), and although it adds to the tactile appeal, those darned keys came out a little wobbly looking if they happened to fall on a cable.

And now, for a little comic relief:

True Trekkies will take issue with my slight misquote; however, grammarians will rejoice at my perfectly unsplit infinitive (perhaps even to the point that they will ignore “unsplit” not being a real word).

My friend Bill is a fan of Star Trek: TOS, and particularly of William Shatner.  Over the years, I’ve bought him many books penned by Mr. S., as well as bobbleheads, action figures, and other paraphernalia.  Some months ago, whilst rifling through my bookmarks, I found this link.  I had originally saved it a few years ago, and finally decided it was high time I did something about it.

Panic very nearly set in when I clicked on the link to the McCall’s website found within the post, and discovered it no longer existed; luckily, my crafty packrat instincts had kicked in when I first read about the project, and I had downloaded the PDF pattern and instructions.  With some felt, gold fabric paint, and about $2 worth of fleece, Bill would have his very own Star Trek stocking.

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I chose Command Yellow (Gold?), natch – oh, so appropriate, given that his wage-slave hours are spent as a team leader – and found a silhouetted version of the insignia with a quick Google search.  My insignia is made up of three pieces of felt: a black bottom layer; a smaller, yellow layer painted with two coats of gold fabric paint that required 24 hours to dry each time; and a black star on the very top.

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And filled to the gills with all sorts of goodies!

I took a few liberties with the pattern, such as not lining it – though in hindsight this may have been helpful, since the paperback book I thoughtfully stuffed in it caused some rather unsightly bulges.

I made the delivery last week, which seemed a little early, but I wanted him to have the stocking for a Christmas decoration throughout December.  For his part, he asked where I bought it (!), and now has it hanging at his desk, where several coworkers have asked where he got it.  This might be tough to beat next year!