Embroidery Magic!

Mermaid EmbroideryI’ve been doing a bit of embroidery lately, mostly practicing my stitches before I do a particularly complex project.  I finished this piece a few days ago, and I’m pretty proud of it!  It’s on an old linen handkerchief that I inherited from my great-grandma Alice.  There is a border of plain white lace on the hankie, so I’ve been struggling with what to do with it–my backside isn’t as beautiful as I would like!!  I think that I’ll put a backing on it and make it into a little quilted wall hanging.

I’m particularly happy with the stem stitch I used to make the circle because that was a stitch that didn’t come easily to me.  It just goes to show, practice makes perfect (or at least pretty)!

Candle Stand Rescue…

IMG_20150712_081757Ever since we moved into our apartment two years ago, there has been a rusty cast iron candle holder on our faux-balcony.  Over that time, I’ve idly thought that it would be nice to drag it inside and see if I could do anything with it, but mostly I just used it to identify our apartment from the street.  Last week, in a burst of DIY fervor, I finally pulled it into the kitchen.  I wasn’t as badly rusted as I’d expected, but it would need a lot of work.

I went to the hardware store and bought wire brushes, drop-cloths, grinder bits for the drill, and eye and lung protection.  I then proceded to expend a great deal of elbow grease.  I was able to get a lot of the rust off, and uncovered gray paint.  I used vinegar and a potato to get a bit more of the rust off.   I wasn’t able to get it completely clean using natural, healthy chemicals, but I think that it’s coming along. 20150713_182755

Next, I bought some primer and green paint.  I’ve been worried about the cat and fumes, so I kept putting off the painting.  Finally I locked Lily in the bedroom and started appying the primer.  It is dark brown, and went on very well.  I am tempted to stop there and leave it brown, though I’d like to sand it down a little and “age” the finish. Our apartment is cream with white details, and our couch is dark racing green, which is why I bought green paint.  Our other furniture is brown-black solid wood from Ikea.  I think that the brown would be OK, and might be more subtle than green.  Maybe I’ll get a green candle…IMG_20150723_121959

My next task is to figure out what to do with the bottom of the piece.  the square base is hollow, and was very, very dirty.  I cleaned it out, but I’m worried about the carpet.  I need to figure out something to put under it that will be subtle and match the decor.
For now I’ll just let it dry and see what happens.  Check back soon for the results!