Cross Stitch Christmas ATC

I haven’t cross-stitched in a long time. I learned as a kid, and even worked on a pattern once in school. (Okay, so it was a reallllly boring class and the other students made fun of me.) Anyway, when I came across this Christmas ATC (Artist Trading Card) swap on Swap-Bot, I just had to join in. When partners were assigned and I viewed my partner’s profile, I knew just what to do – she loves Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer. So I searched around for small (think 2.5″ by 3.5″ or smaller) Rudolph or reindeer cross stitch patterns and finally settled on this one:

Isn’t he cute?

I measured everything on the aida cloth I’d be using, and he would fit just perfectly. But first, I decided to try an experiment. I didn’t want just a plain white background, especially since the person I was making him for isn’t fond of white, but the only other colors I had were light pink and light blue. Pastels just didn’t fit, so I grabbed some dark blue paint and painted my fabric blue (sung to the tune of “We’re Painting the Roses Red” from Alice in Wonderland).

I was afraid the paint might cover the tiny holes in the fabric, which would have been a problem, but it glided on without a hitch. Perfect. Then I chose my colors of thread and got to work on the cross-stitching.

Somehow, despite all my measuring, he turned out a tad big for an ATC (grrr!), so I had to adjust him a bit. I secured the fabric all the way around with a glue gun to make sure it wouldn’t fray and none of the stitches at the edges would come out. I also sewed in some beads and sequins on the star for some added sparkle. I <3 sparkles.

And here he is in all his star-shining glory. I think it worked quite well for an ATC, and the method would also be great for Christmas ornaments. I’m glad I signed up for the swap and got to try cross-stitching again. I highly recommend it!

 

Hosting My First Swaps

I love Swap-Bot. I’ve been a member for over a year now, and I love to join crafty and ATC swaps. I’ve never hosted any swaps, however – until now.

Though I collect snowflake ornaments, and I was given an angel one every Christmas as a kid, I also love unique ornaments to hang on our tree. I make or buy an ornament for my husband every Christmas that has to do with something special or big that happened that year. We’ve got trains, tools, and even a palm tree to hang on our tree. Last year I got the hubby this ornament to remind us of our cruise to the Caribbean and swimming with the stingrays.

Thus, I’m pretty fond of unique and interesting Christmas ornaments. And I love making things specifically for a person – be it friend, family member, or swap partner. So I thought it would be fun to swap handmade, doesn’t-have-to-be-Christmas-related ornaments on Swap-Bot. I didn’t see any swaps like it (not surprised), so I decided to host one. Then it turned into two as I was asked to make an International version.

I have some watchers, though not many have signed up as of yet. I was hoping to get a lot of members to join, but it’s getting pretty close to Christmas already and people are busy. Wish I had thought of it sooner. If I host it again next year I will leave more time. No matter how many swappers join up, I know it will be a ton of fun!

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