craftmas, Cross-stitch and Embroidery

On the third day of Craftmas…

…my true love gave to me: a shirt with an “N” and a “B”.

Hello, all, and happy Christmas-is-over.  Sorry if that sounds Grinchlike, but there’s something to be said for not panicking that I have to sew-and-bake-and-buy-and-wrap.  But now that (most) of the handmade gifts have been opened, it’s time for me to catch up and post the rest of them.

I’ve stitched railway-themed shirts for my dad in the past, but it’s been a few years and I thought it was time he had a new one to add to his collection.  I didn’t want to do just plain denim again, and when I saw coloured denim/canvas/something sturdy shirts at Mark’s, I knew I had found my blank slate.  I opted for a mossy green one and added the Burlington Northern logo to the pocket – you know, before it became part of BNSF.

This isn’t the best picture, but gives the best representation of the colour:


And a close-up of the pocket:


<whispering>I think the liked it!</whispering>  He unwrapped it Christmas morning, and wore it to a family gathering on Boxing Day without bothering to iron it or anything.

I hope everyone had a crafty, happy holiday! 🙂

baking, Cross-stitch and Embroidery

Take me right back to the track, Jack!

Where does the time go?  One day, I was stitching up Christmas ornaments, and now, poof!  Finals, summer birthdays, that feeling of irritation that occurs when you upgrade your operating system only to find out that none of your (admittedly embarrassingly rudimentary) Windows XP software will run on Windows 8.1….

But I digress.

My dad celebrated a birthday a few weeks back, and in keeping with my Birthday Cake Rule*, I knew I had to come up with something good.  I had seen this cake on the Brown Eyed Baker some time ago and had been wanting to try it for a while.  Here’s my take:



Since my dad is just a wee bit (ha!) older than the BEB’s birthday boy, I passed on the rainbow cake in favour of something just a little more adult.


This is my modification of the basic chocolate cupcake recipe from…wait for it…Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.  It’s rich and moist without being too sweet, nice and light, and goes down easy.  Absolutely worth skipping a half-day of classes to make!

I also took a break from needling away at the rather large needlepoint project that’s been occupying my leisure time to stitch him a card.  I saw the pattern in an issue of The World of Cross Stitching, and he rather reminded me of my parents’ cat.


*The Birthday Cake Rule, for the uninitiated: If you really love someone, you’ll make them a birthday cake, or pie, or cookies, or other dessert of choice, from scratch.  None of this store-bakery sheet-cake stuff.

craftmas, Cross-stitch and Embroidery

Take me right back to the track, Jack

My dad likes trains.  (Remember the ornament I made him last Christmas?)  He doesn’t try to fit them in his mouth like Sheldon Cooper, true, but then, he tends to display more common sense.  Anyway, I had it in my head that he needed a new shirt with some nifty railway logo stitched on the pocket, and I eventually decided on a little red caboose designed by Jan Altizer – though apparently this design is only available on the CD, and not individually.  Bummer.

I was originally looking for a denim shirt to deface….uh, I mean, enhance…but when I saw this one, vaguely reminiscent of an engineer’s hat, I knew I had found my blank canvas.

I swear it’s not that psychedelic in real life.  Methinks that fine striping, drapey fabric, and camera flashes don’t mix as nicely as I’d like them to.

That’s a little more true-to-life (look at the shirt, not the pocket).

I took the pocket off the shirt to stitch, then, using waste canvas and a sharp embroidery needle, I managed to get my design on almost straight and centered, before reattaching the pocket.

Thank heavens it fits.  There’s no way I could return it to the store now.