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Tips and Tea on Tuesdays

On Tips and Tea on Tuesdays, I will cover a topic and hopefully provide you with some tips that will be helpful! And just as an afterthought, tea may occasionally be a cup of Joe!

Tea for Tuesday

Tea today is a cuppa English breakfast tea, with a splash of milk, and my favorite breakfast in the world. My hubby was a doll and made French toast for me this morning. What a guy! As he was cooking, I was getting my beading project laid out on the work table, so that the colors are organized and ready for today’s project.

I am working on a small piece this week, a beaded heart, from my class Beadoodlery. These little brooches make nice gifts, and give you a place to display your beading talents.

When I teach a beading class, I talk to my students about the types of threads that can be used and how to work with them. Below are a couple of tips that I would like to share.

Tips: Beading Threads and Needles

Threads

  • Silamide comes either on a card, or on a spool, which makes it easy to cut off a length and thread through the needle. I use the June Taylor thread holder for the spool, which also has a convenient place for your scissors and needles.
  • Nymo and S-lon come on a small bobbin, which truthfully can fly across the room at any moment while cutting off a length of thread. UGH!

To counter act that issue, and to prevent my spool from becoming the latest cat toy I use these ideas.

  • If you have an unused lipstick holder, it makes for a great storage case for those small bobbins. You can pull out a short length of thread from the color that you choose, close the lid, then pull out the length of thread you want to work with.
  • Another trick, is to pin the bobbin onto a pincushion with a T-pin. Hold onto the pincushion, and pull off the length of thread that you want to work with.

Needles

  • Use a refrigerator magnet to keep your needles organized while working on a project
  • To store your needles, cut an empty plastic bead tube, to fit the size of your needles. Take the cap off the cut end, and place it onto the short end of the container.

Happy tea drinking and stitching to you! ~Christen

PS: If you have any questions or thoughts, just leave a comment! See Tips, Tricks, the Basics, for more helpful ideas.

Tips and Tea on Tuesdays

On Tips and Tea on Tuesdays, I will cover a topic and hopefully provide you with some tips that will be helpful! And just as an afterthought, tea may occasionally be a cup of Joe!

chamomile tea

Tea today is Chamomile, just sippin’ and enjoying the quiet morning. In the last few days we have seen clear autumn days and crisp clear nights with a myriad of stars on display. This is certainly the time of year that I find myself sitting on the couch with a good book, and a warm snugly blanket.

Speaking of books, if you are like me, you probably have a few titles stacked up, next to your favorite chair or by the couch. I usually use a different book mark, for each of my favorite authors.

For my Tony Hillerman novels, I use an old postcard with a picture of Canyon de Chelly. For Mary Stewart’s series on Merlin, well of course it would be a picture of Stonehenge.

For this book by Laurie R. King, I am using a packaging label (black “Link Soul” label below). The cardboard is sturdy, and it has a nice tie, that drapes out of the pages.

Tip: Re-purpose Packaging Labels

My tip today, would be to recycle and re-purpose cardboard and paper that we might not have thought useful. I have all manner of packaging labels saved up in my workroom, waiting for the day that I can find a way to re-purpose them.

Medium weight cardboard pieces can be used for patterns, such as yo-yo templates, or embroidery designs. If one side is blank, then you can write down the description of the pattern. You can even use labels that are already the shape that you need, such as this round Valdani thread label.

Medium weight cardboard is sturdy enough to punch holes into the edge. You can do this to create a thread saver, to attach and organize loose strands of floss. If the packaging is relatively free of text, then list the brand name, and color number of the threads.

If you are lucky enough to find a particularly unique label like this one, you could use it to create a travel sewing kit.

  1. Remove the black thread at the top, and replace it with a length of rattail cording. Before putting a tie at the top, attach your travel sewing scissors.
  2. Cut out two pieces of felt for your needles, and glue theses to the inside front and back of the book.
  3. Punch holes into the two inside pages, for loose strands of floss.

Happy tea drinking and stitching to you! ~Christen

PS: If you have any questions or thoughts, just leave a comment! See Tips, Tricks, the Basics, for more helpful ideas.

Tips and Tea on Tuesdays

On Tips and Tea on Tuesdays, I will cover a topic and hopefully provide you with some tips that will be helpful! And just as an afterthought, tea may occasionally be a cup of Joe!

tea on tuesday

Tea today is chai, with a lovely aroma, accompanied by a homemade oatmeal cookie. I am looking around at our decorations, and enjoying the colors, and the imagery. The piece below, Big Leaves was featured in my book, Hand Embroidery Dictionary, by C&T Publishing. This piece hangs over my computer, and just makes me smile.

Big Leaves

I created this project, with this small section of fabric that I had saved for just the right project. I love the colors in the linen print, but didn’t find any fabrics that I thought coordinated with it. So I decided just to work the embroidery stitches over the sections of the leaves. But what colors would I choose for the embroidery threads?

In this case, this large print fabric already came with the colors swatches printed on the selvedge edge. Wow, if only the rest of life could be so easy! This made it a breeze to pick out the thread colors. I chose solid colors in perle cotton, and variegated colors from Valdani.

Tip: Documentation

I put together a swatch card of the threads that I will work with for every project. On the back I list the color numbers, brand name, and the size of the threads used. The swatch card contains all of the information that I need and stays with the project until it has been completed. This way if I need to buy more thread, I have the color numbers right there. I also use my Embellished Art Embroidery Project Planner to keep all of my projects on track.

Happy tea drinking and stitching to you! ~Christen

PS: If you have any questions or thoughts, just leave a comment! See Tips, Tricks, the Basics, for more helpful ideas.

Tips and Tea on Tuesdays

On Tips and Tea on Tuesdays, I will cover a topic and hopefully provide you with some tips that will be helpful! And just as an afterthought, tea may occasionally be a cup of Joe!

tea cup

Today I am sitting with a cup of Earl Grey (cheers to Jean Luc), keeping warm and toasty with my feet clad in my husbands socks, and my comfy, cozy, slippers, hmmm! I got to thinking more about storage. Now that the days are shorter, I find myself spending a few hours a day in my workroom, organizing my smaller components.

Often I store beads, buttons, and embellishments in small plastic bags, or in small jewelry or other types of cardboard boxes. When I am working on a project, and I have a large group of small objects to work with, I want to see what there is to use.

Tip: Use storage containers that are open, like ice cube trays, or a painter’s palette, so that you can compare the components with each other. These are relatively inexpensive, and stack nicely.

Happy tea drinking and stitching to you! ~Christen

PS: If you have any questions or thoughts, just leave a comment! See Tips, Tricks, the Basics, for more helpful ideas.

Tips and Tea on Tuesdays

On Tips and Tea on Tuesdays, I will cover a topic and hopefully provide you with some tips that will be helpful! And just as an afterthought, tea may occasionally be a cup of Joe!

harvest timeTea today is jasmine, just sipping away, happy as a camper! Actually I don’t think that I would be happy camping as it was usually cold, and there was always a rock under my back. I think that now, I am more of a “glamper”, besides, where would I keep all of my stash?

Speaking of stash, I am often asked how do I store all of my fabrics, ribbon and trims, laces, threads, beads, buttons and more. Well let me tell you, I have a lot of boxes, and bags. I organize the “like” components together by color.

Tip: Storage

  • Fabric is organized by the type of material in cardboard or plastic storage boxes. I pre-wash all of my fabrics, but do not iron them until I start on a project.
  • Ribbons, trims, and cords are organized by material, in see-through plastic storage boxes. I take the trims off of any flat cardboard packaging, as the folds will eventually become permanent.
  • Lace yardage and trims are kept in plastic or cardboard storage boxes. I wrap the vintage laces first in acid free tissue paper.
  • Embroidery threads and ribbons are organized by material, in plastic zip-lock bags, then in see-through plastic storage boxes.
  • Beads are kept in plastic or cardboard boxes.
  • Glass, metal, shell, and fabric buttons are organized by material in plastic or cardboard containers.
  • Vintage plastic buttons are kept in cardboard boxes, so that the chemicals in the materials don’t deteriorate, breakdown, and of course smell.

Happy tea drinking and stitching to you! ~Christen

PS: If you have any questions or thoughts, just leave a comment! See Tips, Tricks, the Basics, for more helpful ideas.