Ghosts and Something From the Past

Here it is Handmade Monday. And it’s Handmade Monday FORTY! So do go check it out.  I made the ghosts from t-shirts and glue that I was going to make for last Monday but went ahead and posted them earlier in the week so people could make them in time for for Halloween.  They turned out well, so you might want to check them out for next year (plus, the process will work just as well for other items, is pretty easy and could be fun to do with older children, messy but non-toxic).  It’s at Tabletop Ghost. At least see how cute they are!

I was going to make pillows out of old sweaters (not wool felted ones, I am allergic to wool so don’t have many old wool sweaters around) but the first one I did is sort of asymmetrical and lumpy and sad looking. I learned a few things in the process, but needless to say, it’s not ready for prime time. Not to worry, I have more old sweaters to work on. We live in South Florida after all, and I have a bunch of old sweaters I’ve finally decided I’m never going to wear. I still love them and I might as well turn them into something I or someone else in my family will use and love. So, that will be an upcoming blog. I know it’s not very original, but so what.

It’s been a rather bad week anyway.  First, we had 10 inches of rain Friday night alone from the remnants of Hurricane Rina.  We have had a few house repair issues that have kept me busy, and I’ve been cleaning out the attic and garage and just doing some general Fall cleaning and trying to get my craft room (which is really a guest bedroom) reorganized to make my crafting life a little easier. I seem to take one step forward and 5 steps backward, as each time I think I’m getting somewhat ahead, something else comes up that requires me to go in another direction. I’m sure there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, but I’m not seeing it. Well, I’m going to be optimistic and say that if you don’t keep moving forward you won’t ever get anywhere. So, onward.

I had to have a photo to share, so, I’m sharing this one. This is my first real crewel embroidery project I ever did.  It was a footstool for my Mother in Law, the second Christmas we were married (I think), so about 1977. It was an Elsa Williams kit, and I thought I would never finish it, I remember working on it right up until the last minute!  It was quite difficult, but interesting because it had a lot of different colors and stitches.

My Mother in Law took wonderful care of it, and when she passed away 6 years ago it came back to me, and it makes me think of her, which makes me happy.  I don’t know if I will ever do anything like this again, but it’s a little bit inspiring to think I did this!  I sure did love this Jacobean pattern.

I hope next week to have some awesome sweater pillows to show you, but that may depend on what the house decides to do!  Hope everyone else had a better week than I did!  🙂



  1. mcrafts says:

    Sorry to hear about all the rain! I live in an old house and dread it when we have prolonged rain (and the company I work for deals with the problems that come from water and wood!) I love the embroidery you did – gorgeous Mich 🙂

    • Susie says:

      I don’t really like living in such a wet place, I am a desert girl. I don’t like the mold and mildew and just the fact that nature seems intent on taking over at any given moment. And thank you, I had forgotten how much I enjoyed it. I gave it up when the 3 boys were old enough to get into it and distract me, but I keep thinking I should take it up again.

  2. Wendy says:

    I know what you mean about one step forward and five backward – we all have times like that, I think. Your rain sounds horrendous – I hope it’s stopped now or your next project will have to be an ark.

    The tabletop ghosts are really cute – love them 🙂

    • Susie says:

      LOL an ark may be an excellent idea! I have told my daughter in law I’m going to make her some stuffed animals for their nursery (her theme is forest creatures) and so that would be perfect! haha
      Thanks, I loved making the ghosts, but I know posting things midweek they don’t get comments so I don’t know if they get seen.

  3. Jam Dalory says:

    That embroidery is amazing, what an incredible talent you have, I think i’d have gone cross-eyed trying to sew that sort of detail! x

  4. Jill says:

    10″ of rain! That’s terrible – I hope you didn’t suffer any damage to your home. the footstool is gorgeous and I am looking forward to seeing pics of your sweater pillows.

    • Susie says:

      Mostly, because this is an area that gets hurricanes we are prepared for large amounts of rain, but still, you worry about roofs and leaks, because it happens!

      Thank you, it was a labor of love (I loved my Mother in Law, she was a very nice person and I was blessed to know her for 30 years). I hope the sweater pillows will make an appearance!

  5. I love the table top ghosts – I have book marked that for next holidays (they won’t twig its not halloween!). Amazing embroidery!

    • Susie says:

      Thank you for stopping by, and I hope you can do them or something like that. I was thinking of trying to make a Santa with that idea. Of course that will require some major tweaking!

  6. RosMadeMe says:

    The crewel work is beautiful… know what you mean about working up to the wire (that’s my Christmas Eve most years!) It looks so clean and fresh, especially after all this time. Great piece of work.

    • Susie says:

      I don’t know how she kept it so clean, I know she used it because I remember her sitting with it under her feet as she read or did needlework herself (she did some needlepoint and a little crewelwork also, and a few other things). Thank you for the nice words.

  7. Kazies Magical Designs says:

    the ghosts look great and so does your stool beautiful embroidery a lovely reminder for you xxxx

  8. Anita Mistry says:

    I absolutely love the colours and design of the footstool. I’m so glad it was/is well loved.

    • Susie says:

      It’s always nice to have made something that was enjoyed, and somehow to have it circle back into your life is also very sweet. I can imagine it perhaps living with a granddaughter of mine one day. I love family things that get passed down.

  9. Sorry to hear about the rain. I love the ghost (it looks very cute rather than spooky) I also admire your foot rest. Very nice.

  10. redneedle says:

    Pillows from old sweaters – now that’s something I’d like to see. Soryy to hear about your weather hope it’s improving. Your crewel work is exquisite a real family heirloom.

  11. Blue Forest Jewellery says:

    That crewel work is stunning. Sure it was treasured by your mum when so much work went into it.

    Hope the rain has eased and you can get some down time to craft 🙂

    Alison x

  12. I love that footstool – it is amazing and how wonderful that it has come full circle back to you.

    Hope the rain has subsided and things start looking up.

    Ali x

  13. Pickle-Lily says:

    The footstool is a work of art – i would be so proud of creating something like that. Good Luck with all the bad weather – an excuse to stay in and craft! Love the ghosts – will do them next year!
    Jo x

    • Susie says:

      I will look forward to ghost photos! And thank you, I am a little pumped to try something like the footstool again, but maybe a pillow instead.

  14. Planet Penny says:

    I love the fantasy flowers in crewel work and the jewel colours. Your footstool is beautiful, a real family heirloom!

    • Susie says:

      Thank you. I fell in love with the pattern when I saw it. I remember when I got it thinking…what was I thinking, ordering this, I will NEVER be able to do it! 🙂

  15. Absolutely gorgeous. I wish I had the patience for crewel work – I’m even struggling with counted cross stitch on linen!

    • Susie says:

      Believe it or not, I’ve done counted cross stitch and I found it more difficult. First, you have to keep track of where you are, and it’s the same stitch over and over so I found it less interesting. The crewel is always something new. But probably to each her own.

  16. Your footstool is a real treasure, my Grandfather done crewel work, he started doing it during WW1, so much patience.
    Your ghosts are brilliant.

    Jan x

    • Susie says:

      That’s awesome, do you have any of his work? My Father in Law did beautiful needlepoint. We have a few of his pieces (I will post some photos). I don’t know how to do that tho. But his stuff was lovely. There is no reason men cannot do wonderful needlework. In fact (and he may not want me saying!) my husband finished a beautiful strawberry tray I had started years ago. It is lovely. I will post a photo of it too. It’s the only thing he ever did tho.

  17. Helen says:

    The footstool is stunning, very impressive and im very jealous of your talent 🙂

  18. Mrs A. says:

    Wonderful embroidery. I really thought it was a painted plate!!!!!

    • Susie says:

      LOL I guess it looks like that it the photo. I took a few pictures where you could see the legs, but I wanted the needlework to be visible, so well… 🙂

  19. Carol says:

    What a beautiful piece of embroidery, I am so pleased that it came back to you. I have been looking how to follow your blog but, not being that computer literate, I don’t know how but wanted to respond to your comments on my blog about bonfires. You triggered another memory from those days when we had an old carthorse and if it hadn’t been working we had to exercise it. He was soooo wide that our feet just stuck out at the sides, Saddle, what saddle, no reins either, hung on to his main for dear life. Oh yes, I agree, those were the days.
    I will have another go at trying to follow you now.

    • Susie says:

      I get confused on how to follow (and sometimes even reply!) to various blogs because they are all different. I even get confused on mine because it is all set up by my darling son who understands. I had a previous one that I did myself but it was much less complex (but did less too). If you want to subscribe, there are various buttons, but I think it depends on which you prefer. Most things I follow I do with the RSS feed as it seems to work best for me (I have a Mac, and that may be why).

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