I found David Belt with Belts and Chains through Dark Cargo. He makes the prettiest bracelets from aluminum and steel chainmaille. I am smitten.


He writes some interesting articles on writing and on the history of chainmaille. Check out his etsy shop too!

It has been very windy and cold and gross here lately. New Mexico gets over 300 days of sunshine a year, so weather like this makes all of us grumpy.

It’s almost March though, which means spring is getting closer! I’m looking forward to the flowers blooming, especially the little pink and white flowers on my tree in the front. They smell amazing, and robins live in that tree.

I also dug out and started a couple springy projects:

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Pink and marshmallow colored yarns are always winners for me.

Fun Fact #127: I started cross stitching when I was about 14 years old…which makes this year the 20th year I’ve been doing it. 20 years?? Weird.

Anyway,  I thought I would post about how I keep a 20 year habit obsession hobby together and organized. Luckily, floss and needles don’t take up as much space as say, yarn. Maybe that will be a future post…something along the lines of “where I stash my stash without tripping on anything or getting in anyone’s way”.

I use various crafty boxes for the thread or I re-use boxes I acquire. I started using bobbins only a couple years ago, before that I used the DMC bows. Those were ok, but not very easy to organize.  I have binder inserts for them and everything, but once my thread stash got bigger I had a hard time finding the colors I wanted or arranging them. I admit it’s easy-peasy to just hook the skeins onto the bows, but way too difficult for me to have to take all the bows out, then move them around just for one or two new colors, you know?

Here is my current stash:

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I organize the bobbins by number and brand after labeling them (with a Sharpie) and winding them. (I mostly use DMC but Anchor makes some gorgeous variegated colors). The messy box in the back corner is my scraps box from finished kits. (This is great for embroidery!) I have both plastic and paper bobbins. I don’t have a preference really.

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I. Love. Boxes. And tins. I can’t have enough of them! This box is a soap box that stills smells like oranges. I tore out the paper inside and just use it as is. The highlighter/pen won’t fit in there, but I love these things so much I had to include it. I can write notes on a pattern and highlight. Joy! I even found them at a big box office store recently, so I may have to buy a pack. I keep scissors, Thread Heaven (useful for those pesky but pretty metallics), highlighter, thread cutter, needle books, thimbles, strong thread, and Sharpies in my notions box and I keep the notions box in my current WIP bag.

Wow. I didn’t know I had that many thimbles. The black one is my favorite because it has a small metal disc at the finger tip that keeps calluses at bay. The larger black one is for sashiko embroidery. I use the black thread for random fixes in the house, like shirts or holes in pants. I have some heavy duty needles in those books to patch up the couch and whatnots. (Ah, cats. Nuff said.)

That’s it for now. I’ll get into how I plan out and organize a project in Part 2 that explains the Sharpies. I’ll have lots of pictures of boxes and tins! Whee!

P.S. I’m hoping to update this site once a week. I’ll add more fun stuff (like maybe a background and a header) as I go along. :-)


Welcome to Happy-Kat. This site is all about a place to organize my crafty adventures. I will get started by diving into my WIPs. (That = Works In Progress, or Work In Progress…es)

First up! Roadkill Bunny and Prick Your Finger needle case from Twisted Stitches by Phil Davison at Urban Cross Stitch. I found this book at random at a big bookstore a few years ago. It’s incredible! It’s full of off the wall patterns that are perfect for the non-traditional cross stitcher. I love every pattern in this book. Someday I’ll make the Kitchen Bombshell for my kitchen. And the Zombie Pin-up for my bathroom. Every girl needs a zombie pin-up in their bathroom, right?

Anyway, I made the roadkill bunny first because it was small and quick and grossly adorable. I was either pregnant or just had a baby when I started it, though, so once I got to the roadkill one I couldn’t finish it! I can’t explain it other than I was full of mommy hormones. They are a force to be reckoned with. I cried over this pattern, people. Full on saddened by the bunny’s fate. Mommy hormones are wild. So I put it aside for another day. Sure enough, a couple months later I finished it no problem! I stitched both of them on 14 Aida with some scrap thread, matching the colors as best as I could. I put both on a kitchen towel for a birthday present for a friend’s 42nd birthday. It was her 42, so naturally she got a towel. Plus, she flipped out when she saw the pattern months ago when I bought the book. It was a nice surprise. Wins all around! Much more fun than framing it.

roadkill bunny towel

Next up is the needle case. This one is for another friend (you may notice a trend here; I love to stitch more than I love to keep stuff) for her birthday. Well, that birthday came and went. Still, I got back into the groove of this one and now I’m almost done with the stitching part. Just the thumb flesh left.

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Isn’t it fun to associate thumb flesh and cross stitch?? I love these guys.

I used a leftover 14 count Aida scrap for the words. I used scrap thread for most of it. This was another one of those projects that was just being difficult. I got as far as the words and blood drops, but couldn’t decide on the border. Back to the shelf it went until I decided on DMC 306 for the main border and DMC Light Effects E135 for the accents. Those metallics can be fussy to stitch with, but man, it’s worth it! Perfect.

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I am using 22 count leftover Aida for the thumb, for two reasons. One: it’s what I had. Two: the thumb is deceivingly huge and the 22 count made it fit the 14 count words piece. Sheesh. I mostly used the suggested colors for the thumb, since my floss collection has grown quite a bit since last year (I blame weelittlestitches-I’ll get to them another day). I am using a different color for the flesh, DMC 436, because I like it better. The suggested one was too peachy for me and 436 better matches the skin tone of the recipient. I know, kinda weird, but yes, that matters. It’s the little things.

I have yet to pick some fabric for the whole case, but I’m sure this will sew up quickly once I get a chance. The case should be big enough for scissors as well, so I’m contemplating a ribbon or cord for attaching one. Hmm…

I don’t always fly by the seat of my pants on projects. I have a lot of kits (mostly Dimensions) that come with everything I need. I keep all the extra thread from said kits in a box and it’s fun to use those extras/scraps for small projects like the bunny. It gives it a slight spin from the original and it is always a surprise in the end.

Stay tuned! We’ll see what surprises lay in store.