Monday, January 12, 2015

Making ort-aments

For so many years, I threw away the thread snippets, or orts, that I ended up with while stitching. Then, a few years ago, I came across the idea of saving those orts and using them to fill a glass ornament. So midway through 2012 I started saving my orts, and at the end of that year I put them all in a labeled bag; I then did the same thing in 2013, and had a jar full of orts from 2014. I finally went out and bought some clear glass ornaments and some metallic pens to paint the year on them, and here is the result:

The ornament on the far right contains DMC labels, which I recently heard someone mention doing. I just wish I had flattened the labels before putting them in, so the insides didn't show so much. Otherwise, I'm very happy with the project. It was fun putting the orts in the ornaments, and coming across piles of colors from certain projects.

Another year-end task was to get my stitching journal up-to-date; I found out that I hadn't updated it since last March! 

While doing the updating, I realized that I had only stitched two Nora Corbett designs in 2014, Faerie Summer Love and Gigi. This, of course, made me want to stitch on a Mirabilia design right away! On Saturday night I finished a model for Judy Odell, so yesterday I pulled out Mirabilia's July Amethyst Fairy, which has been sitting in the Bucket o'WIPs for many years:

Having a July birthday, I remember being very disappointed when this design came out as an Amethyst Fairy, as my birthstone is ruby:

I set out to convert her to a Ruby Fairy, which wasn't easy! However, I'm pretty pleased with the result so far, so I would really like to finish her up before I move on to another project. I did just a bit of work on her yesterday:

I remember now why she ended up in the Bucket, as the wings are a blend of floss and blending filament, which is not great to stitch with (and the wings are huge!). But I am determined to persevere this time! As an added incentive, she is one of the original 20 WIPs that I set out to "slay" back at the end of 2011. I have gotten pretty far off from that original goal, but I do still know that the list is there!

Hope everyone has a great stitchy week!


  1. Very beautiful work and your color conversion is gorgeous.

  2. WOWSER!!!!!! Love your conversion to the Ruby Fairy --- it's stunning. Of course my head is still reeling from the comment "only stitched two Nora Corbetts last year." ONLY?????? Dear Lord -- it would be a shocking year -- shocking I tell you if I managed to stitch ONE Nora. lol Hats off to you!

  3. Oh and I love your ortaments -- sorry, I got distracted by the Noras and Ruby. :)

  4. Those ornaments are so cute! I got the stuff to make them this year... and realized a couple of days ago I'd been throwing away my orts since New Year's Day! Old habits die hard! :O)

  5. I also save my thread tags, although I haven't put them in a clear jar yet. One day I'll get a big jar and place them on display in my craft room. The same way wine enthusiast put wine corks in urns :P
    For blended filament, why don't you try cross stitching normally and then going over the top leg with the blending filament. That saved me a lot of frustration while I was stitching Peacock Tapestry.

  6. Mirabilia's fairy is so beautiful.
    Wow in Red is fantastic. Great project.

  7. Love your ort balls Melanie. Ruby fairy is very pretty.


  8. The baubles of ORT are a great idea and one that I can see many people (including myself) copying! As for saving the thread numbers, who would have thought they would make such an interesting decoration???
    I too love your Nora conversion. She is stunning, so let's see if you can slay her this year! :)

  9. One year a few year back I use to stitch with our stitch group we had several ladies that sat at the same table... I marked a bag and collected the rots all year with the plans of making ornaments for everyone at Christmas towards the fall of the year one of the ladies from our table had a surgery that ended badly and she did not make it through it. I was able to take this bag of orts and give each of our ladies orts from our table that included her orts too. I felt like I was giving a piece of her memory to them for Christmas... It felt so good to be able to share that with them. I had not thought of saving the labels though... What a great idea... I am going to start to start to save them to... Oh and your Nora pieces are AMAZING ... How you changed these colors over ... Oh my goodness... You are so talented!

  10. Great work. I've been thinking about doing August Peridot as my birthstone which is diamond so I'd be doing it in a white opalescent thread. Still have a ways to go before I start anything like it though. I love the ornament idea.

  11. The ornaments are a cute idea.
    Good luck progressing on your WIPS.
    Ruby will be stunning.