Monday, October 02, 2017


Goals for September: 

  1. Finish Christian's Stocking  -- YES
  2. Bling all four stockings: Christian, Mary, Charland, and Sadie -- THREE OUT OF FOUR
  3. Send to finisher -- THREE OUT OF FOUR
  4. Stitch Tada Santa and Tada Snow Guy (Amy Bruecken Designs) -- I STARTED BOTH, NEARLY FINISHED SANTA (above)
  5. Read Scribe of Siena for Books on Tap (9/19) -- READ, DIDN'T MUCH LIKE THE ENDING. MY IMAGINED ENDING WAS BETTER. 😉
I am still waiting to get the charms for Christian's Stocking. I may have been better off ordering directly from Shepherd's Bush. Live and learn.

For October: 
  1. Stitch using my three day rotation
    1. smalls
    2. Our Souls
    3. 47 Hearts
    4. Love Me, Love My Dog
    5. Deruta Biscornu
    6. St Nick's Noel
    7. Lapland Santa
    8. Ladybug, Ladybug
    9. Tis the Season
    10. Cinnamon Stars
  2. Read The River at Night for Books on Tap (10/17)
  3. Make one dozen Christmas cards
  4. Bling Christian's Stocking and send to the finisher

Thursday, September 28, 2017


I'm at a conference in Vegas and I'm daunted by inputting all the text of my ornament issue review on my phone.

Instead, I'll show you just how much I love my sister.

Friday, September 22, 2017

2017 JCS Ornament Issue Review

I don't know if it is lack of interest in the JCS Christmas Ornament edition or if I haven't gotten around to enough blogs or whether the blogosphere is down too many stitchers, but I haven't heard that much about this new magazine. I do hope, that it doesn't mean that you don't want to hear my annoying opinions about it!

The magazine opens with "Frosty the Snowman," six ornaments featuring snowmen and one from Keslyn's that just says "Let it snow!" As you know, I am a big fan of the snowmen. Of these I really like StitchyFish's Sno-Cone (she had a companion piece featured in the preview) and SamSarah's Hats Off to the Holidays. I've never encountered StitchyFish's work before.

What I am not so much a fan of is the way the pictures are organized. The numbers are laid out a bit haphazardly. For example on this page the numbers start in the upper left-hand corner, and moving clockwise: 6, 2, 7, 5, 3, 4 with 1 in the center. After being confused, what I did realize is that the key is now alphabetical by designer. (Check to see if this is usual). It does make it harder to find your favorite designer if you start with the key rather than the photo.

The next section focuses on "The Friendly Beasts." Hands down, my favorite is Amy Bruecken's Rocking a New Holiday Hat which is a sheep! I am blind to all the other designs, but to be fair there is a series of three penguins that put together make a 3D ornament, a dragonfly (?), a cardinal, a nice Rudolph ornament with fancy antlers,  a robin and a partridge--two patterns, one designer--a red bird that I think will appeal to many, a birdhouse framed simply with sticks and a sheep surrounded by male and female shepherds, but very Jesus-y.

"Here Comes Santa Claus" is the next section and sigh, I feel like I've seen this lot before. Forced to choose favorites, I'd go with Needle Bling and Angel Stitchin's Santas. Cat fanciers will enjoy Swallick Stitchery's "Santa is Coming." But I guess there's only so many ways to design Santa's head.

"Have a Holly Jolly Christmas" section is as beige as the title seems. There is a cutesy penguin (Oh, see that's Frosted Pumpkin, cutesy.) a dragon from Dragon Dreams I didn't even realize was a dragon (and I'm not sure about "Balance" as a message for my Christmas tree), two elves which I really don't like since the Elf on the Shelf and the rise of surveillance culture, a merry go round, some mittens and a series from Always Time to Stitch. Remarkably, this is the third designer who has submitted two or more designs (in this case four!) as their ornament. Finally, there is an ornament made from Weeks wool by Fern Ridge that appears to have no cross-stitch on it whatsoever!

"Joy to the World" features ornaments that have the word joy or are kinda Jesus centered. I really like Ink Circles "Modern Nordic Ornament" not sure if is is modern or Nordic, but you can tell it's Ink Circles. I also like the Gracewood Stitches Beaded Joy, although I'd probably change the colors. There are two more joy ornaments, a peace sampler, another sampler heavy design by My Big Toe, who has the craziest name for a full-on Jesus stitcher. There is also a Believe ornament and one that is backstitched "They Followed the Star." The last one isn't quite as centered as I would like.

The next section is snowflake-backstitching-Quaker-bells if I had to put it into the fewest possible words. I guess I like Guilia Punti Antichi's "Little Purse" best out of these.

The Penultimate section has trees or the suggestion of Christmas trees. I like Gentle Pursuits's tree featuring long lost pets which may be a cat and a dog or maybe those animals found only in schoolgirl samplers from 200 years ago. I love the finishing on that one though. JBW has a tree of trees and Pickle Barrel has a seaside scene. Hardanger enthusiasts will be pleased with Lisa LeAnn's colorful Hardanger Tree.

At last that brings us to a section which seems to feature Christmas words, and honestly I like almost all of these. This section, for me, is the clear winner with designs from Cherished Stitches, Lizzie*Kate, Lucie Heaton, Praiseworthy Stitches, Samplers Not Forgotten, Turquoise Graphics, and WDC Needlework. Besides Lizzie*Kate, I don't think I've stitched anything from any of these designers, which may tell you something.

But you know, for me, the real meat of this review comes from the Recipes and Memories section. I perused it recently on a plane, and was at four pages of notes, so I think this will be a two part review! Stay tuned!

  1. Amy Bruecken's Rocking a New Holiday Hat
  2. Samplers Not Forgotten Christmas Stocking
  3. Lizzie*Kate Very Merry
  4. Lucie Heaton Merry & Bright
  5. Turquoise Graphics Rustic Noel
What are your top five?

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Art of the Stitch

News stories about cross-stitch brought to me by my Google aggregator have been backing up in my inbox since I spent so long off the blog. I have so many stories to share, I'm going to have to break it up.

Classify these stories under cross-stitch makes its way into other art forms:
Murals: Ah, cross-stitch "a nod to old traditions." But the stairs have become art.

Tattoos: someone has aggregated cross-stitch style tattoos from Instagram. And there are some pretty good ones!

Concert Posters Featuring an illustrator who makes making cross-stitch designs harder than it has to be (dude, there's software!), who outsources the actual stitching (grr), and throw in a reference to the ancient ancientness of cross stitchers, this article isn't as happy-making as we might like. This is also the guy who did the 30-foot Star Wars panel (which I reported on earlier). And as usual, the reporter couldn't keep the old ladies out of it:
"The idea is that cross-stitching is a hobby usually carried out in the home for an ornament or in memory of a special occasions within family life, which Guestar hopes home concerts will become a part of. We’re not sure who younger than the age of 65 actually cross-stitches anymore, but we love the idea."
Old Lady Count: Eleventy-million? I think I officially lost count in 2010.

Thanks for your lovely comments on Christian's Stocking. I'm waiting for the beads to come in, which I hope is super soon! I've blinged-out two of the other stockings. I'm getting there!

Friday, September 15, 2017


Look what I made! Christian's Stocking by Shepherd's Bush with the called for materials. I am just waiting now for the bling to arrive.

I kept meaning to blog but I was making such good headway...almost there...almost there... and at last!

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

A Small Haul

On Saturday, I headed out to procure the last of the perle cotton threads that I need for the stocking. Of course, while I was at Strawberry Sampler, some other nonessential items jumped into the proverbial cart. As you can see from the photo, I found my new Cozzolino Santas--Pirates of the Caribbean Santas. Although I do choose to stitch on these from time to time, I have about 30 Santas waiting for me. This is one of the projects that is on my list for retirement. The good news is that I am buying the kits while I have income!

I saw the Teresa Kogut sheep, For Ewe, in a shop newsletter, and I liked it enough in person to purchase it. But I do have a fondness for sheep that belies my semi-suburban upbringing. Sometimes I don't buy primitive patterns because I think they are too simple, but there is something about the way this sheep is peeking out from the side of the pattern that slays me.

I have been looking for the Prairie Schooler New World Sampler since I stitched on it as part of a round robin back in 2006. Okay, I'll admit I wasn't thrilled with it when I first saw it, but I fell in love with that crazy whale! I'm glad that some of these PS patterns are being re-released.

My last purchase isn't shown in this photo, but will feature in an upcoming blog post. Stay tuned!

Friday, September 01, 2017

Try to Remember that Time in September

How in the ever-loving fuck did it get to be September? It's all real today. I went to the Co-op for lunch and it was swarming with students and faculty and probably some townies who have been at the shore all summer. It's true, people, we do not have the Ville to ourselves any more. Fall fell.

That also means it is time to evaluate my August goals and set new ones. As promised, I focused on Christian's Stocking so that I can get the set finished professionally. I did not finish, and I'm still missing a thread, but I shall persist!

September Goals:
  1. Finish Christian's Stocking
  2. Bling all four stockings: Christian, Mary, Charland, and Sadie
  3. Send to finisher
  4. Stitch Tada Santa and Tada Snow Guy (Amy Bruecken Designs)
  5. Read Scribe of Siena for Books on Tap (9/19)