Thursday, August 27, 2009

Not Enough Hours in the Day

Thanks everyone for the comments on Cape Cod Girls, aka Gulf Coast Girls. I'm always nervous to change up a design but this worked out better than I expected.

For some exciting news and you all probably know this already, I'm honored to be the guest blogger over at Anna's blog, Stitch Bitch. Thank you so much Anna for asking me to participate in your I Love This Project series. I wish we could have hooked up when I was in your part of the country a few weeks ago.

School started back down here on Monday and it's been a busy week. My 13 yr old did real well back out in the human world. He's spent most of the summer on XBOX Live, his headset and iPhone his means of communication and I was relieved that he didn't confuse any of his teachers with killer zombies. I'm thinking 8th grade is going to be a good year. He's regretting not signing up for football when he was in the throes of XBOX fever, and he may still be able to play, but I'm thinking he may have decided too late that real sports should trump the virtual world. A hard lesson for him and I think he'll make better choices next time.

Is it wrong of me to be glad I don't have to spend every afternoon at the practice field and every Saturday at football games? It wasn't awful last year but I was secretly relieved when he said none of his friends were playing this year and he was a little concerned he might be thrown in with the older boys because he's at that odd age, a little old to be a Mighty Mite but maybe just a pound over where he needs to be which would shove him in with 16 and 17 yr olds which is probably just a little bit terrifying. That's one of the reasons we didn't shove him out the door with cleats and pads in hand, we want him to enjoy playing and a 13 yr old that is only one pound heavier than he needs to be doesn't necessarily need to be on the field with kids that outweigh him fifty to a hundred pounds.

In stitching news I'm working on Primitive Needle's Icabod Seabury. Was going to post a progress pic but it's stormy down here and there's really not much to see but some wicked cool 36ct swamp fabric from PTP and a bit of the border stitched in Belle Soie Noir. This is my first experience using silk and it's kind of nice. I mean seriously, that thread just slips through the linen like butta!

That's all the news from here, hopefully some crafty pics tomorrow. I want to get back into a regular blogging routine.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

What You Come Here For.....

The porn, the stitching porn that is.....I have brought a project to climax...uh, completion.....of course my photography is as bad as what you find on the porn channels that enjoy showing the homemade porno flicks, not that I'd know anything about that......

What you see below, well that's my finished Cape Cod Girls, only I don't know anything about being a Cape Cod Girl. I'm a Gulf Coast
(click to enlarge)
Clothesline courtesy of Pam
I did a bit of rewriting and changed the verse to read Gulf Coast Girls instead of Cape Cod Girls...and then it dawned on me that a Gulf Coast Girl would not comb her hair with Codfish bones, but instead......

a little more rewording and our Gulf Coast Girl combs her hair with Grouper bones.

I stitched this using the recommended threads and 40ct PTP Highland(which I love). I did use DMC 224 for the Cape Cod Merchick's face and hands since I didn't have any WDW Peach.
Thanks Lisa for such a great design.
I want to thank everyone for offering up their thoughts on cross stitch and how much they love it or don't these days. I've enjoyed reading all your blogs and have some comments about other people's very thoughtful responses, school starts back Monday(the most wonderful time of the year) so maybe I'll be able to get a few complete thoughts together in the very near future.

Friday, August 07, 2009


First of all I want to thank everyone for taking the time to answer my questions. I'm still reading blogs--fighting for the computer is getting old. I'm excited to see that most people register above a six on the cross stitch passion meter and that our love for our craft of choice is solid. I plan to answer my own questions in the next day or two but today I want to share a bit of embroidery I've been doing.

I have never been big on embroidery because one thing I love about cross stitch, I know exactly where to stick the needle, I know that if I come up in this hole and go down in that one(hmmm, sounds a bit like, ahem) my stitch will be perfect(we won't get into that whole railroading/laying tool thing right now) but embroidery, well, you have to pay attention. You have to kind of know what you're doing or your stitches will be all over the place, different sizes, not straight, etc. That doesn't stop me from trying though. One of my treasures is a shirt my Mamaw embroidered me when I was 12 or 14, I can't remember exactly but I still have it and can't let it go. She didn't embroider much, so it makes that shirt even more special.

I love the look of embroidered linens and I have a dresser scarf my great grandmother embroidered. My Mamaw always said Mrs. Gibson and I would have loved each other because that woman loved her some embroidery.

The other day I was browsing the feeling stitchy blog and ran across this:

katie.cupcake: embroidery--scroll down a little. Her embroidery inspired me to stitch this:

Yes my picture is craptastic, but you can click on it to enlarge it and maybe it will be better.

Here's the indoor shot. I know I need to read some book or something about product placement, lighting, aperture(is that the right word?). I was going for the "bored student doodling in class or maybe what Ally Sheedy(the Basketcase in The Breakfast Club might have doodled in detention)
The notebook paper--all I did was flip over a piece of regular old notebook paper and trace over it with a heat transfer pencil. The tattoo is a Jenny Hart design from her Stitch It Kit. I've had that forever and never make time to embroider but I'm always inspired to do some embroidery after I browse Florasita's blog, things I've made: Finished! This link doesn't take you to her main page but to a project she recently finished.
Another item I'd like to share with you all are these:
I first saw these on the feeling stitchy blog and decided to order them for myself.
Yes you have to print and cut them out yourself but it's pretty easy with a pair of detail scissors like for scrapbooking, Martha Stewart's are $10 at Walmart and I know there are cheaper ones you can find at AC Moore or JoAnn's.
I printed out my first sheet of each on 110 lb card stock. I'd like something a little sturdier so I'm going to see if I can track down some 140 lb cardstock. It seems to be hard to find, but these on the 110 cardstock don't seem to be any flimsier than the inexpensive bobbins you can buy and I've used those for years. These are pretty sweet and really glam up the boring old floss bobbin. But I do think sturdier cardstock would make them just about perfect.
Since I mentioned The Breakfast Club, I'd like to say R.I.P. John Hughes. What a genius. He really captured the feel of a generation with his movies. He gave us the Brat Pack. We quote from his movies all the time around here and my 13 yr old loves The Breakfast Club.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Nothing to See Here

As my camera is giving me fits. I wasn't going to blog until I had pictures because I've read over and over how people don't enjoy pictureless blogs, so if you want to stop reading now, that's ok. I understand, but let's face it, my pictures could never have been what drew you to this blog, not by any stretch of the imagination.

Now, I have a question for all you cross stitchers, and yes, it's really specifically for cross stitchers and I'm honestly interested in your answers because we cross stitchers seem to be a misunderstood lot and that really, truly bugs me. I mean I wake up in a sweat at night pondering the issue of cross stitchers being misunderstood by major chain craft stores(and please don't yell at me for that, for some people, it's their only way to purchase supplies, even in this day and age there are stitchers don't know anything beyond the cross stitch aisle at Micheals, AC Moore or JoAnns, and I'm sure there are some yarnie folk that find those same stores their only source of knitting and crochet supplies) and publishers.

So here are some questions I'd love answered either in comments or on your blog and if you post your answer on your blog please leave a link in the comments so we can all read your insights.

1)Why do you stitch?

2) On a scale of 1-10 with 1 being least important and 10 being most important what is your cross stitch passion level?

3)If you're only option for cross stitch supplies and patterns happened to be the major chain craft stores would you just walk away from the little X? Kiss it goodbye?

4)Also are you so passionate about cross stitch that if indeed your only option was the major chain craft stores, would that inspire you to create your own cross stitch pieces because you have to stitch and you've stitched your way through the whole of Dimensions catalog--because you must stitch and the thought of life without a relationship with the little X leaves you feeling empty?

5)Finally what do the cross stitch magazines on the market offer you? Do they relate to you as a cross stitcher? Do you look at them and think to yourself, who do they think buys this magazine? I guess what I'm asking, when you see the current cross stitch magazines do they make you feel like they know their readers or do you find it's more of the same? What could they do to be ambassadors for the art of cross stitch other than putting a sampler on the cover with "F-U" on it? What are we missing on a PR level that could change the opinion of cross stitch itself?

6) And finally, finally, do you do other crafts and if so what are they and why do they pull you away from cross stitch?

I've been thinking about this a lot, particularly question five. What are we missing as a group and are we missing it because we just don't care? I have to say as someone who uses the F word no less than 10 times a day, the shock value of F-U on a sampler does nothing for me but I can see where a 13 yr old girl might get a kick out of stitching that on sampler for a friend to just be uh, wild and all rebel girl you know, but in the long run, in the big picture, is stitching a raunchy sampler something that will keep a girl stitching for the rest of her life? I know that I've been stitching since I was young, very young. I became passionate about cross stitching at 13. With a brief break, well 4-6 years I'm not exactly sure, it was a period of what I now know was postpartum depression mixed with lack of sleep, I have stitched consistently since I was 13. Thirteen! And it didn't take an F bomb to keep me stitching. So are we cross stitchers just a different breed of crafter, do we take life slow and easy, does it mean we have this inner stick-to-it-tiveness that gets us through those projects that last not days, weeks, months but years?

Who are we? Tell your story, fill in the blanks, and let's hope that someone in publishing, in the craft industry, wakes up and sees us as important as knitters and scrapbookers because I have been making the rounds and let me tell you, the craft stores are not reaching out to new cross stitchers by any stretch of the imagination, even if you find JCS or CS&N in a major chain craft store, chances are you won't be able to find the supplies you need for a project out of the magazine. That's seriously messed up.

I have to say that the knitting movement has left me speechless because in all honesty I find knitting as tedious and boring and fussy as cross stitch can be at times. I want to stress AT TIMES because on a scale of 1-10 my cross stitch passion is 11. I am a very nasty person if I don't get to stitch everyday and you know how one is supposed to prioritize one's life, well cross stitch is right behind family for me and some days it's before family because I can get as equally annoyed with my cross stitch as I can my family so I swap them out quite often. I also wanted to add, that I do knit, I enjoy it, there's nothing more relaxing than a garter stitch scarf or something that is endless stockinette. I did not mean to insult any knitters reading this, I want to be a master knitter one day.

I will be honest and say that while I buy CS&N and JCS on a regular basis I no longer subscribe to them because for a time I had to wonder if they had a clue. Both magazines seem to be on track these days but I often wonder if I just got lucky with this or that issue.

OK I realize this post isn't as well thought out as I would have liked* but I'd love to read your responses, hook up with your blogs and see if we can shake up the whole needleart industry because I'm really sad at the current state of cross stitch in the mainstream craft world. Sure there's a huge group of us that know the secret world of the LNS and the ONS and how to rock our cross stitch world but what about all those people that are at the mercy of the major chain craft stores for whatever reason, think about what they are missing out on, and how can we fix that. How can we be Oprah for cross stitch? What can we do to make a difference? To spread the word? To funk up the little X?

*wanted to add that my family came in when I was mid-post, I totally lost my train of thought, so please excuse any grammatical or spelling errors I missed or if it appears that my mind wandered because, well, it did!