All this talk about bees caused me to remember that I had a little Prairie Schooler Queen Bee mini-card in my collection. I decided to start it on some leftover, black 14-count Aida cloth from my stash. Large weave Aida is not my favorite fabric as it is so stiff and rough, but it’ll do fine for this small project, which I think will end up as a nice little egg-shaped pincushion. The photo shows how much was stitched in just one sitting, I hope to finish it this weekend.
These are from a Prairie Schooler Nutcracker Santa mini-card design from 1996. The first is on 28-count Evenweave in Mushroom, the second is on 18-count Aida in Oatmeal, both in DMC floss as charted, although I added a border and changed the chart’s feet and belt slightly on the second version. On both I substituted a red seed bead for the one stitch required to represent a holly berry.
Prairie Schooler was for many years my favorite cross stitch designer, and although I’ve stitched plenty of their samplers and annual Santa cards in the past, this is the first time I’ve made up any nutcrackers.
I’ve stitched this little Prairie Schooler mini-card so many times as a gift to give away that I decided maybe I’d like one for myself. I tried it out on some 28-count linen bought on sale at Michael’s Crafts. I also picked up a pair of clip-on magnifiers there that let me see intricate details and still have my hands free for needlework. These work very well, but what a sight I look with then attached to my strongest reading glasses!
Yesterday I had a visit from a sister bearing gifts, including the newest 2013 Prairie Schooler Santa card. She knows that I love to collect Prairie Schooler Santas, so this was a very welcome addition to my charts stash.
She also brought me some beautiful postcards from her recent trip to Russia (foreign postcards are a big favorite of mine) and some delicious Russian chocolate, too! A quick Google search helped me to understand that this yummy fruit and nut concoction was made by Babaevsky Confectionery, the oldest confectionery factory in Russia. The gorgeous red and gold label was almost as impressive as the chocolate bar inside.
It makes me laugh to think that I chose to do two charts from the Prairie Schooler “Welcome Home” book for the walls of my new home, and that I’ve only just now finished the second one — 10 years later! The first piece has been hanging in my entry hall for (gulp) four years now, and today I finally framed and hung its companion.
I suppose every stitcher has a stash of unfinished projects tucked away somewhere. I know I do. When I picked up my needle again after a long stitching drought, I promised myself that I would finish one of those not quite done pieces before starting something new. Well, today I can say that I did that.
This was stitched per the chart with a few small revisions. I deleted the blobby-looking cat and added a second bird (sorry, cat lovers), and skipped a few tree branches so that I could insert some of my favorite bees buzzing around near the chimneys. I also added my initials, something I that forget to do more often than not. Lastly, instead of the current year, I stitched the year I moved into my home.
Prairie Schooler “Welcome Home” Book No. 92
“Home Sweet Home”
18-ct. Natural Aida, DMC floss as charted (mostly)
Stitch count: 85W x 83H
Start in 2009 – finish 08/01/13!
It has been a very long time since I felt like posting about my cross stitching. Real life, work and health issues have been getting in the way of some of my more pleasurable pursuits these last few years. Plus, since my job keeps me at the keyboard all day long, my continuing struggle with CTS (carpal tunnel syndrome) often cuts short the hours I can comfortably use my hands after working hours.
That said, a few months ago I was able to take up an old, unfinished Prairie Schooler “Home Sweet Home” cross stitch, and it’s almost done now.
I changed the design slightly, removing the cat figure and adding another bird. Since I took this photo, I’ve almost finished the second tree and have only the sun, some small window details and a little more customization to go. I plan to add a few bees buzzing around. Bees have always been one of my favorite motifs, because my name means “bee.” It amuses me to sneak in a couple on my projects when I can.
This Prairie Schooler chart is the companion piece for another cross stitch in my entrance hallway. I’ve always found “Home Sweet Home” sentiments a little sappy, but the designs match so well that I couldn’t resist stitching both as a set.
Amazingly, it’s been almost two years since my last post here, so I intend to remedy that right now. I simply haven’t been doing ANY stitching in the intervening time, which is why I’ve had nothing to blog about.
Frankly, after my mother’s death in February of 2010, I lost the motivation to continue with any of my hobbies. You could say that I took a sort of sabbatical from crafting of any kind. I did run across my charts every once in a while, but didn’t have the heart to work on any existing projects, or start any new ones. Since there was no point in pushing myself, I decided to just wait until I felt ready again.
It was just last week that I finally felt an urge to get back to my stitching. My big sister, who is also a crafter, is planning to visit at the end of the month. In preparation for her visit, I started straightening the guest room and found one of my many boxes of cloth neatly tucked away up on a shelf. This started me thinking about how I had shelved my current project basket those many months ago, and when I dragged it out I saw several envelopes full of charts that I had ordered back in 2010. Charts that I had so longed to work on once upon a time, but had abandoned. Loose charts that I had never even filed away for later. This made me sad.
So I took my big binder of charts from the shelf, dusted it off and started flipping through its pages. I suddenly realized that it needed a good deal of organization now, and that was something I felt I could probably handle. Adding the new charts to my log, slipping them into their plastic sleeves and sorting them into the book had me reminiscing a bit about all of the work I’d stitched in the past, and all of the wonderful designs I had yet to do. Something inside of me flickered a little, and right then I decided to begin something.
In my entrance hallway on one side of the large oval mirror hangs my Prairie Schooler “Welcome” blackbird. It used to reside in a glass topped tray, but didn’t look quite right there to my eye, and so migrated to a frame I’d picked up on the cheap from Tuesday Morning. There exists a matching and still empty frame for its companion piece, which I’d always planned to hang on the other side of the mirror, but never quite got around to choosing or starting. Family issues and all that getting in the way. But now I’ve selected “Home Sweet Home” from the Prairie Schooler “Welcome Home” booklet #92 as my very next project. By stitching up this old design I can complete the hallway display that I planned so long ago, and in a way bring that chapter to a close. Perhaps then I will be ready to start something completely new.
Before I could begin I had to locate some matching cloth. I found to my disappointment that I hadn’t more Fiddler’s Cloth left in the correct shade. Not to worry, though, as I did have some left in a lighter ivory tone which I proceeded to tea-dye to the right color.
This experience was my first time ever tea-dying something, and I must say it was an easy exercise which took only a short time and gave me an excellent result. Now that I have my matching cloth ready, I must merely choose floss from my large supply and I can begin. Off to pick colors now.