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A Mid-Century Modern Christmas

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Categories: A Mid-Century Modern Christmas, Christmas, cross stitch

Good morning! The big day has finally arrived! This is the first time I’ve designed an entire series of ornaments so I’m very excited about it. As you know, the theme is A Mid-Century Modern Christmas. There is something about that time that feels very nostalgic, even if you never lived through it. It was a peaceful decade after the incredible turmoil of World War II, a time when Baby Boomers were growing up and things were prosperous in our nation.

It was the day after Christmas last year when I got the idea for a series of ornaments with a 1950s feel to them. Right away, I sat down at the computer, opened my designing software and a few hours later, the first ornament was born. Over the next few months, the ornament designs grew until I had a collection of them. They were all stitched and ready for finishing by April. Now the big problem…what to do about finishing? I had already finished Crow On Snow a few months back and it was much easier than I thought, thanks to Vonna Pfeiffer’s tutorials. However, there are 12 pieces in this series and the thought of finishing that many ornaments was a little overwhelming to me, especially considering I knew I wanted some of them finished as little pillows and sadly, sewing is something I know little about. I immediately thought of my youngest sister, Valerie, who is a quilter and has done cross stitch and loves embroidery. I knew she was much more handy with a sewing machine than I and I know she is very creative in her crafting. I approached her with the task of finishing my ornaments…she had never done work like this before but she accepted the job. I’m afraid I was probably not very good at communicating what I wanted – I just spoke in general terms of what I thought I wanted the ornaments to look like. I did give her some trims, from Dames of the Needle (I love her hand-dyed trims) and amazingly enough, we also found some rick-rack that was our grandmother’s, still in the package, probably from around the mid-century period. Val was able to use that as well which I think is wonderful…keeping it authentic.

rick rack

In June, I received a package in the mail from Val and to say I was completely delighted with how the ornaments turned out is an understatement. She did an absolutely amazing job finishing them and I was more than thrilled with them. As long as she is willing, I think I have a finisher for future projects. I love her very much and am so proud of her work and her willingness to help me succeed in this project of mine.

I’d also like to thank Lisa Smith, of The Village Stitchery Shop, who got a sneak peek of all the ornaments back in April and was so encouraging to me.  She even pointed me in the right direction to an antiques mall where I found a silver aluminum Christmas tree, to use as a prop for my ornaments.

The first four ornaments will be released this Friday, with the next four following at the end of September and the last four at the end of October.

May I present, the first four ornaments in A Mid-Century Modern Christmas, in order…Aluminum Tree, Bell, Greetings and Ho Ho Ho.

Aluminum TreeBellGreetings Ho Ho Ho

 

 

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Big Announcement!

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Categories: Christmas, cross stitch

The big announcement is that Misty Hill Studio is releasing a series of 12 Christmas ornaments, beginning on August 28. Maybe you can guess the theme. A picture a day will be posted as a hint…can you figure it out? The theme will be officially announced this Saturday.

First hint…

clock radioIf you have a guess as to what the theme will be, leave a comment!

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Clover and Lace

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Categories: cross stitch, flowers, nature, new releases

Clover and Lace will be released this Friday, along with many other designs to celebrate Hoffman Distributing Company’s 30th year in business.  This piece was stitched on 40-count Weeks Dye Works linen (Straw) using DMC and threads from The Gentle Art.

Clover and LaceWhen I found this quote by Edna St. Vincent Millay, I knew right away I wanted to chart it because this is exactly what I do.  We have a four acre property and probably mow a little over two acres of it.  When I mow, I mow around the red clover, Queen Anne’s lace and every other beautiful wildflower I see.  I love red clover – the color is so vibrant and the blooms are fairly large, compared to the white clover that is also around here.  Red clover is also very useful medicinally speaking….look it up sometime.

red cloverred clover

Queen Anne’s Lace is equally as fascinating.  I love it as a filler in my summertime bouquets.  You might not know this but another name for Queen Anne’s Lace is ‘wild carrot’ which is why I tucked two little bunnies into my sampler just for fun.  That, plus the fact that I love bunnies.

white queen anne's lace

Queen Anne's Lace Ask for Clover and Lace at your local needlework shop!

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New Releases

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Categories: cross stitch, new releases, spring

Hello everyone!  Here are my new springtime releases.

A Life Well-Lived is stitched on 32-count Picture This Plus linen (“Wren”) using threads from DMC and The Gentle Art with a stitch count of 84 x 155.  The quote is by Ralph Waldo Emerson.

A Life Well-Lived

 

Crocus Crazy is stitched on 40-count Lakeside Linen (“Flagstone”) using Classic Colorworks silks, with a stitch count of 73 x 55.

Crocus Crazy

 

I hope you enjoy my springtime offerings.  Flowers are obviously on my mind!

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Cross Stitch Humor

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Categories: cross stitch, music

As I was stitching this afternoon, I started thinking about why all of us stitch. I’m firmly convinced it is because we were fed subliminal messages through the radio and because of that, we were kind of brainwashed into stitching.

vintage radio

Did you ever think of that? Many songs from the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s were all about cross stitching and needlework.  I was amazed when I actually realized that this afternoon.

Don’t believe me? Well, stroll down memory lane with me…

Sing along as you read the lyrics…

I Can’t Fight this Stashing

I can’t fight this stashing any longer

And yet I’m still afraid to let anyone know

What started as a hobby

Has grown stronger

I only wish I had the strength to let it go…

 

(remember that one?)

How about this one?

If there’s something strange

On your linen goods,

Who ya gonna call?

SLUBBUSTERS!

If there’s something weird

And it don’t look good

Who ya gonna call?

SLUBBUSTERS!

I ain’t afraid of no slubs!

That was a great song from 1984…I’m still not afraid of the slubs!

 

Here’s another one…

American Dye

Buy, buy, your floss overdyed

Drive your Chevy to your LNS and get your supply

Fill up your stash, never let it run dry

Saying, I don’t care if I use it before I die

vintage radio

Elvis apparently liked needlework, too, although not all forms. He was quite clear about which form of needlework he didn’t like in this song…

Don’t do crewel

Or you’ll feel like a fool

No one does it anymore

You can’t even buy it at the store!

 

One of my favorites was a 1970s disco song called Stitching Queen…see if this takes you back in time.

Stitching Queen,

Collecting stash since I was 17

Stitching Queen

Feel the floss, oh, admire the sheen (oh yeah)

You can count, you can SAL

Having the time of your life

Ooh, see that girl, she’s a needlework machine

Sing it, the Stitching Queen

 

One of my husband’s favorites is this song from 1983…

Every stitch you take

Every count you make

You can’t take a break

Now you’ve made a mistake

You’ll be frogging soon…

equalizer

Some groups really understood the frustrations we stitchers have.  I don’t feel so alone when I sing along with Survivor on this one…

Eye of the needle

It’s a terrible fight

Risin’ up to the challenge of bifocals…

 

And another one which helped us survive our frustrations…

Blinded by Ott Lite

Wrapped up in my threads

In the middle of the night…

 

Even the Beatles got into the act with such hits as I Wanna Stitch In-Hand and We Can Frog It Out.

Some other stitching songs I can remember…

You’ve Lost That Stitchin’ Feeling

Take My Stash Away

Are You Frogging Tonight?

(Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Floss Box

Maybe you can think of some more?  I know there are more songs out there…

 

(with great apologies to REO Speedwagon, Ray Parker, Jr., Don McLean, Elvis, ABBA, The Police, Survivor and Manfred Man’s Earth Band)

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