About the blog

Welcome to my blog. The main focus of this blog is to share my explorations into handmade goods, mostly of the needlework kind. My interests are varied and include reading fantasy and urban paranormal romance, cross stitching and keeping hamsters. I must inform you that all of the pics and text on this blog are copyright protected unless otherwise stated and are not to be used in any other written or pictorial form without written permission from me. I give credit to the creator of the chart or the publication that published them in the caption. If you feel I have infringed on a copyright, please contact me ASAP. Whew..OK, now on to the fun...Thank you and Welcome.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Latest Issue of Cross Stitch and Neelework Magazine - Pros and Cons

I am a fan of this magazine, and most often than not, enjoy the issues and can find something in them that I admire. I have issues going back to when it was called Cross Stitch and Country Crafts and Stitchers World.  They have changed the editor-in-chief recently - I am holding off on my opinion on the change until I see a few more issues. The magazine is a good source of inspiration for trying other techniques. For instance, I discovered stamping fabric because of this magazine and my craft shop was having a sale on stamps that very about timely!

The magazine also has a theme library. There is a page that has little designs that can be used to embellish all sorts of things, and if you want to give designing a hand, you can use the designs to create mini banners and samplers. They are "cute" though. There is also an educational article that explains different needle techniques. There is usually also a designer highlight. It is always cool to read about the artists' stories.

So in general, I recommend this magazine if you want to do different techniques and are new to the art. I am finding, however, that the magazine is going down a path that I may not follow along for much longer.

I received the March issue of this magazine yesterday. I sat down to it with a cup of coffee and a bit of eagerness. I flipped thru the issue really quickly, seeing nothing I would want to make. Then I thought, Chris, go back and look again. So I did. Nope, still nothing. As I flipped thru the magazine, I thought that perhaps I am too old for this magazine. All of the designs in this issue were cutesy, bright and just "too much". I couldn't figure out what was wrong, and then it hit me. The designs called for that annoying DMC Memory thread and other surface techniques. One of the designs had applique. I wouldn't mind it so much if the editors provided the stitching pattern for substitutions to the applique or the Memory Thread. There was an adorable little biscornu with simple hardanger that I might try...that's the only thing that I saw that I could see myself finishing.

The only design that I saw in the magazine that was not a theme project and had no embellishment was a design with bird houses on it. REALLY??? Bird houses? Enough with the #!&@!  bird houses already.

There is always an article in the back of the magazine where a stitcher shares her thoughts/experiences. I am not clear on who she is. In this issue, she writes about the green shoots and buds that are sprouting and how inspired she is by the sight.....I don't know about you, but most of the US is right smack in the middle of winter and its only going to get colder and stormier from here. I know March is spring, but the issue comes out in January, well then, its Winter NOT Spring, isn't it?

CS-N, as a reader, I prefer to have a few options in the magazine that do not include other techniques, and if using the DMC Memory Thread and applique, how about providing substitution graphs...that would be really sweet! Oh, and no more birdhouses. Thank you!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Below is a pic of a freebie designed by Jane Greenoff. I started this about 2 years ago but didn't like the way it was turning out. I had made some substitutions - not very good ones, apparently, as the design looks quite muddled. I will finish with this in a few more hours, I believe. Which will be my second finish with this Challenge.

Here is what it looked like a few weeks ago when I started work on it.

Here is what it looked like last night.

It can't be seen in the pic, but the material is a wonderful vibrant yellow color. It's a 28 count evenweave that I am working with two threads over one. I can't wait to finish it!