Monday, January 8, 2018

2018 Goals

As I mentioned in my previous post, I met my 2017 goals. I've set three goals for the coming year:

1. Twenty New Etsy Listings
2. Start Offering Kits of my Patterns
3. Try Dying Fabric

I think this will keep me very busy this year.

Monday, January 1, 2018

2017 Round Up

Last January, I posted about my Goal for 2017. At that time, I had the goal to release 12 new cross-stitch patterns. In March, I boosted that number to 18. And I reached that goal! Here are the patterns I released in 2017:

I didn't include the following in my count, but I also released the following combo packs and free patterns:

Beyond creating and releasing cross-stitch patterns, I also had a booth at 4 different events this fall. I am grateful for all I was able to accomplish this year and look forward to what I'll accomplish this next year. Watch for my next post on my goals for 2018!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Nutcracker Bookmarks

On Monday, I released my Red, Blue, and Green Nutcracker Cross-Stitch Patterns Combo Pack, as well as my Red and Green Nutcracker Cross-stitch Patterns.

I designed the Blue Nutcracker Cross-stitch Pattern after two years dancing as a party scene parent in the Shenandoah Ballet's annual Nutcracker performance. During the second year, I cross-stitched during the times when I wasn't on stage. A couple of girls enjoyed watching me, and one suggested I design a nutcracker. I liked the idea, so I designed the Blue Nutcracker and based it on the costume worn by the Nutcracker in the Shenandoah Ballet's production.

I didn't release the Blue Nutcracker Cross-stitch Pattern until the next Nutcracker season. That Christmas I gave a framed Blue Nutcracker Cross-stitch to the director, who is also my instructor for Adult Ballet.

I knew I wanted to do Red and Green Nutcracker Patterns as well since I love red and green nutcrackers. For the Red Nutcracker, I used the Nutcracker ornament I own for inspiration.

For the Green Nutcracker, I got inspiration from some Nutcrackers my friend Cinzia made. I combined elements from both her Nutcrackers into my design.

I stitched the Red and Green Nutcrackers using Gold Kreinik Thread. I like the softer feel of the Kreinik over the DMC, making it perfect to use on bookmarks. I had not been introduced to Kreinik thread yet when I stitched the Blue Nutcracker.

Which Nutcracker is your favorite?

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Blackwork American Flag

On the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend, inspiration struck and I immediately started designing this pattern. Monday, I started stitching it. I only learned of blackwork within the last year, but I have become fascinated with it since then. This is my first blackwork pattern, but I can assure you it will not be my last. I already have other blackwork ideas in mind.

I enjoyed stitching this project. I worried that the white wouldn't stand out well enough, but I think it turned out well.

For this project, I chose to frame it myself since I don't have the funds to have all my pieces professionally framed. I used this tutorial as my guide. Here is what I did:

1. Pick Frame and Mat - I didn't have the piece with me, but I used a picture on my phone to guide me. I had measured the finish piece and knew the smallest viewing area would need to be 4x6", so I chose a 5x7" frame and a 4x6" mat.

2. Wash - I always wash my pieces after they are finished.

3. Iron - after it dried.

4. Cut Foam Core Board to Size - it needs to be a bit smaller than the framed area so it will fit in the frame once the fabric is on it.

5. Center the Piece on the Foam Core Board - I put one pin in the center of each side to help it stay in place after I centered it. I did have to readjust a couple times.

6. Pin the Fabric to the Foam Core Board - I used pins I saved from dress shirts we've bought for my husband.

7. Put the Mat and the Mounted Fabric in the Frame - mine was a tight fit.

8. Close the back of the Frame - it's finished!

The pattern for this Blackwork American Flag is now available on Etsy.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

White Rose Bookmark

When I decided to do a yellow rose bookmark pattern, I knew I had to do a white rose bookmark pattern as well. I have loved white roses ever since I graduated from high school. After graduation, they gave each graduating girl a white rose.

I designed the white rose at the same time as the yellow rose, but didn't start stitching it until after I finished the yellow rose.

Like the red rose, it took me three tries to get this design to a point where I was completely happy with it. And I tried out a lot of different ideas in my design program as well.

My white rose bookmark pattern is now available on Etsy. And, it includes the patterns for all three designs.

You can also buy all of my rose patterns as a combo pack. When you buy the combo pack, you save $3.

Which rose is your favorite?

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Yellow Rose Bookmark

As I worked on my Enchanted Red Rose Bookmark, a friend suggested I do a yellow rose bookmark pattern as well. At first I rejected the idea, but by the end of the day, the idea had taken root and I started designing this bookmark. I am so glad for that suggestion because I love this bookmark. 

I used these photos as reference while picking colors.
Designing and stitching this bookmark brought back memories of the yellow rose bush next to the driveway of one of my childhood homes. I loved that yellow rose bush. As I stitched, I also thought about what yellow roses represent. According to, "The yellow rose represents filial love, the love of friendship. Yellow roses represent the love between siblings and very close friends. The yellow rose is not as sensual and romantic as other roses; instead its sunshine radiance speaks toward the joy resulting in shared experiences and the promise of further adventures. Yellow roses send a clear message of respect and are make great gifts for childhood friends and respected coworkers alike. Yellow roses illuminate the air around them and bring joy and optimism to anywhere they are placed."

I modified my Enchanted Red Rose pattern
to create the design for this bookmark.

Despite being based on my Enchanted Red Rose pattern, not everything was sunshine and roses (pun intended) during the process. A friend counselled me not to do the backstitching in black, as had been my first thought. I took me four tries to get the color right for the stem and leaves, causing a frustrating evening of stitching and then unstitching. At least I got the colors right for the rose and border backstiching on the first tries.

The the four colors I tried.

In the end, it all worked out. The pattern and example bookmark and done and looking great. And the pattern is now available on Etsy.