review: Cross-stitch to Calm

Cross-stitch to Calm

Cross-stitch to Calm: Stitch and De-Stress with 40 Simple Patterns by Leah Lintz

I feel like many of us could use some calming in our lives these days – I know that I rely on knitting to take me to a good head space – and what a bonus to produce something at the same time. Lintz offers 40 patterns that are more modern than most commercially available patterns. These are not designed to be cute (though some are in the broad sense of the term) and have a more no-frills look. Most of these designs are monochrome and may benefit from being stitched on fabric in colors other than white. Patterns include flora, fauna, symbols, objects, and words. My favorite design is the rainbow-color word Smile, though I do also love the Bird on a Branch, Flock, Pretty Kitty, Abstract Dandelion, and Bonsai.

full disclosure: I borrowed this book from the Kent District Library through the awesome MeLCat ILL system


Cool Britannia

In the interest of catching up on things I haven’t managed to post about this summer, here is a look back at the Cool Britannia swap I did in June.

This theme was really easy to work with! London and the UK are iconic and places that many people like to travel, and with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee happening just before this swap, I had a lot of material and inspiration to work with.

I found this Corgi cross stitch pattern online and decided it would be perfect for this swap. I shrank it quite a bit, using very small cross stitch fabric, and then sewed it into a Blythe-size stuffed animal.

cross-stitch stuffed Corgi

I created a Union flag mini-dress, which turned out a little big (the prototype I made turned out a little small – next time I make it, it’ll be just right):

Union Jack mini dress

As well as a skirt and sweater set:

Union Jack sweater set

Here are all the items I sent. I made a Cool Britannia wallpaper wrapped box, and included a variety of items including stickers, a notebook, Keep Calm ribbon, charms, and a knitted Dalek finger puppet that I made.

what I sent

Wrapped and ready to be sent:


And Liz sent me a great package, too!

Liz picked a totally appropriate box for this package!

oh my goodness! so many goodies!

A totally neat card:

lovely card

And a ton of goodies!

wow! look at all of this!

Is this not the most adorable tea cup ever? Handmade and so cute! With commemorative Jubilee tea, no less.

the cutest teacup ever, with some of the Queen's special commemorative Jubilee tea

And a gown fit for royalty, modeled here by Ash.

amazing royal ensemble with tiara, modeled by Ash

As ever, I’m so pleased and feel so lucky to be part of this great Blythe swap community.


Lumpus Loves You

One of my most awesome intarwebs friends is Carrie Anne of the Little Big Blog and the Little Big Vintage Shop. She is a kickass thrifter, mom, cook, crafter, and wrangler of cats. One of her cats is known lovingly by the nickname of Lumpus (he’s kind of a big guy) and one day we were chatting on twitter and she reminded me that, if nothing else, one should always remember that Lumpus loves you. This inspired me to make a cross stitch that she could hang on the wall.

I used a free online service to translate the photo to a cross stitch pattern, and though it came out with slightly darker colors than I probably would’ve chosen otherwise, I think it turned out pretty well.

Lumpus Loves You cross stitch

Lumpus Loves You cross stitch

When I was finished stitching, I trimmed the fabric to just a bit larger than the hoop:

Lumpus Loves You cross stitch

Then I cut a circle of cardboard that would fit almost snugly inside the hoop and covered it with a layer of fleece and a layer of cute kitty fabric I happened to have on hand. I sewed this together to draw it tight around the cardboard:

Lumpus Loves You cross stitch

Here you can see the fleece under the fabric:

Lumpus Loves You cross stitch

Lumpus Loves You cross stitch

Here it is all stitched up and ready to use:

Lumpus Loves You cross stitch

At this point I realized that if I left the flap of cross stitch fabric overlapping underneath, it would show through, so I trimmed it very carefully and glued it to the hoop:

Lumpus Loves You cross stitch

I cut another circle of white fleece to go inside so that it would help the design stand out well:

Lumpus Loves You cross stitch

And then popped the fabric-covered circle into the back of the hoop:

Lumpus Loves You cross stitch

And voila! A finished product:

Lumpus Loves You cross stitch

Carrie Anne was pleased with it, and so am I. I haven’t done much cross stitch in years (decades!) and it has been fun to get back into it a little.


home sweet home

One of the things I am thankful for is that we have a great home, and that we got to travel to my parents’ lovely home for a delicious Thanksgiving dinner. Speaking of home…

Home is where the controller is

The Domestic Scientist has created this clever pattern, which I think would be perfect for a housewarming present. Nintendo, Wii, and NES controller logos also available. And all for free!

via Craftzine