Thursday, August 21, 2008

Cross (stitch) My Heart

I started cross stitching the summer after I graduated college (i.e., a long time ago). I used to spend my lunch hours cross stitching at my desk and one day a young woman with whom I was acquainted stopped to talk to me when she saw me stitching. It turns out that she had recently picked up cross stitching, too, and we quickly became friends. We started out exchanging patterns and visiting cross stitch shops together, and before we knew it, we were the best of friends. In fact, three years later she was the bridesmaid in my wedding.   

While visiting Jace's blog at Jace Scribbles the other day, I came across a post in which Jace shared some pictures of a cross stitch project she was working on and I became inspired. I decided it was time to revisit some unfinished projects of mine.

When I first started stitching all those years ago, I made so many beautiful wedding, baby, anniversary and housewarming samplers as gifts for friends and family, but never made anything for myself. When my first daughter was born, I finally managed to stitch a birth sampler for my own home. I thought I had a birth sampler started for my second daughter, but I can't find one. I'll stitch one for her. Hopefully before she graduates high school. 
She's nine now. 

At one point, I started the love sampler below that would be for my and my husband's 10th wedding anniversary, but didn't manage to pull that together in time. 

This is what the final project should look like:  
(Of course with our names and wedding date stitched in .... )
Pattern by Bent Creek.

This is what I have so far: 

(click on the photo for enlarged view)

And you know, I just missed finishing it for our 15th wedding anniversary-- because, well, we just celebrated that today. [Okay, how'd that happen? One day we were newlyweds, and then Poof! Here we are married for 15 years!  ]  

I have come up with a new deadline, though. Since we are doing an addition to our house which includes a new master bedroom, I am going to finish this sampler--and have it framed-- before we are ready to spend our first night in our new love shack bedroom.  

This is another unfinished project that I started even earlier than the love sampler. This one I will try to finish in time to hang in my future renovated kitchen. 

(click on photo for enlarged view)

Can you believe that? I got stuck on R for Rooster. I only have S, T, U, V, W, X, Y and Z left! 

Who else cross stitches or does any other form of embroidery or needle crafts? 
What about any other craft projects like beading or jewelry making?
Scrapbooking or stamping? 
(I have a friend who makes beautiful homemade cards). 
Decoupage? Paper mache? 

Basically, what's your craft thing?


  1. By the time you have finished these, you'll have caught the bug again. Happy anniversary

  2. Christine,

    First of all, HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, and here's wishing you and hubby many happy years ahead! :-D

    Your anniversary sampler is going to turn out beautiful. The entire design - colour combination + fonts/letters + flowers - is so rustic and nostalgic ... I get all fuzzy inside just looking at it! *grin*

    Oh, you should just finish off the kitchen sampler first ... you've got only a little more to go! A few evenings and you'll be done. I look forward to seeing the finished piece. :-)

  3. I forgot to add that besides cross-stitching, I also glass-paint and make origami cards and bookmarks. :-D

    I've been neglecting these for books/reading in the last couple of years, but am slowly picking them up again.

  4. Oh, this is so funny, and what a nice way to meet a friend. Happy anniversary !

  5. WOW...Cross stitching. I haven't done any in years! OM, yeah it's been years. My mom did this huge carousel horse for me way back in 92. I should dig it out and take a picture and post it.
    I can't cross stitch anymore. It's killer on my fingers.
    I used to scrapbook but I kinda lost interest. I did make one for both me and my mom from our trip to RAW last year. They were 8x10 and very simply done. Maybe I'll do a blog about that. I keep meaning to look through them with Devin. They are alot of fun. I kinda miss creating the pages too and shopping for cool new embelishments.
    I used to scrap a little with my Dental Hygienist and she just told me the other day that her a few other ladies get together somewehre and scrap. She invited me if I ever wanted to join them. Maybe I should.
    I hope you get your things finished!

    And Happy Anniversary!

  6. I used to cross stitch while watching football. Unfortunately, I get a little...ummm...emotional (yeah, let's call it emotional and not psychotic) during football and I kept losing count. Now I crochet.

    I've made about 6 afghans so far. I love doing them, and as they get bigger, they're warm to sit under. I'm currently working on one for my nephew to take with him to college. He's a big boy, so it needs to be bigger than my others.

    But football season is starting again, so I'll really get going again.

    My roomie cross stitches. She does Frank Lloyd Wright designs and biblical verses. They're gorgeous and are all over our house. I love them, but I'd never ever have the patience for them.

  7. That's lovely work. I especially like the anniversary sampler. Congrats of 15 years!

    I quilt. But I'm cranky because I haven't had time to work on anything for 3 weeks now. Too much back-to-school, PTA stuff to do.

  8. I'm not crafty. No knitting, crochet, cros stitch, scrapbooking, painting...nothing. I feel so left out. :(

  9. Those look very nice, great job. I have cross-stitched i nthe past and enjoyed it. I do not know why i stopped, but now i am more into scrapbooking. Though with the new baby and the other two I have not been able to in way too long.

  10. What a beautiful pattern. I used to cross stitch but gave it up when knitting became cooler. Now I do nothing.

    DH and I have been together 14 years (married 12) and it has flown, in a good way.

    Hope you get those renovations done on time and within budget!

  11. These are so cool. My oldest sister cross-stitches and she's done some great stuff. I have these wonderful carousel horse pillows that she did for me when I was in my late teens and now my kids just think their wonderful! Keep up the good work, they look great.

    Happy Belated Anniversary!

  12. Happy anniversary!

    I crochet. It is a great way to be "productive" while watching TV. See? I accomplished something while I was sitting here mainlining all of Buffy season one!

    I scrapbook, too, but haven't donr it in... wow, over a year, at least. Guess I should say I used to scrapbook. I guess my interest turned more to the artistic side of photography. I splurged on a digital SLR a couple years ago and tend to take tons of portraits. Not crafty, per say, but I can waste tons of time editing and refine the photos on my computer.

  13. I've always wanted to get into embroidery. I've tried counted cross-stitching a couple of times, but math is not my strong point & I always end up screwing it up. Also, with the tendonitis I suffer in both of my thumbs, holding small needles is about the equivalent of shoving hot pokers into my eyes. *sigh* So, probably not. :(

  14. Awww! that's awesome!

    Happy Anniversary!!!

    I used to cross stitch forever ago...just little projects that I lost. I did buy quite a few of those booklets, but I think my mom claimed them!

    I completed only one "large" ('s not very big at all...but it took me 5 yrs to complete!!) project that I ever completed...I made it for my grandmother. I will try to take a pic of it for you. It is still in the china hutch here where she kept many of her "gift treasures."

  15. Christine....I've cross-stitched all my life. My grandmother instilled the joy of it in me when I was very young and have continued to do it till this very day. My house is littered with projects that I've done. (And yes, I know what you mean about where has the time gone with being married! We'll be celebrating our 20th next month! WTF?? Happy Anniversary, babe.)

    I have about five projects going at any one time. When I get bored with one, I'll pick up and work on another. But I will admit that time has been scarce since I've taken up that OTHER hobby of writing....*snort*

    Nice to see some of your projects. Muuuah!

  16. Happy (belated) Anniversary, Christine. And many many more!!

    I haven't attempted cross stitching, it looks really intricate and my patience isn't tolerant enough for intricate, but this summer I did start crocheting.

    I hope that you are able to get back to these and finish them up. They are very nice and I'm sure they will be beautiful once complete.

  17. Hope you had a great Anniversary!

    I do a lot of different crafts, but I haven't touched my cross-stitch projects in years. Right now it's mostly scrapbooking, stamping, beading and crochet. :)

  18. Thank you all so much for the Happy Anniversary wishes! I can hardly believe it's been 15 years already (more than 19 since our first date...). It all still feels so new in a lot of ways, which I think is really cool.

    Miss 376 :: Welcome! I'm happy my first post on cross stitching brought you to my little corner of the world. I visited your blog and am blown away by the number and complexity of projects you have going on. Wow!

    Phyl :: Welcome to my blog! I went to your blog thinking it was entirely dedicated to quilting and other needlecrafts. Imagine my delight when I discovered you're a romance reader, too! Yay! By the way, your quilts are gorgeous! Do you machine or hand sew them? Or both?

    As for the rest of my book blogging friends, I'm so happy you all came by and commented on this post. I knew it was a bit different from my usual, but can't tell you how happy it made me to learn that so many of you dabble in one craft or another. Creating art with your hands and heart is really rewarding. I'm excited to pick up cross stitching again.

    Thanks again for visiting and encouraging me to pick up these projects. I had a lot of fun sharing this little piece of me with you!! :)

  19. Jace :: The love sampler doesn't have any backstitching on it, so right now it appeals to me more. I figure the easier the project, the more inclined I'll be to make time for it. But that one is stitched on linen as opposed to the evenweave of Aida cloth. Hmmm.

    Origami cards sound amazing, by the way!

    CJ :: It is a neat story, isn't it? Friendships made over discussions on linen and embroidery thread. ;)

    Amy C :: I loved the scrap booking post you made Friday. Its a great way to preserve your memories!

    MK :: LOL And you don't mess up your crocheting while watching the games? I'd love to see pictures of your afghans.

    JenB :: LOL Do you polish your toenails? You can say you paint! ;p

    Kris :: Well, you've got three young girls and one is an infant! I couldn't find time to do anything for myself when mine were that young. I'm amazed that you're keeping up with your reading!

  20. Jessica :: I always wanted to learn how to knit or crochet. I think I'd need a personal trainer for that. ;)

    Tracy :: That makes two commentators with cross stitched carousels in their home! What are the chances of that? LOL

    Shannon :: Crochet and photography! Very cool. Have you ever visited The Pioneer Woman website? Ree does some amazing transformations with her photos on photoshop. Its inspiring! My husband recently gave me his hand me down camera and has been teaching me a bit about photography, too. Maybe that will be my next creative endeavor post! :D

    Bridget :: LOL No crazy math in cross stitching. Just counting! But I totally hear you on the tendonitits. I know my eyesight isn't as good as it used to be. I'm wondering how that will effect my cross stitching now. :(

    dd03 :: YES! Take pictures for me!!!

    T.M. :: Wow! It's your 20th Anniversary next month!? Congrats to both of you!

    Brie :: Another crocheter! Have you finished a project already? I'd love to see pictures!

    Kimberly :: Wow! You have a lot of crafting hobbies. What kind of beading do you do? I have done a little bit. Jewelry making I've done a few times outside the home at Specialty Beading Shops and really loved it. I've also recently made some beaded book thongs (bookmarks) as gifts and will definitely make more.

  21. I don't think that anything I work on now is as difficult to do as the cross-stitch...and your projects are lovely!

    In beading I used to do designs with the small seed beads, but now I use the larger beads and do necklaces and bracelets (mostly for everyone I love the book thongs, but haven't made any! Honestly, if you can do the counted cross-stitch you could probably teach yourself any craft you tried. :)

  22. Thanks very much Christine; I'm glad you stopped by my blog. Oh yes, I'm a big romance reader, too. These days, most of my quilts are made by machine; there just aren't enough hours in the day to do them by hand, although years ago I used to.

    Other than that I cross stitch and use to scrap book right now though I do nothing but read, write reviews, manage blogs and write. So anyway I can't wait until we get to see the final project.

  24. Sarai :: Thank you for the anniversary wishes! :)

    All the reading, reviewing, writing, and blogging you do is enough to keep anyone busy! I can barely keep up with reading your blogs! LOL

    I'll be sure to post a picture of my projects when I've finished them. Just ... um.... don't hold your breath! ;)

  25. Hiya Christine! I do cross stitcvh, embroidery, plastic canvas, I am learning how to knit,I like to sew those kit projects for the holidays, we used to make candles, i havent found a new kit yet to do with my son, but i am looking! I love to LOOk at scrapbooking projects but its just tooo fiddley for me, but i sure can appreciate al the creativity and time that people pour into those pages.
    I left you Anniversary wish in an ofline message on yim last week, I hope your day was lovely!
    Take care! Kimi :)

  26. FUN! I knit, sew, scrapbook and make cards. I dabble in painting. I have done quite a lot of ceramics and want to start back up again after a break. I just wish I could read and craft at the same time. I need more hands!

  27. (((( Kimi )))) Thanks for the comment, sweetie. I got your offline message on YIM. You're so sweet for remembering. My girls like a lot of the Klutz craft kits and books. Our latest obsession has been making flower faires from silk flowers. So cool. You may want to check them out for your little man the next time you're at the book or craft store. They have some amazing how-to books.

    Ciara :: I'm with you! I need more hands and more time!!!!

  28. Happy (extremely belated) anniversary, Christine!

    How funny... I cross stitch a bit myself :grin: but reading is my first addict... erm, love.

    I also do tinker a bit with making cards and knitting.

  29. I found your blog while searching google for cross stitch patterns :)
    I am so with you - I have loads of 'nearly finished' and 'just started' projects. Too bad as I love the patterns and they would make a great addition to the house. Oh well... one day... (maybe)
    I absolutely love the kitchen sampler! That's a project I'd like to start... (mind you, I didn't say finish! :p)

    I've limited my crafts to Digital Scrapbooking. No mess in the house and no one sees the unfinished projects ;)

    Happy (belated) Anniversary!

  30. Hi Antoinette! :)
    I get a huge amount of hits on my blog for this post. I'm so glad you decided to leave a comment. It's always nice to meet people with similar interests.

    This post was from August 2008--over a year ago, and I'm so embarrassed to say that I haven't made a bit of progress on either of those cross stitch projects! *blushes* I did think about it a lot, though. Does that count? LOL I even brought the wedding sampler with me when we had to move out of our house to an apartment for a while this last year. But alas, I never threaded a needle! I recently relieved myself of a few volunteer positions, though, so maybe I'll have a bit more time for crafts now. I hope so.

    Thanks so much for the anniversary wishes. We just celebrated 16 years last week. :)

  31. Antoinette: Do you want the information about the kitchen sampler pattern? It's by Leisure Arts, but I can get you the leaflet number and publication year if you're interested.

  32. It was extremely interesting for me to read that post. Thanks for it. I like such topics and anything that is connected to them. I definitely want to read a bit more soon.

    Hilary Benedict


Leave a comment! I love to hear what YOU think.
[I apologize, but I've had to disallow anonymous users to comment on my blog due to an influx of spam. I'll change it back as soon as I can. Thanks for understanding.]