ThreadworX Variegated Floss – New Arrivals in the Shop!

ThreadworX variegated floss has just been added to my Etsy shop!threadworx variegated floss

Just look at these gorgeous combinations of color – and they’re even better looking in person. ThreadworX creates these brilliant flosses in their Southern California facility. As I live relatively close by, I’ve been lucky enough to meet the creative talent behind these combinations. These flosses truly are hand-dyed – I was greeted with a green handshake the day I visited.

The manufacturing process for DMC and Anchor variegated threads, I believe, limits the number of different colors on one skein to four. While those flosses are gorgeous in their own right, the hand-dyed process at ThreadworX allows for more than four colors on one skein. This is best evidenced by the true rainbow of floss number 1154 – Bradley’s Balloons.threadworx 1154 variegated floss bradleys balloons

When unraveled, these are 20-yard skeins composed of 20 pieces of one-yard long floss as you can see below. This is different than the 8.7 yard long skeins of DMC and Anchor that many of us are accustomed to. However, this is a similar top-quality six-strand floss that stitches up exactly the same as a DMC or Anchor floss.

threadworx skein is many one-yard piecesBelow is a sample of this floss stitched on 18-count Aida cloth in a variety of directions. The top three (diagonal, serpentine vertical, and spiral) used two strands, and the bottom (serpentine horizontal) used just one strand. threadworx 1154 variegated floss bradleys balloons on 18 count aida

Here’s the same floss again stitched on 14-count Aida cloth. The left sample used one strand, and the right used two. threadworx 1154 variegated floss bradleys balloons on 14 count aida

This floss has great quality, it was easy to handle, and it was really fun to see how the colors changed with every stitch.

At the moment, I’m just carrying the 24 flosses you see in the photo at top, however if these start to sell well, I can easily see my shop adding more colors very soon!

Here are a few of my favorites thus far:

threadworx 1039 variegated floss autumn leavesAbove is ThreadworX 1039 – Autumn Leaves. It’s a gorgeous mix of browns, gold, rust, and dark gray. I can only hope that this photos does it justice, as it is stunning!threadworx 1039 variegated floss pastel bouquet

This subtle mix of pink, yellow, gray-green, and purple is ThreadworX 1078 – Pastel Bouquet.threadworx 1068 variegated floss hawaiian flowers

This combination of greens and purple is 1068 – Hawaiian Flowers, although it really reminds me of the beautiful Jacaranda trees that bloom in Southern California in the late spring. threadworx 1044 variegated floss chili peppers

ThreadworX variegated floss 1044 is a spicy blend of greens, dark red, and rust named “Chili Peppers.”threadworx 1032 variegated floss brown sugar and spice

1032 – Brown Sugar and Spice is a subtle mix of light browns – from white chocolate through milk chocolate and dark chocolate shades. It reminds me of seeing timeless geologic strata in bright desert light. Once again, I hope the photo does this floss justice as I really adore this one! threadworx 1053 variegated floss dreamscape

The last one I’ll highlight for now is this ThreadworX 1053 – Dreamscape. It is indeed a dreamy combination of purple, greens and light blue. Lovely!

I hope you check out the ThreadworX variegated floss and all of the variegated flosses I carry in my Etsy shop. Also check out my six-part series on a million different ways to use variegated floss in craft projects from needlework and quilting to furniture, jewelry, home decor and much more!

Deeds Not Words Cross Stitch Pattern

This Deeds Not Words cross stitch pattern is now available in my Etsy shop!deeds not words cross stitch pattern suffragette bannerThis was one of the mottoes of the women’s suffrage movement, as seen on the massive banner in this photo:deeds not words cross stitch example suffragette banner

Although the image is black and white, I imagine that the banner was in the purple, white, and green colors of the British suffrage movement. The three colors symbolized loyalty, purity, and hope.

Women worked so hard for the right to vote. They were jailed, went on hunger strikes, and even died for the suffrage rights women hold today. This right is something no woman should take for granted. I was encouraged recently to see women in the House of Representatives and Senate wearing white in honor of the suffragettes (in other photos and articles you’ll see some women wore purple as well).deeds not words cross stitch democratic women wearing whiteWhile “Deeds not Words” was a rallying cry for the more militaristic suffragists, I am by no means advocating violence. Instead, I hope this pattern will inspire us to demand action from ourselves, others, and our elected officials. Anyone can talk about “what needs to happen” while it’s a precious few who actually take steps to create positive change. I hope this Deeds Not Words project may serve as a reminder to do just that.

Think for Yourself and Question Authority Cross Stitch Pattern

My Think for Yourself and Question Authority cross stitch pattern is now available in my Etsy shop!think for yourself and question authority cross stitch pattern

The inspiration for the pattern comes from a famous quote from Dr. Timothy Leary. He was a psychiatrist who advocated the use of LSD for therapeutic uses, and he was a counter culture icon from the 1960’s until his death in 1996. In fact, Richard Nixon considered Leary one of the most dangerous men in America. In the 60’s he popularized the phrases “turn on, tune in, drop out” and “think for yourself and question authority”.

The pattern features a mirrored pair of fun 1960’s pop art style flowers that I intended to bring a little color and flair in juxtaposition to the more serious nature of the quote. Pop art started in the 1950’s, bloomed in the 1960’s, and the style of these flowers could easily be seen in the works of artists such as Peter Max and the animation team behind the Beatles‘ movie Yellow Submarine.

Of course, I don’t advocate that we all drop acid and form our own psychedelic religions while skipping in and out of jail. However, the idea that we read, research, and think for ourselves and question all kinds of authority (political, religious, economic, et al.) is certainly valid. And if the political culture of 2016 is any indication, it appears that a little 1960’s-style peaceful counterculture would be a welcome change.

Let this think for yourself and question authority cross stitch pattern be a good reminder to have some healthy skepticism of authority.

DMC Coloris Variegated Flosses

The new DMC Coloris variegated flosses have just been added to my Etsy shop!

dmc coloris 24 new variegated flosses

These 24 flosses are outstanding additions to DMC’s already excellent line of variegated threads. These are all true multicolor combinations, where most of their predecessors have more subtle color combinations.

These are so new in the States that it’s a little tough to find information about them. DMC USA has not updated their website yet with Coloris information, however the DMC UK site has a little information and five free charts.

I felt like a kid on Christmas morning when opened the boxes containing these flosses – it was so fun! I’m sure my husband got tired of me repeatedly saying “oooh” and “wow” as if I were watching fireworks. But these combinations are just so different and striking that I couldn’t help myself.

Here are a few of my early favorites…

DMC 4501 ColorisDMC 4501, called Fleurs des Champs (Wildflowers), is a springy blend of watermelon pink, green, and light teal. It reminds me most of the inner layers of a watermelon rind.

 

 

 

DMC 4502 ColorisDMC 4502 is called Camellia and is a springy combination of bright pinks, green, and light blue.

 

 

 

DMC 4506 ColorisDMC 4506, Primavera (Spring), is a gorgeous blend of green, blue, and yellow.

 

 

 

 

DMC 4507 ColorisDMC 4507 is called Bougainvillea, and it’s a gorgeous group of teal greens, blue, and dark pink. It reminds me most of peacock feathers.

 

 

 

DMC 4523 ColorisDMC 4523, Vent du Nord (North Wind), is a lovely combination of light purple, light blue, and sandy browns.

 

 

 

DMC 4520 ColorisOne curious note: I think DMC 4520, called “Christmas Story,” is identical to the older DMC 4042 “Very Merry.” I will have to compare them in more detail, but in the meantime I’m wondering why they repeated this combination.

 

 

These DMC Coloris variegated flosses are just lovely and I really look forward to stitching with them. I also think they will look great in any of the multitude of crafts that can be done with variegated floss (check out my six-part series on variegated floss projects!).

Men in Blazers Cross Stitch Pattern

This Men in Blazers cross stitch pattern is now available in my Etsy shop!men in blazers cross stitch pattern crap goals make my pants tingle

If you follow English football and have a sense of humor, make sure you catch the Men in Blazers. On a tight budget and a miniscule staff, Michael Davies and Roger Bennett create very funny podcasts, TV shows, Twitter and Instagram feeds, and they are even hosting their first “BlazerCon” in October 2015.

I have to credit my Dad with discovering the TV show that airs Monday nights on NBC Sports Network. I’m not sure how he found it, but as my husband closely follows British football, we are SO glad he did. Rog and Davo are smart, funny, and quick. The show is full of bizarre metaphors and obscure references – I’d say it’s like an English Premier League version of Mystery Science Theater 3000.

There’s a lot of “crap” in the Men in Blazers – as in “crap goals,” and their studio is in the “crap part of Soho.” There’s also a lot of “tingling,” usually in Rog’s pants or pectoral areas. Frequent references to Arsenal player Olivier Giroud’s “meaty french forehead,” Man City’s goalkeeper Joe Hart’s appearance (especially when he had the moustache), whatever nuttiness Louis van Gaal was up to in the last week, and keeping an eye on the crazy fans in the stands are some of their features.

The Men in Blazers have also tackled American football – this video is some of their highlights:

I actually had a tough time deciding what saying to use for this project as there are so many possibilities! I originally thought of a couple of their sartorial hashtags: #MovetoTweed and #LeantoLinen. Next I considered the name of their loyal followers: GFOP’s aka Great Friends of the Podcast. But then I decided some crap and some tingling needed to get involved and so I created this Men in Blazers cross stitch pattern, perfect for your favorite GFOP’s!

French Liquor License Cross Stitch Pattern

This French liquor license cross stitch pattern is now available in my Etsy shop!french liquor license cross stitch pattern

 

french liquor license cross stitch pattern original signThis fun pattern is based on an enameled metal sign I saw outside the Hotel Le Tropicana in Douville, France. I thought it was a really charming sign and I immediately knew that I would stitch one for myself someday.

The number IV (4) indicates that the establishment can sell all types of beers, wines, and spirits. License types I, II, and III exist as well.

 

 

 

We stayed at this hotel as the 2014 Tour de France individual time trial (ITT) stage passed very close by. In a previous blog post, I shared a little about why the ITT is our favorite stage to watch and some highlights and videos of the Tour.

gypsy ways update 6 french sign translation failI’m going to repeat myself a bit from that same previous post: “One of my favorite finds of the summer was very near our hotel. There is a nice little campground with a lake, [and] this is one of the signs around the lake:

 

 

The English part of the sign really means to say ‘Swimming in the lake is prohibited,’ so one can only assume this is just a spectacular web-based translation fail.” Although this sign is a cute favorite, I don’t plan on creating a cross stitch pattern based on it.

I’ve always been curious about the date on the plaque – 24 September 1941. This was after France fell to the Germans in World War II. There are few other images of this plaque on the web, but the ones I have seen have the same date. So was this liquor license law something that was in legislative process before the German invasion, or was this law something that the Germans insisted upon during their occupation? I’d enjoy to hear any insights into the matter.

This French liquor license cross stitch pattern is a perfect project for your favorite Francophiles (fans of French culture), oenophiles (fans of wine), and beer connoisseurs. It would look great in a kitchen, dining room, home bar, media room – wherever good libations are enjoyed!

Blues Brothers Cross Stitch Pattern – If the Shit Fits…

This Blues Brothers cross stitch pattern is now available in my Etsy shop!blues brothers cross stitch pattern if the shit fits wear it

This project is a quote uttered by no other than Donald “Duck” Dunn, base player for the band. He says this line after they had played at Bob’s Country Bunker, a rowdy country and western bar.

This is a funny (and rude) take on the old saying “If the shoe fits, wear it,” which is quite an old idiom in itself.

From this and his other lines in the movie, it’s plain to see that Donald Dunn was no actor, but he was a great musician. In 1992 he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Booker T and the MG’s, and his musical accomplishments, including recording sessions with Stax Records and extensive touring and performing with everyone from Muddy Waters to Eddie Vedder, are the stuff of legend.

I was lucky enough to see him in person when he was touring with Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young in the mid-2000’s. I had no idea he was with the band until he appeared on stage. I may have been more excited to be in the same room with a member of the Blues Brothers band than with CSNY!

I stitched the green lettering in DMC 4047, one of their gorgeous variegated flosses. This project is small so it stitches up quickly, and it’s perfect for beginners and more experienced stitchers alike.

blues brothers cross stitch pattern shit. what. rollers. no. yeah. shitThe Blues Brothers is about as good a comedy movie as you will ever see, thanks in part to lots of quotes like this. This is my second Blues Brothers cross stitch pattern, the first being this “rollers” project. I’m pretty confident that I will create even more projects honoring this outstanding movie in the future as well.

Morning Person Cross Stitch Project

This “not morning person” cross stitch pattern, now available in my Etsy shop, is perfect for all your favorite A.M. curmudgeons!not morning person cross stitch pattern no surprises before 9:00 AM

It’s a warning to whomever just can’t wait to share something awful with you… before you are properly awake and aware. It’s perfect for your kitchen, bathroom, desk – wherever family members and coworkers are likely to find you too early and try to ruin your whole morning.

You know the kinds of awful early surprises that “not morning persons” loathe. “The dog just threw up on the carpet.” “I have to bring snacks for the team today.” “I need a Ben Franklin costume by noon.” “My Mother will be staying for a few weeks.” “The car won’t start.” “The whole presentation was deleted last night.” “Our entire email system is locked up.” “Our auto insurance has expired.” Ah yes, the early body blows to your morale just keep on coming.

It’s not like you can’t deal with these challenges – of course you can. You just can’t deal with them quite YET.
Smiling Dog [explore]

[A totally adorable not me smiling first thing in the morning by Allen Skyy via Flickr]

I wish I would have stitched this saying of mine years ago. Before about 9 o’clock, and especially if I haven’t had breakfast yet, nasty surprises have a rather detrimental effect on my personality. My family can provide reams of evidence on this point. Displaying this sign may have saved us all a lot of… um… let’s just say “trouble.”

Use this not morning person cross stitch project to give your friends, family, and coworkers a funny and fair warning. With it’s black and yellow caution tape border and unmistakable message, it will tell them very quickly that 1) you are not a morning person, and 2) if they cross the line and give you some bad news now, they will have to share in the consequences. Fair enough!

Gluten in Your Muffin Cross Stitch Pattern

This Gluten in Your Muffin cross stitch pattern is now available in my Etsy shop!

gluten in your muffin cross stitch pattern

The quote for this project is from a 2015 episode of Saturday Night Live with Kevin Hart as the host. The line comes from a very funny sketch about gentrification in Bushwick, Brooklyn.

Kenan Thompson uttering “You actin’ like someone put gluten in yo’ muffin” just cracked me up – especially with all of the increased gluten awareness these days.

I also love the idea of the “artisanal mayonnaise” shop, which as it turns out IS REAL. Entrepreneur has an article about how the Empire Mayonnaise company of Brooklyn embraced the SNL sketch and even released a flavor inspired by it. The Wall Street Journal has an article about Empire Mayonnaise’s operation, about a year after it opened in 2012. Bacon flavored mayo sounds pretty good!

I used two DMC variegated flosses in this project – pink 4180 and blue 4022. The variegated pink was used for the flower petals around the dark pink center, and I really love how they turned out – each flower is just slightly different.

gluten in your muffin DMC variegated floss 4180 rose petals

And I am so thrilled with the variegated blue in this whimsical font – it’s just gorgeous, and looks even better in person (although as it appears in the photo at top isn’t too shabby).

gluten in your muffin dmc variegated floss 4022 mediteranean sea

I carry both flosses in my shop, if you want to take a closer look – Rose Petals 4180 and Mediterranean Sea 4022.

Nearly everyone knows someone who is going gluten free either for medical reasons or for other general health issues. If they have a good sense of humor, you know they would just LOVE this little Gluten in Your Muffin project. It stitches up quickly, it’s silly and cute, and it would make a great gift!

Blues Brothers Cross Stitch Pattern “Rollers”

This Blues Brothers cross stitch pattern is now available in my Etsy shop!blues brothers cross stitch pattern shit. what. rollers. no. yeah. shit

The quote comes from the 1980 movie “The Blues Brothers” starring John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd. The movie is a classic that has achieved cult status, and for good reason. First off, it has a great plot and it’s hilarious. Also, the movie has performances by some of the best blues artists who ever existed: Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Cab Calloway, John Lee Hooker, and Ray Charles among others. On top of the music, there are tons of cameos – from Twiggy and Frank Oz to Steven Spielberg, Paul Reubens, and John Candy.

Other than Belushi and Aykroyd, the Blues Brothers band were musicians, not actors (which is pretty obvious by their speaking parts) and their resumes are impressive. Check out these articles about just three of the musicians: Donald “Duck” Dunn, Steve Cropper, and Tom Malone. Dan Aykroyd plays a mean harmonica in the movie and in real life.

This Blues Brothers Cross Stitch pattern comes from the scene just before they demolish the mall. Elwood runs a red light, the police pursue with lights flashing. Elwood sees them in the rear view mirror, and starts the conversation. Although it’s brief, it’s a brilliant little exchange between the brothers, and it’s a favorite sequence of mine in a movie full of great lines.

The colors in the border of my pattern are a small nod to the red stars and light blue stripes of the Chicago city flag. Director John Landis said the movie was “conceived as a love letter to the city” and it’s true.

If you haven’t seen “The Blues Brothers” before, I can’t encourage you enough.

[Update May 2015: I’ve added a second Blues Brothers project to my pattern list – take a look!]