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Showing posts from 2020

Sign up for the A Christmas Carol SAL

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The time has come to sign up for the A Christmas Carol SAL! We are doing things very different this time around and moving our SAL over to Teachable.com. This new platform is going to allow for a much better experience all around with everything that you need in one place.  For this reading of Charles Dickens's classic, we will be stitching a small square motif featuring vintage holiday colors and a quote from the novel. Due to the short length of the novel, we will be having only one book discussion at the end of the SAL but there will be three pattern pieces, once a week, beginning December 5th. Another new addition to this SAL is a limited edition kit created by me! These kits are indeed VERY limited. I created only 50 of them -- 25 with 28 count Monaco and 25 with 14 count Aida. The kit contains a hand-dyed fabric, a decorative finishing fabric, all 7 skeins of floss needed, and a few other little goodies. The kits will be going on sale in my Etsy shop Friday, November 13, at p

Frankenstein Discussion Questions

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We have now completed reading Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Below you can find all of the discussion questions that were asked during the Stitch-A-Long. If you would like to read participants' answers to these questions, you can find them on Facebook and Instagram. You can also listen to my interpretations of the novel in the video posted beneath the questions.  Part One, Letter I - Chapter 8 1. Captain Walton takes a very strong interest in Frankenstein after saving him from the ice, so much so that in his letters he describes Frankenstein in a completely idealized way. Why do you think Mary Shelley introduces us to Victor in this way? 2. What drives Victor in his scientific pursuits? What personality traits do we see early on that guide him toward his fate? And do you think he would have been less zealous if not for the loss of his mother? (This pertains slightly more to the 1831 edition of the novel, as the 1818 edition shows a young Victor that is much more restrained in his

Meet the Author: Mary Shelley

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While Mary Shelley may not be a household name, for those who have found themselves wandering within the world of classic literature, the story of how Mary came to write her literary masterpiece is almost as legendary as the novel. Perhaps it is because of her young age or the real-life Gothic setting that she found herself in whilst working on the tale. Or perhaps it is because of the other famous names that crop up in the telling of it all. Whatever the reason, Mary's own personal story has become one of great interest over the years. So, let's take a look at the woman who created and unleashed upon the world, Frankenstein .   Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (n ée  Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin) was born on August 30, 1797, to philosophers William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft. While her father's focus remained largely in the political world, her mother was a remarkably progressive feminist, one of the first, in fact. Her most well-known work, A Vindication of the Rights of Wom

Backstitching, Long Stitches, and Couching for the Frankenstein SAL

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Hello stitchers! I have been thrilled to see so many beautiful finishes for Part One of the Frankenstein SAL on Instagram and Facebook. Thank you for sharing! There have been a lot of questions, however, about the backstitching and long stitches for this SAL, so here is some clarification on the subject. I also created a tutorial for all of our new stitchers that you can find in the video below which includes a tutorial on the couching method that we will be using in Part Two . First of all, for this SAL I used two strands of floss for all of the cross stitching, but only one strand of floss for all of the other detailing . As far as what stitches I used for each element, in the two blocks of Part One, everything is done in long stitches except for the window panes of the house. That means the rain, the ship rigging, and the points of the star above the ship are all completed as long stitches in the model.  The reason I chose to do the window panes as backstitches rather than continuin

Frankenstein SAL Part One

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  Part One of the Frankenstein SAL is now available!  This part of the stitching contains two separate blocks, each featuring important elements of the first part of the reading. For those of you who have never read the novel and are wondering why there is a ship in the design, I can assure you, it will not take you long to understand once you begin the reading! A few notes about the design: These two blocks fit snugly into the inner border. Unfortunately, with this design, there isn't much room for error so be sure to count twice so that you can stitch once.  A frequent question has been whether or not there will be any more stitching done outside of the previously released outer border. No, there will not be any stitching done outside of the border. That singular line along the outside is the very edge of the design.  Also, please note that the backstitching on the model was completed using a single strand of floss and long stitches were done without couching in these two blocks.

Different Frankenstein Editions

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The Frankenstein SAL is almost upon us and if you have yet to pick up a copy of the novel, you may be wondering which edition you should get. Frankenstein is unique from the other novels we have explored together so far, in that there are actually different distinct editions of the novel. But worry not, I will never assign a specific edition of a novel because as a global community, we may not all have access to the same materials and I never want anyone to feel like they are unable to participate. We will simply deal with any challenges from different editions as they come up. So, please select whichever edition of Frankenstein you would like. Here is a breakdown of the different editions of Frankenstein that you may encounter: First, a little history. Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus was originally published in 1818, by 20 year-old Mary Shelley, though the first edition did not bear her name. It was published anonymously and would not be credited to her until th

The Frog Prince Storybook

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I could not be more excited to present my very first Grimm's Fairy Tales miniature storybook, "The Frog Prince!" I have been secretly working on this project for a few months trying to get it just right and I could not be happier with the result. For many months I have had the idea in my head to create some sort of miniature book using cross stitch. I finally decided on using Grimm's classic fairy tales and I think they will make an amazing collection as I plan to do several more designs based on their famous stories such as "Cinderella," "Little Red Riding Hood," and "Snow White." Grimm's Fairy Tales are widely known throughout the world, in large part due to the popularity of the Disney films that have been made for decades based on the original stories. Indeed, you may know "The Frog Prince" by a different name, The Princess and the Frog , thanks to Disney's lovely animation of Princess Tiana and Prince Navee

Turning a Hoop Into a Standing Frame

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Have you finished a piece of needlework and need a cheap but pleasant way to display your work? Look no further than your embroidery hoop! Cross stitch can become an expensive hobby, especially if you're constantly needing to buy frames to display your finished work. But there is an easy way to turn your embroidery hoop into a lovely tabletop frame with things you likely already have laying around your home. Supplies you will need: Embroidery hoop (this tutorial is for an 8 inch hoop) 9 X 9 inches white lining fabric (or color that matches your cross stitch fabric) 9 X 9 inches decorative back fabric 4 X 7 inches decorative fabric - 2 pieces 3 X 4.75 inches cardboard 3 inches of ribbon Sewing thread Sewing needle Fabric scissors Fabric pencil and pen (regular pen and pencil will do) Iron and ironing board Your completed cross stitch cut to 9 X 9 Optional supplies: Paint Decorative ribbon Edging  Tacky Glue I hope this tutorial is not too confusing as I fo

Frankenstein SAL Preview

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It is with great pleasure that I present our next SAL selection, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein . Sign-up will begin in early August with a start date at the end of August. We will be finishing this project with the Halloween season. More information will become available the closer we get to August but I wanted to provide you with some preliminary information so that you can begin to think about your materials.  This SAL will have no called-for materials. Pardon? Did I read that correctly? Yes, that's right! There will be no called-for materials. I want you to contemplate about what comes to mind when you hear of Frankenstein and choose your materials based on what you feel will best represent the story for you. Here are some details to better help you with this decision: This SAL is a very traditional sampler.  It consists of only one color of floss. I do not yet have a skein count but my best guess is 3-4. I will have this information by the time sign-up begins. W

The Secret Garden Part Three Book Discussion

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We have reached the conclusion of our tale and we have seen Spring bloom with our characters. The final discussion questions for this read are listed below, along with some of my favorite answers for each.  Part Three: Chapters 19-27 There seems to be an importance for our characters to speak Yorkshire. Why? "I think because it helps show their development from spoiled and selfish to decent human beings. They no longer consider themselves "better than" Martha or Dickon, but equals." - coffeestitcher on Instagram "I wondered about this. Maybe to distance themselves from the cold, spoiled people they were and align themselves with the warm, kind people they wanted to be." - plantbasedfitnessgenie on Instagram  What can Colin's journey and his determination to become a scientist teach us? "Finding a passion can give you purpose and meaning in life. For Colin this passion for scientific discovery gave him a reason to want to live

The Secret Garden Part Two Discussion

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Part Two of  The Secret Garden introduced us to new characters that made for some interesting discussion ! Below you will find the questions posed to the group and some of my favorite responses, followed by a look at Part Three. Our next discussion will take place on July 5. Part Two: Chapters 10-18 Mary is starting to make friends and is eager to have people like her. Does she believe that they should like her or is there a part of her that thinks she deserves her loneliness?  "I don't think Mary believes people should like her, but I think she starts to recognize some of the reasons she is disliked and is making an effort to change. She seems surprised more than anything that she has won the fabor of Martha and Dickon." madam._.ice on Instagram "I don't think it has ever occurred to her that friends are a commodity that she will ever have access to. All her life she has been taught, and even openly told, how disagreeable and unattractive she is. B