Monday, October 20, 2014

A stitched rose


I've had the sprucing-up bee in my bonnet lately. Nothing fancy, and certainly nothing expensive. But I am enjoying it more since finally letting go of the idea that my house should be decorated a certain way. I think I'm finally figuring this out: your house should be filled with things you like, period. Maybe I didn't trust myself to do it right; this isn't just my house, after all. I think I tend to go overboard with a trend, and then I have to backpedal: black wrought-iron everything, in the early 2000's, as one example; way too much kitschy Southwestern-style stuff as another. I'm learning, though; I like things eclectic now - a little bit of everything, in all different styles.


One part of my home that I've been trying to get right, decor-wise, is the long wall in our family room, the one behind the couch. It's an open room and this wall is really the only one we have in the room. It's been an expensive wall - we had to have a leaky pipe repaired inside it last year, with accompanying Sheetrock and woodwork repairs too. That's all over now and I've been building a "gallery" display, with family portraits and knickknacks. Every time I go to Hobby Lobby or World Market, I look for something interesting to add, but I've felt uninspired lately. I want small, delicate things that look like they're old. I decided to make small counted cross-stitch items. I made my first one this weekend, a pink rose on black 14-count Aida cloth, framed in the same little wooden hoop I used to stitch it.


I have a few old cross-stitch pattern books that used to belong to my mother. She gave them to me when she stopped cross-stitching years ago. They're from the eighties and are filled with country-style motifs - teddy bears and geese figure heavily. Cute as they are, I wanted something more vintage-style, and went looking online. Did you know that there are lots of free patterns online? You can just Google for them, it's pretty amazing how much is out there. You can find a lot on Pinterest too. I print them and hand-color them (largely because I don't have a color printer, but also because I like choosing my own color scheme). This rose pattern came from Pinterest, but there was no source credited, unfortunately. I liked the size and shape of it, though, and it went into my small library of printed patterns.



It was quick and easy, but so pleasant to stitch. I didn't finish the edges, I just trimmed it as close to the hoop as I could. It's cheap Aida cloth and it doesn't even fray. Good enough, I think. I don't do a lot of embroidery (I'd like to learn more), but I've always loved cross-stitch. It was one of the first crafts I ever did seriously, beginning when I was about nine years old. I learned to cross-stitch in Brownies, and took to it immediately. I don't remember anyone else enjoying it as much as I did, though; I also remember feeling like it made me a little weird. But I liked making things and I still do.


I think it looks good in the gallery display. I like how it looks on black; I think it saves it from looking too cutesy, and it picks up the black in the other items too. Roses and matryoshkas certainly go well together. Eventually there will be a Midsummer Sprigs sampler up there too, but that's a long way off. I do love having something handmade and now I'm looking forward to making a few more; they're so quick to do and there's still plenty of space up there. I'm on the hunt for patterns with a retro-modern feel. Birds and mushrooms are catching my eye in particular.

44 comments:

  1. It's lovely Jennifer, and beautifully stitched. I love the gallery wall that you're forming. You're right, there are some really wonderful cross stitch designs out there. I could get really into it if I had more time. I shall look forward to seeing what comes next. CJ xx

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  2. It is very pretty Jennifer. I am glad that you are building your own style, you are right it is easy to go with a trend and then change your mind, so it is better to pick and choose the best bits of things that you really like and they actually go together better that way I think. The theme is your taste! What could be better than that. Love the cross stitch - of course! xx

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  3. Hi Jennifer! Oh, what a lovely Cross Stitch Rose!
    I love the black background, the vibrant shades and the lovely design you picked! <3
    You are very talented!
    I would have this on my walls in an instant!! ;)
    Well done!
    Ingrid xx
    http://myfunkycrochet.blogspot.be

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  4. Hi Jennifer...long time no see!
    You have been very busy....me too actually!
    Love your needlepoint.....such an intricate art form....
    I used to make birth announcements for friends new babies....
    Perhaps I should add it back into my repertoire!
    Have a great week.....
    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

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  5. I love it! Absolutely lovely and I love the colors that you chose. :)

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  6. Such a lovely rose you clever girl you....simple and beautiful xo

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  7. That turned out wonderfully! It looks really good on that wall with the other things. I'm with you on just putting things you like around your home and you'll have your own decorating style from the heart. It's best to design your own life and not follow trends! My house is full of antiques and it looks like an old granny's farmhouse.. and I like it that way. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  8. Your rose turned out so perfect. I'm amazed too, at all of the free patterns for cross stitch, crochet and knitting that I find online. My house is a true hodgepodge of things I love. Certainly no style at all, but everything has meaning to me. Thank you for sharing your beautiful wall progress. I love it!
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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  9. Very Pretty!!!! I love the black but it must have been quite difficult to work with!!! Have a fab week!!!
    Love
    AMarie
    xxxx

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  10. I love that classic rose design, but the black background really elevates it into something else. The contrast is beautiful. I also really enjoy cross stitch and you've reminded me that I really want to do that Midsummer Sprigs pattern some day. Xx

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  11. The black background for your rose was a super idea ! You succeeded with your initial goal - it does look "old" (but not in the negative way I mean !), and not too cute nor romantic.
    And when it comes to decorating your house - just follow your own style ! Even if it gets over the top ! Remember, you live in your house, nobody else, and you have to like it & feel at home there ! (Plus, there is not much fun in following "decorating guidelines" - have you ever noticed how many people end up with e.g. the same living room ?)

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  12. Its lovely Jennifer, its reminds of the vintage style of Cath Kidston. It makes quite a statement on your feature wall which is beautiful by the way.

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  13. It looks lovely, Jennifer. Your wall is coming along nicely.

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  14. Very pretty Jennifer and lovely on the black background. P x

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  15. Your cross stitch is really lovely, especially with the black background. I recently looked for Christmas cross-stitch charts on the internet and found lots. So I've been doing a bit of cross-stiching! On a red background.

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  16. It's so pretty and looks really good on the black background.

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  17. This is lovely Jennifer and looks great on the wall. I had never thought to look online for free cross stitch patterns! You have inspired me to do so, thank you.
    Marianne x

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  18. So pretty Jennifer! I haven't done cross stitch in years. You may have inspired me to try something like this, if I can see well enough to thread the needles. :)

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  19. It's really pretty. I love the fact that you've chosen to stitch using a vibrant colour on a black Aida - it makes it really stand out. Great job :0)
    Jill x

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  20. Beautiful and what a good idea to display it in the hoop

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  21. It's the perfect addition to your wall, Jennifer!

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  22. Hello Jennifer! I'm slowly making the rounds to get caught up with all my friends. I've read back a few blog posts here (to balloon fiesta), and enjoyed everything you and the bears are up to this fall. You're not letting the grass grow under your feet, as they say ;) I love this last cross-stitched rose. It really does look 1930s or so. My mom did three cross-stitch chair cushions for her mother, and my sisters and I split them up. Unfortunately, I got the broken chair, so ripped off the cushion cover, threw out the chair, and now I have to think of something creative for this cross-stitch. hmmm Yours looks great on the wall. Enjoy your week! Wendy x

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  23. Hey Jennifer,
    I love your ecletic wall, and am intrigued by the 'p' I think the cross stitch is lovely. I was introduced to cross stitch a little while ago. It probably won't surprise you to know that I was awful at it!
    Leanne xx

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  24. I really like your cross stich. I think it looks so pretty on your your display wall x

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  25. It looks amazing Jennifer, the pink is stunning against the black cloth!
    V x

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  26. What a lovely cross stitch Jennifer, and designed with your great flair for colour. It is perfect for your wall. I find cross stitch very soothing and enjoyable.

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  27. so pretty.. i'm glad you choose black as your background.. makes the colors of the rose pop.

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  28. I love it Jennifer and you have coloured it perfectly with the coordinating shades, I do love cross stitch but I find it strains my eyes now and I certainly don't think I could manage to use black Aida but it does look very effective and it looks perfect on your wall, you have inspired me to hunt out my cross stitch wips I'm sure I have one that's nearly finished... xx

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  29. I used to do a lot of cross stitch, but these days my stitching is mainly using felt and the occasional quilting project. But I always have some Aida cloth in my workroom cupboard, and some linen for embroidery and a lovely selection of threads. Just for when the mood strikes.

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  30. Thats so pretty Jennifer, a little treasure to keep,
    Kate x

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  31. Oh, I do like that, I didn't realise you could get coloured aida. The black really makes the colours of the stiches pop and it looks so good as part of your gallery wall! x

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  32. It's been so busy around here, I've hardly had time to visit. Have therefore just spent some lovely time catching up!

    I love eclectic homes. My interior is a mix of Ikea and second-hand stuff and that's just the way I like it. I once had someone ask when I was going to replace 'that crappy old cupboard' which I thought was rather rude and unkind. But I didn't let it get to me: we love that cupboard, and that's what matters. So I totally agree with you: your home should be decorated with the things you love, not by the dictates of others. Always love your posts, Jennifer. xxx

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  33. This is a beautifully stitched rose. I have always loved bright flowers against a black background. It makes a lovely handmade accent to your wall with the other pieces too.
    Helen xox

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  34. I think your rose looks fabulous up on the wall. It was a wonderful choice to do it on a black background.
    Hugs to you,
    Meredith

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  35. Your stitched rose is beautiful and looks lovely on your wall. I'm enjoying a bit of cross stitch too. I've recently stitched motifs on a knitted scarf and I'm currently trying to finish a small picture. I'll take your advice and look up free patterns online. I'd like to look for a nice design for a cushion. x

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  36. I love that cross stitched rose, great job, very inspiring :)

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  37. Well, it's unanimous, Jennifer. You have created a treasure, in your own beautiful style. Bravo, and thanks for sharing your creative process with us. xx

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  38. It is beautiful and looks so great on a the black background. A great addition to your collection. Jo x

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  39. I think your cross-stitch is beautiful, Jennifer! I use to cross-stitch a lot, but everything came with the pattern printed on the fabric which made it a bit easier. I did an entire set of the Monday thru Sunday dishtowels when we were first married. I made a cute "Sampler" as a gift for my sweet in-laws. I now have it hanging in my guest bedroom since my MIL passed away. It's a sweet memory whenever I see it. I'm not sure I could even do that kind of stitchery anymore, but I might just have to try!

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  40. Beautiful Jennifer. I love the black background. I'd not considered using another colour other than white/cream!! It looks fab!

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  41. I feel the exact same way. Only fill your home with what you like, not what the trends are. Such a lovely cross stitch dearie! xo Jen

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