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.