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Tell me again, why do I need one of these things?

Okay (sort of)

Okay (sort of)

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cross stitch: sleeping beauty
Hello there. I exist! Just not on the internet at this moment. I've had the no-posting guilt/ anxiety/ extra guilt thing. Around two weeks ago, I had my first seizure in forever and it was in front of my computer (which I probably shouldn't have been on) and now everyone in my life talks about limited computer time and I have been using the downstairs machine (where peeps can see me and nag me about screen time more effectively)

It has, however, done wonders for my cross-stitching progress and I now have most of a mirabilia mermaid* Since she's a magazine design the price of the bits is relatively low (this does not mean much) except for the bit when I realised I could have done with two skeins of hideously expensive hand-dyed thread** so there was no possible threat of running out doing the large surrounding frame. The problem being hand dyed = matching dye lots = therefore must buy two from the same lot = £10+ plus postage.

Yeah. It's a cheap mirabilia (try the website mirabilia.com) and that is a very strange idea these days. [points to icon] That, o peoples of the internet, is a mirabilia with unusually high background stitching area. the cabbage roses*** are also very mirabilia - though why they are underwater being held by a mermaid I don't have any idea.

So, uhm, yes, buzzy is alive, kicking and stitching complicated things. Also, I am writing extremely long needle-work-centric foot-notes some of which are historically/sociologically interesting. I am sure you all need to know more about victorian escapism.

More to the [needle]point: the Victorian Lady's own Mindfulness Activity: Berlin Wool Work.

*Mirabilia is Nora Corbett who is one of the most famous people in cross-stitch and she specialises in very complicated mermaid/fairy/angel/princess/myffic-with-extra-myff/fine-lady designs. They have a Cult Following. They are also getting increasingly expensive to "kit up" - i.e. you buy the chart and then you buy your own thread. Did I say about the incredibly expensive bit? That may have something to do with her publisher/distributor owning the biggest specialised embroidery bead and twinkly bits brand (for "biggest" read "only") and the sole wholesaler for an entire european embroidery fabric brand in the US.

I think you can tell what way this is going. The more recent designs require more and more beads, twinkly bits and strange and exotic fabric. They do twenty-seven-and-a-half count fabric woven from unicorn tears - [looks at pattern] - I never knew that even existed and it costs as little as £21.00/metre!. Ooh. I need three packets of iridescent fairy-toenail charms only £4.50/packet. I am not freaking kidding, those are representative prices, when you look at a design and realise that you need 15+ packets of different beads and charms... the things cost up at around £100 before adding your fabric (at least that's cheaper here), specialist threads (oh dear!) and standard embroidery floss (list price - £1.00 a bunch - importing from the US - $0.39 a bunch - recommended on that one)...

You can guess why I don't do many mirabilia designs these days. They are stunningly beautiful but only at a stunning price.

** we're talking about £5.00+ a bunch with five colours - I said tit was a cheap mirabilia; it's a very specialised interpretation of the word "cheap"

*** and that is a proper needlework-history term for the motif - the victorians were very big on them to the point that they were (considered) the nadir of originality, good taste and skilled art-needle-work.

In very snitty pseudo-academic skilled-needlework circles they still are along with their medium counted/charted cross-stitch. These people are incredibly unpleasant and can get vicious. Because... counted cross-stitch is "only" copying.

I have a deep and fervent desire to beat them up with a handmade Berlin-wool Fire Screen that somebody put a lot of love and effort into while living in an incredibly claustrophobic and restrictive society and found happiness and fulfilment there. I have patterns, they are cliched because they were so bloody popular and they do include a lot of roses, pets, bucolic landscapes and faux-medieval designs. They are also bloody hard work and if the snitts start baying about skill, they can try to do plush-work heavy-relief parakeets with metal thread work and then say how easy they find it.
  • Good luck with your needlework. I tend to be more of a knitter/crochet person myself. I do counted cross stitch, but only smaller projects like Christmas ornaments and pillows.
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