I think I like to cross-stitch because I am a bit of a control freak and I love art, but I'm not really a drawer or painter (though I would like to be). I find cross-stitching very Zen: the rhythm of the needle, in and out, back and forth, again and again; and everything going into perfect little boxes. Neat. Organized. Everything in its place.
Also, it is amazing to see the art that come from otherwise wasted time. I carry my cross stitch with me everywhere. Waiting for a train to pass? I'm stitching. Waiting for my daughter to come out of any number of classes? I'm stitching. Waiting at the doctor's/dentist's? I'm stitching. I love what is produced from so many little bits of time.
While perusing one of my favorite online stores, 123stitch.com, I stumbled across the Stacy Nash Primitives design "Summer at Hollyberry Farm." I was taken with how closely the house in the piece looked like the family home that my great grandfather built around 1906, where my grandpa was born and raised and lived, where my mother grew up, and that was my second home. So I used Hollyberry Farm as a basis to design a cross stitch for my real family farm.
I was on vacation when I was starting the project and decided to hand stain my linen. So I used a coffee packet from the hotel room. I ground the coffee into it, patted it, dripped on it. And it must have worked because when a stranger came to see what I was working on, she made a nice remark about the "antique material." (You can just see some of the staining here:)
When I finally started sewing, I thought I was going to go blind on the 35-count evenweave. (Ahem.) THIRTY-FIVE COUNT! I almost picked up a pair of those ubiquitous eye glasses with magnification that adorn so many check-out counters. But I have become used to it.*
*Excellent lighting required
The more I cross stitch, the more I like to personalize my work, change the pattern, make it my own. Some day maybe I'll be smart and daring enough to create my own piece from design to finish. But for now I get the convenience of having patterns on which to build my own version. I am having such fun with this one! You'll get more details on it! (Coming soon ...)