Happy Valentine's Day!

Organizing for Cross Stitchers 101

Confessions of a Cross Stitcher

Welcome to Confessions of a Cross Stitcher , where our crafty chums share their top tips and stitchy secrets!

Hello all my hard working, awesome cross stitchers! What do you say we talk about getting organized? Everyone out there that keeps a planner (not a journal) please raise your hand. Looks like quite a few of you do! Now how many kept it up since January 1? Oh my, a lot of hands went down! And you know that is pretty typical, especially for creatives like us. The reason, I believe, is because they miss the mark of being on the same artistic path that we have chosen. I wish I had all the money I spent on past “inspirational” planners, I could have purchased a small island with it!

The thing is I already know what I have to do, what I need is the inspiration to get it done. This year I realized it was time to change my strategy. So quite by accident, while planner shopping, I ran across this great planner for cross stitchers. Yes, cross stitchers! It has everything you need to get your stitching organized in a weekly/monthly calendar format with nice sized spaces to put down everything cross stitch and all your important occasions. Stickers are included that are pertinent to cross stitchers and it has plastic pouches for items like notes, shop business cards, stickers, whatever you like that will fit. It has project pages too so you can keep up with your latest and greatest works of art, as well as plan for future ones. There are other wonderful pages included but too numerous to mention here. Why hasn’t someone thought of this before? (At least, why haven’t I seen one before?) It is undated so you will have to put the dates in for 2019 but since you will probably put your important dates in it anyway, the extra effort won’t be such a pain.

Cross Stitch Planner
A planner just for cross stitchers?! Yippee!
Cross Stitch Planner Details
Back of the planner box with detailed photos of it

I have used stickers in past planners without success. I just lose interest in putting them in and since I already have to write down appointments and what not, there wasn’t a logical reson to revisit the actions with stickers. This year I am going a different route and purchased motivational stickers and some cute holiday stickers to just jazz it up a bit. I put these throughout the planner knowing that whatever page I am on is going to offer up a bit of good advice and thoughts to keep me striving toward my goals and hopefully finishes. Will this work? I hope so but only time will tell. The fact that there was a planner for us cross stitchers is remarkable in itself so why not take advantage of how it can be used? I have one caveat, this is a disc bound planner and since this was my first of its kind, it took a little getting used to turning the pages. Once I broke it in, they became easier to turn and you can always rearrange pages or sections to your liking by just pulling them out and then pushing them back on the discs. Easy Peasy! I purchased my planner from Hobby Lobby and was able to use their 40% off one item coupon which saved quite a bit (you can always find the coupon online). I feel more organized already and I love it!

February 2019 Planner Page
February Planner Page with Stickers
October 2019 Planner Page
October 2019 Planner Page with Stickers

Let’s talk about a cross stitch journal. I tried numerous times to get organized via journals and here is my problem, they never organized me. There was no way to categorize the journal itself into different sections. The typical journal is a fixed number of pages and usually doesn’t come with tabs. Even if it came with tabs, there is no way to peer into the future and see how many pages you will need in any one category. Next, I want mine to contain art paper so I can use my paints and pencils for color comparisons, design ideas, or just to doodle mindlessly. Since I have a mountain, a slight exaggeration but not much of one, of fibers, paints, pencils, tools, beads, etc., I needed a place to write down what I have and where, including craft/stitch books I have in bound and/or ebook form.

I recently ran across just what I needed. There is an online shop that carries their own variety of disc bound journals made with 140 lb. water color paper with indexes! What? Yes! What is lovely about this is they carry refill pages too so you can add as many pages as you like wherever you like since it is disc bound like the aforementioned planner. If you happen to fill up your “Fiber” section to the point of it being it’s own volume, put them on discs you can buy separately and slap a cover on it. Voila, you have a separate “Fiber” volume without the muss and fuss. How much easier can it get than that?! Plus it being made with watercolor paper you can pull the pages out and decorate or dream on them with a variety of media. I purchased mine from the Joggles online store and the cost is very reasonable for what you get.

The Jounal Kit
The Journal Kit contains all the components you need to get started
Journal Pages, Indexes and Covers
Here are the inside pages, indexes and cover sheets for the journal all ready to go.
Journal All Assembled
Here I have put together the kit and it was fast and easy

Some Love For Valentine’s Day

I wanted to wish all of you a wonderful Valentine’s and the best way I could think of was to make something special to show how much I appreciate each and every one of you! I call this piece “Love Bird”.

I loved making this piece as it was just a fun “fly by the seat of my pants” project. I used supplies I had on hand and here is how it happened:

  • Prewashed, dried and pressed a scrap of 14 count Aida cloth.
  • Several coats of Faber Castell Gelatos in Snow Cone blue directly applied to cloth with a brush and water
  • Pressed cloth and stitched the heart on it using one strand of Madeira Lana fiber that comes on a spool. Lana is 50% wool and 50% Acrylic which gives it a nice loft and is about the same as stitching with two strands of cotton floss. You can actually brush Lana with a Lana brush or a Bunka brush to make it fuzzy. I used a larger #24 Tapestry needle to reduce the friction on this fiber. Just a great fun, fiber and we’ll talk about this more in the future!
  • I added the metal and glass beads. The silver looking heart bead actually was a darker metal and I used Viva Inka Gold in silver to brighten it up.
  • I painted an approx. 5×7″ gessoed canvas board (purchased at Walmart) with Martha Stewart All Purpose Paint in Tartan red. I’m not sure if I will use trims in my stash or get something else. I will play with this a bit and show you the end product when it is finished.
"Love Bird" Project Ingredients
Along with the beads I used Madeira Lana thread, 14 count Aida fabric and colored it with Gelatos in Snow Cone.
"Love Bird" Additional Project Ingredients
I am also using a gessoed piece of canvas board painted with Martha Stewart All Purpose Paint in Tartan
Painted Canvas Board
Here is the canvas board painted and ready to get the fabric and trim on it.
Ideas for Finishing "Love Bird"
I am still playing with different ways to finish this project and here are a couple of trims I had on hand.

My hope with this, beside wishing you a fantastic Valentine’s Day, is to show what great things you can make in a short amount of time using Aida cloth and cross stitch as your foundation and then adding a few embellishments for interest. I love how the colors work together and the design expresses a sentiment without saying a word.

Happy Valentine’s all my wonderful creatives and have a fantastic February! Thank you for being my Valentine this year! Keep Creating!

Cherry Parker Cross Stitch
Confessions of a Cross Stitcher is brought to you in association with Cherry Parker Cross Stitch Designs ! Sign up to Cherry’s newsletter to get free designs from New Zealand!
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