Thursday, February 27, 2014

SFS SAL Month #2 - A Special Find!

Sorry for the radio silence - my laptop adapter unexpectedly died, and I had to get a replacement :) But I do have some incredibly exciting news to share - thanks to The Great Stitchy Karma Gods, I stumbled across a pattern I've loved for many years!!!

Seasonal Carousel Horse - "Summer" - by Teresa Wentzler

After a really awful day, my Stitchy Guru Mother took me along on a trip to a little out-of-the-way wool store. I've been there before, and so I've looked through the very small selection of older cross-stitch supplies and patterns several times. But while I was flipping through the booklets, I found something that cheered me up immensely - this lovely rose-bedecked beauty - and I just HAD to take her home:

Now, after the Spontaneous Stashing of last month, I hadn't intended to buy anything in February. But I have long admired Teresa Wentzler's work - in fact, her designs are one of the major reasons that I first fell in love with cross-stitching - and I have always wanted to stitch a TW! That desire has only grown over the last few years, as I've been following the progress of other stitchers working her designs on their blogs.

(As a matter of fact, Jo @ A Stitch In Time is a TW enthusiast who recently finished Fruit Bellpull and gave me some very encouraging e-mail advice about stitching a Wentzler, and Blu @ Therapy By Thread is currently working on Egyptian Sampler!)

As a little girl, I loved carousels and merry-go-rounds at travelling fairs. I collected figurines and stickers, and even had a t-shirt :) Before I ever even thought of cross-stitching myself, I fell in love with the TW Seasonal Carousel Horse series seen as little tiny thumbnails in the back catalog pages of my Mother's stitchy magazines. So to find one of the horses in the series - let alone my Very Favourite horse - was some kind of miracle, and I am thrilled to pieces to have the chance to stitch Summer!

There are three other horses in the series - "Winter" (1989), "Spring"(1989), and "Fall" (1990). Summer was originally released in 1990, and although the series is listed on the Current Designs list on Teresa's website, from what I can understand the original hand-charted pattern leaflets like this are discontinued. I think all four of the horses were once available together in a pattern booklet too. But new computer-grafted versions (all except for Winter) are available digitally at Patterns OnLine.

Also, there is an excellent article on the Collector's Weekly website by Lisa Hix called "Where Have All The Carousel Horses Gone?" that is a lenthy but interesting read. It traces the history of carousels and merry-go-rounds, the different types and notable designers, and the restoration of the endangered older wooden rides including the Pennsylvania ones that Teresa Wentzler based this series and "Carousel" (1988) on!

Like all TW designs, "Summer" is intricate and complex and it will be quite a stitchy challenge for me. But I went ahead and purchased the threads I was missing and some Evenweave to stitch her on too :) The original was stitched on 25 count cream Linen, but I think this 28 count "antique white" Evenweave will work well with the colours.

So here's my SFS Spending for this month: I spent $6.00 + tax for the Pattern Leaflet = $6.78. I bought the threads and fabric at Michaels: I bought 12 skeins of floss at 49 cents each, and used a 40% off coupon for the fabric (regularly $9.99) - the total, including tax, was $13.41. Altogether, I spent $19.89.

And it wasn't until the day after I bought the fabric and threads that I received the notice of the special "Splurge Weekend" free spending LOL, so that comes out of my monthly allowance of $25, leaving me $5.11! That, combined with my leftover from last month, means I have a total of $15.09 banked, which I'm quite happy with :)

I wasn't intending to start a large project this year, and I haven't stitched one in quite a while. I'm not even sure if my Q-Snaps are big enough for it yet! I have to dig them out and do some measuring. But finding Summer was an opportunity I couldn't pass up, and I'm really excited to think about stitching her! I'm not sure if a start will be feasible right now, time-wise. Everything else will have to work itself out right? ;)