When I was growing up, my mom tried to teach me to cross stitch. I didn't like it, and it seemed like something that only people who were hopelessly old-fashioned did. Plus, most of the designs didn't appeal to me: I'm not a cuddly-kittens-in-a-basket, cartoon-pig-whistling-a-song kind of person. And "country" is a style I've never liked, and, to me, cross stitching great works of art just seems ridiculous (we once bought a refrigerator from a lady who had cross stitched a huge copy of the Last Supper - I kid you not. But that's another story).
Last summer I somehow came across a cross stitch of an orange crate label that my mom had started making for my uncle more than 20 years ago and never finished. I needed something new to do, so I thought I'd give it a try. I found that I really liked the process, though I still wasn't big on the finished product. But it was really calming, and actually required more discipline than I'd anticipated: I'm infamous for being a "starter" and not a "finisher." I can't tell you how many unfinished projects I have lying around! But since it was for someone else, I was motivated. I finished the orange crate label, and then found another cross stitch that I liked (a historical sampler, nothing cheesy or "precious" about it) and began that.
And then Jeff approached me with a new project. He'd found a program that converts a photo to a cross stitch pattern and wanted me to cross stitch a picture from his wedding to give to Heather for their first anniversary. I was excited because it looked really challenging. It was. Here's the pattern, based on a close-up of the picture above:
And here's a closer look:
Just the pattern itself was amazing! I took it on, almost lost my eyesight completing it :) and wound up having a lot of fun. It's all in shades of black and white: 13,300 stitches' worth. I loved doing it, even though I spent a lot of time sighing over how many times the needle had to be re-threaded, often times for just one or two stitches. And here's the end result: