A week ago I made a trip to the local specialty needlework shops in the area - mainly in Solvang, our "Danish Village" - and let myself loose on their charts and supplies. My favorite shop, "Thumbelina", carries European designs, as well as better known Lavender and Lace and Told in a Garden projects... I was especially intrigued by two very detailed samplers... Anyway, this is what I picked up.
The two bigger ones are historical samplers - one stitched originally by a 13-year-old girl in the 18th century (my hat off to her, I at her age could barely thread a needle).
I addition, I continue to feed my addiction to Little House Needleworks designs. These were ordered online and are going to be stitched, framed and walled just as soon as possible.
While browsing the needlework shops, I noticed how expensive all the cross stitch kits have become. I used to love Janlynn and Dimensions kits, but I cannot justify spending almost $100 per kit, no matter the "special" quality of threads and linen. Turns out the reason for such a price increase is import costs! All these kits are now produced and put together in China. In addition to that, all the model stitching is also being outsourced to China as well.. Why, you might ask? One of the shop owners shared with me that these kits used to be 'Proudly made in USA", and the model stitchers were hired out of Pennsylvania, until they decided to have a union and asked for more money - they demanded to be paid over $20 per stitching hour... As a result, to save on costs, the companies outsourced their model stitching - and their kit production - to China... And that is why a simple kit at one of those stores starts at $75 - a lot more than I can afford even on my good, non-"financial-dieting" days.
In my "vacation" mode, I completely forgot about my Etsy store. When I first went on vacation, I had such plans - stitch more biscornu, find more projects, have a sale... Well, instead of all that I ended up stitching entirely for myself - for my home, so to speak, and focusing on bigger projects, too. In fact, I have been enjoying it so much, that now I have an idea for a model stitching service... I have been thinking of starting my own website, show pictures of what I have stitched so far, and offer my services - to companies, private people, whoever is interested. And why not? I now have over 15 years experience stitching... and my rates will be way under $20 per hour. :)
Now I am going to dive back into my stash and go on with the current project... Thanks for reading my ramblings!