Many of the Fantasy designs are from artwork by Erin Ewer and have been converted into gorgeous cross stitch patterns. They are what I would call "photo-realistic" rather than hand-drawn (like Mirabilias). As a result they only feature whole cross stitches and no back-stitch. Ideal for people who just like to stitch! They can also be easily stitched on aida which the kit is supplied with.
I spent a long time browsing the site which is well laid out and easy to find the different designs. Some designs often feature in two categories, eg Fantasy and Fairies which makes it easier to find something you will like. There are often three different ordering options - full kit, just chart or email chart which suits everyone.
After lingering over the Art Nouveau astrology fairies, I finally chose this design, the Coffee Fairy. I liked the humour in this design and can see her completed in my kitchen near the coffee cupboard.
The parcel arrived this afternoon, in a solid envelope marked Do Not Bend so I got to meet my new postman again as he rang the doorbell. I bet he wishes he got paid "per item"!! This is what was inside:
Plus the chart of course! The fabric is plenty big enough (haven't actually measured it yet) and the colours look so gorgeous all wound onto their little bobbins clearly labelled with the Madeira numbers. The chart includes DMC references too so if I wanted to stitch it again or pass the chart on in a Giveaway I could easily do so.
The chart itself is nice and clear, it's spread over 2 pages of A3 paper and there is a 2 stitch overlap. I like an overlap, the larger the better. The symbols have been well chosen so the darker colours are more solid symbols, this means when you hold the chart at arms length and squint you can "see" the design. It's also much easier to follow when stitching.
All in all, a nice kit with a nice chart of a lovely design. An option for evenweave would have been a bonus but at least this way I can choose my own colour and count if I want to. Also, the biscuits are not included, you have to buy your own!
One question for bobbin users, when you cut a length off, what do you do with the strands you're not stitching with? Usually I tie it round a piece of cut-up card thread sorter and put it back in the Floss-a-way bags I use. I'm thinking of making a thread sorter from card while I'm working on the kit as I'll be using the holes in the top to thread all the bobbins onto a split ring to keep them in numerical order.
While browsing the site I came across this kit too, Girl with a Pearl Earring based on the beautiful painting by Vermeer. I saw a lady stitching this recently, on 48 count over 1, can you imagine it? The design has 55 different colours!! How I wish I'd had my camera with me. I'm not sure if it was this exact chart as her piece was smaller than this one would come up (about 2 x 3 inches) but it was clearly recognisable as the painting. Amazing!
Finally, a Giveaway. This time from Crafty Rahenna to celebrate opening her Etsy shop. She has some lovely Christmas kits, threads and fabric to win. Rahenna has less followers than she deserves so pop over there and start