I think that everyone crafts for different reasons.  While I love giving gifts, I am all about process.  I am incredibly pleased by pieces of a sweater laid out on a bed.  I love socks in progress, as though they are falling out of the circle that my needles create.  Charts and graphs sing a siren's songs to me.  Their black and white symbols demand to be recreated in color.  My first real craft was cross-stitch.  I 
think that this was not by chance, because I asked to be taught many crafts over the years.  Cross-stitch, though I could never say it is my favorite, is a sort of guilty pleasure now.  After all, cross-stitch is so non-essential.  It only makes things better, never practical.
The Original Pattern
When moving offices not too long ago, a co-worker and I found an opened, but unused, cross-stitch kit in the bottom of a file drawer.  How tragic, my secret mind thought, and so I took it home to sew and personalize.  The fact that the text on the cross-stitch made little sense was only a bonus.  The other aspect of cross-stitch being so decorative is that it is almost always saccharine.  Wise words become pablum when stitched in little x's on even weave fabric.  Only, that isn't quite what I mean. Wise words are still wise, but serious and well meaning tripe are stripped bare and revealed to be nothing more than greeting card sentiment.  However, when that powerful force of banality is harnessed, I think the results can be quite charming.  One of my favorite artists, Steotch, creates samplers of pop-cultural idioms.  The surprise is the joke, because no one expects much out of cross-stitch.  Not that I did anything revolutionary, but I altered this little picture of a sleeping kitten so that it also included a silly, boastful phrase about the Reserves department in the library.
The Finished Product
And just to document my process, I took pictures after completing the stitching for each color. Cross-stitch looks so mechanized and pixilated to me, that laying down the colors, almost like a printing process, seems like a natural step.
If you found this appealing, then may I please recommend this and this, some great Lego build stop motions that I can't get enough of.
7/4/2011 03:44:15 pm

I like how the progressive photos of the kitten in the hammock seem to swing...

7/15/2011 01:23:57 pm

The "animation" is very creative and certainly gives the reader a sense of how the process works.

8/19/2011 01:23:25 am

I like this post a lot, but it is unrealistic. Almost all the kittens I've held will not rest in that position. Even when I fold their ears back and pretend they are lambs (I call that their "Pricess Di hairdo". I always want them to stay on their backs and be cradled. I'll estimate maybe one in 35 will put up with it, fewer still might enjoy it. They'll start with that play biting thing and work themselves into a Chun-li style rapid kick. Also: Have you noticed that boys grind their teeth when they hold something cute, but girls don't?

jo ellen
9/7/2011 09:17:30 am

Oh yeah you are so right, the only thing better is stamped stitchery. x stitch is too boring one must use varied stitches as well as colors. Loove the maxim. I made my first log cabin block today(Kaffe Fasset) and completed my first machine quilting yesterday. who knew it took to long? Love you and enjoy the blog.


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