It’s been a rough couple of weeks over here. We’ve had some family things to deal with behind the scenes and now I’m facing sending off Little Pea to Kindergarden in just a few days. Big changes and life challenges are leaving me feeling a bit out of sorts.
When life gets a little too crazy, I tend to retreat into creative projects as a coping mechanism. I have learned in the last couple years how I am completely addicted and drawn to colorful objects. I think some of my favorite hobbies started because of an initial attraction to color and pattern. I love to quilt and sew simple things and I’ve done countless cross stitching projects over the years. But since our crazy move a few years ago, both of those loves have been set aside.
The other day I fell down a creative wormhole. My stress levels were at a peak and I wanted a happy distraction. This is how my own personal “If you give a mouse a cookie” moment went:
I got an email newsletter from the Fat Quarter Shop (if you are even remotely interested in sewing, I highly recommend a peek) that mentioned the new fabric line by Bonnie & Camille was now available. It made me realize it had been months and months since I had seen an update from Camille on her blog Simplify. I have been a longtime fan of everything she designs and shares, her entire blog is pure eye candy to me.
Camille doesn’t blog much anymore but she is active on Instagram. I realized I wasn’t following her over there so I took a peek at what she has been sharing recently. Which is how I finally discovered Satsuma Street by Jody Rice over on Etsy.
Camille showed off her finished Pretty Little London project and it immediately jumped out at me as I scrolled through her pictures.
- Colorful? Check!
- Whimsical? Check!
- Travel Themed? Check!
Seriously, how adorable are these city scape pieces?? I spotted London, Paris, Italy, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Sydney, Tokyo, San Francisco, New York, Chicago all in her drool worthy shop:
But you know how I was finally sold??
Check out that colorful castle in the bottom right photo above. Does that remind you of anything?
I immediately gasped upon seeing it and thought: “She’s designed It’s a Small World!”
Sure enough, Jody’s Etsy listing for the pattern says she is highly inspired by Mary Blair, the designer for the Small World attraction at Disney:
“I’m a huge fan of the artist Mary Blair, who was a designer in the 50’s and 60’s. This design is my little tribute to her, inspired by her concepts for It’s A Small World. A little happy city just waiting to be stitched by you! A finished piece from this pattern would make an amazing gift for any vintage Disney fan.“
I immediately purchased London & Paris as a set because I was drawn into the little double decker buses in London and the Eiffel Tower in Paris. But I have my eyes on Italy and the Small World-inspired castle next.
If you’re getting started with cross stitching, you just need a few simple tools:
- A frame to hold your fabric. Skip the traditional round hoops (they’re TERRIBLE) and grab this 8-inch Q-snap frame. It is easier on your fabric, the perfect size to hold, and easy to adjust.
- A set of stitching needles, I prefer this size.
- A small, sharp scissors. How cute is this peacock one??
- Fabric: many beginners use Aida cloth where the holes are obvious and clear. But, if you want a tiny extra challenge and a much more professional looking project at the end, I HIGHLY recommend attempting to sew on linen. I selected this natural colored linen which is a large enough piece to trim down and get at least 4 of the patterns from Jody to fit. In person it is a slightly lighter color than burlap and has a nice rustic feel to it.
- Thread: You can buy sets online, but for specific projects you’re better off heading to a local craft store to get what you need. All the colors have a number & a name to reference and thread is the cheapest part of this endeavor.
- Optional extra: I love having my threads neatly organized in this plastic container. It keeps things from being tangled and I can find exactly what I need with a glance.