How to find a Beatrix Potter themed box for a new cross stitch project

I’ve never been one of those people who do idle retail therapy. When I go shopping, either online or in person round ‘real’ shops, it’s because I know exactly what I want, and I’m just trying to find it in the shortest possible time, as I don’t actually enjoy shopping much.

So, when I decided the other day that I wanted a box, I wanted a very particular kind of box, and quickly. But it wasn’t to be!

Beatrix Potter cross stitch

I’ve mentioned on my blog before about the gorgeous little French cross stitch book ‘Le monde de Beatrix Potter’ by Veronique Enginger, full of very well-designed interpretations of Beatrix Potter’s animal characters and related motifs from the series of books.

Beatrix Potter cross stitch

 

Beatrix Potter cross stitch

Annoyingly, it’s now out of print, and when it appears on places like Ebay, it is really expensive. I paid about £40 for mine, several years ago, but I’ve never got round to stitching anything from it, because I couldn’t decide what to use the designs for. Then, this week, I had another look through it and decided how I’d like to use them.

What I’d like to do is stitch lots of the designs and related motifs from one page in the book (for instance, the iconic Peter Rabbit image of him holding a carrot, and then a border of carrots and cabbages, the robin, the scarecrow, etc.) leaving lots of space around each motif, and then cut the fabric around them so that they can be appliqued separately on to pieces of patchwork fabric from my stash (Ha ha!! Then I can get my fabric stash down at the same time!! Fat chance!), and store them as loose ‘sheets’ in a box. I don’t want to make them into pictures or pillows, because my house is so full already, but I thought that a square box would do nicely, as I could then store them flat.

Here’s the fabric that I want to applique the motifs to. It’s called ‘Whitewashed Cottage’ by 3 Sisters for Moda:

Beatrix Potter cross stitch

Should be easy, then, shouldn’t it? A square box, about 10 x 10 inches, with a lid? Hmmm……

Well, I looked on Etsy (arty, but not suitable), then on Ebay (cheap, but not suitable), then on Amazon (gaudy, and definitely not suitable – their search engine kept showing me leather-covered rectangular footstools, for some reason). Getting slightly desperate, I looked on Pinterest (but I always find that frustrating, as the images are great, but the links never go to anything that you can actually buy), and Google images (those links tended to go to blogs, or American shops which don’t ship to the UK).

I searched with the phrases ‘Beatrix Potter box’, ‘fabric covered box’, ‘memory box’, ‘gift box’, ‘lidded box’, ‘wooden box’, ‘decoupage box’….you get my drift? It’s not easy.

I even contemplated learning cartonnage and making my own box from scratch, after I came across a remnant of Mrs Tiggywinkle fabric on Ebay.

After about five hours I was giving up the will to live. I’d stopped looking for PRETTY boxes, or boxes with Beatrix Potter images on, to ANYTHING remotely ‘nice’. Still no luck.

Then, the following day, I thought I’d have another go on Google, and lo and behold, with the wonders of the internet, Google in its wisdom decided to show me something ‘related’ to my previous search….and actually showed me in the sidebar what I’d been seeking for hours the day before – a 10 x 10 inch gift box with a loose lid, covered in Peter Rabbit paper, nicely lined, and only £6.50, from Paperchase. Hadn’t thought of them!!

So, here’s the box I’m going to use:

Beatrix Potter cross stitch

I hadn’t noticed at the time I ordered it, but the Peter Rabbit on the box lid even has a fluffy little tail!

Beatrix Potter cross stitch

Simple, eh? All I needed was the internet to behave itself…….

Beatrix Potter cross stitch

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

needle minders, needle holder, pin keep, sampler, cross stitch, magnetic needle holder

Advertisements

A quick cross stitch project: 3. The Spirit of Holiday Baking (a gingerbread style angel by Brookes Books)

I was determined to get this Spirit of Holiday Baking 3D figure from Brookes Books finished in time to display for Christmas (THIS Christmas, I mean!), and I’ve just about managed it.

This is the second half sheet of perforated paper with  the ‘accessories’ and wings for the angel cross stitched, back stitched, and all the beads sewn on.

Brookes Books Spirit of Holiday Baking cross stitch angel

Then comes the scary bit! You have to cut each piece out, one row of holes away from the stitching, all the way round. This is where you realise that it’s very important, if there is a part of the design where there is a ‘sharp angle’, that you didn’t take the thread across the back across the unstitched gap – because then, when you get to this stage, you’d be cutting through that long thread, and making your design unravel!

Brookes Books Spirit of Holiday Baking cross stitch angel

These are all the pieces, ready to assemble with glue dots and a few judicious stitches in a matching thread to hold everything together. This reminds me of those paper dolls that I had when I was little, with the little tabs on the edges so that you could ‘hang’ different items on the main doll to make different outfits.

Brookes Books Spirit of Holiday Baking cross stitch angel

Assembled!! Didn’t take long, as glue dots don’t need time to dry, unlike tacky glue, which can get a bit messy. From this angle, you can see that the beads really add interest. The layering of the pieces is a simple idea, but really clever, and adds to the cuteness of this project.

Brookes Books Spirit of Holiday Baking cross stitch angel

Finished (just)! I need to add a mount board bracket at the back so that she can stand up unaided, but she’s near enough finished  🙂

Brookes Books Spirit of Holiday Baking cross stitch angel

Isn’t she lovely? I’ll definitely be making more from this series, as I have a bundle of over a dozen chart packs for these ‘angels’. I find they are really good projects to take when I’m travelling, as they don’t need to be done in a hoop (in fact, they can’t be, as they are on paper), the holes in the 14 count paper are quite large, so I don’t need a magnifier, and there aren’t too many colours, so it’s easy to pick it up and put it down without getting confused about where I am in the design. Well worth having a go. Visit Brooke’s Etsy shop  if you’d like to buy any of her lovely chart packs.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

needle minders, needle holder, pin keep, sampler, cross stitch, magnetic needle holder

A quick cross stitch project: 2. The Spirit of Holiday Baking (a gingerbread style angel by Brookes Books)

I’m trying to get this quick cross stitch project called ‘The Spirit of Holiday Baking’ by Brookes Books stitched in time for Christmas, as I want to display it along with the gingerbread village buildings from Victoria Sampler that I’ve made before (not that they’re in the same kind of scale, but I just like gingerbread things!).

The design itself is quite simple, but deceptively so – the shading is good, considering there aren’t a huge number of thread colours in the design. But the area to be stitched (in a couple of weeks. Yikes!) just for the main ‘angel’ is about three inches by eight, on 14 count perforated paper, and I’m really busy with posting out Christmas orders of my embroidery kits at this time of year, so I haven’t got much ‘free time’ for stitching.

Brookes Books Spirit of Holiday Baking cross stitch angel

But whenever I get a minute, I put a few stitches in, and it’s growing….

There are two main sheets of designs. One is the angel herself, with a few ‘accessories’ on the spare paper around her (which will be cut out later and assembled into one piece). I’ve finished that bit now – adding the beads really makes it look special. The bare patch on the front of her apron is for a pocket to be appliqued later. She has a cute beaded flower on her hat.

Brookes Books Spirit of Holiday Baking cross stitch angel

Now I’m doing the second sheet, which is for little gingerbread pieces, and the angels wings. Aren’t these looking great?

Brookes Books Spirit of Holiday Baking cross stitch angel

I’ve just got the wings to complete, then I can start to put it all together, so it should actually be finished in time for Christmas.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

needle minders, needle holder, pin keep, sampler, cross stitch, magnetic needle holder

A quick cross stitch project: 1. The Spirit of Holiday Baking (a gingerbread style angel by Brookes Books)

Now that I’ve completed the Strawberry Fayre etui (which has taken me almost all of this year to complete – I started it at the end of January 2018!!), I am feeling the need to do some ‘easy ‘stitching’ for a while. So, a quick cross stitch project like this  ‘Spirit of Holiday Baking’ fits the bill perfectly, as it’s festive, and doesn’t take long to make, so it should be finished in time for Christmas.

This is a cross stitch 3D ‘angel’ type design, by Brooke Nolan of Brooke’s Books. Brooke sells an amazing range of charts for all kinds of things – many 3D, which I love to stitch. I got a set of 14 chart packs of her gorgeous figures for Christmas last year (the Christmas pixie sent good ‘prompting’ emails to my husband, in plenty of time  🙂  )

This is the haul that I got:

Brookes Books Spirit of Holiday Baking cross stitch

I’ve decided to make the one in the centre first. It has the ‘gingerbread’ theme that I like to do at Christmas. For the past few years I have been making Thea Dueck’s little buildings from her Gingerbread Village range, but this year I fancied a change.

The design is to be stitched on 14 count perforated paper – this is more like thin cardboard, and is actually quite robust. It comes in lots of colours, although for this design I only need the brown one, which is a warm gingerbready colour, fortunately!

Brookes Books Spirit of Holiday Baking cross stitch

The chart pack lists DMC thread suggestions, but I converted these to Anchor colours, as I already have a full set of Anchor threads in my stash which I use in the dollhouse needlepoint kits that I produce. I used a size 24 tapestry needle for the stitching.

Here’s my materials, ready to start (the chart itself  I have coloured in with coloured pencils, as my brain can read that better than when it’s just in black and white symbols).

I taped masking tape around the edge of the perforated paper to stop the thread from catching on the rough edges. I don’t need any kind of frame for this, so I’ll just hold it in my hand to stitch.

Brookes Books Spirit of Holiday Baking cross stitch

The instructions said to use three strands of stranded cotton when stitching. I tried a tiny sample area, and immediately decided that two strands would be OK- I really don’t like stitching with an odd number of strands for embroidery, as it means I can’t double the thread through the needle and knot it, which I prefer.

Brookes Books Spirit of Holiday Baking cross stitch

The completed figure will be about 7.5 inches high, so it’s important to start at one end of the chart, not the centre, so that the design will fit on the paper properly – this is stitched on a half sheet of the perforated paper, which is only just a bit over 8.5 inches top to bottom. When allowing a bit for the masking tape border, that doesn’t leave much leeway!

Brookes Books 7

When it’s completed, I’ll have the scary task of cutting it out right up to the stitching (cutting along the next row of holes from the stitches), but for now, it’s just easy cross stitch, which makes a drastic change from the previous  project!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

needle minders, needle holder, pin keep, sampler, cross stitch, magnetic needle holder