Since my blogging New Year's Resolution is going so well (can I get a golf clap for three posts in five days?) I figured I'd share my other big resolution for the year...to finish this needlepoint stocking. Or, more broadly, to pick up as many 19th century crafts as possible.
What is this stocking you ask?
Well, a few years ago I saw a custom needlepoint stocking on the blogosphere and immediately thought it was one of the most charming things I had ever seen. At the time, I contacted a few needlepoint shops about having one made for Mike, but unfortunately it seemed like the cost to have a custom stocking designed, stitched and finished was approximately one semester of state college tuition.
"Oh thanks! I'll get back to you...."
However, this November I was feeling very holiday spirity, and the desire for a custom stocking struck again. I did some more intense research (aka Google, Google, Google) and stumbled upon Susie who does gorgeous custom designs (and was, compared to my other quotes, affordable). I figured that if she did the design I could take on the task of stitching the stocking (but I’ll eventually need someone else to finish it).
Now I have to admit, Susie’s website is “CustomNeedlepointDesign.com” but it honestly took me years to find her….I just don’t want you to think I was exaggerating even though it seems like she should have been my number one hit.
Anyway, Susie was BEYOND delightful to work with, and we quickly developed an email rapport that made me feel like I was working with my favorite aunt. She asked me questions about Mike’s hobbies and interests, and I answered to the best of my ability (basically word vomiting at her and sending her thousands of pictures of his shoes). Oh, and it didn’t hurt that Susie is also from the great state of Michigan. Despite the tight deadline, Susie painted the most beautiful custom stocking for Mike. And, despite Mike’s usual insistence on privacy, he let me to publish it here because even he thinks it’s incredible (Susie’s art, not my ability to recite his hobbies).
Over our vacation I started stitching (you can *kind of* see that the top row and the top white section is done...see! see! It was so much work! I keep Snapchatting my mom every time I finish a section). I have to say I’m pretty pleased with the progress. I have never needlepointed anything before and the guy at the needlepoint shop in Florida did NOT seem to approve of my giant stocking as a first project. He definitely thought he had a quitter on his hands, but he was wrong. A few instructional YouTube videos later and I was good to go. Actually, I was beyond good to go. I am officially converted to needlepoint lover. I've already been planning the belts, shoes and pillows I want to make next...so many ideas, so little time!
Oh, and I got a sewing machine for Christmas! I think I’m fully ready to tackle 1816.
I mean 2016.
If you're interested in joining my needlepoint revolution (or simply having your own custom design made) I cannot recommend Susie enough. She is beyond lovely and incredibly talented!