You know that Long List of Things to Do in 2016 that I posted the other day?
Well, I left off one little thing.
Well, actually…I left off several little things.
I left them off on purpose, because I thought they weren’t really worth mentioning. But the more I think about it, the more I realize that these little stitchy things have given me a lot of pleasure lately – more so, perhaps, than any of my larger projects.
See, my larger projects – the projects that you see most frequently on Needle ‘n Thread – require me to traipse out to my workroom, to work in isolation in a rather lonely, cold environment, under glaring lights, sometimes using magnification, never in a really comfy chair, always with a certain level of concentration, always with a camera handy, always thinking about the article that will accompany the photos, always planning next steps… you get the idea.
But I have a collection of tiny little kits that provide me with just the opposite experience. They are my secret little indulgence.
Mill Hill, the company behind a lot of the little beads you see at local needlework shops and craft stores, produces a line of tiny little cross stitch and bead embroidery kits that are worked on perforated paper. In fact, they produce a whole slew of them, in all kinds of styles, for every season.
And they are my guilty pleasure.
They’re fun, colorful, easy to work.
I can work them at night in my living room, cuddled up under a quilt on the couch or in a comfy chair while I indulge in another guilty pleasure (any BBC drama or mystery series – heh heh).
They give me something to do with my hands, but they don’t involve a lot of concentration.
They don’t require massive amounts of light or any magnification.
I can socialize with other people while I’m working on them.
I don’t have to pause for photos. In fact, I don’t even bother having a camera around when I’m playing with them, unless it’s my phone camera.
When I’m not working on them, they tuck right back into their tiny ziplock bag and can be squirreled away anywhere, without taking up any room.
And while I don’t have any specific plan for them when they’re finished, I know I can make use of them in a variety of ways. They can be mounted on a greeting card. They can be made into a Christmas tree ornament or a bookmark or just a little token for a friend.
And when they have little elements like frogs on them – better yet, frogs tucked into a colorful pair of Wellies (which is another little obsession of mine – I love Wellington boots!) – they can’t help but cheer you up!
These little Mill Hill bead and cross stitch kits come with everything needed to complete each little kit (except scissors), including beads, floss, perforated paper, needles, specialty buttons or charms, chart and instructions. They’re packaged in little ziplock bags for easy storage and transport.
If you like tiny projects that are colorful, ornamental, quick, fun, and easy, you should look them up! I find them rather therapeutic after a day of concentrating on other types of embroidery.
I generally buy little kits like this through Nordic Needle, but just about any local needlework shop that focuses on cross stitch will carry at least a few of them.
Some projects are larger than others, some involve Aida cloth instead of paper. But my favorites are the tiny little ornamental pieces that are done on perforated paper, as they’re so easy to hold and usually pretty ingeniously cute.
Right now, with winter upon us in Kansas, I really like the Spring Collection kits that are flowery and bright. You’ll find all kinds of garden-themed little ornaments in the Spring Collection, from the Wellies above, to a flowery watering can, butterflies, lady bugs, Easter eggs adorned different ways, and so forth.
And if you can find it somewhere, there’s an adorable tropical fish kit that shouldn’t be passed up. It’s too bad they don’t do a whole series of tropical fish – they’re super fun!
Yep. My Guilty Pleasure. Now you know how I’ve been spending my evenings lately – beads and BBC.
Well, we all have our little secrets, don’t we?
(And just between you and me, since we’re under a winter storm warning here in Kansas and my cold and snowy world is very quiet, with school cancelled and no one out and about just yet except the plows, I just might indulge in finishing up this particular kit this very morning. But don’t tell anyone! Let them think I’m out in the workroom, slaving away, ok?)