Picture the scene:
It’s the dawn of the 20th century. You’re a kid at a fair.
But not just any fair, mind you! It’s the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis!
There, all your sugar-coated, sweet-tooth dreams just came true. You plunked down 25 cents – which was a lot of money! – and bought yourself a box of “fairy floss.”
And someone captured you in a photograph delighting in what we now know as cotton candy.
About ten or so years later, your doting mother took that photo to a photography artist and had it hand-painted, because by about 1915, hand painted photographs were all the rage.
And your family has treasured the keepsake ever since, each generation contending that the newest edition – little Fred or sweet Sally – looks just like Great (Great) (Great) Uncle Charlie or Aunt Dahlia in that old photo of the Kid at the Fair with the Cotton Candy.
All I can think of when I pick up my latest monogram-embroidering endeavor is Vintage Cotton Candy. I’m pretty sure it looks just like the cotton candy you were reveling in, back in 1904.
And I’ll be honest: though it seems like a sweet thought, I’m not all that sweet on the current outcome!
When I showed you this monogram embroidered in long & short stitch using DMC Variations, I was pretty pleased with the outcome. The subtle color changes worked well with the long & short stitch. The resulting monogram was rather pretty – it seemed to gleam a nice pinky gold.
At that time, a few people wrote in to ask what the effect would be, if I used Coloris instead of Variations.
I wrote about Coloris a while ago, explaining what it is and how it is different from Variations.
Well, in the Spirit of Exploration and Adventure, I decided to try it! The color I chose for the experiment was 4501.
With the more vivid mix of colors and the more frequent color changes in a skein of Coloris, I discovered that I’d have to use a different stitching approach.
Instead of working the long & short stitch in definite rows across the shape and then down from row to row, I decided to work in clusters or clumps of color from side to side.
Otherwise, the effect would have been distinctly stripey, and I think it would have looked even odder than it already does.
Do you know what comes to mind when I look at this?
I think of a poor little kid who glutted himself on cotton candy and couldn’t hold it down.
Either that, or Vintage Cotton Candy Camouflage.
At this point, I’m not super sweet on the experiment. So far, I don’t like the effect of the Coloris with the long & short stitch. I’m not too keen on this family of colors, anyway, now that I’ve worked with them a bit. They are a bit duller than I’d like – definitely a vintage look to them, which I normally don’t mind, but when combined in the long & short stitch, the colors tend to look dingy.
However, never say die! (Or is that dye? Chortle, chortle!)
I’m going to finish the long & short stitch and embroider a coordinating color just around the outside edge, using a fine stem stitch.
And at that point, I’ll make my final decision to like it or lump it!
If I like it, I think I’ll call it Impressionism instead of Vintage Cotton Candy, in an attempt to feel a bit more sophisticated about it.
What do you think? Does it grab you? Or no? Feel free to add your input in the comments below!
Looking for More Monograms with Stitching Tips?
You can find a whole list of monogram embroidery tips here, with tutorials for different styles of stitched initials.
You’ll find the patterns for these letters and more decorative alphabets in my e-book, Favorite Monograms.
If you’re looking for tutorials for stitching written words and lettering, you might enjoy this series of tutorials on hand embroidered lettering and text.
For adventurous stitchers who like working up fun stitch combinations, Stitch Sampler Alphabet is a thorough instructional guide with over 65 stitch combinations used to create beautiful and fun embroidered letters.