I am a bad shopper.
When I go shopping with a purpose – whether it be to find specific embroidery supplies, fabric… food, clothes, shoes, it doesn’t matter what – I am invariably a failure. I rarely find exactly what I’m looking for when I set out.
Eventually, I settle for something that “will do” and I call it quits. This can be very frustrating, and it generally puts me off shopping. I see shopping as a drudge. A Chore.
There are, of course, exceptions. The exceptions are generally those spontaneous shopping excursions that are completely unintended, when I go with someone else for company, to drive, or just to get out and refresh my outlook. It is in those circumstances that I find everything that I looked for in the past twenty shopping trips. Needful things, interesting things, delightful things – they all fall right in front of me.
And such was the case when I came across this fantastic little pocket watch casing. It was serendipitous.
I had haunted many antique stores looking for an old pocket watch casing that I could use for finishing one of my tapestry smalls from A Thousand Flowers. I never found one.
Not in an antique store, anyway…
Instead, one day, I was traipsing through JoAnn’s (which is a sewing & craft store here in the US) with a niece, not looking for anything in particular. I was just along alone for the ride while she bought a zipper or some such item.
I had long given up the pocket watch idea.
Suddenly, I heard music. I think it was the glorified song of angels busting forth a magnificent song something along the lines of “aaaaaahhhh.”
Then, a shaft of light from heaven came shining down on a package hanging on a peg nestled among some steampunk jewelry findings that I was sidling past, uninterested.
Within that package was a glass fronted pocket watch casing. It wasn’t “real” in the pocket watch sense. It had a glass cover, faceted. There was no watch in it. It wasn’t vintage – but it was made to look vintage.
And behold, my heart leapt. Could it work? asked I.
Why not? it answered.
And home we went, together.
Fast forward several months, to a time when I finished stitching this deer design which matches the other four tapestry smalls in A Thousand Flowers.
(The deer is not included in the original four charts in A Thousand Flowers, but I will be happy to make it available as a single chart supplement if folks are interested in stitching it, too. Any interest?)
I took out my pocket watch casing and gathered about me all kinds of things that I thought would be needed to finish this for fitting inside the pocket watch.
In fact, all I really needed was my circle template (that’s the green thing with the circles in it, in the photo further up), a piece of 1/4″ thick wool felt (you can find it on Etsy, if you’re looking), a small piece of dark red wool felt, and a needle and thread.
The thick wool felt, by the way, was a purchase from some five years ago, when I was making felt blocks to store needles in. I never thought it would come in handy for anything else, but here it was, ready and waiting!
The nice thing about this felt is that you can shape it by trimming the edges. It didn’t have to be perfect, but it did have to fill the cavity nice snugly.
If you don’t have the high density, thick felt, no worries. You can cut out several circles of wool felt and stack them to fill the shape, trimming as necessary.
I trimmed the thick wool felt to fit within the cavity of the pocket watch. And then I cut a small round of the red wool felt to top the thick wool felt.
Then, I just finished the tapestry small around the two pieces, in the same finishing method described in A Thousand Flowers, working over the back of the silk gauze with stitches so that it fit the felt shape.
Then I tucked the whole thing into the pocket watch, tapestry side up. Finished! It took a whole ten minutes, maybe.
The glass lid on the pocket watch – which, in fact, releases at the top, just like a real pocket watch – makes it perfect for displaying small piece of stitchery inside.
It’s almost as if the piece were designed with the tapestry smalls in mind! They fit perfectly.
The whole watch makes a lovely ornament. It would look great on a tree or as a small decoration on an ornament stand or an antique pocket watch stand.
It could also, technically, be worn as a piece of jewelry, which a chain running through the top of the watch. You could add a jump ring if you wanted. It’s a little weighty, but not super-heavy.
The glass facets along the edge add a nice decorative quality and a little reflective sparkle to the front, but they don’t take away from what’s inside.
You can see that the whole watch is not too large, either.
I loved putting this together – and the more I look at it, the more I think it would be fun to stitch all four tapestry smalls again and finish them in the pocket watch, for a set of matching ornaments. I might do that, when my project line-up loosens up again.
The Deer Chart Supplement
If you already have the original A Thousand Flowers: Four Tapestry Smalls e-book and you want to add the deer to your collection, you can find the supplement with the deer chart available here in my shop.
Please note that the supplement contains the deer chart only (in three versions – color blocks with symbols, black and white symbols, and colored symbols, just like in the original e-book). There is no color & symbol key, no materials and thread list, and no stitching and finishing tips. You can print and use any color & symbol key from any chart in the original e-book, as all the keys are the same. To stitch the deer chart with the same color scheme, you need to own a copy of the original e-book, A Thousand Flowers: Four Tapestry Smalls, purchased either individually or with the kit.
Please note that the kit contains only enough silk gauze for four tapestry smalls, but it contains enough thread to do all five.
Where to Find the Supplies
Well, first of all, there’s A Thousand Flowers. If you’re eager for the kit – if you weren’t able to pick one up in the first batch – they are back in stock! I’m very excited about that! It took a while for one of the threads to make it over from France.
You will find the kit and e-book bundle here. The kits are limited in number, and whether or not I will do more is still up in the air. The cost of the kits are the retail value of the ingredients, and maybe even slightly less, depending on where you shop.
You can read all the details about the kit and e-book (contents of both, pictures of the projects, how the e-book delivery works, etc.) here.
For those of you who may have already purchased the e-book individually and you want the kit after all, go head and purchase the bundle (kit and e-book), then drop me a line with your purchase information. I will refund the discounted price of the e-book included in the bundle.
If you want to substitute your own thread and fabric from your stash to make your own smalls, you can find the e-book available by itself, here.
You can find the pocket watch available here through JoAnn craft and fabric store.
And if you’re looking for high density, thick wool felt, I recommend searching for it on Etsy. There are several available thicknesses through various sellers there. But be aware that it is quite pricy. I think stacking cuts of regular wool felt to fill the cavity would work as well, at a small fraction of the cost.