My cross-stitch family

I was obsessed with counted cross-stitch when I was little.  I don't remember all that I did, but I do have vivid memories of Endangered Young'uns.  I remember going to the craft store (*sigh...in the U.S. everything is so easy!), picking out fabric, finding all the numbers of DMC thread I needed, and I even remember stepping on a needle that was hiding in our shag carpet (in my Strawberry Shortcake socks....I was very young).  I sat on the couch and work for hours and hours.  No wonder I was an easy child (....in my mind).

I found a counted cross-stitch kit at a thrift store here and it made me curious.  I hadn't known anyone to cross stitch since the 90's.  Could it ever be cool again?  Thanks to pinterest, I discovered these family portraits from Martha Stewart.  Adorable.   I ended up making a giant one for my parents for Christmas, and several more for family and friends.  

It starts by making a sketch on graph paper.  In the beginning, this was the part that was the most fun, but that slowly waned as I really wanted to get stitching.  I've found that the more of these I have done, the less I have to 'plan' and the more I am able to just sew-as-I-go.  
The first drafts of these are hilarious to look at, like how I made my mom a midget or or my brother a disco king.

This was my first embroidery project in the 21st century


I thought I had captured these three girls perfectly.  The week after I gave this to them,  two of the girls cut and donated their long hair to locks of love.  It needs revision :)
It's a creative way to remember, honor, and pray loved ones near and far.   Plus, it makes me very detail oriented.  How long is so-and-so's hair right now?  What's their favorite color?  What makes them unique?  I've found that men/boys in are difficult in particular (and let's face it....kind of boring), but it's fun to keep tweaking the figures to get them *just* right.  At least my perception of them, which, in the case of my family, is after on and a half years away and mostly through Skype and FB.  Not bad!

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© Reuben + ErinMaira Gall