Body Positivity, Dolls & Needlework: Disney Encanto's Luisa Doll and Body Positivity in Cross Stitch
I stopped into a big box store this week to buy fun adulting stuff like salt for the icy front walkway and cardboard banker boxes for Nashville Needlework Market prep. Thankfully my cart guided me over to the toy aisle. There in the Disney doll section was the most amazing box set of dolls— the Encanto four doll set made by Jakks Pacific.
Within the four pack was the most amazing Disney doll, Luisa. The doll body is a huge departure from the pre-2015 princess dolls produced by Mattel and post 2015 the Hasbro princess dolls. I must say I’m super impressed by Jakks Pacific and their doll design of Luisa. She is strong and muscular. Her frame is large. She looks like the animated character! I immediately searched for the individual doll to purchase, but she only came in the four doll box set. No worries. I had to bring her and her three doll box companions home with me.
My daughter is thrilled with the set. I too am thrilled with all of the dolls. I explained the significance and importance of the varied doll bodies, skin tones, and hair textures within one box set. Remember all bodies are good bodies and representation matters.
Check out the Redfin article I was featured in: “Decorating with Cross-Stitch: How to Enhance Your Home Décor”
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Happy December my stitching friends! I am so excited for all that is to come this month. I completed the fabric panel advent calendar just in time to stuff it full of candies and snacks from around the world.
I purchased my first ever basic Bitzy Bob from Kelly over at That's So Kelly Co. I also got a wonderful digital art print from her, "Love to Stitch." I immediately framed it and placed it by my tomato pincushion collection. I need to finish up a quilted wall hanging, model stitching for 2021 releases, and my own personal stitching.
I hope to post more stitching updates of all the things. Until then, you matter and your stitching matters.
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It is no secret that one of my favorite counted cross stitch creators is Barbara Ana Designs. I have stitched several of her anthropomorphic animals and a cute mermaid. My latest cross stitch finish is the freebie pattern offered on the Barbara Ana Designs Instagram page. She released it as a complimentary chart with the #bewellandstitch movement. I have stitched both of her Be Well complimentary designs in 2020. I decided to do a thread conversion and use Sulky 12 wt cotton Petites.*
When I am not cross stitching, I really enjoy making all the things. I have been quilting and crafting. My favorite crafty club is the current Farmhouse Style Kit Club.* I made their first kit, which was the gorgeous felt wreath. My second kit just arrived! It is a soap making kit. I've always wanted to learn how to make soap. Seriously! In case you are interested in the club, Annie's is offering 75% off any Annie's Kit Club with the promo code SHARE75 .
Thanks so much my friends and happy stitching!
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This episode features two new cross stitch pattern releases. So exciting! I also show my WIPS (works in progress) on my Totem pattern by Ursula Michaels, "Light" by Barbara Ana Designs, and a sneak peak of my upcoming design featuring Sulky Poly Star and 12 weight cotton thread. I also show my quilting and crafts with my kids.
It is so exciting to announce that I have two pattern releases this week! The first is Pear Assortment. This is a 16th century needlework block print that I adapted for counted cross stitch. It was originally stitched in conjunction with my filming and development of the Sulky of America's "Intro to Cross Stitch" video series. You can watch that video series here.
The second pattern release is "Whaley Love Winter" featured in the 2020 Just CrossStitch Ornament Issue. The model is stitched withSulky 12 weight cotton thread and Hiloshimmer thread. It is stitched on 32 count Indigo linen by Luminous Fiber Arts and mini creamsicle orange pom pom trim by Lady Dot Creates.
The pumpkin block pattern came from The Cloth Parcel. I decided to make each block into a decorative pumpkin pillow. I added metallic thread to the top stitching. I think I found my new favorite shiny thing and that is Sulky's Poly Star Thread! You can watch the episode here.
Goodies Discussed in this Episode
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This was a week of fully finishing cross stitch projects. I did, however, stop to smell the roses (and sunflowers and peaches...). You can watch my new Flosstube episode here.
I am thrilled with "Autumn Dream" and how it turned out in the 11 inch square frame. I removed the glass from the frame and cut a piece of foam core board approximately 10.9 inches square using a utility box cutter knife. The frame I purchased can be found here. It came in several colors, but I chose the "carbonized" wood color. I stitched my piece on a 32 count toasted almond linen and I feel like it turned out great in this frame.
“Patriotic ABCs” by Barbara Ana Designs can be found in the summer 2020 issue of Punch Needle and Primitive Stitcher magazine. I used all of the called for DMC threads. It is stitched on 32 count natural linen. After finishing the stitching, I ironed the piece. Next I used pins, a ruler, and patience to carefully cut the linen to give the piece a three inch margin on all sides. I decided that a thrift store frame I originally got for framing Blackbird Designs “Blessings be Thine” sampler would be perfect to hold this prim eagle sampler.
I feel very overwhelmed and grateful to receive this beautifully stitched bookmark from a stitching friend. Look at that variegated thread in the blackwork! I love that she stitched my motto, "I matter. My Stitching Matters." Thank you so much Vonda for such a beautiful piece. I will treasure it! To my fellow readers of this blog, remember that YOU MATTER and that YOUR STITCHING MATTERS.
“Remember Me” by Birds of a Feather is complete. I am very excited to have this project completed and framed! I Rit dyed the 14 count Aida fabric. The pattern is stitched using a combination of Sulky 12 weight cotton petites thread and the new Sulky 12 weight Filaine acrylic thread. The witch is stitched in cotton. The houses and the cat are stitched in Filaine. I love the coverage of the acrylic! I am excited to acquire more colors and to work on reproducing a 19th century wool work sampler with acrylic thread.
The frame is one that I found at a thrift store. I removed the glass and used the existing mat board. I laced the piece to the mat board. I used a chenille needle and a single strand of Filaine to lace the project. I know several needlework finishers use upholstery thread for lacing their projects. I have had a lot of success with using 12 weight cotton thread and now I am happy to report that the 12 weight acrylic thread works too.
Thanks to my Flosstube friends last year for helping me to identify one of my Save the Stitches pieces. I found this autumn farm landscape scene at a used bookstore. I took it out of the frame, cleaned it, and then set it aside for more than a year trying to figure out how to fully finish it. Finally I decided to display it. It was already clean but pretty wrinkled. I pressed it with a hot dry iron, and then attached it with two sided stitchery tape to an acid-free mat board. I used my rare earth magnets and E600 glue to attach it to a thrifted easel. The pattern is the autumn scene from the 1990 book “Sloane's Four Seasons” designs by John Sloane from the Something Special/Candamar company. It was stitched on 18 count cream white Aida. I am so happy I found this finished stitch. It looks like you can find a used copy of the chart on ebay.
While reading this fun book to my kiddos, I remembered there are a few penguins I'd like to stitch from the back issues of Mary Hickmott's New Stitches magazine. Again, I have found some of the back issues available on eBay here. It is fun to read about Antartica while thinking of whales, penguins, and snow to stitch.
I am happy to report that I was able to venture out to a local farm for “pick your own” season. My family and I picked a ½ bushel of yellow peaches and one peck of tomatoes. It was quite an adventure. I had picked peaches back in California, but this was the first time for my children and husband to pick peaches. Fun fact, the clear plastic bag is a “1 U.S. Peck” size and measures 13.5 inches by 16.5 inches. Now I want to make a project bag and have “I love you a bushel and a peck” cross stitched on the front of it!
Goodies and Products Discussed
Here are some photos showing what I discussed on Flosstube 96 this week. I hope you enjoy watching the episode and happy stitching!
Goodies Discussed in Flosstube 96
I started watching Flosstube on YouTube in 2017. One of the things that I love viewing is the "Tour de Wall" started by Pam and Steph of "Just Keep Stitchin." Every season they would film a segment showing the different finishes mounted behind them on the wall. As each season changes, another "tour de wall" would be showcased. In honor of my deep appreciation for their wall tour segment, I figured it was time to show you the pieces featured on my wall.
The Flosstube wall in my studio is ever-evolving. The change in seasons along with my new finishes that I have finally fully finished or "FFO'ed" account for the change in the look of the wall. The paintings are from the late 19th century and early 20th century. They were gifted to me. I love them so much. I feel like the frames and the florals pair nicely with my grandmillennial or maximalist aesthetic.
I hope you enjoy the slideshow of some of the pieces on my wall. The pugs love to hang out and help me to film my videos. I am in love with the "Let Equality Bloom" print by Brooke Fischer. It was originally printed for my homeschool classroom space, but I couldn't help but add it to my wall next to my Boo Bees Apiary piece. The center of the wall features Prairie Schooler Fairies stitched with Sulky 12 weight cotton thread. I used the Sulky Crossroads collection spool pack for my color conversion. I also have an accidental collection of needlepoint pillows that I love to keep in my studio. I love the them so much!
I hope you enjoyed my "Tour de Wall!"
Cross Stitch Goodies Featured
"Bobbins and Boobies" is the theme of episode Flosstube 95. Combine the "Boo Bees Apiary" cross stitch pattern with the newly released "Beach Dance" of Blue Foot Boobies bird pattern by Lindy Stitches and you get a match made in pun heaven. Bobbins and spools have been on my mind all week. I am looking forward to finishing cross stitch works on wooden spools and winding thread bobbins with my DMC thread stash.
This week I wonderful package of stitching kindness that included a set of plastic embroidery floss bobbins to organize my DMC floss collection. I show the different kinds of bobbins and clear plastic containers to house the rainbow of 6 stranded cotton perfection (aka cross stitch floss).
Stitching Goodies Featured in Flosstube 95
Non Stitching Goodies That I Featured on Flosstube 95
Teach for Justice on Instagram inspired me to research Amplifier art and work with creating an inclusive classroom space. I downloaded some of the art and had it printed. Now I just need to get it framed and on the wall! I will post pictures and artists once it is hung on the wall.
Amanda Mae is a modern cross stitch designer, artist, and quirky crafter. She loves to rescue abandoned needlework and believes in Saving the Stitches.