I've always been a crafty person, I used to spend so much time and money on yarn, I knitted blankets, sweaters and baby clothes. Over the years I've done other crafts, such as jewelry making, scrap-booking, stenciling, mosaic....let's just say I really know my way around Michael's and JoAnns!
When I moved to San Diego and had to pay rent for the first time in my life I made a few changes that would save me money, for example, I dyed my hair to my natural color to eliminate the monthly trips to the hair salon, and I picked up cross-stitching.
This is a very economical craft! A beginner can start by downloading a free pattern online, purchasing the hoop (less than $10) and floss ($0.50 or less), or buy a kit with all the supplies included, and that guarantees fun for months or years to come!
In my case, the projects I choose are more complicated and I'm happy when I can finish one in less than 6 months. Cross stitching is a big stress reliever for me, one of the reasons why it takes me so long to finish is because I get tired of it, leave it for a few months and then re-take the project. Do that a couple of times and the project is finished within a year or two. These my most recent projects:
This is called Hand in Hand Forever and I purchased from TheStitchery.com I made two of these as a Christmas gift for my Brother and Sister. I started them in the middle of August and finished them two days before Christmas. It was made with lots of love for my siblings.
I have a book filled with Christmas patterns, this is one of the projects from that book. I like this project because it has gold and silver floss, beads and it just looks beautiful. This project was finished in 2006, it took me one year, I remember I started it on December and had it ready for the Holidays the following year.
Guardian Angel pattern
Ever since I saw this as a pattern I knew I had to do it, I used to have a Guardian Angel like that above my crib and with all the things I've done, I just know I have a few of them taking care of me! This project was finished in 2012 and this one took me 2 years to finish, the coloring was very intricate and it usually happened that when it was time to back-stitch I would leave it for a few months and then get back to it again.
On this project I made a huge miscalculation and didn't have enough space for the tip of the wings, so had to add a small strip on the top. It doesn't bother me too much since this is one is for me and I learned my lesson of measuring twice.
Currently I am half way done on a cat pattern, want to make a sepia photograph of my Mom and Dad and my most ambitious project yet, a Russian Mother of God icon. If I do that one right I will be sure to win some contests.