Friday, September 23, 2011

A Birth Announcement

I'm marking today as the day...
I'm putting my toe in the water...
What is the worst thing that could happen?

Okay, I apologize for the long interval between today and my first post, but I assure you I've been sewing and reading quite a few blogs since then. ....and, I've learned A LOT! I've watched bloggers deal with anonymous meanies, drooled over the fantastic give-aways, and decided what kind of comments I want to encourage from anyone stopping to read my thoughts. So, there is no better time than today for me to step out of the shadows and share a little more of who I am and what I do creatively in my life.

Today's blog came about as a result of my niece's cell phone suddenly having problems sending text messages to me. (It's still happening, each carrier pointing fingers at the other.....grrrr!) I visited my carrier's local office in an attempt to resolve the problem and while there a technician demonstrated how to get the pictures from my phone to my computer. The solution required I enroll in a data plan (something I never thought I would need.) Today you get to see one of the projects whose photos were on my phone.

My sister has inspired me to do this particular project. She is a flight attendant and has always carried some sort of needlework to fill hotel and airport moments on her trips. On a recent trip, I saw her carrying this cross stitch project and I decided it was a perfect gift for a very good friend of mine who was expecting her first grandchild very soon. Well, I promptly sought a copy of the chart and ordered it from a vendor on Ebay. I used the 18 count Aida because the size of the completed project would be 6 1/2" x 7" prior to framing. Without saying a word to my sister, I began the project. The baby was not yet born, and I was determined to deliver it prior to the baby's first birthday! I finished the work before my sister finished hers, and the closer I got to the final backstitching and lettering, I showed it to her so we could discuss our projects.

It was then that I discovered the area in the middle of my cross stitch left very little room for the simple name and details I needed to squeeze in. I tried hard to chart the baby's name (first, middle and last), the date, weight and length. I wasn't willing to eliminate one of those details, but each were considered. You will see how I worked it out in the next picture. How did my sister avoid this problem? She cross stitched the baby's name and details prior to beginning the floral work! Because she cross stitched the lettering in all caps, her finished product was huge when compared to mine. She ended up having to expand and stretch out the flowers, and took my idea of adding the butterflies to hers to fill space. Because I hadn't spoken to her about how to she started, I walked right into creating my problem. You'll see how I worked it out by looking at the next picture.

As you will self-inflicted drama did not end there. I had decided I wanted to change the flowers on my project. My sister had told me there was a "girl" chart (it has the girl's name in the chart photo) and a boy's chart (with a boy's name) on the chart cover photo. She told me the boy's chart has little boys, and the girl's chart babies were little girls (the girls have pigtails). That information is not true.

I started work using the chart with the pink border, but I didn't like the yellow flower, so I changed it to the little baby bent over looking at the worm and backed her with the irises. I think I switched a couple of the babies around. I also changed the coloring of three babies using different shades of brown. This gift was for the child of an interracial couple who I knew would be a child whose coloring would be a blend of her parents. Making these changes revealed the subtle shading on their features and bodies that was not noticable in the darker shades. I used gold metallic thread for the babies wings, so there is a gossamer-like twinkle every once in a while when you look at the picture. I also added the little blue butterfly to fill in what appeared as open space when I had to drop the lettering a few rows to balance filling in the space. It was a great project, and the baby was 3 months old when I finished it and mailed it off!

My friend loved it so much she didn't pass it along to her son. She museum framed it and hung it on the wall of her spare bedroom. Should I have been surprised? Would you pass it along if it were a gift to you? I didn't make any stipulation, but feel I caused a problem by not doing so. Should I have sent her a picture and mailed it directly to the parents? And, please share what do you do when you're not sewing!

Thanks to you and everyone for taking a moment to read my blog!
I promise to come back soon if you will. too...!

The Birth Announcement?....My son is having his second child early next year! I'm sooo excited.... Being a grandmother is WONDERFUL!


  1. Cynthia,

    I popped over from LT to see your project. I too work on birth announcements for my own grandchildren, but I'm running behind. Molly was born October 25, 2010 and I finished her birth announcement (ba) in June and immediately started Isabella's ba (she was born on 1/12/11) and am still working on it. I'm hoping to finish by the end of October so that when I see them at Thanksgiving (they live in Louisiana, I"m in MD)I'll be able to hand it over. But as soon as I finish Bella's I need to start on my new's granddaughter's ba - Stella was born 9/10/11. My grandchildren have been coming fast and furious. The only one I've been on time for is the first - Jackson will be 3 in February.

    Enjoy your grandchildren - they are a blessing.

  2. Cheli...
    I appreciate your comments about your grandchildren and their birth announcements. I stress myself out trying to be prepared for reminded me that it's okay if I stop and smell the coffee....thanks again...

    Have a great day!