My little brother married the woman that nobody can imagine him being without ten years ago. We were all much younger then and a lot has happened since. In some ways, I think we all finished growing up together. Sometimes it seems bizarre that it’s been ten whole years that they’ve been married. At the same time, I can’t really remember a time when Crystal wasn’t a part of our family.
I love them both dearly. Judge was my very first partner in crime and Crystal has come to be a sister to me. They are incredible people and have a beautiful relationship. The two of them have done so much for so many, and I can never thank them enough for everything they’ve done for me and mine over the years. Judge and Crystal are special in a way that is hard to put down in words, but if you met them, you’d understand.
I wanted to make them something special for their anniversary and so I decided to stitch an anniversary sampler for them. Of course, I had a difficult time finding the right pattern. I found one pattern that I really liked, but of course it had nothing to do with love or anniversaries:
This is the Autumn Band Sampler, from Little House Needleworks. I love the colors and the squirrels and everything about it. I decided to hack the pattern and personalize it for Judge and Crystal. I went to the library got a giant stack of cross stitch pattern references and printed out some graph paper. It took a surprising amount of time to come up with a final layout that I really liked, but I drew out the pattern substitutions and got to work.
I started stitching it up in early July. I kept having problems with miscounting my threads and was having trouble focusing on my work. I followed Kevin’s mom’s advice and got myself an Ott light, which is a daylight LED crafting lamp. That helped a lot, but I still couldn’t really focus well on the work. I wound up going to see an eye doctor, and two retina specialists. The uptake is that I have reading glasses for crafting now and can see tiny cross stitch a lot better.
With my light and my reading glasses, I really got moving on the project.
I am a very slow stitcher, so it took me the better part of six weeks to finish. During that time, the only other things I worked on were socks and mom’s birthday present. I made mistakes and had to pull out stitches more than once or twice. There’s an acorn that I stitched four times before it was all done! But done it is and I took it to get it framed at my local cross stitch shop.
I am so pleased with how it came out. I’m a little scared to really look at it, lest I discover something that is misspelled, but I think it’s pretty great. It really pushed my creativity, which is a great feeling. I’ve never designed anything, much less a cross stitch pattern. It’s also my second cross stitch finish… Kevin always says I jump in feet first with my projects.
We celebrated Judge and Crystal yesterday with countless family and friends. It was a great day and my heart is truly full.