Saturday, April 9, 2011

Stitchy News!

Just a quick update with some interesting things that have caught my attention lately:

The wonderful CrazyStitcher has an excellent new entry up on her blog entitled In Stitches that not only speaks kindly of yours truly (and my tendency to, er, rant) but showcases two brilliant bookmark finishes (with enviously well-made tassels) and a magnificent specialty-stitch filled blackwork WIP, Jeanne Dansby's Flower freebie (from WyrdByrd Designs). I can't wait to see this wonderful product finished, and just want to say: way to go CS!

From the I-can't-believe-that-I-managed-to-miss-this category, DMC has released a special new board game just for stitchers based on Monopoly!!!!!!

Seriously, WOW! I have no idea when this actually came out, but here's the info that I managed to find: DMC's press release for Stitch-opoly is here, with a free .PDF download of one of the 'property' card designs, a cheerfully vibrant butterfly amid flowers that is perfect for Spring (direct link here).

This is the image of the board game from the DMC site. Instead of collecting 'property' by trading 'real estate', the goal of the game is to collect stitch techniques by trading stitch types. The end result is to build your "your own needlework studio and empire" (!), with 'Go Shopping' and 'Needlework Stash' replacing the Community Chest and Chance cards.

Since the game relies on stitch techniques, I think it's a safe bet that this game is designed more for 'needleworkers' (a term repeatedly used to describe the audience) and so will likely apply across the whole wide needle arts spectrum, to embroiderers and textile artists as well as cross-stitchers.

Here is the image of the tokens used in the game. This is the clearest view I could find, but they are still a little blurry. From what I can make out, I think the tokens are (from left-to-right): a card of floss on a stand; an embroidery hoop on a stand; a DMC vintage-style thread cutter; a pair of scissors on a stand; a ?????; and a ball of DMC pearl cotton #8.

In Canada, Stitch-opoly retails at Herrschners, the largest online and by-catalogue needlework supplier in the country. Here is the listing for the game, in which the retail price is given as $31.49 CA and $29.99 US, which is comparable to most specialty Monopoly editions I've seen. I've never played any version but the original, but Monopoly is one of the few board games I've always loved, so this looks fun to me (although it might be agony for others, mwahahaha! <evil laughter>).

Additionally, it is clear from the game information that Stitch-opoly is meant to be educational as well as fun, as DMC states that each stitch type card includes a detailed stitch diagram on the reverse, so this might be a useful tool to interest non-stitchers in the craft. DMC also has another game out for quilters, called Quilt-opoly (surprise, surprise). You can find more information about this variant in the official release. And although the release says that Quilt-opoly is 'coming soon', it is already retailing at Herrschers for the same prices as Stitch-opoly. If anyone's played this already, I'd love to know how you found it!

In Giveaway! news, Mary Corbet of the awesome embroidery resource site NeedleNThread has put together a wonderful needlepainting prize package for her birthday, with a lovely wild rose embroidery kit, stretching bars and embroidery scissors! Please read the official rules for entry at the bottom of this post - they are simple, but necessary (leave a comment - with a distinctive ID name - and answer a question). 

I love wild roses - to me, they are the quintessential flower of Summer, with their beautiful fragrance and brilliant magenta petals (or white, depending)! I've entered the draw (Comment 94 is me!), so drop by before April 12th to try your luck! 

In very sad news, a friend of designer Jeanne Dansby is very ill and needs a kidney donated. The good news is that you can help, by leaving your best wishes with Jeanne and by going to her site to view the video profile of her friend's situation. Although you may not be a candidate, passing the news on may ensure that the entry does reach someone who can help.

And finally, in the very-timely-and-important news category, one of my all-time favourite cross-stitch designers, Jennifer Aikman-Smith of Dragon Dreams, has released her first new design in quite a while, a very special dragon for a very special cause. Like most of the world, I have watched the media coverage of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan - and its heart-breaking aftermath - with sorrow and an overwhelming sense of helplessness.

Jennifer has generously designed a new pattern - available for free, providing that a donation is given to a charity (Red Cross is suggested, but I suspect a donation to any agency directly dealing with the relief effort would be welcomed and encouraged) - called, very aptly, Compassion. I have posted the thumbnail image from the DDs website, because I really wanted you all to see it. Even if dragons aren't normally something you stitch, I think that this one will really touch your heart.

The image of the globe cradled gently in the arms of a dragon as red as the center of Japan's flag memoralizes the diaster while suggesting hope for the future, of Japan and of the world.

Please visit the Dragon Dream's freebies page to make your donation and get your own Dragon of Compassion today! For futher inspiration, Blu at Therapy By Thread recently posted a finish of this design, with before-and-after pictures of the backstitching.

Well, that's all the news from here. I have a few quick notes about the site to share: I just realized, much to my chagrin, that the link to StitchinKat's Pawprints Blog in my Blog sidebar was wrong, so that is now remedied! I apologize for any confusion. Also, I recently recieved my giveaway prize from Moonsilk Stitches in the mail, a copy of The New World of Crewel, written in 1975 by Lisbeth Perrone; I am thrilled with it, and will be posting a review sometime soon! I have a crewel kit that I started in the bottom of my workbasket, and am hoping that these new designs and stitching diagrams will inspire me to dig it back out and finish it! Wishful thinking, perhaps, but one never knows. Or, more accurately, this one, meaning moi, never knows what fancy might take her suddenly into unexpected (and sometimes frustrating - yes, I'm looking at you, Mr. Accursed Whipstitch) things :)

Happy Stitching!


Karen said...

You're right, Crazy Stitcher did an awesome job on those tassels. I just clicked over quickly to take a look.

Can you believe there's actually Stitch-opoly! LOL I would love to get it, but I don't think anyone I know would play it with me. LOL

I haven't seen the Dragon Dreams freebie you posted about. I quite like it!

Congrats on winning a giveaway!

Aurelia Eglantine said...

Thanks very much your lovely comment Karen! Re: CS: Didn't she just?! Tassels are one thing (among many, lol) I have never got the hang of! I am in tassel-awe :)

Re: Stitch-opoly - I have the same problem! Or at least, everyone I know hates Monopoly with a passion, so I don't think the stitchy angle would win them over!

I'm glad you like the new DD. I hadn't heard about it either until I saw Blu's post the other day. It's a wonderful cause. I hope to stitch it myself soon :)

And thank you very much for the congrats! It's an older book, but it has been really well cared for, and there are some really neat projects in there that I think could be updated easily. I'll be posting more up about it soon :)

CrazyStitcher said...

Thank you for the mention Aurelia, and to your friend Karen for the comment about my bookmark tassels. I feel incredibly flattered that you consider them to be well-made. Thank you also for the comment about Flower.

Stitch-opoly sounds interesting. Like you, I have only ever played the original, although not at as often as I would like... My son considers it boring and time-consuming. More's the pity! x

Aurelia Eglantine said...

Sorry for the delay in response!

You're very welcome CrazyStitcher - your work is absolutely gorgeous :)

I'm with you about Monopoly. I honestly don't understand why so many people hate it, but there it is. Maybe they'll make a digital Stitch-opoly where you can play against the computer; I'd totally go for that ;)