Wednesday, September 19, 2007

JCS Ornament Issue '07

Okay. I retract yesterday's comment about pages numbers for the photos on the direction pages. I see them now. For some of them. Not for all of them. One year they used bold type for the photo page number. Those of us who are getting older appreciate that. I like being able to flip back and forth quickly without a lot of hunting around.

I'd give this issue a C+. My initial reaction was that there were only two must stitch these ornies. Monsterbubbles' Eiffel Tower and Jemini Designs' Woodlands Woodpecker.

Starting on page 10, the first page of designs - all kind of red and green with the majority showing stockings. Boring, boring, boring. The sampler goddess in me likes the Hands to Work sampler style design, but not enough to stitch it. The flat ornament finishing instructions that are used to finish the bellpulls from the Sweetheart Tree and Julia Lucas Designs are extremely generic. And not useful if you follow them literally. Thistle Threads is still flogging their Tokens and Trifles perforated paper shapes, but couldn't she have designed something pretty instead of a tartan plaid with that lime green color? Props to Legacy Designs for using a different technique - darning stitch, but I'd have used a darker green than GAST Grape Leaf.

Page 12 - Red and Green. M Designs - wait isn't that a third version of a no-bake cookie? Noel in the Tree - it's different, but not for me. Nordic Needle , I kind of like this one. Colors work. Moss Creek's Goodwill Horse. Is this the only designer who got a whole two pages? I like it. It's different in a good way. Everything else on this page is boring.

Page 14 - Brittercup's Poinsettia - now she's doing for flora what she's done for fauna. Good job. But someone should have stopped her story about there being no Santa. Scrooge. The Workbasket's Christmas House - cute and an interesting finishing technique with the felt. Homespun Elegance - it's trying to appeal to sampler goddess but the addition of charms makes it a no-no. Crowns and reindeer? What was she thinking? La-D-Da's Yule Flower. Simple, but elegant. Would make a lovely necklace. But could we have photographed this piece stitched on dark fabric against something light? I missed it entirely the first 3 times I looked through this magazine.

Page 16 - The Santa Page. Can I just run away screaming? Let's see. Santa has things growing out of his head. Looks like he's carrying a bag of plum pudding. Is making scary eyes at Rudolph. Has a big, big nose. Is wearing nerd glasses. I'll admit to sort of liking Twisted Oaks Santa in the Moon. But that's simply my love of red talking. Missing the number 9, but I think we can figure it out.

Page 18 - On to the trees. Umm. Erica Michael's Quiet Night is pretty. There are two number 5s because they put in two pieces from Follow the Leader. But didn't put them together in the photograph. What a dumb idea.

Page 20 - Shepherd's Bush Printworks. "their sweet baby kept?" Kept what? the English major in me is cringing. What were they trying to say here? And a broccoli recipe for Christmas? Come on. Get real. Cross Eyed Cricket - "Keeping Watch" Mitten.
What does a mitten have to do with the shepherds keeping watch? It's a pretty mitten. Why spoil it with buttons? Forget-Me-Not in Stitches. Good execution. Love seeing the nun stitch. Country Cottage Needleworks - boring, but okay. I think I have a huge problem though with her chosen version of Luke 2:14 - "and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased." I may come back to this another day. Little by Little Merry and Bright - another design that would benefit from being photographed against a lighter background.

Page 22 - Yeah for Monsterbubbles. Not afraid to show us something non-traditional. Love it. Boo for Charlotte's Web My Mum's Doll - because she's scaring me. Poor Imaginating - the design is one page and the floss guide is on the next page. Bad layout design, people.

page 24 - I'd being stitch both the woodpecker and the cardinal. The Stitchworks' Penguin is cute if you're into Happy Feet.

page 26 - for the most part - the angel pages. Wee Works' Golden Angel. Ugh. Token and Trifles mixed with a scrapbooking angel head and wings. It looks wrong. Charlotte's Collectibles' Hope Angel. How very precious moments. How pink. How sick.
Midsummer Night Designs' Christmas Angel - if I was going to stitch an angel, it would be this one. Prairie Moon's Joy - someone did a great finishing job. The Sunflower Seed - the name of this design is A Star, A Star not Christmas Poinsettia. Are there no copy editors working on this issue? Gentle Pursuit Designs - another one whose graph and stitch guide got separated. Also finishing instruction page numbers are wrong. And there are no real directions for how they attached the ribbon.

page 28 - Were these two pages designed for people who veered away from red and green? I love the Little House's Snow Bunnies. The Victorian Sampler gets 2+ pages. Nice to see something challenging.

So what's missing here? Not a single design for Chanukah or Kwanzaa or Festivus. I, personally, think this says something.

Next year please hire a copy editor. Please?


Anna van Schurman said...

I think we liked exactly the same things! How funny. We need way more Festivus ornaments.

Michelle said...

Great review! I'm still awaiting my copy. Maybe they should let us vote on which ornaments are put into that issue.

Kathryn said...

Good Review. Yes, mostly boring designs and unfortunate choices in fabric, thread and finishing. Some of these designers are mailing it in. Still the Monsterbubbles Eiffel Tower, the Cardinal (NOT on red PLEASE), and Snow Bunnies are worth thinking about. I never pay any attention to the recipes since they are almost universally bad.

Vonna said...

May I just say a resounding "AMEN"! I agree totally :)

C in DC said...

Thanks for the review. What's with the recipes, anyway? It's a CROSS STITCH magazine (no eating while stitching, come one!)

I totally agree with your comment about the lack of diversity across holidays. Don't forget the Winter Solstice in there.