One of the downfalls of working at a public library is having to work on Saturdays. It’s particularly a drag where I work, since business is as slow on Saturdays as it is busy during the week (in other words, it’s packed during the week but I’d only talked to five people in the first 5 1/2 hours of my last Saturday shift). Usually I hit the end of the internet by about eleven o’clock on my work Saturdays, forcing me to either fry my brain with sudoku or drive myself batty looking at the Daring Baker’s Blogroll while wishing I had a big piece of cake to eat right then. For a change I decided to try and find some stitching blogs to read, so I went to Technorati and looked up posts that mention cross stitch. One of the first hits nearly made me fall off my chair.
The post was dated August 1st, 2008 and the subject line? The three little words that had me audibly gasping? “New Prairie Schoolers”.
After rushing to alert the homefront of this awesome new development, I brought up the Prairie Schooler website to get a closer look.
I’ve waxed poetic here before about my love for Praire Schooler designs. I was raised on these puppies. They were my first projects, the first designer I learned. To me, they are classic, classic cross-stitch. Not only that, but they specialize in seasonal themes, a very, very favorite of mine and Schnookie’s. You see, we both live in a perpetual state of wishing it were any other season that it currently is. The Swedes have a word, that roughly translates to “summerlonging”, to describe the antsiness they get in the wintertime for something other than constant cold, snow, and ice. Schnookie and I get “summerlonging”, but more so we get “fall-longing” and “winterlonging”. Prairie Schooler somehow has managed to capture the spirit that is “[season]longing” with almost every piece they design.
Their early designs were very block-y, simple, and sweet, but lately they’ve been rolling out fresher, more detailed, more intricate seasonal designs that are miraculously still imbued with that simplicity they’re known for. We cannot get enough of these, snapping up the charts the minute they’re released. So it was with extraordinary pommerdoodleocity that Schnookie and I checked out the new charts while IMing about how excited we were to work them.
First up is the requisite Halloween piece. No one does Halloween like Prairie Schooler.
For a long time, Prairie Schooler Halloween pieces were the only thing I liked about the holiday. I just adore the details on this one — the bright orange background for the top border, the owl, the spooky trees, the moon. I think this one might look really awesome stitched up with Belle Soire silk, since they got the Autumn colors down pat.
Next up is Fall-Longing:
I think I might have actually let out a squeal of delight over the one on the right, the one about cheerful lights winking in windows on November nights. That’s one of my favorite things about late Fall! And Schnookie flipped over the Canada geese and the swirling leaves. Fall-longing is serious business for us, and this is like Fall-longing served up on a platter. I said to Schnookie, “It’s like they’ve dug out the meaty parts of our brains and slapped them on some linen!” The turkey! The fox! The trees with bare branches! The two peices are perfect!
What’s more, the one of the left is perfect for Schnookie’s favorite medium — Victorian cross on canvas with Elizabeth Bradley wool. The EB wool is so warm it’s absolutely made for this kind of thing. Schnookie’s been anxious to try converting something designed for DMC or silk using her fancy EB color card. That color card will now be making the trip to the Attic later this month! WOO! As for the one on the right, that might need a simple conversion to Au Ver A Soie, or maybe it needs the uber-classic DMC treatment. We’ll just have to see. That’s another fun project for the Attic trip. (Talk about pommerdoodling!)
What’s better than Fall-longing?! Holiday-Season-Longing!
When I think of Christmas, I think of that distinctive shade of red Prairie Schooler uses for their santas and cardinals. (OK, really, I think of presents. And spice cookies. But then I think of Prairie Schooler Santa red!) But now they’re upping the Prairie Schooler ante by introducing snowy branches studded with cardinals! And cozy fireplaces hung with wreaths! And look at those puffs of cheery, warm smoke coming from the chimenys! Love it! This one might also be calling out for the Elizabeth Bradley treatment.
Speaking of Santa Red, Prairie School traditionally publishes an annual series featuring santas; here’s 2008’s:
I can live without the santa at twelve o’clock, and the snowman at three o’clock, but I love all of the others! Schnookie’s called dibs on the santa with the lantern, so I’m considering pairing the two remaining santas, with the two best snowmen, for a little two-by-two santa/snowman extravaganza.
So that’s the story. I am such a dork that I’m in a state of extreme wrigling-like-a-labradoodle-puppy over some new cross stitch charts! But you see, the whole thing with us and Prairie Schooler charts is that they have some strange enchanment on them. We literally cannot look at them without spontaneously deciding that whatever projects we’re currently working on are garbage and the only thing that will ever make us happy in that moment is the opporunity to immediately start one or all of them that instant! This is why it’s always better to find a new PS chart while in a stitching store where you have access to all the materials. During our last stash-bulking-up trip to the Attic, Schnookie gobbled up the materials to start a Winter one and didn’t even wait to leave the store to start working on it. (Full Disclosure: she was waiting for Boomer to finish pulling threads for a different project. She’s not that crazy.)
I don’t know which one I want to start first — Halloween? Or November winking lights? — but I do know that “The Villages Of Hawk Run Hallow” is narrowly avoiding being dumped back into the stash bin only because I don’t have these charts in hand. (I’m trying my darnedest to overlook that I have the materials for several PS seasonal projects sitting in the stash-room rightnow just waiting to be stitched… Just waiting for their fall colors to pop off the linen… Just waiting for a winterlonging soul to bring them to life… Must resist until trip to Attic… Must resist… Must… [Sounds of feet running down the basement stairs and of plastic bins being rifled through.]