Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Fairytale Cross Stitch Kits

Since I was a little girl I've loved fairy tales. My parents would read them to me when I was small, and they said that I asked for the 3 little pigs so often than I could 'read' it from memory. It didn't take long for me to become a bookworm, devouring them in the evenings, and unable to resist the lure of a good story for even 10mins while I eat my breakfast before work. If I'm going away for even a night, and know I will be with people the whole time, I still have to stick a book on my bag, just in case. While I now mostly read novels (I'm currently busy absorbing Diana Gabaldons novel, Drums of Autumn, the fourth in her Outlandander series, which are my favourite books), I haven't abandoned the fairy tales altogether.

A few years ago at Christmas time Chris and I went to Bakewell, which has a second hand bookshop. We had been to Bakewell several times before, as a start or end point to a walk, but this time we went to explore Bakewell and the unique shops there. It wasn't long before we found ourselves perusing the shelves in the bookshop, me the novels, and fairy stories, Chris the maps and stories of the Peak District. I found a large book, 'Enchanted fairytales' with gilt edged pages, and over 200 fairy stories from various origins. I couldn't resist, and it's now happily sat on my bookshelf, having read it from cover to cover. We also emerged with a 'Tales of the Peaks' book, which was full of various tales based on people who may have lived in the peak district.

Not too long after, My best friend Rhian (who is a bit obsessed with fairy tales) bought me Angela Carters 'Fairy tales for adults' which old tales from many origins which were told in the long evenings, before the distractions of today. (The Inuit ones were probably the rudest, with stepmothers using whale bones to fashion a certain appendage, to enable them to pretend to by their son, and so service their daughters-in-law!)

Some are funny, some are sad, most have morals, and several are retold in various guises, but I enjoy them all, and the illustrations that go with many of them. I would love to have a Fairytale room full of books, and pictures, and given my hobby, cross stitches of my favourites, and with that in mind, here are some of my wish list favourites.

Rapunzel, by Heaven and Earth Designs. I love the classic black and white drawings you find in old fairytale books, It reminds me of a book of my Grandma's I would always read. The pages were falling out, dog eared and worn, but I loved the stories. My mum remembers it from she was a little girl, and The Goose Girl was both of our favourites!

Beauty and the Beast is one of my favourite fairy tales too. I remember watching it at my friends house when I was a little girl, and must have told my parents constantly about how fantastic I thought it was, because, one day, my dad came home with the video! I was thrilled, and wanted to watch it straight away. I particularly like this cross stitch kit from Cross Stitch World because it shows the castle in the woods, a well as Bell and the Beast.

Mermaids have always held a hint of mystery to me. I love swimming, and just listening to the waves breaking at the seaside. Ariel the Little Mermaid has unsurprisingly enchanted me, and I remember feeling sorrowful for her when I read the original Grimms fairytale in which the prince married the girl who found him instead, and the little mermaid became sea foam. This design by Mirabella is stitched on 32 count even weave, so is recommended for experienced cross stitchers.

I love the magic and enchantment of this chart, by Cross stitch corner  of the 12 dancing princesses. It is a story I have always enjoyed, of how the 12 princesses would sneak off to a magical castle where they would dance the night away each night.

Heaven and Earth have once again produced this lovely chart, which a more grown up version of Little Red Riding Hood. I love the vulnerability portrayed in the image, and the use of colour to enhance the cloaks vibrancy. Heaven and Earth Designs have a wealth of fantastic fantasy charts, I definitely recommend having a perusal.

Anyway, enough of fairytale dreaming for now...

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