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Retail Therapy

When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping. That's my motto. After a frustrating day ripping out cross stitches (I was one square off on a project, which drives me crazy), I found myself roaming the aisles of a craft store. An end-of-aisle display instantly improved my mood.

Among the kits on display was a new version of my motto: "Don't Get Mad, Get New Shoes." The kits were half-price, and finding bargains is a crucial aspect of retail therapy!

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This easy design took my mind off my mistake with a project I had to put "on probation," a term I learned from designer Frony Ritter. The "Say It in Cross Stitch" kit comes with a hoop frame, but I engaged in further retail therapy by shopping for an ornate frame that seems a bit ironic for a somewhat silly design.

This design is one of the Say It! in cross stitch series. As you can see, it is a true beginner project. You might be wondering, Why would the editor of Just CrossStitch do a beginner project? Well, there are a few reasons.

First, when your larger project is "on probation" because you just ripped out a row of stitches, it's a nice break to stitch something simple. Also, I like trying out new products that I can recommend to readers. I am thrilled when I see that the cross-stitch community is working to attract newcomers to the craft with projects designed to help them get started. And finally, this little design made me laugh!

Speaking of easy projects, a reader mentioned she wasn't happy seeing beginner projects in Just CrossStitch. The magazine is reaching a broad audience, and we want to provide beautiful projects for all levels of stitching expertise. Some projects might be easier than others, but we at Just CrossStitch pride ourselves in finding top-notch designs.

AnnaLee Waite's Sail Into Summer is lovely in its simplicity. The designer created her own tote bag with the design, which is featured in the current issue.

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Another uncomplicated design in the current issue is Citrus Motifs. Stitching up an orange or lime magnet from this design would be a perfect break from that "on probation" project!

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The Citrus Motifs design makes a colorful, summery display that you can frame or perhaps put in a tray. You could even get creative and make a collage or sampler. I'm thinking of an avocado-and-lime border with a guacamole recipe stitched inside.

If you like the Citrus Motifs design but want to change the look, you can stitch the design on linen instead of Aida. See this update's tutorial for how to accomplish this.

When it comes to major projects rather than beginner ones, I am excited about the classes I will be taking at Annie's Needle Arts Festival: Christmas in Williamsburg, which will be held Dec. 1-5, 2016. See some class options in the festival section of this update.

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