{Show & Tell} The Castle

For those of you who follow me on Facebook, you got to see The Castle in the various stages of stitching throughout the summer last year. I posted nearly weekly updates on how the project was progressing. For those of you not following me on Facebook, I thought I would share the photos of this project.

Many years ago, when I was a eager teen into dragons,  I bought The Castle by Teresa Wentzler to stitch for my bedroom, only to never do it. As much as I loved the look of the dragon and the castle in the picture, I really wasn’t fond of the color blending or the lack of background.

In 2018, I decided it was time to tackle this project and see what tips and tricks other stitchers might have. I stumbled upon a few articles and videos about changing the color scheme of a project. For those interested, here are some really good links:

My floor stand looked kinda like this one at JoAnn’s, only a little better made.

I didn’t get much progress that first week because when I pulled out the floor stand I got as a High School graduation present roughly 20 years ago and put it together, I found that the main pieces at the base was broken along with the holding arm.

So after a little online research to see what is on the market now, I decided that a lap stand would be a better alternative to the floor stand. However, I wasn’t sure that I wanted invest in some of my favorite ones I found online. So I decided to DIY it.

After  some trial and error, I was able to use the pieces from my floor stand to create a lap stand.  And it wasn’t a bad start.

This was my first try at creating a cross stitch lap stand using the pieces from my floor stand. The Second one worked much better. ūüėÄ

And since this was a larger project, I decided to try the parking method for counted cross stitch that I learned about that year. Here is two links that do a good job of discussing the differences between Cross Country and Parking methods (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uwhef-KEOHA and https://peacockandfig.com/2015/07/parking-versus-cross-country-stitching/). And a few more that show them in action.

Within the first week I had a good start to the project. Not only had I changed some of the colors, mostly on the dragon, but I also decided that a modified version of the parking method would work better for me.

Here is the first weeks progress with Little Miss K holding her picture. Look how happy she is.

Here are the next weeks work with a modified version of my lap stand. This one made it easier for me to flip it over without having to flip the entire frame over each time.

Somewhere between week 3-6 the progress was slowed down because of haying, but picked back up between week 7 of the project. In the end, I decided to add a sky and water into the picture. So here is the project nearly finished. I still need to outline everything.

I was able to finish The Castle cross stitch for Little Miss K’s birthday in 2018. Here is it, all done and framed!

I loved it so much, I’m debating making one for me in my favorite colors.

Wishing you all the best,

Stephannie Beman


{WIP} A Tale of 2 Light Houses

Last year, we took a vacation to visit my Grandma’s house in Washington after we finished haying. We had a wonderful time exploring the forests, beaches, and small towns around the area.

While there, my grandma took us to a little tourist trap town on the coast, I can’t even remember the name now. But what I do remember is the yarn and needlecraft store we ran across.¬†Now, if you don’t know this about me, I’m an avid crafter on top of being a writer, and this was a store that I refused to bypass by without going inside. As hubby and girls found a rock store a few doors down, I basically had all the time I wanted to explore inside.

Jennings Yarn and Needlecraft is a unique yarn shop specializing in quality natural fibers and designer yarns.  Our yarn collection features wool, cashmere, alpaca, mohair, angora, silk and cotton, along with many novelty yarns.  We feature yarns from Trendsetter Yarns, Prism, Lang, Berroco, Malabrigo, Lana Grossa, and Noro, to name a few.

We also carry cross stitch and needlepoint from Dimensions, DMC, Elizabeth Bradley, Thea Gouverneur, Stitch n Zip, Textile Heritage and others.


Once inside, I really didn’t want to leave.¬†It’s been a very long time since I was in a craft store with shelves upon shelves of my preferred crafting mediums. Fabric, thread, and patterns for cross-stitching and embroidering, and yarns and various tools for crocheting.

Now it was almost as hard not to buy a carload of materials for all the different projects I suddenly wanted to do as it is for me to go into a bookstore and not come out with more books then I could possible read in a year.

Now, I did restrain myself from going on a shopping spree, but only because I had a choice between bringing home our girls or a crafting stash that I couldn’t possible finish in my lifetime. I chose to bring home our girls because they are irreplaceable.

If I do decide in the future that I want to purchase anything from Jenning’s Yarn and Needlecrafts I can always order it over the phone as they don’t have an online shop. Or I could purchase it online from the several retailers who do have online shops.

I did, however, splurge on two counted cross-stitch kits of lighthouses for the bathroom. I did one several years ago that I gave to my mom that has the same look to it and that I still have the pattern to so I plan to stitch it up again. I started the first on around the first of December and I finished the second one around the end of June this year.

Here’s what they look like without the frame.

I did buy a double frame from Walmart during our monthly trip there that I thought would compliment the design,¬† but since I now plan to add the third lighthouse to the series, I’m going to take it back and get the three single frames. At least that is the plan at the moment. It’s prone to change if I find something better. ūüėÄ

When I get them framed and hung, I will post a picture of the finished project.

I wish you all the very best in August,

Stephannie Beman