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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Small, Colorful Swedish Sampler

First off, let me say a great big THANK YOU for all the wonderful comments and congratulations that you left about the Richmond sampler!  Each and every one of your comments made me so happy - thank-you-thank-you-thank-you!!!  :-D

To take a break from the BAPs, I started stitching on this tiny Swedish sampler last week.  It was an e-bay find that I was really happy with, since I have seen pictures of the finished piece on Japanese blogs, but I have never been able to figure out where it comes from, even though the last three letters in the alphabet tells us that it likely is a Swedish design.  Once I finally got my hands on it, I learned that it is a design from 1982, designed by a local craft guild in Sweden.
I just finished it up a few minutes ago and wanted to share it with you before bed-time!  I was about as lucky ironing this piece as the last - I swear that I burned the linen on one of the edges this time around... sigh.  :-(
Anyway, it was a fun and a relatively quick stitch.  Colorful, yet only using seven different colors total. Here is a quick progression series;
Thursday night:
Friday night:
 And finally, tonight:
As I mentioned in my last post, this sampler is made to celebrate craft in all it's forms.  You probably recognize most of the items representing various craft genres above.  There are a few things included that I am curious about whether they are known all around the world, though.
First off, we have two stars somewhat placed in the center of the sampler.  I believe that these stars are represent the wooden Christmas stars that are hung in some Swedish windows in the beginning of the Christmas season.  The stars hang from a cord and have light-bulbs mounted inside, so that they light up.  I don't think that the wooden versions are that common nowadays, but most people use the "fold away" paper stars instead.  Here are a couple of example of Swedish Christmas star lights:
 The bird nested in the crest of greenery is probably also representing wood craft. 

And the blue and green object in the upper right hand corner is likely a traditional Sami knife.  The Sami people is a nomad people who follow the reindeer, sometimes across the far north borders between Norway, Sweden and Denmark.  They are well known for their skills in various crafts, among which can be counted knife smithing and unique jewellery and accessories made with tin or silver strands which are braided and mounted on leather.  Very pretty!

Anyway, I had a lot of fun stitching on this sampler and the colors make me happy!  Another thing that makes me happy is the company of Henny.  She loves to sit and "help" me stitch.  She will sit on my knee and watch me until I give her a piece of floss.  She rolls up her sleeves and gets right into business:
Look at her giving that piece of pink string a work-out!  She does also like to do some serious work on Q-tips....

I did also get some really nice surprises in the mail this week.  First, I got this really neat post-card from Littlest Sister.  Guess what, it is a bag full of Bergamot tea!  I haven't opened it yet, but I am looking forward to trying it and I just love the picture on the front.
 I also happened to get in some serious Swedish stash...  These are a bunch of (=7!) kits designed as annual Christmas wall-hangings and I have been trying to figure out who the manufacturer is for a long time.  The colors used are grey blues, dusty greens and subdued oranges and they are "clean", free from unnecessary detail, with a rustic, understated and elegant look.
I am truly fond of Swedish designs, but I must say that the Swedish craft guilds leave much to be desired when it comes to their web-sites.  We just don't stand a chance against the Danish embroidery companies approach to advertising their design portfolios.
Another not-so-great bullet on the list is that the kits never come with color photos of the stitched design.  Add to that the fact that the chart quality generally is less than fantastic.  The charts look like badly copied originals (which I am sure that they are), which is not real good for re-sale of used charts from kits.... 
Either way, I am looking forward to stitching these fellows one day!  I wish that I could show you a photo of the actual samplers, but the only pictures I have ever seen were actually posted on a Japanese on-line needlework store (!) and have since been taken down.  (That is how I found the source of the samplers to begin with!  Sad but true!  Thank goodness that the Japanese are fascinated enough with Scandinavian design that we can find some of it through them...)

Well, time to get to bed or Missy R will let me know that she does not appreciate my late bed-time habits...  ;-)
Before bed, I have to share a couple of pictures showing Pixie in his/her (not sure which yet..) true element.  Check out that water spray!!!

Thanks so much for stopping by and talk with you soon again!
Happy Stitching and Good Night,

PS Speaking of the 80's - I just had to add this video by The Pretenders.  Ah, the age of the girl rock bands!  Another era...  Special....


  1. well done on the finish :) and I just love your wee feathered friends ... love the water photos ..lol ... take care and good luck stitching those charts :) love mouse xxxx

  2. Congratulations on another finish.
    I love your stitching helper :)

  3. Your sampler is beautiful. I enjoyed reading about the meaning behind some of the motifs.

  4. Å, vad fint! Den är ju supersöt :)
    Vad skönt att brevet kom fram, tänkte att tullen kanske inte skulle släppa igenom ett paket med "växter" eller vad det nu är i :) Hoppas det smakar.
    Längtar efetr dig!
    Pussa söta gojorna från mig

  5. Congrats on a another fabulous finish! What a great design! Thanks for sharing the meanings behind some of the motifs.

    I hope that you will continue to be lucky finding Scandinavian pieces...it means so much to stitch something with meaning!

    Love the birdie pics...my aunt had lots of birds...I just loved visiting her and playing with them! They have so much personality!

  6. Great post, it's so interesting to hear about the origins of the symbols.

  7. Ooooooh weeeeee!! another finish, Jenny! :D Love the colors. What will you do with it?

    Awwww, your birdies aree so darling! How cute is Henny to keep yo company? Errrm, does she ever poop on your knee? Hehehe.