I promised these a couple days ago, but I only now have the time to review them. I guess it's a good thing I am not a professional or something like that.
Anyway, this time, we are blessed to have three good magazines to review: Cross Stitch Gold, World of Cross Stitching, and Stitch and Craft.
Stitch and Craft Issue 158 Christmas 2007
I have said it before, I am not a fan of Stitch and Craft since it changed Quick and Easy. I think I have bought 3 issues in the past year, one because I wanted to give it a try, the second because it referenced Margaret Sherry cats (and then didn't have the charts in the magazine) and this one. I like this one. It has 166 fresh ideas for Christmas, and it seems like A LOT of those were cross stitch.
The major chart that drew me to this issue is a picture of Christmas ornaments. They are sophistocated, in black and gold. You could stitch them on paper and make them ornies for the tree, or just stitch a pillow with them. That would be kinda luxe backed with black velvet. There is also a lovely sampler by Historic Sampler Company--this is the third sampler they've published this year, and it's beautiful, small Christmas motifs. I wish their charts and kits were cheaper, I would SOOO buy them, they have the most delectable color fabrics in them. This one is on a beige fabric, but most are gorgeous. There is also a really cute picture of bears in boxes that was free gift and a penguin alphabet that would make cute ornaments as well. I have this idea of doing a set of these connected to spell out "Merry Christmas" to hang on the tree. Other desings include Santa's wishlist, by Leslie Teare, whose designs I am not entranced by, and a country Noel. Good if you like country, but I don't particularly like country.
All in all, this was a good issue. I will not, however, start rebuying this issue unless they have more cross stitch. I can't do cross stitch and papercrafts, so this is not a magazine for me.
The World of Cross Stitching 131
Someone must have decided the "hot" idea for designs this year was a Santa wishlist, cause there's another one in this issue. I don't understand this. He's Santa. He doesn't have to wish for anything. He has elves to make it all for him. And who is Santa for Santa? Anyway . . .
Probably the best design I like in this issue is the perfect pets. I know, at 30, I should be too old to love cartoon cats, but there is something about them that I find charming. We also have a Tatty Ted dressed as Santa, and some kids, I guess they are supposed to be in a Christmas pageant.
I know my tastes and my reviews are based on my quirky taste. There is a nice tablecloth with Christmas motifs on it that would be pretty, but it's not my style. And they also have a series of trees from Passione Ricamo. This was a set of freebies, if I remember correctly. They seem to publish a lot of her freebies. Why buy a magazine to get a freebie?
There is also a Furry Tails by Lucy Heaton, and a toy shop window peek. I don't know how I feel about those. They didn't strike me as, "I must run out to kit this up RIGHT NOW." designs.
This brings us to Cross Stitch Gold issue 2, which has to be the best $7.75 I have spent in MONTHS. There are so many gorgeous designs to stitch in this issue. They finished the cat triptych that has been doing on, that I like a lot. I want to stitch them because they look like Flicky and Gus. There is also a really beautiful design by Joan Elliott of two kids on a sled. I never really liked her stuff before, but two have two designs in a month that I find striking? I sense a change in the wind. And they have 4 sweet card designs (which I will not use as cards) of the animals watching for Santa. They are pets, farm animals, wild animals and artic animals watching and are very sweet. I like any design for Christmas featuring animals. I guess for me, because animals are not inherently greedy (well, Robbie is, LOL), Christmas designs with them represent to me the true spirit of the season, the wonder and innocence. Animals are Christmas to me. Anyway, I am getting off topic. There is also a Spanish fan on black with some roses in front--I wonder, looking at it, if it couldn't be considered oriental?
Other nice designs, not sure they are "must stitches" are the robin on the cover, the arctic adventure santa and polar bear stocking, which to be honest looks a little like one of the CGI bears from a movie, and a Santa tablecloth. The only design I don't like is a Spirit of Christmas sampler. I just don't like it.