Customer Comments - Joyful Expressions

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Customers favorite Stitching Tips, Tools and Experiences...

You will usually find me stitching in the evenings in front of the TV. I have a La-Z-Boy recliner that I use in our family room for stitching.

I started doing crewel over 40 years ago, then became a needlepointer, and when counted cross stitch became big in the 80s, I became a fanatic!

I prefer 14 count Aida but I am not afraid to use linen. I usually work on one project at a time. Most of my projects are for my home, many are seasonal decorations that may only be up for a month.

I always correct my mistakes. It is the retired math teacher in me. I get annoyed when I find mistakes in a chart when it differs from the finish picture. I also get annoyed when I cannot tell the difference between an outline stitch and the grid lines on the chart.

One of my five Christmas trees is entirely stitched ornaments and another is a small Christmas tree of counted cross stitch ornaments.

I occasionally make a project as a gift but I only do it if I know the recipient will appreciate the time and effort that I put into it. My last gift was a birth sampler that went from Connecticut to Florida twice on vacation before being hand delivered by my son to the new family in California.

My last, most difficult project took over 20 years from when I first bought the chart. It was a picture of the Biltmore Mansion in NC for my son. I used 22 count Hardanger over one thread. Every stitch was through a magnifier!!

I usually do my own framing using the sectional frames from Herrschners. I buy mats occasionally from an art gallery that will sell me just the mat at a reasonable price.

I hope I can continue stitching for many more years!

Nancy Kiesel


My mom's idea. Hope others like it as much as we do!

Dylnn Davis

His Name is jesus in progress by Dylnn Davis


Love to stitch! I have a stash of projects half started, but when I pick one that I want to do...I focus myself on finishing it. I am working on right now on "Proverbs 31 woman with sunflower". I usually stitch on my kitchen table because there is good light in the room. I enjoy stitching because it makes me stop, sit down and just relax. Love the sunflower...can't wait to hang it on my studio!

Nora

Strength Dignity in progress by Nora


To answer the question about the longest time it took to finish a project I must confess that it was thirteen years! Back in 1975 I started a project of four individual pieces of famous American history scenes. Washington crossing the Deleware, Paul Revere, Betsy Ross, and Valley Forge. I started them in 1995 thinking I would get them done in time for the bicentenial celebration. Holy guacamole it ended up taking thirteen years to get them finished. No excuses just life that got in the way and my hobby had to take a back seat.

I was so happy when I picked them back up and finished them. They are framed on beautiful barnwood and hanging in my family room.

Denise Cox


Are you concerned how the backside of your piece looks? Sometimes

How many stitches will you cross over before changing floss colors? 2-3

In what room do you usually stitch? Family room

Do you have the television or radio on while stitching? Yes

Do you take projects with you when traveling? Yes

Do you usually stitch for yourself or give away your projects as gifts? Both, usually Christmas gifts

What is the largest or most time consuming project you have ever taken on? I had 3 of them recently

What fabric and count do you usually use? 14 count Aida

How do you finish your pieces (frame, pillow fronts, etc.)? Frames

Do you usually stitch one project at a time to completion or do you have several WIP's (works in progress)? I have several WIPs

Do you follow a chart exactly or do you change it up a bit? Usually exact

If you make a mistake, to you take out the errant stitches and start over, or do you figure out a way to leave it the way it is? Usually take out stitches and start over

Do you save your "orts", thread remnants? If they are long enough

Do you try to stitch daily or do you go for long stretches without picking up a project? Every evening, helps me relax after a day at work

Besides cross stitching, are there any other crafts/hobbies that you enjoy? Golf & crossword puzzles

Pauline Fields


IN answer to your newsletter... ;-)

Are you concerned how the backside of your piece looks? Not all the time though I don't want it to seem lumpy.

How many stitches will you cross over before changing floss colors? 3

In what room do you usually stitch? the living room

Do you have the television or radio on while stitching? yes!

Do you take projects with you when traveling? Absolutely!

Do you usually stitch for yourself or give away your projects as gifts? Both

What is the largest or most time consuming project you have ever taken on? I have a WIP that is about 1 year old.

What fabric and count do you usually use? 14 aida

How do you finish your pieces (frame, pillow fronts, etc.)? Some I finish as ornaments for the tree, the rest framed some way for the wall

Do you usually stitch one project at a time to completion or do you have several WIP's (works in progress)? I have about 3 going at once

Do you follow a chart exactly or do you change it up a bit? I usually follow the chart unless I've made a counting error like I did with my sampler and then change it up. Sometimes I do change the color when I don't have the one called for.

If you make a mistake, to you take out the errant stitches and start over, or do you figure out a way to leave it the way it is? It depends on the error. If I catch it soon enough, I take it out. I had a counting error on a big project and left it that way.

Do you save your "orts", thread remnants? Yes - I put them in a clear ball for the Christmas tree, and then spread them in the wind for the birds for their nests.

Do you try to stitch daily or do you go for long stretches without picking up a project? I try to stitch daily.

Blessings, Donna Pheneger


I stitch while watching TV with the hubby and invite him to choose projects he would like me to do for him.

When I introduce someone to this hobby, I seriously them up with the Aida, thread, needle, seam ripper, stitch calculator to determine the size of Aida needed for each project, and a hoop. after the first one, they are really on their own.

I sometimes use 14, 18 and 18 count. just found a 16 ct. in a craft store. didn't know there was a 26 ct. but it seems a nice middle size if eyesight makes 18 ct. too small. I have used Fiddler"s cloth and evenweave and linen.

love to branch out and try something new.

Sherry Aragon


I find stitching very relaxing and unfortunately I am sometimes to busy to take time out to stitch so some projects take a while to be completed. I currently have about 3 projects going; I most of the time work on one project at a time but I was working on a project for myself but an idea for a gift to be given to someone special was on your site so I have ordered it and it has become a priority.

I do sometimes sign and date my work but not all the time. I usually stitch on Aida - 14 count; but I have used other counts occasionally.

I has been so long ago (probably about 40 years) I really do not remember how I first discovered stitching; but I think my first project was a Christmas ornament. I have stitched numerous ornaments since then and my Christmas tree is decorated basically with all cross stitch ornaments.

I am so glad I found your website; because I love to stitch Bible verses and or Biblical scenes and as I said many times I stitch them to share with family members and friends.

Zena Smith


I absolutely love your site! I'm currently working on a project for my church, and use some of the smaller verses as gifts for my Secret Sister(s) at church. I want to do a name for each person in my family and give as gifts for Christmas or birthday. I always give a cross stitch for weddings or births for family or friends.

I usually work one or two projects at a time and sometimes I change the patterns (not on yours though).

I want to somehow incorporate a cross stitch into my genealogy I'm working on (currently have 10,000+ names in it and trying to prove each one). I also am an avid reader and read about 15-20 books a month depending on size. I'm also very involved with my church.

I am making something for each of my family members and I always do something for family and friends for weddings, births and "just because". I sign my work for each item.

Kathy F.


Hello!

I don't have any projects going on right now as it's summer time in Wyoming and we soak up as much of the sun up as we can completing outside projects. I usually work in the winter. Not much of a cold person. I enjoy the snow from inside.

I use stitching as a way to pass the time while my kids are working on their school work (we homeschool). It's a quiet way to keep me busy without interrupting their studies.

I work on one project at a time and stay true to the project.

Drives me crazy if I miss a stitch, so much so I'll pull out stitches until I find my error.

I've never thought to sign and date my work. LOL I might start.

I use acadia fabric, 14 count, though will use 18 from time to time. 22 count is just too small.

My mother introduced me to stitching many, many years ago. When my sister moved to Japan she gave me all her stitching goods and that opened the door for many projects.

I don't remember my first but my recent projects include the Names of Jesus (love that pattern and have completed it 4 times for friends).

I like to create my own text patterns using sayings I find on the internet.

My other hobbies include Bible journaling, gardening and helping my hubby practice his smoking skills on our homemade smoker. Together we make a pretty mean pulled pork!

Lisa Smith



Copy of email newsletter sent January 27, 2017...
Comments are welcome in the form provided below

But The Lord looks at the Heart - I Samuel 16:7

Recently Mariana Nortje wrote me expressing a concern regarding stitchers. She wrote the following.

Hi, I just thought I would tell, that although I am not at the moment stitching any cross stitch, I have recently looked into what designs are available. I am absolutely appalled at the subject matter of so many designs people are stitching. Ok I know fairies are cute for little girls, but spending 40 hours on a fairy picture? Also all the dragons, wizards, Halloween witches, even father Christmases.

I keep thinking about the time wasted. I am probably treading on some toes, but I am so happy to look at your designs. even the ones without Scriptures. It has amazed me!

Keep on designing your lovely inspiring designs. If I ever get to doing cross stitch again, your Names of Jesus will be the one I would do, but as I am a scrap quilter, I will have a multi-coloured one.

Much love

Mariana
Durban
South Africa

A later message from Mariana...

I am afraid that political correctness has really changed things. Christians must strengthen those weak knees!


Besides addressing the "time wasted" issue, I shared the following with Mariana.

Mariana,

Yes, it saddens me to see so many fall for the deception of Satan in what even those who call themselves Christian stitchers choose to stitch.

I see this on customer Pinterest boards. Right next to a pin such as the free design "His Name is Jesus", will be a dream catcher, a decorative skull and a yin yang symbol. It is no wonder that many think that there are many paths to God.

We know that Jesus is the only Way, Truth and Life - John 14:6.

My prayer is that all of the designs at Joyful Expressions glorify our Lord.

Sandra


I'm not sharing this exchange to judge or condemn, but as Christians, we are to represent and exemplify Christ in all that we do. We are to be in the world not of it. We are to be Salt and Light.

"If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own. However, because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of it, the world hates you." John 15:19

"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:16

My prayer is that if you consider yourself to be a Christian, that in every area of your life, even in your hobbies, and posts, others will see the Way, Truth and Life of Jesus and not a hint of worldly deception.

It is not my place to judge as only "The Lord sees the heart" - I Samuel 16:7. I welcome any comments you may want to share.

"Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world." I John 4:1


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Customer Comments regarding "But The Lord Looks at the Heart"...

I absolutely concur. At first I thought I was being judgmental. However I realized that if we love the Lord we would not put anything before Him. And yes this applies to our hobbies as well. We have to keep in mind that Satan is busy and looks for any way to enter in and disrupt our lives. Do not open the door to the sin that lies at it. We must close the door on the enemy in all areas of our lives.

DeColle McNair

I certainly agree that we are salt and light and that it is neither acceptable nor wise to mix our statements and symbols of faith with statements and symbols of darkness or of confused moral and philosophical ideas. Absolutely. People are watching, and we need to broadcast Truth. When Christians send mixed messages, it gives the impression that the gospel is simply another one of the many options and choices we make in life - something we try on for size. Jesus deserves better than this from us.

Penny Casey

I also agree with her and the skulls, I don't get that at all!! I have a group on FB for stitching and am amazed at the amount of the fairies and witches being stitched. Although one of yours was selected for the cover photo I am happy to say. :)

Desiree Hill

I for one really appreciated the reminder. I know I have been guilty of pinning things to stitch that were not consistent with my Christian walk....usually because I thought they were funny. But, I was really convicted when you sent out the newsletter that I should clean up my board (and heart). Its true.... light should have nothing to do with darkness. So, thank you for the reminder and for designing things that we CAN stitch with a clear conscious. We should all strive to be a bright light in this dark dark world.

Natalie Phillips

I agree with Mariana. I have done your Names of Jesus free cross stitch pattern, it is my favorite one in the whole house. Where ever we can add scripture to our lives is great with me. The 'cutesy' stuff sold at the hobby shops is mostly just cute fodder not worthy of so many hours or a place on my wall.

Thank you for your Joyful Expressions mission of cross stitch scriptures. What a great niche you have found to work in. Blessings to you.

Gretchen Peterson

Hi, Sandra!

Thank you for your affirmation that my Pinterest board is Christ-honoring! Jesus gave His life for me while I was lost in sin - and now, I'm adopted by our heavenly Father, in His forever family by His grace! What else would I want to spend time stitching about, putting on my wall, or offering as gifts?

As you may have noticed, a great deal of my posts are your lovely designs! :)

Thank you for what you do - bringing beautiful, fresh designs that share the the unchanging Truth of God's Word!

I used to cross-stitch more before I had children, who wanted my lap, and might get hurt with a needle. Now that my kids are grown and I'm empty-nested, I want to restart my stitching, for my own meditation on God's truth, and to share with my grown children and their spouses!

Thank you again for your encouragement, both through your God-honoring designs and through your kind email.

God bless you richly as you share your gift of design to His glory!

Nancy Blackmon

While I agree with some of your subject matter that you disagree with, I disagree with other parts. You state fairies are for little girls,I disagree. I have had a love of fairy tales since childhood. I did project in one of my college literature classes solely on retold fairy tales. I am currently working on a piece of Snow White,and the fairy tale of the 12 Dancing Princesses. I also have a dragon piece in my wish list,and really countess others. I have a couple of pieces from Lord of the Rings in my stash.

I believe God gave us an imagination, that stories can bring God's word to us, his redemption. Narnia, Tolkien, all have Christian themes through them without overtly being about God.

I believe strongly that what we put into our minds will come out in our hearts. So yes, as to what we watch, listen to and read, is very important. But to vilify fairies, dragons and fantasy.

I recently had to have a discussion with my Mother in Law, as she has many of the same views, about what my daughter was reading. I won't mention the title because I'm sure it would set you off. But good versus evil.

You don't know the reason why people are reading or stitching or drawing or making art of what they are.  But when family members are not okay with Harry Potter but hey the Hunger Games are okay, that is not okay with me.

I believe the Christ is the only way to salvation, that the Word of God is the light to my path. That i need him daily just to get through work and family. But my pleasure to work on my Princesses at the end of the day is not wrong. Rereading the story again and again,is not wrong.

Rachel Boyer


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