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wpid-wp-1423002565059.jpegProject: Story Time Sampler – The Secret Garden
Designer: Ashleigh and Amber
Company: The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery
Date: 2015
Fabric: 32 ct. Zweigart Petit Point Navy Blue and White Belfast Linen
Floss used: DMC, Weeks Dye Works, and Kreinik
Approximate time: 36 Hours (Started Jan. 31 and finished Feb. 2)

I would like to take this moment to say that I really love what Ashleigh and Amanda do.  Their charts are full of whimsy and joy and are great for beginners and advanced stitchers.  I appreciate all the work they put into their designs and how hard they work to keep them simple enough for newbies. My alterations are in no way at all meant to take away from what they do.  I do this mostly as a challenge for myself to try and explore new things.

Entire Project Changes
1) No DMC 5200. I used Ecru or DMC 3024 in place of the 5200.  I did this for two reasons.  First and foremost, it’s easier on my eyes to stitch with the other two, particularly agains my fabric.  The other reason is that I generally find the off-whites more interesting too look at visually than just white.  Yes, white does have it’s uses and I may end up using it elsewhere in the project if I feel it would be the stronger choice, but in general, you’ll see something else.

2) No Seafoam.  Unfortunately, as pretty as Seafoam is, it’s too light against my fabric…so it is going the way of the dinosaur.  For The Secret Garden I used Grasshopper from WDW.  I don’t know for sure if I’ll do it every time, but at least for now, I will.

Month Specific Changes

Color Swaps
DMC 5200 – Ecru (Mary’s dress, flowers in hedges)
DMC 3752 – WDW Chablis (Mary’s dress details)
DMC 310 – DMC 3031 (Alice’s eyes ONLY)
DMC 680 – WDW Bright Leaf (Mary’s Hair)
DMC 3328 – DragonflyLotus Designs Harvest Merino Wool (Robin’s breast ONLY)
DMC 5200 – DMC 676 (Hollyhock ONLY)

Color Addition
WDW Oak – Garden Door
WDW Dried Sage – Flower stems

Alterations to Original

The major changes here were to do 1 over 1 to create flower stems with the WDW Dried Sage and the French knots.  I did go all the way up each of the hollyhock’s with the stem in case something showed through.  All of the petals on the hollyhocks are french knots.

Mary, like Alice, probably underwent the most changes overall, but even then it’s not a lot.

Color Swaps
My first color swap was 3752 for WDW Chablis.  For a similar reason as on Alice.

The second swap was to change  her hair from 680 to WDW Bright Leaf.  I felt like the orange beak of the robin got lost in her hair, and the Bright Leaf was similar but light enough that it worked perfectly.

The final color swap was changing the 310 to 3031 for Mary’s eyes.  This is primarily because I want to distinguish between human and non-human.

My first change was to give her buttons on the sides of her boots.  Button closures were common on boots in the Victorian era, so I just used some extra of 3024 to make little French knots.

The next change was to give her some puffy sleeves, which was achieved with some small 3/4 stitches.  The puffy long sleeve dress was also very common on little girls clothes.

Similarly, I used Chablis to do some backstitching to give her details on her sleeves, skirt and blouse. I also used it to make two French knot buttons on the front of her dress.

My next change was to backstitch only the eyelid in black, with the rest of the eye in 3031.  The lid was done with 1 ply of 310 and then a 1/4 stitch diagonally up and away from the eye to give the effect of eyelashes.

wpid-wp-1423002530208.jpegThe Robin
There were only two small changes to the Robin.  First I made the beak and leg stitching more delicate and realistic.  The second was to swap the DMC for a Merino Wool thread from DragonflyLotus. I chose Harvest because it was an orange/red/brown blend that looked like a robin!

wpid-wp-1423002542958.jpegThe Garden Wall
I gave it some extra backstitching.

wpid-wp-1423002548100.jpegThe Garden Door
This one didn’t really change, all that much. I added some hinges in 535 and tweaked the door knob a little.  What I did do is take the 153 and tweed it with WDW Oak.  The goal behind that was to give it a weathered/faded look.  I worked it in vertical stitches to give the effect of actual wood planks to make the door.

And that’s it!  Those are all the changes I did to The Secret Garden.  I do not have charts for these because it would really violate copyright for me to do so, but please, feel free to borrow any changes I made!