This my 400th post and what better topic with which to celebrate such a milestone than stash enhancement!
As noted in my annual goals on the sidebar, I am limiting myself to five new chart purchases this year ... but I do not include the annual JCS Christmas Ornament Preview, Halloween Ornament or Christmas Ornament Issues in that count. So I telephoned my speedy and well-stocked friends at The Stitchery Row [Endicott, NY] to order said magazines as well as all the fibers needed for Val's Stuff's Train Depot [Town Square SAL] and two 1/3 yd pieces of Picture This Plus linen [one each in Meditation and in Aerial, both of which are blue overdyes, the first dark and the second light]. Everything was in stock ... though I did get their very last copy of the Halloween ornament issue. I ordered on the 17th and was assured that the package would go out on the 18th. It arrived in record time on the 20th.
I am reasonably pleased with the JCS Halloween ornament issue and have already determined to stitch five of the charts in time to add to my Halloween tree this October. That being said, I do have a few quibbles with the lay-out. Why place the photos of two stitched models but only one chart on a single page with the remaining chart on the flip side? And, of course, this initiates a discontinuity that mars the first 6 pages of the feature. What were they thinking? Anyway, my top picks: Perched on a Pumpkin by Blue Ribbon Designs [the obligatory owl chart], Winifred Witch by M Designs [in spite of the green skin, this witch has a decided glamour], El Dia de los Muertos by Monsterbubbles [though the construction details are somewhat intimidating ... simplify, ladies!], Halloween Greetings by Plum Street Sampler [but when did sheep become a Halloween motif?], Fleur de Boo by Sharon Crescent [different but pretty] and By The Full Moon by Ink Circles [traditional black cats and pumpkin]. Less impressive were the entries from Casey Buonaugiurio [a square pillow ornament with jack o lantern features], Trick or Treats by Val's Stuff [same old, same old], Boo Bunny by Cathy Coombes [silly rabbit, Halloween is for ...], Trick or Treat Tree by Heartstrings [really cute but too much work for an ornament], Pumpkin Fairy by Fresh Threads Studio [for those who like a little saccharine in their loot bag], Halloween Ghost by San-Man Originals [Caspar is passe], Stitch Witch by Brooke Nolan [stitching this will give you cavities] Moon Dance by Wee Works and Mummy's Boy by Charlotte's Collectibles [conventional Halloween designs but not my cup of tea]. I also like the Fall Mandala design in the issue and will probably stitch that someday as well. There was also a neat chart of a Black Capped Chickadee against Fall foliage that was very lovely.
The Christmas ornament Preview issue was not as pleasing. I'll probably stitch Glory Bee's A Partridge in a Pear Tree as well as La-d-Da's 'Tis Green but the remaining designs leave me cold. Other charts of interest in the issue were Goldfinch in Thistle and Summer Mandala. Not much else to my taste.