“ Heaven and Earth Cross Stitch Designs. „
Cross stitch has long been seen as a hobby for old ladies or something you have to learn in school, designs range from small little designs like teddy bears or country side scenes etc, there doesn't seem to be a lot on the market for people who want an out of the ordinary design or are trying to get younger people to enjoy the hobby. I came across cross stitch around 6 years ago when a friend showed me her 'Winnie the Pooh' sampler she was stitching, although for me it wasn't really my thing. After looking around online and buying countless magazines I resigned myself to the fact I would only ever stitch cartoon characters and flowers!!! That was until I joined an online crafting forum and came across 'Heaven and earth designs'. Heaven and earth designs are a small American company owned by Michele and Robert Sayetta; it was launched in 2002 and has steadily come to be one of the most renowned cross stitch dealers in the world. They have a bi-monthly newsletter with the latest releases and also details of the next sale, which is usually around the 20 - 30% off mark and usually happen for religious holidays and things like Valentines Day. They also offer a background removal service and birthday club, they can also convert pieces so that they can be stitched on different materials, and also a rewards program where if you finish a piece and can provide evidence they give you a chart free. You can only buy off the website (www.heavenandearthdesigns.com) or copyright approved retailers in the UK, you cannot find them on eBay! The charts and delivery (in my opinion) are very expensive for what they are, retailing at... (Prices shown are at the 30% off sale price and therefore are usually more) $13.30 for the regular sized downloaded versions $14.70 for the large format downloads $14.70 for a regular size hard copy $16.10 for a large format hard copy These are if you live in America; if outside (Canada and Europe) add at LEAST $10 to order for shipping ( not incl duties, vat and tax). This also is just for the chart so you have to buy all fabric, threads etc separately and as of yet they do not sell them in kit form although a lot of people have asked. They re-create paintings and designs by well known fantasy painters like Brigid Ashwood and Randal Spangler as well as the masters including Da Vinci and now have over 7000 designs now available and these designs range from small quick stitches (or Qss) to enormous works of art including the artwork on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel (which measures in at 14 inches wide by 40 inches long on 25ct fabric). The actual pieces range from dragons and castles to cartoon pixies and gnomes, the design I am stitching at the moment is called 'Faery tales' it features all the old fables including the golden fish, snow white and the pied piper, it measures (when finished) at 23 x 18 inches again on a 25ct fabric. Each design is meant to take roughly 6 months to complete although time and quickness can make this differ. There are no fractional stitches, back-stitching or blending in any pieces either. These are all beautiful pieces and although expensive for just a chart, they do seem to be a brilliant heirloom or large project if your fed up of the usual cross stitch designs, I cant really say that it is worth the money though as once the design is stitched you cannot sell the chart on or even give to a family member to stitch ( this subject was bought up on their face book page and thoroughly shot down by the owner), I understand this with copyright etc but I think they should come up with an idea of what to do once the chart has been finished with. I am giving them 3 stars based on the facts that 1) the price of the charts and postage is a bit extrme in my opinion and 2) that after completing the design you can a somewhat 'useless' chart.