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provide your email, or
surrender your first born. Because at BCSP, free really does mean FREE.
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In the next couple of weeks, you'll be seeing two big changes to our website:
Currently our menu runs vertically down our left column. It has served us well.
But more and more people are using devices with smaller screens. It's easier for them to simply scroll up and down, instead of scrolling right and left and up and down and back again. We want to satisfy all of you-- on the devices you use today, and on the ones you might switch to tomorrow.
So, we are changing to drop-down menus that run horizontally, beneath our banner images.
You see, websites serve two masters.
Did you know that content isn't the only thing that determines where a website ranks in that list of search results? Search engines, too, have specific likes and dislikes, rules and preferences.
If I want stitchers everywhere to have access to our patterns and tutorials, I must comply with these, as well. This brings me to the second change:
Not every page will be listed on these horizontal drop down menus. You'll begin to see more pages restructured like our stitch tutorials--you go to page with all the stitches shown, and from there you choose a specific lesson. Or you'll go to an overview of all cross stitch supplies, and from there you select specific supply pages.
The hard part is two-fold:
I have updated and categorized the Site Map, so you can more easily find the information you need from there. Email if you get stuck.
I want to continue offering information and patterns that are free. If that means I have to jump through a couple of hoops, I guess can use the exercise.
Keep on stitching!
Do you know what a WHITELIST is?
Have you ever needed to reset a password? You sit there, on the edge of your chair, anxiously awaiting to receive that all-important email response.
You wait . . . and wait.
Even worse! You're stopped in the middle of a cross stitch project because you've encountered something in the chart that you don't understand. You send a question, using the website's "Contact Us" feature.
You wait . . . and wait . . . and wait.
Well, there's a chance that the answer may be sitting "somewhere" in your email account. I just learned about this, and figured that there might be others, like me, who didn't know.
Here's the scoop. Many email providers presort your mail on it's way to your inbox. They try to identify which incoming mail is spam, scams, pfishing and other types of unwanted communications. They then take those emails and divert them into folders other than your inbox.
Our "Contact Us" page has information on how to make sure your email service isn't stopping the very emails you've requested. Just click here.
And as always, keep on stitching!
that you've done something. Certain you remember doing it. Absolutely positive.
And then you find out you didn't.
Thankfully, someone nicely brings it to your attention. If you're lucky, not too many people notice. So you fix it quickly and quietly. Under the radar. Except when it's on the internet, potentially seen by a few thousand of your closest friends.
So, I've decided I'm going to embrace it. I'm going to shout it over the internet!
The rose color version of this pattern has been posted for quite some time. If you look closely, the teal design has a slightly different border pattern - the crosses and the hearts are arranged a bit differently. In the background are barely-there opalescent crosses stitched with Kreinik Blending Filament.
If you haven't noticed these patterns before, a lacey border surrounds the words "Love Bears, Believes, Hopes, Lasts" based on the much loved Bible verse from I Cor 13:4-8.
Our philosopy, as a website, is to not collect personal information, even in the form of your email address, in order for you to access either the information or the patterns. Because of this, we don't know how many people use specific patterns from our site.
I am surprised at how often I hear from stitchers who are using this chart, not just for couples, but also for cherished friendships and to remember and honor loved ones who've passed on.
Try this: Think of someone other than a spouse or significant other - a sibling, a friend, a parent - and read these words from that perspective:
"Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in unrighteousness, it rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails." I COR 13: 4-8.
Like I say on my pattern page, "God knew what He was talking about."
So now you can click here for a printable PDF pattern of "Love Lasts." The pattern now includes both the teal and the rose charts.
Just in case you didn't notice.
And it might just be the answer to those frustrating confetti stitches!
DO NOT CLICK on the link in my previous post. It says the page doesn't exist. But it does exist. I promise!
In my journey to take over the technical aspects of building and maintaining my website, I've learned four things:
So, if you haven't done it before, check out our tutorial. A Pin Stitch uses very small stitches to begin and end cross stitching, and can be worked from the front of the fabric. They are often hard to see in a video, so we've created a lesson with very detailed diagrams and instructions.
Check it out and Keep on Stitching!
P.S. Thanks again, sweetheart!
Take the frustration out of frequent floss changes and confetti stitches. Our Pin Stitch Tutorial has detailed diagrams and instructions to make learning quick and easy.
"Bones" is the perfect Halloween cross stitch alphabet pattern and a bold choice for Pirates, Over-40, Dinosaur, Doctors, Nurses, Archeologists, Physical Therapists.
Needle threaders are a must for your cross stitch sanity. Don't buy a threader without seeing the best choices for the tapestry needles you use most.
Watch for changes in our website's navigation, or menu structure.
For example, we used to have every stitch listed on the left menu. Clicking on one took you to the page with step-by-step instructions on how to make that particular stitch.
Now, however, you will click on "Learning the Stitches." That will take you to a "Learn How to Cross Stitch" overview page with a graphic image, like these, of every stitch.
Over the next few weeks, we will be consolidating all of our menus in a similar fashion.
"Why in the world would you do that?" you may ask. Especially when one of our most frequent compliments is that our website is so easy to navigate.
Well . . .
People are using mobile devices, like tablets and smart phones, to connect to the websites they used to visit with laptops or desktops.
But, because the screens are smaller and of varying sizes, websites don't look the same. And it's not just appearance.
The information is not as easily accessible.
Because it's not accessible, search engines will not include non-conforming websites in your search results.
That means that stitchers will not have access to all the great information on Better-Cross-Stitch-Patterns.com.
So, as you're looking through the website, and you think you hear a muffled scream in the background, that's just me being dragged, kicking and screaming, into the 21st century.
Keep on Stitching!
Yikes! That was one long week!
When I started my website redesign a couple of months into the New Year, I added an image to my "Free Alphabets" page using a newly-completed alphabet.
I was thrilled to receive emails asking where to get the " 'May you live . . .' cross stitch lettering shown at the top of that page."
Then, using my particular talent for overestimating how much work I can do and underestimating how much time I actually have, I said that it should be up in about a week.
In the mid-80s there was a movie, named "Money Pit," starring Tom Hanks. It was about a couple who purchased a mansion that turned out to be a monumental fixer upper. Despite uncovering disaster after disaster, every time they asked the contractor how much longer the renovations would take, the answer was always the same . . . "Two weeks!"
That first email was in April.
Well, it's August and, finally, "Beloved" Cross Stitch Alphabet 33 is now available. Really!
"Beloved" features elegant black letters outlined in gold metallic, with a red heart tucked into the curves. The chart includes:
Keep on Stitching!
PS: Thank you for the emails you send in appreciation of this website. Time is precious, and it means the world to me! Often, in the midst of a hectic day, it's just the encouragement I need. So again, thanks!
While building my Amazon store, "Better Cross Stitch Supplies," I discovered some great products to help you in your cross stitch endeavors. One of the finds I'm most excited about is
A DMC Color Card with Thread Samples!
For years, I've seen discussions online about how hard it is to find this product.What is a color card? It is a book, of sorts, with fold-out panels. It contains a list of every floss color that DMC makes, arranged in color families. Beside each DMC number is an example of the color, as well as a mini-chart telling you which DMC thread types are available in that color.
Now here is the tricky part--DMC makes two versions of their color cards.
One has the floss colors simply printed. The accuracy of the color is dependent on how well the printer matched the ink to each specific floss color. From the many reviews I've read, most cross stitchers find that these colors don't match the actual floss well enough for the product to be useful.
The other Color Card uses actual floss threads for the floss color example. This is what you'll find in my store. It costs more than the printed version, but it's well worth the investment.
Do you need a Color Card?
If you only purchase pre-assembled cross stitch kits with the floss included, you might not need a Color Card.
If you are here, though, it probably means that you are branching out, finding your own cross stitch charts and picking your own colors. You want to be able to make some of your own decisions about the pieces you stitch.
If this is you, and you use primarily DMC threads, then this Color Card is a must-have!
Whenever you look at DMC Color Cards, read the description carefully. Depending on when one is manufactured, obviously it will not have any of the colors newly released since the printing of that particular card. But the majority of colors are included.
I use my DMC Color Card so often that the corners get really banged up. Now I cut my pages apart whenever I get a new card. I trim them so they'll fit into report covers and store the pages in a 3-ring binder.
This is such a rare find that I put the DMC Color Card in it's own category in my Amazon store. You'll find it at the top of the menu to the right. This one includes DMC Cotton Perle, DMC Color Variations, DMC Light Effects, DMC Metallic Perle, and is currently priced around $35.
Check it out and Keep on Stitching!
I couldn't be more excited to tell you that better-coss-stitch-patterns.com has partnered with Amazon to bring you a supply store dedicted to cross stitch!
I've spent the past month on Amazon--finding supplies, pouring over product reviews, weeding out poor-performing sellers, researching the manufacturers--all so that you don't have to.
You'll find over 300 cross-stitch products organized into common-sense categories, like fabric separated by thread count; scroll frames, hoops & Q-snaps in their own section; items to help you bring order to the chaos under "Get Organized." Watch for more supplies to be added.
And let me say Thanks! now, in advance. I earn a small commission, and that really helps me to keep bringing this website to you, free of charge.
Keep on Stitching!
If you've read my "About Me" page, you know that my life is probably a lot like yours.
Work life, home life, family life, spiritual life. It changes, grows, it shifts.
We cheer on the kids with their new found independence. A driver's license and a second-hand car frees up a significant amount of our time. We see our parents age and become more dependent, needing our time, our company, our compassion.
And somewhere in there is a bit of time to reinvest in my website.
Websites have changed a lot since we started BCSP. So first you'll notice...
A New Look and Feel
But changes won't just be cosmetic.
We're working on...
NEW Cross Stitch Patterns
Help for Budding Designers
That just a glimpse of what's to come. The list is long, but I am very motivated. Your emails always come at a time when I need encouragement most. Thank you for taking the time to write. And if there is something I'm leaving out, let me know that as well.
These changes will come slowly but, I hope, consistently. If something doesn't seem right, it's likely a page that isn't finished. Please check back a little later.
I hope you'll like what you see.