Sunday, June 12, 2011

Elizabethan Pencil Box Finished

I finished my Elizabethan Pencil Box today, and managed to mount it into the box. Of course, I only had a vague idea as to how to go about this, but I remembered Ruth O'Leary's great post on the subject last year and went to it for guidance. Tanja Berlin also has excellent instructions on her post, so I used both to figure this out. I was so absorbed in this that I forgot to take photos, but it is pretty boring. If you want to know how to do this, please go to Tanja's or Ruth's postings and you'll get a much better instructions than I could give you.

First of all I went to Michael's and bought a package of the acid free Foam Board for $9.99 for two 20 by 30 inch boards. I had considerable help from one of the guys I live with (my son) as he used to work in the framing department, and told me to make sure I ask for the acid free board.

I cut a piece 1/8 inch smaller than the opening (this from Tanja's directions), and trimmed the fabric and a piece of scrap cotton batting to fit. I had to use the rotary cutter for the foam board, as I don't even have an X-acto knife. But since I knew I was going to use the batting I wasn't too worried about it being a bit uneven. I will need to get a knife next time I go to Michael's. Then I sewed the ends together to make it nice and tight. If you look at the two posts I reference you'll see my version is not quite as crisp around the corners. These will be covered up, so I'm not bothered by them. But I certainly have room for improvement.  

Here is the front, not quite centered properly, more room for improvement here!

And the final box. This is way too nice to bring to work. I'll leave it here at home, downstairs in the living room somewhere.

Likes and dislikes:

This is a fairly quick kit, easy to make but not at all challenging, except in reading directions, but that's not the kit's fault. The Tristan Brooks kits come with a variety of threads, including Heathway wool, Gumnuts Poppies 50/50 wool/silk blend, and Pearsall's silk. This gives you a chance to sample these, most of which are pretty hard to find! The directions are fairly clear, (see next comment), with a simple stitch guide so you don't have to go running to your library to figure out how to work, say, a stem stitch. Most of the stitches are fairly simple, but I did manage to mess up the yellow spider roses. By the time I figured out what I was doing I was on the second flower and there was no going back. Which leads me to the dislikes...

There is not enough thread for some of the colors. I didn't have enough of one of the greens and had to use a different green than what was indicated in the instructions.  And several times I was sweating over whether I would have enough of a color to finish the part I was stitching. But I do have some of the lovely Gumnuts Poppies in blue left over, and I have an plan for those scraps. The fabric comes silk screened in a heavy green, which is sometimes difficult to cover. This is especially true for the bee's wings, which are worked in Pearsall's gold variegated silk floss. Even with two strands it was I  can see some of the green peeping out. I would have preferred a grey drawing, as was provided with the Trish Burr Chinese Flower Kit I recently finished.

But all in all, this was a fun kit to make and I will work several more of them.

I almost forgot... the RSN Crewelwork Essential Stitch Guide I ordered came yesterday! The day after I ordered it. The Amazon site shows it will be delivered tomorrow. They are too efficient!


  1. Lovely Cynthia! That bee is too cute! What a very pretty box to keep nice things in.


  2. Its beautiful and it has come together so quickly.

  3. Congrats on the finish, Cynthia! I love the finished result - it's very nice.

    I'm glad you were frank about the kit. There's nothing worse than paying a lot for a kit, and not getting enough threads (or coming so close on threads, that you're sweating over running out). This always bugs me. I'd rather pay slightly more for a kit and have enough threads to be comfortable with, rather than pay slightly less (and usually, it's a negligible expense, to add a few extra threads) and run out, or cut it really close!

    But the outcome is a nice little box! And of course, your stitching, as always, is perfection!


  4. That turned out beautifully. Bees and skeps always make me smile, but i love the strawberries. Your stitching is lovely.

  5. Beautiful! You have done a great job with this lovely design.


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