Like the other Dimensions Gold Collection Petites kits I had bought the kit included the pattern, pre-sorted cotton thread, 18 count white cotton Aida, needle and instructions.
The "A Kiss For A Snowman" pattern uses full counted cross-stitch, half cross-stitch, french knots and outline stitching for emphasis and depth and this detailing really makes the picture stand out. It also varies the number of threads used with the various stitches to add to the depth emphasis. The design of this cross-stitch gives the finished picture a 3 dimensional aspect with the half cross stitch, french knots and outlining being used for artistic effect.
The pattern came with starting and working order instructions as well as samples of the various stitches required, color coded keys (with code #'s, lengths, color names, and cross-stitch symbols) and a chart with color coded symbols. The kit came with instructions for finishing the back of the picture.
While I was very pleased with the end results of this design there are some things in the kit and in the instructions that can be improved upon.
Unlike the problem I had with the size and readability of some of the other cross-stitch charts in the kits I had bought this color chart was large enough and easy to follow.
As was the case with previous Dimensions kits the thread sorter was poorly designed. The embroidery threads were glued to foam backed 6" by 1 1/4" strips of cardboard that had a picture of the color of the thread and it's number. In order to get to the threads you had to separate the foam back from the cardboard strip. Very quickly the threads separated from their section and then you no longer knew what the thread number was to tie to your symbols & legends.
As I have done with other cross-stitch kits I've completed I had to alter the thread sorter to suit my needs. I pulled the thread sorter apart to get rid of the foam and then punched holes in the cardboard strip just above each color and color #. I inserted the floss threads that went with that color and color # through the hole and tied them in a loose knot. I then added color coded symbols with colored pens beneath each color so I would know what symbols went with what color.
Short of changing the thread sorter all together to make things even easier for the user the color symbol should at the very least have been shown on the thread sorter strip of cardboard as well. That way you would only need to use the thread sorter strip of cardboard to follow your chart.
I used an 8" by 8" Q-Snap embroidery frame to keep the Aida tight and stretched so I could easily cross-stitch this design.
A lot of the cross-stitch 5.25" by 5.25" pictures I have made were finished in small 6 1/2" by 6 1/2" shadowbox frames with 5" by 5" openings that I had gotten at Michaels when they went on sale one year. I used up all the shadowbox frames I had gotten previously and have been looking for them ever since and hadn't been able to find that size again.
I did, however, find some 7" x 7" by 1 1/2" shadow box frames with a 5 1/2" x 5 1/2" opening at Michaels last year and bought a few white ones and black ones when they were on sale. I was hoping to use one of the white ones with this project.
I decided to finish mine with thin adhesive press-board paper. I used an 8" by 10" Pres-On sheet that I cut 6" by 6"with kitchen scissors to fit my picture and them wrapped the Aida cloth around to the back. I pulled the middle of each of the corners of the Aida tightly to the corner point of the back of the adhesive press-board paper and then taped each corner to the back of the board with masking tape. I folded the top and sides of the corner down to form mitered corners for the four corners, pinned them to hold them tightly, and then sewed them with upholstery floss. Once the corners were secure and tight I pulled the middle of each of the sides so they were tight against the adhesive press-board and taped them to the back of the board with masking tape.
The shadow box came with a black padded velvet sheet glued to the cardboard rigid back of the shadow box frame which was about 1/8" thick and fit the depth of the area in the back of the shadowbox. My cross-stitch picture glued to the thin adhesive press-board paper and folded around to the back was already 1/8" thick so I knew I was going to have a problem with the black velvet glued to the rigid cardboard for the backing of the frame.
The shadowbox frame had 8 screwed in movable metal clips that could be turned to hold in the velvet and rigid back piece on the back of the shadowbox frame. The velvet piece itself would fit with my finished cross-stitch but not the rigid cardboard back.
I decided to separate the black velvet piece from the rigid cardboard backing and utilize just the black velvet piece to finish the back of my shadowbox as the black velvet was pliable under the clips.
After securing my cross-stitch picture to the 6" by 6" thin adhesive press-board paper, as mentioned above, I inserted it into the back of the frame, inserted the black velvet piece over it, and then secured the 8 clips.
Last year I had bought some decorative Washi tapes and hadn't had a chance to use them as of yet. When looking at the white shadowbox frame and the cheery "A Kiss For A Snowman" picture I thought one of the tapes I had bought would be perfect to decorate the top and bottom of this frame and really add to the cheeriness of this picture. So I cut two strips of the tape and adhered them to the top and bottom of my frame.
I love the way my "A Kiss For A Snowman" picture turned out and hope you do too.