Featured Site - June/July 2006

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April Fool Designs

April Fool Designs is a mail order web-based company selling cross stitch charts, as well as a range of very interesting teabag folding papers, backing papers, card toppers and hand made greetings cards. All of the designs are from the hand of Christian Stewart who is a resident of Dundee, Scotland. I really loved this site the first time I visited - the cross stitch designs are lovely (I am itching to do the birdhouses!) and you just have to take a tour around the 'teabag' section - it is unusual, highly original and the designs are just exquisite.

Having absolutely no idea what the art of teabag folding entailed, I entered into a bit of email correspondence with Christian - and persuaded her to write a short piece about herself - I must just add here that Christian is definitely my sort of person - she understands my sense of humour!!

Screenshot illustrating some of Christian's wonderful birdhouse designs.
Image kindly reproduced courtesy of April Fool Designs.

"My name is Christian and I started cross stitching back in 1992 when I was ill and had to attend outpatients weekly. There was a fabulous knitting and stitching shop in the foyer of the hospital where I bought a tiny kit to see if I would enjoy it. I did and after the first one I was completely hooked. I had learned to cross stitch at school and had designed and made a tray cloth but it didn't really interest me."

"After stitching for a while I decided to try my hand at small designs using pencil and graph paper. I started designing on April 1st, 1997, thus the name April Fool Designs. Then a Canadian friend told me about some cross stitching software which I downloaded from the Internet. This turned out to be so simple to use (it needed to be!) that I bought it and have been using various versions of the software ever since. I had sold some charts and kits to people, but last year I was wasn't working and was given the opportunity to set up my website and start a business."

"So I learned how to build a website and the rest is history as they say! I have charts for Angels, Fairies, Birdhouses, Teddy Bears, Snowmen and Santa Claus. There are Birth Samplers, Hebrew and Chinese Samplers and some of my latest designs are charts for the Chinese Zodiac. I add new designs all the time."

"I found 'teabag folding' in a magazine a few years ago, but I had to give up as I could never find nice papers to use for making cards. This craft had started in Holland, where teabags come in pretty envelopes and one woman, Tiny Van Der Plas thought it was a waste to chuck them out so she cut them into squares and folded them into rosettes based on origami. A teabag rosette is a very effective topper for a greeting card."

Teabag paper Teabag paper Teabag paper Finished product!

A few examples of Christian's work, with the finished product on the end! Images kindly reproduced courtesy of April Fool Designs.

I had been on a short graphic design course and thought that I might be able to design my own teabag papers to use. I tried it out and now I have about 300 papers for sale and some matching backing papers. I have papers for all occasions - Birthdays, St Valentine's Day, Christmas, Halloween, Passing a driving test - you name the occasion, there is probably one to suit it!

Well thanks for that Christian - I always love to hear the stories behind the website - It satisfies my naturally nosey instincts! You never know, one day I may tell my own story.....watch this space!

Meanwhile, why not drop by April Fool Designs - I am sure you will enjoy your visit. There's plenty for the 'thoroughbred stitcher' - but a whole lot more for the 'mongrel crafters' (like me!)

Love K xx

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