Did I ever mention that I have a wonderful collection of Nutcrackers and Smokers? Well, I do.
It all happened so innocently. There was a store in Memphis which sold them. I became smitten and purchased The White Santa Smoker by Christian Ulbricht. Then, over the years, my collection of Smokers expanded to Nutcrackers. And, imagine the surprise when I joined the Needlepoint world and found Nutcracker designs there, too.
My first Needlepoint Nutcracker was Herr Drosselmeyer with stitch guide by Meredith Willett. Then I stitched the Red Nutcracker and Mr. & Mrs. White Nutcracker; stitch guides by Susan Portra. (Have I mentioned to you that I will be taking a class next month at TNNA from Susan Portra, her very self. How exciting!) Then I stitched The Chimney Sweep during the canvas enhancement classes with Amy Bunger. I stitched the Blue Nutcracker on my own.
If you would look again at the White Group photo, you will see that Mr. White Santa Nutcracker was the inspiration for the Mr. White Santa pillow. Who knew? It's a small world.
With the exception of Mr. and Mrs White Nutcracker, the other Nutcracker Pillows have the same background. It was a design recommended to me by Meredith Willett from the Jean Taggart book, Laid Fillings for evenweave fabrics (Pattern 106, p. 141). This book is out of print but can occasionally be found. You might even have it in your library. I charted the design and am giving it to the Needlepoint Study Hall for a Christmas present.
Amy has done quite a few Nutcrackers, too. You can see them on her website here.
Here's my last fun bit of Nutcracker story. For several years, Christian Ulbricht came to Memphis and signed his Nutcrackers and Smokers. It was a thrill to meet him. My collection had grown and he graciously signed them all. The next year, a revised Santa Nutcracker was released called Santa's Coffee Break. Look at whose name was now on the top of Santa's List. Pretty cool, indeed.