Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Mr. Modtomic Is Not All About The Cross Stitch. I KNOW! "Really?!" But, C'mon...A Cross Stitch Of The Chicago Skyline As Viewed From The Lake? That (And A German Vase / Alligator Phone) Is Just Rad! Status: Soon To Be At The Shag.


I was almost late for work hemming and hawing over this piece of art.  It just took me a few minutes to get over the Rural Americana of cross stitch.  In the end, the contrast of Rural Americana and the Chicago skyline struck me and it was a done deal!


At first I thought this was needle point, which maybe it is...I don't really know the difference in the

completed art.  Is there any?  I've read that needle point starts with a painted canvas and maybe cross

stitch doesn't.  Whatever, this is a great piece either way.  It's pretty darn accurate too, check out this

photo from the same vantage point
!  Note that there are some new buildings in the photo.  With a

little bit of research one could date the art by finding out when the various missing buildings were

built.  Fun for hours!


I vaguely remember having a phone on the wall that had four or five different "faces" that could be

changed out when I was a kid.  This one doesn't look like it could have been changed out but it

obviously was given a facing to reflect a certain decor!  Too bad it's not gold and metallic like our

wallpaper, otherwise we'd have to keep it.  I still need to clean a little sticker glue off of the receiver

and glue the "alligator skin" back down near the dial (Remember Dials!) and maybe take it to work to

test it out and off to The Shag it goes.  I can't imagine that it wouldn't work.  These old phones are

built like tanks.


This last item is a lovely German vase by Amano.  The cool thing is that the inside is black.  That's

what drew me to it.  Then when I saw that it was German I just went ahead and bought it.  The red is

SO Red.  I don't know if it's old but it's beautiful and it fits with the mid century modern style.  I'll

drop it off in my booth but if it doesn't get picked up I might rotate it back here for the home.  It's just

such a POP of color!


  1. I swore I would not be "one of those" commenters...but...the needlework Chicago skyline appears to be needlepoint not cross-stitch. Needlepoint is usually accomplished by making one way slanted stitches using wool. Cross-stitch uses x's and cotton thread. And not to be too picky, but needlepoint is typically a more upscale ladies past time than rural (the difference between embroidered days of the week kitchen towels and preppy needlepoint belts with sorority or fraternity symbols)

    1. Yep! Just what I was going to say. Also, I love this. Needlepoint is my jam.

    2. Hi Heidi and Alison.

      I'm SO down with any of "those" commenters helping me out with the 411! Gotta tell ya, I might collect dishes and worry about where's the best place for the sofa...but this Needle Point / Cross Stitch thing, I did about 3 minutes of research on it and my eyes rolled back in my head.

  2. I'm going to agree with Heidi and Alison about your picture. I was squinting and enlarging and trying to see the stitches clearly, because it looked like needlepoint to me too. I'm glad their younger eyes confirmed my suspicion.

    My grandmother taught me to embroider in the late 50s when I was 8 or 9, and the cross-stitch was one of the first things I learned, along with the chain stitch and French knot. Very often you could buy kitchen towels and pillowcases with the pattern printed on it, or you could buy iron-on transfers. In the early 1980s, counted cross-stitch became popular. You usually bought a printed pattern, and the handwork was done on unprinted fabric. You literally counted the stitches to create a picture. It could be really refined, depending on the type fabric used. I generally did mine on 28ct linen, which produced a very small, very fine stitch.

    1. Hi Dana.

      You must have way more patience than I could ever muster! I couldn't even spend enough time figuring out which this was, though at first I did call it Needle Point before falsely IDing it as Cross Stitch. They both sounded the same to me on Wikipedia!

  3. Not that you need more confirmation, but . . . Yep. Needlepoint.
    And I love the blues in the lake!

    1. Hi Lori

      I know, that blue! I don't think they used different colored thread either. I think it's just the variations of blue IN the thread. Looks amazing.

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  5. My wife created a cross stitch version of the Chicago Skyline. You can see it on our website: www.heartlandhouse.com. A direct link is: http://heartlandhouse.com/docs/chicago_skyline.htm.

    1. Hi John.

      I spotted that while doing a little research on this one. Nice!

  6. This is absolutely needlepoint. I am a bit mystified by your "rural" characterization, though. I guarantee you that there is plenty of both cross-stitch and needlepoint going on in the Gold Coast high-rises shown in your piece. I hear that needlepoint is a favorite of surgeons to help them relax. Do you actually know how to make anything yourself? Just curious.

    1. Hi Anony.

      I guess having grown up in rural Missouri and having seen nothing but "rural" depictions in cross-stitch and needlepoint...and probably something to do with Little House On The Prairie...my perception may be skewed. Nope, I wouldn't have the time to actually make anything...needle point, cross-stitch or other!