In an older post, I had written about my love of fairy tales. I have the collected works of Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen, and even a fairy tale sampler WIP to prove it. Imagine my delight when I stumbled on a needlework store built around the concept of a fairy tale! Last month we visited Solvang, a Danish village nestled in the beautiful Santa Ynez valley of Southern California. Embroidery being such an intrinsic part of Danish culture, it was no surprise that this little town had not one, but two needlework stores within a few feet of each other.
Rasmussen’s was the first store I found. They offer a wide range of Scandinavian kitchen and gift products on the first floor, while the needlework shop is on the second floor.
This shop was a bit disappointing for a cross-stitcher like me because it seemed more geared towards knitting and crochet. They had a few stitched models and finished items inside a glass case that I enjoyed seeing, this sampler being one of them:
My niece, who wanted to try cross stitch, bought a mini Janlynn kit for herself. Then we went looking for Thumbelina, the other needlework store. It was a little hard to find as it is situated in the rear courtyard of one of the buildings on Copenhagen Drive. I walked past it a couple of times before I found it. You have to follow that pointing finger in the photo below…
…and this is when you see 1683A:
The walls of the alley are decorated with stitched models. Look at the lovely gate below!
Expanding on the theme of fairy tales:
I fell in love with these Danish Handcraft Guild stitched pieces – they have such a clean, uncluttered look about them.
And finally, Thumbelina – the most charming needlework storefront EVER!
It’s called H.C. Andersen Hus. Everything about this store is so picturesque!
As you enter the tiny shop, to the left of the door are fabric bolts, booklets and stitched models. In fact, every inch of wall space here is covered with stitched models. It was wonderful to see all the lovely Danish designs up close and in person.
I loved Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus relaxing (he with his dog and she with her knitting – note the red ball of yarn!) in this piece:
Majority of the inventory here is made up of Danish kits – if you are looking for OOE and Danish Handcraft Guild patterns and books, this is your store.
More stitched models: Danish country landscapes, birds, flowers, and ships.
I loved this design but it was a kit with Aida and DMC, so though I was tempted, I decide to pass:
Here is the shop owner. His name is Hans Christian Andersen! No wonder the cottage is called HC Andersen Hus! I enjoyed talking to him. I visited the store twice as we went to Solvang again the following weekend. I purchased a few interesting items to add to my stash – I will show them in the next post.
If you are in the area, do visit this shop. Even if Danish designs are not your fancy, Thumbelina is delightful in itself. There are other little pleasures to indulge in downtown Solvang: one-of-a-kind shops, art galleries, cafes, and restaurants. I can’t think of a better way to spend a lazy day (except perhaps in my stitching chair)!